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] - firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Sen. Boozman: EPW Hearing on GSA Scandal
ARRA News Service: U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) questions General Services Administration about the waste, fraud and abuse at the agency that was brought to light by the taxpayer-financed junkets scandal.
Sen. Boozman, seen by many as a gentle giant used his persuasive nature in his questioning at this hearing. The responses by the Inspector General Hon. Brian D. Miller and Acting GSA Director Dan Tangherlini are insightful into this debacle by the General Services Administration.
Boozman, Arkansas, Government Oversight, GSA Scandal
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Tags: Chuck Colson, Charles Colson, Charles W Colson, tribute, RIP, Prison Fellowship, BreakPoint, Colson Center,
Nixon administration, Justice Fellowship, Christian WorldviewTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: Over 2.66 years ago, I addressed the jury trial conviction of former Louisiana Democrat Representative William J. Jefferson. He was found guilty 11 Times.
The jury's decision has now confirmed what the voters in Louisiana knew in their gut at the last election when they ousted indicted ten term (20 years) Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson. Today, the jury found Jefferson guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty guilty, guilty, guilty guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty! The voters of Louisiana had tolerated Jefferson far too long as their congressman and those of us "North of the border" in Arkansas appreciated the Louisiana voters replacing him even before today's jury decision.
After five days of deliberation, the jury of eight women and four men decided that Jefferson was indeed a criminal and found him guilty of 11 public-corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and
racketeering. . . . If this had been a some local drug induced criminal, they would have been sentenced on their way to the slammer, but the feds have more work to do and evidently, sentencing a former congressman takes a little longer. . . .
The charges on which Jefferson was convicted could carry up to 150 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines make that unlikely. Prosecutors indicated that Jefferson could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, but the Jefferson's defense team will seek a lighter penalty. A former U.S. congressman who is guilty of 11 counts of public-corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and racketeering while a congressman seems to me to deserve at least a minimum of 22 years in prison. . . .
Well, justice did not follow my suggestion (more later). Instead, Mr. Jefferson was only sentenced to 13-year sentence on bribery and public corruption charges. Then he was allowed to remain free (being a former congressman has its privileges), under electronic monitor, while he appealed his convictions. Well now nearly 3 years later, Judge T.S. Ellis, who sentenced Jefferson has apparently had enough. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected his attorneys' request for a new trial last month, and he is headed to the slammer.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, must report to prison by May 4 to to begin serving his 13-year sentence on bribery and public corruption charges, a judge ordered today, revoking his $50,000 bail.
Judge T.S. Ellis, who sentenced Jefferson to after his 2009 corruption conviction said he was setting the specific date for Jefferson to report, rather than leaving it up to the federal prison system, because of the length of time he has been allowed to remain free since his conviction.
Ellis has allowed Jefferson to remain free, under electronic monitor, while his appeals process moved forward.
The 13-year-sentence Ellis gave Jefferson, now 65, was the longest ever in a corruption case for a member of Congress, but less than half of what prosecutors had sought.
U.S. Attorney Mark Lytle, speaking in Ellis' courtroom this morning, said that when a three-judge Appellate panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected his attorneys' request for a new trial last month, it became clear that he isn't likely to prevail in any future appeal.
His attorneys have decided not to appeal the March 26 ruling directly to the full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and are now expected to take their challenge directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. They have until late June to file their appeal, and the High Court, which takes a tiny percentage of requested cases, . . .
But where do you house a convicted former Representative? Well everyone is seeking a more comfortable location for this despicable criminal. As detailed in the article: "Jefferson's lawyer, agreed to the revocation of bail and urged that his client be assigned to a federal prison facility near New Orleans,
possibly in Pensacola, Fla. Lytle said the prosecutors had no objection. Ellis said he would continue the recommendation he made in his 2009 sentencing order, recommending that the Bureau of Prisons assign Jefferson to a minimum security facility near New Orleans"
And we wonder what is wrong with government? Jefferson owes $5 million in legal fees and has filed for bankruptcy.Regardless, with Jefferson's income and friends in low places he may still walkout of prison a wealthy man. The same cannot be said for his wife and brother (Note their status on Wikepedia). I still believe the suggested punishment in my former article would have been more appropriate for Mr. Jefferson:
Since I am a taxpayer and am tired of paying for useless program, I am suggesting a more "favorable sentencing for the taxpayers." After all, we continue to suffer by paying the bills after
the usual sentencing. I suggest that Jefferson should be required to pay a fine of $22 million dollars, plus all court and federal prosecution costs, plus all monitoring costs while during a 10 years
probation period and doing 5 years of public service all of which must be menial and not allow him to have public access to the elderly, children or elected or former elected officials. This sentence would
save the taxpayers the cost of incarcerating Jefferson in a special prison with special treatment and protection as a former congressman. It would also help the taxpayers reclaim some of his congressional
retirement which he draws for his 20 year in Congress where he leverage his position to get bribes. Oh well, we can dream of real justice for Mr. William Jefferson!
Tags:Democrat, corruption, guilty, Louisiana, Representative, sentencing, William Jefferson, prisonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 20, 2011:
Congress is in recess until Monday, April 23.
Yesterday the House passed (235-173) HR 9, The Small Business Tax Cut Act which would reduce the tax rate on small businesses from from 35% to 28%. he Senate did not advance any bills.
After not adopting a budget resolution since April 29, 2009—1,087 days ago—the Senate's Democrat majority appeared set this week to at least hold a mark-up in the Budget Committee; that is, debate and amend the measure before voting whether or not to send it to the full Senate. At the last minute, however, the Senate's Democrat leadership and Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad cancelled the mark-up. Senators were instead only permitted to offer opening statements; no amendments were considered and no votes were cast.
Although they were prevented from considering amendments, offering alternative proposals, or voting on any budget resolution, every Republican Senator on the Budget Committee attended this week’s committee meeting to urge the chamber’s Democrat majority to reverse its three-year position that no budget should be considered in the Senate. They were a more than a little irritated after the Democrats cancelled the markup of the budget after the Democrat Senators again basically proclaimed - "We Don't Need No Stinking Budgets." he democrats are repeating their mantra from 2010 of pushing for a continuing resolution to avoid going on the record for the public to see before the 2012 elections. It is save their butts time.
Every Republican Senator attended the committee meeting to urge the chamber's Democrat leadership to abandon its resistance to taking up a budget plan. Below they joining together at the cancelled budget markup to demand that the Senate Majority allow votes on the budget.
If you missed it, this week, Senate Republicans did something officially about the Unconstitutional Recess Appointments made by President Barack Obama. They retained former Assistant to the Solicitor General Miguel Estrada to file an amicus brief on behalf of Senate Republicans in a challenge (Noel Canning v. NLRB) to the constitutionality of President Obama’s so-called “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January.
The suit is being brought by Noel Canning, a local, family-owned business in Washington State that bottles and distributes soft drinks. The company is challenging the NLRB’s determination that it must enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union.
“The President’s decision to circumvent the American people by installing his appointees at a powerful federal agency, when the Senate was not in recess, and without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate, is an unprecedented power grab,” Sen. McConnell said. “We will demonstrate to the Court how the President’s unconstitutional actions fundamentally endanger the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.”
McConnell continued: “Miguel Estrada is one of the country’s foremost appellate advocates. He has argued 20 cases before the United States Supreme Court, and we are gratified that he will defend the Senate’s constitutional role in the confirmation process.” Tags:US Senate, Budget Committee, Senate Republicansd, budget, democrats, debt, deficit, taxes, government spending,Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi, Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, John Thune,
Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, US House Small Business Tax Cut Act , HR 9, Barack Obama, unconstitutional recess appointments, Senate Republicans, Miguel Estrada, Amicus brief, SCOTUSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: I can't believe I'm writing about dogs, but for months now the Obama campaign has tried to pigeonhole Mitt Romney as a heartless, out-of-touch elitist. Part
of its narrative has focused on how the Romney family once transported their
Irish Setter, Seamus, on a family vacation to Canada (in a crate on the roof of
the family car.) Oh the horror!
But this isn't a joke. The Obama campaign is attempting to create a Romney "doggate" scandal. Liberals are making Seamus a constant talking point. In fact, one New York Times columnist
has written about the dog more than 50 times! Lanny Davis, a well-respected
Democrat insider, never misses an opportunity to inject the dog's treatment into
There is even a website devoted to "Crategate" and a
Facebook page with more than 50,000 fans. David Axelrod is tweeting pictures of
dogs. Why? Because Americans love their dogs and Obama and his hacks are willing
to politicize EVERYTHING.
Well, now the news has broken that 30 years
ago as a young boy growing up in Indonesia, Barack Obama, actually dined on
dogs! I might be inclined to give the president a pass on this. After all, it's
hard to hold him responsible for what he did as a child. But Democrats seriously
think they can use the "Seamus scandal" to smear Romney and win votes. Fine. The
gloves are off!
At least the Romneys loved their dog so much that they
didn't want to put Seamus in a kennel and built a special crate so they could
take him with them on the family trip. Now would you rather be the dog on
Romney's roof or the dog on Obama's dinner plate? Instead of the bumper sticker,
"Mitt is Mean," how about "Barack Bites"? Some bloggers have weighed in and
suggested Obama eats "pup tarts" and loves "chicken poodle soup."
Seriously, folks, this story is just one more example of the Obama
campaign's attempt to distract you from far more serious issues like the
economy, the debt, Obama's foreign policy disasters and his attack on religious
liberty and our values.
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, presidential campaigns, going to the dogs, Barack Obama, Mitt RomneyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: The oppressive monster known as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not just killing jobs these days – it is intentionally avoiding transparency that may shed light on the political motivations behind the agency’s actions.
Started in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, the EPA was a small agency that combined several anti-pollution and clean water agencies into one agency with 4,084 employees and a $1 billion budget. Today, it has 17,000 employees and has evolved from its narrow focus into an unconstitutional, blunt instrument with vast powers that the Obama Administration wields to promote a radical political agenda that is destroying prosperity and ruining lives.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in Sackett v. EPA against the agency. The Sacketts, a young married couple in Idaho, started building their dream home in 2005 but fell victim to an EPA compliance order that charged them with putting fill material onto a wetlands on their property.
When the Sacketts tried to appeal the EPA’s decision, they were told that there was no appeals process unless the agency intended to file an enforcement action that would include significant civil and criminal penalties. While two lower courts ruled in favor of the EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the Sacketts, declaring that decisions made under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act were subject to an appeal.
While that battle was won, the EPA’s war on the free market and economic prosperity continues. Even though Congress did not pass legislation to limit carbon emissions or create a “cap and trade” scheme, the EPA has developed burdensome and often contradictory regulations specially designed to harm the same petroleum refining industry America must depend on for any semblance of energy independence.
EPA’s politically motivated regulations aimed at the oil industry also hurt consumers. Just this week, the National Automobile Dealers Association released a study showing that EPA’s new fuel economy standards will make cars so much more expensive that some 7 million working families and college students will not be able to afford them.
But perhaps most egregiously, EPA overreach was a major factor in why no decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will be made until after the 2012 elections. If approved, the Pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs while providing Americans access to as much of 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil for U.S. markets.
To find out what was going on behind the scenes in the Keystone XL decision, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Obama’s State Department and EPA. The goal was to understand if politics and special interest group pressure entered into the decision to delay the pipeline.
But while extreme environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, which opposes the pipeline, had no problem receiving similar information after its FOIA request, IER’s request has been delayed. After four months and multiple submissions, the Obama administration has refused to comply, violating FOIA standards. The decision to delay the Keystone Pipeline was clearly so politicized that the agencies involved are willing break the law to cover their tracks. This can hardly be the transparent government that the President promised us when he ran for president in 2008.
EPA overreach, including that on the Keystone Pipeline, destroys the jobs that workers need to pay for the higher gas prices for which EPA is largely responsible. Everyone is in favor of cleaner air and a better environment, but EPA makes no attempt to strike a balance between economic opportunity and environmental gains.
Through greenhouse gas rules, unrealistic fuel economy standards, and now its opposition to Keystone, EPA seems hellbent on making oil – the energy that powers our economy – a fuel of the past. Right now, that philosophy is hitting Americans right in the wallet.
It is time to limit the tyrannical, unelected, and hyper-political bureaucracy. That starts with exposing the politics behind the EPA’s Keystone XL position.
--------------- J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Barack Obama, Secretive, Keystone XL Pipeline, Decision, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Sackett v. EPA, EPA’s war on the free market and economic prosperity, politics behind the EPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
13 Politically Incorrect Gun Rules for Conservatives
April 18, 2012
1. Guns have only two enemies: rust and politicians.
2. It’s always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
3. Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.
4. Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside arms length.
5. Never say, “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.
6. The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.
7. The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win – cheat if necessary.
Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets . . . You may get
killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it,
because it’ll be empty.
9. If you’re in a gunfight:
If you’re not shooting, you should be loading.
If you’re not loading, you should be moving.
If you’re not moving, you’re dead.
10. In a life and death situation, do something . . . It may be wrong, but do something!
11. If you carry a gun, people call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?
You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or any other word, but a large bore muzzle
pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language.
13. You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family.
H/T IJReview.com for the above article who like the ARRA News Service are advocates of the Right to Bear Arms, and also of safe gun use. Submitted to the ARRA News Service by a faithful reader: Ronald Mattison.Tags: Politically Incorrect, Gun Rules, ConservativesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats Block Confirmation Of NRC Whistleblower - The Only Woman On NRC Commissioner?
But Watch Out! Harry Reid will block you if you report abuse of women.
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 19, 2012
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1925, the bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. But the Democrats are blocking the only woman from confirmation on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission - reason she couldn't tolerate compromising on the nation's nuclear safety. More below.
This afternoon, he Senate will resume consideration of the postal reform bill, S. 1789. If a unanimous consent agreement on amendments to the bill is not reached, the Senate will immediately proceed to a cloture vote (to cut off debate) on the substitute amendment from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME). If cloture is not invoked, there will then be a cloture vote on the underlying bill.
Yesterday, the House passed (293 - 127) H.R. 4348, an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund
pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs, and for other purposes."
The House also passed without objection H.R. 2453 which requires "The Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain."
Yesterday, the AP wrote, “Last December, Kristine Svinicki and other members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Congress that the NRC’s Democratic chairman was an intimidating bully whose actions could compromise the nation’s nuclear safety. The commissioners - two Democrats and two Republicans - said NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko was responsible for an increasingly tense and unsettled work environment, and that women at the NRC felt particularly
threatened.Svinicki, the only woman on the five-member panel, said she was so uncomfortable around Jaczko that she asked her chief of staff to ‘keep watch’ over a private meeting with the chairman in her office.
“Now Republican senators say Svinicki is being targeted by the White House and Democratic leaders in the
Senate. Her term expires in June . . . and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has
made it clear he will oppose her. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
took to the Senate floor Wednesday to denounce the ‘curious lack of action’ on
Svinicki’s reappointment and called any further delay unacceptable. Svinicki,
45, a nuclear engineer and former Senate GOP aide, is ‘one of the most respected
commissioners ever to serve at the NRC,’ McConnell said, noting that the Senate
unanimously approved her first nomination in 2008.”
This morning, Reuters reports, “President Barack Obama will renominate Republican Kristine Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, defying opposition from Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, a White House official told Reuters on Thursday.
Republicans want Svinicki, whose term as a commissioner expires in June, to stay
on the panel and believe the process is being held up because she, along with
three other commission members, accused the current NRC chairman, a Democrat, of
The important question now is
whether Senate Democrats will swiftly confirm Svinicki since a Reuters report yesterday pointed out that
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “is vehemently opposed to the idea” of
Democrats have spent a lot of time recently trying to falsely claim that they are the only party that supports women. Why, then, would they oppose the nomination of an accomplished and respected women who blew the whistle on intimidation of women at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the commission’s Democrat chairman, Gregory Jaczko?
Reuters writes, “Last year, Svinicki and the three other commissioners at the NRC - two Democrats, two Republicans - took the unprecedented step of complaining to the White House about the management style of Gregory Jaczko, the NRC chairman. Their concerns were made public in December during hearings on Capitol Hill, where the commissioners accused Jaczko - a former Reid staffer - of berating senior women NRC staff members, bringing them to tears in front of others.”Svinicki told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about “the Chairman’s continued outbursts of abusive rage directed at subordinates within the agency’s staff” and emphasized that All members of the Commission, including me, have been on the receiving end of this conduct….”
One of the Democrats on the NRC, William Magwood, told the House committee, Senior female staff at an agency like NRC are smart, tough woman who have succeeded in a male-dominated
environment. Enduring this type of abuse and being reduced to tears in front of colleagues and subordinates is a profoundly painful experience for them. The word one woman has used is ‘humiliated.’”
Would Senate Democrats really follow the lead of Harry Reid in opposing the nomination of a courageous whistleblower like Svinicki? As Leader
McConnell said this morning, “[T]he only possible reason for this delay is the fact that she had the courage to blow the whistle on the Commission’s chairman, Gregory Jazcko, a guy whose temper and condescension toward subordinates — particularly women — nearly cost him his job. Let’s be clear
about this: the only reason we’re even talking about Kristine Svinicki right now is because she had the courage to stand up to a hostile work environment, and to the bully who was responsible for it. She should be applauded for that, not hung out to dry.”
If Svinicki isn’t re-confirmed by
the Senate, Leader McConnell said yesterday, “[W]e will be forced to conclude that the reason is related to her honorable actions as a whistleblower — that she’s being held up in retaliation for speaking up against a rogue chairman who bullies his subordinates.”
Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, Violence Against Women Act, confirmation, Harry Reid, blocking confirmation, Kristine Svinicki, US House, transportation funds,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
VIDEO: 10 Years Ago Today, Dems Say ANWR Won’t Yield Oil for 10 Years
Heritage Foundation: On April 17 and 18, 2002, a number of Senators took to the floor of the upper chamber to decry efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel exploration and development. Their objections voiced a common concern: ANWR wouldn’t begin to produce oil for up to ten years. Here’s what some of the Senators had to
“There would be no production out of [ANWR] for at least 7 years.” -Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
“Oil extracted from [ANWR] would not reach refineries for seven to ten years.” -Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
“No oil will flow from ANWR…until from 7 to 10 years from now.” -Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
“Oil exploration in ANWR will not actually start producing oil for as many as 10 years.” -Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
“Even if we started drilling [in ANWR] tomorrow, the first barrel of
crude oil would not make it to the market for at least 10 years.” -Sen.
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Ten years later, oil and gas production on federal lands is at a nine-year low, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs an average $3.90, and the president is busy blaming “speculators” for high oil prices – a
scapegoat that even a former Democratic Commodity Futures Trading
Commissioner rejects. Heritage’s David Kreutzer also debunked that argument.
Meanwhile, the excuses offered in opposition to an energy policy that values domestic fossil fuel production look thinner by the day.
Tags:drilling for oil, ANWAR, Alaska, 10 years ago, democrats blocked drilling,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - April 18, 2012
Yesterday, the Senate voted 74-22 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1789, the postal reform bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filled the amendment tree on the postal reform bill, thus blocking amendments, and filed for cloture (to cut off debate) on both the substitute amendment from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and on the underlying bill. If no unanimous consent agreement on amendments to the postal reform bill is reached, there will be a cloture vote on the bill tomorrow morning.
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1925, the bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Yesterday, the House passed (274-146) H.R. 4089 to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting, and for other purposes." Th environmentalist and anti-hunting crowd including the Center for Biological Diversity are upset. It was worth seeing this bill passed just to see these people upset. The bill allows hunters to bring back their polar-bear trophies from Canada. It stops the abusive the abusive environmental review of hunting and fishing by the EPA. And, it allows fishermen and hunters to continue to use lead based products like fishing weights and shot gun shells. This laws seeks to stop the abuse and overreach by government against hunters and fishermen. But it is questionable that the bill will make it through the Democrat Senate let alone be signed by an environmental activist president. But with this success, the bill will probably be reintroduced in 2012 and could pass if Republicans gain control of Congress and the Presidency.
The House passed (410- 2) H.R. 1815 the "posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to Lena Horne in recognition of her achievements and contributions to American culture and the civil rights movement."
President Obama made a big show yesterday of announcing yet another effort to investigate alleged “manipulation” of oil markets. Of course, this is yet another political response to the problem of painfully high gas prices which will do essentially nothing to lower them, just like his recent push to raise taxes on American energy producers. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out yesterday, this is “the same thing Washington Democrats always call for when gas prices go up. . . . The President’s goal here isn’t to do something about the problem. It’s to make people think he’s doing something about the problem, until the next crisis comes along.”
The Washington Post editorscertainly aren’t buying it. They write today, “President Obama is fond of saying that there is no silver bullet to bringing down gasoline prices. On Tuesday, however, he went into the silver bullet business. With gas prices high and an election looming, the president announced a very public ‘crackdown’ on ‘those who manipulate the market for private gain at the expense of millions of working families.’ . . . Yet the administration can’t offer any satisfying explanation for why [his policies] are so necessary as to require emergency congressional action.” The editors add, “[A] senior administration official deflected questions about whether regulators have detected any hint of manipulation and would not give an example of the sort of rigging the president suspected regulators might find with more resources. The official instead repeatedly pointed to Enron — a scandal involving electricity, not oil, markets. So the argument boils down to: ‘Maybe the CFTC will find something, we don’t really know what.’”
Of course, they point out, “No one should imagine that this will help much at the pump, no matter how much the White House talks of the urgent imperative to protect vulnerable consumers. America, after all, has been down the blame-price-manipulators road before. In 2006, President Bush ordered an investigation into gas-price gouging that had trouble finding even credible complaints of price manipulation. In 2008, the CFTC found that speculation wasn’t systematically driving gas-price increases.”
The editors at Bloomberg are even less impressed. “No one, least of all President Barack Obama, should expect oil or gasoline prices to fall because of the five-point plan he unveiled at the White House yesterday,” they wrote yesterday. They explain, “[S]peculators aren’t inherently bad. Quite to the contrary: They serve a vital purpose, helping create a market of buyers and sellers. Many academic researchers have found that speculators, by anticipating future price moves, can reduce volatility. It is true that traders, as opposed to actual users such as airlines and truckers, account for the bulk of the transactions in oil futures markets. But that doesn’t mean they are to blame for higher oil prices. Speculators also operate in the markets for natural gas, where prices have plunged almost 60 percent in the past year because of vast increases in supplies. Speculators can push prices up or down, but they can’t repeal the laws of supply and demand.”
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning,Leader McConnell highlighted what President Obama’s latest announcement focusing on show over substance reveals about his presidency: “With gas prices hovering around four dollars a gallon, I think it’s important for the American people to realize that there are two camps on this issue in Washington. There are those who want to do something about the problem, and there are those who just want people to think they’re doing something about the problem. And let’s be clear: President Obama is firmly planted in the say anything, but do-nothing camp.
“If there were any doubt about that he dispelled it when he blocked the Keystone pipeline, and then again this week by embracing the age-old Democrat dodge of blaming gas prices on speculators. Look: what bothers Americans isn’t that the President has unpopular views on this issue. Everybody knows he’s doesn’t really support an all-of-the above approach to energy. What bothers people is the fact that he pretends like he does. What bothers people is the President blocking one half of a pipeline one day, then showing up at a ribbon-cutting for the other half on another. It’s blocking domestic energy, and then taking credit for increases that came about as a result of his predecessor’s decisions. It’s pretending that speculators have a big impact on the price of gas when his own staff can’t even point to any.
“This week has been a real clarifier for people when it comes to this President. Whether it’s the Buffett tax that won’t lower the deficit or a commission on speculators that even the White House says won’t lower the price of gas, what they’ve seen this week is a President who seems a lot more interested in looking like he’s solving problems than actually solving them.” Tags:Barack Obama, oil, gasoline prices US Senate, postal reform bill, Violence Against Women Act, Us House, hunters, fishermenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Happy Tax Tax, taxpayer, frustration, Government, Wasteful Spending, A.F. Branco, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:President Barack Obama, excuse, mortgage, hope, hypocrisy, election, 2012, 2008, 4 years, broken promise, failed, RNC AdTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Editor's note: Being a male, after watching this video a couple times I find myself with sympathy pains, Ouch! D--- Big Government Spending!
----------- Liberty.com: Funny Tax Day Video. Unfortunately the government's out of control spending is not too funny.
Tags: Tax, Tax Day, funny, Comedy, IRS, Tea Party, Hilarious, Spoof, Ad, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Politics: Obama's Latest Energy Announcement - House Awards Jack Nicklaus Gold Medal
Jack Nicklaus Awarded
Congressional Gold Medal
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Today in Washington, D.C. - April 17, 2011 -Final Day to File Your 2012 Taxes or To Request an Extension!
Yesterday, Senate Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward on their Buffett Tax bill, S. 2230. The vote was 51-45. The vote followed party lines with Democrats voting for an Republicans voting against except for two votes, Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins voted with Democrats to allow the measure to proceed and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor voted to block it.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) said the clash shows “who is listening to the American people and focusing on their priorities. President Obama wants higher taxes; Republicans want more jobs.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly pointed out, “By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading.”
Also yesterday the Senate voted 91-3 to confirm Stephanie Thacker to be a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
This morning the Senate has already voted and passed 74-22 on a motion to proceed to S. 1789, the postal reform bill.
Yesterday the House did convene in the afternoon but did not vote on any major bills. They did to vote (374-4) to award the a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Jack Nicklaus in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf. Really important business. Just saying -- Military die in service of their country they get no Congressional medals -- Nicklaus lives a life of playing golf where he is required to show good sportsmanship and he gets a Congressional Medal. Looks like the Nicklaus' supporters were trying to get one award for "The Golden Bear" that will most likely never be broken by Tiger Woods. I like golf and I like Jack Nicklaus and his love of the sport, but these type awards evidences that reality in Congress often leaves something to be desired.
The House reconvened this morning and then went into recess until noon. Potential bills they may consider:
HR 4089 — Recreational hunting, fishing and shooting
Draft — Highway bill
HR 9 — Tax cuts for small businesses
Yesterday. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducted its the first hearing on incidents of wasteful spending by the General Services Administration including the "fun time - team building party" in Vegas. Jeff Neely, former regional commissioner of the Public Buildings Service took the 5th Amendment on every questions. the hearings continue today.
In an analysis piece today, National Journal writes, “Under continued attack from Republicans for high oil and gasoline prices, President Obama unveiled on Tuesday a slate of measures to crack down on financial speculation in energy-futures trading, which Democrats say helps drive up prices. But while a Rose Garden announcement gave the president a platform to be seen calling for action on fuel prices, it’s not clear whether financial speculation is even a major contributor to oil and gasoline prices—or whether the administration’s proposals could have any real impact on the price at the pump. . . . ‘More than anything, today’s announcement serves a political purpose: It offers the president a way to assure voters that he is looking out for their interests,’ wrote Kevin Book, an analyst for Clearview Energy Partners, in a note to clients.”
Of course, President Obama and Democrats are blaming “speculators” for high oil and gasoline prices, which is the same excuse they give every year as they continue to oppose common sense policies that would expand American energy production. National Journal points out, “In 2008, an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission concluded that speculation has little effect on the price of oil, which is still largely driven by the fundamentals of supply and demand.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell observed this morning, “[W]e hear that the President is announcing some kind of task force on oil speculation today. In other words, the same thing Washington Democrats always call for when gas prices go up. If I were to guess, I’d say today’s proposal by the President probably polls pretty well. But I guarantee you it won’t do a thing to lower the price of gas at the pump. It never has in the past. White House officials admit as much. Why it would it now?
“The Democrats’ favorite policy advisor,” Leader McConnell continued, “Warren Buffet, weighed in on the issue a few years ago. Asked about the role that speculation in the oil markets plays in determining price, he said, ‘It’s not speculation, its supply and demand.’ But of course that’s not the point for this White House. President Obama only seems to care about Warren Buffett’s opinion if it polls well. The President’s goal here isn’t to do something about the problem. It’s to make people think he’s doing something about the problem, until the next crisis comes along.”
Interestingly, President Obama himself warned about this kind of political pledge-making just last month. In his weekly address, Obama said, “[A]ny career politician who promises some three-point plan for two-dollar gas – they’re not looking for a solution. They’re just looking for your vote.” Yet today the White House released a “Fact Sheet” detailing “The President’s Five-Part Plan” on oil markets.
As Leader McConnell said, “We’ve got a President who told us he was a different kind of politician doing the same old things and using the same talking points politicians in Washington have been peddling for years. I mean, weren’t these kinds of gimmicks and stale talking points precisely the kind of thing President Obama campaigned against? I thought he was offering something new and different. I think the Associated Press summed up the President’s latest proposal pretty well this morning. ‘The White House plan, which Obama was to unveil Tuesday,’ the AP said, ‘is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than to have an immediate effect on prices at the pump.’ It’s more about drawing a distinction. . . . The sad truth is, it’s all politics all the time in this White House. They’re out of ideas. They’ve got nothing new to offer. Today’s announcement is all the proof you need of that.” Tags:Washington, D.C. Us Senate, US, House Buffett Rule, Congressional Gold Medal, Barack Obama, Politics, ,Energy Announcement, Jack Nicklaus, Gold MedalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today's Senate vote on the Buffett Rule is behind us. Tomorrow is the the final deadline for the mailing or electronic processing of tax returns or extension requests. Also, if paying estimated tax payments, your first payment is already due. So with the cheery thought that our money has already been spent by Big Government over spending and waste, let's refocus our attention to another morbid out-of-control government bureau: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Lisa Jackson and her band of bureaucrats have been up to their old tricks, primarily focusing their energy on the systematic destruction of the coal industry and the jobs, affordable power, and economic revenue it provides.
First, Daniel Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research (IER) exposes the utter lack of any logic in the EPA’s latest cap-and-tax greenhouse gas regulations that essentially outlaw building coal-fired power plants:
If greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide "endanger public health and welfare" shouldn't the EPA do something about it? Should the agency work to actually reduce the danger? Isn't that the point of regulation—to reduce some of the alleged harm?
But the EPA isn't reducing any danger here because according to the agency (here on Page 49), "This proposed rule also will not have a direct impact on U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases under expected economic conditions."
If global warming is a problem that the EPA needs to address, then why are they working on imposing rules that the agency admits "will not have [a] direct impact of U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases?" It's tough to see how EPA regulation makes logical sense. Does the EPA not really care about global warming or are they working to end America's use of coal? Does the EPA only want to increase the price of energy by making it harder to build low-cost electricity generation? [Simmons, Daniel, “The Illogic of EPA Carbon Regulations,” U.S. News & World Report, 12-Apr-12]
Then, former U.S. Chamber official Reed Rubinstein argues that the Obama administration’s chief first-term priority has been systematically destroying the coal industry:
Nevertheless, from its first day the Administration has waged a war of attrition in Congress, the courts and the federal regulatory arena against coal. The legislative assault collapsed when Congress rejected cap and trade, and the courts have not been kind to the Administration…
But in the regulatory sphere, where bureaucrats reign at the expense of public transparency and judicial or congressional review, the EPA has run unleashed and unchecked. Since 2008, the Administration has proposed or issued thousands of pages of regulations to burden coal-generated electric power. [Rubinstein, Reed, “How the EPA aims to kill coal,” The West Virginia Record, 11-Apr-2012]
Finally, the icing on the cake is a report from the New York Times which details how the EPA is fining businesses for failing to use a type of biofuel that is not commercially available:
When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.
We really can’t make this stuff up! Obviously, more will follow on this out of control department which has become the equivalent of energy blackshirts carrying out the progressive agenda. If you agree, grab the following image - By an EPA endangerment finding, you are already a polluter.
Tags:EPA, Environmental protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, bureaucrats old tricks, systematic destruction, coal industry, jobs, affordable power, economic revenue, CO2, polluterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Obama administration, GSA, Vegas, wasting money, GSA party, Secret Service, Columbia, hookers, Barack Obama, Columbia, Vacation Scout for Michelle To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update on Senate vote on the Buffett Rule - increased tax on millionaires . The vote required 60 votes for the motion to proceed. The final vote was51 to 45. The vote followed party lines with Democrats voting for an Republicans voting against except for two votes, Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins voted with Democrats to allow the measure to proceed and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor voted to block it.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) said the clash shows “who is listening to the American people and focusing on their priorities. President Obama wants higher taxes; Republicans want more jobs.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly pointed out, “By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading.” Today in Washington, D.C. - April 16, 2011: [2 Days Left. 2012 Tax Filling Deadline is 4/17!]
Congress is scheduled to be back in session today. The House is scheduled to reconvene at 2 pm but there is no identified agenda currently posted. The Senate will definitely reconvene at 2 pm today and resume consideration of S. 2230, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) Buffett Tax bill. At 4:30 pm today, the Senate will consider the nomination of Stephanie Dawn Thacker to be a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and will vote on his nomination an hour later. It will then procedure to vote on cloture on the Democrats motion to proceed to the Buffett Tax, S. 2230.
Yes indeed, the Senate will be voting this evening on whether to take up President Obama’s Buffett Tax proposal. Yet the more time the president spends pushing for this tax, the more people are acknowledging it will do next to nothing to address any of the key problems facing this country: it won’t create jobs, it won’t lower gas prices, and it is a drop in the sea of our national debt.
Describing the tax hike, CNN’s Candy Crowly writes today, “A minimum 30% tax on million-dollar incomes won't do much to eat away at the nation's debt, it won't create jobs, and no one expects it to get through the Democratic-controlled Senate, much less the Republican-majority House.” Interviewing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner yesterday, CBS’ Bob Schieffer asked, “You know, the truth is, you and I both know that this has absolutely no chance of passing the Senate and even less chance of passing the House. Isn`t it just kind of a publicity stunt to get the Republicans on record as being against it?” Even Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times writes that when Obama makes the Buffett Tax “the center of his narrative, he sounds a little desperate.” And former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) acknowledged on MSNBC this morning, “My belief is this is more symbolic.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, “President Obama’s sales pitch for the so-called Buffett Rule is simple: It’s only fair that those who make more than $1 million a year should pay a higher tax rate than middle-class workers. Here’s what he tends not to mention: For the most part, they already do.” And The Wall Street Journal editors noted Saturday, “The case for the Buffett tax keeps eroding. When President Obama announced the idea, he said it would help ‘stabilize our debt and deficits over the next decade.’ Then came the inconvenient revelation that the new 30% millionaire's tax would raise only $46.7 billion over 10 years, and would leave about 99.5% of the deficit intact in 2013. It was a far cry from ‘stabilizing the debt.’”
Indeed, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) writes in an op-ed for Politico today, “For all the political chest-thumping surrounding this proposal, the new tax will bring in less than $5 billion per year. That represents 0.4 percent of annual individual income taxes paid — or enough to pay one week’s interest on the national debt. . . . The Buffett Tax is bad economics and bad fiscal policy. It’s a distraction from the broader, bipartisan effort now underway to achieve the basic tax reform needed to unleash a true jobs recovery.”
As Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) explains in an op-ed, for Investor's Business Daily “The bill is a political gimmick that's supposed to distract Americans from the president's miserable record instead of solving problems. Americans know by now that the bill won't create a single job and it won't ease the pain at the pump. And President Obama and the White House have finally given up pretending that his new tax will balance the budget.”
Charles Krauthammer nails down the point for us "Let's do the math. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this new ['Buffett Rule'] tax would yield between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years -- a span longer than the life of this republic -- it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone. As an approach to our mountain of debt, the Buffett Rule is a farce."
In summary: All Sides Are Blasting Buffett Tax! And, The Buffett Tax "Won’t Create Jobs." Nonpartisan reviewers are Crushing The Buffett Tax as "A Hoax On Voters," a "Total Sham," "a Farce," "Desperate.’ Even democrats admit It’s "Not Going To Help." The question now is will all the Democrats now support this sham advanced by President Obama.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS:“…kind ofa publicity stunt…?”(CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 4/15/12)
JIM VANDEHEI, POLITICO: “It's total gimmickry. It’s 1% of what you need to actually take care of the deficit.” “There’s a big danger for President Obama in that they become so insanely political in an insanely political culture. Almost everything they do now...” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/12/12)
FMR. REP. HAROLD FORD (D-TN): “…not going to help us grow…”Q: “So you support the Buffett rule?FORD: “No, there's a big difference between the Buffett rule and reforming the tax code.”(MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/16/12)
FMR. SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): “My belief is this is more symbolic.”(MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/16/12)
HOWARD WOLFSON: “We have a deficit of over a trillion dollars. This is not about deficit reduction.”(MSNBC’s “Now With Alex Wagner,” 4/12/12)
Alison Meyer, Heritage Investigate: Americans who are scrambling to pay their taxes by Tuesday’s deadline are in store for more depressing news: The tax burden on American families has risen dramatically and will continue to climb into the future without action from Congress. This week’s chart outlines the growth of taxes over the past 45 years.
Large tax increases are just months away. Jan. 1, 2013, is already being dubbed Taxmaggedon. Seven existing tax policies will end and 18 new taxes from Obamacare will begin, leading to a $494 billion tax increase at the start of next year. Heritage tax expert Curtis Dubay warned about the consequences:
Although these tax increases will not start raising new revenue until next year, they are having a negative impact on the economy today. Families, businesses, and investors need to know how much tax they will pay in the future before making important economic decisions. The uncertainty caused by Taxmageddon means they are stuck in neutral while they wait for President Obama and Congress to act. This is slowing job creation and stopping many of the millions of unemployed Americans from going back to work.
To relieve Americans from the large tax burden, Obama and Congress should remove the threat of Taxmageddon now. “That would assure families, businesses, and investors that their taxes will not rise sharply as the economy is still staggering to its feet and show the voters that Washington really can get important things done—even in an election year,” Dubay wrote.
Americans are already paying significantly more than they did in 1965, when Great Society programs like Medicare and Medicaid were created. Without action, this historical trend is likely to continue. Tags:Chart of the Week, Great Society, medicaid, medicare, Obamacare, tax increases, tax revenue, taxes, taxmageddon, Heritage InvestigatesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Who Can Be A Failure . . . And Still Get A Pay Raise?
The Government Can! Tim Hawkins wrote the lyrics (listed after the videos) and performed them used them with the music from "The Candy Man" (aka - "The Candy Man Can"). "The Candy Man" originally appeared in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley specifically for the film.
Tim Hawkins a former grocery truck driver and native of St. Louis has a way of reaching us with humor and reality. He originally developed and performed this parody about the Government over three ago and it seems like everyday, the truth, i.e. "reality," is even more evident today. Yes, we ran this video almost three years ago. And, we are doing it again in an expanded version.
Let's smile for a minute. Below are two versions. The first is a live show version which shows Hawkins interaction with audience in Tennessee and the second is his professional released YouTube version which has over 5 million visits.
(Hey everybody! Gather 'round! I'm here to give you
anything you like! You want free college, money,
mortages?! Whatever you like! You have come to the
right place! Why? I'll tell you why!)
Who can take your money? (Who can take your money?)
With a twinkle in their eye? (With a twinkle in their
Take it all away and
Give it to some other guy
The Government (the Government)
The Government can! (The Government can!)
Who can tax the Sun rise? (Who can tax the Sun rise?)
Who can tax the trees? (Who can tax the trees?)
Let you run a business and
Collect up all the fees
The Government can 'cause
They mix it up with lies and
Make it all taste good! (Make it all taste good!)
The Government takes
Everything we make
To pay for all of their "sollutions"
Healthcare, Climate Change, Pollution
(Throw away the Constitution)
Who can give a bailout? (Who can give a bailout?)
Tell us to behave? (Tell us to behave?)
Make the Founding Fathers
Roll over in their graves
The Government takes
Everything we make
They're power hungry
The economics are fictitious
Soon we'll have to eat our dishes
Who can be a failure? (Who can be a failure?)
In so many ways? (In so many ways?)
Instead of getting fired, HEY!
We'll give ourselves a raise!
The Government can 'cause
They mix it up with lies and
Make it all taste good! (Make it all taste good!)
And your Uncle Sam can 'cause
He mixes it with lies and
Makes it all taste good! (Makes it all taste good!)
And I feel so good
Because the Government
Says I should! Oh!... Tags:The Government Can, Tim Hawkins, (Insanitized DVD), comedy, Candy Man, government, taxes, healthcare, music, lyrics, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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