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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]
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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, August 16, 2013

24 Things That Require A Photo ID

Ashe Schow, Washington Examiner: Voter-ID laws continue to get a lot of attention, and proponents of the law are being drowned out by opponents claiming the laws discriminate against certain voters. Rather than getting IDs to the people who are supposedly disenfranchised, opponents spend their efforts trying to end the laws, even though polls consistently show overwhelming majorities of voters approve of the laws.

Below are just some of the examples of things you need to prove your identity for: [Laughing at images allowed!]

1. Alcohol

2. Cigarettes

3. Opening a bank account

4. Apply for food stamps

5. Apply for welfare

6. Apply for Medicaid/Social Security

7. Apply for unemployment or a job</>

8. Rent/buy a house, apply for a mortgage

9. Drive/buy/rent a car

10. Get on an airplane

11. Get married

12. Purchase a gun

13. Adopt a pet

14. Rent a hotel room

15. Apply for a hunting license

16. Apply for a fishing license

17. Buy a cell phone

18. Visit a casino

19. Pick up a prescription

20. Hold a rally or protest

21. Blood donations

22. Buy an "M" rated video game

23. Purchase nail polish at CVS

24. Purchase certain cold medicines


But not to vote?



Tags: photo id, facts, humor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama and Egypt

by AF Branco, Editorial Cartoon: Obama and Egypt are both a debacle, Egypt is just more visually destructive, and a prime example of why armatures shouldn't dabble in such volatile foreign affairs. Obama appears to be in way over his head on this one.
Editors Note: Wonder if a major part of the problem is the number of Muslim Brotherhood members he has on his staff? Two days ago, former Florida Representative Allen West wrote on his Facebook page: "And yes, we do have Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups and individuals infiltrated into this current Obama administration. This is serious."

Various sites and groups have presented the below image of six people who are alleged are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Frontpage Mag. offers a Frank Gaffney’s pamphlet, The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration.
Arif Alikhan – Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Mohammed Elibiary – Homeland Security Adviser
Rashad Hussain – Special Envoy to the (OIC) Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Salam al-Marayati – Obama Adviser, founder of Muslim Public Affairs Council and its current executive director.
Imam Mohamed Magid – Obama’s Sharia Czar, Islamic Society of North America.
Eboo Patel – Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

Tags: Barack Obama, Egypt, Editorial cartoon, AF Branco, editors note, muslim brotherhood, Obama administration, Allen West To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamacare Consequences - Are You Ready For Forced Home Inspections?

All across the country, reports are surfacing almost daily how President Obama’s unpopular health care law will negatively affect Americans.

The AP reported yesterday, “A year ago, Teresa Hartnett was on the verge of expanding her small business. The company had hit $1 million in sales, and requests from clients were flowing in. She planned to transition from nearly 30 freelancers to a full-time staff of 60 by 2014. Then the reality of the Affordable Health Care Act hit. Hartnett realized she might not be able to afford to carry out her plan. ‘At the end of that marathon of effort and sweat and stress, I'd face the impact of the ACA. I decided against it,’ says Hartnett, whose company, Hartnett Inc., transforms printed documents into digital content. The expected surge in health insurance costs under the ACA has many small business owners changing the way they operate. For many like Hartnett, hiring and expanding is going on the back burner. Others expect to cut back on some of the services their companies provide, raise prices or cut employees' hours and bonuses.”

The AP also writes, “If health insurance for the employees at Havana Central's four restaurants becomes too expensive, owner Jeremy Merrin may have to limit the number of people waiting tables and stop delivery service. He has about 500 workers, and provides insurance for more than 100 of them. He pays between 20 percent and 80 percent of the premiums, depending on how long employees have worked for him. When there are openings on the wait staff, Merrin is going to see if his remaining workers can handle the dinner crowd without any new hires. ‘We're going to work as hard as we can to hire as few people as possible,’ says Merrin, who has four restaurants in the New York metro area. That's a strategy many small business owners are considering. In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey released last month, nearly a quarter of the owners surveyed said they would reduce hiring in response to the requirements imposed by the ACA. Merrin is also considering cutting hours. A person who now works 40 might get 36 or 34 hours to help him save on wages.”

In Tennessee, The Chattanoogan reports, “The Affordable Health Care Act is already proving costly to the county schools, risk manager and insurance advisor Ed Adams said Thursday night. He told school board members that a reinsurance requirement has a charge of $63 per employee - or an overall amount of $300,000 that must be paid to the federal government. . . . Mr. Adams said at some point the county schools will have to move away from the current ‘Cadillac’ insurance plan offered employees or face fines of $2,000 per employee. That will later go to $3,000 per employee, he said.”

And in California, the Los Angeles Times writes, “Like many Californians, Scott and Danielle Nelson of Orange County are anxious about what President Obama's healthcare law will mean for them. . . . And, so far, there have been considerably more questions than answers, as officials and insurers scramble to get ready and clarify many of the details that people care about the most. The issue hit home for the Nelsons several weeks ago when their current health insurer, Aetna Inc., said they were among thousands of customers in the state whose coverage will be canceled at year end. As a result, they will need to buy a new policy just as the federal law reshapes the market. . . . Huntington Beach resident Brad Miller said he and his wife pay about $1,200 a month now for their health insurance. The 60-year-old says he's concerned that comparable coverage will be expensive next year and federal subsidies won't be available to help.”

NBC News reports that nearly 20 business owners will drop workers hours “below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 'To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,' said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. 'I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.' Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. "

In response to numerous problems with the President’s signature healthcare law, the administration delayed portions of the law for businesses and insurance companies, but refuses to give American families the relief they need.

Joshua Cook at Freedom Outpost addressed that under Obamcare there will be "Forced" Home Inspections. He writes,"Clearly, any family may be visited by federally paid agents for almost any reason. According to an Obamacare provision millions of Americans will be targeted. The Health and Human Services’ website states that your family will be targeted if you fall under the “high-risk” categories below:
  • Families where mom is not yet 21.
  • Families where someone is a tobacco user.
  • Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities.
  • Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States. There is no reference to Medicaid being the determinant for a family to be “eligible.”
"In 2011, the HHS announced $224 million will be given to support evidence-based home visiting programs to “help parents and children.” Individuals from the state will implement these leveraging strategies to “enhance program sustainability.”

Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown states, “This is not a “voluntary” program. The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks. A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to “intervention” in “school readiness” and “social-emotional developmental indicators.” A farm family may be subject to “intervention” in order to “prevent child injuries.” The sky is the limit. Although the Obama administration would claim the provision applies only to Medicaid families, the new statute, by its own definition, has no such limitation."

Cook also notes: "A manual called Child Neglect: A Guide for Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention includes firearms as potential safety hazard and will require inspectors to verify safety compliance and record each inspection into a database.

And yet Democrats continue to resist a delay or repeal of the individual mandate from Obamacare to lift some of the burden of this law from Americans.

Tags: Obamacare, consequences, forced home inspections, small business, cancelling expansion, higher taxes, losing healthcare plans, firearms To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

America Choice Awards

by William Warren
Also Read: Ashton Kutcher A Cultural Conservative?

Tags: Ashton Kutcher, cultural conservative, Teen Choice Award 2013, President Obama, American Choice Award, editorial cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ashton Kutcher A Cultural Conservative?

Ashton Kutcher 
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: I know that is probably a stretch given that he stars on the CBS show "Two and A Half Men," which is basically a 30-minute sex joke. But Sunday night, Kutcher must have stunned Hollywood elites with some conservative views during his brief remarks at the Teen Choice Awards.

Knowing he was going to speak before an audience of impressionable teenagers, no one would have been surprised if he had uttered the usual left-wing claptrap about global warming or loving whomever you choose. Instead, Kutcher thoughtfully considered his remarks to this particular audience and gave a defense of work that would have made Ayn Rand proud and then redefined "sexy" in a way that would have made the late Reverend Jerry Falwell proud.

Here's what he said about work and opportunity:"I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job at a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground.

"And I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work." (Ashton, please call President Obama and explain this truth to him.)
Then he really shocked the Hollywood left with this definition of "sexy:""The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It's just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don't buy it! Be smart, be thoughtful and be generous."Hard work. Responsibility. Generosity. Thoughtfulness. Those are some of the values that built this great nation, and they are the values that will sustain it. It is a message our youth desperately need to hear in an age of moral relativism.

Ashton Kutcher Acceptance Speech - Teen Choice Awards 2013
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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

Tags: Ashton Kutcher, cultural conservative, video, Teen Choice Award 2013,  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!

Three Months Into the IRS Scandal: What Have We Learned?

by AF "Tony" Branco
by Don Seymour: Three months after the IRS admitted it had been abusing its power and targeting Americans for their political beliefs, here is some of what the ongoing Congressional investigations have uncovered:

IRS officials went to great lengths to harass conservative groups – and might still be doing so.
Conservative groups “were asked more questions” by the IRS — “on average, three times more” – than “progressive” liberal organizations, reports NPR. Less than half of the conservative groups (48 out of 104) had their applications for tax exempt status approved – “[o]thers are still waiting for an answer or gave up.” All of the groups with “progressive” in their name were approved.

The IRS went so far as to demand “copies of Facebook postings, the content of prayers, political beliefs of members, résumés of board members and dealings with the media” from the conservative groups it targeted – and even “leaked their donor lists to political opponents,” reported USA Today.

And House Ways & Means Committee investigators discovered that the IRS may still be “targeting Tea Party applications based on name alone… regardless of whether there is any political activity.”

Senior Washington officials ordered the targeting – not “rogue agents” in a field office.
“There were no ‘rogue’ agents,” explain Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). “Only employees who followed the implicit or explicit directions of more senior IRS officials in Washington.”

The Wall Street Journal says testimony from IRS employees shows “Washington IRS officials had a direct hand in slow rolling the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups in an election season.”

The IRS may have “colluded” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to target conservatives.
“The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and IRS may have colluded to target conservative organizations,” reports the Washington Free Beacon.

The Ways & Means Committee identified emails between the two agencies that call “into question whether the IRS unlawfully shared confidential tax information with the FEC.”

According to CNN, FEC Vice Chairman Don McGahn “said an investigator from his agency contacted” IRS official Lois Lerner to discuss the status of a conservative advocacy group, the American Future Fund. Shortly after she was contacted, the agency “sent a questionnaire to the American Future Fund…”

Ways and Means has asked the IRS for “all communications between the IRS and the FEC between 2008 and 2012, as well as all communication from or to Lois Lerner regarding the American Future Fund, American Issues Project, Citizens for the Republic or Avenger, Inc.” And the House Administration Committee and Oversight & Government Reform Committee have asked the FEC for these emails.

The Obama administration knew about the IRS targeting before the 2012 election – but kept it secret.
“Inspector General Russell George said he informed a deputy at the Treasury Department in June of 2012 about the probe into the IRS,” reports CBS News. “It's the first evidence that someone within the Obama administration knew about the practice during the presidential campaign.”

And “the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election,” says the Weekly Standard. An NBC News report noted Members of Congress had asked about the targeting more than a year ago, but the IRS denied it was happening.

There are more questions than answers, but the Obama administration is stonewalling investigators.
Chairman Camp says the IRS has provided only three percent of the documents requested by Congressional investigators. And some of the documents it has provided are duplicates. “[T]he slow production and compliance in this investigation begins to look a lot like obstruction,” says Camp.

On August 2, Chairman Issa issued a subpoena for documents from the IRS, arguing that the agency has “engaged in a systematic effort to delay, frustrate, impede, and obstruct” the ongoing investigation.

The House Oversight Committee also discovered that the former head of the IRS division responsible for these abuses, Lois Lerner, “sent official documents from her government e-mail address to a personal account,” says National Review. Committee leaders have given Lerner until August 27 to turn over all emails sent to a personal email account from her official IRS.gov email account.

And President Obama thinks it’s “phony” for the American people to be concerned about all of this.
The Obama White House – who originally called the IRS’ abuse of power “outrageous” and said the people involved should be “held accountable” – now says this is all just a “phony” scandal.

But Americans aren’t buying it. “There’s nothing ‘phony’ about these scandals, Mr. President,” said Speaker Boehner. “Not when the agency enforcing your health care law has been harassing Americans because of their political beliefs. The American people deserve answers, and we will continue to fight to get the truth – no matter how badly the Administration wants to sweep these issues under the carpet.”
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Don Seymour is Digital Communications Director for House Speaker John Boehner  and Tweets at @DonSeymour

Tags: IRS, scandal, three month, status, targeting conservatives, Lois Lerner, Oversight Committee, Don Seymour,  editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamacare: Jackpot For Thieves

Officials Warn That ‘Fraudsters Are Poised… To Steal Americans' Credit Cards, Social Security Numbers, And Other Personal Information’
McConnell: Americans Deserve Guarantee Of Personal Data Security
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Monday, told the administration that no Americans should be forced on to the government’s health care exchanges, particularly when the government is missing testing deadlines and cannot guarantee the security of personal and financial data.
‘A Huge Opportunity For Swindling People’
“As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists. Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information.” (“Obamacare Is Coming, And So Are The Con Artists,” CNBC, 8/15/13)
“The national health reform law is expected to open the door for identity theft and insurance scams when millions of uninsured Americans begin enrolling in coverage this fall, officials and advocates warn.” (“National Healthcare Reform Sparks Concern About Scams,” Los Angeles Times, 7/20/13)

“Implementation of the Affordable Care Act will provide fertile ground for con artists…” (“Health Care Scammers Find Inventive Ways To Rip Us Off,” The Commercial Appeal [TN], 8/10/13)

“Get ready for scams preying on 'Obamacare' confusion … as the Oct. 1 deadline to open health care exchanges approaches, health care scams are on the rise again.” (“Get Ready For Scams Preying On 'Obamacare' Confusion,” McClatchy, 7/21/13)

“Fraudsters are poised to take advantage of widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- to steal Americans' credit cards, Social Security numbers and other personal information, consumer advocates and government officials say. ‘This is the huge, new government program. There's no doubt in my mind that the fraudsters view it as an opportunity to rip people off,’ said Lois Greisman, associate director for the Federal Trade Commission's division of marketing practices.” (“Get Ready For Scams Preying On 'Obamacare' Confusion,” McClatchy, 7/21/13)
“The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a Washington-based nonprofit, has issued a national alert and has been working closely with the federal government and the media to get the word out, said spokesman James Quiggle. ‘The sea change in how America provides health insurance has created a breeding ground for so-called Obamacare swindles,’ he said.” (“National Healthcare Reform Sparks Concern About Scams,” Los Angeles Times, 7/20/13)

Tags: Obamacare: Jackpot For Thieves, Swindling People, fraud, Personal Data, Security To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Another Obamacare Promise Broken: WSJ: "Many Health Insurers To Limit Choices Of Doctors, Hospitals"

A new poll of American voters shows a majority — 57 percent—support defunding this unfair, unaffordable, unworkable law. ~ Heritage Action for America and Basswood Research

Another week, another news story showing that Obamacare will break an explicit promise made by President Obama and Democrats in Congress as they attempted to sell it to a skeptical public. In June 2009, in a speech to the American Medical Association, President Obama said, “So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage -- they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.

Today, in an article titled, “Many Health Insurers to Limit Choices of Doctors, Hospitals,” The Wall Street Journal reports, “This fall, Indiana's new online health-insurance marketplace will present some tough choices for consumers like John Nowak, who will be able to pick a plan from his current insurer—or go for one that includes his primary-care doctor. That is because Mr. Nowak's current insurer won't include Indiana's biggest health-care provider, 19-hospital Indiana University Health, in the plans it sells on the consumer exchange. If Mr. Nowak buys a new exchange plan from WellPoint Inc.'s Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, he will generally have to pay the cost out of his own pocket if he sees the system's doctors, because they aren't in the network. Mr. Nowak, a 48-year-old Indianapolis medical-spa owner, likes WellPoint. But he has been seeing an Indiana University-affiliated physician for five years, and ‘when you get a trust with a doctor, you want to stick with them,’ he said. Similar situations are likely to occur around the country, as details emerge about the coverage available through the new consumer marketplaces created by the federal health law. Many of the plans will include relatively few choices of doctors and hospitals. In some cases, plans will layer on other limits, such as requirements that patients get referrals to see specialists, or obtain insurer authorization before pricey procedures. A McKinsey & Co. analysis of 955 consumer exchange-plan filings, from 13 states that were among the earliest to make them public, found that 47% were health-maintenance organizations or similarly designed plans. Such plans generally don't pay for care provided outside their networks. A number of other plans, though classed as preferred-provider organizations, or PPOs, will also have limited choices of doctors and hospitals in their networks. The big reason behind these limited plans: Cost. . . . Smaller networks of providers generally translate to lower premiums, because insurers can negotiate discounts with health-care providers who will then have less competition for patients within the network. WellPoint said it is using more-limited networks for most of the new marketplaces, and it aims to take at least 10% out of the premium costs.”

And while Americans using Obamacare’s new exchanges will be facing higher premiums and limited choices (violating Obama’s promises), CNBC reports that they’ll be at risk for another serious problem. “As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists. Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information. . . . Scammers have been at it for more than a year now, but consumer advocates and security experts warn that the problem will worsen as we get closer to Oct. 1. That's when the millions of uninsured Americans can use a health insurance exchange, set-up by their state or by the federal government, to shop for coverage. ‘I believe the incidents are going to skyrocket as that date approaches,’ said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. ‘And even people who are smart and savvy could get taken, so we are very concerned about the potential for some serious financial harm.’ . . . ‘There are fake exchanges already up and running on the Internet,’ said Monica Lindeen, Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. ‘If you do a search and type in “exchange,” you'll find all sorts of websites that claim to be in the exchange when they are not.’ . . . Scam artists got an early jump on national health care reform. Since last year, they've been calling, faxing and emailing people across the country claiming to be with Medicare, Obamacare or some agency of the federal government. They often say they need to ‘verify’ some personal information (typically a bank account or Social Security number) to ensure you get the proper benefits. In some cases, fraudsters tell victims they need to buy an insurance card to be eligible for coverage under the new program. . . . A con artist can claim to be anyone, for instance a ‘navigator’ who can help you apply for coverage through an exchange. They gain your trust and then ask for personal information to buy nonexistent policies. Fraud.org reports that some victims have been persuaded to wire money or send funds via prepaid debit card to get their full benefits.

The Los Angeles Times wrote last month, “The national health reform law is expected to open the door for identity theft and insurance scams when millions of uninsured Americans begin enrolling in coverage this fall, officials and advocates warn. The Federal Trade Commission said dozens of consumers have reported fraud since last summer's Supreme Court ruling upholding the law, and officials predict widespread abuse when enrollment begins in October.” And McClatchy added, “Fraudsters are poised to take advantage of widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- to steal Americans' credit cards, Social Security numbers and other personal information, consumer advocates and government officials say. ‘This is the huge, new government program. There's no doubt in my mind that the fraudsters view it as an opportunity to rip people off,’ said Lois Greisman, associate director for the Federal Trade Commission's division of marketing practices. The FTC already has issued a consumer alert about one telemarketing scheme, in which impostors claiming to be from Medicare told consumers they needed to hand over their personal or financial information in order to continue eligibility because ‘change is on the horizon.’”

Tags: Obamacare, Promise Broken, Health Insurers, Limit Choices, Doctors, Hospitals To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

HUD: Another Federal Agecy Wants To Regulate Your Life


Low-income housing in your neighborhood?
by Kevin Palmer, WatchDog Wire: The NSA is monitoring your phone records, HHS is ordering you to buy a set level of health insurance, the EPA is trying to tell you what kind of car you can drive and how you can heat your home…and now HUD wants to join the parade of federal bureaucracies that tell you how to live your life.

Meet HUD
HUD–the Department of Housing and Urban Development–isn’t the most famous Cabinet-level department, but it has the power to regulate the zoning laws that determine how communities are built. Under previous administrations, HUD has worked in the background and focused on expanding affordable housing, but President Obama’s HUD wants to go beyond that and force communities to racially and fiscally diversify in the name–as always–of “fairness.”

A new proposed rule would authorize HUD to send local zoning committees and planning boards more detailed data on “racial and economic disparities” in their communities, with instructions to “overcome historic patterns of segregation … and foster inclusive communities for all.”

This sounds benign until you consider the Obama-era HUD’s history of using racial data to “foster inclusive communities.” Shortly after Obama took office, HUD sued Westchester County, NY, a wealthy suburban area just north of New York City and forced the county to build hundreds of low-income housing units in majority-white areas, to be occupied by poor minorities from New York City. Now, because Westchester has allegedly been slow to build these government-mandated projects, HUD is threatening to withhold the county’s share of federal housing money, depriving the county of $7.4 million that its taxpayers have already paid.

HUD’s M.O. under Obama has approached the level of “social engineering”–a system in which the government rearranges society to fit pre-planned, utopian ideals. Under this system, citizens cannot be trusted to choose where they live of what kind of community they would like to have. Rather, the benevolent government decides how many people of each race will live in each town, and ensures that high-income, middle-class, and low-income people are sharing the same space. In the name of “equality,” social engineering effectively destroys consumer choice.

The Pros and Cons of Social Engineering
Supporters of social engineering and HUD’s recent actions will cite segregation, which the famous Brown vs. Board of Education decision put an end to. They see these programs as “enforcing” Brown by ending racial disparity in all areas of society. In their eyes, if 80 percent of a neighborhood’s residents are white, this is a product of discrimination against minorities, and the government must step in to defeat this racism by moving non-whites into the neighborhood, and “incentivizing” whites to move to other neighborhoods.

Progressives apply this same line of thinking to income. In their mind, a high-income suburban town represents hoarding of resources that should be “shared.” Through lawsuits like the one against Westchester County, HUD forces communities to build low-income housing in high-income areas to resolve this alleged discrimination. And through this new rule, HUD may also try to build middle-class housing in poor inner-city neighborhoods to encourage wealthier people to leave the suburbs for lower-income areas.

Opponents of social engineering generally argue that the citizen, and not the government, has the power to determine where he or she lives. They may also point to the negative effects of social engineering programs: increased crime in high-income communities, expansion of the illegal drug trade and gang activity into suburban areas, and reduction of the property tax base. In fact, a study by Emory University found that when Chicago and Atlanta relocated their public housing projects, violent crime rose in areas where low-income residents were moved to.

For example, suppose the government orders a suburban town known for its excellent schools to build low-income housing–because it’s “unfair” that children from poor areas don’t have access to these schools. In anticipation of the crime and drug problems that projects can bring to a small town, high-income families may move elsewhere–taking millions of dollars in property taxes with them! Without these taxes, the schools’ performance drops, defeating the entire purpose of building the housing project.

Ironically, the Obama administration officials defending HUD’s activity have argued that a ZIP code shouldn't determine a child’s future. Yet at the same time, President Obama vigorously opposes school choice, going so far as to shut down the successful program in Washington, DC that allowed children trapped by their ZIP code in failing schools to attend better schools. Clearly, the message on “ZIP codes” coming out the White House is conflicted, but the message on expanding the federal government’s power over individuals is not.

What Do You Think?
Fortunately, HUD is allowing citizens to comment on the proposed rule. Click here to read the rule, and give the Obama administration your feedback on whether the federal government should be using racial and income data to redesign neighborhoods. When the government tries to restrict rights and choice, citizens can’t afford to pass on an opportunity to speak up and defend what is important to them.

**CLICK HERE to file a public comment with HUD on this issue

Tags: HUD, Federal Agency, Regulate your agency, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why Republicans Didn't Win in 2012

by Phyllis Schlafly: At last Republicans can read a coherent explanation of why they didn’t win in 2012, despite high unemployment and a dismal economy, the unpopularity of ObamaCare, and many scandals such as Fast and Furious. Best-selling author Dr. Jerome Corsi, who spent three weeks traveling with the Mitt Romney campaign, listening to every stump speech, gives us an inside look at the cockiness and mistakes of Romney’s staff in a new book called What Went Wrong.

The official Republican Party’s analysis of the election was issued in March by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. It was so self-serving and inadequate that it was dubbed an autopsy, i.e., the dissection of a dead body.

The Republican Party is not dead, but it is bleeding from the mistakes and prejudices of the high-dollar Establishment that shrinks from dealing with the social, moral and job-loss issues that concern the grassroots. The Establishment inflicted us with another centrist loser in the model of John McCain and Bob Dole.

Corsi quotes Romney’s chief campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens, as pontificating on the last plane fight of the 2012 campaign that he was confident Romney would win because “a positive campaign message trumps a good ground game every time.” Wrong. Obama’s first-rate ground game, facilitated by technology that actually worked, trumped whatever Romney had to offer.

Romney didn’t have a good campaign message anyway. His speech writers should have listened to the participants in their own focus groups, one of whom said: “I am sick and tired of giving bailouts to the folks at the top and handouts to the folks at the bottom.” And they could have gotten some advice from Rick Santorum, who said, “If all we do is focus on the job creators and not the job holders, we’re talking to a very small group of people.”

The Romney campaign’s attempt to use modern technology to get out the vote was totally outfoxed in the battle of the whales. Obama’s technology, named after the whale Narwhal, worked perfectly to get out the vote, but Romney’s, named for Orca, another whale, was not fully tested and crashed on election day.

Corsi shows how 2012 paralleled the Republican Establishment of the 1940s (then called the kingmakers), which inflicted us with presidential candidates like two-time loser Tom Dewey, whom the grassroots dubbed “me-too” candidates; i.e., whatever the Democrats said, the Republican candidates responded, “me too.” Voters like candidates who offer us a choice, not an echo.

Romney made no effort to reach out to various subgroups, some of whose members might have swelled his votes. He and his financial establishment had no desire to bring the Tea Parties and other independents into the Republican Party.

The major group that Romney failed to reach out to was the Reagan Democrats, who were essential to Ronald Reagan’s impressive victories in the 1980s but were no longer voting Republican because their manufacturing jobs had been outsourced overseas. Romney and the GOP muffed their big opportunity to develop a message that they would stop the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs to China.

Then there was the way Romney insulted the libertarians. Ron Paul won 177 properly elected delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012. Although it was mathematically impossible for that handful of votes to have affected the outcome of the Convention, Romney’s people insulted them by not allowing their votes to be recorded and counted.

Corsi concluded that in two key battleground states, Ohio and Florida, the margin of votes by which Romney lost to Obama was less than the number of votes received by Ron Paul in that state’s primary, and in three states — Virginia, Connecticut, and New Hampshire — the margin was close. Not all, of course, but surely some libertarians might have voted the Romney-Ryan ticket, but the GOP never asked them.

The Democrats and union organizers have become very skilled at exploiting early voting. Obama’s ground game included sending out hundreds of field organizers and volunteers to “chase ballots,” locate possible Obama voters, and nag them until they actually went to the polls, a tactic that early voting makes easy.

The Republican Party and Romney spent hundreds of millions of big-donor dollars on television ads, but most of the candidates they supported were defeated. Corsi explains that the Obama strategists got lots more for their TV spending because they were more skillful in targeting issues and states.

Jerome Corsi, an astute political scientist, explains in his new book “What Went Wrong” how the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 changed presidential politics forever. Republicans will keep losing if they don’t learn those lessons and take the Party’s decision-making away from the big-money crowd and return it to the grassroots.
--------------------
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, education and family issues.

Tags: Republicans, 2012, Why, didn't win, What Went Wrong, Jerome Corsi, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Food Stamp King - Surfer Dude LaJolla

Meet a 29 year old, unemployed LaJolla, California surfer dude who is one of 47 million Americans who are using the food stamp system. His story and attitude as captured by Fox News cannot be adequately described, it has to be seen to be believed. Here is the story of one person’s life, at least partially courtesy of your tax dollars.

Tags: Food Stamps, king, LaJolla, government abuse, waste, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Citizen Journalist

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The beauty of video, especially amplified by the Internet, is to allow a handful of citizen journalists working on a shoestring to end-run the biggest news organizations in the world.”

James O’Keefe, the young man who exposed the corruption within ACORN, an organization whose voter registration program and others were closely allied with the Democratic Party, has written “Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy.”

Fresh out of college, O’Keefe formed Project Veritas to go after stories that were being ignored by the mainstream press. ACORN gained him national attention when he and a female colleague pretended to be a pimp and a prostitute looking to purchase a home where they could import underage girls for the sex trade. Their hidden camera and microphone recorded the way ACORN employees were unfazed by this and offered advice on how to do it.

O’Keefe was fortunate to secure the late Andrew Breitbart as his mentor and, through him, access to major media personalities and outlets such as Glenn Beck who at the time had a popular show on Fox News. Breitbart was pioneering Internet news gathering and reporting on his own popular website, one element of which was BigGovernment.com.

As PJTV commentator Bill Whittle would note in the wake of the ACORN expose and subsequent legislation that defunded it, “I think the enemy they were fighting against are the media. By not covering the story, not at all…Breitbart showed that the media is no longer merely biased. They’re no longer even ignoring the news. The mainstream media is now in the news suppression business.”

O’Keefe notes that “the New York Times suppresses more stuff, more consequentially, than any other media outlet in the world. Like the Post, the Times tried not to notice the ACORN furor. The newspaper ran its first staff-written article on the subject on September 15, five days after the airing of the initial video and three days after the Post had run its front-page story.” O’Keefe was not even contacted by a Times reporter until two days after its initial story.

The impact of what O’Keefe’s citizen journalism was having was not lost on journalists who make their living within the business. Then executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, would write “Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks) aims to enlist the media; O’Keefe aims to discredit us. But each, in his own guerrilla way, has sown his share of public doubt about whether the press can be trusted as an impartial bearer of news.”

O’Keefe, however, says that “in truth we don’t have the wherewithal to discredit the media. We merely scoop them. They discredit themselves by refusing to cover stories with national implications that much of America already knows to be news.” The current examples of this are the 2012 Benghazi attack and the Obamacare debacle that continues to unfold with illegal delays, waivers, and its hideous implementation by an already tarnished Internal Revenue Service, involved in its own scandal.

As someone who joined the Society of Professional Journalists on April 1, 1979 and maintained membership ever since, I can attest that journalism over the thirty-five years or more that I have practiced it, has rarely been about being impartial. Indeed, it has gotten worse. Before and since, journalism has largely been an enterprise whose aim has been to advance liberal ideas, liberal legislative initiatives, and those espousing them.

The next time you’re reading the daily newspaper, listening to the radio, or watching television, what you’re not likely to receive is news that will do harm to the progressive agenda. You are receiving the liberal interpretation of what the news is and is not. Were it not for O’Keefe’s efforts you would not have known about ACORN, the deep biases within those running the National Public Radio programming, the attitudes uncovered in the New Jersey Teachers Union, and others.

The response to O’Keefe’s guerrilla journalism has been attacks by those in the news industry to discredit him while reporting on his exposes. He has also been subjected to a bevy a legal suits from those afflicted by the truths he reported. “Although I have been called a liar in a thousand different ways, I have not once been sued for libel or defamation. I have, however, sued others for libeling me. Of course, you would not know that from reading the New York Times.

“The beauty of video, especially as amplified by the Internet,” writes O’Keefe, “is to allow a handful of citizen journalists working on a shoestring to end-run the biggest news organizations in the world. When the American people saw our videos, they responded.”

In the aftermath of the ACORN story, O’Keefe reflected that, “There would be no Pulitzers waiting for us at the end of the day, no speaking engagements at prestigious J-schools. Instead we would face a continuing blizzard of legal challenges, a swarm of snippy media critics, and a tsunami of insider outrage at the slightest accusation of impropriety…It can be brutal along the way, but in the end there is something incredibly beautiful about shoving the facts down the throat of the mainstream media and watching them gag on the truth.”

If you are wondering why President Obama, despite questions about his eligibility to hold office, despite scandals growing like mushrooms, despite his outright lies about Obamacare and the Benghazi attack, continues to go largely unchallenged by the mainstream press, O’Keefe provides a pithy answer. “If today’s reporters found themselves in revolutionary France, they would be endorsing the head choppers, and their audience would cheer each head as it hit the basket.”
------------------
© 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: Citizen Journalist, Project Veritas, ACORN, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Gets 30 Months In Prison

Jessie Jackson Jr
by Ann E. Marimow and Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post: [Extract] Jesse L. Jackson Jr., a once-promising Illinois congressman, had been sentenced to prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle. “I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

Jackson, 48, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, 49, to a term of 12 months. The couple pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for items from the pedestrian to the luxurious: car repairs and trips to Costco, in addition to fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch.

The public fall of the Illinois Democrat began when Jackson was implicated in allegations that then-governor Rod Blagojevich (D) tried to sell to the highest bidder an interim appointment to the Senate seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama. Jackson was not charged, but prosecutors investigated allegations that he directed his fundraiser to bring in millions for the governor.

In the end, the judge gave both husband and wife sentences below the federal guidelines, saying she had considered their character and community contributions and that anything more would be “excessive.”

The former congressman will report to prison on or after Nov. 1 and his wife will serve her term after his release. Jackson could serve less than his full sentence if he receives credit for good behavior. The judge also ordered the couple to forfeit $750,000, and Jackson must perform 500 hours of community service. Read Full Article
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In hindsight was former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) telling the truth about the then Illinois and White House thuggery? Why was the sentence lighter than normal and Jackson and his wife allowed to serve their sentences at different times so they could care for their kids? What about other prisoners getting such a deal? Also, seems only fair that since the Jacksons got special treatment then so should other people. And with Jackson only getting 2 /1/2 years in prison, less with less time for good behavior and his wife getting 12 months for their stealing $750,000, it seems only right that Blagojevich should get a reduced sentence as he did not steal money.  What about his family? Will President Obama grant a pardon or even commute the Jacksons' sentences?

Tags: Jessie Jackson Jr, prion time, Sandra Stevens Jackson, prison time, theft, Rod Blogojevich, Illinois  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Flood of Businesses and Schools Across America Workers’ Cutting Hours – But White House Calls This Anecdotal

"Of course Obamacare is going to be a mess. We said it would be. It already is. . . . this is a law that’s still being implemented. And that many businesses already seem to be firing people? . . . So, if this is a law that’s ‘working the way it’s supposed to,’ [as the president said,] then it’s a bad law. And it’s Congress’ duty to repeal bad laws." ~ Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), June 20. 2013

What Happens With ObamaCare!
The flood of stories of stories about the negative impacts of Obamacare is beginning to look more like a deluge, despite the White House’s insistence that these problems all across the country are “anecdotal.”

NBC News reports today, “Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. ‘To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,’ said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. ‘I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.’ Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months. . . . The White House dismisses such examples as ‘anecdotal.’ . . . But the president of an influential union that supports Obamacare said the White House is wrong. ‘It IS happening,’ insisted Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has 1.2 million members.  ‘Wait a year. You'll see tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced. The facts are already starting to show up. Their statistics, I think, are a little behind the time.’”

Indeed, “NBC News spoke with almost 20 small businesses and other entities from Maine to California, and almost all said that because of the new law they’d be cutting back hours for some employees – an unintended consequence of the new law. At St. Petersburg College, a public university in Florida where most of the faculty is part-time, 250 have had their hours reduced for the fall term because the college said it can’t afford to offer them health insurance. St Petersburg’s president, Dr. Bill Law, said providing health care for the 250 adjunct professors would cost more than $777,000 dollars a year. ‘The cost associated with making a part-timer benefits-eligible really is not available to us as a public college,’ said Law.”

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, “On Oct. 1, small business owners have to let their employees know whether they will provide health insurance for their staff in the coming year. The problem? Details about the plans that insurers intend to offer probably won't be available until Oct. 1. ‘In other words, we have to make a decision without having all the information,’ said one exasperated business owner at a Tuesday seminar hosted by the U.S. Small Business Association and the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center at the university. . . . Even something seemingly as simple as determining how many full-time equivalent employees they have is not a simple calculation under the regulations, said [Carl Knoblock, SBA's Western Pennsylvania district manager]. . . . Despite all the uncertainties, Mr. Knoblock, a former small business owner himself, also knows how worrisome and erratic the employee health benefit issue has been for small firms over the years. Only one thing seemed certain: Rates were going to go up every renewal period. ‘If you had a good year, it was 8 percent and if you had a bad year, it would have been over 20 percent,’ he said. ‘Business owners want to provide for employees, but at that point they have to stay in business.’”

And Reuters notes, “Hit by years of budget cuts, some U.S. public school boards are looking to avoid providing health benefits to substitute teachers and supporting staff under President Barack Obama's reform law, education officials say. . . . School boards, already struggling to manage after years of state budget cuts, are trying to get ahead of the potential costs of Obamacare for the current academic year, education and labor officials say. The need to find creative solutions, or risk cutting back staff hours further, will increase as they finalize their budgets, they say. In Pennsylvania's Penn Manor School District, Superintendent Mike Leichliter said there is no room in its constrained budget to provide additional employee insurance. . . . ‘When we looked at our costs, (healthcare) was one area that really had the potential to skyrocket,’ Leichliter said. ‘This is absolutely the worst time for school districts to be faced with mandated increases.’ The National School Board Association said many states and school districts have at least explored reducing hours, according to Linda Embrey, a communications officer. Several school officials contacted by Reuters said they could not find a way around cuts. In Indiana's Fort Wayne Community Schools district, one of the state's largest, administrators reduced hours for 610 of its 4,050 employees, including substitute teachers and support staff, who were working 30 or more hours a week. Providing them with health insurance would have cost $10 million annually, said Krista Stockman, public information officer for Fort Wayne.”

And somehow all of this is simply “anecdotal” evidence to the Obama administration. Remember what NBC News wrote: “NBC News spoke with almost 20 small businesses and other entities from Maine to California, and almost all said that because of the new law they’d be cutting back hours for some employees . . . .” But that’s apparently “anecdotal.”

Tags: confused, Obamacare, businesses, schools, cutting hours, workers, lower pay, White House, Anecdotal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Imperial President Will Act on His Own

Our Imperial President
by Matt Grinney, Heritage Foundation:  In a recent email to supporters, President Obama lamented the frustrating inadequacy of his office. “There’s only so much I can do on my own” without Congress, he confessed

As a matter of constitutional interpretation, he’s right. But in practice, the President has shown a distinct contempt for the legal limits on his power.

Obama’s imperial presidency has manifested itself in many ways. Often he willfully neglects his constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” As we've seen with education, immigration, and but that’s not going to stop me

Armed with electoral immunity, the President is also more candid in justifying his actions.

[W]here Congress is unwilling to act, I will take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people.From this perspective, the legislature is more of an inconvenience than one of the three co-equal branches of government. Constitutional prerogatives are up for grabs; whoever is most willing to write the laws wins.

The President’s view of how our system works is not only dangerous, but it also flatly contradicts the Founders’ understanding of government.

The President sees no need to bother with all the arguing, deal-making, compromising, rivalries—in a word, politics—involved in the constitutional order. Reserving to Congress its lawmaking authority is an unnecessary obstacle to progress.

But our system was intentionally designed for messy political fights. The Founders understood that the alternative is even worse. Experience with Britain taught them the dangers of a government that tended toward the accumulation of powers.

Despite his fondness for mocking those who distrust government, President Obama accidentally vindicates the Founders’ fear of tyranny in American when he boasts, “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress, to make things happen.”

With no sign in sight of the President slowing his imperial march, it would be naïve to hope for the kind of modesty he feigns in emails. Rather, it is the duty of Congress to oppose his encroachments. With so much at stake this fall—from defunding Obamacare to cutting government spending—it is a critical time for Congress to do its job.

Tags: Congress, constitution, Founders, imperial presidency, President Obama, Obamacare,waivers, welfare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Defense of the Constitution Can Unite Conservatives, Libertarians and Independents ... and Save the GOP

For The Republicans To Win, Libertarians And Conservatives Must Find Common Ground ~ Ralph Benko
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: The GOP confronts what could threaten to be a crippling dilemma. If real it could prove fatal to its viability as a political party. Electoral victory requires both its libertarians and its social conservatives. And they are at odds.

These two crucial elements have a strained relationship. The libertarians, overrepresented in the party’s donor, underrepresented in its activist, base keep marginalizing social conservatives. Libertarians keep trying to blunt conservative impact inside the GOP and in campaigns.

This is magnificent. But it is not war.

Meanwhile, social conservatives look upon libertarians in much the same way as the U.S. Army troops looked at Gort in The Day The Earth Stood Still. No good can come of this. My fellow conservatives! Repeat after me: Klaatu barada nikto.

Both party elements need to work together to survive the assault by Big Brother. For many years, libertarians and the social conservatives made common cause against the common enemy of communism. Communism is dead. No comparably impressive adversary appears on the horizon. (Obamunism, for all of its horrors, is a pallid threat compared with having 45,000 nuclear weapons pointed your way.)

And, as we discovered in 2008 and 2012, divided we fall. This is especially true in that the party’s Superconsultants and operatives tend to truckle to the donor base. And if the donors say to marginalize the social conservatives, well, Republican Superconsultants live by the golden rule: “he who has the gold makes the rules.” They do so even if it consistently, demonstrably, loses elections.

Will the libertarian-conservative anti-Big-Brother coalition crumble? Will the GOP break into warring duchies? It could happen.

Consider the Great Christie-Paul War of Words of 2013. The urban-elite Chris Christie launched a Pearl Harbor attack against the rural-populist Rand Paul. Enough of that would, of course, leave the field clear for the Democrats to elect the whole federal government in 2016. And, Gov. Christie, while Time Magazine will reward you with sycophantic coverage for driving wedges in the Republican coalition that’s … trading birthright for pottage.

But a crumble is not the most likely outcome. The GOP more likely is poised to emerge more strongly than it has been in many cycles. As quantum physicist Niels Bohr once said, “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”

What the Republican Party is confronting appears more a paradox than a dilemma. Its predicament could prove a source of strength rather than doom.

The intra-party fracture is most pronounced when it comes to policies touching on sexual mores. Libertarians tend to reflect the mores of urban elites, favoring gay marriage and, for many (although by no means all), a laissez faire attitude toward abortion. This sophisticated stand, of course, wins props from The New York Times. It brings rewards from many, wealthy, party donors.

Yet it has several major handicaps. The most salient of these is that it demonstrably loses votes. For a political entity that’s a poison pill.

Traditional values as vote getter (not just within the party base but with Independents — including ethnics and blue collar workers) violates the meta-narrative of the party elites. Still, the conclusion that traditional values is a net, and a legitimate, vote getter is almost impossible to avoid.

As Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project (with which this columnist has a professional association) has repeatedly pointed out, while sophisticated values has social cachet they lose net votes. Presidential candidate John McCain, refusing to campaign on social issues, lost California by a whopping 24 points. That same year California’s Prop 8, banning gay marriage, won by 4 points.

This fact makes urban elites uncomfortable. They consider “traditional values” déclassé … or even bigoted. Nonsense. America is, after all, a representative democracy. It is from the “consent of the governed,” the Declaration of Independence says, that are derived “the just powers” for which Governments are instituted among Men.

It is right here, and in the Declaration’s successor document, the Constitution, that the forces uniting libertarianism and conservatism, and the key to the GOP’s salvation, reside. The Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, is replete with guarantees of liberty upon which libertarians and conservatives can build a healthy concordat — even including provisions with which they might not be fully comfortable.

Enter … Constitutionalism.

As George Washington stated in his farewell address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. . . ." Prohibiting morality and ethical codes to religion, or to society because based in religion, makes a travesty of the Bill of Rights. Moral codes of religions have Constitutional dignity. The State is constrained, by the Constitution, to show some respect.

Whether or not one agrees with orthodox religious values … the adherents are legitimately, and constitutionally, entitled to have, to practice, and to press for the State to reflect their values. Libertarians and conservatives can disagree while taking a principled stand for the legitimacy, under the Constitution, of one another’s position. Even though many libertarians fully approve of gay marriage they can, with authenticity, also honor the First Amendment guarantee of “… no law …prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”

Preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution, especially its Bill of Rights, provides ample grounds for unity between libertarians and most conservatives. Many of our civil liberties — dear to libertarians and conservatives both — are under assault by progressive forces.

There is much to collaborate on: preserving freedom of speech, and of the press, and of the free exercise of religion; honoring the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances; not infringing the right to keep and bear arms; rehabilitation the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonably searches and seizures; the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Even, casting the net a bit wider, the classical gold standard and the repeal of the Estate tax!

Meanwhile, social democrats have their own, abundant, internal contradictions. Most glaring right now: the American health care system indeed is a scandal. We get some of the most expensive and worst health care of any industrialized country. Yet the Democrats’ purported solution, Obamacare, portends to thrust us out of the frying pan … and into the fire. Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat and one of its legislative architects, called it “a huge train wreck coming down.” Good intentions are no substitute for making us mere voters actually better off.

American progressives keep promising Denmark, a true socialist workers paradise and the happiest country in the world, and delivering Detroit: now entering the Ninth Circle of Hell.

Bohr’s comment about paradox and progress connotes that there are no such things as paradoxes in nature. The discovery of an apparent paradox creates the possibility of progress by revealing a fallacy in our perspective. Only at the far fringes of libertarianism and conservatism do these two worldviews enter red-line-crossing conflict. They are natural allies.

Call this columnist crazy but … respect for the Constitution, and our constitutional rights, can reunite the GOP, and unite it with ethnic and blue collar Democrats and with Independents, creating a winning combination. Crazy? This columnist, again, takes solace from Bohr, this time to Wolfgang Pauli:
“We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.”Enter Constitutionalism.
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Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. This article first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Constitution, unites, Conservative, Libertarians, Independents, Save the Gop, Ralph Benko To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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