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Saturday, December 24, 2011
Have a Wonderful Christmas Eve
Wishing you a very joyous Christmas Eve.
Enjoy the following video with a beautiful version of "Holy Night" by Celtic Woman [As of this post over 7,158,829 views]:
"O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!"
Tags: holiday message, Christmas, 2011, Christmas eve, Holy NightTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
For the automobile industry bailout, the Lord Overseer was Car Czar Steven Rattner.
This is the same Steven Rattner who late last year reportedly paid a $6.2 million Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fine and accepted a two-year ban from associating with broker-dealers or investment advisers. For an alleged “pay-to-play” New York state pension fund kickbacks scheme he orchestrated after leaving Washington and his Czar-ship. DC-Wall Street nexis, anyone? Crony Socialism, anyone?
Ex-Czar Rattner was last week out and about – rewriting large swaths of the history of our $82 billion sinkhole auto “investment.” If this publicity run is any indication – and it undoubtedly is – Ex-Czar Rattner’s book on same may not quite be worth the price of admission.
Like Social Security is a “success.” And Medicare. And Medicaid. And Freddie Mac. And Fannie Mae. And the Post Office. And Amtrak. And ....
So let’s look at the auto bailout numbers, and see what kind of a “success” it’s been, unambiguous or otherwise.
But we already know this to be blatantly untrue. Again, the Obama Administration just last month upped our bailout loss from $14.3 billion to $23.6 billion.
Did Ex-Czar Rattner miss that memo?
In a recently published epilogue to his aforementioned tome, Ex-Czar Rattner acknowledged that about $19.4 billion of the coin the government put into GM before the 2009 bankruptcy is “lost money.”
Wait a second. So is that $19.4 billion lost before the bankruptcy – plus $23.6 billion lost after the bankruptcy? For a whopping total taxpayer auto bailout loss of $43 billion?
It would seem to be so. As the $19.4 billion pre-bankruptcy figure doesn’t figure in any divisible way into the Obama Administration’s before-and-after post-bankruptcy numbers.
And it is obviously not reflected in the “$14 billion” Ex-Czar Rattner just fraudulently claimed the bailout would cost us.
There is much more to be mined from this recent Ex-Czar Rattner wellspring – which we will do in the near future.
But all of this Ex-Czar Rattner mess is just the latest attempt by the Obama Administration and its minions – current and past – to tell a corrupt story about the government’s crushing auto bailout failure.
To paint the rosiest of pictures, when all We the People actually received – and will receive – are the thorns.
So as to have something domestically positive – patently false though it may be – on which to run.
And to try to make We the People comfortable with – and indeed instill – the notion of government usurpation of the private sector to this multi-billion dollar, bailout degree.
If reality matters, neither ploy should work. Neither, thusly, should the larger ploy that is the reelection effort. Tags:Seton Motley, bailout, bailouts, bank bailout, bank bailouts, Big Labor, Congress, crony capitalism, crony socialism, Dan Akerson, Economics, energy, Environment, Exclusives, Featured Story, Federal Spending, General Motors, global warming, GM, CEO, Healthcare, History, Media Criticism, midterm elections, News, Obama, Occupy Wall Street, Politics, Regulation, TARP, Technology, unemployment, Unions, Wall Street bailoutTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Well, that didn’t last. President Obama went out to Osawatomie, Kansas, to deliver what the White House told us in hushed tones was a major address. He proclaimed it “the defining issue of our time.” It’s more than that, it’s the “make or break moment for the middle class and for all those struggling to make it into the middle class.”
He invoked Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech at Osawatomie. He appealed to that example as his inspiration. And then he went on CBS’s Sixty Minutes and compared himself to Lincoln, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson. What happened to TR? What happened to the great Trustbuster? No mention.
Most critics are jumping on Obama, hooting at his claim to be the fourth most consequential president in our history (and for reminding us that he’s only just getting started.) Mr. Obama cited—in a general way—his legislative accomplishments as his basis for climbing onto his own Mount Gushmore.
President Obama traces his health care legislation to TR. He claims that the first Roosevelt was an earlier harbinger of this great cause for the middle class. Nothing so threatens the middle class in America as Obamacare. If this is not repealed, middle income Americans will find themselves shackled to a government-provided health service that gets worse and worse and costs more and more. Britain is going through a painful re-examination of the dangers of cradle-to-grave “coverage.”
Worse, Obamacare forces middle income Americans to subsidize the killing of millions of unborn children. These children are the best hope of getting us out of this debt spiral.
They are a priceless source of human capital. Growth depends almost wholly on the number of workers plus human capital. And education depends greatly on the impact of early education in the family. When combined with education and purpose, a healthy and growing population is only way for a nation to achieve economic security.
Obamacare inverts all of this. Nor will Mr. Obama compromise on federal programs that fund the killers of the unborn. Those programs are off the table. That’s “non-negotiable, John,” he tells House Speaker John Boehner. And yet, he claims Boehner is not willing to work with him.
Mr. Obama is not entirely wrong when he cites TR as an inspiration for national health care. TR’s Osawatomie speech led him on a straight path to his “Bull Moose” third party run for president. In that 1912 campaign, TR’s Progressive Party platform did indeed call for nationalized health care.
Now, Theodore might have meant this provision when he said his own party was filled with do gooders, government reformers, “and, of course, the lunatic fringe.” Amazing that the canny TR invented that phrase 101 years before the Occupy Wall Street crowd appeared on the scene.
Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign was, to his admirers, a most painful episode. He had allowed himself to be prodded and goaded into a campaign that could only result in the worst of outcomes---the election of Woodrow Wilson. Now, TR was not the most radical candidate in 1912. There was a fourth party candidate, Eugene V. Debs, who campaigned on a train called “The Red Special.” Debs was for nationalizing all industry, all private property.
Hmmm. Might that have included banks, insurance companies, auto makers, and college loans, perhaps? The Socialist Debs advocated a program more like that of the Obama administration today than even TR’s most far-reaching proposals.
There is a herky-jerky quality to this presidency. Dash to Osawatomie, wrap yourself in TR’s mantle, then forget about him, discard his legacy, and put yourself in his place on a Mount Gushmore of your own devising. Take a Big Stick to Congress. Then go to Hawaii on vacation.
Let’s all grant that the White House does not attract many shrinking violets. Most of its occupants have had healthy self-esteem, to put it mildly. But what we have now may be the most egotistic presidency we have seen. Bragging about “legislative achievements” but not daring to say what those achievements were—Obamacare, the failed stimulus, bailouts for Big Donors like Solyndra—and then claiming that you are doing it all for the embattled middle class is the act of an amazing ego. 2012 should be an interesting year. Maybe even the Red Special will come steaming down the tracks.
--------------- J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Blackwell's article was also published today on Huff Post Tags:Ken Blackwell, Barack Obama, Mount Rushmore, presidential comparison, Health Car , Health Care Reform, Obamacare , Osawatomie Speech, Theodore Roosevelt, TR, Politics, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Fed, of course, has become a source of great national controversy, eliciting books such as End the Fed by Congressman Ron Paul. Why?
World-renowned physicist and public intellectual Freeman Dyson recently composed a profound essay, How to Dispel Your Illusions, in the New York Review of Books. In it, Dyson reflects on the recent book by Nobel Economics laureate Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Dyson implicitly targets the fatal flaw in the well-intended foundation of the Federal Reserve. Dyson:
In 1955, when Daniel Kahneman was twenty-one years old, he was a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces. He was given the job of setting up a new interview system for the entire army. The purpose was to evaluate each freshly drafted recruit and put him or her into the appropriate slot in the war machine. The interviewers were supposed to predict who would do well in the infantry or the artillery or the tank corps or the various other branches of the army. The old interview system, before Kahneman arrived, was informal. The interviewers chatted with the recruit for fifteen minutes and then came to a decision based on the conversation. The system had failed miserably. When the actual performance of the recruit a few months later was compared with the performance predicted by the interviewers, the correlation between actual and predicted performance was zero.
Kahneman had a bachelor’s degree in psychology and had read a book, Clinical vs. Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence by Paul Meehl, published only a year earlier. Meehl was an American psychologist who studied the successes and failures of predictions in many different settings. He found overwhelming evidence for a disturbing conclusion. Predictions based on simple statistical scoring were generally more accurate than predictions based on expert judgment. ...
Kahneman knew how to improve the Israeli army interviewing system. ... Statistics and simple arithmetic tell us more about ourselves than expert intuition.
Reflecting fifty years later on his experience in the Israeli army, Kahneman remarks in Thinking, Fast and Slow that it was not unusual in those days for young people to be given big responsibilities. The country itself was only seven years old. “All its institutions were under construction,” he says, “and someone had to build them.” He was lucky to be given this chance to share in the building of a country, and at the same time to achieve an intellectual insight into human nature. He understood that the failure of the old interview system was a special case of a general phenomenon that he called “the illusion of validity.” At this point, he says, “I had discovered my first cognitive illusion.”
Cognitive illusions are the main theme of his book. A cognitive illusion is a false belief that we intuitively accept as true. The illusion of validity is a false belief in the reliability of our own judgment. The interviewers sincerely believed that they could predict the performance of recruits after talking with them for fifteen minutes. Even after the interviewers had seen the statistical evidence that their belief was an illusion, they still could not help believing it. Kahneman confesses that he himself still experiences the illusion of validity, after fifty years of warning other people against it. He cannot escape the illusion that his own intuitive judgments are trustworthy.
Dyson continues, drawing from his own experience:
An episode from my own past is curiously similar to Kahneman’s experience in the Israeli army. I was a statistician before I became a scientist. At the age of twenty I was doing statistical analysis of the operations of the British Bomber Command in World War II. ... Air Vice Marshal Sir Ralph Cochrane was the commander of 5 Group, the most independent and the most effective of the groups. Our bombers were then taking heavy losses, the main cause of loss being the German night fighters.
Cochrane said the bombers were too slow, and the reason they were too slow was that they carried heavy gun turrets that increased their aerodynamic drag and lowered their operational ceiling. Because the bombers flew at night, they were normally painted black. Being a flamboyant character, Cochrane announced that he would like to take a Lancaster bomber, rip out the gun turrets and all the associated dead weight, ground the two gunners, and paint the whole thing white. Then he would fly it over Germany, and fly so high and so fast that nobody could shoot him down. Our commander in chief did not approve of this suggestion, and the white Lancaster never flew.
The reason why our commander in chief was unwilling to rip out gun turrets, even on an experimental basis, was that he was blinded by the illusion of validity. This was ten years before Kahneman discovered it and gave it its name, but the illusion of validity was already doing its deadly work. All of us at Bomber Command shared the illusion. We saw every bomber crew as a tightly knit team of seven, with the gunners playing an essential role defending their comrades against fighter attack, while the pilot flew an irregular corkscrew to defend them against flak. An essential part of the illusion was the belief that the team learned by experience. As they became more skillful and more closely bonded, their chances of survival would improve.
When I was collecting the data in the spring of 1944, the chance of a crew reaching the end of a thirty-operation tour was about 25 percent. The illusion that experience would help them to survive was essential to their morale. After all, they could see in every squadron a few revered and experienced old-timer crews who had completed one tour and had volunteered to return for a second tour. It was obvious to everyone that the old-timers survived because they were more skillful. Nobody wanted to believe that the old-timers survived only because they were lucky.
At the time Cochrane made his suggestion of flying the white Lancaster, I had the job of examining the statistics of bomber losses. I did a careful analysis of the correlation between the experience of the crews and their loss rates, subdividing the data into many small packages so as to eliminate effects of weather and geography. My results were as conclusive as those of Kahneman. There was no effect of experience on loss rate. So far as I could tell, whether a crew lived or died was purely a matter of chance. Their belief in the life-saving effect of experience was an illusion.
The demonstration that experience had no effect on losses should have given powerful support to Cochrane’s idea of ripping out the gun turrets. But nothing of the kind happened. As Kahneman found out later, the illusion of validity does not disappear just because facts prove it to be false. Everyone at Bomber Command, from the commander in chief to the flying crews, continued to believe in the illusion. The crews continued to die, experienced and inexperienced alike, until Germany was overrun and the war finally ended.
Kahneman's mordant recognition of "the illusion of validity" mirrors, of course, one of the key insights of another Nobel economics laureate: Hayek. In his prize acceptance speech Hayek famously indicted "the pretense of knowledge." Hayek:
We have indeed at the moment little cause for pride: as a profession we have made a mess of things. ...
The theory which has been guiding monetary and financial policy during the last thirty years, and which I contend is largely the product of such a mistaken conception of the proper scientific procedure, consists in the assertion that there exists a simple positive correlation between total employment and the size of the aggregate demand for goods and services; it leads to the belief that we can permanently assure full employment by maintaining total money expenditure at an appropriate level. Among the various theories advanced to account for extensive unemployment, this is probably the only one in support of which strong quantitative evidence can be adduced. I nevertheless regard it as fundamentally false, and to act upon it, as we now experience, as very harmful.
The conflict between what in its present mood the public expects science to achieve in satisfaction of popular hopes and what is really in its power is a serious matter because, even if the true scientists should all recognize the limitations of what they can do in the field of human affairs, so long as the public expects more there will always be some who will pretend, and perhaps honestly believe, that they can do more to meet popular demands than is really in their power. It is often difficult enough for the expert, and certainly in many instances impossible for the layman, to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate claims advanced in the name of science. ...
But it is by no means only in the field of economics that far-reaching claims are made on behalf of a more scientific direction of all human activities and the desirability of replacing spontaneous processes by "conscious human control." If I am not mistaken, psychology, psychiatry, and some branches of sociology, not to speak about the so-called philosophy of history, are even more affected by what I have called the scientistic prejudice, and by specious claims of what science can achieve. ...
If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants. There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever-growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, "dizzy with success," to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.
Dyson: "The white Lancaster never flew." " The crews continued to die...." "The illusion of validity is a false belief in the reliability of our own judgment. The interviewers sincerely believed that they could predict the performance of recruits after talking with them for fifteen minutes. Even after the interviewers had seen the statistical evidence that their belief was an illusion, they still could not help believing it. Kahneman confesses that he himself still experiences the illusion of validity, after fifty years of warning other people against it. He cannot escape the illusion that his own intuitive judgments are trustworthy." Hayek: "...against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization...."
The Greeks taught us that after Hubris -- overweening pride -- comes the goddess Nemesis: retribution. Dyson, Kahneman, Hayek reteach this tragic lesson. Lehrman, whose Institute hosts this website, for over half a century been quietly preaching the humility -- a humble reliance on something very like "statistics and simple arithmetic," eschewing the "illusion of validity" reposed in expert judgment -- that endows the gold standard with its great benevolent power to create economic security and foster prosperity.
Now, as noted here, here, and here, the Bank of England itself has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world dollar standard is vastly inferior -- in terms both of stability and prosperity -- than even the dilute form of the gold standard established at Bretton Woods -- the monetary experts still cannot "escape the illusion that [their] own intuitive judgments are trustworthy." Happy Birthday, Federal Reserve. High time for your transformation into an institution much like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one devoutly devoted entirely to keeping the value of the dollar defined to a weight of gold fixed, in precision, to the atomic level, by following the "rules of the game as codified" in Lewis E. Lehrman's The True Gold Standard - A Monetary Reform Plan without Official Reserve Currencies.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. Tags:Ralph Benko, The Fed, Federal Reserve System, illusions, Freeman Dyson, Daniel Kahneman, Lewis E. Lehrman, gold standard, goldTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bob Parks, Black And Right: My retort to the President’s latest video for the children. You know it must be campaign season (and this president is in trouble) when he enlists kids to do his annoying persuading for him. Obama campaign video encourages kids to be annoying this Christmas. We’re ready…
Tags:Bob Parks, Black and Right, video, response, Barack Obama, Obama campaign, 2012, enlisting kids, children, annoying family membersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Washington, D.C., Christmas, payroll tax cut, Social Security, IOU, political cartoon, A.F. BranconTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Birth Of Christ And The Birth Of America Are Linked
By Dr. Chuck Baldwin: As we approach the celebration of Christ's birth, I am reminded of the words of John Quincy Adams. On July 4, 1837, he spoke these words:
"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? ... Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth. That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?"
Adams was exactly right: America's birth is directly linked to the birth of our Savior. In fact, the United States of America is the only nation established by Christian people, founded upon Biblical principles, and dedicated to the purpose of religious liberty. This truth is easily observed within America's earliest history.
America’s forebears first established a written covenant with God as early as November 11, 1620, when they penned The Mayflower Compact. It states in part:
"In the name of God, Amen. ... Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and Honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience."
The sentiments and statements of America's founders make it clear that this nation has enjoyed a love and appreciation for the rights and freedoms recognized in Natural Law that is unique in the annals of human history. No other people have such a heritage.
One thing America's founders could not envision was - after they had paid so terrible a price to purchase our liberties - that the time would come when their posterity would be denied the basic freedoms to publicly express their reverence for God. Never could they have imagined that the day would come when citizens of the sovereign states (each with a State constitution protecting religious liberty) would be denied their right to pray in school, or place Nativity scenes on public property, or hang copies of the Ten Commandments on courthouse walls.
I am also confident that America's founders would be completely repulsed by the way the United States has jumped headlong into corporatism, socialism, and globalism. At the national level, Democrats and Republicans alike have created a central government so large that it would be unrecognizable to any Founding Father (even Alexander Hamilton or John Adams). In addition, both Big Business and Big Religion have sold our great country down the old proverbial river. Truly, our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.
Therefore, at this Christmas season, let us remember well the founding principles of these United States of America. Furthermore, let us renew with vigor the fight for freedom before our liberties and our heritage are gone altogether.
From my family to yours: Merry Christmas!
-------------- Dr. Chuck Baldwin is Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin also addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Chuck Baldwin is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News Service. In 2008, Chuck was the Constitution Party Presidential Candidate. In Nov., 2011, he announced that he is a Republican Candidate for Montana Lt. Governor with Bob Fanning Candidate for Governor. Tags:Dr. Chuck Baldwin, Birth Of Christ, Birth Of AmericaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Commentary by Ron Russell, TOTUS: When Joe Biden says "the Taliban is not the enemy" he is expressing the insanity of the left and the Obama administration. We never would have gone into Afghanistan if the Taliban would have turned UBL over to us and believe me that was within their power. Instead they choose to give him comfort and support and refused for a whole month to turn the madman over to us after 9-11! Not only did the Taliban give Bin Laden a safe haven, but actually physical support! Bin Laden is gone. But should we leave the mountains of Afghanistan, you can be sure his supporters, the Taliban, will allow what remains of his organization to reconstitute and again attack us. Joe Biden is a fool and his boss falls into that same category! Tags:Joe Biden, Taliban, a fool, vice president. TOTUSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
American Crossroads: President Obama's record doesn't match his rhetoric on his accomplishments. Obama's arrogance, claiming his record is better than former presidents except possibly Lyndon Johnson, FDR and Lincoln. Not only is he out of touch but definitely out of the intelligence league of former presidents. After the video you will see a quote by J.F. Kennedy about Thomas Jefferson.
Note the difference between the appropriateness of Kennedy's comment and the inappropriateness of Obama's comment.
John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
Quotes by Thomas Jefferson:
"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
Some facts about Thomas Jefferson:
At 5, began studying under his cousins' tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America" and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.
At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monticello.
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams
And Barack Obama vocalizes and thus believes that he exceeds the stature and performances of Thomas Jefferson let alone George Washington, John Adams, John Quincey Adams, Ronald Reagan, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Medal of Honor recipient Teddy Roosevelt, and a myriad of other presidents. Tags:Barack Obama, President Obama, Obama, Unemployment, Debt, Taxes, Election, Greatest, Hall of FameTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House GOP Payroll Tax Fix Averts Small Business “Nightmare,” Protects Jobs
Speaker Boener Press Office: Bipartisan legislation extending payroll tax relief for working Americans will now include a fix secured by House Republicans that ensures small businesses, already struggling in the current economy, won’t face added confusion and compliance costs. Without this fix, employers would have been hit with a costly new reporting burden that independent tax experts have warned against and employees’ tax cuts would have been in doubt at a time when millions of Americans are already out of work.
THE PROBLEM: On Saturday, the Senate passed a bill that generated a costly new reporting burden for small businesses through temporary new caps on the wages that are subject to payroll tax relief. Even if followed by a year-long extension, tax experts and leading small business groups say the Senate approach would create substantial problems and prevent many Americans from seeing their tax cut until new software and accounting systems are put in place:
“The Senate bill would require extensive new record-keeping, and multiple calculations of employees' wages, payroll officials say. … The two-month extension could increase tax-compliance costs for small firms, which already pay proportionately more than large businesses to comply with tax rules, said Kevan Chapman, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business group. Particularly for small firms that do their own taxes or rely on software, ‘it's just going to be very complicated,’ he said.” (The Wall Street Journal, 12/22/11)
“For payroll processors, the two-month option because of the $18,350 cap is the toughest to implement. … Many payroll systems may not be able to make all the needed changes in January, the [National Payroll Reporting Consortium] believes. And some may even struggle to get the job done by February.” (CNNMoney, 12/22/11)
“[Sherry Dwyer, software support manager for Brentwood-based Optimum Solutions] said it is the worst possible outcome for companies like hers. … Software vendors, she said, will be forced to ‘drop everything’ to implement the changes. Further complicating matters is that not all of a company’s clients are on the same pay schedule, so changes will have to be made in waves. ‘It’s going to be a nightmare,’ Dwyer said.” (Nashville Business Journal, 12/22/11)
HOUSE GOP SOLUTION: Under the House fix, employers will be able to process and withhold payroll taxation under the same accounting structure that is currently in place. No costly payroll systems or updates will be required.
While this two-month extension still falls short of providing the certainty Americans need, this solution will at minimum prevent small businesses from bearing a new administrative burden and ensure American workers will see their tax relief as soon as possible. Just as important, the Senate will now join the House in immediately appointing conferees to reach agreement in the weeks ahead on a full-year payroll tax extension.
Speaker Boehner, a former small business owner, has warned all year against short-term Washington gimmicks and quick fixes that create uncertainty and threaten American jobs. That’s why Republicans worked to fix this legislation, and will continue to press for the nearly 30 House-passed jobs bills that remain stuck in the Democratic-controlled Senate and other long-term solutions to help our economy get back to creating jobs. Tags:House Speaker, press release, payroll tax, jobs,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
If bored with the "same news," maybe the following Soda Head "Ditto President" image will make you determined to seek real change in the 2012 elections:
Comments: Bill Wilson, Americans for Limited Government: "Whether one agrees with extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits or not, the clear constitutional procedure when there are differences between House and Senate legislation is to convene a conference committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid simply has no excuse for keeping the American people in the dark about what their effective taxes are going to be once the New Year begins. He should do his job and immediately name Senate conferees to get to work, or else he'll have nobody to blame but himself come January.
"This could easily be resolved before year's end, but Reid, for the moment, seems to prefer to pretend there is no such thing as a conference committee. This stalemate is the fault of Reid, the liberal Democrats and Obama for refusing to deal honestly with the House-passed measure to resolve the problem."
Alison Fraser, Director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies: "To its credit, the House passed a bill which, while not perfect, would at least prevent the looming tax hike for all working Americans, extend additional unemployment benefits and prevent cuts to Medicare providers with another “Doc Fix” for a full year. Besides these three key policies, the House also included some policies helpful to job creation as well as an important change to fix Medicare’s finances, thus strengthening it for seniors today and tomorrow. This change is crucial toward tackling the nation’s largest and most pressing fiscal issue — our entitlement crisis.
"Somehow this was too much to do for the Senate. Unable to get the job done right, they passed a measly two-month extension of these three policies and quickly got out of Dodge, a.k.a. the Nation’s capital. Somehow, this is supposed to reassure us that [Reid] and the rest of his Senate colleagues are able to do the people’s business." Tags:Washington, D.C., news, politics, payroll tax cuts, ditto, Jimmy Carter, Barack ObamaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Did Arkansas Governor Put Arkansas Jobs At Risk For Political Gain?
Politically Generated Layoffs?
ARRA News Service - In the past it has been noted that Arkansas has been plagued by "Plantation Politics" for over a hundred years. Arkansas present governor, Mike Beebe (D), has in the past used the terms like "traditions and practices" in an attempt to cover over situations which have come to light with increasing awareness and growing transparency in Arkansas. The following presented situation again begs questions about the past actions of Mike Beebe. In this specific situation, did Gov. Beebe before the 2010 elections either attempt to restrict or actually did restrict the truthful reporting of negative facts associated with the projected spending and funding by the Arkansas Commission? Was this another of his Democrat "tradition and practices" used to gain a political advantage? Why was access to to the following referenced information not made available to the Arkansas legislature responsible for the oversight and funding of Arkansas government agencies and commissions?
The below situation was highlighted today in an email by the Republican Party of Arkansas quoted below:
Governor Beebe Puts Arkansas Jobs At Risk For Political Gain,
Ignores State Agency Shortfall For Over A Year
Arkansas Forestry Officer Says Boss Knew of Shortfall Arkansas Business.Com - By The Associated Press, 12/21/11
LITTLE ROCK - The former chief fiscal officer of the Arkansas Forestry Commission told legislators Tuesday that the agency's chief knew for years about financial problems that led the planned layoff of 36 workers.
The agency announced this month that the workers will be laid off Jan. 13. About 300 people work for the Forestry Commission.
Robert Araiza told a Legislative Council subcommittee Tuesday that state Forester John Shannon told him in 2010 that Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe didn't want any public discussion of a shortfall until after last year's general election and had canceled a meeting commission officials planned to have with forestry professionals.
The Forestry Commission this year has a $4 million shortfall that is being blamed on a drop in timber sales. The shortfall prompted the layoffs.
"It was like they were listening but they weren't hearing me," Araiza said.
Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor didn't know how bad the agency's financial problems were and canceled the meeting because it pertained to raising the severance tax on timber. DeCample said Beebe didn't believe the discussion would be productive in the middle of an anti-tax environment.
"It wasn't until this fall that we learned that they were no longer able to operate within their budget," DeCample said. "If we had known (in 2010), we would have addressed it during the session and the budget hearings before the session."
So who is telling the truth? Governor Beebe's spokesperson or the Forestry Commissioner Robert Araiza?
To shed light on the situation, two days before the above cited article, Curtis Coleman, a potential Republican Arkansas gubernatorial candidate in 2012, identified the following in a post on The New South Conservative:
Former Marine sergeant Robert Araiza, often referred to as “sarge” by Forestry Commissioners, had served as the Commission’s chief financial officer until October when he left to work for the Arkansas Department of Career Education’s Rehabilitation Services. Araiza said that he warned the commission for three years of waning revenue that’s leading to the loss of 36 jobs next month.
There are reports that minutes of the Commission’s meetings may contradict Shannon’s testimony to the Committee and confirm Araiza’s report. Documents expected to be made public in tomorrow’s meeting of the ALC Personnel Sub-Committee may show that Shannon knew about the trust funds being used as early as 2008, contradicting his testimony to the Legislature.
The Forestry Commission’s Trust Fund is held in reserve for emergencies, especially to fund outside help and volunteer fire departments in situations where the Commission’s primary resources are inadequate to fight fires. Documents to be released tomorrow may reveal that Shannon told Commissioners on one occasion that contracted air tankers had to be used to fight fires in 2010, saving the lives of volunteer fire fighters, but because trust funds were depleted, GIF funds from the Governor’s office had to be used to pay for the tankers.
A CW Arkansas article and and Fox 16 video related that Former State Forestry Chief Financial Officer Robert Araiza "said he told his superiors -- particularly State Forester John Shannon -- the agency would run out of money from its trust fund if they continued to dip into it. Perhaps if they acknowledged his warnings, dating back to four years ago, he said those 36 laid off workers would have their jobs. 'I did everything I could do. I sounded all of the alarms and pushed all of the buttons,' said Araiza. . . . But Araiza says Shannon ordered no one speak to lawmakers about anything going in the agency."
From the reports so far it seems reasonably evident that the Governor's office knew something about the financial problems at the Arkansas Forest Commission long before the statement by Gov. Beebe's spokesperson. And according to the various reports, Governor Beebe may have put Arkansas Jobs at risk for political gain. Tags:Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, Arkansas Forestry Commission, John Shannon, Robert Araiza, Matt DeCample, overspending, underfunding, tradition and practices, Plantation Politics, Curtis Coleman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
How the Grinch Then Stole Health Care - Now Its The Reduced Payroll Tax
Cartoon by William Warren - This Christmas themed cartoon was pulled from our archives. Two years ago Grinch AHrry Reid was at it over healthcare. This year Grinch Reid setup a controversy over the reducing the payroll tax by limiting it from 9 months to 2 months and recessing the Senate and refusing to conference with House Republicans to resolve the issue.
Tags:Christmas, Grinch, Harry Reid, 2009, nationalized health care, 2011, payroll tax, political cartoon, US Senate, USA, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The House Republicans and Senate Democrats are caught in an end of year situation leaving in doubt if and how lawmakers will resolve their differences over the payroll tax extension and other items before December 31st.
ARRA News Service identified yesterday that House Speaker John Boehner has written a letter to President Obama asking the President "[T]o call on the Senate to return to appoint negotiators so that we can provide the American people the economic certainty they need." Note that it was the Democrat led Senate that pushed for a 2 month verses a 9 months compromise bill and went on recess instead of waiting for the House response. If both chambers do not reconcile their differences over the bill by December 31, . . . "160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians."
There is a better way. Some advocate for the FairTax. Others advocate for a Flat tax. Backers of both groups have similar objectives and points. Earlier this year, The Heritage Foundation outlined a comprehensive approach to tax reform that would provide the permanence and certainty in the tax system that American taxpayers want and the economy needs. The Heritage plan called Saving the American Dream would replace income and payroll rates with a flat tax rate of 28 percent for everyone.
The current tax system discourages saving. It discourages investment. It discourages entrepreneurship. It causes decision makers to misallocate the nation’s resources, limiting productivity gains, wage gains, and the nation’s overall level of international competitiveness. And, it is far, far too complicated. The New Flat Tax is the remedy. It replaces every major tax collected by the federal government. For non-seniors, it is as easy as one, two, three—one rate, two credits, three deductions. For seniors on Medicare, one of the two credits—for health insurance—is replaced by an extra deduction. The New Flat Tax is simple, revenue-neutral, and will allow America to achieve its full economic potential.
The above pictured Heritage Foundation chart reveals why it is so crucial for Congress to consider reform. Without major changes or significant spending cuts, tax rates are projected to skyrocket in the years and decades to come. Tags:chart, flat tax, Heritage Foundation, lower taxes , less spending, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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