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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
Bill Smith, Editor: Tony Branco's excellent cartoon displays Obama's focus on credit and his pursuit of actions or those of his administration which are destroying all aspects of our economy. While positionally, it is true that the President gets "credit" for the taking down of the mastermind behind 9-11, he in fact took no one down. It was CIA Director Leon Panetta who is reported to have been responsible for arranging for Osama bin Laden to be taken down in spite of interference by White House officials. According to sources, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett advised the president not to give the order to kill Osama bin Laden and not to be drawn into being linked to the responsibility for the death of Osama. Thankfully, it was the brave Navy Seals who accomplished the task of "killing" this terrorist. Tags:AF Branco, political cartoon, the economy, unemployment, debt, fuel prices, inflation, US dollar To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Last month, two respected U.S. senators introduced legislation intended to cut taxes, spur economic growth, and reduce the interference of the tax code in our economy. The Wyden-Coats Bipartisan Tax Fairness & Simplification Act of 2011 would enact many worthwhile tax policies – such as reducing and simplifying tax brackets, lowering the corporate tax rate, and getting rid of the alternative minimum tax. But one deficiency in the Act demonstrates an important lesson of tax reform – namely, that just one change in the tax code that gets the details wrong can counterbalance the good effects of praiseworthy policies:
Regrettably, the Act’s proposed elimination of the dual-capacity tax deduction for U.S. oil and natural gas producers would not only make our economy less productive and our tax code more unfair, but could also raise fuel prices and threaten America’s energy security.
Essentially, the current dual-capacity rule lets companies that produce energy offshore deduct the taxes they pay to foreign governments from their U.S. tax bill. This double tax burden is not borne by foreign competitors, because a dual-capacity deduction is standard practice just about everywhere in the world. The countries that tax foreign profits (most do not) also allow some kind of deduction to protect their national energy producers from double taxation. But the Wyden-Coats proposal to eliminate this deduction will subject U.S. energy producers to a new tax that puts them at a huge competitive disadvantage.
The point of the dual-capacity rule is to offset the special tax on energy producers that some countries establish that is above and beyond the normal corporate income tax. In Norway, for example, the standard corporate tax is 28 percent, but the additional oil company tax is 50 percent. The standard foreign tax credit allows companies a credit for the 28 percent tax, but not for the 50 percent tax. Without a dual-capacity rule, American companies doing business in Norway would face additional tax liability above the 78 percent tax they currently must bear.
In short, dual-capacity is a substantive policy designed to place U.S. companies on an equal financial footing with the gigantic, state-subsidized oil firms of other nations. In no sense is it a loophole or a special privilege. Without this deduction, American firms will face extraordinary obstacles when competing for the global energy reserves coveted by developing economic powers like China and Russia. Removing this deduction from our tax code would not only be unfair, but would also make for a more inefficient and less productive economy.
Ensuring that our nation has access to an appropriate share of the world’s energy supply is crucial to our economic future. Our domestic energy production continues to improve (in spite of ongoing restrictions on where energy companies can explore and drill), but we depend on foreign oil to power our transportation system and industrial output. We all know that our need for oil will not diminish in the near future, even if we make very optimistic assumptions about alternative energy technologies.
Without a dynamic U.S. oil and natural gas industry, our economic recovery will be thrown back into first gear. Even at our highest level of unemployment during the recent recession, the oil and natural gas industry still supported jobs for more than 9 million Americans, and the fuel they produced enabled other industries to preserve other jobs as well. Surrendering competitive advantages to foreign energy producers by raising taxes on our own companies would be unwise and counterproductive.
Our best defense against rising fuel prices and unstable supplies is a strong U.S. energy industry that develops energy resources both here and abroad. The primary effect of eliminating dual-capacity would be to increase the leverage of our economic rivals and foreign oil states.
Tax hikes like these often are based on politics more than policy: they are typically motivated by anger towards energy companies because of high prices at the gas pump. But making it harder for the men and women who extract oil from some of the most dangerous places on the globe (the jungles of Africa, the North Sea, and the Arctic Circle) to do their jobs isn’t going to lower gas prices or, in the long run, increase tax revenue. In the U.S., government already collects significantly more in taxes from oil companies than the profits those companies give their shareholders; charging these companies more taxes will have a dangerous ripple effect on jobs, the economy, and fuel prices.
Again, the Wyden-Coats plan contains many good tax reform policies that would create a stronger, healthier, and more productive economy. But its proposal to do away with a free-market, pro-growth tax policy measure like dual-capacity is a terrible idea. The dual-capacity portion of the tax code should be left just as it is.
------------- Dan Greenberg, a lawyer and former state legislator, is President of the Advance Arkansas Institute. Tags:Dan Greenberg, Advance Arkansas Institute, Arkansans, America, gas prices, federal tax proposal, higher fuel prices, Wyden-Coats, Bipartisan, Tax Fairness & Simplification Act, cut taxes, spur economic growth, jobs, employment, reduce interference, ual-capacity rule, tax code, our economy, energy security, U.S. oil, natural gasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The following article and video identifies action taken by some Texas law makers to stop the insanity of TSA body groping and naked scanning of Americans. Nine States have had representatives willing to take stands against the abuses of TSA. Where are the other states?
In reference to the below video, both of Simpson body groping, body scanning bills out of committee. Andy Hogue of The Lone State Reportreported on Friday (5/5/2011): Last month, Rep. David Simpson's (R-Longview) headline-making bill, HB 1937, to prohibit "body-groping" searches by airline security workers, was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence committee. An accompanying bill, HB 1938, to prohibit the use of full body scanners that use backscatter X-rays to create a visual image of a person’s naked body, was voted out of the same committee this afternoon.
Both bills now await placement on the House calendar -- less than a month before the Legislature is set to adjourn. In a press release this morning, Simpson said HB 1937 is faring well. It has 87 members in support and the backing of at least three members of the Texas Congressional delegation.
“Our citizens are forced to undergo unconscionable procedures at the hands of the TSA," said Congressman John Carter. "The fact that someone is traveling is not justification to submit them to humiliating and unconstitutional invasions of their privacy. I am glad to support the efforts of Rep. David Simpson and his co-authors in the Texas Legislature to stop the TSA's abuses."
Congressman Louie Gohmert addressed personal privacy and security concerns. "Security is essential when traveling; however, airport full body scans invade very personal privacy bounds without a warrant, without probable cause, are offensive, and yet would not even detect some dangerous things," he said. "It is important that we balance individual privacy and security. ..."
Congressman Ron Paul, a 2012 GOP presidential contender, also voiced agreement. "Texans are so sick and tired of an out-of-control TSA poking, prodding and violating us that they are demanding action," Paul said. "I applaud David Simpson for his leadership on this issue and enthusiastically endorse his efforts.”
Nine state legislatures -- including Alaska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania -- have legislation pending to restrict the Transportation Safety Administration's search procedures at airports, Simpson noted. . . .
------------------------ Tenth Amendment Center: Texas State Representative David Simpson speaks at Nullify Now! Austin on April 16th, 2011. The Nullify Now! event was sponsored by The Foundation for a Free Society and the Tenth Amendment Center.
Simpson is the lead sponsor of two bills in the Texas legislature to nullify the TSA -- HB1937 would ban groping in violation of the 4th Amendment (all of it), and HB1938 which would ban TSA scanners from all Texas airports. HB1937 has already been passed out of committee, unanimously.
"We have a runaway government because we have gone to sleep and settled for it..."
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive"
Tags:nullification, TSA, ban, body groping, HB 1937, body scanners, HB 1938, nullify-now, Tenth Amendment, 10th Amendment, David Simpson, Constitution, liberty, liberty, Texas, airports, Ron Paul, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Does the State Democrat Party Support a House Rule that Limits Freedom of Speech?
ASK AN ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT:
Does the Arkansas State Democrat Party Support a House Rule that Limits Freedom of Speech?
Little Rock, Ark. – The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) announced opposition to a newly adopted Arkansas House of Representatives live streaming policy which infringes upon First Amendment rights, ignores government transparency, and is supported by the Democrat Party of Arkansas (DPA).
“DPA Chairman Will Bond needs to reject the Washington-style politics of his party and call for more transparency from Democrat elected officials,” said RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “It’s obvious Democrat legislators care more about getting re-elected than preserving freedom of speech rights for the people of Arkansas.”
Fort Smith attorney Brian Meadors, who specializes in First Amendment law, told Talk Business the adopted rule is “absolutely incompatible with the First Amendment.” Meadors went on to say, “once the information is out there, the government cannot tell you how to use it.”
“What does the Democrat Party of Arkansas have to hide from the people from Arkansas?” asked Vasilos. “From the initial debate on live streaming in January, Democrat officials have adamantly opposed efforts by Republicans to increase public access to the Legislature.”
While Democrat members of the House Management Committee, like Representatives Linda Tyler and Barry Hyde, supported the policy, Republican Rep. Duncan Baird objected, stating, “It seems to me like we’re talking a step backwards.”
“State Democrat Party officials need to put down their DC playbook, and pick up a United States Constitution,” said Vasilos. “The videos collected by the Arkansas House belong to the people of Arkansas, not its politicians.”
Note:“Ask an Arkansas Democrat” is a weekly release from the Republican Party of Arkansas. Our goal is to demonstrate how Arkansas Democrats are aligned with the liberal agenda of the Washington Democrat Machine.
Democrat Legislators Support The Policy
Rep. Barry Hyde, D-North Little Rock: "With editing, a video ‘could be used to beat you up pretty good, and all you’d be left with is after the election’s over, regardless of what the outcome is…'" (John Lyon, “House panel approves policy on live streaming,” Arkansas News Bureau, 4/27/11)
“Hyde also said he was concerned that if a video were misused, legitimate public access could suffer because House members might overreact and vote to do away with live streaming.” (John Lyon, “House panel approves policy on live streaming,” Arkansas News Bureau, 4/27/11)
“The panel adopted the policy with an amendment offered by Rep. Linda Tyler, D-Conway, to require that all requests for House-produced audio and video be reported to the committee. Tyler said that if the materials were used improperly, House members would want to know who obtained them.” (John Lyon, “House panel approves policy on live streaming,” Arkansas News Bureau, 4/27/11)
Republican Rep. Baird Objected To Policy In Committee
Rep. Duncan Baird, R-Lowell: “It seems to me like we’re talking a step backwards. It’s almost as if we’re saying you’re doing something wrong if you request this information.” (John Lyon, “House panel approves policy on live streaming,” Arkansas News Bureau, 4/27/11)
The House Policy Is Unconstitutional
Attorney Brian Meadors: “It is absolutely incompatible with the First Amendment. Once the information is out there, the government cannot tell you how to use it. What they forget is that you in the media, and I guess anyone really, you have a Constitutional right to mock these people....And there is no difference if you do that with the notes you take at a hearing or whatever, or what they provide (via the website).” (Roby Brock, et al.,“HOUSE VIDEO, AUDIO POLICY TRIGGERS TRICKY FREE SPEECH QUESTIONS,” Talk Business, 4/29/11)
Democrats Resisted Initial Live Streaming Policy
“House Majority Leader Johnnie Roebuck says broadcasting meetings from some committees but not others could give Arkansans a skewed perspective of how things work in the House. Other lawmakers, including House Minority Leader John Burris, say live-streaming the meetings could lead to more transparency.” (Associated Press, “Ark. House committees consider airing meetings,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16/11) Tags:Arkansas, Ask A Democrat, democrats, Democratic Party of Arkansas, DPA, limiting speech, free speech, Arkansas legislature, republicans, Republican Party of Arkansas, RPA,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama's 'Gangster Politics' - GOP Warns Obama Not to Issue Executive Order for Government Contractors
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 6, 2011:When the Senate reconvenes on Monday, Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV-2) will be sworn in as the a U.S. Senator from Nevada. He was appointed to serve until the Nov 2012 elections by Nevada Governor Brian Sandovalto replaces former Sen. John Ensign who resigned. Later in the day, the Senate will vote on cloture on the nomination of James Cole to be Deputy Attorney General.
House Republican Leaders are united on GOP Budget and said today, "Tax Hikes Off the Table." House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released the following joint statement today regarding President Obama’s request for an increase in the debt ceiling, and how Republicans are standing with the American people, who believe that such an increase would be irresponsible without spending cuts and reforms to address the real problem: out-of-control Washington spending:
"Yesterday, we began negotiations with the Democrats who run Washington regarding the Administration’s request for a debt limit increase. House Republicans are united in our approach to achieve real and immediate spending cuts and reforms today. These reforms and others are included in the Path to Prosperity, which passed the House with the strongest majority of any budget in more than a decade. We want to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is why everything must be on the table except increasing taxes. This has been and remains the Republican position. We are committed to our budget and to making the reforms necessary to grow our economy and create jobs, preserve and strengthen Medicare, and put our nation on a path to pay down the debt."
"The bad economic news just keeps rolling in. With unemployment once again rising, this time to 9 percent, it is clear that the so-called Obama 'recovery' is a myth. The Bureau reports unemployment increased by 205,000 in March alone. the federal government has seen fit to spend, borrow, and print more than $2.4 trillion to prop up the economy and save government 'jobs' that, in the end, could not be saved. The nation desperately needs a private sector recovery, but that will continue to remain elusive so long as government sucks up $2 trillion of resources a year to borrow at unsustainable levels. Instead of lending the government $2 trillion a year, the financial sector could be investing that money as equity, creating millions of jobs.
The Washington Examiner reports, “According to Republican sources on the Hill, President Obama may be days away from signing an Executive Order that would make many provisions of the failed DISCLOSE Act law by fiat. As we reported last month, the order would require all companies that sign contracts with the federal government to report on the personal political activities of their officers and directors. . . . According to a Congressional Research Service review of Executive Orders over the last 40 years, no White House has ever issued an EO dealing with campaign finance. Signing the DISCLOSE Act EO would be an unprecedented power grab by Obama.”
“Whatever you call it, the order amounts to the White House brazenly directing the power of government against its political opponents — and at a time when the president claims to want cooperation on the budget and other issues. Senate Republicans from Mitch McConnell to Susan Collins are fuming, warning this is one political sucker punch too far, an unabashedly partisan move that will damage Senate work.
“Minority Leader McConnell in an interview calls the order the ‘crassest’ political move he's ever seen. ‘This is almost gangster politics, to shut down people who oppose them. . . . I assure you that this going to create problems for them in many ways—seen and unseen—if they go forward.’”
“The draft order, which came out last month, would require federal bidders to supply a complete list of all political contributions made by the company, its political action committee, and its senior executives—going back two full years. (Richard Nixon would be impressed.) More astounding, the order requires the list to include donations made to third-party political groups—disclosure that is not currently required by law, and that is, as a result, surely unconstitutional. Ever audacious, the White House is spinning this as ‘reform,’ claiming taxpayers deserve to know how federal dollars being paid to contractors are being spent in campaigns. This might hold (a drop of) water if the executive order also required all the (liberal) entities that get billions in taxpayer dollars via federal grants and funding—unions, environmental groups, Planned Parenthood—to disclose also. It doesn't.”
“Josten thinks the executive order strikes at privacy issues. The draft applies not only to corporations as entities: It also applies to the directors and officers of private contractors. Josten said this invades the privacy of those individuals, who he says should be able to make political donations as individuals, rather than as representatives of their businesses. . . . ‘Privacy can be important to free speech,” Josten said.‘What we have here is a political order that dangles the specter of potential political retaliation or harassment.’”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has called the proposed order "an outrageous and anti-democratic abuse of executive branch authority." "Let me be clear: No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you're worthy of a government contract," he said in a statement. "And no one should have to worry about whether their political support will determine their ability to get or keep a federal contract or keep their job."
Republicans are warning President Obama not to issue an executive order that would require government contractors to disclose their political donations. Obama drafted the proposal last month, which is reminiscent of a provision in a Democratic bill called the Disclose Act that died in the Congress last year. That bill would have required corporations and unions to identify themselves in political ads they pay for – a response to a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the First Amendment rights of these groups to spend money on campaign ads. . . .
"In a letter to the president, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said Obama's proposed order "seems like a blatant attempt to intimidate, and potentially silence, certain speakers who are engaged in their constitutionally protected right to free speech." Twenty other Republicans signed the letter, which expresses their concern that the effect of the proposed order would be "stifled political speech, as potential and current federal contractors decide to limit their political speech in order to protect their livelihoods.
"The Professional Services Council, a trade association that represents more than 330 companies that work with federal agencies, also opposes the order. "This proposal should never see the light of day," PSC President and CEO Stan Soloway said in a statement. "It is based on dubious legality and a complete lack of awareness of the realities of the federal procurement process. This is an ill-conceived proposal that would place government contractors and their senior executives in a unique class. No other individuals or entities, including unions, federal grantees, federal employees, or other business entities, would be subject to such requirements, no matter how reliant they are on government policy or other decisions. It is counterintuitive and will likely be counterproductive."
"As a former Federal Acquisitions Contracting Officer, the last thing I would wish to know or to consider is information about where and to whom the owners, executives or employees of a business or company donated campaign money. It is none of my business. The public does not need others especially elected or appointed politicians and their staff - including the President, knowing this type information and then pressuring contracting officers or their agencies to award contracts to contractors based on politics.
"Contracting Officers are to determine contract awards based on price and the contractor's ability to meet the contract's technical specifications. It is presently illegal for members of the White House, Congress or any one in an agency to put political pressure on a Contracting Officer to sway the decision of the award of the contract to a particular contractor or away from a particular contractor. . . . [O]ne should ask what is the White House doing proposing an Executive Order which in fact codifies that Chicago style corruption to be implemented from the White House and through all levels of Federal Government acquisitions. It is evident that someone is seeking to drag the Administration down a path which will be both destructive to the White House and to the reputation of the Federal Government as a whole."
Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, President Obama, White House, Executive Order, Disclose Act, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Also yesterday, by a vote of 52-44, Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, after trying to close off the amendment process.
Bloomberg News reports today, “Vice President Joe Biden welcomed congressional leaders for talks to begin ‘the hard business’ of negotiating an agreement on reducing long-term government deficits. . . . The White House doesn’t plan to offer a new proposal beyond the approach President Barack Obama outlined last month to cut $4 trillion from deficits over 12 years, said two administration officials who weren’t authorized to comment publicly.
Biden and Obama advisers set modest expectations, describing the talks at Blair House across the street from the White House as the beginning of a process.”
And according to Roll Call, “Senate Democrats won’t be putting much on the table when the first bipartisan debt panel meeting with Vice President Joseph Biden takes place today at Blair House. . . . Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appears to be eyeing the less-is-more strategy . . . . [T]he Nevada Democrat is keeping his own cards close to his vest, urging his Caucus to keep its options open and waiting to see what the White House puts on the table.”
Further, Roll Call reports, “But even if Reid wanted to put a specific proposal on the table, his caucus is deeply divided over what to do, with perhaps a half-dozen approaches under consideration. Plus, the Majority Leader has already watched three in his caucus sign on to a Republican-backed spending cap, and he will have to contend with liberals worried about proposals that include deep spending cuts to their favorite programs. ‘It’s a mess,’ another Democratic aide said. Sen. Patty Murray acknowledged that Democrats don’t yet have a plan. ‘I think there is the fact that we need to come to consensus, but on what it is yet, we’re not there,’ the Washington state Democrat said.”
In contrast, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the floor this morning, laying out key principles to keep in mind for these meetings: “Even Democrats now admit that failing to bring down the debt would be far more damaging to our nation’s economy in the long run than failing to raise the debt ceiling. The situation has been described as the most predictable crisis in American history. People on both sides of the aisle now realize that the warning bells are too loud to ignore. . . . Now the challenge is achieving a result. . . .
First: It’s time our friends on the other side stop pitting one group of Americans against another. Solving this crisis will require all of us working together. Let’s act like it.
Second: The level of spending that Democrats want to maintain just isn’t possible without raising taxes on the middle class, which we know isn’t going to happen. We’re only going to solve this crisis by admitting up front that we have a spending problem.
Third: Entitlements need to be a part of this discussion. So let’s drop the scare tactics and work together on reform. Nobody is talking about taking anybody’s Medicare.
Fourth: raising taxes is the last thing we should be doing in the middle of a recession. What’s more, a bipartisan majority here in the Senate opposes it. So let’s set that idea aside and find some common ground instead. If we recognize these things we can avert this crisis. If we don’t, we won’t.
“Failing to work together in good faith on a solution would be completely indefensible. Everybody agrees this is a crisis. More people, including the President, agree that failing to address it would be disastrous for jobs and the economy. And everybody knows the upcoming debt limit vote is the best opportunity we have to do something about it. So what are we waiting for? Doing something about the debt is the centerpiece of any serious jobs agenda in Washington.”
Last night, The Washington Postreported that Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies. On the eve of debt-reduction talks, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is vital, but recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus.
Today, Dick Morris is warning that "A diabolical plot is being hatched between Senate Democrats, the White House and three Republican accomplices -- Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Crapo (Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.). The concept is to enact an amendment to the debt-limit extension specifying certain targets for deficit reduction and then mandating automatic spending cuts AND tax increases to take effect if the goals are not met.
This formula permits backdoor tax increases on which nobody votes and no fingerprints appear. The taxes just happen automatically -- the immaculate conception tax increase. The plan will vindicate Obama's long-term goal: to expand the size of the government's share of the economy." Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama's Anti-Energy Policies Are Bankrupting America
Heritage Foundation: Randall Stilley has witnessed firsthand the Obama administration's job-killing agenda. As the president and chief executive of Seahawk Drilling, he had to lay off 632 employees before filing for bankruptcy — a direct result of President Obama's anti-energy policies.
"As an American," he told us, "you never want to look at your own government and say they're hurting you personally, they're hurting your business and they're doing it in a way that's irresponsible. I'm not very proud of our government right now and the way they handled this." Watch the Below Video: Tags:seahawk drilling, Heritage, Heritage Foundation, IER, Institute for Energy Research, permitorium, moratorium gulf oil, spillTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Beyond the Headlines: Understanding the Debt Ceiling
BankRupting America: For years, the government has spent far more than it can afford. This history of overspending has left the country with a massive debt burden. But this debt is subject to a limit mandated by Congress. When the debt nears the limit, Congress usually raises it to allow the government to continue borrowing money. But as the government spends at an ever increasing pace, Congress has had to raise the limit with increasing frequency.
As we once again near the debt ceiling, what’s at stake? We go beyond the headlines for all the facts you’re not hearing. Watch the video below.
For more information on the facts in the video, see the fact sheet below.
RAISING THE FEDERAL DEBT CEILING
Washington is a buzz about our nation’s heavy debt burden and the impending debate regarding the debt ceiling. Many in Washington insist that the debt limit must be raised, or the United States will default and send our economy into a downward spiral. But are these predictions based on facts?
WILL WASHINGTON DEFAULT?
The debt ceiling, which is the legal limit on borrowing by the federal government, was created to control and limit Washington’s spending and debt. It hasn’t worked.
Since 1940, lawmakers have increased the debt ceiling 100 times (i). And as spending exploded over the last decade, the ceiling has been raised 10 times (ii).
This overspending has saddled taxpayers with a debt of more than $14 trillion (iii), which is nearly the size of our entire economy.
Will Washington Default if We Do Not Raise the Debt Limit?
Yes and no. Washington could actually hold off on raising the debt ceiling for months (iv), before default or being unable to repay our lenders becomes a serious risk. Like a person with credit card debt, our government won’t default on its debt so long as it can continue to pay the interest payments on that debt.
And the US’s $2.2 trillion in tax revenue more than covers the $200 billion in interest owed this year. If Washington had to, they could pay for all of its bills for months by doing things like selling unused assets, shifting cash around and borrowing money from the Fed that doesn’t count toward the debt ceiling.
The Real Risk
But, that’s only a band-aid to buy us time for real reform — and it hides the real problem. Revenue still only covers 60 percent of the total bill. Unless spending is cut, we risk defaulting under an excessive debt burden.
The debt ceiling keeps increasing because of years of government overspending. Spending has increased well above its healthy historic average and, without reform, will shoot up dramatically (v).
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: On Monday of this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe that the State is getting conditional approval of his proposal to “develop a new payment system for its Medicaid program.” State officials project that Arkansas’ Medicaid program that serves about 775,000 Arkansans (1/4th of the State’s total population) will face a $60 million to $80 million shortfall in the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2012 and greater deficits in coming years.
On February 11, 2011 Beebe sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS, requesting permission for the State to drop the State’s fee-for-service system, moving to payments for something Beebe’s proposal calls “partnerships of local providers to act as health homes” and “reimbursement for episodes of high-quality care.”
While Beebe’s Feb. 11 proposal (released to the public in early March) is lacking in details and fails to define or describe terms such as “health homes” and “episodes,” subsequent public statements by the Governor’s staff and state agency directors have made it increasingly clear that the Governor’s plan is to make a single “bundled” payment to a group of health care providers (such as a group of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc.) for treatment of a specific condition such as diabetes. The group will then somehow divide the payment among themselves.
According to a recent story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, John Selig, the state Department of Human Services director, said “the only alternative is to contemplate cutting benefits, provider payments or restricting eligibility.” It is clear that Beebe and Selig have selected door #2, cutting provider payments.
David Wroten, executive vice-president of the Arkansas Medical Society, has made it clear that physicians across the State are extremely opposed to Beebe’s plan. Wroten said that providers are being consulted only after “the broad outlines of the plan were developed” and are only now being asked to “consult on the logistics of implementation.” If the State wants the support of physicians, Selig didn’t help that cause with his seeming slam of opposing providers, suggesting that only those who do not provide “effective services” would oppose the new plan. “It really shouldn’t be a threat to any provider who is providing effective services, “ the Dem-Gaz quotes him as saying.
With Medicaid payments already the lowest providers receive, further cutting payments to providers will indisputably be counter-productive. More and more doctors are refusing to see Medicaid patients. And there will be fewer and fewer doctors to see any patients. Wroten was right when he told the Dem-Gaz, “If ‘bundled payments’ are put in place, recruiting doctors to the state will become more difficult and many doctors already in practice will stop accepting Medicaid patients.” And we’ll be seeing a lot more stories like this:
LAFAYETTE, La. — Eight-year-old Draven Smith was expelled from school last year for disruptive behavior, and he is being expelled again this year. But his mother and his pediatrician cannot find a mental health specialist to treat him because he is on Medicaid, and the program, which provides health coverage for the poor, pays doctors so little that many refuse to take its patients.
Surely we can learn something from Massachusetts’ RomneyCare (the harbinger of Obamacare), where so many doctors have left the state the waiting period to see any doctor has doubled, sending many patients back to high-cost emergency rooms –exacerbating the very phenomena Obamacare, RomneyCare and BeebeCare are intended to prevent.
Medicaid, Medicare and health care in America desperately need reform. But it seems that in every instance, 50% of the essential stakeholders in the equation are left out of the development of equitable solutions – health care providers. Who else could possibly understand more clearly the burgeoning problems and their most effective corrections than doctors, nurses and hospital administrators? Their consistent exclusion from the process can only be indicative of the intent of an overreaching government to assume the health care decisions for all Americans.
Beebe’s plan may have a new and unexpected opponent. It seems someone in the Obama administration has figured out that continuing to reduce payments to health care providers is drastically reducing the number of available providers. The New York Times reported this week that the Obama Administration is proposing a rule that it would make it “much more difficult” for states to cut Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals. It is unclear if or how this will affect Beebe’s plan.
If we chase this rabbit all the way to its hole, the picture is more troubling. If health care providers continue to be squeezed and inadequately reimbursed, they will inevitably increasingly continue to refuse to accept Medicaid and Medicare patients. They will be able to refuse these patients only as long as there are other payment options, such as private insurers. The inexorable question becomes, “How long will the government tolerate the scenario in which patients with private insurance have doctors and patients with government insurance do not?”
The government already does not tolerate this scenario for patients 65 and above. If when reaching age 65 you plan to draw on the payments you’ve made to the social security system all of your working life, then Medicare must become your primary health insurance plan. If you refuse Medicare, you will not be allowed to draw your social security benefits. How long will those under age 65 be permitted to have a choice of their private insurance and its benefits, a choice of their health care providers – and the ability to make their own personal health care decisions?
Give me a team of doctors, nurses and hospital and clinic administrators and a few months. We’ll give you a fix for Medicaid and Medicare Arkansans can live with.
--------------- Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Doctors, Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe, Health Care Reform, Curtis Coleman, The New South ConservativeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
"Osama dead but Peopel are still unemployed!"
President Obama did concur on allowing the military take out the terrorist - Osama bin Laden. This may have been a hard decision for a liberal but not for most Americans.
However, Obama still remains committed to advancing his liberal agenda which in effect has parallel actions to those of the terrorist he had killed. Obama's actions are destroying the American economy by getting in the way of entrepreneurs and business owners who know how to put people back to work. Tags:Gary McCoy, political cartoon, news, unemployment, no jobs, Barack Obama, liberal agendaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Right On Crime: Over the last few months, as states throughout the U.S. have been in legislative session, Right On Crime has monitored the many encouraging developments for conservative criminal justice reform. In the coming weeks, this newsletter will highlight several of the most significant developments. This week, we focus on reforms in Arkansas.
Action: The omnibus Public Safety Improvement Act passed the Senate unanimously and the House 79-14 in March 2011. The law, produced from recommendations crafted by a bipartisan, inter-branch working group, will concentrate prison space on violent and career offenders and reduce recidivism by steering lower-level offenders into strengthened probation and parole programs.
Impact: The Act is projected to save Arkansas $875 million in prison construction and operation expenses through 2020. Some of those prison savings will be reinvested in evidence-based community supervision and programs designed to reduce recidivism and hold offenders accountable.
Right On Crime offers the Conservative Case for Reform: Fighting Crime, Restoring Victims and Protecting the Taxpayer. Tags:Right On Crime, Arkansas, Public Safety Improvement ActTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Seate to Vote on Controversial nominee for District Judge.
Update 9:50 PM CDTThe Washington Post is reporting that Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies. On the eve of debt-reduction talks, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is vital, but recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus.
Update 6:00PM CDT: The Republicans could did not sustain a filibuster against John “Jack” McConnell, Jr., to be a federal district judge. The Senate voted 63-33 to allow the nominee to proceed to a vote. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to advance the nomination. The Senate then confirmed the John McConnell with a final vote of 50-44, one of the lowest for confirming a judge.
------------ Today in Washington, D.C. - May 4, 2011:
At noon, the Senate will vote on cloture on S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. If cloture is not invoked, the Senate will then vote on cloture on the controversial nomination of trial lawyer Jack McConnell to be a U.S. district court judge in Rhode Island.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-0 to pass S. Res. 159, a resolution honoring the members of the military and intelligence community who carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
Early this afternoon the Senate is set to vote on cloture on the nomination of John “Jack” McConnell, Jr., a Democrat trial lawyer from Rhode Island, to be a federal district judge.
Writing in The Washington Times today, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Judiciary Committee, explains, “Nominated to the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, Mr. McConnell throughout his career has tended toward perverting the rule of law, rather than upholding it. A close look at Mr. McConnell’s 25-year legal career reveals a record surrounded by an ethical cloud. Nothing characterizes this better than when Mr. McConnell came before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was asked about his familiarity with a set of stolen legal documents his law firm obtained during litigation against lead-paint manufacturers. Responding to questioning, Mr. McConnell indicated to the committee that he saw the documents ‘briefly’ but was not familiar with them ‘in any fashion.’ Yet only a few months later, Mr. McConnell testified in a deposition that he was the first lawyer to receive the documents in question, had drafted a newspaper editorial citing information from the documents, and reviewed and filed a legal brief under his signature incorporating the stolen documents.”
The Chamber summarized its objection to Jack McConnell’s nomination in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, writing, “Mr. McConnell’s actions during his career as a personal injury lawyer and past statements demonstrate his disregard for the rule of law, an activist judicial philosophy and obvious bias against businesses.”
Indeed, Jack McConnell told The Columbus Dispatch in 2006, “The only time [‘companies will do the right thing’] is when they’re sued and forced to by a jury.”
“But,” Robert Bluey writes, “these issues alone aren’t the only strikes against McConnell. His nomination is viewed as a reward for years of political donations to Democrats from him and his wife — an amount that approaches $700,000, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) [ranking member of the Judiciary Committee]. ‘I would not argue that partisan political activity is disqualifying on its own,’ Grassley said at McConnell’s hearing. ‘My concern is that Mr. McConnell is so steeped in political activity and ideology that it will be impossible for him to be an impartial jurist — even if he earnestly believes that he can.’ Just in 2008 alone, McConnell and his wife gave more than $160,000 in political donations. By comparison, the Providence Journal reported, 68 other Obama judicial nominees averaged $3,371 in donations to political candidates over nearly 20 years.”
As Sen. Cornyn said speaking about the nomination on the floor yesterday, “I’m convinced that [my colleagues] would have trouble looking [their] constituents in the eye and telling them that you believe that Mr. McConnell would be fair to all litigants in his courtroom, and in this case especially businesses who may be sued for money damages as he did throughout his legal career. In fact, Mr. McConnell, during the Judiciary Committee deliberations, described his legal philosophy as saying -- quote – ‘there are wrongs that need to be righted, and that’s how I see the law.’ . . . I believe a vote to allow Mr. McConnell’s nomination is a vote to create yet another court where trial lawyers to repeatedly prevail in frivolous litigation against American businesses and that is something we ought not to allow. . . . I would hope a president would never appoint someone like Jack McConnell, but apparently everyone makes mistakes, including this nomination by this President.”
Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, judicial confirmationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Health Care Town Hall in Fairfield Bay & Mountain Home, Arkansas
Teresa Oelke, State Director, AFP-Arkansas: Right now in Little Rock, major changes to your health care are being decided which include more government control over your family's health care decisions. Find out this Friday, April 22, how these reforms affect you. AFP Arkansas will host a Health Care Town Hall this week in Fairfield Bay and Mountain Home. Click hereto reserve your free ticket today.
Thursday, May 5th - 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Senior Center, 385 Dave Creek Parkway
Friday, May 6th - 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Twin Lakes Baptist, 2645 Hwy 62 SW
Join leading conservatives like former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, Dr. James Bledsoe, and Senator Missy Irvin as we discuss these major changes happening in Little Rock. Click here to reserve your free ticket today. Tags:healthcare, health care, townhall, Fairfield Bay, Mountain Home, Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, Dr. James Bledsoe, Senator Missy Irvin, Teresa Oelke, State Director, AFP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Andrew Brietbart To Speak in Little Rock, Arkansas
Join Andrew Breitbart at KARN / AFP Foundation Arkansas Conservative Luncheon on Wednesday, May 25th.Get your ticket HERE!
Andrew Breitbart is a known for his network of conservative websites that draw millions of readers every day. His blog BigGovernment.com broke the ACORN scandal in 2009. Breitbart has one main goal: to peel away the veneer of false objectivity that covers the mainstream media.
His recent book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! is currently #14 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. "How do you save the world, you want to know? Wade into the fire. Don't be afraid to engage in the culture war that we're now waging. And show no fear. I repeat, show no fear. That's how you save the world," stated Breitbart. Tags:Andrew Brietbart, Little Rock, Arkansas, AFP-Arkansas, KARNTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by AF Branco: Tags:AF Branco, political cartoon, Barack Obama, taking credit, for everything, Bush Play BookTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
At the Heritage Foundation Bloggers Briefing today, Brad Peck of the American Petroleum Institute (API) explained why government should keep its hands off America’s cupcakes. He also showed the following video in which API Tax Manager Stephen Comstock explains what politicians really mean when they talk about taking profit away from oil and natural gas companies. In reality, politicians want to increase taxes on these companies, which would take profit out of the pockets of oil and natural gas company shareholders. For more information, visit Energy Tomorrow.
Tags:cupcakes, Brad Peck, Stephen Comstock, Energy Tomorrow, American Petroleum Institute, API, energy, energy policy, oil and natural gas industry, oil, gas, natural gas, US energy industry, American economy, energy legislation, energy taxes, energy industry shareholdersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Reid Signals Williness to Ram Trough Controversial Judicial Nominees
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 3, 2011:
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on S. 493, the bill reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Yesterday, the Senate unanimously confirmed two district judge nominees.
Also, last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the nomination of John “Jack” McConnell, a controversial Rhode Island trial lawyer, to be a district judge. A cloture vote on his nomination could come as early as Wednesday this week. Curt Levey on the Committee for Justis blog, summed up Reid's actions, "Reid signaled Monday that he is ready to go to war over President Obama’s most controversial judicial nominees, as well as the equally contentious Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole. After announcing Monday that he will attempt to force votes on the controversial nominees, Reid filed cloture on one of them—Rhode Island district court nominee John McConnell . . . . The outcome of the votes will be closely watched both for their own sake and as an indicator of whether Reid will meet success if he follows through fully on his threat to go to war over Obama’s most controversial nominees, including radioactive Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu."
For the first time ever, the US Chamber has opposed a judicial nomination. Harold Kim of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform spoke at the Hermitage Foundation's Blogger's Briefing today and expressed grave concerns over the controversial nomination of Jack McConnell to a district court seat in Rhode Island. Today, Amanda Carey related in The Daily Caller, "Jack McConnell has been described throughout his career as a political high-roller and glorified ambulance-chaser as he, along with his law firm Motley Rice, pursued cases that cost taxpayers and resulted in big financial payouts to the firm. According to one Republican Capitol Hill staffer, McConnell’s legal theories were not supported by 'logic or the law.' McConnell built his personal wealth on tobacco litigation in the 1990s. Today, those cases still net him about $2.5 million a year. Then, his firm went to work using a “public nuisance” law to sue paint companies over lead paint even if it could not be proven that a company manufactured the damaged paint. [His] political donations and active fundraising for Democratic causes have raised suspicions among his detractors. . . . According to an analysis of the Providence Journal, among the 1,500 nominees to U.S. courts since 1988, McConnell is the top financial contributor to congressional and presidential campaigns."
When President Obama sent his nomination to the Senate last year, The Wall Street Journaldescribed him in an editorial as “one of the East Coast's most notorious plaintiff attorneys and Democratic partisans.” Further, the WSJ wrote, “The White House would have been hard pressed to find a nominee with a more thorough antibusiness record.”
In an April editorial, The Journal described Jack McConnell’s career. “As a partner at Motley Rice, Mr. McConnell built his career on tobacco and asbestos before moving to lead paint. In 1999, he was hired by Rhode Island's attorney general to sue companies that produced lead paint decades ago. He engineered a ‘public nuisance’ theory of liability that was designed to allow plaintiffs to recover whopping awards from paint companies without having to prove product liability. He went on to earn his partisan bona fides as treasurer of the state Democratic Party.”
The WSJ editorial went on to point out, “The lead paint suits ultimately failed on their legal implausibility, but the relationships they built are still working for Mr. McConnell. The Rhode Island AG who hired Mr. McConnell was none other than Sheldon Whitehouse, now a Democratic Senator and Mr. McConnell's biggest booster. . . . According to the Center for Responsive Politics, over the past two decades Mr. McConnell and his wife have donated more than $500,000 to Democratic candidates and party organizations, including thousands to [Democrat Rhode Island Senators] Reed and Whitehouse.”
According to a report last year in Rhode Island’s Providence Journal, “John J. McConnell Jr., President Obama’s choice for the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, is one of the top election campaign contributors among the nearly 1,500 nominees to the federal courts since the late 1980s. McConnell, 51, a Providence lawyer, has given at least $432,456 to Democratic House, Senate and presidential campaigns since the 1990 election cycle, according to a Providence Journal analysis of reports to the Federal Election Commission. Over the years, McConnell contributed tens of thousands of dollars in total to the campaign funds of major Democratic presidential candidates and of Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. The Rhode Island senators last April recommended McConnell for a seat on the court. McConnell is also a substantial contributor to the party campaign arm that helps elect Democrats to the Senate, whose members must vote on whether to seat him on the federal bench. It is commonplace for presidents and senators to look to their political backers and campaign fundraisers to fill important federal jobs, including judgeships. But the size of McConnell’s contributions distinguishes him from his peers in the pool of prospects for lifetime seats on the federal bench.”
The WSJ editors also noted another troubling aspect of Jack McConnell’s past, concerning the failed lead paint lawsuits: “The Judiciary Committee's review of Mr. McConnell also raised new questions about his involvement with a scandal at Motley Rice and what he told the committee about it. The issue, which involves the theft of confidential documents in a lead paint case, is the subject of a Sherwin Williams lawsuit in Ohio against the firm. In response to written questions from Arizona Senator Jon Kyl in May 2010, Mr. McConnell told the committee he wasn't very involved in the lead paint case, was not familiar with the documents in question and had no reason to believe he'd be one of the defendants in the Ohio lawsuit. In deposition testimony in September 2010, however, his memory was suddenly refreshed: He was the first lawyer in his office to review the documents, signed a brief which incorporated portions of them and even helped write an article about the information.”
It is interesting to note that the only Republican voting in committee, who voted with the democrats on this controversial nominee, was Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He continues to be a know it all RINO and while expecting other conservative senators to support him is unwilling to vote with them on a controversial nomination.
On another issue, today U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and every Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee [Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)] signed a letter to the Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expressing significant concerns with its recent decision to file a complaint against The Boeing Company for its plans to open a new facility in Charleston, South Carolina. The senators argued that this complaint could negatively impact business decisions throughout the country.
“The NLRB’s complaint against Boeing is nothing short of a power grab that will have a chilling impact on economic growth and liberty,” Hatch said. “It presumes the authority of the federal government to swoop in and tell a private company where and how it has to do business. That is simply unacceptable. Not only is the complaint wrong on the law – Boeing’s decision was perfectly legitimate – but the remedy the Board is seeking – forced relocation of the South Carolina plant -- is simply outrageous. This is yet another example of the Obama administration using the administrative agencies to pay back the unions for their political support.”
The NLRB’s complaint alleges that Boeing’s decision to open a new production line for its Dreamliner 787 fleet in South Carolina – a Right-to-Work state – interfered with the legal rights of Boeing’s union employees at its plant in Puget Sound, Washington. In their letter, the senators argued that the Boeing made a legitimate business decision which had no negative impact on the Puget Sound workforce. In fact, as noted in the letter, Boeing has added 2,000 jobs to its Washington facility since it announced the decision to open the South Carolina plant in 2009. In the complaint, the NLRB is seeking remedy that would force Boeing to move its additional production line to Washington, which would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs in South Carolina. The letter to the NLRB can beRead Here. Tags:Washington, D.C., judicial nominees, Harry Reid, NLRB, private business, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 2, 2011:
Congress is back in session. At 4:30, the Senate will take up the nominations for two district judges, one in Tennessee and one in Florida. By 5:30, the are scheduled to vote on the Tennessee nominee.
In the US House they are scheduled to seek votes on renaming a couple Government buildings. Um - important stuff?
Of course the big news today continues to be the news about the killing of terrorist Osama Bin Laden yesterday. Before sharing more from other voices on this situation, we cannot help but to be very - very proud of the actions and service by our military who removed this menace to mankind. The Navy Seals and supporting forces are to be commended for their effective and competent action. The work of the CIA must also be commended.
Unfortunately, with Osama's burial at sea, Americans have been denied access to confirmed proof of Bin Laden's death. We are left to trust a government leadership which has proven to be less than trustworthy in words and deeds. However, it is understandable that efforts taken were to also protect American interests rather than to foment further conflict from his death. The celebration situation was tainted by the clear evidence of pre-planned celebration efforts by Obama supporters both in Washington, D.C. and in New York City. While it is clear that the majority of people celebrating were people without an agenda, the words and actions of the initial celebrants was suspicions based on their signs, slogans and words used. Propaganda by the White House or the Obama campaign should have had no place in these celebrations as it demeaned the voices of free people.
The Washington Post (and almost every other news outlet) reports today, “Osama bin Laden, the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in what officials described as a surgical raid on his luxury hideout in Pakistan. In a rare Sunday night address from the East Room of the White House, President Obama said a small team of U.S. personnel attacked a compound Sunday in Pakistan’s Abbottabad Valley, where bin Laden had been hiding since at least last summer. During a firefight, U.S. team killed bin Laden, 54, and took custody of his body in what Obama called ‘the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda.’ ”
In a very interesting piece, The New York Times describes the process of piecing together the information that led to bin Laden, noting, “As Obama administration officials described it, the real breakthrough came when they finally figured out the name and location of Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, whom the Qaeda chief appeared to rely on to maintain contacts with the outside world. Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated.”
In a statement this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The last thing Osama bin Laden saw on this earth was the small team of Americans who shot him…We take great satisfaction in knowing that Osama bin Laden will no longer be able to carry out his evil plans, that he has made his last video, and that whenever someone says that the United States has grown weary or complacent in this war, we’ve shown just how determined we are to fight it to the end. . . . America didn’t seek this fight. It came to us. But ever since 9/11, we’ve been determined to fight Al Qaeda to the end. We knew from the start it would require patience and great sacrifice. And that effort has paid off. Thanks to the skill and perseverance of many brave men and women, we have done what we said. America has not wavered. It has not lost sight of the mission. And we will prevail."
On the other side of the world we are hearing negative reaction by groups which we have poured millions of support into. According to GOPUSA, CAIRO (AP) is reporting that Muslim clerics said Monday that Osama bin Laden's burial at sea was a violation of Islamic tradition that may further provoke militant calls for revenge attacks against American targets. Although there appears to be some room for debate over the burial as with many issues within the faith a wide range of Islamic scholars interpreted it as a humiliating disregard for the standard Muslim practice of placing the body in a grave with the head pointed toward the holy city of Mecca.GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The leader of the militant Hamas government in the Gaza Strip condemned the United States on Monday for killing al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the operation marked "the continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs."
So what do we make of the above middle-East Muslim based comments from across the waters. How about, we tell them to take a leap and that we stop going into debt sending them our money to use against us. Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, Political Cartoons, U.S. Military, War on Terror, William Warren, AF Branco, Tastes Like JusticeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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