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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
Friday, May 16, 2014
Remembering Andrew Breitbart
The following video was made to celebrate the memory of Andrew Breitbart at the 2014 third annual Breitbart Awards with the Franklin Center and Heritage Foundation.
Wikipedia reflects: "Andrew Breitbart was an American conservative publisher, commentator for The Washington Times, author, and occasional guest commentator on various news programs, who served as an editor for the Drudge Report website. He was a researcher for Arianna Huffington, during which time he played a central role in launching her web publication The Huffington Post. He owned Breitbart.com and played central roles in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy."
ARRA News Service Editor, Bill Smith, shares, "I recall several times we were together at events. Being the oldest blogger at these events, Andrew always showed me a great deal of respect. I respected him for his zealous efforts to seek the truth and for his to willingness to confront, even toe-to-toe on the street, liberals and progressives at every opportunity. Andrew Breitbart never held back. I also appreciated his defense of Sarah Palin when she was attacked with scurrilous and false allegations after the 2008 elections. Andrew Brietbart could draw a crowd and thus became a sought after speaker at conferences. But after speaking, he wasn't one to slip away from his fellow activists. He wanted to be with the trench warfare conservative activists especially if there was an opportunity to go out and confront a few liberals."
Joe the Plumber Takes Aim at French Hill - 'French Kiss of Death'
"Joe the Plumber" Photo by Dr. Bill Smith (2010)
Joe the Plumber comments on Arkansas' 2nd District Congressional Race
by Joe the Plumber: Following the unexpected resignation of Rep. Tim Griffin, the Arkansas Republican Establishment has risen to fill the void with a candidate straight out of RINO central casting. Banker J. French Hill has campaigned to raise taxes in Little Rock, declared that “Americans should be embarrassed that Congress hasn’t raised the debt ceiling,” and even donated to Democrats. Nonetheless, with a war chest of over $500,000, he is poised to take the seat – unless conservatives fight back.
Griffin shocked the political world last fall when he announced that he was resigning from Congress after only 2 terms. He left vacant the central Arkansas 2nd District which has a Partisan Voting Index of Republican +8, meaning it is likely that whoever wins the Republican nomination will go on to represent the district in Congress.
Since announcing, French Hill has enjoyed broad support among establishment organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. Hill has a long history with the Chamber. He partnered with them in 2010 to lead an effort to raise over $50 million dollars in new sales taxes.
Were that French’s only transgression, it might have been forgivable, but sadly his tax raising inclinations seem to be part of a broader history of siding with Democrats against conservatives. In 2009, Hill put out a press release praising the bailout of major banks as “well conceived and well structured.” In 2011, he told a local news reporter that “Americans should feel embarrassed that their government can’t get their act together on something as straightforward as raising the debt ceiling.” In 2009, he sent a letter to FDIC pleading for them to have the Treasury allot more public money to support the program before asking banks to contribute more to their own insurance premiums. French is a big government, crony capitalist through and through, and we can count on him to continue this pattern if he makes it to Congress.
Is this really the kind of person we need more of in Washington? It is one thing to disagree with conservative positions on occasion. It is entirely different to actively campaign to elect Democrats, raise taxes, and increase American debt. At a certain point, we must reject candidates who prove themselves hostile to conservative causes, even if they are running as Republicans. There are conservative candidates in the Arkansas 2nd Republican Primary. Let’s not send another loser to Congress.
-------------- Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known by the nickname "Joe the Plumber", is an American conservative activist and commentator. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter Tags:Arkansas, French Hill, 2nd District, Congressional race, Republican primary elections, 2014 electionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: All day yesterday I attended a strategy meeting of leaders representing every segment of the conservative movement -- values issues, economic conservatives, libertarians, foreign policy conservatives and Tea Party leaders. These meetings are held several times a year, and the ground rules are that the deliberations, for obvious reasons, are off-the-record and not to be shared with the media.
Nevertheless, the Washington Post had a front page story this morning about the meeting. Fortunately it did not report details of what was said. But since the Post has reported that the meeting took place, I am comfortable letting you know that I was participating on behalf of those of you who support our work.
I will not violate the guidelines of the meeting. But I can tell you that in a larger gathering of conservatives that will take place this weekend, there is widespread concern about the Republican establishment's continued drift away from the sanctity of life, the defense of normal marriage, religious liberty and the other issues that motivate at least half of the GOP base.
The reason for this concern is obvious. In fact, the Washington Post quoted a Republican operative who is one of those advocating for a retreat from values issues.
"What's clear is that we ought to be focusing on economic security for the future, not divisive social issues. That's how we lost several key Senate races last cycle and plays into the Democrats' hand," the consultant told the Post. He used to be the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Sometimes I think the party operatives in D.C. are living in an alternative universe. None of our Senate candidates won or lost because they built their entire campaigns on abortion or marriage. A few seats were lost because our candidates did a terrible job explaining their pro-life views.
As far as running campaigns on economic security, that was the entire theme of President Romney's campaign. Whoops, that's right -- he didn't win. That was the theme of President McCain's campaign. Oh right. He didn't win either.
These "professionals" are leaving the entire values playing field to the left. If our candidates don't talk about values and don't expose the Democrats' extremism on abortion, marriage and religious liberty, then they are leaving those issues to the tender mercies of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
The public is being told that values means supporting "marriage equality." In other words, throwing out thousands of years of history, deeply held religious values and common sense.
When we don't talk about values, the media tell us that "pro-life" means a "war on women." Running soft ads with our wives and daughters is not a sufficient response to the left's vicious smears.
And what about that economic agenda these GOP consultants tell candidates to focus on? I saw polling yesterday that once again confirms everything I have seen over the last five years. The Democrat Party owns the "middle class."
For example, voters were asked which party they trusted most to help the middle class. (By the way, most Americans believe they are middle class.) By a 20-point margin, (52% to 32%) voters chose the Democrats.
How can that be if we are talking non-stop about economic security? Where is the disconnect? The problem is that the GOP's ideas are often presented in ways that allow the left and the media to frame the debate. They get to say, "We are on the side of struggling families. But Republicans want to make sure billionaires don't pay a dollar more in taxes. We want to protect your Social Security check, but they want to cut it."
Again, folks, don't misunderstand me. I am an economic conservative too. I know that Social Security needs reform. I know our budget problems do not stem from a lack of revenue. But after two campaigns focused almost exclusively on economics, what do we have to show for it?
In spite of all the talk about the country being against us on values, the latest Rasmussen poll finds the country is evenly divided on the meaning of marriage. But the latest Rasmussen poll finds that 51% of adults support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, while just 39% does not.
Fifty-eight percent of the country believes abortion ought to be restricted. Most oppose taxpayer funding and late-term abortions. Less than 30% of the public agrees with the abortion-on-demand position of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
My point is simply this: Values issues are not nearly as divisive as many consultants seem to think. But the GOP is very likely losing middle class voters because elements of its economic agenda are a hard sell. A much harder sell than our values agenda.
If the party establishment keeps aiming its fire at folks who believe in the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty, this country will be perpetually governed by leftist, socialist Democrats. Without values voters, the GOP is not going to win another election.
One man showed us how this party can win. That was Ronald Reagan. Make the economic case. Make the values case. Make the case for a strong America. That is a winning message.
The circular firing squad we all too often suffering through needs to stop.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Fighting For Our Values, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
‘Dang If I Know’ - Susan Rice On Benghazi Investigation
by Kelsey Harris, The Foundry: As congressional Republicans launch a new investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack, White House national security adviser Susan Rice and former President Bill Clinton insist there’s nothing left to uncover.
Appearing at a foreign policy lunch Wednesday, Rice was asked what else the Obama administration had done or said regarding the terrorist attack that the newly formed House select committee might discover.
The terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012, killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. House Republicans created the new committee in the wake of newly disclosed documents that shed light on the White House’s role in the aftermath of the attack.
Rice, however, indicated there was nothing left to learn:The administration has produced 25,000 pages of documents or 25,000 individual documents. They supported, participated in, contributed to the investigations of seven, I think, different committees. We have had an accountability review board by a very distinguished group of outsiders.“It’s hard to imagine what further will come of yet another committee,” Rice concluded. Tags:Susan Rice, Benghazi investigation, Dang if I know, Obama administrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Reid voiced support for a constitutional amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that would severely restrict free-speech protections and promised he would force “multiple” votes to pass the measure.
Reid wants to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which restored the rights of all Americans to engage in independent political speech. But he also wants to give Congress the power to limit spending by candidates on political campaigns or by anyone else in support of or opposition to candidates—a measure guaranteed to protect incumbents such as himself and make it even more difficult for challengers to knock off sitting members of Congress.
Reid’s actions would overturn Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 Supreme Court decision holding that limiting campaign spending directly restricts political speech since it rations the ability to speak to potential voters through advertisements, brochures, and other political activities.
In the interview, Reid continued his unwarranted attack on the Charles and David Koch for having the temerity to participate in the political process by voicing their opinions and supporting candidates.
Reid said he is angry the Kochs have spent money in elections including “in state party [and secretary of state] races.” Yet, Reid displays no concern whatsoever over the many liberals, such as George Soros and Tom Steyer, who spend enormous amounts of money in the political field. Or the many unions that support Reid and his political party almost exclusively and who, as Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, spend far more on political campaigns than the Koch brothers.
Although the amendment sponsored by Udall and supported by Reid would limit fundraising and spending on political speech for Americans, there is one glaring exception in the amendment: It would not apply to the press.
The New York Times and MSNBC could continue to spend as much money, newsprint and airtime as they want supporting liberal candidates and attacking conservatives, but other non-media corporations would be strictly limited in what they could do, including conservative advocacy organizations such as the NRA and Heritage Action, which are nonprofits.
Candidates and ordinary Americans who wanted to fight back against the attacks of the liberal mainstream media would have their hands tied by a Congress filled with members who want to make sure individuals trying to unseat them (and their supporters) are strictly limited in the amount they could spend to publicly criticize them.
Reid seems to disagree with Benjamin Franklin, who wrote that “freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government.” And for those who say that restricting the money that can be spent on political speech and activity is not the same as limiting speech, that is like saying that the government limiting the amount of newsprint a newspaper can buy does not limit the newspaper’s speech.
It is a nonsensical argument – just like the arguments being made by Reid to cull the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights. Tags:Constitution, Harry Reid, contempt, First AmendmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
USA Today: Shinseki Must Act To End 'Needless Parade Of Negligence And Death'
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 16, 2014
The House and Senate are not in session today. The House will reconvene on Monday at Noon. The Senate will reconvene at 11 AM on Monday for a pro forma session.
On Tuesday evening, the Senate is scheduled to vote on confirmation of Gregg Costa to be US Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit and then on cloture on the nomination of Stanley Fischer to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
Yesterday, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) again refused to allow any amendments on a bill, this time on the tax extenders package (H.R. 3474), Republicans blocked the bill from moving forward. Democrats failed to get cloture on the Wyden substitute amendment to the bill containing the tax extenders language by a vote of 53-40.
Also yesterday the Senate confirmed 3 more district court judges for Arizona and cloture was invoked on the Costa nomination using the precedent Democrats established when they used the nuclear option to break Senate rules and allow nominees to achieve cloture with fewer than 60 votes.
Yesterday, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Under Secretary Dr. Robert Petzel appeared before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on what went wrong at the VA. Below is a CNN report on the hearing:
CNN's Drew Griffin reports on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's appearance before Congress to explain hospital wait times.
CNN's Drew Griffin reports on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's appearance before Congress to explain hospital wait times. On May 8, 2012, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing examining.
CNN's Drew Griffin reports on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's appearance before Congress to explain hospital wait times.
CNN's Drew Griffin reports on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's appearance before Congress to explain hospital wait times. On May 8, 2012, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing examining.
CNN's Drew Griffin reports on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's appearance before Congress to explain hospital wait times. On May 8, 2012, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing.
On May 8, 2012, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing examining mental health efforts within the VA. Eric Shinseki, secretary of the VA, attend.
The pending VA shutdown has veterans scrambling to figure out how they will live without their benefits. After the House questioned Secretary Shinseki, I cou.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) questioned numerous Obama Administration appointees and helped uncover the shocking revelation that the Department of Ve.
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, on Wednesday questioned Secretary of Veterans' Affairs (VA) Eric Shins.
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, on Wednesday questioned Secretary of Veterans' Affairs (VA) Eric Shins.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said actions will be taken based on the findings of an independent investigation into allegations that up to 40 veterans may have died while awaiting..
Senator Burr, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, addresses General Eric Shinseki at his confirmation hearing for the position of Se.
At a hearing on the Department Veterans Affairs' FY13 budget request, Sen. Landrieu questions Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki about why the depar.
In addition to questioning Secretary Shinseki about the Department's ongoing efforts to provide the care and benefits our veterans have earned, Chairman Murr.
On Monday, April 15, 2013, Sen. Moran addressed Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA Officials about the important needs for Kansas veterans.
Congressman Mica spoke with Fox35 News concerning construction delays of the Central Florida VA Medical Center on March 27th following the House Veterans' Af.
(Washington, D.C.) -- Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) questioned panelists at the Veterans' Affairs Committee Joint Hearing about the backlog of Veter.
There are alarming new reports this week about how difficult it has become for veterans to receive medical care from VA hospitals. Reports indicated at least.
More than half of veterans who file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs will end up waiting 125 days or more for their claim to be processed. As .
Congressman Ander Crenshaw, a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, questions VA Secetary Erik Shinseki about.
In a joint press conference, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said their departments are working closely to stream.
Today, U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) questioned Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to revi.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says more college educated professionals will enter the work force because of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. See more DoD vi.
In an editorial titled “VA chief Shinseki has a lot to explain,” USA Today writes, “At a hearing on Thursday, senators from both parties expressed outrage over a string of reports from across the country of treatment delays, deaths of patients waiting for care, coverups and alleged document destruction at a VA facility in Phoenix. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki declared himself ‘mad as hell.’ More than anger is needed, however. It's action to identify and fix what appear to be longstanding, systemic problems.Reports and investigations going back years show a VA system overwhelmed by a surge of veterans needing care, often unable to give them timely treatment and plagued by some workers cooking the books to hide unacceptable delays.”
The editors note, “Among the most disturbing reports: The deaths of 23 veterans were linked to delayed cancer screenings dating back four years at 13 facilities in nine states. Six veterans died after delays at a single hospital in Columbia, S.C. Veterans in Fort Collins, Colo., waited months to be seen, and clerks were taught how to falsify appointment records to make it appear the small staff of doctors was meeting performance goals. Similar games were played at a VA center in Cheyenne, Wyo. At the VA hospital in Phoenix, a retired doctor charged that some patients facing lengthy waits for appointments were omitted from electronic files and placed on a ‘secret’ paper waiting list. Forty died, he said, but it is unclear whether their deaths were linked to the delays. This month, a high-ranking physician at the Phoenix hospital told The Arizona Republic that there was an attempt to destroy evidence of the waiting list manipulations.”
They admonish the VA chief, “For VA leaders — including Shinseki, who has been on the job since 2009 — these problems should come as no shock. In April 2010, an internal VA inquiry found systematic ‘gaming strategies’ at regional clinics to hide delays. The report cited about two dozen gaming techniques, some involving falsifying records. There is no evidence of effective follow-up. Bipartisan concern over Shinseki's leadership is increasing, and one major veterans group has called for his ouster. . . . At Thursday's hearing, Shinseki said he's awaiting results from an investigation of the Phoenix VA and his own nationwide audit. To save his job, he'll need to act more decisively than he has if the needless parade of negligence and death is to be stopped.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports, “Democrats showed increasing nervousness over the political peril raised by allegations of extended wait times at a Department of Veterans Affairs health facility, while the agency's acting inspector general said he had so far found no evidence patients had died because of long waits for care. The White House has sought this week to contain the potential crisis, which has emerged just as Democrats thought they had put questions about President Barack Obama's managerial skills behind them after the flawed rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. Mr. Obama on Wednesday dispatched one of his top aides to the VA, and the president's spokesman reported Thursday that Mr. Obama is ‘angry’ about the allegations.”
But as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “My concern is that the Obama Administration will treat this scandal like it does all the others like a political crisis to get past rather than a serious problem to be solved. We know he appointed a member of his staff yesterday to look into it. That’s a start. But if the President is truly serious, he needs to treat these stories at least as seriously as he did the Obamacare website fiasco. When he pledged his complete attention and the full force of his Administration to do whatever needed to be done. When he let it be known that his people would not rest until a solution could be worked out. Incredibly, so far the President has made no such pledge when it comes to the treatment of our veterans. The President needs to understand that our veterans deserve at least as much attention as a website. In fact, they deserve a whole heck of a lot more. This is a big deal.”
The Journal noted, though, that the Obama administration isn’t quite as on top of things as it should be. “Though the White House said Wednesday that Rob Nabors, a White House deputy chief of staff, would assist in the review of the VA, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said the appointment alone might not be enough and suggested more resources were needed—possibly more federal investigative agencies. ‘It's another piece of evidence that management and implementation have not been this administration's strong suit,’ said William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, as well as a Wall Street Journal columnist. Jim Nicholson, who served as VA secretary under President George W. Bush, said in an interview that the White House response to the controversy has been low key. ‘It doesn't seem to me that the White House is taking it very seriously,’ he said. Mr. Nicholson said the president himself should address the matter.”
Tags:Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Hearing VA Administration, Secretary Eric Shinseki, Robert Petzel, veterans, deaths, secret lists, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Nebraska, Tea Party, candidate, Ben Sasse, wins, GOP, U.S. Senate PrimaryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Yesterday afternoon more emails related to the IRS scandal were released. They make two things perfectly clear: First, there was a coordinated, intentional effort to target Tea Party groups. Second, top congressional Democrats demanded it.
The first point is worth repeating because Democrats and their media allies insist there is no scandal. But the IRS was clearly targeting conservative and Tea Party groups. It developed a BOLO list(Be On the Look Out) of groups to single out for extra scrutiny, scrutiny which officials now admit was inappropriate. "Be On The Lookout" was the IRS equivalent of the FBI's "Most Wanted" posters! If you are not targeting specific groups, why develop the list?
What was on the BOLO list? Anything that referenced: "1. 'Tea Party', 'Patriots' or '9/12 Project' … 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run."
Number four is particularly chilling. It is a clear violation of the First Amendment and smacks of fascism. That is scandal enough!
The second revelation is that Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) demanded that the IRS crack down on conservative groups.
Correspondence obtained by Judicial Watch between Senator Levin and then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman makes it clear that Levin was not merely seeking information about the legitimate activities of the IRS. Levin was directing the IRS and demanding punitive actions be taken against his political opponents. In one letter, Levin even suggested that the IRS was being too passive!
This makes Levin the second senior congressional Democrat, along with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), to be implicated in the scandal.
When news of the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal broke, there was universal outrage and condemnation. President Obama said, "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way then that is outrageous ... People have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed."
It is impossible to suggest with a straight face that the IRS was operating in a "neutral and non-partisan way." What it did to conservative organizations was "outrageous," and no one has been held accountable!
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Democrats, directed, IRS. Tea Party, targeting, scandal, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:economy, chilly economy, Obama administration, editorial cartoon AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Good News For Free Speech: Appeals Court Declares Portions Of Wisconsin Campaign Finance Law Unconstitutional
UNCONSTITUTIONAL: The 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals declared
sections of Wisconsin’s campaign
finance law unconstitutional.
Decision may impact WI's secret
John Doe probe into dozens
of conservative groups.
By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter: Madison, Wis. — In a ruling with stunning implications on political speech in Wisconsin and beyond, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declared unconstitutional portions of state campaign finance laws restricting issue advertising.
The 88-page decision handed down late Wednesday sides with Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. and its state political action committee, which sued to block the enforcement of multiple state statutes and rules against groups that spend money for political speech independently of candidates and parties — so called issue advocacy groups.
The 7th Circuit’s ruling, legal experts tell Wisconsin Reporter, could cut the legs out from under a secret John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative organizations on a theory that the groups illegally coordinated with Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during the state’s partisan recall elections.
In short, the court, in a 3-0 decision, found the state’s corporate-speech ban, the ban on political spending by corporations, unconstitutional under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that opened up previous restrictions on campaign finance. The Appeals Court remanded the case to the district court to issue a permanent injunction consistent with the opinion.
The court also ruled:
The cap on the amount a corporation may spend on fundraising for an affiliated political committee, is unconstitutional.
The lengthy disclaimer requirement under state Government Accountability Board’s regulation is unconstitutional as applied to 30-second radio ads and ads of shorter duration.
The statutory definition of “political purposes,” section 11.01(16), and the regulatory definition of “political committee,” GAB § 1.28(1)(a), are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in the sense meant by federal court precedent. As applied to political speakers other than candidates, their campaign committees and political parties, the definitions are limited to express advocacy.
[Full Story] Tags:Wisconsin, unconstitutional portions, Wisconsin, campaign finance law, U.S, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, free speechTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: In the 1980s I devoted a lot of effort to debunking a torrent of Green lies about pesticides and herbicides. This was before the Greens latched onto “global warming” which has since become “climate change” and the subject of a recent White House report filled with dire predictions of planetary doom and disaster.
Nobody died from using pesticides or herbicides in the 1980s or since unless they drank it straight from the bottle. When I talked with farmers they would frequently say “Do you think I would put this stuff on the crops my family eats if I thought it would harm them?” The Greens have always attacked anything that would increase crop growth by limiting the real harm of weeds or the predation of insect species. These days genetically modified seeds are a target for environmentalists though studies have amply demonstrated their crops are safe to eat.
Less food means less people and that has always been a major goal of the people leading the nation’s and the world’s major environmental organizations. The same formula applies to denying energy to people worldwide.
As for pesticides, we all use them to keep our homes and workplaces free of insects that are the key vectors for all manner of diseases. In a world before their invention, millions died from mosquito-borne diseases such as Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Encephalitis, West Nile virus and Malaria. Millions still die from malaria and these diseases because one of the most effective pesticides ever invented was DDT and it was banned because of the lies Rachel Carson told in her iconic, environmental book, “Silent Spring.”
The world is a very complex place and it is essential to have a fundamental understanding of how it works. One of the best new books on this subject is Robert Bryce’s “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper” ($27.99, Public Affairs). What Bryce doesn’t know about energy is probably not worth knowing and, happily, he has authored several books on the subject. His latest provides wonderful and useful insights to the world we share today with seven billion other human beings.
Bryce quotes Edward Abbey, “one of the patron saints of American environmentalism” who, in 1971, said, “We humans swarm over the planet like a plague of locusts, multiplying and devouring. There is no justice, sense or decency in this mindless global breeding spree, this obscene anthropoid fecundity, this industrialized mass production of babies and bodies, ever more bodies and babies.”
This is the kind of thinking that is the hidden justification for genocides. Not surprisingly the leaders of the Nazi regime were all dedicated environmentalists. At the heart of much that passes for environmentalism is an attack on the energy sources that enhance or lives and agricultural practices that feed us.
It’s not by accident that environmental groups all trumpet the same doomsday lies at the same time. Their leaders get together to coordinate their efforts and the current one is aimed at what they call “de-growth”, the reduction of economic growth by any means.
With President Obama blathering about “climate change” threats, it should not surprise anyone to conclude that the horrible economic conditions he has imposed on our nation was not an accident, nor that he focuses on thwarting the provision of energy, the most vital component of economic growth.
“The prescriptions put forward by the degrowth crowd,” says Bryce, “are familiar. Nuclear energy is bad. Genetically modified foods are bad. Coal isn’t just bad, it’s awful. Oil is bad. Natural gas—and the process often used to produce it, hydraulic fracturing is bad.” And it is no surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency—the most anti-growth governmental agency—has just announced steps to require the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a technology that has been in use for more than a half century and one that has unlocked access to vast reserves of natural gas and oil.
It is essential to understand who the enemy is and it is groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Worldwatch Institute, to name just a few.
The next time some environmental spokesman is busy spreading fear, Bryce says it is necessary to keep in mind that “Their outlook rejects innovation and modern forms of energy. It rejects business and capitalism. We must move past the climate of fear to one of optimism. We must move past fear of technology to an understanding that technology isn’t the problem; it’s the solution.”
----------------- 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:Complex World, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obamacare: ‘I Couldn't Find Doctors That Would Talk To Me’
Experts Say The Number Of ‘Extremely Discouraged’ Obamacare Enrollees Is Likely ‘To Grow As More Try To Schedule With Doctors’
INFAMOUS GUARANTEE:“…we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.”(President Obama, 6/15/09)
‘Consumers Are Finding Their Access Limited’
“...with insurance cards now in hand,consumers are finding their access limited across all price ranges— sometimes even after they were told their plan would include their current doctor.”(AP, 5/14/14)
CA Woman Who Lost Her Doctor: ‘I'm extremely discouraged’ “Before enrolling in a new health plan on California's exchange, [Michelle Pool] checked whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken… But after her insurance card came in the mail, the Vista, California resident learned her doctor wasn't taking her new insurance. ‘It's not fun when you've had a doctor for years and years that you can confide in and he knows you,’ Pool said. ‘I'm extremely discouraged. I'm stuck.’ The dilemma undercuts President Obama's 2009 pledge that: ‘If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.’” (AP, 5/14/14)
TX Man: ‘It was a waste of money for me... I couldn't find doctors that would talk to me’ “James Potts' $647-per-month silver plan was issued by the same company that had insured him with a different plan cancelled under the Affordable Care Act. The 64-year-old property insurance agent assumed his doctors would remain the same under the insurer's new plan, but didn't double check. When Potts got a nasty cold, he called three facilities near his home in Wichita Falls, Texas, and was shocked to find none took the insurance, including his primary care doctor. ‘It was a waste of money for me,’ he said. ‘I couldn't find doctors that would talk to me.’” (AP, 5/14/14)
“[CA Insurance agent Craig] Gussin says that even after his mad-dash to make switches before the deadline, he still has a half-dozen clients who are stuck — and he expects the number to grow as more try to schedule with doctors. He and other agents fear it will be one of their most serious issues in 2014. ‘Everybody I talk to is having the same issue. It's probably the number one item that we're seeing right now,’ said Gussin, who is petitioning Covered California for special enrolment status to help clients change plans.” (AP, 5/14/14)
KY Woman: ‘Needing to find a new doctor, she called several who would not take her new insurance’ “In October, she had been shocked to learn that her longtime insurance policy through Humana was getting canceled.‘I’m really not very happy with what my experience has been,’ Ms. Morse said. … So she is paying $448 a month for a new Humana plan, up from the $258 monthly premium she paid before. Needing to find a new doctor, she called several who would not take her new insurance.” (The New York Times, 3/30/14)
NJ Woman: “‘I’m sorry, we are no longer accepting that kind of insurance. I apologize for the confusion; Dr. [insert name] is only willing to see existing patients at this time.’ As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the ‘I’m so sorry’ line before curtly hanging up.” (Ebony, 4/9/14)
NY Cancer Patient: ‘I’m being railroaded, that’s why I’m so furious’ “The sickest customers tend to be the most upset, like Abigail List, a 53-year-old therapist in Manhattan, who said she had to choose one of the most expensive plans, costing $300 more a month than others, so she could have coverage for her longtime cancer doctors at NYU-Langone Medical Center. ‘I’m being railroaded, that’s why I’m so furious,’ Ms. List said.” (The New York Times, 4/13/14) Tags:Obamacare, Americans, doctors, news sources, articlesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 15, 2014
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. At 11:15, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on 3 more Arizona district judge nominations. Democrats again used the precedent they established when they used the nuclear option to break Senate rules and allow nominees to achieve cloture with fewer than 60 votes.
Senators then confirmed Leslie Caldwell to be an Assistant Attorney General and Helen La Lime to be Ambassador to the Republic of Angola by voice votes. The Senate then recessed until 1:45 PM for caucus lunches.
The House will reconvene at 2 PM for a few minutes and then recess until Monday, May 19, 2014, at Noon.
Today, the Senate Banking Committee approved S. 1217, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013, by a bipartisan vote of 13-9. The legislation which now goes to the full Senate winds down and eliminates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and allows for a diverse set of private entities to step in and replace most of the functions of the government sponsored enterprises. The new system will be regulated by the modernized and streamlined Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC), modeled in part after the FDIC. It also creates a reinsurance fund, known as the Mortgage Insurance Fund, to protect taxpayers. The new system establishes a type of mortgage-backed security with an explicit government backstop and 10% first loss private secondary-market capital to absorb losses and protect taxpayers from future bailouts.
However, fiscal conservatives are objecting to the bill pledging the the full faith and credit of the United States to the payment of all amounts from the Mortgage Insurance Fund which may be required to be paid under any insurance provided under the provisions covered by this bill. Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in opposition to S. 1217, the "Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013:"At the heart of the financial crisis was the federal government's implicit guarantee of mortgages to lenders. That guarantee ensured if the debts went bad, taxpayers or the central bank would step in to cover the losses. The Johnson-Crapo bill doubles down on this mistake that encouraged risky lending, making explicit a guarantee that taxpayers were previously promised they would never have to cover in the first place. Incredibly, supporters of the legislation claim it somehow protects taxpayers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as it puts the full faith and credit of the U.S. government at risk — again.
"Moreover, the legislation contemplates a mortgage insurance fund for all conventional mortgages that lenders would be required to pay into — costs that will undoubtedly be passed along to borrowers. Therefore, whether via personal mortgage insurance premiums or higher closing costs, even if borrowers put 20 percent down, under the Senate bill they should plan on paying even more to own a home.
"The Senate should reject the flawed Johnson-Crapo approach, which neither reforms housing finance nor protects taxpayers. It cannot truly create a private market for housing finance when the Treasury and taxpayers are still on the hook."CNN reports, “Under withering criticism, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told a Senate committee on Thursday he was ‘mad as hell’ about allegations of deadly waiting times and coverup at VA hospitals but he doesn't plan to resign. . . . Noting an inspector general's investigation was already under way, Shinseki said that ‘we will act’ on any substantiated allegation, an assurance that angered senators from both parties who insisted the problems are real and need immediate action. . . . Last month, CNN revealed that at least 40 veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, according to sources inside the hospital and a doctor who worked there. Many of those veterans were placed on a secret waiting list, the sources said. Since November, CNN has uncovered delays in care at VA facilities across the country where numerous VA staffers have stepped forward to allege dangerously long wait times and efforts by agency officials to cover them up. Pressure is mounting on President Barack Obama to fire Shinseki. On Wednesday, Obama appointed a top aide to work with the embattled Cabinet secretary to review the situation. Senators opened the hearing by calling for changes to fix scheduling and care problems that they said have been known for more than a year. ‘VA senior leadership, including the secretary, should have been aware that the VA is facing a national scheduling crisis,’ Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said, adding that the problem caused ‘harm and death.’”
But, The Wall Street Journal reported last night, “Debra Draper, head of health care for the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, said in an interview the VA has not made any appreciable changes in a variety of appointment-scheduling procedures since the office's last official report in 2012, and any changes that have been made haven't been independently verified. ‘They've made minimal progress at best,’ Ms. Draper said. Ms. Draper said that when the GAO inspected four separate medical centers for the 2012 report, all had problems with scheduling procedures. At the heart of the VA's scheduling procedure is a software system inaugurated a year after Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh computer in 1984. It has been repeatedly patched, but never completely overhauled. It still allows schedulers to omit basic things like when a patient first requests a visit. It also lacks the ability to oversee the system as a whole, beyond individual VA medical systems scattered across the country, the GAO says.”
CNN adds, “The VA has previously admitted that 23 veterans died because of delays, and 53 others had adverse health effects at VA facilities across the country. Sources now tell CNN the inspector general is investigating in six states, including Arizona. . . . But even as the Phoenix VA's problems have riveted the nation's attention, numerous whistleblowers from other VA hospitals across the country have stepped forward in recent weeks. They described similar delays in care for veterans and also varying schemes by officials at those facilities to hide the delays -- in some cases even falsify records or ‘cook the books.’”
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning about this crisis,Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “In the wake of those reports [from Arizona], similar stories from Wyoming, North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas have come to light about employees using similar tactics to conceal backlogs in medical care. . . . One thing I will be listening for today is whether or not Secretary Shinseki states a belief that the V.A. is facing a systemic crisis. Because, just this morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that his department has made, quote, ‘minimal progress at best’ on a host of problems identified in 2012 by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office. Last year I called the Obama Administration’s veterans backlog a national disgrace. I’ve also made several appeals to Secretary Shinseki – I know I wasn’t the only one. And yet, the initial reports of the shocking situation in Phoenix indicate that things have only gotten worse. With similar stories now filtering in from other parts of the country, it’s getting harder to believe this isn’t more of a systemic, Administration-wide crisis. The Veterans Administration needs to get to the bottom of how widespread the problem has become.”
He emphasized, “My concern is that the Obama Administration will treat this scandal like it does all the others like a political crisis to get past rather than a serious problem to be solved. We know he appointed a member of his staff yesterday to look into it. That’s a start. But if the President is truly serious, he needs to treat these stories at least as seriously as he did the Obamacare website fiasco. When he pledged his complete attention and the full force of his Administration to do whatever needed to be done. When he let it be known that his people would not rest until a solution could be worked out. Incredibly, so far the President has made no such pledge when it comes to the treatment of our veterans. The President needs to understand that our veterans deserve at least as much attention as a website. In fact, they deserve a whole heck of a lot more.
“This is a big deal. And it’s our job as Senators to get to the bottom of it. We need to ask the tough questions. We need to uncover the truth. Any misconduct found at V.A. hospitals should be met with swift punishment. And administration officials need to be held accountable. Because America’s ill and wounded veterans have already paid a price. They have a right to expect that our country will be there when they need help. . . . So our joint mission, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, should be to get to the bottom of the Obama Administration’s veterans crisis swiftly – and fix it.” Tags:Veterans Administration, #saveourvets, VA Hospitals, veterans death, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: During a White House event with local law enforcement officials yesterday, President Obama once again pitched his quasi-amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. He did so under the guise of easing the burden on local police.
Here's the logic: Because the federal government isn't enforcing our immigration laws, some states and communities have taken it upon themselves to do what they can. But Obama told the officers that those popular state laws enabling local authorities to assist with immigration enforcement were "not a good use of our resources. It's not smart."
The president's comments come on the heels of a report detailing the federal government's release of tens of thousands of criminal aliens. According to CBS News, the 36,007 convicted illegal immigrants released "represented nearly 88,000 convictions, including: 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions, 1,075 aggravated assault convictions … and 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions."
Mr. President, what is not smart is releasing hundreds of murders, rapists and drunk drivers back into our communities!
Responding to this news, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas said, "This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials. …They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people."
Speaking Of "Not Smart" The Obama Administration continues to give away billions of your hard-earned tax dollars to illegal immigrants. The latest report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration finds that in 2013 the IRS made between $13 and $15 billion in "improper payments" related to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
This scandal has been going on for years. Republicans have tried repeatedly to stop it, but liberal Democrats keep blocking them. For example, when it was learned that last December's budget agreement cut benefits to our veterans, Senate Republicans tried to restore those funds by closing the EITC loophole.
That would seem like an easy choice: taxpayer dollars for veterans or illegal immigrants. But Senate Democrats tabled the measure. And the fraud continues. Keep that in mind when you cast your ballot this November!
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Obama administration, Illegal immigrants, felons, releasing, criminal aliens, criminals, illegals, Obama administration, enforcing our immigration laws, giving billions to illegals, earned income credit, EITC, scandal, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families 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 AFL-CIO president also reiterated his support for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. ‘Anything that makes sense and creates jobs and is sound environmental policy as well, we will be doing it. [With respect to] the XL pipeline, there's no environmental reason that it can't be done safely while at the same time creating jobs,’ he said.” (“AFL-CIO President Opposes Lifting Ban On Crude-Oil Exports,” National Journal, 1/14/14)
International Union of Operating Engineers:“The United States cannot afford further delay and uncertainty on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s time to unlock the jobs this massive private investment willcreate and put Operating Engineers to work. The uncertainty that looms over this project has gone on long enough. The United States cannot sit idly by while state-owned Chinese oil companies move aggressively to secure this North American resource and the oil industry looks for other ways to move this product – at the same time the unemployment rate in construction is at 15% and Operating Engineers are hungry for work. Let’s move forward!” (The International Union of Operating Engineers, Press Release, 4/10/13)
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers: “While we are deeply disappointed with the U. S. State Department’s decision not to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline, we are more concerned that a vital project that would create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, generate $585 million in state and local taxes plus another $5 billion in property taxes and strengthen North America’s energy independence, has been ensnared in the political deadlock in Washington. … We believe that the decision-making process has been caught up in political gamesmanship.” (International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers, Press Release, 1/18/12) Tags:Obama White House, Dashboard Confessional, infrastructure permits, Keystone XL Pipeline, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Internet Tax Freedom Act Expiration Date Raises Issues
The Online Wall Street Journal reports:The idea of taxing email is no more popular today than when President Bill Clinton signed the Internet Tax Freedom Act into law. But a dedicated congressional minority now wants to allow states and localities to tax email—unless these governments are given new powers to collect sales taxes on e-commerce.
On Nov. 1 — three days before Election Day — the Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire. In place since 1998 and renewed three times, it wisely prohibits taxes that discriminate against the Internet. State and local governments can't impose burdens online that don't exist offline. And multiple jurisdictions can't tax the same online transaction—a critical consumer protection in a country with more than 9,600 taxing authorities. The law also bans email taxes and new taxes on Internet access services.
Originally ... the law has attracted large bipartisan majorities every time it's been up for a vote in either house. That's because the law has allowed the Internet to grow into an engine of interstate and international commerce.
But in a few months customers may begin receiving notices from their Internet providers that new taxes are on the way. Even though nearly everyone in Congress opposes slapping all of America's heavy traditional telephone taxes on Internet access, a renewal of this successful policy is being held hostage by lobbyists for giant retailers.
They've persuaded Democrats like Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and even self-styled limited-government advocate Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) that an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act should be paired with more authority for those 9,600 governments over e-commerce. Unless states and localities are granted new powers to reach outside their borders to force collection of sales taxes on goods purchased online, the plan is to punish all American consumers with new taxes on communication.
Mr. Chaffetz is candid in suggesting the larger moratorium extension won't pass without a new online sales tax. Mr. Durbin's office denies he's among the hostage takers, saying that while he has considered the Internet Tax Freedom Act as a vehicle to increase sales tax collections, "Senator Durbin has not said or implied that he would hold up any piece of legislation" in order to achieve his goal. If that's true, he should support an immediate vote on extending the ban on email taxes.
Since the biggest retailers already collect sales taxes on purchases both online and off, they want to impose a greater tax burden on their smaller competitors. The 1992 Supreme Court decision Quill v. North Dakota found that it would be too great a burden to force a merchant to collect taxes in jurisdictions where it has no physical presence. But the retailers and their allies in state government have pushed hard to run around Quill by rewriting the rules of interstate commerce.
Senators voted last year for such a rewrite when they approved the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would force Web merchants to collect for all of America's taxing authorities. But some Senators have had second thoughts. After lawmakers approved the plan, the bill's author, Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), couldn't say exactly how many governments would gain new authority to audit online merchants. A last-minute change in the bill, courtesy of Majority Leader Harry Reid, exposed Web retailers to harassment not just from state and local governments but "any tribal organization" as well. That could mean close to 600 additional governments.
Even if one favors additional tax collections on e-commerce — which most Americans do not — why should this controversial idea be used to destroy a successful policy on which most Americans agree?
Congress should make the Internet Tax Freedom Act permanent. And then during the August congressional recess, lawmakers can go back to pondering how to rewrite sales tax laws without crushing small merchants and consumers.This article was shared for educational purposes for readers under the Fairness Doctrine. For additional information, visit search the Internet using the term like "Internet Tax Freedom Act" and "Marketplace Fairness Act." Tags:Internet Tax Freedom Act, Market Place Fairness Act, Internet sales tax, taxing email, Wall Street JournalTo 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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