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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, September 05, 2014
Labor Force Exodus Continues | Youth unemployment At 15%
ARRA News Service - Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment numbers for September 2014. They noted, "The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in August and has been essentially unchanged since April. In August, the employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the third consecutive month but is up by 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier."
"The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in August at 7.3 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job."
However, as always there is the fact that not all people who are unemployed are counted in the unemployment rate. BLS noted, "In August, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 201,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued a statement on the Department of Labor’s unemployment report for August 2014: "“Today’s disappointing report, coupled with last week’s bleak economic forecast from the Congressional Budget Office, shows a pattern of weakness in the Obama economy that has too many Americans still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ Republicans have listened to the American people and advanced solutions to help create more jobs, lower costs at home, and restore opportunity for all Americans - and we’ll maintain that focus in the weeks and months ahead. But our common-sense solutions have run up against a brick wall in the Senate, where Democrats are more worried about keeping their jobs than helping families find work. Americans are suffering the consequences of Senate Democrats’ inaction, and they deserve better. With job growth slowing to its lowest level this year, Senate Democrats are out of excuses for stalling the dozens of House-passed jobs bills that are stuck in that chamber. It’s time for them to get to work.”
Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens responded to the latest jobs numbers: "In the midst of what Obama continues to claim is an improving economy, in August only 80,000 fewer people were unemployed than in the previous month. Of those, 64,000 gave up on trying to get a job entirely and are no longer counted, with only 16,000 actually getting a job. Incredibly the unemployment rate went down in spite of this disastrously bad employment report because all together 268,000 fewer Americans were counted as being in the labor force at all. If our nation's economy continues along this path we will reach full employment because no one is actually being counted as being in the labor force."
Patrice Lee, Director of Outreach at Generation Opportunity, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, responded: "15% of young people are still out of work and it's no secret why- government is too big, spending levels are too high, and opportunities for us are limited. As we continue to work hard to create opportunities, politicians in Washington continue to impose policies that harm us. More than ever, we need to work to elect officials that will fight for the interests of my generation and not continue the policies of generational theft that have prevailed under the current administration."
Generation Opportunity also announced its Millennial Jobs Report (18-29 year olds) for August 2014. of critical note wer the following numbers in their report: "The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.946 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs. The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is 22.4 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 19.6 percent and for Hispanics is 15.8 percent and 10.6 percent."
The employment rate will not be meaningfully increased and thus the unemployment rate decreased, until Government at all levels get out of the way of business, especially small businesses. Also, the Federal government proposal of an increase in the Federal minimum wage is not going to add more jobs nor create increased employment. Tags:BLS, Labor Department, employment report, unemployment numbers, August, 2014, 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 Bloomberg scenarios..... Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare!
by Charles Schott, eGOP News: Some pundits have speculated about whether former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg might be interested in running for President in 2016?
It is hard to assess the likelihood of this happening. Bloomberg has been going around the country giving speeches on several topics, including gun control, the desirability of open primaries and the problems he sees when political parties do not pick centrist candidates.
What is not properly appreciated are the different scenarios under which a Bloomberg candidacy could happen; the paths that give Bloomberg credibility as a potential future President of the United States.
Make no mistake, each of these scenarios represents a potential "bad dream" for Hillary Clinton...some scarier than others!
The prospective candidate. Bloomberg is clearly a credible prospective candidate for President. He presents as the classic liberal-independent with successful managerial credentials from both inside and outside government.
He is the potential maverick in the 2016 candidate mix, speaking his mind candidly and clearly.
His age could be a factor. He is 72 and would be a few weeks away from turning 75 on inauguration day 2017.
Ambiguous or androgynous? One significant factor - Bloomberg's party affiliation has been enigmatic. Bloomberg is a Democrat who became a Republican to run successfully for Mayor of New York City. Subsequently he left the GOP to become an independent.
There are those who might reasonably ask if he is an opportunist or perhaps simply a committed political cross-dresser? Does he mean what he says or is he simply telling people what he thinks they want to hear?
Bloomberg's primary political appeal is to the center-left; centrist D's, independents and moderate and liberal R's. His uncompromising position on gun control, climate change and abortion have also made him a hero to many voters further to the left.
He is one of the wealthiest Americans and would be capable of self-funding his campaign should he wish to do so.
What would a Bloomberg for President in 2016 campaign look like? What would be his chances?
To begin to answer those questions, it helps to look at the recent past.
2012 and Americans Elect. It is worth noting that this is not the first time that former-Mayor Bloomberg has been seen as a prospective candidate for President.
In 2012, there was an independent Internet-based effort aimed at creating a new center-left third party called Americans Elect. This new group's well-funded agenda was similar to Bloomberg's. Its aim was to nominate a presidential ticket from what they regard as the political center.
The appeal of Americans Elect to any serious potential third party candidate was its ultimately successful effort to pre-clear ballot access for the new "party" so that their chosen candidates could start out the 2012 presidential campaign with their names appearing on the ballot in all fifty states.
This was both a significant and pragmatic achievement. Previously, all third party candidates, after having their moment in the sun when they announced, had to spend the entire presidential campaign (including most of their limited funds) fighting in the courts for ballot access (so that their candidates' names would not need to be written in).
Many spoke of then NYC mayor Bloomberg as a dream candidate for Americans Elect; some even speculated that his supporters may have been behind it.
His chances, however, seemed to depend on the R's nominating someone for President in 2012 who was seen as being from the party's right wing (e.g., former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin) so as to create the large group of potential swing voters in the middle necessary to attract a plurality of American voters in enough states to win the electoral college.
Instead, the R's nominated former MA Governor Mitt Romney, whose political credentials and pedigree were more towards the middle.
Bloomberg eventually made it clear he was not interested (he endorsed President Obama) and Americans Elect decided not to nominate a presidential and vice presidential candidate to contest the 2012 election.
2012 was not Michael Bloomberg's year. 2016, however, may be another matter. There are four possible scenarios under which Bloomberg might run in 2016, some of which have significant potential. Scenario 1: While unlikely, running for the Republican presidential nomination is at least a theoretical possibility for Bloomberg (and interesting because as the Republican nominee, Bloomberg would arguably have a chance of carrying California).
A Bloomberg Republican candidacy is unlikely but still worth considering. Bloomberg did serve for two terms as the Republican Mayor of New York City, even though he subsequently left the party to run for his third term as an independent.
Bloomberg's appeal to independents and disaffected moderate and liberal Republicans could make him a viable R candidate if nominated. No R nominee since George H. W. Bush in 1988 has been able to carry California and that state has served as the D's Presidential electoral base in the modern era. Bloomberg running on the R ticket could conceivably put the state in play in the same way a Republican Arnold Schwarznegger did when he successfully ran for Governor.
The simple fact, however, is that Bloomberg has little or no chance of winning the Republican nomination. He left the Republican party where he was never that comfortable. Many Republicans have not been comfortable with him, considering Bloomberg a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and an opportunist.
It would take a candidate with much greater mass popular appeal (like Eisenhower in 1952) to overwhelm the preferences of regular Republicans on this question. In that respect, Bloomberg does not have anything close to former Governor Schwarzenegger's star power.
Additionally, even if successful, his actual chances of making California competitive on the Presidential level against a D candidate like Hillary Clinton could not be guaranteed.
Consequently, it seems that any effort on his part to get the 2016 R nomination would be doomed to failure.
That said, an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination might pave the way for a credible third party run, similar to that made by former Congressman John Anderson after he went after the R presidential nomination in 1980.
Scenario 2: Most people thinking about Bloomberg as a prospective 2016 candidate have him on the Third Party path.
Americans Elect is still there as an organization and movement. Although a good deal of their earlier work might need to be repeated, it would likely be easier to replicate their earlier success the second time around.
Americans Elect once again would seem to be a tailor-made vehicle for Bloomberg, whether that came about through a failed run as a Republican or (as would seem more likely) as an independent candidacy from the start.
What is clear is that a three way race would scramble everyone's electoral vote calculations. Blue states like California and New York could ultimately end up in Bloomberg's column or they could stay with the D's....or they could end up split between Hillary and Bloomberg, putting one or more of those states in the Republican electoral vote column by a plurality.
As in 2012, Bloomberg's chances of winning a three way race in 2016 would depend on the size of the gap separating the candidates of the two main parties.
For the most part, to Bloomberg's left, Hillary Clinton presents less of a target than President Obama did in 2012; She is not as far to the left as President Obama and, as such, would leave slightly less contestable room.
As in 2012, the farther the R's go toward the Tea Party or the Rand Paul libertarians in selecting their nominees, the more opportunity there would be for Bloomberg running as an independent.
To the extent Bloomberg was successful, one possible outcome would be to put the election into the House of Representatives (where the Republicans would be expected to have the advantage). Bloomberg would need to be overwhelmingly successful (in a way that no third party candidate in the modern era has ever been) and win the electoral college outright with a plurality of the popular vote not to have that be the result.
Interestingly, last May on Face the Nation, Bloomberg indicated he did not think it was possible for a third party candidate to win the Presidency. While he indicated he would be interested in running for President if he thought he could win, he indicated was not interested in a third party run in 2016. "(N)o matter how much the press wants to create an Independent because it's good for seeing newspapers and inches and minutes....it's just not possible."
It doesn't sound like he plans to change his mind about this, which makes it another unlikely scenario.
Scenario 3: Clearly, the most intriguing 2016 scenario would involve Bloomberg going after the Democratic presidential nomination. It is surprising that this scenario hasn't been more developed in the media, but it is clearly the one that has the greatest potential and the one that makes the most sense.
It is also where the nightmare gets the scariest for the Clintons, the possibility of someone unexpected who would credibly challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination she already feels is hers.
It's not like it hasn't happened before. It has been noteworthy that few D's have been willing to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2016. This has been attributed to the Clinton's history of punishing those who cross them.
At the moment, there are others who look like they are willing to run for the D 2016 nomination, but none of these potential candidates currently seem to have the potential to mount a successful challenge.
To Hillary Clinton's left, Maryland Governor Mavin O'Malley seems to be running but is a relative unknown outside Maryland. So is VT Senator Bernie Sanders, who currently, like Bloomberg, is officially listed as an independent. The Kennedys have reportedly encouraged Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run. Warren, however, has indicated that she is not interested.
All three of these candidates would be coming at Hillary from the left, which is where most people see an opening.
Bloomberg would be a threat to Hillary, however, from all sides; from right (as a former R and proven manager), left (gun control and as a home for Obama people who don't want another Clinton presidency) and center (as someone who appeals to independents).
In short, it represents the kind of potential to surround that is the opposite of "triangulation."
It would be a major fight, but one worth making if Bloomberg wants to be President.
Bloomberg could declare his return to the Democratic party tomorrow if he wanted to. There is nothing stopping him. Such a declaration would immediately start speculation along these lines (and begin the Clinton attempts to discredit him).
In fact, he really doesn't need to make this type of announcement for "draft Bloomberg" efforts to spring up around the country and in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Clinton efforts to head this off would likely only feed any fires sparked by such efforts....making them appear more like spontaneous combustion.
The worst part of this scenario for Clinton, even if she wins the nomination, would be having to spend several months attacking the prospective champion of the very voters she would need to win in a race against the Republicans in the Fall.
It's not just the D's who supported Bloomberg she would have to worry about coming home, but the independents and disaffected R's that Bloomberg appeals to and who would constitute a substantial portion of the "swing voters" she would need to prevail.
It is noteworthy that "Party switcher" is not a political epithet any more! Once changing parties was seen as the kiss of death. Recall Winston Churchill's famous line about switching from the Conservative party to the Liberal party....and then back again.
Anyone can "rat," but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to "re-rat."
As an indication of how much this has changed, today's political parties are now constantly on the look-out for incumbents willing to consider switching parties and joining their ranks. In the current election alone, the former R Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, is running for election to the same job as a Democrat.
Ask them why they switched and they will probably echo Ronald Reagan's line about his switch from FDR-Truman Democrat to an Eisenhower-Nixon Republican. Reagan said, "I didn't leave the Democratic party....the party left me!"
Bloomberg also has been active with groups supporting D's in 2014 mid-terms, such as Emily's List. He recently donated $2 million to a group called "Blue Senate 2014" aimed at helping D's maintain their Senate majority.
A Bloomberg announcement that he was seeking the D nomination would immediately throw everyone's 2016 political calculations up in the air.
There would likely be an immediate effort by the Clinton camp to de-legitimize Bloomberg as a D, but that would not be likely to survive the first set of polls. There is no shortage of people in the Democratic party who would like someone other than the Clinton's to back and they would expect even to find some sympathy in the White House.
The potential to re-live the 2008 primary season with a series of close primary elections and caucus outcomes, each allocating a proportional share of votes to the candidates, would make for a prolonged battle and a good deal of trench warfare.
It will mean that additional candidates on the left like O'Malley and Sanders would have an incentive to continue their campaigns right up to the convention with the prospect of being the difference that forces the main candidate to come to terms in order to clinch the nomination.
The problem with this approach is that it is the kind of challenge that has the potential to tear the party apart; to end up making the nomination not worth having.
Which D candidate President Obama eventually supports will be a factor. It is unlikely that President Obama would get involved officially until the convention, however, and only if it would make a difference. He is more likely to remain officially neutral above the fray and be yet another factor that the two main candidates will need to reckon with.
That said, it's not hard to envision who among these two contenders Barack Obama might expect to have a better relationship with as a new former President. Bloomberg has consistently had better relations with President Obama than the Clintons, whose desire has reportedly been to treat Obama's presidency as an 8 year detour away from an otherwise inevitable Clinton succession.
If Bloomberg succeeds and gets the D nomination, he would be seen by many as on the path to the White House. As with Hillary, however, it would not be a lock on the outcome. Much would depend on who the Republican's nominate. Then there is also the various New York issues (regulating the size of soft drinks that can be sold at convenience stores?) that you just don't know how they will play outside "Big Applelis."
Losing the D nomination would seem like the ultimate nightmare for Hillary Clinton,....but there is yet another scenario that could arise even if she becomes the D nominee.
Scenario 4: If Bloomberg does not get the Deomcratic nomination....the third party path would likely still be available (creating an incentive for the D's putting him in the Vice Presidential slot).
It really depends on how Hillary would win the D nomination for things to get to this point. If Bloomberg felt he had been denied the nomination through trickery, fraud or perceived illegality (as Teddy Roosevelt and his supporters did in 1912), you could end up with a break-away Bloomberg faction demanding that their cause be taken directly to the voters in November.
Bloomberg also might simply be uninterested in being anyone's "number two." In the past, acrimonious conventions have come together by putting the losing candidate on the ballot as the running mate or with the passage of time (of which there is usually never enough).
This would take you to a variation of the third party run (scenario 2 above) with all the attendant electoral uncertainties and disadvantages. At that point, however, it is usually no longer about winning....but about payback and righting perceived wrongs.
All of these scenarios are possible...it's just that some are more realistic than others. It will be interesting to see if Michael Bloomberg does make a run for President....and, if so, just how he does it.
Clearly, the better choice would be for him to make a run for the D nomination. For Hillary Clinton, it will be one of the supreme tests of her political skills to keep any such potential nightmare from becoming a reality. [Footnoots for Article]
--------------------- Charles Schott served in the last three Republican administrations and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the George W. Bush Administration. He shares articles, opinions, and analysis on eGOPNews which is endorsed by the ARRA News Service. Tags:Michael Bloomberg, scenarios, 2016 election, president, candidates, scenarios, Hillary Clinton, worst nightmare, analysis, Charles Scott, eGOPNewsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama’s Favorite Court to Rehear Obamacare Federal Exchanges Case
Who says Harry Reid's breaking Senate rules to pack the D.C Court doesn't matter? Now we will see. ~ Bill Smith, ARRA News Service
by Elizabeth Slattery: Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia announced it will rehear a case in which a three-judge panel previously ruled the IRS does not have the authority to subsidize health coverage bought through insurance exchanges run by the federal government.
On July 22 in Halbig v. Burwell, a panel of the D.C. Circuit held that Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code (enacted as part of Obamacare), which authorizes subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance on exchanges “established by the State,” clearly restricts these subsidies to state-run exchanges. The same day, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit came to the exact opposite conclusion in King v. Burwell, finding the language of Section 36B is ambiguous and allows the IRS to extend these subsidies to federally run exchanges in states that chose not to open an exchange.
Now all 11 active judges on the D.C. Circuit will rehear the Halbig case. As Adam White explained in the Wall Street Journal, “The D.C. Circuit rehears virtually none of its cases. Each year the court’s three-judge panels make roughly 500 rulings, but the court averages roughly one en banc rehearing.”
With these odds, why didn’t the Obama administration go straight to the Supreme Court?
As Hans von Spakovsky and I pointed out, “The decision to slow-walk the Halbig case by asking for an en banc review rather than appealing directly to the Supreme Court certainly gives credence to any suspicions that the new D.C. Circuit was constituted to rubberstamp the Obama administration’s policies.”
But after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was able to push through three new Obama appointees to the D.C. Circuit (by breaking the rules of the Senate to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominees), it seems Obama likes his chances with the full court of appeals.
In a brief order, the D.C. Circuit vacated the judgment of the panel decision and indicated oral argument in Halbig will take place on Dec. 17.
Meanwhile, the King plaintiffs already have petitioned the Supreme Court for review. The justices may consider whether to take the case at their upcoming “mega-conference” on Sept. 29, or they could delay any action until the D.C. Circuit issues a new ruling in Halbig.
If the Halbig plaintiffs lose (which would eliminate the disagreement between the appellate courts), the Supreme Court will be less likely to review either case.
---------------- Elizabeth Slattery (@EHSlattery) writes about the rule of law, the proper role of the courts, civil rights and equal protection, and the scope of constitutional provisions such as the Commerce Clause and the Recess Appointments Clause as a legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Tags:DC Circuit Court of Appeals, full court, rehearing, Halbig v. Burwell, case, government funding, subsidize health coverage, Obamacare Federal Exchanges, Harry Reid, packed DC Courts, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, Elizabeth SlatteryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Joe Biden Goes Rogue On ISIS: “We Will Follow Them To The Gates Of Hell”
VP Joe Biden: "We Will Follow ISIS To The Gates Of Hell"
by David M. Huntwork, Contributing Author: The official response of the Obama administration to the recent beheading of two Americans in Syria by ISIS has been muddled at best. The often timid and tepid statements by various White House spokesmen, the State Department, and even the President himself in response to these specific tragedies and the general threats poised by ISIS have been vague, confusing, contradictory, and sometimes downright silly. (You do know that the members of ISIS are Muslims right? The White House apparently isn't even sure on that one.)
Though the sharpness of the rhetoric by both Obama and Secretary of State Kerry has increased somewhat in the last day or two, only very limited air strikes have been carried out over the last few weeks and in a stunning statement Obama admitted that his administration has 'no strategy yet' for dealing with the ISIS strongholds and bases of power in Syria. And according to the State Department ISIS isn't even at war with the US. Tell that to James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the blasted to bits ISIS fighters around the Mosul dam. Very similar statements were made in regards to pre 9-11 Al Qaeda, and the seeming hesitancy to acknowledge the truth of the situation by the current administration is somewhat disturbing.
In stark contrast to the muddling mediocrity oozing from Washington, potential presidential wannabe Vice President Joe Biden took to the road, and took it upon himself, to take a very hard stand against ISIS in regards to their latest outrages against the civilized world.
Biden on Wednesday delivered a fiery response to the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff, calling ISIS barbarians and letting them know that the U.S. will “follow them to the gates of hell.”
...They somehow think that it’s going to lessen U.S. resolve, frighten us, intimidate us. But, if they think the American people will be intimidated, they don’t know us very well...
...The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand...
...When people harm Americans, we don’t retreat. We don’t forget. We take care of those who are grieving, and when that’s finished, they should know, we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice. Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside.
With the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in his hoped for future, this speech may be the first breakout attempt by Joe Biden to distance himself from the many failed policies and numerous disappointments of the Obama administration and appear more in line with public opinion and outrage. Can you imagine Barack Obama saying or acting like this in regards to an enemy other than House Republicans or Fox News? The taint of the Obama era is not something you want sticking with you if you going to run for president and it will be a burden to either a Clinton or Biden candidacy.
This may be the new face of a new Biden who sounded more like a Bush-era neocon evoking 9-11 and bin Laden than a ranking member of an administration that ran and won a campaign based on abandoning Iraq at our earliest convenience. We are seeing the results of that failed Obama/Biden campaign pledge and policy play out now before our eyes and it appears that 'Crazy Uncle Joe' is trying to get ahead of the entire issue by going out, talking tough, and being his own man. Any way you look at it, he is articulating and peddling something that sounds significantly different from the official vacillating White House line.
---------------- David Huntwork is a conservative activist, blogger, and columnist, and the proud father of three daughters. He believes that Faith, Family, and Freedom is the formula for success and the key to a good life and a healthy nation. David blogs at TheConservativeCitizen.com and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Joe Biden, rogue on ISIS, ISIS, follow them, Gates of Hell, David HuntworkTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Congress Still In Recess, But Senate Democrats Are Planning More Shenanigans.
Senator Harry Reid is Desperate. Despite Many Serious Issues, Sen. Harry Reid is going to lead Democrats in a determined effort to use "Show Votes" as a political gesture to appease liberals and hopefully wrangle some votes to save his leadership. As Political Gesture To Appease Liberals. The Senate will reconvene on Monday at 2 PM. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 19, Democrats’ radical constitutional amendment that would gut the core political speech protections of the First Amendment.
The NRSC has boldly noted in recent fund raising ads, "Right now, Republicans have momentum and the best class of Senate candidates we’ve seen in a generation. The opportunity to FIRE Harry Reid at last." And Reid knows he must find some way to pull the "proverbial rabbit out the hat." Having worked for years with the gaming industry in Nevada, Reid knows that while odds are important, stacking the deck would help him a whole lot more. Thus the desperate push to motive liberals to help save his position. It is indeed time for voters to fire Harry Reid as Senate majority leaders by not voting for any Democrat Senator for Congress who is up for re-election. America was successfull in firing Nancy Pelosias House Speaker. It is time to Fire Harry Reid.
Earlier this week, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York wrote, “If you're sick of cynicism in politics, you might want to avert your eyes from the Senate for the next few weeks. There's a lot lawmakers need to do when the Senate returns from its August recess Sept. 9. To take just one example, the government is set to run out of money by the end of the month, and senators must pass a measure to keep funding going and avoid a shutdown. But the Senate will have almost no time to do anything. ‘Following the August recess, we’re going to be here for two weeks and two days,’ Majority Leader Harry Reid told colleagues before the break, according to an account in The Hill. ‘That's not a lot of time for the workload we have to do.’ . . .
“Reid has decreed that the Senate's first order of legislative business will be a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate every dollar raised and every dollar spent by every political campaign in America. Put aside the merits — or lack of them — of this particular proposal. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, plus ratification by three-quarters of the states. This particular amendment, supported mostly by progressive Democrats, won't even get past the first step. So why would Reid devote precious time to an entirely futile exercise? Because the Senate's brief two weeks in Washington are all about the campaign to come.”
Indeed, though there are many pressing issues for the country, including the economy, terror group ISIL, Russian aggression in Ukraine, government funding, and health care, Senate Democrats have decided the first thing they want to do is hold a political show vote.
York explained, “In recent months, Reid has used the proposed amendment as a way to bash the Koch brothers, the billionaires who fund a number of conservative and libertarian political causes. Some strategists believe villainizing the Kochs will allow Democratic candidates not only to associate Republican opponents with the villains, but also to use the Kochs as a symbol for economic inequality and blame Republicans for the nation's economic woes.” The Washington Post adds, “The measure, which is ultimately expected to fail due to a lack of Republican support, is viewed as a political gesture to appease liberals and Democratic base voters who've bemoaned the flood of unregulated money into campaigns since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision.”
But that’s not the only designed-to-fail bill majority Democrats are saying they want to bring up. The AP reported, “Looking to motivate their most loyal supporters, Democrats may hold a campaign-season Senate vote as soon as next week on their effort to boost the federal minimum wage, Senate aides and lobbyists said Wednesday. The Senate may also revisit a pair of other Democratic measures this month that, like minimum wage, were blocked by Republicans earlier this year. One would let people refinance student loans at lower interest rates while the other would pressure employers to pay female workers the same as men. All three measures seem assured of defeat. . . . [A]ides and lobbyists said Democratic leaders hope to stage the votes during what is expected to be a brief pre-election session of Congress scheduled to end by Sept. 23.”
As York concluded, “And what will have been accomplished? Yes, Reid and fellow Democrats will have gotten a few more days to denounce the Kochs. But the issues the Senate might have addressed — not just government funding, but the urgent crises in Iraq and Syria, not to mention continuing problems along the U.S. southwestern border — will be squeezed into a mad, and probably unproductive, final rush. Is Reid's anti-Koch crusade really worth it?” Tags:Harry Reid, Fire Harry Reid, democrats, Senate show votes, Constitutional Amendment, limiting free speech, failures, government funding, crisis in Iraq and SyriaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
According to a new report released today by James Sherk, a labor policy expert at The Heritage Foundation, such an increase could result in fewer hours of work overall at fast-food restaurants and higher prices for all.
--------------- Katrina Trinko (@KatrinaTrinko) is managing editor of Heritage Foundations's The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today's Board of Contributors. Tags:fast-food prices, minimum wage, impact, Heritage Foundation, chartTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:2014, mid-term election, no hard choices, Republicans, 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!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Editor: Michael Sam, the first openly gay athlete drafted into the National Football League, did not make the cut with the St. Louis Rams after it trimmed its roster ahead of the start of the 2014 season.
Sam has been signed for the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys, but given their dismal record of late we are not likely to hear much other than their losing scores. The only reason I would watch the Cowboys on TV is their cheerleaders!
Now we will be able to enjoy the season without a story every day about what Michael Sam did or said. We will not have to endure television interviews of him and his boyfriend telling us how wonderful it is to be gay in America.
If I never see a photo of those two kissing one another, I will be happy knowing that neither will a generation of young boys who want to grow up to be football players.
If you think about it, since homosexuals are about two percent of the U.S. population, it should hardly be newsworthy that a particular athlete is gay. We accept that there’s a fair percentage of gays in the arts and other fields, but gay athletes are deemed—at least by the media—to be in some special category.
When it comes to sports, most of us only want to know if an athlete has won or lost. Writing for NBC Sports, Michael David Smith probably got the Michael Sam story right. He reported that Eric Wood, a Bill’s defensive lineman, believes that “teams are avoiding Sam because they don’t want the ESPN hype that would come with having Sam.”
The plain fact of Sam’s fate was that he was not as good as the others on the preseason team. Prior to the news he was not signed, Vinnie Iyer, a Huffington Post sports writer, noted “Robert Quinn and Chris Long are the Ram’s elite starters at defensive end. Veterans William Hayes and Eugene Sims are the projected backups. Sam’s chief competition, undrafted fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks, was better than Sam throughout the preseason.”
To show his support, Sam’s boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, tweeted a photo of the couple together, wearing shirts from the University of Missouri, where they both attended college. In May, ESPN had aired a celebratory kiss between the two men. “You know, I can play in this league,” said Sam. Just barely.
If you think the media devotes altogether too much “news” about gays, I would be inclined to agree. There is, however, a massive propaganda campaign conducted by gay organizations to ensure that their issues are always in the news. They hardly merit such coverage. Why should their sexual orientation be the subject of so much coverage? The answer most likely is the intense liberal orientation of the news media these days.
Nor has the U.S. ever had such a gay-oriented President as Obama in its history. On July 21, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating “on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Obama said, “I firmly believe that it’s time to address this injustice for every American.” The EO amended a previous one issued by President Lyndon B Johnson.
Everything that can be done to undermine the moral values of the nation has been underway for several decades. In December, a judge appointed by Obama, Robert J. Shelby, issued an opinion declaring that a right to same-sex marriage is “deeply rooted in the nation’s history and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. When he was confirmed to the federal bench on September 21, 2012, no senator objected. CNN reporter, Terence P. Jeffrey, said “His opinion could fundamentally alter American law and culture.”
There is not a bit of U.S. history or a word in the Constitution to justify Judge Shelby’s decision.
The media, according to a June 2013 study released by the Pew Research Center, found that articles with “statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.” The study was of nearly 500 stories from March 18 through May 12 “primarily focused on support for the measure…”
As children return to schools, K-12, this year, their curriculum will include support for homosexuality when many older Americans recall that this subject was never a part of what was taught when they attended school.
Ensuring special treatment for gays is now part of many aspects of life in America and if that isn’t inherently unfair, unequal, and totally out of proportion to the other 98% of the population, than it is impossible not to conclude it is part of the government’s and media’s agenda these days.
None of this bodes well for 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:news, football, gay football player, President Obama, 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!
Energy security benefits look even better when you consider North America as a whole:[T]he US certainly would view Canada or Mexico as a supplier less prone to disruption than many other countries. So once you take away US net import dependence with Canada, that number slips to 2.282 million b/d. Take away Mexico and you’re down to 1.962 million b/d. Those numbers are easily the lowest ever recorded by the EIA. So in essence, that 1.962 million b/d of net import dependence is the figure for the rest of the world outside North America. In 2005, that US net import dependence figure after Canada and Mexico were taken out regularly recorded numbers in excess of 9 million b/d.Texas and North Dakota continue to see success in their shale oil development. Texas produced over 3 million barrels of oil per day again in June. “Oil production in the Lone Star State has more than doubled in less than three years,” notes Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute. Also, North Dakota set another record in June by producing 1.093 million barrels per day.
Unfortunately the good news didn’t extend to offshore production, Kingston writes:Federal offshore production of 1.43 million b/d remains below the levels in place when the Macondo moratorium was put in place in April 2010. It was 1.531 million b/d in May of that year.There’s much more to be done to improve energy security. The administration should speed up the permitting process (about 7.5 months) to increase development on federal lands, open up more of the outer continental shelf to oil and natural gas exploration, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline to transport more Canadian oil sands crude and Bakken oil to Gulf Coast refineries.
By developing America’s energy resources, we can continue this success.
------------ 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:United States, oil, fracking, less imported oil, Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of CommerceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Person President Obama Most Loves - Himself!
~ ARRA News Editor
by Michael Barone, Townhall.com: Some time ago I contrasted the reaction a conservative would get if he were in the same room with the two most consequential politicians of the 1990s, Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
If you were in a room with Bill Clinton, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you agreed; he would probe you with questions, comments, suggestions; and he would tell you that you enabled him to understand it far better than he ever had before.
If you were in a room with Rudy Giuliani, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you disagreed; he would ask pointed questions and pepper you with objections; he would tell you that you are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law, and that you needed to admit you were utterly mistaken.
The difference is partly a matter of personality and temperament, and of regional style: Southern affability, New York prickliness.
But there's also an underlying similarity. Both Clinton and Giuliani are always curious about what other people think, determined to probe beneath the surface to understand what they really care about, sensitive to find areas of both agreement and disagreement.
They're good at reading people, an essential quality for an executive and especially for a president. Recent presidents have had that quality in varying degrees.
Clinton, as indicated, has an immense desire to win people over. Daniel Halper's bestselling "Clinton, Inc.," shows how he went about winning the affection and respect of the Bush family.
The two Presidents George Bush, aware that presidents have the greatest leeway in foreign affairs, both devoted immense psychic energy in establishing relationships with foreign leaders.
George W. Bush admits in his memoir "Decision Points" that he initially misjudged Vladimir Putin. But he established close personal rapport with leaders from wildly different backgrounds, from British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Brazilian President Lula da Silva.
As for George H. W. Bush, just about everyone now recognizes the brilliance of his diplomacy in response to the invasion of Iraq and the breakup of the Soviet Union. That diplomacy depended on shrewd reading and handling of literally dozens of foreign leaders.
The seemingly aloof Ronald Reagan developed his capacity to understand negotiating partners, as his definitive biographer Lou Cannon made clear, when he was president of the Screen Actors Guild negotiating with studio bosses.
Reagan deployed that ability in establishing productive relations with allies such as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with whom he was by no means always in agreement, and with adversaries such as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whose character, strengths and weaknesses he shrewdly assessed.
The ability to read other people comes more easily if you're interested in others, curious to learn what makes them tick. It comes harder or not at all if you're transfixed with your image of yourself.
Which seems to be the case with Barack Obama. Not only is he not much interested in the details of public policy, as Jay Cost argues persuasively in a recent article for the Weekly Standard. He is also, as even his admirers concede, not much inclined to schmooze with other politicians, even his fellow Democrats.
That goes double for Republicans. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is one of the most transparent and least guileful politicians I've encountered. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy and liberal Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., had no difficulty reaching agreement with him on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.
But Obama has gotten nowhere with him. The president blew up the 2011 grand bargain negotiations by raising the ante late in the game; later budget agreements were left to Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Obama has taken to explaining Republican opposition as the result of "fever" or mental delusion.
Obama is also known to have frosty relations with most foreign leaders. He used to claim to be close to Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan. That hasn't prevented ErdoGan from sidling up to the Muslim Brotherhood and exhibiting blatant anti-semitism.
Obama critics have pointed out his fondness for the first person singular. He said "I," "me," or "my" 63 times in his 1,631-word eulogy for Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. He spoke twice as long about his own family experiences as the heroism for which Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani succeeded in large part because they were curious about other people different from themselves. Barack Obama prefers to look in the mirror.
------------ Michael Barone is Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. The above article was shared under the Fair Use Doctrine for educational purposes. The American Enterprise Institute is an ARRA News Service editor's recommended link. Tags:president, Barack Obama, loves himself, uninterested in other people, Michael Barone, Townhall, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: While the world’s attention was distracted by his incursions into eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin quietly made another provocative move that could lead to a direct confrontation with the United States. The Russian Navy sent a ship to remote Wrangel Island, planted a Russian naval flag on August 20, and announced plans to build a naval base there for Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Wrangel Island is a frozen, nearly uninhabited island in the Arctic Ocean, about 90 miles north of Siberia and 300 miles northwest of Point Hope, Alaska. It’s about the size of our two smallest states, Delaware and Rhode Island, combined.
Wrangel Island has little economic value in itself, but it is hugely important because it is the closest land to a vast swath of the Arctic Ocean, which is estimated to hold 25 percent of the world’s recoverable oil and gas. According to a European reporter, Putin has said he wants to expand Russia’s presence in the Arctic, both militarily and economically.
It’s not the first time that Russia has planted a flag to claim territory in the Arctic, hoping to extend its control over that resource-rich region. In August 2007, a Russian submarine planted a Russian flag on the ocean floor at the North Pole.
When the Canadian foreign minister expostulated that Russia could not expect to claim territory under rules of “the 15th century,” the Russian Foreign Minister cited a more recent precedent: “Whenever explorers reach some sort of point that no one else has explored, they plant a flag,” he said. “That’s how it was on the moon, by the way.”
Yes, the United States did plant a flag on the moon on July 21, 1969. Planting the American flag was Neil Armstrong’s first task after taking that “one small step” which was a “giant leap for mankind.” The sight of that flag, beamed back to earth, was rendered sweeter because many so-called experts had predicted that the Russians would get there first.
Americans beat the Russians to the North Pole, too. On April 6, 1909, Admiral Robert Peary, after an arduous expedition with dogs and sleds over hundreds of miles of ice, triumphantly wrote: “I have this day hoisted the national ensign of the United States of America at this place, which my observations indicate to be the North Polar axis of the earth, and have formally taken possession of the entire region, and adjacent, for and in the name of the President of the United States of America.” Peary’s claim was reaffirmed when our first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, reached the Pole on August 3, 1958.
Russia claims that its recent flag-planting on Wrangel Island was 90 years to the day from when Russians had planted a Soviet flag there on August 20, 1924, claiming the island for the U.S.S.R. But there again, American explorers had already claimed the island for the United States some 43 years earlier.
Wrangel had not yet been officially discovered when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. The $7.2 million purchase price agreed to by U.S. Secretary of State Seward was considered so large that Alaska was ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly” until gold and oil were discovered years later.
The brave American explorers who reached Wrangel Island on August 12, 1881 were aboard the United States Revenue Cutter, the Thomas Corwin, which regularly cruised the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. The party included the famous environmentalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, whose account of the 1881 expedition to Wrangel Island was published after he returned to the mainland.
The Corwin’s captain dispatched a landing party led by William Edward Reynolds to plant the American flag on the island, claiming it for the United States. Reynolds later became Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and retired as a Rear Admiral.
Although Russia’s claim to Wrangel Island dates only to 1924 while America’s claim dates to 1881, the U. S. government shamefully failed to assert and defend our prior claim against Russia’s more recent one. Indeed, our State Department on several occasions purported to surrender America’s claim to this important outpost.
In the 1970s, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger tried to negotiate a boundary agreement giving away Wrangel Island to the Soviet Union, but the deal fell through because the Soviets kept demanding greater access to fishing near Alaska. Again in 1990, Secretary of State James Baker tried to make a deal with Gorbachev to give the island to the collapsing Soviet Union, but that was not completed before the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, and anyway has never been ratified by the Russian Duma.
In light of Russia’s chronic misbehavior on the world stage, let’s correct a historical blunder by reviving America’s historic claim to Wrangel Island, thereby extending our jurisdiction over the riches of the Arctic.
Full disclosure: During World War II, I spent two years test-firing .30 and .50 caliber ammunition at the world’s largest ammunition factory while my future husband served in the U.S. Navy helping to protect Alaska against a possible Japanese invasion.
-------------------- 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:Wrangle Island, Russian, United States, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle ForumTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Obama doctrine, speak weakly, carry, big stick, William Warren, editorial cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
‘Homework Helper’ Videos for Parents Struggling With Common Core Requirements
by Kelsey Harris, Heritage Foundation: “When you and I were in school, we used to just memorize 9 plus 6 equals 15. Not anymore. With the Common Core, students need to understand why that’s the case.”
It took a teacher 56 seconds to explain how to add 9 plus 6.
This is the introduction to the first of six “Homework Helper” segments Buffalo, N.Y., NBC affiliate WGRZ is broadcasting this week in honor of back-to-school week. The series is meant to be a helpful tool for parents confused by their children’s Common Core homework this year.
Each morning, a local math teacher takes one simple homework question, and spends a few minutes explaining the methodology required to solve it. Each lesson takes a little over one minute for the teacher to explain.
But here’s the irony: the one-minute lessons are explaining long processes for simple problems like 9 plus 6 — math that took children a few seconds to solve before Common Core standards.
Common Core standards (like them or not) are foreign to everyone. Check out how Common Core wants children to do basic addition and subtraction in the videos below.
ARRA News articles on Common Core. - ARRA News does NOT endorse "common core" which leads to "common failure" in the USA.
---------------- Kelsey Harris (@KelsRenHar) is the visual editor at The Daily Signal and digital media associate at The Heritage Foundation. Tags:common core, 9+6, math, videos, Heritage Foundation,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
When President Obama was pitching his health care law to Congress and the American people, he claimed in a speech that his plan “will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” Predictably, the reality has been just the opposite, with costs rising for families, businesses and the government.
A new report from the Office of the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finds “The combined effects of the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansions, faster economic growth, and population aging are expected to fuel health spending growth this year and thereafter (5.6 percent in 2014 and 6.0 percent per year for 2015–23).”
Reacting to the same report, the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein pointed out yesterday, “When Obama was selling his healthcare legislation, he argued in a June 2009 speech to the American Medical Association that his brand of reform was needed because ‘the status quo was unsustainable.’ He warned, ‘If we fail to act, one out of every five dollars we earn will be spent on healthcare within a decade.’ . . . As the economy improves, Obamacare continues to expand, and the Medicare age population explodes, health spending is expected to rise by an average of 6 percent a year over the 2015 to 2023 time period. . . . Because of this, health spending as a share of gross domestic product is expected to increase from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 19.3 percent in 2023 – representing nearly one in five dollars of the economy.”
The report further states, “By 2023 federal, state, and local government financing is projected to account for 48 percent of national health expenditures, up from 44 percent in 2012, and to reach a total of $2.5 trillion.” And a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate from last month predicted that “[f]ederal spending for the major health care programs will jump by $67 billion (or about 9 percent) in 2014 . . . .”
Meanwhile, as ARRA News Service reported yesterday all summer there have been reports of insurance companies announcing premium increases for next year, some as much as 30%. As The New York Times noted yesterday in a story about the problems likely to face Obamacare enrollment this fall, “One challenge facing consumers will be wide swings in prices. Some insurers are seeking double-digit price increases . . . . Adding to the complexity is the shorter time frame for choosing a new policy: three months instead of six.” Obviously, then costs for families are increasing.
Last month, CNBC reported, “Many businesses said Obamacare is jacking up their employee health coverage costs, and they expect it to do so even more next year, two new surveys of businesses by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have found. As a result, consumers in the areas covered by the bank could be paying more next year—and some workers at the firms might need to look for a new job, the surveys found.
The median respondent to the N.Y. Fed surveys expects health coverage costs to jump by 10 percent next year, after seeing a similar percentage increase last year. Not all firms surveyed said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to blame for those cost increases to date. But a majority did, and the percentage of businesses that predicted the ACA will hike such costs next year is even higher than those that said it did this year. More than a quarter of the manufacturing and service firms surveyed said they either have or will boost prices for goods and services ‘because of the effects that the ACA is having on your business,’ according to the bank's surveys.
About 20 percent of respondents to both surveys said they were reducing their number of workers and/or raising the share of part-time workers as a result of the ACA. ‘A similar proportion said they were paying less compensation per worker because of the ACA, and a similar proportion said they were outsourcing more work,’ according to the bank's report.” So costs are increasing for businesses, too, and those cost increases are negatively affecting employees and consumers, too. Tags:Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS Report, Obamacare, Government Health care, grows, family, premium hikes, business, rising costsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
9/11 Deja Vu, Encouraging News, Don't Assume Victory
by Gray Bauer, Contributing Author: 9/11 Déjà Vu - We are learning more about the second American killed last week in Syria fighting for ISIS. Abdirahmaan Muhumed was killed in the same battle as Douglas McAuthur McCain. Muhumed is believed to be part of a group of 15 Somali Americans who have left the country in recent months to fight with ISIS.
According to a local Fox affiliate in the Twin Cities, Muhumed cleaned airplanes for a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. His position required a security clearance and gave him "unfettered access" to the planes.
While you're standing in line at the airport "getting to know" TSA agents, how many other possible jihadists are running around in "secure" airport areas because of inadequate security clearances?
By the way, there is growing concern over the fate of 11 commercial jetliners that were reportedly stolen when Islamists seized control of Tripoli International Airport last month. A Moroccan military expert told Al Jazeera that there was "credible intelligence" that Al-Qaeda linked groups were plotting to use the planes against targets in North Africa on the anniversary of 9/11.
No doubt this disturbing news is of particular concern to Israel and the anti-jihadist government in Cairo. Other security experts fear the planes could be used to destroy one of Saudi Arabia's major oil refineries.
Encouraging News - Politico's latest Battleground poll has some encouraging news for those hoping for change in Washington this November. Here are the key findings:
70% of registered voters felt the country was on the wrong track; only 21% said it was on the right track. Voters tend to punish the president's party when they feel the country is on the wrong track.
51% disapproved of Barack Obama's job performance, while 44% approved. (Gallup has his approval rating even lower -- 39%.) While the president's party generally loses seats in mid-term elections, there is a strong correlation between the president's popularity and how many seats are lost.
Nationally, voters are leaning toward Republican candidates by a four-point margin over the Democrats -- 46% to 42%.
Voters trust Republican candidates more on four key issues: the economy (+7%), taxes (+5%), foreign policy (+10%) and immigration (+7%).
Now here are the most encouraging findings: 69% of Republicans were "extremely likely" to vote this November compared to just 57% of Democrats. That's a 12-point enthusiasm gap. And in states with a competitive Senate contest, voters favored Republican candidates by a whopping 16-point margin -- 52% to 36%.
Don't Assume Victory - Late last week, Rush Limbaugh spent two days zeroing in on a problem that has been nagging at me for some time -- the lack of a compelling GOP message. Others are noticing too. Yesterday, National Review published an editorial pleading with Republican candidates to "Make Your Case."
Earlier this year, there was some excitement about the possibility of the party releasing another Contract With America. Unfortunately, the idea was scrapped. That's too bad. Voters deserve to know what is at stake; what Republicans would do if they won control of the Senate; and why it matters so much that they do win.
The political environment could hardly be better for the GOP. Most competitive Senate races this year are in states Mitt Romney won. That makes the strategy simple: Republicans should be doing everything they can to nationalize these elections, turning them into a referendum on Barack Obama and his left-wing agenda. Republicans should explain that their Democrat opponents will be Obama lackeys who will vote for and enable his radical agenda.
To do that, you have to fight on big picture issues, such as Obama's failed foreign policy and admitted lack of a strategy for dealing with ISIS.
Challenge the Democrats for Obama's extremism on values issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
Expose the way Obamacare is destroying jobs, raising costs and threatening to take away the health insurance that people have now.
Expose Obama's lawlessness, including his failures to secure our borders. They should force every Democrat Senate candidate to say where they stand on amnesty.
By the way, Obama's amnesty idea is so unpopular that there is growing speculation he may delay any executive orders until after the elections, fearing an announcement now could cost him control of the Senate.
Unfortunately, many GOP Senate candidates really aren't doing any of this. It appears that GOP strategists are once again playing prevent defense, which usually fails. Politico notes that even in spite of the GOP's generic polling advantage, Democrats have largely succeeded at "turning key contests into discrete battles fought on local terms."
There is still time to turn this around. Many Americans don't tune in to the elections until after Labor Day. But with just 62 days remaining until November 4th, conservative candidates who want to win, who want to save this country from Obama's destructive agenda, need to take the fight to their opponents!
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of theCampaign for Working Families Tags:9/11 Deja Vu, Encouraging News, Politico, polling, Don't Assume Victory, lack of compelling GOP message, 2014 elections, 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!
“Rates will be a mixed bag… the average premium increase would be 8%, according to PwC's Health Research Institute. But the individual moves ranged from proposed 23% cuts for two plans to increases of more than 30% for a few other plans.” (“With Health-Law Marketplaces Reopening, Insurers Brace For Round Two,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/3/14)
Personal Tweets by the editor: Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
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