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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Goverment Hoarding

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Obama administration, Government hording To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Obama administration, Government hording To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Intolerable Acts

 by Jon Hubbard, Guest ColumnThe cultural and moral changes imposed upon America by the Obama regime are the modern day equivalent of "The Intolerable Acts" that were imposed upon American colonist by King George III of England during our Colonial period. Prior to Obama, America wasn't persecutory of, but was never a sanctuary for abortionist, same-sex marriages or those who saw government as their personal "Sugar Daddy."

But since the 2008 election, if we ever wondered just who was responsible for America's transformation from Leader of the Free World into the greatest disappointment in world history, all we need to do is take a look in the mirror. As easy as it is to point a finger at the growing number of those who are rapidly soaking up this nation's resources through unearned, and often undeserved entitlements, those doing the most complaining are the ones who have actually allowed it to happen.

How could seemingly patriotic Americans have ever allowed liberal-socialists to re-define this nation? We have become so afraid of offending those who have never really cared much for this country in the first place, that we have allowed ourselves to stop being Americans. We played the game of "Chicken" with the Devil, while allowing the Devil to dictate the rules. While Obama was using social media to spread his unAmerican message of total dependence upon government to the masses, conservatives were content with directing their concerns to the choir. We elected what we thought were true conservatives, only to discover that many of them were no different than the liberals they replaced.

But the most egregious act committed by the people of this nation was when we allowed an anti-American Islamist to proclaim that America was no longer a Christian nation, and we simply sat back and allowed him to do it unchallenged. We have allowed Satan's messenger to re-define who we are, and if we are not strong enough in our Christian faith to defend our Christian faith, then maybe we don't deserve to be called a Christian nation after all.

Jesus said that if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father who is in heaven. If this doesn't literally scare the life out of you, then nothing else will.
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Jon Hubbard is a former Arkansas State Representative for Dist 75, Jonesboro Arkansas. He is also a former Air Force veteran, school teacher, coach, small businessman and conservative writer.

Tags: cultural and moral changes, Intolerable Acts, Obama administration, America, playing Chicken With the Devil, Christian nation, Jon Hubbard, Guest Column To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

No One Wants Another Housing Crisis. Here's How to Avoid It

The Heritage Foundation: Should the government have a role in the housing market? Congress is debating the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This explainer video will help you understand what's at stake and why it matters.

Then read:

Tags: Heritage Foundation, video, avoiding, future, housing crisis Fannie, Freddie To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

White House Premature On Obamacare Victory Lap | AP: "Poll: Obama Health Law Fails

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 28, 2014
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday when it will begin consideration of H.R. 4302, the Medicare “doc fix” bill.

At 5:30 on Monday, there will be a series of votes on confirmation of the nomination of John Owens, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on passage of H.R. 4302, and on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3979, the vehicle for considering an extension of unemployment insurance again.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 54-44 (using the new rules Democrats created after breaking Senate rules with the nuclear option) to invoke cloture on the Owens nomination and 65-34 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3979.

The House reconvened pro-forma for 2 minutes at 11 AM today, The House returns on Tuesday, Apri 1st, at 12:00 PM.
Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 4278 (399-19) — "To support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4302 (Voice Vote) — "To amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes." This was another "doc fix" bill which is a temporary solution to the structural problem in the formula used to determine Medicare funding levels. This bill prevents a 24% reduction in reimbursements to physicians under Medicare. This is not a permanent fix to the ongoing problem.

The White House spent much of yesterday afternoon crowing about an announcement from the HHS department that supposedly 6 million people have enrolled in Obamacare programs.

But, as National Journal’s Ron Founier reminded high-fiving White House officials, this is a “Premature victory lap” for a number of reasons. The Hill explained, “[T]he number of people who have actually purchased coverage is likely significantly lower. Analysts estimate that as many as 20 percent of enrollees haven’t paid their first month's premium, meaning that roughly 1 million of the 6 million do not have insurance coverage. The administration has also said it doesn’t know yet how many enrollees already had an insurance plan and how many are obtaining coverage for the first time. Conservatives have cited studies that indicate many of those obtaining coverage under ObamaCare were previously insured and argue this means the law is falling short of its goal to enroll as many of the uninsured as possible.”

And as ABC News recalls, “6 million is not the number the administration had originally envisioned. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted in May that 7 million people would enroll in Obamacare by the end of March. And at the time, it certainly seemed like the administration had adopted the CBO’s estimate as its target number. In June, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called 7 million a ‘realistic target.’ And an internal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services memo circulated in September heralded the 7 million enrollee goal. Sebelius embraced the CBO estimate again in late September, telling NBC News, ‘success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.’”

Of course enrollments are hardly the only aspect of Obamacare to consider. First and foremost are the continuing stories of Americans who “are paying more and getting so much less,” as one Utah woman wrote to Sen. Orrin Hatch. Others are endlessly frustrated with the “bureaucratic nightmare” the law has created, as a woman in Florida described it in a TV interview. Even a supporter of the law from Oregon declared, “The system is Kafkaesque.” Just today, The New York Times reports, “Wayne Buchholz, a 47-year-old rancher in Rhame, N.D., saw his high-deductible insurance policy canceled; he bought a new policy for his family, he said, but the premium doubled, to $800 a month, and the $12,000 annual deductible is similar to what it was before. ‘Liberals in Washington think that we are not smart enough to make our own decisions, that I’m too stupid to decide what’s good for me,’ Mr. Buchholz said. ‘In the past, I deliberately chose to have a higher deductible and a lower premium because I believe that insurance should be there for costs we cannot afford. Now I have a high premium and a high deductible, and virtually no choice.’”

On top of all this, the AP reports today, “Public support for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds that 26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.” The story notes that “only 5 percent of Americans say the launch of the insurance exchanges has gone very or extremely well” and “[o]f those who said they or someone in their household tried signing up for coverage, 59 percent said there were problems.”

Meanwhile, the endless parade of problems with the law and its implementation marches on. An AP story on Wednesday noted, “HealthCare.gov, the online portal to taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, runs slowly when compared with major private health insurer websites. That's according to an analysis for The Associated Press by Compuware, a Detroit company that measures website performance. . . . Compuware says the speed of HealthCare.gov is ‘unacceptable.’”

Earlier this week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell considered the state of Obamacare and said, “[Democrats] promised the sun and the moon to sell this thing. They said it would create jobs. They also said it would improve the economy, lower premiums, and insure the uninsured without causing Americans to lose their insurance, their doctors, or their hospitals. The kind of claims that would've made Billy Mays blush. But now, Americans know better.

“Evidence shows that not only will Obamacare encourage less job creation, but that it’s also making the economy worse, that it’s driving premiums higher, and that it won’t come anywhere near insuring all the uninsured – while causing millions of Americans to lose the insurance and the doctors they were promised they could keep. It’s also a law that’s unravelling before our very eyes. As we read this week, the Administration has now handed out so many waivers, special favors, and exemptions to help Democrats out politically, that the heart of the law – the individual mandate – may no longer even be viable. It's basically become the legal equivalent of Swiss cheese. And there’s a broader point here: If Washington Democrats think Obamacare is so bad that they need to exempt that many people from its mandates, then why shouldn't we just remove that hardship for everyone?”

Tags: Obamacare, failing 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, March 27, 2014

ALG FOIA Requests Commerce Dept.'s Legal Authority To Turn Over Internet

Fairfax, VAAmericans for Limited Government today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requesting the legal basis for its plans to transition control over the Internet to some as of yet unnamed international body.

The FOIA request includes "All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to 'transition key internet domain name functions,' including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition."

On March 23, L. Gordon Crovitz reported in the Wall Street Journal that "a spokesman for the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said the agency reviewed this legal issue and concluded the administration can act without Congress but refused to share a copy of the legal analysis [emphasis added]."

"The American people have a right to know why and on what legal basis, if any, the Commerce Department believes it has the power to transition control over key Internet domain name functions to an international body or to anyone else without a vote in Congress," Americans for Limited Government Nathan Mehrens stated.

View: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request to National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), March 27, 2014
---------------
Americans for Limited Government may be contacted at  (703) 383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

Tags: Internet, Commerce Department, Authority, To Turn Over Internet, international body, Freedom of Information request, Americans for Limited Government,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

History of the Disastrous Global Warming Hoax

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: “It is the greatest deception in history and the extent of the damage has yet to be exposed and measured,” says Dr. Tim Ball in his new book, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science”.

Dr. Ball has been a climatologist for more than forty years and was one of the earliest critics of the global warming hoax that was initiated by the United Nations environmental program that was established in 1972 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established in 1988.

Several UN conferences set in motion the hoax that is based on the assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) was causing a dramatic surge in heating the Earth. IPCC reports have continued to spread this lie through their summaries for policy makers that influenced policies that have caused nations worldwide to spend billions to reduce and restrict CO2 emissions. Manmade climate change—called anthropogenic global warming—continues to be the message though mankind plays no role whatever.

There is no scientific support for the UN theory.

CO2, despite being a minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere, is essential for all life on Earth because it is the food that nourishes all vegetation. The Earth has passed through many periods of high levels of CO2 and many cycles of warming and cooling that are part of the life of the planet.

“Science works by creating theories based on assumptions,” Dr. Ball notes, “then other scientists—performing their skeptical role—test them. The structure and mandate of the IPCC was in direct contradiction of this scientific method. They set out to prove the theory rather than disprove it.”
“The atmosphere,” Dr. Ball notes, “is three-dimensional and dynamic, so building a computer model that even approximates reality requires far more data than exists and much greater understanding of an extremely turbulent and complex system.” No computer model put forth by the IPCC in support of global warming has been accurate, nor ever could be.

Most of the reports were created by a small group of men working within the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and all were members of the IPCC. The result was “a totally false picture supposedly based on science.”

The revelations of emails between the members of the CRU were made available in 2009 by an unknown source. Dr. Ball quotes Phil Jones, the Director of the CRU at the time of the leaks, and Tom Wigley, a former director addressing other CRU members admiting that “Many of the uncertainties surrounding the cause of climate change will never be resolved because the necessary data are lacking.”

The IPCC depended upon the public’s lack of knowledge regarding the science involved and the global warming hoax was greatly aided because the “mainstream media bought into and promoted the unproven theory. Scientists who challenged were denied funding and marginalized. National environmental policies were introduced based on the misleading information” of the IPCC summaries of their reports.

“By the time of the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report, the politics and hysteria about climate change had risen to a level that demanded clear evidence of a human signal,” notes Dr. Ball. “An entire industry had developed around massive funding from government. A large number of academic, political, and bureaucratic careers had evolved and depended on expansion of the evidence. Environmentalists were increasing pressure on the public and thereby politicians.”

The growing problem for the CRU and the entire global warming hoax was that no clear evidence existed to blame mankind for changes in the climate and still largely unknown to the public was the fact that the Earth has passed through many natural cycles of warmth and cooling. If humans were responsible, how could the CRU explain a succession of ice ages over millions of years?

The CRU emails revealed their growing concerns regarding a cooling cycle that had begun in the late 1990s and now, some seventeen years later, the Earth is in a widely recognized cooling cycle.

Moreover, the hoax was aimed at vast reductions in the use of coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as nuclear power to produce the electricity on which all modern life depends. There was advocacy of solar and wind power to replace them and nations undertook costly programs to bring about the reduction of the CO2 “fossil fuels” produced and spent billions on the “green” energy. That program is being abandoned.

At the heart of the hoax is a contempt for mankind and a belief that population worldwide should be reduced. The science advisor to President Obama, John Holdren, has advocated forced abortions, sterilization by introducing infertility drugs into the nation’s drinking water and food, and other totalitarian measures. “Overpopulation is still central to the use of climate change as a political vehicle,” warns Dr. Ball.

Given that the environmental movement has been around since the 1960s, it has taken decades for the public to grasp its intent and the torrents of lies that have been used to advance it. “More people,” notes Dr. Ball, “are starting to understand that what they’re told about climate change by academia, the mass media, and the government is wrong, especially the propaganda coming from the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

“Ridiculous claims—like the science is settled or the debate is over—triggered a growing realization that something was wrong.” When the global warming advocates began to tell people that cooling is caused by warming, the public has realized how absurd the entire UN climate change argument has been.

Worse, however, has been “the deliberate deceptions, misinformation, manipulation of records and misapplying scientific method and research” to pursue a political objective. Much of this is clearly unlawful, but it is unlikely that any of those who perpetrated the hoax will ever be punished and, in the case of Al Gore and the IPCC, they shared a Nobel Peace Prize!

We are all in debt to Dr. Ball and a score of his fellow scientists who exposed the lies and debunked the hoax; their numbers are growing with thousands of scientists signing petitions and participating in international conferences to expose this massive global deception.
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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: history, global warming hoax, Dr. Tim Ball, Akan 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!

The Destructive FDA

 by Newt Gingrich, Newt Productions: The Food and Drug Administration is destructive of the health of the American people. It is an obsolete bureaucracy with obsolete rules that do more harm than good.

The time has come to think through a 21st century replacement for a 108-year-old bureaucracy.

Two people, Joshua Hardy and Ron Woodroof, personify the problems with the FDA.

Joshua is a seven-year-old boy who became a national story this week seeking compassionate relief for a drug that might save his life but was not available because of the current bureaucracy, which takes 10 to 15 years to approve a drug.

Ron has been dead since September 1992 but he is currently famous because of a remarkable movie, The Dallas Buyers Club, and an extraordinary Academy Award winning performance by Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof.

Both stories illustrate fatal flaws in the current FDA system.

In Woodroof's case he was told in 1985 that he only had 30 days to live. By breaking out of the system he found a series of drugs (many of them vitamins) that helped him live for 7 years -- 84 times longer than his doctors thought possible.

Instead of seeing Woodroof's remarkable achievement as something worth studying and learning from, the FDA and the medical establishment found his activities a direct threat to their authority. The movie is painful to watch both because people are dying and because our government is making their lives harder as they struggle to survive.

In effect Woodroof is told he can't try new solutions because they aren't approved -- even though the approved options will mean certain death.

He keeps pointing out that people are dying but the bureaucratic urgency is reserved for enforcing the establishment's authority.

This same passion for propping up the old order became apparent when seven-year-old Joshua sought help.

Joshua became famous when concerned citizens launched an online petition and got over 20,000 signatures. The drug he needed was available but the small company that developed it was heavily invested in the lengthy, expensive FDA approval process. A bad result for a single high-profile case like Joshua's would be a significant risk to its investment.

The FDA bureaucracy has become so cumbersome and so demanding that hardly any inexpensive drug or drug aimed at a small market (people with a rare disease) can overcome the cost of getting through the process.

FDA approval can easily cost $1 billion dollars.

Small companies literally bet their existence on getting their first drug approved.

This was the situation when Joshua needed the new drug. Technically the FDA might approve compassionate use but the company was afraid to risk its investment in the FDA trials.

A woman named Andrea Sloan encountered the same lethal bureaucracy when she tried to get a new, experimental cancer drug last year. I talked with her oncologist at M.D. Anderson, the largest cancer center in the world. He was totally frustrated by the system. She never got the drug and she died at 45.

Similarly Nick Audin got more than 500,000 signatures through an on line petition. He had three children and yet he never got the drug he needed. He died at 41.

The current system is destructive, arbitrary and at times heartless. Yet the reaction of the establishment is to defend it. The opposition to seven-year-old Joshua getting compassionate relief was captured perfectly in the Washington Post headline "Ethicists Worry Josh Hardy Case May Set Bad Precedent".

The Post described a "backlash" against helping the young boy:
"Is it rite to save 1 child an[d] not the rest?” wondered one commenter on a news forum. “It’s really not fair to the thousands of others that were turned down just because they didn’t make a big public outcry,” said another.

"The Herald-Sun newspaper in Durham, N.C., where the company that makes the drug is based, said it was glad for the boy’s sake that he was able to get the medicine. “But the process leaves us pained,” the editorial board wrote. “This is no way to make health-care decisions.”

"The story of how Joshua Hardy — a first-grader from Fredericksburg, Va., who is fighting off an infection after getting a bone-marrow transplant — got access to an unapproved treatment when others with similar requests were turned down highlights the ethical conundrums facing doctors, companies and regulators in the era of Facebook and Twitter."
The Post quoted one expert who managed to get the problem exactly backward. Consider his line of reasoning:“You couldn’t get a more troubling and impossible-to-resolve moral dilemma than this one,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

From the perspective of the public and future patients, it’s best for the company to focus on getting the drug approved as soon as possible so that the largest number of people can be helped, Caplan said. But from a patient’s point of view, getting immediate access to the drug is what’s important.

“It’s a trade-off between the public good versus self-interest,” Caplan said. “They conflict. There is no way of getting around it.”
Yet Dr. Caplan has the problem exactly backward.

The focus should not be on the ethics of getting drugs through the slow and outdated system.

The focus should be on systems changes that would accelerate access to the newest, best, and most effective solutions.

Rationing transplants, for example, should be replaced with a dramatic acceleration of regenerative medicine so you can replant your own organs grown from your own cells in a manner that will eliminate rationing and waiting.

People faced with terminal illnesses should have informed-consent access to any drug which has passed a stage-one safety test. If the drug won't kill you and you have been told you are dying, you should have the right to experiment if you choose to live out your challenge (the opposite of the Dallas Buyers Club experience).

The use of placebos (where half of a test group is knowingly given something which will not work) should be ended. First, it is immoral to give people in desperate circumstances a false medicine. Second, with forty or fifty years of clinical trial data and new continuous, real time medical monitoring possible through mobile devices, it is possible to imagine a dramatically different model of testing new therapies. Many more people can be involved, the costs can be dramatically less, and the volume and speed of information flow can be enormous compared to the pre-smartphone, pre-wireless, pre-computer world.

A largely paper-based and slow moving FDA bureaucracy is simply incapable of this kind of modern, personalized model of developing new solutions in healthcare. That is why it needs to be replaced rather than reformed.

Instead of having compassionate access as a rare event requiring massive publicity, we should redesign the system to lower the cost of approval so companies can afford to share breakthroughs even during the testing phase.

Every American deserves compassion and we should design a system to achieve that goal.

Finally there has to be a very inexpensive approval process for breakthroughs with small but important market potential. A drug should not need to be worth billions to merit FDA approval.

Listen to my Breakout podcast next week for much more on this topic.

Remember Joshua and Ron, and demand a new approach to approving drugs and therapies.
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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. Newt and his wife, Callista, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. The above commentary was shared on Gingrich Productions.

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Media Black Hole - Theory of Irrelevancy

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, MSM, Media Black Hole, Theory of Irrelevancy, 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!

Economic Growth In 2013 Just Half Of What The President Said His Policies Would Deliver

 U.S. Senate Republican Budget Office:
In 2009, President Obama predicted his policies would produce 4.2 percent growth in 2013 — more than double the actual, anemic growth rate of 1.9 percent. Since making that projection, President Obama has had much of his economic agenda implemented: the $870 billion stimulus bill, Dodd-Frank financial regulations, Obamacare, restrictions on American energy, $1.7 trillion in higher taxes, unfettered regulation, etc. Our debt has soared from $10.6 trillion to $17.5 trillion on the promise that this would stimulate the economy and produce prosperity, yet now we’re left with none of the prosperity and all of the debt.

But this was not a one-time error used to sell bad policies. For 2013, the average of all four White House budget projections from 2009–2012 was 3.9 percent — still almost double the actual growth rate. These are not just academic figures — weakened growth means millions of lost jobs and reduced incomes. While debt has grown 64 percent since 2009, median household income has declined 4.5 percent — or $2,268 per household.

The President’s latest budget makes similar unrealistic growth assumptions. One Reuters columnist observed that “the Office of Management and Budget… maintains that the U.S. economy will be 2 percentage points bigger in 2024 than it will be in the CBO’s projection.” It should also be noted that OMB’s forecasts through 2017 are significantly higher than the private forecasts from the respected Blue Chip Economic Indicators.

Yet, the White House proposes more of the same: a spending increase of almost $1 trillion, a tax increase of more than $1 trillion, and a cumulative debt increase of $8 trillion. The result? By 2024, using their own optimistic projections, debt will rise from roughly $17 trillion to $25 trillion and annual interest costs for taxpayers will nearly quadruple, to $812 billion. Such a plan would have predictable consequences: more weak growth, more low wages, and more economic stagnation.

Tags: the economy, economic growth, half, prediction, President Obama, debt increase, more debt,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why Ukraine's Next President Doesn't Matter

This article takes a look at the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections, who has the greatest chance of winning, who is damaged goods and what can the country expect from a new president. One of our sources in Ukraine has also just informed us that Yuri Boyko is also announcing himself as a candidate. Other mainstream papers are still stuck in the “cold war” mind-set which really is rather pointless and not going to happen. ~ James Burgess, News Editor, OilPrice.com

by James Stafford, Editor, OilPrice.com: Having ridden roughshod over Ukraine, Russia's annexation of the Crimea is now over and a new chapter in Ukrainian politics is about to begin — but it won't be much different than the last chapter, with the same old faces surfacing for May presidential elections.

In the aftermath of the Maidan protests that overthrew president Viktor Yanukovych in February and Russia's retaliatory annexation of the Crimea in March, Ukraine has moved presidential elections forward a year to 25 May.

As of early Wednesday, the top four candidates for the presidency were independent businessman Petro Poroshenko, professional boxer and UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko, banker and former ruling party figure Serhiy Tihipko, and controversial former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from prison to join the Maidan protests.

According to a survey conducted between 14 and 19 March, Poroshenko was polling with a significant lead of 24.9%, leaving Klitschko and Tymoshenko battling it out for second place with 8.9% and 8.2%, respectively, and Tihipko trailing slightly with 7.3%.

What the polls indicate is that Poroshenko is likely to make it to a second round of elections, which are expected to take place sometime around late June, while he would be running against Klitschko, Tymoshenko or Tihipko, who are each polling more or less equally.

But the situation is dynamic. Late on Wednesday, Oilprice.com sources in Kiev close to former energy and vice-prime minister Yury Boyko said he had officially placed himself in the running for president, as an independent candidate.

Regardless of who wins the presidential vote, the Maidan will be disappointed. The protest movement wasn't just complaining about the Yanukovych government—it was complaining about over two decades of pervasive corruption, and now we are seeing those same faces again.

All of the top five candidates carry with them baggage from previous failed governments, but none more than Tymoshenko.

While Poroshenko is a successful businessperson, Klitschko a successful athlete and Tihipko a successful banker, Tymoshenko is largely perceived as a failed politician.

Of the four, Poroshenko and Klitschko have the cleanest records, and the least amount of negative political baggage.

“Tymoshenko is not a trusted political figure, and there have been quite a few polls stating such,” Ukraine energy expert Robert Bensh told Oilprice.com.

Tymoshenko spent three years in jail on what her supporters say were politically motivated charges of abuse of power before being freed last month; but her return to the political fray is a highly controversial one.

“She polls right in with current and/or former members of government. And the reason is that the rumors about her wealth and how she acquired her wealth are still quite prevalent and she is still very much viewed as a member of the failed government of Viktor Yushchenko. Indirectly, and with some success, people have been tying her to one of the reasons we're having so many problems today. The Orange Revolution was a failure. We have the gas deal with Russia which she signed with Yury Prodan, the current acting energy minister,” said Bensh, who has been leading oil and gas companies in Ukraine for nearly a decade and a half.

Tymoshenko's time has passed—a sentiment Bensh said was made clear when she was released from prison and joined the Maidan protests. “The reception she received was quite cool. It was a polite reception; not the roaring of the crowd that she was used to.”

At the same time, Bensh says, while Tihipko's chances are more remote because of his ties to the former ruling Party of Regions, he may surprise us because he is the only one who has carved out a singular voice among the four.

Poroshenko, Klitschko and Tymoshenko are all going after the same voters, while Tihipko has to appeal to the industrial regions and to the Russian-speaking population with a pro-industry and pro-business platform.

“The other three candidates will come out with muddled messages,” Bensh said. “I don't think they know what to be. Are they pro-Ukraine, pro-EU? Are they anti-Russian while at the same time being careful about the Russian message? For a political consultant, Tihipko and Boyko are certainly the most interesting candidates. Tihipko is a successful former national bank president, and Boyko an energy expert whose politics are less polarizing. Both would recognize the country's development potential.”

With Boyko entering the fray, Tihipko's chances are reduced because they will be competing for the same votes.

But for Boyko, too, it will be challenging to overcome the stigma of ties to the former government. “He has to show how and why he should be trusted,” Bensh said.

Bensh cautions against attributing too much significance to Ukraine's presidential elections.

In response to the Yanukovych government and the Maidan protests, Ukraine has returned to its 2004 Constitution, which means that power will rest with the prime minister and the parliament. A new president will choose a prime minister, which must then be approved by the parliament. According to Bensh, the general belief is that once a new president takes office in July, there will be a call for parliamentary elections later in the fall, though nothing has yet been mandated.

“At the end of the day, the best person for Ukraine is a 35-year-old who isn't running for president—who isn't part of the system yet and hasn't been involved in over 20 years of poor political leadership and corruption. We're a generation away—hopefully—from a true leader who can turn Ukraine into a strong, independent country that sits between Russia and Europe,” Bensh said.

From a business standpoint, the economic and political situation will not show signs of stability until next year. At the same time, the intuitive investor may see opportunity ripening.

“For the contrarians out there, this is the time you should start jumping in. The situation is stabilizing, the currency risk is beginning to minimize. From an economic standpoint if you're going to get into Ukraine and do something inexpensively, now is the time to come in. You've got nine months before it stabilizes, and at that point, the whole world is showing up,” Bensh said.
----------------
© OilPrice.com - This article was contributed to the ARRA News Service by James Stafford, Editor, OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site. Its news and analysis covers all energy sectors from crude oil and natural gas to solar energy and hydro.

Tags: Ukraine, leadership, presidential elections, James Stafford, OilPrice.com To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Attempts To Bailout Imperiled Democrats

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 27, 2014:
Today, President Obama was in Italy visiting with Pope Francis while First Lady is in China.  Vice President Biden on oversight watch in Washington.

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate began consideration of H.R. 4152, the House-passed Ukraine aid bill.

At noon, the Senate voted 98-2 to adopt the Menendez-Corker substitute amendment containing the agreed-on provisions providing aid to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia but eliminating controversial IMF changes. The Senate then passed H.R. 4152, as amended, by voice vote.

The Senate then began consideration of the nomination of John Owens, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. At 1:45 PM, senators will begin a series of votes: on cloture on the Owens nomination, followed by cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3979, a vehicle for considering an extension of unemployment insurance again, and finally on confirmation of the nomination of Matthew H. Tueller, to be U.S. Ambassador to Yemen.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 100-0 to confirm Christopher Cooper to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, 93-5 to confirm Douglas Harpool to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Missouri, 59-41 to confirm Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and 69-31 to confirm Edward G. Smith to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The House reconvened at 9:00 AM.  Bills being considered today:
H.R. 4278 — "To support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4302 — "To amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4278 — "To support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for other purposes."

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 1459 (222-201) — "To ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national monuments, and for other purposes." It was passed principally along party lines. The bill addressed the abusive taking of land by the President and the agencies under the disguise of the National Monuments act, and more.

This morning, the Washington Post reported that "Attorneys for the House of Representatives concluded this week that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has legal standing to pursue contempt charges against former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner. The determination, outlined in a 22-page memo from the House’s general counsel’s office to committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), contradicts claims from the panel’s top Democrat, Elijah Cummings (Md.), who has said Republicans effectively killed any chance of contempt proceedings by failing to take the constitutionally required steps required for such efforts."

While The Washington Times reports that, "John Koskinen, the man President Obama tapped to clean up the embattled agency, also said it will take years to respond to all of the document requests from Congress. He told Congress that even complying with a subpoena for emails from just a handful of key employees couldn’t be done before the end of this year because it takes time to have attorneys delete protected taxpayer information."

The American Center for Law and Justice — representing 41 plaintiffs who say IRS violated their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly — has identified that 13 of the 41 still not received tax-exempt status, with the oldest application being submitted in 2009.

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed Democrats’ transparently political agenda designed to distract form the failures of Obamacare.

“I want to start by acknowledging the Majority Leader’s candor yesterday in outlining his party’s agenda for the rest of the year — in admitting that he asked his party’s ‘political arm,’ the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, to come up with it. Maybe he didn’t intend to admit his party’s so-called agenda is actually a political gambit, or that it basically has one intent: to bail out imperiled Democrats – Democrats desperate to distract from how Obamacare is devastating the Middle Class. And yet, it slipped out anyway. But that wasn’t the only Freudian slip we heard at yesterday’s press conference. ‘When we play the political games that we're playing here,’ one of the Majority Leader’s top lieutenants said, Middle Class families ‘feel that we are detached from their priorities.’ I couldn’t agree more. Maybe this is why even the press isn’t taking this ‘agenda’ seriously. The New York Times reported that helping struggling Americans is ‘not really the point’ of Democrats’ agenda, and that a main goal is actually just ‘to energize the Democratic base’ and drive turnout in places they need to win in November. The Times also noted that the show votes associated with the Democrat agenda ‘will be timed to coincide with campaign-style trips by [the President].’ And according to The Washington Post, ‘Democrats hope to use the votes…as fodder…in hopes of staving off potential losses in several states.’ Look: It doesn’t get much more cynical than that – to demonstrate such a total lack of seriousness in such troubling times for the Middle Class. . . . So when they release a poll-tested, campaign-crafted Obamacare distraction ‘agenda’ packed to the brim with Lefty show votes – I think Middle Class families can tell whose side Washington Democrats are really on. And it’s not theirs.”

Indeed, as USA Today points out, “For Senate Democrats, the motivation to expand the debate is to quell GOP momentum in the midterms where Democrats are playing defense to retain their majority. ‘This agenda is what the American people want to hear. You folks all want to ask about Obamacare, but the American people, most of them, are not directly affected by Obamacare,’ [Sen. Chuck] Schumer [D-NY] told reporters. ‘They want to hear what we're going to do for them.’” Democrat leaders simply have shown no interest in lifting the burdens of Obamacare from American families and employers, as evidenced by Sen. Schumer’s completely out-of-touch assertion that most people aren’t affected by Obamacare.

However, other Democrats have finally suggested that maybe Obamacare isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They are, of course, only the group of Democrats facing voters in the fall. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Several centrist Senate Democrats, including some up for re-election this fall, are planning to push for changes to the Affordable Care Act—a move that has stirred debate within the party about whether making these fixes would keep the spotlight trained on the health law's flaws. Democrats in Congress have vowed to keep—and improve—President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul, but their recent efforts have been overshadowed by controversial White House tweaks and delays. The last significant change to the law was the 2011 repeal of a tax-reporting requirement affecting small-business owners.”

Of course, the WSJ points out, “It is unclear if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) would bring any of the bills to the floor. One worry is that devoting Senate debate to the health-care changes would return attention to the law's glitches, rather than refocusing attention on Democrats' core issues, Democratic aides said. So far the Senate hasn't voted on any of the three bills the House passed with bipartisan support earlier this month to make modest changes to the health law.” So it’s hard to take this as a serious effort to deal with the failures of Obamacare.

As Leader McConnell said, “Kentuckians, and the countless Americans suffering under Obamacare, need real solutions. Not gimmicks. Not base-pleasing ideology. Solutions.

“Look: Washington Democrats forced America’s Middle Class into this impossible situation. They basically blocked every reasonable attempt to reform this law – or to change it in any meaningful way. Yet now that Obamacare’s become politically difficult for them, they’re deflecting blame. Just this morning, we saw several imperiled Obamacare Democrats pen an op-ed that underscores the point. But Americans won’t be fooled.

“Americans agree that it’s time for Washington Democrats to work with us to remedy the mess they created — and that means repealing this law and replacing it with real reforms. It’s time for them to work with us on a real jobs agenda too – to take up the numerous jobs bills the House has already sent over and get them onto the President’s desk. Americans are fed up with the games and the tricks. They want serious solutions. You don’t need a campaign pollster to figure that one out.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., Obamacare, 2014 election, imperiled democrats,  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, March 26, 2014

The Issue Is Religious Liberty

 Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: I want to revisit the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby case today in view of some of the news coverage and punditry from the talking heads (not to mention spin from liberal Democrats we will hear ad nauseam from now until Election Day). The central issue of this debate is not the legality or availability of contraception. It is religious liberty.

The left is trying hard to confuse Americans about that fact. A pro-abortion and fake Catholic group ran a full-page ad in yesterday's Washington Post. It posed the question, "Who in their right mind would want a woman's boss in charge of her birth control?"

The ad stated that arguments about religious liberty were "fake" and accused Catholic bishops of trying to "impose their religious views on all Americans."

That was the same line of reasoning pursued yesterday by Justice Kagan, who rhetorically asked if employers should be able to exclude vaccines and blood transfusions from insurance policies based on religious objections to those procedures. In Kagan's view, the right to free birth control trumps all other considerations.

It's a mystery to me where Justice Kagan finds this imaginary right. But the Constitution is clear about the right of religious liberty! And that is the point -- this is not a debate about contraception.

While the Catholic Church has moral objections to contraception, there is no law in the United States limiting it use. The Supreme Court settled that issue fifty years ago.

Moreover, I can say without any fear of contradiction that from the very beginning of the republic until now there has never been a day in America when contraception was not as readily available to men and women (even your kids in the public schools) at lower cost than it is today. In fact, it's not that hard to find it for free. No matter what the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case, contraception will continue to be widely available in America.

So, I repeat -- this is not a debate about the legality or availability of contraception.

This case is about our constitutional guarantees of religious liberty. Are they real or not?

It has implications for other constitutional protections like free speech, freedom of assembly and the right to bear arms. Will those rights continue to be whittled away by the big government juggernaut that is trying to tell us what to buy, what to eat, how much to drink, what temperature to set the thermostat?

There are two main aspects of this debate.

First, can the government force religious institutions to subsidize something that goes against the teachings of that particular religious group? It would be a dark day in America if the highest court in the land declared, "Yes, we can put a nun in jail if she refuses to allow one penny of her organization's funds to abort a baby or provide sterilizations."

That is precisely the dispute in Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Kathleen Sebelius. In December, Justice Sotomayor temporarily blocked the Obama Administration from persecuting these nuns while their case continues to work its way through the appeals process.

If there is an employee working for the Little Sisters who disagrees with the teachings of the Catholic Church, the remedy in a free country is for that employee to seek employment somewhere that offers an insurance policy that covers contraception, sterilizations and abortions.

Hobby Lobby And Abortion - The second aspect of the debate is whether a closely held business owned by a religious family can be forced through their business to pay for services that violate their religious beliefs. That was the issue at the Supreme Court yesterday.

If religious liberty applies only to churches and not individuals, then there really isn't freedom of religion. If it only means that the government can't force your wife to have an abortion, but it can force you as an employer to pay for your employees' abortions, that's not much of a right.

But that is exactly the power the Obama Administration claimed it had during yesterday's hearing. Consider this exchange between Justice Anthony Kennedy, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, representing the Obama Administration, and Chief Justice John Roberts:

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Under your view, a profit corporation … could be forced in principle to pay for abortions. … your reasoning would permit that.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I think that … it would depend on the law and it would depend on the entity. It certainly wouldn't be true, I think, for religious nonprofits. It certainly wouldn't be true for a church.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: I'm talking about a profit corporation. You say profit corporations just don't have any standing to vindicate the religious rights of their shareholders and owners.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I think that if it were for a for­profit corporation and if such a law like that were enacted, then you're right, under our theory that the for­profit corporation wouldn't have an ability to sue. But there is no law like that on the books. … [Emphasis added.]

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I'm sorry… There is no law on the books that does what? …

GENERAL VERRILLI: That requires for­profit corporations to provide abortions.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Isn't that what we are talking about in terms of their [Hobby Lobby's] religious beliefs? One of the religious beliefs is that they have to pay for these four methods of contraception that they believe provide abortions. I thought that's what we had before us.
Just to be clear, the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, are evangelical Protestants. They do not object to contraception. In fact, an attorney representing the Green family noted that the insurance plan offered to Hobby Lobby employees covers 16 out of 20 forms of contraception -- just not the four abortion-inducing methods demanded by Obamacare. And, clearly, the Obama Administration believes it can demand even more. The Left's Assault On Faith

The Left's Assault On Faith This is the most important point to understand: For at least half a century, the left has been using the language of tolerance to intimidate conservatives into silence and force its agenda on the rest of the country. Sadly, it has succeeded in convincing many conservatives and religious Americans that, even though they may have strong feelings about abortion and marriage, they have no right to use the law to "force their views on somebody else."

Pontificating liberals love to lecture conservatives by saying, "You can't legislate morality!"

We have repeatedly warned that the people making this argument have a long history of being extremely intolerant. As they have gained strength, their real intention has become more transparent. They are not simply asking for an America where they can live the way they want. Rather, they want an America where you will live the way they want.

Remember that full-page ad I mentioned at the beginning of this report? Liberals were accusing Catholic bishops of trying to "impose their religious views on all Americans." The exact opposite is true. The Obama Administration, under the guise of health care, is using the power of big government to force religious Americans to pay for its radical abortion-on-demand agenda.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: religious liberty, Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Big Government Caused This – Bigger Government Doesn’t Fix It

 Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The solution to government – isn’t more government. But that’s exactly what governments proffer all the time.

Local governments have imposed ridiculously high and expensive impediments to private broadband companies providing their residents service.

The federal government then decries the resulting local-government-created dearth of competition. And uses it as an excuse to jam more government - government-provided broadband - down states' throats. Including the twenty states that have passed laws proscribing government broadband.

ObamaCare, anyone? Federalism, anyone?

All of which, and more, we explain in the following video. Please, enjoy.

For more on Government Mandated Monopolies, please go here!
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Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News ServiceThe PJ Tatler also published this article. Please follow him him on  Twitter   /   Facebook.

Tags: Big Government, monopolies, Local governments, imposed, expensive impediments, private broadband companies, Seton Motley, less government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

White House is Defeating The U.S. Military

 Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: began March with a look at the way President Obama is undermining the U.S. military and did not think I would have to return to this topic for a while. I was wrong.

A March 25 article in The Washington Times was titled “Obama to Kill Navy’s Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs in Budget Decimation” and on March 21, The Wall Street Journal published a commentary, “.” When you add those to The New York Times February 23 article, “Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level”, you’ve got sufficient reason to begin to realize something very ominous is occurring.

This concerned is heightened by the way dozens of high ranking officers are, in the view of some observers, being purged. A number of retired generals are speaking out about it. One of them, retired Army Major General Paul Vallely has charged that Obama is “intentionally weakening and gutting our military and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.” Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady agrees saying, “There is no doubt he is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.”

The world, over the course of human civilization, has always been a dangerous place. Much of the history of mankind is a history of wars, large and small. In the last century the U.S. military was involved in two world wars, a Korean conflict, a war in Vietnam, and the Gulf War to drive out Hussein’s Iraqi forces after he invaded Kuwait.

The Russian seizure of Crimea in the wake of the protests that has left Ukraine in disarray has put all of Europe on edge and raised questions about the readiness of NATO. A look around the world sees China increasing its military strength, particularly at sea.

The Middle East to include much of northern Africa is a hotbed of turmoil. And, of course, Iran continues to contribute to it, aiding Syria’s regime along with the Russians, supporting Palestinian terror organizations that threaten Israel, while pursuing its own nuclear weapon capabilities.

This would hardly seem a good time to undermine U.S. military capabilities, but that is exactly what is occurring thanks to President Obama.

The Washington Times reported that “President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say have helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.” The Tomahawk missile program, under Obama’s 2015 budget proposal, would be completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016. Seth Cropsey, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, said “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”
Writing in The New York Times, Steve Cohen, a former director of the U.S. Naval Institute, noted that “The Navy is supposed to be ‘forward deployed’ to provide the president with tools powerful enough to deal with potential threats and trouble spots.” For decades since the end of World War Two the U.S Navy has patrolled the world’s sea lanes to protect trade between nations, but Cohen said, “The rest of the world isn’t unpatrolled, but it is under-patrolled” noting that “Some 90% of the world’s trade moves by sea. Much of that can be disrupted by attacks on a handful of choke points readily apparent to pirates, terrorists, and rogue nations.”

“With the U.S Navy arguably at its smallest since 1917, we don’t have many ships that are actually at sea. Only 35% of the Navy’s entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships.”

U.S. air power has been under assault as well by the Obama regime. In June of last year, David A. Deptula, a retired Air Force three-star general and senior military scholar at the Air Force Academy, warned that “In the Air Force alone, more than 30 squadrons are now grounded, along with aircrews, and maintenance and training personnel.” Less than a year ago “The graduate schools for Air Force, Navy and Marine combat aviators” had been cancelled. “Equipment testing and upgrades to F-22s, F-15s, F-16s, and other aircraft have been delayed.”

In September 2013, the commandant of the Marine Corps, James F. Amos, warned that cuts to the nation’s defense and security spending that occurred from 1990 to 2001, reduced its total active-duty strength by 32%. In 2001 the Corps totaled approximately 172,000 Marines, down from 197,000 in the 1990 Gulf War. When 9/11 occurred, the Marines “found themselves short of critical capabilities in intelligence collection and analysis, in communication and in mobility on land, sea and in the air.” These days the Marines are facing further reductions.

It will be up to Congress to eliminate the sequestration cuts and the Obama regime proposals to ensure that the U.S. military is restored to a state of readiness. If it rubber stamps the reductions that have been occurring for more than a decade, the ability of the nation to respond to an attack on our homeland or any of our allies will be highly limited.

You can be sure that those nations unfriendly to our future are fully aware of this and the defeat of our armed forces could occur on the battlefield because it has already occurred here.
------------
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: White House, defeating, the military, DOD, Alan Carubam 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!

Shoes To Fill

Editorial Cartoon By AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: presidents, the roles, shoes to fill, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, 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!

CBO: Interests Costs To Dwarf Virtually Every Federal Expense

U.S. Senate Republican Budget Office:
The U.S. gross federal debt currently stands at $17.548 trillion, and net interest payments to our creditors are the fastest-growing item in the budget. In 2014, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the nation will spend $233 billion on interest payments. By the end of the budget window in 2024, however, CBO forecasts that interest payments will nearly quadruple to an astonishing $880 billion. Every dollar spent paying our creditors is a dollar wasted—money for which we get nothing in return. Interest payments threaten to crowd out every other budget item. To put the $880 billion, single-year interest payment in perspective, here is what we currently spend on other budget items:
  • Federal Courts - $7.4 billion
  • Department of Education - $56.7 billion
  • Secret Service - $1.8 billion
  • Food Inspection - $2.3 billion
  • Census Bureau - $1.0 billion
  • Border Patrol - $12.3 billion
  • National Parks - $3.0 billion
  • NASA - $17.6 billion
  • Centers for Disease Control - $7.1 billion
  • Federal Prison System - $6.9 billion
  • Workplace Safety Inspections - $0.9 billion
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement - $5.6 billion
  • FDA - $2.6 billion
  • Federal Highway Budget - $40.4 billion
  • Coast Guard - $10.0 billion
  • Small Business Loans - $0.9 billion
  • Veterans’ Health Care - $55.3 billion
  • FBI - $8.3 billion
Not only do interest payments threaten to consume the federal budget, but they also threaten to plunge the nation into fiscal crisis. Even a modest rise in interest rates could lead to a financial emergency, with the U.S. facing a dangerous spiral of rising interest costs and increased borrowing to finance those interest costs.

Tags: CBO report. Interest Costs, exceed, every Federal Expenses, Debt, Federal Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Victory for Honest Elections

 by Phyllis Schlafly: A federal court in Kansas just rendered a much-needed decision against the federal government’s interference with state efforts to combat voter fraud. Kansas and Arizona won total support for their laws to stop voter registration by illegal aliens and other non-citizens, and the court ordered a federal agency to revise its forms “immediately.”

It’s not every day that federal bureaucrats are told to submit to state law. Big-government liberals have been in disbelief ever since the issuance of this ruling, which upheld the power of the states to require the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to include proof-of-citizenship requirements on voter registration forms pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Kansas and Arizona had enacted laws requiring real proof-of-citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, in order to register to vote. Until now, the federal voter registration form required only a mere signature to affirm citizenship, without showing any documents or real proof.

Illegal aliens break the law to enter this country, so it is obviously naive to pretend that they would never lie in signing a form. Moreover, legal aliens who are here on green cards or temporary visas have not sworn their loyalty to the United States, nor have they surrendered the citizenship of their country of origin.

The brilliant approach of requiring proof of citizenship on the registration form is the brainchild of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and this new court decision confirms that the Obama Administration must comply with this common-sense regulation. This is a great step forward for states that are trying to protect their citizens against a federal government that refuses to enforce federal immigration law.

Kobach explained to the Associated Press, “This is a really big victory, not just for Kansas and Arizona but for all 50 states.” Alabama immediately moved forward with its own law against illegal voter registration, and the other 47 states can now do likewise.

The phony canard of “voter suppression” is already being chanted by liberals, even though the only “suppression” is of illegal votes that never should be cast. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the requirement to show identification in order to vote, so showing a document to prove citizenship is plainly reasonable.

This dispute started in October 2012 when the EAC refused to cooperate with attempts by the states to crack down on illegal voting. Federal bureaucrats typically refuse to take orders from states unless commanded to do so by a court.

So Kris Kobach sued, in Kobach v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission, to force the federal government to include proof of citizenship requirements on its form for registering voters in Kansas and Arizona. State law, after all, is what defines election eligibility, not federal law, apart from a few exceptions such as forbidding discrimination and allowing 18-year-olds to vote.

Arizona previously tried to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, but the Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s prior attempt. This time, however, Arizona and Kansas did what the Supreme Court invited them to do: add the document requirement on the printed federal form on which people register to vote.

In ruling for the states, the federal court held that “Congress has not preempted state laws requiring proof of citizenship through the National Voter Registration Act,” and states have the power to require proof because the “Constitution gives each state exclusive authority to determine the qualifications of voters for state and federal elections.”

This splendid new decision by federal Judge Eric F. Melgren explained that “Because the Constitution gives the states exclusive authority to set voter qualifications under the Qualifications Clause, and because no clear congressional enactment attempts to preempt this authority,” it is OK for the states to decide that “a mere oath is not sufficient” for a prospective voter to prove that he is a citizen.

The judge then ordered the federal Election Assistance Commission “to add the language requested by Arizona and Kansas to the state-specific instructions on the federal mail voter registration form, effective immediately.” The words “effective immediately” are particularly gratifying because they order the Obama Administration to comply right now, before the 2014 elections.

Congratulations to Kris Kobach for his persistence in pursuing honest elections. That’s the job of state secretaries of state.
--------------------
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president ofEagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: victory, for honest elections, Kansas, Arizona, stopping illegals, non-citizens, from registering, to vote, proof-of-citizenship, requirements, 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!

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  • 8/23/15 - 8/30/15
  • 8/30/15 - 9/6/15
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  • 9/13/15 - 9/20/15
  • 9/20/15 - 9/27/15
  • 9/27/15 - 10/4/15
  • 10/4/15 - 10/11/15
  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
  • 11/1/15 - 11/8/15
  • 11/8/15 - 11/15/15
  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
  • 3/13/16 - 3/20/16
  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
  • 3/27/16 - 4/3/16
  • 4/3/16 - 4/10/16
  • 4/10/16 - 4/17/16
  • 4/17/16 - 4/24/16
  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
  • 5/1/16 - 5/8/16
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  • 5/15/16 - 5/22/16
  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
  • 5/29/16 - 6/5/16
  • 6/5/16 - 6/12/16
  • 6/12/16 - 6/19/16
  • 6/19/16 - 6/26/16
  • 6/26/16 - 7/3/16
  • 7/3/16 - 7/10/16
  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
  • 7/17/16 - 7/24/16
  • 7/24/16 - 7/31/16
  • 7/31/16 - 8/7/16
  • 8/7/16 - 8/14/16
  • 8/14/16 - 8/21/16
  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
  • 8/28/16 - 9/4/16
  • 9/4/16 - 9/11/16
  • 9/11/16 - 9/18/16
  • 9/18/16 - 9/25/16
  • 9/25/16 - 10/2/16
  • 10/2/16 - 10/9/16
  • 10/9/16 - 10/16/16
  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
  • 11/6/16 - 11/13/16
  • 11/13/16 - 11/20/16
  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
  • 3/5/17 - 3/12/17
  • 3/12/17 - 3/19/17
  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17
  • 3/26/17 - 4/2/17
  • 4/2/17 - 4/9/17
  • 4/9/17 - 4/16/17
  • 4/16/17 - 4/23/17
  • 4/23/17 - 4/30/17