News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Gingrich Wins South Carolina Primary - Fox News Loses
Bill Smith, Editor: With 100% of the precincts reported in the South Carolina primary, New Gingrich has won with 41% of the votes. The remaining totals: Romney 27%, Santorum 17%, Ron Paul 13%, and Herman Cain 1%. Gingrich responded to his victory by stating, "We proved here in South Carolina, people power, with the right ideas, beats money." He then addressed his actions to restore America after defeating Barack Obama.
Possibly the best summary of the results was offered by Rick Santorum, "Three states, three winners. What a great country." Santorum then went on to discuss his plans to restore America after defeating Barack Obama. Which permits us to consider that these first three primaries were not the normal type primaries that voters will be voting in in their states. Previous discussions have already addressed Iowa and New Hampshire. As for South Carolina, this GOP primary and the Democrat primary are not scheduled at the same time. The Democrat primary will be on Jan. 26th. Both are "open primaries." The voters in South Carolina don't register by party, and this Republican primary was open to all registered voter in South Carolina. This means everyone including democrats, socialists, independents, green party types, etc. were able to vote in this primary.
Obviously this factor skewed the results as to who voted for whom and why. Yes, Newt Gingrich does have a resurrected campaign. But who gave it to him? Was it the votes that would be willing to stand with him in November, or those who would be voting for the incumbent in November?
As for the other candidates, Mitt Romney congratulated Gingrich but then went on to detail his planned efforts to restore America after defeating Barack Obama. Romney is in no way cast down from being the most formidable top contender. His campaign has already committed the resources to future primaries in other states with the intent to compete through the May's Super Tuesday elections. Also, Romney and Paul will be the only tow top tier candidates on the Virginia Republican primary ballot.
Ron Paul expressed his commitment to continuing his campign based on principle and his message even if he loses every primary. With proportional delegates, Paul understands that he can still be a factor at the Republican National Convention. Paul in remarks to his supporters identified his intent to restore America after defeating Barack Obama.
Obviously, the four Republicans are still "all in" and the eventual winner "will seek the defeat of Barack Obama and to reform America." The issue still remaining is who will the Republicans, as a whole, choose to be their champion to restore America.
It was also noted that former U.S. Rick Santorum received the distinct honor of being identified as the conservative candidate most feared by the Occupy leftist supporters of President Obama. MSNBC reported this evening that "Members of Occupy Charleston "glitter-bombed" Rick Santorum at the tail end of his speech here at the Citadel"
As noted previously, a crucial issue in an open primary is "crossover" voting, which can contribute to the victory of a nominee closer to the center or radically further away. It most often involves members of Party Y (especially when Party Y's nominee is a foregone conclusion) voting for the Party X candidate whose views are the most reconcilable with their own or for the candidate that they believe is most vulnerable to problems and issues which will make them easier to defeat.
Regardless, the South Carolina open Republican primary is over. However, the broader efforts of the National Republican process is far from over. It appears that Republicans in different states do not like other states telling them whom to choose and are willing to send a message that the race is far from over as in prior years.
In conclusions, one of the biggest disappointments of the evening was the arrogance of Fox News Network pundits declaring the projected winner immediately upon the closing of the polls. They did this before the last voter cast their vote within the polling places and long before the votes were counted and reported. This action by the Fox News Network evidences an arrogant attitude and a disrespect for the voters in South Carolina and for the Fox New's audience in general. Fox News failed to act with proper decorum and also relied on statistical exit polling to make an absolute declaration of victory. Maybe they would now like to declare the winner of the national elections.
Elections and the reporting of the voting results is not some type of American game show. Especially those where declarations of winners are made before actual winners are determined by their actions verses the "reporters." Also, Fox News seemed to take great effort to trot out liberals and Democrat operatives to give their opinions about the Republican primary and to offer their opinions as to the conclusions that the public should draw from the results. Fox News is giving license to biased reporting which demeans its credibility.
Based on observation, not statistical guessing of election results, the trotting out of current or past Democrat operatives definitely creates apoplexy for conservatives listening to these Obama pundits spinning the results of Republican primary. Most disappointingly, barring Guvuto, Hannity, The O'Reilly Factor and Fox News Sunday, the remainder of Fox News Network is well on the way to becoming America's greatest source of tabloid journalism. Tags:South Carolina, Republican Primary, Newt Gingrich wins, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, glitter bombed, Occupy group, Ron Paul, Fox News, Fox News Network, tabloid journalismTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
School Choice Week in Arkansas - Four Special Events
"We have a moral and societal obligation to give our children the opportunity to succeed in school, at work, and in life. We cannot meet that obligation unless parents are empowered to select the best schools of their children. I encourage everyone who wants to see a transformation of American education to get involved in National School Choice Week." ~ Bill Cosby
by Laurie L M Lee: We need a "regime change" in Arkansas Education. While Arkansas spends over $3 billion per year on education and we have the most amazing teachers and best school facilities, Arkansas is ranked 50th by Heartland Inst. for progress in learning and 37th in Academic Standards. WE NEED OPTIONS.
Arkansas' education system specifically its structures, its policies and its operational guidelines are failing our children. According to the U of A Ed Policy more than 25% of our students are NOT proficient in reading or math upon completion of the 8th grade and it gets worse from there. Over 50% of Arkansas high school graduates have to go through remediation before taking their first college level course.
Education Week published a report last week grading states on educational policy and performance, Arkansas received a (D) in over all achievement K-12; (F) in spending and a (C-) in chance for success.
As of June 30,2011 Arkansas public school districts and ESC had outstanding loans and bonded indebtedness totaling over $3.5 BILLION, and increase of over $1billion in just 4 years. Arkansans spend the lions share of our general budget on education and the results are dreadful.
I am asked frequently how people can become more involved and help with issues in our state.
There are four events planned next week, Jan 23rd-28th, around Arkansas to shine a light on the need for options, giving ALL children a chance at excellence in education.
Parents should have a range of options, including great public schools, public charter schools, and access to high-quality private schools through school vouchers or scholarship tax credit programs. It's about a fundamental right for parents to have access to whichever quality schools serve their children and family best.
Education will be a focal issue of the 2013 session, the more INFORMED and ENGAGED Arkansas voters become the more EMPOWERED we all become. Please attend an event and help spread the word by forwarding this article to your contacts. Event Locations:
Monday Jan 23rd 6pm - Fayetteville- Prism Education Center, 2190 Razorback Road, Fayetteville, AR
Tuesday Jan 24th 7pm- El Dorado- City Hall 204 N West Ave, El Dorado, AR
Thursday Jan 26th 6pm- Searcy- Harding Academy - 1529 E Park Ave. Harding Univ. Searcy, AR
Friday Jan 27th 11am- Little Rock- Peabody- 3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR
Register Here Tags:Arkansas, public education, ranking, school choice, eventsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
TNCollegeGOP : In 2008, the youth vote was overwhelmingly for Obama and helped elect him to the White House. Now, three years into his presidency and one year from the most important election of our lives, college students are thinking twice before voting for Obama again. Watch this video in 1080p for the full experience. Check out the makers of this video on Facebook and Twitter .
Tags:News, Politics, Debt Generation, Obama, youth, college students, 2012To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
All GOP Presidential Candidates Denounced Anti-Internet Piracy Bills
by Lachlan Markay: During a presidential debate on Thursday night, all four Republican candidates denounced pending legislation aimed at combating online piracy. Their responses came in the midst of mass congressional defections, especially among Republicans, as major websites protest the bills.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate companion, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), would give the Justice Department expansive powers to shut down sites that host content infringing on American intellectual property laws. While most of the bills’ opponents acknowledge the need for IP enforcement, they argue that its powers are too broad, and would be both ineffective and constitutionally problematic.
In response to the overwhelming criticism of the legislation and the nearly 20 Senators who have dropped their support for it this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on Friday that he was postponing consideration of the bill.
Republican presidential candidates, though, took a crack at the legislation on Thursday night. Not one of the four remaining candidates said he supported it.
“You have virtually everybody who’s technologically advanced including Google and YouTube and Facebook and all the folks who say this is going to totally mess up the Internet and the bill in its current form is written badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney associated himself with Gingrich’s remarks. “The law as written is far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening to freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet,” he insisted. Romney added that the legislation could adversely impact the technology sector, a very dynamic section of the American economy.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul was the first House Republican to publicly oppose SOPA, and he made sure to tout that fact at the debate. “Republicans unfortunately have been on the wrong side of this issue,” he insisted, adding, “Freedom and the constitution bring factions together. I think this is a good example.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum also said he opposed the bill, but he was more cautious than his opponents. “The Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want,” he insisted, stressing the importance of the enforcing intellectual property laws already on the books. Tags:republican, presidential candidates, denounce, Stop Online Piracy Act, SOPA, PROTECT IP Act, PIPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Newspapers, Dems, Labor Unions Blast Obama for Nixing Keystone Pipeline
After his decision yesterday to deny a permit to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, President Obama is under fire today from newspaper editorials across the country, a number of Democrats in Congress, and even unions.
The Wall Street Journal editors write, “The central conflict of the Obama Presidency has been between the jobs and growth crisis he inherited and the President's hell-for-leather pursuit of his larger social-policy ambitions. The tragedy is that the economic recovery has been so lackluster because the second impulse keeps winning. Yesterday came proof positive with the White House's repudiation of the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada's $7 billion shovel-ready project that would support tens of thousands of jobs if only it could get the requisite U.S. permits. Those jobs, apparently, can wait.”
The president’s hometown Chicago Tribune writes, “The problem is, Keystone should be approved. This is a good project. It will give us energy and give us jobs. You want stimulus? This is a $7 billion deal to be done with private-sector funding. . . . Obama made a decision that will cost the U.S. good jobs. He seems to think those jobs will still be there when he gets around to making a decision on the pipeline. But they may well be gone for good.”
And USA Today editorializes, “What's really going on here, of course, is the most craven sort of election-year politics. The Obama administration seemed to be on its way to approving Keystone when environmental groups made the pipeline a key test of their support for the president, who suddenly decided the administration couldn't possibly make a decision until sometime after the election. . . . The biggest loser in this game of political football is the national interest.”
Meanwhile, a number of Democrats weren’t much happier.Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, “President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a major setback for the American economy, American workers and America's energy independence.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said, “I am disappointed in the president’s decision.” Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) called the decision “disappointing and frustrating” and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) tweeted, “I strongly disagree with President Obama’s decision to postpone the Keystone pipeline project, which will sustain and create jobs.” And even Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “There is absolutely no reason we cannot start putting Montanans to work on the Keystone XL pipeline right away.”
Unions expressed their displeasure with President Obama as well. In a press release, the Laborers’ International Union of North America declared, “The score is Job-Killers, two; American workers, zero. We are completely and totally disappointed… Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.” And the AFl-CIO’s Mark Ayers counted himself “disappointed by an Administration unwilling to take its own words to heart and approve this vital project.”
President Obama announced he was rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project Wednesday, blaming Republicans in Congress for forcing him to make a decision. The pipeline would have transported up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada to Oklahoma and Texas.
“This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision.”
Below is a comprehensive timeline of the project, providing details about major actions over the past 40 months from the time the State Department first received the application.
Sept. 19, 2008: The State Department receives an application from TransCanada to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, and announces that it will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Jan. 1 – June 1, 2009: State conducts 20 “scoping meetings” to explore the issues that should be addressed in the EIS, and consults with federal and state agencies and Indian tribes impacted by the pipeline.
April 16, 2010: State releases its draft EIS, which finds that the Keystone pipeline would have “limited adverse environmental impacts during both construction and operation.” This finding would be supported by subsequent environmental assessments by the department. The draft report also notes that, in the absence of the pipeline, “crude oil would likely be shipped to countries outside of North America, which would require new infrastructure that would result in environmental impacts at least as great as those of the proposed project.”
April 16 – Sept. 1, 2010: The department solicits comments on the proposed pipeline, twice extending the comment period due to the volume of submissions it receives. After receiving nearly 1,800 verbal and written comments, State ends the comment period at the request of federal agencies.
June 2010: Meetings held in Texas and Washington, D.C., in response to public comments.
Sept. 14, 2010: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers endorse the pipeline, marking the beginning of a rare political alliance that pits supporters of increased energy production and labor unions against environmental groups.
Oct. 15, 2010: Asked about the Keystone XL pipeline at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “we are inclined” to approve the project.
Oct. 25, 2010: The general presidents of four major labor unions representing more than 2.5 million workers urge the State Department to approve the pipeline.
Dec. 7, 2010: State hosts meetings between Indian tribes and federal officials in Washington to address concerns about the pipeline.
Jan. 1, 2011: TransCanada, Keystone’s parent company, agrees to 57 safety measures relating to the construction, operation and design of the pipeline. The measures were a joint creation of the State Department and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
March 6, 2011: In a show of bipartisanship, Democratic Sens. Mark Begich (AK), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Max Baucus (MT), join 11 of their Republican colleagues in endorsing the pipeline. “Now more than ever, it is critical that this country move forward with this project,” they write in a letter to Clinton.
April 15, 2011: State releases a supplemental draft EIS, which, it notes, “does not alter the conclusions” reached by its initial statement a year earlier. April 15 – June 6, 2011: State opens another comment period following its supplemental draft EIS, soliciting a whopping 280,000 public comments.
May 23, 2011: Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) introduces the North American-Made Energy Security Act, which would force the president to make a decision on the Keystone pipeline by Nov. 1, 2011.
July 25, 2011: The White House releases a “Statement of Administration Policy” calling Terry’s bill unnecessary, since State “has publicly committed to reaching a decision” before year’s end.
July 26, 2011: The House passes Terry’s bill by voice vote. It never receives Senate consideration.
Aug. 26, 2011: State releases its final EIS, which supports moving ahead with the pipeline. The department “does not regard the No Action Alternative to be preferable to the proposed Project,” it states. Among its key findings:
Construction of the pipeline would not affect fossil fuel demand – which it noted is expected to grow substantially over the next 10 years – meaning its absence would not contribute to the president’s “green energy” agenda, which involves compelling consumers to seek alternatives to fossil fuels;
The “No Action Alternative” would lead to increased American imports of oil from nations that “are not secure and reliable sources of crude oil, including the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and South America”;
If unable to import oil through the Keystone pipeline, Canadian producers would simply seek other customers using alternative methods of transportation.
Aug. 26 – Oct. 9, 2011: State conducts its National Interest Determination, soliciting public comments and holding meetings in six states and Washington, D.C.
Oct. 20, 2011: Continuing the labor movement’s support for the project, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers states, “the Keystone project will put thousands back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the North American economy. Our members look forward to being part of this historic project and pledge to deliver the highest quality work to make it a success.”
Nov. 10, 2011: President Obama announces he is delaying the project “in light of additional information gleaned from consultations with Nebraska state and local officials as well as public comments.” Citing concerns over the pipeline’s effects on the Sand Hills region, Obama questions whether the pipeline “is in the national interest.” The president makes clear that no& decision will be made on Keystone before the 2012 election.
Nov. 14, 2011: TransCanada announces that it has reached an agreement with Nebraska officials on an alternate pipeline route through the state, which avoids the Sand Hills region.
Nov. 22, 2011: Nebraska enacts a law codifying a process for approving the route and directing the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to cooperate with State in moving it forward.
Nov. 30 – Dec. 15, 2011: Keystone receives support from numerous Senate Democrats, including Baucus, Jon Tester (MT), Kent Conrad (ND), Claire McCaskill (MO), and Joe Manchin (WV).
Dec. 13, 2011: Steel pipe manufacturer Welspun Tubular announces that it had to lay off 60 employees as a result of the delays in permit approval for the Keystone pipeline.
Dec. 23, 2011: The House and Senate unanimously approve and Obama signs the payroll tax bill, which requires the president to approve or deny the Keystone permit within 60 days.
Jan. 18, 2012: Obama announces he is denying the Keystone XL permit, and cites inadequate environmental examination.
Jan. 19, 2012: Reports indicate that Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper is looking to sell crude to China in light of Obama’s Keystone XL rejection.
Tags:keystone, pipeline, timeline, newspapers, democrats, unions, Barack obamaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Barack Obama, no jobs, sinking ship, ship of state, William Warren, A.F. Branco, political cartoon, toonsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Follow-up to prior article article.Bill Smith, Editor: Thankfully, both liberal Americans (not progressive socialists, communists) and conservative Americans (not fascists) have the option to agree on some issues. There is hope for America and free speech when these Internet activists come together and agree that the Federal government's desire for SOPA and PIPA will hinder and be a threat to free speech which is not associated with piracy, etc. While most oppose Internet piracy, we also seek the absolute protection of the Fair Use Doctrine and free speech without being drug before a government agency or court or having our sites and blogs shut down or the sites and search engines which American's depend on for information.
I do not believe the Federal Government has the inherent wisdom to know the difference. As evidenced by the failures of the TSA and by other government agencies, it is easier for government agencies filled with bureaucrats to abuse their power and to not function reasonably with respect to carrying out rules and regulations. This inherent failure would also prove true with controls on the personal use of and sharing of information on the Internet. The U.S. Federal government would eventually become as big an abuser of the silencing Internet free speech as is done by other countries like China and Iran.
Also, with regard to claimed theft by people in other countries, what is the United States doing attempting to legislate the actions of people in other countries over whom they have no authority? We should not be fooled by this specious argument.
For a moment lets consider just one example of the Federal Government's blatant failure to protect Americans and their property within the United States. The US Government has allowed the stealing of American jobs and our tax dollars within the United States by those whom they have allowed to invade and remain in our country illegally and to violate our laws. If the government can't legislate and perform in the United States what can we expect when it comes to information the size of a byte verses a person.
It appears that the focus of our elected US Representatives and Senators is rather schizophrenic, lacks in both wisdom and reality, and may even be influenced and / or purchased by special interests. Our government should be addressing problems at home verses making more laws which allegedly claim to be focused on those outside of the United States while in reality establishing more government control over its own people.
The following video was shared with us by Ratchell Richter who reads ARRA News Service articles via FaceBook. Thank you Ratchell. The creators of the below video state, "SOPA and PIPA are two examples of recent legislation that is lethal to the internet as we know it. The internet rose up and is on its way to successfully fighting them off, but we need to stay vigilant. The only way to prevent legislation like this from being passed in the future is to call your Congressmen and tell them. Make it clear that you don't support SOPA, you don't support PIPA, and that you won't support future legislation that damages the stability of the internet." [More info including the creators and the lyrics.] The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song
Tags:SOPA, PIPA, Stop SOPA, government, shutting down websites, vidoe, protest song, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News: Another candidate retires before the South Carolina voters pick their candidate. Rick Perry suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed former Georgia Rep. Newt Gingrich. Only 2% of South Carolina republican voters were showing an interest in Gov. Perry.
Rick Perry was the only active governor in the top tier in the race for the republican nomination. As the governor of one of the largest states and economies in the United States, it appears he found his time and energies too divided. Perry entered the race late based on encouragement by his supporters that a right-wing state's right alternative was needed.
Gov. Perry burden of carrying on two fronts, governing Texas and campaigning for President appears to have been too much to bear. He often made gaffes. In addition, when Perry spoke, he reminded many people of another Texan, former president George W. Bush. As such, some feared voters being reminded of the arguments by Barack Obama that "it is Bush's fault." Perry if elected would have been a strong advocate for the U.S. military having been an former Air Force pilot and the present Commander-in Chief for the Texas National Guard, one of the largest in the United States.
Anita Perry at NFRA
Pix By Bill Smith
One of Rick Perry's greatest assets was his conservative wife, Anita Perry, who often stood in for him as a speaker. In Iowa, during the 2012 NFRA Convention, many people expressed their support of Anita Perry who spoke on behalf of Gov. Perry at the convention. Anita would have been a great first lady and would have evidenced both a respect for the White House and the Constitution that would have been appreciated by the American public.
As for Rick Perry endorsement of Newt Gingrich, many social conservatives have to be very surprised. A candidate much closer to Perry's stated personal beliefs is former Senator Rick Santorum. If Perry endorsed Gingrich because of his debating skills and because as he said in his endorsement that "he believes in forgiveness" which obviously meant not holding Newt's prior "sins" in his marriages against him, then such an endorsement evidences another good reason that Perry has withdrawn as a candidate. Indeed, the endorsement did not appear to be much of an endorsement for Newt Gingrich. An endorsement should consider ones' record, conduct, capabilities, beliefs and vision for the future. If Perry meant more than he said, his lack of recalling and sharing those points is more evidence that Gov. Perry was indeed very tired.
In conclusion, if Newt wins the South Carolina primary, it will not be because of Perry's endorsement. However, it may be because voters were influenced by the comments by another voice. Sarah Palin stated that the race for the GOP nomination should not be over at the end of the South Carolina primary. Three states do not represent the votes of the entire United States. She opposed choosing one candidate at this point in time to represent the Republican voice. She encouraged South Carolina voters to vote for Newt Gingrich not because he is the better candidate but to force the continuance of the debates, discussions, and votes in other states on who should be the final Republican candidate. Obviously, time will tell.
We wish Governor Rick Perry the best as he and Anita return to Texas and appreciate his support of the 10th Amendment. Tags:Texas, governor, Rick Perry, suspends, presidential campaign, 2012 election, South CarolinaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Confirmed final results have shifted voted in favor of Rick Santorum in the prior Iowas Caucus. USA Today and other news sources are reporting that Rick Santorum has been certified with a 34-vote lead in the Iowa Caucus. Previously Mitt Romney was reported as the winner of the Iowa Caucus. There are even some ballot boxes missing. Note the Iowa Caucus is unofficial, not run by the State of Iowa and not binding on delegates to the National Republican Convention.
This shift in votes in Iowa would have been center stage in the news in the pre-primary discussions in South Carolina. However, the withdrawal of Texas Governor Perry and his endorsement has grabbed center stage. Tags:Rick Santorum, Iowa Caucus,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Things you NEED to know about KeystoneXL Pipeline!
Now that President Obama used the skirt of his Secretary of State to hide his agenda for blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline, lets review some real facts. Keep them at hand and share them with your friends.
Update: 12:45 PMPresident Barack Obama has denied a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline and will let the company file a revised route. "As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline's impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment," the President said in a statement. "As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.
Multiple news sources are reporting today that President Obama will reject the Keystone XL pipeline in an announcement from the State Department this afternoon. According to The Washington Post, “The Obama administration will announce this afternoon it is rejecting a Canadian firm’s application for a permit to build and operate a massive oil pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border, according to sources who have been briefed on the matter. . . . Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will make the announcement, which comes in response to a congressionally-mandated deadline of Feb. 21 for action on the proposed Keystone pipeline.”
This decision comes after President Obama signed a bill in December with a provision demanded by Republicans that gave the president 60 days to either accept the pipeline’s permit or declare the pipeline not in the national interest and reject it. Politico notes, “The White House has made every effort to distance itself from the decision, constantly referring reporters to the State Department.” Yet it’s important to point out that this is President Obama’s decision, per the legislation he signed, despite the fact that Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will be making the announcement.
The AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department President, Mark H. Ayers, put it well when he wrote, “[I]t is America's workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project. As President Obama has rightfully declared when it comes to the creation of jobs, ‘WE CAN'T WAIT.’” Democrat Sen. Mark Begich said, “I support the project. I think the president’s view on this, of waiting, I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is a project that could provide lots of jobs to this country…I think the president’s wrong on delaying this, and I think there are a lot of good jobs relating to this, and again [it’s oil] from a friendly country, Canada.”
Just last week, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donahue called on the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline saying, “Our biggest and most reliable foreign energy supplier is Canada. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would bring Canadian oil sands down to our Gulf Coast refineries and to other destinations along the way. This project has passed every environmental test. There is no legitimate reason—none at all—to subject it to further delay.” He added, “Labor unions and the business community alike are urging President Obama to act in the best interests of our national security and our workers and approve the pipeline. We can put 20,000 Americans to work right away and up to 250,000 over the life of the project.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Keystone was an obvious choice: everybody in Washington says they want more American jobs now. Well, here’s the single largest shovel-ready project in America — ready to go. Some of the news outlets are calling this pipeline controversial — I have absolutely no idea why. The labor unions like it. Democrats want it. It strengthens our national security by decreasing the amount of oil we get from unfriendly countries. And it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. . . . The only thing standing between thousands of American workers, and the good jobs this project will provide, is President Obama.”
It’s stunning that the president would go out of his way to block the Keystone XL project and the tens of thousands of jobs it would create.Tags:Barack Obama, Keystone XL Pipeline, Washington, D.C., Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, State DepartmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama and Alinsky never met. Alinsky died of a heart attack in 1971 when Barack Obama was around 11 years old and living in Jakarta or Honolulu. Extensive research has failed to uncover even a single reference by Obama to Alinsky. A short essay by Obama was compiled into a book entitled After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois. It concludes:
In return, organizing teaches as nothing else does the beauty and strength of everyday people. Through the songs of the church and the talk on the stoops, through the hundreds of individual stories of coming up from the South and finding any job that would pay, of raising families on threadbare budgets, of losing some children to drugs and watching others earn degrees and land jobs their parents could never aspire to — it is through these stories and songs of dashed hopes and powers of endurance, of ugliness and strife, subtlety and laughter, that organizers can shape a sense of community not only for others, but for themselves.
Vintage Obama … far more lyrical than Alinsky. Alinsky was an aggressively anti-communist, anti-big government, populist with a healthy contempt for liberals. He seemingly would be more at home in the Tea Party than the Democratic Party. Jacques Maritain, Pope Paul VI’s mentor and prominent drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights called Alinsky “one of the few really great men of our century.”
Rules for Radicals, popular lore aside, is not dedicated to Lucifer, but to “Irene” — Saul’s wife and soulmate. Alinsky considered the highest good to be human dignity. Rules for Radicals, p. 122:
We learn, when we respect the dignity of the people, that they cannot be denied the elementary right to participate fully in the solutions to their own problems. Self-respect arises only out of people who play an active role in solving their own crises and who are not helpless, passive, puppet-like recipients of private or public services.
Alinsky can be thought of as of “the non-socialist left” as described by his biographer Sandy Horwitt. Alinsky resembles Thomas Paine and was an inveterate enemy of Leninists.
Obama is no Alinsky. Would that he were!
One of Alinsky’s main successors is Arnie Graf. Mark Shields privately describes Graf as belonging in “the social justice hall of fame.” Graf briefly mentored young Barack Obama, a memory recently shared with this columnist (some of which also was recorded by the National Journal’s Will Englund).
In 1986, young Barack Obama came to a national training, conducted in California by Alinsky’s legacy organization, the Industrial Areas Foundation. Over 100 young people attended. Graf was a trainer there. He ended up having three personal conversations with young Obama.
The first was about growing up in an intact, loving, interracial family. Graf’s own wife is African American, they were raising two biracial children, very successfully. Obama keenly questioned Graf about how they were raising their children, how the children understood their racial identity.
Obama himself, of course, had grown up in cultures — Hawaii, Indonesia — without black/white racial polarization and when at age 11 he landed in Kansas he spent his Middle and High School years with very few African Americans.
Both Graf’s, observant Jewish, and his wife’s, North Carolina, extended families were very accepting of the marriage. Their racially blended grandchildren got, as Graf says, “a loving embrace from both sides.” Obama got a glimpse of how it could have been, under different circumstances, for him.
The next conversation with Obama had to do with the Civil Rights Movement (the birthday of whose icon, Dr. Martin Luther King we celebrate today). Obama had been too young to participate. Graf, beginning at age 19, had been part of it. Obama was ardent to learn what it had been like. Graf shared his experiences.
The final, brief, discussion between Obama and Graf was a farewell. There are significant differences between movement politics, community organizing, and being part of the system. Obama let Graf know that he was not interested in being an organizer. He hoped to become a great civil rights lawyer or a judge.
Obama chose to be a political leader, not a community organizer. There are a few lingering echoes of Alinsky’s work in Obama’s camp. The campaign’s Camp Obama training manual primarily was written by Harvard’s Marshall Ganz (who also had injected these principles into the Dean campaign). One of Alinsky’s organizers was the great Fred Ross, Sr. Ross, who trained Ganz, had written an iconic training manual. This was the blueprint for Camp Obama’s manual.
Graf, who has not seen Obama again, emphasizes how much respect Americans have earned for having elected an African American president. This is no small matter. Yet he is disappointed that Obama had “a Roosevelt moment” in which he could have produced a genuine transformation and did not.
Graf appears as furious about the elevation of Immalt, Geithner, Summers and other titans of finance to the levers of power in this administration as are the most ardent and articulate libertarians. Graf believes that giving financial capitalism primacy in a culture is unbalanced. And that the president could have — and, if re-elected, still could — put the Market, Civic, and State sectors into better balance. Some of his critique of Wall Street reminds one of Adam Smith’s famous observation: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
The nonsocialist left admires, rather than berates, businesspeople, especially manufacturers. Graf offers a distinction between productive (manufacturing) and predatory (asset stripping) capitalism. This appears to lean more conservative populist than either libertarian or socialist. It seems driven by an ethic of developing protocols that will raise productivity, and thus demand for higher skilled, higher paying, jobs, without driving up taxes, cost of labor, or cost of other inputs.
All without federal government controls. Graf believes that we have an opportunity to get away from the notion that the economy, fundamentally, is the financial sector. It is his belief that subsidized education, vocational education, and underwritten community college education could be an important key to a vibrant private sector economy — which he fully supports.
This column has pointed to the divisions among the tribes of the left, pointing to the “populist humanitarian” labor and ethnic (and, yes, community organizer) left in contradistinction to the doctrinaire elitist “nomenklatura” left. Graf’s very attitude implies that there might be something to this hypothesis.
Graf is not anti-capitalist, not even anti-Wall Street. He’s anti-oligarch — and so is the authentic free market right. The loopy idea of the humanitarian populist left and right making common cause against the privileged elites of Wall Street and Washington … in a crusade for equal opportunity and a Kennedyesque rising tide to lift all boats … may not be completely far fetched.
And if that should happen? Memo to President Obama: Arnie Graf surely would take you back … and put you into a profession of far greater dignity than that of mere president: one in which you may inculcate self-respect… out of people who play an active role in solving their own crises and who are not helpless, passive, puppet-like recipients of private or public services.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. His article first appeared in Forbes as "Dear President Obama; You're No Saul Alynski" Tags:Ralph Benko, Barack Obama, Saul Alynski, Arnie GrafTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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.
By Bob McDowell: History has recorded that each time a war in which we (the USA) have been involved has ended, there was a mass reduction in the size and preparedness of our military defenses. There was a reference to this in the farewell speech made by the first President, George Washington, where he warned against maintaining large standing armies. At that time, in the 1780's, there was small likelihood that an enemy could pull off a surprise attack of substance, such as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, or the Nazi 'Blitzkrieg' invasions of the 1930's. The simple fact of slow transportation and communication served to prevent any such major action, thus leaving a time period for the attacked people to rally around, arm themselves, and mount an effective defense.
In our own recent history, from the 'War of Secession' in the 1960's (misnamed the 'Civil War' as a 'Civil War' is one to bring down a government as is a 'Revolution') there has been a repeated action of dismantling the military and its equipment, not to mention a major slow-down or cessation of research, development, and manufacturing of more effective equipment, methods, and tactics.
In my education, there were history books about the mistreatment of visionary generals and admirals who following the end of World War I were put down. And, in some cases they were court-martialed by the 'establishment' (our government and their military command). For example, General Billy Mitchell, who claimed that it was possible for the Japaneses military to threaten the U.S by sinking our battleships with bombs from airplanes. Mitchell demonstrated this. He was then court-martialed for insubordination after accusing Army and Navy leaders of an "almost treasonable administration of the national defense." He was proven right via the attack on Pearl Harbor and after his death, he was posthumously awarded the Congregational Medal of Honor.
After President Reagan rebuilt our defense capability, over the objections of the 'peace at any price' members of his opposition Democrat party, as well as some very misguided members of his own, his successors proceeded to reduce the capacity for defense. Thus we had the deplorable situation repeated of sending our troops into battle with inadequate equipment and in insufficient numbers for the task to be accomplished. The result was unnecessary loss of life of both military and civilian personnel and delays in being able to respond to the threats at hand.
It should be remembered that the singularly primary purposes of Federal government is the defense of our Nation, its national interests, and its citizens. This includes the defense and protection of the borders, threats by enemies to our businesses, and to our citizens. Unfortunately, there are too many in government, at all levels, who have chosen to ignore this requirement in order to have more money to spend on building their power base and or to seek re-election for themselves.
This is the very situation which our Nation now is facing. The Federal Government and some of our state governments have wastefully spent so much money and have created such massive debt that the tax burden and threat to our future generations is crushing our economy and even causing money to leave our country.
With the Obama Administration too rapidly evacuating the operations in the Middle East and proposing major reduction in defense spending, it appears that previous history is about to repeat itself. First hand reports to me indicate that there is now a major thrust to reduce the recruiting process and to promote a large reduction in forces by not re-enlisting highly qualified enlisted members and releasing officers from active duty. Once again, we are downsizing and ignoring the global threats and focusing on spending on non-constitutionally required items and areas.
Finally, because of the extensive and, in my opinion, improper use of National Guard members in overseas operations, the well being of Guard contingents have being denigrated. I submit a more proper use of the Guard would be to dictated their annual active duty period being spent on the borders, with live ammunition, to defend the Nation. Construction battalions could practice their trade by building a truly effective 'fence' along the border with Mexico, like the Israelis have done. We should not have an "undefended USA." Tags:Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, letter to editor, Undefended USA, United States, military, Constitution, defending our borders, defending America, reduction in forcesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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