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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, June 21, 2013

President Obama’s Belfast Blarney

During his recent stay in Northern Ireland, Barack Obama made clear his disdain for Catholic education, claiming Catholic schools are divisive institutions that hinder peace. It was likely among the most shocking and classless attacks against the Catholic Church by any American president of the modern era – words spoken by Barack Obama right after a high ranking representative of the church praised Catholic education in Ireland. - The Ulsterman Report

Obama Giving Speech in Ireland
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors: President Obama’s recent trip to the G-8 Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland, included an address at the Waterfront hall. There, he criticized Catholic and Protestant schools and compared them to segregated schools in the U.S. when he was a boy. His remarks were hailed by British atheists. They took his speech for what it was: an attack on faith-based education everywhere.

Mr. Obama told an audience in Belfast’s Waterfront hall:Because issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity--symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others--these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it," said Obama. "If towns remain divided--if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs--if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation.We cannot hear him liken Catholic and Protestant schools to racial segregation in America without a sense of alarm. Clearly, President Obama dismisses religious freedom as a basis for parents’ choosing different schools for their own children.

Mr. Obama’s own grandparents exercised their choice in sending him to Honolulu’s prestigious school, Punahou Academy. This pricey ($20,000/year) prep school was founded by Congregationalist missionaries. With roots in the faith-based community, it hardly qualifies as a segregation academy. Similarly, the president and Mrs. Obama have chosen Washington, D.C.’s very tony Sidwell Friends school for their daughters. They have every right to do so, but no one would credit this Quaker-founded school as part of a segregation system.

Mr. Obama has been zealous in trying to block other parents’ exercise of education choice. His administration has been eager to shut down Washington, D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarships. This program permits low-income parents of area students to choose a private or parochial school for their kids. Most of these scholarships go to minority students and many of them choose Catholic schools where a majority of their classmates are non-Catholic.

It is a shocking thing for the President of the United States to show such open hostility to faith-based schooling. As their motto goes, these are “schools you can believe in.” And the record of religious schools in America is a great one.

We need to see Mr. Obama’s comments in the context of his other polcies. His administration is pushing for ever more pre-K programs nationwide. Despite the documented failure of Head Start, he wants to enlist more very young children in school programs that will replace church-based child care and care in the home.

This is what secularists have wanted in our country, too: All children under the guise of the all-powerful state. This has always been a goal of Marxists.

We should not be surprised that President Obama, who attended Marxist scholars conferences in New York City when he was a student at Columbia University in 1983,
is so openly hostile to schools you can believe in.

The fact is that in Northern Ireland, the religious schools have been leaders in reconciling historic antagonisms. And this is true in America, too. Here, for example, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews have joined with Catholics in resisting the menacing HHS Mandate. That mandate is the gravest threat to religious freedom in this country since 1786.

Mr. Obama should re-read his Constitutional Law texts. There, he would find the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court in 1925, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters. The KKK had pushed through an Oregon referendum that outlawed private and religious schools.

Unconstitutional said the high Court:The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union rest excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.President Obama continues his relentless drive to “fundamentally transform America.” He does not appreciate the historic fact that religious freedom was the foundation for civil liberty in our country. Washington, Jefferson, and Madison all believed this. So did Protestants, Catholics, and Jews of the Founding Era. Respect for the convictions of others does not breed hostility. It is the beginning of civility.

The Pierce Court concluded with this ringing affirmation of parental rights and religious freedom:The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.Those “obligations” included then, and continue to include, our obligations to our Creator.
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Ken Blackwell is an advisor to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and a conservative family values advocate. He is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. 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: President Obama, attack on faith-based education, Belfast, Ireland, catholics, protestants, schools, Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gas Prices Should be a Lot Lower

By Alan Caruba: In the past whenever gas prices began to climb, whoever was president usually got the blame for it, but there never was anything he could do about it. The price at the pump was and is dependent on global factors. What can, however, be said about Barack Obama is that he has led the most anti-energy administration in the history of the nation.
A nation’s economic stability and growth depends on affordable, abundant energy, especially hydrocarbon energy in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas. In the U.S. so-called “renewable” energy—wind and solar--has been a huge, costly bust as billions in loans during Obama’s first term were lost as one “green energy” company after another went belly up. At the same time, a war on coal closed mines and shut down plants using it to generate electricity. Look for it to continue.

Production of coal, oil, and natural gas on federal lands is now the lowest in ten years according to data collected by the Energy Information Agency (EIA). It was four percent lower in fiscal years 2012 than the previous year. By contrast, fossil fuel production on state and privately owned lands rose twenty-six percent over the past decade.

Without soliciting public comment, the White House recently raised its estimate of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), an estimate of the alleged economic damages associated with increasing carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is blamed for a global warming that is not happening. The growth of all vegetation on Earth is dependent on Co2 and, despite an increase in CO2, the Earth slipped into a cooling cycle seventeen years ago. There is NO connection between CO2 and the climate.

The Institute for Energy Research points out that raising the SCC “could impose hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs on energy-intensive businesses and American consumers alike.” If you wonder why the economy seems unable to climb out of its slump, this is just one example of an administration bent to using bogus science to justify its war on consumers.

At the gas pump, that war includes a law that requires U.S. refiners to blend 12.8 billion gallons of ethanol—made from corn—into the fuel they sell to domestic consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines.
Refiners do not need all the ethanol the government forces them to purchase. They, in turn, must purchase Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) whose cost has jumped from seven cents a gallon at the beginning of the year to more than a dollar by March. The cost is passed along to consumers. Ethanol actually reduces the mileage per gallon and damages automobile engines.

Summertime is traditionally a time when Americans drive more, but thanks to the economy which did not respond to the “stimulus” and bailouts during Obama’s first term, they are driving less. Four and a half years after he took office, Obama continues to drive the economy into a ditch.

On June 13, The Wall Street Journal’s page one lead article was “U.S. Oil Notches Record Growth.” Under the normal laws of supply and demand, the price of gas at the pump should be declining. “U.S. crude-oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in U.S. history.”

You can thank “fracking”, a tested, safe technology—hydraulic fracturing—for the increase in oil and natural gas production. It is, of course, a target of major environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. After all, who wants affordable, abundant energy?

“Indeed,” reported the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. crude-oil production has raced ahead of new pipeline infrastructure to move it from oil fields to refineries.” In the meantime, “railroads move more crude around the country.” Obama’s delay of the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline is just another example of his anti-energy agenda. The pipeline would connect to Texas refineries and provide an estimated 20,000 construction jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work.

In March, Business Week reported that “For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will likely produce more oil than it imports. That’s great for the country’s trade balance, but the benefits of cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station…So far this year, gasoline prices have risen eleven percent nationwide, to $3.65 a gallon.”

“Without realizing it, U.S. drivers are competing for American-made gasoline with consumers in Latin America and Asia, where demand is rising.” Thus, the global marketplace for oil is keeping gas prices high and U.S. refineries shipped a record 3.2 million barrels a day of refined fuel this year!

Finally, on top of the Obama administration policies of denying access to drilling on federal land, you will continue to hear that Big Oil is making obscene profits and gauging customers at the pump. “At a time when oil companies are making more money than ever before, how can we justify giving them billions more in taxpayer subsidies every year?” Obama energy and environment adviser Heather Zichel recently asked.

What you are not being told, however, is that the oil and gas industry paid an effective tax rate of almost forty-five percent according to the American Petroleum Institute while the healthcare industry paid about thirty-five percent and pharmaceuticals paid around twenty-one percent. In addition to federal taxes, oil companies pay state and local taxes as well. The “tax loopholes” Greens complain about are available to all other manufacturing and mining companies.

Lying to the American public is the stock-in-trade of Green organizations and those directing the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies. When and if the obstacles to fossil fuel exploration and production are removed, the price of a gallon of gas will drop dramatically while, at the same time, the U.S. economy will gain from the sale of its fossil fuels around the world.
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© 2013 Alan Caruba. Alan is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column,"Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service.

Tags: gas prices, Obama administration, failed, green agenda, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

What’s For Dinner?

by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, big Government, low information voters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Did Your Rep Vote Right On The Farm Bill?

Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth: Yesterday, the Farm Bill FAILED in the House by a decisive 195-234 margin.

We will keep you appraised of the Republican leadership’s efforts to try and pass this trillion dollar monstrosity again, but in the meantime, there are other votes that took place during the debate that we thought you would be interested in.
  • Rep. Chabot (R-OH) offered an amendment to repeal the Market Access Program, a corporate-welfare subsidy for agri-businesses. It failed, 98-322.
  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) offered an amendment to allow food stamp recipients to use food stamps to buy “personal hygiene” products. It failed, 123-297.
  • Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) offered an amendment that would eliminate a wasteful “healthy food financing initiative.” It failed, 194-232.
  • Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) offered an amendment that would eliminate a federal government handout to local farmers’ markets. It failed, 156-269.
  • Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) offered an amendment that would strike a protectionist clause from the bill that would have blocked olive oil imports. It passed 343-81.
  • Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) offered an amendment that would block the imposition of a tax on Christmas trees (Seriously). It failed, 197-227.
  • Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) offered an amendment to repeal the so-called National Sheep Industry Improvement Center. It passed, 235-192.
  • Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) offered an amendment to make modest reforms to the sugar subsidy program. It failed, 206-221.
  • Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) offered an amendment that would cut an additional $11 billion in the food stamp program by imposing additional work requirements. It failed, 175-250.
  • Final passage of the trillion dollar Farm and Food Stamp bill failed, as we said, 195-234.
Remarkably, there were 35 congressmen (all Republicans) who took the pro-growth position on all of these votes. They included people elected with Club member support, like Reps. Justin Amash (MI), Paul Broun (GA), Tom Cotton (AR), Ron DeSantis (FL), Jeff Duncan (SC), Scott Garrett (NJ), Tom Graves (GA), Jeb Hensarling (TX), Jim Jordan (OH), Thomas Massie (KY), Tom McClintock (CA), Mick Mulvaney (SC), Mike Pompeo (KS), Keith Rothfus (PA), Matt Salmon (AZ), and David Schweikert (AZ).

One more congressman deserves extra attention for his pro-growth support on all of these votes – Rep. Tim Huelskamp. His leadership was a true “profile in courage” because he comes from the “Big 1st” district in Kansas, one of the largest recipients of farm subsidies. Huelskamp recently said, “People in Kansas get it -- just because it’s the farm bill doesn’t mean you have to vote for it. It’s not just the farm bill, it’s also the food stamp bill.”

Well said, Congressman!

Now, looking ahead, House leadership will try to bring up the Farm Bill again after they attempt to buy some votes. You can help the Club for Growth stop the awful Farm Bill once and for all – please call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and tell your congressman not to support the bill unless it is broken up into two stand-alone measures that focus on farm subsidies and food stamps separately. Once that happens, we need to put farm subsidies on a path to elimination and we need to devolve the food stamp program to the state level where they belong. We’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress.

Overall this week has been a good one for fiscal conservatives!

Tags: Chris Chocola, Club for Growth, Farm Bill, food stamp bill, votes, issues To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

McConnell Speaks On The Continuing Assault on the First Amendment And The Culture of Intimidation

Today In Washington, D.C. - June 21, 2013
The House was not in session. Yesterday, the House Farm bill (H.R. 1947) was defeated 195-234. Yesterday, the ARRA News Service commented on the defeated bill: "The Food Stamp program in the Farm bill accounted for an abominable $750 Billion or almost 80% of the total. The Food Stamp program needs to be separated from the agricultural portion of the bill. Farm programs with some minor adjustments may indeed need a portion of the $189 Billion which should have been the true cost of a Farm Bill. And, the American taxpayers deserve major reform in the Food Stamp program which is also bloated by Government overheads and administrative costs.

Warning, the Senate passed Farm Bill is still lurking around Congress. House leadership will now try to twist some arms to gather more votes for passage of the House Farm bill. If they succeed, then the bill will go to conference with the Democrat-controlled Senate. Chris Chocola, President of the Club for Growth calls this 'a recipe for a backroom deal that will only lead to bigger government."

The Senate was in session today. They considered of S. 744, the immigration reform bill. Negotiations over amendments to the bill continue.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats tabled (rejected, meaning a ‘no’ was a vote for the amendment) the amendment so S. 744 offered by Sen. John Cornyn by a vote of 54-43. The Cornyn amendment would have required that a number of security standards, including a secure border and apprehension of 90% of illegal border crossings, be met before permanent legal status could be granted.

In a significant speech today at the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the use of government power to stifle speech and the Left’s attempts to intimidate speech they don’t like. Leader McConnell spoke a year ago AEI and highlighted the growing threat to free speech, particularly the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, calling on Americans to unite in vigilant defense of the Constitution. While some on the Left dismissed his remarks then, the current growing IRS controversy has shown the need for vigilance.

In his speech today, Leader McConnell said, “Last June, I stood here and warned of a grave and growing threat to the First Amendment. That threat has not let up. Our ability to freely engage in civic life and to organize in defense of our beliefs is still under coordinated assault from groups on the Left that don’t like the idea of anyone criticizing their aims, and from a White House that appears determined to shut up anybody who challenges it. On the outside, there’s a well-documented effort by a number of Left-wing groups like Media Matters to harass and intimidate conservatives with the goal of scaring them off the political playing field and off the airwaves. . . . Then, of course, there’s the widespread effort to stifle speech from within the government itself, something the Obama Administration has been engaged in from its earliest days. . . . [M]y central point last June, and my central point today, is this: the attacks on speech that we’ve seen over the past several years were never limited to a few Left-wing pressure groups or the DISCLOSE Act, which I’ll turn to in a minute. They extend throughout the federal government, to places like the FEC, the FCC, HHS, the SEC, and as all Americans now know — even to the IRS. These assaults have often been aided and abetted by the administration’s allies in Congress. And they’re as virulent as ever.”

He explained, “The IRS scandal has reminded people of the temptations to abuse that big government, and its political patrons, are prone to. People are waking up to a pattern. They’re connecting the dots. And they’re rightly troubled. Looking back, the IRS scandal helps explain a lot of the things this administration has done. You all remember the President wagging his finger at the Supreme Court during his 2010 State of the Union address. Well, I assure you this little piece of presidential theater wasn’t done for the ratings. There was a good reason the President and his allies devoted so much time and energy to denouncing the Citizens United case. But it’s not the reason they gave. . . . The real reason the Left was so concerned about Citizens United was that they thought it meant more conservatives would start to form what are known as social welfare organizations — something they’d been doing, with groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club, for years. And what’s notable about social welfare groups is they don’t have to disclose their donors. That was the main concern of the President and his allies. They weren’t interested in the integrity of the process. If they were, they’d have been just as upset at Left-wing groups for maintaining the privacy of their donors. What they really wanted was a hook that enabled them to stir up outrage about conservative groups, so they could get their hands on the names of the folks who supported them — and then go after them. Citizens United provided that hook. As a longtime political observer and First Amendment hawk, I knew exactly what the Democrats were up to with their complaints about this decision.”

He elaborating on the underlying issue of the IRS scandal, “What matters here was the atmosphere; what matters is the culture of intimidation this President and his allies created around any person or group that spoke up for conservatism — or against the direction the President and his administration wanted to take us. . . . For the Left, this isn’t about good government or corporate governance, it’s about winning at all costs – even if that means shredding the First Amendment. And that’s why we need to be vigilant about every one of these assaults. They may seem small and isolated in the particular, but together they reflect a culture of intimidation that extends throughout the government — a culture abetted by a bureaucracy that stands to benefit from it. The moment a gang of U.S. Senators started writing letters last year demanding the IRS step in and force more disclosure upon conservative groups, we all should have cried foul. The moment the White House proposed a draft order requiring applicants for government contracts to disclose their political affiliations, we all should have called them out. When the HHS Secretary told insurance companies they couldn’t tell their customers how Obamacare would impact them, we all should have pulled the alarm. And as soon as we realized that Left-wing groups were manufacturing a public outcry for corporate disclosure at the SEC, we should have exposed it for what it was. There might be some folks out there waiting for a hand-signed memo from President Obama to Lois Lerner to turn up. What I’m saying is that a coordinated campaign to use the levers of government to target conservatives and stifle speech has been in full swing and open view for years. It’s been carried out by the same people who say there’s nothing more to the DISCLOSE Act than transparency, and no more to other disclosure regulations than good government. But the IRS scandal puts the lie to all this posturing.”

McConnell concluded, “So my plea to you today is that you call out these attacks on the First Amendment whenever you see them, regardless of the target. Because the right to free speech doesn’t exist to protect what’s popular. It exists to protect what’s unpopular. And the moment we forget that is the moment we’re all at risk. If liberals can’t compete on a level playing field, they should think up better arguments. But until they do, we need to be vigilant, and fight every assault on the First Amendment with everything we’ve got.”

Tags: assault on first amendment, culture of intimidation, free speech, Mitch McConnell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Syrian Delirium

by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: President Obama, Leadership for Dummies, Russia, President Vladimir Putin, Syrian, Delirum, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Whatever, Berlin…

In remembrance of John F. Kennedy’s famous Berlin speech, Barack Obama was invited to speak in Berlin.  While 200,000 people came to see his 2008 Berlin speech, barely 6,000 attended this one where he called for major nuclear weapons reductions.
by William Warren

Tags: editorial cartoon, William Waren, Berlin, presidential speeches, Kennedy, Reagan, Obama, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Amnesty Insanity | Rubio's Reform Ruse | America Wants Border Security First!

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Amnesty Insanity - There is news today of an agreement that will improve the border security aspects of the Senate's quasi-amnesty bill. The deal supposedly involves doubling the Border Patrol by adding 20,000 new agents, hundreds of miles of border fencing and surveillance drones to track illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border.

We will provide more details as we have them, but I'm skeptical. Security has been promised repeatedly for thirty years. It hasn't been done.

For months the Gang of Eight has been promising that its bill would secure the border. Yet those Senators have voted down every significant border security amendment, including one for additional fencing. Not surprisingly, the Congressional Budget Office determined that the Gang of Eight bill would not significantly improve border security.

But suddenly today there is a breakthrough on security. We're just supposed to trust that they got it right this time. By the way, in 2006 Congress passed the Secure Fence Act calling for 700 miles of additional fencing along the border. Only 35 miles of it got built.

When Democrats got their first look at the bill several weeks ago, liberals and their pro-amnesty allies were trying to conceal their glee. Politico reported that the bill was "far more generous to their constituencies than Democrats and Hispanic activists expected. … their side made off with more policy victories than it could've predicted."

Why don't our Republican friends understand that the level of trust for anything favored by Obama, Schumer and Pelosi is less than zero? After healthcare reform, why would we trust this crowd with comprehensive anything?

And who is going to decide that the border is secured? If it is left to some Obama agency I guarantee it won't happen. Don't forget that this administration is laying off hospital workers at Walter Reed and air traffic controllers rather than EPA bureaucrats. How long until the new Border Patrol agents are laid off? Obama's got that big African vacation to pay for.

As Rush Limbaugh said today, no one is talking about how to stop illegal immigration, but how to get to 70 votes in the Senate. This latest "deal" is only meant provide cover for senators to vote for amnesty. Like the definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results -- we've been down this road before. Let's try something different.

Drop the comprehensive part and focus on border security first. The border needs to be secured before any kind of legalization is even contemplated. Make members of Congress go on the record every year by voting to certify whether or not the border is secured.

Once illegal immigration has been reasonably reduced and the border is under control, then we can start talking about what to do with the illegal immigrants "in the shadows."

Rubio's Reform Ruse - Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), whom I admire and have high hopes for, is now seriously damaging himself among grassroots conservatives. Most conservatives will not consider any legislation that doesn't secure the border before giving illegal immigrants a "pathway to citizenship" or amnesty, depending on your point of view.

As most of you know, I worked for Ronald Reagan for eight years. President Reagan pushed through a citizenship bill after being promised by Congress and leading Republican senators at the time that the legislation would guarantee border security. But it was a charade.

The border was not secured, and today, as a result, we are once again debating another amnesty bill. Only instead of 3 million illegal immigrants, we are now talking about 10 to 15 million.

By the way, after that law was signed by Ronald Reagan in 1986, Republicans did worse among Hispanics than before he agreed to the bill. In 1984, Reagan got 37% of the Hispanic vote. Four years later, after the '86 amnesty, George H. W. Bush got just 30% of the Hispanic vote.

Senator Rubio said border security was essential for any legislation to pass. But in recent interviews he has said the earned citizenship begins immediately no matter what the situation is at the border.

The bill he and the other seven members of the Gang of Eight are pushing essentially trusts the Obama bureaucracy, or perhaps the Hillary Clinton bureaucracy in 2016, to certify that the border is secure. That is beyond naïve. That is intentional blindness about just how badly out-of-control the overwhelmingly huge and growing government is.

Out of loyalty to the Gang of Eight, Senator Rubio has so far voted against every significant amendment to strengthen the border security provisions of the Senate's quasi-amnesty bill. Respectfully, Senator Rubio, your loyalty should not be to any Senate "gang," but to the conservative movement that helped to make you a United States senator.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on the radio this morning that nobody from the Gang of Eight has reached out to him on his border security amendment, which would require Congress to vote every year on whether the border is secure.

Former Congressman Allen West made news this morning when he said he was so disappointed in Rubio that he was considering the possibility of challenging him in the GOP primary in 2016.

America Wants Border Security First! - As I mentioned above, a central premise of the conservative view on immigration is border security. That view is not limited to the political right. It is shared by most Americans -- a fact our elected public servants in Congress (particularly Republicans) should keep in mind.

A recent CNN poll asked Americans, "What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with immigration policy?" Only 36% said "creating a path to citizenship for many immigrants" illegally in the country.

The overwhelming majority -- 62% -- said the main focus should be "increasing border security to reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants coming into this country without permission."

Let's break down the data even further:
  • 74% of Republicans support border security over legalization.
  • 65% of independents support border security over legalization.
  • Democrats are split with 49% favoring border security and 50% favoring legalization.
  • Even among "Non-whites," 47% believe the main focus of our immigration policy should be border security, while 52% believe it should be legalization.
CBO Says Amnesty Bill Won't Secure Border - The public overwhelmingly wants the border secured. Will this bill do it? The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office looked at the legislation and concluded it wouldn't even come close.

According to its findings, "CBO ;estimates that, under the bill, the net annual flow of unauthorized residents would decrease by about 25 percent relative to what would occur under current law." Moreover, the CBO adds that "aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents -- in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers."

So 62% of Americans favor border security over legalization, but this bill fails to stop 75% of illegal immigration.

And what about those new programs for temporary workers? What other effects might they have? The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation both concluded that "a greater number of immigrants with lower skills … would be added to the workforce, slightly pushing down the average wage for the labor force as a whole."

Once again, I am baffled by those who appear so eager to push legislation that does not accomplish what the American people want (border security) and which hurts working class Americans. Republicans should stand firmly for the rule of law, secure borders and strong national security and support policies that help, not undermine, the wages of working class and middle class families.
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Gary Bauer 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: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, senate, immigration bill, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

House Farm Bill Defeated | Obamacare On Target For A Train Wreck | Obama Bores Foreign Audiences

Today In Washington, D.C.
President Obama is traveling abroad and is both boring European audiences everywhere. And, he even  managed to insult the majority of Irish Catholics and the Irish people in general. And, he even does this while reading his teleprompter. He is definitely not being received as the "enlightened one" as in the past and has not raised the hopes of his audiences.

Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't offer many smiles this time toward President Obama.  This was definitely not a Reagan-Gorbachev moment. It is also obvious that the foreign press has no great need to whitewash what they see concerning the conditions in America under Mr. Obama's leadership.

He may do better next week when he reaches the African continent - the home of his deceased father and home of the majority of his extended living relatives.  He plans to do some vacationing!  Wonder if the rest of America wishes they could have vacationed on the dollars that this trip by the Obamas is costing the American Taxpayers.  Maybe this was one trip a wise person would have "sequestered."

The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of S. 744, the immigration reform bill.
Votes on amendments to the bill are likely. Yesterday, the Senate voted 93-4 to confirm Michael Froman as United States Trade Representative.

Also yesterday, the Senate voted 61-37 to table (i.e. reject, meaning a ‘no’ was a vote for the amendment) an amendment to S. 744 offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which would have required Congress to annually approve the Department of Homeland Security’s progress in securing the southern border for five years before illegal immigrants were granted provisional status. Also rejected, by a vote of 39-59, was an amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) which would have required congressional approval of DHS’ border security strategies after the secretary implemented them. The Senate agreed to an amendment offered by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) which caps border security contractors’ compensation by a vote of 72-26. In addition, the Senate agreed to an amendment offered by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) that would add a representative from Nevada to a border security commission by a vote of 89-9.

The House reconvened and returned to the House Farm bill (H.R. 1947) — "To provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes." After votes on numerous over the last two days, at 1:55 PM, the bloated $939 Bollion House Farm bill failed to pass by a vote of 195-234. Sixty-one House Republicans stood on principle with 172 Democrats against this wasteful legislation. Unfortunately many of the Democrat who voted no preferred even more spending. The House recessed until Monday, June 24th, at 11:00 a.m.

The Food Stamp program in the Farm bill accounted for an abominable $750 Billion or almost 80% of the total. The Food Stamp program needs to be separated from the agricultural portion of the bill. Farm programs with some minor adjustments may indeed need a portion of the $189 Billion which should have been the true cost of a Farm Bill. And, the American taxpayers deserve major reform in the Food Stamp program which is also bloated by Government overheads and administrative costs.

Warning, the Senate passed Farm Bill is still lurking around Congress. House leadership will now try to twist some arms to gather more votes for passage of the House Farm bill. If they succeed, then the bill will go to conference with the Democrat-controlled Senate. Chris Chocola, President of the Club for Growth calls this "a recipe for a backroom deal that will only lead to bigger government."

Americans for Limited Government vice president of public policy Rick Manning today praised the failure of of the House farm bill:

"The failure of the farm bill is a boon to taxpayers, who were going to be on the hook for $750 billion for food stamps over the next decade. Increases in eligibility for the food stamps program in recent years has, combined with the current recession and high unemployment, led to an explosion of program participation. Now, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps, yet the program has zero transparency, with neither taxpayers nor Congress having any idea what food stamps are even spent on.

"This should be a signal to Congress to at least separate the so-called farm bill in two. Farm subsidies and food stamps should each be considered on their merits. Both programs are in need of considerable reform. It is time for Congress to begin considering what is in the best interests of taxpayers instead of constantly doling out corporate subsidies and expanding welfare without question.

This week has produced story after story supporting the warning by democrats of an impending "Train Wreck" in the implementation of Obamacare.

Today, the AP reports, “Getting face time with the family doctor could soon become even harder. A shortage of primary care physicians in some parts of the country is expected to worsen as millions of newly insured Americans gain coverage under the federal health care law next year. Doctors could face a backlog, and patients could find it difficult to get quick appointments. . . . Nearly one in five Americans already lives in a region designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians, and the number of doctors entering the field isn’t expected keep pace with demand. About a quarter million primary care doctors work in America now, and the Association of American Medical Colleges projects the shortage will reach almost 30,000 in two years and will grow to about 66,000 in little more than a decade. . . . [M]any experts say the gap between doctors and those gaining care under the health reforms in many parts of the country will not close quickly. Access to care could get worse for some people before it gets better, said Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer, president and co-founder of Primary Care Progress, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Mass. ‘If you don’t have a primary care provider,’ he said, ‘you should find one soon.’”

And in Chattanooga, Tennessee, WDEF-TV reports, “The main components of the Affordable Care Act take effect in less than a year and as the day gets closer, many local business owners tell WDEF they feel anxious about how employee health insurance will affect their business. . . . ‘Some employers are probably going to have some financial challenges and things of that nature so it’s going to be a wait and see from the standpoint all of the provisions of the act,’ said [Chattanooga Urban League president Warren] Logan when asked if the law will hurt small businesses. WDEF asked many Facebook followers if they think the Affordable Health Care Act will hurt small business or not have any affect at all. An overwhelming majority of the responses basically said it would hurt.”

But apparently none of this is going to prevent the Obama administration and its supporters from spending millions to once again attempt to sell Obamacare to a skeptical public. Time’s Zeke Miller writes, “Though Barack Obama has competed in his last election, he has one more campaign ahead of him. This fall, Obamacare will go into full effect . . . . But it could still fail. To prevent that, Obama-land is going on offense. Organizing for Action, the grassroots group spun out of the President’s campaign, has made selling the already-passed bill a top priority with its first television ad. Enroll America, a nonprofit coalition of community groups and insurers that has been promoted by the White House and is staffed by Obama campaign alumni, launched its ‘Get Covered America’ campaign to educate uninsured Americans about the exchanges. At the White House, health care implementation has become an obsession. Chief of Staff Denis McDonough spends two hours a day on Obamacare implementation, staffers said, and senior aides like Simas and Tara McGuinness, who joined the White House in April as a senior communications adviser, work on the issue nearly full-time. Hardly a week goes by without Obama finding some way to plug the effort as well. The reason: the law is increasingly unpopular. According to an NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month, 49% of Americans now believe the law is a bad idea, the highest percentage recorded, with only 37% saying it is a good thing. Many states have already opted out of key provisions to expand Medicaid. In Washington, Republicans continue to lay siege to the law; they have voted to repeal it 37 times in the U.S. House. That unpopularity threatens one of the law’s most ambitious goals—establishing health care exchanges allowing uninsured Americans to purchase affordable coverage. The exchanges need roughly 2.7 million healthy 18-t0-35-year-olds to sign up to be solvent. . . . If too few choose to enroll because they don’t know about the law, don’t like it, or feel they don’t need insurance, the exchanges will fail. And so will the law.”

Of course, it doesn’t take just the exchanges failing to make the law a failure. Obamacare has failed to live up to the promises Democrats made about it from the very beginning.

Tags: President Obama, European tour, US House, defeats, farm bill, Obamacare, news, trainwreck To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Common Core Straight Jacket

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: American education was based on some very fundamental principles and, from the 1640s until the 1840s, they were, in the words of Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, “real civics, real economics, and real virtues.”

Bast is the co-author of “Education and Capitalism” and in a recent speech at the Eighth annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference took a look at the way an education system that produced citizens who understood the values that existed before “progressives” took over the nation’s school system, turning it into a one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination.

“One-size-fits-all is easier for bureaucracies, but it’s not good for kids. No two kids learn the same way, and no two teachers teach the same way”, but Common Core not only makes this assumption, but enforces it.

The good news is, as Bast notes, that “since the early 1960s, parents and activists have been fighting to return to the country’s education system to what had worked so well for 200 years.”

In a Wall Street Journal commentary by Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo, they called Common Core “uncommonly inadequate” and documented the way it destroys student academic achievement. Gass directs the Center for School Reform at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute where Chieppo is a senior fellow.

The brain child of Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education, and spelled out in a letter to Hillary Clinton following Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, Gass and Chieppo quoted its stated intention “to remold the entire American system” into “a system of labor-market boards at the local, state, and federal levels” where curriculum and ‘job matching’ will be handled by government functionaries.”

Gass and Chieppo cited the way in Massachusetts Common Core’s English standards “reduce by 60% the amount of classic literature, poetry, and drama that students will read. For example, the Common core ignores the novels of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, and Mark Twain’s ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ It also delays the point at which Bay State students reach Algerbra I—the gateway to higher math study—from eighth to ninth grade or later.”

Common Core is not a plan to produce a new generation of citizens who understand the values on which the nation was based and built, but rather one that focuses on job skills to the detriment of civics, economics, history, the arts, and traditional values. It is a system for serfs, not citizens. It is yet another example of how progressives view people as mere instruments of the state and how they have used the schools to indoctrinate and train them for that purpose.

“We have a president,” says Bast, “who thinks wealth is created by redistribution, that the producers of the world will continue to produce no matter how high the taxes or how heavy the regulations. High school and college students are taught to think the same way” to the detriment of “honesty, hard work, self-responsibility, faith, hope, and love. Are these things being taught in public schools today?” asked Bast. “Maybe in some, but not in many.”

“As long as government owns and operates ninety percent of the schools in the United States,” Bast warns, “we have no right to expect that fewer than ninety percent of students who graduate will be socialists.” The result of the two Obama elections are testimony to that.

In a commentary on leftist school indoctrination, Bruce Thornton, a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a professor of classics and humanities at the California State University, described the distortions today’s students are being taught in K-12.

“The founding of the United States, then, was not about things like freedom and inalienable rights, but instead reflected the economic interests and power of wealthy white property owners.”

“The civil war wasn’t about freeing the slaves or preserving the union, but about economic competition between the industrial north and the plantation south.”

“The settling of the West was not an epic saga of hardships endured to create a civilization in the wilderness, but genocide of the Indians whose lands and resources were stolen to serve capitalism exploitation.”

This is not what students who attended American schools in the 1940’s and 1950’s learned, but starting in the 1960s these distortions were, as Thornton noted, “married to identity politics, the defining of ethnic minorities and Third World peoples on the basis of their status as victims of capitalist hegemony and its imperialist and colonialist mechanisms.” Feminism added women to the list of victims “sacrificed to the white male structure.”

The result, said Thornton was “a student population ignorant of the basic facts of history, the vacuum filled with melodramas of victimization, racism, oppression, and violence that cast the United States as the global villain guilty of crimes against humanity.”

It’s a noticeable, though small, trend as parents homeschool their children. A report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased 75%, however that still represents only 4% of school-age children nationwide. These children do far better on standardized assessment exams than those in government schools.

The good news is that parents and activists across the nation are fighting back to ensure that school choice, based on a voucher system, and other options that include tuition tax credits, special needs scholarships, and education savings accounts. These empower parents to enroll their children in schools that have demonstrated higher standards and traditional values.

“If we can return to a free-market education system,” says Bast, “we can solve most of our political problems.”
------------------
© 2013 Alan Caruba. Alan is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, "Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service.

Tags: Alan Caruba, warning signs, Common Core, straight jacket, education, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

GAO Report: Obamacare ‘Behind Schedule’

New GAO Report Shows That ‘Nobody Really Knows’ What Will Happen When Obamacare Launches

‘Government Officials Have Missed Several Deadlines’
“Government officials have missed several deadlines in setting up new health-insurance exchanges for small businesses and consumers—a key part of the federal health overhaul—and there is a risk they won't be ready to open on time in October, Congress's watchdog arm said.” (“Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Falling Behind Schedule,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/19/13)

GAO: For CMS “many activities necessary to establish [federally facilitated exchanges] by October 1, 2013… remain to be completed and some were behind schedule.” (GAO Report, Pg. 2, 6/13)
  • “…much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short amount of time.” Ibid
  • “…the many activities yet to be performed-some close to the start of enrollment-suggest a potential for challenges going forward.” Ibid
“The computerized clearinghouse for the entire system — a federal ‘data hub’ designed to deliver real-time eligibility rulings — has only undergone initial testing.” (“Gov't Report: Smooth Launch Unsure For Health Law,” AP, 6/19/13)
  • “…CMS is developing a data hub that will provide electronic, near real-time access to federal data… several critical tasks… remain to be completed.” (GAO Report, Pg. 2, 6/13)
  • “…system to submit applications for [qualified health plans] certification… several key tasks… remain to be completed.” Ibid
‘What will happen when they flip the switch nobody really knows’ “‘Much progress has been made in establishing the regulatory framework and guidance required for this undertaking, and (the administration) is currently taking steps to implement key activities of the (exchanges),’ the report said. ‘Nevertheless, much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short period of time.’ Translation: most of the specs have been written, but the all wiring hasn't been laid, and what will happen when they flip the switch nobody really knows. And remember, Oct. 1 is less than four months away.” (“Gov't Report: Smooth Launch Unsure For Health Law,” AP, 6/19/13)

Exchanges ‘will be full of issues, bugs and technological challenges’ “‘Something will be up and running on Oct. 1,’ when open enrollment starts, said Dan Schuyler, a director at the consulting firm Leavitt Partners and a former director of technology for Utah's health-insurance exchange. ‘It will be full of issues, bugs and technological challenges,’ he added.” (“Planners Expect Glitches In Health-Exchange Sites,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/13)
  • ‘There will no doubt be consumer horror stories’ “It will be a tough task implementing the online health insurance marketplaces that are required of each state under the federal health care overhaul, and there will no doubt be consumer horror stories about trying to navigate them, insurance company executives warned Tuesday.” (“Insurance Leaders Detail Uncertainty Of Overhaul,” AP, 6/18/13)
  • ‘Expect Glitches… Expect some problems’
“Teams of technology experts are racing to finish building government websites that will allow people to shop and sign up for health insurance this October. People involved in the effort say to expect some problems.” (“Planners Expect Glitches In Health-Exchange Sites,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/13)
  • ‘Confusion, skepticism and anxiety’ “But POLITICO interviews with front-line organizers in the state-based groups that are bearing the responsibility of enrolling millions of people who have never paid for health care in their lives revealed optimism tempered with a fair dose of confusion, skepticism and anxiety…” (“Launching The Obamacare Campaign,” Politico, 6/18/13)

  • ‘A Huge Train Wreck Coming’
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: “The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare… there'll still be, you know, glitches and bumps. And there will be stories that can be written that says, ‘Oh, look, this thing's, you know, not working…’” (President Obama, Press Briefing, 4/30/13)

    SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “I just tell you, I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 4/17/13)


    Tags: GAOA Report, Obamacare, behind schedule, exchanges, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    GAO Report:Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Falling Behind Schedule | House Votes To Protect Pain-capable Unborn Children

    Today in Washington, D.C. - June 19, 2013
    The President is out of the country. Nothing of much value to report other than Europeans are less inclined to embrace Mr. Obama now that tarnish has rubbed off. The Teleprompter has tried to save the day, but is having trouble with the mental lapses of the speaker.

    The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. They resumed consideration of S. 744, the immigration reform bill. Votes on amendments are likely today.

    Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment to S. 744 offered by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) which would have required completion of border fencing before immigrant statuses are changed by a vote of 39-54. Also rejected, by a vote of 36-58, was an amendment offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) which would have delayed provisional legal status to illegal immigrants until the Homeland Security Secretary and Congress certify that a border check-in and check-out system has been implemented. Senators voted 94-0 to approve an amendment from Sen. John Tester (D-MT) to include tribal government officials in a border oversight task force.

    The House reconvened at 10:00 AM today.  They will consider House Farm Bill - H.R. 1947 — "To provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes."

    Yesterday, the House moved forward the consideration of the House Farm Bill H.R. 1947. The House also passed the following bills:
    H.R. 475 (Voice Vote) — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines."
    H.R. 1151 (424-0) — "To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan at the triennial International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly, and for other purposes."
    H.R. 1797 (228-196) — "To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes."
    H.R. 1896 (394–27) — "To amend part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that the United States can comply fully with the obligations of the Hague Convention of 23 November 2.

    The Wall Street Journal reports today, “Government officials have missed several deadlines in setting up new health-insurance exchanges for small businesses and consumers—a key part of the federal health overhaul—and there is a risk they won't be ready to open on time in October, Congress's watchdog arm said. The Government Accountability Office said federal and state health officials still have major work to complete, offering its most cautious comments to date about the Obama administration's ability to bring the centerpiece of its signature law to fruition. ‘Whether [the government's] contingency planning will assure the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined,’ said the GAO in twin reports to be released Wednesday. . . . The small-business exchanges in particular have had some early setbacks. The federal government said in April that contrary to initial plans, it wouldn't allow workers in the first year to choose between a range of insurance options offered through employers. For the first year, companies will select one plan to offer to workers. In some states, only one insurance carrier has expressed interest in the small-business exchange. In Washington state, officials have had to postpone the exchange altogether because they couldn't find a carrier willing to offer small-business plans for all parts of the state. . . . Regulators in New Hampshire have said they received applications from only one carrier, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a unit of WellPoint Inc., to sell small group plans or individual policies through the exchange next year.”

    News of the GAO report and problems with the small business exchanges is just the latest evidence of the “train wreck” implementation of this complicated, unpopular law is turning into. In just the last couple weeks, Americans have seen reports about questions and concerns over the cost of the law to individuals, premium increases in Ohio and Georgia, Aetna leaving the individual insurance market in California, companies forced to comply with new rules and mandates having to hire a swarm of new lawyers, employers saying they expect their health care costs to go up, workers having their hours cut to avoid massive costs and fines, and the fact that “President Barack Obama's health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.”

    On the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Obamacare must have been discussed hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of times over the past few years. That includes political debates. More speeches than any of us care to count. Issue ads, both pro and con. And guess what? Americans still don’t like the idea of Obamacare. Not because they’re unable to understand, or because they just haven’t ‘seen the right messaging.’ It’s because most of them like their health plan and want to keep it. It’s because they don’t want to pay more to the health insurance companies. And it’s because they just don’t think the law is going to work as promised. And yet, the Washington Democrats’ explanation for Obamacare’s enduring unpopularity still seems to be that the law is just too complicated for their constituents to understand. And the Washington Democrat solution seems to be not to actually change the policy, but to spend millions in a campaign-style P.R. blitz. News flash: If you still don’t think Americans are able to understand a law you passed more than three years ago, then there’s something wrong with your law – not with the American people. . . . So, at a minimum, they at least need to do this: the President, members of his Cabinet, and the Congressional Democrats who voted for this law need to get out and explain to Americans what’s headed their way. Not feed them the sunny picture painted in the Obamacare ads that the President’s campaign team is running, but actually explain the reality of the situation to them.”

    The reality, of course, is shaping up to be the “train wreck” a number of Democrats have publicly worried about for months.


    Tags: Senate, Amnesty immigration bill, House , fetal pain bill, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Pathway To GOP Destruction

    AF "Tony" Branco

    Tags: Marco Rubio, Pathway to GOP Destruction, GOP, Amnesty bill, immigration bill, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    All Ears

    by AF "Tony" Branco

    Tags: All Ears, NSA, AF Branco, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Arkansan Josh Duggar Accepts a New Role In Washington, D.C. At FRC Action!

    Josh Duggar
    Tony Perkin's Washington Update: Josh Duggar has been impressing audiences for his most of his adult life as part of the popular TV show, "19 Kids and Counting." Now, FRC Action is proud to announce that Josh will have another audience: Capitol Hill. Yesterday on "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," we broke the news that Josh and Anna moved to Washington, D.C. to join FRC Action as its new Executive Director. As head of our action arm, the Arkansas native will bring his pro-life and pro-family passions to the political arena, where he will help expand FRCA's reach as a premier conservative advocacy group.

    Josh and his wife have been an inspiration to millions of Americans who regularly tune in to the Duggar family's show, and we have long appreciated their commitment to the pro-family movement. Under Josh, we look forward to taking our grassroots outreach to the next level and engaging more young people to care about the values so vital to our success as a nation.

    In his new capacity, Josh will be carrying on the family's political legacy -- started by his dad, Jim Bob, who served two terms as an Arkansas state representative and was a candidate for U.S. Senate. The eldest of the Duggar kids, Josh showed an interest in public policy early on and founded a part-time consulting firm called Strategic Political Services in 2006. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, he served as a surrogate for former Senator Rick Santorum.

    For now, he, Anna, and their three children look forward to taking the message of faith, family, and freedom to Americans across the country. Join me in welcoming Josh and his family to FRC! Follow Josh's work at FRC Action.
    ---------------
    Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.- based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation's first Covenant Marriage law.
    --------------
    Josh Duggar is the oldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose family stars in the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting." Josh has been interested in politics since he was young, when his father was a two-term Arkansas state representative and a candidate for U.S. Senate. In 2006 Josh founded a part-time consulting firm called Strategic Political Services. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Josh served as a surrogate for former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Josh and Anna married in 2008. They have three children.

    Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Josh Duggar, FRC Action To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    President’s Ghastly Gun Gaffe

    Ken Blackwell
    Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: President Obama’s gun gaffe was nearly lost in the pre-Christmas flood of TV and internet chatter. But Breitbart’s Joel Pollak was right to highlight Mr. Obama’s bizarre post-election statement. One of the reasons he ran for re-election, Mr. Obama told Barbara Walters, was so he could have “men with guns around” as his daughters entered their teen years. What a gaffe!

    We need to focus on that comment now, especially in light of his bromides about fathers in his Father’s Day message. Mr. Obama last week issued a typical Father’s Day Proclamation leading up to the weekend. In it, he said “there is no substitute for fathers.” But in the same proclamation, he takes it back, asserting that two moms will substitute nicely for a father in the home.

    Of course, the Obama administration named Prof. Chai Feldblum, to a key position on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This radical lesbian activist presses for a legal end of marriage. She advocates the idea that any number of concerned adults should be granted legal custody of any number of children. You can read all about it in the statement issued by Feldblum’s and many of her radical cohorts. (beyondmarriage.com) Just think of the Village People instead of a mom and dad.

    Teens in Chicago, the president’s hometown, feel keenly the absence of fathers in the home. But they certainly have plenty of men with guns around. Over this Father’s Day weekend, seven were killed and 41 wounded in a wave of shootings.

    We don’t yet know, but we can readily surmise, that most of those shooting and most of those shot were fatherless young men. The numbers are daunting. Three-quarters of the teen rapists in our prisons and two-thirds of the teen murderers in our prisons are fatherless young men. The link between fatherlessness and violence is too well documented to be seriously doubted.

    Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute has produced a vast array of social science data that can help guide our discussions of the role of marriage and religious observance in American life. We need to have our elected officials and our government administrators thoroughly conversant with the work of MARRI.

    And we should applaud those figures in the popular culture who have the courage to stand up for what is right. For example, FOX News contributor Juan Williams deserves credit for denouncing a notorious deadbeat dad. This bad actor actually brags of fathering twenty-two children by fourteen women. This cruel man has robbed his own children of their birthright—the right to the protection and provision of a loving father.

    Let’s face it, one of the major attractions of the Barack Obama candidacy was the idea that he and the lovely Michelle Obama and their delightful children would provide the best imaginable role model in the White House. Married and devoted to one another, the Obamas could speak with clarity, charity, and conviction on the importance of re-building a marriage culture in America.

    It is a tragedy of historic proportions that under the presidency of Barack Obama, marriage, fatherhood, and family security are being dealt lethal blows. Last year, the Obama campaign even created “Julia,” a young woman living an ideal American life — devoid of marriage and with no male present.

    Despite kind words for dads in forgettable proclamations, the policy of the Obama administration reflects the views of sixties radicals: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Try telling that to the victims on the South Side of Chicago.
    ----------------------
    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, gun gaffe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Obamacare Launch: ‘Confusion, Skepticism And Anxiety’

    Experts See ‘Problems,’ ‘Horror Stories,’ And ‘A Great Deal Of Uncertainty Almost Everywhere You Look’

    Train Wreck: ‘There Will No Doubt Be Consumer Horror Stories’
    Exchanges ‘will be full of issues, bugs and technological challenges’ “‘Something will be up and running on Oct. 1,’ when open enrollment starts, said Dan Schuyler, a director at the consulting firm Leavitt Partners and a former director of technology for Utah's health-insurance exchange. ‘It will be full of issues, bugs and technological challenges,’ he added.” (“Planners Expect Glitches In Health-Exchange Sites,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/13)
    • ‘There will no doubt be consumer horror stories’ “It will be a tough task implementing the online health insurance marketplaces that are required of each state under the federal health care overhaul, and there will no doubt be consumer horror stories about trying to navigate them, insurance company executives warned Tuesday.” (“Insurance Leaders Detail Uncertainty Of Overhaul,” AP, 6/18/13)
    • ‘Expect Glitches… Expect some problems’ “Teams of technology experts are racing to finish building government websites that will allow people to shop and sign up for health insurance this October. People involved in the effort say to expect some problems.” (“Planners Expect Glitches In Health-Exchange Sites,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/13)
    • ‘confusion, skepticism and anxiety’ “But POLITICO interviews with front-line organizers in the state-based groups that are bearing the responsibility of enrolling millions of people who have never paid for health care in their lives revealed optimism tempered with a fair dose of confusion, skepticism and anxiety…” (“Launching The Obamacare Campaign,” Politico, 6/18/13)
    FORMER REP. EARL POMEROY (D-ND): ‘Impossible to predict.’ “Earl Pomeroy, a former North Dakota Democratic congressman and state insurance commissioner, said insurance companies were facing ‘the most complicated rating challenge’ that he’d ever seen. ‘It involves the great unknown,’ Pomeroy said. ‘New systems, new market structures and behavior responses from the population that will be impossible to predict.’” (“Obamacare’s Big Question: What’s It Going To Cost Me?” McClatchy, 6/18/13)
    • “‘There's a great deal of uncertainty almost everywhere you look,’ said Mark Moody, the president and chief executive officer of WEA Trust, which offers insurance to Wisconsin school districts, state health plan members, and local units of government. … Neither WEA Trust nor WPS are participating in Wisconsin's exchange, at least initially, because of all the uncertainty.” (“Insurance Leaders Detail Uncertainty Of Overhaul,” AP, 6/18/13)
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: “The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare… there'll still be, you know, glitches and bumps. And there will be stories that can be written that says, ‘Oh, look, this thing's, you know, not working…’” (President Obama, Press Briefing, 4/30/13)

    SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “I just tell you, I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 4/17/13)

    Tags: Obamacare, Launch, confusion, skepticism, anxiety To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    McClatchy: 'Obamacare’s Big Question: What’s It Going To Cost Me?' | Rasmussen: 'Distrust Growing: 70% Believe IRS Decision to Target Conservatives Was Made in DC'

    Today in Washington, D.C. - June 18, 2013:
    The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. The Senate resumed consideration of S. 744, the immigration reform bill.

    At 3 PM, four votes on amendments to S. 744 are scheduled. Each will require 60 votes for adoption. Senators will vote on amendments offered by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), to require completion of border fencing before immigrant statuses are changed, by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) concerning citizenship for children adopted internationally, by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), to delay provisional legal status to illegal immigrants until the Homeland Security Secretary and Congress certify that a border check-in and check-out system has been implemented, and by Sen. John Tester (D-MT) to include tribal government officials in a border oversight task force.

    Yesterday, the Senate voted 89-0 to confirm Kenneth Gonzales to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

    The House also reconvened at 10 AM today. THey are scheduled to consider:
    H.R. 1896 — "Amending part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that the United States can comply fully with the obligations of the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, and for other purposes."
    H.R. 475 — "Amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines."
    H.R. 1151 — "Directing the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan at the triennial International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly, and for other purposes."
    H.R. 1947 — "Providing for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes."
    H.R. 1797 — "Amending title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes."

    Yesterday the House completed action on the following legislation:
    H. Res. 264 — "Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 588 – Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgement Act of 2013, with an amendment." – ADOPTED BY VOICE
    H.R. 674 — "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating prehistoric, historic, and limestone forest sites on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a unit of the National Park System." – PASSED BY VOICE
    H.R. 520 — "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of alternatives for commemorating and interpreting the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in the early years of the National Parks, and for other purposes." - PASSED BY VOICE
    H.R. 876 — "To authorize the continued use of certain water diversions located on National Forest System land in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in the State of Idaho, and for other purposes." – PASSED 398–0
    H.R. 253 — "To provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah to Brigham Young University, and for other purposes." PASSED 397–1
    H.R. 862 — "To authorize the conveyance of two small parcels of land within the boundaries of the Coconino National Forest containing private improvements that were developed based upon the reliance of the landowners in an erroneous survey conducted in May 1960." PASSED 395 – 1

    Today, Speaker Boehner held a press conference with other House Republicans. He called on Senator Harry Reid to allow a vote on the House-passed plan to stop student loan rates from doubling on July 1st. He also addressed immigration reform bill and proceedings in the U.S. Senate. He said, "I’m increasingly concerned that the White House and Senate Democrats … would rather have this as an issue in the 2014 election, rather than to resolve it. It was the president who said that he wanted a robust vote coming out of the Senate to help move this process along. And yet here’s the president and Senate Democrats working to limit the number of Republican votes that this immigration bill is likely to get. I think that’s unfortunate. . . . “We know that border security is absolutely essential if we’re going to give people confidence that we can do the rest of what’s being suggested. And I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security. . . .”

    Interest in the IRS Scandal is growing.  Rasmussen Reports today that "Distrust Growing: 70% Believe IRS Decision to Target Conservatives Was Made in DC." Rasmussen detailed that, "While the controversy over the National Security Agency surveillance program has dominated the news recently, concern about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations remains high and is inching up. Despite the large number of controversies engulfing official Washington, the number of people following the IRS scandal has actually increased in recent weeks. . . . 82% of voters nationwide are now following the IRS targeting story, including 44% who are following the story 'Very Closely.' The overall number of voters who are following is up from 74% a month ago."

    In a story headlined “Obamacare’s big question: What’s it going to cost me?,” McClatchy writes, “The cost of health coverage under Obamacare remains one the biggest mysteries of the nation’s health care overhaul. But nagging cost questions will slowly be answered this summer as insurers and state officials set 2014 health plan rates for people who buy coverage outside of work or purchase it through small employers. Those two coverage areas – the individual and small group markets – face the biggest rule and cost changes next year, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act finally kick in. Early rate proposals around the country are a mix of steep hikes and modest increases.

    Just this month we’ve seen new stories warning that Obamacare could be “unaffordable for many low-wage workers” and that “many small businesses — defined by the health care law as those with up to 100 employees — could be in for serious sticker shock.” Already officials in Ohio are saying, “[f]or some people in the state, [the new law] means hefty increases from what they were paying in 2013, because insurance companies must offer a more generous level of benefits as part of the law and some of the skimpy plans that used to be available will change or go away.” And Georgia’s insurance commissioner worries, “I am very concerned that the full implementation of ObamaCare will drastically increase the price Georgians pay for health insurance.”

    McClatchy notes, “The prospect of higher premiums has fueled concerns about ‘rate shock,’ in which large numbers of young people – who most likely face the largest premium increases – forgo individual coverage altogether and just pay the fine for violating the individual mandate. If that happens, rates would climb for everyone, experts say.”

    Politico adds, “Obama . . . is asking millions of his younger supporters to start paying for health insurance, a far greater sacrifice than casting a vote — and one that will test his team’s revolutionary use of social media, metrics and highly-targeted messaging campaigns. . . . For the system to work, they must convince healthy 18-to-35 year-olds who have paid nothing for health care in the past to pony up hundreds of dollars for coverage that could still leave them on the hook for thousands of dollars in expenses — all for the greater good and Obama’s legacy.”

    Elsewhere, “The health care law will engineer a complete makeover of individual coverage next year through a series of revisions,” McClatchy explains. And Californians are already seeing the first consequences. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Aetna Inc. said it would stop selling individual health insurance policies in California next month, and nearly 50,000 existing policyholders will have to find new coverage by January. The company's announcement Monday comes a month after it opted not to participate in California's new state-run insurance market for consumers, a key component of the new federal healthcare law.”

    Recall the promises President Obama made when he was first trying to sell this unpopular health care law. In 2009, he said, “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: if you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it.” He claimed in 2010, “Finally, my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions - families, businesses, and the federal government.” And he later boasted, “This law will lower premiums.”

    As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “Many experts predict that Obamacare will also cause health-care premiums to skyrocket – especially for younger Americans.
    Some studies show that young men in particular could see rate increases of 50 percent or more. Think about that: you work your tail off in high school just to get into a good college. You spend four years pulling all-nighters and cramming for finals – all for the privilege of putting on a gown, accepting your degree, and potentially spending who-knows-how-long frantically searching to find work. Then, if you’re lucky enough to find a job, your hours get cut.  Maybe your job gets cut altogether. You get a letter in the mail that says, ‘Sorry, your premium’s going up by double-digits.’ Can’t pay the higher premium? Too bad. If you don’t, Uncle Sam slaps you with a penalty tax (and for all the talk of ‘subsidies,’ studies indicate that those payments from taxpayers might not even make up for the higher costs). Look: I’d be pretty disillusioned if I was in that position. Wouldn’t you?”


    Tags: US Senate, Immigration Bill, US House, bills, Obamacare, costs, premiums, Rasmussen Reports, IRS Scandal  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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