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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 25, 2014
The Endangered Animal Act of Futility
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: David W. Snook, 57, of Bridgewater, New Jersey died on Wednesday, January 15, when two deer leaped into the path of his Dodge Ram on Route 206. One of them was airborne when it smashed through the front windshield, striking him before exiting out the rear window. This caused the truck to veer into the guard rail and come to rest in a ravine.
In 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection estimated that the Garden State was home to 110,000 deer. Each year about 35,000 are killed in hunts and those of us who live here owe the hunters a debt of gratitude. In my county of Essex, home to Newark, the freeholders regularly hire hunters to cull the herd that shares its home with one of the most densely populated counties in the state.
Need it be said that the animal rights crowd is always upset about this. New Jersey also has a fairly sizeable bear population and during the hunting season, between 250 and 450 are “harvested” as the Fish and Game agency calls it. They have been found in all 21 counties of the state. And state officials now estimate that there are more coyotes in New Jersey than bears.
Suffice to say New Jersey’s animals are not suffering from a decline in species, nor facing extinction any time soon. My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that this is true nationwide. However, to justify one of the dumbest laws ever passed, the Endangered Species Act, some 1,500 species are classified with fuzzy definitions of being “threatened”, “endangered” or “recovered.”
The Act was signed into law in 1973 by Richard Nixon, who also gifted us with the Environmental Protection Agency, currently doing everything in its power to destroy the coal industry and plants that use it to generate electricity. They claim that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a threat to the climate, but ignore the many other natural sources of CO2, including all seven billion humans that exhale six pounds of it a day. And that all species would die without CO2 maintaining all the vegetation on Earth.
What is never mentioned is that species extinction has been around as long as there have been species. It was not CO2 that killed the dinosaurs and 75% of other species that had dominated the Earth for 180 million years and there were no humans around to blame for the Great Permian Extinction when more than 90% of all life on Earth disappeared—animals, plants, trees, fish, and even algae. Most geological eras have come to a close with calamitous events.
In December 2013, the Obama administration granted industrial wind farm operators a 30-year permit to kill legally protected bald eagles and golden eagles without being subject to legal repercussions. Wind energy has killed 1.4 million birds and bats every year, including those regarded and protected as threatened such as California condors, bald eagles, and Indiana bats. Apparently, if you are producing 1% percent or so of electricity, it’s okay to kill these creatures. Meanwhile everyone else pays higher electricity bills.
The dirty little secret about the Endangered Species Act is that environmentalists have used it for years to deter all manner of economic development by claiming some fish or other creature was endangered if you built a hospital, new homes, or in the case of the dunes sagebrush lizard which lives in the West Texas and Southeast New Mexico Permian Basic when oil companies want to explore and extract this energy resource that will generate jobs and huge tax revenues to help reduce the national debt.
It is insanity to think humans can or should do anything to “save” various species. The most dramatic and tragic evidence of this has been the twenty-year effort to “save” the northern spotted owl. The result was to close millions of acres of federal forests in the Northwest from logging, devastating the once flourishing timber industry.
In July 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would permit the killing of barred owls believed to be killing the spotted owls. The sawmills that once thrived are mostly gone, along with their jobs, and revenue. The forests are overgrown and are immense fire traps. And the Fish and Wildlife Service thinks that spending $127 million might restore the spotted owl population over the next 30 years.
This kind of stupidity is criminal.
How effective has the Endangered Species Act been? As it enters its 41st year it has “recovered” less than 2% of the approximately 2,100 species listed as endangered or threatened since 1973. A December 17 Wall Street Journal article reported that “it has endangered the economic health of many communities and created a cottage industry of litigation that does more to enrich environmental activist groups” that pays their salaries.
The Endangered Species Act is a huge failure. It should be repealed, but don’t expect Congress to do anything that sensible.
---------------------- 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:Endangered Animal Act, Richard Nixon, Environmental Protection Agency, Obama administration, wind farm operators, 30-year permit, to kill legally protected, bald eagles, golden eagles, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, permit the killing of barred owls, Endangered Species Act, huge failure, 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!
by Matt Barber, WND Commentary: In 2010 millions of American tea-party constitutionalists, to include the GOP’s Christian base, united in a remarkable grass-roots effort to rein in our unbridled federal government and return it to its expressly limited constitutional confines. As a result, an unprecedented number of counter-constitutionalist lawmakers (read: liberal Democrats) were swept from office.
The Obama administration wasn’t going to take this lying down. Whether it was by tacit approval or via direct order remains largely immaterial. The president quickly and unlawfully politicized the Internal Revenue Service, using it as a weapon against his political enemies. In an explosive scandal that continues to grow, the Obama IRS was caught – smoking gun in hand – intentionally targeting conservative and Christian organizations and individuals for harassment, intimidation and, ultimately, for political destruction.
Not only has Obama faced zero accountability for these arguably impeachable offenses, he has since doubled down. With jaw-dropping gall, his administration has now moved to officially weaponize the IRS against conservatives once and for all.
Despite the furor over the IRS assault on conservative groups leading up to the 2012 elections, this man – a despotic radical who’s turned our constitutional republic into one of the banana variety – has quietly released a proposed set of new IRS regulations that, if implemented, will immediately, unlawfully and permanently muzzle conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations and their individual employees. (The 501(c)(4) designation refers to the IRS code section under which social welfare organizations are regulated).
The new regulations would unconstitutionally compel a 90-day blackout period during election years in which conservative 501(c)(4) organizations – such as tea-party, pro-life and pro-family groups – would be banned from mentioning the name of any candidate for office, or even the name of any political party.
Here’s the kicker: As you may have guessed, liberal lobbying groups like labor unions and trade associations are deliberately exempted. And based on its partisan track record, don’t expect this president’s IRS to lift a finger to scrutinize liberal 501(c)(4)s. Over at a Obama’s “Organizing for America,” the left-wing political propaganda will, no doubt, flow unabated.
These Orwellian regulations will prohibit conservative 501(c)(4) organizations from using words like “oppose,” “vote,” or “defeat.” Their timing, prior to a pivotal election, is no coincidence and provides yet another example of Obama’s using the IRS for “progressive” political gain.
Although these restrictions only apply to 501(c)(4) organizations for now, under a straightforward reading, they will also clearly apply to 501(c)(3) organizations in the near future.
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action – one of the many conservative organizations to be silenced – commented on the breaking scandal: “One of the core liberties in our constitutional republic is the right to dissent,” he said. “But desperate to force his radical agenda on the American people, Barack Obama and his chosen political tool, the IRS, are now trying to selectively abridge this right, effectively silencing their political adversaries.”
Specifically, here’s what the proposed regulations would do to conservative groups and their leaders:
Prohibit using words like “oppose,” “vote,” “support,” “defeat,” and “reject.”
Prohibit mentioning, on its website or on any communication (email, letter, etc.) that would reach 500 people or more, the name of a candidate for office, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election.
Prohibit mentioning the name of a political party, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election, if that party has a candidate running for office.
Prohibit voter registration drives or conducting a non-partisan “get-out-the-vote drive.”
Prohibit creating or distributing voter guides outlining how incumbents voted on particular bills.
Prohibit hosting candidates for office at any event, including debates and charitable fundraisers, 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before the general election, if the candidate is part of the event’s program.
Restrict employees of such organizations from volunteering for campaigns.
Prohibit distributing any materials prepared on behalf a candidate for office.
Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to publicly speak about incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records.
Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to make public statements regarding the nomination of judges.
Create a 90-day blackout period, on an election year, that restricts the speech of 501(c)(4) organizations.
Declare political activity as contrary to the promotion of social welfare.
Protect labor unions and trade associations by exempting them from the proposed regulations.
Continued Mat Staver: “We would be restricted in promoting conservative values, such as protecting our constitutional rights against these very kind of Executive Branch infringements.
“We would even be prohibited from criticizing the federal bureaucracy. If this new set of regulations goes into effect, Liberty Counsel Action – all conservative 501(c)(4)s for that matter – will be forbidden to ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ anything in the political arena and we’ll be prohibited from conducting our ‘get-out-the vote’ campaigns or issuing our popular voter guides.
“Further,” continue Staver, “individual employees of conservative groups will be banned from speaking or messaging on incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records – or speaking on the nominations of judges or political nominees being considered by the Senate. This also includes taking on state and local politicians.”
“These are the same tactics used by the Obama administration to illegally target conservative 501(c)(4) organizations during the last two election cycles, only now the strategy has been greatly intensified and formalized.
“You may recall that former President Richard Nixon was famously forced to resign for improperly using Executive Branch assets for political purposes.
“Rather than preparing a solid defense to confront these serious allegations, a brazen Barack Obama has chosen instead to reconfigure his illegal tactics into a set of ‘regulations’ on nonprofits, opening the door for an IRS crackdown on select organizations,” Staver concluded.
Indeed, once caught abusing his executive authority to target the very U.S. citizens he’s sworn to serve, even a nominally honorable man would immediately reverse course, resign and accept the consequences of his illegal actions.
Also, please sign this petition to the Senate Committee on Finance, Taxation and IRS Oversight to ensure that all 501(c)(4) organizations formed to promote conservative values will be treated fairly by the IRS.
--------- Media wishing to interview Matt Barber, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tags:Matt Barber, Obama administration, Weaponsize IRS, IRS, new rules, limiting free speech, conservative groups, tea party, conservative orgs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
US Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Chair, Dem. Senatorial Campaign Comm. Senate Democratic Policy Committee Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus
Investor's Business Daily Editorials: Free Speech: The IRS scandal is not only not over but is getting worse, with a call by New York's senior senator for the already-politicized agency to use its power to tax to destroy the conservative grass-roots movement.
Arguing that the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision allowed Tea Party groups to "funnel millions of undisclosed dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government," Charles Schumer wants the IRS and other government agencies to take on the Tea Party through their administrative powers.
"It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control, but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies," Schumer said in a speech before the leftist think tank Center for American Progress.
Calling for the IRS to use its powers to resume war on the First Amendment and free speech he doesn't like in the hopes of electing more Democrats, Schumer said: "We must redouble those efforts immediately."
Schumer was the author of the 2010 Disclose Act that failed to make it through Congress but would have required the disclosure of corporate donors to tax-exempt organizations, and membership and donor lists of the groups running "issue" ads.
"The bill was designed to embarrass companies," Schumer admitted, and its "deterrent effect should not be underestimated."
Advocating the use of government power to harass and intimidate political opponents is nothing new to Schumer. Along with Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Tom Udall of New Mexico and Al Franken of Minnesota, he sent a similar letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman in February 2012 asking the IRS to investigate 12 conservative groups he accused of violating their tax-exempt status and engaging in coordinated political activity.
This effort to use government power to fundamentally transform our political system more along the lines of the Venezuelan model includes new IRS rules for 501(c)(4) organizations that would redefine "candidate-related political activity" and make virtually everything such tax-exempt political groups do a taxable activity.
Washington, D.C., attorney Cleta Mitchell, who represents a number of the Tea Party groups targeted by the IRS, says that under the new rules candidate-related activities would cover just about everything a 501(c)(4) typically does, including candidate debates, guides for voting, lobbying at the grass roots, issue advocacy as well as any public statements by officers of 501(c)(4)s that reference incumbents and candidates.
Schumer's call for government to punish its political enemies comes at the same time the IRS is conducting a Hollywood witch hunt openly targeting for "special scrutiny" a group known as the Friends of Abe. Named after Abraham Lincoln, it has about 1,500 members involved in various aspects of the film industry who meet to discuss politics and listen to conservative leaders.
The group doesn't engage in overt political activities or endorse candidates. It functions as a sort of a conservative support group for Hollywood conservatives in that liberal bastion and seeks to keep its members' names secret for fear of career consequences.
Jeremy Boreing, executive director of Friends of Abe, insists his organization has "absolutely no political agenda" and exists only to "create fellowship among like-minded individuals." What bothers the IRS is the fact the group, which has applied for tax-exempt status, invites largely conservative speakers.
The ability of people to peacefully assemble to petition their government for redress of grievances is under attack as the IRS and Democratic senators continue to ask, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a conservative?"
------------ Follow @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook Tags:Invetors Business Daily, editorial, Chuck Schumer, IRS, regulations, audits, Stop the TEA Party, stop conservative groups, stop free speech. free speech, conservativesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: The big health insurance companies played a high-stakes double game throughout the 2009 health care fight, funding attacks on the so-called public option – an explicitly government-run competitor – while otherwise supporting the central elements of the bill that ultimately passed: vast taxpayer-funded subsidies flowing to their potential customers and a mandate requiring every American to buy their products. Yet the law is becoming such a disaster that the insurers stand to take losses in the new exchanges – losses that will largely be passed on to taxpayers under a provision called Risk Corridors.
Risk Corridors are a de facto bailout built into the structure of the law. As written and originally explained the provision would have smoothed out pricing risk by taking funds from insurers who made excess profits and transferring them to insurers who take losses. This was supposed to prevent companies from marketing specifically to healthier segments of the population and instead give them an incentive to simply enroll as many people as possible.
But with the exchanges overall failing to attract enough healthy people, nearly every insurer is now expected to be in a loss position on their exchange plans, making the Risk Corridors a transfer not between companies but instead a direct pipeline of tax dollars from the U.S. Treasury to the coffers of insurers. As if the law’s massive subsidized and mandated demand weren’t enough.
Moody’s recently downgraded the insurance companies to a negative outlook, citing “the ongoing unstable and evolving environment” and “new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions.” For all the vast subsidies and the mandate, they predicted just one percent more Americans to be on the rolls of the insurance companies in 2014 – which is down from three percent growth in 2013.
One source of uncertainty might be efforts well underway by Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to repeal the Risk Corridors program.
Griffin and Rubio correctly reason that it’s wrong to force taxpayers to foot the bill for an open-ended bailout on top of the vast subsidies already flowing under the law. If insurance companies can’t make money selling exchange plans even with the mandate and subsidies, then they shouldn’t choose to participate.
Lobbyists for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are in freak out mode at potentially losing one of their many sources of tax dollars under the law. They are warning Congress that taking away their Risk Corridors payments “will result in massive premium increases and could cause private insurers to become insolvent… and will ultimately lead to a single-payer system.”
But Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC he was indifferent to participating in the Obamacare exchanges because they are a tiny part of Aetna’s business. About three percent of its revenue. And on the Griffin-Rubio bill he said: “Whether or not there's a government bailout because we lose some money on members is irrelevant to us from our standpoint of our earnings.” So much for that single-payer scenario.
Ending Risk Corridors (or alternatively limiting their outlays to program revenues to make them function as originally understood) is not a silver bullet to take down Obamacare, as some on the right might dream. It’s not going to put any insurance companies out of business, notwithstanding the hyperbole from the Blues. But it will save taxpayers billions of dollars and it will force insurance companies to suffer just a little bit more of the consequences of their collaboration with the administration – and wonder if it’s time to break ranks and support real reforms. And a bailout-weary American public would surely be appreciative.
------------------ Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment He is on Twitter and on Facebook. Kerpen is the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him and is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service. Tags:Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, Obamacare, insurers, shifting cost, taxpayersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
It would be amazing if progressive Texans were to make Wendy Davis their symbol of leadership for the Texas Democratic Party and their candidate for the Governor of Texas. But then again, the Democrat Party made a little known inexperienced first term Senator their candidate for President and look how that turned out. If Texas were indeed to go Wendy Davis, then the Texas leadership in the United States would be no more.
While Wendy Davis has already lied, cartoonist AF Branco illustrated below that the documented lie of being Indian did not stop Democrat Elizabeth Warren from being elected as U.S. Senator to represent Massachusetts. Of course, years of Ted Kennedy had already lowered the bar of truth for Massachusetts.
Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: For millions of Americans, politics has lost its meaning. There is growing dissatisfaction with both party organizations. More and more Americans tell pollsters they are Independents. The way to reclaim the Republican Party is not be seeking some illusory “middle ground” between principled conservatism and radical liberalism. The way to bring the GOP back at the national level is to hold the party leadership to the pledges it has made for generations.
A lot has been said and written lately of what journalists and call the “Republican Civil War.”
We need to remember that whenever Republicans have a party clash, journalists are happy to hold our coats. There is of course a struggle going on between Establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C. and many state capitals and the party’s grassroots—conservative, Tea Party, and local activists. Whether the issue is a hard-fought Republican primary or different tactics on repealing ObamaCare, whether the question is Common Core in education, or expanding Medicaid at the state level, there are going to be differences of opinion. But not every difference of opinion means a difference of principle.
Conservatives firmly hold to Founding principles of constitutional government. Conservatives press for economic liberty,traditional family values, and a bristling national defense. Needless to say,the Obama administration is for none of these things.
We are urging GOP leaders at every level to give this administration a strong and effective opposition.
As conservatives, we need to understand that our opponent is not the Republican Party.
Just this week, for example, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus led the members of the national committee in joining hundreds of thousands at the annual March for Life.
I can attest, as a former Republican official, elected statewide in Ohio, that I have seen how the party can be a good vehicle for electing principled conservatives. Once in office, these conservatives can and should press for conservative alternatives to harmful liberal policies.
So, the Republican leadership must first understand that conservatives will not pledge allegiance to a party machine that takes them for granted and that only weakly opposes liberal initiatives. The new age of the Internet affords conservatives many new outlets to organize and inform grassroots supporters outside of the dying liberal news media--both print and TV.
Conservatives will not stay “on board” if their deeply held beliefs are disregarded and their grassroots leaders are shunned. The party elites must contend with the fact that the people at home are watching and listening in to the discussions inside the Beltway.
Second, conservatives must be prepared to identify and back our true friends and resist those elites who only want to get along by going along. Rather than engage in what the liberal media wants to call a “civil war,” we should be waging a vigorous campaign for conservative victories at the grassroots. This can have a national impact.
For example, the Republican National Committee listened to opponents of Common Core education standards who are often far better informed about this policy than the elites. The RNC has now come out firmly against Common Core. It’s been said that if you like ObamaCare, you’re going to love ObamaCore. Well, the RNC has gotten the message on this one. And it should be praised.
Third, the GOP leaders must understand that the path to electoral success requires active and enthusiastic support by the conservative grassroots. When party elites stiff-arm conservative candidates and principles,they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Ronald Reagan was right when he urged a reinvigorated Republican Party, one that would raise “a banner of bold colors” and not simply offer an alternative in pale pastels.
There can be no success without engaging, embracing, and promoting conservative principles and people Reagan spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) in 1977. Even that early in President Carter’s term, it was clear he was flailing and failing. The former two-term California Governor said:
Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people. Any organization is in actuality only the lengthened shadow of its members. A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and hold the members together. And our cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America’s spiritual heritage to our national affairs.
As conservatives, we can take the winning message of economic liberty, family values, and strong defense into minority neighborhoods and share our hopes and dreams with new supporters in churches and synagogues. The current administration is the most hostile to religious liberty in our history. It is threatening to make us subjects once again shackled to ObamaCare and burdened by its mandates. Our free market economy, our retirement and our children’s future has been placed in jeopardy.
And we know from disillusioned administration insiders that the only concern President Obama has for our all-volunteer military is for radical social experimentation.
Republicans should not try to avoid free and open debate. That’s what Democrats did when they signed on to ObamaCare. That is what has put them in the greatest political danger. Instead, we can fight hard for principles and candidates who can win while articulating and defending the policies that unite us. Liberty is the cause and unity is the goal.
When Ronald Reagan offered that kind of leadership,there were no red states, no blue states. We called them all red-white-and-blue states. We wanted to win them all—and very nearly did. Let’s press on!
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, former Republican State Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio. He is the Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. He has also been member of the RNC and active in the RNC platform development. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, fight for principles, principles, GOP, Republican PartyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gallup Poll: Two Thirds Consider Federal Government Too Big
Gallup Poll - Jan. 22, 2014: "Sixty-five percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation's system of government and how well it works, the highest percentage in Gallup's trend since 2001." In 2002, only 23% of Americans were dissatisfied.
The Wall Street Journal reports today, “The Obama administration is set to complete a critical phase of its Keystone XL pipeline review next month, setting the stage for President Barack Obama to make a call on the politically charged decision in the thick of the midterm campaign season. The State Department, which has been studying the project for years, aims to release a report on the environmental impact of the proposed pipeline extension in early or mid-February, people inside and outside the government familiar with the decision said Thursday. That would put Mr. Obama on track to make a decision by May or June. Until now, Obama administration officials have been vague about the timing of the State Department review. Officials have released no timetable for a decision and a series of delays in considering the project have left some observers thinking it could stretch beyond the November midterm elections. . . . Once the administration releases its environmental report, another State Department review would determine whether the pipeline is in the national interest, during which federal agencies will have up to 90 days to weigh in. That suggests a final decision by Mr. Obama could come in the spring or early summer and all but ensures the politics of the pipeline will become a feature of this year's elections. The pipeline project, which would add a link to carry oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, has divided two of the Democratic Party's key constituencies: environmentalists and union groups. Environmentalists oppose it, citing the risk of spills and increased carbon emissions from extracting oil from Canadian oil sands, while business and labor groups say it would create thousands of jobs and help undergird America's new energy boom.”
It’s incredible that the White House and the State Department are still plodding along, avoiding a final decision on this no-brainer project that would create jobs and reduce American reliance on energy from the Middle East. But for years, President Obama and his administration have held up a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada originally applied for a permit back in 2008, and it was in 2011 that Congress passed legislation requiring the president to make a decision on the project within 60 days.
Frustrated, all 45 Republican senators sent a letter to the president demanding an answer on this pipeline project. Led by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and John Barrasso (R-WY), they write, “We have started yet another calendar year with no decision from your administration on the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada filed the original application for a Presidential Permit in 2008, and we are still waiting on the Department of State to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for this project. On March 14, 2013, at a meeting with Senate Republicans, you were asked when we could expect a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. At that time, you told us that a decision on the Presidential Permit would be made before the end of the year. We are well into 2014 and you still have not made a decision. . . . On January 22, 2013, the State of Nebraska approved a modified route for the Keystone XL pipeline. The Department of State then closed its comment period on the draft supplemental EIS on April 22, 2013—notably, a year after you personally directed Federal agencies to make more ‘timely’ decisions on infrastructure projects. Your administration has had more than enough time to issue a final EIS and make a decision on the pipeline. Given the length of time your administration has studied the Keystone XL pipeline and the public’s overwhelming support for it, you should not further delay a decision to issue a Presidential Permit.”
And it’s not just Republicans losing patience with the Obama administration. The WSJ notes, “Canadian officials and conservative Senate Democrats who favor the pipeline . . . have grown impatient and upped the pressure on Mr. Obama to settle the matter. . . . ‘This has gone on way too long,’ said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), who is among the pro-pipeline Democrats pushing for a decision. ‘I can tell you this, among those of us who've been waiting now for a considerable length of time, our patience is running thin.’”
In a must-read column today, Charles Krauthammer excoriates President Obama for the years of delays and the needlessly poor treatment of America’s close ally, Canada.Krauthammer writes, “After three years of review, the State Department found no significant environmental risk to Keystone. Nonetheless, the original route was changed to assuage concerns regarding the Ogallala Aquifer. Obama withheld approval through the 2012 election. To this day he has issued no decision. The Canadians are beside themselves. After five years of manufactured delay, they need a decision one way or the other because if denied a pipeline south, they could build a pipeline west to the Pacific. China would buy their oil in a New York minute. . . . If Obama wants to cave to his environmental left, fine. But why keep Canada in limbo? It’s a show of supreme and undeserved disrespect for yet another ally. It seems not enough to have given the back of the hand to Britain, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic, and to have so enraged the Saudis that they actually rejected a U.N. Security Council seat — disgusted as they were with this administration’s remarkable combination of fecklessness and highhandedness. Must we crown this run of diplomatic malpractice with gratuitous injury to Canada, our most reliable, most congenial friend in the world?”
Krauthammer continues, “This is not a close call. The Keystone case is almost absurdly open and shut. . . . Where’s the environmental gain in blocking Keystone? The oil will be produced and the oil will be burned. If it goes to China, the Pacific pipeline will carry the same environmental risks as a U.S. pipeline. . . . Add to this the slam-dunk strategic case for Keystone: Canadian oil reduces our dependence on the volatile Middle East, shifting petroleum power from OPEC and the killing zones of the Middle East to North America. What more reliable source of oil could we possibly have than Canada? . . . The only rationale for denying the pipeline is political — to appease Obama’s more extreme environmentalists.”
He concludes, “For a president who claims not to be ideological, the irony is striking: Here is an easily available piece of infrastructure — privately built, costing government not a penny, creating thousands of jobs and, yes, shovel-ready — and yet the president, who’s been incessantly pushing new ‘infrastructure’ as a fundamental economic necessity, can’t say yes. Well then, Mr. President, say something. You owe Canada at least that. Up or down. Five years is long enough.”
With thousands of new Americans jobs hanging in the balance, why hasn't President Obama moved forward. It’s long past time for the president to do something, especially on the Keystone pipeline. Tags:Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama, John Kerry, United States, Canada, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
High Energy Prices Has Europe Rethinking Energy Strategy
Power transmission lines in Emsland, Germany.
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Pix Via U.S. Chamber
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: Europe is realizing that reliable, affordable energy is critical to economic competitiveness, and policies that pick energy winners and losers can have unintended consequences. This stems from a New York Times story on how the European Union (EU) is rethinking how it deals with greenhouse gas emissions:
On Wednesday, the European Union proposed an end to binding national targets for renewable energy production after 2020. Instead, it substituted an overall European goal that is likely to be much harder to enforce.
It also decided against proposing laws on environmental damage and safety during the extraction of shale gas by a controversial drilling process known as fracking. It opted instead for a series of minimum principles it said it would monitor.
Europe pressed ahead on other fronts, aiming for a cut of 40 percent in Europe’s carbon emissions by 2030, double the current target of 20 percent by 2020. Officials said the new proposals were not evidence of diminished commitment to environmental discipline but reflected the complicated reality of bringing the 28 countries of the European Union together behind a policy.
The “complication” being that high energy prices is one factor that’s holding back Europe’s economic competitiveness.
Take Germany, which is undergoing a energiewende or “energy revolution,” an attempt to drop both nuclear and fossil-fuel energy use from its economy and rely primarily on renewable energy. The Economist explains this audacious goal:
Germany’s last nuclear plant is to be switched off in 2022. The share of renewable energy from sun, wind and biomass is meant to rise to 80% of electricity production, and 60% of overall energy use, by 2050. And emissions of greenhouse gases are supposed to fall, relative to those in 1990, by 70% in 2040 and 80-95% by 2050.
In order to ramp up electricity production, renewable energy is heavily subsidized. So much so that Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe. As the London Telegraph reports, the result is that German companies are becoming less competitive:
Energy prices are 40% more expensive than in France and the Netherlands, and the bills are 15% higher than the EU average. Even though Germany’s energy-intensive manufacturing sector is given a break with reduced levies, industries such as chemicals and steel are among the hardest hit, with energiewende costs of up to €740m a year.
Ironically, since Germany is giving up nuclear energy, it must turn to new coal-fired power plants for baseload electricity when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
These kinds of unintended consequences happen when government stacks the deck for one type of energy source, especially one that’s not yet market competitive.
While Europe wades through its self-inflicted morass, this is also a lesson for environmental groups demanding that the Obama administration stop pushing an “all of the above” energy strategy (which has been lip service) and go solely down the renewable energy path.
Renewable energy has a role in a country’s economy. However, renewable energy that’s more reliable and competitive doesn’t come out of thin air; it needs innovation and investment, and both require a growing economy; and a growing economy needs dependable and affordable energy.
A sound energy policy is one that embraces America’s energy abundance and diversity. America’s energy security needs nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables, and a robust energy mix means more certainty for businesses to invest and grow.
Visit Energy Works for US to learn more about the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s proposals on making renewable energy more competitive and making America more energy secure.
------------ Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:High energy prices, energy, prices, European Union, EU, Europe energy strategy, Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of CommerceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The EPA's Agenda: Undermine Capitalism and America
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The Environmental Protection Agency has been in a full assault on the U.S. economy since the 1980s when the global warming hoax was initiated. It has been assisted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
To put it in other terms, our own government has engaged in lying to Americans and the result has been the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars on something that was not happening and is not happening.
On January 22, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the deposition transcript of former senior EPA official John Beale. After defrauding the agency of nearly $900,000 and spending weeks and months away from his office by claiming he was on assignment for the CIA, the transcript contained a bombshell.
Discussing his job, at the time as a close associate of Gina McCarthy, the new EPA administrator, Beale revealed that he was there to come up with “specific proposals that could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the capitalist system…”
Dan Kish, senior vice president of the Institute for Energy Research, responded to the revelation saying “In his testimony under oath, Beale, perhaps unwittingly, has laid bare the administration’s end goal. The President’s policies are not about carbon, they are not about coal, and they are not even about energy and the environment. They are about fundamentally altering the DNA of the capitalist system. These policies are not about energy, but power.”
When the new EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, in testimony before a congressional committee in mid-January was asked by Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL-R) to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.
She said, “I can’t answer that question.”
“You’re asking us to impose billions of dollars of cost on this economy and you won’t answer the simple question of whether (temperature around the world is increasing faster than predicted) is accurate or not?” Sessions responded.
“I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” said McCarthy.
The Earth is in a cooling cycle that has lasted seventeen years at this point, but the EPA administrator was not inclined to accept this fact, nor question the climate scientists who provided the data based on computer models that have been consistently wrong now for decades.
We owe the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank a debt of gratitude for the eight international conferences it has held to debunk global warming. Joseph Bast, its president and CEO, has said, “The toll our EPA is taking on the country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work at a time when millions of people are unemployed and our reliance on foreign sources of energy threatens to compromise our nation’s security.” Heartland’s science director points out that “EPA’s budget could safely be cut by 80 percent or more without endangering the environment or human health, Most of what EPA does today could be done better by state government agencies…” I serve as an advisor to Heartland.
This is the same EPA that proposed restrictions for new wood stoves in early January. The reason given was to reduce the maximum amount of fine particulate emissions (soot) allowed for new stoves sold in 2015 and 2019. The soot is made up of solid particles and liquid droplets that measure 2.5 micrometers or less. The EPA claims, as it does for virtually all its regulations, that it is linked to heart attacks, decreased lung function, and premature death in people with heart and lung disease. This is worse than junk science. It represents no science whatever, being an invention of EPA employees who specialize in such nonsense. The Earth produces soot every day and circulates it globally.
The only way Americans will be protected against the EPA’s attack on our economy will be a Congress controlled by the Republican Party and a Republican President that will support the oversight that is needed and the reversal of its vast output of regulations. It will have to do this as well forNOAA, NASA, and other governmental departments and agencies that, until recently, spewed forth all manner of “data” supporting the global warming hoax.
At the heart of the global warming hoax, now called climate change, is the assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” have been dangerously warming the Earth by trapping heat, but you don’t have to be a scientist to know that the current cold spell, comparable to the 1500-1850 mini-ice age, is the result of lower solar emissions by a sun. CO2 is a minor (0.038) element of the Earth’s atmosphere, but the second most vital gas for all life on Earth because it is the “food” that maintains all vegetation.
Little wonder, during the government shutdown, more than 93% of EPA employees were furloughed when designated as “non-essential.” That was more than nine out of every ten employees!
In September 2013, the Republican members of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report that EPA officials had, from the beginning of President Obama’s tenure had “pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight.” It detailed violations of the Freedom of Information Act and other federal laws and regulations intended to encourage transparency and accountability in the government.
In mid-January, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute revealed that emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the EPA used official events to help environmental groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking. “The level of coordination in these documents is shocking” said an EELI spokesman. The EPA has a long history of this, including a policy of “sue and settle” working with environmental groups to bring a suit to advance regulations and settling the suit to enable it to implement those regulations.
In an April 2013 article in Investor’s Business Daily, John Merline reported that “Overall air pollution levels dropped 62% from 1990 to 2012, while GDP grew 69% and population climbed 26%.” The pollution the EPA keeps claiming is rising includes carbon monoxide, soot, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and others, all well below the EPA’s safety threshold. Water quality, too, has also improved over several decades.
In May 2013, Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) noted that the EPA, since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, had generated 1,920 new regulations. “The EPA’s actions are forcing us to expend vast financial, human and technological resources to achieve minimal or even zero health benefits.”
This is the same EPA leading the effort to shut down coal-fired plants that produce electricity. It is the same EPA seeking to stop the Pebble Mine, described as “a natural resource project in Alaska that could yield more copper than has ever been found in one place anywhere in the world.”
The EPA is the instrument of those who want to undermine capitalism in any way it can. Only that can explain why entire books have been written about its impact on the economy of the nation and the deceptive way it has imposed regulations responsible for it.
President Obama called for “hope and change” when he first ran for office. We can only hope that a new Congress and President will bring about the change we need to shut down the EPA and return control over the nation’s environment to its 50 sovereign states.
---------------------- 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:EPA, global warming, agenda, undermine capitalism, America, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has a message for conservatives, GET OUT! Conservatives not welcome. And that includes pro-life, Christians and other "extremists." Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on a public radio station that “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault—weapon, anti-gay…have no place in the State of New York.” AF Branco sums it up in the editorial cartoon below:
Tags:New York, Governor, Andrew Cuomo, comment, 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!
K. Carl Smith: Frederick Douglass Republican Methodology For Capturing The Black Vote
by Jack Minor: The South Carolina Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach, S.C. was challenged Sunday to convince blacks to flee the party of slavery and once again embrace their Republican roots by embracing a philosophy some conservatives would consider akin to heresy.
“The political insight of Frederick Douglass is more important than the political insight of the Founding Fathers,” attendees were told.
While conservatives are used to hearing liberals speak ill of the Founding Fathers, this statement was made by K. Carl Smith, founder of the Frederick Douglass Republicans.
He noted that polls consistently show more people identify themselves as conservatives than liberals in America. With that in mind Smith went on to explain why it is that the word “conservative” has such a negative connotation among blacks today and when the problem first began.
“We must understand this, because if we don’t, we will never win the White House again,” Smith warned.
When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Smith explained, 18 senators voted against it with Barry Goldwater being the lone Republican. Yet Smith explained that unlike the Democrats who voted against the bill, Goldwater’s opposition had nothing to do with racism.
“He voted against it not because he was a racist; he voted against it based on constitutional grounds,” Smith explained. “Goldwater voted against that bill based on Title II and Title VII, which dealt with accommodations and employment.”
But when the GOP went on to nominate Goldwater to run against Lyndon B. Johnson later that year, Smith said, it soured black voters on the party.
“When that happened, the black electorate felt alienated,” Smith explained. “The party of Lincoln, the party of emancipation – the black folks felt politically homeless. The RNC turned their backs on them by nominating Goldwater, the man who voted against the bill.”
He noted the same day Goldwater was nominated, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. issued a press release condemning the nomination.
“It is both unfortunate and disastrous that the Republican Party has nominated Sen. Barry Goldwater as a candidate for the presidency of the United States,” Dr. King said in the release. “On the urgent issue of civil rights Sen. Goldwater represents a philosophy that is morally indefensible and politically and socially suicidal. While not a racist himself, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.
“His candidacy in philosophy will serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes will stand,” King continued. “In light of these facts and because of my love for America, I have no alternative but to urge every Negro and every white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and withdraw support from any Republican candidate that does not publicly disassociate himself when it comes to Goldwater.”
Smith explained that what King was essentially saying was that Goldwater wanted to be so constitutionally right that he was morally wrong.
“When we say that we are conservative or Republican, the wall goes up and falls on deaf ears,” Smith explained. “Goldwater was actually an integrationist. He was one of the first business owners in Arizona to hire black cashiers and he encouraged other business owners to do likewise.”
Smith said 1964 was the tipping point where blacks joined the Democratic Party en masse.
“Think about that. We had to go back and join the party of our oppressors because we felt [betrayed] by the Republican Party,” he said. “Blacks did not become Democrats because of entitlements. … They felt sold out. Here’s the irony of this: It was the Democratic Party that gave us segregation. Under the Democratic Party they gave us the KKK and slavery. So blacks, instead of staying in the party of Lincoln, they felt alienated. They were politically homeless.
“In 1960 Richard Nixon received 32 percent of the black vote,” Smith pointed out. “Four years later Goldwater received 6 percent of the black vote, and it has been that way ever since. Romney received 6 percent of the black vote.”
Smith said while the solution is not to turn away from conservative values, there is a change of direction the party and conservatives need to take.
“If we are serious about defending the Constitution, if we are serious about defending liberty and want to preserve the blessings of liberty for prosperity, we must make Frederick Douglass an integral part of the conservative message,” Smith said. “Frederick Douglass is the abyss over the bridge of racism and class warfare that has been created by the left. When I say that I am a Frederick Douglass Republican, you can’t call me a racist or sellout. He was a victim of racism.
“Douglas defeats the class-warfare attacks. When Douglas died this man who was born below poverty had over $300,000 in savings. That is more than $10 million today,” Smith explained. “He was born a 47 percenter. The slavemaster provided his health care and provided shelter, clothing and food. He died a 1 percenter.
“The left doesn’t have an answer for Frederick Douglass,” Smith said. “Once this Frederick Douglass message gets out on a national level, you’ll see liberals jumping out the window. They have no answer for Douglas.”
He then said that in order to use this methodology to reach blacks, tea-party members and Republicans must be willing to make what seems like a difficult choice and admit that the Founding Fathers had faults that provide fodder liberals are quick to use against tea-party groups and members.
“The political insight of Frederick Douglass is more important than the political insights of the Founding Fathers,” he said.
Smith went on to explain that he appreciates the Republic the Founding Fathers gave us, but conservatives need to realize they cannot get around the fact that some of them owned slaves.
“The Founding Fathers gave us two magnificent documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” Smith said. “Now some of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. They did not free their slaves once the Constitution was ratified, some of them released their slaves after they died.
“Therefore their view of liberty is somewhat tainted, and the left plays on that,” Smith said. “Frederick Douglass did not own any slaves. He was a slave. But in his writing and in his speeches he affirms both the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. Douglass said on one occasion the Constitution says, ‘We the people,’ it does not read, ‘We the white people.’
“Douglass went on to say if black folks are people, then they are intended to be benefactors of this Constitution,” Smith continued. “Douglas went on to say the problem is not with the Constitution; the problem is with the application of the Constitution. The problem is not with the Bible; the problem is the application of the Bible.”
Smith went on to give two examples of how this philosophy will work if tea-party members are willing to put it into practice.
The first involved Louisiana State Sen. Elbert Guillory, who left the Democratic Party to become a Republican. Smith said when first started considering leaving the Democratic Party he called Smith, who began mentoring him and teaching him about Frederick Douglass Republican methodology.
“This gave him the inspiration and the grit to come out of the closet. This message works,” Smith said.
The other example involved Sharron Angle, who narrowly lost to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, a six-term Democrat from Nevada.
Angle told Smith that one day while in the Atlanta airport three black women recognized her and asked where she was going. She told them she was flying to Atlanta to meet a Frederick Douglass Republican friend of hers. Angle said when they asked her what that meant, she said Frederick Douglass stood for life and imparted values and I am a Frederick Douglass Republican. They then asked her if she would come speak in their church.
“The RNC has it wrong. The RNC wants to invite themselves into black churches,” Smith said. “No you wait to get invited, but you’ve got to have a message. It works. It’s bulletproof.”
-------------- Editor note: this is a reprint of an National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) article which reprinted an article by Jack Minor in World News Daily. Sharron Angle who is mentioned in the article is president of the NFRA. Tags:
K. Carl Smith, Frederick Douglass Republicans, South Carolina, TEA Party, Fredrick Douglas, American history, Barry Goldwater, Civil Rights Movement, Class Warfare, Constitution, Founding Fathers, Freedom, Limited Government, Martin Luther King Jr, Racism, Republicans, Right to Life, SlaveryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
CNBC: Aetna could be forced out of Obamacare | Hill: Moody Downgrading Insurers Based On ObamaCare Uncertainty
Today In Washington - Jan. 23, 2014
The Senate and House are in recess this week. A pro-forma Senate session will be held Friday 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. A vote is scheduled for 5:30 PM on Monday on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1926.
Today brings new reporting on how Obamacare is making a mess of insurance markets, and sadly the ultimate result of these disruptions is usually bad news for American consumers.
According to CNBC, “Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program. The company will be submitting Obamacare rates for 2015 on May 15. ‘Are they going to be double-digit [increases] or are we going to get beat up because they're double-digit or are we just going to have to pull out of the program?’ Bertolini asked in a ‘Squawk Box’ interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ‘Those questions can't be answered until we see the population we have today. And we really don't have a good view on that.’ . . . For Obamacare to work better, it needs more flexibility and choice of insurance programs, Bertolini said. ‘We need to make it a lot more simpler for people. There needs to be more choice. When you get more choice, you make it more of a market and you get more people in the program.’”
And The Hillreports, “Moody’s announced Thursday it was downgrading its outlook for health insurers from stable to negative based on uncertainty related to ObamaCare. The credit rating agency cited an unstable environment because of the healthcare law’s difficult rollout, and projected that insurers would earn 2 percent less than forecast in 2014. ‘While we’ve had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change,’ Moody’s Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk said in a statement. ‘The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.’ The Moody’s report also cites the slow enrollment of young people into ObamaCare as a reason for the downgrade. ‘Uncertainty over the demographics of those enrolling in individual products through the exchanges is a key factor in Moody’s outlook change,’ the ratings agency said. . . . Moody’s also said it was worried that insurers’ premium calculations might not be enough to cover the industry assessment tax that begins in 2014.”
Meanwhile, the parts of Obamacare that have already gone into effect are already hurting Americans with higher prices, canceled insurance plans, and doctors they can’t see.WRAL recently reported on a small business in North Carolina whose health care costs are going up by between $250,000 to $275,000 per year. A man in southern New Jersey found out that his premiums would go up ten times their previous amount.
A Virginia woman told The Virginian-Pilot that “[a]n insurance agent working with the health center gave her a quote for a couple of plans. One cost more than $1,400 a month with a $4,000 deductible, the other more than $600 a month with a $6,000 deductible.” She exclaimed, “Well, Donald Trump couldn't do that.” In California, a “disabled mother of two says she's out of medication for an auto-immune disease, she's run out of antibiotics for a painful internal infection, and the health plan she's paid for through the Affordable Care Act keeps sending her to doctors who say they can't treat her because they won't take her insurance,” according to a KCBS report. Fox News recently reported on a New York woman “diagnosed with breast cancer, whose life-saving surgery has been postponed after she lost her doctors under ObamaCare.” She was “forced to postpone her Jan. 3 biopsy and follow-up treatment at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the largest private cancer center in the world, when her insurance rolled over into a new plan that was part of an exchange under the Affordable Care Act. ‘As of January 1, my insurance plan rolled over into a new ObamaCare plan that is part of the exchange and my doctors are no longer available in my network, so the surgeons that I was dealing with … I no longer have access to,’ Gracchi told Fox News.”
And WKBN in Ohio reported, “Hundreds of people in the Mahoning Valley can no longer go to their trusted doctors, and local officials say the Affordable Care Act is to blame.”
Tags:Obamacare problems, insurance companies, Moody, downgrading insurers, patients losing doctorsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
National #SchoolChoice Week - Jan. 26 to Feb 1, 2014 - Is Almost Here!
"I Support School Choice,"
Dr. Bill Smith
Bill Smith, Ph.D., Editor supports School Choice and so should every concerned citizen. Beginning this Saturday, Jan 26, 2013, millions of Americans will voice their support for educational opportunity during the fourth-annual National School Choice Week.
School Choice Week will include an unprecedented 5,500 events across all 50 states, with a goal of increasing public awareness of the importance of empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children.
National School Choice Week events will be independently-planned and independently-funded by schools, organizations, individuals and coalitions. Events — which include rallies, roundtable discussions, school fairs, parent information sessions, movie screenings, and more — will focus on a variety of school choice issues important to families in local communities, including open enrollment policies in traditional public schools, public charter and magnet schools, private school choice programs, online learning, and homeschooling.
"During National School Choice Week, millions of Americans will hear the uplifting and transformational stories of students, parents, teachers, and school leaders who are benefiting from a variety of different school choice programs and policies across America," said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. "Our hope is that by letting more people know about the successes of school choice where it exists, more parents will become aware of the educational opportunities available to their families."
Organizers said that National School Choice Week also provides a platform for families to demand greater educational options for their children in areas that don't provide enough educational choices to families.
"During the Week, Americans from all backgrounds and ideologies will celebrate school choice where it exists and demand it where it does not," Campanella said. "National School Choice Week will be the nation's largest-ever series of education-related events, which is testament to the incredible levels of support that exist for educational opportunity in America."
National School Choice Week is nonpartisan and nonpolitical.
During the Week, a positive spotlight will shine on all types of education options – from traditional public schools, to public magnet and charter schools, to private schools, to virtual schools, to home schooling. The nonpolitical, nonpartisan effort will bring students, parents, educators, community leaders, and elected officials together to cheer for school choice where it exists and demand it where it does not.
As supporters prepare to celebrate the Week, more American families are actively choosing educational environments for their children than ever before:
- 30 states allow intra-district open enrollment in traditional public schools; 44 allow inter-district open enrollment
- 42 states allow the creation of independent public charter schools
- 42 states have public magnet schools
- 29 states have full-time virtual schools
- 23 states offer private school choice programs, such as opportunity scholarships
- All US states permit parents to homeschool their children
In support of independently-planned events, yesterday (Jan 22, 2014), a cross-country whistle-stop train and motor coach tour kicked off. It was designed to galvanize greater public support for all types of educational choice. The tour began in Newark, NJ. The tour will cover 3,800 miles and feature special events in cities from Newark to San Francisco. Modeled after pioneering whistle-stop tours in American history, the events will call attention to the benefits of and need for greater educational opportunity for children and families.
National School Choice Week began in 2011 as an independent, grassroots-led effort. The movement has grown from 150 events in 2011 to a confirmed 5,500 events planned for 2014. Tags:National School Choice Week, school choice, NSCW, supporting parents, helping children, quality educationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Iraq Map - Source: Central Intelligence
Agency, The World Factbook
by Nicholas Cunningham: A wave of violence has swept parts of Iraq at the start of 2014 as the central government fights back against Al-Qaeda aligned militants in Anbar Province. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) reportedly took control of Ramadi and Fallujah, bombing police headquarters and killing dozens. On New Year's Day Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent in reinforcements to take back control of Anbar Province's two largest cities. The clashes kick off 2014 in much the same way as 2013 ended – a return to violence in a country that had seen important security gains in recent years.
Over 7,800 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2013, the bloodiest year over the past five. The latest violence occurred in Anbar Province, a region that dogged the U.S. military during its decade-long war. ISIL is also engaged in fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the latest string of events indicates that the violence of the Syrian civil war is spreading deeper into Iraq.
The conflict has yet to affect Iraq's oil fields, and production hit 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, the most since August 2013, according to Bloomberg. To be sure, the violence does not pose an immediate threat to Iraq's oil output, as three-fourths of the country's production comes from the South, and much of the rest from Kurdistan in the North. In fact, according to the EIA, a majority of Iraq's oil production comes from three fields – Kirkuk, and the North and South Rumaila fields near Basra. The latest violence is not located near these areas.
Still, the instability and the loss of control of key cities by the Iraqi government underscores the intense security challenge facing the country as it seeks to ramp up oil production in the coming years. Iraq has a stated goal of tripling oil production to 9 million bpd by 2020. In a 2012 special report on Iraq, the IEA estimates a slightly less rosy figure of 6.1 million bpd by the end of the decade in its central scenario.
With the immense challenges facing Iraq's oil sector, even doubling today's output over the next six years looks rather ambitious. Iraq still has not agreed on a hydrocarbons law that would outline oil governance. Kurdistan is making brazen moves aimed at increasing its independence from the central government in Baghdad. This may help to boost Kurdish oil production, but political conflict between the semi-autonomous region and the Maliki government casts a shadow of uncertainty over the country's oil industry. Most importantly, however, is the violence that threatens the stability of Iraq, which is now the second largest OPEC producer after Saudi Arabia.
Personal Tweets by the editor: Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
#Conservative #Constitution #NRA #GunRights #military 22 yr #veteran #professor #Christian #ProLife #TCOT #SGP #CCOT #schoolchoice #fairtax Married-50+yrs #MAGA
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