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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 18, 2014
Even Sayet - Updated Presentation On The Modern Liberal
Bill Smith, Editor on June 27, 2008, I shared an already year old video of Evan Sayet speaking at the Heritage Foundation. The title of his speech was How Modern Liberals Think. Fortunately, I have since then met and spent time with Evan. I would love to see him speak at even more conferences.
Fortunately, Evan Sayet recently spoke at the Conservative Forum. Howard Myers posted Sayet's hour and 15 minute presentation. So get a cup of coffee and listen to an updated presentation relating current events within the context of "How Modern Liberal Think." Meyers introduces the video with the following comments:According to David Horowitz, Mr. Sayet is, "simply the best political comedian working in America today", and a more serious thinker. In the latter capacity, Evan delivered the speech to the Heritage Foundation which Andrew Breitbart called "one of the five most important conservative speeches ever given," a lecture that is now by far the single most viewed talk in their history. Evan has written and/or produced in just about every medium there is, including TV's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" (for which he apologizes), the multiple festival award-winning documentary "Dodo" and authored The Kindergarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks (Evan will be selling and signing his new book). He was also the original writer for the long-running, cult classic game show, "Win Ben Stein's Money." Evan lives in Los Angeles.
Tags:Evan Sayet, presentation, Conservative Forum, liberals, modern liberals, liberal journalists, politicians, How Modern Liberals Think, liberals, news, PoliticsTo 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: A President who thinks that extending unemployment compensation “creates jobs” is so out of touch with reality that it should come as no surprise that Obama has the worst record of unemployment rates since the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
The latest employment figures for December showed that the economy only added 74,000 non-farm jobs, the fewest in three years! The government claims that the unemployment rate dropped 0.3%—the first time in 60 months that it dropped below 7%. And the official rate is bogus. The government only counts people as unemployed only if they are actively looking for work.
As of October 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that “The U.S. now has 90.6 million ‘non-institutionalized’ men and women over the age of 16 not working—an all-time high. That’s 10 million above the 80.5 million when President Obama took office. With total unemployment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”
In a September 2013 edition of Investor’s Business Daily, Betsey McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “Beating Obama-Care”, wrote that “After 4-1/2 years of the Obama presidency, an unprecedented number of Americans have given up looking for work, wages are stagnating, low-wage earners are suffering most and the U.S. is fast becoming a nation of part-time workers.”
You can thank Obamacare for the rise in part-time workers as it increased the cost of hiring full-time workers and many businesses have reduced the hours of workers to avoid incurring it. Obamacare is a job killer. From Jan 1 through July 31, 2013, 77% of jobs created were part-time. Fewer than one out of four people got hired for full-time jobs. This is the opposite of a normal economy.
The official Labor Department figure of seven percent (7%) unemployment is a fiction as it does not include the millions who have given up looking for work. Mort Zuckerman, the chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, writing in a July 2013 edition of The Wall Street Journal, said “The unemployment figure so common in headlines these days is utterly misleading. An estimated 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.”
McCaughey noted that since 2008 Congress has extended jobless benefits from a maximum of 26 weeks to as many as 99 weeks every year, but failed to do so for 2014. While benefits ended for more than 1.9 million unemployed, the President and Congress went on vacation.
Now the most important piece of legislation according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a three-month extension of benefits. In an election year, this is likely to be extended repeatedly as Republicans are being described as heartless and indifferent, but the facts reveal a President who has been responsible for the millions of unemployed.
According to Paul Harrington, the director of Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy, “Back in 2007, 7% unemployment would seem disastrously high, but now it’s more like a humble brag.” For those that are working, the “fiscal cliff” agreement with Congress included an increase of the Social Security payroll tax that raised it from 4.2% to 6.2% which translates for a worker earning $30,000 a year to a loss of $50 a week less in take-home pay.
The percentage of Americans who have a job or are seeking one plunged to a 34-year-low in the spring of 2013 to 63%. Little wonder that a record number of Americans households saw their real income drop by $2,627 and the number of people in poverty increased by approximately 6,667,000 according to the Census Bureau.
A record 46,496,000 are now poor by government standards. This represents an increase of 16.73% from 2008 to 2012.
Obama’s policies have created a nation of millions on some form of government dole. By June 2013, a record 23,116,928 American households were enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—AKA food stamps—according to data released by the Department of Agriculture. That outnumbers the population of the entire Northeastern United States or those living in the entire Western U.S.
By December 2013, the total number of people now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,988,269, up from the previous record of 10,982,920 set in November, according to the Social Security Administration. The average monthly benefit was $1,146.43, an increase from the previous December. CNSNews.com reported that the number of Americans getting disability benefits exceeded the entire population of Greece. The number has increased every month for 202 straight months.
The poverty rate has stood at 15% for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s, famed for LBJ’s “war on poverty.” More than $20 trillion has been spent on poverty since then. Today the government spends nearly $1 trillion annually on 80 federal means-tested programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for the poor and low-income Americans.
The poverty level is defined by the government as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four. The poverty is directly attributable in part to Obama’s failed efforts to improve the nation’s economy.
To put it in other terms, the U.S. spent $3.7 trillion on welfare over the past five years that Obama has been in office.
New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, reported in October 2013, noted that “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects.
It isn’t even the entire amount because states contribute more than $200 billion each year, primarily in the form of low-income health care. And, of course, Obamacare has already produced an increase of those enrolling in Medicaid.
The statistics all add up to a nation in which Americans are worse off since the election and reelection of President Obama and we have another three years in which to endure his historic failure to turn around the economy. What can we expect from a President who thinks that unemployment compensation “creates jobs”?
The government does not “create jobs”; the private sector does that and, under Obama, it has been under attack with a vast increase in government regulations and policies that produce unemployment.
Is there “income inequality” in America? Yes, there always has been, but what Obama does not talk about is the “income mobility” that permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving. It is another Big Lie from a President who is wedded to Marxist “solutions” that have never worked.
---------------------- 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:America, Unemployment, Sinkhole, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)calls on President Obama to help make this a year of bipartisan action by urging his party’s leaders in the Senate to take up House-passed jobs bills: “Mr. President, the American people haven’t backed down and neither can we. Call on your party to give these jobs bills a vote. Let’s keep the focus on employment, not unemployment. Let’s do what Americans have always done and pull together towards better days and a more prosperous future.”
Transcript of Rep. Marlin Stutzman comments:
Hello. I’m Congressman Marlin Stutzman, a fourth-generation farmer, and I have the honor of serving Indiana’s Third District.
Across the country, from small towns to inner cities, too many of our fellow citizens feel like the American Dream is out of reach.
Our economy just isn’t creating enough jobs. More than ten million Americans are unemployed. Last month, roughly 350,000 Americans—a little more than the population of Tampa, Florida—stopped looking for work. Health care premiums have gone up. And millions of families have lost their insurance because of the new health care law.
But Americans don’t need to read another jobs report to know that our economy is struggling.
For the past five years, they’ve lived it.
They’ve spent sleepless nights worrying about rent checks, car payments, and student loans. They’ve made that long walk to the mailbox, running through the numbers to cover the next round of bills. And after checking homework, they’ve combed through job listings.
This isn’t new. It’s daily life. But every morning these men and women wake up with a determination and a purpose. Like all of life’s best things, the pursuit of happiness isn’t easy.
That’s something I learned growing up on the farm and something Americans have always believed.
That’s why we don’t give up. It’s just not who we are.
The American people haven’t quit and neither have Republicans.
We’re listening and we’re trying to help any way that we can. In the House, we’ve passed dozens of good, common-sense jobs bills.
An all-of-the-above energy plan will get Americans back to work with immediate solutions like approving the Keystone pipeline and moving forward with offshore energy production.
The SKILLS Act rebuilds and updates our job training programs by cutting government overlap and equipping unemployed Americans with the tools they need.
We’ve upended Washington’s hurtful ‘regulate first, ask later’ approach to red tape and fought arbitrary regulations that restrict access to much-needed capital.
We restored bipartisan welfare reform that helped millions of Americans trade government checks for paychecks.
This is just a start.
The House has passed dozens of jobs bills, many with bipartisan support. Each one would help Americans get the jobs they deserve. Unfortunately, all of these proposals are gathering dust in the Senate.
President Obama’s latest slogan is a “year of action” but his administration and his party’s leaders in the Senate are sitting on the bench.
They seem to have surrendered to a new normal of high unemployment. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with out-of-work Americans, they’re focused on making it easier to live without a job. They’re focused on bigger government and less opportunity. More debt and fewer jobs.
That might sound good in Washington but back home that’s not the American Dream folks are chasing. It’s definitely not what an economic recovery looks like. And it’s not something we have to settle for.
Republicans hope the president is serious about making 2014 a “year of action.” It should start by giving each of these jobs bills an up-or-down vote in the Senate.
Mr. President, the American people haven’t backed down and neither can we. Call on your party to give these jobs bills a vote.
Let’s keep the focus on employment, not unemployment.
Let’s do what Americans have always done and pull together towards better days and a more prosperous future.
Thank you for listening.Tags:U.S. Representative, Marlin Stutzman, Weekly Republican Address, creating jobs, jobs, growing economyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Senate Dems Have Stalled 6 Months On The Fairness for American Families Act
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: On July 17, 2013, 22 Democrats joined 229 Republicans to overwhelmingly pass bipartisan legislation delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year. The mandate requires Americans to purchase expensive, government-designed insurance or pay a hefty penalty tax. Today marks six full months that the Senate has failed to take any action on the bill. It’s shameful.
During the six months of do-nothing Senate doing nothing, the case for delaying the mandate – always despised by the public – has only grown stronger.
Prior to the House vote, the president arbitrarily – and with no apparent statutory authority – delayed Obamacare’s employer mandate for one year, giving a break to the biggest businesses, but not for small businesses and American families. That’s why the House bill was named the Fairness for American Families Act. Because a bipartisan majority of the House thought individuals deserved the same relief.
That was July. In October, Healthcare.gov crashed on the launching pad, leaving millions of Americas confused and many unable to buy plans even if they tried their level best. But the Senate refused to consider not punishing those very Americans with a penalty tax. That’s outrageous.
Then millions of Americans who had insurance found out that Obamacare forced their policies to be canceled – contrary to the infamous “you can keep it” lie told constantly for years by President Obama and his Democratic Senate allies. People who lost their insurance would, adding insult to injury, be hammered with the mandate tax as well. But the Senate continued to ignore the House bill. That’s unconscionable.
Even president Obama agreed; just before Christmas, the administration issued a blanket waiver for Americans whose health plans were canceled by Obamacare. As Washington Post liberal blogger Ezra Klein put it: “Obamacare itself is the hardship” that qualifies cancelees for a hardship exemption.
So those people still lost the plans they liked, but at least they won’t face the penalty tax this year. But how much better is it to punish people for being uninsured who were already uninsured? It isn’t, but that is exactly what will happen as long as the Senate refuses to act.
Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008 by attacking Hillary Clinton on precisely this issue, saying: “It’s not a mandate on government to provide health insurance; it’s a mandate on individuals to purchase it… In some cases, there are people who are paying fines and still can’t afford it, so now they’re worse off than they were. They don’t have health insurance and they’re paying a fine. In order for you to force people to get health insurance, you’ve got to have a very harsh penalty.”
He flipped under pressure from the health insurance industry to get Obamacare passed. But the argument he made back then is still true. The mandate doesn’t help anybody except the big insurance companies padding their bottom line.
Today marks six full months since the House passed the Fairness for American Families Act to give all Americans relief from the mandate. Yet Senate Democrats are so adamantly opposed to even allowing a vote on it that for weeks they have stalled action on their supposed priority of jobless benefits just to avoid a vote on delaying the mandate.
Cato Institute: The Department of Labor's budget is dominated by the costly unemployment insurance system. It also runs numerous employment and job training programs, which are generally ineffective and duplicative of services available in the private sector. And the department oversees an array of labor union laws and workplace regulations that restrict freedom and are costly to workers and businesses.
The department spent about $95 billion 2013, or $800 for every U.S. household. It employs 17,000 workers.
Tags:downsize, Department of Labor, unemployment insurance, employment and training programs, labor union laws, trade adjustment assistance, minimum wage laws, CATO To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
President Addresses NSA | Obamacare Serial Failures Leading to Lost Jobs
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Today In Washington, D.C. - Jan. 17, 2014
The President delivered a speech at 11 AM on the "Review of Signal Intelligence" which addressed the purported actions of the NSA. You may read his prepared speech here. Of noted importance was President Obama call for ending the National Security Agency's ability to store phone data from millions of Americans, and asked Congress, the Justice Department and the intelligence community to help decide who should hold these records. Also, he declared that "the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security," and "we take their privacy concerns into account." In summary, the president's speech does not resolve the issue> May be some his flock whose feathers have been ruffled are temporarily calmed. As for conservatives and liberty minded activists, his speech is just another in a long list of speeches. The debate over National Security, spying, wiretaps, and collection of information continues.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) response to President Obama’s speech: “Our national security programs exist to root out terrorist threats and save American lives – and they have. Because the president has failed to adequately explain the necessity of these programs, the privacy concerns of some Americans are understandable. When considering any reforms, however, keeping Americans safe must remain our top priority. When lives are stake, the president must not allow politics to cloud his judgment. I look forward to learning more about how the new procedure for accessing data will not put Americans at greater risk. And the House will review any legislative reforms proposed by the administration, but we will not erode the operational integrity of critical programs that have helped keep America safe."
The Senate reconvened at 11:15 AM today for a pro-forma session. Pro-forma sessions will also be held January 21 and 10:30 AM and January 24 at 9:30 AM. The Senate will reconvene on January 27, when it will consider the motion to proceed to S. 1926, the flood insurance bill.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 72-26 to invoke cloture on the House message to accompany H.R. 3547, the vehicle for the omnibus Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations bill and then voted 72-26 to concur to the House message, sending the bill to the president for his signature.
The House reconvened for 1 minute and then adjourned until Tuesday Jan 21 at 1 PM.
While the focus of recent stories about Obamacare has been on the serial failures of the exchanges and the hardships the law is causing for families through cancelled coverage and higher premiums, it’s worth recalling that another consequence of this poorly conceived legislation is lost jobs in many parts of the country.
WOOD TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reported, “A new report out Thursday by Grand Valley State University found that there are at least 1,000 fewer jobs in West Michigan as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare. The report was conducted by GVSU economics professors Leslie Muller and Paul Isely in collaboration with Priority Heath. A survey was sent to local businesses with more than 50 employers in Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties. ‘Firms are actually holding off on hiring or their reducing their hiring that they were thinking they were going to be doing because of the ACA,’ said Muller. The 1,000 jobs lost does not include the number of workers in West Michigan that have lost hours to ensure that they are kept as part-time employees. Nearly one-third of companies said they have cut employees' hours. ‘We're talking about a thousand jobs in West Michigan that would have been here absent the ACA,’ Muller said. The study found lower-skilled jobs tend to be suffering the most. ‘When you look at those firms that are decreasing hours and putting off hiring, it was mainly the lower-skilled firms, the smaller and lower-skilled firms,’ Muller said. Firms are also making changes to the health insurance programs they offer employees by increasing the share cost with employees, using a high-deductible plan and changing prescription drug coverage. . . . Muller and Isely also found that the ACA is also affecting the economic growth of West Michigan. According to the report growth will be 0.1 to 0.2 percentages points lower in Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties over the next year because of the ACA. ‘I think everyone has to be concerned about the high heath care costs,’ Muller said. Muller said the report is reflective of the ACA's affects on businesses nationwide.”
Meanwhile, other small businesses aren’t finding Obamacare’s plans for them attractive for many of the same reasons families are struggling in the wake of the law: higher costs, fewer choices, and more regulations. Bloomberg News writes, “Enrollment in Obamacare health plans for small businesses is off to a slow start, leaving in doubt whether the U.S. program can attract enough customers to satisfy insurers. Greeted by higher premiums, less generous coverage and more paperwork, small businesses that offer health coverage to employees are choosing to renew existing plans rather than buy them through President Barack Obama’s program. Complicating matters is the government’s failure to complete the online exchange for small businesses; in 36 states, there will be no website offering ready information on the plans until November. The program is supposed to help insure the 31 million people who work at companies with fewer than 50 employees. In Kentucky, just 14 companies signed up for Obamacare’s small business plans as of Jan. 1, while Colorado enrolled 101, and Connecticut 106. . . . A core part of the U.S. health-care overhaul is the employer mandate that requires companies with 50 or more workers to offer affordable health insurance by 2015 or face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee. While smaller businesses aren’t required to offer medical coverage, if they do, the plans must meet Obamacare standards starting this year. . . . Part of the lag can also be blamed on SHOP plans that are too expensive, with premiums as much as 90 percent higher than what some firms paid last year, according to John Humkey, the owner of Employee Benefit Associates Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based insurance broker. . . . ‘The small-business owners, while they are out there working hard to manage their business, their focus is not on trying to understand the health-care law in order to put together a benefit package,’ Humkey said.”
Of course, these are just today’s Obamacare problems. The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein writes an important reminder about other consequences likely to come. “As the major provisions of the health care law go into effect in 2014, several elements threaten to limit Americans’ access to care,” he points out. “Obama's health care program boosts the number of Americans with insurance by offering subsidies to individuals to purchase policies on government-run exchanges and by expanding the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid. But Medicaid pays doctors significantly less than private insurance or even Medicare, making doctors less likely to accept beneficiaries as patients. A study by the National Center for Health Statistics, published in 2012 by Health Affairs, found that 31 percent of doctors were not accepting Medicaid patients in 2011, though the numbers varied by state. In California, for instance, 43 percent of doctors weren't accepting new Medicaid patients, and in New Jersey, the number was a staggering 60 percent.” Further, he notes, “[M]illions of Americans who saw their existing plans canceled as a result of changes stemming from the health care law will be forced to seek coverage that offers fewer choices. Additionally, one of the ways in which the health care law plans to offset the $1.8 trillion cost of expanding coverage is to extract savings from Medicare. But in a May 2013 report, Paul Spitalnic, the acting chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, warned that as a result of the cuts, ‘Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance. Well before that point, Congress would have to intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market and the severe problems with beneficiary access to care that would result.’”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Look: the folks each of us were sent here to represent – not the government – should be the ones choosing plans that make the most sense for their families. And when our colleagues on the other side go around referring to insurance being lost as ‘junk’ that’s just beyond offensive to the people we represent. . . . Because we were sent here to solve problems, not to make them worse as Obamacare does. So let’s erase that mistake and start over with real reform.” Tags:President Obama, speech,signal Intelligence,NSA, Obamacare, serial failures, lost jobsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama’s plan is to reduce American influence and prestige because he thinks we are too dominant in the world, and military power should be redistributed just as he wants to spread the wealth around inside our country. ~ Phyllis Schlafly
by Phyllis Schlafly: The takeover of Fallujah by Al Qaeda wipes out our costly 2004 victory when we captured Fallujah at the cost of 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action and hundreds more wounded. Fallujah isn’t just an Obama mistake; it’s the exemplar of Obama’s disastrous foreign and military policies designed to reduce the power and prestige of America on the world stage.
Obama’s military policies are not merely based on his incompetence. His military policies are part of his personal ideology to redistribute power in the world, which is the other side of the coin of his Saul-Alinsky ideology to reduce our standard of living by drastically limiting our energy use to the level of poorer nations.
When Obama told Joe the plumber that Obama wanted to “spread the wealth around,” that was only part of his plan. He also wants to spread power around to achieve his we-are-all-equal worldview.
Just as Obama thinks it is unfair that the United States enjoys a higher standard of living than the rest of the world (even though we earned it), he thinks it is unfair that America has more military power than other countries. When he talks about his goal of “fundamentally transforming” the United States, he means he wants to reduce both our economic and our military superiority.
Obama has failed miserably to negotiate Iran out of its steady progression toward becoming a nuclear nation. It’s been a year and a half since the Benghazi murders of our Ambassador and three other Americans, but nobody has paid a price and they remain unavenged.
Obama’s intervention in Egypt was an unmitigated disaster that replaced a pro-American dictator with the Muslim Brotherhood, a vicious opponent of Western values of freedom and representative government. His strange support for the Muslim Brotherhood indicates a willingness to align us with the Brotherhood’s revolutionary agenda.
Afghanistan is releasing 72 prisoners the U.S. says are a security threat to the United States. Syria is in chaos, South Sudan has fallen into civil war, and Al Qaeda now controls more territory in the Arab world than at any time in history, an area that stretches more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East.
Most of what Obama says is carefully scripted by his handlers and placed on the teleprompter for him to read. When Obama is caught without a teleprompter, we get some insight on how radical he really is.
That is what happened at the summit in South Korea in 2012 when Obama was heard on an open mic saying to the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. … This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Medvedev replied, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
That colloquy tells us all we need to know about Obama’s plan to destroy America’s military superiority. Obama felt that, after his reelection, he would no longer be accountable to the American public on “particularly missile defense,” which Obama has always opposed.
The United States has always had anti-missile superiority, a priceless protection against the murderous aims of Iran, Communist China and North Korea. Russia has been trying to get us to abandon it ever since the days of Ronald Reagan, and his steadfast refusal to give it up at the Reykjavik summit with Gorbachev was a major factor in Reagan’s winning the Cold War.
Robert Gates’ new book, Duty, describes an ambivalent commander-in-chief who did not believe in his own military buildup in Afghanistan, and mainly just wanted to get out of Iraq. Gates says the only military matter “about which I ever sensed deep passion on his part was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” the law disliked by the gays that Obama got Congress to repeal.
Our friends are wondering why our President has deliberately reduced American power and influence to levels of the 1930s and turned his back on U.S. supporters and allies. He has openly made nice with adversaries such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Tehran’s ayatollahs, and allowed Chinese penetration to rise to higher and higher levels.
This is not just a series of mistakes or bad luck. Obama’s plan is to reduce American influence and prestige because he thinks we are too dominant in the world, and military power should be redistributed just as he wants to spread the wealth around inside our country. Our allies are dismayed by Obama’s foolish abandonment of our preeminent military strength because they depend on us for their own security.
Americans will have to depend on the election of U.S. Senators in November who commit to uphold the 2012 Republican Party Platform: “We are the party of peace through strength…. American military superiority has been the cornerstone of a strategy that seeks to deter aggression or defeat those who threaten our national security interests.”
-------------------- 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:President Obama, betrays, United States, military superiority, Bill Gates, new book, Duty, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle ForumTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ron Paul: Congress’s decline from the Founders’ vision as “first among equals” in government to an echo chamber of the unitary executive, has been a slow but steady process. In the process we have seen a steady stream of unconstitutional wars and civil liberties abuses at home. Nowhere is this decline more evident than in the stark contrast between the Congressional response to intelligence agencies’ abuses during the post-Watergate era and its response to the far more serious NSA abuses uncovered in recent years.
In 1975, Senator Frank Church (D-ID) convened an historic select committee to investigate the US intelligence services for possible criminality in the wake of Watergate. Thanks in part to reporting by Seymour Hersh and others, abuses by the CIA, NSA, and FBI had come to light, including the monitoring of US peace activists.
The Church Committee played its proper Congressional role, checking the power of the executive branch as it had been spiraling out of control since the 1950s and the early CIA covert action programs. The Committee sought to protect US citizens against abuses by their government after those abuses had come to light through leaks of secret government documents.
The parallel to the present NSA scandals cannot be ignored. What is completely different, however, is that Congress is today acting as an advocate for the executive branch’s continuing abuses, and as an opponent to the civil liberties of US citizens. Not only has Congress – with a precious few exceptions – accepted the NSA’s mass spying program on American citizens, it has actually been encouraging the president to continue and expand the program!
Where once there was a Congressional committee to challenge and oppose the president’s abuse of power, today the president himself has been even allowed by a complacent Congress to hand pick his own NSA review commission!
Are we really expected to believe that a commission appointed by the president to look into the activities of the president’s intelligence services will come to anything more than a few superficial changes to give the impression of real reform?
One of the president’s commission recommendations is that the NSA cease holding our phone records and demand that the private phone companies retain those records instead – for the NSA to access as it wishes. This is supposed to be reform?
The president will make a speech this Friday to tell the rest of us which of the suggestions made by his own commission he will decide to implement. Congress has no problem with that. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) admitted last week that Congress has no intention of asserting itself in the process. “It’s my hope that [Obama will] do as much as he can through the executive process because the legislative process will be difficult, perilous and long.”
Senator Church famously said back in 1975:In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air… We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left... There would be no place to hide…. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”Have we reached that point? Let us hope not. Real reform begins with the repeal of the PATRIOT Act and of the 2001 Authorization for the use of military force. If we keep our eye on that goal and not allow ourselves to become distracted with the president’s phony commissions we might force Congress to listen.
-------------- Dr. Ron Paul, Chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is a former U.S.Congressman (R-TX) for 21 years. He twice sought the Republican Party presidential nomination for President. As a MD, he was an Air Force flight surgeon and has delivered over 4000 babies. Paul is an active writer on political and economic theory. He is known for his criticism of American foreign, domestic, and monetary policies, the military–industrial complex, the War on Drugs, and the Federal Reserve. He is also known for his love of country, government complying with the U.S. Constitution. Tags:Congress, President, NSA, Ron Paul, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Well, viva the difference, but one does have to wonder why so many women of the present era feel no need for a man as a husband or father.
In May, the Census Bureau released a report noting that more than six out of ten women who gave birth in their early 20s were unmarried. “Overall,” a Washington Post article reported, “36 percent of all births in the United States were to unmarried mothers in 2011, the year that the census analyzed from answered in the American Community Survey.” Among whites, it was 29 percent. Among blacks, it was 68 percent.
For the second year in a row, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.7% of the babies born in the United States were born to unmarried mothers. That is very bad news.
It is an enormous commitment when a man asks “Will you marry me?”, but are we in an era when the answer is “No, thanks” or “Why?” This is happening when women in general still earn less than men, encounter more problems borrowing for a car or a mortgage, and, if the Internet match-up services ads are true, are still are looking for Mr. Right. Their problem often is that he has done a Google search and learned she would involve a big investment. Many men choose to remain single these days or as the divorce rate indicates, to opt out of marriage.
None of this has anything to do with the 2014 midterm elections or the ones in 2016…or does it?
Well, yes it does. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, columnist Gerald F. Seib said “The gender gap is alive and well in American politics. Indeed, it may be the defining characteristic of our political system as next year’s midterm elections beckon.”
“We are not talking here just about the well-established pattern in which women are more likely to vote Democratic and men Republican in presidential elections. That’s true, but it appears to be only the tip of a gender-gap iceberg.” And here’s where it gets scary for conservatives of both sexes, a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 52% of men want Congress under Republican control “while just 38% of women feel that way.”
The poll reported that 49% of women say they approve of the job (Obama) is doing; just 37% of men approve. In either case, the numbers are too high because he has done the worst job of any President of the modern era or earlier.
Seib reported that “women are more likely to give the President high grades on leadership qualities, overall competence, and improving America’s image abroad.” This is so absurd it defies any explanation. “College-educated women, in short, emerge as a core Obama constituency.”
That might not be the case in 2014 because The Hill reports that, based on a Dec 23 CNN/ORC poll, support for Obamacare is dropping rapidly and “The drop in support indicated could be particularly troubling for the Obama administration because almost all of it came from women, whose opposition rose from 54% to 60% in a month.” The poll cited by Sieb indicates that Republican woman—more than 80%--dislike Obamacare.
The gender gap is well documented and in 2012 it was the largest in the history of Gallup’s polls—20 points—since the polls measuring it began in 1952.
One thing needs mentioning and that is the extraordinary Republican women. There’s Rep. Michelle Bachman, Sen. Susan Collins, and Gov. Jan Brewer, to name just a few in positions of political leadership and others like columnists Peggy Noonan. Michelle Malkin, and Ann Coulter. The list is much longer, but it tells me that the GOP is fortunate to have them.
Clearly, the Republican Party has to undertake a major effort to draw more women into the party and, right now, it is a divided party as the GOP establishment wage battle with the Tea Party Movement that challenges their control.
It must also strongly refute the Democratic Party's lie that the GOP has "a war on women." There is no such war.
The GOP, however, need not look to the League of Women Voters for any support. Despite its claim to be non-partisan, it has for decades tilted in favor of the Democratic Party and liberal policies. The League is pro-abortion, favors environmentalism, and a greater role for government in all aspects of the lives of women and men.
Who knows? The 2014 and 2016 elections may signal a shift in the liberal views of women voters. If so, that is bad news for the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party has to do a much better job of enlisting the support of American women.
-------------------- 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:Women Voters, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, phone, pen, Pen to Serfdom, Executive OrdersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Most of what's said about income inequality is stupid or, at best, ill-informed. Much to their disgrace, economists focusing on measures of income inequality bring little light to the issue.
Let's look at it.
Income is a result of something. As such, results alone cannot establish whether there is fairness or justice.
Take a simple example to make the point. Suppose Tom, Dick and Harry play a weekly game of poker.
The result is: Tom wins 75% of the time. Dick and Harry, respectively, win 15% and 10% of the time.
Knowing only the game's result permits us to say absolutely nothing as to whether there has been poker fairness or justice.
Tom's disproportionate winnings are consistent with his being either an astute player or a clever cheater.
To determine whether there has been poker justice, the game's process must be examined.
Process questions we might ask are: Were Hoyle's rules obeyed; were the cards unmarked; were the cards dealt from the top of the deck; and did the players play voluntarily?
If these questions yield affirmative answers, there was poker fairness and justice, regardless of the game's result, even with Tom winning 75% of the time.
Similarly, income is a result of something. In a free society, for the most part, income is a result of one's capacity to serve his fellow man and the value his fellow man places on that service.
Say I mow your lawn and you pay me $50. That $50 might be seen as a certificate of performance.
Why? It serves as evidence that I served my fellow man and enables me to make a claim on what he produces when I visit the grocer.
Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are multibillionaires. Just as in the case of my serving my fellow man by mowing his lawn, they served their fellow man.
The difference is they served many more of their fellow men and did so far more effectively than I and hence have received many more "certificates of performance," which enables them to make greater claims on what their fellow man produces, such as big houses, cars and jets.
Brin and Page and people like them created wealth by producing services that improve the lives of millions upon millions of people all around the globe.
Should people who have improved our lives be held up to ridicule and scorn because they have higher income than most of us?
Should Congress confiscate part of their wealth in the name of fairness and income redistribution?
Except in many instances when government rigs the game with crony capitalism, income is mostly a result of one's productivity and the value that people place on that productivity.
Far more important than income inequality is productivity inequality. That suggests that if there's anything to be done about income inequality, we should focus on how to give people greater capacity to serve their fellow man, namely raise their productivity.
To accomplish that goal, let's look at a few things that we shouldn't do.
Becoming a taxicab owner-operator lies within the grasp of many, but in New York City, one must be able to get a license (medallion), which costs $700,000. There are hundreds of examples of government restrictions that reduce opportunity.
What about the grossly fraudulent education received by so many minority youngsters?
And then we handicap them further with laws that mandate that businesses pay them wages that exceed their productivity, which denies them on-the-job training.
Think back to my poker example.
If one is concerned about the game's result, which is more just, taking some of Tom's winnings and redistributing them to Dick and Harry or teaching Dick and Harry how to play better?
If left to politicians, they'd prefer redistribution. That way, they could get their hands on some of Tom's winnings.
That's far more rewarding to them than raising Dick's and Harry's productivity.
------------------ Dr. Walter E. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Dicrimination. Tags:Walter E. Williams, demogoging, income inequality, the economy, economics,Investment Business Daily, IBD Editorial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:William Warren, Editorial Cartoon, satire, President Obama, bullying, political enemies, government agencies, abuse of power, The Amateur, Chris ChristieTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
OmniBUS Appropriations Bill Set To Roll Over Americans | McConnell Stands Against EPA's War On Coal
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 16, 2014
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 3547, the vehicle for the omnibus Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations bill which was passed by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 359-67. Congress must act before January 18 to prevent a government shutdown. The original Ryan-Murray budget deal ended the funding on January 15, but Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government while the omnibus was being considered.
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the message to accompany H.R. 3547, setting up a cloture vote (to cut off debate) tomorrow morning. A vote could be held sooner if senators can reach a unanimous consent agreement.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) expressed his frustration with trying to dig through the bill—with its nearly 40,000 line items and supporting documents—but that it disconcerted conservative members to rush through a bill close to the size of Obamacare, which came in at about 2,700 pages. “When this is adopted, we will still have a $600 billion deficit in the current fiscal year,” Huelskamp warned, “and that’s just simply not good enough.”
Heritage Foundations's budget expert Romnia Boccia, a Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs, criticized the omnibus, "After being introduced at 8 p.m. Monday, the 1,582-page omnibus spending bill passed the House within less than 72 hours on Wednesday afternoon, in spite of a House rule that requires that members have at least three days for deliberation. This is just one more example of how carelessly the Congress spends taxpayers’ money. The omnibus packed 12 massive spending bills into one big package as part of a secretive process, and members were given no opportunity to offer amendments. This is how Washington passes a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds all sorts of pork projects and gives handouts to the politically connected."
Yesterday, the Senate voted 86-14 to pass H.J. Res. 106, a short term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Saturday.
The House is not in session today. Although they did did carry over their business from yesterday until 1:34 AM this morning. They are now adjourned until 1 PM on Friday, Jan 17th. Yesterday, the House passed along party lines H.R. 3362 (259-154)— "To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to require transparency in the operation of American Health Benefit Exchanges." Evidently the democrats are not ready for "transparency" in the "Obamacare" exchanges.
Amy Payne at Heritage offered this illustration: "Imagine for a moment that you were an NBA superstar. It’s tough to fathom making $30.5 million per year like Kobe Bryant does—but just think of that level of wealth. Even with that superstar salary, to pay for this year’s $1 trillion federal spending spree you would have to work for 32,837 years. This is completely beyond comprehension."
While outnumbered and having the filibuster stripped from them via the Dems' Nuclear option, the Senate Republican Leader and numerous conservative Republican Senators continues to address and to stand against the democrats' progressive agendas including the continuing War On Coal being perpetrated by Obama's Chief EPA operative.
The Hill writes today, “Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said he plans to force a vote to stop new Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. McConnell said he, along with 40 other Republicans, will file a resolution of disapproval against the proposed EPA rule the Congressional Review Act. EPA published its rule on the new performance standards for power plants — pushing for the facilities to be built with carbon capture technology — last week in the Federal Register. It came out nearly four months after EPA chief Gina McCarthy announced it would be a core element of President Obama's second-term climate change agenda. Now, as a piece in the GOP's fight against what they call Obama's ‘war on coal,’ McConnell will seek to stop the regulations through the Review Act — a rarely used legislative tool that allows Congress to block regulations from the executive branch. ‘The Obama administration appears to be sending signals that its latest regulation is just the beginning in a new, expanded front in its war on coal,’ McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday. ‘That’s why I — along with about 40 Republican co-sponsors, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul — intend to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating rule.’”
Politico adds, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell moved Thursday to force a Senate vote on one of the prime regulations in President Barack Obama’s climate plan, a move that would force vulnerable Democrats to take a public stance on the controversial rule heading into the midterm elections. . . . ‘So the majority leader and his Democratic caucus now have a choice,’ McConnell said. ‘Are they going to stand with the coal families under attack in places like Kentucky and West Virginia and Colorado, or are they going to continue to stand with the powerful left-wing special interests that want to see their jobs completely eliminated?’ . . . The National Association of Manufacturers applauded the move, saying the administration has been working on the power plant rule for almost two years despite industry pleas that the technology for capturing and storing carbon emissions isn’t ready to be deployed in power plants. . . . On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said the administration’s intent was to block new coal plants and kill coal-related jobs. . . . Obama has made it clear that the EPA rule on future power plants is just the beginning. Later this year, EPA plans propose the first-ever regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. That would be a far greater hit on the coal industry, whose plants make up about 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas output.”
This morning, on the Senate floor Leader McConnell explained that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy “knows that the technology this regulation requires is prohibitively expensive – that her own agency knows it’s nowhere near ready for adoption, that even some White House officials do not believe her plan is feasible – and that that’s the point. The point here is to eliminate coal jobs in America. That’s why I wasn’t surprised by emails that recently came to light – emails which appear to show EPA officials colluding with extremist special interests in devising impossible-to-achieve regulations. The emails even referred to previously shuttered power plants as ‘defeated,’ making the intent behind coal-related actions seem clear. And here’s the other thing: this new regulation is not even expected to reduce emissions in a meaningful way. What it will do, however, is trigger a section of law that would allow the Administration to eventually shut down coal-fired plants that already exist today. In other words, it could allow the Administration to achieve its true aim of eliminating coal jobs completely. For struggling middle-class families across Eastern Kentucky, this is just the latest punch in the gut from Washington – from an Administration whose own advisors seem to believe that a ‘war on coal is exactly what’s needed.’”
He blasted the Obama administration for its “crusade for ideological purity,” pointing out the people its quest to attack coal power is hurting. “These are Kentuckians who just want to work, provide for their families, and deliver the type of low-cost energy that attracts more jobs to Kentucky. And coal is what allows so many of them do all that. It provides well-paying jobs and, as Jimmy Rose says, it ‘keeps the lights on.’ I’d remind my colleagues that coal does more than just keep the lights on in Kentucky. It keeps the lights on here too, both figuratively and literally. From the anti-coal blogger tapping out a tweet to the EPA staffer cooking up a meal, millions and millions of Americans rely upon coal to power their homes and their offices. In recent years, coal has accounted for about 40 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. That compares to just about 3.5 percent for sources like wind and solar. So even if the Administration were to achieve its dream of eliminating every last coal job, it’s not like they could just fire up a few windmills to cover the gap. It’s going to take a very, very long time – decades – for alternative sources to even come close to providing the same level of jobs and energy as coal. In other words, the Administration’s ideological crusade – it doesn't even seem to have a logical endgame. It’s basically just ideology.”
He continued, “And here’s the thing: Republicans agree that alternative and renewable energy sources are necessary for fuel diversity. But we believe that things like wind, and geothermal, and solar should be part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that also includes coal, and natural gas, and the oil that we can get right here in North America—with Americans providing the workforce. Another key difference is this: Republicans look at Kentucky coal miners and see hardworking men and women, not an obstacle to some left-wing fantasy. That’s why I – along with about 40 Republican cosponsors, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul – intend to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating rule.” Tags:Washington, D.C., omnibus funding bill, big spending, EPA, War On CoalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Bauer Sums Up The Bad News That The Media Ignores - Jan 15, 2013
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama's Three Branches Of Government
When most of us went to school, we were taught that there are three branches of the government -- the executive branch, that's the president; the legislative branch, that's Congress; and the judicial branch, the courts. Yesterday Obama made it clear that he sees things differently -- there's the president, the president's pen and the president's phone.
Speaking before reporters during his first cabinet meeting of the year, Obama said, "We're not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help they need. I've got a pen and I've got a phone."
He then rattled off a long list of issues that sounded like a full legislative agenda, and he's going to do it all with just his pen and his phone! (Watch this video)
Why doesn't Obama just disband Congress and the courts and save taxpayers some money? He is constantly moving the goal posts on Obamacare through executive actions, and he is using EPA regulations to accomplish his climate change agenda, which is so radical it failed to pass the Senate even when Democrats had a super majority of votes.
By the way, I can't help but notice that Obama's remarks came just one day after a clear majority of justices on the Supreme Court questioned his authority to decide when the Senate is in session. For more than 200 hundred years, no other president dared to suggest that he knew better than the Senate when the Senate was meeting and when it was not.
Obama's leadership style is more akin to that of a Latin American strongman than a traditional American president. He blamed the Founders for limiting his ability to "force Congress to implement every aspect" of his agenda. He's whined about how the president of China has an easier job.
I know most of you are as frustrated by Obama's abuse of power as I am. It is encouraging that Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) are taking Obama to court to rein him in. Congressional Republicans must do more to combat this out-of-control and increasingly lawless administration.
Senate Benghazi Report: Warnings Ignored; Attacks Preventable
The Senate Intelligence Committee today released its report on the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The bi-partisan report is extremely critical of the Obama Administration, especially Hillary Clinton's State Department, for ignoring growing threats in Benghazi, as well as repeated requests for improved security. As a result, four Americans, including our ambassador, were killed by Islamic extremists.
Contrary to recent attempts by the New York Times and other Hillary apologists to downplay Al Qaeda's role, the Senate Intelligence Committee report states that "Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups, including [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], Ansar al-Sharia, [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], and the Mohammad Jamal Network, participated in the September 11, 2012, attacks."
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said, "In spite of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and ample strategic warnings, the [Obama Administration] simply did not do enough to prevent these attacks and ensure the safety of those serving in Benghazi."
Government Is The Problem
Gallup's latest poll should have Washington liberals worried.
What is the most important problem facing America today? It's not the economy or even unemployment. Dissatisfaction with government (corruption, abuse of power, poor leadership) tops the list. And it's no surprise why.
Every day stories of corruption, scandal and government ineptitude dominate the headlines. Obamacare is a colossal train wreck. The Obama IRS is targeting its political opponents. The NSA is spying on average Americans. Judges are redefining marriage. Obama is threatening more extra-constitutional actions.
At all levels it seems that government is out of control and not working for the taxpayers. If Republicans are smart they will make fighting corruption and reining in big government major issues in this year's campaign.
Reid's "Rules" Ruining The Senate [And He Could Care Less]
Here's one example of what's wrong with Washington today: A deal to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed fell apart in the Senate yesterday. Of course, Obama, Senate Democrats and their liberal media allies will accuse callous Republicans of waging war on the poor.
But here's what really happened: Harry Reid told Senate Republicans that they would be allowed to offer only five amendments to the jobless benefits bill and that each amendment would require a super-majority vote to pass.
In short, Reid is once again manipulating Senate rules to prevent Republicans from forcing vulnerable Democrats to cast tough votes on Obamacare or closing welfare loopholes that are being exploited by illegal immigrants. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Reid's proposal as a "ridiculous offer he knows we couldn't possibly accept."
Taking the Senate majority back and putting Harry Reid in the minority this November will go a long way toward fixing what is wrong with Washington!
Do Obama's Democrats Stand With Israel Or Iran?
Barack Obama's appeasement of Iran is causing heartburn for many Democrats. Republicans are united in backing tougher sanctions against the Islamic regime's rogue nuclear program. But Obama is treating the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism with kid gloves, and leading us in the wrong direction.
Bill Kristol's Emergency Committee for Israel, where I serve on the board, has launched a TV ad exposing the duplicity of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Wasserman Schultz claims to be a strong supporter of Israel. Yet she has led Obama's efforts to block tougher sanctions against Iran from passing Congress. Watch the ad here.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:President Obama, Executive Orders, Three Branches Of Government, Senate Benghazi Report, Warnings Ignored, Attacks Preventable, Government Is The Problem, Gallup poll, Harry Reid, Reid's Rules, ruining The Senate, Obama Democrats, Israel. Iran, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo 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: In his 2005 book, “The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate”, Lewis L. Gould began by noting that the Senate was intended “to provide a legislative check against the potential tyranny of unrestrained majority rule.”
“The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a Senate that would function as a wide and judicious check on both executive power and the House of Representatives. They did not imagine a body that would act as a rubber stamp for an incumbent president. Nor would they have been pleased to see the Senate so focused on allocating federal appropriations to contributors and constituents.”
By 2005, Gould had concluded that “the Senate had become more often an impediment to democratic government rather than a place to express sober second thought on national priorities.”
Nearly a decade ago, he concluded that “A profound sense of crisis now surrounds the Senate and its members. Critics allege that it is an undemocratic place where the national interest received only fitful attention.”
On January 8th I happened to watch CSPAN as the Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, addressed the problems that were worse than even when Gould was writing about the Senate. The subject of his address to fellow Senators was “Restoring the Senate” and it received little or no media coverage.
Rule changes instituted by Majority Leader, Harry Reid, had turned the Democrat-controlled Senate into the rubber stamp the Framers had feared. It was Reid and then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who had pushed the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—through both houses in 2009; a 2,000-plus-page bill that was famously voted upon by Senators who had not even had time to read it, let along take the time to debate it. By 2010, voters returned control of the House to the Republican Party.
Obamacare had given rise to the Tea Party movement and the growing numbers of independent voters in the 2014 midterms will likely return power in the Senate along with voters unhappy with Obamacare and the President’s preference to rule by executive orders to bypass Congress. These days, in addition to Obamacare, the Tea Party movement is devoted to ensuring that the Constitution is not ignored.
McConnell, addressing the members of the Senate, said, “even if you’re completely at peace about what happened in November, even if you think it was perfectly fine to violate the all-important rule that says changing the rules requires the assent of two-thirds of Senators duly-elected and sworn, none of us should be happy about the trajectory the Senate was on even before that day or the condition we find it in 225 years after it was created.”
Kimberley A. Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, was much freer to address the problem. In a Jan 14 column, she wrote “The popular judgment that Washington’s dysfunction is the result of ‘partisanship’ misses the crucial point. Washington is currently gridlocked because of the particular partisanship of one man: Senate Majority leader Harry Read. And Republicans are warming to the power of making that case to voters.”
Noting that the 113th Congress is often called the least productive in history, Strassel pointed out that “The Republican House in fact passed more than 200 bills in 2013. Some were minor, and others drew only GOP votes” but “the laws all went to die in Mr. Reid’s Senate graveyard.”
“Mr. Reid took over the Senate in early 2007 and it functioned just fine in the last two years of the Bush administration. It didn’t suddenly break overnight. What did happen is the Senate Democrat’s 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 major leader has unilaterally killed the right to offer amendments…Determined to shield the administration from legislation the president opposes, Mr. Reid has unilaterally killed committee work, since it might produce bipartisan bills.”
“Here’s how the Senate ‘works’ these days,” wrote Strassel, “Mr. Reid writes the legislation himself, thereby shutting Republicans out of the committee drafting. Then he outlaws amendments.”
“It isn’t that the Senate can’t work, it’s that Sen. Reid won’t let it.”
In addition to a President who is seen by more and more Americans as a liar and an incompetent, they are often unaware of the critical role that Harry Reid has played in thwarting the normal process of the Senate to debate—and amend—legislation. While Obamacare is the President’s legacy legislation, it was created in the Senate, a body which does not have the Constitutional right to initiate legislation that imposes taxes, an authority granted only to the House. And the Supreme Court ruled that it was a “tax” and permitted its implementation!
In his address to the Senate, McConnell said of Obamacare, “The chaos this law has visited on our country isn’t just deeply tragic, it was entirely predictable…the Senate exists to prevent that.”
Harry Reid is killing the Senate and only American voters can save it by replacing the Democratic Party majority there.
------------ 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:Harry Reid, Killing the Senate, US Senate, dictatorship, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Obama administration, unemployment, preventing jobs, 92 million, out of the workforce, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo 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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