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] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, August 08, 2014
Defending the American Dream Summit 2014: August 29-30 in Dallas, Texas
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: Join other activists from the nation in Dallas for Americans For Prosperity's Defending the American Dream Summit 2014 on August 29th and 30th!
Receive THE BEST grassroots training and networking in the nation! Hear fantastic Speakers. Meet new friends and contacts. Lots of exhibits, At the 2014 Defending the American Dream Summit you will have a chance to meet people like Dr. Ben Carson, Governor Rick Perry, AEI President Arthur Brooks, AFP President Tim Phillips, Sen. Ted Cruz, Bill Whittle, and top businesswoman Carly Fiorina! And many other speakers and workshop leaders.
Thousands of grassroots activists just like you are positively impacting this nation. From holding elected officials accountable for his continued support of Obamacare to mobilizing as citizen lobbyists at the state legislature with a goal of keeping more of your tax dollars in your pocket, you are making a difference at every level of government!
All around us a battle of ideas rages, and the very fabric of American prosperity is under attack. Now more than ever, we must be alert, involved, and engaged in the fight for freedom and liberty. Every day the left seems to come up with some new business killing regulation, new tax, or new way to chip away our freedom. YOU can continue to make a difference and stop the left's advance by joining us in Dallas to learn from the BEST minds in America.
Join us August 29-30 at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas to take part in cutting-edge activist training, get educated on relevant free-market issues, meet and mingle with thousands of like-minded activists, and hear from top-tier speakers and panelists. Networking with others outside your local network is invaluable. And I would like to be one of those you link up with.
To learn more about the Defending the American Dream Summit, go to DefendingtheDream.com. It will be a fantastic time and you'll bring back the latest skills to continue to save this nation while making lasting friendships.
After a great day of speakers on Friday, August 29th at the Defending the Dream Summit, you will be able join other AFP activists for some good ol’ country fun Texas style as AFP takes our party over to Gilley’s Dallas, a restaurant and line dancing venue with food, drinks, live music and plenty of good times to be had. Tags:AFP, Defending the American Dream, 2014, Americans For Prosperity, Omni Hotel, Dallas, Texas, grassroots activists, friends, speakers, workshops, exhibits, fun, Gilley's, Dr. Ben Carson, Governor Rick Perry, AEI President Arthur Brooks, AFP President Tim Phillips, Sen. Ted Cruz, Bill Whittle, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
However, the agency is still trying to grant itself this power, only this time it’s going through the standard notice-and-comment process that most federal regulations go through.
What’s is the problem EPA wants to solve by having the ability to dig to go after your wallet? Will this stop polluters? Is EPA inundated with deadbeats?
Apparently not, according to Catrina Rorke and Sam Batkins at the American Action Forum who looked at EPA’s data.
They point out that, over the past six years, EPA has imposed more than $2.3 billion in “non-major” fines against companies and individuals that committed “infractions that do not involve large facilities emitting tons of toxic pollutants annually."
However, Rorke and Batkins found, “the majority of fines for individuals involve paperwork infractions – not environmental contamination.” Individuals or businesses were fined for failing to file notification or reports with EPA.
And as for a delinquency problem, here's their key finding:[T]he average length of time that individuals were delinquent paying EPA was zero quarters. In other words, people generally pay their fines on time.So why does EPA want to be able to garnish an individual’s wages? Based on its data, it’s not to ensure a cleaner environment nor solve delinquency problems. Roark and Batkins conclude (correctly in my view):EPA’s proposal to grant itself wage garnishment authority more closely resembles a power grab than an appropriate administrative step to rectify an observed issue in their fine repayment process.Stay tuned.
I question why this change is necessary. EPA has used federal court orders to enforce its fines prior to the enactment of the DCIA and in the 18 years following its enactment. The use of the DCIA wage garnishment authority has largely been confined to federal agencies that offer direct payments or loans to citizens as opposed to a means of collecting agency imposed fines and penalties.------------ Sean Hackbarth is a blogger at Free Enterprise and does policy advocacy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:EPA, garnish wages, without court order, EPA abuse, Sean Hackbarth, Free EnterpriseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Charles Koch: For years, Washington politicians have said that our economy is turning the corner. They said it in 2011, in 2013 and again last week — every time they report a quarter with 4% economic growth. But each time, the economy has turned sluggish again.
Like most Americans, I am deeply concerned about our weak economic recovery and its effects on millions of families. Opportunity, especially for the young and disadvantaged, is declining. High underemployment has become our new norm.
The effects of underemployment are not just economic, they are also social and psychological. Real work is an important part of how we define ourselves. Meaningful work benefits both us and others. Those who lack real jobs often end up depressed, addicted or aggressive.
Today, opportunities for such work are not what they should be. We need a different approach, focused less on politics and more on basic principles.
First, we need to encourage principled entrepreneurship. Companies should earn profits by creating value for customers and acting with integrity, the opposite of today's rampant cronyism.
Too many businesses focus on getting subsidies and mandates from government rather than creating value for customers. According to George Mason University's Mercatus Center, such favors cost us more than $11,000 per person in lost GDP every year, a $3.6 trillion economic hit.
Second, we should eliminate the artificial cost of hiring. Government policies such as Obamacare have given businesses a powerful incentive to hire two part-time people to do one full-time job. This trend was reflected in June's employment data, which included the loss of half a million full-time jobs. In 2007, 4.4 million Americans worked part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work. That number now stands at 7.5 million, up 275,000 in June. "The existence of such a large pool of 'partly unemployed' workers," Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, "is a sign that labor conditions are worse than indicated by the unemployment rate."
Skills AND values
Third, we need to guide many more people into developing skills and values that will enable them to reach their potential. Everyone knows education increases a person's ability to create value. But the willingness to work, an essential for success, often has to be taught, too.
When I was growing up, my father had me spend my free time working at unpleasant jobs. Most Americans understand that taking a job and sticking with it, no matter how unpleasant or low-paying, is a vital step toward the American dream. We are in for more trouble if young people don't find that all-important first job, which is critical to beginning their climb up the ladder.
Finally, we need greater incentives to work. Costly programs, such as paying able-bodied people not to work, are addictive disincentives. By undermining people's will to work, our government has created a culture of dependency and hopelessness. This is most unfair to vulnerable citizens who suffer even as we say they are receiving "benefits."
I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King. There are no dead-end jobs. Every job deserves our best. "If a man is called to be a street sweeper," King said, "he should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"
Our government's decades-long, top-down approach to job creation has failed. Its policies have made our problems worse, leaving tens of millions chronically un- or underemployed, millions of whom have given up ever finding meaningful work. In doing so, our government has not only thwarted real job creation, it also has reduced the supply and quality of goods and services that make people's lives better and undermined the culture required to sustain a free society.
When it comes to creating opportunities for all, we can do much better. It's time to let people seek opportunities that best suit their talents, for businesses to forsake cronyism and for government to get out of the way.
------------ Charles Koch is chairman, CEO and co-owner of Koch Industries and is a donor to libertarian causes. Kocj quote: "I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society." Learn more at Wikepedia Tags:the economy, turning economy around, principled business, skills, values, restore a free society, Charles Koch, Koch Industries, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
40 Jobs Bills Stuck in Senator Harry Reid's Pocket
Speaker John Boehner, U.S. House : As part of Republicans' focus on American solutions, the House of Representatives has passed 40 pro-growth jobs bills to build a stronger economy and a better future for hardworking families. Unfortunately, too many of these common sense solutions are being blocked by Democratic-controlled Senate.
So many hardworking people are being left behind in this economy, but Washington Democrats aren’t listening. They’re all noise and gridlock. The speaker lays it out in the following Stuck In The Senate video:
Tags:U.S. House, Speaker, John Boehner, passed bills, 40 Jobs Bills, jobs bills, jobs, Stuck in Senate, U.S. Senate, Harry Reid, Reid's pocket, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary L. Bauer, Contributing Author: Just a few days ago the “world community” from the U.N. to the White House were in spasms of righteous indignation about Gaza. More specifically they were indignant about civilians dying in Israeli airstrikes and not so indignant about Hamas’s use of the civilian population as human shields.
Today the United Nations, exhausted by writing voluminous condemnations of Israel, can barely muster the strength to do much of anything about the actual genocide taking place at the hands of the jihadists of ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. The Security Council said they felt “deep outrage” about the events. ISIS is not impressed.
The ISIS jihadists have in their ranks hundreds of American, British and other European “soldiers.” All of these men can and will use their U.S. and European passports to eventually bring their jihad here. For weeks they have been rolling over all resistance, leaving a trail of suffering. Christians have been told to leave, convert to Islam or die. CNN reported this morning that as many as 300,000 Christians are fleeing for safety. Children are being beheaded and their mothers raped.
All this is happening in Nineveh, where ISIS recently blew up the tomb of Jonah. That was an attack on the Christian and Jewish history of the region. Now the jihadists are attempting to wipe out every last Christian along with other religious minorities, including the Yezidis. Thousands of people of both faiths are trapped on a mountain top, fearing slaughter while they die slowly of hunger and thirst.
Obama announced last night that we would do an air drop of water, and ready-to-eat meals. (Low-fat, I assume.) In addition, we will do targeted air strikes on ISIS forces. An ISIS spokesman said this morning, “We will humiliate them everywhere, Allah willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” Given the weak knees of the current occupant of the Oval office, the boast can’t be so easily ignored.
Just hours ago the Pentagon announced that the United States, the greatest military power in the world (even after six and a half years of Obama) has just dropped two 500-pound bombs on ISIS positions. Well that should take care of that. The golf course calls. Where’s the next fundraiser!
Much more must be done. The most obvious step to take immediately is to provide weapons to Kurdish forces in the region. They have been our loyal friends, and they have been valiantly fighting ISIS and protecting Christians. Sadly they are now outgunned and predictably Obama refuses to send them weapons. He “disses” friends and rewards our enemies.
Earlier this year Obama claimed that al Qaeda had been destroyed and that the terrorist groups still left were the equivalent of the junior varsity. As he put it, “…if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Well just because you win an election doesn’t make you the leader of the free world either. Right now the “junior varsity” of ISIS is not trying to hit a 3-pointer. They are attempting genocide while our president looks like the junior varsity.
As the U.S. retreats or, if you prefer, “leads from behind,” the world is predictably becoming a killing field of the innocent. The stench of weakness coming from the Oval Office has reached the flared nostrils of savages who worship death. From the Kremlin to Pyongyang, strong men are taking the measure of the new America, transformed by the Obama cabal, and they are preparing to feast on you and yours.
The horror we are seeing will quicken. It is the answer of the real world to the make believe foreign policy of Obama on the left and to the voices in our own ranks who are tired of America’s involvement in the world. Sadly we are learning the hard way that we may be done with the world but the world is not done with us.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Barbarians March, Christians Die, Obama Talks, ISIS, al-Qaeda, jihadists. 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!
Crocodile Crock: Sir Elton Attacks Christian Missions
Sir Elton John
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Sir Elton John is world famous, deservedly so. This billionaire singer is one of the most creative talents we have. But when he attacks Christian missionaries in Africa and other Third World regions, his message is off-key. Instead of Crocodile Rock, he’s peddling a Crocodile Crock.
As a mega-star, Sir Elton is free to say whatever he likes. His native Britain and the U.S. are still free countries. But his belief that the worst thing about AIDS is the “stigma” attached to it is bizarre. We thought the worst thing about AIDS was the disease itself. Even here, however, Sir Elton is free to disagree with us.
What is wholly offensive, however, is Sir Elton John’s attack on Christian missionaries is being funded by U.S. taxpayers — Us! — and distributed to the very nations that are in dire need of help. This Voice of America video is titled “AIDS 2014 — Living in the Shadows.” It’s a series of stories of truly terrible treatment of people suffering from AIDS, or survivors whose family members died of AIDS. There’s nothing wrong with showing compassion for these desperate people.
There’s a lot wrong, however, with Elton John pushing the idea that the spread of AIDS is the fault of Christians, especially American Evangelicals, who have “targeted Africa for thirty years.” Would that included the born-again President George W. Bush. President Bush’s PEPFAR initiative sent millions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid to AIDS-ravaged countries in Africa. President Bush saw this effort as an example of “compassionate conservatism.” Others saw it as stemming from his Christian faith.
Bono saw PEPFAR as praiseworthy. So did former President Bill Clinton. Even Bill Clinton took care not to knock Christian missionary engagement in Africa.
As to Sir Elton’s lending his fame and international prestige to an attack on Christian missions, what do any of these Christian missionaries teach about the Gospel and fidelity within marriage that is different from what the Bishop of London taught the world at the wedding of Kate and William.
Elton John sat in the pew at Westminster Abbey for that beautiful event. He was joined by his partner. Neither man jumped up to protest when the Bishop described the importance of a lifelong commitment of husband and wife, and the joy of bringing children into the world. Was the Bishop’s sermon—heard by billions throughout the world—a message of anti-gay bigotry? Of course not.
What Evangelicals in Africa and the Third World believe about the purpose of sex within marriage is what the Bishop of London preached that sunny day in the Abbey. What these missionaries teach is what Jesus taught. And they are teaching it to those most in need of a healing ministry.
The world has just witnessed an amazing story of Christian missionaries facing death by Ebola for the sake of Christ. Dr. Kent Brantly and his colleague, Nancy Writebol, were airlifted from West Africa to Emory University to an isolation unit. Both of these Christian medical missionaries serve with Samaritan’s Purse, the aid organization founded by Dr. Franklin Graham. He’s the son of famed evangelist, Billy Graham.
Both of these missionaries risked death to treat victims of another deadly plague.
This Elton John attack video — promoted by the Obama administration — could not come at a worse time. Throughout Africa, the Mideast, and South Asia, Christians are suffering persecution worse than at any time since the eighth century. Daily, Christians are murdered, raped, tortured, and driven from their homes. They are ordered to convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or be killed.
In the face of this historic evil, Obama administration’s record of muted response and a blind eye is a shameful one. But worst of all, when Christians are being attacked, the Government of the United States is weighing in with this bigoted video.
It seems the Obama administration’s foreign policy — which is in total meltdown—consists of making the culture war a world war. Sir Elton John’s participation in the Voice of America video is but the latest example of this administration’s hostility to Christian practice and belief.
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Crocodile Crock, Elton John, attacks, Christians, Voice of America, video, Ken BlackwellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, bound by the Constitution, What could go wrong, 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!
EPA Regulations Will Directly Impact You - Send Your Comment To The EPA
Rob Engstrom, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a series of hearings last week on its controversial effort to impose sweeping new regulations on carbon emissions. This unprecedented wave of regulations on affordable energy will result in higher electricity bills, fewer jobs, and slower economic growth.
If you weren’t one of the 1,600 people who attended one of the hearings held in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, or Washington, D.C. last week, it’s critical that you still make your voice heard.
Think the EPA regulations won’t directly impact you? Think again. Here are a few things you need to know about the EPA’s massive regulatory overreach and attack on affordable energy:
By the EPA’s own estimates, the regulations will impose nationwide electricity cost increases by 6-7% and up to 12% in some locations.
Rising electricity costs will place America’s job creators at a disadvantage with foreign competitors, forcing more businesses and jobs to move overseas.
EPA projects annual compliance costs between $5.4 and $7.4 billion in 2020, rising up to $8.8 billion in 2030.
The regulations will decrease reliability in our energy supply and increase the potential for blackouts at times Americans rely on electricity the most.
The regulations will impose billions in costs on the U.S. economy and threaten thousands of jobs. And for what?Upon full implementation in 2030, global carbon emissions will only be reduced by a mere 1.3% -- the equivalent of just 13.5 days of emissions from China.
Despite the magnitude, cost, and incredible complexity of the EPA’s proposal, the agency plans to finalize and implement the regulations on a rushed and arbitrary timeline after only four public hearings, limited review of the proposal, and a brief 120-day comment period.
We can only stand up to the EPA’s job-killing regulations if we make our voices heard.
It will only take a minute of your time. Will you add your name?
This is your chance to have a say in sweeping regulations that will impact entire communities, threaten our energy supply, increase electricity bills, and cost jobs and economic growth.
We also encourage you to personalize the comments to tell the EPA how these regulations will directly impact you, your family, and your community. Tags:EPA, Regulation, increased electricity costs, lost jobs, decrease reliability in our energy supply, increase potential for blackouts, taxpayers, the economy, action needed, comment,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
I was just into my thirties in 1968, the year Richard Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States. What I recall most of that year was the way the Chicago police, after enduring an onslaught of name-calling and insults from anti-war protesters aggressively drove them away from their effort to disrupt the Democratic Party convention that would nominate Hubert Humphrey.
His opponent would be Nixon. George Wallace, a segregationalist, ran as an independent that year as well. I wasn’t particularly interested in politics at the time. My focus was on my career where I had transitioned from having been a journalist to positions with the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Looking back, I now know I should have been paying more attention because, in the end, whoever is President affects the lives of not just Americans, but others throughout the world.
Like millions of Americans I had turned against the Vietnam War and, in a seminal way, it would influence my movement toward conservatism. For many people Nixon was instrumental, not just in rejuvenating the Republican Party, but for giving a voice to the “silent majority” who didn’t like the war in general and Lyndon Baines Johnson in particular. In 1968, LBJ announced he would not seek reelection.
In the years since the Watergate scandal whose cover-up forced Nixon to resign in 1974, subsequent generations know him only for that historic event. Patrick J. Buchanan has done us all a favor by writing “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority.” ($34.00, Crown Publishing) and it is a special treat for anyone who loves history in general and politics in particular.
As much as today’s media may have loved Obama when he was nominated the Democratic Party’s candidate, in Nixon’s day he was loathed by them for his strong anti-communist stance when he served in the House of Representatives and Senate, and thereafter throughout the Cold War. After having been Eisenhower’s Vice President for two terms, Nixon would lose to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and in a race to become the Governor of California in 1962. Few would have ever imagined that he would be elected President in 1968. In 1972 he was reelected in a landslide.
Labeled by his political enemies “Tricky Dick”, Nixon was a politician of prodigious talent, but mostly he was a man who, through sheer determination overcame defeat, revived the Republican Party, and, while devoted to conservative principles, was also pragmatic enough to be open to new ideas and events. His circle of advisors shared his principles, but diverged among each other as to tactics and issues. Nixon wanted that. He would choose what advice he thought best.
Buchanan was a member of Nixon’s inner circle, a writer of superb talent and one with a keen eye for the political times in which he lived and which Nixon would shape. As he notes in his book, “The years that followed that 1969 inaugural would be a time of extraordinary accomplishment. By the spring of 1973, all U.S. troops were out of Vietnam, the POWs were home, every provincial capital was in Saigon’s (South Vietnam) hands.”
“Nixon had negotiated SALT I and the ABM treaty, the greatest arms-limitation treaties since the Washington Naval Agreement” in 1922. Significantly, “he had ended decades of hostility between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, dating to Mao’s revolution and the Korean War. He had put an end to the draft, signed into law the eighteen-year-old vote, put four justices on the Supreme Court including Chief Justice Warren Burger and future chief justice William Rehnquist.”
Those of us who lament Big Government must acknowledge that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the plus side the National Cancer Institute. He would “rescue Israel from defeat in the Yom Kippur War (and) end Soviet domination of Egypt.”
What I recall about the 1960s was how volatile and violent that decade was. There were riots in many of our largest cities which engendered Nixon’s “law and order” message that was widely embraced. There were anti-war protests and there were assassinations that took the lives of JFK, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The greatest contrast between now and then is a general feeling of apathy that does not manifest itself in marches on Washington, D.C. anymore and a very distinct breakdown in social mores that includes the embrace of same-sex marriage and the push to legalize marijuana in some states.
The al Qaeda attack on 9/11 generated a massive intelligence program and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. It made Americans angry enough at first to endorse the invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq.
Later Americans would watch the chaos the “Arab Spring” and these days the threat of the Islamic State, a self-declared caliphate that intends to control the whole of the Middle East and then destroy Israel and the U.S. The greatest threat of our times is Iran’s intention to build its own nuclear weapons.
Nixon brought about change on the basis of his vast knowledge of history, foreign affairs, and his judgment regarding the American people. By contrast, President Obama does not seem to like the American people or America.
----------------- 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:Richard Nixon. 37th President, verses, Barack Obama, Patrick J. Buchanan. book, remarkable president, history, 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!
5 Facts About One Terrible Government Ex-IM Program
by Nicole Rusenko, Heritage Foundation: When lawmakers return from their August recess, they’ll be facing pressure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, a government agency whose charter is set to expire on Sept. 30. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is among the bank’s biggest critics. Writing for The Daily Signal last month, Texas Republican outlined five facts that his colleagues—and their constituents—should remember.
Tags:5 facts, Ex-Im Bank, terrible, government program, Export Import Bank, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama, Buchanan, and Baldwin: The Cost of Rejecting Reality
by Newt Gingrich: President Obama is in serious danger of joining a select group of disastrous leaders who put their people and their country in desperate circumstances that cost lives and risked ruinous defeat.
Almost everywhere you look around the world, the situation is worse for the United States and worse for freedom than when President Obama took office—in many cases catastrophically so. There isn’t much sign that he recognizes this or is particularly concerned.
Iraq is the most obvious (and potentially most dangerous) example. The Washington Post clarified the stakes there in a report quoting Janine Davidson at the Council of Foreign Relations. Davidson noted that ISIS, the terrorist group that has taken over much of the Iraq, “now controls resources and territory unmatched in history of extremist organizations.”
The Post went on to quote the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, describing ISIS:It’s “worse than al-Qaeda,” Brett McGurk…told lawmakers last month. It “is no longer simply a terrorist organization. It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”Just this past January, President Obama dismissed this new threat "worse than al-Qaeda" with the trivializing quip: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
Assuming the President was telling the truth, the White House analysis seven months ago was that ISIS was an irrelevant junior varsity split off from the really important al-Qaeda.
That would be a mistaken analysis of historic proportions. Yet it fits the continuing pattern of the State Department and the White House underestimating Boko Haram in Nigeria, the terrorists in Libya, the Taliban in Afghanistan (where an Afghan just killed an American major general, the highest ranking officer lost in the last 12 years of war), the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranian influence over Maliki in Iraq, the depth of Hamas's commitment to destroying Israel (killing every Jew as Hamas’s charter promises and as Hamas spokesmen have continued to suggest), etc. etc.
The Obama administration's Middle East confusion is matched by its misunderstanding of dictatorship in Venezuela, Putin's intentions around the Russian periphery, the growing North Korean weapons program, the growing Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea and with the Japanese. Again and again there is a growing gap between reality and the Obama Administration's analysis and plans.
Well-meaning but delusional governments can have catastrophic consequences and many people can die as a result of misinformed, overly positive, and or fantasy-driven leadership.
President James Buchanan simply couldn't bring himself to intervene to stop the South from arming itself, taking over federal armories and setting the stage for Civil War. He left the Union in much worse shape, made war much more likely, and is generally considered to be the most destructive president in American history.
Similarly, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin lied to the British people about the German military buildup under Hitler. He knew the truth but was afraid of annoying the British voters by forcing them to confront the danger of war. He simply wasn’t truthful, as Churchill pointed out time and again in frustration. Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin and continued the process of ignoring the demonic evil in the Hitler dictatorship and trying desperately to cut a deal to protect Britain even at the cost of selling out Czechoslovakia.
President Obama should study carefully the costs of self-deception and weakness. He is in grave danger of leading us into a disaster on a scale that will be historic and will condemn him to be in the league of Buchanan and Baldwin.
That would be a horrifying legacy and a horrifyingly expensive result in both blood and pain.
Look at the facts as they are unfolding and decide for yourself if this analysis is too strong.
I fear the future will prove this analysis correct.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via his Gingrich Productions. Tags:President Obama, ISIS, James Buchanan, pre-civil war, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, German military build-up pre-WW II, rejecting reality, analysis, Newt GingrichTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
WSJ: ‘Small Firms Hit by Big Changes in Health Coverage’ | ‘Some Kicked Off Group Plans & Struggling With Higher Premiums
Bill Smith, Editor's Notice: Most of my contacts at the Capitol are now on leave or with their elected official while Congress is on their district work sessions. Thus, the "Today in Washington, D.C" reports will be limited over the coming weeks until the branches of Congress are back in session.
Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug. 7, 2014
President Obama's approval ratings continual to plummet. Even his former ardent supporters a grumbling, mumbling, or ducking questions. Droves of Democrat candidates may appreciate the campaign money he raises but don't want to be with him in their home districts. William Warren's humor mixed with reality sums up the situation in the editorial cartoon included with today's update.
The House and Senate are not in session today. However, the Senate will reconvene for a pro-forma session on Friday at 9:15 AM. Thus keeping President Obama from appointing unconfirmed nominees for positions. The Senate will return for legislative business on Monday, September 8th. But additional pro-forma meetings and the return of support staff are expected before that date.
Reflecting on the news reports, it appears that the President Obama and his advisers are more detached than ever form the majority of American citizens, Then there are the ongoing failures by the various agencies. As we quoted yesterday, veteran Massachusetts Democrat said he was “appalled” at the “bad” roll out of Obamacare last October. He said in an interview with the Huffington Post, "I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis. But, frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn't true. And you shouldn't lie to people. And they just lied to people."
Aside from the almost daily news about Democrats’ broken promises on Obamacare, the 2700 page law and the sprawling regulations it spawned continue to result in all sorts of unintended negative consequences.
The Wall Street Journal reports today, “Smaller employers aren't required under the Affordable Care Act to offer coverage for their full-time workers—as larger firms must by 2016 or face penalties, for instance. But many owners of small ventures and startup entrepreneurs are nonetheless facing big changes to how they obtain their own health coverage, as well as to the benefits they're able to offer employees. ‘It's a myth that smaller firms aren't being hit’ by the health law, albeit in less obvious ways, says James Schutzer, president of the New York State Association of Health Underwriters, referring to employers with fewer than 50 workers. Several thousand of the nation's smallest business owners—sole proprietors and the self-employed—were kicked off their small-business plans by carriers earlier this year. That is because new guidelines define ‘employers’ as having at least two full-time employees, not including a spouse, in order to be eligible for group plans. In all, more than 78% of the estimated 28 million small businesses in the U.S. have no employees, according to the Small Business Administration. These business owners must now seek coverage as individuals, or face fines. . . . [S]ome of the business owners who were excluded from group plans as a result of the health law are struggling with higher premiums, less robust benefits or uncertainty within a new, unfamiliar network, says Scott Lyon, vice president of the Small Business Association of Michigan. In December, the association's own group plan, which currently has 4,000 small-business members and covers about 40,000 workers and their families, was forced to kick out 700 sole proprietors, he says.”
The Journal writes about the experience of Raymond Pezonella, who owns an engineering firm in Reno, Nevada. “Raymond Pezonella currently receives health coverage for himself and roughly 30 workers at his Reno, Nevada, engineering firm through a local builders' association. He pays about $9,000 a month into the plan, known as an Association Health Plan, or AHP. . . . By pooling together with other employers, Mr. Pezonella says he was able to save nearly 14% on annual insurance costs for his company, which designs foundations for homes, schools and other buildings. ‘You want to do right by your team, not just to keep them around, but to keep them healthy, too,’ he says, adding that his firm has been on the group plan for more than two decades. But earlier this year, his policy, administered by the Builders' Association of Northern Nevada, was defined as a ‘small group’ plan under federal guidelines, because none of its members have more than 50 employees and each pay separate rates, says Mike Dillon, the builders' group executive director. As a result, the plan faces a number of new requirements, such as a ban on charging higher premiums to riskier members. Most large group plans are exempt from that requirement. Mr. Dillon estimates the change will boost the cost of members' monthly premiums by 40% on average next year. ‘Most members with low rates now are going to see them go up, and a few with higher rates may see them go down,’ he says. Tony Novak, an independent small-business benefits consultant in Newport, N.J., says many small-group plans, like Mr. Pezonella's, are becoming less attractive under the health law. ‘Most small firms would be better off financially by canceling group coverage and giving taxable bonuses to let employees purchase coverage on the individual market,’ he says. Mr. Pezonella might now opt out of the plan. He's worried the company's workers won't be able to find comparable plans on their own. He's also worried about losing access to his longtime network of doctors and physicians by switching plans.”
Meanwhile, another WSJ story reports, “Almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions. . . . The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects. Factoring in the new exemptions, the congressional report in June lowered the number of people it expects to pay the fine in 2016 to four million, from its previous projection of six million. Also bringing down the total: At least 21 states have opted not to expand the Medicaid insurance program for lower earners under the health law, and those residents may be exempt from the penalty.”
The problem here is that “[t]he exemptions are worrying insurers,” The Journalwrites. “The penalties were intended as a cudgel to increase the number of people signing up, thereby maximizing the pool of insured. Insurers are concerned that the exemptions could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise. Patrick Getzen, vice president and chief actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said he saw more ‘older and sicker people’ enrolled in 2014 than projected. He attributed some of that to the weakened mandate. ‘With a stronger penalty and less broad exemptions, that would be better for the risk pool.’ The Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court in 2012 that the individual mandate was an essential component of the law's insurance-market changes, and the court narrowly upheld it on the grounds it is a tax. Now, Republicans who oppose the law say the administration has undermined that requirement with the exemptions and should waive the mandate entirely.” Tags:Congress, recess, working sessions, Obamacare problems, changes in health coverage, kicked out of Group Plans, struggling, presidential poll, editorial cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Barney Frank: President ‘Lied to People’ About Obamacare
They Lied to the American People. ~ Barney Frank
It’s one thing for President Obama to win an award for “Lie of the Year” for promising Americans “if you like your [health insurance] plan, you can keep it.” It must sting a bit more when a political ally like Barney Frank, the former congressman, flat out says the president “just lied to people.”
In an interview with Huffington Post, the veteran Massachusetts Democrat said he was “appalled” at the “bad” rollout of Obamacare last October. Frank said,“I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis. But, frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people."Before passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the president repeatedly promised Americans that they would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors if they so chose.
But the Obamacare rollout brought cancellation notices from insurance companies to more than 10 million Americans, who learned their plans didn’t meet minimal requirements outlined in the new law.
According to several reports, the Obama administration was aware millions would lose their plans. The president’s broken “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise earned him the dubious honor of “Lie of the Year” from the fact-checking journalism project PolitiFact.
Although Frank supports the law and voted to pass Obamacare in 2010, he said Obama should have told Americans that the plans required under the health care law would be better than their old ones:He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them.’ But that’s not what he said.---------------- Compiled by Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal. Tags:Barney Frank, President Obama, administration, lied to American People, Obamacare, Huffington Post, The Daily Signal, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
After weeks of bad publicity, public outrage and political pressure, the Obama administration announced this week that the facility will close by Friday, Aug. 8.
That’s good news for the people of Oklahoma and the men and women of Fort Sill, who will once again have the full use of their military base for the purpose it was designed for: housing and training soldiers.
What the facility’s closure does not mean is an end to the ongoing border crisis, or an end to a broken immigration system that encourages men, women and children to break our laws.
The Fort Sill facility may be closed, but there is no guarantee it will not reopen in the future. In fact, the federal government extended their lease into January of next year, preserving the option to once again house illegal immigrants there.
Perhaps even more important is what happens to the children who leave Fort Sill, and the message that we are sending to the rest of the world.
Children housed at Fort Sill and facilities like it have been placed in communities across Oklahoma and across the country with “sponsors.” These sponsors may or may not be family members, and they may or may not be illegal immigrants themselves. Federal officials tell us the sponsors have instructions to bring these children to a future court date for possible deportation. The wait for a court hearing is over a year in Oklahoma. Only about half of these children show up when their court date arrives.
What happens to the rest? They simply disappear. They are absorbed into our public school systems, which are already at capacity and struggling to find the funding and resources required to give our Oklahoma children the education they need and deserve.
Eventually, these children become undocumented adults. Many work; some do not. Some end up in our hospitals or using other state resources where Oklahomans foot the bill.
These children are not bad people. They have been sent by their parents or other adults to make a long and dangerous journey to the United States because they have been lead to believe that our country will provide for them.
It is a dream stoked by President Obama, who continues to push amnesty and open borders whenever and wherever he can, by any means at his disposal.
I too want to help these children, and I certainly think they should be treated humanely and with dignity for the short time they stay in the U.S. I want them to live better lives. But, as governor, I have been entrusted with another responsibility: to help children right here in Oklahoma.
One in four Oklahoma children struggle with hunger. One in four will drop out of high school before graduating.
There are poor children in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Guymon and McAlester. They need our attention and our help. There are children who will grow up being abused, being lead into drugs, who struggle with poverty, or who will be recruited by violent gangs right here in our home state.
It is wrong for the president to ask Oklahomans to divert their attention and limited resources away from our own children, just as it is wrong for him to ask our military to play host to a large daycare facility for undocumented minors. Oklahomans are not equipped to solve problems in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, just as we are not equipped to end conflicts or suffering in the Ukraine or Libya.
Oklahomans must get back to the business of helping our own children: providing them with a world class education; protecting them from abuse; and ensuring they are healthy and happy and have a bright future ahead of them.
------------- Mary Fallin, a Republican, is the governor of Oklahoma. She twitters at@GovMaryFallin Tags:Oklahoma, governor, Mary Fallin, dilemma, illegal aliens, divert funds, from Oklahoma citizensTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish poet and dramatist, wrote “Pray don't talk to me about the weather. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.”
These days, when some world leader or politician speaks of the climate—the weather is what is happening right now wherever you are—they are not talking about sunshine or rain. They are talking about a devilishly obscene way of raising money by claiming that it is humans that are threatening the climate with everything they do, from turning on the lights to driving anywhere.
That’s why “global warming” was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind. Never mind that Earth has routinely passed through warmer and cooler cycles for billions of years; much of which occurred before mankind emerged. And never mind that the Earth has been a distinct cooling cycle for the past seventeen years and likely to stay in it for a while. If the history of ice ages is any guide, we could literally be on the cusp of a new one.
If, however, a government can tax the use of energy, it stands to make a lot of money. That is why carbon taxes have been introduced in some nations and why the nearly useless “clean energy” options of wind and solar have been introduced even though they both require the backup of traditional coal, natural gas and nuclear energy plants because they cannot produce electricity if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun is obscured by clouds.
Taxing energy use means taxing “greenhouse gas” emissions; primarily carbon dioxide (C02) so that every ton of it added to the atmosphere by a power plant and any other commercial activity becomes a source of income for the nation. The Australians went through this and rapidly discovered it drove up their cost of electricity and negatively affected their economy so much that they rid themselves of a prime minister and the tax within the past year.
Fortunately, every effort to introduce a carbon tax has been defeated by the U.S. Congress, but that it has shelled out billions for “climate research” over the years. That doesn’t mean, however, that 41 demented Democrats in the House of Representatives haven’t gotten together in a “Safe Climate Caucus” led by Rep. Henry A. Waxman. The Washington Post reported that when it was launched in February 2013, the members promised to talk every day on the House floor about “the urgent need to address climate change.”
Check out the caucus and, if your Representative is a member, vote to replace him or her with someone less idiotic.
When you hear the President or a member of Congress talk about the climate, they are really talking about the scheme to generate revenue from it through taxation or to raise money from those who will personally benefit from any scheme related to the climate such as “clean energy.”
The need of governments to frighten their citizens about the climate in order to raise money is international in scope. A United States that has a $17 trillion debt is a prime example, much of it due to a government grown so large it wastes taxpayer’s money in the millions with every passing day whether it is sunny or rainy, warm or cold.
In late July, Reuters reported that Christine Lagarde, the chair of the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) opined in her new book that “energy taxes in much of the world are far below what they should be to reflect the harmful environmental and health impact of fossil fuels use.”
Please pay no attention to the billions of dollars that coal, oil and natural gas already generate for the nations in which they are found. Nations such as India and China are building coal-fired plants as fast as possible to provide the electricity every modern nation needs to expand its economy, provide more employment, and improve their citizen’s lives in every way imaginable.
“For the first time,” Reuters reported, “the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuel’s overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.” The problem with this is that the costs cited are bogus.
“Nations," said Lagarde, "are now working on a United Nations deal for late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, but progress has been slow as nations fret about the impact any measures may ave on economic growth.” As in bad impacts!
Ignore the claims that carbon dioxide affects the climate. Its role is so small it can barely be measured because CO2 represents 380 parts per million. When our primate ancestors began to climb down out of the trees, CO2 levels were about 1,000 parts per million. More CO2 means more crops, healthy growing forests, and all the other benefits that every form of vegetation provides. The breath we humans exhale contains about 4% of CO2.
The fact is that the United States and other nations are being run by politicians who are incapable of reducing spending or borrowing more in order to spend more. Venezuela just defaulted again on the payment of bonds it issued to raise money. They did this in 2001 and one must wonder why any financial institution purchases them.
There are eleven other nations whose credit ratings are flirting with big trouble. They include Greece, Ukraine, Pakistan, Cypress, and in the Americas Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Belize. Borrowing by such nations is very expensive. A U.S. Treasury Note pays an annual coupon of just 2.5%, but the yields on 10-year bonds issue by Greece reached 29% in early 2012, just before it defaulted.
Adding to problems in the U.S. is the Obama agenda being acted upon by the Environmental Protection Agency whose “war on coal” has shuttered several hundred plants that produce the electricity needed to maintain the economy. In coal producing states this is playing havoc and it is driving up the cost of electricity in others.
The growth of oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is almost entirely on privately owned land as opposed to that controlled by the government. Supporting the attack on energy are the multi-million dollar environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.
There is no “global warming” and the climate is determined by the Sun, the oceans, clouds, and volcanic activity. Nothing any government does, here and worldwide, has any impact on it, but if nations can demonize the use of energy and tax the CO2 it produces, they can generate more money to spend and waste.
The lies that governments, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund tell about the climate are about the money they can extract from citizens who must be kept frightened enough to pay taxes on their use of energy.
----------------- 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:Global Warming, the money, the Climate, 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!
"Jocelyn Samuels has the title of “Acting” Asst.
Attorney General for Civil Rights which means she
wields the awesome power of that office without
having been confirmed by the Senate."
~ Phyllis Schlafly
by Phyllis Schlafly: A slightly lower pass rate for women on a physical fitness test has prompted the Obama administration to sue the Pennsylvania State Police. This lawsuit is obviously demanded by the feminists, since their ideology is that, if women cannot do as well as men on a fitness test for a job, that must be caused by discrimination and use of the test must stop.
The Pennsylvania police fitness test resulted in 94 percent of the men passing and 71 percent of females passing. The feminists want Pennsylvania to ignore the fact that the job of a state trooper can require real physical strength and endurance beyond the capabilities of many women and difficult and dangerous physical challenges, such as having to pull a victim out of a car that is on fire.
Last year, a Pennsylvania state trooper helped catch a suspect escaping in a tractor trailer by hanging onto the truck cabin’s grab bar with one hand while it continued to drive down the highway. The suspect then crashed the truck and had to be pursued on foot as he fled into the woods, and it’s obvious that a man’s physical skills were very useful.
Feminists cannot admit that men might be more suitable for certain jobs than some women, and vice-versa with respect to jobs more suitable for women. The fact that a few more men passed the Pennsylvania police fitness test than women did is simply unacceptable to feminist ideology.
The big majority of applicants – both men and women – were able to prove adequate fitness, but the Obama Administration sued Pennsylvania for not passing women at the same rate as men. The lawsuit misuses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was never meant to impose employment quotas, to demand that Pennsylvania fork over back pay with interest to women who did not pass the fitness test, and this lawsuit also insists that Pennsylvania stop using these tests in the future.
Pennsylvania police commissioner Frank Noonan responded forcefully by saying, “We will not be bullied into changing or lowering our standards by the Department of Justice or anyone else.” He also noted that reducing the fitness standards would insult the many women and men who passed the test and now work on the police force.
One woman who recently passed the fitness test observed that “it’s totally insulting that anybody is claiming that it’s too hard for women.” She felt that the “the standards are set very low” and she feels “they should be higher.”
Commissioner Noonan pointed out that the public would also be harmed by relaxing or eliminating the fitness test. Moreover, a woman who is placed on the job as a state trooper despite being unfit may be putting her own life at risk, if a suspect overpowered her due to her lack of strength or quickness.
More than 4,600 workers are in the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) today after many of them presumably passed this fitness test. But the Obama lawsuit is demanding that the test must no longer be used because there might have been 45 additional women on the workforce if this test had not been implemented.
If 94% of men can pass the physical fitness test to be a state trooper, I would say the test is too easy. Suppose you needed the help of the state police: would you want your distress call to be answered by a man who was only as fit as 94% of his fellow men?
Surely the state police should be more selective than that, but the PSP apparently decided to make its test even easier. Since 2009, an incredible 98% of men passed the test each year – but the women’s pass rate edged up only from 71% to 72%, making the male-female gap slightly wider than before.
Therein lies the paradox of diversity: making the test easier does not reduce the gap between groups. No one has yet devised a physical fitness test on which women as a group perform as well – or even 80% as well – as men. The only way to eliminate that gap is to eliminate testing altogether.
The administration official who initiated this lawsuit accusing Pennsylvania of discrimination, Jocelyn Samuels, has the title of “Acting” Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, which means she wields the awesome power of that office without having been confirmed by the Senate. An unconfirmed, perhaps unconfirmable, bureaucrat should not be allowed to disrupt such an important state agency, based on such a flimsy pretext and outrageous theory, but that’s where we are in the waning days of the Obama administration.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Feminists, Get Obama to Sue Pennsylvania, Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Asst. Attorney General, Civil Rights 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:editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, terrorism, distruction of Palistinedefinition of InsanityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Poll Bad News For Dems; How Will The GOP Respond?
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll highlights the depth of America’s anxiety about the economy and political situation.
First off, this poll is of adults. Polls of adults tend to overstate Democratic strength, electorally speaking, while polls of registered voters or likely voters tend to favor Republicans. But even though it’s a liberal-friendly poll, it still spells bad news for President Obama and Democrats. Here are some highlights:
-- President Obama’s disapproval rating has dropped to 40 percent. And 60 percent disapprove of Obama's foreign policy, the lowest ever.
-- Sixty-four percent of respondents are dissatisfied with the state of the economy.
-- On immigration, 51 percent want illegal immigrant children deported. Seventy percent of Republicans, and a third of Democrats, want them sent back. Forty-three percent even say that illegal immigrant children should stay only if they can prove their lives are in danger.
But let’s put the political battles of today aside for a moment to look at how Americans view the bigger picture. In short, they’re very pessimistic. There seems to be a growing sense that the country is in deep trouble.
-- Seventy-one percent believe the country is on the wrong track. And 60 percent believe the U.S. is in decline. More than three in four American adults surveyed lack confidence that their children’s generation will have a better life than they have.
It’s clear that the left and Obama are increasingly being rejected. But Republicans don’t fare much better. The GOP needs to find the courage to articulate a conservative message that addresses values, economic growth and national security.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said yesterday that the Republican Party’s “number one” issue in this year’s mid-term elections should be President Obama’s unconstitutional actions, particularly if he uses an executive order to give amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants. Speaking with radio host Laura Ingraham, Gingrich said:
“The Republicans have an easy political answer, which is to say that ‘the election of 2014 is a referendum. [If you think] the president of the United States should allow millions and millions of people—as many [as] he wants, in the end—to come into the United States and to be legal residents by fiat of his pen, vote Democratic. If you want the rule of law and the American Constitution applied, vote Republican.’”
Obama’s lawlessness has become the defining feature of his presidency. Republicans should make it a defining feature of their argument against Democrats this November.
Protecting Our Army – From Bible-Reading Kids
Of all the rot that Obama and the left have spread, the worst may be the rot attacking the foundations of our military. It is bad enough that at a time of increasing threats to our national security, Obama is dismissing experienced senior officers, failing to upgrade important weapon systems and constantly sending signals of weakness to our enemies.
In addition, the left is attacking the values that are embedded in our military culture. Military chaplains have been under incredible pressure to avoid Bible-based messages on hot-button issues like homosexual conduct. Some say that they have been threatened with dismissal if they present the Gospel to inquiring soldiers. There have been repeated stories out of the Air Force Academy and West Point of hostility to students who express a Biblical world view.
Now comes a story out of “Bible Belt” Missouri that is sounding more alarms. The Bible Baptist Church in Carthage, Missouri, invited members of the Missouri National Guard to attend a kids’ summer camp for an hour to be honored for protecting Missouri’s families. The church camp had already honored the local fire department and sheriff’s department. The Guardsmen were not given permission to attend because Army regulations state the following:
"Army participation must not selectively benefit (or appear to benefit) any person, group, or corporation (whether profit or non-profit); religion, sect, religious or sectarian group, or quasi-religious or ideological movement."
In spite of this regulation, service members in uniform have marched in gay pride parades, including here in Washington, DC. Apparently the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals has been replaced with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Christianity.
One Guardsman told the Christian Post, “I can tell you I'm ashamed and embarrassed right now. This isn't the military I signed up for." Sadly, countless other young Americans will be less inclined to sign-up if Obama and his radical leftist allies continue their efforts to separate our armed forces from Judeo-Christian values.
Once again as a Christian I find myself embarrassed by the moral blindness and anti-Semitism of former President Jimmy Carter. Yes you read that right – anti-Semitism. Carter is not merely a critic of Israel’s government and foreign policy. His critique of the Middle East conflict is so twisted that a rational person can only conclude that his heart is infected with Jew-hatred.
The latest evidence is Carter’s embrace this week of Hamas as a “legitimate political actor,” while lambasting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Never mind the 3,000 or more missiles Hamas fired at civilian targets in Israel. Never mind the underground tunnel system built for the purpose of launching a surprise attack on Israeli neighborhoods that could have killed thousands of defenseless Israelis. Never mind the Hamas Charter of raw hate claiming not only the land of Israel but the whole world for Islam.
In the last three weeks even Israel critics have said Hamas cannot be a “partner” for peace. They are our era’s Nazis. But their murderous plans have now been exposed. Jimmy Carter runs toward them, embraces them and demands America reward them with recognition. Shame, Mr. Carter. Shame.
Israel’s Right To Exist
Israel is not fighting the equivalent of our wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Other than on 9/11, the US population has not faced large-scale, daily attacks by jihadists on our homeland. Israel is facing that. Daily for weeks 70% of the Israeli people have run into bomb shelters because of Hamas rocket attacks. Imagine Al Qaeda firing rockets into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada requiring 70% of us, more than 200 million people, to run into shelters. Imagine if our military discovered miles of tunnels reaching deep into our country packed with weapons and explosives, and if jihadists were using those tunnels to launch surprise attacks on US border neighborhoods. While the US would try to avoid civilian casualties, we would not let anyone stop us from doing what had to be done to restore normal lives for our citizens. How dare we insist that Israel follow a set of rules that we would not adhere to if our very existence were in jeopardy.
Israel is facing an existential threat, meaning a threat to its very existence. Many at the UN who are pointing their fingers at Israel would not shed a single tear if its enemies overwhelmed it and carried out a second Holocaust.
The west must stand with Israel today or risk facing the growing Jihadists forces alone tomorrow.
The Ghost Soldiers Of Hamas
Last week I wrote about how every media report out of Gaza showed images of heavily-armed Israeli troops juxtaposed with scenes of civilians suffering in Gaza. Where was Hamas? Why did we never see the “holy warriors” who have declared that their goal is the complete destruction of Israel. Now in the 2nd day of the Gazan truce, the facts are slowly leaking out. Proof is growing that the reporters covering the conflict were subject to intimidation and threats on their lives if they did not follow the Hamas propaganda line.
Cliff May, Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has published an outstanding exposé column on this in the Washington Times. You can link to it here. This is a brief excerpt:
“Hamas restricts what journalists in Gaza may film, photograph and even write about. Hamas threatens and intimidates journalists who do not follow what might be called Hamas rules — rules designed to shape media coverage and influence perceptions around the world. …
“A few have acknowledged their predicament, mostly on social media. For example, Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati on July 29 tweeted: “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children [today] in Shati.” In other words, having left Gaza, he can now say what he would not dare report while in the territory: It was a Hamas rocket, not an Israeli rocket, that killed 10 people, eight of them children, at the al Shati refugee camp along the northern Gaza seacoast.
“Israeli filmmaker Michael Grynszpan wrote on Facebook that he had met with a Spanish journalist who had just left Gaza and asked him why TV viewers are not seeing Hamas fighters in action. Mr. Grynszpan said he was told: ‘It’s very simple. We did see Hamas people there, launching rockets. They were close to our hotel, but if ever we dared pointing our camera on them, they would simply shoot at us and kill us.’”Covering a war zone is incredibly dangerous. Nonetheless, members of the media have an obligation to inform the public of the threats they were dealing with. If they feared for their lives they should have exited Gaza rather than allow themselves to be turned into propagandists for Hamas.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Poll, Bad News, For Democrats, Newt Gingrich, Obama's unconstitutional actions, Jimmy Carter, racist, Israel’s Right To Exist, Israeli, Hamas, 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!
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