News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, June 24, 2011
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s Hypocritical “Capitol Blame Game”
State GOP Calls on Governor Beebe to Stop Saying “Duh” and Start Cutting Waste
Republican Party of Arkansas; Little Rock, Ark. – Governor Mike Beebe’s hypocritical blame game reached new heights on Wednesday when he faulted $35 million in tax cuts passed by lawmakers for a shortfall in funding for foster parents. Unsurprisingly, in April Governor Beebe flaunted the six tax cuts in his weekly column, writing that legislators “delivered a tax-cut package that will bring relief to Arkansas's working families.”
“It’s hypocritical and silly to criticize legislators for tax cuts his party supported and he signed into law,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “The Democratic Party of Arkansas holds the majority in the Arkansas House and Senate, and three of the six tax cuts were sponsored by Democrat legislators. If the Governor is serious about not reducing the reimbursement for therapeutic foster parents, then he should lead by example and cut wasteful and inefficient spending directly under his control.”
Today, the state Republican Party calls on Governor Mike Beebe to eliminate waste by looking at three specific areas:
Governor Beebe’s Wasteful Cell Phone Budget: Governor Mike Beebe’s office pays $60,777.26 annually for 70 cell phones, although he only has 56 employees.
High Ranking Officials Still Double Dipping: Approximately 40 high ranking state employees appointed directly by Governor Beebe are collecting two pay checks for one job, because the Governor refuses to address the problem.
Reduce Department of Human Services Conference Budget: The Department of Human Services requested and had appropriated over $1 million for conference and travel for the 2012 fiscal year.
“The people of Arkansas deserve more than a childish, three-letter response of ‘duh’ from the Governor. We hope Beebe will throw aside the partisanship and bitterness and be responsible in cutting government waste rather than hurting foster-care families,” said Vasilos.
Beebe’s Hypocritical Blame Game
“Gov. Mike Beebe faulted the $35 million in tax cuts approved during the legislative session, saying lawmakers tampered with his balanced budget without understanding the consequences of what they were doing.” (Sarah D. Wire, “Foster-care cut starts Capitol blame game,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/24/11)
Beebe: “She [Rep. Donna Hutchinson] voted for these extra tax cuts, she and her colleagues pushed these extra tax cuts.” (Ibid)
Beebe’s Tax Cut Hypocrisy
“While so many of our sister states are responding to growing budget deficits with higher taxes and slashing cuts to critical services, this legislature approved a balanced budget and delivered a tax-cut package that will bring relief to Arkansas's working families.” (Governor Mike Beebe, “Another Balanced Budget,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 4/1/11)
“I signed six new tax cuts into law, including an additional one-half-cent cut to the sales tax on groceries…In addition to this, I signed three other tax cuts specifically designed to keep more money in the hands of working families. These include raising the threshold on the application of used-car tax from a purchase price of $2,500 to $4,000; lowering the income tax on working single parents with children; and providing an annual sales-tax holiday for back-to-school purchases…We also continued our efforts to provide targeted tax cuts that make Arkansas businesses more competitive and that spur economic development. To do this, we further cut the sales tax on utilities for manufacturers, and expanded tourism tax incentives for the Arkansas Delta.” (Ibid)
“Duh” It’s Not My Fault
Beebe: “We got some legislators running around here saying, ‘I can’t believe we are cutting money to foster parents.’ Duh. Duh.” (Sarah D. Wire, “Foster-care cut starts Capitol blame game,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/24/11)
Beebe: “She [Rep. Donna Hutchinson] is at best disingenuous and at worst, something much, much worse.” (Sarah D. Wire, “Foster-care cut starts Capitol blame game,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/24/11)
Beebe’s Cell Phone Waste
“An interesting blog post was found the Arkansas Federation of College Republican's website…According to the post, Governor Beebe's office pays for 70 cell phone lines while the office only houses 56 employees…In a list published by the Arkansas Times, the Arkansas Governor's office pays for 70 cell phone lines per month totaling $60,777.26 for one year. According to Arkansas FOI website found that Governor Beebe's office does indeed house 56 employees.” (Spree Hilliard, “70 Cell Phone Lines for 56 Employees,” River Valley Leader, 6/21/11)
In a 2010 report by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, auditors found 42 agency employees appointed directly by Governor Mike Beebe still collecting two pay checks for one job. (Roger A. Norman, “Review of Retired/Rehired Agency Directors and Grade 99 State Employees,” Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, 3/12/10) Tags:Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, double dipping, hypocrite, tax cut, Tax Cut Hypocrisy, blame game, name calling, cell phones, RPA, Republican Party of ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
TEA Party Passion In Washington, D.C.: Rep. Mike Kelly
Bill Smith, Editor: Watch this video and share it with others. Rep. Mike Kelly reminds us of the passion that launched the TEA Party movement. After the video, there are some comments by other sites. Rep. Mike Kelly speaks out!:
See what others have to say: Mr. Kelly goes to Washington - HotAir: When we sent the new class of freshman off to Washington after the 2010 cycle, we knew – or at least hoped – there were going to be some “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” moments where real people stepped up to challenge the beltway status quo. While it’s hardly the first, one of the better ones took place this week when Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) reminded us all that the budget talks are still underway he’s not really enjoying the process.
Awesome: Rant of the Year? - TownHall: Enjoy this notes-free monologue from freshman Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania -- who's a bit fed up with Democrats' petty attacks on the Ryan budget, and more than a bit disgusted with the way Washington does business. Behold, righteous straight talk from a product of the private sector. Tags:passion, TEA Party, Representative, Mike Kelly, Republican, Pennsylvania, PA, House of Representatives, Education and Workforce Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update 5;15 PM CDT: Late today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Patient Reform Bill (304-117) H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act. This bill differs from the Senate version of patent reform, S. 23, so reconciliation between the House and Senate is required.. There are important differences between the two bills, primarily is the handling of funding for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
------------- Today in Washington, D.C. - June 24, 2011:
The House today rejected a measure to cut funding for offensive operations by U.S. forces in Libya, pulling back from an effort to confront President Obama over the three month-old conflict. The resolution failed by a vote of 180 to 238. The Washington Post reports that this resolution "would not have ended the U.S. mission in Libya, but it would have cut off funding for American forces that are not engaged in support missions within the NATO-led coalition, like aerial refueling, reconnaissance, and planning. That would have meant an end to strikes on Libyan targets by unmanned U.S. drones."
However, the House also on an earlier vote rejected (123-295) a resolution that would have authorized the military operation in Libya. The Washington Post also revealed that "dozens of Democrats joining Republicans in voting against the resolution. The proposal, modeled on one proposed in the Senate by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and John F. Kerry (D-MA), would have given permission for a “limited” operation for one year. It would not have allowed for U.S. ground troops in Libya."
So a mixed message as far as funding for operations in Libya. The House rejected the resolution to authorize operations but also rejected a resolution to cut funding for offensive operations. The confusion has been created by President Obama not complying with The Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Act. Obama has said that law does not apply since U.S. forces are involved mainly in support roles, and face little danger from Gaddafi’s forces. For those reasons, Obama has declared, what’s happening in Libya should not count as “hostilities” for the purpose of that law. I guess he believes dropping bombs on Libya is not an Act of War.
From the left side of the House, even Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), has declared, “What? We don’t have enough wars going on? We need one more war?" He wants to strip all funding for the entire operation in Libya.
From the right side of the House, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), said, that "While I understand the concerns about whether a “no” vote would encourage Gaddafi, those are not legal arguments. Those don’t change the question of whether the action in Libya is constitutional or legal.” Griffin who is a Major and a JAG officer in the US Army Reserves and a former U.S. Attorney, said, "President Obama should have sought authorization. What’s so hard about coming to the House and consulting with the Congress. What’s so hard about that?”
Today, the Senate is not in session. It will reconvene on Monday and on Tuesday, take up and vote on the nominations of James Cole to be Deputy Attorney General, Virginia Seitz to be Assistant Attorney General, and Lisa Monaco to be Assistant Attorney General.
Yesterday, the Senate rejected two amendments to S. 679, the nominations reform bill. First, every Democrat senator save two voted down an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) prohibiting funds for presidential czars. Later in the day, the Senate voted 41-57 against an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) which would have removed the director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics from the list of positions being affected by the bill.
As reported yesterday, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) pulled out the "alleged" bipartisan negotiations to raise the nation's debt limit. The effort was led by Vice President Joe Biden. As detailed previously, the Democrats are advocating 1) more spending and 2) higher taxes verses cutting spending and eliminating government programs.
The Democrats have revealed that their overriding priority is tax hikes, as opposed to the necessary spending cuts to begin to put our fiscal house in order. According to liberal news outlet Talking Points Memo, “[Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max] Baucus [D-MT] made clear that the talks frayed over Democrats' insistence that tax increases of some sort be part of the final deal.”Politico noted Vice President Joe Biden saying earlier, “If we could agree on the pieces most important to us Democrats, revenue, we’re prepared to agree on some of the things that you (Republicans) want in discretionary spending.” Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on PBS’ NewsHour that “it can't be done without revenue enhancement” and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said, “[M]ore importantly, there have to be revenues.” [He means MORE Taxes!]
Today, after both Leader McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner called on President Obama to finally show some leadership on the debt reduction talks, USA Today reports, “President Obama is getting directly involved in bipartisan talks about increasing the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, agreeing to meet next week with Senate Democratic and Republican leaders. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.”
In a statement, Leader McConnell explained that "The President needs to decide between his goal of massive tax hikes, and a bipartisan plan to address our deficit. But he can’t have both. What Republicans want is simple: We want to cut spending now, we want to cap runaway spending in the future and we want to save our entitlements and our country from bankruptcy. We want to finally get our economy growing again. Sadly, the Democrats’ response has been a mystifying call for more stimulus spending and huge tax hikes on American job creators..” Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Libya, funding, Democrats, more spending, more taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
For America, a conservative activist group, has produced a video challenging Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) not to be “chicken,” and to support the group’s “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge – cut the deficit, cap spending, and balance the budget. The video is being sent 1.5 million people via e-mail. It has some farm humor and notes that "chickens tend to flock together, often following each other without a real sense of direction."
The video comes on the heels of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – Boehner’s representative in negotiations to raise the debt ceiling – walking out of debt-limit/budget talks on Thursday after Democrats insisted on tax increases as part of any deal. “Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue,” Cantor said in a statement.
ForAmerica is headed by Brent Bozell, the president of the Media Research Center. All we can add is Go Brent & Go America. As of this post, they already has over 1.2 million Likes / Followers their FaceBook Fan Page: ForAmerica. See you at the Pledge! View the video:
Tags:Don't Be A Chicken, Cut, Cap, Balance, budget, debt ceiling, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:A.F. Branco, political cartoon, moderate, RINO, Republican, losers club, Bob Dole, John McCain, Jon Huntsman, candidate, presidentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: You may recall the resent report in the news about the Dept. of Education being allowed to have and use a SWAT team to break down the down the door and enter the home of Kenneth Wright in Stockton, California at 6 A.M. They then physically assaulted the owner and put him in a patrol car for over 6 hours. They also woke his children and also put them in a patrol car. This person they were looking for was his estranged wife.
This abuse of power by an agency of the Federal Government should concern all Americans. This was not the FBI, CIA, ATF, or some military criminal instigation agency. This was the Department of Education who has expanded its ability to now be in the investigative business, running SWAT teams and breaking into people's homes. It appears that other agencies also have this type of authority as well. We have a expanded the Federal Government into a police state.
I planned to write an article but other events and stories took priority. Today, a fellow blogger at "The Blue Eye View" sent me an excellent commentary on the event. Before reading the commentary, view the following RTR Report video. RTR covers the story about the SWAT team broke into a home at the request of the US Department of Education to arrest and collect on a defaulted student loan. Kenneth Wright was dragged from his Stockton California home in his underwear while his children were in held police custody for several hours as they searched for his estranged wife. They also have remarks from Sheriff Richard Mack on the increased use of SWAT teams nationwide and Congressman Ron Paul's remarks on the Department of Education.
By Jon Christian Ryter, News With View.com: First, before we look at this bizarre and very troubling story that has already gone viral on the Internet, we need to raise a question that everyone else appears to be ignoring. Since when does the US Department of Education have a SWAT team at their disposal? Official answer: they borrowed it from the Inspector General. Okay. Now, let's rephrase the question. Since when does the US Department of Education's Inspector General have a SWAT team at its disposal? The short answer? Since the enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. President Jimmy Carter and a social progressive Democratic Congress created the Department of Education with Public Law 96-88 on Oct. 17, 1979, and George W. Bush and a Republican Congress armed them in 2002 with an extension of the Patriot Act in what can only be described as the silent creation of the Bully State. And, finally—why? When the other questions are pondered and answered, one nagging question remains. Since the Office of the Inspector General was specifically created to investigate waste and fraud by individual employees in the federal government, why would the IG for any federal agency need a SWAT team?
If there ever was any doubt, at any time in the past, it's now clear that America can no longer trust it elected representatives on either side of the aisle. As Congress frantically seeks ways to limit the private ownership of guns in the United States (a Constitutionally-protected right) while trying to look like they are fighting to preserve that right, it appears to have no problem—in fact, it seems to be working under a sense of urgency—to arm every agency of government as if it was anticipating a citizen rebellion at any moment.
Clearly, while the Office of the Inspector General was created specifically to ferret out white collar crime within the federal bureaucracy by government employees and contractors, it appears from what we just witnessed in Stockton, California on June 7, investigators for the Inspector General's office for the US Department of Education have been trained not to investigate and arrest government employees who violate the public trust, but to terrorize US citizens with ostentatious shows of brute force designed to intimidate them into submission. This is reminiscent of Adolph Hitler's Brown Shirts that bullied the German people on Hitler's rise to absolute power. Makes you wonder just whose Brown Shirts the Department of Education's Black Shirts are.
Which is why, when ABC Channel 10 News in Stockton, California broke what became a leading national story about a Department of Education SWAT team breaking into the home of someone suspected of student loan fraud, America was shocked. When the media reported that it was an Education Department SWAT Team that broke down Kenneth Wright's front door, the reaction went from incredulous to disbelief. And the Channel 10 video news clip went viral.
America was unaware that when the 108th Congress armed what America viewed as institutionalized bureaucrats, the Inspector General's bean counter were required to go through the same intensive Special Forces military-assault law enforcement training that federal and State SWAT teams go through. Why?
Does the federal government believe that the nation's employees who are defrauding their agencies are dangerous thugs who can only be subdued by excessive force? Of course not. They believe conspiracy-oriented citizens of the United States are. In 1993 the Southern Poverty Law Center, viewed by the far left as the most authoritative source in the country on rightwing fanaticism issued a 72-page White Paper branding conservative Americans as enemies of the State. The report, False Patriots: The Threat of Anti-Government Extremists declared that "...the Patriot movement is a potpourri of the American right, from members of the Christian Coalition to the Ku Klux Klan." The South Poverty Law Center now claims there are 1,020 conservative hate groups operating in the United States.
Today, 18 years after that 72- page report, returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are grouped with the Christian right and those who oppose the shari'azation of America, as threats to democracy. From that perspective, it's no wonder the social progressive federal bureaucracy are arming themselves with government edicts as America's politicians sell their souls to the princes of industry and the barons of banking. They are both worried about the American people—and, perhaps, with reason.
While the US Department of Education insisted the raid at 3243 Jonathen Street in Stockton, California at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7 was not about collecting unpaid student loans but was about searching for evidence of student loan fraud, the early morning raid remains troubling because even if this was a criminal investigation for suspected student loan application fraud, the agents of the Inspector General's Office for the Department of Education used too much force—and heads need too roll for the Nazi Brown Shirt domestic terrorism tactics of the Obama Administration. Both the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education need to fully investigate this incident to find out who, besides the Secretary of Education and the head of the Inspector General's Office of the Education Department need to be fired—and force Obama to fire them under threat of impeachment for using Gestapo tactics against the American people.
The United States is not Nazi Germany. Nor is it the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, North Korea or any number of banana republics or Muslim theocracies that use domestic terrorism to keep their populations in submission. Under the US rule of law, our government does not have the authority to terrorize its people and, whenever they do, the ultimate authority over those following the orders and those who issued them needs to be fired—and prosecuted. As I said, this is not Nazi Germany. Barack Hussein Obama is now emulating Adolph Hitler while pretending to be Franklin D. Roosevelt when what he is, is a Chicago street activist who is completely outside his element of expertise when it comes to solving the problems of this nation and the world. Obama, sadly, has surrounded himself with other inept social progressive activists who are also out of their areas of expertise. This is a worst case scenario example of the blind leading the blind. And, what's most scary, the rest of us are sitting in the Obama Movie Theater with all of the exit doors locked and with someone else about to scream "Fire!"
Okay. Now that I have that off my chest, let's look at the constitutionally prohibited—but federal judge-sanctioned—"rap-and-ram" forcible entry search warrant issued to agents of the Department of Education to enter and search Kenneth Wright's home on Jonathen Street.
Before continuing, it should be noted that the US Supreme Court authorized "rap and ram" entries when police have evidence that the suspects in the dwelling have quantities of illegal drugs which they will dispose of if police have to wait for them to come to the door. And, second, where police have reason to believe the occupants of the dwelling are armed and dangerous, and waiting for someone to answer the door would pose a risk to the lives of the police officers. Theoretically, police aren't supposed to 'rap and ram" simultaneously.
The legal notion was to give the occupant a reasonable amount of time to reach, and open, the door while making the assumption that a normal Olympic marathon runner should be able do that in five seconds flat even though it might take a father of three, sleeping in a bedroom upstairs, one or two minutes or more to descend the stairs and get to the front door before a battering ram destroyed it. Particularly in this instance where the IG agents knew the "suspect" in the house wasn't disposing of illegal drugs, hiding a cache of counterfeit money, or plotting to blow up the White House. They suspected his wife of falsifying an application for a student loan. That is something a sane government sends one IG agent and a local police officer to investigate and, if needed, to exercise a search warrant.
By the way. I wonder if it means anything that Barack Obama signed legislation on March 30, 2010 which ended a 45-year old program under which banks and private sector lenders like Sallie Mae received federal subsidies for making government-guaranteed college loans and where the federal government was a minority shareholder in the loan? Effective July 1 last year, the US Department of Education, which began making student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program in 1994, assumed 100% of them. Under the 1965 federal student loan program, the rate of interest charged by banks and other private sector lenders was 8.5% while the Department of Education loans were financed at 7.9%. When the Department of Education took over the student loan program, they assured borrowers they will continue to get the same loans including Stafford Loans for students and Plus Loans for parents and graduate students on largely the same terms. Only the Department of Education has a more sophisticated collection system.
Regardless if the early morning raid on Kenneth Wright's home was about unpaid student loans or an attempt by Michelle Wright, the estranged wife of the home's occupant, to defraud the government by providing them with inaccurate or even blatantly false information when she applied for a student loan, the government did not need to do what neighbors said happened.
At least a dozen federal agents crashed through his front door. They dragged Wright out of the house in his boxer shorts and a T-shirt, handcuffed him and threw him to the ground before finally putting him in the back seat of a police car—where he remained for some 6 hours. But, once again, the most shocking statement in the bizarre media news report was whose SWAT team it was. The armed federal agents, Stockton Channel 10 ABC News reported, were agents from the US Department of Education. And remember this—just because Congress authorizes something does not necessarily mean their actions are Constitutional. Remember this also. Two US District Courts found provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to be unconstitutional, and a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is now weighing the constitutionality of Obamacare.
When everything else is said and done, the question tossed about over the last decade or two by the Southern Poverty Law Center's designated rightwing extremists: "Has America become a police state?" This may have been answered on June 7. With the enactment of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act [USA Patriot Act] Congress began the covert task of dismantling the Bill of Rights by making the inherent rights of US citizens conditioned on the needs and mandates of government. With the re-authorization of the Patriot Act on May 26, 2011, Congress drove a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating six of the first 10 amendments: the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments. America should have heeded the words of the Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Paine who said: "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government."
And now you know why the Department of Education sent a SWAT team to 3243 Jonathen Street in Stockton, California at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7. Ironically, the Department of Education was educating the masses of America to fear their government more than the government fears them. And, of course, condition them to obey the edicts of government without questioning whether or not they are constitutional. You viewed the video, read the commentary, and may even have previously seen news story. Now, what do you have to say about this situation? Tags:Dept of Education, DOW, SWAT, SWAT Team, Stockton, California, video, Patriot Act, US Constitution, government abuse, Kenneth Wright, Richard Mack, Ron Paul, Gary Franchi, reality report, student loans, News With View To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Farcical Demands by Democrats For New Stimulus, Higher Taxes But No Cuts in Government Spending
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 23, 2011:
The Senate resumed consideration of its dastardly S. 679, the nominations reform bill. They will also vote on the Senate will vote on an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) prohibiting funds for presidential czars.Then they will vote on an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) which would remove the director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics from the list of positions being affected by the bill. Five other amendments are pending to the bill and additional votes on amendments are possible today. If all the amendments are worked through, the Senate will vote on passage of S. 679.
Yesterday, the ARRA News Servicedetailed objections to this bill and the US Senate "abdicating even more of its responsibility to the Executive Branch of government." If you have not done so please review our comments yesterday which includes an excellent excerpt from RedState that screams out "Senate Plans to Abdicate its Confirmation Duties".
The Senate will then take up S. Res. 116, which would streamline the process of Senate consideration of various members of part-time boards and commissions. If an agreement is reached, the Senate may take up and vote on the nominations of James Cole to be Deputy Attorney General, Virginia Seitz to be Assistant Attorney General, and Lisa Monaco to be Assistant Attorney General.
The House is set to vote on one on Friday for at least one resolution on Lybia. However, there are threee resolutions posted so up to three resolutions may be voted on. Hoes Speaker Boehner has already agreed to allow votes on two of the resolutions. The Washington Post reports "Three Libya resolutions have been posted on the Web site of the House Rules committee: one would authorize the limited use of military force there (a vote set up to fail). Another would direct the president to withdraw forces engaged in offensive operations. And a third, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), would strip funding for those offensive operations. . . . 'I believe, and I think most of my colleagues believe, the president has failed to make his case as to why we have engaged in Libya,' Boehner said Thursday of the Libya action. 'And we have not heard the president talk about this for four or five weeks. And therefore, members of Congress and the American people are left in the dark. I think the strategy was flawed from the beginning.'"
As previously reported, these resolutions have been made necessary because "President Obama did not seek congressional consent when he launched air strikes against Gadhafi's forces on March 19. As detailed in the above letter, he is in violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution that requires approval of the legislative branch within 60 days, with a 30-day extension. That deadline has passed. The White House, in a report to Congress last week, said the limited U.S. role in the operation did not amount to hostilities thus the President did not have to comply and this argument has further inflamed lawmakers."Or at least lawmakers who are concerned about the U.S. Constitution and abuse of power by the Executive Branch.
Also in the House, the Patent Bill previously passed by the US Senate in March, 2011 by a vote of (95-5) has made its way through two House committees. It has been stalled over the use of Patent fees above authorized budgets in ways that were not transparent. Under the agreement, the patent office will be allowed to set its fees and any money it brings in above its budget will be put in a reserve fund. The PTO will not be able to access those reserve funds without the agreement of the lawmakers who oversee appropriations. Representative Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said, "The money in the fund will be reserved for and used by the PTO and only the PTO. This maintains congressional oversight, while making sure that fees collected by the PTO can no longer be diverted."
In many people's opinion the bill should have been stalled based on Constitutional property rights. Of major concern to many is the surrender to the UN, Europe, and Japan the unique way patents have been protected in the United States since its establishment under the Constitution. The new bill may result in more future theft of American inventors' patents. At this time, the United States uses a "first-to-invent" application system protecting the original inventor. The proposed bill changes the filing system to a "first-inventor-to-file" system which is used in Europe and Japan. Many believe that this new filing method takes away the property rights of inventors and violates the US Constitution. There are also other objections, but the property rights issue is the major factor which could in the long run kill the rights of U.S. inventors.
We will now wait to see, when the Patent Bill is brought to the House floor. If passed, the Senate will also have to concur in the present proposed revision if the bill. It is indeed of grave concern that so many issues are being confronted by the present Congress. In the past, property rights would have been protected by both major parties verses altering the present traditional American method.
Reuters reported yesterday, “Efforts in the U.S. Congress to head off a debt default faced a new hurdle on Wednesday as Democratic leaders called for additional spending to boost the sluggish economy. Democrats' demand for new stimulus spending is directly at odds with the efforts of negotiators, led by Vice President Joe Biden, who are trying to find trillions of dollars in budget savings as part of a deal that would allow Congress to sign off on new borrowing before the country runs out of money to pay its bills."
Roll Call writes, “Senate Democrats [are] demanding that new stimulus measures be included in the bipartisan deficit reduction talks led by Vice President Joseph Biden.” Politico notes that the new spending proposals “could include new spending on infrastructure and clean energy.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key member of Senate Democrat leadership was didn’t bother to dress up the Democrats’ plans: “This is a stimulus program,” he said, according to Roll Call.
Reacting to the new Democrat calls for even more stimulus spending in a speech on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This isn’t just mystifying, it’s farcical. I mean, most Americans had to wonder if they were dreaming this morning when they saw this headline: ‘Democrats call for new spending in US debt deal’ More spending? As a solution to a debt crisis? What planet are they on?”
Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pulled out the "alleged" bipartisan negotiations to raise the nation's debt limit. The effort was led by Vice President Joe Biden. As detailed previously, the Democrats are advocating 1) more spending and 2) higher taxes verses cutting spending and eliminating government programs. The New York Times quotes Eric Cantor as saying, “As it stands, the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”
The NY Times further also related, "Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate Republican and the party’s only other representative in the talks, said later Thursday that he would also miss the next negotiating session as he and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, turned up the pressure on President Obama to play a larger role in the push for a debt limit deal. 'President Obama needs to decide between his goal of higher taxes, or a bipartisan plan to address our deficit,” Mr. McConnell and Mr. Kyl said in a joint statement. “He can’t have both. But we need to hear from him.'"
Indeed, it’s amazing that Democrats would actually float the idea of even more stimulus spending after the 2009 stimulus added nearly a trillion dollars to the debt and failed to live up to its promises. President Obama’s economic advisors Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein said the “unemployment rate with … the recovery plan,” would not exceed eight percent. Today, unemployment is at 9.1%. Democrat leaders including Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi all said the stimulus would create between 3.5 and 4 million jobs, but millions of jobs have been lost since then.
As Leader McConnell said today, “The central issue in these [debt] talks, as every serious person knows, is our nation’s massive deficit and debt — and the disastrous long-term consequences for jobs and the economy that would result if we don’t do something about it. We have this problem because government spends too much. The way to solve it is to spend less.”
In addition to Senate Democrats’ fixation on more government spending, another problem with the debt negotiations has been the questionable absence of leadership by President Obama. Sen. Mitch McConnell even commented: “Where in the world has President Obama been for the past month? “What does he propose? What is he willing to do to reduce the debt and avoid the crisis that is building on his watch. He’s in charge. I think most Americans think it’s about time he starts acting like it. It’s not enough for the President to step in front of a microphone every once in a while and say a few words that someone hands him to say about jobs and the economy. Americans want to see that he’s actually doing something about it. What they see instead is more bad economic news every day, a gathering crisis that threatens to make current problems even worse, and a President who is either unwilling or unable to recognize that our nation’s economy is in serious trouble. He’s the President. He needs to lead. He needs to show that he recognizes the problem. And do something about it.” Tags:Washington, D.C. US Senate, US House, Democrats, more spending, higher taxes, no reduction of federal spending, Debt Ceiling, Abdicating Confirmation Duties, Libya, Patient BillTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House Republican Study Committee:The federal government is $14.3 trillion in debt, and a crisis is coming. Do we need to spell it out for you? Cut, Cap, and Balance. Our future is at stake.
A growing coalition of Americans is supporting the Cut, Cap, and Balance pledge. Pledge-takers promise to oppose any debt ceiling increase without substantial spending cuts for the upcoming year, caps on federal spending, and a strong Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
Dozens of Representatives, Senators, and conservative leaders officially announced their pledge at a press conference today:
Tags:Cut, Cap, Balance, US House, US Senate, Republicans, spending cuts, caps on federal spending, Balanced Budget Amendment, BBA, U.S. ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
“Efforts in the U.S. Congress to head off a debt default faced a new hurdle on Wednesday as Democratic leaders called for additional spending to boost the sluggish economy. Democrats' demand for new stimulus spending is directly at odds with the efforts of negotiators, led by Vice President Joe Biden, who are trying to find trillions of dollars in budget savings as part of a deal that would allow Congress to sign off on new borrowing before the country runs out of money to pay its bills.” (“Democrats Call For New Spending In Debt Deal,” Reuters, 6/22/11)
Original Chart Predicting Unemployment Rates With Prior Stimulus -- Plan Did NOT Work!
Tags:Democrats, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Stimulus, new spending, Federal spending, debt, unemployment, Déjà VuTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: We have noted the rise of Rep. Michelle Bachmann over the last two years. In November, 2009, we posted a story by Ellen Sauerbrey, former Assistant Secretary of State discussing Michele Bachmann as being a "Rising GOP Star." In her article, Sauerbrey called Bachmann, "principled, savvy, articulate,d beautiful, outspoken, media-savvy, conservative, and feisty." All of which have proven to be true.
In Dec, 2009, we noted "Michele Bachmann - Rare GOP Lovable Little Fuzz Ball" and quoted from an article by by Kathleen Hennessey: "In less than eight minutes, the Minnesota congresswoman told the cheering crowd of conservative activists that the Democratic healthcare bill isn't just bad policy -- it's unconstitutional. She invoked Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade," though it memorializes a suicide mission. She dissed the United Nations, recalled Elian Gonzalez's journey from Cuba, and offered this holiday greeting: "That is our wish for fellow citizens here in the United States -- for freedom, not for government enslavement!" The crowd roared."
That statement did not set well with the Democratic machine. They then set out to stop Bachmann from being re-elected. And the instrument they chose was former President Bill Clinton. In an editorial in October 2010, I noted:
"One conservative woman who is not taking any of his guff from Bill Clinton is Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann been targeted by the DNC and the Obama administration as the woman they would most like to see defeated in the 2010 election. While hosting a fundraiser for my Tarryl Clark, Bill Clinton attacked Bachmann calling her and other Tea Party activists 'stupid' and accusing her of "putting ideology over evidence." Michelle Bachmann responded, 'I am proud of my record and I refuse to be bullied into silence by Bill Clinton and other Democrats who attack our [the people's] shared values.' . . .
A new waive of principled conservative women are literally scaring the heck out of the liberals in Washington. In the forefront is Rep. Michelle Bachmann who will not lay down her principles for anyone including Bill Clinton. She has proven her ability to lend her voice to "We the People" whom Clinton calls "stupid." She has also proven to be an excellent representative for her district. I hope her constituents in Minnesota will not be fooled by either Clinton or Obama. We need Bachmann's voice back in Congress. She was part of a handful of people how stood boldly in doing things differently in Congress and in openly opposing the Pelosi and Reid agenda.
We need Michele Bachmann to be part of the new Republican controlled U.S. House who shows Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the door. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have targeted Bachmann. They hate her above many other conservatives because she has opposed their extreme liberal agenda. As expressed above, the liberal elites have proven their vitriol by pulling the "First Black President" out of his Harlem retirement and sending him after her. They will do, say and spend whatever it takes to defeat her.
Bachmann is not going to lay down her principles. She opened the doors of Congress to the American people when Speaker Pelosi refused to listen - especially to the "stupid" citizens despised by Queen Pelosi. Let's send a message to Pelosi, Reid, Obama and yes - Bill Clinton by visiting and supporting Michele Bachmann for U.S. Congress."
And indeed the people of her Minnesota district did just that - they re-elected her and sent her back to Washington. D.C.
Then last year at the Americans For Prosperity Defending the American Dream 2010 Summit, Rep. Michele Bachmann gave a rousing speech. I recall her speech and shared with my wife that Backmann looks and speaks like a potential presidential candidate. She showed both a passion for our country and an understanding of what our country needs. The next day, Bachmann and a few other Congressmen held a TEA Party Caucus listening event on the Washington, D.C. Mall after Glen Beck's Restoring Honor Rally. The people spoke and they listened! It was efforts like these that aided in the election of new conservatives to Congress in November 2010.
Now, fast forward to June 2011. Michelle Bachmann has been re-elected in spite of the efforts of the Democratic machine and has continued to help lead the House TEA Party Caucus and to advance conservative positions. Now, she is one of many declared candidates for the Republican nomination for president. Below is a video of Michele Backmann's "talk" at RightOnline 2011 complements of the RightWing Housewife [YouTube] who blogs at Diary of an Angry Rightwing Housewife.
Tags:Michele Bachmann, speech, Americans For Prosperity, RightOnline, 2011, video, republican, presidential candidate, 2012, Minneapolis, MNTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Cathie Adams, Eagle Forum International Issues Chairman: Physicist Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That is exactly what the United Nations is doing with "sustainable development," which insists that economic, environmental and social equity or "justice" will produce health, peace and prosperity. The UN incorporates it in policies and treaties that target every nation, prodding them to conform to the same Marxist ideals that failed miserably in the 70-year experiment in the former U.S.S.R.
The UN has given special emphasis to the implementation of sustainable development in Africa, passing a resolution each year since 1998 entitled the "Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa." With devastating results today 67% of the world's HIV/AIDS cases are in Africa, as are 90% of the cases of malaria, while 33% of its population suffers from malnutrition, and 15 wars rage on the continent.
Pushing for more foreign aid is key to the UN's sustainable development agenda, but two prominent Africans believe the funding has hurt, rather than helped the African people. Andrew Mwenda, editor of Uganda's Independent newspaper, and Kofi Bentil, lecturer at University of Ghana, have concluded that foreign aid has "stunted growth and subsidized bad governance in Africa. . . . adding that the weight of regulations, bad laws and stifling bureaucracy, subsidized by five decades of development aid, prevents Africans from lifting themselves out of poverty".
Media mogul Ted Turner's billion dollar gift to the UN gives him a billion reasons to advocate for the UN and its sustainable development. Playing on American generosity, while hiding UN failures, Turner's UN Foundation president Timothy Wirth cited the UN's "frontline work" in Sudan and Libya as the reason why 85% of Americans support the UN in their recent poll. But the truth is that the UN has failed in both countries.
Since 1955, ten years after the UN's founding, civil wars have ravaged Sudan. In 2005, the UN Security Council referred the desperate situation in the Sudanese city of Darfur to the International Criminal Court. The ICC issued arrest warrants against its president, yet he remains in office, while about 100,000 persons have suffered the losses of their homes and jobs. Admitting its utter failure, the UN complains that the Sudanese president "continues denying the crimes, attributing them to other factors (such as inter-tribal clashes), diverting attention by publicizing ceasefire agreements that are violated as soon as they are announced, and finally proposing the creation of special courts to conduct investigations that will never start."
Admitting failure also in Libya, the UN states that "the international community" has let Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi "literally get away with murder" for the past 42 years. Since February, an estimated 10-15,000 people have been killed in battle, another 1,200 drowned attempting to flee by sea, and millions suffer from severe food shortages. Meanwhile, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has extended its air war for another 90 days, as Gadhafi wages a ground war giving Viagra-like medications to his troops targeting his political opponents for rape.
The UN's international tribunals cost about $300 million annually, but have few results to show taxpayers. The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda held its first trial in 1997 for the 1994 Rwandan genocide of 800,000 Tutsis. Since then 50 trials have been held that convicted 29. Eleven more trials are in progress, with 14 individuals awaiting trials, while 13 accused are still at large. Rather than the UN Security Council shutting down the grossly inept tribunal, in 2014 it will transfer its work to a new International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.
Since its inception, the UN has failed its first mission to resolve conflicts and avert wars, and its courts and tribunals cannot even bring the bad guys to justice. Its emphasis on sustainable development in Africa has failed to bring peace or health or prosperity; yet, it continues to prod every nation to adopt its Marxist ideals. "We the people" are looking for a presidential candidate in the 2012 with the courage to stop this insanity. Tags:UN, sustainable development, agenda, economy, society, development, insanity, Cathie Adams, Eagle Forum, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congress' Rating "In the Toilet" - Senate Votes On Abdicating Confirmation Duties - House Votes on Libya
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 22, 2011: Rasmussen Reports new poll evidences dissatisfaction with the job Congress is doing. "Voter approval of Congress' job performance has now fallen to a near five-year low. . . . [O]nly eight percent (8%) of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Fifty-two percent (52%) rate Congress' performance as poor." Rasmussen adds, "Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters do not believe Congress has passed any legislation that will significantly improve the quality of life, a finding that has shown little change for several years now. Thirteen percent (13%) disagree. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. But only 47% think passing good legislation is a more important role for Congress than preventing bad legislation from becoming law. Nearly as many (43%) feel blocking poor legislation should be Congress’ main goal. These figures have changed little since early August of last year. An overwhelming majority (81%) believe most members of Congress are more interested in their own careers than helping people. Only eight percent (8%) think most in Congress are more concerned with helping people. This is consistent with findings since late 2009."
Yesterday the Senate voted 100-0 to confirm Leon Panetta to be Secretary of Defense and 64-35 to confirm Michael Simon to be a district judge for Oregon.
Today the U.S. Senate may be at the point of abdicating even more of its responsibility to the Executive Branch of government. They will resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 679, the nominations reform bill, which they claim "streamlines nominations and removes some low-level non-policymaking positions like press secretaries from the Senate confirmation process." In fact, even some Republicans are abdicating this area of responsibility. Under a unanimous consent agreement, the Senate agreed to the motion to proceed and began consideration of S. 679. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible this afternoon.
"Today, Chuck Schumer, with the help of Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander, plans to vitiate one of the Senate’s few remaining constitutional duties; advising and consenting to presidential appointees. The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act (S.679), which was never reported out of a committee, would eliminate the confirmation requirement for 200 presidential appointees. This bill would completely abrogate the safeguards against tyranny that were established in the “Appointments Clause” of the constitution. [The Heritage Foundation has a useful primer on the bill.] The bill has seven Republican co-sponsors: Lamar Alexander, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Mike Johanns, Jon Kyl, Richard Lugar, and Mitch McConnell.
"They are claiming that the confirmation process is too cumbersome and time-consuming, and as such, is precluding other more important legislation. The reality is just the opposite. Their abdication of their core responsibilities has left them with nothing other than executive confirmations on their plate. . . . Undoubtedly, there is a need to expedite the presidential appointee process. However, ceding more power to an administration that is overzealous to impose policy by administrative fiat, is not the way to go. Congress has slowly abjured its power to the executive branch by writing open-ended legislation, granting federal agencies wide latitude to promulgate destruction over our economy. Obama has already used radical executive appointees for the purpose of consolidating power in the executive branch. Why would any Republican sign on to such a dangerous expansion of executive power? Whom do they think Obama will appoint to these positions if there is no oversight?
"Here’s a novel idea for streamlining the confirmation process of presidential appointees: shrink the size of government so there will be no need for most of these jobs. It’s high time for Congress to halt its self-immolation, and reign in the executive department behemoth. . . ."
Yesterday, Senate Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to close off debate on S. 782, the bill reauthorizing the Economic Development Act. The cloture motion failed by a vote of 49-51.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner has agreed to hold votes on two resolutions that would provide two clear directives in regard to U.S. military force in Libya.
One is by Rep. Hastings (D-FL) which would authorize the limited use of military force in support of the NATO mission in Libya. It is similar to a Senate bill proposed yesterday by John Kerry D-MA) and John McCain, (R-AZ) and "would allow the mission to continue but would impose a one-year limit on the NATO-led operation." Yesterday, the ARRA News Service editor commented on the Kerry-McCain proposal, "One can understand a discredited former military officer like Democrat Sen. John Kerry running out to protect President Obama, but it continued to be disturbing that Republican (Often-in-Name-Only) Senator John McCain continues to aid President Obama. Millions of conservatives remain very disappointed that they ever supported Sen. John McCain in his former race for the presidency, and they are certainly tired of his continued actions to protect the incumbent president, Barack Obama, and his administration from their failures verses protecting the American people."
The second House resolution would require a withdrawal from engagements there - excepting "forces engaged in non-hostile actions such as search & rescue, aerial re-fueling, operational planning, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance, and non-combat missions," These resolutions have been made necessary because "President Obama did not seek congressional consent when he launched air strikes against Gadhafi's forces on March 19. As detailed in the above letter, he is in violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution that requires approval of the legislative branch within 60 days, with a 30-day extension. That deadline has passed. The White House, in a report to Congress last week, said the limited U.S. role in the operation did not amount to hostilities thus the President did not have to comply and this argument has further inflamed lawmakers." Or at least lawmakers who are concerned about the U.S. Constitution and abuse of power by the Executive Branch.
Surprisingly the left leaning NPR has joined in reporting about concerns by Sen McConell (R-KY) over terrorists being tried in Kentucky, “The case of two Iraqi refugees captured in Kentucky after an FBI sting operation is reigniting the political debate over where to bring terrorists to justice. . . . ‘I think it's safe to say that a lot of Kentuckians, . . . would like to know why two men who either killed or plotted to kill U.S. soldiers and Marines over in Iraq aren't sitting in a jail cell in Guantanamo right now,’ . . . the two refugees, Waad Alwan and Mohanad Hammadi, don't belong in his backyard. The senator wants to see Kentucky rise up, just like New York did, to prevent the trial of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from happening there. . . .” Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Congress, polling, Rating, In the Toilet, Abdicating Confirmation Duties, LibyaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The below cartoon is more satire than funny. Most Americans are more than a little tired of Obama's playing more golf than the average worker who pays his salary. So, let's end on a little humor. While addressing Obama's handicap (somewhere in the 20s -- "classified"), Fox News Neil Cavuto chatting with professional golfer Tom Lehman admitted, "I got a score of 72! On the second hole, I think it was a..." By William Warren : My latest cartoon weighs in on recent U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy and Obama’s golf habits.
Tags:Obama, Obama Playing Golf, Political Cartoons, Rory McIlroy, U.S. Open, William Warren, Neil Cavuto, Tom Lehman, golf, handicapTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
RPA Calls on Board of Apportionment to Conduct Final Public Hearing, Release Maps
Republican Party of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark. – In a letter sent Tuesday to Board of Apportionment (BOA) members Governor Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Secretary of State Mark Martin requested all members of the BOA be personally present to conduct a final legislative redistricting public hearing on July 25. Furthermore, Secretary Martin asked that any amendments to legislative maps be made public within 48 hours of the final hearing.
“The state Republican Party hopes Democrats Dustin McDaniel and Mike Beebe will fully incorporate these suggestions into their plan for legislative redistricting,” Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos said. “This would give the public a direct line to those who have a vote on the final maps, and more importantly an opportunity to view amended maps before the Board of Apportionment conducts a vote.”
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Governor Mike Beebe have declined to release legislative redistricting maps in recent weeks, citing an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“It’s unfortunate Attorney General McDaniel continues to guard his FOIA-exempt maps from public disclosure,” said Vasilos. “From the beginning, our goal has been to advocate a fair and transparent legislative redistricting process for the people of Arkansas. We look forward to a final public hearing where all Board members can talk honestly and openly with the people of Arkansas.”
BACKGROUND AG McDaniel Still Guarding Maps
“Martin is the only Republican member of the board. He and redistricting coordinator Joe Woodson have released some maps, but so far Beebe and McDaniel have released none." (John Lyon, “Martin: Board should take comments directly from public,” Arkansas News Bureau, 6/21/11)
“Some maps are available on the website, but not the ones from the key players, Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.” (Max Brantley, “Monday Thread: Redistricting,” Arkansas Times Blog, 6/20/11)
“According to the letter from McDaniel, draft versions will be made available by 4 p.m. July 19 on the board’s website…It will likely be the first time the public sees maps produced by the attorney general and governor’s offices.” (Sarah D. Wire, “Date set for maps of voting districts,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/15/11)
“Beebe and McDaniel have been doing their own work in private and haven't yet proposed any maps for public inspection.” (Max Brantley, “McDaniel calls for redistricting maps,” Arkansas Times Blog, 6/14/11)
“I say all this to show that we really have no idea what is taking place behind the FOI exempt wall of the AG’s office, who has told the ADG repeatedly that they are working on drafts but will not release them.” (Jason Tolbert, “Another Map…But Still Not THE Map,” The Tolbert Report, 5/24/11)
“They [Board of Apportionment] said initial maps are being drawn with a free website called Dave’s Redistricting 2.1 and the final touches of the maps will be done in Autobound, which has a greater level of detail… McDaniel said his office has also been doing rough drafts on the site.” (Sarah D. Wire, “ Site’s free software aiding redistricting,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/22/11)
“McDaniel said that his office hasn't completed any drafts and he doesn't plan on releasing any until they're completed. "I'm not going to send over a map that has one third of the state unaccounted for," McDaniel said.” (Andrew Demillo, “Ark. focus shifts to redrawing legislative lines,” Real Clear Politics, 5/24/11) Tags:Arkansas, Board of Apportionment, redistricting, maps, public hearings, RPA, Republican Party of ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 21, 2011:
The Senate at noon today confirmed (64-35) the nomination of Michael Simon to be a district judge for Oregon.
Around 4:15 PM, the Senate will vote on the Panetta nomination. Immediately following that vote, the Senate will vote on cloture on S. 782, the bill reauthorizing the Economic Development Act. If cloture is not invoked on S. 782, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), has scheduled a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 679, the nominations reform bill, which streamlines nominations and removes some low-level non-policymaking positions like press secretaries from the Senate confirmation process.
President Obama opted to play Golf with Speaker Boehner and others rather than responding by last last Friday to letter from the US House signed by Speaker Boehner. Last Tuesday (a week ago), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to President Barack Obama warning that the commander in chief may be in violation of the law if he refuses to ask Congress for that authorization. In his letter, Boehner noted that the President is just days away from violating the War Powers Resolution, which maintains that, without congressional authorization, the President can deploy U.S. military forces for 90 days but without notification forces must be removed within the 90 days. In his letter, Boehner demanded that Obama provide legal justification for the operation in Libya by last Friday.
President Obama did not seek congressional consent when he launched air strikes against Gadhafi's forces on March 19. As detailed in the above letter, he is in violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution that requires approval of the legislative branch within 60 days, with a 30-day extension. That deadline has passed. The White House, in a report to Congress last week, said the limited U.S. role in the operation did not amount to hostilities thus the President did not have to comply and this argument has further inflamed lawmakers.
Forbes is reporting that "Two top senators today unveiled a resolution giving President Barack Obama limited authority in the three-month-old war against Libya. Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ), the leading Republican on the Armed Services Committee, introduced the bipartisan resolution that would allow the mission to continue but would impose a one-year limit on the NATO-led operation, a period McCain said is "more than enough time to finish the job." It also would prohibit American ground forces in Libya. . . . Seeking to quell the outrage, Kerry and McCain proposed their measure and urged lawmakers to consider the implications of abandoning the mission."
One can understand a discredited former military officer like Democrat Sen. John Kerry running out to protect President Obama, but it continued to be disturbing that Republican (Often-in-Name-Only) Senator John McCain continues to aid President Obama. Millions of conservatives remain very disappointed that they ever supported Sen. John McCain in his former race for the presidency, and they are certainly tired of his continued actions to protect the incumbent president, Barack Obama, and his administration from their failures verses protecting the American people. The above image from Comedy Central's InDecision says it best.
This morning Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor and addressed the importance of doing something serious and significant about our fiscal crisis. He said, “Right now, ratings agencies are threatening to downgrade U.S. debt, putting us on red alert that the kind of economic crisis we’re seeing in parts of Europe could very quickly happen here. We know that failing to do something significant about our fiscal problems would be a serious drag on jobs and our economy. And that’s why, over the past several weeks, I’ve come to the floor of the Senate and spoken up at press conferences, with a now-familiar refrain: the time to act on significant reforms is now.”
Despite this reality, it appears Democrats remain fixated on their years-old playbook of more spending and higher taxes. Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a member of Senate Democrat leadership, called for even more spending, saying, “[E]conomists will tell you that when you build infrastructure, it creates new jobs. And we should be doing something like that. Our roads, our highways, our water and sewer, that’s the old type of infrastructure. And we should be doing some more of that. We should also be doing some new types of infrastructure a-- like a national power grid, making sure every home gets broadband.”
Host Bob Schieffer certainly recognized the meaning behind what Schumer was saying, asking him, “You’re really talking about some very grandiose plans there . . . . I guess the question—first question has to be how you’re going to pay for any of this?”
Earlier this month, The Hill had a clearer picture of how Democrats might go about implementing Schumer’s idea, reporting, “Senior Senate Democrats are growing frustrated by what they see as President Obama’s passivity on the economy, and are beginning to discuss a large infrastructure package funded by tax increases. Some Democrats, such as Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who serves as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, think such a package could lower the unemployment rate by as much as two percentage points. . . . ‘The last election was about jobs and the economy, and now we’re in a position where we really do need some economic pump-priming by the federal government,’ he said. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, endorsed Harkin’s argument for more infrastructure spending, and said it is gaining support in the broader caucus. ‘There’s very broad support,’ Rockefeller said. ‘There’s no other way to get at this problem.’”
The GOP Leader pushed back on these status quo taxing and spending ideas from Democrats today, “First of all, is there anyone outside of Washington, D.C. who really thinks that with 14 million people looking for work in this country, the solution is to raise taxes? The last thing you want to do in the middle of a jobs crisis is raise taxes. Even the President has said as much. It’s just common sense. But even if we weren’t in the middle of a jobs crisis, it would be foolish — and completely dishonest. We’re in the middle of a debt crisis right now because we spend too much. The solution is to spend less. Government spending has gone up, and a bad economy has caused revenue to go down. That’s the reason the debt has gone up 35% since the President took office. And now Democrats want to use that bad economy as an excuse to lock their spending levels in place. They want to use it as an excuse to raise taxes. Which would only make the economy worse, cause us to lose even more jobs, and make it even harder to create new jobs. So let’s just be clear about what’s going on here. Right now, Washington is borrowing roughly $4 billion every day above what it collects in taxes. And Democrats don’t want to admit we have a spending problem?”
If this country is going to tackle its debt crisis and start creating jobs again, Democrats will need to face the reality that their shopworn prescriptions of ever more government spending and tax hikes will only make things worse. Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Libya, John McCain, Barack Obama, Democrats, more spending, more taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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