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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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: 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)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Squeal-Quester

Editorial Cartoon by A.F. Branco:
A.F. "Tony" Branco brings the sequester into perspective.  The sequester spending cuts are of no more impact that a fly on a pig's rumb.  President Obama's response, cut of White House Tours.  Make all cuts hurt.  And, who designed the sequester?  You got it, Barack Obama.  But , he blame the Republicans anyway.

Tags: President Obama, sequester, impact, government spending, President Obama, future spending, editorial cartoon, A.F. Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Bringing Terrorist to U.S. Could Impede Intelligence Collection

The decision of the President to import Sulaiman Abu Ghaith into the United States solely for civilian prosecution makes little sense, and reveals, yet again, a stubborn refusal to avoid holding additional terrorists at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay despite the circumstances … Abu Ghaith has sworn to kill Americans, and he likely may possesses information that could prevent harm to America and its allies. He is an enemy combatant and should be held in military custody.’
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement Friday regarding the Obama administration’s decision to bring an al Qaeda terrorist, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, into the United States rather than interrogate him in the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay:

“More than four years have passed since President Obama articulated promises made as a junior United States Senator on the campaign trail into a series of Executive Orders which have served to weaken the ability of our nation's intelligence community to find, capture, detain and interrogate terrorists serving al Qaeda and its affiliates. During those years our nation has dealt significant harm to al Qaeda, and the raid that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden was the result not only of the bravery and expertise in direct action by the United States military, but the product of more than a decade of intelligence collection, analysis and refinement of that information. Much of that intelligence was gathered through the interrogation of detainees.

“Every day our intelligence community strives to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda, and to locate its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Our intelligence community and military are laboring to understand the structure, threat and communications methods of al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen, North Africa and the growing threat of the Al Nusra Front within Syria. They deserve the same access to intelligence and methods of defeating the enemy available to the team that found Bin laden.

“What has not changed since the issuance of the President's Executive Orders is that terrorists working to attack the United States are enemy combatants, and if captured should be placed in military custody where they can be interrogated. The decision of the President to import Sulaiman Abu Ghaith into the United States solely for civilian prosecution makes little sense, and reveals, yet again, a stubborn refusal to avoid holding additional terrorists at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay despite the circumstances. At Guantanamo, he could be held as a detainee and fulsomely and continuously interrogated without having to overcome the objections of his civilian lawyers.

“From public reports it is clear that Abu Ghaith possesses valuable knowledge of al Qaeda's activities within Iran. Abu Ghaith has sworn to kill Americans, and he likely possesses information that could prevent harm to America and its allies. He is an enemy combatant and should be held in military custody.”

Tags: Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, enemy combatant, al Qaeda, DOJ, White House, bringing terrorist to U.S., trial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

White House: Jumping the Shark & Four Pinocchios

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 8, 2012
The Houses was in session for 4 minutes today. No actions to Report. The Senate was not in session. Both are scheduled to return on Monday. The Senate is scheduled to consider two judicial nominees.

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed, 63-34, former White House National Security Adviser John Brennan to be CIA Director.

Roll Call: House Speaker Boehner said Thursday that the Senate will be toying with a government shutdown if it makes drastic changes to the House-passed continuing resolution. Boehner told reporters, "If Senate Democrats try to load up this bill with extraneous provisions, partisan riders and budget gimmicks, we will be prepared to move a clean continuing resolution through the remainder of the fiscal year. I don't want to do that. I don't think that's going to help our troops. So I would urge Democrat leaders of the Senate to not get greedy and get carried away and try to put forward the possibility of a government shutdown."

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest jobs numbers for February, 2013, reporting that after adding 236,000 jobs, the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%. This report is driven by the private sector and not the government. Of the new jobs, 246,000 were added by private companies while the government lost 10,000 positions. These numbers show Americans are tuning out Washington and are driving the private sector to stimulate the economy. While these job numbers mark a step in the right direction, it’s important to keep in mind that 7.7% is still unacceptably high.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to today's BLS report:
“Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy. As 180 economists said in a statement this week, our spending-driven deficit threatens our economy, and responsible spending cuts are needed ‘to help put the country on a path to a balanced budget within ten years.’ And yet there’s news today that the president's budget, which is already more than a month late, might slip to April.

“Without a plan to control spending and balance the budget, our national debt will keep piling up on the backs of our children and grandchildren; our most important safety net programs will grow weaker and weaker; and the prospects for long-term economic growth will dim. That’s why the House will begin work next week on a budget that offers a better path forward, one focused on more economic growth and more jobs. Our plan will balance the budget within 10 years. And it will lay the groundwork for a fairer, simpler tax code that closes loopholes and lowers rates to help create new jobs, increase wages, and grow our economy long-term. Every family has a stake in this debate. And we hope they’ll visit speaker.gov and share their thoughts as we work to address our debt and expand opportunities for all Americans.”
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson highlighted the "Workforce Participation Collapse" in the job numbers:"Private employers continue to move forward in creating jobs in spite of regulatory headwinds and higher taxes. Incredibly, while the number of jobs created by the private economy continues to grow, the number of people who are abandoning the workplace also continues to accelerate. In February alone, almost 300,000 more workers left the workforce and the percentage of workers in the labor force dropped to its lowest level since 1981 at 63.5 percent.

"It is stunning that in spite of running a consistent trillion dollar plus deficit, with the Federal Reserve propping up the housing sector to the tune of $40 billion a month, that we are still seeing a mass exodus from the workforce by Americans in Obama's economy. In fact, almost twice as many Americans just said no to the Obama economy than got jobs in February. This stark rejection of hope for a better future by so many, stands as a bright red warning sign about our economy's long-term future."
Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan organization advocating for Millennials ages 18-29 noted thatOpportunities remain scarce for young people after years of debt-fueled government spending. The Feb. 2013 youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year is 12.5%. If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.2%.

With in this mellennial age group, African-American unemployment is 22.8%; Hispanics 13.4%; women 11.5%. The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as "unemployed" by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
Big Surprise, CQ Roll Call reported today that, “The target date for the White House’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget is slipping deeper into April.” With respect to his responsibilities, when has the president been on time with anything?

In her column today, The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel writes, “The phrase ‘jumping the shark’ describes that gimmicky moment when something once considered significant is exposed as ludicrous. This is the week the White House jumped the sequester. The precise moment came Tuesday, when the administration announced that it was canceling public tours of the White House, blaming budget cuts. The Sequesterer in Chief has insisted that cutting even $44 billion from this fiscal year will cause agonizing pain—airport security snarls, uninspected meat, uneducated children. Since none of those things has come to pass, the White House decided it needed an immediate and high-profile way of making its point. Ergo, it would deny the nation's school kids a chance to view a symbol of America. The act was designed to spark outrage against Republicans, yet the sheer pettiness of it instead provided a moment of clarity. Americans might not understand the technicalities of sequester, but this was something else entirely. Was the president actually claiming there was not a single other government item—not one—that could be cut instead of the White House tours? Really?”

And according to ABC News, cancelling tours will only save $18,000 per week, which is less than $1 million per year. So where is the White House looking for other savings? According to Bloomberg News, it apparently isn’t. In a story headlined, “Obama’s Tour Shutdown Lone Example of Cuts in White House Budget,” Bloomberg writes, “While President Barack Obama has spent weeks warning of the dark consequences of across-the-board budget cuts, there’s one area of government where his staff has failed to calculate their impact: the White House itself. Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that ‘detailed decisions’ have yet to be made about how the administration would meet a projected $24 million reduction to the executive office budget, which may include furloughs of presidential aides and other employees.”

Meanwhile, reporters have spent the week demolishing one White House exaggerated claim of extreme hardship brought on by the sequester after another. On Wednesday, Politico noted six claims fact checkers have “shot down,” among them capitol janitors getting reduced overtime, prosecutors letting criminals go, Meals on Wheels serving 4 million fewer meals, teachers getting pink slips, and 70,000 kids getting kicked off Head Start.

Glenn Kessler, who writes The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, twice refuted the Obama administration’s claims about janitors at the Capitol. Last week, Kessler wrote, “Obama’s remarks at the news conference so alarmed Capitol Hill officials that an e-mail was sent by the Capitol building superintendent that comments that people who clean the building would get a cut in pay were ‘NOT true.’ . . . Obama’s remarks continue the administration’s pattern of overstating the potential impact of the sequester . . . . But this error is particularly bad -- and nerve-wracking to the janitors and security guards who were misled by the president’s comments. We originally thought this was maybe a Two Pinocchio rating, but in light of the AOC memo and the confirmation that security guards will not face a pay cut, nothing in Obama’s statement came close to being correct. Four Pinocchios.”

Kessler wrote another fact check on Wednesday, noting, “[T]he White House has kept up its spin offensive, claiming that a cut in ‘overtime’ was a de facto pay cut and thus the president was right — or at least not wrong.” Kessler found that “overtime amounts to only pittance of the overall pay — about $6.50 a week on top of wages of $1,000 a week.” He concluded, “Apparently, the president assumed — incorrectly — that the janitors on Capitol Hill would get a pay cut. Rather than admit an error, White House aides doubled down on their talking points about overtime being essential to their livelihood, without actually knowing the truth. . . . Four Pinocchios.”

And today Kessler is back again, discussing how “in raising the alarm about the sequester, the administration has highlighted the decline in vaccinations that it claims would result from sequestration” even though “[i]n the White House’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the administration had sought a $58 million cut in funding for the Section 317 Immunization Program . . . .” He concludes, “We remain disturbed at how vague and fuzzy estimates keep getting turned into hard facts by the administration. . . . [E]ven before the sequester, the administration had sought to reduce costs by ending shots for children who have insurance--on the grounds that the president’s own health-care law was creating new avenues to obtaining vaccinations. . . . The administration’s vaccination statistics earn Two Pinocchios.”

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn said on Tuesday, “President Obama reminds me of the little boy who cried ‘wolf’ and his credibility has been strained by claims in his administration of pink slips for teachers that we find out weren't going to issue as a result of the sequester; cuts to the cleaning staffs’ pay here; and also furloughs at agencies that no longer exist.”

As Strassel concludes, “The whole point of the White House's effort to make the cuts hurt was to convince Americans that they couldn't live without big, sweeping government. Now Americans are asking how the White House justifies living with it.”

Tags: White House, lies, prevarications, four Pinocchios, sequester, BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment, jobs,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Medicare Needs More Competition Not Less

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Senate Democrats are finally beginning the process of writing a budget after four years of dereliction. They will almost certainly include some changes to Medicare, the largest driver of federal spending and debt. But unfortunately, there are indications that they intend to focus on the small piece of Medicare (10.6 percent in 2012) that is actually working well: the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

The drug companies cut a deal with the White House early in Obama's first term to provide the funding for pro-Obamacare TV commercials and street organizing in exchange for favorable treatment in that bill. But that's the past, and now they are fair game. President Obama telegraphed it when he attacked drug companies in his State of the Union. And why not?

The idea that life-saving medicines are sold for a profit rather than given away as part of a humanitarian mission seems intuitively wrong to many Americans. So bashing drug companies is a great way to score political points. But it is a proven fact that the profit-motive is the most efficient and effective way to allocate resources ever devised. New miracle cures can cost billions of dollars to bring to market. Without a return on investment providing a return on capital that justifies those huge investments, many fewer cures will be developed and we'll all be worse off.

I opposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit bill. It largely displaced a well-functioning private market and there were no offsetting spending cuts to pay for it. It created a huge new unfunded liability for federal taxpayers. But it did successfully avoid one of the biggest dangers in a large government-run prescription drug program: the temptation to dictate below-market prices and risk undermining the profit-motive that incentivizes the development of new cures.

It does that by relying on competing private plans. The plans compete intensely to sign up seniors. The incentives are aligned to avoid administrative waste and keep costs down, including negotiating for the best prices on drugs. An amazing 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with their coverage according to a recent survey.

The latest cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that over the next 10 years the program will spend 45 percent less than the original estimate. And the premiums paid by seniors are also much lower, about $30 per month for the past three years, which is less than half the original projection.

Yet Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has introduced legislation that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers. A version of it is likely to be included in the Democrats' budget and endorsed by the president.

This is despite the fact that CBO director Doug Elmendorf shot down the idea in 2009 when he said "granting the Secretary of HHS additional authority to negotiate for lower drug prices would have little, if any, effect on prices for the same reason that my predecessors have explained, which is that private drug plans are already negotiating drug prices."

So there's no reason to have HHS "negotiate" unless the word actually means something stronger and more dangerous. The only way centralized, government-controlled negotiations could lower prices further would be to restrict the availability of drugs or to impose price controls, which would undermine the incentives for research and development in the next generation of cures. Which means worse health outcomes and higher costs for the rest of Medicare.

Instead of trying to bring more centralized control to the part of Medicare that's actually working, Congress should focus on bringing the principles of competition and choice to the rest of Medicare.
------------------
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment  and 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: medicare, prescriptions, competition, HHS, lower costs, Phil Kerpen, American Commitment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Proof: Obama Care Law Hurts Jobs, Increases Costs

With the Federal Reserve's latest report that the new Health Care Law, aka Obamacare, hurts jobs and increases costs, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may find his name rising to the top of the White House hit list. Ben, if they wanted you to report something, they would have given you the "varnished" words. While the White House may have ruled our using drones today, the Vince Foster - Fort Marcy Park plan is still viable. Now - read on for the 'unvarnished" info.

by Sean Hackbarth, Free Enterprise Institute: Are you looking for a job? Look into a consulting gig advising companies – including those in the health care sector- on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). According to the Federal Reserve's latest collection of comments from businesses and contacts found in the Beige Book, there is a shortage of health care law consultants in the Atlanta region:
On balance, firms providing accounting and consulting services to healthcare providers reported much-increased demand because of regulatory changes, resulting in shortages of compliance specialists.
While this niche industry is booming, the Kansas City regional bank reported, “Firms continued to report changes in health care policy and fiscal uncertainty as reasons for delayed hiring.”

A Gallup survey found the health care law causing other distortions in the labor market. The percentage of the work force composed of part-time workers reached 20.6% in February, its highest level since 2010. Gallup’s Chief Economist, Dennis Jacobe, notes that with the PPACA this isn’t unexpected:
Uncertainty encourages companies to hire part-time instead of full-time workers. So do policies such as those in the [PPACA] that place extra requirements on companies hiring full-time employees. In this regard, it is not a surprise that employers appear to be seeking more part-time workers and fewer full-time employees in 2013. This emphasis on hiring part-timers is not good news for Americans seeking full-time work or for the overall U.S. economy.
And from the “we told you so” file is a report from Congressional Republicans that found that the health care law is leading to health insurance premium spikes. Premium increases in the individual market are expected to rise from as “little” as 8% in Rhode Island to 106% in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Missouri. Young adults in particular will be hit hard. The report finds that individual market premiums in Milwaukee, WI will rise 202%; in Chicago, IL, they will rise 202%; and in Austin, TX, they’ll rise by 183%.

We see rising insurance premiums reflected in the Beige Book. The Philadelphia regional bank said, "Health insurance costs are mixed, ranging from very high increases to no change,” and the Cleveland regional bank said “rising health insurance premiums remain a challenge” for manufacturers. We're almost three years in and the PPACA still isn’t doing what was promised: Lower costs.

The reason for the premium increases shouldn’t be any surprise: more regulations; one-size-fits-all health benefits standards; and taxes and on health insurance, drugs, and medical devices.

In short: The health care law hurts the job market and is failing to keep health care costs down. And that is before the law has been fully-implemented. I shudder to think what’ll happen once 2014 comes around.

Tags: Obamacare, federal health care law, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, Federal Reserve, hurts jobs, job, jobs, increases costs, rising insurance premiums To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Who is Waging War on Women?

Phyllis Schlafly is the
"First Lady of Conservatism"
~ Pat Buchanan
by Phyllis Schlafly: The real war against women is the announced plan of the Obama Administration, using outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as the fall guy, to assign women for the first time in American history to fight our nation’s enemies in military ground combat. That’s real war, with real guns, real bullets, and real deaths.

This war doesn’t involve only women who have volunteered to serve in our military. It’s a real war against all 18-year-old American girls, because for the first time in our nation’s history they will be required to sign up for the draft and be ready for a letter from Selective Service ordering them to report for military duty.

That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rostker v. Goldberg in 1981 that the gender difference in the law requiring “every male citizen” of age 18 through 25 to register does not violate equal protection or due process. However, there was a caveat.

The Court ruled: “The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them.”

Congress must act immediately, before the May passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014, in order to preempt what Obama’s Department of Defense, without constitutional authority, is trying to do unilaterally. There is no demand from the American people to pursue this war on young women. The House has not had any hearings on women in combat since 1979, and the Senate has not had hearings since 1991.

Some U.S. military commanders’ disdain for our traditional civilian control of the military is insufferable. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Congress can “legislate if they like” but “they don’t have to,” and Panetta said he didn’t know “who the hell” is in charge of Selective Service.

They should read the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, gives power to Congress “To raise and support Armies, … maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”

Demands from the feminists for 18-year-old girls to register for the draft are already appearing on the internet. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has reintroduced his bill to include women in the draft or at least to require them to perform some kind of compulsory service.

Assigning women to close ground combat against vicious enemy troops creates a war not only on 18-year-old girls who don’t choose to serve in the military. It creates a war not only on the courageous enlisted women who have volunteered to serve in the military but don’t want to be assigned to close ground combat with the Army pretending they are physically equal to men.

The new orders to achieve “diversity metrics” (i.e., female quotas) will change all requirements that women pass the same tests required of the men. The services will be required to introduce a “critical mass” or a “significant cadre” of women, expected to be 10 to 15 percent, into previously all-male units.

The mandate for diversity metrics will trump truth, honor, and common sense. The Defense Department has recommended that a new Diversity Czar (officially called a Chief Diversity Officer) be established to monitor “diversity management.”

This Diversity Czar and the Defense Department-endorsed Military Leadership Diversity Commission will be charged with the following mission. “To ensure that the diversity effort continues, demonstrated diversity leadership must be assessed throughout careers and made … a criterion for nomination and confirmation to the 3- and 4-star ranks.”

Men, do you get what that means? Your promotions will depend on giving the feminists whatever they demand and lying about so-called equal performance by males and females in order to demonstrate your “diversity leadership.”

The men will be expected to ignore the fact that gender-fair training is not the same as “gender-free training.” The Military Diversity Commission Report admits that fair treatment “is not about treating everyone the same.”

Gen. Robert W. Cone, who heads the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said, “I think that fairness is very important in a values-based organization like our Army.” But ground combat with evil enemies is not fair or equal; it is not even civilized. So, what do you think of men who would send women into that?

And, here is more Cone nonsense: “Army officials will look at ‘traditional impediments’ — the attitudes regarding the acceptance of women into previously male-only jobs…. The Army will take ‘proactive measures’ to mitigate resistance to women going into these specialties.”

The only way to preserve tough standards for ground combat training, and maintain women’s Selective Service exemption, is for Congress to reassert previous regulations exempting women from direct ground combat units.
--------------------
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Waging War on Women, women in combat, draft, drafting women To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Washington 2-Step Around Using Drones and Rand Paul Filibuster

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 7, 2013
The House only met in session for 5 minutes today. Yesterday, the House passed (267-151) H.R. 933 — "Making appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.  Another House initiated continuing resolution since the Democrat run Senate has not complete a budget.  However, the White House has indicated they want even more money.

Sen. Rand Paul Filibusters Gov't
Use of Drones to Kill Americans
In a historic moment echoing the Senate’s great history of long, passionate speeches, early this morning, Ran Paul ended his nearly 13 hour filibuster of the Senate. Rand caught the support of conservatives and even of liberals who understood the critical issue of protecting all American citizens against violation of due process under the law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution verses allowing the White House, regardless of who is president, from using drones to kill Americans in the Unites States of America. The issue lit up Twitter with many using the hashtag #standwithrand.

As a result of his filibuster, Attorney General (Eric Holder) today was forced to issue a letter stating that the Obama administration will not use military drones to attack American citizens on U.S. soil. And, White House press secretary Jay Carney told the press that President Obama "would not use drone strikes on American citizens on U.S. soil." Unfortunately, some of the old guard in both political parties in the Senate evidenced a need to chastise Dr. Paul's filibuster. Fortunately, they have also painted themselves with very large "defeat me" signs because they are showing little regard for the concerns of American citizens.

The Senate then reconvened again at 10 AM and resumed consideration of John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence. There was question on Brennan with a former career in intelligence being approved. Shortly before 3 PM the Senate confirmed him with a vote of 63-34. The issues have been with the actions of his boss, President Obama.

Yesterday, Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. As in the past, Republicans expressed serious concerns with Halligan’s controversial record on 2nd Amendment rights, terrorism, and questionable lawsuits.

Tags: U.S Senate, Rand Paul, filibuster, drone strikes, on Americans, Brennan confirmed, Cia director, Caitlin judicial nomination blocked To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Stand With Rand Response

Bill Smith, Editor: Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul's filibuster in the U.S. Senate caught the support of conservatives and even of liberals who understood the critical issue of protecting all American citizens against violation of due process under the law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution verses allowing the White House, regardless of who is president, from using drones to kill Americans in the Unites States of America. The issue lit up Twitter with many using the hashtag #standwithrand. The following press release by the Tea Party Patriots summarized the feelings of supporters of all the independently organized TEA Party groups across America. Unfortunately, today, some of the old guard in both political parties in the Senate has evidenced a need to chastise Dr. Paul's filibuster. Fortunately, they have also painted themselves with very large "defeat me" signs because they are showing little regard for the concerns of American citizens.
-------------------
by Jenny Beth Martin: Senator Rand Paul’s principled stand yesterday, filibustering on the Senate Floor for 13 straight hours, was inspiring, encouraging, and reassuring.

We stand here today inspired by Sen. Paul’s passionate and courageous leadership, and by the support shown by many others in the Senate Chamber and around the country.

Thank you Sen. Rand Paul for standing up on the floor of the Senate to demand a debate about the Constitution’s relevance, the importance of the Fifth Amendment, the Senate’s constitutional mandate to advise and counsel the President, whether the different branches of government are truly intended to provide checks and balances, and whether there are limits to the Executive Branch’s power. Each of these arguments is important and valuable to our country today and essential to ensuring a better future for all Americans. Sen. Paul has shown wisdom and political leadership to use the filibuster as a bully pulpit to elevate these principled arguments to the forefront of the media. We need more leaders like Sen. Rand Paul.

Yesterday, we also saw that there were several others willing to stand with Rand Paul: Senators Barasso, Chambliss, Cornyn, Cruz, Flake, Johnson, Lee, McConnell, Moran, Rubio, Scott, Thune, and Toomey. Thank you all for your willingness to have Sen. Paul’s back and, more importantly, to stand up for the Constitution. It’s important to note that Sen. Mike Lee was the first person to assist Sen. Paul, and Sen. Ted Cruz stayed until the end, reading supportive Tweets to his colleague, among other contributions. Thank you Sens. Lee and Cruz!

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon, spoke in support of the questions Sen. Paul was asking of the White House, and referred to the two of them as the “Checks and Balances Caucus.” Sen. Wyden was willing to put aside political party loyalty to consider what is best for all Americans. Thank you for that, Sen. Wyden.

We are finally seeing Senators and Representatives who were elected as a result of the tea party movement beginning to establish their footing, use their voices effectively, and make a difference by pushing Congress to again function the way it should. This would not be possible without the time, dedication, commitment, perseverance, and determination of the Patriots around the country who have stood for fiscally responsible, constitutionally limited government through Tea Party Patriots, Campaign for Liberty, 912 groups, and other like-minded organizations.

Now is the time, with our Constitution and our liberties under such an organized and sustained attack, to fight back harder than ever, and to never, ever give in. Sen. Paul’s physical effort alone was so inspiring that many of us across the country could barely sleep last night. This is the spirit of America we long to see in our elected officials.
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Jenny Beth Martin is Co-Founder and National Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots.

Tags: Senator, Rand Paul, U.S. Senate, filibuster, drone strikes, killing, America citizens, TEA party patriots To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

President Obama's Drops His Family Friendly Mask

Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Just four years ago, candidate Barack Obama said he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman. "And God is in the mix." Who moved?

Say what you will about President Barack Obama's policies, millions of Americans voted for the man in no small part because his family represents a much yearned-for ideal. How much happier Americans would be if all our children lived in a stable, loving, married family with a mom and a dad--like the Obama family. Many writers expressed the hope that having these real-life Huxtables in the White House would turn around many devastating pathologies in America's cities--and in our rural areas, too.

But that was then. Last week, President Obama dropped the family friendly mask. He sent his Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court with a simple message:Dump Dads. Lose Moms. That's because the Solicitor General speaks for the President. In the most august and formal way, it is this officer who carries the President's deepest convictions to lay them before the nation's High Court. What the Solicitor General actually said was this:“As an initial matter, no sound basis exists for concluding that same-sex couples who have committed to marriage are anything other than fully capable of responsible parenting and child-rearing. To the contrary, many leading medical, psychological, and social-welfare organizations have issued policy statements opposing restrictions on gay and lesbian parenting based on their conclusion, supported by numerous scientific studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”

“The weight of the scientific literature strongly supports the view that same-sex parents are just as capable as opposite-sex parents.”
Actually, the weight of scientific evidence proves no such thing. All the work of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute shows that children do best in a family where mother and dad are married and where the family worships regularly.

As for children raised by two adults of the same sex, the most extensive study ever done was that of Dr. Mark Regnerus. Dr. Regnerus of the University of Texas conducted the largest, most rigorously controlled study in history. Here's what the U.T. study found:The results of the NFSS [National Family Structures Study]research revealed that the “no differences” claim—the claim that children raised by parents in gay or lesbian relationships fared no worse and in some cases better than children raised by intact biological parents—was not true. On the contrary, the children of these households, on average, did worse than children raised by their biological, still-married parents.The weight of scientific evidence--as opposed to Donald Verrilli's politically correct posturing--shows that his statements before the High Court are "not true. Remember, we are talking about the well-being of the children, not whether the adults in these relationships are well-satisfied with their domestic arrangements.

People around the world are amazed at the casual way some Americans are ready to dispense with mothers and fathers. In France, for example, a young pro-marriage spokesman joined the nearly 800,000 impassioned defenders of marriage who turned out in Paris on Jan. 13th. This young spokesman--Xavier Bongibault--said "everyone needs a mother and a father. It's only natural." It is natural. And this young demonstrator is gay.

He understands what the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge: Children need their mothers and fathers. It is their natural right. We can go as far back as 1790 and Edmund Burke and the French Revolution to see confirmation of this. The Rights of Man, wrote the great Irish philosopher and parliamentary leader, include the right to "the inheritance of our parents and the consolations of religion."

The Obama administration is casting all that away. President Obama promised to "fundamentally transform America." Few then realized he meant it. Abolishing marriage is what he is doing. Not changing. Not expanding. More than re-defining marriage, he is abolishing it.

Pat Moynihan was a liberal, but a sensible liberal. His was a voice crying in the wilderness when he expressed his alarm for the black family when the out-of-wedlock birthrate rose to 24%. That was 1965. Now, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for the entire country is 42%. Moynihan was right.

"What's the use of being Irish," Pat Moynihan said when President Kennedy was killed, "if you don't know the world will break your heart." Now, we are all Irish. The world is breaking our hearts. And President Obama is breaking our hearths.
----------------------
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. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, President Obama, drops family friendly mask, breaking our hearts To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Liberal Insanity | War on Middle America

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: I am becoming increasingly convinced that the worldview of many on the left is simply insane. There is no other word to describe it. I was reminded of this in the last couple of days by some recent events that have taken place in our schools. These incidents speak volumes about the bizarre set of values that direct leftist thinking. But I am most concerned about the effect it has on normal little American boys and girls.

From the city of Fountain, Colorado, comes news of liberal parents who believe their little boy is actually a little girl on the "inside." They are insisting that their six-year old son be allowed to attend classes dressed as a girl and that he be allowed to use the girls' bathroom.

Eagle Elementary School was initially willing to accommodate this young transvestite/ transgender. But in December the school changed its policy and informed the parents that their son could no longer use the girls' restrooms. Last week, with the help of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the parents filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

Meanwhile in Maryland, a state dominated by the left, there has been another incident demonstrating just how dangerous food can be. On the morning of Friday, March 1st, a seven year-old boy in the D.C. suburbs of Anne Arundel County was eating a breakfast pastry. (Apparently Michelle Obama's food police were on vacation that day.) After taking a few bites, the boy noticed that his pastry looked like a gun, and he said, "Bang, bang."

In my world, this should have gone unnoticed as the normal imagination of a little boy. But in the left's world, the boy was suspended for two days. School officials were so shaken by the incident that they sent a letter home to every parent, warning them that food was used by a child for an inappropriate gesture and that child was removed from class. The letter went on to say that school counselors would be available to talk to any children who were troubled by the incident.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Was the pastry a "pop" tart?

On a more serious note, it is impossible to deny the cultural left's grip on our public education system: explicit sex education, American history that is all too often anti-American revisionism; introducing the radical homosexual agenda at the earliest ages; blocking Judeo-Christian values at the schoolhouse door; and gun-free zones that will never stop a killer.

Now hard-left political correctness has made a criminal out of a seven year-old playing with a pastry, while turning a six year-old cross-dresser into the latest civil rights hero.

If while watching the November election returns, you found yourself, like many of us, wondering what has happened to this country, you need to look no further than to the indoctrination that is happening daily in classrooms all across America.

Obama's War On Middle America
Last week we warned that President Obama seemed determined to make the sequester cuts as painful for the American people as possible in order to justify his tax and spend, big government agenda. Yesterday we got more proof.

An agricultural official in North Carolina recently asked his superiors in Washington for flexibility in managing the sequester cuts so that vital inspections would not be affected. Here is the response he got back:"We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that [your agency] would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs. So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."In other words, there is flexibility to "manage that reduction," but because the administration has said it would be painful, you better make sure it is!

Meanwhile the White House has taken a look at where they can find some savings. Did they cut back parties? No. How about Barack and Michelle's separate vacations requiring twice as much taxpayer money or the largest White House staff in history? No. In the end, they decided to find savings by cancelling White House tours, for you, the American taxpayer.

Who goes on White House tours? By and large, it's working class folks from all over the country, many of whom save for years to take their kids on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the nation's capital.

A big highlight of the trip is the chance to see the White House -- which represents America and all its greatness, where leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan once lived. These are the folks Obama is punishing in yet another cynical attempt to turn the public against the GOP and its "cruel" budget cuts.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a strong Texas conservative, introduced legislation to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars to pay for any trip Obama takes to play golf until the White House tours are reinstated. Obama's golf outing with Tiger Woods cost taxpayers nearly $1 million -- enough money to prevent the furloughs of hundreds of federal employees. I doubt Mr. Obama even thought about that.

But let me remind our readers that if the House passes Rep. Gohmert's bill, Obama's allies in the Senate will never allow it to get a vote, and the left-wing media will never report it. Once again, conservative Republicans are doing the right thing, but most Americans will never know.

This is yet another reminder of the importance of winning elections, including the critical contests coming up in 2014.

Benghazigate Continues
Yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-to-3 to approve the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA. But the vote came with a price. The Obama Administration was forced to turn over documents related to the Benghazi attacks and the infamous talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

According to CBS News, references to Al Qaeda were stripped out of Ambassador Rice's talking points by a press officer either at the White House, the FBI or the Defense Intelligence Agency. Ambassador Rice refused to blame the attacks on jihadists, and insisted that they were the result of spontaneous demonstrations over an anti-Islam film.

But the idea that a press shop would make that kind of a major edit to a CIA memo is laughable. If it did so, it was very likely done only with permission from someone higher up the chain of command.

Moreover, the documents indicate that the administration had specific warnings of "an imminent attack" within days, and virtually all messages from Libyan officials to Washington blamed Al Qaeda or its affiliated cells for the attacks.

My friends, the handling of the Benghazi attacks is scandalous. But we should not lose sight of the bigger issue, which is that Obama's entire Middle East policy is an utter disaster -- for the people in the Middle East and for the United States and our allies.
  • Egypt is on the verge of economic collapse. The pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square were betrayed. They traded the authoritarian Mubarak regime for the theocratic dictatorship of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Libya is an ungovernable state. It is now a distribution center for weapons and jihadists.
  • Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program.
  • Syria is in a chaotic civil war. Tens of thousands have been killed and one million people have fled the country. The future of the country looks bleak as the main forces battling for control are Shiite extremists and Sunni extremists.
  • The smaller Gulf states are all facing radical Islamic uprisings of varying degrees.
  • And insiders tell me that it is only a matter of time before the pro-Western king of Jordan is overthrown and another anti-Israel regime is installed.
So the president, whose middle name is Hussein, who assured us that he understood the Middle East far better than the "cowboy" Bush, who gave his first television interview as president to an Arabic language TV network, and who made his first major foreign policy speech in Cairo, has presided over a foreign policy disaster the extent of which has still yet to be fully revealed.

Liberals Mourn Brutal Dictator
Somebody had better break the news to Michael Moore -- Hugo Chavez is dead. Moore once claimed that Cuba had the best healthcare system in the world, and Chavez chose Cuba's "outstanding" healthcare system for his cancer treatments.

No sane person will miss Mr. Chavez. He was a brutal thug and a dictator. Sadly it appears his cronies will try to maintain their grip on power.

But what jumped out at me is that so many of our liberal media and political elites are mourning his passing. Larry king described Chavez as "fascinating" and "huggable." I doubt if many of his political prisoners in jail or those whose assets he stole would feel that way.

Jimmy Carter released a statement praising Chavez for his "vision to bring profound changes to his country." It went on to note that as Venezuelans mourn his death, they will "recall his positive legacies."

Actor Sean Penn said in a statement, "Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have." Director Oliver Stone said, "I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place."

And what in the world was Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) thinking when he tweeted, "Hugo Chavez was a leader that understood the needs of the poor. He was committed to empowering the powerless. R.I.P. Mr. President"?

This kind of mindless adulation reminds me of the praise that many world leaders heaped upon Hitler for rebuilding Germany's economy during the 1930s. Many leaders at the time thought his Nazism -- national socialism -- was the wave of the future.

Chavez was a thug who suspended constitutional liberties, shut down critical media outlets, had no understanding of economics and stole from his own people. It is estimated that Chavez and his family amassed a fortune well into the billions of dollars!

As the Miami Herald notes, his socialist policies destroyed the country economically. Venezuelans have suffered repeated currency devaluations. It is an energy-rich nation with frequent blackouts. And it has a murder rate today that is four times higher than the year before he assumed power.

It speaks volumes that Iran's oppressive regime has declared a day of national mourning in Chavez' memory. Sadly, many of America's left-wing elites will be joining in.
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Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.

Tags: liberal insanity, Brutal Dictator, Hugo Chavez, Benghazigate, Benghazi, Barack Obama, War On Middle America, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rand Paul Launches Filbuster in U.S. Senate

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 6, 2013
The Senate reconvened at this morning and AGAIN resumed consideration of the nomination of radical Caitlin Halligan to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Her nomination failed to achieve 60 votes for cloture the last time Democrats forced a vote due to her controversial record on 2nd Amendment rights.  And AGAIN this morning, Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward on the Halligan nomination by a vote of 51-41.

Atty Gen. Eric Holder is not
entirely ruling out drone strikes
against Americans on U.S. soil
(CNN 3/5/13)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) indicated that he’d like to file cloture on the nomination of John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence and hold that cloture vote today.  However,  Sen. Rand Paul took to his feet and in a modern version of "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" announced he was going to begin his filibuster against voting on the nomination of Mr. Brennan.  His reason was not opposition to Brennan but the failure of the President and Attorney General to respond to questions regarding using drones to attack and kill American within the Unites States of America.  Obviously, there is no way to know  how long his filibuster will .  Fortunately, he is both articulate and in good physical shape.  Here is hoping other senators will stand by and assist him.  Once a filibuster begins except for short periods when an ally fills in so that the person can use the restroom, the filibuster ends when the person finally gives up the floor or collapses.

Yesterday, the Senate approved by voice vote S. Res. 64, the Committee Authorizing Resolution, which provides funding for Senate committees to operate through Sept. 30th. Prior to passage, the Senate rejected an amendment to the resolution from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

The House convened and will address  H.R. 933 - "Making appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.  Yesterday,  the House passed:
H.R. 668 (392-28) "Amended section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to require that annual budget submissions of the President to Congress provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit, and for other purposes."
H.R. 338 (421-5) "Amended title 18, United States Code, to include certain territories and possessions of the United States in the definition of State for the purposes of chapter 114, relating to trafficking in contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco."

ABC News reports today, “For all the dire warnings, most Americans welcome a five percent cut in overall federal spending this year. But the defense budget is another matter. The public by nearly 2-1, 61-33 percent, supports cutting the overall budget along the lines of the sequester that took effect last Friday. But by nearly an identical margin, Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll oppose an eight percent across-the-board cut in military spending.
. . . [T]he results suggest that warnings about the nation’s military readiness have resonated, while the public is more skeptical about the damage the sequester poses to federal programs more generally. Support for a five percent reduction in federal spending crosses party lines in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates; it includes 57 percent of Democrats, six in 10 independents and three-quarters of Republicans. Shaving eight percent off the military budget, on the other hand, is opposed by 73 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents, with Democrats split down the middle.”

Clearly, Americans are looking at the sequester the same way Republicans in Congress . . . expressing a commitment to cut out-of-control federal spending, but preferring to do it in a smarter way that won’t hurt military readiness.

Leader McConnell warned how President Obama would approach implementing sequestration, saying, “[A]fter thwarting every bipartisan attempt to avert his Sequester, the President is ready to make it bite as hard as possible – all to send a simple message to the public: ‘You want to control Washington spending, America? Fine, let me show you much I can make it hurt.’ Instead of directing his cabinet secretaries to trim waste in their departments, he’s going to go after first responders. And teachers. And almost any other sympathetic constituency you can think of. And he’ll arbitrarily close parks and monuments too – all to force Americans to accept higher taxes. He’ll claim his hands are tied. He’ll say he has no choice but to release criminals into the streets and withhold vaccines from poor children. And somehow, it will be everyone’s fault but his.”

Sure enough, The Wall Street Journal editors already see the administration doing this: “In its bid to make the sequester as painful as possible, the White House announced Tuesday that it is canceling all visitor tours of the White House ‘during the popular Spring touring season.’ This fits President Obama's political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping ‘exceptional local wines’ and sampling ‘tasty dishes’ prepared by ‘special guest chefs.’

"Yes, even as the White House warns that the modest automatic spending cuts will force the furlough of meat inspectors, two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week. The event will feature USDA speakers, field trips, a banquet and a tasting reception, according to the conference website. Conference organizers promise the tasting will be a ‘mouthwatering event’ featuring ‘fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies.’”

The Obama administration has certainly left no doubt where its priorities lie. They’ve warned of furloughed meat inspectors and TSA agents, laid-off teachers and first responders, but they’ve made sure the IRS will be collecting the new taxes levied by Obamacare. According to The Hill, “Implementation of the taxes and fees from President Obama’s healthcare law is on track despite the cutbacks at the IRS from sequestration. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010 and derided by Republicans as ‘ObamaCare,’ contains the broadest set of tax changes enacted in some two decades — more than 40 alterations in all, including penalties on people who choose not to purchase insurance. But while IRS and Treasury officials have warned of reduced services as employees are furloughed under the sequester, neither agency has expressed any concern that the automatic spending cuts would delay the rollout of the healthcare overhaul.”

As Leader McConnell said, “[T]he time for games is over. No more protecting waste and broken programs at the expense of those who actually need government help. The American people were promised more spending control, and Republicans are going to help them see that that promise is fulfilled – and in the smartest way possible.”

Tags: Washington, D.C. Us Senate, Rand Paul, filibuster, drone strikes, on Americans, in the U.S., ABC Poll, People back spending cuts, Obama Admin Priorities, Obamacare Taxes, USDA Wine Tasting, White House Tours To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Halligan's Controversial Record

Caitlin Halligan Puts Her Activist Philosophy Into Practice
Face of a Radical Lawyer
CAITLIN HALLIGAN: Courts enable 'enviable social progress' "Courts... Time and time again we have seen how the dynamics of our rule of law enables enviable social progress and mobility." (Caitlin Halligan, Remarks, White Plains, NY, 5/5/03)

Activism On 2nd Amendment
Halligan Pushed Radical Theory Deemed 'Legally Inappropriate' By Court
GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: "As New York's Solicitor General, Halligan was one of the chief lawyers responsible for New York's baseless and politically motivated efforts to bankrupt gun manufacturers using frivolous litigation. In so doing, Halligan proved that she places liberal political activism above fealty to the law." ("Obama Pushing "Most Anti-Second Amendment Nominee" In Recent History," Gun Owners Of America, 3/4/13)

NY COURT OF APPEALS: "Plaintiff's complaint, as pertinent here, claims that illegally possessed handguns are a common-law public nuisance…" (People Of The State Of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91, 2003)
  • NY COURT OF APPEALS: "The New York Court of Appeals has never recognized a common-law public nuisance cause of action based on allegations like those in this complaint. Moreover, other jurisdictions have dismissed public nuisance claims against firearms manufacturers on similar or other grounds… In light of the foregoing, we believe it is legally inappropriate, impractical and unrealistic to mandate that defendants undertake, and the courts enforce, unspecified measures urged by plaintiff in order to abate the conceded availability and criminal use of illegal handguns." (People Of The State Of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91, 2003)
Similar Lawsuits Cost Americans Jobs, Put Companies 'Out Of Business'
"The gun industry has been plagued in recent years by lawsuits from cities, states and individuals. …many smaller manufacturers have been dropped by their insurers and are drowning in legal bills. Three California gun companies already have gone out of business..." ("Gun Industry Views Pact As Threat To Its Unity," The Washington Post, 3/18/00)

"At R.T. Smoke'n Gun Shop in Mount Vernon, co-owner Charles Timlin said many of his friends in the industry have been driven out of business because of the threat posed by lawsuits. 'It's financially breaking the back of the gun industry with the sole purpose of trying to stop people from having guns,' he said." ("Shield For Gun Industry," The Journal News, 7/2/03)

"At H-S Precision in Rapid City, a lawsuit would put the company out of business, said Todd Houghton, vice president of sales and marketing. The company employs about 75 people and averages about $6 million to $8 million in sales of rifles, he said. Although the company does not make handguns, he said he saw his insurance rates go up virtually overnight when crime victims began suing gun manufacturers and dealers. 'It has an effect on the whole industry,' he said." ("Lawmakers Act To Shield Gun Makers, Dealers From Lawsuits," Gannett News Service, 10/21/05)

"…a proposal to apply to gun makers the legal concept of strict liability - essentially a no-fault application of blame against a manufacturer for injuries caused by its product. Randall Casseday, a spokesman for Kahr Arms, which sells guns to the New York City Police Department, said holding the firearms industry to such a standard would be unfair. 'I can't see how Kahr Arms can be responsible for criminal misuse of its product,' Mr. Casseday said. 'I don't see how you can do that. One lawsuit would put us out of business.'" ("Differing Views Are Voiced By City On Gun Lawsuits," The New York Times, 9/13/03)

After State Court Rejected Her Radical Legal Theory, Halligan Attacked Bipartisan Congressional Legislation Protecting 2nd Amendment Rights
NRA: "Our opposition is based on Ms. Halligan's attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. …she worked to undermine the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), enacted in 2005 with strong bipartisan support. This legislation was critically important in ending a wave of lawsuits sponsored by anti-gun organizations and governments, which sought to blame firearms manufacturers and dealers for the criminal misuse of their products by third parties." (National Rifle Association, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)
  • CAITLIN HALLIGAN: "[i]f enacted, this legislation would nullify lawsuits brought by nearly 30 cities and counties -including one filed by my office - as well as scores of lawsuits brought by individual victims or groups harmed by gun violence . ... Such an action would likely cut off at the pass any attempt by States to find solutions - through the legal system or their own legislatures - that might reduce gun crime or promote greater responsibility among gun dealers." (Caitlin Halligan, Remarks, White Plains, NY, 5/5/03)
  • Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was supported by bipartisan majority, including six current Senate Dems: Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Harry Reid (D-NV), & Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). (S. 397, Roll Call Vote # 219: Adopted 65-31: R 50-2; D 14-29; I 1-0; 7/29/05)
After Congress Rejected Her Radical Legal Theory, Halligan Attacked Bipartisan Law In Federal Court
NRA: "After passage of the PLCAA, Ms. Halligan participated in the legal attack on the PLCAA. The state filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit supporting New York City's attack on the law's constitutionality. The arguments in that brief were ultimately rejected by the Second Circuit, as they have been by every other appellate court (and every federal court at any level) that has considered the issue." (National Rifle Association, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)
Activism On Terrorism
Halligan: Federal Courts 'Should Be The Preferred Forum For Future Terrorism Cases'
CAITLIN HALLIGAN Signed Report: "[C]riminal prosecutions in the federal courts … should be the preferred forum for future terrorism cases." "…use of military commissions should be minimized because of the several advantages offered by criminal prosecutions in the federal courts… They should be the preferred forum for future terrorism cases." ("The Indefinite Detention Of 'Enemy Combatants': Balancing Due Process And National Security In The Context Of The War On Terror," The Association Of The Bar Of The City Of New York, Committee On Federal Courts, P.7, 2/6/04

Amicus Brief For Al Qaeda Terrorist Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Ignored Supreme Court Ruling
CBS/AP: "Ali al-Marri, 43, admitted to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization… Al-Marri admitted he trained in al Qaeda camps and stayed in al Qaeda safe houses in Pakistan between 1998 and 2001, where he learned how to handle weapons and how to communicate by phone and e-mail using a code. He also admitted meeting and having regular contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and with Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, who allegedly helped the Sept. 11 hijackers with money and Western-style clothing." ("Terror Suspect Al-Marri Pleads Guilty," The Associated Press/CBS News, 5/1/09)

HALLIGAN BRIEF: "The government has detained petitioner Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, without criminal process, for more than seven years and it asserts a power to continue his detention indefinitely… Thus, if al-Marri's confinement is lawful, it must be sustained as a civil detention — a narrow category of confinement that may be imposed without criminal process. … Without explicit statutory directives, judicial review of this issue would be frustrated. In this respect as well, the government's claim that the AUMF implicitly authorized the indefinite confinement of al-Marri is not in accord in with this Court's precedents concerning civil detention."  (Brief For Constitutional, Criminal Procedure, And Other Legal Scholars As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Petitioner, v. Commander Daniel Spagone, U.S.N., Consolidated Naval Brig, P.1, 21)

Activism On Immigration
Argument For 'Back Pay Awards' To Illegal Immigrants Rejected By Supreme Court
HALLIGAN BRIEF: "SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT If federal and state laws protecting labor standards and prohibiting employment discrimination are to be effective, the tribunals that enforce them must have the power to consider back pay awards to undocumented workers." (Amicus Curiae Brief, Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc., v. National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Supreme Court, 12/10/01)

SUPREME COURT: "The National Labor Relations Board (Board) awarded backpay to an undocumented alien who has never been legally authorized to work in the United States. We hold that such relief is foreclosed by federal immigration policy, as expressed by Congress in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). …Since the Board's inception, we have consistently set aside awards of reinstatement or backpay to employees found guilty of serious illegal conduct in connection with their employment." (Hoffman Plastic Compound, Inc., v. National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Supreme Court, 3/27/02)

Tags: Caitlin Halligan, activist philosophy, anti gun rights, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Poll: 48% of Americans Support The TEA Party

Independent polling confirms Americans choose tea party principles over progressive principles 2 to 1
WASHINGTON D.C. - The nation's largest tea party organization commissioned an independent poll to determine whether a national sample of Americans prefer tea party principles of limited government to liberal and progressive policies. 48 percent of those surveyed declared support for "tea party principles" of "limited government," "free markets" and "personal responsibility" over 21 percent "progressive, liberal principles" of "big government," "higher taxes," and "more spending."

"The mainstream media wrote our obituary after the November elections. Unfortunately for them, the tea party isn't going anywhere. One in two Americans is proud to identify with the limited government, lower tax agenda we've been fighting for," said Todd Cefaratti, founder of TheTeaParty.net.

"Despite a relentless daily campaign waged against the Tea Party by the Establishment Media and Princes of Power in Washington, the people continue to embrace Tea Party principles. The American people still believe individual liberty and initiative are the dual engines that propel this great republic. This poll makes it clear that we are not 'old Europe' yet. We still have faith in our freedom. We still have faith in our constitution. The world's American Experiment of a free people will continue," added Niger Innis, Chief Strategist for TheTeaParty.net.

"At first, Washington politicians denied the Tea Party's very existence. They called us 'Astroturf'. When their liberal media allies could no longer censor-away the historic force of the tea party, they smeared us with every name in the book," said Bob Adams, Capitol Hill Liaison for TheTeaParty.Net. "Now the Washington Establishment says 'the tea party is dead.' Nonsense. The tea party is stronger than ever. It's no coincidence those so desperate to marginalize the tea party are the very same liberals so desperate to marginalize America too. They'll fail on both counts."

The poll was conducted by independent polling firm NSON, Inc. (based in Salt Lake City, UT) with 500 live responses and a margin of error of 4.38%.
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TheTeaParty.net is a national non-profit 501(c)(4) organization created in 2009 for the education and advancement of the constitutional conservative values of the Tea Party movement.

Tags: poll, tea party principles, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

70% of Americans Support Building the Keystone Energy Pipeline

by AF Branco
by Don Seymour:  After yet another government review found no reason to keep delaying the Keystone XL pipeline – a project that holds the promise of new jobs and more affordable energy for America’s middle-class families – the Obama administration said it’s “really looking for the public debate at this point” over whether to allow the pipeline to be built.  Well, a new Fox News survey shows the public has spoken – and a bipartisan majority wants the Keystone pipeline built. Here’s the breakdown:
  • “By a wide 70-23 percent margin,” Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline that’s been blocked and delayed by the Obama administration for four years.
  • A majority of Democrats (57 percent, “up from 50 percent a year ago”), Republicans (87 percent), and independents (66 percent) all back the Keystone project.
As the Wall Street Journal put it yesterday, “[T]he White House has run out of excuses to keep delaying approval” of the Keystone XL project. The pipeline not only allows Canadian oil to “flow south to America via the Keystone XL” instead of “west to China via other pipelines or rail.” It provides “space for about 250,000 barrels a day of oil produced in the U.S., which means a new and environmentally safer outlet for oil from the booming Bakken fields of North Dakota.”

According to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, analysis shows the Keystone project “will create over 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs and carry nearly a million additional barrels per day of secure North American oil supplies to U.S. refineries.”

“After four years of needless delays,” Speaker Boehner says “it is time for President Obama to stand up for middle-class jobs and energy security and approve the Keystone pipeline.”
-------------
Don Seymour is Digital Communications Director for House Speaker John Boehner  and Tweets at @DonSeymour

Tags: Keystone XL, Jobs, Spending, Economy, Energy, Speaker John Boehner, Don Seymour To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Why Obama's Pick For EPA Should Not Be Confirmed

Case in Point: President Nominating
Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator
By Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Obama’s pick for EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, is being praised for her role in developing the Obama administration’s fuel economy standards. Roll Call reports that McCarthy “oversaw… stricter fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.” NPR says “she played a key role in doubling automotive fuel-economy standards.” But when McCarthy herself was asked about the rules in a congressional oversight hearing, she said: “We do not regulate fuel economy.” Why?

She said it, even though everyone knows it isn’t true, because the rules depended on the fundamental deception that the EPA and their California counterparts can regulate “tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions” from cars and trucks without regulating fuel economy. This convenient fiction allowed them to use a shakedown tactic – the threat of state fuel economy standards – that was explicitly prohibited by law.

The deal was your classic bad cop/worse cop routine in a secret backroom where, according to California regulator Mary Nichols, “We put nothing in writing, ever.” The EPA granted a waiver to California to set its own fuel economy standards, then sat down with automakers and said if they didn’t submit to the EPA’s demands, California would do far worse, crippling the industry in one of their biggest markets and setting a new precedent for balkanized fuel economy standards.

This is despite the fact that Congress had pre-empted state regulation to prevent such mischief. It’s in 49 U.S.C. § 32919: “When an average fuel economy standard prescribed under this chapter is in effect, a State or a political subdivision of a State may not adopt or enforce a law or regulation related to fuel economy standards.”

How could California be used as a cudgel when they were legally pre-empted from adopting any law or regulation even “related to” fuel economy? Simple. Deny that regulating greenhouse gases has any relation to fuel economy, even though it actually does nothing but set fuel economy standards. In a word: lie.

As a result, the price of the least expensive new cars will increase by thousands of dollars, and many Americans (6.8 million according to an analysis by the National Automobile Dealers Association) will no longer be able to afford new cars at all. So they won’t enjoy any savings on fuel costs and will be stuck driving less environmentally-friendly used cars.

Whether you like the car rules or not, the danger now is that by endorsing McCarthy’s dishonest actions by promoting her to the top job at the EPA, the Senate will be tacitly approving the legally dubious, coercive, secretive nature of the auto deal as a template for regulating greenhouse gases in other sectors of the economy, including shutting down existing coal plants and making electricity prices necessarily skyrocket.

McCarthy’s central role in rewriting fuel economy standards via deception should disqualify her from promotion to EPA administrator.
------------------
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment  and a Fox News contributor where he first shared this article, 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: President Obama, EPA nominee, EPA, Gina McCarthy, deceptive fuel standards, should not be confirmed, confirmation, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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