News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Food Stamps Spending More Than Doubled Under Obama
Any questions? With the decline in the economy, the killing of new jobs, and the attacks on liberty, if the government had not more than doubled food stamps from $30 Billion in 2008 to $81 Billion in 2012, we would be having food riots in the streets. And I don't meant those "namby pamby" occupy protestors who are acting out as anarchists and adored by the leftist politicians. To repeat, the statement by Gary Bauer today, "America can't afford four more years of Barack Obama!" Tags:food stamps, 2008-2012, Obama administration, bad economy, lack of jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: One of the truly heartbreaking aspects of the Obama economy is the difficulty so many returning veterans have in finding employment. While the national unemployment rate is 8.2%, it is nearly 13% for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars has made reducing this startling statistic a top priority by sponsoring a company called VetJobs. VetJobs just announced that it is working to help our veterans fill thousands of jobs building the Keystone XL pipeline. But there's a catch. These jobs are on the Canadian side of the border.
Thanks to Obama, there are no Keystone pipeline jobs in this country. In fact, VetJobs had corporate commitments to hire 8,000 veterans for the Keystone pipeline project in America until the Obama Administration rejected it. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 60% of likely voters support the Keystone pipeline, but Barack Obama is siding with the 22% who oppose it.
Thankfully for our vets, the VWF and VetJobs have been able to salvage something of their efforts. But this is just one more example of how Barack Obama's left-wing ideology is hurting America and costing jobs.
Obama's blind commitment to the radical environmental movement is also wasting your tax dollars. In recent days, another stimulus-funded solar company announced it was going bankrupt, and company auditors are raising red flags about a Nevada-based geothermal company with a $98 million federal loan guarantee.
Here's another example. Reuters recently reported that Obama's "Great Green Fleet" recently set sail on a six-week tour of the Pacific. The carrier strike group is being powered by alternative fuels that cost -- are you sitting down? -- $26-a-gallon. That's more than seven times the cost of conventional fuels!
America can't afford four more years of Barack Obama!
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, unemployment, veterans, returning veterans, VetJobs, keystone pipeline, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Check out the below stories from this week. We still have a long way to go, but we're staying on offense through November. We want our Country and a growing economy back. The image included is extracted from the image for referenced "The Washington Times" article. It depicts the fracturing created by the massive pending Obamatax.
Enjoy your Saturday. For the record America, it is still HOT in the Arkansas Ozarks.
Yesterday, the NRCC launched a video highlighting some of Obama's broken economic promises. Check out the video:
Middle Class Will Pay for ObamaCare's Taxes - Donald Lambro, The Washington Times: "It turns out, the court's decision means Mr. Obama's tax will fall most heavily on lower- to middle-income people whom he has vowed to shield from his proposed tax increases." Replacing Democrats is the Only Way to Replace ObamaCare - Keith Hennessey, The Wall Street Journal: "That wave” fueled in large part by Tea Party momentum and campaign pledges of fiscal conservatism is unlikely to recede in 2012 far enough to give Democrats the opportunity to regain control of the chamber..." Even Pelosi Has Trouble Saying ObamaCare's Mandate is Not a Tax With a Straight Face - Ed Morrisey, HotAir: "Nancy Pelosi tried arguing that itâ€™s not a tax but a penalty when challenged by David Gregory on Meet the Press, but even she couldn't spit that one out cleanly..." Tags:President Obama, broken promises, the economy, video, news storiesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: A couple of weeks before President Obama’s big immigration dictate, his IRS issued a more quiet but no less outrageous edict that attempts to up-end the ability of states to opt out of his health care law’s new entitlement.
When the law was written, its supporters assumed states would be eager to participate and get access to enormous subsidies from federal taxpayers. Instead, more than half the states challenged the constitutionality of the law in court, and at least that many are likely to refuse to set up the so-called exchanges through which the new entitlement subsidies flow.
So the Obama administration is trying to bribe states to participate by manipulating language in the law that is meant to authorize start-up grants to instead fund years of operating expenses. A recent announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offered states six full years of funding.
Even that bribe isn’t convincing many states that are flatly refusing to implement exchanges — which are subject to onerous regulatory control by HHS.
The statute does, under section 1321, authorize HHS to create federal exchanges in states that choose not to participate. But the law specifically denies taxpayers in those states “premium assistance credits,” the subsidies at the heart of the new health care entitlement. This was supposed to be a way to coerce states into playing along — the Democrats who wrote the bill just couldn’t imagine a state leaving billions in federal subsidies on the table. The author of the provisions, Senator Max Baucus, has reportedly stated that this was an intended feature of the law.
Now the IRS, likely at the direction of an Obama White House increasingly concerned that the whole law will crumble due to the number of states opting out, is scrambling to bureaucratically rewrite the law and allow subsidies to flow through federal exchanges.
The IRS, in a May 23 dictate, had the nerve to say: “The statutory language of section 36B and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act support the interpretation that credits are available to taxpayers who obtain coverage through a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and the Federally-facilitated Exchange.”
Yet there is no mention of a “federally-facilitated Exchange” anywhere in 36B or in any section referenced in 36B. In fact, the definition of the new credit under 36B specifically requires enrollment “through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Identical language appears in the definition of a “coverage month” later in 36B.
Not only does 36B clearly state that eligibility for the subsidy requires enrollment in an exchange “established by the State,” but it also specifically cites 1311, the section of the bill dealing with state exchanges. Federally-run exchanges are authorized by a different section that is never mentioned anywhere in 36B. There is zero basis in the law for the IRS’s claim that section 36B authorizes credits in a federal exchange.
Moreover, because employers can be taxed $3000 per subsidy-eligible employee, the IRS is literally attempting taxation without representation. The new IRS Tax will whack companies in states that already opted out and therefore shouldn’t lawfully be taxed.
It’s an affront not just to principles of federalism but to the very first thing our founders put in the Constitution after the famous “We the People” preamble. Article I, Section 1 states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
It doesn’t say the power to write and rewrite laws is vested in HHS and IRS, or that unelected bureaucrats can impose taxes on states that legitimately opted out of a federal program.
Fortunately, the Senate is expected to vote on overturning this outrageous IRS dictate and protecting the right of states to opt out of President Obama’s new health care subsidies and employer taxes. The vote, under the Congressional Review Act, will be protected from filibuster and will therefore require just 51 votes to overturn the IRS dictate.
This Senate vote will tell us whether each U.S. senator supports the rule of law and our federalist system or believes IRS bureaucrats should be allowed to govern by dictate, even to impose their own taxes. Citizens whose senators are up for election this year should watch closely and consider whether senators who would outsource such power to the IRS deserve to stay in the Senate.
-------------- Phil Kerpen. He is the president of American Commitment where he first shared this article; a columnist on Fox News Opinion, and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him. Phil Kerpen is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service. Tags:Phil Kerpen, IRS, IRS bureaucrats, Health Care, Power Grab, Tramples States, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June the economy added just 80,000. The unemployment rate remains stuck at at 8.2 percent. The economy only added 68,000 April (8.1%) and 77,0000 jobs in May (8.2%). The unemployment rate under President Obama since January, 2009 to the present does not instill confidence in the American people.
U.S. Chamber’s Chief Economist Marty Reglaia said, "Today’s employment report should serve as a clear reminder that the pace of economic growth must accelerate if we are to see sustained improvements in the labor market.
"The global economy is in a precarious position and our current policies are not meeting our fiscal challenges. In order to alleviate some of the uncertainty businesses are feeling, we must put aside differences and act in the nation’s best interest to address these issues. We must address the fiscal cliff while agreeing on a plan to substantially reduce our long-term budget deficits, ease the burden of regulations on our nation’s entrepreneurs, and expand our trading agreements around the globe."
Tags:unemployment rate, BLS, Obama administration, US chamber, chartsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Chris Rock's tweet was beyond the pale. It was doubtless his effort to capitalize on the 160th anniversary of that great Fifth of July speech delivered by black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Douglass addressed a huge audience in Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852 on the theme: "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"
Douglass' eloquent appeal was filled with "Rocky" barbs. Like this one: "I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary!" Within the pale was not a phrase lost on his mostly pale listeners. They may have laughed at the double entendre, but not for long.
Frederick turned his withering scorn on the very idea of a celebration of liberty in the midst of so much bondage and misery. "The blessings in which you this day rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. To drag a man in fetters...to join you in joyous anthems [is] inhuman mockery...This Fourth of July is yours, not mine...You may rejoice, I must mourn."
It was one of the most powerful speeches ever delivered in America. And Frederick Douglass used the Fourth of July to educate and illuminate the controversy over slavery in America. So, yes, Chris Rock, you were right to use the Fourth of July and a bitter humor to prick our consciences on Independence Day. We do not want the deeper meaning of this important day to grow as stale as left-over potato salad. We need this day to remind us of our nation's commitment to an ideal of life and liberty. The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
Abraham Lincoln spoke to America in the 1850s, too. He, too, jarred our consciences. Lincoln had to deal with Supreme Court rulings adverse to liberty and antithetical to the nation's founding ideals. Lincoln spoke to mostly pale audiences when he described the plight of the black man.
All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him. Mammon is after him; ambition follows, and philosophy follows, and the Theology of the day is fast joining the cry. They have him in his prison house; they have searched his person, and left no prying instrument with him. One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him, and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the concurrence of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and matter, can be produced to make the impossibility of his escape more complete than it is. ~ Abraham Lincoln, June 26, 1857, Springfield, Illinois [Lincoln on the Dred Scott decision by the U.S. Supreme Court]
Today, we search for those keys to escape the coils of Obamacare.
Lincoln knew better than to excoriate whites as whites, but instead sought to arouse them to their duty by reminding them of the high ideals that motivated the Founders.
In their [the Founders'] enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on and degraded and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of men, then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when, in the distant future, some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, not but white men, or none but Anglo-Saxon white men were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian Virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man hereafter would dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the Temple of Liberty was being built. ~ Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858, Lewistown, Illinois [Lincoln on the Declaration of Independence]
We are now told by the Supreme Court of our day that millions have come to "rely" on abortion and therefore we must accept it. But did not millions then "rely" on slavery? Today, 71% of pregnancies in Harlem end in abortion. For those who view the fate of unborn children as "above their pay grade," that 71% pre-natal death rate is not enough.
Today, Obamacare threatens to trample liberty underfoot in its drive to force acceptance of abortion on Catholic and non-Catholic institutions that try to defend innocent human lives.
What was wrong in slavery is what is wrong in abortion: It denies to members of our human family their rightful place at the national celebration of the Glorious Fourth. It says we will celebrate as your lives ebb away. It says we know what TIME's Joe Klein writes is true: "That thing in the womb is human." But we will look away. As we contemplate the nation's birthday, we should ask ourselves: Doesn't everyone deserve a birth day?
Lincoln said it well: If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. We agree. And if abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. So tweet, Chris Rock, and don't let us forget the tragedy that was American bondage. And join us, we appeal to you, join us in opposition to abortion.
------------------------- J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, Chris Rock, tweet, Independence Day, Abraham Lincoln, slavery, life, freedom, liberty, abortionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Editor Comment: One of our readers named Andrew sent me his bucket list. I was quite concerned with the title of is email. Andy, like myself and many others are getting up there in age. And, making a "bucket list" often signals the expected finality of one's life as portrayed by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the movie, The Bucket List. After reading Andy's bucket list, I gained a new perspective. A bucket List can also be something very good. So without further ado . . .
Andy's Bucket List for 2013:
HERE IS ALL I WANT
Put "GOD" back in America!!!
Congress: Obey its own laws NOW
Language: English Only
Culture: Constitution and the Bill of Rights!
Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
NO freebies to Non-Citizens!
We the people are coming!
Tags:Andy, bucket list, 2013To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
There was a Time! It wasn't too long ago that the quiet heroes of this land walked tall with the pride of knowing that they lived in a country unlike no other. On this Independence Day, we celebrate that sense of American optimism and recommit ourselves to bringing that feeling back to us once again. Tags:Mitt Romney, There Was A Time, 2012, election 2012, Mitt 2012, Believe in AmericaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Jobs Groups & Economists Say ‘The Law Would Do Significant Harm To Job Growth And The Economy,’ Call It ‘The Biggest Impediment To Hiring’
JOBS GROUPS: ‘The Law Is Unworkable, Unaffordable And Wrong’
U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:& “Legislative changes and genuine reforms now urgently needed… the health care law is fundamentally flawed. Left unchanged, it will cost many Americans their employer-based health insurance, undermine job creation, and raise health care costs for all. It is imperative that policymakers and the business community now work together to develop and support genuine reforms...” (U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, Press Release, 6/28/12)NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS: “…small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses. We will continue to fight for the repeal…” (National Federation Of Independent Business, Press Release, 6/28/12)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS:“Escalating health care costs are job killers, forcing manufacturers to pay more in premiums rather than investing in their business and creating jobs…it is essential that Congress repeal the law and replace it with reform that benefits manufacturers and their employees.” (National Association Of Manufacturers, Press Release, 6/28/12)INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION: “…the law is unworkable, unaffordable and wrong for our country's small business owners who continue to struggle in a still sluggish economic climate… 3.2 million jobs at franchise businesses continue to be put at risk due to the employer mandate provision, thereby discouraging and disincentivizing the creation of new jobs and business expansion.” (International Franchise Association, Press Release, 6/28/12)
ROBERT SAMUELSON:“The ACA discourages job creation by raising the price of hiring. This is basic economics. If you increase the price of labor, companies will buy less of it. Requiring employers to buy health insurance for some workers makes them more expensive, at least in the short run. Particularly vulnerable are low-skilled workers...” (Robert Samuelson, Op-Ed, “The Folly Of Obamacare,” The Washington Post, 6/17/12)
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: QUESTION: “…that means that in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in 2021; is that correct?”DOUGLAS ELMENDORF, CBO Director: “Yes.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 2/10/11)
UBS RESEARCH: “Arguably the biggest impediment to hiring (particularly hiring of less skilled workers) is healthcare reform… By raising the cost of labor, healthcare reform systematically discourages hiring, especially of low-wage workers whose mandated benefits are high relative to their wages.” (“Great Suppression II,” UBS Research, Pgs.1, 5, 9/19/11)
PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA: “We've frequently heard strong comments to the effect of ‘my company won't hire a single additional worker until we know what health insurance costs are going to be.’” (Dennis Lockhart, Remarks, 11/11/10) Tags:Obamacare, Stealth Care, impediment, to recover, anti-jobs, job growth, the economy,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The below letter to the editor is by Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. He is a Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative and active in the Oklahoma Republican Assembly.
Imagine being a graduate of the High School Class of 1943. You would be in the range of 86 to 87 years old. Now read Mr. Mcdowell's letter. It made me smile with an appreciation for these two decades older than myself who are aware of the truth, sho are committed to doing what they can do, and who will, God willing, vote in November.
By Bob McDowell: Now that we are into the Month of July, 2012, we have come half-way through this year, and it has been in the word of some "somewhat eventful." We are also deep into the quadrennial Presidential General Election process and it has, so far, been one of the most verbally, and physically, vicious in my memory. We find a number of members of Congress, and State Legislators, deciding not to seek re-election, some professing that "the system has become to partisan," others seeing that they will be defeated, but not admitting that to be the reason. Still others do not publicly admit the real reasons.
It was comforting to hear that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, is one of those. It was widely presumed that she was not happy being in the minority and losing her speakership perks. Just last month a report has circulated containing figures obtained from the Budget and/or Pentagon about the astronomical costs she incurred, at tax expense, for her many trips on Air Force aircraft. The report indicated that she made more than one trip a week from and to the District of Columbia and California as well as some overseas for "inspections".
Also of note are some departures from the Senate; most notable and early announced was that of Barney Frank, D-MA, and Olympia Snow, R-ME (RINO). These and some others will not be missed by those of us who ardently adhere to the provisions contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. There are far too many in public office, as well as Government employment, who consider these stellar documents to be nothing more that an impediment to their quest for more and more power.
There is more hope with the failure of the government employee unions attempt to recall the Governor of Wisconsin. They are upset because he kept the promises made in his 2010 election campaign, surprise, surprise. He ended the policy that union membership was mandatory as a condition of employment and that union dues were withheld from paychecks and remitted directly to the unions involved. It has been reported that over half the employees thus freed have left their union membership. At the same time, but less reported, there were two city elections in California where ballot questions to obtain similar results passed by huge majorities.
While these reported results are encouraging, we must remember that those who would bring about a Socialist / Communist change in government have no intention of backing off in their quest for more and more power. As was stated many years ago, "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom", and it is more true now than ever. It will be necessary for all freedom loving and law abiding citizens to become informed about the candidates and questions and cast their ballots.
More on the "laws of the land." During the week of May 28th, talk show host Rush Limbaugh announced that the Heritage Foundation and Hillsdale College had requested that the Declaration of Independence be publicly read at any assembly around the time of Independence Day, July 4. My classmates of Tulsa Central High 1943 meet for lunch quarterly on the first Wednesday of the third months. It was made my duty to type this document in larger type than is used in the small booklets which carry it and the Constitution as the type there is too small to be easily read by us "older folks." Thus, on June 6, it was read aloud. Of the 25 present, only four had ever read it themselves. Most were too old for a standing ovation, but we were all pleased and thankful.
Let there be a new revival of patriotism, law abiding, and decency in our wonderful Nation which was proclaimed by de Tocqueville to be "great because it is good and will cease to be great if it ceases to be good". And as Edmund Burke stated, "All that is necessary for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to do - Nothing! See you at the polls! Tags:Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, letter to editor, Half way through the year, revival of patriotismTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:2012, 4th of July, july 4, Arkansas Republican Assembly, ARRA, ARRA News Service, Independence Day, William Warren, America's Birthday, We Hold These TruthsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Next Generation: Hey Grandpa What Are We Celebrating?
GrandPa: That We Were Once A Free Country! Tags:July 4th, celebration, next generation, grandpa, why we are celebrating, AF Branco, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Who Is John... Allison? "A Libertarian vision is a moral vision...."
John Allison IV
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: “Who is John Galt?” This tantalizing question opens Atlas Shrugged, one of the most popular, if least critically acclaimed, novels of all time. A new chapter of an epic story worthy of the pen of Ayn Rand is scheduled to open next October. It centers around John Allison IV. Who is John Allison?
John Allison is taking over the helm of the Cato Institute. And for devotees of human dignity and liberty this is good news indeed. The stated mission of the Cato Institute is “to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.” It is an extraordinary place.
A fight for control over Cato recently was in the news. There was a struggle for governance between the celebrated and powerful industrialist/philanthropist Koch brothers, Charles and David, who helped to create Cato, and its founder and CEO Ed Crane who nurtured Cato into the respected cultural force that it is today.
Crane transformed libertarianism from a marginal ideology into a major input to the policy discussion. He took libertarianism out of the Star Wars cantina and gave it a place of dignity in the modern culture. “The Cato Institute is the foremost upholder of the idea of liberty in the nation that is the foremost upholder of the idea of liberty,” wrote George Will.
Cato has been very much about making an intellectual impact. Its analysis consistently is impressive. But, understandably coming from the most elite proponent of libertarianism, an attitude of disdain for government bleeds through. This has put Cato into a somewhat aloof posture towards the policy fray. Power to elect the majority of the Cato board recently passed, legally, to the Kochs. And the Kochs invest great importance in policy, as well as cultural, relevance. Confrontation loomed.
Cato, unquestionably, is the bellwether of the libertarian school. And libertarians, it can be argued, often cast the deciding “swing vote” in policy matters. When the libertarian movement sided with the conservatives on foreign and tax policy, that united front set the stage for the defeat of international communism. It similarly set the stage for the push to reduce the top U.S. federal tax rate from 70% to 28%, and for nation after nation to adopt far lower rates on their own. World prosperity blossomed. When, however, most libertarians sided with liberals on cultural issues (such as abortion and gay marriage, neither inevitably libertarian stands), the liberals prevailed.
Cato is “the cat who walks by himself and all places are alike to him.” And when the libertarian cat throws her weight around … she turns out to be a tiger. Cato weighs in on economic issues far more often than on social issues. Hence Cato, in practice, is counted as more of an asset of the Right than the Left. ; A potential implosion of the bellwether of the libertarian faction thus was a matter of grave civic import, more so than many outsiders understood. The Authoritarian Left certainly must have been hoping for Cato to implode.
Enter John Allison — who almost (he lacks the swagger) could be a protagonist escaped from an Ayn Rand novel. Allison recently retired as the CEO of BB&T, which he had built up from a small bank to a behemoth with over $100 billion in deposits. He, unlike many business people, is an outspoken and lucid advocate for free markets and against oligarchy. (Allison’s compensation package while at BB&T revealed him as not part of oligarchic Wall Street society.)
Allison presents as a courtly figure, like a Frank Capra protagonist. The Kochs and Crane (among many others) share a great respect for him. The dueling forces decided to put him in charge of Cato. Here was a man in whom the values of cultural relevance, prized by Crane, and policy relevance, prized by the Kochs, were united.
In an interview last week with this columnist, Allison observed:
Cato is a great asset for the libertarian free society movement. Cato has made some very important contributions. It can be even more impactful in providing the intellectual ammunition to move our society back to the principles that made America great in the first place.
Cato has a strong team of intellectuals and I’m confident that we can provide even more world-class thinkers to defend the free society. We want to be able to impact current policy through decisions by providing the intellectual ammunition to elected officials who execute these concepts. We want to be long-term thinkers who have an immediate effect.
One of the things that I really want to do is make this a moral fight instead of a fight around the technical aspects of economics. The libertarian vision is a moral vision and we own the moral high ground. A free society is the only society in which people can think for themselves and pursue their rational self-interest.
Freedom creates the ability, through creativity and incentive, to raise the quality of life for everyone. When I was CEO of BB& T we saw the opportunity, on many occasions, to create products and services that would improve the quality of life of our clients but some government regulation prevented us from doing it. Unfortunately most business leaders are not really capitalists. They are crony capitalists looking for some way to use the government to give them a special advantage. Cato is a defender of real capitalism, real free markets.
Allison explains his famous commitment to Atlas Shrugged:
I am a major proponent of Rand’s philosophy because Atlas Shrugged changed my life. Initially the most empowering part of the philosophy was the absolute sense of purpose that her heroes and heroines demonstrate. Rand does a better job of capturing that aspect of the American sense of life than any other novelist I have encountered.
Atlas Shrugged is my favorite work. BB&T has sponsored 68 programs on the moral foundations of capitalism where Atlas Shrugged is one of, although not the only, of the prescribed readings. 25,000 students go through the program annually. Thousands describe the program as life changing and almost all of them attribute the transformation of their worldview to Atlas Shrugged.
They do not all agree with Rand’s philosophy but they appreciate the sense of life, of the power of purpose, of reason, and they have never in their whole educational career heard this point of view. As good as Hayek and von Mises are, typically people who are interested in them already are conservative. Very few people read technical books and have their worldview changed. Rand’s work is a novel and about ethics and not economics. Rand was a defender of rational self-interest, properly understood.
We are given a false alternative in our society: take advantage of other people or self-sacrifice. Taking unfair advantage of others is self-destructive because people won’t trust you. On the other hand, I ask students, do you have as much right to your own life as anyone else does? What Rand is defending is about giving value for value: life is about creating win-win relationships.
The champions of Big Government lost their cause in the pop culture in part due to Ayn Rand. The champions of Big Government lost their cause in respectable intellectual circles in part due to Ed Crane and the scholarship he marshaled upholding the Jeffersonian creed of skepticism about central government. Comes now a new champion of liberty. The champions of Big Government must be quaking at the prospect facing such a worthy new adversary in the policy arena when Allison takes charge of the Cato Institute.
Who is John Allison? “The libertarian vision is a moral vision and we own the moral high ground.”
------------ 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, Cato Institute, ceo, John Allison, Ayn Rand, Ed Crane, Charles Koch, David Koch, libertarian vision, moral vision, skepticism about central government, Atlas ShruggedTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
"For Greater Glory" tells a story of
religious freedom and oppression
and he people's stand against it.
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Who does President Barack Obama think he is that he can change the wording of the Declaration of Independence? Again and again he presumes to quote the great Declaration while making a significant change: he omits the word “Creator.”
Americans know that the Declaration of Independence proclaims as a matter of fact that they “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” But when Obama recites this line, he omits the word “Creator.”
Listen carefully to how Obama censors that famous line. Here are his own words: “all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights.” He doesn’t say who endowed us.
Obama has done this so often that it can’t be a slip of the tongue or a glitch of the teleprompter. Changing the words of the Declaration of Independence is part of Obama’s determination to remove everything religious and every mention of God from every aspect of our public life in order to fundamentally transform us from “one nation under God” into one nation under the Federal Government, especially the executive branch, with no higher power recognized.
On this Fourth of July, we should remind ourselves that the great Declaration of Independence is not only the proclamation of our independence and sovereignty, but is also the official affirmation of our belief and faith in God. The Declaration asserts God’s existence as a “self-evident” truth, and states that the purpose of government is to secure our God-given unalienable individual rights.
The Declaration contains five references to God — God as our Creator, God as supreme Lawmaker, God as the Source of all rights, God as the world’s supreme Judge, and God as our Protector.
Shortly before we started hearing fireworks for this year’s Fourth of July, the movie “For Greater Glory” opened in local theaters. It is a compelling dramatization of the Mexican government’s persecution of Christians from 1926 to 1929, a bloody piece of history that has hitherto been ignored by historians and filmmakers.
This wasn’t in some faraway Muslim country; it was in our next-door neighbor. It’s instructive for Americans, who have peacefully enjoyed religious liberty for more than two centuries, to realize the depth of hatred that some people have for religion in general and Christianity in particular.
The movie is a worthy addition to the genre of successful religious films that portray Christian heroes who died for their faith, such as “A Man For All Seasons” (Thomas More), “Becket,” and “The Robe.”
In 1926, the Mexican president, Plutarco Elias Calles, brutally enforced laws to suppress religion. Soldiers on horseback broke into churches, vandalized church property, killed priests, and strung up dead bodies on posts to terrify the people.
Government officials, an elite openly admiring Soviet Communism, were determined to destroy all visible evidences of religion, including the cross and other Christian symbols, the wearing of traditional garments by Catholic priests and nuns, and religious processions. Soldiers could order anyone to repeat “Long live the Federal Government,” with death the punishment for refusal.
Mexico’s Constitution required the schools to be active participants in the battle to secularize the country and suppress religion. The Constitution stated: “Education services should be secular, and, therefore, free of any religious orientation.”
About 90,000 Mexicans died in the fighting that ensued as the Christians, calling themselves Cristeros, resisted bravely. They got little or no help from the Vatican, but eventually, in 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 25 Cristero saints and martyrs. The U.S. government apparently was interested only in protecting its oil interests.
Our first reaction to the killings in this movie is “of course, this can’t happen here.” The bloody part may be improbable in the United States, but the contempt for religion here is already evident.
It’s not difficult to imagine the hateful words of the Mexican President being repeated in the United States by the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and various atheist litigators who are aggressively pushing supremacist judges to ban the Ten Commandments, our national motto, and crosses from schools and from every public place even when their purpose is to honor servicemen who gave their lives on our behalf.
Through speeches and regulations, President Obama is trying to eliminate all public references to religion, to force religious worship behind closed doors, and to coerce religious institutions into financing drugs and procedures that violate their religious faith. ObamaCare will force Christian hospitals, colleges and schools to pay for abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations for their employees.
If they don’t obey Obama’s orders, the penalty is financial death. It’s no wonder that Obama campaigned as a messiah in 2008 saying, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Obama, Censors, Declaration of Independence, Creator, God, religious freedom, religious rights, movie, For Greater Glory, Mexico, defending religious rights, libertyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Medicaid Crisis Looms Despite $1 Billion In Stimulus Funds
Arkansas Policy Foundation: Arkansas policymakers face a potential $1.3 billion budget deficit in the state’s Medicaid program despite receiving $1 billion in federal stimulus funds for “health and human services” since 2009, according to remarks by officials and public records.
Gov. Mike Beebe and state Human Services Department Director John Selig said last month that Arkansas will have to either cut Medicaid or raise taxes to increase spending due to a projected shortfall in the government medical insurance program. The deficit could reach $1.3 billion due to the potential loss of up to $900 million in federal funds.1
The federal government has awarded Arkansas $1,011,400,279 for “health and human services” under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.2 There are 41 categories in the “health and human services category,” with three Medicaid-related programs awarded most of the amount, nearly $782 million. One “Medical Assistance Program” was awarded $318,917,521, the largest amount designated to any categorical. The description lists one objective of the program as follows:
“To protect and maintain State Medicaid programs during a period of economic downturn, including by helping to avert cuts to provider payment rates and benefits or services, and to prevent constrictions of income eligibility requirements for such programs, but not to promote increases in such requirements.”
Two additional programs designate an additional $227,066,000 and $234,790,947 in stimulus funding for similar Medicaid-related programs.
Arkansas officials have not explained how they will identify the unfunded liabilities of Medicaid programs or continue spending at current levels when the stimulus ends. 1 Policy Foundation research memo (May 5, 2012), “Arkansas Medicaid’s Unfunded Liabilities” 2 http://recovery.arkansas.gov/index.html
Additional Articles: How Low Will They Go?- The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s decision to allow public higher learning institutions to replace algebra as a graduation requirement for most students marks a new low in declining Arkansas academic standards. The panel calls for college algebra to be required for STEM students while the requirement is dropped for other majors. Arkansas Medicaid's Unfunded Liabilities - Arkansas State Human Services Department Director John Selig said Arkansas will have to either slash Medicaid or increase spending due to a projected shortfall. Gov. Beebe said Medicaid cuts or new taxes are coming in FY 2014. The fiscal impact will be significant. Medicaid was 18.1 percent of the state’s $24.8 billion 2011 budget, and Selig contends Arkansas could lose up to $900 million in federal funding without additional state funding. Tags:Arkansas, Medicaid, Crisis, $1 Billion, stimulus, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
WND: Feds label liberty lovers 'terrorists' ... again!
Examples of what START considers to be “right-wing” include “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority. Under such a definition, the Founding Fathers might have been considered right-wing terrorists. ~ Jack Minor
By Jack Minor, World News Daily: The government is once again promoting the idea of “those who are reverent of individual liberty” being terrorists with a new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
The study and related data were recently produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland. START was launched with a $12 million grant from DHS and is recognized by the organization as one of its “Centers for Excellence.” In December, DHS announced it was renewing START’s funding with another $3.6 million.
The report noted that nearly one-third of all terrorist attacks from 1970 to 2008 occurred in five metropolitan counties run by Democrats.
The counties were Manhattan, New York, Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, San Francisco County and Washington, D.C. The report went on to list groups by ideology such as right-wing, left-wing, religious and single issue.
Interestingly, the report appears to have key data missing when it comes to Islamic terrorism.
On Page 22, Table 4 lists “hot spots” for religious terrorism by decade. For the 1990s, it shows there was no religious terrorism in New York or Los Angeles and only two terrorist attacks during the 2000s.
Ruth King, writing for Ruthfully Yours, noted that the report apparently does not consider the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to be terrorism. Also omitted was a 1994 shooting by Rashid Baz, who killed 16-year-old Jewish student Ari Halberstam and attempted to murder dozens more in a van on the Brooklyn Bridge.
The report also ignores the 2002 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. Following the attack, which killed two and wounded four others, the FBI and Justice Department concluded that the shooter, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, was an Egyptian terrorist who wanted to be a Muslim martyr.
Also, by cutting the report off at 2007, it was able to omit events such as the Fort Hood massacre by Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded 29 others, and the Little Rock Army recruiting center, where a Muslim convert shot soldiers in front of a recruiting office.
When defining “left-wing,” START said it wanted “to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. This category also includes secular left-wing groups that rely heavily on terrorism to overthrow the capitalist system and either establish “a dictatorship of the proletariat” (Marxist-Leninists) or, much more rarely, a decentralized, non-hierarchical political system (anarchists).”
This description would appear to apply to members of Occupy Wall Street, who have called on violence to achieve their means. A speaker at a Los Angeles OWS rally said in to achieve its goals, the organization would need to engage in violence similar to what was done in the French Revolution with mass beheadings. The groups have also received the endorsements of the Nazi and communist parties.
In a video, the speaker said, “One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I’ll give you two examples: French Revolution and Indian so-called Revolution. Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us,” he said. “The French Revolution made fundamental transformation, but it was bloody. India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty. So, ultimately, the bourgeoisie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class. Long live revolution! Long live socialism!”
The report appears to be at odds with the Southern Poverty Law Center – which, while listing WND as a hate-group, ignores the Occupy Wall Street movement’s violence.
However, examples of what START considers to be “right-wing” include “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority.
Under such a definition, the Founding Fathers might have been considered right-wing terrorists.
WND contacted START about the designations and was told, unlike previous reports by other government groups claiming that members of groups such as the tea party are terrorists, the START study was intended to only refer to those who actually committed terrorist acts.
The report also warns defines as terrorists those who want to “forcibly insert religion into the political sphere” and are opposed to abortion.
This is not the first time a government report has listed conservative groups such as evangelical Christians and tea-party members as terrorists.
WND has reportedon how the DHS had previously issued another report listing returning veterans and Christians who believed in end-time prophesies as dangerous right-wing extremists.
A report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center warned law enforcement agencies to watch for individuals with bumper stickers for third-party political candidates including Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It also defined radical ideologies as opposing immigration, abortion and federal taxes. Tags:WND, Obama Administration, labeling, right wing, freedom, liberty, lovers, terrorists, START, Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, University of Maryland, DHS, grant, Department of Homeland Security To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: On Friday, 73 House and Senate conservatives sent a very important letter to the National Governors Association, urging the states not to adopt state health care exchanges. These exchanges (which are completely optional for the states) are the centerpiece of Obama’s new entitlement that provides vast taxpayer-funded subsidies up to 400 percent of the poverty level. They are also the mechanism for imposing a $3000 per employee tax on employers who cannot afford to offer health coverage.
As I wrote last year, the text of the law is crystal clear that the subsidies and penalties only apply in states that adopt exchange laws. However, as I predicted, the IRS has asserted — contrary to law — that the subsidies and penalties apply in states that refuse to set up exchanges. The U.S. Senate, however, will likely vote soon on overturning that lawless IRS rule (talk about taxation without representation!), under a procedure called the Congressional Review Act that gives the minority the power to force a vote on overturning new regulations that cannot be filibustered. This will be a very telling vote for senators from states like Florida that have made clear they will not set up exchanges.
Even if the Senate cannot muster the votes to overturn the IRS’s lawless rule, it stands a very good chance of being struck down in court. Governors and state legislators who oppose the president’s health care law must oppose any creation of a state exchange to keep alive this option of defeating the law.
Below is the letter from congressional conservatives. Republican governors who are still on the fence should listen to them. See the following link for the names of the 70 other signatures by conservative senators and representatives: CongressLettertoNGA_062912
Today In Washington, D.C. - July 2, 2012:
Congress (both House and Senate) are in 4th of July recess period until Monday, July 9, 2012.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 74-19 to adopt the conference report on H.R. 4348, the highway bill. The provision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline favered by the House was removed and the Senate's $7 billion in proposed tax hikes was removed. The H.R. 4348 Conference Report reauthorized federal surface transportation programs and extends the authority to appropriate funds from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for federal highway and surface transportation programs for two years, through September 30, 2014, provides a one-year extension of current student loan interest rates and reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program.
Yesterday the House passed (373-52 ) the above referenced conference report on H.R. 4348, the highway bill.; The House also passed (261-16) HR 5972 - Fiscal 2013 Dept of Transportation-HUD spending - Appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013 and HR 6064 (by voice vote) - "An extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs.
Obama's Regulatory Overreach on Keystone Pipeline and Energy At Odds With the American People:
A new WaPo/ABC poll out today confirms that the Obama administration's regulatory overreach on energy issues has become an increasing problem for the President on the campaign trail. In the poll of registered voters, a clear majority - including a majority of politically-important Independents - support creation of the pipeline.
Below are key results from The Hill: --“A new poll shows that 62 percent of registered voters favor approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, a project Mitt Romney has pledged to green-light on “day one” if elected while the Obama administration favors more review.” --“The finding suggests that President Obama may be vulnerable to ongoing election-season attacks from Republicans and conservative groups, who have bashed him for failing to grant a permit for TransCanada Corp’s pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.” --“On Keystone, 62 percent of registered voters say the federal government should approve the pipeline, while just 18 percent say it should not be authorized. Among Independents, 57 percent support approval, compared to 82 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats.” --“In the same poll, 82 percent of registered voters say the pipeline would create a significant number of jobs, and the belief is widely held across party identifications.”
Republican Congressional Leaders Vow To Continue Efforts To Repeal Obamacare: Reuters reports, “The two top Republicans in Congress vowed on Sunday to push ahead with efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare law despite the Supreme Court upholding it, but the White House said it is time to stop fighting and start implementing it. ‘This has to be ripped out by its roots,’ House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said of the 2010 law on the CBS program ‘Face the Nation.’ Boehner added: ‘We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety.’ The House, controlled by Republicans, has scheduled a vote on July 11 to repeal the law. The Democratic-led Senate, as it has done in the past, is certain to block any repeal legislation.”
Reuters adds, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans will insist that the Democrats who control the chamber hold a vote before the election on repealing the law. ‘If I’m the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of “Obamacare” will be job one,’ . . . ‘This is the single worst piece of legislation that’s been passed, certainly in modern times. And it will be an issue, a big issue, in the fall election,’ McConnell said. ‘We’ve got one last chance here to defeat Obamacare. We can do that in the November election,’. . . .”
On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, McConnell said, “The President said [the individual mandate] was not a tax and the Supreme Court which has the final say said it is a tax. The tax is going to be levied, 77 percent of it will be levied on Americans making less than $120,000 a year. So it's a middle class tax increase. Beyond that, Chris, the core of the bill it is worth reminding people is a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare – that's hospitals, nursing homes, home health care and the like, and a $500 billion tax increase. The Congressional Budget Office said it is also a job killer. It will cost the economy between 800,000 and a million jobs.”
He emphasized, “The single best thing we could do for the American health care system is to get rid of Obamacare, get rid of the half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, get rid of the half a trillion dollars in taxes. In other words, the single biggest step we could take in the direction of improving American health care is to get rid of this monstrosity.” Tags:Washington, DC, polls, energy, XP Pipeline, repeal, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
We The People want our freedom and individual choices back - we want our country back. But now and then we also need to rest and recuperate sorta like military troops do when the USO entertain.
I enjoy listening to excellent talent performed. Maybe it because I can't do what they do. Or, maybe it's because music moves our souls of mankind
Well this year, I DVR'ed NBC's "The Voice" which seeks to pick the person with best musical voice. While I didn't like the options and some of the methods of eliminating people so as to reduce the contestants to the final four, I just had to remind myself it entertainment, and oh yes, using my Dish DVR, I could skip much of the "BS" and all the ads.
Many of the contestant who were dropped by the wayside were also very good. But, one has to accept that The Voice and its judges were also part of the entertainment. The People (viewers) choose the winner from the final four performers. And their winning choice as of The Voice this year was Jermain Paul.
Before the announcement of the people's choice, the finalists as well as other contestants put together performances which were performed. Jermain Paul, Jamar Rogers, James Massone and Pip performed Michael Jackson's "I Want You Back." The were exceptional! I liked it better than Michael Jackson's own performance. Hey, no rocks please :)
So without further delay, click on the following image and enjoy "I Want You Back."
Tags:I Want You Back, The Voice, Jermain Paul, Jamar Rogers, James Massone, PipTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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