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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, October 10, 2014
Ebola In America: Day 10 & Obama's Priorities
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Ebola In America: Day 10 - Here's some good news to report on the Ebola front: The Dallas deputy sheriff in isolation yesterday tested negative for the disease.
Now for the not-so-good news. . .
Health officials are warning that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading exponentially, "doubling about every three weeks." But don't worry -- we're doing more temperature screenings at five airports. Feel better?
Perhaps this will reassure you: President Obama has recorded a video message to residents of West Africa. In the message, Obama tells them that Ebola isn't easy to contract. He says, "You cannot get [Ebola] through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus."
Meanwhile, the CDC has issued an advisory for people traveling to countries currently battling the disease. In that advisory, the CDC warns people with symptoms of Ebola to "avoid public transportation." The advisory also adds that a person can get Ebola if he or she "spends a long amount of time within three feet (one meter) of a person who is sick with Ebola."
While the Obama Administration can't agree on whether buses are safe, many Americans know what they want. An NBC News poll finds that 58% of Americans believe incoming flights from Ebola-afflicted nations should be stopped. Only 20% of Americans supported Obama's position that the flights should continue.
Obama's Priorities - Ebola has come to America. The disease is showing up all over the world and expanding exponentially in West Africa.
There is chaos in the Middle East. There has been an explosion at one of Iran's nuclear facilities. ISIS is on the march, undeterred by Obama's limited airstrikes. Jihadists in America and Europe are rushing to join the ranks of our enemy. Our borders remain porous and insiders say another wave of illegal immigrants will hit soon.
Yet with all these dangers, the Obama White House is spending its time frantically working to shut down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Wall Street Journal quotes a senior administration official as saying that Mr. Obama is "unwavering in his commitment" to close Gitmo. In fact, the president is so "unwavering in his commitment" that he is even considering "overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S."
Once again, Obama's priorities do not reflect those of most Americans. A June Gallup poll found that just 29% of Americans support closing Gitmo.
Republicans wasted no time in responding. Speaker Boehner issued a statement blasting Obama's "legacy of lawlessness." Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said, "I stopped [Obama] once from trying to send a Gitmo terrorist to Leavenworth. . . . if he tries it again I will shut down the Senate."
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Day 10, Ebola in America, Ebola, Obama's Priorities, legacy of lawlessness, 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!
by Robert Romano: It was 1932 all over again. The economy had collapsed right before the 2008 election, and, as a result, Democrats swept to commanding majorities in the House and Senate, and claimed the White House from an unpopular incumbent Republican.
It had all the makings of a generational, political realignment.
Yet two years later, Democrats would lose the House. And now four years after that, appear poised to lose the Senate.
In poll after poll, Republicans are more trusted on the economy than Democrats. Incredible. But why was this time different?
In the House, after 1936, there were just 88 Republicans left in the House, compared to 334 Democrats.
So bad had the economic collapse and the ensuing joblessness been, it nearly annihilated the political party that had ruled almost uninterrupted since the Civil War.
It is fair to say that Republicans are still recovering from that experience in many ways. Except for 1946 when they reclaimed Congress (they promptly lost control again in 1948), it would not be until 1994 that they would again hold both chambers of the legislature, and not until briefly in 1952 and again in 2002 when they would control both Congress and the Presidency.
Yes, there were times Republicans had the Presidency, but they were almost always hampered by Democrat majorities in either or both chambers of Congress. Except for 1953 and 1954, it was a de facto 72 year exodus from a true majority.
But by 2008, it had already come to an end. After a massive financial crisis, Republicans were once again wiped out.
Yet, like a phoenix, the GOP came soaring back. What changed?
For starters, the timing of the economic downturn was not the same. Hoover and his party had to suffer through three years of collapse before 1932 came along. The 2008 collapse was just a few months old when Barack Obama assumed office.
Hoover and Republicans lost in 1932 less so because there was a collapse, than because they had no proper response to the ensuing calamity.
Second, the financial bailouts of 2008 were a bipartisan affair that was universally despised by the American people. It generated a citizen uprising that eventually became the tea party on the right, and later, the occupy movement on the left. This helped neutralize the partisan effect of the downturn to a single cycle.
Add to that the power of better communications and the Internet, and conservatives were able to provide an account that the financial crisis had been caused as much by government policies as anything else.
It also laid the groundwork for reform candidates in the Republican Party to say they had learned the lessons of the past and were ready to take power again. Very rapidly, Republicans became an opposition party again, and were able to take advantage of tea party-led bailout outrage as Democrats began rapidly expanding the welfare entitlement state upon taking power.
Finally, after nearly six years in Democrat rule, and trillions of dollars of deficit spending, quantitative easing, and bailouts, the economy is not much better. Incomes are flat, it’s still really hard to find a job, and growth is quite sluggish. Americans are still suffering under a mountain of household debt. The recovery has not been what was promised.
Under Roosevelt, it did not matter that persistent high unemployment prevailed until World War II. Republicans had universally been blamed not just for the depression, but for failing to turn things around. Then, perception was key.
Now, Democrats are getting their share of blame for not making things better.
In a September 25-30, 2014 Gallup survey, 89 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans said good paying jobs were a top priority issue. 86 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans said the economy was a still a top concern.
Six years after the financial crisis, the recovery is not as good as the Obama administration said it would be, and we’re practically due for another recession. The fiscal and monetary stimulus failed. The jobs are still not there for young Americans just getting their start. Older Americans are still having trouble retiring. In short, the economy is just not delivering for the average American.
Apparently, a reputation once broken is not easily mended.
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog. Tags:Democrats, lost, economy, Gallup, survey, Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, 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!
. . . Carter Passes 'Worst President Ever" Trophy To Obama!
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
Tags:Jimmy Carter, Barrack Obama, Legacy Building, Worst President Ever, 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 Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: An incident in suburban Maryland occurred this week that should serve as a wake-up call to all concerned mothers (and dads). An Anne Arundel County, Maryland, school bus was stolen by two drunken pranksters who said they were looking for cigarette money. Bus 874 was trashed and smashed up and left in the woods in Davidsonville. Local moms are incensed—and they should be. How can we know that these people would not have driven around picking up special needs kids? For them the bus would have seemed a safe and welcoming sight. How could anyone gain access to a school bus parking lot under cover of darkness and make off with a bright yellow vehicle without being stopped at locked gates?
We should remember that our open society and our free press give ample coverage to such capers. They seem to us a one-day story. But to terrorists who have crossed our porous borders, these stories give ideas. Let’s not forget that the 1971 airline hijacking by “D.B. Cooper” gained worldwide publicity. Soon, Yasser Arafat’s PLO guerillas and their subcontractors were hijacking commercial jets and taking their passengers hostage to advance his political agenda.
We should use this drunken joy ride on an unoccupied school bus in Maryland to prepare ourselves. How secure are our schoolyards and bus parking lots from just this kind of event? What assurance do we have that we will not see a school massacre like the one that occurred in 2004 in Beslan, Russia? There, some 350 people, most of them little children, died when Chechen Islamists seized the school and held the children and their teachers hostage for three days. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bungling, brutal rescue mission was largely responsible for the high casualty figures.
With liberals here yelling about a supposed “war on women” this election year, the real danger that concerns women (and men) is the casual view this administration takes on border security. President Obama has brazenly promised major action after the midterms to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. What kind of security checks will these people go through? Will it be the kind of politically correct screening that allowed the Tsarnaev brothers to shuttle back and forth to their Islamist homeland before returning to plant a bomb at the Boston Marathon?
Will these illegal aliens get the kind of wave-off that the son of a major Obama donor got during the investigation of the Cartagena Secret Service prostitution scandal? Even the Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration managed to keep the lid on this story until after Mr. Obama was safely re-elected. This story — from the reliably liberal Post - demonstrates that President Obama is more than willing to let security take a back seat to politics.
Terrorists seizing schools or school buses and taking hostages is just one of the threats this administration would ignore by granting blanket amnesty post-election. Its virtual invitation to children to trek across the entire length of Mexico to crowd our borders is another example of an unconscionable lack of attention to security. A quick look at a map of Mexico should prove to even the most skeptical that children from Honduras and Guatemala do not make that arduous passage alone. “Coyotes”—those who exploit and victimize children—are using them as human shields. They may be doing it to profit from the drug trade. They may be doing it to traffic these children. But there is nothing to stop “Wolves”—ISIS and Iranian terrorists--from using these well-worn pathways to penetrate our borders.
One thing we learned from the recent Gaza War waged by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is that Hamas was building a huge system of tunnels to undermine Israel’s borders. They had every intention of employing Metro-size tunnels to burrow under Israeli kindergartens. Then, they could have burst out during Rosh Hashanah for a spectacularly grisly attack on an Israeli school.
And yet this administration continues to peddle the line that it is only reacting to humanitarian concerns when it refuses to enforce our immigration laws and when it created an artificial crisis at the border with thousands of children dumped on our doorstep.
“What difference does it make at this point, senator?” That was the infamous reply of Sec. Hillary Clinton to urgent calls for transparency in the Benghazi scandal. Madame Secretary, this is the difference it makes: When American lives, American territory, and American honor are not protected by this administration, the repercussions are deadly—abroad and at home.
What is to stop ISIS from coming across our border, seizing a school, and beheading kindergarteners? Nothing this administration has done should give us confidence that they have taken the necessary steps. They can’t even secure the front door of the White House!
This is why the Security Moms may be heard from again this election cycle. Chris Matthews calls the Democrats the “mommy party” and the Republicans the “daddy party.” And Moms are the first to feel it when security laspes.
-------------- Ken Blackwell is a former ambassador to the U.N., Ohio Secretary of State and mayor of Cincinnati. He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, President Obama, porous borders, security moms, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Buaer, Contributing Author called attention to the following shift and apparent willingness by the Canadians to kiss-off the failed Keystone relationship with America that will have provided needed American jobs and greater access to oil and energy independece for North America. Bauer noted: Frustrated by Obama's continued delays, a Canadian energy company is expected to file plans shortly to build a new pipeline for the oil that was supposed to run through the Keystone XL pipeline. But instead of going south to our Gulf Coast refineries, the oil will likely go east to Europe and India.
The new Canadian pipeline will be twice as long as the Keystone pipeline, carry 30% more oil and could be in operation in three years -- less than half the time Obama has spent studying and delaying the Keystone project. And instead of American jobs being created by the construction of the Keystone pipeline, Obama and his radical environmentalist allies have only succeeded in creating new jobs in Canada.Bloomberg has the story which is very detailed by Rebecca Penty, Hugo Miller, Andrew Mayeda and Edward Greenspon. A few of their remarks my raise your blood pressure or cool your blood regardlest of which ever side of the XL Keystone pipeline issue you may be on. President Obama and his administration may well have have killed America jobs, beneficial access to Canandian oil, a wounded the relationship with our Canada. Instead, Canada now looks to building an all Canada pipeline and at the market offered by India.Keystone Be Darned . . . So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast via a pipeline called Keystone XL. Just a few years back, America desperately wanted that oil. . . .
President Barack Obama keeps siding with them, delaying and delaying approval. From the Canadian perspective, Keystone has become a tractor mired in an interminably muddy field. . . .
In this period of national gloom comes an idea -- a crazy-sounding notion, or maybe, actually, an epiphany. How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.
Instead, go east, all the way to the Atlantic.
Thus was born Energy East, an improbable pipeline that its backers say has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude.
Supertanker Access. Its end point, a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply. . . .
Saint John provides among the fastest shipping times to India of any oil port in North America. Indian companies, having already sampled this crude, are interested in more. That means oil-sands production for the first time would trade in more than dribs and drabs on the international markets. With the U.S. virtually its only buyer, the captive Canadians are subject to price discounts of as much as $43 a barrel that cost Canada $20 billion a year.
And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it. Done Deal.
“The best way to get Keystone XL built is to make it irrelevant,” said Frank McKenna, who served three terms as premier of New Brunswick and was ambassador to the U.S. before becoming a banker. . . . [Full Bloomberg Article]Tags:Keystone Pipeline, President Obama, Obama administration, Canada, alternative route through Canada, oil, natural gas, Indian market, India, lost American jobs, economy,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
President Obama launched Air strikes against ISIS (aka. ISIL) and now begins a new unilateral actions to close GITMO and to bring terrorists into the U.S. He has already traded DITMO detained terrorist for an American military deserter. If Obama achieves the below reported action, he will open the door to bringing in ISIS detainees who by their deeds evidence that they would rather die in the pursuit of beheading American infidels. The American people on both sides of the political spectrum are dissatisfied with Mr. Obama's performance as President and he just keeps piling on new aspects of his agenda which continually appears to place Americans at risk. Recently, he allowed the admission of people from Ebola ridden countries, before that it was a major invasion by illegal aliens across our Southern borders, and a multitude of other negative actions to long to list for this article. Makes one wish that there " wiggle room" under the Constitution to put this guy on an permanent all expenses paid 2 year golf vacation? Below is the latest news of the President's attempt to override the restrictions that Congress has put in place regarding GITMO.
The Wall Street Journalreports today, “The White House is drafting options that would allow President Barack Obama to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S., senior administration officials said. Such a move would be the latest and potentially most dramatic use of executive power by the president in his second term. It would likely provoke a sharp reaction from lawmakers, who have repeatedly barred the transfer of detainees to the U.S. . . .
“Administration officials say Mr. Obama strongly prefers a legislative solution over going around Congress. At the same time, a senior administration official said Mr. Obama is ‘unwavering in his commitment’ to closing the prison—which currently has 149 inmates detained in connection with the nation’s post-9/11 war on terrorism—and wants to have all potential options available on an issue he sees as part of his legacy.”
The Journal notes that this is part of an ongoing pattern of this White House attempting to circumvent Congress and the law through executive actions. “The White House has sought to make executive actions a centerpiece of its policy agenda, in areas including the minimum wage, antidiscrimination rules and, potentially, immigration. House Republicans, in response, are seeking to sue Mr. Obama, saying he overstepped his legal authority in bypassing Congress. Unilateral action ‘would ignite a political firestorm, even if it’s the best resolution for the Guantanamo problem,’ said American University law professor Stephen Vladeck. Republicans are sure to oppose it, while Democrats could be split, he said.”
As the WSJ points out, “The core obstacle standing in the White House’s way is Congress’s move in 2010 to ban the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. That legislation was passed after the administration sparked a backlash when it proposed relocating detainees to a maximum-security prison in Thomson, Ill.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been a critic from the beginning of President Obama’s ideological determination to close Guantanamo without regard to the potential harm to national security.
Two years ago, when the Obama administration purchased the Illinois prison, despite a law preventing them from doing so, GOP Senate Leader McConnell said, “Congress has repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s effort to use taxpayer funds to purchase this prison. It is clear that the funding law that Sen. Durbin voted for and President Obama signed does not suddenly authorize what Congress has repeatedly denied. . . . [T]here is overwhelming, bipartisan opposition to the President’s plan to transfer terrorists from the secure detention facility at Guantanamo bay into the United States. Terrorists don’t deserve the same legal rights as the Americans they’re targeting. We should be focused on stopping terrorists, not defending them. And Americans would rather their tax dollars be spent preventing attacks from terrorists, than spent bringing them into their cities and towns as the Obama administration has repeatedly tried to achieve.”
Moreover, Leader McConnell has long argued that the detention facility in Guantanamo is the best place to keep captured terrorists. As he said last year when the Obama administration brought another captured terrorist directly to the U.S., “More than four years have passed since President Obama articulated promises made as a junior United States Senator on the campaign trail into a series of Executive Orders which have served to weaken the ability of our nation's intelligence community to find, capture, detain and interrogate terrorists serving al Qaeda and its affiliates. . . . What has not changed since the issuance of the President's Executive Orders is that terrorists working to attack the United States are enemy combatants, and if captured should be placed in military custody where they can be interrogated. The decision of the President to import [another combatant] into the United States solely for civilian prosecution makes little sense, and reveals, yet again, a stubborn refusal to avoid holding additional terrorists at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay despite the circumstances. At Guantanamo, he could be held as a detainee and fulsomely and continuously interrogated without having to overcome the objections of his civilian lawyers.” Tags:President Obama, GITMO, detention facility, Guantanamo, attempts, override Congress, editorial cartoon, Obama, executive order, closing GITMO, 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 Newt Gingrich: Ebola is now a big enough concern that the American people deserve some straight answers. And judging from the latest polling, plenty of people will be listening to what they are.
On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center reported that more than twice as many Americans were paying attention to Ebola as were paying attention to the midterm elections (36% to 15%). In fact, Ebola placed higher than ISIS and the firing of the Secret Service director in terms of public attention.
This is hardly surprising: The public is bound to want to know more about potentially fatal epidemics that seem to come from nowhere and have a high fatality rate. Indeed, Gallup reported Tuesday that one-in-five Americans worry about becoming infected with Ebola.
Public fear is only likely to increase when the government seems confused and its story keeps changing. Just look at the early reaction to the spread of the disease.
As recently as September 16, President Barack Obama said at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that: "I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low."
The President went on to promise: "We've been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn't get on a plane for the United States." He also characterized the chance of someone with Ebola reaching the United States as an "unlikely event."
Fast forward less than a month, and someone infected with Ebola came from Liberia, via Brussels, to the United States (and has sadly since died). Clearly, the system of screening in place failed.
During his CDC visit, the President also announced that some 3,000 American service men and women would be dispatched to fight Ebola in West Africa, a region where epidemiologists have estimated there could be between 550,000 and 1.4 million Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone by the end of January 2015.
The experience of U.S. troops in Liberia a decade ago is a reminder of the additional risks American troops face when sent to places where dangerous diseases are widespread; roughly a quarter of American troops sent to Liberia in 2003 reportedly contracted malaria.
Yet the administration seems not to have properly thought through how it will treat members of the U.S. military who might contract Ebola while deployed fighting the epidemic in Africa. Asked Tuesday if the military was stockpiling ZMapp, the experimental treatment for Ebola, Gen. David Rodriguez, head of Africa Command, said the military was not because it had not yet been proven effective. But given Ebola's extremely high fatality rate, it is hard to imagine there would not be plenty of patients who would at least prefer to be given a chance to try it.
Meanwhile, the disease appears to have taken another country by surprise. Reporting on the case of a Spanish health worker who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone, NPR noted that: "A few months ago, Spanish officials were touting the country's ability to handle Ebola patients. ... But last night, the tone abruptly changed." Spanish officials said they had no idea how the aid worker had been infected since "as far as we know, she was wearing a protective suit the whole time and didn't have any accidental contact" with the patient.
So we have screening that didn't exist, a military commitment that is clearly inadequate but may put our troops at risk, and reassurances about suits that may not work. No wonder some U.S. senators are refusing to comment on the Obama administration efforts.
As The Blazereported, "Sen. Mark Pryor, a second-term Democrat from Arkansas, stumbled badly this week when he admitted he isn't sure whether the Obama administration has done enough to protect Americans from Ebola, because he hadn't been briefed lately."
If a U.S. senator doesn't have a clue, it is little wonder so many Americans are suspicious that the Obama administration is once again drifting into failure, confusion and misinformation.
All this leaves the public with many legitimate questions that need answering: What is the risk to the young men and women we are sending into West Africa? How many of them will come home infected with Ebola, malaria and a variety of other tropical diseases?
What has to be changed at the National Institutes of Health to invest in new treatments for Ebola and a vaccine for prevention? What has to be changed at the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track Ebola-related medicines so we can save lives as rapidly as possible?
Can the Centers for Disease Control develop a genuine operational capability to project effective public health assistance into West Africa and bring the epidemic under control in countries with governments too weak to be effective?
Can we develop a screening process for passengers that is reliable and then insist that every person coming out of Ebola-infected areas be screened -- and, if necessary, quarantined?
The American people deserve candid and, most importantly, accurate answers to such questions on what is a potentially deadly and dangerous epidemic.
---------------- 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 Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, President Obama, answer, Ebola, questionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Ebola In America: Day 9 And Prostitution Scandal in the White House
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Day 9: Ebola in America - Obama Administration officials announced yesterday that five major U.S. airports will begin additional temperature screenings of passengers from West Africa. These screenings won't begin until Saturday at the earliest. Critics are already concluding that this is not a serious measure.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told the New York Times, "There's a sense that this is a be-all-and-end-all and that this will put up an iron curtain, but it won't."
Schaffner and others are referring to the fact that Ebola has a long incubation period. An individual could be infected for two weeks before symptoms, such as fever, show up. Such screening would not have prevented Thomas Duncan from entering the country.
Anyone looking to avoid detection could take readily available medications like Advil to mask the fever. Beyond that, officials are also questioning the effectiveness of the body temperature scanners. Consider this excerpt from The Guardian:
"In a guidance paper produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for airport and public health officials, the agency lists what it sees as problems with the devices, including cost, lack of precision, need for frequent calibration and maintenance and training requirements."
The new screening is not reassuring airport workers either. About 200 workers who clean airplanes at LaGuardia Airport have gone on strike, complaining about the potential exposure to Ebola (among other things). I sympathize with the cleaning crews since the Obama Administration is obviously unwilling to impose travel restrictions that would do more to protect these workers than ineffective body scans.
Meanwhile, we have learned that a Dallas County Sheriff's deputy was placed in isolation yesterday afternoon at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital for exhibiting possible symptoms of Ebola. A definitive blood test takes 48 hours.
Elsewhere around the world, the number of confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa now exceeds 8,000. More than 3,800 people have died. Six more individuals are in isolation at a hospital in Madrid, Spain, while the condition of a nurse who contracted Ebola has deteriorated. A nurse in Australia who had been working in Sierra Leone is in isolation after developing a fever.
All these incidents can be contained, but public confidence in the government's ability to do so appears to be declining and the economic and political consequences are unknown.
White House Prostitution Scandal - The Washington Post has a major front page story today leveling accusations of corruption and cover-ups against the Obama White House over the Secret Service prostitution scandal in April 2012.
Nearly a dozen Secret Service agents and several members of the military were disciplined for "curfew violations" and procuring the services of prostitutes during a trip to South America. Some lost their jobs. Throughout the course of this scandal, the White House repeatedly denied that any of its staff members were involved in any way.
Now that appears to be a lie. Separate investigations at that time revealed that a member of the White House advance team (the son of a major Democrat donor) was in fact involved in the misconduct. This information was given to the White House on at least two occasions. And both times, it was swept under the rug.
Not only was the information ignored, but Obama's cronies punished the investigators.
David Nieland, an investigator for the Inspector General's office at the Department of Homeland Security, says he was pressured by superiors to "withhold and alter certain information in the report . . . because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration" and "to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election."
The investigator said that he and two other staffers were put on administrative leave when they objected to changes in their report.
Benghazi. Operation Fast and Furious. The IRS Tea Party scandal. The VA scandal. Not protecting America from Ebola. Now a White House foreign prostitution scandal and cover-up.
Every Republican candidate should make Obama's culture of corruption and government reform a major part of their daily talking points!
By the way, you'll never guess what the philandering White House staffer is doing now. He's working at the State Department's Office on Global Women's Issues. And why not? After all, it seems his time at the White House gave him "hands on experience" with global women's issues.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Day 9, Ebola in America, Ebola, White House prostitution, scandal, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Obola, Ebola, Democrats, obama, 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!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: “I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” – Revelation 6:8
The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse as named in Revelation are Conquest, War, Famine, and Death.
It is an apt metaphor for what is occurring in America today. Ebola is now raging in several African nations, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, and Nigeria.
On September 30 the first African to make it to the U.S. with Ebola was identified. By October 8 he was dead. Ebola has arrived and, despite everything that the various agencies of the Obama Administration are telling us—the Centers for Disease Control and Homeland Security—I have no confidence it will not keep arriving.
Rather than denying entry to those living in the nations where Ebola exists there is no indication that U.S. embassies have been instructed to not issue visas. The notion that airline employees or those on alert in five U.S. airports could spot signs of an Ebola infection is so unlikely that merely scanning those suspected of having a fever provides little protection.
Britain and France have ended flights to or from the affected nations. The U.S. has not. This provides zero protection to flight crews, nor those at the arrival airports who process passengers. No mention is made of our porous southern border that is trespassed daily.
When one considers the evidence of incompetence in the nation’s federal agencies, there is scant reason to believe that either the CDC or HS are up to the task of protecting Americans, no matter how sincere their efforts. These are massive bureaucracies and they have been told not to spread any panic and their spokespersons at press conferences have held closely to this directive. No one wants panic, but neither do we want to be lulled into believing that Ebola cannot penetrate their efforts.
The only protection is to ensure that no one with even the potential of having Ebola is permitted access to the nation. Simply asking potential Ebola victims a few questions in foreign airports is tantamount to no protection.
My guess is that Ebola is already here among us. The notion that you can only be infected by close contact with a victim’s bodily fluids just doesn’t reassure me. An Ebola victim can likely spread it with nothing more than a sneeze.
Then we come to the President’s decision to send what is now in excess of 4,000 U.S. troops to the affected area troubles me the most. The odds that none of them will fall victim to Ebola seems close to zero. Since troops live and work in close proximity the potential spread of the disease among them is high.
I find it disturbing that the President did not hesitate to send U.S. troops to the Ebola zone in Africa, but cannot be convinced to send troops to find and kill the fanatical Muslims of the Islamic State before they gain more territory and pose a greater threat to our national security.
This is a President who has lied to Americans so many times that nothing he has to say at this point, particularly regarding the threat of Ebola, can be or should be trusted.
I find it disgusting that the President is still devoting more time to political fund raising than attending to his greatest responsibility, the protection of Americans by every means possible.
The Fourth Horseman has arrived.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Alan Caruba, warning signs, Fourth Horseman, Apocalypse, death, Ebola, Africa, CDC, United States, open borders, flights from Africa, 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 Kat O’Connor, TomKat Ammunition, Gaithersburg, MD: My business is a victim of Operation Choke Point—a government program run by the U.S. Department of Justice — which shuts down businesses it doesn’t like by cutting off their access to banks and payment processors. In my case, that’s TomKat Ammunition, which sells ammunition in Maryland.
As with any new business, my business partner and I started by applying for bank accounts and the appropriate federal state, and local permits. In December 2013, we opened a business checking account with PNC Bank, but when we applied for the bank’s online gateway services, we were denied and told they could not extend us services due to our “industry.”
PNC Bank’s gateway service is supposed to “enable any business to process credit card transactions via a secure online gateway.” It said nothing on their website about offering their services to only select industries.
Then, in August, as I was completing my company’s website, I tried to use PayPal to integrate online credit card purchases into my website’s shopping cart. When I called PayPal to see why I was not able to activate the Business Pro section of the process, I was told that they “could not offer that service due to [my] line of work” and that I should contact my website’s domain provider to see if they could help find another type of service.
After applying for other, more expensive payment processors, we were unable to secure an online processor to offer online transactions to our customers. This has led to lost revenue and slower growth for the company and if continued, could put us out of business.
In September, I received news another credit card payment method we use— Square Reader—will no longer allow businesses to process gun or ammunition purchases. This is a preferred method of payment, specifically at gun shows, and is another blow to our success as a small business.
We are not a fraudulent business, but clearly the Department of Justice is not going after only fraudulent businesses with Operation Choke Point, as they purport.
It is easy to confirm that we are a legitimate and law-abiding business by running our Federal Firearms License number through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives database. We are licensed by ATF with a Type 06 Federal Firearms License and hold two Maryland state licenses for manufacturing and dealing in explosives, as well as a local business license. It took us a year to open our doors and go through the bureaucratic process to get our licenses.
The decisions by PNC Bank, Square Reader and Paypal Business Pro to drop or deny legitimate businesses like ours is a serious blow to our ability to operate—with very bad timing right before the holidays. Companies should not be discriminated against simply because they sell guns or ammunition.
This has caused so many headaches, wasted time and lost money. We comply with state and federal requirements, and all we want to do is be able to operate our business and sell our products to our customers without the government blocking us under false pretenses.
The Rise And Fall And Rise And Fall Of King Dollar, Part 2
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: As stated in the preceding column, here, eminent labor economist Jared Bernstein recently called, in the New York Times, for the dethroning of “King Dollar,” claiming that the reserve currency status of the dollar has cost the United States as many as “six million jobs in 2008, and these would tend to be the sort of high-wage manufacturing jobs.”
Six million is about as many jobs as presidents Bush and Obama together, over 13+ years, created. So this is a big claim. Whether or not one accepts the magnitude of the jobs deficit proclaimed by Dr. Bernstein, reserve currency status comes with heavy costs.
As former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Bob McTeer wrote in a Forbes.com column entitled Reserve Currency Status — A Mixed Blessing:The advantages of reserve currency status for the dollar are well known. The world’s willingness to accumulate dollar reserves in the post World War II period first removed and later reduced the requirement of maintaining balance of payments equilibrium, or, more specifically, current account balance. By removing or weakening this restraint, U.S. policymakers had more freedom than policymakers in other countries to pursue strictly domestic objectives. We ran current account deficits year after year, balanced, or paid for, by capital inflows from our trading partners. The good side of that was that we could import real goods and services for domestic consumption or absorption and pay for them with paper, or the electronic equivalent. In other words, our contemporary standard of living was enhanced by others’ willingness to hold our currency without “cashing it in” for goods and services, or, before 1971, gold.
The bad side of our reserve currency status, although seldom recognized, was that the very leeway that enhanced our current standard of living built up debt (and/or reduced foreign assets) to dangerous levels. I remember well when, in 1985, the United States ceased being a net creditor nation to the rest of the world and, instead, became a net debtor nation. Our net indebtedness has only grown over the years, and hangs over us like the legendary sword of Damocles.
One hundred dollar bill collection (Wikipedia)
Sword of Damocles? Lehrman, in his Money, Gold, and History states:[W]hen one country’s currency — the dollar reserve currency of today — is used to settle international payments, the international settlement and adjustment mechanism is jammed — for that country — and for the world. This is no abstract notion. …
… The reality behind the “twin deficits” is simply this: the greater and more permanent the Federal Reserve and foreign reserve facilities for financing the U.S. budget and trade deficits, the greater will be the twin deficits and the growth of the Federal government. All congressional, administrative and statutory attempts to end the U.S. deficit have proved futile, and will prove futile, until the crucial underlying flaw — namely the absence of an efficient international settlements and adjustment mechanism — is remedied by international monetary reform inaugurating a new international gold standard and the prohibition of official reserve currencies.
By pinning down the future price level by gold convertibility, the immediate effect of international monetary reform will be to end currency speculation in floating currencies, and terminate the immense costs of inflation hedging. Gold convertibility eliminates the very costly exchange of currencies at the profit-seeking banks. Thus, new savings will be channeled out of financial arbitrage and speculation, into long-term financial markets.
Increased long-term investment and improvements in world productivity will surely follow, as investment capital moves out of unproductive hedges and speculation — made necessary by floating exchange rates — seeking new and productive investments, leading to more quality jobs.The sobering views expressed by McTeer and by Lehrman more than neutralize Heritage Foundation’s Bryan Riley and William Wilson’s valiant championship of the dollar’s reserve currency status, in opposition to Bernstein. Heritage’s championship is gallant but … unpersuasive.
John Mueller, who served as gold standard advocate Jack Kemp’s chief economist and now as the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Lehrman Institute Fellow in Economics and Director, Economics and Ethics Program, crisply observes in an interview for this column:As Kenneth Austin lucidly reminded us, it is a necessity of double-entry bookkeeping that any increase in foreign official dollar reserves equals the increase in combined US current and private capital account deficits. Denying the connection requires magical thinking. The entire decline in the international investment position since 1976 is due to Congress’s borrowing from foreign central banks–that is, the dollar’s official reserve currency role–while the books of private US residents with the rest of the world have remained close to balance.There are differing schools of thought among the gold standard’s most prominent adherents as to the significance of merchandise deficit account. Their theoretical differences about current accounts are likely to prove, operationally, immaterial.
Both the Forbes and Lehrman schools share mortal opposition to mercantilism. Both passionately oppose the cheapening of the dollar. Both see the gold standard as a critical mechanism to restoring the brisk growth of, as Lehrman termed it, “quality jobs” … and the restoration of median family income growth that began, profoundly, to stagnate with Nixon’s destruction of Bretton Woods.
In this columnist’s own earnest, if much less erudite, view the most significant element of the reserve currency curse derives from how it subtracts capital from the real, e.g. goods and services, economy. Corporate earnings are taken, in return for local currency, into the coffers of the relevant international central bank. That central bank then promptly loans the proceeds directly to the federal government of the United States by purchase of treasury instruments.
The way the world of central banking works thus subverts a process extolled by Adam Smith (in the context of his analysis of the benefits of fractional reserve money) in Wealth of Nations. Smith:When, therefore, by the substitution of paper, the gold and silver necessary for circulation is reduced to, perhaps, a fifth part of the former quantity, if the value of only the greater part of the other four-fifths be added to the funds which are destined for the maintenance of industry, it must make a very considerable addition to the quantity of that industry, and, consequently, to the value of the annual produce of land and labour.The mechanics of the reserve currency system preempt these funds’ ready availability for “the maintenance of industry.” The mechanics of the dollar as a reserve asset, therefore, finance bigger government while insidiously preempting productivity, jobs, and equitable prosperity.
This columnist agrees wholeheartedly with Bernstein on what seem his three most important points. The reserve currency status of the dollar causes American workers, and the world, big problems. The exorbitant privilege deserves and demands far more attention than it receives. Moving the dollar away from being the world’s reserve currency would be a great deal easier than many now assume.
Bernstein, in his blog, identifies four mechanisms as “out there” (without explicitly endorsing, or critiquing, them): by legislation (which this columnist views as playing with tariff fire); taxation (thereby “raising the price of currency management,” which this columnist finds hardly an obvious source of job creation); reciprocity (demanding the right to buy foreign treasuries); and an international reserve currency.
Mueller says of Bernstein’s legislative and tax proposals, “you simply can’t solve a monetary problem with a fiscal solution.”
As for reciprocity, the United States Treasury, even under a Joe Biden or even a Bernie Sanders presidency, is never going to turn away ready lenders. This homely truth seems about as self-evident as it gets. Beyond that, even if China were to undertake market-oriented reforms — and, according to the Wall Street Journal, the political winds seem to be blowing the other way just now — the RMB accounts for only 1.64% of global payments. It is not even close to being a power player. Beyond the beyond … it is well beyond dubious to expect international central banks enthusiastically to bulk up on the debt instruments of the People’s Republic of China for the indefinite future.
An “international reserve currency,” however, is a sound proposition if well designed. Proposing SDRs for that role does not hold up. As then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, during a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations on March 9, 2011, stated, “There is no risk of the SDR playing that [a reserve currency] role. The SDR is not a currency. It’s a unit of account. And it can’t provide the role that many people aspire to it. There is no risk of that happening.” Mueller, elucidating why this is so, states:It’s not possible to solve the problems caused by tying other nations’ domestic currencies to one nation’s inconvertible domestic currency (the dollar), by tying them all to a basket of inconvertible domestic fiat currencies–that is, to a subset of themselves. The result has no anchor. And the world economy always gravitates to a single “final asset,” because using several multiplies transactions costs.There appear to be but two technically plausible ways of getting there. One is Nobel economics laureate Robert Mundell’s proposal of a world currency. The other, of course, represents a sort of “reversion to the mean.” Restore a 21st century international gold standard.
While the gold standard is very unfashionable it by no means is absurd. Then-World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick, in 2010, was dead on when he observed in an FT column that “Although textbooks may view gold as the old money, markets are using gold as an alternative monetary asset today.” About a year later, the Bank of England issued a startling but meticulous white paper demonstrating that the “Federal Reserve Note standard” materially has underperformed, in every area considered, both the Bretton Woods gold-exchange standard and the classical gold standard itself.
As previously referenced in this column Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, in a 2012 speech, forthrightly stated:Concrete objects have served as money for most of human history; we may therefore speak of commodity money. A great deal of trust was placed in particular in precious and rare metals – gold first and foremost – due to their assumed intrinsic value. In its function as a medium of exchange, medium of payment and store of value, gold is thus, in a sense, a timeless classic.The gold standard, notwithstanding Churchill’s not-to-be-repeated 1925 blunder, is in no way a prescription for austerity. The classical gold standard, properly constructed, is a recipe for workers, and median income families, to flourish economically.
We have not flourished, consistently, since its last remnants were destroyed by President Nixon on August 15, 1971. So… what to do?
The first thing to do is to address the important issue, squarely. By shrewdly posing the right question Jared Bernstein has raised the odds, perhaps significantly, that we finally will find our way to the right answer. Getting out of the woods may be no more complicated than following JFK/LBJ economic advisor Walter Heller’s most famous dictum: “Put aside principle and do what’s right.”
Adroitly resolving the reserve currency issue as part of implementing an international reserve currency is far more likely to be fruitful in generating quality jobs, by the millions, than are earnest jeremiads, such as that by Dr. Bernstein himself, that “American political elites have completely failed to understand what the Fed should be doing right now.” Relying on central bankers consistently to get discretionary management right represents a triumph of hope over experience. Or as novelist Rita Mae Brown memorably observed, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”
Let us take Keynes, in The Economic Consequences of the Peace, chapter VI, to heart:Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. … Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.As Steve Forbes pithily puts it, “You’ve got to get the money right.” Time to lift the reserve currency curse. Time to fix the dollar.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. His article first appeared in Forbes. Tags:King Dollar, Rise and Fall, Ralph Benko, Part 2To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obamacare Consequences: Health Insurance Premiums Going Up In Louisiana And Iowa
What week of stories about Obamacare’s negative consequences would be complete without news of one of Democrats’ core promises about it being proven wrong yet again?
President Obama and Washington Democrats said many times that “This law will lower premiums,” as the president did in 2011. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, declared in December 2009, “Bringing down costs of health insurance and making it more affordable is job one for this health care reform.”
Today, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, “Some Louisiana health insurers are imposing double-digit increases in 2015 for polices sold under the Affordable Care Act's health exchange, according to filings this week with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state's largest provider, filed papers that it is moving forward with its original plan to increases rates between 18.3 percent and 19.7 percent for policyholders in its Blue Saver, Blue Max and its Multi-State individual health plans. The plans cover 52,638 people. . . . Humana Health Benefits Plan rates under the Affordable Care Act will increase by 9.9 percent . . . . Vantage Health Plan Inc. said it was moving forward with its plan for a 15.89 percent increase.”
The Times-Picayune notes, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana said when it first proposed the higher rates in Louisiana that the biggest factor was the high utilization of health services used by subscribers. ‘Right now, at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, we are seeing that more people are accessing more health care services than we expected and our claims are higher than they have been in previous years. We expect this trend will continue,’ the insurer said in documents provided reporters.”
Up the Mississippi River in Iowa, The Des Moines Register reports, “Iowa's insurance commissioner has approved three rate adjustments that will raise health insurance premiums for thousands of Iowans. Commissioner Nick Gerhart said today that he has approved premium increases from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CoOportunity Health and Coventry Health.
“Des Moines-based Wellmark had sought a rate increase of between 11.9 percent and 14.5 percent for about 19,000 of its customers. That increase is for individual policyholders who have Affordable Care Act-compliant plans. The dominant health insurer in Iowa, Wellmark is raising rates on about 250,000 policies. . . .
“CoOportunity had initially requested a rate increase of 14.3 percent. That increase was later revised to 19 percent on average, the commissioner said. Coventry requested an 8.7 percent rate increase on average. CoOportunity and Coventry are the two main companies offering health insurance plans on the federal health care exchange. Wellmark said earlier this year that it will forgo joining the exchange for another year. The three rate increases will go into effect Jan. 1.”
“All three carriers have said they need to raise rates to meet rising health care costs,” The Register points out. Tags:Obamacare, consequences, Health Insurance, premiums, going up, Louisiana, IowaTo 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 Bauer, Contributing Author: Ebola In America: Day 8 - Thomas Duncan, the Liberian national being treated for Ebola in Dallas, died this morning just before 8:00 a.m.
The Associated Press writes that "Dallas is a city on edge as it approaches the first Ebola incubation deadline this week." Nearly 50 people who came into contact with Mr. Duncan are being closely monitored. Texas Health Commissioner Dr. David Lakey, said, "We're at a very sensitive period when a contact could develop symptoms. We're monitoring with extreme vigilance." A second possible case of Ebola is currently being investigated.
While officials at the Centers for Disease Control continue to put on a happy face, the Los Angeles Times interviewed several Ebola experts who said that "such assurances are premature." Consider these excerpts:"Dr. C.J. Peters, who battled a 1989 outbreak of the virus among research monkeys housed in Virginia and who later led the CDC's most far-reaching study of Ebola's transmissibility in humans, said he would not rule out the possibility that it spreads through the air in tight quarters. 'We just don't have the data to exclude it,' said Peters."
"Dr. Philip K. Russell, a virologist who oversaw Ebola research while heading the U.S. Army's Medical Research and Development Command . . . also said much was still to be learned. 'Being dogmatic is, I think, ill-advised, because there are too many unknowns here.' . . .
"'I see the reasons to dampen down public fears,' Russell said. 'But scientifically, we're in the middle of the first experiment of multiple, serial passages of Ebola virus in man. . . . God knows what this virus is going to look like. I don't.'"
"Moreover, said some public health specialists, there is no proof that a person infected -- but who lacks symptoms -- could not spread the virus to others. 'It's really unclear,' said Michael Osterholm, a public health scientist at the University of Minnesota who recently served on the U.S. government's National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. 'None of us know.'"
"Finally, some also question the official assertion that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air. In late 1989, virus researcher Charles L. Bailey supervised the government's response to an outbreak of Ebola among several dozen rhesus monkeys housed for research in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington. . . .
"'Those monkeys were dying in a pattern that was certainly suggestive of coughing and sneezing -- some sort of aerosol movement,' Bailey said. 'They were dying and spreading it so quickly from cage to cage. We finally came to the conclusion that the best action was to euthanize them all.'" "Katie Bar The Door" - Speaking at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, offered a stark warning about the possibility that Ebola might spread to Latin America. General Kelly said:"By the end of the year, there's supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the CDC. That's horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa. If it breaks out, it's literally, 'Katie bar the door,' and there will be mass migration into the United States. They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment."By the way, General Kelly added that a group of men from Liberia were recently detained in Costa Rica. "They met up with the network in Trinidad and now they were on their way to the United States -- illegally, of course." Kelly said, "They could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola."
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Ebola, in America, day 8, Thomas Duncan, Liberian, died, Dallas Texas, CDC, West Africa, threat, General John F. Kelly, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, AF Branco, 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!
by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Internet-based companies are always looking for a new revenue stream on the web. Unfortunately, so are federal and state governments.
One way the government could profit from internet traffic would be to charge a tax for internet access. A moratorium currently prevents taxation of internet access, but that will expire on December 11 if it isn't extended.
Another way would be to collect more sales taxes on internet sales. Currently only businesses who have a physical presence in a state are required to charge sales taxes for orders from customers in that state.
A bill called the "Marketplace Fairness Act" passed the Senate last spring. It would enable a state to collect sales taxes on all internet purchases shipped to its citizens and companies from other states. Fortunately, the House chose to ignore the Senate bill, but the Senate hasn't given up yet.
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) wrote a bill that would implement the Internet Sales Tax, and in exchange would outlaw internet access taxes for ten years. (See why I was so excited that Liz Cheney was going to run against Enzi?) The Senate hopes to pass the bill during the upcoming "lame duck" session. If the bill doesn't pass, internet users well might find new tax charges on their monthly web access and smart phone invoices. It's the perfect crime - if you don't let us raise this tax, we will raise the other tax!
A true free market is eminently fair, where anyone can compete on an even playing field. Some say it is unfair that brick-and-mortar businesses have to collect sales tax from their customers while internet sellers can ship the same products to the same customers tax-free. It would clearly be unfair to require one business in a state to charge sales tax and exempt another business in the same state. But is it fair to impose one state's tax laws on people and businesses in a different state?
I owned and operated a small retail business in Montana for ten years when the web was really taking off, and I heard a lot of whining by store owners about competition from internet dealers. "Not fair," they howled. "We can't compete with the internet companies. They don't have to provide advice or service to the customers so their prices are lower. They can run a business out of a basement in their pajamas." Sales tax didn't enter into the conversation in my state, because Montana has no sales tax, but I'm sure it was a whining point in other states.
I heard the complaints, but it all seemed perfectly fair to me. The internet dealer offers customers an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar store. The web seller has lower prices, broader selection, and unlimited shopping hours. But the store down the street offers immediate availability, personal service and advice, and you get to see and touch the merchandise before you buy it. Plus your local store is a citizen of the community who supports charities and schools and pays local taxes.
Some weaker small businesses just folded up. The smarter ones built their own web presences, found new revenue opportunities online, and trumpeted the advantages their stores offered over web competitors. It's a tough game, but fair.
This issue is being played as if it were about fairness and leveling the playing field. Horse hockey. It's about raising taxes.
Instead of laying awake nights trying to figure out how to raise more taxes, why don't you guys inside the beltway think about reducing the size of government and cutting back on all the crazy spending?
Note to self: call my representatives and senators, and strongly suggest that they support permanently extending the internet access tax moratorium and KILLING the internet sales tax.
--------------- Tom Balek – Rockin'; On the Right Side is a fellow conservative activist, blogger and musician. Tom and the ARRA News Service Editor left part of their hearts in Montana. Tom resides in South Carolina and between playing in weekend bands, he seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come." I feel so good come payday
I think of all the things I'm gonna buy when I pick up my pay
Don't you know, but then they hand me
That little brown envelope
I peep inside, Lord I lose all hope
'Cause from those total wages earned
Down to that net amount that's due
I feel the painful sense of loss between the two Johnny Cash - After Taxes Tags:Internet access tax, internet sales tax, Johnny Cash, after taxes, lame duck session, marketplace fairness act, Mke Enzi, Tom BalekTo 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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#Conservative #Constitution #NRA #GunRights #military 22 yr #veteran #professor #Christian #ProLife #TCOT #SGP #CCOT #schoolchoice #fairtax Married-50+yrs #MAGA
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