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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 24, 2014
Obama's Energy Policies ...
. . . Are Plugging Up America's Economic Progress.
Tags:editororial cartoon, AF Branco, American Energy Security, pluggin up progress, President Obama, Democrats, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman, FedUp PAC : I want to share with you a vote changing 30-second video, entitled "Who Will Keep us Safe?" Recently I launched an effort to ... nationalize the election on the issues of opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens, defeating the national security threat from radical Muslims and ending the culture of lies, lawlessness and corruption with which Barack Obama has poisoned our government.
This vote changing video addresses all of those issues and lays the blame for the disastrous state of our country squarely where it belongs - on the shoulders of Barack Obama, and the Democrats who support him.
Nationalizing the election means that the voters are focused on or thinking about one, two or maybe three main issues that override most all other issues. Another way to think about what it means to nationalize the election is that the voters have in their head a "tune they can whistle."
That's why FedUp PAC is distributing "Who Will Keep Us Safe?"
The great 18th Century conservative statesman, Edmund Burke wrote, "No one made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." . . . BELIEVE WE SHOULD ALL WORK AND VOTE AS IF OUR LIVES DEPENDED ON IT - AND IT DOES.
Tags:Fed.org. video, Who Will Keep Us Safe, video, national issuesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Multiple news outlets on all ranges of the political spectrum have, at this writing, been stymied in their attempts to get a comment from the Senator about this decision to pick and choose which reporters can attend her political functions.
One thing Shaheen cannot say is that she supports the First Amendment. In fact, Shaheen actually voted just last month on a Constitutional Amendment that would replace the current First Amendment speech protections with a longer version that allows Congress to stifle political speech.
But the increasingly desperate New Hampshire Senator was not alone in her disdain for the First Amendment as she was joined by 46 other Senate Democrats.
In July, Republican Senator Mike Lee reminded Shaheen and the rest of his and her colleagues about the importance of the right to free speech when he said, “Freedom of speech is not simply one among many liberties protected in the Bill of Rights—it is absolutely essential to the health of our Republic. This is especially true of political speech, even when it contradicts the will of the prevailing order.”
However, no one should be surprised that Senator Shaheen denied access to a reporter with an outlet that has not endorsed her candidacy to an “open to the media” event, when the Obama Administration has taken even more unprecedented aim at reporters.
James C. Goodale, who represented The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, wrote in a Times column titled, “Only Nixon Harmed a Free Press More” that the Obama Administration’s case against Fox News reporter James Rosen for talking to a government leaker, “is a further example of how President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.”
In a separate case, New York Times reporter James Risen faces jail time as Obama’s Justice Department seeks to compel him to reveal his sources. Risen, whose case has become a mini-cause celebre in the White House press corps, has called Obama, “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”
Beyond the two cases cited above, this Administration has staged an early morning raid on the home of a Washington Times reporter confiscating her records including the names of a number of whistleblowers at the Transportation Security Administration. The Justice Department has covertly obtained the phone records for an entire Associated Press office in order to figure out the names of whistleblowers. And Obama’s FCC attempted to put a media content monitor into broadcast news rooms in a clear threat to the federally controlled broadcast licenses to those who dared not tow the Administration line.
Fortunately, this plan was jettisoned under a hail of criticism.
This doesn’t even touch on Obama’s IRS’ abuse of power in their attempt to deny speech to conservative groups, and targeting donors for audits to intimidate them and others from political involvement.
So, is it any wonder that Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire would feel quite comfortable trying to muzzle a media member who she deemed antagonistic to her increasingly dire chances for re-election?
After all, The Hill reports that Obama said just days ago that, “lawmakers avoiding him on the campaign trail were ‘strong allies and supporters’ who have ‘supported my agenda in Congress’.”
With the Boyle event, New Hampshire’s Shaheen showed that not only has she been one of Obama’s most staunch supporters in the Senate, she clearly also approves of his running roughshod over the inconvenient freedom of the press.
---------------- Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. This article was also shared on NetRightDaily. Tags:Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire, Barack Obama, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: How is Ebola spread? Two ways; one, by letting anyone exposed to it in West Africa into America when they fly here and, two, by assuming that medical professionals and others who have been exposed to it would quarantine themselves from contact with others once they are here.
The latest case is Dr. Craig Spencer, an American to whom the travel ban would not apply, identified as potentially having Ebola after treating victims in Africa and who totally ignored the potential of spreading it to others as he made his way around New York on subways, went bowling, and likely had dinner at a restaurant.
Earlier a NBC news crew that had been exposed to Ebola was issued a mandatory quarantine by the New Jersey Health Department, but its chief medical editor and correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, while symptom-free, decided to break the quarantine. One of the crew, Ashoko Mokpo, did fall ill and is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center.
What does it tell you when two medical professional behave in this manner? It tells you that even those who know they can infect others were indifferent to the risk. It tells you that airport staff armed with thermometers are no defense against anyone coming in from the Ebola hot zone in Africa.
It tells you that the failure to impose a ban on all flights from West Africa should have been imposed weeks ago.
It tells you that sending three thousand active duty soldiers and another thousand reservists into the Ebola hot zone is a senseless act that exposes them to the disease and countless others on their return unless they are all held in quarantine until no signs of the disease are detected. The risk still remains even after the twenty-one days that the Center for Disease Control cites as the time in which victims would show signs of the disease.
The two Dallas nurses who acquired the disease have been treated and one has been released. As of October 23, there were eighteen cases of Ebola in Europe and the U.S. Unlike Africa, Western nations have responded quite well to the threat.
In New York, the Mayor, Bill de Blasio, was joined by the Governor Andrew Cuomo to hold a
press conference that seemed to this observer intended to exonerate them of any charge they were not taking Dr. Spencer’s foolishness lightly and to avoid public panic among a public that is clearly not panicking.
Given the continued news coverage of Ebola, it is amazing that Americans have absorbed the fundamental message that the disease has not affected those outside the healthcare community with the exception of the NBC crew and that steps have been put in place to identify and isolate those who had it. Moreover, while a deadly virus in Africa, it has been treated and cured here in America.
So far, so good.
The real challenge will be the flu season when lots of people will show up at hospitals with flu symptoms that resemble Ebola symptoms. If you haven’t been vaccinated, get one! How hospitals deal with this is going to be a real test of their judgment and skills.
I am hopeful we may be spared more press conferences that don’t tell us anything more than what we already know. I surely don’t want to hear President Obama tell me that everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about.
----------------- 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:Ebola, Flu, 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!
by Kerby Anderson: America's stated military policy has always been to minimize civilian casualties. Last year, the Obama administration even went further by establishing a policy that required "near certainty" that there would be no civilian casualties before an air strike takes place.
Over the last few months, the U.S. has called upon Israel to follow the same policy. That is why you heard comments from the administration that the Israeli army was "not doing enough." As someone traveling to Israel, I appreciate the fact that Israel did so much in the last few months to eliminate some of the threats from Hamas.
Alan Dershowitz was on my radio program recently to talk about his new book on the Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel's Just War Against Hamas. He also wrote about some of this in his op-ed on "The Education of a Wartime President." Both were a sobering reminder of the how Hamas fires rockers from densely populated areas and how they built these terror tunnels so they could attack Israeli citizens at will.
Alan Dershowitz explained that the Obama administration has begun to exempt itself from its "near certainty" standard in its fight against ISIS. While it is commendable that the administration wanted to try to meet the "highest standard" during an attack, the reality in the field suggests that may not be possible.
When Israel is fighting Hamas, they are fully aware that terrorists are using civilians as human shields. This puts the Israeli army in a difficult position. Either they attack a legitimate target or they avoid taking out a terrorist threat. The U.S. military sometimes faces a similar dilemma when fighting ISIS fighters embedded in villages.
Perhaps the best way to understand how this dilemma plays out is to remember the phrase by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said: "We use missiles to protect our people, they use people to protect their missiles." We should do all we can to avoid civilian casualties, but we also need to understand the circumstances on the ground.
----------- Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network. Tags:Fighting a War, U.S. Israel, Kerby Anderson, Point of ViewTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Oregon Obamacare Disaster: 18 Security Breaches, $1.12 Million In Errors, State Scrapping Rest Of Its Exchange
ARRA News: Few states led by Democrats embraced Obamacare as enthusiastically as Oregon, but to this day the Oregon exchange is perhaps the biggest disaster of all the states that attempted to set up exchanges. Just this week, we learned that Oregon is finally severing its exchange’s ties with Oracle after paying the company $240 million for a broken website, that the exchange suffered its 18th security breach, and that over 12,000 people could owe a combined $1.12 million to the IRS after the exchange incorrectly calculated subsidies.
The AP wrote yesterday, “Oregon is cutting its last ties with a botched health insurance exchange portal built by Oracle as the state and the high-tech company pursue lawsuits against each other. In April, Oregon announced it was giving up on the troubled state exchange and would use the federal site HealthCare.gov for signing people up for private insurance policies.
“Oregon had planned to salvage some of the Oracle-built portal to enroll people in Medicaid, but officials have now decided to scrap that project as well and will use another state's Medicaid enrollment system instead. . . . [An exchange spokeswoman] said Oregon doesn't know yet which state's Medicaid technology it will use -- officials are working on criteria to consider when evaluating other systems. . . .
“Oregon says the decision to sever ties with Oracle, made last Monday, came after Oracle refused to cooperate in moving servers from their facilities to the state data center in a timely manner. But Oracle says the disagreement was over eliminating the pre-production environment from the servers -- the backup system where patches, updates, and modifications can be tested before they're applied to the actual portal. Eliminating that backup system, Oracle said in a statement, would lead to ‘violating widely accepted best practice and risking the citizens' data.’
“In dueling lawsuits, Oregon and Oracle blame each other for the state website's failure.”
There’s certainly plenty of failure to go around.
Earlier this week, the AP reported, “A Klamath Falls woman who applied for health coverage through Cover Oregon says the insurance exchange mailed her the personal information of other applicants.
“Ann Migliaccio told The Associated Press that she received documents last week containing the names and birth dates of two applicants from Hillsboro. She says the documents did not include Social Security numbers.
“This is the 18th low-level security breach in the past six months, Cover Oregon officials said. They say the information inadvertently shared in these breaches included addresses, names, dates of birth and internal Cover Oregon IDs, but no Social Security numbers. In addition, Cover Oregon reported 12 other high-level security breaches to the state Department of Consumer and Business Services — seven in 2013 and five in 2014. Social Security numbers were involved in those incidents. . . .
“‘It was pretty shocking,’ Migliaccio said. ‘But with Cover Oregon nothing is shocking anymore. They should be very thankful I'm an honest person and I will not try to use this information.’”
Meanwhile,The Oregonian reported, “More than 12,000 people who purchased policies through Cover Oregon could owe a combined $1.12 million at tax time because of errors in subsidized premiums issued by the health insurance exchange.
“The vast majority of people affected are expected to owe no more than $10 per month that their policy was in effect. That figure is not final, however, because a $10,000 consultant's study intended to settle the question did not succeed. The exchange is planning to commission a second, more in-depth study.
“The problem that Cover Oregon was using an incorrect formula to award tax credits to qualified consumers, potentially affecting more than 10,000 people, was first reported by The Oregonian on Sept. 5. . . .
“A document released under Oregon Public Records Law shows that an internal staff estimate completed on or about Sept 23 found errors in 12,772 policies, or 38 percent of those who received tax credits. The total amount paid out incorrectly by the exchange was $1.12 million, according to the estimate. . . .
“People who've received too much in tax credits could be hit by the IRS at tax time under Affordable Care Act rules.”
While Oregonians face the devastating affects of their failed Obamacare exchange, the Feds will be there to assist them. The Democrats who created Obamacare as well as the Obama administration ultimately want everyone to rely on one centralized Federal exchange system and to use HealthCare.gov.
Tags:Oregon, Obamacare, exchange, disaster, 18th Security breach, errors, scrapping Oregon exchangeTo 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: Canadian Terrorist Islamic Convert - We know more today about the man who shot and killed a soldier standing guard at Canada's National War Memorial. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, had a long criminal history. He had spent time in prison for drugs and robbery and had recently converted to Islam.
Like Martin Couture-Rouleau, who used his car as a weapon to rundown two Canadian soldiers Monday, Zehaf-Bibeau had planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS, but his passport had been revoked. Ironically, his mother is a top Canadian immigration official.
During yesterday's chaos in Ottawa, there was one man who understood the situation, stayed calm and did what had to be done. That man was Kevin Vickers, the 58 year-old Sergeant-At-Arms of the Canadian Parliament, a ceremonial position that doesn't involve arms at all. But it was Vickers, a 30-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who brought down Zehaf-Bibeau before he was able to kill again.
When the Canadian Parliament convened this morning, the hallways were lined with grateful Canadians cheering Vickers as he marched ahead. When he entered the House of Commons, the members of Parliament greeted him with thunderous applause and a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes. You can watch it here.
That is what manhood has meant for centuries. When fate puts you in such a position, you must stand and fight back. As has been the case throughout history, it took a good guy with a gun to stop the bad guy with a gun. And so it will be with radical Islam. Thank God we still have men like Kevin Vickers.
Jihad In Jerusalem - As we mentioned yesterday, the assault at the Canadian Parliament was the second jihadist attack in Canada in 48 hours. While the media were justifiably focused on that event, there was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem similar to Monday's attack in Canada.
Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, a radical Palestinian Muslim, plowed his car into a crowd of pedestrians injuring nine and killing one. The victim, Chaya Zissel Braun, a 3-month-old baby girl, was an American citizen.
Abed a-Shaludi was shot and killed by Israeli police when he tried to flee the scene of the attack. His family claims this was just a simple car accident. But a-Shaludi had a history of criminal offensives, including attacks against Jews. He is also the nephew of a top Hamas terrorist, who was killed in 1998, and a-Shaludi had posted online messages praising Hamas and homicide bombers.
There has been increasing violence in Jerusalem in recent months. It erupted again in the aftermath of yesterday's attack. Palestinians threw rocks at cars, police and even at a Jewish kindergarten. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to restore order in Jerusalem, saying:
"United Jerusalem was and will always remain the capital of Jerusalem. Every attempt to harm its people will be met with a stronger response. We will return peace and security to Jerusalem. . . . We support the Israeli police, and will give it all the reinforcements necessary. But the attack in Jerusalem is supported by Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) who glorifies the murderers and embraces the organization to which the terrorists belong - Hamas." Please join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Canada, Terrorist, Islamic convert, Israel, Jerusalem, Jihad, 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!
Arkansas' is ranked "2nd highest percentage of children living in scarcity." Our poor children should not have their lives impacted by their families or guardians having to compete with illegal immigrants for limited resources. ~ Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service
by Nicole Haas, Guest Editorial: Americans are anxious regarding the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring over our southern border. An online Reuters/Ipsos poll with a 2.5% margin of error, showed that 70% of Americans believe illegal immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs. While 63% surveyed also believe they place a burden on our economy.
That’s logical thinking, as many crossing into the U.S. have little work experience or education. The latest, most dramatic, wave of illegals has produced an unprecedented amount of minors that will need food, water, shelter, medical attention, and if they are allowed to stay... education.
So who’s going to pay?
It’s a good question, especially considering we are a nation deeply in debt, with record breaking poverty levels.
If anything, in our growing condition of destitution, attention should be payed to states like Arkansas. No one’s really sure how the state will sway in November’s election and the outcome could prove pivotal for the fate of our nation.
While Arkansas is a beautiful state with much to offer, it is also plagued by poverty. According to the highly regarded statistical data by KidsCount.org, over a quarter of Arkansas’ children have been living in 100% poverty since 2008.
No doubt, the nationwide recession plays a part in the steady growth of Arkansas’ child poverty level. Yet, it climbed 6 points above the national average of 23%, and holds the bitter ranking of a state with the 2nd highest percentageof children living in scarcity.
With the recent influx of unaccompanied foreign-born children that will pull limited resources, it is reasonable to question our Representatives about their stance on the border crisis.
Reports that illegals have already been dispersed throughout the state, prompted Arkansas Republican State Senator, Bart Hester to take a proactive position, sending a public letter to Gov. Mike Beebe demanding answers about Arkansas’ immigration status and current policy.
Arkansas’s Democrat Senator, Mark Pryor, who’s up for re-election this November, has come under fire for his wishy-washy remarks on the subject. Previously, Prior stated in an interview that the border is “much more secure” than it was 10 years ago. He also admits, the border is “not perfect,” and “needs some work.”
His support for meaningful legislation seems to match his, ‘kinda-sorta’ take on the matter. Seemingly, with a-path-to-citizenship (also called, ‘amnesty’ in some circles), as criteria to get his YEA vote for more border protection.
After a failed 2006 attempt at comprehensive immigration reform, Pryor voted NAY along party-lines, on a GOP backed Amendment that would have denied legal status to immigrants convicted of certain crimes including, stalking, domestic violence, aggravated felonies, and crimes against children.
Many people see our current open-border as a massive crime against children, both foreign and U.S. born. Since the ongoing problem of illegal immigration was never seriously addressed, the ramifications will be far reaching for the country as a whole and will likely have the most negative impact on our already struggling communities and states.
------------- Nicole Haas (@PatriotKids) is author of Freedom Bee, a book about self-reliance and liberty for lil' Patriots! She is a member of Smart Girl Politics where this article was first published and she serves on the SGP Communications Team. Tags:Nicole Haas, SGP, Smart Girl Politics, Arkansas, U. Senator, Mark Pryor, Border Crisis, Illegal Immigration, Arkansas families, Arkansas kidsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Grim Reapings, walking dead, Democrat, voters, 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 Author: The lull in the coverage of all things Islamic was broken by two terrorist attacks in Canada, a reminder that so long as the world does not unite to destroy the Islamic State, we shall all remain vulnerable. A “lone wolf” terrorist can kill you just as dead as one in a terrorist organization, particularly one encouraging these attacks.
While the media’s herd mentality continues to report about Ebola in West Africa and gears up for massive coverage of the forthcoming November 4 midterm elections, the Middle East remains in a low state of boil, never failing to produce bombings, skirmishes, and the usual inhumanities we associate with Islam.
Americans pay attention to the Middle East only when blood is flowing and at the present time the only element generating that is the Islamic State (ISIS) which continues to attack Kobani in northern Syria and assault the Yazidis and other targets in Iraq. The U.S., Britain and France are bombing ISIS forces, largely to protect and assist the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the only fighting force of any consequence.
Virtually unreported are the 18 million Muslim refugees throughout out the Middle East. The U.N. reports that these and internally displaced persons reflect the turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq. Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. To grasp this, think about what either the U.S. or Europe would be like with a comparable number of refugees.
As David P. Goldman, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Wax Family Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, noted October 20 on the Forum website, “That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs.”
“There are millions of young men in the Muslim world sitting in refugee camps with nothing to do, nowhere to go back to, and nothing to look forward to…never has an extremist movement had so many frustrated and footloose young men in its prospective recruitment pool.”
So what does John Kerry, our Secretary of State, think is the greatest problem in the Middle East? While discussing the ISIS coalition with Middle East leaders, Kerry expressed the opinion a week ago that the Israeli-Palestine situation was the real problem. Apparently he is unaware that there is no Palestinian state and never has been. The one on the West Bank exists thanks to Israeli support and the one in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, provoked Israeli defense measures by rocketing it for months.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a Shillman/Ginsberg fellow at the Middle East Forum, has a quite different point of view. “In reality, however, the novelty of the Islamic State, as well as the magnitude of the threat it poses, are greatly exaggerated.”
Noting that many of the Arab states have “failed to modernize and deliver basic services” Prof. Inbar has little anticipation that ISIS could do that either. Moreover “Much of the fragmented Arab world will be busy dealing with its domestic problems for decades, minimizing the possibility that it will turn into a formidable enemy for Israel or the West.”
What has seemed to escape Kerry’s and the President’s attention is the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. The negotiations to encourage Iran to step back from its efforts to create the warheads for its missiles do not appear to promise a favorable outcome. Iran managed to get some sanctions lifted and that was likely why Iran entered into them. They don’t care what the West or the rest of the Middle East wants.
Neither Israel, nor Saudi Arabia are as naïve as the U.S. In March, Richard Silverstein, writing in Tikun Olam, reported that “the level of intense cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in targeting Iran has become clear. Saudi Arabia isn’t just coordinating its own intelligence efforts with Israel. It’s actually financing a good deal of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran.” A recent explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility suggests that the campaign is still quite active.
Noting “airtight military censorship in Israel”, Silverstein pointed out that information about the Israeli-Saudi relationship would not have been reported in an Israeli daily newspaper, Maariv, if both governments did not want Iran and the U.S. to know. In effect, the Saudis have replaced the U.S. as a source of support given President Obama’s barely concealed dislike of Israel.
“But Israel,” wrote Silverstein, “isn’t going to war tomorrow.” Israel will watch the outcome of the U.S.-Iran negotiations and determine what action to take or not at that point. Meanwhile, it will keep the pressure on Iran with its covert program.
At some point the news media will begin to pay more attention to the Middle East. It will not get much cooperation, however, from ISIS because the Islamic State has made it clear that only journalists that obey its rules and write what it wants will live very long.
The “religion of peace”, Islam, has not produced much peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world for the last 1,400 years.
----------------- 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:Islamic, madness, Alan Carubam 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!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: With planes being grounded in my home state of Ohio and hospital workers in Texas contracting Ebola, Americans now have stark examples of the danger of President Barack Obama's policies.
Obama has refused to impose a travel ban on flights from Ebola-stricken African countries for political reasons. He does not want to quarantine people who have been in those regions during the past month because it would hurt the already fledgling prospects of Democrats during this midterm election. Our Campaigner-in-Chief is now dangerously derelict in his official duties.
But this weakness on a Ebola travel ban is simply an extension of his larger, pro-amnesty, open border position. While promising voters in 2008 that he would secure the border, it is clear that not only is the border not a priority, but Obama is promising to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in this country. In addition, not only are deportations down 15% this calendar year, the Obama administration is already secretly preparing to print permits for approximately 11 million illegal immigrants.
The President is acutely aware that the more impoverished immigrants come to America, the more muscle Democrats have to expand social welfare programs and ensure electoral victories. But at what cost?
Local communities along the Southern border are especially hard by having to fund the types of law enforcement that the Federal government has failed to do. And states everywhere face the extraordinary burden of illegal immigrants, which are bussed around the country without warning. This puts an unbearable strain on public services, increases crime rates, and spreads dangerous communicable diseases such as scabies and chickenpox.
As illegal immigrant families - along with their children - are shoved into substandard housing facilities where bathrooms are not properly used, the chances for a widespread epidemic of deadly diseases among illegal immigrants is extraordinary. Anyone who thinks its more humane to keep those illegals in such conditions than send them home are sorely mistaken.
Shamefully, it was recently announced that thousands of illegal immigrants with felony convictions are being released from detainment. The cost is so great to manage incarcerated illegal immigrants that local agencies are unwilling to hold them beyond their scheduled release date to start deportation proceedings. The Obama administration is bending over backward to ensure these violent criminals are released into American cities.
In addition, the border security crisis is keeping our nation vulnerable to threats from terrorists, including the Islamic State (ISIS). While details are cloudy for national security reasons, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) believes 10 ISIS terrorists have already been picked up at the border.
With the threat of a growing welfare state, deadly diseases, Islamic radicals, Obama's pro-amnesty agenda is reshaping America while putting us all at risk. The border must be secured now, before it is too late. And,our immigration policy must be reworked!
Americans need to send a message to Mr. Obama on November 4:
Stop the Madness!
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a member of the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Immigration policy, naive, existential threat, releasing criminals, illeglas, amnesty, global threats, ISIS, Ken BlackwellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Admin ‘Misinformed Congress, Public On Immigrant Release’ | Some Released ‘Faced Serious Criminal Charges’
According to USA Today, “New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.
“The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
“The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released ‘low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,’ a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress. . . .
“The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed. . . .
“Lawmakers expressed concern. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it is ‘deeply troubling that ICE would knowingly release thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees – many with prior criminal records – into our streets, while publicly downplaying the danger they posed.’ . . .
“A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge. The agency released the spreadsheet to USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
“ICE's records do not indicate whether the detainees were convicted of those crimes or merely charged with them. The agency said it would not release information identifying any of the detainees because doing so would invade their privacy, so it was impossible to examine the details of their cases.” Yes, privacy for serious and even criminal illegals.
USA Today reminds readers what the Obama administration said at the time it was asked about these releases. “In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, ‘No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?’
“Morton answered, ‘They were not.’
“He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.
“White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as ‘low-risk, non-criminal detainees.’ . . .
“Morton, who resigned last year, told Congress that the more than 2,200 immigrants ICE released included 629 people with criminal records, all of them people who had been charged with misdemeanors ‘or other criminals whose prior conviction did not pose a violent threat to public safety.’”
The story notes, “Homeland Security officials have acknowledged that ICE handled the detainee release badly.” That seems to be a common refrain with the Obama administration. Tags:Obama administration, misinformed Congress, Illegal immigrants released, serious criminal chargesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct. 17, compared to the prior week. There are now 1,590 active oil rigs, the lowest level in six weeks.
"Unless there's a significant reversal in oil prices, we're going to see continued declines in the rig count, especially those drilling for oil," James Williams, president of WTRG Economics, told Fuel Fix in an interview. "We could easily see the oil rig count down 100 by the end of the year, or more."
Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead predicted that U.S. drilling companies could begin to seriously start removing rigs from operation if prices drop to around $75 per barrel. Some of the more expensive shale regions will not be profitable at current prices. For example, the pricey Tuscaloosa shale in Louisiana breaks even at about $92 per barrel.
But that also reflects the high costs of starting up a nascent shale region.
Much of the shale basins that are principally responsible for America's oil production will not feel the effects of low prices as quickly as many are predicting.
Better-known shale formations, such as the Eagle Ford in South Texas, can break even at much lower prices. That's because exploration companies have become familiar with the geology and fine-tuned drilling techniques to specific areas.
Productivity gains have allowed drillers to extract more oil for each rig it has in operation. For example, in North Dakota's prolific Bakken formation, an average rig is producing over 530 barrels per day from a new well in October. Less than two years ago, that figure sat at around 300 barrels per day. Extracting more barrels from the same operation improves the economics of drilling, which means shale producers are not as vulnerable to lower prices as they used to be.
Another factor that could insulate U.S. oil production is that companies also factor in sunk costs. That is, if they have already poured in millions of dollars into purchasing land leases and securing permits, throwing in a little extra money to drill the prospect is probably the rational thing to do even at current prices. It is only projects in their infancy that may not be economically feasible.
This should delay the drop in rig count, and delay the drop in overall U.S. oil production. As the Wall Street Journal notes, given these assumptions, U.S. oil production in the Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Permian could actually break even at just $60 per barrel.
Much rides on the decision making of officials in Saudi Arabia. Although exact calculations vary, the world's only swing producer needs oil prices between $83 and $93 per barrel for its budget to break even. But that may not be as important of a metric as it appears. Saudi Arabia has an enormous stash of foreign exchange, and could run deficits for quite a while without too many problems. With average costs of oil production from wells in the Middle East sitting at only $25 per barrel, the Saudis can clearly wait out U.S. shale if they really want to.
But it may actually be Canada's oil sands that end up being the first victim, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mining, processing, and pumping heavy oil sands from remote positions in Canada are much more costly than conventional oil and even shale oil in the U.S. While short-term operating costs are only around $40 per barrel, new projects need prices well above $90 per barrel to be in the money.
Rig counts are starting to drop, but due to the long lead time for most oil projects, it could be a while before production begins to decline in a significant way. What happens next will be largely determined by the outcome of the next OPEC meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27, where all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia.
------------------------ James Stafford is Editor of OilPrice.com contributes articles to the ARRA News Service. Nick Cunningham is a Washington DC-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1 Tags:oil prices, oil rigs, production, oil prices hurting Shale Operations, shale operations, Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.comTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Court Rules Contracted-Out Red Light Speeding Tickets In Florida Are Illegal
SMILE: A Florida driver who challenged his red-light camera ticket won’t have to pay the fine.
by Marianela Toledo: Miami, FL — Big changes could be coming to cities with red-light cameras after a Florida District Court of Appeals judge said it’s illegal for camera operators to issue citations to drivers.
“In Florida, only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers have the legal authority to issue citations for traffic infractions, which means only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers are entitled to determine who gets prosecuted for a red light violation,” the ruling read.
The program works like this: Cameras installed at traffic signals snap photos and are examined by the camera’s owner — not law enforcement — to determine whether a violation occurred. A citation is sent to the alleged violator. The driver has 60 days to appeal the ticket before it’s converted into a fine, just like any other citation issued by law enforcement officers.
“The private company is the one who sends the citations in the name of the city,” said Miami lawyer Victor Yurre. “Now it will have to be the city that does it.”
The case was brought to court in 2011 by Eric Arem, who received a subpoena issued directly by American Traffic Solutions, the private company hired by the City of Hollywood in Broward County to administer the red-light camera program.
Initially the court ruled against the driver, but the decision was reversed on appeal.
The ruling has implications statewide. American Traffic Solutions provides similar services to 63 municipalities in the state, according to its website.
Could this new ruling cancel existing and previous fines? Yurre said the cities could either cancel the fines issued by private companies, or the city themselves could reissue the citations and enforce payment.
Florida Watchdog contacted Hollywood to see if it will appeal the judge’s ruling, but officials didn’t respond to email or return phone calls.
This isn’t the first time red-light cameras have been the center of controversy.
In June, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida cities didn’t have the authority to use red-light cameras to ticket motorists before 2010 after the Legislature enacted the law. The case involved the cities of Orlando and Aventura.
Red-light cameras have been criticized as nothing more than a revenue generator. Tickets can run between $158 and $300. The fines are divided between the private contractor, city, county and state. If a driver decides to fight the ticket, the cost can spiral upward to include court costs and fees if the driver is found guilty.
Some anti-camera advocates say red-light cameras cause more accidents than they prevent, especially rear-end collisions as drivers slam on the brakes to avoid a ticket.
--------------- Marianela Toledo is a reporter for Watchdog.org, a national network of investigative reporters covering waste, fraud and abuse in government. Watchdog.org is a project of the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Tags:red-light cameras, speeding tickets, Florida, illegal, Florida Supreme Court, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
New Poll Finds Americans Concerned About Proposed EPA Power Plant Regulations
Strongest Opposition Voiced in Hardest-Hit States
WASHINGTON – Polling data released by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future finds that voters in Arkansas and nationwide have major concerns about the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations and are unwilling to pay even a dollar more for energy in exchange for these new rules.
Findings from a national survey of 1,340 likely voters and a statewide survey of 754 likely voters in Arkansas conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights include the following:
A majority believe the United States cannot afford new costs and potential job losses resulting from the EPA regulations.
More than half of those polled say they are not willing to pay a single dollar more in their energy bill to accommodate the new EPA regulations.
47 percent of Arkansas voters are less likely to cast their vote for a candidate that supports EPA’s Clean Power Plan, versus just 17 percent who say they are more likely to vote for candidates that support the rule.
A majority of voters in Arkansas —56 percent—oppose the regulations. Opposition to the rule is strongest in states that stand to be hit hardest by the rule’s expected energy price increases and job loss impacts.
Middle-class voters and seniors are among the top opponents of the rule. The poll also finds that public opposition is led by concerns about job loss, possible energy rationing and increased electricity rates, especially for the middle class.
“The data released today make it abundantly clear that regulators in Washington are completely out of touch with what the rest of America wants,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions from new and existing power plants could drastically increase energy prices for households and businesses alike. A self-inflicted wound like this threatens the comeback underway in the manufacturing sector and makes it harder for manufacturers to compete, expand and create jobs.”
“EPA’s push to implement one of the most complicated and costliest rules in history is creating real concerns across the country that should not be ignored,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy President and CEO Karen Harbert. “This poll affirms what we’re hearing from states, businesses and families that will be forced to comply. The EPA should heed these concerns and abandon its current approach, which will bring negative consequences for our entire economy with very little environmental benefit in return.”
The data comes on the heels of an economic analysis released last week by NERA Economic Consulting, which found that compliance with the EPA’s plan to regulate emissions from existing power plants would cost more than $366 billion and would drive electricity rates upward by 20 percent in Arkansas.
The EPA will continue to receive public comments regarding the proposed regulation through December 1. With so much at stake, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, along with its 175 members, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Mining Association, will continue to educate the public nationally and in key states like Arkansas through the close of the comment period and beyond as the issuance of a final rule approaches.
---------- The Partnership for a Better Energy Future is a coalition of national groups representing businesses and consumers representing nearly every segment of the U.S. economy, unified in our support for responsible energy regulations. It aims to educate and mobilize the broader business community and elected and public officials to address widespread concerns with forthcoming greenhouse gas rules. Tags:poll, EPA regulations, power plant regulations, EPA, increased electricity rates, 20% increase, electricity rates, war on coal, public comment period, Partnership for a Better Energy Future To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Wastebook 2014: What Washington Doesn't Want You To Read.
Voodoo Dolls, Gambling Monkeys, Zombies in Love and Paid Vacations for Misbehaving Bureaucrats Top List of the Most Outlandish Government Spending in Wastebook 2014
by Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D.: Gambling monkeys, dancing zombies and mountain lions on treadmills are just a few projects exposed in Wastebook 2014 – highlighting $25 billion in Washington’s worst spending of the year.
Wastebook 2014 — the report Washington doesn’t want you to read — reveals the 100 most outlandish government expenditures this year, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
“With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing.” Dr. Coburn said. “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.”
“I have learned from these experiences that Washington will never change itself. But even if the politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.”
Congress actually forced federal agencies to waste billions of dollars for purely parochial, political purposes.
For example, lawmakers attached a rider to a larger bill requiring NASA to build a $350 million launch pad tower, which was mothballed as soon as it was completed because the rockets it was designed to test were scrapped years ago. Similarly, when USDA attempted to close an unneeded sheep research station costing nearly $2 million every year to operate, politicians in the region stepped in to keep it open.
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2014” include:
Coast guard party patrols – $100,000
Watching grass grow – $10,000
State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million
Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000
Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million
Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000
Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000
Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition -- $1 billion
Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000
Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million
Tags:Senator, Tom Boburn, Wastebook 2014, video, wasteful spending, spending, big governmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Under the Bus, Democrat, President Obama, political 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!
At the Legal Reform Summit put on by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Christie warned that while “everyone wants a fair system” where people are “able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries,” trial lawyers have turned the justice system into “cottage industry unto itself."
The New Jersey governor explained that this creates a poor business environment, puts businesses in a defensive posture, and keeps them from creating jobs and investing in their companies, as Andrew Ramonas of Corporate Counsel reports:"Companies would have a lot more income to be able to pay to their folks in their businesses if they didn't have to worry about putting away the billions and tens of millions of dollars they have to put away for legal fees and legal settlements in the system that we have today," he said.
The U.S. legal system shouldn't help "a narrow group of people in this country who either have not been truly injured" or have injuries that incentivize class actions as a way to generate revenue, not as "a true redress of grievances," Christie said.
"Everybody in this country wants to have a fair legal system, which gives people the ability to be able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries," he said. "What we don't need is for that tort system to become an industry unto itself. And in America, that's what's happening."------------ Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Chris Christi, Justice System, Industry unto itself, U.S. Chamber Institute, Legal Reform, Sean Hackbarth, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
After supporting marriage as the union of a man and a woman until just before the elections of 2012, Obama announced back then that he supported democratic efforts to redefine marriage—but he didn’t think judges should redefine marriage. Now, just before the elections of 2014, Obama has announced that he thinks there’s a constitutional requirement to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships.
“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states,” Obama told the New Yorker.
This is a case study in how liberals “evolve” on policy. First they embrace a policy change. If they can’t convince a majority of Americans to vote for their preferred policy, they discover that the Constitution requires their preferred policy. So, according to the Obama of today, the Obama of early 2012 held an unconstitutional view of marriage. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t unconstitutional back then but it is now.
But this isn't how the Constitution works.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, explained earlier this month what the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment means in the marriage context:
It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage…. [It is a] preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment.
Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.Indeed, during the Supreme Court oral arguments over California’s Proposition 8—a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman—this same point came up. Justice Antonin Scalia asked Ted Olson, the lawyer arguing Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, a simple question: “When do you think it became unconstitutional? Has it always been unconstitutional?”
Scalia had proffered some possible dates: “1791? 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? Sometimes–some time after Baker, where we said it didn’t even raise a substantial Federal question? When–when–when did the law become this?”
Finally, Scalia asked, “50 years ago, it was okay?” And Olson responded: “I–I can’t answer that question.” And Scalia then pounced: “I can’t either. That’s the problem. That’s exactly the problem.”
I’m not sure that it’s right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.As former Attorney General Ed Meese and I argued last month in The Washington Post, in a system of limited constitutional self-government, the people and their elected representatives should be making decisions about marriage policy. While there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this debate, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the redefinition of marriage — unlike, for example, the case of interracial marriage. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution.
Citizens are, of course, free to redefine marriage policy to include same-sex relationships, but so too should citizens be free to retain in law the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman—as citizens in a majority of states have done.
Nothing less than the future of our society and the course of constitutional government in the United States are at stake. And as Obama’s latest evolution shows, we’re not only redefining marriage, we’re redefining our Constitution—making it a living, breathing, evolving document.
-------------- Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. Tags:President Obama. evolves, state marriage laws, marriage, gay marriage, law and culture, Ryan T. AndersonTo 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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