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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, November 01, 2013

Young People to Congress: Free Our Phones

Washington, DC – (11/1/13)Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, released a coalition letter today urging Congress to lift the ban on cell phone unlocking. Cell phone unlocking allows consumers to keep their cell phone, but change their carrier when the contract has expired. The letter was also co-signed by Campaign for Liberty, R Street, Fixcopyright.com, Let Freedom Ring USA, Cascade Policy Institute, and The Harbour League.

In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress unilaterally decided that cell phone unlocking should be illegal. This significantly hindered choices for consumers, industry development, and marketplace opportunities. In January, over 114,000 Americans responded with a White House “We the People” petition demanding action on this important issue. By February, the Administration responded, reversed its position, and came out in favor of cellphone unlocking.

Evan Feinberg, President of Generation Opportunity, noted:
It is time for Congress to free our phones. The first step would be to pass Representative Bob Goodlatte’s legislation, H.R. 1123, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, as amended, which would temporarily reverse the decision of the Librarian. This would give Congress the ability to address this issue by passing H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013. H.R. 1892 is the only bill that sufficiently addresses the problem at hand. This legislation would permanently legalize the ability of consumers to unlock their own phones, and for third parties to help or develop tools to do so.It is time for Congress to free our phones. The first step would be to pass Representative Bob Goodlatte’s legislation, H.R. 1123, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, as amended, which would temporarily reverse the decision of the Librarian. This would give Congress the ability to address this issue by passing H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013. H.R. 1892 is the only bill that sufficiently addresses the problem at hand. This legislation would permanently legalize the ability of consumers to unlock their own phones, and for third parties to help or develop tools to do so.

Tags: Generation Opportunity, cell phones, consumer choice, competition, HR 1123, HR, 1892, ban on cell phone unlocking, keeping your cell phone, changing carriers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

First Black President Won't Attend 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address

Toon by AF "Tony" Branco
Katie Pavlich, TownHall.com: Simply amazing. The first black President of the United States of America will not attend the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Lincoln gave the address just a few months after the gruesome three-day Gettysburg battle in 1863 that resulted in the loss of 51,000 men. A Union victory changed the course of the Civil War by sending General Robert E. Lee and his confederate army into retreat. From the Washington Times: It may be little more than a blip on Washington’s radar screen, but President Obama’s decision to be a no-show at an upcoming ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has touched off a firestorm in Pennsylvania.

Local newspapers Thursday excoriated the president, a noted admirer of the 16th president, for skipping the historic occasion.

A journalist at Harrisburg’s Patriot News said Mr. Obama doesn’t have “the stones” to attend; York’s Daily Record newspaper called the decision “unacceptable” and said “Mr. Obama’s retreat from Gettysburg will linger long and bitter.”

The Gettysburg Times reported that local officials in and around the town have spent months preparing — in vain — for a potential visit from Mr. Obama, who twice carried Pennsylvania in the presidential election (by 11 percentage points in 2008 and five in 2012).

Instead, the White House will send Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to the Nov. 19 event, which will be held at the Soldiers' National Cemetery.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. After all, Barack Obama is a Democrat. Abraham Lincoln, the president who ended slavery, was a Republican.

Tags: 150th Anniversary, Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln, President Obama, Katie Pavlich To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

EPA Extends War On Coal - Violates It's Own Policy On Scheduling Greenhouse Gas Regulation Hearings

by Bill Smith: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues progressive agendas and its 'War on Coal.'

During the next year, EPA is expected to release a sweeping regulation on greenhouse gas emissions for existing power plants. However, to do so the EPA must hold hearings. Well, the agency has begun a series of faux listening sessions to get public input. Oddly, or as expected - intentionally, no hearings will take place in states where electricity generation from coal is the highest.

For example, there will be no hearings in West Virginia (95% of electricity from coal), Kentucky (92%), Wyoming (88%), Indiana (84%), Missouri (83%), Utah (81%), North Dakota (78%),  Ohio (71%), Nebraska (71%) or New Mexico (68%). However, there will be hearings in places like Washington, D.C. (0%), San Francisco, CA (1%), Seattle (4%) and New York City (4%) which get tiny portions of electricity from coal.
How representative will these listening sessions be? What is clear is that the EPA has deliberately opted to violate its own policy on where they hold public meetings. It's policy reads:"When the subject of a public hearing, meeting or other information exchange process relates to conditions or facilities in a specific geographic area, EPA should hold the public hearing or meeting in that general geographic area."The hearings should have been held in areas most affected, not least affected,  by these 'war on coal' regulations,  It’s critical that all affected parties be able to give their input to the agency. It is time for Americans to tell the EPA, enough is enough.  Sean Hackbarth has the story on Free Enterprise.com.
Tags: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, War on Coal, scheduled hearings, Greenhouse Gas Regulations To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Spin Verses Fact in the First Days of Healthcare.gov

SPIN: Barack Obama, 10/1/2013: "Now, like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the signup process... there have been times this morning where the site has been running more slowly than it normally will.  The reason is because more than one million people visited healthcare.gov before 7:00 in the morning... Thank you, Kathleen Sebelius, for the outstanding work."

FACT: Healthcare.gov War Room, 10/2/2012 AM Report: "On-going issues: High capacity on the website, direct enrollment not working, VA system not connecting, Experian creating confusion with credit check information, residency issue has a script deing developed for the 900 issues that iccurred, and many agent-bokers have not signed up on EIDM."

SPIN: Jay Carney, 10/1/2013: "Republicans are worried that beginning today, it's not about opposing President Obama when it comes to this fight over the Affordable Care Act, it's about opposing the millions of Americans who are benefiting... So we take this, as Bill Clinton used to say, as a high-class problem.  It’s an indication of the absolute interest out there around the country."

FACT: Healthcare.gov War Room, 10/2/2012 AM Report: "6 enrollments have occurred so far with 5 different issuers."

SPIN: Jay Carney, 10/2/2013: "So as I said yesterday, it’s a first-class problem.  There’s no question that the volume was so high and continues to be so high that that has caused some delays, but it is related to -- those delays are, in our view, related to the high volume... we have an extremely competent team that developed a very user-friendly website.

FACT: Healthcare.gov War Room, 10/2/2012 PM Report: "Approximately 100 enrollments have happened as of this meeting...Ongoing issues: Experian identity-proofing issue for consumers. CMS Enterprise portal identity-proofing issue for agent-brokers. SADPs do not have etimated or guaranteed markets on Plan Compare. Fixes for the disappearing notices are being implemented. Fixes in the works for: the income issue, SSN. incarceration inconsistencies, and notices for eligibility for Medicaid/CHIP. EIDM servers may have software issue. Eligibility results are breaking intermittently. Issuers are not receiving 834s when they should be."

SPIN: Barack Obama, 10/3/2013: "So I would think that if, in fact, this was going to be such a disaster that the Republicans say it's going to be, that it was going to be so unpopular...nobody would show any interest, there would be, like, two people on the website -- (laughter) -- and everybody would then vote for candidates who want to repeal it."

FACT: Healthcare.gov War Room, 10/3/2012 AM Report: "As of yesterday there were 248 enrollments."

SPIN: Jay Carney, 10/3/2013: Q: No hard enrollment numbers? MR. CARNEY: "No, we don't have that data."
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Source - American Commitment

Tags: Spin, verses, Fact, Healthcare,gov, rollout To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

CNN: 'Senate Dems Supported Rule That Led To Insurance Cancellations' | All DEMs Voted Against GOP Attempt To Block Obamacare Provision

Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 1, 2013
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday at 2 PM when it will consider 2 district court nominees. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has also scheduled a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 815, legislation known as ENDA.

Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked two controversial Obama nominees, Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which would oversee Fannie and Freddie, and Patricia Millett to be a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett was the first of a group of nominees Democrats are pushing in an attempt to change the ideological majority on the DC Circuit Court, even though the court does not have the caseload to justify more judges at the moment.

The cloture vote to move forward with the Watt nomination failed 56-42 and cloture on the Millett nomination failed 55-38.

The House is not in session today.

CNN reminds Americans today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.  In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

“‘The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,’ Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time. ‘The administration's own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House's own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,’ the Iowa Republican said.

“On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.”

Indeed, when the vote was taken on the resolution, every Senate Republican voted for it, and every single Senate Democrat, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Obamacare coauthor Max Baucus (D-MT), voted to kill it. Even senators like Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Udall (D-CO), voted for it, though, as CNN notes, many of them “have since supported delaying parts of Obamacare.”

The day the Senate voted on the resolution, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said on the floor, “[R]emember when the President of the United States spoke to a joint session of Congress and he told the American people about the plan that was later signed into law. During that speech the President said: ‘..... if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.’ Let me repeat: ‘Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.’ . . . On June 14 of this year, the Obama administration released a 121-page ‘grandfathered health plan’ rule. It is a rule that clearly violates--clearly violates--the President's promise. Let me explain how. ObamaCare included a provision allowing existing insurance plans to be ‘grandfathered’ under the new law. Theoretically, that means that employers and individuals would not have to give up the coverage they have and they like to comply with onerous government rules and mandates. So you have to make sure, though, that you read the fine print. Look at the chart. The chart in the new administration rules estimates between 39 and 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered health plan status.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “I recently received a disturbing note from a constituent in Burlington, Kentucky. And unfortunately, I suspect a lot of my colleagues have been receiving notes just like it. This gentleman said that after receiving several letters from his insurer, it became clear to him that the President was being misleading when he said that if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. That’s because he found out that his policy, which came into effect just two months after the law’s arbitrary cutoff date for grandfathered plans, will be discontinued next year. . . . Well, he’s right to be upset. This is simply not in keeping with the spirit of the President’s often repeated promise. Perhaps the Administration would like to tell him he should’ve just done a better job of keeping up with its regulatory dictats. But what about the millions who purchased their plans relying on the President’s promise that they could keep them? What about the husbands and wives across Kentucky who suffered when two of our largest employers had to drop spousal coverage? What about the husbands and wives across Kentucky who suffered when two of our largest employers had to drop spousal coverage? What about the folks who’ve lost coverage at work? What about all the smaller paychecks and lost jobs? What about the part-time-ization of our economy? This law is a mess. . . . So far, Washington Democrats have resisted every attempt to exempt the struggling constituents we represent. The folks who rammed this partisan bill through know it’s not ready for primetime, and they seem to want no part of it themselves. But for you, the middle class, it seems to be ‘tough luck.’ . . . This isn’t fair. It’s not what Americans were promised. And Republicans intend to keep fighting for the middle-class families suffering under this law. I hope more of our Democrat colleagues will join us in this battle as well.”

Tags: Obamacare, Affordable care act, democrats votes, supported rule, leading rp policy cancellations, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamacare’s ‘New Regime’

Senior Dem Says You Can Keep Your Plan ‘As Long As It Fits Into This New Regime That We Are Building For America’
SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “Sen. Tom Harkin suggested yesterday that the president could have avoided the controversy over his pledge that Americans could keep the insurance they like by explaining the policy more, ‘I suppose he could have added a caveat that if you have a plan you like, you can keep it, as long as it fits into this new regime that we are building for America,’ Harkin told POLITICO. ‘To say you can keep that, that's not really right...there's a lot of gray area there.’” (Politico, 11/1/13)

FLASHBACK: ‘If You Like What You Have, You Can Keep It,’ ‘We Guarantee It’
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)
  • REID: “If you like what you have, you can keep it.” (Sen. Reid, Press Briefing, 10/20/09)
  • REID: “If you are fortunate enough to have coverage you like, you can keep it.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.7218,7/8/09)
  • REID: “It not only means making sure you can keep your family's doctor or keep your health care plan if you like it but also that you can afford to do so.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8150, 7/28/09)
“Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) made the same promise… ‘Many people say: “I like my health insurance right now. I don’t want to change. I don’t want to go into Medicare or Medicaid. I like what I have. Would you please leave people alone?”’ Durbin said. ‘The answer is yes,’ he added. ‘In fact, we guarantee it. We are going to put in any legislation considered by the House and Senate the protection that you, as an individual, keep the health insurance you have, if that is what you want.’” (“Top Dems Made Same Promises,” The Hill, 10/31/13)
  • DURBIN: “First and foremost, it [Obamacare] stays true to the President’s call that if you like what you have, you can keep it.” (Sen. Durbin, Press Release, 1/5/10)
  • DURBIN: “We believe--and we stand by this--if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it, plain and simple, straightforward.” (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.6401, 6/10/09)
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “That is why one of the central promises of health care reform has been and is: If you like what you have, you can keep it. That is critically important. If a person has a plan, and he or she likes it, he or she can keep it.” (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)
  • BAUCUS:  “Folks who are satisfied with their current health insurance coverage could keep it. People would not be required to change health plans.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 10/14/09)
  • BAUCUS: “…despite what some folks might say, we stuck to that promise. If you like your health care plan, you can pretty much keep it.” (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): “Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it.” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “One of the things we put in the health care bill when we designed it was the protection for consumers to keep the plan they have if they like it; thus, the term ‘grandfathered plans.’ If you have a plan you like --existing policies--you can keep them. …we said, if you like a plan, you get to keep it, and you can grandfather it in.” (Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.7675-6, 9/29/10)
  • HARKIN: “If you are a person out there who has your own health insurance policy right now and you like it , you can keep it.” (Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.13642, 12/21/09)
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): “Our bill says if you have health insurance and you like it, you can keep it…” (Sen. Brown, Congressional Record, S.12612, 12/7/09)

SEN. KAY HAGAN (D-NC): ‘People who have insurance they're happy with can keep it’ “We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they're happy with can keep it while also providing a backstop option for people without access to affordable coverage.” (“Republicans Vent As Other Compromise Plans Get Aired,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)

SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): “If you like the insurance you have, you can choose to keep it.” (Sen. Reed, Town Hall Event, 6/25/09)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it.” (Sen. Coons, “FAQ For Individuals And Families,” Accessed 10/31/13)

SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-AK): “If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or a health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it. That you can keep who you want.” (Sen. Begich, Townhall Event, 7/27/09)

Tags: Obamacare, new regime, democrats To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Environmental Enemies of Energy

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: While Americans grapple with the Obamacare debacle and 90 million are officially unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is another threat to our future as environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth continue their assault on the provision of electrical energy, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy and our ability to function at home and on the job.

Recently, Sierra Club members were told that they, “supporters, partners, and allies have worked tirelessly to retire 150 coal-fired power plants since January 2010—a significant number in the campaign to move the country beyond dirty and outdated fossil fuels.”
Coal, oil and natural gas are labeled “dirty” for propaganda purposes, but what the Sierra Club and others do not tell you and will never tell you is that they account for most of the electricity generated in America, along with nuclear and hydropower. Wind and solar power provide approximately 3% of the electricity and require government subsidies and mandates to exist. Their required use drives up the cost of electricity to consumers.

Among the many ongoing lawsuits that the Sierra Club is pursuing is one against Navajo coal mining, the Keystone XL pipeline, one seeking penalties for “ongoing violations” at Montana’s Colstrip power plant. They filed a suit against the power rate increase for Mississippi’s Kemper County coal plant.

In early October, The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Mississippi Plant Shows the Cost of ‘Clean Coal'.” It is testimony to the nonsense about “clean coal.” The plant, the reporters note, was meant to demonstrate that Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County plant was “meant to showcase technology for generating clean energy from low-quality coal” but it “ranks as one of the most expensive U.S. fossil fuel projects ever—at $4.7 billion and rising.”

“Mississippi Power’s 186,000 customers, who live in one of the poorest region of the country, are reeling from double-digit rate increases,” adding that “the plant hasn’t generated a single kilowatt for customers…”

Seven power plants in Pennsylvania are under attack by the Sierra Club and EarthJustice which have filed a federal lawsuit. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has exposed this common practice by environmental groups to “sue and settle.”

“It works like this. Environmental and consumer advocacy groups file a lawsuit claiming that the federal government has failed to meet a deadline or has not satisfied some regulatory requirement. The agency can then either choose to defend itself against the lawsuit or settle it. Often times, it settles by putting in place a ‘court-ordered’ regulation desired by the advocacy group, thus circumventing the proper rulemaking channels and basic transparency and accountability standards.”

High on the list of government agencies that engage in this is the Environmental Protection Agency, but others include Transportation, Agriculture, and Defense, along with the Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. One recent victory touted by Friends of the Earth is an EPA air pollution regulation is one that affects ships navigating along the coasts of the United States and Canada, out to 200 nautical miles, to “significantly reduce their emissions.”

Like the touted benefits of wind and solar power, “clean coal” is another environmental myth that is costing billions. Recently, the Global Warming Foundation reported that “The world invested almost a billion dollars a day in limiting global warming last year, but the total figure--$359 billion—was slightly down on last year, and barely half the $700 billion per year that the World Economic Forum has said is needed to tackle climate change.” The report cited was generated by the Climate Policy Initiative.

The problem with this is that there is NO global warming. The Earth is in a perfectly natural cooling cycle and has been for 15 to 16 years at this point. The notion of spending any money on “climate change” is insanity. The climate is largely determined by the Sun and other natural factors over which mankind has no control. The claim that carbon dioxide is a contributing factor to climate has been decisively debunked despite the years of lies emanating from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Indeed, during the current cooling cycle, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen!

For all their caterwauling about fossil fuels, environmental groups have resisted the expansion of the use of nuclear power that emits no so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. The Friends of the Earth recently declared that “The quickest way to end our costly fossil fuel dependency is through energy efficiency and renewable power, not new (nuclear) reactors that will suck up precious investment and take years to complete.”

The Obama administration’s record of bad loans to companies providing renewable power—wind and solar—is testimony to the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars. In September, the Department of Energy made $66 million in green-energy subsidies to 33 companies, half of it to companies by a single venture capital firm with close ties to the White House.

The continued loss of coal-fired plants has reduced their provision of electricity from over 50% to around 47%. The resistance to the construction of nuclear facilities slows the replacement of their loss, but plants utilizing natural gas have benefitted greatly from the discovery of billions of cubic feet through the use of hydraulic fracking technology holds the promise of maintaining the nation’s needs. Need it be said that “fracking” has become a target of environmental organizations?

Environmental organizations are the enemies of energy in America and worldwide. Without its provision third world nations cannot develop and the ability to provide the energy America needs is put in jeopardy.
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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: Obama Administration, Sierra Club, enemies of energy, War on Energy, War on Coal, oil gas , fracking, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thousands of Coal Miner & Supporters Protest War On Coal

This week, the ARRA News Service was focused on the Obamacare computer Train Wreck and the House oversight hearing. We missed what should have been a lead story. Investment Business Daily picked up story in an editorial which is shared below. On Tuesday "Members of Congress, union members, miners and their families stormed Capitol Hill to air their grievances about President Obama's policies that make it harder to burn or mine coal." The policies are a result of President Obama's War on Coal which is both a war on those protesting and the American people in general.

Links to War On Coal Articles
IBD Editorial: More than 3,500 coal supporters descended on Washington Tuesday to protest environmental rules requiring technology that doesn't exist, designed to turn the Saudi Arabia of coal into the Bangladesh of energy.

Members of Congress, union members, miners and their families stormed Capitol Hill to air their grievances about President Obama's policies that make it harder to burn or mine coal.

They were protesting the government shutdown that hasn't ended — that of the coal industry in pursuit of environmental goals that ignore global temperatures that haven't budged in 17 years and greenhouse-gas emission declines that have occurred as a result of energy industry technology and free market decisions.

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., passionately told the crowd that Obama's coal policies are "immoral" and "outrageous." When coal plants shut down, he said, communities "have no customers, county governments have no tax revenues to invest in schools or infrastructure. The unemployment in some counties is in double digits . . ."

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed carbon dioxide emissions caps for new power plants — a key feature of the administration's climate agenda. The caps effectively ban the construction of coal-fired power plants unless they use carbon capture and sequestration technology that doesn't really exist.

Another Kentucky Republican, Ed Whitfield, chairman of the House subcommittee on energy and power, called the new regulations "extreme" and said the change essentially renders it "illegal to build a coal-fired electricity-generating plant in America."

New coal-fired units will be required to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour. Currently, the most efficient coal-fired plants emit CO2 at a rate of about 1,800 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour. Whitfield said the cleanest coal-fired electricity technology now available, known as ultrasupercritical, cannot meet the new EPA standard.

The EPA's response is that the new regs will prod the industry to develop newer and more efficient technology. The question is why.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says global climate change caused by carbon pollution "is one of the most significant public health threats of our time," thus forcing her agency to adopt stringent measures. Yet carbon emissions are declining while temperatures are not rising. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Oct. 21 released data showing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined by 3.8% in 2012.

And according to the EPA, emissions from power plants declined by 10%. CO2 emissions in the U.S. have actually declined by 12% since 2007 (see chart), while average global temperatures have been flat since 1998. Part of that is due to competition from increasingly abundant natural gas made so by improvements in an energy technology known as hydraulic fracturing.

The EIA notes the country saw an "overall decline" in power generation from renewable sources, but "the carbon intensity of power generation still fell by 3.5%, due largely to the increase in the share of natural gas generation relative to coal generation."

It would seem to us the free market is doing quite well in improving the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions without help from the EPA and its economy- and job-killing regulations.

"It probably pains the activist community to discover the oil and gas industry is doing more to reduce carbon emissions than any of their press releases ever have, but it's hard to argue with data," said Steve Everley, spokesman for Energy In Depth, a website run by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

In this senseless and unnecessary war on coal, workers in the industry, the communities they live in and the American energy consumer are collateral damage.

Tags: miners protest, Washington, D.C., President Obama, War on Coal, war on energy, IBD, Investment Business Daily, editorial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

None Dare Call It Tyranny

by Rick Manning: Intimidation. It is an ugly word bringing to mind mobsters threatening to burn down a shop owners store if he doesn’t buy fire insurance, or a loan shark enforcers breaking legs to send a message to someone who bet the wrong horse.

It is even uglier when it is used in conjunction with the Presidency in a nation that has historically prided itself as being above the raw use of power to achieve one’s political ends.

CNN, one of the most vocal supporters of President Obama and his policies reported on October 30, that health insurers which are now heavily regulated under Obamacare “feared retribution” if they expressed their displeasure with the rollout of Obamacare. Fearing retribution and not taking an action due to that fear is almost a classic definition of successful intimidation.

CNN News Anchor Carol Costello reported that she felt intimidated when reporting on the presidential race saying, “I mean President Obama’s people can be quite nasty. They don’t like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they’re not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job [emphasis added].”

Now, Costello never claimed to have changed any story she produced as a result of this atmosphere of intimidation, but it is hard to imagine many reporters not choosing to present the campaign party line rather than give a more balanced perspective when their very jobs may have been at risk.

Earlier in October, an award winning freelance journalist who had written exposes about malfeasance at the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Safety Administration found her home raided by a combination of Maryland State Troopers and DHS agents over allegations that she had purchased a potato launcher over the Internet five years prior. Apparently, the anti-potato launcher section of Homeland Security decided that a nice 4:30 am raid of the reporter’s home was needed five years after the purchase which was apparently illegal in Maryland, but legal under federal law.

While Marylanders were made safe from random potato attacks, DHS officials made off with all of the reporters notes on the TSA case, including the names of the whistleblowers who unveiled the illegal activity.

The Washington Times Editor John Solomon promised legal action against DHS stating, “While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter.”

Solomon continued by arguing, “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.”

In the months prior, the Obama Administration’s Justice Department admitted that they had tapped the phones of Associated Press reporters for months in an attempt to find reporter’s sources.

The Obama Administration even has gone so far as to contend that Fox News Washington’s James Rosen aided and abetted a breach of national security for doing his job and reporting information provided to him by a government official. Unlike some cases in the past where reporters were put in jail for contempt of court for refusing to name a source, Rosen has come under legal jeopardy for simply reporting a story.

The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza succinctly summed up the abuse of government power tweeting, “If James Rosen’s ‘clandestine communications plan’ were illegal, every journalist in Washington would be locked up. Unreal.”

With this history can anyone still be surprised at Obama’s use of the IRS and other agencies of the federal government to intimidate political foes?

Can anyone remain naïve enough to believe that actions taken against True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht by the IRS, OSHA and ATF was anything but a coordinated federal government wide effort to shut her up. The inter-agency assault on Engelbrecht could only have been directed from the one place that breaks down the barriers between federal government agencies — the White House.

Intimidation is a standard tactic in NASCAR, the NFL, Major League Baseball, and most sporting events. It is even attempted when elected officials try to stare down each other and interest groups with threats, voiced or veiled, of future ramifications for political actions.

But the brazen intimidation of the media and political opponents by this Administration goes far beyond the always implied threat that if I don’t like the story you write, I won’t give you the next one, to direct threats against one’s livelihood and indeed, freedom.

In America there is no place for raiding reporter’s homes, bugging their phones and threatening to indict them in order to obtain their sources. The sanctity of a reporter’s source is well established in our nation’s courts, yet in Obama’s America, whistleblowers are nothing more than ducks in a shooting gallery. This doesn’t just chill the ability of reporters to get information from the inside of government, but puts it in a deep freeze, because no whistleblower can ever again expect his or her anonymity to be protected, and without that protection, information dries up.

In Obama’s America, the Internal Revenue Service becomes what everyone has always feared, an Agency that selectively enforces the law based upon the politics of those in power.

None dare call it tyranny, but when freedom of the press comes under wholesale attack, and a government uses its vast resources to assault and intimidate its political enemies, what you call it really just comes down to semantics.
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Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. This article was also shared on NetRightDaily.

Tags: intimidation, tyranny, pressure on insurance companies, CNN, Carol Costello, TSA, raided homes, none dare call it tyranny, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

You Have To Keep Him!

by William Warren, Editorial Cartoon

Tags: Barack Obama, prevarications, you have to keep him, editorial cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

#Iam1A: Washington Control Freaks Are FREAKED Out Over Bloggers And Free Speech

The Franklin Center was founded on a simple premise: the first amendment's protections apply to all citizens equally. Therefore, anyone can be a journalist. However, government bureaucrats want to define who is a journalist and who isn't. Here at the Franklin Center, we believe the First Amendment applies to EVERYONE, not just journalists who the government approves of.

VIDEO: JUST a Blogger?

Your First Amendment rights are UNDER ATTACK!
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham have attached an amendment to Senate Bill 987, which would give the Department of Justice power to determine who qualifies for protection as a journalist under the First Amendment.

Here at the Franklin Center, we believe in the power of a free press. We already have a law to protect the press from government meddling in our newsgathering efforts and excluding Americans from the reporting process. It’s called the First Amendment.

TAKE ACTION: Tell us why citizen journalism is important to you by 1) leaving a comment in our “Shary Your Story” feature, or 2) call and leave a phone message with Benjamin Franklin on a special phone line we set up to hear your testimony. Dial (571) 327-1799 to share your story!

And Tweet your story or comment using hashtag #Iam1A. Stand for the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Tags: bloggers, journalists, free speech, reporting, freedom of information requests, Franklin Center, government threat, U.S. Senate, #Iam1A To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

McConnell: Dems Intent on Packing Court - 'Don’t Want Any Meaningful Check On The President'

Halloween - Just Another Scary Day in D.C.
Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct. 31, 2013 - Rasmussen Reports: 37% Say Zombies Would Do Better Job Than Federal Gov't
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and began consideration of the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

At noon, Senator-elect Corey Booker (D-NJ) was sworn in as the junior senator from New Jersey. Based on the past actions of Mr. Booker, the moral quality of the Senate will be diminished today. Constitutionally, New Jersey selected this man to represent their voice in the Senate. However, all of us will also suffer as a result.

Following the swearing-in, the Senate will vote on cloture (to cut off debate) on the Watt nomination.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the nomination of Patricia Millett to be a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals as part of Democrat attempts to pack the court with liberal judges. A cloture vote on her nomination could come as early as today.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 91-8 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Alan Estevez to be Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense and confirmed him by voice vote.

The Senate also voted 81-18 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Katherine Archuleta to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management and then voted 62-35 to confirm her.

The House is not in Session today. They will reconvened on Friday, Nov 1 at 10 AM.

Yesterday, the House passed:
H.R. 992 (292-122) — "To amend provisions in section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act relating to Federal assistance for swaps entities."
H.J. Res. 99 (222-191) — "Relating to the disapproval of the President's exercise of authority to suspend the debt limit, as submitted under section 1002(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 on October 17, 2013."

Yestday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks on health care in Boston.“It’s beyond disappointing that, despite the evidence, the president continues to mislead the American people about his health care law. The president promised that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. It wasn’t true when he said it years ago, and, as millions of Americans are finding out, it’s not true now. All across the country, cancellation notices are hitting mailboxes because of the train wreck that is the president’s health care law. Millions are being forced to buy new, Washington-approved plans, regardless of whether they liked their old plan or not and often at a higher cost. The President sold this law on a pack of lofty promises. But what he said simply wasn’t true. The American people deserve better.” Fox News’ Shannon Bream reports, “There is a battle brewing over President Obama's three nominees to fill open seats on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court is critical for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is the primary source of appeals related to federal agencies and their regulations. From the IRS to the EPA, the court is often charged with deciding just how far the powers of federal agencies do, or don't, reach. In addition, it's often seen as a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court. Four of the current Justices served on the D.C. Circuit bench before being appointed to the nation's highest court. Nominees Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee along party line votes, as is expected for the third nominee, U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has signaled Millett's nomination could be put to a vote in the full Senate . . . . The current make-up of the court is equally divided between appointees from Republican and Democratic presidents, and several Democrats have publicly expressed their desire to tilt the balance by making sure the president's nominees make it to the bench.”

Majority Leader Reid may hold a cloture vote to attempt to move the first liberal nominee, Patricia Millett, as early as this afternoon.

In a post for NRO’s Corner yesterday, Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn explained more about what’s going on: “It is one of the most important battles raging in Washington, a fight that will have far-reaching consequences for everything from health care and the regulatory state to gun rights and the war on terrorism. Yet most Americans have heard nothing about it. I’m talking about Democratic efforts to pack the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. . . . The D.C. Circuit currently has eight active judges and six senior judges (who are semi-retired). Based on its caseload, the court does not need more judges at the present time. For example: Between 2005 and 2013, its total number of written decisions per active judge declined by 27 percent, and the number of appeals filed with the court fell by 18 percent. The D.C. Circuit has already taken four months off this year. Meanwhile, other federal appellate courts genuinely are overburdened and do need more judges. And yet, instead of trying to fill judicial vacancies where the need is most urgent, President Obama and Senate Democrats are attempting to transform the D.C. Circuit into a rubber stamp for liberalism and big government. . . . Their motivation is simple enough: In recent years, the D.C. Circuit has repeatedly pushed back against executive overreach. In 2011, it struck down the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ‘proxy access’ rule, declaring that the agency failed to conduct a proper cost-benefit analysis before adopting the regulation. Last year, the court vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, noting that it would ‘impose massive emissions reduction requirements’ on certain states ‘without regard to the limits imposed by the statutory text.’ The D.C. Circuit has also rejected as unconstitutional a pair of appointments that President Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012, ruling that the administration’s legal rationale for these appointments would ‘eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.’ . . . Unfortunately, top Democrats are now smearing the D.C. Circuit judges and vowing to do whatever it takes to shift the court in a more liberal direction. ‘They’ve done a lot of bad things,’ Senator majority leader Harry Reid said in August, ‘so we’re focusing very intently on the D.C. Circuit. We need at least one more [judge]. There’s three vacancies, we need at least one more and that will switch the majority.’”

Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell added, “What’s behind this push to fill seats on a court that is cancelling oral argument days for a lack of cases and which, according to the judges who serve on it, won’t have enough work to go around if we do?  Well, we don’t have to guess.  Our Democratic colleagues and the Administration’s supporters have been fairly candid about it. They have admitted they want to control the court so it will advance the President’s agenda.  As one Administration ally put it, ‘the president’s best hope for advancing his agenda is through executive action, and that runs through the D. C. Circuit.’ Let me repeat, the reason they want to put more judges on the D.C. Circuit is not because it needs them, but because ‘the president’s best hope for advancing his agenda is through executive action, and that runs through the D.C. Circuit.’ . . . [I]t’s not that the court has been more unfavorable to President Obama than it was to President Bush.  Rather, the Administration and its allies seem to be complaining that the court hasn’t been favorable enough to it. Evidently, they don’t want any meaningful check on the President.  You see, there is one in the House of Representatives, but the Administration can circumvent that with aggressive agency rulemaking.  That is, if the D.C. Circuit allows it to do so. Mr. President, a court should not be a rubberstamp for any administration.  And our Democratic colleagues told us again and again during the Bush Administration that the Senate confirmation process should not be a rubberstamp for any administration either.  For example, they said President Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit was ‘an effort to pack the Federal courts.’ And they filibustered his nomination—seven times, in fact.”

Leader McConnell also reminded Democrats of the rationale they used to block one of President Bush’s nominees. “Ms. Millett is no doubt a fine person,” he said. “This is nothing personal. Peter Keisler, of course, is a fine person, too. But our Democratic colleagues pocket-filibustered his nomination to the D.C. Circuit for two years on the ground that the court’s workload did not warrant his confirmation. They did so despite his considerable skill as an attorney, and his personal qualities. His nomination languished until the end of the Bush Administration; he waited almost 1,000 days for a vote that never came. The criteria our Democratic friends cited to block Mr. Keisler’s nomination then, clearly show that the court is even less busy now. . . . In writing then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter to oppose the nomination of Peter Keisler, Senate Democrats said ‘Mr. Keisler should under no circumstances be considered—much less confirmed . . . before we first address the very need for that judgeship . . . and deal with the genuine judicial emergencies identified by the Judicial Conference.’ That course of action ought to be followed here, too. Senator Grassley has legislation that will allow the President to fill seats on courts that need judges.  The Senate should support that legislation, not transparent efforts to politicize a court that doesn’t need judges in an effort to create a rubberstamp for the Administration’s agenda.”

Tags: IWashington, D.C., halloween, democrats, packing the court, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Amnesty Is Republican Party Suicide

by Phyllis Schlafly:: Most Americans believe that the United States of America is an exceptional country. The “borders test” proves that people are coming TO America, not fleeing FROM America to exit to other countries.

Republicans and conservatives recognize that the principal reason for our unique abundance is our constitutional restraints on the power of government, separation of powers, balanced budgets, and a minimum of government supervision and interference in our daily lives. America offers a remarkable opportunity for foreigners no matter what socioeconomic rank they were assigned in their native country.

Most of the millions of immigrants we have welcomed came from countries where the only government they knew was one that made all decisions about economic and social policy. The current level of legal immigration to America adds thousands of people every day whose views and experience are contrary to the conservative value of limited government.

The influx of these new voters will reduce or eliminate Republicans’ ability to offer an alternative to big government, increased government spending, and favorite liberal policies such as Obamacare and gun control. New voters will lean on our hard-pressed health care system and overcrowded public schools to demand more government services.

Amnesty advocates point to the assimilation of large numbers of immigrants in the early years of the 20th century. But that was followed by a national pause and slowdown of immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language, and adapt to our system of government.

Under current law, 1.1 million new legal immigrants come in every year. CBO projections indicate that amnesty plus its scheduled increases in legal immigration will add an additional 4.6 million new voters by 2014.

An enormous body of survey research shows that large majorities of recent immigrants, who are mostly Hispanic and Asian, hold liberal views on most policy issues, and therefore vote Democratic two-to-one. Their motivation is not our immigration policy; it is economic issues.

The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent of immigrants prefer a single government-run healthcare system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare, and the Pew Research Center found that 75 percent of Hispanic and 55 percent of Asian immigrants support bigger government.

A Harris poll found that 81percent of native-born Americans believe the schools should teach students to be proud of being American compared to only 50 percent of immigrants who had become naturalized U.S. citizens. Only 37 percent of naturalized citizens (compared to 67 percent of native-born citizens) think our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law.

The Pew Research Center reported in 2011 that, of all groups surveyed, Hispanics have the most negative view of capitalism in America — 55 percent. This is even higher than the supporters of Occupy Wall Street.

The data do not support the notion that immigrants are social conservatives. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute points out that “It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.”

The current level of immigration, even without amnesty, will add nearly 15 million new potential voters by 2036, a large share of whom will favor the Left. To allow this to happen will make Republicans a permanent minority party.

Looking at the political motivation of the groups pushing higher immigration and amnesty, it’s obvious that the Democrats promote large-scale immigration because it produces more Democratic votes. But why are some prominent Republicans pushing amnesty?

The pro-amnesty New York Times gleefully reported on October 26 the front-page news that big-business leaders and Republican big donors are gearing up for a “lobbying blitz,” backed up by money threats, to get Congress to pass amnesty. Big business wants amnesty in order to get more cheap labor and keep wages forever low, and that is a gross betrayal of the legal immigrants who hope to rise into the middle class and achieve the American dream.

The big donors poured $400,000,000 into the campaigns of losing establishment-backed Republican candidates in 2012. They would rather elect Democrats than conservative, social-issue, Tea Party-type, grassroots Republicans who don’t take orders from the establishment.

If the Republican Party is to remain nationally competitive, it must defeat amnesty in every form. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), summed it up: “I think it would be crazy for the House Republican Leadership to enter into negotiations with Obama on immigration, and I’m a proponent of immigration reform. He’s trying to destroy the Republican Party, and I think that anything that we do right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policy.”
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Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, amnesty, Republican Party, GOP, suicide To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Broken Promises / Broken Presidencies

Bob Morrison and Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors: When Vice President George H.W. Bush accepted the GOP nomination for president in New Orleans in 1988, he memorably said: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Too memorably, as things turned out. He won that election handily, carrying forty states against the hapless Michael Dukakis and 53% of the vote. It was the last comfortable victory the Republicans have seen.

By 1990, however, President Bush was in a bind. He had an army in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield and he had a solidly Democratic Congress determined to force him to break his tax pledge. His OMB Director, the late Dick Darman, urged him to make a deal with the Hill and get on with the business of governing. When more savvy political advisers protested, citing the “Read my Lips, no new taxes” pledge to the American people, Darman reportedly replied that those were just words some speechwriter put in front of the president.

That may be. But the president’s lips pronounced those words. And his breaking of his over-the-top promise to Americans doomed the Bush presidency. Arguably, the Bush fracturing splintered Ronald Reagan’s winning coalition, a solid majority that Republicans have not been able to reassemble since. Despite a stratospheric 91% approval rating following his lightning victory over Saddam Hussein’s forces in the first Gulf War, Bush’s standing sagged for two years. His broken promise fueled grassroots rage and the Perot challenge. Bush 41 fell to Bill Clinton in the 1992 election, gaining an abysmal 37% of the popular vote. Columnist George Will said he had made a sow’s ear of the Reagan silk purse. Even Barbara Bush piled on. Commenting on his retirement sport of skydiving, she puckishly said she hadn’t seen her George take such a plunge since the `92 campaign.

Today, we see millions, yes, millions of Americans, losing their health care coverage. These are the folks who were promised over and over by President Obama “if you like your doctor, you can keep him or her; if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Well, it turns out that millions of Americans cannot keep their doctors or their plans. They have been betrayed. They are outraged. They should be.

Many of these rejected and dejected millions are Obama voters. As The New York Times’ Ross Douthat has noted, these are folks whose household incomes—in the $50-80,000 range—are too high for subsidies but are too low to easily absorb a doubling of their health care premiums. Moreover, as Douthat wisely points out, these are the folks who chose policies with high deductibles, who were in truth doing the most to keep health care costs down.

These are the folks who work hard and play by the rules. These are the new victims of ObamaCare. These are people whom any administration can ill afford to lose. They are the middle of Middle America.

Now comes news that the entire HealthCare.gov website may have to be rebuilt. Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says “the way the system is designed, it is not secure.” For those few Americans who have succeeded in getting through the thicket of HealthCare.gov’s intrusive questions and actually registered, Mike Rogers’ words must be chilling. They are probably feeling like German Chancellor Angela Merkel texting her husband: “I wonder if the Obama people reading this text?”

Not to worry, we are assured. Just as Chancellor Merkel is a good friend and ally, the Obama people would never abuse the information that comes into HealthCare.gov, right? That’s why they chose the simon-pure IRS to be the enforcers of ObamaCare. No one could imagine the IRS abusing its authority, right?

The catastrophic rollout of ObamaCare on October 1st has been lampooned left and right. President Obama has good cause for concern when even Jon Stewart shows his contempt for such incompetence. Legend has it Lyndon Johnson knew his Vietnam War strategy had failed when CBS Anchor Walter Cronkite came out against it. “If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America,” he said glumly.

Jon Stewart holds a different status in today’s fragmented media marketplace. Jon Stewart doesn’t tell the nation “that’s the way it is,” as Cronkite pompously pronounced each evening. Instead, Stewart is the King of what’s Cool. His audience is heavily weighted toward the 18-34 demographic. These are not the folks who contribute to political campaigns, perhaps, and even their voting record is spotty. But these are very much the young bloods whom Mr. Obama needs desperately to sign up and sign on. He needs them to rush the website like shoppers at Walmart on Black Friday. He needs them to sign up for ObamaCare so he can afford to pay out the generous subsidies that his health care takeover will require. That’s why the defection of Jon Stewart and the raspberries the president’s signature achievement has gotten from the crew at Saturday Night Live are so important.

We don’t share the view of the cynical Sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken. He famously said that democracy is the idea the people should get what they want—and get it good and hard. Nonetheless, the people are getting what they voted for good and hard.

But they voted for Barack Obama based on his pledged word: If you like your plan, you can keep it. As the rollout proceeds—as the November 30th “fix-it” deadline approaches menacingly—millions more will learn to their sorrow that they cannot keep their plans. And they will be bitter about being deceived.

President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2009, five months before passage of ObamaCare. He won it for his efforts to bring peace to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and Syria and other global hotspots. President George H.W. Bush guided U.S. policy through the peaceful reunification of Germany, the mostly non-violent breakup of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe, and the bloodless collapse of the Soviet Union. Bush 41, of course, did not win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Unlike President Bush’s breaking of his “No new taxes” pledge, President Obama never has to face the voters again. As he told Vladimir Putin, he would have “more flexibility” after he was re-elected. He will need a lot more flexibility to recover from Americans’ outrage at having been deceived about keeping their health plans.
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Ken Blackwell was a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, President Obama, Obamacare, broken promises, George H.W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Blissfully Unaware Hecklers At Brown University

Student Hecklers at Brown University
by Heather Mac Donald: The nauseating combination of ignorance, self-righteousness, entitlement, and boorishness that characterizes campus politics today was on appalling display yesterday at Brown University, as a massive crowd of students prevented New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly from addressing the school. Kelly had come to Brown to talk about the New York Police Department's unmatched success in lowering New York's crime rate. The students, however, heckled him off the stage, shouting that Kelly had "institute[ed] systemic racism" in the city through the NYPD's contested stop, question, and frisk tactics.

The protesters of course take for granted that they can go about blithely squandering their parents' tuition money at Brown without fear of getting shot, robbed, or raped. Nor do they have to navigate through a gauntlet of drug dealers on their way to the store or while picking up their mail. Residents of New York City's poorest neighborhoods by contrast endured just such constant fear and disorder until the NYPD embraced proactive policing and other revolutionary reforms in the early 1990s, reforms which Kelly perfected. When every criminologist predicted that the NYPD's 1990s crime drop had bottomed out, Kelly drove crime down another 31%, in the process saving another 5000 minority lives.

The Brown students have zero understanding of the massive disproportionality in crime commission in New York and other American cities. In New York, for example, blacks commit nearly 80% of all shootings, though they are 23% of the city's population, while whites, 34% of New York residents, commit around 2% of all shootings. Such a disparity means that policing will be concentrated in minority areas and will result inevitably in disproportionate police activity, including stops. The police focus on minority neighborhoods in order to protect the many law-abiding residents there; if the police ignored those areas, only then could they rightly be accused of racism.

Unfortunately, a federal judge declared the NYPD's stop practices unconstitutional in August. Judge Shira Scheindlin's opinion, profoundly ignorant of policing and rife with bias against the department, is now the gospel truth on the NYPD. The Brown protesters (and their sympathetic professors) undoubtedly ate her opinion up without having the slightest capacity to evaluate its claims. At a stop, question, and frisk panel at Pace Law School this month (in which I participated), a professor read aloud the most egregious passages of Scheindlin's opinion as established fact. And so it will go across the country as equally uninformed anti-cop protesters increase their pressure against any police practice targeted at crime that has a disproportionate impact on minority neighborhoods. The result will likely be an increase in crime nationwide.

The Brown protesters disgraced themselves and their school in silencing a selfless public servant who has done more in twelve years for New York's poorest neighborhoods than decades of the big government redistribution programs that the Brown hecklers most certainly support. Their behavior represents a failure of civic education and of basic manners, which Brown has apparently failed to correct. (Brown's president Christina Paxson rightly denounced the protesters' silencing of Kelly; too bad there was not adequate security to remove the hecklers before Kelly was so brutishly humiliated.) If the protesters' idea of policing takes hold, however, they better figure out a way to stay indefinitely in the safe bubble of their Providence campus.
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Heather Mac Donald is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. This article was first published at the Manhattan Institute's Minding the Campus and shared with the ARRA News Service by the Assistant Editor Judah Bellin.

Tags: Brown University, hecklers, opposing free speech, Manhattan Institute, Minding the Campus, Heather Mac Donald To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Caruba: My Advice to Californians; Get Out Now

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: If you live in California, I have a bit of advice. Get out now while you can afford the gas to load up the van and head north or east. You won’t be alone.

According to “Crazifornia: How California is Destroying Itself and Why It Matters to America”, about 150,000 Californians have been fleeing the state each year of late. “In fact,” wrote Laer Pearce, “Los Angeles alone has lost more households than New York, Miami, and, incredibly, the economically decimated city of Detroit…combined.”

The tide of traffic leaving the state is likely to increase. According to a news release from Earthjustice, one of the innumerable environmental organizations bent on destroying every form of energy that has fueled the growth of the American economy, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has “finalized a groundbreaking decision to build innovative high-tech energy storage systems that will lead California toward a future of clean, renewable energy and away from dependence on fossil fuels.”

You remember fossil fuels, oil, natural gas, and coal. The “clean, renewable” energies are wind and solar because, of course, the sun shines all the time and the wind blows all the time. Or not.

By definition, energy “storage systems” can use mechanical, chemical, or thermal processes to store energy; these processes range from battery technologies to energy storage within compressed air or molten salt. If that sounds bizarre, it is.

According to Will Rostov, an Earthjustice attorney, “Clean, renewable energy sources will shape our future, whether the dirty antiquated fossil fuels industry likes it or not, so it’s excellent to see California getting there first. It took years by environmental advocates and state regulators to reach this point.”

Actually, Europe has been there for some time now. In England’s Yorkshire Dales, they’re tearing down four wind turbines that have been around for twenty years and “have not worked in years.” Indeed, across Europe there is a lot of buyer’s remorse for having embraced wind and solar. As Marc Morano, the editor of ClimateDepot.com, noted in an October 17 article, “Wind and solar mandates are breaking Europe’s electric utilities.”

“Last week the CEOs of Europe’s ten largest utilities finally cried uncle and called for a halt to wind and solar subsidies. Short of that, they want subsidies of their own. They want to be paid, in essence, not to produce power.” Thanks to mandates to use electricity from wind and solar Europe’s energy costs increased 17% for consumers and 21% for industry in the last four years.

California, in addition to requiring comparable use of wind and solar power while pushing to close coal-fired plants and keep some nuclear plants shuttered, will require its utilities to purchase 1.3 megawatts of “energy storage” power by 2020.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that “The first-in-a-nation mandate is expected to spur innovation in emerging storage technologies, from batteries to flywheels. Once large quantities of energy can be stored, the electric grid can make better use of solar, wind and other technologies that generate sporadically rather than in a steady flow, and can better manage disruptions from unpredictable events such as storms and wildfires.”

This is another very expensive Green pipedream that, like other California initiatives, would prove impossible to achieve and will be abandoned or ignored.

Since neither wind nor solar produce electricity in a steady, predictable fashion that enables utilities to ensure a flow of electricity to consumers, “energy storage” is the new, idiotic, alternative way of providing electricity that has been in effect since Edison first invented the turbines to produce it.

There is, simply put, no reason to require “energy storage” if “dirty, antiquated fossil fuels” were used. Wind and solar provide just over 3% of the electricity used in the U.S.

According to the Western Region Deputy Director of the Sierra Club, Evan Gillespie, “Fossil fuels like natural gas are a dead end for the people of California, the power companies, and the entire planet.” If you listened to Strela Cervas, Coordinator at the California Environmental Justice Alliance, fossil fuel use is a conspiracy against “low income communities and communities of color overburdened by pollution, in particular from power plants. California does not need any new gas-fired power plants.”

Those low income communities might not agree, along with all the rest of the Californians, in the wake of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. While California strives to save the state from a warming that has not been occurring for more than 15 years, the new mandate that 33% of the state’s energy come from wind and solar is estimated to cost $114 billion, all of which will come out of the pockets of energy consumers.

According to Pearce, “Legislators, regulators, lawyers and environmentalists have driven up the cost of doing business in the Golden State until it has become 30% greater than in the neighboring states.” The result of 40 years of anti-business (and anti-energy) policy has caused a decline in the state’s standard of living. “California’s median household income plummeted by 9%--nearly twice the national average between 2006 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

This is the kind of environmental insanity that has been at work at the federal level since Obama was elected in 2008. Billions have been lost in loans to wind and solar companies that went bankrupt within months and years. Think Solyndra. Now apply that same insanity to the whole of the nation as the administration continues its “war on coal” and actually laments the growing access to natural gas and oil due to hydraulic fracking technology.

The U.S. will produce more oil than Saudi Arabia this year. It has several centuries’ worth of affordable coal, scads of natural gas, and could expand its nuclear power generation if it wanted.

California is leading the way as it drives out its citizens and businesses, leaving behind only those too poor to leave; those dependent on a range of welfare programs that “redistribute” money from “the rich” and the middle class. They are turning the entire state into Detroit.

It is a war on the provision of electricity; the lifeblood of the nation’s capacity to function.
------------------
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: California, environmental insanity, get out now, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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  • 10/20/13 - 10/27/13
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  • 12/29/13 - 1/5/14
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  • 1/12/14 - 1/19/14
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