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 or by 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, May 26, 2012
Memorial Day Challenge: Ryan's Story
Bill Smith, Editor: As a 22 year veteran, I would appreciate it if you would take a moment this weekend to say thanks to all those who fought for our freedom in World War II by blogging, tweeting, facebooking, or even forwarding the post and the below video. Every 90 seconds another WWII veteran dies. Ryan Jazak took time to say thank you as part ofHonor Flight. Will you please take a moment this weekend to say thanks. Thank you!
Tags: Memorial Day, Honor Flight, veterans, World War II, vets, Honor Flight Stories, militaryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
A.F. "Tony" Branco is a contributing cartoonist to the ARRA News Service. Anyone looking to hire an excellent conservative political cartoonist may contact Anthony F. Branco via his facebook page. Tags:Brarck Obama, I killed Osama, shout out, veterans, memorial day, cartoon, A.F. BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Sometime in the next month, the United States Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Obama’s individual mandate, the provision forcing everyone in the United States to buy health insurance. Based on how badly this provision was defeated in the oral arguments, it will likely be struck down as unconstitutional. If the law’s most popular provision, the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions, is also struck down, Obama has nobody to blame but himself.
Obama campaigned against the individual mandate. In fact, it’s the issue he won the nomination on. Obama said four years ago: “The main difference between my plan and Senator Clinton’s plan is that she’d require the government to force you to buy health insurance.” He even ran attack ads bashing Clinton on the issue.
Once Obama was in the White House, though, his tune changed. The mandate became the centerpiece of a corrupt deal that Obama cut with the insurance industry – in brief, the insurance industry agreed to accept the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions and several other expensive, onerous regulations in exchange for a mandate forcing everyone to buy their product, and hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies to further sweeten the pot.
Ron Suskind, who was granted insider access to the White House, explained that Obama made the deal even though “Obama, never much for the mandate, was concerned about legal challenges.”
He should have been more than concerned. He should have upheld his sworn oath to the Constitution and said no to any deal that relied on an unconstitutional mandate.
The oral arguments before the Supreme Court showed this wasn’t a close call. Even liberal commentators acknowledged it was a blowout. Jeffrey Toobin of CNN said it “was a train wreck for the Obama administration,” and Andy Serwer of far-left Mother Jones magazine added “Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court.”
It wasn’t Verrilli’s fault. Obama was making him defend the indefensible. A federal government with the power to order citizens to purchase politically-favored goods and services is a government of unlimited, unchecked powers—a government the Constitution exists to prevent.
If the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions falls with the mandate, as is likely, that will also be Obama’s fault. The administration’s brief to the Supreme Court argued that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta “was incorrect” to let the pre-existing ban stay in effect. Without the mandate, the Obama administration argued, the pre-existing ban has to go.
Unfortunately, they are right. There is no way to solve the pre-existing condition problem through economically destructive regulations – even if you try to pay-off the insurance companies with an unconstitutional mandate. Without the mandate, as Obama acknowledged, the pre-existing ban would put most insurance companies out of business.
AFP - Arkansas: $550,000 in Federal stimulus funds was used to furnish a new State government office building in Little Rock, Arkansas with solar panels in 2010. It's been two years and the panels still haven't been turned on.
The government spent over half a million dollars on what has turned out to be no more than expensive decoration. Even the Dept. of Energy Inspector General has cited problems leading to "less than optimal performance" from stimulus funded programs.
Think of what that money could have been used for if we had been able to stimulate the economy ourselves. Hardworking taxpayers have sacrificed enough. It's time to end wasteful spending. [ArkansasFuture.com]
Tags: Spending, Taxpayer, Stimulus, Economy, Government Waste, Arkansas Future, federal funds, Arkansas State Government, Little Rock, Arkansas, Americans For Prosperity - ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:spotless record, no good record, Barack Obama, solid record, Mitt Romney, political satire, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Crawford: “All Of The Above” Energy Approach Needed
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR-01): At home in Arkansas this week I met with hundreds of people to talk about the need for developing a national energy policy to lower fuel and utility costs. Every person I visited with told me the price of gas and high utility bills are putting a burden on their family budgets.
KAIT news story features Congressman Crawford discussing high gas prices. At gas stations across our district I visited with people about the high cost of fuel. Even though prices have gone down recently, many people told me they still spend about 20% of their monthly income on gas. Just three years ago, the national average for a gallon of gas was $1.89. Today, the national average is $3.71. That’s a 97% increase in just three years.
At Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, Congressman Crawford talks about the need to start construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Yesterday, I was in Little Rock to meet with leaders at Welspun Tubular about the pipes they have built for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Keystone Project would provide a tremendous new source of oil right here in North America. The project enjoys bipartisan support, even President Clinton has spoken favorably of its construction. We must build Keystone.
Congressman Crawford visited with Clay County Electric Coop members in Pocahontas. Many Arkansas homes and businesses are powered by rural electric coops. This week I met with Coop members throughout our district about new regulations the EPA is trying to impose on coal-fired power plants. Arkansans and other rural Americans stand to lose when Washington tries to regulate rural energy production instead of creating a responsible national energy policy that works for all Americans.
We cannot hope to generate enough power for 300 million Americans without recognizing the importance of clean-coal technology, natural gas and oil. For Arkansas, an “all of the above” energy policy must include oil, coal and natural gas. My column this week makes the case for a national energy policy and gives some ideas for generating new sources of energy in North America.
Even though gas prices have gone down
recently, many people are still spending
20% of their income each month on gas.
All of the Above Energy Strategy Needed: Arkansas’s energy prices are high. The gasoline we put in our cars and trucks and our monthly utility bill eats up a large part of family budgets. Even though gas prices have gone down in recent weeks, families are still feeling financial pressure. A few weeks ago I talked to a factory worker in Mountain Home who spends 20 percent of his income each month on gas. Higher gas and energy costs are forcing Arkansas families to make tough decisions around the kitchen table each month.
In rural communities we drive many miles to work, to the grocery store and to take our children to school. In cities, people walk or take public transit. High gas prices hit rural communities hard simply because we must travel great distances on a regular basis. Additionally, rural communities rely heavily on coal-fired energy to power their homes, businesses and farms. Arkansans and other rural Americans stand to lose when Washington tries to regulate rural energy production instead of creating a responsible national energy policy that works for all American.
Recently, leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency have proposed new rules for power plants that could dramatically increase energy costs for Arkansas families. The EPA is attempting to label coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired powers plants, as a “special waste.” The new label would impose handling and disposal restraints on coal plant operators. Most of Arkansas’ power is generated by coal, and the new coal ash regulations would have a huge financial and operational impact on these plants. It would cost up to $42 million in capital improvements to meet the EPA’s new standards and would raise utility bills for families in our state who are already struggling.
Unfortunately, the EPA is also rejecting clean coal technology and issuing strict standards for new coal-fired electric generating plants. The new standards essentially guarantee no new coal-fired plants will be built. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas estimate it would cost $730 million to meet the EPA’s proposed standards. That’s $730 million dollars to be passed on to consumers through their monthly utility bill. At a time when America’s energy needs are increasing, the EPA should not stand in the way of building new power plants.
New energy sources for an “all of the above” energy policy are abundant. The American West is rich with oil shale reserves that can be used to power homes and businesses. Off-shore oil reserves provide a vast domestic energy source. The Keystone XL Pipeline can create thousands of jobs and generate a new source of oil right here in North America.
After months of high gas prices and rising utility bills, Arkansas families need a national energy policy to address our energy needs and protect rural communities from the EPA. Many in Washington have said all options need to be on the table to develop a national energy policy. But their actions are not matching their words. We cannot hope to generate enough power for over 300 million Americans without recognizing the importance of clean-coal technology, natural gas and oil. For Arkansas, an “all of the above” approach must include oil, coal and natural gas. Tags:Rick Crawford, energy approach, All of the aboveTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
All this was too much for The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, which assigns the claims in the column (and the White House touting of it) “Three Pinocchios.”
The Fact Checker piece explains, “First of all, there are a few methodological problems with Nutting’s analysis — especially the beginning and the end point. Nutting basically takes much of 2009 out of Obama’s column, saying it was the ‘the last [year] of George W. Bush’s presidency.’ . . . The federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, so the 2009 fiscal year accounts for about four months of Bush’s presidency and eight of Obama’s. In theory, one could claim that the budget was already locked in when Obama took office, but that’s not really the case. Most of the appropriations bills had not been passed, and certainly the stimulus bill was only signed into law after Obama took office. . . . Nutting acknowledges that Obama is responsible for some 2009 spending but only assigns $140 billion for reasons he does not fully explain. On the other end of his calculations, Nutting says that Obama plans to spend $3.58 trillion in 2013, citing the Congressional Budget Office budget outlook. But this figure is CBO’s baseline budget, which assumes no laws are changed, so this figure gives Obama credit for automatic spending cuts that he wants to halt. The correct figure to use is the CBO’s analysis of the president’s 2013 budget, which clocks in at $3.72 trillion.”
Further, The Post analysis points out, “Obama’s numbers get even higher if you look at what he proposed to spend, using CBO’s estimates of his budgets . . . . So in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting. Nutting suggests that federal spending flattened under Obama, but another way to look at it is that it flattened at a much higher, post-emergency level — thanks in part to the efforts of lawmakers, not Obama.” It’s worth noting that during this time, Democrats controlled Congress entirely until 2011, and Democrats still control the Senate.
Importantly, the Fact Checker article shows how federal spending under Obama has been much larger as a percentage of the economy: “One common way to measure federal spending is to compare it to the size of the overall U.S. economy. That at least puts the level into context, helping account for population growth, inflation and other factors that affect spending. Here’s what the White House’s own budget documents show about spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy (gross domestic product): 2008: 20.8 percent 2009: 25.2 percent 2010: 24.1 percent 2011: 24.1 percent 2012: 24.3 percent 2013: 23.3 percent
“In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney. Part of this, of course, is a consequence of the recession, but it is also the result of a sustained higher level of spending.”
The article concludes, “The data in the [Obama] article are flawed, and the analysis lacks context — context that could easily could be found in the budget documents released by the White House. . . . The picture is not as rosy as [Carney] portrayed it when accurate numbers, taken in context, are used. Three Pinocchios.” Tags:US Senate, FDA user fees, student loan rates, Obama, White House, federal spending, deficit, three pinocchiosm Washington Post, WoPo, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
An eye-catching headline from yesterday’s Washington Examiner read, “Labor union suing Obama’s Labor Department,” prompting immediate hope that maybe the unions have finally seen the light and realized that the President they helped elect is sticking it to them at every turn. What could they be suing over? Construction jobs lost when Obama killed the Keystone XL pipeline? Coal country miners getting laid off thanks to the EPA’s war on coal?
No such luck: The union in D.C. operates like the rest of Washington D.C. bureaucrats - self centered and not doing a very good job representing their constituents. Are they concerned about lost jobs or a sinking economy with high gas prices, high gas prices, rising food prices in America? -- No. What this union is angry about is losing a $35 per month parking fee as the DOL turns management of its parking spaces over to a private contractor. Take a look for yourself:
Washington, D.C. -- Alex Bastani, president of the local 12 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), told union members that they are filing a complaint against the Department of Labor that may develop into a class action lawsuit. AFGE is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, a mega-union that has endorsed President Obama, but parking rate increases at DOL have Local 12 up in arms against the Obama administration.
"Management has made it clear that it intends to move forward on July 1st with the parking increase without the involvement of the Union and despite any hardship expressed by the employees," Bastani wrote to union members . . . The union is angry about losing a $35 per month parking fee as the DOL turns management of its parking spaces over to a private contractor. "The eventual contractor will charge 'slightly below' the average Washington rate of '$220 to $260/month,'" . . . "We will be filing a complaint with the Federal Service Impasses Panel requesting an order that the United States Department of Labor be compelled to bargain with us over its decision to contract out the parking, [and the] increase in rates," Bastani told members.
Local 12 will also attempt to haul the Obama administration before the Federal Labor Relations Board, and may file a civil lawsuit against the Labor Department. "We will also explore whether a class action can be filed pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act for those employees who are disabled and park in the Frances Perkins Building Garage," Bastani wrote.
So let’s get this straight. Union members get essentially free parking that would cost an average DC worker over $200 per month at the DOL? Well, that’s certainly a nice perk. Do energy companies get discounted parking at the EPA or DOE? What about mining employees at the Dept. of the Interior? I’m guessing the answer is no.
Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. When union workers realize that the real danger the Obama administration poses to them, not from lost parking discounts, but from the all-out assault on union jobs in the mining, utility, and construction industries, then they may begin to target their very real political power in the right direction. Tags:Union, suing, DOL, Department of Labor, parking lots, parking fees, Occupy WashingtonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Also View:Dreams from My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception - the trailer to a documentary out that asks some interesting questions. This fascinating narrative is based in part on 2 years of research, interviews, newly unearthed footage and photos, and the writings of Davis and Obama himself. Dreams of My Real Father weaves together the proven facts with reasoned logic and speculation in an attempt to fill-in the obvious gaps in Obama’s history. Is this the story Barack Obama should have told, revealing his true agenda for “fundamentally transforming America?” Tags:Dreams, my father, truth in dreams, Barack Obama, political cartoon, satire, A.F. Branco, my real father, documentary filmTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Senate Democrats Posturing On Student Loans But Ignore Jobs Crisis For Young Americans
Esteemed Senate Democrats!
This Dem once had a "job" before
destroying jobs and the economy
by voting for ObamaCare!
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 24, 2012
House still in recess. The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3187, a bill concerning FDA user fees. This afternoon, the Senate will vote on as many as 7 amendments to the FDA bill. Once all the remaining amendments have been disposed of, the Senate will vote on final passage of S. 3187.
Following the final vote on the FDA bill, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2343, the Democrat bill to preserve lower student loan rates by raising taxes on small businesses and taking money from Medicare. The Senate will then vote on a Republican substitute amendment that would prevent the rate increase by taking money from an Obamacare slush fund. Following that vote, the Senate will vote on passage of S. 2343. Both the GOP amendment and the underlying bill will require 60 votes for passage.
Speaking this morning on the student loan issue, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This problem could have been solved weeks ago. Democrats weren’t interested. They wanted a scapegoat more than a solution. . . . The Democrat plan is designed to fail. . . . [T]hey propose to divert $6 billion from Medicare and to raise taxes on small businesses — hurting the very companies we’re counting to hire today’s college graduates. They’ve known for months we won’t support this tax hike and that it couldn’t pass either chamber. It has already failed. But they’re proposing it anyway, for a second time.”
He explained, “[S]ince passage isn’t their goal, [the ]other side huddled behind closed doors, out of sight of the public and the press, and produced the tax hike instead of letting the committee do its work. We already know how this story ends. So why are Democrats forcing us to vote on their failed proposal yet again? Because, as I’ve said, they’re more interested in drawing our opposition — of creating a bad guy — than in actually solving the problem.”
McConnell added, “When it comes to college graduates today the bigger issue is the President’s economic agenda, which has created an environment in which most of them can’t find a decent job.”
He then highlighted recent news reports which describe the " grueling job hunt” for young graduates, a jobs “crisis” for young adults, and Gallup's finding that there is “a disaster for those unemployed and underemployed as they look for jobs when so few new jobs are being created. For younger Americans as a group, this is a particularly acute issue.”
In the last six months, the AP reported, “A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed” and a Pew study found “the lowest employment-to-population ratio for young adults since 1948.” Time reported: “[n]early 25 million adults live at home with their parents because they're unemployed or underemployed” and The Wall Street Journal, “Only 49% of graduates from the classes of 2009 to 2011 had found a full-time job within a year of finishing school . . . .” Earlier this month, Gallup wrote, “April has also brought gloomy job news for young Americans and underscores that this group has been struggling disproportionately for some time.”
Sen. McConnell said,“ the real issue here isn’t the fact that certain students are going to see an interest rate hike — because we will address that concern. It’s that so many young people today can’t expect to find a job that would enable them to pay off their loans in the first place. That’s the bigger problem! And the solution is a pro-growth agenda that would make it easier for U.S. businesses to hire — not a tax hike that will make it harder. . . . As with so many pressing issues, the President has not led on this issue. He has campaigned on it, but has not worked to actually fix it. The American people are tired of the posturing and the games. . . . And it’s time for Senate Democrats to stop the political theater and to find a real solution.” Tags:Senate Democrats, posturing, Student Loans, ignoring Jobs Crisis, Young Americans, old Americans, no jobs, government spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Despite President Obama’s Taxpayer Financed PR Campaigns, Americans Think He ‘Made Things Worse’
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL:“The President needs to face facts. Americans don’t want him spending their hard-earned money trying to spin policies they don’t like.” (Sen. Mitch McConnell, Floor Remarks, 5/23/12)
NBC/WSJ Survey: President Has ‘Made Things Worse’
Q: “For each of the following, please tell me if you think this is an area that Barack Obama’s approach has made things better, made things worse or has Barack Obama’s approach not made much of a difference either way in this area?” BetterWorseNot Much Difference
Gas prices 11 37 5
The gap between the rich and poor 17 31 50
The budget deficit problem 17 47 33
The division and partisanship in politics 18 39 36
The housing market 24 32 40
The economic downturn 31 37 29
The health care issue 32 43 21
America’s standing in the world 33 37 29 (NBC/WSJ Poll, Pg. 14, 5/16-20/12)
ObamaCare’s Taxpayer Financed Publicity Campaigns: $40 Million + $20 Million For An ObamaCare ‘National Multimedia Education Campaign’
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected Porter Novelli to launch a national multimedia education campaign mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The contract is worth $20 million.” (“Porter Picked By HHS To Conduct $20m Campaign,” PR Week, 5/18/12)
$18 Million For An ObamaCare ‘Glossy Brochure’ That ‘Overstates’ Benefits
GAO:“Fewer small employers claimed the Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit in tax year 2010 than were estimated to be eligible. While 170,300 small employers claimed it, estimates of the eligible pool by government agencies and small business advocacy groups ranged from 1.4 million to 4 million.” (“Factors Contributing To Low Use And Complexity,” GAO, P.2, 5/12)
The Stimulus’ Taxpayer Financed Publicity Campaign: $26 Million +
Over $26 Million In Grants To Ogilvy Public Relations Included In The Stimulus, $18 Million Of Which Was To Establish A “Publicity Center”
Project Title: ARRA Publicity Center; Recipient: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide; Award Date: 9/30/2010; Total amount obligated as of 4/25/2011: $17,999,988.00 (“HHS Research Awards,” GAO, Table 1, Pg. 6, 6/14/11) Tags:Barack Obama, sales job, government waste, Obamacare, government spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a shocking drop in power sector coal consumption in the first quarter of 2012. Coal-fired power plants are now generating just 36 percent of U.S. electricity, versus 44.6 percent just one year ago.
It’s the result of an unprecedented regulatory assault on coal that will leave us all much poorer.
Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015 capacity auction. These are the first real, market prices that take Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”
The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.
Why the massive price increases? Andy Ott from PJM stated the obvious: “Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from environmental regulations which go into effect in 2015.” Northern Ohio is suffering from more forced coal-plant retirements than the rest of the region, hence the even higher price.
These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.
House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) aptly explained: “The PJM auction forecasts a dim future where Americans will be paying more to keep the lights on. We are seeing more and more coal plants fall victim to EPA’s destructive regulatory agenda, and as a result, we are seeing more job losses and higher electricity prices.”
The only thing that can stop this massive price hike now is an all-out effort to end Obama’s War on Coal and repeal this destructive regulatory agenda.
The Senate will have a critical opportunity to do just that when it votes on stopping Obama’s most expensive anti-coal regulation sometime in the next couple of weeks. The vote is on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res 37, to overturn the so-called Utility MACT rule, which the EPA itself acknowledges is its most expensive rule ever.
This vote is protected from filibuster, and it will take just 51 votes to send a clear message to Obama that his War on Coal must end.
Of course, Obama could veto the resolution and keep the rule intact, although that would force him to take full political responsibility for the massive impending jump in electricity prices.
I have a form set up at WarOnCoal.com to make it easy to contact your senators on this crucial issue.
McConnell Blasts Obama & HHS For Spending $20 Million To Promote Obamacare
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 23, 2012:
The House is in Recess.
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3187, a bill concerning FDA user fees. At 12:30 the Senate will agree to the motion to proceed to S. 3187 and to the Harkin-Enzi substitute amendment to the bill by unanimous consent. If an agreement is reached on which amendments to the bill will be voted on, voting could begin this afternoon.
Discussing reports yesterday that “[t]he Health and Human Services Department has signed a $20 million contract with a public-relations firm to highlight part of the Affordable Care Act,” This morning Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from the floor of the Senate floor blasted the Obama administration for spending taxpayer money to promote legislation most Americans disapprove of.
“While the President and his surrogates spend most of their time deflecting attention from his record, he’s got Washington bureaucrats working overtime to put a good face on it.
I mentioned yesterday that the administration is spending yet another $20 million in taxpayer money to promote a health care bill that most Americans want to see repealed.
“There’s a pattern here that I, and I’m sure many other Americans find pretty outrageous at a time of trillion dollar deficits and a near $16 trillion debt. The administration also spent more than $25 million in Stimulus funds on grants to a public relations firm, ostensibly to do public relations related to promoting the Stimulus. It spent nearly $20 million on mailings to seniors to tout Obamacare — a mailer, by the way, that the Government Accountability Office found overstated the law’s benefits. Millions more in taxpayer funds were spent on postcards that promoted Obamacare’s small business tax credit – a credit that the GAO said was ineffective and infrequently used.”
That’s not all. HHS emails reveal that the Obama administration spent at least $1.9 million on an online campaign for their healthcare.gov website. The Heritage Foundation described that campaign yesterday: “The Obama HHS launched a campaign to track Internet searches and to use online search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive traffic to a government website promoting Obama’s health care overhaul.” And in 2010, over $3 million in government funds was spent on misleading Medicare ads trying to promote aspects of Obamacare. Also that year, The Washington Post reported that the HHS Department sent mailers to “40 million Medicare beneficiaries” touting Obamacare. Of course, those claims were flatly at odds with the analysis of Medicare’s own chief actuary.
As Sen. McConnell said, “[T]he larger point is the fact that we’ve got a nearly $16 trillion debt, the largest tax hike in history right around the corner, chronic unemployment, and sky high gas prices, and this President thinks it’s a good idea to spend $20 million to promote Obamacare. We don’t have the money to begin with, and he’s spending it to market his policies? The President needs to face facts. Americans don’t want him spending their hard-earned money trying to spin policies they don’t like.” Tags:Mitch McConnell, Barack Obama, HHS, Spending, $20 Million To Promote Obamacare, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NRCC: Democrats have seen their ability to win federal elections in Arkansas continuously erode in recent years, and 2012 is shaping up to be the year the state becomes solid red. Marion Berry’s retirement in 2010 paved the way for Republican Rick Crawford’s victory in to win AR-01, and he is strongly positioned to maintain his district this year. This cycle, the retirement of Democrat Mike Ross provides another important pick-up opportunity for Republicans in a state where President Obama failed to garner even 40 percent of the vote. The inability of Democrats to win either of these seats throws a wrench in the DCCC’s already steep road to win back the House. To make matters worse, Arkansas families remain in no mood for President Obama’s failed economic policies. Try as they may to attempt to distance themselves from their party’s record in Washington, Arkansas Democrats will be saddled with the albatross of President Obama and his unpopular policies that have hurt economic growth.
AR-01: Rep. Rick Crawford, R vs. Scott Ellington/ Clark Hall, D
In his first term in Congress, Rick Crawford has maintained his outsider appeal, focusing on agriculture issues that are vital to jobs in this district. He’s been a check-and-balance on President Obama and Washington Democrats’ reckless policies. Meanwhile, Democrats must be reeling after their chosen candidate, Clark Hall, failed to secure the primary. As final votes were being reported, Hall was limping toward a run-off with top vote-getter Scott Ellington, although the final outcome is still unclear. Ellington is running to reinstate Pelosi as speaker and rubber stamp more Obama policies. Hall, who came in second, has already been endorsed by Nancy Pelosi as part of the Democrats’ Red to Blue program. Either candidate will find himself constantly having to run from Obama’s policies, which are highly unpopular in this district. Additionally, Ellington’s involvement in a controversial agreement led to the release of the West Memphis Three, convicted in the 1993 slaying of three 8-year-old boys.
AR-04: Tom Cotton, R vs. Gene Jeffress/ Q. Byrum Hurst, D
In another blow to national Democrats, their hand-picked candidate Q. Byrum Hurst finds himself in a runoff, leaving them without a clear challenger in this already difficult race. Republicans have a strong candidate in Tom Cotton, a sixth-generation Arkansan who was born and raised in Dardanelle on his family’s cattle farm. A Harvard Law School graduate, Tom felt called to serve his country in uniform after Sept. 11, and he ultimately left his law practice to join the Army – serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette put it best in its primary endorsement of Cotton: “Whatever one's opinion of the politics and personality, the vices and virtues, of Arkansas legends like J. William Fulbright and Bill Clinton and Winthrop Rockefeller, each played a pivotal role in this state's history. Tom Cotton could be the next such figure. If voters in the Fourth District give him a start.”
Democrats will see a June 12 runoff between Gene Jeffress and Hurst. Hurst was initially touted by national Democrats but has been marred by revelations that he faces a litany of liens for failing to pay more than $25,000 in taxes. If Democrats pick Jeffress, he will be running with little to no excitement or assistance from Washington Democrats and he has few resources in his own campaign.
The following are the unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election in Arkansas. These results are unofficial and incomplete. RedIndicates expected runnoff
AR-01 – DEM Primary
28 of 30 Counties Reporting Scott Ellington 49.5% Clark Hall 38.8%
Gary Latanich 12%
AR-04 – REP Primary
31 of 33 Counties Reporting Tom Cotton [winner] 57%
Beth Anne Rankin 38%
John Cowart 5%
AR-04 – DEM Primary
31 of 33 Counties Reporting Gene Jeffress R 40% Q. Byrum Hurst R 36%
D.C. Morrison 25%
--------- Editor Note: Arkansas Republicans did not have primaries for AR-02 or Rep Tim Griffin and AR-03 - Rep. Steve Womack. However they both have contested races in the general election. Rep. Tim Griffin (R) will be opposed by Herb Rule (D) and Rep Steve Womack (R) will be opposed by Ken Aden.
If Arkansas elects Tom Cotton and re-elects Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack, Arkansas will be represented by four Republican military veterans. Tags:NRCC, Round-up, Arkansas, Congressional races, AR-01, Rick Crawford, AR-04, Tom CottonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:contrasting stupid, AF Branco, political cartoon, venture capitalism, venture socialism, the economy, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today Mitt Romney picked up expected wins on two more states in Kentucky and Arkansas. Even the news services declared the results very early based on exit poling. Kentucky polls closed at 6 pm and Arkansas polls closed at 7:30 pm.
Kentucky (45 delegates - proportional primary): Mitt Romney 66.8%; Ron Paul 12.5%; Rick Santorum 8.9%; Newt Gingrich 5.9% and uncommitted 5.9%. Mitt Romney receives all 45 delegates.
Arkansas (36 delegates - proportional primary): Mitt Romney 68.3%; Ron Paul 13.5%; Rick Santorum 13.4%; Newt Gingrich 4.9%. Mitt Romney 33 delegates, 3 unassigned.
Observation: In an Arkansas very conservative "bell weather" county of Baxter County in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Mitt Romney won with 73% of the vote for the Republicans and Barack Obama won 72% of the democrat votes cast. However, Romney received 2338 votes out of 3201 Republican votes for president and Barack Obama only received 481 votes out of 670 democrat votes cast. In 2008, Obama received 40% of the Arkansas vote losing by 20 points. If Baxter County is an indicator, in 2012 Barack Obama may lose by 40 points with democrats voting for Mitt Romney or not voting a all in the presidential race. This is clearly the reasons that the Obama campaign is skipping Arkansas and Mitt Romney will not need to invest lots of money to win Arkansas.
Romney now has 1,043 convention delegates. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the GOP nomination.
The next Big Dog primary will be on May 29 in Texas (155 delegates). Then on June 5th, New Jersey (50 delegates), New Mexico (23), South Dakota (28), Montana (25), and the last Big Dog California with 172 delegates. Nevada has the clean up spot with the final GOP primary June 26th with 28 delegates. Tags:election 2012, Republican, primary, primaries, May 22, Arkansas, KentuckyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Admin To Use $20 Mil In Taxpayer Money For Obamacare Ad Campaign
HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius: "Congress is making me spend $20 dollars to promote ObamaCare."
Who in Congress? "Why those who passed Obamacare?"
I believe those people were Democrats, is that true?
"Well, of course, but it needs to be done; ads stimulate the economy and help brother Obama."
Where will the ad first be run? "In Arkansas, We want help Gov. Beebe to implement ObamaCare." Satire Q and A - But so true!
Today in Washington. D.C. - May 22, 2012:
The Senate today is considering the motion to proceed to S. 3187, a bill concerning FDA user fees. At 2:15, the Senate will agree to the motion to proceed to S. 3187 and begin consideration of the bill, working from an Enzi-Harkin substitute amendment. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible today.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 61-34 to confirm Paul Watford to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The House was back in session for a short while and then adjourned until Friday May 25, 2012. In fact they are not in session this week. Of course, some may still be facing primary races in their congressional districts. Regardless, they do have nice expensive paid breaks to go along with their high pay. If that sounds snarky, write it off to my 22 yrs in the military when I was never afforded such planned or unplanned luxury. Normally, I would be pleased when Congress is not making or passing new laws which cost us more money and or endanger liberty, but with the current administration, I shutter to consider the myriad of abusive regulations generated every week or the unconstitutional oversight of Americans promoted by government agencies when they are not busy partying or making luxury trips at taxpayers expense.
The Hill reports today, “The Health and Human Services Department has signed a $20 million contract with a public-relations firm to highlight part of the Affordable Care Act.” According to PR Week, which first reported on the contract, “‘The campaign will inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available to those with Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act,’ a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services said.” So once again, the Obama administration will be spending millions of taxpayer dollars to sell the public on Democrats’ still unpopular (and unconstitutional) health care law.
Writing about today’s news, Lachlan Markey of The Heritage Foundation points out, “Last year, HHS asked Congress to quadruple the budget for its public affairs office – to nearly $20 million – and nearly double the size of the office’s staff. The department insisted the changes were necessary to ‘help Americans understand and access their benefits and information under the law.’”
The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis noticed something else interesting about the HHS announcement. “The story [in The Hill] notes that the public relations firm Porter Novelli ‘won the contract after a competitive bidding process.’ Interestingly,” Lewis writes “the managing director of Porter Novellis’ Washington D.C. office is Catherine “Kiki” McLean — a true ‘D.C. insider,’ according to her bio. Indeed she is. Among her other accomplishments, McLean’s bio also notes she was ‘an on-air surrogate for the Obama for America campaign.’ This, of course, raises a few questions, including: Just how competitive was the competitive bid process that went to a senior Democrat? And isn’t this the kind of insider access Obama decried in 2008?”
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed to the story “about HHS signing a $20 million contract to promote Obamacare. $20 million of taxpayer money to promote a bill most Americans want to see repealed. Let me suggest that the President spend a little more time trying to do something about the spending, debt, and gas prices, and a little less time trying to spin the unpopular things he’s already done—it might require a little more work, but it’s what we need.”
A USA Today/ Gallup Poll reflects that 72% Think ObamaCare Will Make Things Worse Or Won’t Help. They state, "Americans are less optimistic that the law will improve their family's healthcare situation in the long run, however. Thirty-eight percent expect the law to make their situation worse, compared with 24% who say better. . . . Now suppose all of the provisions of the healthcare law go into effect in the next few years. In the long run, how do you think the healthcare law would affect your family’s healthcare situation? All Americans: Make better: 24%; Not much difference: 34%; Make worse: 38%." Tags:Washington, D.C, Obamacare ad, wasteful spending, taxpayer money, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA News Service Photo:
Herman Cain and Dr. Bill Smith
Supporting the National
"Spending Revolt Bus Tour"
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: All of his former rivals now unite behind the GOP’s presumptive nominee, Gov. Mitt Romney. Conservatives and most libertarians are joining together in opposition to the now softly (and, one hopes, temporarily) despotic Democratic Party. Herman Cain, in this process, may prove to be the one with the biggest impact on the presidential election, the contest to hold the House, gain the Senate majority, and the future direction of the GOP.
The other former presidential rivals will help unite the Republican base. Cain is positioned to unite and also to excite that base, and, of at least as great importance, to grow it. Yes, Cain is a unifying factor. He comes from the business class, appeals aggressively to Tea Party constitutional purists, presents a pure Supply Side job-creation message of lowering marginal tax rates plus a rule-based monetary policy, and he champions the most potent issues of social conservatives (whether Republican or Democratic): traditional marriage and pro-Life.
More importantly, Cain is exciting. Exciting and mobilizing the base is critical to a Romney victory. Cain mobilizes. In addition Cain is, perhaps uniquely, positioned to take the contest right to the Democratic voters in the nine crucial swing states. Rasmussen’s polling shows that labor union members (including this columnist, a card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO) and blacks both are highly supportive of the gold standard, an issue which Cain now unequivocally champions. Cain reportedly draws enthusiastic receptions on college campuses. Cain’s own polling reportedly shows that 62% of Latinos are enthusiastic about his 9-9-9 plan.
Three of the most voter rich Democratic leaning blocs — Latinos, Labor Union members, and Blacks, resonate strongly to Cain’s optimistic message of economic opportunity through low tax rates and/or gold. These blocs also trend far more religiously serious than the national political elites. Thus they also resonate to ordained Baptist minister Cain’s down-home stand for the traditional definition of marriage and the sanctity of life.
Cain was inspired to join the Republican Party by the last great Republican official to demonstrate true and consistent passion for the dignity of nonwhite Americans, Jack Kemp. Kemp mostly is remembered for his championship of marginal tax rate cuts. These, plus monetary integrity, jet-propelled the economic growth of the Reagan-Clinton era. Yet Kemp described himself as “a bleeding heart conservative.” When he left government service (after serving as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development) the only political purposes for which he reliably could be dragged out of retirement were any calls to advance the economic and political power of marginalized ethnic groups, especially Blacks.
The fact that Cain happens to be black makes it easier for him to punch through the wall of skepticism many traditionally Democratic voters have toward Republicans. Their skepticism derives, even though wrongly attributed to conservatives, from conditions such as that noted by The Atlantic’s James Warren in a piece aptly entitled Driving While Black : “… an African-American driver is about three times as likely to be the subject of a search as a Caucasian driver, with a Hispanic driver 2.4 times as likely to be the subject of a search. But when vehicles are searched, whites are more often found to be hiding contraband.”
Developing an ear for the concerns outside of the traditional GOP base is essential to the GOP’s future. The charming and optimistic Cain could prove a great agent for an overdue renewed championship of equality of opportunity within, as well as a persuasive envoy of, the GOP. A serious focus on equality of opportunity can exile anything like “DWB” beyond the Pale, rebooting the GOP’s reputation inside urban enclaves.
Kemp’s death left a vacuum. Now Kemp’s mantle has fallen, at least provisionally, upon Herman Cain’s shoulders. Cain rises to it. Kemp, for example, was the last modern political champion of the gold standard. In 9-9-9 An Army of Davids, coauthored with his senior economic advisor Rich Lowrie, Cain devotes over a quarter of the book to passionate advocacy of the gold standard. Cain’s proposed mechanisms for the restoration of the gold standard are in many, although not all respects, strongly reminiscent of the work of Kemp’s ally Lewis E. Lehrman (whose Institute this writer professionally advises) as set forth, in The True Gold Standard as well as in many editorial features by Lehrman.
Of even greater interest than the technicalities, and even the economics, of Cain’s gold standard are the politics. Cain writes in the Wall Street Journal “I realize the Washington establishment goes ballistic at this suggestion. Gold is kryptonite to big-spending politicians. It is to the moochers and looters in government what sunlight and garlic are to vampires. The American people are another story. Nearly half (44%) support a return to a gold standard, according to an October 2011 Rasmussen Report. That support soars to 57% when respondents know it will ‘dramatically reduce the powers of bankers and the political class to steer the economy.’”
Phrases like “Gold is kryptonite to big-spending politicians” are red meat to self-identified Tea Partiers, 70% of whom, reports Rasmussen, support gold. Team Romney is looking to unite and excite the conservative, Tea Party, and Libertarian base to ensure a big turnout on Election Day. This columnist has shared Tea Party podiums with Cain and watched him electrify audiences.
There are a limited number of issues where the Republican Party can, authentically, represent itself as better aligned with Democratic rank-and-file sentiment than can the Democratic leadership. Economic growth is one of these, and monetary policy — good money — a crucial component of that. Although Gov. Romney has not endorsed the gold standard, as Cain notes, he “has said on record he is ‘happy to look at a whole range of ideas on how to have greater stability in our currency and in our monetary policy.’ His leading economic adviser, R. Glenn Hubbard, has devoted much of his recent book, ‘Seeds of Destruction,’ to rules-based monetary reform.” Team Romney’s economic platform is broad enough comfortably to accommodate Cain’s views — and the votes they can draw.
Cain is a charismatic spokesman. He stands for policies of free-market driven economic growth, very much including a Tea Party electrifying and Democratic-base-voter-pleasing call for gold. Add in Cain’s recent critique of President Obama’s apparently opportunistic embrace of gay marriage. Together, perhaps uniquely, these position Cain to take the fight right into the urban enclaves that have long stood as sacrosanct Democratic turf. In many of the swing states Cain’s message could generate swings of several points into the GOP column. That could be the margin of a Romney victory.
In the long run Cain’s greatest impact might be the repositioning of the GOP to grow its base through championship of economic growth, genuinely equal opportunity, and traditional values. Cain, more authentically than most Republicans, can take the fight right into the Democrats’ base and win a share of these voters back to the Party of Lincoln. “The best defense is a good offense,” said Jack Dempsey. Herman Cain, unleashed, championing prosperity through the free market mechanisms of low tax rates and gold, coupled with equal opportunity and traditional values, could emerge as the game changer nobody quite saw coming.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author. Tags:Ralph Benko, President Obama, Herman Cain, game changerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
American Crossroads: America's fourth greatest President strikes again! President Obama writes himself into the history books and the lives of our former "dead" presidents. Check it out for yourself in the following new American Crossroads' ad - Great II.
Tags: Obama, Barack Obama, election, economy, debt, deficit, jobs, great, US PresidentsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
General Motors Co. — which owned the auto and mortgage lender Ally Financial Inc. until 2006 and still holds a 9.9 percent stake in the company — said it will consider a bid for Ally's foreign operations.
GM CEO Dan Akerson told Bloomberg News on Monday that the Detroit automaker may buy if the price is right...
Ally's troubled mortgage unit Residential Capital LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday, as the Detroit-based Ally said it may sell its international businesses.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we, Mr. Akerson?
For We the Taxpayers to break even on our GM shares, they must be sold at $53 per. Given the direction the stock is headed, that ain’t looking good. Were our shares sold today, we’d lose another nearly $16 billion.
Just another facet of the Obama Administration’s “success.”
Which brings us back to GM’s contemplated purchase of Ally Financial. GM has--while owing us billions--purchased before.
In a similar move in 2010, GM acquired AmeriCredit and renamed it GM Financial to expand its subprime auto lending and leasing.
Subprime lending? Meaning like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for Government Motors? Why, yes.
And in bad joke harmonic convergence, GM spent $3 million to install solar panels at a (non-profit) Volt manufacturing plant - in order to save $15,000 a year in electricity.
It’ll take GM 200 years to break even on these solar panels. Except they won’t, because in 20-25 years they’ll have to replace them all, which means they’ll save--at most--$375,000, before spending another $3 million (plus inflation) to start the inanity all over again.
And if you haven’t yet had enough GM solar, and you liked Solyndra, and Beacon Power, and Ener1, and...
...Since its inception, General Motors Ventures has closed on 13 investments worth around $60 million, according to (GM's Tim) Brumbaugh.
They include a $7.5 million investment in Sunlogics PLC -- a manufacturer of solar-energy systems -- and a $6 million investment in Proterra Inc., which makes zero-emission transit buses.
Fantastic. But fret not:
"We are only investing in technologies that can be utilized in the automobile itself or through our manufacturing facilities -- something that's going to give us a competitive advantage," Brumbaugh said.
Like their $3 million Volt factory solar panel fiasco.
And the visual of GM incorporating “solar-energy systems” in their vehicles is at once mind-numbing and absurdly hilarious. Given that a 12-hour charge of a Volt’s 400 pound battery gets you less than 40 miles down the road, how much additional juice will a GM-venture-capital solar panel on the car’s roof provide?
"That would be a big strategic win for us," he said.
There’s that Obama-Government Motors bizarre definition of “success” again.
"It's not chasing a hot trend," Brumbaugh said. "It's something that if you're doing to do it, you have to stick to it -- and management has to stick to it -- over decades."
Much of Europe spent the last decade subsidizing non-green non-energy at levels far greater than ours and are now giving it up as absurdly wasteful and futile.
With decisions like all of these, is anyone shocked by GM’s stellar stock performance?
So before GM takes yet another flyer on yet another bankrupt idea, perhaps they should instead begin to pay down the huge debt they owe We the Taxpayers.
It would be the first good General Motors decision in quite a while.
And it might actually, finally begin to drag the stock price up from its current pathetic position.
-------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to numerous sites and blogs.
ARRA News Service Editor: To repeat -- "Here’s an idea: let’s keep the government – and above the crappy administration – out of the business of picking winners and losers in the private sector." Tags:bailout, bailouts, Big Labor, Congress, crony capitalism, crony socialism, Economics, energy, Environment, Federal Spending, General Motors, Chevy Volt, government motors, stock, News, Obama, Regulation, TARP, Technology, unemployment, Unions, Seton Motley, Less GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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