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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, 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, February 11, 2012
Romney Wins Maine Caucus
Mitt Romney who won the CPAC 2012 / Washington Times straw poll also won the Republican presidential caucuses in Maine with 39% of the votes in the Caucus presidential non-binding poll. Paul had 36%, Rick Santorum 18% , and New Gingrich 6%.
While Maine offers a small population and Caucus with only 5,600 votes, they see their importance in National politics based on the old bell weather saw: "As Maine goes, so goes the Nation." Main has 24 delegates and will hold its Convention May 5-6, 2012. However, based on guidelines for delegates, Romney has 8, Paul has 8, Santorum 4, Newt 1 and 3 yet to be determined.
Romney said in a statement that Maine voters “sent a clear message that it is past time to send an outsider to the White House, a conservative with a lifetime of experience in the private sector, who can uproot Washington’s culture of taxing and spending and borrowing and endless bureaucracy.” Tags:Maine, Republican, Caucus, delegates, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick santorum, Newt GingrichTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Mitt Romney Wins CPAC / Washington Times Poll - Rick Santorum Close Second
Washington, D.C - Today, Tony Fabrizio, Republican Pollster and Strategist at McLaughlin and Associates, announced the results of the CPAC 2012 straw poll and / Washington Times National poll. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll had 3,408 conservative voters. The CPAC poll ran from Thursday through Saturday at their event in Washington. Romney won 38% with Rick Santorum receiving 31%. Together they had 69% of the votes. Newt Gingrich received 15% and Ron Paul 12%.
In the Washington Times National survey, Mitt Romney barely topped Rick Santorum, 27% to 25%. Gingrich in third place at 20% and Paul had 8%. Tags:CPAC, CPAC 2012, straw poll, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron PaulTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Clarie McCaskill Is Missouri's Nancy Pelosi - Catholic But Pro-Death
Missouri voters are now confronted with more truth about Senator Claire McCaskill (D). She supports the pro-death Democrat platform, the Obama agenda, is not pro-life, and is not an advocate for freedom of religion. McCaskill advocates that the the government has a right to violate individuals' freedom of religion. Since McCaskill is Catholic, she should note the following quote: "Religious freedom is not just for religious groups. It is for every American." ~ Father Pavone
Sen. Claire McCaskill believes that a provision in the President's Affordable Care Act (read: ObamaCare) that forces Catholic hospitals and universities to act against their faith is a good thing. According the Kansas City Star:
But Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who’s Catholic, said the requirement could protect women’s health.
“This is an emotional, difficult subject. It’s always one that’s difficult,” McCaskill said. “But if you really believe that reducing abortions are important in this country, which I do, then it doesn’t work to keep putting up barriers to women getting birth control.”
"Difficult" is an understatement. McCaskill's Democratic colleagues are, "peeling off one by one" according to The Hill. The piece adds:
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) urged the White House last week to broaden the exception for religious employers. Several of their Democratic colleagues have piled on since.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said Wednesday that the Health and Human Services Department “misstepped” in adopting the new policy.
“I just don’t think this is a fight that should have been picked and I think it needs to be fixed,” Connolly said. “I have every confidence that the administration will do so.”
Tim Kaine, a former Democratic National Committee chairman running for Senate in Virginia this year, also said the White House should revisit the rule’s exemptions for religious organizations.
If McCaskill is not siding with these Democrats, is she siding with those who are standing up for the measure?
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said there’s no need for the White House to adopt a wider religious exemption. Carving out churches and other strictly religious employers “was in itself a compromise,” she said, noting that eight states have contraception mandates without religious exemptions.
Twenty-three pro-abortion-rights religious groups also backed the White House policy Wednesday, saying it protects the individual choice of whether to use birth control.
McCaskill is said to be tough and savvy. We haven't seen the savvy yet in this campaign (the airplane, asking a hostile crowd if they trust her, supporting cap and trade, waffling on the individual mandate, etc.), but if for entertainment value alone, we're looking forward to how she either (a) backs down from her position, or (b) supports the President when he backs down from his.
When Clarie McCaskill was elevated to the U.S. Senate, she opted to be an advocate for the Obama agenda which has attacked the rights and freedoms of all Americans. She has not influenced the Senate Democratic leadership (Harry Reid and others) to pass a budget or to reduce government spending. She has been a "Go A Long - Get A Long" supporter of the radical progressive socialist agenda.
Fortunately Missourians can do an intervention and replace her in November. Clarie McCaskill is Missouri's Nancy Pelosi. America cannot bear her action for another six years in the U.S. Senate. No matter how she spins it, McCaskill has "shown herself" as a supporter of Obama Big Government agenda - using legislation and regulations to remove or to limit individual freedoms and rights. She likes to talk; she likes to spin, but Claire votes Obama. Liberty loving Americans are looking to Missouri to "Show McCaskill the Door." Tags:U.S. Senator, Claire McCaskill, Missouri, liberal, pro-death, Obama agenda, not pro-lifeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Role of Faith, Life, and Family in Our Culture and; the 2012 Elections was held yesterday at CPAC 2012. The panel included: Tom Minnery, Executive Director, CitizenLink, Andy Blom, Executive Director, American Principals Project, Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List, and Moderator: Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director, the American Center for Law and Justice and Host of the Jordan Sekulow Show. After the panel finished, they were later joined by Jay Selulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel and a legal conservative Christian warrior who has argued many cases before the Supreme Court.
Tags:CPAC 2012: Faith, Life, Family, Panel, Tom Minnery, CitizenLink, Andy Blom, American Principals Project, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List, SBA List, Jordan Sekulow, American Center for Law and JusticeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
· “The projected deficit is higherthan the $1.296 trillion deficit in 2011 and also slightly higher than a roughly $1.15 trillion projection released by the Congressional Budget Office last week.” Ibid
Heritage: Obama’s Contraception ‘Accommodation’ is ‘All Rhetoric’ Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) insisted that the president’s supposed walk-back of the contraception mandate “is all rhetoric” and does not address either the constitutional problems with the mandate or its detriments to freedom of choice for America’s health care consumers. . . . But “the bigger picture,” Price insisted, is the federal government’s ongoing attempts to exert unprecedented control over the American health care system – attempts integral to and advanced by Obamacare. “If the federal government is going to decide what health care is and what health coverage is,” Price noted, “then it can decide what care you get, what care I get, and what every single American gets.” . . .
Bobby Eberle: Obama Bows to Pressure, but His Religious 'Accommodation' Even Worse: Wow! Talk about making matters even worse. On Friday, reacting to national outrage over his Obamacare mandate which would force religious employers (such as hospitals and universities) to pay for services that are in direct opposition to the religious faith of the institution, Obama said... Hey! You guys don't have to pay for it. I'll force the insurance companies to cover it... at no cost to anyone. This is insane on so many levels...
CBS News: Cardinal to Obama: Butt out of church business There was a sharp rebuke Wednesday from Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan that put even more pressure on the president to calm a widening election year uproar. The issue at hand was the president’s insistence that Catholic institutions provide free birth control to their employees.
. . . “The federal government should do what it’s traditionally done since July 4, 1776, namely back out of intruding into the internal life of a church,” Dolan told CBS . . .
CNSNews: TV Network Started by Cloistered Nun Sues Sebelius Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)--founded in 1981 by Mother M. Angelica, a cloistered Roman Catholic nun belonging to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration--has filed suit against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other senior officials in the Obama administration arguing that a new regulation requiring health-care plans to cover sterilizations and contraceptives—including those that cause abortions—is a violation of the organization’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. “EWTN’s sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit it from providing coverage for contraception, sterilization, abortion, or related education and counseling,” says a complaint the network filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. . . .
Newsmax - Rush: Obama's Birth-Control Rule Retreat Is Inadequate President Barack Obama’s retreat from requiring Catholic institutions to provide healthcare policies that include birth control does not mean the administration is caving on its intent to trample on the Constitution, Rush Limbaugh said today on his radio show. “There isn’t any cave,” Limbaugh said of Friday’s decision to withdraw the mandate. . . . “Freedom doesn’t mean anything to this guy — to me, this is breathtaking — this is an incredible sight to behold here,” Limbaugh said. “He’s still getting everything he wants . . . and in the process, trampling all over the Constitution. "There's no compromise, no negotiation. There's no phony balance here. Obama is simply not empowered to interfere with religious liberty." . . . “We have yet another example of life in America under the thumb of ever-expanding state with central planning — otherwise known as well intentioned liberalism,” he said. “We’re living in a country that is becoming unrecognizable.”
CitizenLink: Conservatives: Obama Modifies Insurance Mandate, Changes Nothing After two weeks of hearing from outraged citizens, President Obama announced today that his administration will alter the mandate in the federal health care law forcing religious employers to purchase insurance that offers all forms of contraception, possible abortion-causing drugs and sterilization for employees free of charge. . . . But faith-based organizations said the “changed” policy was only a fig leaf — not an olive branch. . . . Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Doug Napier explained. “Through this sleight of hand, the administration is forcing indirectly what it can’t do directly. It is still forcing people of faith to subsidize practices and treatments that violate their values, their morals and their religious beliefs. What’s next? Will the administration force Jewish schools to serve pork because it’s ‘good’ for Jewish students?” Obama’s announcement spurred renewed calls for Congress to pass conscience-protection laws. Two are already in play on Capitol Hill: Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s HR 1179 has 180 bipartisan cosponsors, and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt’s companion piece has 40. . . . Tags:Obama-Care Arena, attack on churches, church funded institutions, Christians, faith, faith based, Catholics, Protestant, Jews, health care, news, articles, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
David Crow - Randy Alexander - Bill Smith (Me)
Pix at Right Online 2011
Bill Smith, Editor: For those who are not one of the 10,000 people attending CPAC 2012 in Washington, D.C., below is a witty summary of the top four Republican candidate speeches by conservative warrior and great lady (yes, I'm biased - see photo). She does it in 20 Words or less - LOL!
Ron Paul: I am not at CPAC. Tags:Michelle Malkin, CPAC, humor, Republican presidential candidates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: God grants us certain inalienable rights and one of those is free speech and this right can be used in a wise or unwise manner. Our country physically borders Canada and Mexico. Exercising ones inalienable right in Canada can land you in prison. Doing the same in Mexico could land you in a grave. Neither country has the same understanding of "free speech" that is in our Bill of Rights. Neither do they understand the restraint on our "Federal" government established by the American people through the U.S. Constitution.
Recently a Supreme Court Justice used her free speech and evidenced her desire for a more powerful judiciary than the one limited by our US Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited Cairo last week. Supposedly, she was there to speak with legislators and judges in Egypt on the future efforts of establishing a new Egyptian constitution.
There is no evidence that she was there to defend the nineteen American democracy and rights workers who are facing trial by a revolutionary government. Instead as reported by Fox News report she was encouraging the "Egyptian revolutionaries not use the U.S. Constitution as a model in the post-Arab Spring." "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. "I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done."
Was Ginsburg advocating support of a judiciary which is not responsible for their actions if and when they violate the Constitution? Was she supporting a court called to "embrace human rights" based on International opinion verses the ineligible rights granted by our Creator and the limits placed by the people on its federal / central government and thus on its courts? Does she advocate a living breathing changing Constitution from the one originally established? These issues drive conservative Constitutionalists to fear people with Ginsberg's liberal beliefs as evidenced in the A.F. Branco cartoon included with this article.
While her comments sent a mixed message, she praised our founding fathers wisdom but also criticized them in their time and culture. However, she acknowledged that the American citizens amended the constitution over our history. She addressed the "First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and a free press to the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause that she, as a lawyer in the 1970s, convinced the court to expand to protect women's rights."
However, the following words by Justice Ginsburg to the Egyptians should also stand as a warning for all Americans. It was reported by the Huffington Post and confirmed by viewing the video of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Interview with Al Hayat TV. When asked by the interviewer how best to draft a constitution and protect it from contemporary political pressures (perhaps alluding to Islamic parties' dominance in the new parliament's lower house), Justice Ginsburg answered,
"A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom."
"If the people don’t care, then the best constitution in the world won’t make any difference," she said.
"The spirit of liberty," she continued, "has to be in the population."
While I disagree with Justice Ginsburg vision of an "independent judiciary" or making decisions based on a constitution on global "human rights" when these rights exceed those granted by the Creator and are fluid depending on "evolving" human opinion, or the opinions of the elites or even the majority (the mob). However, I d agree that if the "The Spirit of Liberty" dies in America, "then the best constitution [the U.S. Constitution] in the world won’t make any difference."
In considering these words, we can also understand the importance of today's TEA party movement, the patriot groups, and conservatives in general who are standing for the "Spirit of Liberty" and arming themselves with the documents and positions of our Founding Fathers and the history underlying the amendments to our Constitution.
Finally, we cannot ignore our history. The United States like all other countries has no claim to perfection. Unfortunately, there have been times and situations in our history when and where "We the People" failed. Both evil and good remain in the heart of human kind. Choice and free will remain as part of our heritage. Thus as a free people, each of us can choose to give in to the dark side of our human nature by avoiding the guidance of the Creator who is the source of our Liberty.
Sen. Mitch McConnell Takes On Obama's Agenda At CPAC
Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke this morning at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC 2012). CPAC is a major annual "watering hole" for conservatives. While I watched via the Internet, a fellow conservative Sam Adams MMIV attended the speech at CPAC. Rather than just provide copy McConnell's speech, below are detailed "cliff notes."This will provide readers with links and support information related to Sen. McConnell's key points.
Unemployment Reality The Obama Administration Said Their Stimulus Package Would Keep Unemployment Below 8 Percent, But That’s Not What Happened
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):“Three years ago this month President Obama signed a trillion dollar Stimulus bill that we were told would keep unemployment below 8 percent and drop-kick us out of the recession.”(Sen. McConnell, Remarks (As Prepared) At CPAC, Washington, D.C. 2/9/12)
President Obama’s Deficit Reality President Obama Once Promised To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):“Shortly after the Stimulus bill was signed, President Obama made another promise — he said he’d cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks (As Prepared) At CPAC, Washington, D.C. 2/9/12)
President Obama: ‘I'm Pledging To Cut The Deficit We Inherited In Half’
Federal Pay Freeze ‘Federal Compensation Has Soared In The Past Decade,’ And Sen. McConnell Says Taxpayers ‘Have Every Reason To Demand A Federal Pay Freeze’
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “When the American people read that the compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled over the past 10 years, and that the benefits for federal workers are about 60% higher than the taxpayers who pay for them, they have every reason to demand a federal pay freeze.”(Sen. McConnell, Remarks (As Prepared) At CPAC, Washington, D.C. 2/9/12)
‘Gap Between Federal And Private Workers Has Doubled’
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 9, 2011:
The big news in Washington, D.C. is the opening of CPAC 2012 (Conservative Political Action Committee) today. Already today, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli received the CPAC / NRA 2012 Defended of the Constitution Award.
Yesterday the House passed (238-175) H.R. 3521 to amend the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to provide for a legislative line-item veto to expedite consideration of rescission, and for other purposes.
This morning, the House passed (417-2) H.R. S 2038 — The House version of the Congressional insider trading bill. They also voted 405 - 15 on a motion to instruct conferees who will meet with senator conference member to resolve differences in the two versions of the bill.
The Senate is still considering S. 1813, the highway bill. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) tried to attach a bill to roll back the Obamacare mandate that attacks religious liberty. However, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Read (D-NV) blocked it.
Sen. GOP Leader Mitch McConnell responded to "Dirty Harry" Reid's refusal of Blunts amendment:
"Our country is unique in the world because it was established on the basis of an idea: that we are all endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights — in other words, rights that are conferred not by a king or a president or a Congress, but by the Creator himself. The state protects these rights, but it doesn’t grant them.
And what the state doesn’t grant, the state can’t take away. That’s what this week’s debate on a particularly odious outcome from the President’s health care law has been about: Our founders believed so strongly that the government should neither establish a religion, nor prevent its free exercise that they listed it as the very first item in the Bill of Rights.
"And Republicans are trying today to reaffirm that basic right. But Democrats won’t allow it. They won’t allow those of us who were sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution to even offer an amendment that says we believe in our First Amendment right to religious freedom. I never thought I’d see the day. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life defending the First Amendment. But I never thought I’d see the day when the elected representatives of the people of this country would be blocked by a majority party in Congress to even express their support for it."
Numerous "conservative" members of Congress have made their way over to CPAC. Videos and comments by various attendees will be posted separately. Tags:Washington, D.C., Senate, House, CPAC, religious freedomTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
· “I thought it was wrong and an encroachment on religious freedom and the constitution…” (Sen. Manchin, Fox and Friends, 2/9/12) Tags:Democrats, criticizing, Barack Obama, attacks, religious freedomTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Lachlan Markay, Scribe: A new National Labor Relations Board regulation that expedites elections for union representation will likely lead to dramatically higher rates of unionization, a new study has found.
A majority of workplace union elections are decided by five or fewer votes, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis. What’s more, “cutting the time between a request for an election and the ballot increases the chances union supporters will prevail,” according to the study. “Unions win 87 percent of elections held 11 to 15 days after a request, a rate that falls to 58 percent when the vote takes place after 36 to 40 days, according to the researchers.”
The 11 to 15 day time frame is very close to what the new NLRB rule is expected to achieve. According to Heritage labor policy expert James Sherk, the “snap elections” rule will trim the time between an election request and the election itself to 10 to 21 days, a significant drop from the current average of 31 days.
“If a broader set of elections were to occur more quickly,” wrote Bloomberg analysts Jason Arvelo and Ian Hathaway, “the likely outcome would be more organizing drives, a higher success rate for unions and ultimately more union membership.”
Unions often plan organizing drives before they actually request a workplace election, while employers, who may not be aware of the effort, are forced to make their case only during the period between an election request and the actual election. Hence, shortening that period of time is more prohibitive to an employer’s ability to make the case against unionization than a union’s ability to lobby for it.
As Sherk explained:
Some organizers rely on aggressive sales tactics, such as “SPIN selling.” In SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff) selling, organizers lead employees through the four emotional states to persuade them that a union will solve their problems at work—whether or not a union could actually help—and to secure a signed union-authorization card. Unions also train organizers to avoid the potential downsides to unionization, such as strikes and dues increases.
Employees will hear the other side of the story only from management. Employers, not union organizers, will explain that unions often do not achieve their promised wage increases, but they always take up to 2 percent of workers’ wages in dues. Employers will also point out patterns of union corruption and clauses in union constitutions that levy stiff fines against workers who stray from union rules. Employers are free to tell workers what the union organizers do not.
Workers deserve to hear from both sides and have time for reflection. They should have the right to consider whether union representation will truly benefit them. The government should not push workers into unions, much less deny them the time to consider the downsides. The NLRB’s proposed rule undermines employees’ ability to make an informed choice.
Tags:big labor, national labor relations board, NLRB, snap elections, unions, business, Democrats, elections, Government Control, Government corruption, intimidation, Jobs, Barack Obama, unionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congressional Leaders Will Fight For Religious Freedom
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 8, 2011:
Yesterday the House passed (239 - 181) House Resolution 539 - Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3581) to amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to increase transparency in Federal budgeting.
The House passed (259-164) HR 1734 - Civilian Property Realignment Act - to sell and consolidate federal civilian properties.
HR 3581 failed to pass (190-238) Amendment to the the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 - Budget transparency and accounting - Democrats voted for and Republicans voted against this bill.
The Senate is not in session today because Democrats are holding their annual retreat. Tomorrow, the Senate will reconvene and in the afternoon vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1813, the highway bill.
House News: Speaker John Boehner identified today how the U.S House Will act to "Reverse Obama Administration Attack on Religious Freedom:"
“In recent days, Americans of every faith and political persuasion have mobilized in objection to a rule put forward by the Obama Administration that constitutes an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. This rule would require faith-based employers – including Catholic charities, schools, universities, and hospitals – to provide services they believe are immoral. Those services include sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, and contraception.
“In imposing this requirement, the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries, encroaching on religious freedom in a manner that affects millions of Americans and harms some of our nation’s most vital institutions.
“If the president does not reverse the Department’s attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must. The House will approach this matter fairly and deliberately, through regular order and the appropriate legislative channels.
“Because it has primary jurisdiction on the issues involved, the Energy & Commerce Committee is taking the lead on the legislative process that will be necessary to enact an effective and appropriate solution. Chairman Upton convened a hearing last year and began laying the groundwork for legislative action when this flawed rule was first proposed. I welcome his efforts to consider all possible options as his committee proceeds with its work.
“This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand, and will not stand.”
A few days ago, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved (29-24) and sent to the floor HR 7 - the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act Approved by Committee. The House is expected to take up the bill this month. Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said, “No other bill this Congress will create jobs, lower energy costs or improve our deteriorating infrastructure as effectively as this legislation."
However, a noteworthy point in the bill is that H.R. 7 has no earmarks. In addition to having no earmarks, H.R. 7 eliminates or consolidates nearly 70 duplicative transportation programs. The bill reforms the process from top to bottom: no earmarks and no ‘stimulus’ spending, only pro-growth reforms that link expanded energy production to infrastructure repair and cut through red tape to ensure taxpayer resources are used wisely and efficiently.
Still, House Democrats continue to chafe at the lack of earmarks in the bill, and it is perhaps one reason why many of them oppose it.Politico identified that longtime House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) said, “We’ve never done this on the transportation bill. There’s always been earmarks.” Politico also noted the feeling of other established congressional veterans who believe "the earmark ban means a highway bill won’t generate the same excitement. If lawmakers can’t have that photo op next to the project they funded, what’s the point?"
Speaker Boehner today addressed H.R. 7 in a statement to the media. The Speaker said, " in addition to having no earmarks, eliminates or consolidates nearly 70 duplicative transportation programs and removes government barriers to job creation."
This pro-growth approach is “markedly different” from infrastructure bills written in the past by leaders in both parties, who stuffed highway bills with earmarks, many of which siphoned off resources from high-priority projects. In 2005, a Republican-led Congress passed a federal highway bill containing more than 6,300 earmarks. Speaker Boehner was one of eight lawmakers to vote against the bill. “Every few years we go through the same inefficient, top-down approach that we're going through now, and how do taxpayers and drivers benefit? We really don't,” Boehner said at the time. “This process is clearly broken.”
Republicans’ “focus on curbing government spending has transformed the discussion on transportation over the last year,” National Journal reports. “Earmarks, which once drove the entire surface transportation authorization process, are now a thing of the past.”
Senate News:Politico writes today, “Senate Republicans late Tuesday stepped up their assault on the White House’s politically volatile contraceptive coverage mandate, vowing to find some way of striking it if the administration didn’t roll back the rules itself. Using unusually strong language in a floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the new policy ‘abhorrent’ and said the administration had crossed a ‘dangerous line’ with its decision to require employers to offer birth control for free as a preventive health benefit in health plans, a decision that was part of the implementation of the 2010 health care reform law. . . . ‘Make no mistake: The Obama administration’s decision to force religious hospitals, charities and schools to comply with a mandate that violates their religious views is abhorrent to the foundational principles of our nation,’ McConnell said. ‘No one in the United States of America should ever be compelled by their government to choose between violating their religious beliefs or be penalized for refusing.’”
Another Politico piece notes, “Led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), senators have blasted the contraception ruling in floor speeches, at news conferences and in letters to top administration officials.” And CBS News adds, “Republicans are keeping up the pressure on the Obama administration to walk back its new rule on birth control coverage, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning today, ‘If they don't, Congress will act.’”
In a The Wall Street Journaleditorial today, looks beyond the mandate itself, and pointed to the underlying problems of Obamacare. “The political furor over President Obama's birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn't be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty.”
The WSJ editors write, “The Affordable Care Act itself is ambiguous about what counts as a religious organization that deserves conscience protection. Like so much else in the rushed bill, this was left to administrative discretion. What the law does cement is the principle that the government will decide for everyone what ‘health care’ must mean. The entire thrust of ObamaCare is to standardize benefits and how they must be paid for and provided, regardless of individual choices or ethical convictions. To take a small example: The HHS rule prohibits out-of-pocket costs for birth control, simply because Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's regulators believe no woman should have to pay anything for it. To take a larger example: The Obama Administration's legal defense of the mandate to buy insurance or else pay a penalty is that the mere fact of being alive gives the government the right to regulate all Americans at every point in their lives. Practicing this kind of compulsion is routine and noncontroversial within Ms. Sebelius's ministry. That may explain why her staff didn't notice that the birth-control rule abridges the First Amendment's protections for religious freedom. Then again, maybe HHS thought the public had become inured to such edicts, which have arrived every few weeks since the Affordable Care Act passed. Bad call.”
Senate GOP Leader McConnell responded yesterday, [T]his [HHS] ruling should send a chill up the spine of people of all religious faiths — and even those with none at all. Because if the state is allowed to violate the religious rights of one religion, then surely it can violate those of others. If the rights of some are not protected, the rights of all are in danger. Isn’t that what history clearly teaches? Isn’t that what the Constitution is all about? The Obama administration has crossed a dangerous line.”
He continued, “The Founders knew that the right of religious belief is inviolable. They gave this God-given right the pride of place they knew it deserved so that Americans would never have reason to fear its loss. Unfortunately, because of the actions of this Administration Americans now do. This is a huge mistake that I hope the administration is currently reconsidering. And if they don’t, Congress will act. The First Amendment rights of the American people must be protected.” Tags:US Senate, US House, religious freedom, no earmarks, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Considering Manifest Destiny And The Passing Of American Hero : Jimmie Begay
Bill Smith: People who have and do serve honorably in the military living up to their Oaths and remembering "Duty, Honor, Country" are heroes in my book. However, some deserve special mention in their passing. The mentioning is not because they would consider themselves better than others but because some stand out to their fellow heroes due to some uniqueness of choice, dignity and a willingness to "bear the crap of their generation."
Within the United States, it is easy to forget that we are a country containing nations. Yes, we pledge to the United States our loyalty in saying "One Nation Under God." But in fact, there are nations who have stood within the matrix of our expansionist history. Within the United States, there are people who are both fellow citizens but who are also member of nations bound by treaties to the United States government - the American Indian Nations.
Although not part of the following tribute, the treatment of the peoples within the Indian Nations bear evidence of the failures of Big Government. The history of treaty failures should serve as a reminder that the Federal Government is far from being capable of administering today's massive liberal social programs. The Federal Government has enough responsibility addressing its legitimate Constitutional requirements - National Defense, internal treaty requirements, responsibility to those serving and to those whom have served, military retirees and disabled veterans.
These responsibilities have often proven to be beyond the capability of the Federal Government let alone its impetuous continued bureaucratic expansionism into the areas clearly defined as those of its member states or the rights and personal choices of the individual citizen. Manifest Destiny formerly defined the desire of the Unites States to expand its borders and thus its control from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Presently, intellectual liberal socialism has established its own manifest destiny for Big Government: The control of all Americans from pre-birth to the grave.
Today, I join in honoring the passing Jimmie Begay, an American, a member of The Navajo Nation, a U.S Marine, and a WWII "code talker," and a veteran. New Mexico blogger and conservative friend Cindy at The Pink Flamingo has detailed the following:
Sgt. Jimmie Begay
86 years old
from Sawmill, Arizona
1st Marine Division,
February 1, 2012
The Navajo Nation has lost another "code talker". Sgt. Jimmie Begay passed away Wednesday night at Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance at the age of 88 from a head injury he sustained after a fall. Sgt. Begay enlisted in the Marines in 1942 when he was 17 years old. Sadly there isn’t much information on Sgt. Begay, but you can read more about him on The Navajo Times.
Sgt. Jimmie Begay passed away Wednesday night at Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance at the age of 88.
During World War II, Begay served in the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, Saipan, and Tinian.
Begay enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1942 when he was 17 years old, according to the president's office.
From Fort Wingate, N.M., he boarded a bus for Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he completed boot camp before transferring to Camp Elliot to train as a code talker.
After completing his service in the Marines in 1945, Begay received an honorable discharge. He then finished his schooling at Santa Fe Indian High School.
He worked as a guard at the Army Depot-Japanese Internment Camp in Leupp, Ariz. He competed in boxing before starting work at Navajo Forest Products Industry in Navajo, N.M. He retired from NFPI in 1985.
Begay earned numerous commendations for his service in the Pacific theater, including the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001.
Begay is survived by his son, Thurman Begay of Sawmill, Ariz.; grandchildren, Jacquelyn A. Begay and Janelle R. Begay of Sawmill, Scott Begay and Rhonda Roan of Albuquerque; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sophie Begay; parents, Carl Begay and Nazbah Blackgoat; brothers, Kenneth M. Begay and Kee Begay; sisters, Ruth Stewart and Lottie Randall; and son, Perry Begay.
. . . President Ben Shelly has ordered the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half-staff from Thursday through sundown on Sunday in honor of Begay.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero. Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To LookCheck out: Wednesday's Hero.
This tribute is also shared at Findalis' "Monkey in the Middle" blog. Tags:veteran, Jimmie Begay, Marine, U.S. Army, WW II, code talker, Navaho, Navaho Nation, American, hero, died, Manifest Destiny, Federal GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Results are updated With New Reporting: Missouri: With 100% of the primary vote in for the non-binding Missouri Republican primary, Rick Santorum wins with 55% of the votes; Mitt Romney 25%, Ron Paul 12%. Newt Gingrich did not compete thus zero votes. Now Missouri gets confusing because tonight's votes are not official in selecting delegates. Missouri will now hold caucuses to determine candidates and delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Minnesota: Rick Santorum wins the Minnesota Republican Caucus. However the caucuses are nonbinding and delegates will be determined latter. Minnesota has 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention. With 86% of the caucus votes reported: Rick Santorum 45%; Ron Paul 27%; Mitt Romney 17%; Newt Gingrich 11%.
Colorado: Rick Santorum wins the Colorado nonbinding Republican caucus. Its delegates are determined later. Colorado has 36 delegates to the Republican National Convention. With 100% reporting, Santorum 40%, Romney 35%, Gingrich 13% and Paul 12%.
Rick Santorum in his speech identified himself as the true conservative. Addressed America's future and his positions to restore the freedoms for our grandchildren. He said, "I do not stand here as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here as the conservative alternative to Barack Obama." Tags:Republican, primary, caucuses, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, election 2012, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Democrats, fundamental transformation, hope and change, rope and chains, recycle, A.F. Branco, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
High Gas Prices - Keystone Pipeline Languishes - Canada Looks To China
Yesterday, the Senate voted 75-20 to approve the conference report for the FAA Reauthorization bill, H.R. 658. It’s possible today that the Senate will take up the motion to proceed to S. 1813, the highway bill.
Yesterday the House passed HR 306 (voice vote) — North Carolina wild horses and HR 1162 (381-7) — Quileute Tribe tsunami and flood protection.
The Los Angeles Times writes today, “Last month turned out to be the most expensive January ever at U.S. gasoline pumps . . . . January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the year-end holidays. Not so this year. In January, retail gasoline prices averaged $3.37 a gallon, according to the Oil Price Information Service, a private fuel information service. That compared with the previous record average for the month of $3.095 a gallon, set last year. In 2010, January gasoline prices averaged just $2.71 a gallon. The new record meant more pain in Americans' budgets. A typical household, burning about 50 gallons of gasoline a month, paid about $168.50 for that fuel in January, or $33 more than in January 2010. . . . In February, pump prices have continued to rise and remain at record levels for this time of the year. . . . The price spurt may not be over, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, a fuel price tracking website. ‘Gasoline prices tend to start moving significantly higher toward the end of February and into mid-March, so motorists should be preparing for higher prices,’ DeHaan said.”
This follows yesterday’s news from USA Today that $4 gas may be on the way and “Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May.”
These gas price spikes again show the necessity of securing reliable sources of American energy, such as a pipeline that would bring oil from our friends and allies in Canada (as well as oil formations in the United States). Keystone XL would do just that, in addition to creating tens of thousands of jobs for Americans.
Unfortunately, President Obama rejected the pipeline last month. And now, according to Canada’s Postmedia News, “[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper] is courting China as a customer for Canadian natural resources — insisting it's in Canada's national interest to send oil and gas to Asia — and looking to sew stronger economic ties with the world's fastest-growing economy. . . . It's expected China will seek a more formalized energy relationship with Canada during the official visit, with its state-owned petroleum companies having invested more than $10 billion into Alberta's oilsands and B.C. shale gas deposits over the past few years. . . . Currently, Canada only exports oilsands crude to the United States, but the Obama administration's recent decision to reject, for now, the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline has Harper searching for new energy customers.”
Clearly, we can’t afford to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline any longer. Therefore, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, plans to introduce an amendment to a highway bill that would finally approve the Keystone XL pipeline and expand domestic energy production. As CQ puts it, the Hatch amendment “would allow energy leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and waters off California and in the Eastern Gulf” and “would immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”
As North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said in the Weekly Republican address last month, “If the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t built, Canadian oil will still be produced and transported—700,000 barrels a day of it—but instead of coming to our refineries in the United States, instead of creating jobs for our people, instead of reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keeping down the cost of fuel for American consumers—that oil will be sent to China.”
It’s long past time for President Obama to approve this pipeline, the jobs it will create, and the energy security it will bring.
Tags:Washington, D.C., U.S. Senate, U.S. House, FAA Authorization, gar prices, Keystone XL, pipeline, Canada, ChinaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Dirty Harry Reid: GOP Wants " Arsenic And Mercury In The Water"
Two Weeks After Calling For ‘Common Ground,’ The Majority Leader Claims Republicans Want To Put ‘Arsenic And Mercury In The Water’
Harry Reid - Chief Senate Arsenic and Mercury Provider
SEN. REID: Republicans Want To Put ‘Arsenic And Mercury In The Water’
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “We'll give you a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans if you will let us continue to put things like arsenic and mercury in the water of the American people. That's not a very good deal.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 2/6/12)
FLASHBACK: ‘This Year Democrats And Republicans Must Seek Common Ground’
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV):“When we work together, we achieve greater results for the American people. That is why this year Democrats and Republicans must seek common ground. We must also admit it when we find that common ground, and work on that common ground we have discovered. We should all be able to agree that Congress must do whatever it takes to help create jobs and strengthen our economy.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.14, 1/23/12) Tags:Democrat, Senator, Harry Reid, Arsenic, Mercury, WaterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America
2011 Study of Mosques in U.S.A.
EncounterBooks: The real threat to the United States is not terrorism. The real threat is the sophisticated forces of Islamism, which have collaborated with the American Left not only to undermine U.S. national security but to shred the fabric of American constitutional democracy. In The Grand Jihad, bestselling author Andrew C. McCarthy provides a harrowing account of how the global Islamist movement's jihad involves far more than terrorist attacks, and how it has found the ideal partner in President Barack Obama, whose Islamist sympathies run deep.
McCarthy is the former federal prosecutor who convicted the notorious "Blind Sheikh" and other jihadists for waging a terrorist war that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In his national bestseller, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter 2008), he explored government's conscious avoidance of the terrorist threat, which made the nation vulnerable to mass-murder attacks. In The Grand Jihad he exposes a more insidious peril: government's active concealment of the Islamist ideology that unabashedly vows to "conquer America." With the help of witting and unwitting accomplices in and out of government, Islamism doesn't merely fuel terrorism but spawns America-hating Islamic enclaves in our midst and gradually foists Islam's repressive law, sharia, on American life. The revolutionary doctrine has made common cause with an ascendant Left that also seeks radical transformation of our constitutional order. The prognosis for liberty could not be more dire. [Read The Book - Same Title]
Tags:Muslim Brotherhood, Grand Jihad, Andrew C. McCarthy, Islamist, Islam, Barack Obama, Terrorism, Sharia, Islamic law Jihad, Sobatage America, book, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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