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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Zombies, the Apocalypse, and the Decline of the Republic

 David M. Huntwork, Contributing Author: Apocalypticism has exploded in popularity and, while nuclear war and pandemics have always been a starting point, the concept of the Zombie Apocalypse trumps them all. The appeal and wild popularity of shows like The Walking Dead, movies like World War Z, and the slew of apocalyptic, gloom and doom series and specials on cable television continues to grow by leaps and bounds. But the reasons behind such interest are often subconscious at times and not fully understood.

The Leftist activist and agitator Noam Chomsky was recently asked “why there’s this preoccupation with the apocalypse and with zombies right now in our culture?” I concurred with the first part of his response which was that he felt the focus on zombies was “a reflection of fear and desperation” by “an unusually frightened country.” But quickly the obsessive liberal impulse to blame America first and foremost for all ills, real and imagined including the public’s obsession with a zombie apocalypse, rose irresistibly to the surface.

He went through the history of fear in popular culture as outlined in the book War Stars by Bruce Franklin. Although the fear is embodied in various forms, he sees a common thread throughout:

“There are a couple of themes that run through it that are pretty striking. For one thing, one major theme in popular literature is that we are about to face destruction from some terrible, awesome enemy. And at the last-minute we are saved by a superhero or a super weapon, or in recent years high school kids going to the hills to chase away the Russians, things like that. That’s one theme that runs through constantly. And there’s a sub-theme. It turns out this enemy, this horrible enemy that’s about to destroy us, is somebody we’re crushing.”

“I think it’s, much of it is kind of just a recognition, at some level of the psyche, that if you’ve got your boot on somebody’s neck, there’s something wrong. And that the people you’re oppressing may rise up and defend themselves, and then you’re in trouble. And another is strange properties the country has always had of fear of invented dangers. There is a kind of paranoid streak in the culture that’s pretty unusual.”

And that’s about the best the Left can do I guess in trying to fathom the country’s fascination with a Zombie Apocalypse. It’s all just collective, subconscious guilt. Nice try, I suppose, but if that was a “hit or miss” explanation it’s far closer to a miss than a hit.

There is indeed a vast undercurrent of suspicion, unease, paranoia, division, worry, pain, and even trauma right underneath the surface of the national consciousness. I believe it is manifested in the popularity of zombie themed entertainment and the concept of the doomsday scenario in general in popular culture. The feeling that things are rapidly unraveling and coming apart is a constant theme in social media and shared by vast swaths of the population, not to mention visualized in everything from backyard bunkers to Zombie apocalypse decals, Facebook groups, and bar crawls.

Collectively, we have lost our belief in a positive future.

The truth is that the American political system has been dysfunctional for decades and the country seems to have become functionally insane since the attacks on 9-11. The fears and rage unleashed that day has, in turn, unleashed a fast-growing and aggressive slew of government agencies, policies, and powers. Recent revelations have made us aware that the turn-key tyranny, 1984 surveillance state is upon us with every cell call made and every internet email, photo, comment, and social media post recorded and sucked into gargantuan government data bases for no discernible or reasonable reason that the average person can fathom.

Two unpopular wars and the eventual election of the most intellectually bankrupt, corrupt, radical, and left-wing President in American history has only further divided an already deeply divided nation. Not since the Civil War has the nation been as polarized as it is now and the hatred that exists between the Right and the Left is real and palpable as each bitterly blames the others for every economic, societal, cultural, and policy ill that one can imagine.

The once powerful Republic is basically bankrupt and the financial system living only on borrowed time and credit. And a myriad of federal agencies and vast numbers of the citizenry are frantically arming themselves and stocking up on ammunition in a frenzy that shows no sign of abating. The country increasingly has no sense of itself and is flooded with everything from vast hordes of illegal immigrants to bitter cynicism while the traditional pillars and institutions of the State and society are under unceasing attack from all sides. The once proud partners, logic and common sense, lay rotting in the gutter having been slain by our progressive comrades when they were perhaps most needed.

In the end, the citizenry can sense that we are on the wrong path and that something is deeply and fundamentally wrong with the country and the direction is it headed. They may not understand why and may even vote for certain political parties and politicians that are leading them down the wrong path. But they understand it is there and that it is real.

As the vastly powerful American Empire begins to totter its societal values decay and its internal cohesiveness unravels. The New Rome begins to mimic the Old. And when the greatest empire of the ancient world did fall it ushered in an era of darkness that lasted nearly a thousand years. Perhaps such unconscious fears and realizations by the populace of what their society, culture, and nation could possibly undergo (economic collapse, dirty bombs, bloody revolution, EMP induced dark age etc.) is mirrored in the depictions of a final, gory, and horrible apocalypse on-screen.

If there’s a single theme at the heart of The Walking Dead and similar shows, it is the fragility of civilization. And as it continues to unravel at breakneck speed, fear of the future manifests itself in interesting ways.
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David Huntwork is a conservative activist, blogger, and columnist, and the proud father of three daughters. The son, grandson, and great-grandson of Ministers of the Gospel he brings a unique blended background of theology and ideology to the great debates of the day. He believes that Faith, Family, and Freedom is the formula for success and the key to a good life and a healthy nation. David blogs at the Constitutionclub.org and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. You can contact him at davehuntwork@juno.com.

Tags: zombies, apocalypse, fear, Decline of the Republic, David Huntwork To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The World's Volcanic Past and Future

 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: While Americans coped with massive snowfalls in the South, Midwest and Northeast, a dramatic volcanic eruption occurred on February 13th in Indonesia when Mount Kelud in the province of East Java erupted so loudly it could be heard 120 miles away.

It is one of 130 volcanos in the world’s fourth most populous nation, located on the “ring of fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean. About 200,000 people were affected and more than 76,000 had to be evacuated according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The affect was dramatic, shutting down an airport in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya, a major industrial center, along with those in five other cities as well as a major oil refinery that provides more than a third of Indonesia’s total output of refined products

Earlier this month, the eruption of Mount Sinabung in the north of the island of Sumatra was credited with the death of eleven people. It had been spewing lava and ash for months and forced thousands to flee the area.

There are about 1,500 active volcanos worldwide with the majority on the Pacific “ring of fire.” Some fifty of these erupt every year, An estimated 500 million people worldwide live near active volcanoes.

While environmentalists are forever blathering about carbon dioxide (C02) emissions from cars, plants that produce electricity, and all forms of manufacturing, volcanos produce from 145 million to 255 million short tons of CO2 every year.

Large, explosive eruptions, in addition to CO2, put large amounts of water vapor, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, and ash, pulverized rock and pumice, into the stratosphere to heights of 10 to 20 miles above the Earth’s surface. Sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid condense rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols that reflect the Sun’s radiation, cooling the Earth’s lower atmosphere or troposphere while also absorbing heat radiated from the Earth. In the past century, several eruptions during the past century cooled the Earth by up to half a degree Fahrenheit for periods of one to three years.

I cite this to drive home the fundamental scientific fact that, as opposed to all the nonsense about human control or effect on the Earth’s temperatures, volcanoes by comparison render the human component infinitesimal.

Moreover, CO2 plays virtually no role in the Earth’s overall temperature. Shutting down coal-fired electrical plants and preventing the construction of new ones has no basis in science. The outcry against CO2 ignores the fact that all life on Earth depends on it to provide the “food” that all vegetation requires. More Co2, not less, is good for the Earth.

What Americans need to worry about is the eruption of a super volcano with a large caldera such as the Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park and the Valles Caldera in New Mexico. Both have been dormant for thousands of years.

The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years compared to its human component that only began to create what we call modern civilization for about five thousand years. Its volcanos, potential earthquakes, floods, blizzards, and other natural hazards pose some serious threats. Massive eruptions such as those about 250 million years ago are believed to have been the cause of the “Great Dying” that is estimated to have killed 90% of the species existing at the time.

When I read and hear about people speaking about how humans are causing major species declines or industry threatening the climate, I am reminded of how Nature, the action or inaction of the Sun, volcanoes and other natural events dwarf anything that is attributed to human activity.

Thanks to the environmentalists, we are crippling and denying the ability of this nation to construct the pipelines, expand our industrial base, and provide the housing needed for an expanding population.

Look around you. Pretend you’re a dinosaur Then remember they dominated the Earth for thousands of years until Nature eliminated them.
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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: Valcanos, C02, 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!

Democrat Medicare Cuts Will Hurt

 Democrats Actually Designed These Cuts To Medicare Advantage & They Voted To Defend Them Twice

Obamacare: $308 Billion In Medicare Advantage Cuts
“Obamacare called for cuts to the Medicare Advantage program…” (“Republicans Press Obama On Medicare Insurance Cuts,” Politico, 2/13/14)

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS:
  • CBO: ‘Medicare Advantage Rates... 156 [billion dollars].’ “Changes in outlays from direct spending... Medicare Advantage Rates... 2013-2022: 156 [billion dollars]” (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Speaker Boehner, P.5, 7/24/12)
  • CBO: “Our estimate of the interaction between the FFS provisions and payment rates for MA [Medicare Advantage] plans is $152 billion.” (CBO, E-Mail To Senate Staff, 7/24/12)
  • CBO: “The sum of those two effects is $308 billion.” (CBO, E-Mail To Senate Staff, 7/24/12)
Democrats Repeatedly Defended Their Cuts To Medicare Advantage
In 2009, 57 Democrats rejected an effort to restore Medicare Advantage for seniors. “Hatch, R-Utah, motion to commit the bill to the Finance Committee with instructions that it be reported back with changes that would eliminate cuts in payments to Medicare Advantage plans...” (H.R. 3590 Motion To Commit H.R. 3590 With Instructions, Roll Call Vote #362, Motion Not Agreed To 41-57: R 39-0; D 2-55; I 0-2, 12/4/09)
Dems Defended Their Cuts To Medicare
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): “There are significant savings” in Medicare Advantage (CNN’s “State Of The Union,” 11/22/09)
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): Obamacare “makes changes to the Medicare Advantage payment structure that will give insurers an incentive to deliver more value for taxpayers' money.” (Sen. Landrieu, Press Release, 12/22/09)

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “What we're cutting are the slush funds of the insurance companies that are making billions of dollars off of Medicare Advantage. That's what we're cutting.” (MSNBC, 12/1/09)

“Of the more than 50 million older Americans who receive coverage through Medicare, about 15 million are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans...” (“U.S. Health Insurers Brace For New Steep Medicare Cuts,” Reuters, 2/20/14)

Tags: Democrats. Medicare Cuts, Will Hurt, Public To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obamacare Legacy: NYT: Cities, Counties, Schools Cutting Hours | Denver Post: Young Avoid Coverage

Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco
  Another day, another slate of stories about the problems Obamacare is causing for Americans.

The New York Times writes, “Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say. . . . President Obama has twice delayed enforcement of the health care law’s employer mandate, which would subject larger employers to tax penalties if they do not offer insurance coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week, on average. But many public employers have already adopted policies, laws or regulations to make sure workers stay under that threshold. Even after the administration said this month that it would ease coverage requirements for larger employers, public employers generally said they were keeping the restrictions on work hours because their obligation to provide health insurance, starting in 2015, would be based on hours worked by employees this year. Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors. Mark D. Benigni, the superintendent of schools in Meriden, Conn., and a board member of the American Association of School Administrators, said in an interview that the new health care law was having ‘unintended consequences for school systems across the nation.’”

The Times looks at how this is playing out in several states. “In Connecticut, as in many states, significant numbers of part-time school employees work more than 30 hours a week and do not receive health benefits. ‘Are we supposed to lay off full-time teachers so that we can provide insurance coverage to part-time employees?’ Mr. Benigni asked. ‘If I had to cut five reading teachers to pay for benefits for substitute teachers, I’m not sure that would be best for our students.’ In Medina, Ohio, about 30 miles south of Cleveland, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the city had lowered the limit for part-time employees to 29 hours a week, from 35. Workers’ wages were reduced accordingly, he said. ‘Our choice was to cut the hours or give them health care, and we could not afford the latter,’ Mr. Hanwell, a Republican, said. . . . Lawrence County, in western Pennsylvania, reduced the limit for part-time employees to 28 hours a week, from 32. Dan Vogler, the Republican chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said the cuts affected prison guards and emergency service personnel at the county’s 911 call center. In Virginia, part-time state employees are generally not allowed to work more than 29 hours a week on average over a 12-month period. Thousands of part-time state employees had been working more than that, according to the state personnel agency. Virginia officials said they could not extend coverage to part-time wage workers because of the expense. . . . William J. Lipkin, an adjunct professor of American history and political science at Union County College in Cranford, N.J., said: ‘The Affordable Care Act, rather than making health care affordable for adjunct faculty members, is making it more unaffordable. Colleges are not giving us access to health care, and our hours are being cut, which means our income is being cut. We are losing on both ends.’ . . . The University of Akron, in Ohio, has cut back the hours of 400 part-time faculty members who were teaching more than 29 hours a week, said Eileen Korey, a spokeswoman for the school. ‘We have more than 1,000 part-time faculty,’ Ms. Korey said. ‘Four hundred would have qualified for health insurance. That would add costs that we cannot afford.’”

For good measure, The Times points out, “For months, Obama administration officials have played down reports that employers were limiting workers’ hours. But in a report this month, the Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act could lead to a reduction in the number of hours worked, relative to what would otherwise occur.” And just this week in Florida, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed, “There is absolutely no evidence -- and every economist will tell you this -- that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.”

Meanwhile, The Denver Post reports that Obamacare continues to be a bad deal for many, especially young Americans, whom Democrats are imploring to sign up so costs don’t go up even more than they already have. “Matt Leising spends about $3,600 a year on medication to treat asthma and sinus problems, so he was supportive when Washington politicians were debating the Affordable Care Act. After the law passed and then began rolling out last fall, Leising went to Colorado's health care exchange website to look for coverage, but the 29-year-old Littleton resident quickly realized he couldn't afford any of the plans. The lowest monthly premium was $175, but the deductible was $10,000, meaning he would still have to pay for his medication and other expenses. He decided to just pay for his medication out of pocket and take the $95 tax penalty for a single person. ‘How could a young person nowadays afford it?’ asked Leising, the manager of a small business that doesn't provide health insurance. ‘I don't see how anyone in my age group can afford insurance unless they have a really good job.’ The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 40 percent of people ages 18 to 34 need to sign up for health insurance to defray the costs of coverage for older, sicker people, but so far those figures in Colorado and nationally are half that number. . . . About 30 percent of Colorado exchange users are 55 to 64 years old — the oldest group of people before Medicare kicks in. Census figures show that age group is about 12 percent of the Colorado population, so older people are signing up at nearly three times the size of their population.”

The Post notes, “27-year-old Fort Collins resident Sarah Hardin would rather save the money and pay out of pocket for treatment than spend the roughly $800 a month she said it would cost to cover her and her husband. ‘When we're not paying anything now, anything is a significant jump,’ said Hardin, who owns a hair salon and makes too much to qualify for a subsidy. ‘Paying anything monthly is a lot.’ Hardin doesn't like that the Affordable Care Act is shifting costs onto young, healthy people to subsidize care for older and sicker people. ‘They would have young people paying more for insurance and people don't want to pay into the system,’ she said. ‘They're not going to want to do that.’ Hardin said the only way she and her husband would buy health insurance is if the federal tax penalty is more than the annual costs of the policy. . . . The penalty ‘would have to be pretty significant,’ she said. ‘Most of my network connections and friends or colleagues pretty much feel the same way.’ . . . Leising said he is disappointed that the law isn't providing him with affordable coverage. ‘It didn't work out,’ he said. ‘I think I was naive, but I was younger then. I thought they were going to work out the problems, but no one seems to be addressing them.’”

Tags: Obamacare, legacy, city, counties, Schools, cutting hours, young avoid coverage, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Warren's View: 'Minimum Wage Spike'

by William Warren, Editorial Cartoon

Tags: Barack Obama, minimum wage, spike, killing spots, increasing cost of goods and services, William Warren, editorial cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Don’t Let the IRS Silence You!

The Obama administration via the Treasury Department is proposing a uniform approach to stifling political speech, issuing a new regulation severely restricting political activity of 501(c)(4) organizations. . . . limitations will be imposed not simply on advocacy for or against a candidate for public office, as has been the case for over 50 years, but on any communication that even mentions a public official who happens to be a candidate. Specifically, the regulations will define "certain communications that are close in time to an election and that refer to a clearly identified candidate as electioneering communications." It applies blackout periods 60 days prior to the general election and 30 days prior to primary elections at the federal, state, and local level.This persecution must stop that the Supreme Court has already struck down as a blatant First Amendment violation in the Citizens United decision. ~ Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government

Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch: The Obama administration, with the urging of its leftist allies, wants to kill the conservative movement with these proposed regulations and other steps. Judicial Watch won’t stand still for it and neither should you.

President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced new rules that strictly limit the ability of 501(c)(4), tax-exempt organizations from carrying out their core missions in the months leading up to federal, state, and local elections. These new rules are seemingly designed to silence the growing conservative grassroots and Tea Party movement in America. Our First Amendment rights are in jeopardy. Please join us in fighting back now!

These new IRS rules will:
1.Keep citizens from holding their public officials accountable
2, Silence citizens and chill the very purpose of grassroots groups

Tell the IRS:
  • It is impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the inner workings of every citizens group in the country
  • The IRS is supposed to be collecting revenues, not snooping and trampling on the First Amendment rights of the citizens
  • American citizens don't need permission from the IRS in-order to be active in grassroots movements
  • To stop unfairly attacking the Tea Party and other 501c4 groups
The IRS is accepting public comment on these rules. Follow this link to submit YOUR comments now.

Tags: IRS, silence, free speech, Tell the IRS, Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sec. of State John Kerry Should Resign

 Newt Gingrich, Newt Productions: If in recent history an American secretary of State has made a speech as delusional as John Kerry’s in Jakarta last week, I can’t remember it.

Discussing the most dangerous threats facing the world, Secretary Kerry said that “terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” are all problems, but added, “the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”

That was extreme enough, but then came the claim that should disqualify him from serving as Secretary of State. “In a sense,” he said, “climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.

At a time when Iran is on the verge of building a nuclear weapon, Ukraine is erupting into violence, Syria has collapsed into civil war, Venezuela is falling apart, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to devolve, and China is asserting itself all over the world, the American Secretary of State stated that the most urgent threat we face is a small rise in sea level by the end of the 21st century – a threat even greater than nuclear war, terrorism, or catastrophic attacks on critical infrastructure.

It’s a disaster for someone in that position to announce global warming is the greatest threat to the human race. It’s dangerous. If these are really his priorities, he should not remain in office.

Kerry clearly doesn’t intend his statement as hyperbole, though. He actually believes climate change could be worse than nuclear war. You realize that when you hear the doomsday scenarios he goes on to prophesy: droughts and dry spells, floods and monsoons, typhoons, famine, the end of species (“cod or sardines,” he says), entire countries submerged, and more.

Kerry predicts economic disaster, too — for instance, a trillion dollars every year in flood damage to ports in Asia, “unless we make big changes to the infrastructure of those ports” (which, presumably, “we” would, rather than bear a trillion dollars in unnecessary costs each year…).

All of these catastrophes, Kerry says repeatedly, are “facts”. The science of climate change, in his telling, is as indisputable as it is simple–a scientific truth in the same way that gravity is a scientific truth.

“When an apple separates from a tree, it falls to the ground..It’s a scientific fact,” he says. Similarly, climate change “is not really a complicated equation…This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this.”

The computer model projections, of course, are not scientific fact — they’re hypotheses — and they are not simple, either. They are based on thousands of variables, and many educated guesses and assumptions. Guesses and assumptions that failed to predict the last 17 years without warming (a scenario none of these “scientific” models projected).

Secretary Kerry has no time for questions about his bumper sticker science, however. As a lifelong politician, he implored the world to ignore “a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues” who are skeptical of his claims.

It’s not just the science skeptics Kerry can’t tolerate, however. Your view is equally unacceptable to the Secretary of State if you grant him his forecasts but question the left’s policy prescriptions (which always involve giving more power and trillions of dollars to the government in a futile attempt to prevent the Earth’s climate from changing). We should not allow “any room,” Kerry says, “for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

We must follow him anywhere, apparently, even if it does more harm than good.

Not only do Kerry’s injunctions verge on totalitarianism — intolerance of any view but the state’s — but they are also the opposite of the scientific method, which is based on openness to doubt.

Unfortunately, Kerry’s eagerness to shut down the conversation is increasingly common on the left. A climate scientist at Penn State is suing the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for libel because they dared to question his research. (Scientists who sue columnists for questioning their findings are reason enough to be skeptical of the global warming “consensus.”)

How can anyone take seriously a secretary of State who gives a speech like Kerry did in Jakarta and actually means it?

Clearly the Iranians can’t take him seriously. The day after Kerry announced that America is more concerned with global warming than nuclear weapons, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said of his nuclear negotiations with the west: “I am not optimistic about the negotiations and they will lead nowhere — but I am not against them.”

But Secretary Kerry has bigger problems on his mind. In a delusional administration, he is the most delusional cabinet member. If Kerry really thinks like this, he needs to resign.
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Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via his  Gingrich Productions.

Tags: delusional, John Kerry, Secretary of State, should resign, Newt Gingrich, Gingrich Productions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

You Paid Your Dues, Didn't You?

Lucinda Friggins, Letter To Editor: Politicians call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government says it is running out of money and somehow it’s our fault.

I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because politicians have been sucking away at the money for years, doesn't make the benefits some kind of charity, welfare or entitlement!! Congressional benefits, such as free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's entitlement! Do away with their entitlement packages and we could probably have a balanced budget with no other effort required.

SENIORS.... You can say let someone else take care of this but you'd better start standing up for yourselves and your investment in Social Security and Medicare. No one else is going to do it for you!

In addition to Social Security and Medicare, now the government is dipping into earned veterans benefits. Again, the catch phrase here is EARNED. Many veterans earned these benefits for their family members by giving the maximum sacrifice, their lives. So they are'’t even here to protest this latest atrocity by the government. And, the Republican ‘leadership’ in the House completely gave up fighting for the priorities of the American people and once again caved to the demands of President Obama and the Democrats by voting to raise the debt ceiling without any strings attached.

House leadership began the effort offering to tack on relatively-modest GOP priorities like the Keystone pipeline and reversing cuts to veterans benefits. But when it came to the fight, House Speaker Boehner and 27 other Republicans voted with 193 Democrats FOR a bill stripped clean while the vast majority of his caucus, 199 Republicans, voted against raising the debt ceiling. In the Senate, the Democrats passed the bill while every Republican opposed the hike.

This lack of spinal support by these politicians has now placed the debt of $17.3 trillion in the laps of our children and grandchildren. Pick up your phone and call them and tell them what you think of their inability to do their jobs. And be sure to remember the actions of your elected officials the next time you vote.
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Lucinda Friggins is the pen name of a widowed great-grandmother concerned about out of control big government and the effect it will have on her children and her grandchildren. “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.” ~ Abigail Adams

Tags: Lucinda Friggins, Letter to Editor, dues, social security, medicare, debt ceiling, grandchildren, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hillary Clinton's War on Women - What Difference Does it Make?

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Hillary Clinton, War on Women, What Difference Does It Make, Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Will Democrats Let The IRS Muzzle Their Own Liberal Grassroots?

Phil Kerpen
 by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Next week the House will consider H.R. 3865, which would prohibit the IRS from rushing a final rule regulating 501(c)(4) organizations in the middle of the current tax year. If the floor debate looks like the bill’s markup in the Ways and Means Committee, it will be split right down party lines.

Republicans will condemn the IRS 501(c)(4) muzzle rule as a violation of free speech rights and an extension of the IRS targeting scandal by official means. Democrats will complain that the IRS targeting scandal has been exaggerated and insist the rule is an appropriate response to the horrors of “dark money.” They will say “Koch brothers” a lot. Then they will all vote to let the IRS proceed.

If that is indeed what happens, it will be a sad commentary on the extent to which Democratic House members are willing to ignore their constituents to serve as a rubber stamp for President Obama’s IRS – and a lifeline to the self-serving political interests of their endangered Senate colleagues.

Consider the official comments from the ACLU, which is extremely critical of the proposed IRS rule:

Most social welfare organizations - on both the left and right — serve exactly that function as they see it, the promotion of social welfare and community good. Based on their respective visions, they advocate for the powerless and the voiceless. They promote fiscal responsibility and good government. They serve as a check on government overreach, or as a cheerleader for sound public policy.

In many of these functions, social welfare organizations praise or criticize candidates for public office on the issues and they should be able to do so freely, without fear of losing or being denied tax-exempt status, even if doing so could influence a citizen’s vote. Such advocacy is at the heart of our representative democracy. To the extent it influences voting, it does so by promoting an informed citizenry.
Or Cathy Duvall, the Sierra Club’s director of strategic partnerships, who told the Washington Post the proposed rule: “harms efforts that have nothing to do with politics, from our ability to communicate with our members about clean air and water to our efforts to educate the public about toxic pollution.”The liberal umbrella Alliance for Justice is even more critical:In its attempt to define what kinds of activity are “political” and therefore cannot be counted toward a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization’s social welfare purpose, Treasury and the IRS drew a very deep and troubling line in the sand. Though the new definitions attempt to clarify existing rules, they also create a danger to citizen participation in our democracy.

If implemented, there would be no such thing as a nonpartisan election activity conducted by a 501(c)(4); it would all be considered “political.” By expanding the definition of what activities are political, the rules would drastically reduce the ability of (c)(4)s to engage in nonpartisan get-out-the-vote drives, candidate questionnaires, and voter registration drives. These activities have been critical to the ability of nonprofits to influence the public policy debate on a wealth of issues.

These regulations will not run 501(c)(4)s out of politics. Rather, the big players will hire lawyers and accountants to help them avoid the rules. Small players can’t afford this kind of assistance. As a result, much smaller groups may well be frozen out of legitimate citizen engagement. Creating an entirely distinct political organization to promote their policy agendas – new clean water laws or “no smoking” ordinances, for example — would be too costly and burdensome.
In a devastating piece published on The Nation’s website, Alliance for Justice’s Nan Aron specifically debunks every one of the excuses Democrats offered in committee for opposing H.R. 3865. This one is particularly relevant:There is nothing in these rules that deals at all with disclosure of donors

If you’re worried about “dark” money and a lack of disclosure of donors, there is nothing in the regs about where the money for (c)(4)s comes from, and they don’t require any new level of disclosure. If the money was “dark” before, it will continue to be “dark” after.
While the current proposed rule does not apply to labor unions, which are organized under 501(c)(5) of the tax code, the IRS did ask for comment on whether the same rules applied to 501(c)(4) organizations should also apply to 501(c)(5) groups.

Maintaining separate rules would be politically difficult, which is why SEIU’s associate general counsel has already weighed in, saying:

The rule is so broadly phrased and so categorical, it would be totally inappropriate for unions. It would seriously affect their ability to function as membership organizations.The League of Conservation Voters recently rang an alarm bell, saying:The devil is in the details. We want to make sure that any final rules do the right job of curtailing shadowy 'c4s' and don't end up hurting legitimate groups who represent large public constituencies.The League of Women Voters is also concerned:They lumped everybody together… the 60-day thing is a problem. For a November election, you could only do things in September, (when) people are barely back to work from the summer. They're not paying attention to elections yet.As grassroots activists across the political spectrum have flooded the docket with an unprecedented number of comments opposing the proposed rule, the liberal group Common Cause sent out a call to its activists warning: “Tea Party groups are flooding the agency with comments.” Yet, remarkably, even Common Cause notes in its model comments that the rule as proposed is flawed:At the same time, the proposed rules are imperfect because they count critical civic engagement efforts like nonpartisan voter registration and nonpartisan get-out-the-vote activities as “candidate-related political activity” and should be exempted from the definition.While many liberals would like to see IRS rulemaking in this area, there is not a single group that is comfortable with the current proposed rule. Not one. So what's the harm in slowing this rulemaking down?

H.R. 3865 only prohibits the IRS from issuing a final rule in the middle of the current tax year. It does not stop them from moving forward in a deliberate way, giving due consideration to these serious concerns from the public. The bill would ensure that the agency does not regulate prematurely, trampling the rights of liberal grassroots groups as well as conservatives.

We know why Senate Democrats want the IRS to muzzle 501(c)(4) groups as soon as possible. Next week we’ll find out if there are any House Democrats who are willing to stand up for their constituents and slow down the IRS’s rush to regulate.
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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: Democrats, muzzle, liberal grassroots, IRS, Phil Kerpen, American Commitment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Last Time We Were Really Anti-Free Trade Was The Great Depression

Anyone?  Anyone Think the
Great Depression Was a Good Idea?
 Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The cinematic classic “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” made the broader public aware of the greatness that is Ben Stein. Already a lawyer and speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Stein was cast as the atonal Economics teacher droning his students into stupor.

Stein was asked to improvise on camera a lecture. He chose to in part address one of the fundamental contributors to the Great Depression - anti-free trade protectionism. Specifically the 1930 Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act.

Purportedly passed to ameliorate the Depression, the Act “raised (United States) tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels.”

As Stein asks and answers in the flick, “Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression.”

Not a shocker. The less you inhibit the free exchange of goods and services, the greater the economic opportunities and growth. If you consciously constrict any portion of the economy, you will get less opportunities and growth.

In ways both seen and unseen. By preemptively proscribing some activities, you kill in the crib any creativity that could have ensued.

If - say, to protect the horse buggy industry - we had outlawed Henry Ford’s newly minted automobile, we would have lost inconceivable amounts of future economic activity.

Think of all the ancillary and tertiary businesses that exist because the car industry was allowed to develop a little less fettered.

Whole sectors of the economy to service the car - and whole other sectors that couldn’t exist without it.

None of which would be here had the government made a dumb, preemptive automotive move.

We have been told incessantly that we are enduring the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. (It’s not. For instance, the Jimmy Carter economy Ronald Reagan inherited was much worse.)

We’re entering Year Six of the non-recovery “Recovery” - because a lot of really dumb government policies have hindered growth. Bailouts, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and (other) new taxes to name but a few have fended off any sort of actual recovery.

Like, say, our government imposing the world’s largest corporate tax.
39.2 percent… Obvious to all but the ideo-illlogical is that this hampers our ability to compete with the planet….

Top U.S. Firms Are Cash-Rich Abroad, Cash-Poor at Home

U.S. Companies Stashing More Cash Abroad As Stockpiles Hit Record $1.45T

Look At The Humongous Amounts Of Money US Tech Companies Stash Overseas To Avoid Taxes

Wouldn’t it be outstanding if we made it more attractive for these trillions to be brought home and invested here?
Yes, it would. Instead, we get more dumb government proposals.Democrats Eye Tax on U.S. Groups’ Overseas CashSpeaking of Smoot-Hawley - global free trade actually garnered a positive mention in President Barack Obama’s January State of the Union speech.(N)ew trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help them create more jobs. We need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority….It will also help us create more jobs - with this guy, we’ll take what we can get. Do his fellow Democrats get it? Not so much.Obama Trade Dilemma: Scant Support from DemocratsWhich brings us to the just passed gi-normous, heinous Farm Bill.

For years, our ridiculous, bloated subsidy-and-tax farm law was only terrible domestic policy. But as a global farm market developed, it became yet another free trade impediment.

And it led other farm-exporting countries to erect their own free trade impediments. Lather-rinse-repeat - decades later the we have turned the global market into an a la carte protectionism nightmare mess.

Our Democrat anti-free trade usual suspects - still don’t get it.
Democrats See Farm Bill, Rural Voters as Key to 2014 Election

Top Democrats to Attend Farm Bill Signing

Vilsack and Sherrod Brown Team Up to Push Farm Bill as Economic Driver
Sure it’s driving us - off a cliff. Thank you very much Thelma Vilsack and Louise Brown.

We have to start viewing farm law as what it is - international trade policy, not a domestic gravy goodie bag.
The world’s farm exporter nations need to sit down together, each with a copy of everyone else’s lists of protectionist farm policies. And start horse trading.

“Brazil – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one.”

“Mexico – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.”

Let the subsequent discussions ensue. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The free trade folks and the anti-Farm Bill folks have a lot in common - these days more than ever.

It’s time to start working together - towards our mutual, national betterment.
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Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News ServiceRed State also published this article. Please feel free to follow him on   Twitter Facebook

Tags: budget, debt ceiling, default, Department of Agriculture, EBT, Economy, farm bill, farm policy, food stamps, News, obamacare, Shutdown, slowdown, sugar, welfare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Recalling Seven Instances of Wasteful Spending in the Stimulus Package

Michael Sargent, Heritage Foundation: Five years ago this week, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the stimulus package—into law. Here’s a quick reminder of how some of this $862 billion of taxpayer money was spent:

- New Buses Without Riders — $2.4 Million: The Winter Haven Area Transit Authority (WHAT) in Florida, which averages two to three riders per hour, used $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds to buy five new buses. Polk County commissioner Randy Wilkinson observed that WHAT spends more on the bus service than if the agency hired a cab for each rider.
- Renewable Energy Subsidies — $14 Billion: Despite more than $14 billion in cash payments to solar, wind, and other renewable energy project developers between 2009 and 2012, the projects brought online represented less than 1.2 percent of overall electricity generation. Subsidies for renewable electricity also wreaked havoc in electricity markets, allowing some wind electricity producers to pay suppliers to take their electricity and still turn a profit.
- Subsidizing Electric Car Owners — $7,500 per car: In the President’s stimulus bill, a substantial $7,500 tax subsidy was offered to electric car buyers, reducing sticker price of the Chevy Volt, a poster child for the Obama Administration’s crusade for green technology, to $41,000. The government, which previously bailed out the failing automaker General Motors, also used taxpayer money to buy 116 Volts for the federal fleet, despite the availability of cheaper options.
STIM-volt.jpg
- “Green” Jobs Training$500 Million: After two years and hundreds of millions of federal dollars, job placement for the Green Jobs Program was only at 10 percent of the target level. Furthermore, what qualifies as a “green” job does not always match the high-tech, high-skill profile the President often touts. There were 33 times as many green jobs in the septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry as there were in solar electricity utilities, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as more green jobs selling used merchandise (eg. The Salvation Army) than in engineering services.
- Weatherization Assistance Program — $5 Billion: The Obama Administration’s original stimulus package includes $5 billion for an inefficient weatherization program riddled with corruption and shoddy work. Subsequent audits found contractors that charged $27 for light bulbs normally priced at $1.50, as well as $75 for carbon monoxide detectors valued at $22.
- Assistance to Bankrupt Green Energy Companies – $2.6 Billion: Heritage has identified 19 bankrupt green energy companies that failed despite $2.6 billion in federal investment. Whether these companies failed in grand fashion like Solyndra, or succeeded like Tesla, the government has no role playing market investor. Companies that are innovating and creating real value for consumers are the true engine of economic growth—and they’re doing it without millions in taxpayer funding.
- Renovations for an Abandoned Train Station — $9.4 million: A vacant train station in Lancaster County, PA received $9.4 million in stimulus funds for renovation costs, including funding for a new elevator and offsite parking. The building had been empty for three decades. Taxpayer subsidies to cover the costs of the renovation totaled $117 per passenger traveling on the Amtrak line.
All images courtesy of ThinkStock

Tags: Wasteful Spending, Stimulus Package, Heritage Foundation To 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 War on the First Amendment

 by Phyllis Schlafly: When Barack Obama said he planned to “fundamentally transform” the United States, he wasn’t referring only to spreading the wealth around or even to conforming our foreign-trade regulations to the dictates of globalist busybodies. He is also working openly and covertly, through administrative regulations and supremacist judges’ decisions, to change us into a sanitized secular nation.

The cutting edge of Obama’s war against religion will come into public view on March 25 when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the Obama Administration’s attempt to force private companies, such as Hobby Lobby, to cover abortion-inducing drugs for their employees even though the company’s owners are morally opposed to such drugs. Hobby Lobby has courageously stood up for its religious principles against this requirement despite the threat of fines of $1.3 million daily for not complying with this Obamacare mandate.

Another company, Conestoga Wood, has also stood up against this suffocating infringement on freedom of religion by Obamacare. The Supreme Court will hear both cases on the same day.

Hobby Lobby is a prime example of America as a land of opportunity. The family- owned company started in 1970 with a $600 loan and a garage workshop, and today boasts 588 stores in 47 states and 13,000 full-time employees.

The owners are devout Christians who treat their employees extra well, donate a big hunk of their profits to charity, and are closed on Sundays. The issue in the Supreme Court case is that the Obama Administration is trying to force Hobby Lobby’s owners to provide abortion-inducing products that violate their religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby’s owners are not demanding that those products be banned or that anyone (including employees or customers) be prohibited from buying or using them. Hobby Lobby’s owners just do not want to insure items that violate their religious beliefs.

This same Obama argument is already being used against adoption service providers and against Catholic hospitals. But all that is only the beginning of Obama’s direct attack on religion.

We are already seeing regiments of Obamaites prosecuting smaller and smaller business owners who invoke the First Amendment to be faithful to their religious principles. These include the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage and the photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex marriage ceremony, although they were quite willing to do any other business with gay customers.

The supremacist judge who ruled against the photographer and imposed a fine pompously declared it “the price of citizenship.” Has kowtowing to Obama’s redefinition of the First Amendment now become the price of American citizenship and of doing business in the United States?

Will all denominations be ordered by some judge to recognize same-sex marriages? Will churches that refuse an order to conform be hit with steep and ongoing fines like the fines that threaten Hobby Lobby, or be denied tax exemption? Make no mistake; we are in a war for religious liberty.

One of Obama’s famous lies is: If you like your insurance, you can keep it. We can now almost hear him saying, If you like your religion, you can keep it; but just as Obamacare lets you keep your insurance only if it complies with obnoxious federal regulations, Obama wants you to be able to keep your religion only if you speak your words of faith behind closed doors, and only if you pay tremendous fines to the government. That doesn’t meet any recognized definition of our First Amendment’s “free exercise” of religion.

Since Obama became President, two other groups have joined his anti-religion campaign, the military and the public school system. Perhaps they want to curry favor with the Commander-in-Chief or with the grant-awarding bureaucrats in the Department of Education, or maybe they merely want to show they are politically correct.

Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t want any expression of religious faith in any public place, including buildings or schools or events. He wants to redefine the First Amendment from “free exercise” to “freedom of worship,” which means you would only be able to go inside your church, shut and perhaps lock the doors, and say a prayer where no one else can hear you.

When the Founding Fathers wrote “free exercise” of religion into the Constitution, they meant public as well as private exercise. Most of the famous people in American history talked openly about their faith and religion, and public expression of faith in God and religious principles by America’s leaders has been part of our history and culture since the beginning.
--------------------
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: Obama adminisration, War on First Amendment, First Amendment, US Constitution, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Voters Remorse Over Obama | Obamacare's Train Wreck: Day Cares Forced To Close, Website Problems Persist, Exchanges Are Disaster Zones

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 20, 2014
The Washington Post reported yesterday that "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered the cancellation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to seek a national license-plate tracking system. The order came in the wake of a story by The Washington Post reporting that ICE last week solicited proposals from companies to compile a database of license-plate information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers."

The Senate and House are not in session today. The Senate will reconvene for a pro-forma session at 10:30 AM on Friday.

The House will return at 11 AM on Feb. 21st. The Senate will return for legislative business on Monday, February 24th, when it will vote on cloture on the nomination of Jeffrey Meyer to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut.

As Democrats continue to push a federal minimum wage increase that would cost jobs, it’s a good time to survey the latest effects of another job-killing Democrat policy, Obamacare.

In West Virginia the health care law is playing a part in forcing 3 day care centers to close, according to The Charleston Gazette. “Citing financial problems, three Kanawha County daycare facilities will close next month. The West Virginia Public Employees Daycare, the Shawnee Daycare and the Elk Center Daycare announced Tuesday they will end services by March 28 or sooner. The daycare centers, which currently serve 120 students and have 40 people on staff, have operated at a loss for the past several years, and since the school year started, have lost about $65,000, according to Bob Calhoun, Kanawha County Schools Executive Director of Elementary Education. . . . In a letter addressed to parents on Tuesday, Calhoun and Community Education Program Director Clara Jett pointed to the Affordable Care Act as another contributor to the closures, citing looming insurance costs for employees. ‘We would have to start offering an insurance to employees. Right now, [employees] are contracted. So we'd have to start offering benefits, either that or double staff and reduce their hours, and it's just not something we're able to do,’ Calhoun said.”

In Florida, The New York Times reports that left-wing groups committed to Obamacare are having trouble even finding people to sign up. “The hunt for the uninsured in Broward County got underway one recent afternoon when 41 canvassers, armed with electronic maps on Samsung tablets, set off through working-class neighborhoods to peddle the Affordable Care Act door to door. Four hours later, they had made contact with 2,623 residents and signed up exactly 25 people. Many of their targets, people identified on sophisticated computer lists generated in Washington as unlikely to have health insurance, had moved away. Some were not home. Many said they already had insurance through Medicare, their parents or a job. A few were hostile at the mere mention of President Obama’s health care law. ‘We’re going to repeal that,’ one man said gruffly as he shut the door in the face of a canvasser, Nancy Morwin, 58, a retired social worker. Such are the limits of microtargeting the uninsured as groups supporting the Obama administration take to the streets on behalf of the president’s most important domestic initiative. . . . The efforts are important for Mr. Obama, who has been damaged politically by the initial failures of his health care website.” And even when they find someone, they’re still running into website problems. The Times notes, “Ryanbo Morales, 27, a Planned Parenthood worker and a former campaign volunteer for Mr. Obama, searched for the uninsured one recent day with the same zeal he brought to looking for voters during the president’s 2012 re-election campaign. But when he finally found Chrystal Rhodes, 24, who said she did not work enough hours at JetBlue to qualify for its health insurance, his efforts to help her sign up on his Samsung tablet were stymied when she kept getting an enrollment error. ‘This is really unfortunate,’ Mr. Morales said.”

That’s not the only ongoing problem with the Obamacare site. Earlier this week, the Washington Free Beacon noted an Orlando TV station’s report on continued problems with the Spanish version of the Obamacare website. “Spanish speaking Americans are stumped over incorrect translations on the Spanish version website of healthcare.gov. WFTV Reporter Nancy Alvarez confronted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the website problems during her visit to Orlando. Alvarez noticed incorrect translations and consulted with Mike Nieves, head of a local marketing firm that specializes in cutting through cultural barriers. ‘Honestly, I was dumbfounded,’ Nieves told Alvarez. Incorrect translations make it difficult for Spanish speaking Americans to understand what they are enrolling in.”

And then there are the struggling state exchanges in Democrat-dominated states like Maryland and Oregon. The Baltimore Sun reported Monday on yet another problem with Maryland’s struggling health care exchange, people who tried to sign up early but are stuck in limbo because their applications are lost or stuck. The Sun wrote, “Three days after the Maryland health exchange launched its online marketplace for the uninsured and underinsured, Lynn Baklor enthusiastically logged on. Three months later, she gave up in frustration. ‘You win,’ she wrote in mid-January to Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, the governor's point man on the Affordable Care Act. ‘I raise my white flag and surrender.’ The Baltimore corporate consultant's application was one of roughly 11,000 stuck in the exchange website since its Oct. 1 launch, and a top exchange official said they all came from ‘early adopters’ like her — yet another problem plaguing Maryland's exchange. . . . Other applications are ‘ghosts,’ or are no longer current or needed, according to Isabel FitzGerald, Maryland's secretary of information technology, now charged with sorting out the exchange's technology problems. . . . The backlog is the most intractable problem facing the state exchange, which has frustrated users with frozen screens, mistaken identities and other problems. Servers have also crashed and the call center has been overwhelmed. Officials say they face obstacles to fixing the problems because of contractor in-fighting and problematic software. . . . But that doesn't help those with applications still stuck in the system, including Kia Jacobson of Takoma Park. She's self-employed as a personal assistant and tried over several months to enroll in health coverage through the exchange. ‘After multiple log-ins and phone calls, two completed applications — one is incorrect, and had to be abandoned — a third incomplete application, incorrect subsidy results, and a myriad of other problems … and I'm unsure as to whether I have health care coverage,’ she wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. ‘I'm so disgusted that my tax dollars have been spent on such a flawed process that should have been stopped in its tracks months, if not years ago,’ she said.”

The Daily Caller looks at the ongoing disaster in Oregon: “Five months, hundreds of millions of dollars and two top exchange officials later, Oregon’s Obamacare exchange was scheduled to finally launch a partial version of its website last week — and then delayed it again. Despite $340 million in federal funding and another $160 million from state taxpayers, Cover Oregon’s site was unable to enroll any customers online on day one in October and officials quickly gave up on having online enrollment ready anytime soon. The partial launch would make enrollment available only for insurance agents and brokers certified by Cover Oregon. So far, Oregon’s implosion is unparalleled even by Obamacare standards. The exchange’s failure led to the resignation of director Rocky King (for ‘medical reasons’) and of top tech official Carolyn Lawson (for ‘personal reasons’).”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said recently, “[T]his much is now clear: Obamacare is just not working the way the Administration promised. It’s hurting the middle class, it’s eliminating incentives to work in the middle of a jobs crisis. And it will lower overall compensation – things like salaries, wages, and benefits – for the American people with those who earn the least potentially the most negatively impacted of all.”

A new Economist/Yougov poll was conducted on February 6th and 7th. The results were released yesterday showing 71% have "voter remorse."

The poll asked people who voted for Obama during the 2012 election a very basic question: "Do you regret voting for Barack Obama?
  • 71% of the total respondents answered "yes."
  • 80% of white voters said "yes"
  • 100% of Latino voters said "yes"
  • 26% of black voters said "yes" and 13% "not sure."
  • 61% of men said "yes"
  • 84% of women said "yes"
  • 77% of voters age 35-44 said "yes"
  • 77% of voters age 45-64 said "yes"
  • 100% of voters over 65 said "yes"
  • 71% of independents said "yes"
  • 100% of Republicans said "yes"
  • 55% of Democrats said "yes"

Tags: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, license-plate tracking system, Obamacare, Train Wreck, day cares close, exchanges, disaster zones To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obama Tilting At Windmills

Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies. ~ Wikepedia

Barack Obama, aka, Don Quixote, continues to tilt at an imaginary enemy while ignoring the other potential enemies  to his -- and our -- peril. AF "Tony" Branco sums it up in the below editorial cartoon.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony Branco

Tags: Barack Obama, tilting at windmills, Don Quixote, man of dementia, global warming, ignoring perils, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To 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 War on America: Killing Coal to Kill U.S. Electrical Power

 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: President Obama, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking to deprive America of the use of its enormous reserves of coal in coal-fired plants that produce the electricity on which the economy and all life in America depends.

This isn’t just a “war on coal”, it is a war on America and one free market think tank, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) has been joined by six major unions to ensure that the EPA’s proposed energy proposal, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule does not become a regulation that they call “nothing less than industrial sabotage by regulatory means.”

The EPA’s current regulations have resulted in the shut down over more than 150 coal-fired plants over the course of Obama’s first term and his second represents a threat to everyone living in America. We are living through one of the harshest winters in recent years and the 17-year-old cooling cycle which the entire Earth is experiencing promises to last decades.

Commenting on the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants, Bonner R.Cohen, PhD, a CFACT Senior Policy Analyst laid out the reasons why MATS has no basis whatever in science.

Any regulation seeking to limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere deliberately and deceptively ignores facts that anyone can understand. Bonner spelled out the basic scientific facts, but it is essential to keep in mind that CO2 is essential to all life on Earth, providing the “food” that all vegetation depends.

"Current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are 400 parts per million (ppm). Human activities in all their forms account for 4% of that total. The United States is responsible for 3% of that 4%, all the rest of the CO2 in the atmosphere (96% of the total) comes from purely natural causes, such as volcanoes, undersea venting, animal fluctuation, etc.,” said Cohen.

“The total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 is one tenth of 1% or 00.1%. This 0.01% includes the CO2 that is emitted every time one of the approximately 315 million Americans opens his or her mouth to speak, cry, or engage in any verbal activity.” There are seven billion people on Earth contributing CO2 just by exhaling.

“The contribution of coal-fired plants to the U.S., much less global CO2 emissions, is so miniscule that it cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy. And the contribution of those entities targeted by the EPA to the Earth’s climate also cannot be measured. Thus the EPA has absolutely no way of saying how its proposed regulations will affect the climate.”

The EPA is moving toward imposing these baseless regulations despite the fact that China and India have been building coal-fired plants to provide their nations with the energy to expand and compete in the global marketplace. China’s CO2 emission increased by 167% between 1999 and 2009, while the U.S., the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, emitted 17% over the same 10-year period.

According to an analysis by Climate Central, from 2005-2009, China added coal-fired electricity capacity that is equivalent to the entire U.S. fleet. From 2010-2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again. Powered by cheap and abundant coal, China’s economy has lifted 600 million people out of abject poverty and into the middle class over the last two decades.

Carbon dioxide, however, is vital for all life Earth despite decades of lies about it by environmentalists falsely claiming it warms the Earth. It is the food that all vegetation requires in the same way all animal life requires oxygen.

“For EPA to impose carbon-pollution standards that by design will make the introduction of new coal-fired power plants all but impossible is to adapt a policy that by design will drive up the cost of electricity by limiting America’s sources of power,” said Cohen. “The EPA is engaging in a complete fabrication, one that will put an end to an industry that supplies the U.S. with 37% of its electricity.” When Obama took office in 2009, coal-fired plants were providing nearly 50% of U.S. electrical energy.

This is a criminal act against all Americans and one based on the totally false claims about “global warming”, now called “climate change.” The President, during the recent State of the Union speech lied when he said that science was “settled.”

CFACT is not alone in opposing the Obama administration’s attack on the provision of energy. Six unions are petitioning the Senate to hold hearings on the EPA coal plant rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and five other unions have sent a letter to top senators on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The United Mine Workers, Boilermakers and Utility Workers said that the proposed rules would result in the closing of 56 gigawatts of coal-fired generation and the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. These unions have been pushing back against the Obama administration for years at this point.

In 2011 the Congressional Research Service reported that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than 28% of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were approximately 262 billion tons—not including massive, cut difficult to access Alaskan reserves.

The U.S. consumes around 1.2 billion tons of coal a year and our coal reserves add up to centuries of coal use which the White House and the EPA is seeking to deny to all Americans.

If the White House and the EPA is permitted to implement the MATS regulation the economy will dramatically decline. Life in America will resemble that of third world nations. It is entirely based on lies.
---------------------
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: President Obama, War on America, EPA, Killing coal, U.S. ,electrical power, CO2, Carbon dioxide, CFACT, 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!

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