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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
Saturday, January 11, 2014
They Will Lie To Your Casket
Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: The New York Times recently published a 7,500-word cover-up to exculpate the Obama administration in their atrocious dereliction of duty with respect to killing of four Americans at Benghazi in 2012. Like a frightened octopus, the left is exuding a vast cloud of ink, hoping to cover the failures of President Obama and then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.
Times reporter goes to great length to show that al Qaeda was not part of the murderous attack that claimed the life of the U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens. He was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty in thirty years. Their overlong piece also takes pains to try to extricate Hillary Clinton from any blame in this catastrophe. National Review Online and the Weekly Standard both do a most effective job of critiquing the David Kilpatrick “novella.” Analysts Andrew McCarthy and Steve Hayes do a most persuasive job of correcting the record and de-bunking the Times’ distorted view of reality.
As McCarthy and Hayes note, nowhere do we learn where President Obama was on that fateful night. We know he would fly off that very evening for a mid-campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas. But the White House has avoided any minute-by-minute accounting of where Mr. Obama was during that fatal attack.
The administration was quick to put out pictures of both the president and Hillary at the time of the strike on the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan. This was entirely appropriate. But for some reason, no record of the president or the secretary’s whereabouts on September 11, 2012 has been forthcoming.
We did see them at Andrews Air Force Base, however solemn-faced and stern in their response to the killers. They will bring the terrorists to justice, we were assured. But in the presence of the four flag-draped caskets, in the company of the grieving relatives of the four dead Americans, they lied through their teeth. They claimed that it was an anti-Muslim video produced here in the U.S. that sparked the murderous rampage against the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
They knew that was a cover story then. The lie has been well-exposed since. And yet, they persist in avoiding accountability for this massacre. As well, they continue to make ludicrous distinctions between “core” al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Mahgreb (AQIM) and outfits like Ansar al-Sharia. This time, Madame Secretary’s infamous answer might serve: What difference does it make? If any groups out there are jihadists (a forbidden word) or Muslim terrorists (two forbidden words), they don’t have to carry an al Qaeda union card. My purpose here is not to “re-litigate” the step-by-step actions taken or not taken that fiery night.
Instead, I think we should look at the broader picture. It is the duty of the President of the United States to safeguard our bases and embassies abroad. When an attack on our sovereign territory occurs, the president as commander-in-chief has a duty to respond forcefully.
President Reagan’s administration suffered one of the worst disasters of his presidency when Iranian-backed suicide bombers hit the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983. Two hundred forty-one Marines and Navy corpsmen were murdered as they slept.
Reagan responded with force. He ordered the USS New Jersey to shell the Iranian-backed Hezbollah training camps in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Within days, Reagan changed the scene of action to the Caribbean, where he liberated a 100,000 people of Grenada from the grip of Communism.
The point here is not to offer the Reagan response to the Beirut bombing as the ideal. It was one of the worst moments of the eight years under Ronald Reagan. But in retaliating as he did in 1983, Reagan showed U.S. determination. He continued his show of force in 1986 with a raid on the command-and-control facilities in Tripoli. When Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi bombed an American bar in West Berlin, Reagan brought down destruction around the flamboyant colonel’s ears.
We know that we cannot always avoid attacks in a dangerous world. The key is to let America’s enemies know that they will pay a heavy price for any violence against Americans.
That is why President Obama and Hillary Clinton deserved kudos for the raid on Osama bin Laden. That is also why they should be sharply criticized for their lack of preparedness in the dangerous circle of Libya and their weak response in the wake of the Benghazi attack.
Even if some Americans’ action—a video, a burning of a Koran, some cartoons that may offend some Muslims—had been the precipitating event that led to attacks on our embassies, President Obama and Sec. Clinton had a duty to anticipate and protect our military and diplomatic outposts throughout the world. And had an attack succeeded, they had a duty to exact retribution in a powerful and convincing way.
Most of all, they had a duty not to lie. They may have deceived American voters in the short term, but they are not deceiving our enemies. And they owed it to the members of our military and our diplomatic corps to tell the truth.
No one is served by Obama and Clinton lying to the caskets. Few Americans will volunteer to serve in dangerous parts of the world armed only with this assurance: “If you are killed in the line of duty, the leaders of the free world will lie to your caskets.” That’s a mission impossible.
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags: Ken Blackwell, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, killed, in the line of duty, four Americans, Benghazi, 2012, duty not to lie, lie to your casketTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran Delivers Weekly Republican Address
‘The administration’s enrollment numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. They don’t tell us how many of the enrollees have actually lost existing coverage and were forced into the exchanges; and the numbers don’t tell us whether applicants have actually paid their premiums and received coverage. There is ample reason to be skeptical that those numbers will improve substantially. If the law can’t keep its most basic promise, it should be repealed, and we’ve introduced legislation to do just that.’ WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi says the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, isn’t living up to the promises made by its supporters and he called for repealing and defunding the law because of its cost and complexity. “We should go back to the drawing board and draft commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will work better for all Americans, without spending billions of taxpayer dollars to support these failing policies,” Cochran says. “In the spirit of the New Year, we should resolve to help make our health care system more user-friendly and affordable.” Video and transcript below:
Full transcript of the address follows:
Sen. Thad Cochran
“Hello. I’m Thad Cochran, United States Senator for Mississippi.
“The beginning of the New Year is a time when many Americans decide to make positive changes in their lives. It can be a time we decide to adopt healthier lifestyles or take a fresh look at the family budget.
“Unfortunately, as this year begins many people are worried about how the so-called Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare,’ is affecting both their health and personal finances.
“Republicans in the Senate think we should repeal or defund the program because of its cost and complexity.
“The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be fully operational by January 1 of this year. But, here we are two weeks into 2014, and the administration continues to struggle to implement the law’s burdensome mandates.
“The law is not living up to the promises made by its supporters, and it is questionable whether the law will meet its fundamental purpose -- to significantly expand health insurance coverage. Five million Americans have been kicked out of the health plans that they liked and were promised they could keep.
“Some of my constituents have discovered that the new insurance can cost twice as much as they had been paying. Many others are being denied access to doctors with whom they were perfectly happy.
“The administration’s enrollment numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. They don’t tell us how many of the enrollees have actually lost existing coverage and were forced into the exchanges; and the numbers don’t tell us whether applicants have actually paid their premiums and received coverage. There is ample reason to be skeptical that those numbers will improve substantially.
“If the law can’t keep its most basic promise, it should be repealed, and we’ve introduced legislation to do just that.
“We should go back to the drawing board and draft commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will work better for all Americans, without spending billions of taxpayer dollars to support these failing policies.
“In the spirit of the New Year, we should resolve to help make our health care system more user-friendly and affordable.
“Thank you.”Tags:U.S. Senator, Thad Cochran, Mississippi, Weekly Republican Address, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, failed promises, defunding, repeal, replaceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Super' Garry McCarthy
IBD Editorial- Gun Control: A federal judge rules that the right to keep and bear arms includes the right to buy them — and that while government is obligated to protect its citizens, it must protect their constitutional rights as well.
Chicago's long-standing attempt to deny its citizens their full Second Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution was met with yet another court defeat. This time, it came via a ruling by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang that the city ban on retail gun shops owned by licensed dealers went too far to count as a "sensible restriction" on gun ownership to prevent gun violence, in what has arguably become the nation's murder capital.
"The ban on gun sales and transfers," wrote Judge Chang in a 35-page opinion, "prevents Chicagoans from fulfilling, within the limits of Chicago, the most fundamental prerequisite of legal gun ownership — that of simple acquisition." Chang found the city's "blanket ban" on sales and transfers of firearms violated the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
In a 5-4 decision in 2008, Heller v. District of Columbia, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court overturned D.C.'s draconian gun law. Similar to Chicago's law, D.C.'s law barred private ownership of handguns, but the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the right to bear arms was indeed an individual constitutional right.
On the heels of Heller, however, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, led by Judge Frank Easterbrook, rejected subsequent suits brought by the National Rifle Association against the city of Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, Ill., on the grounds that Heller applied only to the District of Columbia and not to the states and their municipalities.
That nonsense was straightened out when Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old Army veteran who lived in a high-crime area of Chicago, asserted that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution he fought to protect gives him the right to bear arms to protect himself and his wife, just as he once protected his country.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with him, saying the right to keep and bear arms was not only an individual right, but also a national one.
The plaintiffs in the Chicago lawsuit, the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers and three Chicago residents, argued that if they have the right to have a handgun within city limits, as courts have ruled, then they also have a right to buy one within the city.
Judge Chang agreed, noting that the Chicago ordnance was so restrictive it banned gifts among family members — even preventing a father from passing a firearm down to his son — in the name of reducing gun violence. Yet last year Chicago led the nation in homicides.
The latest ruling in the long legal fight for gun rights in Chicago came a day after Illinois, the last state to approve a concealed carry law, began taking applications from residents seeking to carry concealed firearms in public, after being ordered to do so by a federal court.
On Feb. 22 of last year, a 5-4 majority of the 10-member U.S. 7th Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision by a three-member panel that addressed the absurdity and inconsistency of Illinois gun laws that allowed ownership of a firearm, but not the right to carry it outside the home — in other words, the "right to keep but not to bear arms."
In an earlier decision overturning Chicago's ban on firing ranges with city limits under its Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance, Judge Ilana Rovner of the 7th Circuit said, "The ordinance admittedly was designed to make gun ownership as difficult as possible."
But she noted pointedly that the Supreme Court has upheld "the Second Amendment right to possess a gun in the home for self-defense and the City must come to terms with that reality."
So too will the gang-bangers and other criminals within the city limits. Soon their victims will have both the right and the ability to shoot back. Tags:Chicago, Illinois, Gun Sales Ban, unconstitutional, IBD, Investment Business Daily, editorialTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Bobby Eberle, The Loft, GOPUSA: Here we go again. It's another case of black on white violence, and it's another case of teenagers who have absolutely no direction or discipline. In this case, not only is an older white woman attacked, but the whole incident is caught on Facebook for the attacker's friends to see.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the attack which occurred in Rochester, New York is being classified as "harassment" rather than an "assault." All someone has to do is watch the actual video. You tell me... is this an assault or not?
What's so disturbing about all this is that the video was made and distributed for all to see. There was no fear of consequences. There was no remorse. There was no apparent sense of what is right or what is wrong. If you are laughing and joking and dancing, then clearly you are doing something for fun... or sport. Is that what America has come to?The attacker, a young black male who operated a Facebook account under the name “True Goon Tocool Sneekey”, narrated his plan for the camera.
The blogger who reported the attack, a man from Rochester named Davy Vara, asked the person who tipped him off about the Facebook video to record it from a computer screen. The video was later deleted from the Facebook account and “True Goon Tocool Sneekey’s” Facebook account has disappeared, but not before information and pictures of the young man were captured by screenshot.
Despite the obvious assault, Rochester police spokeswoman Sgt. Elena Correia said that the incident “is more likely an example of a harassment than an assault,” reported The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.What's equally frustrating is not only are these assaults continuing, but they are constantly being downplayed. Oh, that is unless the attacker is white. Then, as reported in The Washington Times, the feds will be all over the case and label it as a "hate crime."
Society is decaying before our very eyes. There is no accountability or discipline any more, and the only thing liberals do is blame the situation on racism or not enough government involvement. "Give us even more money, and we'll fix everything." Guess what? It doesn't work!
As Bill O'Reilly recent pointed out in his comments on the 50th anniversary of the so-called "war on poverty," poverty and decline in society are being driven by PERSONAL BEHAVIOR.In 1963, just 6 percent of American babies are born out of wedlock. Now 41 percent are and that includes 72 percent of African- American babies. According to Heritage, single parent homes are four times more likely to be living in poverty. And children raised by single parents are three times more likely to end up in prison, 50 percent more likely to be poor as adults.
So, maybe we should have a war against chaotic, irresponsible parents. But America will never launch that kind of war because it's too judgmental and deeply affects the minority precincts. Therefore, cowardly politicians and race hustlers continue to bear false witness that our economic system is at fault rather than bad personal decision making.Until we take these attacks seriously and address the root causes, nothing will ever change.
-------------- Dr. Bobby Eberle is a conservative political analyst, writer, commentator and founder of GOPUSA.com. Dr. Eberle has served in conservative, Republican leadership roles at the county, state, and national levels. He was a delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention and covered the 2004 Republican National Convention as a member of the Internet media. He served as the State Chairman for the Texas Young Republican Federation and as the Vice Chairman at Large for their National Federation. As a fellow conservative activists, and noted online author, the ARRA News Service occasionally promotes his articles. Tags:Knockout, a crime, not a game, Bobby Eberle, GOPUSATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Downsize the Department of Health and Human Services
Cato Institute: The Department of Health and Human Services runs the huge and fast-growing Medicare and Medicaid. These programs fuel rising health costs, distort markets, and are plagued by waste and fraud. The department also runs other costly subsidy programs, including Head Start, TANF, and LIHEAP. Growth in HHS spending is creating a federal fiscal crisis, and the 2010 health care law sadly makes the situation worse.
The department spent around $908 billion in 2013, or about $7,500 for every U.S. household. It employs 70,000 workers.
Tags:downsize, Department of Health and Human Services, medicare, medicaid, rising health costs, distort markets, waste and fraud, subsidy programs, Head Start, TANF, LIHEAP, HHS spending, Cato InstituteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
LITTLE ROCK - It is my great honor to be the Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. This office has allowed me to meet so many wonderful Arkansans over the past few years. My family and I are forever grateful for the support the people of this great state have shown us for the past few years and during this extremely difficult time. We have learned that difficult days demand decisions of faith.
Throughout this process, it has been my desire to share the facts, and I feel this has been accomplished. I have been honest, forthright and acted with integrity. I made mistakes, but not one with malicious intent.
Effective February 1, 2014 I will resign as Lieutenant Governor and I submit that resignation to the people of Arkansas, not an elected official. I have spoken with Speaker Carter and Senate Pro-Tempore Lamoureux to notify them of this decision. They agree with me it is in the best interest for me, my family and the state at this point. I respect these two men for their concern: not just for the state but for me and my family.
Politics can be a toxic business. I will no longer subject my family to its hard lessons. All my forgiveness to those who play the games and all my respect and appreciation to those who serve with class and humility.
Arkansas Lt. Governor Tags:Mark Darr, Lt. Governor, Arkansas, statement, resigningTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Rick Manning: Political messaging in Washington is, if nothing, obvious and transparent.
Fallout from Obamacare threatens the remaining three years of his Administration, and the President desperately needs to change the subject.
Big donors and far left planners have already put together the “Ready for Hillary” campaign, moving on from Obama, putting him in real danger of being a three year lame duck.
Democratic Senators are looking for any floating flotsam to cling to and survive the political wreckage that is the current socialized medicine failure that they own.
One of the rules of political communication is that when you get into trouble, have three core tested talking points that you can fall back on, and just keep repeating them. That is the reflexive response that brings us the current “income inequality” lines being mouthed by people who have dominated government for the past seven years.
The big “fight” over extending unemployment insurance is part of this plan to change the subject over the failure of big government in an attempt to fool people into believing that the Democrats actually care about their plight.
Here is the truth. They don’t.
It is in the left’s political interest for more and more Americans to be economically dependent upon the government. It is in the left’s political interest for fewer and fewer Americans to be paying income taxes, while shifting the burden disproportionately to those who make the most money.
For the income inequality argument to win, the public has to believe that America is a haves and have not society with no chance to better yourself beyond your given lot in life.
This is the transformative change that Obama and his handlers have sought, and this shifting the debate to income inequality is their test to see if they have succeeded in killing the belief in the core American value that anyone, through their own initiative, can raise themselves up by their own bootstraps and achieve their dreams.
Obama’s answer is that you cannot, and by making dependency upon the federal government normal, acceptable and even desirable, he is effectively challenging the very essence of American exceptionalism.
This is not compassionate. It is giving Americans velvet handcuffs that don’t feel like the shackles of oppression when you put them on, but have the effect of permanently creating a mindset of dependency.
For proof just look at the unemployment insurance debate where there is no discussion about the wisdom of extending the benefits at all, just about how to pay for them.
This in spite of Obama’s brag that he has created more than eight million jobs since the recession bottomed out. Yet, even with an economy that is supposedly creating millions upon millions of jobs, the federal government is going to keep sending a weekly check to people who have been unemployed more than half a year, reminding them that they cannot succeed on their own. Telling them that it doesn’t make sense to work forty hours a week for $10 an hour, when in many states you can match that amount of money through the extended unemployment without any effort.
Being unemployed is hard. You lose confidence in your own abilities, you worry about how you are going to pay the mortgage or rent and feed your family. For many, being unemployed is a defining moment in their lives, when they start a business determined never to be dependent upon someone else for their livelihood again.
Long term unemployment is even tougher, as job skills dwindle along with the hope for the future a person envisioned for themselves.
It is a refining process, a character developer, but over time it becomes a lifestyle. The daily grind of getting up, arriving to work on time, trading your labor and talent for a paycheck, is a learned, adult activity. And it is easy to fall out of the habit, having your days turn from making your own way to living through the seemingly endless NCIS and Law and Order marathons from the comfort of your recliner.
Extending long term unemployment benefits allows recipients the luxury of avoiding working in an hourly temporary job to make ends meet, as they look for a job which may not exist anymore.
And it sends the most important message that anyone can receive. You are a failure, you cannot make it on your own, and you need big government to survive.
Destroying the American dream is easy, just make it so the people no longer believe in themselves, and they will cling to Uncle Sam as their provider.
That is Obama’s transformation, and it is the core of the messaging pivot toward whining about “income inequality.”
America used to reject this politics of envy. Obama’s desperate pivot away from the Obamacare debacle is betting that the transformation of the American mindset is far enough along, that he can survive through standard Marxist class warfare language, and people will forget the failure of big government that his healthcare law represents.
Let’s pray that he isn’t right.
---------------- 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:political messaging, President Obama, class warfare, politics of envy, political speak, income inequality, progressive agenda, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
As you return to the business of the House Committee on Ways and Means, you and your colleagues will, in many ways, determine the direction of our nation by the decisions you will soon make on fundamental tax reform.
You have a clear and distinct choice to make. You can continue to pander to the special interests that will forever hold you hostage to their glutinous demands, or you can break from this insidious cycle and fully represent the will of the people who elected you.
If you choose to continue in the bondage of special interest slavery, the demands they exact will rise to levels that even you cannot imagine. Once the fatted calf becomes addicted to the feed trough, its’ appetite becomes insatiable.
Contrast this to the people who elected you who simply want to pay their fair share of taxes without the fear and intimidation of an agency that continues to be used as a political weapon.
Even the IRS’s own watchdog, Nina Olson, stated in her just published annual report, “Public trust in [IRS] fairness and impartiality was called into question because of reports the IRS subjected certain applicants for tax exempt status to greater review based on political-sounding games.”
Sadly, Olson’s only remedy is an IRS generated U.S. taxpayer Bill of Rights. By the way, didn’t you already try this in 1988 when Congress passed the first of three Taxpayer Bill of Rights?
To Olson’s suggestion, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t this a little like the fox guarding the hen house; just like the U.S. Justice Department appointing Barbara Bosserman to lead the IRS targeting investigation?
Silly me, I am sure any individual who shelled out over $6,000 in donations to the Obama campaign will show total impartiality during a criminal probe involving conservative organizations.
The bottom line is this - the American people want a simple and fair system of taxation without all the drama, theatrics and corruption. They want the fox to leave the hen house and they want their representatives to put a stop to the longstanding reign of terror by the IRS.
The FairTax® Plan does this and more.
Reduced to its most basic terms, the FairTax eliminates taxes on wages while taxing wealth and borrowing when spent. It eliminates the income/payroll tax system and replaces it with a single rate tax on consumption.
More importantly, it is fair, simple and universal in application – no exceptions, no exclusions, and no more special interests feeding at the trough. And, it fosters economic growth and efficiency while fully funding the government.
You will soon have a decision to make on fundamental tax reform.
Option 1: You tinker with the current system, call it major reform and continue in the bondage of special interests. With this option the American people continue as the losers.
Option 2: You represent the will of the people who elected you and enact HR 25, The FairTax Act, freeing them from the bondage of an out-of-control IRS and a gobbledygook tax code that is fast approaching 100,000 pages. With this option, the American people have a fair and simple tax code that also eliminates the yearly tax return nightmare that has already begun.
Which decision will you make? Perhaps you can draw inspiration from General Robert E. Lee who once said, “You have only always to do what is right. It will become easier by practice, and you enjoy in the midst of your trials the pleasure of an approving conscience.”
Your electorate awaits your decision. Remember, they too have decisions to make in November 2014. Tags:Cindy Canevaro, Open Letter, House Committee, Ways and Means, FairTax, Fair TaxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:editorial cartoon, William Warren, traffic outrage, New Jersey Chris Christie, harassment, harass political opponents, President Obama, use government agencies, harass, political opponentsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
December Unemployment Numbers Not Good | NYT: Reid’s Uncompromising Power Play In Senate . . .
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan. 10, 2014
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on confirmation of Robert Wilkins to be a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Wilkins is the 3rd of three judges Democrats are using to pack the DC Circuit Court and Reid used the nuclear option to ensure his confirmation. Senators will then vote on cutting off debate on S. 1845, the unemployment insurance bill.
Yesterday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) forced a vote to attempt to break the blockade on amendments enforced by Harry Reid. But Democrats voted down the attempt, 54-42.
Reid then moved another judicial nominee via the nuclear option, Robert Wilkins, another of the nominees Democrats are using to pack the DC Circuit Court. The Democrat majority voted 53-41 to proceed to the motion to reconsider cloture on Wilkins, 54-40 to approve the motion to reconsider, and then 55-38 ton invoke cloture on the nomination and cut off debate, using the nuclear option precedent.
The House reconvened at 9 AM. They passed H.R. 3811 (291 - 122) — "To require notification of individuals of breaches of personally identifiable information through Exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." And then recessed at 12:58 until Monday, Jan 13th at Noon.
Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 2279 (225-188) — "To amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act relating to review of regulations under such Act and to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 relating to financial responsibility for classes of facilities."
The BLS Employment Report for December 2013 reported that the unemployment rate declined from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent in December, while total nonfarm payroll employment edged up (+74,000). The number of unemployed persons declined by 490,000 to 10.4 million in December. "Wall Street strategists and economists pointed out that this was well below the consensus prediction of 197,000" which is still a drip in the overall bucket. Business Insider also noted the following responses" "Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs: Even taking into account the effects of weather, Hatzius calls the report "still a fairly sizable disappointment," and the report is "definitely weaker beyond that factor," according to Bloomberg. . . . David Ader, head of government bond strategy at CRT Capital: "A weak gain of course, with the oddity of the drop in the unemployment rate a function of a drop in labor participation, so people leaving labor force, and so not a strong sign."
While many people blamed the weather for the drop, folks there is always weather and that does not explain 10.4 million people being out of work. The facts show that the Obama administration may be supportive of extending unemployment benefits but it is not filled with employment friendly policies or decisions makers. Consider the Obama administrations delays of the Keystone XL Pipelines where the "State Department estimated that 42,000 jobs would result from the construction of the pipeline."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reponded to the Department of Labor’s unemployment report for December 2013: “Every American has a right to ask the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ Today’s disappointing report shows, once again, that the president’s policies are failing too many Americans, many of whom have simply stopped looking for work. There are more families living in poverty today than there were before the president took office, and instead of making it easier to find a good-paying job, Washington has been more focused on making it less difficult to live without one. The top priority of middle-class families who are struggling in this economy, and the top priority of the people’s House, is creating new jobs. That’s why we have passed dozens of pro-growth jobs bills that would help improve job training, expand energy and infrastructure development, promote education and innovation, and protect small businesses from ObamaCare. The longer Senate Democrats stall these bills, the longer Americans will be waiting to find the new job they need and deserve.”
Speaking on behalf of Millennial (ages 19-29 years old), Evan Feinberg, President of Generation Opportunity, issued the following statement: "The unacceptably high youth unemployment rate is troubling because we are the most creative, innovative generation in American history. We are developing new technologies, saving lives, and making this country better. The only thing holding us back is the constraint of government. The real shame is there are easy policy solutions that would free our generation to realize our potential. We need to stop spending our economy into a tailspin and eliminate red-tape and other barriers to work." In addition, Generation Opportunity noted, "The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.880 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs."
The effective December 2013 unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, adjusted for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 15.9 percent. Unemployment rates for 18-29 year olds by various classifications are African-Americans 24.2%, Hispanics 16.8% and Women 13.7%.
Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens responded to December's job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Another half a million people dropped out of the American labor force in December. You can ignore every other statistic and spin coming out of this Administration about the job market, this is the only data point that matters. That is a half million more dreams shattered as Americans give up on traditional, legal paths to economic success and wealth.
"Since Obama became president, the number of people who are considered to be in the civilian job eligible population has increased by just shy of eleven million people, but the number of people who have entered the work force has only increased by about 730 thousand people. Quite simply our nation cannot survive when fewer than sixty six out a thousand working aged people are entering the workforce. Of those sixty six who want a job, about five of them are unemployed. That is Obama's economic legacy."
Over time, the unprecedented harm being done to the institution and tradition of the Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is becoming more and more apparent. Following his use of the nuclear option, breaking the Senate rules to change them in order to shut out the minority party, and his constant blockade on amendments to legislation, even The New York Times has noticed what’s happening. It reports today, “With his strong-armed change to the filibuster rule and an iron-fisted control of the Senate floor, Senator Harry Reid has engaged in the greatest consolidation of congressional power since Newt Gingrich ruled the House, unleashing a bitterness that may derail efforts to extend unemployment insurance. Mr. Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, on Thursday dismissed all proposed Republican amendments to the unemployment extension, even those drafted by Republicans who had handed Democrats a victory on Tuesday by voting to take up the bill. . . . A Republican effort to try to reopen the amendment process failed on a party-line vote, 42 to 54, setting up a showdown next week that is likely to end in the bill’s demise, Democrats conceded. . . . To Republicans, it was only the latest — and one of the boldest — slaps in the face. . . . Mr. Reid’s brutish style matters beyond the marbled chamber of the Senate. Senate legislation has increasingly turned into a battle over amendments and Mr. Reid’s uncompromising control over the process. The six Republicans who voted to take up the unemployment bill on Tuesday expected at least to be allowed votes on their amendments to shape the legislation. Instead, Mr. Reid dismissed all Republican proposals as unacceptable and then proposed his own new unemployment deal.”
Reid has even been shutting out Democrats from amending bills, the NYT notes. “The unemployment bill is only the most recent example of legislation that has become stuck in a procedural quagmire, affecting senators in both parties. A long-awaited showdown between two Democratic senators, Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, over the military’s approach to sexual assault fizzled late last year when they were denied any votes on an annual military policy bill that usually is shaped over weeks on the Senate floor. A bipartisan bill on Iran sanctions has yet to receive floor consideration. And Democrats, eager to replace a tax on medical devices that helps pay for the Affordable Care Act, have been denied a vote.”
The Times continues, “The bitterness burst into the open on Wednesday afternoon. With virtually all of his Republican colleagues watching, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, took to the Senate floor to deliver a nearly hour long lament about the destruction that Mr. Reid has wrought, describing the Senate as a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by a dictatorial autocrat despised by allies and foes alike. He compared Mr. Reid’s leadership to the famously strong-armed style of Lyndon B. Johnson when he was Senate majority leader in the 1950s, not a compliment in Mr. McConnell’s account.”
In her Wall Street Journal column, Kimberley Strassel puts a finer point on things: “The popular judgment that Washington's dysfunction is the result of ‘partisanship’ misses a crucial point. Washington is currently gridlocked because of the particular partisanship of one man: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. . . . It's often said the 113th Congress is on track to become the ‘least productive’ in history—but that tagline obscures crucial details. The Republican House in fact passed more than 200 bills in 2013. . . . [N]early a dozen were bipartisan pieces of legislation that drew more than 250 Republicans and Democrats to tackle pressing issues — jobs bills, protections against cyberattack, patent reform, prioritizing funding for pediatric research, and streamlining regulations for pipelines. These laws all went to die in Mr. Reid's Senate graveyard. . . . This is the norm in Mr. Reid's Senate, and for years he has been vocally and cleverly blaming the chamber's uselessness on Republican filibusters.”
“This is a joke,” Strassel explains, “as evidenced by recent history. . . . [The Senate] didn't suddenly break overnight. What did happen is the Senate Democrats' filibuster-proof majority in the first years of the Obama administration—when Mr. Reid got a taste for unfettered power—and then the GOP takeover of the House in 2011. That is when the Senate broke, as it was the point at which Mr. Reid chose to subvert its entire glorious history to two of his own partisan aims: Protecting his majority and acting as gatekeeper for the White House. Determined to protect his vulnerable members from tough votes, the majority leader has unilaterally killed the right to offer amendments. Since July, Republicans have been allowed to offer . . . four. Determined to shield the administration from legislation the president opposes, Mr. Reid has unilaterally killed committee work, since it might produce bipartisan bills. Similarly, he's refused to take up bills that have bipartisan support like approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, repealing ObamaCare's medical-device tax, and passing new Iran sanctions.”
Strassel adds, “Here's how the Senate ‘works’ these days. Mr. Reid writes the legislation himself, thereby shutting Republicans out of the committee drafting. Then he outlaws amendments. So yes, there are filibusters. They have become the GOP's only means of protesting Mr. Reid's total control over what is meant to be a democratic body. It isn't that the Senate can't work; it's that Sen. Reid won't let it.Pushed over the brink by Mr. Reid's November power play—scrapping the filibuster for Obama nominees—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell began 2014 with a rip-roaring Senate-floor speech. On Wednesday he set the record straight on the Reid tactics that have created Senate dysfunction.”
In that speech, Leader McConnell pointed out, “The big problem has never been the rules. Senators from both parties have revered and defended the rules during our nation’s darkest hours. The real problem is an attitude that views the Senate as an assembly line for one party's partisan legislative agenda, rather than as a place to build consensus to solve national problems. . . . As I see it, a major turning point came during the final years of the Bush administration, when the Democrat Majority held vote after vote on bills they knew wouldn’t pass. . . . [O]ver the past several years the Senate seems more like a campaign studio than a serious legislative body. . . . And when the Majority Leader decided a few weeks back to defy bipartisan opposition by changing the rules that govern this place with a simple majority vote, he broke something.” Tags:DOL, BLS, Labor Department, unemployment report, December 2013, U.S. Senate, Harry Reid, dictatorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Senator Reid, House Majority Leader, Blocked GOP Amendments, Denied Roll Call Vote, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Cato Institute: The Department of Energy oversees nuclear weapons sites and subsidizes conventional and alternative fuels. The department has a history of fiscal and environmental mismanagement. Furthermore, misguided energy regulations have caused large losses to consumers and the broader economy over the decades.
The department spent about $29 billion 2013, or $240 for every U.S. household. It employs 17,000 workers directly and oversees about 100,000 contract workers at research facilities across the nation.
Tags:downsize, Department of Energy, energy subsidies, energy regulation, Cato InstituteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: As someone who started out his career as a newspaper reporter and editor, discovering that those in public relations pitching their stories were making much more, it didn’t take long for me to enter that profession. For me, the truth is always the best PR.
As the mainstream print and broadcast media’s editors and reporters filled up with those graduating from the schools and universities of the 1960s and since, it became more and more obvious that reporting anything fairly and honestly about the Republican Party and its candidates was a very low priority. Many arrived at their job with a negative image firmly intact.
Take civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. It was the Republican Party that came into being largely in opposition to slavery and it was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who put in motion the freeing of slaves.
That was followed for a century by a Democratic Party that, in the South, existed to oppress blacks and deprive them of the Constitutional rights. And yet blacks are a major part of the party’s coalition!
The Democratic Party is most identified with the 1930s Great Depression era in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted government spending as a way out of the economic doldrums and led the creation of Social Security, followed by Medicare and Medicaid under Lyndon Johnson, but it took World War Two to break free of the Depression and the two social programs are, for all intents and purposes, insolvent and will be without some reform.
When Americans wanted to see the economy improve they elected Republicans like Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and the Bush father and son. Bush43, serving when 9/11 occurred and initiating two Middle East conflicts, added five trillion over two terms. Obama added six trillion in his first term.
Obama has set some kind of record for refusing to negotiate with Republicans in Congress and his namesake “legacy” legislation, Obamacare, was passed in 2009 without a single Republican vote. If you have been negatively affected by it, keep in mind it is a totally Democratic Party bill with origins that reach back to Hillarycare in the 1990s and earlier.
One gets different figures regarding the membership of the two parties but one source says fifty-five million belong to the Republican Party. That is less than the seventy-two million in the Democratic Party.
A record 42% of Americans now identify themselves as independents, the highest since Gallup began measuring this over the past 25 years. Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest ever over the time span. Democratic identification, 31%, has remained the same, unchanged from the last four years, but down from 36% in 2008. Americans are bailing out of the two-party system.
When I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s, the “image” of the Republican Party was one composed of upper class, country club and corporate members. I think that “image” remains to this day. The choice of Mitt Romney in the 2012 election reinforced it. Ironically, he lost because several million Republicans stayed home on Election Day. Why? Because serious Republicans—conservatives—did not see a party or a candidate that vigorously defended their core values and the policies they want enacted. What victories the GOP had in 2012 were as often as not the result of the infusion of new blood called Tea Party candidates.
There were other factors such as the growing diversity of the American population and the Republican Party is not reaching out to them. They don’t receive much support from the black population, but neither did they garner much from Hispanics and Asians. If the Republican Party is only interested in white people, they will continue to lose elections.
What worries me most as 2014 begins is what passes for the leadership of the Republican Party. Neither John Boehner, nor Mitch McConnell, majority leader in the House and minority leader in the Senate, have any support. A Public Policy poll in November of Republicans gave only 15% to Boehner and 4% to McConnell.
From the point of view of a public relations counselor, I can tell you that, in addition to the bias of the mainstream media, the Democrats have waged a far more successful PR program against the Republicans for a very long time. It is the Democrats who have portrayed the Republican Party as anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-poor. These are lies, but the sheer repetition has been effective.
The GOP wants the government to spend less because, if it doesn’t, the nation’s financial system will collapse, but I suspect many Americans have not grasped this simple truth, particularly if they are among those receiving a government check of some kind and nearly half of the population is.
Republicans want to avoid the disaster of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” that did not end it, but did expand the welfare system. It took a Republican Congress during the Clinton years that reformed welfare, even though Clinton, of course, now takes credit for it.
In 2014 Obama will talk endlessly about “income inequality.” There is no such thing in the real world. There are people who earn more because they are worth more, are more productive, provide services people want, or have taken on the risks involving investment and business development. What he never mentions is “income mobility”, the ability to earn more. Obama is, in fact, crushing the middle class. Obamacare is filled with hidden taxes, higher costs, and fines.
When the GOP opposed the raising of the borrowing limit yet again, leading to the shutdown, it was widely said that it hurt their image even though it was Obama who had ended the White House tours in response to sequestration limits and, during the shutdown, ordered that veterans be kept from visiting their open air memorial in the nation’s capital. Who’s cold-blooded? Obama or a GOP trying to save the nation from dangerous levels of government spending and borrowing?
The Republican Party is in trouble because the nation is in trouble. We live in a nation where the annual killing of a million unborn babies is regarded as okay by a large part of the population in which the number who believe in God is decreasing. By contrast, traditional supporters of the Republican Party are southern, white, evangelical Christians.
When 2013 began, the Republican Party’s “image” was at a historical low; according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 62% of the public regarded the GOP as out of touch with the American people, 56% thought it was not open to change, and 52% thought it was too “extreme.” The GOP’s favorable rating has not been above 50% since shortly after George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, a decade ago.
Ironically, Republicans are more critical of their party than Democrats! They do, however, credit it for its strong principles “and 80% of Republicans say their party is looking out for the country’s long-term future.” They’re right.
If the Republican Party needs assistance to get its message out, the Democratic Party has given it a gift that will keep on giving all the way to the 2014 midterm elections in November and beyond to 2016’s national elections. Nothing has demonstrated the arrogance, duplicity, and total incompetence of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration than Obamacare. The GOP must commit openly and repeatedly to repealing it.
What worries me most as 2014 begins is what passes for the leadership of the Republican Party. Neither Boehner, nor McConnell, have any support. A Public Policy poll in November of Republicans gave only 15% to Boehner and 4% to McConnell.
Worse still, McConnell on an Oct 30 conference call organized by Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization for large donors said that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is “nothing but a bunch of bullies” that he plans to “punch in the nose.” Boehner has expressed similar animosity. In effect GOP elites have declared war on the Tea Party movement. There is no PR that can justify such stupidity and arrogance.
The Republican National Party has to begin to raise the funds to craft a campaign of television commercials that will improve the party’s image in 2014. Its candidates will need to talk about Obamacare until they are blue in the face.
------------ Alan Caruba 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:GOP Major PR, Alan Caruba, Warnig, SignsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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