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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] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - 2012

As we count down the final minutes of 2011 in the Ozarks, the ARRA News Service wishes our readers and friends a Happy New Year in 2012!

May the year of 2012 see the decline and defeat of progressive socialism. May conservatives garner the wit, wisdom and tenacity to persevere in the battle of ideals to gain enough elected offices at all levels so as to facilitate the return to both moral and fiscal responsibility. May we again see our God given liberty and individual freedoms blossom. May God grant the United States mercy and protection from our enemies who wish to see America tarnished, damaged and destroyed.

Tags: Happy New Years, New Years, 2012, ARRA news Service To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holder Race-baiting About Obama’s Re-election, Not Voting Rights

Holder Plays "Race Card"
Toon by A.F. Branco
By Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski (Contributing Authors): Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an all-out war on voter-ID laws and other measures to safeguard to the electoral process. Although Holder’s actions are purportedly to prevent African-Americans from being disenfranchised, the reality is that they serve the crass political purpose of ensuring that Holder’s boss gets reelected next year.

In the past several years states have increasingly focused on measures to protect the vote. After years of the federal government loosening voting regulations, such as through the Motor Voter Act and HAVA (Help America Vote Act), the pendulum started swinging back at the state level.

The clearest example of this trend is through voter-ID laws. In 2008 the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s landmark law requiring citizens to show that they are the person they claim to be by showing government-issued ID before casting a ballot. But to ensure that those without driver’s licenses or passports are not disenfranchised, Indiana provides free ID’s to everyone who applies for one. The Court upheld this law, with the primary opinion written by no one less than liberal lion Justice John Paul Stevens.

Such laws combat voter fraud that we see on Election Day, especially in certain parts of the nation. In Washington State, King County suddenly “discovered” enough previously “unnoticed” votes for Democrat Christine Gregoire to edge out Republican Dino Rossi for Washington’s governorship in 2004. There are also examples from Wisconsin, Missouri, and other states.

Yet Holder has blocked South Carolina’s voter-ID law. DOJ argues that this law is different from Indiana’s because South Carolina is subject to additional federal oversight under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. (This is especially important because there are several federal cases challenging the constitutionality of Section 5.)

But the reality is that DOJ’s actions are not focused on protecting voting rights. They are instead intended to make sure that Barack Obama wins reelection.

It’s not cynical to say this. The twelve or so battleground states that will decide the 2012 presidential election suggest Obama’s reelection strategy. These states include Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. All these states have large African-American populations.

The African-American community has a staggeringly-high unemployment rate under President Obama. So Black Americans will not vote for this president because of any prosperity he’s brought to that community. Instead, he has to gin up their votes by painting a picture of racial conflict in which he—and the governmental agency dealing with such things, DOJ—is their champion.

This is also seen in Holder’s incessant playing of the race card. First he says we’re a nation of cowards about race. Now that he’s on the ropes for DOJ’s scandalous Operation Fast and Furious gun-running scandal into Mexico, he has the audacity to say that he and President Obama are being attacked in part because they’re both African-Americans.

Voting is a fundamental right. It is the means by which “We the People” consent to be governed for a fixed period of time by certain individuals, by electing them as stewards of governmental power. They wield this power to secure our rights as set forth in the U.S. Constitution and (for state officials) the constitutions of the fifty states.

But there is another voting right. It is the right not to have your legal vote diluted by fraudulent votes. As we explain in our Yale Law & Policy Review article “The Other Voting Right,” every invalid vote cancels out one valid vote. Each such cancellation undermines our democratic republic and reduces the legitimacy of election results.

Voting is also unique in that it might be the only right that is also a duty. It’s not too much to ask for citizens to exert a minimal amount of effort to fulfill reasonable regulations to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

Every eligible citizen has a duty to vote. But as we explain in our book Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America, it is a duty to cast an informed vote. Although there are only so many hours in the day, we each need to make an effort to gather enough information to understand the major issues facing our nation, state, and community, and to carefully vote for candidates who offer the best solutions for our long-term safety and prosperity.

Because voting is a duty, and also because every voter has the right to ensure their valid vote is not diluted by fraudulent votes, citizens can be expected to fulfill certain requirements that would not be justified when exercising other rights, such as free speech or the free exercise of religion. Measures such as showing up at the correct place on the correct day to cast a ballot under the watchful eyes of trained precinct personnel are examples of fulfilling our duty, as is showing valid ID to prove that you are the person listed on that precinct’s voter rolls.

These measures are essential to our self-governing republic. As examples the world over show, losing the integrity of the electoral process is a mistake a free people often gets to make only once.
---------------
J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and 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.

Kenneth Klukowski is a fellow at the Family Research Council and at Liberty University School of Law,and a columnist for the Washington Examiner. They are the coauthors of “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.”

They are the coauthors of “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America,” and they are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. This article was also published on Big Government.


Tags: 2012 Election, Justice/Legal, News, Obama, Politics, Ken Blackwell, Ken Klukowski, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Unemployment Numbers Still Stink! - Another Big Government Bust

Americans For Limited Government video counts down to the New Year with the Eleven Biggest Government Busts of 2011:
#11-The Chevy Volt
#10-The Keystone XL Pipeline
#9-The Rule By Decree
#8-The National Labor Relations Board
#7-The Food Police
#6-The "Occupy" Movement
#5-The Fast and the Furious
#4-The Super Committee
#3-Solyndra
#2-National Finances
#1 JOBS Are Still An Issue -- Unemployment Numbers Still Stink!


Tags: President Barack Obama, Big Government, Unemployment, Jobs, Underemployment, 2011, government busts, 2012 election, video, Americans For Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Look Who Is Blaming Occupy D.C. for City’s Rising Crime Rate

Bill Smith, Editor: As noted in the article below, "Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Kristopher Baumann outlined the crime statistics in a Dec. 28 letter to Mayor Vincent Gray." Wonder if he will get a reply from the mayor. I never received a reply to my Open Letter to Washington, D.C.'s Mayor Vincent C. Gray  concerning the "non" actions of 911 and the apparent limitation placed on police officers responding when Occupy D.C. interfered with the American's For Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center on November 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Wonder if we will every get a response from the "Occupy" Mayor.


Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundation:The violent crime rate in Washington, D.C., is up 13 percent since the Occupy D.C. protest began this fall as police officers have been pulled out of local neighborhoods and reassigned to the protest.

The chairman of the local police union pinned the blame on the city’s redistribution of resources, noting that on some shifts between two and 18 neighborhood patrol officers have relocated to Occupy D.C. Those protesters are primarily based in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, two downtown locations near the White House.

Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Kristopher Baumann outlined the crime statistics in a Dec. 28 letter to Mayor Vincent Gray. Baumann objected to comments Gray made during a recent television interview when asked about Occupy D.C. Gray has not yet responded to the letter.

The full text of the letter is below, including a number of attachments. Here’s the relevant portion about the crime rate increase:
As you are aware, on the date of your interview violent crime in the District was up by 13 percent and total crime was up by 10 percent since Occupy D.C. began on October 1, 2011, compared to the same time period the year before, according to the Metropolitan Police Department (Attachment 1). In addition, the increase in violent crime and all crime has accelerated as Occupy D.C. has continued. One the date of your interview, violent crime over the past 30 days had increased by a stunning 17 percent and overall crime was up by 14 percent (Attachment 2). These numbers are year to date comparisons, so they account for the holiday spike in crime — this is a dramatic increase on top of the holiday spike. (I would note that the problem continues to worsen; as of December 26, 2011, violent crime over the past 30 days was up 21 percent and overall crime was up 18 percent, see Attachment 3.)
Baumann blamed Gray for cutting hundreds of police officers, leaving the force ill-equipped to handle the protest and maintain neighborhood patrols.
“In normal times, the loss of even one officer can have an impact on neighborhood policing,” Baumann wrote. “Losing 2 or 3 officers per shift in a district is devastating, because our numbers are so low that some districts are down to only 3 officers per shift.”

In an interview with FOX 5 in D.C., Baumann complained of an “unfunded federal mandate” to monitor the Occupy D.C. protests. But even if the federal government were to fund more police for D.C., research by Heritage’s David Muhlhausen determined programs such as Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) had little to no effect on crime rates.

Click here for more Heritage Foundation coverage of the Occupy movement.


Tags: Community Oriented Policing Services, DC, Occupy DC, Occupy Wall Street, police, protesters, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, open letter To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reasons for Disparity . . . Cesspools of Liberalism

Obama raising money in L.A.
Credits: Photo by Eric Thayer / Getty Images
by Jim Mullen, Contributing Author: Liberals are a motley crew, but the DNA strand connecting most of them is an overpowering, almost obsessive-compulsive drive to make everything line up, balance, and come out even.

Obsessed with rearranging, realigning, and controlling the natural order of everything and everyone on Earth to fit the perfect liberal-progressive model, they quickly find disillusionment. Their cockamamie ideas meet with scorn and ridicule in the real world of reason and common sense. While a very high percentage of conservatives are actually grownup liberals who found truth and reason accompanied their years, most liberals find peace and tranquility in a make-believe world.

Frustrated by their inability to manipulate the behavior of others, yet having an uncontrollable fixation to make everything “equitable,” liberals learned long ago to harness the power of government.

They feel a self-aggrandizing compassion to empower government to create - not an equal playing field - but equal results. “Social justice” and balance (redistribution) among all people, classes, and “things,” are staples in every liberal pantry.

Enter Barack Obama marching in perfect step with his Democratic entourage to the rhythmic drumbeat of class warfare and race baiting. Together, they wail monotonously with cries of “disparity” in American society, insisting that everything must meet their definition of “fair.”

When liberals convince, coerce, and bribe government into implementation of their twisted theories, it creates a dam restricting the free-flowing waters of entrepreneurship, ideas, and success once so well-known in American society. Government interference by excessive taxation and crushing regulation restricts commerce and personal freedom with one grand purpose; equalizing the level of success downstream. They never allow it to exceed some predefined level established as “equitable” by a statist government and its stewards, the bureaucrats.

Progressive government promised bountiful, blissful waters under their control. Instead, the dam created fetid cesspools of stagnation downstream from the government's dam. The casualties trapped by liberal ideology in these wretched cesspools, and slums cover every region of the country held tightly in the greedy clutches of the Democratic Party’s radical left-wing.

Americans are not victims of free enterprise or Capitalism, but from out-of-control government. The President blames Wall Street, business, banks, and has dozens of other inane excuses for the worst economy since the great depression, and with the disparity of wealth and income. The federal government deliberately prevents normal movement and mobility between classes and represses freedom and initiative. Liberal-Progressives produced and directed the economic malaise and the perpetual state of dependency that afflicts our country. Ronald Reagan said it plainly enough, "Government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Progressive thought always misses the first basic law of life, not every inequality in this world is injustice, and not all injustices are fixable by government. Therefore, some laws of natural order will not succumb to even the most ardent liberal mind or government will.

Millions of Americans are casualties of their meddling and historically, these unlucky benefactors of liberalism receive inferior educations, city services, police and fire protection, and private retail services. Politicians take the tax and regulatory whip to business and taxpaying Americans, driving them into temporary refuges in other cities, states, and offshore where they find a more receptive attitude to free enterprise.

Never one to take failure nor facts for an answer, the community organizer from Chicago recognizes this and wants federal control and funding for the “cesspools of liberalism” in every city, county and state. Thereby, he reasons, there is no escape for the victims, no respite for the taxpayers, and yet another generation is saddle-broken to government.

Personal, economic, and constitutionally guaranteed freedoms are never options in a liberal-progressive’s mind. Freedom is much too disorganized and untidy, and represents unnerving threats to their perfectly organized, superior intellect, and their controlling nature. Every brilliant spark from a liberal mind ignites more injustice, and liberty’s fervor diminishes.

When they whine of perceived inequities, they become fodder for politicians and despots who understand how to control and use them for nefarious ends. They earned the title “useful Idiots” for their support of vicious dictators in Europe. An over abundance of these people congregate in positions of power at universities and in the media. Often called the intelligentsia, they promote the concept of ordinary Americans living in servitude. It is the perfect solution as it represents a theoretical, perfectly organized universe. There are no winners or losers, no right or wrong, and no disparity in income, wealth, or status. However, as it is with all dictatorial governments, there are really two classes of people; the ruling class and the masses, commonly called “the people” by the communists.

Historically, the moors to which liberalism anchors its destructive ideologies are class warfare and ignorance. It is a tragic time in American history when a President of the United States spends a vast amount of his daily communications and activities spewing propaganda, promoting ignorance, and dividing the country with class warfare rhetoric. Obama and all liberals depend upon the media, and over the long-term, the state-controlled public education system - to advance and support that ignorance. The more they stray from reality and facts, the greater the need for lies and propaganda. As Syndicated Columnist and Economist, Walter Williams says, “Class warfare thrives on ignorance.”

Ignore these people at your peril. They are relentless, cunning, and highly skilled back-alley warriors who specialize in scorch-and-burn politics. They throw punches and scream when anyone mounts a defense. When confronted by facts or challenged, they hurl invectives of racism and class warfare, shout down and diminish opponents, and then filibuster until everyone, intimidated or bored, walks away. While most people, busy building constructive lives, dismiss them as kooks, a liberal’s life work is that of a controlling tyrant. Determined and in the fight for the long-term, they will win the war by attrition unless conservative Americans unite and fight them with the same ferociousness.

Will the next Presidential election be another “date which will live in infamy” in U. S. history? Will that be the day America falls out of love with liberty and embraces Marxism as its new lover? Will we sacrifice our constitutional ideals for an abusive relationship that promises carefree subsistence, but at the price of our dignity and self-determination?

Remember Obama’s new internet advertisement – “Our work isn’t done yet!” These words should fill the heart of every freedom-loving American with sheer terror. Liberals’ idea of the “Perfect World Order” may be nearer than we imagined. The more they reshape the universe to fit their model world, the tighter, and heavier the chains of servitude on the rest of humanity.
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Jim Mullen is a TEA Party Republican conservative activist and writer in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He also writes for the Parkersburg Conservative Examiner and his personal site, Freedom For Us Now.

Tags: Jim Mullen, Cesspools, Liberalism, Social justice, redistribution of wealth, out-of-control government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

It’s A Dogs Life

by A.F. "Tony Branco:
Consider reading Polar Coug's: Liberalism: Perpetuating a Society of the Poor
Excerpt: Ignoring the fact that that Good Samaritans, by definition, need to be in a superior position in order to provide aid, comfort, and resources to assist the poor, liberals force a redistribution of wealth upon society at large – purposely destroying wealth, which is the very foundation from which aid to the poor and needy has to be drawn. By killing the goose that lays the golden egg, liberals obliterate society’s capacity to lift up the downtrodden. By forcibly taking from the productive and redistributing the ill-gotten gains to the unproductive, liberals exacerbate the problem by creating an ever-larger pool of the poor. By their imperial decree that government is the sole solution to poverty, liberals conveniently ignore the honored philanthropic and charitable traditions in American society. . . .  [Full Story]

Tags: dogs life, Americans, on a leash, liberal government, Barack Obama, A.F. Branco, political cartoon, liberalism, perpetuating the poor, Polar Coug To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Happy New Normal!

by William Warren:

Tags: Barack Obama, New Year, 2012, record unemployment, record poverty, downgraded U.S. credit, high misery index, government programs, William Warren, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Congress: Our Return In Investment

By the Bankrupting America Team: Before we spend money on something, what’s the first thing we ask ourselves? What are we getting out of this? Whether it’s a mother buying groceries for her family or an investor buying stocks, it all comes down to return on investment.

We should be asking the same thing when it comes to our tax dollars. We spend trillions of dollars funding the government every year, it’s only prudent to step back and consider what we’re getting for it. The following infographic takes a crack at this. But rather than breaking down the entire federal government, it allows you to examine if we’re getting our money’s worth from Congress.
Click  infographic To See Full Size

Did You Get Your Money’s Worth?
Another year is coming to a close, and one that was marked by Congressional battles
to lower the deficit and cut excessive government spending. What did Washington
accomplish in 2011?  Did they get anything done? Did they cut spending?

Spotlight on 2011
      • A Spending Overview
      • Legislative Accomplishments

A Spending Overview
2011 was a year marked by congressional battles over deficit reduction. In the end, we saw the downgrade of our nation’s credit rating1, and we saw the debt and deficit increase yet again during Fiscal Year 2011.

As we take a look back, here is a solid breakdown of what was taken in and what
was spent during the last fiscal year:
      • Revenue: 2.302 trillion2
      • Spending: 3.601 trillion3
      • Deficit in FY2011: $1.297 trillion4

The federal debt was directly impacted by Washington’s bloated spending, as debt
totals reached new records standing at nearly $15.129 trillion5.

Congress gets paid a lot to pass laws that keep the country running. This year, the
salaries of members Congress and their allowances broke down as follows:6
      Speaker of the House: $223,500
      House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and Senate President Pro Tempore: $193,400 x 5 = $967,000
      Other Representatives and Senators: $174,000 x 5357= $93.09 million

Budgets in House and Senate:8
      Average Budget for all 441 House offices (including Resident Commissioner and Delegates): $1,446,009 x 441 = $637,689,969
      Average Budget for all 100 Senate offices: $3,409,0939 x 100 = $340,909,300

Legislative Accomplishments10
But did Washington accomplish what it was paid to accomplish? This year, the number of bills cleared by Congress and the President reached significant lows. Throughout
the calendar year, just over 70 bills were signed into law, a fraction of recent year totals.
      Total bills signed into law:11
      • 2011: 70+
      • 2010: 258
      • 2009: 125
      • 2008: 285

Furthermore, the number of bills passed by either chamber also failed to reach levels comparable to recent years.
      Total measures passed by chamber12:
      • House passed (2011, as of November): 326 bills
      • House passed (2009): 970 bills
      • House passed (2007): 1,127 bills
      • Senate passed (2011, as of November): 368 bills
      • Senate passed (2009): 478 bills
      • Senate passed (2007): 621 bills

It should be clearly noted that it is impossible to measure the work of Congress based upon the number of measures passed. In some years, they pass lots of bills, buts lots of bills does not always equal sound economic policy. That being said, the number of measures passed by the House and Senate are one way to measure the productivity of Congress, but it doesn’t always tell the full story.

So what significant legislation was passed? Let’s take a glance. Highlighting 201113:
      • 13 of the 70+ bills passed named post offices or courthouses.
      • The Budget Control Act raised the debt ceiling, led to the establishment of the super committee, and laid the groundwork for the upcoming sequester.

Other significant legislation includes:14
      • Two extensions of certain Small Business Administration programs
      • Transportation extension
      • Four FAA extensions
      • A repeal of the 1099 tax reporting requirement in the health care bill
      • An extension of Patriot Act
      • Intelligence authorization
      • Three trade bills
      • A veterans’ compensation cost of living allowance

So what do you think? Did you get your money’s worth
?

1 Washington Post: S&P downgrades U.S. credit rating for first time. August 6, 2011.
2 CBO: Monthly Budget Review. FY2011. November 7, 2011.
3 Ibid.
4 Treasury Monthly Statement. November 2011.
5 Treasury: December 23, 2011.
6 Office of the Clerk: FAQ’s. #14.
7 Includes the Resident Commissioner and Delegates.
8 CRS: Congressional Salaries and Allowances. June 28, 2011. Pg. 3.
9 Congress passed a subsequent law that slightly reduced the Senate’s budget, but these numbers have not been updated by the Congressional Research Service.
10 All accomplishments as of December 19, 2011.
11 Government Printing Office. Public Laws; Library of Congress. Public Laws.
a) As of December 27, 2011, the Library of Congress tally’s 73 bills for 2011; this is not the final tally, however. It will likely be slightly higher.
b) For laws that were passed by Congress in one calendar year, (i.e., December 2010) but signed into law into the following year (i.e., January 2011), the law was counted when it passed Congress (i.e., 2010).
12 Washington Post: In 2011, fewer bills, fewer laws and plenty of blame. December 5, 2011.
13 Library of Congress: Public Laws.
14 Ibid.
Bankrupting America December 2011

Tags: Congress, Congressional pay, Congressional salaries, effective governing, Government Spending, infographic, irresponsible governing, public pay, taxpayer funded, Bankrupting America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday Funnies: Obama's Focus

A.F. "Tony" Branco:
Michael Ramirez:

Tags: A.F. Branco, political cartoon, Obama, jobs, lazer focus, Michael Rameriz, Barack Obama, Media, Culture, Economy, Budget, Tax Policy, Government, Politics To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Attention: Military and Military Retirees - Consider Yourself Warned

Dr. Bill Smith. Editor: As many retired military and some active military read the ARRA News Service, the following article is shared in hopes of encouraging retired military to be involved in voicing concerns with your elected officials. The article addresses concerns that affect all career military regardless of rank - the loss of "promised" pay and benefits for their career service in the military.

As DOD looks for ways to cut operational costs, its focus often goes immediately to the reducing the benefits for active and more specifically of retirees.  DOD historically, especially when directed by a liberal administration, heartlessly views retirees as a liability to the defense budget. One of the difficulties in the lives of military retirees and their spouse  should not be the constant Government threats and attacks  on their pay, on access to and cost for healthcare, and on  reductions of promised benefits and services.

Many retirees actually reach a point of wondering if "the hacks" at DOD would have preferred that the retirees had died  or had left the military  before retiring. The following article is timely in that I received it on the same day that we learn that the present administration also has no interest in supporting parades for the returning troops from Iraq.

In full disclosure, I am a member of MOAA and a retired Air Force officer. I am also married to a lady who served "pro bono" on occasion (especially during the Vietnam War years) in supporting our operations. She and other spouses helped with tasks and covered the work created by personnel shortage. I noted this because military spouses have very strong feelings about the DOD's failures to live up to the medical and other benefits promised at the time of our retirements. And, it is  anticipated that  things could become worse as the DOD and the present administration seek to reduce either pay or benefits of retirees.

For those not aware of it, this is what will eventually happen to citizens who rely on the Government to live up to their promised obligations under public mandated health care and other proposed or existing programs. The government is proficient in screwing up programs and wasting your and other people's money.

By Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF-Retired, MOAA: As we come to the end of 2011, many are thinking we had a successful year and dodged some really bad things that could have greatly affected the military community.

A year ago, the president’s deficit commission proposed freezing military pay, whacking military retirement, dramatically raising health care costs for retired service members of all ages, eliminating commissaries, and much, much more.

After 12 months of hand-wringing over how Congress might act on those proposals and what the grossly misnamed congressional “super committee” might suggest, it seems we’ve come to the end the year with no such changes.

But if that’s what you’re thinking, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.  The $460 billion defense budget cut enacted in August 2011 is going to affect you and your family. We just don’t yet know exactly how badly.

A Pentagon-proposed plan to implement the cuts is sitting on the president’s desk, and all indications are that a large share will come from people, compensation, and health care programs. Within the next two months, that plan will be all over the news.

And that’s not all.   The super committee’s inaction means a budget sequester aimed at cutting almost another $500 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years is already in motion to take effect a year from now.

Many in Congress are up in arms over what cuts that deep will do to national security, but there are just as many who are determined to have the cuts come from the Pentagon rather than other programs.

What’s at stake? COLAs to all federal annuities, TRICARE, TRICARE For Life, major force and compensation cuts, commissaries, exchanges, family-support programs, and just about every military program you and your family use.

If you survived the budget cuts of the 1970s, ’80s, or ’90s, you know how bad those were. But they were nothing compared to the budget pressures we’re all going to face over the next four or five years.

We congratulate ourselves on our successes of the past decade — which were due to the power of MOAA members’ grassroots input to their legislators. This year, members set an all-time record on that score, sending more than 1.3 million messages to their elected officials via media we can count.

That total includes more than 820,000 emails sent through MOAA’s website, blasting past last year’s previous record of 499,000. But it will take a far broader effort to avoid budget disasters in the years ahead.

First, there are high-powered, well-connected, well-heeled lobbyists fighting (and making hefty political contributions) to preserve their shares of the budget pie — at your expense.

Second, if you look past the impressive 820,000 MOAA-generated emails, you find only 67,000 individuals generated all of those messages.

In other words, most of MOAA’s legislative effort is being carried by less than 20 percent of its members. Are the other 80 percent oblivious to the threat? Do they think, “It’s just politics and will blow over like most of the threats of the past 10 years have?” Do they assume their input wouldn’t make a difference?

Regardless of the reason, the complacency and inertia of “the other 80 percent” is the biggest budgetary threat to you and your family. If you’re in that 80 percent, you’re your own worst enemy. Your continued inaction will jeopardize not only your family and your future but also the families and futures of your brothers and sisters in arms.

The issue here isn’t ensuring the military community takes no budget hits. The nation’s budget problems are such that no segment of America will escape taking some significant hits.

The issue is resisting taking a disproportional share of hits simply because those with other interests are more active and better connected and have deeper pockets.

If you’re not getting involved to defend what your service and sacrifice has earned — and actively seeking to motivate others to protect theirs (and yours) — you’re helping paint the target on your COLAs and health care and on the troops and their families and your own family’s future well-being.

Consider yourself warned.
-----------------
Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF-Retired, is Director, Government Relations at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.  Members of MOAA are active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, former commissioned officers, and warrant officers of the uniformed services - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The above article was posted for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Tags: Government, DOD, downsizing, military, retirees, benefits, reduced benefits, actions, MOAA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

No Ticker-tape Parades Planned For Returning Iraq War Vets

Below are two related articles about the White House disregarding our returning Veterans.

Obama Disrespects Our Troops
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Here's another disturbing report from the Associated Press: "Americans probably won't be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon for troops returning from Iraq." Two New York City councilmen -- not surprisingly both Republicans -- are calling for a ticker-tape parade similar to one held at the end of the first Gulf War, which was paid for with private donations.

As one of the councilmen said, "The sports celebrations that we've had in New York for the Yankees and the Mets were amazing. But these are the real heroes." I agree. The Associated Press article notes, "In Washington, federal agencies take the lead on planning parades, and so far nothing is in the works." Why not?

In the 60s and 70s, left-wing radicals infamously spit on our soldiers returning home from Vietnam. Barack Obama is smarter than that. Yet his administration is not taking the initiative to organize a national salute our heroes. Perhaps he's too afraid of offending the radical left-wing base of his party as we approach the 2012 elections. But as Calvin Coolidge once said, "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten."
-------------
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Ticker-tape parade planned for Iraq vets? Not anymore
Stars and Stripes - Leo Shane III Reporting: WASHINGTON — No ticker-tape parades or flashy nationwide tributes for returning Iraq War veterans are planned right now, but not long ago government officials were preparing a posh celebration of the returning heroes and their overseas victory.

In 2006 and 2007, Congress set aside $20 million in its annual defense budget bills for a party in the nation’s capital to honor the achievements of U.S. troops at the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. . . .

The White House still holds that authority, but funding for the celebration was shifted elsewhere by lawmakers in early 2007, as Congress fought over whether to support President George W. Bush’s proposed “surge” of troops into Iraq.

Officials from New York and Washington this week said they’d be open to such a post-war celebration, but federal officials would have to take the lead. Pentagon spokesmen this week said they have not been instructed to plan any such events. White House officials declined comment. . . . [Full Story]

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families,Returning military, troops, President Obama, disrespecting troops, Stars and Stripes, no parade, no ticker-tape parade To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of the Rest

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: AF Branco, political cartoon, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Kim Jong IL, worst presidents, dictator To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Looking Back and Ahead

The below letter to the editor is by Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. He is a Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative and active in the Oklahoma Republican Assembly.

Bob McDowell
By Bob McDowell: As we come to the end of the first year of the second decade of the twenty-first century AD, it seems that we should look back at the first decade and ahead to what may face us in the rest of this one. After all, people who forget or ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes in the future. Also, it appears that those whom choose to 're-invent the wheel' seem to waste both time and effort which could have been put to better use to improve the lot for all of us. Unfortunately, it also seems that those with "official power" appear to be the most likely to be guilty of making these mistakes.

Three years ago, voters elected a young man as President of the United States whom they knew not knew very little about. He possessed a marvelous ability for public speaking, albeit using Teleprompters almost exclusively. Using the teleprompter is why he continually turns his head from side to side while reading his speeches.

He promised 'hope and change' without really identifying what changes he intended or how they would provide hope. He was quoted before the election as stating that he was fully prepared to "begin to RULE" the minute he was sworn to the office.

Most of the previous presidents have proposed to LEAD after taking the oath of office. Included in that oath, and for that matter the oath taken by all office holders, is the sworn intent to 'support, obey, and protect the Constitution of the United States of America . . . ." [1]

Unfortunately, the present occupant of the Office of President seems more intent on the destruction of the society and economy of the most prosperous and peaceful nation in the history of the world. A Nation whose freedoms have been unequaled anywhere prior since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789.

Unfortunately for the majority of law abiding citizens, the candidate and his supporting machine were able to rally large numbers of young and ignorant first time voters to his cause, as well as substantial numbers those who were 'guilt ridden' bt the fact that no one of black ancestry had ever had the opportunity to be elected. All this was accomplished despite, in my opinion, that there was a valid question about his even being legally qualified to seek, let alone occupy, the office of president.

Looking ahead, it would appear that the U.S. is at another crossroads in the history of our nation. The new year, 2012, brings another presidential election. We already are seeing strong evidence of "the politics of personal destruction" surfacing in the race for the Republican nomination. Then there is the reprehensible but normal conduct of those following the Socialist / Communist agenda. They resort to this agenda because they have no logic on which to state their case or position.

Unfortunately, the national media has been taken over by so-called 'journalists' who are completely allied with the progressive agenda. They seem willing to stop at nothing to expound their liberal position in the guise of 'reporting' news.

Since there is no way to stop the misconduct by the progressive liberal machine or the bias of the national liberal media, we must be willing to find other sources of information to counter the falsehoods that are continually promulgated. We also need to look to GOD for our guidance in our efforts to become properly informed in order to vote for and elect honorable individuals.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!
-------------
[1]: The Constitutional oath taken by a person assuming the position of President of the United States is as follows: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" ~ U.S Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (last paragraph).

Tags: Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, letter to editor, past, future, 2012 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Medicare Spending Is the Largest Driver of Future Deficits

Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundation: Medicare is in dire need of reform. This week’s chart illustrates why the entitlement program is the largest driver of long-term runaway deficits. With the country’s population aging and increasingly dependent on health care, Medicare’s cost to taxpayers is projected to rise from $522.8 billion in 2010 to $932 billion in 2020.

The Heritage Foundation has long championed reforms for Medicare, most recently as part of Saving the American Dream. Heritage’s Bob Moffit recently outlined a two-stage approach to reform. The first step is saving the current program, then moving to premium support for Medicare, which is a variant of the defined-contribution system.

The issue is also getting more attention on Capitol Hill. Just this month Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bipartisan framework for structural Medicare reform. Their plan “would establish a premium-support system of financing for Medicare,” wrote Moffit and Rea Hederman on The Foundry. "This policy is central to the transformation of Medicare into a consumer-based system relying on competition rather than bureaucratic fiat."

Ryan, of course, already tried to transform Medicare earlier this year as part of his budget proposal. It created such an uproar among Democrats that their assertions were dubbed the "Lie of the Year" by Politifact and one of the "biggest Pinocchios of 2011" by fact checker Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post.

There isn’t anything false or misleading about Heritage’s chart. The numbers come directly from the Congressional Budget Office. And unless something is done, Medicare will be the biggest driver of future deficits.

Tags: Chart of the Week, congressional budget office, deficit, Health Care, medicare, medicare reform, Paul Ryan, premium support, Ron Wyden, Ryan-Wyden, Saving the American Dream, Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

American Dream

American Dream: Dedication pix
Dr. Bill Smith, Ozark Guru: I was humbled and blessed to receive a note from Laurie Sterling. It read, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving in the USAF to defend my freedom! We need you, brother, we need you, now more than ever!" She included her video tiled the American Dream. I hope readers will also enjoy and share this video with others.

It is a patriotic anthem for all Americans who love the U.S.A. and was dedicated to all who have worn the uniform to defend our freedoms and first responders. It even meant more because Laurie also wrote the song did the video layout. Patrick Bolen sings the song on the video and the music production was by Mark Keefner.

[Video Source]

Tags: American Dream, video, song, American, dream, United States, freedom, liberty, USA, patriotic, George Washington, Jesus, Savior, Pride, America patriot, tea party, founding fathers, U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Patriotism, military, Bible, guns, freedom, Laurie Sterling, Patrick Bolen, veteran, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Satire: A White House Christmas

How many visits will this video get?
TELJAX Video: One thing you can say about our President, he sure has inspired people. A funny White House Christmas satire record commercial.

Tags: satire, White House, Barack Obama, Christmas, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Remembering the Reason For The Season.
Christ's Birth!
To all Patriots and Friends,
Merry Christmas!

Tags: ARRA News Service, Christmas, 2011, Merry Christmas, Christ's Birth To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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