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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Michelle Malkin at Right Online 2012


[Video Source]

Tags: Michelle Malkin, speech, RightOnline, 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sarah Palin at RightOnline 2012

Bill Smith, Editor: Yesterday, attendees enjoyed Sarah Palin sharing at RightOnline 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. Below are some of my tweets on her speech and a video of her speech by RightScoup.com:

Sarah Palin @ : Andrew Breitbart's greatest gift he left us was his fearlessness!

Sarah Palin @ : New Media bringing forward the facts & the truth; Old Media are the Masters of Distraction

Sarah Palin @ : Old media was conserved that Todd Palin reg. as an Indep. But not about BO. Todd never registered as a socialist

Sarah Palin @ : Obama is a creature of the old media - they propted him up- did not vet his associations, beliefs, etc

Sarah Palin @ : What is needed in reporting is Integrity, a work ethic, fairness & honesty verses a journalism degree.

Sarah Palin @ : old media is lies by omission - fails to tell the truth.

Sarah Palin @ : new media = activism & transformation

Sarah Palin @ : . . . new media stood by Gov. Walker who was willing to stand by his promises

Sarah Palin @ : Wisconsin Was also a TEA Party / new media victory ...

Sarah Palin @ : w/o new media there would have been no 2010 victories & thus no hope for 2012 victories



Tags: Sarah Palin, Right Online, 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Poaching Votes With Amnesty

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Obama, election 2012, fishing for votes, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, June 15, 2012

McConnell: Growing threats to our First Amendment rights

Today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke today at the American Enterprise Institute on the growing threats to our First Amendment rights. Rather than editing or filtering his comments, his extensive remarks are provided:
Sen. Mitch McConnell

One of the things that has always distinguished Americans as a people is the eagerness with which they’ve organized around issues and causes they believe in. As Alexis de Tocqueville put it more than a century and a half ago, “In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America.”

And yet today, this principle faces a grave external threat. The danger comes from a political movement that’s uncomfortable with the idea of groups it doesn’t like speaking freely, and from an administration that has shown an alarming willingness itself to use the powers of government to silence these groups.

This dangerous alliance threatens the character of America. And that’s why it is critically important for all conservatives — and indeed all Americans — to stand up and unite in defense of the freedom to organize around the causes we believe in, and against any effort that would constrain our ability to do so.

The bulwark of this freedom is the First Amendment. And defending it is what I’d like to talk about today.

It’s hard to imagine a more broadly accepted proposition than the fact that Americans are free, above all else, to speak their minds openly and freely, without fear of punishment or reprisal from government authorities. Human nature being what it is, however, I think we would all have to admit that there will always be a temptation, particularly among those in power, to muffle one’s critics.

But for politicians in this country, it is a temptation always to be resisted. Because any inclination to do so would demonstrate a deeply misguided notion of our proper place in a government that was established, as the preamble to the Constitution makes clear, by the people. For the framers, the highest form of speech, the form of speech most needful of absolute protection, is political speech, particularly at those moments of national decision we call elections.

In other places, at other times, those in authority may have asserted a right to limit speech. But not here. In this country, the government simply does not have the authority. This point was so obvious to the founders that the primary author of the Federalist Papers could suggest that the Bill of Rights was not only unnecessary, but dangerous, since by identifying the things that government can’t do, it might lead some to think that whatever wasn’t listed was fair game.

And, of course, Hamilton was dead on to fear that future governments would attempt to assume powers they were never intended to have. And it’s precisely for this reason that we should all be glad he lost this particular debate, and that the Bill of Rights survived.

Without it, we’d have far less to point to in defending the principles of our founding. And over the past few years, Americans have needed all the help they can get.

Now, for many of us in this room, the constitutional debates we’ve been engaged in over the past few years have been deeply encouraging. They’ve revealed a broad appreciation of our founding principles and a capacity for civic engagement that some had feared was in decline. For me personally, they’ve also provided strong validation of a fight I’ve waged for nearly three decades against those within the government who would micromanage political speech.

At times, this fight has compelled me to take positions that weren’t exactly popular. Opposing a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning was not a popular position in Kentucky, I assure you. My views on so-called campaign finance reform were far from universal, even within my own party. And with very rare exceptions, the media has been merciless.

But as the years have gone by, many of the early critics have begun to come around. And it’s my firm conviction that in the years ahead, I’ll prevail. Since McConnell v. FEC, I’ve filed six amicus briefs in subsequent court battles, with a seventh in the works. But all I’ll really need to win is all I’ve ever needed in this fight: and that’s the 45 words of the First Amendment, and the determination to see their true meaning vindicated.

It’s the same approach that millions of other citizens have taken in battling this administration’s attempts to assume powers it simply does not have under the Constitution. And I’m confident that they’ll be vindicated too. Every one of these fights is winnable, as long as we all keep at it.

But I think that precisely because we’ve been fighting on so many fronts, it’s easy to overlook the growing severity of certain individual threats, including the threat to speech. We see instances of it here and there, but engaged as we are in so many other battles, we risk losing sight of the size and scope of this one. So if you'll allow me, I'd like to spend a few moments just running through some of what we've seen. And then I’ll lay out the stakes as I see them.

The attacks on speech are legion. Perhaps the most prominent is the so-called DISCLOSE Act.

This is the Democrats’ legislative response to Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court correctly ruled that Congress may not ban political speech based on the identity of the speaker. The DISCLOSE Act aims to get around this ruling by compelling certain targeted groups to disclose the names of their donors, while excluding others, such as unions, from doing the same.

Now, to most people the idea of disclosure sounds perfectly reasonable. And throughout my career, I too have consistently called for the full and timely disclosure of all contributions to candidates and parties. But what we’re talking about here is entirely different. What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit.

Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us.

Those pushing the DISCLOSE Act have a simple view: if the Supreme Court is no longer willing to limit the speech of those who oppose their agenda, they’ll find other ways to do it.

You’ve all heard about the Idaho businessman who’s become a personal target of the President for speaking out on behalf of candidates and causes the President opposes. Shortly after being publicly singled out by the President’s campaign, people were digging through his divorce records, cable television hosts were going after him on air, and bloggers were harassing his kids.

Charles and David Koch have become household names, not for the tens of thousands of people they employ, not for their generosity to charity, and not for building up one of the most successful private corporations on the planet; but because of their forceful and unapologetic promotion and defense of capitalism.

In return for their decades of work, one of the President’s top aides exposed them to public scrutiny by insinuating that they’d done something shady on their taxes. And earlier this year, the President’s own campaign manager sent a mass email to the campaign’s supporters, notifying them of a Koch-backed event, presumably to incite just the kind of mob that showed up.

The results have been predictable. The Koch brothers, along with Koch employees, have had their lives threatened, received hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and been harassed by left-wing groups. One e-mail carried a typical message. It read: “Choose your expiration date.”

If the President of the United States opposed these kinds of tactics, all he’d have to do is condemn them. Instead, he’s joined the effort.

President Obama has publicly accused the Koch’s of being part of a, quote, “corporate takeover of our Democracy,” whatever that means. And not only did his campaign publish a list of eight private citizens it regards as enemies — an actual old-school enemies list — it recently doubled down on the effort when some began to call these thuggish tactics into question.

None of this should be surprising for a former community organizer who told a radio audience shortly before the 2010 mid-term election that Latino voters should vote with the idea of punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends. But all of it should be surprising to a former community organizer who happens to be President.

What’s more, the tactics I’m describing extend well beyond the campaign headquarters in Chicago. To an extent not seen since the Nixon administration, they extend deep into the administration itself.

News reports suggest that top White House officials have long participated in a weekly conference call with a left-wing organization in Washington whose stated purpose is to track conservative media voices, seize on potentially offensive content, and then use it to mount corporate intimidation campaigns aimed at driving these voices clear out of the public square.

Earlier this year, dozens of Tea Party-affiliated groups across the country learned what it was like to draw the attention of the speech police when they received a lengthy questionnaire from the IRS demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts, and donor information. One of the group’s leaders described the situation this way: “[groups like ours] either drown … in unnecessary paper work … or you survive, and give them everything they want, only to be hung.”

The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS.

And just last week we learned of an IRS decision revoking the tax-exempt status of small political nonprofit groups that undoubtedly foreshadows an effort to do the same to bigger groups on the Right that the Obama Administration regards as a threat to its campaign.

Those who have the resources and the will to fight these things should be commended. Those who don’t should be able to count on our support. But let’s be very clear: no individual or group in this country should have to face harassment or intimidation, or incur crippling expenses, defending themselves against their own government, simply because that government doesn’t like the message they’re advocating.

One person who grasps this issue better than most is Justice Clarence Thomas. And if you haven’t read Justice Thomas’s partial dissent in Citizens United, I highly recommend it. His opinion reminds us that the courts have found the chilling effect of harassment and intimidation on free speech can actually run afoul of the First Amendment.

This is why the FEC has exempted the Socialist Worker’s Party from any public disclosure since 1979. As long as they’re able to show that disclosure has led to harassment, the FEC has been happy to exempt them on First Amendment grounds. As the Court put it in Buckley, “the evidence offered need show only a reasonable probability that the compelled disclosure of a party’s contributors’ names will subject them to threats, harassment, or reprisals, from either government officials or private parties.”

The Court used similar reasoning when it told the state of Alabama back in 1958 that it couldn’t compel the NAACP to reveal the names and addresses of its members. In NAACP v. Alabama, the Court found that compelling disclosure of affiliation with groups that are engaged in advocacy infringed upon the freedom of people to associate with whatever group they like and violated their First Amendment rights.

All of this explains why Justice Thomas thought the majority opinion in Citizens United didn’t go far enough. Citing recent accounts of people who’ve been blackmailed, threatened, and targeted for retaliation for speaking out on various political issues over the past couple of years, he said the Court failed to acknowledge their constitutional significance.

Among others examples, Justice Thomas cites the case of a Los Angeles woman who was forced to resign from a job she’d held for 26 years managing a family-owned restaurant because protesters kept showing up at the restaurant shouting “shame on you” at customers. According to press reports, the police had to show up in riot gear one night just to quell the mob.

The woman’s supposed crime: writing a $100 check in support of California’s Prop 8.

Justice Thomas goes on to note that the advent of the Internet has made these tactics even easier to pull off, and thus increases the likelihood that the public will be discouraged from participating in the political process. It’s a point that’s underscored by recent news reports of a tactic known as Swatting, something Andrew Breitbart raised the alarm about in one of his final interviews.

Here’s how it works. Somebody who knows how to hack into phones calls 911, ostensibly from your phone, and tells the police they just killed somebody. Within minutes, the local SWAT team shows up at your house, guns drawn, helicopters swirling overhead. And while this tactic is clearly criminal and should be prosecuted aggressively, the goal is equally reprehensible – namely to scare people who’ve dared to speak, write, or otherwise support a cause that the Swatters don’t like.

Justice Thomas pretty well sums up my own sentiments on tactics like this in the closing paragraph of his opinion in Citizens United: “I cannot endorse a view of the First Amendment,” he wrote, “that subjects citizens of this nation to death threats, ruined careers, damaged or defaced property, or pre-emptive and threatening warning letters as the prices for engaging in core political speech, the primary object of First Amendment protection.”

Now, what Justice Thomas is describing here — the harassment and intimidation by private citizens of those who choose to participate in the political process — is deplorable. But I think we would all have to admit that it’s of a different order of magnitude from the government itself facilitating or encouraging these things … or the government using its own powers to harass or intimidate those who participate in the political process. And that’s precisely what we’ve seen.

Fortunately, Republicans have been alert to these dangers. One of the most important things we did in the past few years was to block passage of DISCLOSE. But the assaults keep coming.

Democrats in the House and Senate recently proposed the so-called “People’s Rights Amendment”, which basically repeals the First Amendment. And just this week, citing Citizens United, the President’s top political advisor, David Axelrod, told an audience in Manhattan that, quote, “When we win, we will use whatever tools are out there, including a constitutional amendment, to turn [it] back.”

This, my friends, is all you need to know about this administration’s view of free speech. The courts have said that Congress doesn’t have the authority to muzzle political speech. So the President himself will seek to go around it by attempting to change the First Amendment.

Amending the First Amendment for the first time in history would be the ultimate act of radicalism.

And yet these are not the only ways the administration is aiming to restrict speech. In a standard tactic of the Left, what they haven’t been able to achieve through the courts or Congress, they’re already attempting to achieve through regulations.

Over at the FEC, the Democrat commissioners are pushing a rule to compel third-party groups to reveal their donors. They’re deadlocked at the moment, with all three Republican commissioners standing strong. But this effort isn’t limited to the FEC.

The FCC just finalized a rule requiring broadcasters to list the names of any groups that pay for, or want to pay for, television ads online. The National Association of Broadcasters is fighting back right now in court.

Last year, the SEC proposed a rule requiring shareholder approval or disclosure of political activities. And under pressure from left wing groups, many companies have already included the question on their proxy statements.

During the health care debate, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a gag order on Humana and other private health insurers, saying they can’t inform seniors about what Obamacare meant for them. More recently, HHS spent $20 million in taxpayer money to promote Obamacare. So they’re stifling speech that’s critical of the bill, even as they tell taxpayers they’ve got to foot the bill for the administration’s own efforts to promote it.

And it’s not just the agencies.

Over at the White House, the President’s lawyers recently circulated a draft executive order that would have required anyone bidding for a government contract to disclose political donations, including those of affiliates and subsidiaries, officers and directors in excess of $5,000. The message of the order was clear: if you want a government contract, you better support our causes, or at least keep your mouth shut when it comes to the causes we oppose.

It’s the same message that an administration official sent last week when asked about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s relationship with the administration after he had the nerve to speak his mind about the President’s attacks on private equity. “He’s dead to us,” he said.

My own view has always been that if you can’t convince people of the wisdom of your policies, then you should come up with some better arguments. But for all its vaunted tolerance, the political Left has consistently demonstrated a militant intolerance for dissent. Sadly, a growing number of people on the Left, and now within government itself, appear to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation instead. And the potential consequences are grave.

Which brings me to another point.

It should go without saying that the political Left has always faced an uphill climb in a country in which there are two self-identified conservatives for every self-identified liberal. America is not Western Europe. In order to succeed in this environment, liberals have generally resorted to one of the three tactics I’ve already identified: obscuring their true intent, pursuing through regulation and the courts what they can’t through legislation, or muzzling their critics.

But there’s another element to these efforts that’s less widely understood, but that I believe is essential to understanding why it is that liberals have been working so hard to regulate political speech over the past four decades. It involves the great assumption behind all of their campaign finance efforts: that the collision of private interests with politics is somehow inherently corrupting.

This is the great untested premise behind all these efforts to regulate political speech. And few people stop to think of just how radical it is. Because whether it’s the public financing of campaigns, or the attempt to impose limits on the political speech of any business or group that doesn’t happen to own a newspaper or a news studio, what all these efforts have in common is a deep suspicion of the private sphere.

All these efforts are for the purpose of limiting the ability of those engaged in private enterprises – or certain disfavored private groups or associations – to influence the direction of our country by participating in the electoral process. The goal is to hermetically seal off Congress from anyone engaged in the private economy or in certain kinds of advocacy, for that matter, outside the public sector.

And the assumption behind all these proposals is the same assumption that appears to underlie this President’s economic and regulatory policies; that anyone who makes a profit is either cheating their customers, mistreating their employees, or both. Their motives are impure, those who interact with them are somehow duped, and therefore they’re not entitled to the full protections of the First Amendment.

For those who hold this view, the legislative Holy Grail has always been taxpayer-funded campaigns. If the advocates of this approach had their way, government would control how much is spent on elections, and how it’s directed, courtesy of the taxpayer.

But the question is, who would have sway over the politicians then?

With private interests pushed to the sidelines, the only voices lawmakers could be expected to respond to would be the self-appointed tribunes of the public interest. Private interests would end up with minimal influence on the direction of public policy, and the odds of people running toward public sector solutions would increase dramatically.

If you write the rules of the game, it’s easier to win the game — especially for incumbent politicians, I would add. And that’s what the so-called reform crowd has always had in mind.

Now, it’s important to remember that one of the things that makes effective the harassment and intimidation tactics I’ve described is their selectivity. There aren’t exactly a lot of folks running to the ramparts to defend oil company executives and hedge fund managers. But we all need to understand something: the minute we allow ourselves to be convinced that some people stand outside the protections of the First Amendment, we’re all in trouble.

These rights don’t exist to protect what’s popular. They exist precisely to protect what isn’t. That’s why it’s a mistake to view the recent HHS mandate as merely a “Catholic” issue. And that’s why it’s a mistake to view the attacks we’ve seen on “millionaires and billionaires” as outside our concern. Because it always starts somewhere; and the moment we stop caring about who’s being targeted is the moment we’re all at risk.

If we don’t protect unpopular speech, no speech is safe.

If we don’t protect unpopular expressions of belief, then no belief is safe.

Let people support whomever they want as much as they want to, and let the best man or woman win. Then government could finally get out of the business of divvying up speech rights that it has no authority to confer. That’s what the founders intended. In my view, no one who values our freedoms should accept anything less.

As the Court put it in Buckley: “The concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment, which was designed to secure the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources, and to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people.”

Campaign contributions are speech, and in case anybody thinks unlimited contributions are a bad idea, or somehow far-fetched, just look across the Potomac to Virginia, which imposes no restrictions on contributions whatsoever. Last I checked, elected officials in Virginia are no more prone to scandal than officials in states that impose contribution limits.

And corporations are no more taking over politics there than they are anywhere else. Indeed, for all the talk after the Citizens United ruling about the corporate takeover of politics, not a single Fortune 100 company contributed a penny to the eight Super PACs that supported the Republican primary candidates. And that includes Big Oil, Wall Street banks, and health insurers — the three corporate bogeymen that President Obama himself warned us about in the wake of the Court’s ruling.

Here’s my larger point.

One of the traditional strengths of the conservative movement has always been its great diversity. We don’t all agree on everything. But my message to you today is there are certain principles that should always unite us: and one of them is the inviolability of the First Amendment. And that’s why we’ve all got to unite against these tactics, wherever we see them. If you see these things, speak up. Call out the offenders. Get ready for the criticism. And fight back.

For me, that’s meant a very long-battle against efforts to constrain political speech. It may not be the most glamorous issue out there. And it didn’t make me any friends on any editorial boards that aren’t run by Paul Gigot. But a great freedom is at stake. And having been in this fight for a long time, I can tell you this: when you’ve got an administration that’s willing to throw core constitutional protections out the window for the sake of an election, we’re in very dangerous territory indeed.

This may not be the fight that brought you to Washington. But it may very well be the one that keeps you from achieving your goals. Especially if you’re a conservative, your ability to speak out on behalf of that cause is very much at stake right now. But as I said at the outset, this isn’t just a conservative fight. It affects all of us. Because everyone in this room, liberal or conservative, is engaged in what they regard as very important battle of ideas. And the First Amendment makes all of that possible. If we lose the right to speak, we’ve lost these battles before they’ve even been waged.

I know that as November draws near, some of those running for office will feel the need to choose their battles. There will be a very strong temptation, particularly among conservatives, to take this particular issue off the table, to make concessions. My advice is to resist the temptation. Because, as I’ve said, everything we’re fighting for is contingent on our ability to speak our minds.

And so my plea to you is this: unite. Send a message to the next generation of leaders, whatever their stripe, that the First Amendment is something about which there can be no compromise. We may not win every fight, but we can at least guarantee we’ll always have a place in the debate. And in the end, I’m confident, the best ideas will always win out.

After all, that’s how free markets work. Whether it’s a market for goods or, the market of ideas, the best product will win in the end. And no American should ever be afraid of that.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes put it nearly a century ago, “The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market”

And the best defense of this truth we have is still found in that sweeping command: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.”

Thank you.

Tags: Senator, Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader, speech, Growing threats, First Amendment rights, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems Want To Limit First Amendment

Senior Democrats Say They ‘Have A Clear Agenda’ To ‘Amend The Constitution.’ ‘Speech… To Be Fully Regulated’

REPORT: If ‘Re-Election Happens, Mr. Obama Will Stop At Almost Nothing’
“On David Axelrod’s New York City itinerary for Monday: to meet privately with potential donors to a ‘super PAC’ supporting President Obama’s re-election, then publicly declare that if that re-election happens, Mr. Obama will stop at almost nothing to undo the ruling that made super PACs possible.” (“Axelrod Floats Amendment To Stem Campaign Spending,” The New York Times’ “The Caucus,” 6/12/12)
‘Such An Amendment Has Already Been Proposed’
“…such an amendment has already been proposed by a group of Democratic senators, led by Jeff Merkley of Oregon.” (“Axelrod Floats Amendment To Stem Campaign Spending,” The New York Times’ “The Caucus,” 6/12/12)

Sen. Schumer: ‘The First Amendment Is Not Absolute’
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “The First Amendment is not absolute… This constitutional amendment is a moral, political and substantive imperative.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D-NJ): “The Tea Party Republicans in Washington… They don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution!” (“Dem. Senator’s Shocking Comment: Tea Partiers ‘Don’t Deserve The Freedoms That Are In The Constitution,’” The Blaze, 3/25/11)

SEN. TOM UDALL (D-NM): “This is the core issue. All the things we believe in are not going to get done unless we face down the Supreme Court. They have taken this over. And what we're doing with this constitutional amendment is we're saying to them: ‘No longer. You aren't in charge of this anymore.’” (Sen. Udall, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “My good friend, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, has offered a constitutional amendment… ultimately, this is what we are fighting for.” (Sen. Sanders, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

House Dems: ‘Amend The Constitution To Rid It Of This,’ ‘All Of The Speech… To Be Fully Regulated’
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “We have a clear agenda in this regard. Disclose, reform the system, reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money going to campaigns.” (Rep. Pelosi, Press Conference, 4/19/12)

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): “Last November, I introduced a constitutional amendment to make clear that corporations aren't people, money is not a protected form of speech.” (Rep. Edwards, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D-MD): “And so the question is not whether we should amend the Constitution. ... The question is whether we will have the leadership in the House of Representatives, in the United States Senate… what it would do is it would say, all of the speech in which -- whether it's corporations or -- or campaign committees and others engage in would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress…” (Rep. Edwards, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN): “Ultimately, though, Congress needs to authority to enact meaningful campaign finance reform, and that's only going to come if we amend the Constitution and overturn Citizens United. … The fact is, is that, look, money is not speech.” (Rep. Ellison, Remarks At Citizens United Summit, 4/19/12)

Tags: Democrat, Senators, Limit Free Speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Terminate the Racket of College Loans

Phyllis Schlafly
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: One of the ways to cut the big-spending binge engaged in by the federal government is to terminate the racket of college loans. It’s counterproductive, discriminatory, and a bad investment for both taxpayers and students.

College-loan debt has soared to nearly a trillion dollars, more than credit-card debt or auto-loan debt. Financial commentators are beginning to compare college-loan debt to the housing bubble that nearly brought down the banking system in 2008.

However, it’s not the banks that will be the big losers if the bubble bursts. It’s the taxpayers, because the government is now on the hook for the majority of student loans.

Even worse is the burden on students. The debt requires students to keep paying for a product that lacks its advertised value either in education or employment opportunities. College education has been dumbed down to enroll more and more taxpayer-subsidized students, even if they take only remedial (a.k.a. high school) courses.

College-loan debt is a powerful deterrent to marriage and to getting on with life. Students cannot discharge the debt in bankruptcy, can’t get a job that justifies the loan, and may have had a lousy education.

For years we’ve heard the propaganda line that everyone should go to college and that a college degree will improve your status in life and standard of living. Not any more; in Obamaland, 53.6 percent of young college graduates are jobless or working jobs that do not require a college degree and don’t pay enough to retire the debt.

Making college loans more generous and easier to get does not make college more affordable. The easy availability of loans encourages colleges to raise tuition rates faster than inflation in order to rake in more taxpayer money, while discriminating against those thrifty enough to pay their own way.

The entire structure of college loans is discriminatory. It forces people who don’t want or are not able to go to college, or who work to pay their own way, to contribute taxes to support those who go to college at other people’s expense, often at pricey elite colleges.

College loans seem to be based on the same pie-in-the-sky fiction that going into debt to buy a house you can’t afford is a good investment and will make you a worthier citizen. That’s another expensive lie told to gullible people by bankers and bureaucrats who should have known what they were doing.

Then there’s the problem, as reported by the Washington Post, that nearly 30 percent of students with student loans drop out of college with debt but no degree. Of those who remain in college, the majority take five or six years, thus significantly increasing their debt.

This wastes some of what should be the most productive years of an American’s life. When I went to college, carrying a full load of classes, I worked a 48-hour week to pay my own way, and I can’t figure out what today’s college students do with their non-study time.

Why do spokesmen of both political parties keep urging us to import more and more foreign college students and falsely tell us they are “the best and the brightest”? And why do we let jobs subsidized by U.S. taxpayers go to foreigners?

In 2010 Obama gave $300 million of his Stimulus money to two Michigan plants to build electric car batteries. It turned out that the plants are owned by Koreans who outfitted their factories with Korean equipment and supplies and hired Korean workers.

Another major problem for students is that, having incurred all that indebtedness, most colleges today are a hostile environment for conservatives and Christians. A new report by the California Association of Scholars called “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California,” explains that college graduates are alarmingly ignorant about history, literature and constitutional government because many professors have replaced real teaching with political indoctrination.

Another cause of higher tuition rates is paying high-salaried professors to teach worthless subjects that might justify one lecture but are not worth the price of a semester course. Let’s hear demands that wealthy colleges use their extraordinary endowments to pay off college loans and thereby make restitution for teaching leftwing propaganda masquerading as education.

Obama is not doing you a favor when he gives you a college loan. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that college loans are part of Obama’s policy to make as many as possible dependent on government, as well as to deceive us by keeping young people out of the unemployment statistics and in the totals of those attending college.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, student loans, racket, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Norquist: Taxmageddon Is Coming - January 1, 2013

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform: On January 1st, American taxpayers will experience the largest tax increase in U.S. history. As the ball drops on the New Year, we will experience an immediate $500 billion tax hike and the Mainstream Media is doing everything it can to avoid covering this fact.

For those Americans struggling to find a job, this massive tax increase will not make it any easier. Sadly, Liberals in Washington and political commentators are already salivating over the idea of additional taxes. They cannot stand the idea of a federal government that lives within its means.

The coming tax increases will be devastating. Every American that pays taxes will see their rate go up. The small business tax rate will grow to nearly 40 percent. The AMT will grow from 4 million to 31 million victims. The death tax will take half of what many Americans leave behind when they die. The capital gains rate will rise from 15 to 24 percent, and the top dividend rate will rise from 15 to 45 percent. The marriage penalty will return, and the child tax credit will be cut in half. Obamacare will impose 20 new or higher taxes on families and small employers, including a new tax on medical devices like braces and pacemakers. [Editor's Note: The U.S. House has passed legislation to repeal the Obamacare excise tax on mediacal devises but it has yet to be positively considered by the U.S.Senate or the Obama White House.]

[Note: A detailed list is at the end of this article]

As you approach election season, it is vitally important that you ask candidates and elected officials about the coming Taxmageddon: do they support raising taxes on millions of Americans or will they fight for lower taxes and less government spending?

You have the right to know where your elected officials and candidates for office stand on important issues. One of the best ways to know where a candidate stands on taxes is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Currently, 238 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 41 U.S. Senators have taken the Pledge, which is a written commitment to oppose net tax hikes. In addition, there are over 247 candidates running for Congress that have made that same commitment. Click here to see if your candidate or elected official has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

President Obama has promised to let the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire. If this happens, the only way to immediately reverse Taxmageddon in 2013 is to elect officials who promise to oppose higher taxes. Candidates who sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge have made that promise to taxpayers.

Elected officials will only focus on reining in Washington’s irresponsible spending binge when tax hikes are taken off the table. The first step in that process is making sure they promise to hold the line on taxes.
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Grover Norquist is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. He is a conservative activist, a popular speaker, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Norquist is the author of the book Leave Us alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives.



Taxmageddon Is January 1, 2013

The largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2013:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief
In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for small business owners, families, and investors (later re-upped by President Obama and Democrat Congress in 2010).  The following tax hikes will occur on January 1, 2013:

Personal income tax rates will rise.  The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which the majority of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to a new and expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family.  The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of taxable income.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.  The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.

Middle Class Death Tax.  The death tax is currently 35% with an exemption of $5 million ($10 million for married couples).  For those dying on or after January 1 2013, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors.  The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 23.8 percent in 2013.  The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 43.4 percent in 2013.  This is because of scheduled rate hikes plus Obamacare’s investment surtax.

Second Wave: Obamacare Tax Hikes
There are twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.  Some have already gone into effect (the tanning tax, the medicine cabinet tax, the HSA withdrawal tax, W-2 health insurance reporting, and the “economic substance doctrine”).  Several more will go into effect on January 1, 2013.  They include:

Medicare Payroll Tax Hike.  The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits.  Starting in 2013, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate.

“Special Needs Kids Tax.”  Imposes a cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.  This Obamacare cap harms these families.

Medical Device Tax.  Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100.

“Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions.  Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes
When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2013, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.  The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 31 million families, up from 4 million last year.  According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 31 million.  These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.  The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Full business expensing will disappear.  In 2011, businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment.  Starting on 2013 tax returns, all of it will have to be “depreciated” (slowly deducted over many years).

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.  There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place.  The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others.  Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.  The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available.  Tax credits for education will be limited.  Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.  Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.  Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.  The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed.  Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA.  This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.”  This ability will no longer be there.

Tags: Taxmageddon, high taxes, more taxes, Jan 1, 2012, Grover Norquist To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama & Media Bias: Private Sector Okay

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Barack Obama, Biased Media, Private sector, businesses, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Coming soon to your backyard...the EPA?

So you think you are at least safe from the Environmental Protection Agency EPA when you are finally arrive home on your property. Well think again! They either have or are able to generate more sinister regulations to make your life more miserable.

The article below will get your attention with its title: EPA power grab to regulate ditches, gullies on private property Big Government want to control you and under the present administration they intend to assure you that you pay the rent or mortgage and the taxes on your property but they intend to own and operate it or at least tell you what you can do with it.

It is time for you to get on the phone and let your Congressman and Senators that you are fed-up with the EPA and your not going to take it anymore and that you expect him to help you. To aid you, it appears Congress is finally trying to rein in the overreaching Obama EPA, which has acted like a governing body unto itself since Obama’s occupation of the White House. With the upcoming Senate vote that could put a halt to the EPA’s Utility MACT rule, and now a bipartisan effort in the House to block another ridiculous rule that would regulate puddles in your backyard, it seems the Agency’s runaway rulemaking may be in jeopardy.

But, remember PResident's Reagan's words when dealing with our then National enemy, the Soviet Union, when we both agreed to disarm some nuclear weapons, "Trust but Verify!" Well don't just trust your elected officials will do the right thing. Get the facts and then verify they are aware of the problem and are going to do something.

So let's begin with some facts. Let’s look at exactly how absurd the EPA’s reinterpretation of the Clean Water Act really is. From the below Human Events article, we learn that:
Lawmakers are working to block an unprecedented power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Water Act (CWA) and control land alongside ditches, gullies and other ephemeral spots by claiming the sources are part of navigable waterways.

These temporary water sources are often created by rain or snowmelt, and would make it harder for private property owners to build in their own backyards, grow crops, raise livestock and conduct other activities on their own land, lawmakers say.
So essentially, if there is heavy rain in your area one day, EPA regulators could be paying you a visit the next. But this one was seemingly so over-the-top that some in Congress appears ready to call the EPA’s bluff:
“Never in the history of the CWA has federal regulation defined ditches and other upland features as ‘waters of the United States,’” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking committee member, and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

“This is without a doubt an expansion of federal jurisdiction,” the lawmakers said in a May 31 letter to House colleagues.

Government bureaucrats and their agencies have grown too big and seem to have to even find ways to justify their agencies or offices continuing to exist. So take the next step and tell you Congressman and Senators what you thing about this situation.

The help you in your educating yourself on this issue, below is the Human Events article -- it is not too long - for your review.

EPA power grab to regulate ditches, gullies on private property

By Audrey Hudson: Lawmakers are working to block an unprecedented power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Water Act (CWA) and control land alongside ditches, gullies and other ephemeral spots by claiming the sources are part of navigable waterways.

These temporary water sources are often created by rain or snowmelt, and would make it harder for private property owners to build in their own backyards, grow crops, raise livestock and conduct other activities on their own land, lawmakers say.

“Never in the history of the CWA has federal regulation defined ditches and other upland features as ‘waters of the United States,’” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking committee member, and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

“This is without a doubt an expansion of federal jurisdiction,” the lawmakers said in a May 31 letter to House colleagues.

The unusual alliance of the powerful House Republicans and Democrat to jointly sponsor legislation to overturn the new guidelines signals a willingness on Capitol Hill to rein in the formidable agency.

“The Obama administration is doing everything in its power to increase costs and regulatory burdens for American businesses, farmers and individual property owners,” Mica said in a statement to Human Events. “This federal jurisdiction grab has been opposed by Congress for years, and now the administration and its agencies are ignoring law and rulemaking procedures in order to tighten their regulatory grip over every water body in the country.”

“But this administration needs to realize it is not above the law,” Mica said.

The House measure carries 64 Republican and Democratic cosponsors and was passed in committee last week. A companion piece of legislation is already gathering steam in the Senate and is cosponsored by 26 Republicans.

“President Obama’s EPA continues to act as if it is above the law. It is using this overreaching guidance to preempt state and local governments, farmers and ranchers, small business owners and homeowners from making local land and water use decisions,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in announcing their measure in March. “Our bill will stop this unprecedented Washington power grab and restore Americans’ property rights.”

“It’s time to get EPA lawyers out of Americans’ backyards,” Barrasso said.

Republicans say the proposal is peppered with loopholes. It suggests that roadside and agricultural ditches will be excluded; however, it also notes several exceptions, such as a connection to navigable or interstate waterways, ditches “that have relatively permanent flowing or standing water,” or a “bed, bank and ordinary high water mark.”

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers drafted the new guidelines to implement Supreme Court decisions in the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County case in 2001 and the Rapanos case in 2006 after the decisions removed some waters from federal protection and caused confusion about what remained protected.

However, the lawmakers say the jurisdictional limits set by the court are being ignored in order to justify the expansion of the agencies’ control.

The new language is intended to protect smaller waters that could potentially feed pollution downstream to larger bodies of water, but because it is not a formal rule, it cannot be enforced in the courts.

“Although guidance does not have the force of law, it is frequently used by federal agencies to explain and clarify their understandings of existing requirements,” the new guidelines say.

Tags: EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, guidelineshomeowners, land owners, EPA lawyers, Obama administration, land rights, property rights,   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Flag Day - June 14, 2012

American Flag
U.S. Sen John Boozman, Arkansas: Woven in the fabric of the red, white and blue of the American flag are the hopes and dreams of our Forefathers and the vision they had for our nation. This symbol of pride has flown during the gravest days of our history, in the face of adversity and during times of war. It has even made it all the way to the moon. This symbol of liberty is recognized worldwide for the ideals cherished by our nation. Old Glory is central to our history and brings us a sense of pride and above all else, it represents our freedoms.

Today we celebrate the American flag on this holiday, Flag Day. In 1777, the Continental Congress established an official flag for our country. Congress required that "the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Over the years, the design has changed to represent the addition of states to the union. President Truman officially declared Flag Day a national holiday in 1949; however, Americans had been celebrating the unofficial holiday since the late 1800s.

Read more about Flag Day from the Library of Congress.

Tags: Flag Day, 2012, Sen John Boozman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Five Facts About Food Stamps and the Welfare Budget

With the Senate considering the Farm Bill today, the office of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following list of facts on food stamps and the Welfare Budget:
Since President Obama has entered office the food stamp budget has doubled and is projected to remain at permanently elevated levels (pictured below) for the next ten years.
It now comprises 80 percent of the farm bill.  Ranking Member Sessions responded yesterday to the suggestion that continual increases in food stamp registration should be a central policy objective.  Senator Gillibrand, for instance, described surging the number of people on food stamps as an “extraordinary investment.” Sessions countered that the better, more compassionate, investment was to improve both the food stamp program, and economic opportunity, so that a greater number of Americans “achieve financial independence.”  Sessions asked: “Is it our national goal to place as many people on welfare, food stamp support, as we can possibly put on that program? Is that our goal? Is that a moral vision for the United States of America” [Video here].

With those questions in mind, here are five important facts about the food stamp program:

1) Enrollment in the food stamp program has risen from 1 in 50 Americans to 1 in 7. When the program was first expanded nationally in the 1970’s, approximately two percent of Americans received the benefit.  Today, it’s closer to fifteen percent.  Over the next ten years, following the current plan, no less than 11% of Americans will receive the benefit at any one time.

2) Food stamps are not a sole source of federal income support, but part of a patchwork of federal welfare that includes almost 80 means-tested welfare programs, including 17 for nutrition. Together, these means-tested programs result in $900 billion in annual spending ($700 billion in federal dollars and $200 billion in corresponding state contributions or obligations).  An individual enrolled in the food stamp program may receive, cumulatively, as much as $25,000 a year in federal income supplements for their household in the form of means-tested welfare.

3) 39 states have completely waived the statutory asset test for food stamps. Under categorical eligibility, a state can increase its food stamp allotment by providing food stamps to individuals whose assets exceed the statutory limit as long as that individual receives some other type of federal benefit (in one state, federal brochures were mailed to people whom, as a virtue of receiving those brochures, were then deemed eligible).  One of the four amendments filed by Senator Sessions would, in effect, require individuals receiving food stamps to meet the eligibility requirements.  That modest reform, along with the other three filed by Sessions, has so far been blocked by Reid from consideration.

4) Under the farm bill food stamp spending will remain permanently elevated at more than double pre-recession levels. Food stamp spending ($82 billion in FY13) has quadrupled since 2001 ($20 billion).  It doubled between 2001 and 2006 and again from 2008 ($40 bil) to 2012 ($80 bil) and is now 80% of the farm bill. Yet, under the current proposal, CBO estimates food stamp spending will remain permanently elevated  -- averaging $77 billion a year for the next decade. To illustrate the size of the increases at issue, were food stamp authorizations set to pre-recession levels from 2007, and grown at the inflation rate each year thereafter, it would result in a 10-year savings of $340 billion.

5) States receive bonus pay to increase food stamp enrollment. Senator Sessions has discussed the “perverse incentive” states have to constantly increase food stamp enrollment rather than to allocate each dollar as wisely as possible: the money is provided by the federal government but administered by the states. The bonus pay for expanding registration highlights the policy problems with this dynamic. One of the amendments filed by Sessions (also blocked, for now, from consideration) would remove the bonus pay so that the emphasis is placed upon targeting resources to those in need. Another reform would close a well-known loophole that allows some states to dramatically increase their federal allotment on the basis of home energy expenses regardless of what expenses are actually paid, and another would put in place an e-verify style system known as SAVE.  Read more here.

Tags: Food Stamps, Welfare Budget, Farm Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Son of Greece

by A.F. Branco:
Bill Smith, Editor: I am pleased to announce that ARRA News Service Cartoonist Antonio F. (A. F., aka Tony) Branco is now working professionally for Americans For Limited Government. He has joined one of my other favorite cartoonist William Warren at ALG. Tony joined the ARRA News Service as contributor in March, 2011. You can read more about Tony's background, including his musical talent here. Bronco's exceptional talent as a cartoonist has led to expanded opportunities at Conservative Daily News and Americans For Limited Government.

Branco’s work has appeared on the Glenn Beck Show, and he has been honored by requests from Members of Congress for autographed, enlarged copies of some of his ‘toons’.

"Go get 'em" Tony. You rock!

Tags: AF Branco, Tony Branco, political cartoonist, Greece, California To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

SCOTUS Considers Case Challenging Citizens United

Supreme Court
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 14, 2012:
The House is in Recess.

The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1940, the flood insurance bill. At noon, the Senate will begin reconsideration of the failed cloture vote on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte to be ambassador to El Salvador. At 12:30, the Senate began a re-vote on cloture on the nomination. Later today, the Senate may resume consideration of the farm bill, S. 3240, and vote on amendments. Yesterday, the Senate voted to table two amendments to the farm bill.

With respect to the Farm Bill, Senators who have large numbers of constituents with interests in Agriculture in there state are not happy with the proposed Democrat bill. One of those states is Arkansas.  Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said in his recent newsletter to his constituents. "The Senate is debating the farm bill on the chamber floor. I have concerns this bill is a one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating risk to agriculture producers. This is not a good safety net for southern crops particularly rice and peanut farmers. On Monday, I expressed my opposition on the Senate floor in this speech."

The Supreme Court is scheduled today to meed in closed session to discuss the previously decided Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which was a 2010 decision holding that corporations can make unlimited independent expenditures using general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates.

ABC News asks, “Why would the justices revisit a case so soon after ruling on it? Because a lower court – the Montana Supreme Court – issued a ruling in 2011 that appears to contradict Citizens United. The Montana court upheld a ban on corporate spending in Montana state elections, ruling that ‘unlike Citizens United, this case concerns Montana law, Montana elections and it arises from Montana history.’

“The Supreme Court agreed in February to block temporarily, or ‘stay,’ the Montana decision from going into effect until it decides whether to take up the case. Now, parties from both sides have issued written briefs in the case, and the Supreme Court must decide how to deal with it.”

George Will wrote recently, “Reasons for the Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United are nonexistent. The ruling’s primary effect has been to give unions and incorporated nonprofit advocacy groups freedom to spend what they choose on political speech as long as they do not coordinate with candidates or campaigns. Campaign ‘reformers,’ who advocate speech rationing, apparently regard evidence irrelevant to argument, probably because there is no evidence for their assertion that 2012 has been dominated by corporate money unleashed by Citizens United.”

Tags: SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Citizens United, Washington, D.C., U.S. Senate, Mari Carmen Aponte, Nominee, Ambassador to El Salvador To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Lunges Toward Global

Phyllis Schlafly and Dr. Bill Smith
(ARRA News Service)
Discuss Obama's Global Governance Agenda
Photo by Julie McKinney (NC)
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: r stop President Obama’s move toward restricting U.S. sovereignty and rushing down the road to global governance. One would think that the obvious failure of the European Union and disdain for the euro would put the skids on global integration, but no such luck.

Obama has such delusions of his own power that he thinks he can do by executive order whatever he cannot get Congress to approve, even Harry Reid’s Democratic Senate. Obama’s most recent executive order starts off with the extravagant claim that it is issued “by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.”

On the contrary, the President is not vested with the authority asserted in Executive Order 13609, which locks us into a worldwide regulatory system and thereby gives up a huge slice of U.S. economic and environmental sovereignty. The proclaimed purpose is to globally harmonize regulations on environmental, trade, and even legislative processes.

This Executive Order is larded with globalist gobbledygook about the obligation of our regulatory system to “protect public health, welfare, safety and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” Those pie-in-the-sky goodies are designed to benefit “an increasingly global economy,” rather than the United States.

The Executive Order specifies that this new “international regulatory cooperation” will function “particularly in emerging technology areas.” That’s an open door for dangerous mischief in sensitive areas that the new global busybodies might get into, and it will probably give Communist China the opportunity to steal more of our technology.

The crux of the purpose for this tremendous assumption of presidential power is to establish a “Regulatory Plan” and “reforms” of “significant regulations that address unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements between the United States and its major trading partners.” Wow! Will we be harmonizing U.S. regulations with Communist China, one of our biggest trading partners?

Do you remember Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Regulatory Czar who became famous for saying that the government “owns the rights to body parts of people who are dead or in certain hopeless conditions, and it can remove their organs without asking anyone’s permission,” and, bow, wow, that dogs are entitled to have lawyers to sue humans in court? He has recently emerged to publish an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal enthusiastically supporting Obama’s global regulatory harmonization.

Maybe Sunstein will try to harmonize our dog-food regulations with China, whose dog-food just sickened 1,000 U.S. dogs. Maybe Sunstein will find a way to harmonize U.S. production of electronic parts for our military aircraft with the 1,800 cases of counterfeit parts Communist China sold to our military.

Obama’s Executive Order creates a “Working Group” to issue a “Regulatory Plan” and “guidelines” that will “operate on consensus.” That’s the favorite United Nations procedure of reducing the power of the United States in international confabs.

President George W. Bush had dreams of harmonizing our regulations with those of Canada and Mexico as a stepping stone to creating a North American Union. He set up a bunch of Working Groups in the Commerce Department under the name Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

But Bush’s three-country plan was not acceptable to Americans who value our independence, and not global enough for Obama who is eager to turn us into world citizens under global governance. After Obama was elected, SPP closed down and deleted its website.

The next step of the global governance lobby is likely to be a push for U.S. acceptance of the United Nations’ demand for a global tax on all financial transactions “to offset the costs of the enduring economic, financial, fuel, climate and food crises, and to protect basic human rights.” That’s on the agenda for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro this month known as Rio+20.

Don’t expect any benefit to the United States. The real purpose is to reduce our standard of living by transferring U.S. wealth to dictators all around the world.
In one of Obama’s most revealing moments, he was caught on an open mike in Seoul, South Korea telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Obama’s clear meaning was that he is prepared to cave in to Russian demands on missile defense after his re-election, but needs more “space” until then. Medvedev responded, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin].”

If you think Obama has already gotten away with unconstitutional actions, his second term can take us over the cliff and make us targets for countries that threaten us with nuclear missiles.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Obama agenda, global governance, United nations, United States, 2nd term, unconstitutional actions, 2012 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Is It Time For Democrats To Panic?"

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: In the past few days there has been a plethora of polling data indicating that Obama's support among key constituencies is cratering. Of course it's no coincidence that the polls come on the heels of a spate of terrible economic news. But I strongly suspect that there are other factors at play too. Let's take a look at some of the data.
  • Today's Washington Post reports on a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finding that Americans have largely lost faith in Barack Obama's economic judgment. When comparing their economic plans, Obama narrowly edges Mitt Romney 43% to 40% among registered voters. Among independent voters, 54% have a negative opinion of Obama's economic agenda. The Post notes that Obama enjoyed a 20-point lead over John McCain on the economy in pre-election polling in 2008.
  • This is consistent with a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania voters released yesterday. Four years ago Obama carried Pennsylvania by 10 points, but his lead has slipped to six points. And here is the danger for Obama and the opportunity for Mitt Romney: By an eight-point margin (49% to 41%) Pennsylvania voters think Romney would do a better job handling the economy.
  • Last week, Gallup released data finding that Obama was down 10 points among Jewish voters compared to 2008 pre-election polling, getting just 64% support compared 74% in 2008. As one conservative blogger noted, "The only [Democrat] nominees who failed to reach 70 percent in the past 35 years were...Dukakis, Mondale, and Carter." All three, of course, lost.
  • Yesterday Gallup reported that Obama has experienced significant declines among core subgroups of white voters. For example, for all the left's rhetoric about the GOP "war on women," Obama is down six points among white women. He's also down nine points among whites ages 18-29 (who frequently don't vote) and he's down six among seniors (who do vote).

    No doubt the talking heads at MSNBC will try to blame this on racism. But even Spike Lee is giving up on the race card. In a recent GQ interview, Lee said, "It is not a lock that President Obama is getting a second term… I can't say to all the people that are unhappy with him that they're racist people. People ain't got jobs, people are hurting. So I don't care what color you are, if people are out of work, it's tough."

    And while many pundits obsess about minority turnout, which can make the difference in a close race, Gallup notes the obvious:
    "Whites make up about three-quarters of all U.S. registered voters, and are therefore the most important racial or ethnic group in any election, at least mathematically. Even if Obama were to regain his 2008 level of support among blacks and improve his support somewhat among Hispanics, he could still lose if his support among whites slips any further."
  • So what about black voters? The results of a North Carolina poll by a left-leaning firm should have alarm bells ringing at the White House. Not only did the poll find Mitt Romney leading in the Tar Heel State, but he was also attracting 20% of the black vote while Obama got 76%. That was an 11-point drop in the past month.

    What issue could have caused that kind of erosion in Obama's support among blacks in North Carolina? Perhaps Obama's embrace of men "marrying" other men isn't going over so well.
  • The same issue could well be negatively impacting Obama in Iowa too. The latest Rasmussen poll of likely Iowa voters finds Romney leading by one point -- 47% to 46%. That might not seem like much -- and it isn't -- but like Pennsylvania, Obama carried Iowa in 2008 by 10 points!

    In 2010, Iowa voters made history by defeating three state Supreme Court justices who forced same-sex "marriage" on the state. Another pro-gay marriage justice will be on ballot with Obama this November.
Clearly, Obama has big problems. James Carville is warning the White House that its message of an improving economy isn't selling, and that Obama faces an "impossible headwind" if he can't come up with something else. One Washington Post political reporter writes today, "Is it time for Democrats to panic?"

Maybe. But this is no time for conservatives to get complacent. While these polls are encouraging, the election is still more than four months away. So much can change between now and then.

It's difficult to remember now, but the McCain/Palin ticket was up 10-points in early September. Then the financial crash hit, and Obama's message of "hope and change" galvanized the country.

Hope and change could galvanize the country once again. If it does, Obama will be taking a one-way flight back to Chicago come January 2013!
-------------
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and is a contributor to the ARRA News Service and readers may review past "End of Day" articles at Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, 2012 campaign, Democrats, Obama Campaign, Hope and Change To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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  • 7/14/13 - 7/21/13
  • 7/21/13 - 7/28/13
  • 7/28/13 - 8/4/13
  • 8/4/13 - 8/11/13
  • 8/11/13 - 8/18/13
  • 8/18/13 - 8/25/13
  • 8/25/13 - 9/1/13
  • 9/1/13 - 9/8/13
  • 9/8/13 - 9/15/13
  • 9/15/13 - 9/22/13
  • 9/22/13 - 9/29/13
  • 9/29/13 - 10/6/13
  • 10/6/13 - 10/13/13
  • 10/13/13 - 10/20/13
  • 10/20/13 - 10/27/13
  • 10/27/13 - 11/3/13
  • 11/3/13 - 11/10/13
  • 11/10/13 - 11/17/13
  • 11/17/13 - 11/24/13
  • 11/24/13 - 12/1/13
  • 12/1/13 - 12/8/13
  • 12/8/13 - 12/15/13
  • 12/15/13 - 12/22/13
  • 12/22/13 - 12/29/13
  • 12/29/13 - 1/5/14
  • 1/5/14 - 1/12/14
  • 1/12/14 - 1/19/14
  • 1/19/14 - 1/26/14
  • 1/26/14 - 2/2/14
  • 2/2/14 - 2/9/14
  • 2/9/14 - 2/16/14
  • 2/16/14 - 2/23/14
  • 2/23/14 - 3/2/14
  • 3/2/14 - 3/9/14
  • 3/9/14 - 3/16/14
  • 3/16/14 - 3/23/14
  • 3/23/14 - 3/30/14
  • 3/30/14 - 4/6/14
  • 4/6/14 - 4/13/14
  • 4/13/14 - 4/20/14
  • 4/20/14 - 4/27/14
  • 4/27/14 - 5/4/14
  • 5/4/14 - 5/11/14
  • 5/11/14 - 5/18/14
  • 5/18/14 - 5/25/14
  • 5/25/14 - 6/1/14
  • 6/1/14 - 6/8/14
  • 6/8/14 - 6/15/14
  • 6/15/14 - 6/22/14
  • 6/22/14 - 6/29/14
  • 6/29/14 - 7/6/14
  • 7/6/14 - 7/13/14
  • 7/13/14 - 7/20/14
  • 7/20/14 - 7/27/14
  • 7/27/14 - 8/3/14
  • 8/3/14 - 8/10/14
  • 8/10/14 - 8/17/14
  • 8/17/14 - 8/24/14
  • 8/24/14 - 8/31/14