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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Boehner Hails Introduction of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act"
Bill Smith, Editor: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a press conference today with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to discuss the introduction of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," Pledge to America legislation that would codify the Hyde Amendment by permanently prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion across all federal programs.
HR-3 would bar taxpayer funding of abortions. In introducing the bill Speaker Boehner said, "A ban on taxpayer funding of abortion is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land. But current law - particularly as enforced by this Administration - does not reflect the will of the people." Speaker Boehner is to be commended for both supporting and placing a high value on the bill introduced by pro-life advocate Chris Smith.
The bill is expected to pass the House but will find opposition by very pro-abortion Senate leadership. How can Senate leaders (Democrats) be so supportive of using Federal funds to support abortion? They know that banning the use of federal money in support of abortion does NOT prevent a woman from having an abortion. The bill only prevents using federal dollars to fund abortions. With run away government spending it is time to stop spending the taxpayers money to support or fund abortions; and that should included stopping the federal funding of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations and all federal foreign aid to foreign countries for the support of abortion.
Tags:US House, John Boehner, HR3, government funds, health care, federal funding, abortion, values, Chris Smith, abortion clinics, planned parenthood, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Liberals Will Use Any Tragedy To Advance Their Agenda
In the past week, polls have decisively shown that the American people do not blame Conservatives and Conservative ideas for this month's shooting in Tucson. In the face of this rebuke of their libelous claims, the liberal media have set their sites on the rights of law abiding Americans to own guns. The Media Research Center has just released an exclusive video roundup of the leftist news outlets attacking private gun ownership and our right to self defense.
George Stephanopoulos and Dianne Sawyer scoff in disgust and disbelief at the fact that Americans citizens aren't clamoring for further limitations of our rights.
Taking the advice of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel the liberal media won't let a tragedy go to waste. President Obama's friends in the liberal media are hoping to use this horrific event as a means to deprive us of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. As citizens we must stand against the media's anti-freedom, anti-gun agenda. We simply cannot afford to allow further assaults on the Constitution by the socialist Left.
Last spring, Conservative leaders recommitted to our Constitution and our nation's founding principals, when they signed the Mount Vernon Statement. This sends a crucial message that patriotic Americans remain committed to the founding ideas of our country - no matter how distasteful they may be to the liberal media.
Tags:Liberals, advancing their agenda, media bias, conservative, conservatives, constitution, first principles, founding principles, Mount Vernon Statement, valuesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Comments by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: t is amazing that, with unemployment unacceptably high, the Obama Administration has endorsed a plan that will cost U.S. jobs and make highway driving for Americans more dangerous and less pleasant. Obama wants to admit Mexican trucks to drive on all U.S. highways and roads.
Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, explained what this means: "U.S. truckers would be forced to forfeit their own economic opportunities while companies and drivers from Mexico, free from equivalent regulatory burdens, take over their traffic lanes." We wonder if Mexico has any regulatory standards at all.
Mexican trucks are known to be overweight and lacking in safety regulations we consider essential, such as anti-lock brakes. Mexico doesn't have national databases that track drivers' records, background checks, drug usage, and arrests, and it's known to be easy to get a commercial driver's license with a bribe.
Nevertheless, Obama's Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, has announced he wants to admit Mexican trucks, and he thinks he can appease Congress by presenting on January 6 what he calls a "concept document." It is two pages of bureaucratic pablum that does nothing to assure the safety of Americans on our highways and roads.
The concept document calls for a "review" of the Mexican carriers' safety program, the driving records of Mexican drivers admitted to the program, and inspection of Mexican trucks for safety and emissions. But the document says nothing about what the standard of review and inspection will be, and whether trucks and drivers who don't pass inspection will be rejected.
Under the concept document, Mexican trucks would be subject to border inspections at the "normal border inspection rate," and subject to inspections within the U.S. "at the same rate as U.S. companies." That doesn't reassure us; the "normal" border inspection rate means that only a few violators will get caught, which the Mexicans will consider just a cost of doing business, and the notion that Mexican drivers need inspection only at the 50 percent U.S. rate is ridiculous.
U.S. law requires truck drivers to speak and understand the English language. The concept document says it will "conduct an English Language Proficiency" test of each Mexican driver, but it doesn't say the Mexican drivers must speak English or pass the test.
We know from the House testimony of the previous Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, that the Department's policy is to approve Mexican drivers as "English proficient" even when they respond to an examiner's questions in Spanish. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who was conducting the hearing, was so astounded at this answer that he asked Secretary Peters to repeat it.
The concept document contains other provisions about monitoring, inspections, review, and drug and alcohol inspection. But the document contains nothing about requiring Mexican trucks to meet U.S. standards and rejection if they do not.
Mexican trucks have been barred from operating inside the United States since March 2009. They are limited to a border zone where they must then transfer their cargo onto U.S. trucks. Mexico claims the current ban violates our treaty obligations under NAFTA. That's not true because NAFTA is not a treaty; it was never ratified by two-thirds of Senators as our Constitution requires for a treaty, and is merely a law passed in 1993 by a simple majority vote.
Perhaps the Obama Administration plan to admit Mexican trucks is just a political maneuver. It may be a tactic to reach out to the business community, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and at the same time be a sneaky way to defeat Republican Members of Congress in 2012 by forcing them to vote on the admission of Mexican trucks.
This issue defeated one of our best conservatives in the House, the great track star Jim Ryun (R-KS), who unexpectedly lost his seat in 2006 after voting to admit Mexican trucks. The feminist Democrat who defeated Ryun, Nancy Boyda, then sponsored a bill to ban Mexican trucks, which passed the House by the overwhelming vote of 411 to 3, with the Senate passing a similar bill 75 to 23, votes that are a good indication of popular opinion.
With the drug war in full battle array along our southern border, this is no time to start admitting Mexican trucks. It's a safe bet that many of the trucks will be carrying illegal aliens and illegal drugs.
Another safety problem exists for U.S. trucks that would get access to Mexican roads under this misguided proposal. Trade is supposed to be two-way street, but U.S. drivers don't want to drive into northern Mexico, the most dangerous area in the world because of the ongoing war between drug cartels. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, US Highways, Mexican Trucks, Mexican truck drivers, lost American jobs, unsafe trucks, highway hazardsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Admin Finally Seeing Folly Of Its Gitmo Policy?
Former Protest Ad Against Closing GITMO
It’s now been almost two years since President Obama announced on his second day in office that “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.” But this policy was announced hastily, and as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out a year ago, “[President Obama] didn’t provide any details about how the administration planned to deal with the detainees who are housed there. He just said it would be closed. A year later, it’s clear that closing Guantanamo was a lot more complicated than the administration thought. It’s also increasingly clear that this facility plays a uniquely important role in the War on Terror.”
Indeed, The New York Times reported yesterday, “The Obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility.” And The Wall Street Journal adds today, “President Barack Obama recently reasserted his desire to close the prison, in line with an executive order he issued on his second day in office. But administration officials acknowledged the decision to hold new trials there reflected the reality that the president would likely run for re-election in 2012 having still not accomplished that goal.”
Yesterday’s decision doesn’t just remind of the folly of hastily announcing the closing of Guantanamo, it also marks a significant reversal in policy after the Obama administration met with a great deal of resistance to their ill-advised plan to try detainees in civilian courts in the United States, instead of through military commissions at Guantanamo. The NYT writes, “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to soon lift an order blocking the initiation of new cases against detainees, which he imposed on the day of President Obama’s inauguration. That would clear the way for tribunal officials, for the first time under the Obama administration, to initiate new charges against detainees.”
And The Journal notes, “Attorney General Eric Holder announced the military trials . . . at the same time he announced civilian criminal trials in New York City for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The plans for civilian trials ground to a halt early in 2010 after a backlash from New Yorkers and members of Congress over security concerns and other issues. The administration had hoped that the progress of existing cases would revive support for the policy of prosecuting accused terrorists in both civilian and military courts. But in November, a civilian jury in New York rejected all but one of the 285 counts against Ahmed Ghailani, a former Guantanamo detainee charged with aiding the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa. While Mr. Ghailani still likely faces a life sentence in that case, the conviction on only one count was a major setback to the Obama administration's promotion of civilian trials as an option for detainees.”
At the time of the Ghailani verdict last November, Sen. McConnell said the trial “is all the proof we need that the administration’s approach to prosecuting terrorists has been deeply misguided and indeed potentially harmful as a matter of national security.” He pointed out, “[Attorney General Holder] said Ghailani’s prosecution in civilian court would prove its effectiveness in trying terrorists who are picked up on the battlefield. At the time, most Americans wondered why we would even take the chance. And now they’re wondering when the administration will admit it was wrong and assure us just as confidently that terrorists will be tried from now on in the military commission system that was established for this very purpose at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay, or detained indefinitely, if they cannot be tried without jeopardizing national security.”
Americans apparently didn’t have to wait very long for a change of course, as The Times notes, “[L]ast month, Congress made it much harder to move Guantánamo detainees into the United States, even for trials in federal civilian courthouses. That essentially shut the door for now on the administration’s proposal to transfer inmates to a prison in Illinois and its desire to prosecute some of them in regular court.”
Two years after the Obama administration said it would close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, they have apparently finally realized that this is something that cannot be done hastily and without a plan. Further, the administration finally seems resigned to shelving its poorly-thought-out plans to try terrorists in civilian courts in the wake of the Ghailani verdict. It’s doubtful the administration would have reached this point without bipartisan opposition in Congress, as both the NYT and WSJ point out. Still, it would be better if the White House acknowledged the reality Sen. McConnell laid out a year ago: “Whether it’s recidivism rates or an attempted bombing over a major American city, the way we handle terrorists and terror suspects matters as much now as ever. And closing Guantanamo without a plan would suggest a dangerous lack of appreciation for that. The fact is, as long as we remain at war with Al Qaeda and until we hear a better option, Guantanamo is the perfect place for terrorists.” Tags:Guantanamo, GITMO, Obama, terrorists,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
In Friday’s post, several commenters asked for a complete list of the states involved with the various lawsuits, which we have compiled below. The following list contains all 27 states that have started or joined in a lawsuit against Obamacare. Those highlighted gray are in the process of joining a suit or, in the case of Oklahoma, preparing to sue on their own.
Bill Smith, Editor: Numerous oil rig and ship support crew workers come from Arkansas and Louisiana. Two of my neighbors WERE engineers on ships supporting the oil drilling crews. They worked in the Gulf shipping out of New Orleans ports before the Obama administration banned oil drilling in the Gulf. After the ban the relocated and worked for a time out of Mexico in Mexican Gulf area. Now they have both signed contracts with non-US based companies. They are now working in new countries / areas. One of them is working in Brazil and the other is working in the North Sea of Great Britain. In addition to the lost revenue detailed in the following article, consider the economic impact on US business owners who supported ships, the ship crews and the oil drilling crews. There their were the dock services handling the ships and the drilling material. The gulf coast has lost valuable customers / clients which has now reduced their income and has also impacted the tax revenue for communities and the gulf coast states.The creation of this drastic economic problem was not an oil leak but the the interference by the Obama Administration.
Republicans press White House for data on the government's offshore drilling revenue
Rob Bluey, Contributing Author: Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants the Obama administration to provide Congress with data on the federal government’s offshore drilling revenue — information that would show just how much President Obama’s anti-drilling policies are impacting the budget. Based on recent projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, production in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to drop this year by 220,000 barrels per day. With oil currently at $90 a barrel and the government’s royalty rate at 18.75 percent, that equals $3.7 million in lost federal revenue each day.
Last fall Vitter asked the Interior Department to share revenue figures, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ignored the request. Now, Vitter is taking his case directly to the White House. In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, Vitter and Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) called attention to recent reports that credit rating agencies are keeping a close eye on the U.S. government.
They also asked Lew to respond to seven questions related to domestic energy production:
In terms of revenue generation year over year from domestic offshore energy production — considering bonus bids and royalty revenue, as well as rents and taxes from income — what has been the net revenue each year from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010? And what is OMB projecting to be the revenue in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015?
Is OMB projecting revenue from lease sales in 2011 and 2012, and what is the projected revenue from those lease sales? Please also provide net revenue from lease sales in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
How does OMB account for, and what methodologies does OMB use to measure, future revenue from all sources of domestic energy? Can these numbers be broken down by the type of energy resource?
What has been the revenue generation from renewable energy for FY 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and what is OMB projecting to be the revenue in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015? Also, what has been the total amount of grants and subsidies paid out to renewable energy each year, and what are the projections for the noticed years?
li>What companies and Venture Capital firms (including their start-up investments) are the top 10 recipients of federal grants, loans and subsidies for renewable energy, and what is the dollar figure for each firm from years 2007 through 2010?
How does OMB account for a fundamental transition from wealth-generating energy industries to massively-subsidized energy industries in its analysis of revenue generation and our fiscal situation?
For the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, what was the total number of projects that received categorical exclusions or reduced environmental review under the Act? What is the percentage of total projects?
“As the United States rapidly approaches its debt ceiling, we appreciate your timely response to this letter to inform all members of Congress how the federal government is harnessing or limiting its energy sector’s ability to contribute to our overall economy,” Vitter and Landry wrote in their letter to Lew. “These figures and statistics would go a long way to helping us all make a clearer, more informed decision.”
---------- Rob Bluey is director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. This article which first appeared as an op-ed in the RedState was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Rob Bluey. Tags:David Vitter, Energy, Jacob Lew, Ken Salazar, offshore drilling, Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundation, off-shore, drilling, oil, drilling for oil, drilling bans, lost revenue, higher prices, drilling moratorium, domestic, offshore, oil production, gasoline, U.S. Energy Information AdministrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Walter Williams: Some Americans have strong, sometimes unyielding preferences for Mac computers, while most others have similarly strong preferences for PCs and wouldn't be caught dead using a Mac. Some Americans love classical music and hate rock and roll. Others have opposite preferences, loving rock and roll and consider classical music as hoity-toity junk. Then there are those among us who love football and Western movies, and find golf and cooking shows to be less than manly. Despite these, and many other strong preferences, there's little or no conflict. When's the last time you heard of rock and roll lovers in conflict with classical music lovers, or Mac lovers in conflict with PC lovers, or football lovers in conflict with golf lovers? It seldom if ever happens. When there's market allocation of resources and peaceable, voluntary exchange, people have their preferences satisfied and are able to live in peace with one another.
Think what might be the case if it were a political decision of whether there'd be football or golf watched on TV, whether we used Macs or PCs and whether we listened to classical music or rock and roll. Everyone had to comply with the politically made decision or suffer the pain of fines or imprisonment. Football lovers would be lined up against golf lovers, Mac lovers against PC lovers and rock and rollers against classical music lovers. People who previously lived in peace with one another would now be in conflict.
Why? If, for example, classical music lovers got what they wanted, rock and rollers wouldn't. Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena.
The lesson here is that the prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person's gain is of necessity another person's loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict-enhancing, while market allocation is conflict-reducing. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater the potential for conflict. It would not be unreasonable to predict that if Mac lovers won, and only Macs could be legally used, there would be considerable PC-lover hate toward Mac lovers.
Most of the issues that divide our nation, and give rise to conflict, are those best described as a zero-sum game where one person's or group's gain is of necessity another's loss. Examples are: racial preferences, school prayers, trade restrictions, welfare, Obamacare and a host of other government policies that benefit one American at the expense of another American. That's why political action committees, private donors and companies spend billions of dollars lobbying. Their goal is to get politicians and government officials to use the coercive power of their offices to take what belongs to one American and give it to another or create a favor or special privilege for one American that comes at the expense of some other American.
You might be tempted to think that the brutal domestic conflict seen in other countries can't happen here. That's nonsense. Americans are not super-humans; we possess the same frailties of other people. If there were a catastrophic economic calamity, I can imagine a political hustler exploiting those frailties, as have other tyrants, blaming it on the Jews, the blacks, the conservatives, the liberals, the Catholics or free trade.
The best thing the president and Congress can do to reduce the potential for conflict and violence is reduce the impact of government on our lives. Doing so will not only produce a less-divided country and greater economic efficiency, but bear greater faith and allegiance to the vision of America held by our founders — a country of limited government. Our founders, in the words of Thomas Paine, recognized that, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."
------------- Dr. Walter E. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well. Tags:Walter E. Williams, divided nation, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
William Warren: This cartoon is about Hu’s visit with Obama, and how Obama keeps turning a blind eye to the human rights problems in China.
Tags:China, Hu Jintao, Human Rights in China, Obama, Obama Hears a Hu, Political Cartoons, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William Warren: My latest cartoon addresses the House’s vote later today to repeal Obamacare, which the White House dismisses as nothing but a “symbolic” vote. I think the symbols I drew are pretty clear for what Obama has in store for himself.
Adam Bitely - Our Regulated Society: Obama has been quite busy reframing his image to the American people since the crushing results of the 2010 midterm elections. At the midway point of his first term, he is quickly attempting to cast himself as the middle-of-the-road independent in the mold of Bill Clinton post-1994 midterm elections. While this rebranding scheme might work on some, don’t let it fool you.
Writing in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal, Obama admits that he loves the free market society that exists in America. As he wrote, “America’s free market has not only been the source of dazzling ideas and path-breaking products, it has also been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known.” And he is exactly right.
His next paragraph, however, contradicted this new found admiration of that very system. Sounding like a typical politician, Obama felt the need to justify the role that government regulators play in the supposedly “free” marketplace. Obama says, “throughout our history, one of the reasons the free market has worked is that we have sought the proper balance.” Of course, the balance he refers to is government regulators interfering in the marketplace. Obama continues, “[w]e have preserved freedom of commerce while applying those rules and regulations necessary to protect the public against threats to our health and safety and to safeguard people and businesses from abuse.”
As Ludwig von Mises wrote, the “market economy safeguards peaceful economic cooperation because it does not use force upon the economic plans of the citizens. If one masterplan is to be substituted for the plans of each citizen, endless fighting must emerge.” Government regulators in the marketplace do not preserve the “freedom of commerce” as Obama stated, rather, they hinder it. History has shown this time and again.
Government regulators use force to steer the marketplace in the direction they deem fit. This can be seen through such legislation as ObamaCare, which forces everyone to purchase health care all the while regulating the health care industry by forcing health care providers to perform certain functions for the customers. This is the exact “masterplan” that Mises warns of that hinders marketplace freedom.
If the American marketplace were truly free, it would not have government regulators dictating to companies how they perform their business. Consumers would be allowed to freely choose between companies with the freedom to purchase products or services from companies that they freely chose to engage in trade with, and would similarly have the freedom to not do business with companies that they would rather not engage with. These freedoms do not currently exist in the American marketplace.
Obama realizes that government regulators can be harmful to a degree. He issued an executive order that requires federal agencies to make sure that their regulations protect safety, health, and the environment while also promoting economic growth. This order demonstrates how un-committed Obama is to stopping out-of-control regulations that are harming the marketplace.
If he were truly serious about reforming the regulatory system, he would have banned regulations and started scaling them back. But that was not done. Instead, he asked the regulators to justify their regulations to the American people the way they have done since the beginning of time. Tags:Congress, Obama, ObamaCare Repal Vote, Political Cartoons, William Warren, Free-Market, George W. Bush, Government Regulations, Government Regulators, Ludwig von Mises, Obama, Regulated Society, Adam BitelyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Kay Daly, GOPUSA: It was inevitable. Desperate to try to change their fortunes before voters enter the voting booth in 2012, liberals have been trying to manipulate the conversation no matter what the subject. After the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, one would think decorum would be the rule of the day. Instead, liberals went on the attack immediately, blaming any conservative with a microphone for the “atmosphere” that contributed to the Giffords shooting. Never mind that the lunatic who pulled the trigger didn’t listen to talk radio, nor was he politically conservative.
This goes to show you that language is important. And that is the reason why the left is now trying to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine. Look for Congressman Clyburn (D-SC) to drop that gem of a bill before the ink is dry.
The Fairness Doctrine seeks to hush all conservative rhetoric on the airwaves by requiring that a leftist point of view be given equal time, etc. As if the left doesn’t have pure dominance across the entire mainstream media airwaves and in every newsroom across the nation, not to mention tentacles into every show of every genre from children’s fodder to documentaries on the History Channel. But the left wing’s inability to tolerate any dissent of any kind is driving them to bring up the laughably named Fairness Doctrine at every turn. They won’t be happy until they are able to “Hush Rush.”
Even the Fairness Doctrine doesn’t go far enough for some liberals. Despite embracing the First Amendment at every turn to defend some of their lunacy, they have now decided to try to actually ban some symbols from public discourse. Congresswoman McCarthy, clearly a gal who cannot stand Gov. Sarah Palin, is blaming the crosshairs symbol on a map of congressional races targeted for a liberal defeat on Palin’s website.
Rep. McCarthy is going to have to decide whether it was the crosshairs on the Palin congressional map or the crosshairs logo on CNN’s Crossfire that set off Jared Lee Loughner. Or maybe he just shopped at Target a lot. They had better get a really good psychic for any congressional hearings on McCarthy’s wacky bill — it will take a mind reader of extraordinary depth and imagination to discern what was going on in Loughner’s tangled neurons.
In a further assault of the First Amendment, Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) wants to make language that could be considered threatening to a federal official, illegal. And precisely who is going to decide that, under what circumstances and with what results?
Dangerous constitutional ground these folks are treading on. Isn’t it usually the leftists who wrap themselves in the First Amendment for any obscene, offensive thing that the most depraved mind can possibly conceive of, usually in an anti-Christian genre? Why don’t they just get it over with and say that the First Amendment is for everyone that agrees with them, period.
Unfortunately for them. the Founding Fathers wanted Americans to enjoy a robust, free, political environment where there would be no fear of reprisals for expressing an opinion. This has been tested repeatedly over the years, heaven knows, but the alternative – state-controlled speech – is a far more reprehensible option. One they would truly live to regret if they thought about it. It would seem that their hatred for anyone who disagrees with their agenda outweighs even the potential abuses of government.
What happened in Tucson had nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin or Sean Hannity or Mark Levin or any other conservative superstar that annoys a liberal. Jared Lee Loughner is a pathetically ill young man who needed psychiatric care, nothing more, nothing less. He pulled the trigger and it was for a host of reasons that we will probably never quite understand. Limiting the freedoms of the First and Second Amendment would not have stopped Loughner from the mayhem he was bent on creating.
The real tragedy would be to allow the leftists to use this incident to silence us just as the new Congress is settling in and the 2012 campaigns are getting started. Now is not the time to be silent.
--------- Related Article:Malkin: The Hate Speech Inquisition Tags:GOPUSA, First Amendment, liberal attack, limiting free speech,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
More Reasons Than Ever To Support Obamacare Repeal As House Votes Today
Update 5:03 PM:House voted 245 to 189 this evening to repeal the federal health-care law enacted last year (ObamaCare). Three Democrats, Reps. Mike Ross (AR), Dan Boren (OK) and Mike McIntyre (NC), joined Republicans in supporting repeal. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ), who is in serious condition, had previous joined the aforementioned democrats in voting to advance the repeal bill.
Today, the new House Republican majority is set to fulfill a key pledge: holding a vote to repeal President Obama’s bloated health care spending bill. By now, Americans are familiar with many of the consequences of Democrats’ flawed, unpopular bill. And unsurprisingly, polls show most Americans continue to support repealing the law.
This week, Quinnipiac asked voters if Congress should repeal the health care law, and 48% said it should, while only 43% said the law should be left standing. CNN asked, “Would you rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions in the new law or would you rather see Congress vote to leave in place all the provisions in the new law?” Fifty percent told CNN they’d prefer to see all provisions of the law repealed, with only 42% saying they’d prefer it to stay in place. And last week, Gallup asked if Americans would want their representative in Congress to vote for repeal. Forty-six percent said they wanted their representative to vote for repeal, while only 40% wanted to see it stand.
And if repeated polls showing Americans want President Obama’s law repealed and replaced aren’t enough evidence of support for repeal, Democrats in Congress might want to consider the fact that 26 states are now suing the federal government over the law. The AP reported yesterday, “Six more states joined a lawsuit in Florida against President Obama's health care overhaul on Tuesday, meaning more than half of the country is challenging the law. . . . The six additional states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined Florida and 19 others in the legal action, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. ‘It sends a strong message that more than half of the states consider the health care law unconstitutional and are willing to fight it in court,’ she said in a statement.”
Also worth considering is President Obama’s new desire for “a government-wide review of federal regulations, aiming to eliminate rules that stymie economic growth,” as The Wall Street Journal described it yesterday. But according to a report in today’s WSJ, “President Barack Obama's government-wide review of federal regulations will have little effect on two of the president's major regulatory victories: an overhaul of Wall Street and the health-care market, according to a White House budget official. . . . ‘New regulations will not be priorities for the lookback,’ the official said.” If the president is looking for rules that stymie economic growth, he needs look no further than the health care bill. As The Journal pointed out yesterday, “Business leaders say an explosion in new regulations stemming from the president's health-care and financial regulatory overhauls has, along with the sluggish economy, made them reluctant to spend on expanding and hiring.”
The American people have made their wishes clear: poll after poll shows support for repealing the unpopular health care bill. Over half the states are suing the federal government over the bill’s constitutionality. The consequences of the bill, including “huge” premium hikes, a “mountain of new mandates” for employers, the loss of insurance plans, “cuts in Medicare,” and “an explosion in new regulations” stymieing economic growth are plain to anyone who cares to look. President Obama’s health care law should be repealed and replaced and following the House vote, the Senate should have the opportunity to stand with the American people and vote for repeal. Tags:Obamacare, government healthcare, repeal the bill, US HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Jennifer Mesko, CitizenLink: In the 38 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, an estimated 48 million preborn babies have lost their lives. This weekend, hundreds of thousands of life advocates will take part in events across the nation to mark the anniversary.
The national March for Life, which first took place in January 1974, is scheduled for Monday on the National Mall. March for Life founder Nellie Gray said the goal is simple: “To overturn Roe versus Wade, no exception, no compromise.”
President Ronald Reagan and both George H.W. and George W. Bush addressed the attendees by phone. President Barack Obama has been invited to do the same.
The weekend events will culminate with the 29th annual Rose Dinner on Monday night. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., will be the keynote speaker.
Also taking place in Washington on Monday will be Faith and Action’s National Clergy Conference for the Pre-born. The special clergy meeting is held on Capitol Hill in remembrance of the victims and in celebration of life.
Elsewhere, Missouri’s first March for Life is set for Saturday. Nebraska’s Walk for Life is Jan. 29.
Walk for Life West Coast takes place Saturday in San Francisco and will feature former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson.
“Five years ago, if you had told me we would have 35,000 pro-lifers walking in San Francisco, I would have said you were crazy,” said Eva Muntean, co-founder of the West Coast event. “Now I look out at the thousands of young people who eagerly listen to our message every year, and I see real and concrete hope for the future of our country.”
Life advocates across the country can tune in online to the Life and Justice conference in Colorado Springs on Saturday. The event will raise a greater awareness of the sanctity of human life and biblical justice as they relate to the preborn child, orphan care, those living with a special need, the elderly, human trafficking and genocide.
Focus on the Family is co-sponsoring the all-day event. “We’re going to go back to the beginning, with the biblical roots and our admonition from the Scripture to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves,” said Kelly Rosati, vice president of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family. Learn more about the March for Life. Tags:Rove v. Wade, abortion, March for LifeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Rahm Emanuel Confirms Health Care Law Can Fund Abortions
In the debate in the US House over the Repeal of Obamacare, liberals are insisting that there's less opposition to ObamaCare. But they can expect that to change once Americans get wind of this week's interview with Obama's former chief-of-staff.
In a discussion with Carol Moseley Braun and the Chicago Tribune, Rahm Emanuel confirmed that nothing is stopping the health care law from funding women's abortions. Not the current language, and definitely not the phony executive order agreed to by Rep. Bart Stupak.
Moseley Braun: "You wound up being the person tagged with making that, quote, 'compromise' happen..." Emanuel: "That's a fair question, and I'll explain it. President Obama was determined to get his health care bill passed. There were 14 votes that were holding [it] up, and my job as chief-of-staff was to help the President get... that legislation." Moseley Braun: "And so you threw women under the bus?" Emanuel: "I came up with an idea for an executive order to allow the Stupak-Amendment not to exist by law but by executive order, and it was good enough for Nancy Pelosi...who [is] held up in honors by people like NARAL and Planned Parenthood who supported that bill and supported the way to make progress."
Notice the words "not to exist by law." Back when Congressman Stupak struck this deal, pro-lifers were shocked that his coalition would trade away their votes for a meaningless piece of paper. Executive orders can do a lot of things--but impacting the health care law isn't one of them. This was a symbolic gesture by a shrewd White House. It may have gotten the better of Stupak, but it won't fool Americans. If anything, Emanuel has just done Republicans a huge favor. By admitting that taxpayer-funded abortion not only exists--but thrives--in the health care law, he's turned the country's attention back to the biggest travesty of all.
Most Americans Still Want Obamacare Repealed; House Vote Scheduled Tomorrow
The Senate in remains in recess until January 24th because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed opening the first legislative day while Democrats attempt to negotiate support among themselves for partisan changes some want to make to the filibuster rules. Democrats claim that rules can be changed with a simple majority vote on the first legislative day, even though Senate rules require a 2/3rds vote to change them.
The House reconvened at 2 PM today to begin debate on H.R. 2, the new Republican majority’s bill to repeal the Democrats’ unpopular health care law. A vote on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday.
Politico reports today, “The highly anticipated vote Wednesday to repeal the health care reform bill will make headlines and count as a promise kept by House Republicans. . . . Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will try to keep the Senate from becoming the place where the repeal bill goes to die. . . . McConnell will push for a vote on the House bill after the body returns next week, even though Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has made clear that he will do everything he can to block the measure.”
While Democrats are telling themselves this is an opportunity to again attempt to sell the public on a bill that raises costs, forces employers to change health plans, cuts Medicare, and raises premiums, the American people still aren’t buying it. In fact, the Democrats’ health care law has only gotten more unpopular since Democrat leaders jammed it through Congress. In December, ABC News reported, “Coinciding with a federal judge’s ruling invalidating a key element of the health care reform law, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds support for the landmark legislation at a new low . . . .” According to ABC, “Fifty-two percent are opposed, and that 9-point gap in favor of opposition is its largest on record since the latest debate over health care reform began in earnest in summer 2009. More also continue to ‘strongly’ oppose the law than to strongly support it, 37 percent to 22 percent.”
And today, a new Quinnipiac poll finds that a plurality of voters still want to see the health care law repealed. By 48%-43% voters said Congress should try to repeal the law. A majority, 51%, still disapproves of President Obama’s handling of health care.
Majorities of voters in the Quinnipiac poll still disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy (53%-40%) and on creating jobs (51%-41%), but according to The Wall Street Journal today, President Obama says he’s now interested in “a government-wide review of federal regulations, aiming to eliminate rules that stymie economic growth.” Yet The Journal notes, “Business leaders say an explosion in new regulations stemming from the president's health-care and financial regulatory overhauls has, along with the sluggish economy, made them reluctant to spend on expanding and hiring.”
So if Democrats in Congress want to support the president in eliminating rules and regulations that stymie economic growth, one of the best things they could do would be to vote for House Republicans’ bill to repeal the bloated, unpopular health care bill. Democrats’ first opportunity to stand with the American people and do away with their flawed, 2,000 page health care takeover will be on Wednesday. Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, Obamacare, Repeal ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: Setting aside, for a moment, whether you believe the lottery in your state is effective, efficient, moral, or counter-productive and immoral, is the money from your state’s lottery being used where it’s most needed or productive? Or is time to make a drastic and desperately needed change in how education is funded?This article’s focus is on Arkansas’s scholarship lottery program (Arkansas is the home of The Institute for Constitutional Policy), but it is intended to be applicable to education in all 50 states.
$420 Million per Year
Arkansans are gambling about $35 million per month on lottery tickets and games, approximately $420 million per year or about $144 per year for every adult and child in Arkansas. However, the highest estimates for the percentage of Arkansans who actually play the lottery is 65%, which means those who gamble on the lottery gamble approximately $224 per person per year. Of the $420 million Arkansans gamble on the lottery, only about 22% (third worst percentage in the nation) actually goes for college scholarships. That 22% helped to fund 28,000 college scholarships in the lottery’s first year, $4,500 per year for university students and $2,500 per year for students who attend community colleges.
A closer look at the Arkansas lottery’s revenues can be more troubling. In one sample month (August, 2010), Pulaski County, the state’s most populous county, produced the the lottery’s highest per county revenue, approximately $7 million, or approximately $73 per month per household (approximately 1.9% of household income). In 2008 the Pulaski Co. median household income was $45,215 and 16.5% were below the 2008 poverty level.
Jefferson County produced the second highest income for the lottery in August, approximately $1.6 million, or approximately $81 per month per household, (approximately 2.1% of household income). The median household income in 2008 was $38,018 and 20.6% lived below the 2008 poverty level in Jefferson County.
In Lee County, a fairly typical Arkansas Delta region county, the 2008 median per household income was $25,178 and 38.6% lived below the 2008 poverty level. Lee County households gambled approximately $43 per household per month on the lottery, 2% of their income. The minority population of Lee County is approximately 58%.
According to the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research’s 2010 report on remediation rates and costs in Arkansas colleges, English and math remediation rates from Lee County were between 75% and 100%. Less than 18% of Lee County School District students scored 19 or higher on the ACT for math, according to the Bureau’s report. Less than 56% scored 19 or higher for literacy and less than 50% scored 19 or higher for science. The Arkansas lottery scholarship program requires an ACT score of 19 or higher to qualify for a college scholarship.
Less Than Half Can Qualify
Lee County residents, with one of the lowest per household incomes in the state with significantly less discretionary income, are nevertheless gambling approximately the same percentage of their income on the lottery, yet less than half of their students can qualify for a lottery scholarship. And of those who gain entrance to college classes, at least three out of every four students had to go through some remediation classes.
Financial inefficiencies aside, this incredibly poor educational performance does not account for the human toll nor the long-term poverty with its related liabilities for students who not only cannot achieve a college degree, but who graduate from high school without the proficiency to function productively in society.
According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, remediation at Arkansas’s institutions of higher education increased from 51.3 percent in 2008 to 54.6 percent in 2009 – a rise of 3.3 percentage points in one year. The cost of remediation for 2008 was $65 million, which is approximately 10 percent of the total general revenue funding for institutions of higher education. The percentage at four-year institutions was 40.4 percent and 75.8 percent at two-year institutions.
Sixty-five million dollars is roughly equal to 65% of the money available for 2009 scholarships in the Arkansas scholarship lottery program. The data clearly suggest that a significant percentage of Arkansas’s lottery proceeds would be much more productively invested in P-12 education, with a concentrated focus on schools with the lowest ACT scores and highest rates of required remediation. The long-term benefit to Arkansas would be enormous.
Of course, the problems that need to be solved are not that simple, nor are the solutions.
“Public Education is Disadvantageous to Black Students”
I had the recent privilege of visiting for several hours with Cheryl Washington, Ed.D., the Chief Administrator for the Word of Outreach Christian Academy (WOOCA) on Asher Avenue in Little Rock. Dr. Washington, a former captain in the Air Force who also holds a Masters degree in Education, has been the administrator for WOOCA for 22 years.
Dr. Washington served for six years on the Governor’s Council for Gifted and Talented education. “Arkansas does an outstanding job in this [gifted and talented] area,” Dr. Washington said, “ranking 2rd or 3rd in the nation. But 40% of all public schools in Arkansas did not even meet progress requirements for the state benchmark last year."
She said the state needs to put more money into more ACT prep courses and that every child needs to go through ACT preparation. But she was quick to point out that didn’t solve the real problem.
“Public education forces the perpetuation of a culture that has not been advantageous to black students,” she explained. “The public school is an extension of the culture where it’s not cool to be smart, not cool to obey authority, where entitlement and ‘free stuff’ is the goal.”
“Education has become a tool to change our society; education has become a political platform,” she continued. “It’s not about the students, it’s no longer a ministry, it’s about money.”
“How do we fix it?” I asked.
We Have to Change the Model
“We have to change the model,” she answered. “God never intended a child to be a ward of the state. Teachers used to work for parents; now we have it the other way around. Parents report to teachers.”
“The system will have to become accountable to parents again,” she continued. “That means school choice, but not choice only within the system. It has to be true school choice, where the money follows the student. We can’t continue to just try to involve parents. We must empower parents, and that means that the money must follow the child. When we make that critical change, the system will have to become accountable to parents once again.”
“We’ve got to eliminate the bureaucracy,” she said. “When we add love, add structure, and add Christ to education, we dramatically improve the environment. We have scientific studies which conclusively demonstrate that when we eliminate stress from drugs and gangs and replace those destructive forces with love, structure, uniforms, prayer, God, and make education a ministry, we create an environment that actually changes the brain. And we see a 97% academically proficient graduation rate from that kind of education.”
“When we give parents a choice,” Washington emphatically insisted, “then we give kids a chance.”
Legislation to Give Parents a Choice, Kids a Chance
Arkansas State Representative Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro had planned to introduce a bill that would require at least of portion of available public school funding to follow the student during P-12 school years. Rep. Hubbard was advised by the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research that such a bill would likely be unconstitutional according to the Arkansas Constitution. “We’re looking at the possibility of amending the Arkansas Constitution to provide for the idea,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard has taught and coached in both public and private schools, including Little Rock’s Catholic High School. “Although I realize that there are still some well-performing public school districts, I also realize that the overwhelming majority of educating students in Arkansas, and everywhere else for that matter, is being done in home schools and private schools,” Hubbard said. “The clear and present danger concerning public schools is that until we return discipline back to the classroom, the educational atmosphere in public schools will continue to dissipate each and every year.”
“I am passionate about protecting and preserving the education of our young people,” he continued. “One of the greatest fears I have is that, with the way our public schools are continuing to self-destruct, we have but a small window of time in which to turn this around, or any hope that our young people will have access to a real education will be lost.”
Hubbard also said that he will support (and is willing to submit) a “Tim Tebow” bill during this session of the Arkansas legislature. The legislation would allow home-schooled students to participate in extra-curricular activities in public schools, including sports and music. The bill derives it’s name from Tim Tebow, a home-schooled student who played football for a public high school team in Florida, leading Neese High School to the 2005 Florida state championship. As the Gators’ starting quarterback, Tebow won the Heisman Trophy, earned the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top football player, the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport. The Word of Outreach Christian Academy is raising funds to send some of its students on their first trip to Washington, D.C. If you would like to help with this worthy project, please contact Dr. Cheryl Washington at 501-663-0500. The assumption that 65% of Arkansans gamble on the lottery will be used in all related calculations from this point forward. Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Arkansas, Arkansas scholarship, Cheryl Washington, Jon Hubbard, Lottery, lottery program, Tim Tebow, bill, Word of Outreach Christian Academy, Education, Lottery, scholarships, Curtis ColemanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pence is a favorite among some conservatives, winning the straw poll at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters summit – an annual gathering of social conservatives – last September. Pence, formerly the third ranking Republican in the House GOP caucus, announced his resignation from that leadership position on Nov. 3, 2010, the day after the midterm election. At the time, he said that he had “begun to look to the future” and decided he would not be able to fulfill his leadership duties over the next two years.
The move sparked rumors that Pence, after winning the Values Voters straw poll, was mulling a White House bid. But Pence hinted that he would rather run for the Indiana governor’s office. The draft-Pence movement hopes to change the congressman’s mind by demonstrating that he has the support he’d need for a serious 2012 presidential run. “America’s President Committee [APC] today kicks off a national grassroots signature drive urging conservatives and tea party members to sign a declaration encouraging Mr. Pence to run for President,” the group said in an early-Monday news release.
“Throughout his distinguished career, Mike Pence has demonstrated the ability to enthusiastically advance the cause of conservatives and constitutional, limited government, and for that reason I am encouraging him to get in the race,” said Ryun.
Ralph Benko, a former Reagan administration deputy counsel who helps Ryun run the APC, said that Pence’s ability to unite the three traditional areas of conservatism – fiscal, foreign policy, and social – make him an ideal candidate for the nation’s newly energized conservatives. “Mike Pence describes himself as ‘First a Christian, then a conservative, then a Republican.’ He unifies fiscal, social, and national security conservatives, and will energize the conservative coalition essential to winning back The White House in 2012,” Benko said in the release.
Benko [said] on Monday that the rise of Internet fundraising and organizing, coupled with the emergence of the tea party activists, gives Pence a “ready” base in Benko’s eyes. Benko believes Pence could easily rally the Tea Party, which provided the GOP with the needed muscle to take back the House of Representatives and make considerable gains in the Senate during the 2010 congressional elections. Benko said, “You need people and you need money, and both of them are just out there waiting for an extraordinary person to unite behind. He [Pence] is a true constitutionalist, which is at the core of the DNA of us tea partiers."
Benko also mentioned Pence's "unique track record of having fought his own party’s top leadership on the bailouts and TARP and entitlements expansion. This is a big deal for [the tea party] – the fact that he didn’t just talk about it, the fact that he actually did it under fire – is just a very big deal,” Benko added.
Benko also said that Pence’s open commitment to socially conservative values would resonate with tea party members: “He has demonstrable integrity both in his word and his deed – that is really extraordinary. I think people are looking for integrity, and Mike Pence’s integrity is so vivid that once you focus on it, I think that’s going to move a lot of people.”
CBN News: The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says her uncle would be considered a social conservative today.
Dr. Alveda King is the director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, the country's largest Catholic pro-life organization. She says the advice columns he wrote for Ebony Magazine in 1957 and 1958 show that he was pro-life and in favor of abstinence before marriage.
"Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now," she said in a statement on Friday. "He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the 'religious right.'"
In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a "crime," that he had made a "mistake." He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing "to the present breakdown of the family."
"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God," added Dr. King. "Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 50 million missing lives."
Monday marked the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the U.S. Tags:CBN, News, Martin Luther King, Alveda King, social conservative To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Congressmen address the observing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR-01): “It is important we honor this day and not let the significance of Dr. King and his accomplishments fade from our memories - as individuals and as a nation. Dr. King’s adherence to nonviolence in the pursuit of social justice left an indelible mark on our nation’s history and conscience. Great progress has been made in the struggle for civil rights, equality and social justice and we continue to fight for the rights of all Americans. Today, we recognize the accomplishments made to date, and rightly attribute much of that progress to Dr. King.”
Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR-02): “I join Arkansans in honoring the life and immense contribution Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made to our country and the world. His fight against injustice and his legacy of peace continue to resonate today. We must pass on to our children Dr. King’s vision of judging men and women ‘by the content of their character’ to further his dream of a better tomorrow.”
Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR-03): "Dr. King got it right. It’s about ‘content of character’. He embodied the very essence of what it means to be an American. He was a dreamer and a visionary who believed in freedom and opportunity for every man, woman and child regardless of their 'race, color or creed'. Nearly 50 years ago, one man had a dream. Today as we celebrate his birthday, let us all commit ourselves to the continuing march towards equality."
Before the present day Tea Parties who are holding elected officials and government accountable, there were others who walked these paths before us. One of many that stood before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs was Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968). Consider the following quote relevant to each of us:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
On this day of commemoration, the ARRA News Service honors the memory of Dr. King and his tireless commitment to speak out against the tyranny of government and for individual freedom and the access to rights guaranteed to all Americans. Tags:Martin Luther King, Tea Party, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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