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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, March 06, 2015
Secret Global Warming Formula
. . . . EPA Secret Science, another illusion of the transparent Obama regime.
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: In what sort of place are children taken from their parents, or parents investigated by the authorities with that in mind, because they allowed their 10- and 6-year-olds to walk to a park to play?
Not a forced 20-mile march across Death Valley, mind you, but a Saturday stroll of less than a mile under normal earth conditions.
What sort of place? These United States - Silver Spring, Maryland, to be specific.
That's where Danielle and Alexander Meitiv's two kids, Rafi and Dvora, were picked up by police, on their way home from a neighborhood park.
A two-month Montgomery County Child Protective Services (MCCPS) investigation followed. Now, there's no law against youngsters walking in public by themselves. Local public schools don't provide bus service for kids within a mile of the school, deeming that close enough to walk. Nevertheless, this week, authorities announced that the Meitivs were"found responsible" for "unsubstantiated child neglect."
The good news is that the neglect charge is completely"unsubstantiated." The bad news is that official "Free State" busybodies seem to have not one clue as to what that word means.
MCCPS will keep a file on the suspicious family for five years. "We don't know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again," says Mrs. Meitiv, noting that the agency left unanswered the question of what might happen if they ever again dare allow their kids to walk outside the house without adult supervision.
The family is appealing the nonsensical MCCPS "finding." In the meantime, the Meitiv children will continue to walk in public as if it's a free country.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America — and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Immigration Handbook: Sen. Sessions Advises About Immigration
by Phyllis Schlafly: No one in Congress better understands the challenges facing American workers than Senator Jeff Sessions. This Alabama senator knows that the debate over immigration comes down to three simple questions: Does America have a right to control its borders? Should our immigration laws serve the national interest? And, do Americans have the right to demand that our laws be enforced?
The answer to all these questions should be a firm “yes.” But you couldn’t tell that, based on what’s going on in Washington. Most so-called “immigration reform” plans cater to business interests and open-borders activists. Senator Sessions says that so-called reform bills are influenced by 1.5 billion dollars of lobbying money.
They double the influx of foreign workers, give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, and destroy enforcement. Special interests love this phony so-called “reform,” but it would leave the American people high and dry.
For four decades, the United States has taken in immigrants in vast numbers, but more Americans are now on welfare, and good middle-class jobs have been exported to cheap-labor countries. The so-called immigration reforms promoted by the Chamber of Commerce would make these problems even worse.
Senator Sessions recently provided all members of Congress with an Immigration Handbook, which offers guiding principles for immigration policy. Above all, he wants an immigration system that serves the interests of American citizens.
To keep our country safe, we must secure the border and keep track of everyone in our country on a visa. To help our country prosper, we need to limit visas and stop employers from hiring illegals.
Taking Senator Sessions’ advice would stop the downward pressure on wages and enable Americans to find better-paying jobs. Senator Sessions knows what sensible immigration policy should look like. His new Handbook offers plenty of good advice for anyone who wants to make our immigration system work for Americans again.
Immigration Threatens National Security
Illegal immigration is a tremendous threat to our national security. The U.S. government has failed to control our borders and doesn’t keep track of foreigners who are in the U.S. on visas. Kenneth Palinkas, president of the Citizenship and Immigration Services union, reports that the 9/11 hijackers entered our country legally on visas. He estimates that five million immigrants are overstaying their visas and then remain in the United States.
There are plenty of ways for immigrants to legally enter our country, such as student visas, asylum, and visa waivers, but there is no system to make sure they leave when their visas expire. You won’t hear supporters of so-called “immigration reform” offering solutions to this problem. Instead, they want to just legalize foreigners who overstay their visas. That never passed Congress, but President Obama’s executive amnesty will do the same thing.
President Obama has never wanted to enforce our immigration laws. His immigration director admitted, “If you’re a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.”
You might remember last summer’s surge of illegal immigrants from Central America. 99% of them are still here, and are being resettled throughout our country at U.S. taxpayer’s expense. The unlawful executive amnesty announced last November gives five million illegals work permits and government benefits instead of deportation orders. The president announced this giveaway after he had admitted on 22 separate occasions that he lacked the power to do that.
Senator Jeff Sessions tells this whole story in his new Immigration Handbook where he also provides solutions. Congress should defund Obama’s executive amnesty, pass enforcement bills such as E-Verify, crack down on overstays, and block government welfare benefits to illegals.
Many Congressmen won in last November’s election because of amnesty’s unpopularity. Now those Congressmen should show the American people that they are listening.
Immigrants Gain, Americans Lose
Working Americans are falling behind in today’s economy, and immigration is a big reason why. Business interests lobby Congress to accept more foreigners whom they usually call the “best and the brightest.” Senator Jeff Sessions’ new Immigration Handbook reveals the truth: the vast majority of the one million permanent immigrants who are admitted every year are unskilled workers.
The United States also lets in 700,000 guest workers, 500,000 foreign students, and 70,000 refugees. The basic economics of supply and demand dictate the consequences. When workers outnumber jobs, wages go down. Median weekly earnings are lower today than they were in the year 2000.
A flood of cheap labor has swept away the jobs that once supported Americans who had a high school education. Today, millions of U.S.-born Americans are unemployed. Immigrants have received all net employment gains since the year 2000.
Immigrants quickly take advantage of welfare handouts, and they are enabled by the Obama administration. Federal law forbids the admission of immigrants who are likely to become a “public charge.” However, the bureaucrats don’t enforce that law; they actually promote government benefits to immigrants. Nothing stops immigrants from coming to this country to live off welfare benefits provided by U.S. taxpayers.
Immigration is supposed to serve the national interest, but today’s policies entrench the welfare state. Millions of able-bodied Americans are out of work and drawing government benefits because they can’t find good jobs.
Many foreigners arrive in this country and, instead of paying into the system, proceed to take out benefits. As a result, our Treasury goes deeper into debt, and the cycle of dependency on government continues. Those are the consequences of the policies pursued by special interests. Congress should heed Senator Sessions’ advice and pass immigration policies to promote jobs for working Americans.
Standing Up for U.S. Workers is Good Politics
Amnesty is often on the agenda in Washington, but it’s certainly not on the list of what voters want. A poll of likely voters done last year by Kellyanne Conway’s firm showed sweeping majorities against amnesty and in favor of immigration policies that benefit Americans. 76 percent want immigrants who overstay their visas to be sent home. 77 percent want jobs to go to U.S. workers or legal immigrants already here, instead of bringing in new workers. 80 percent said businesses should help the millions of Americans searching for a job instead of campaigning for more immigration.
The pollster also asked about statements of principle to guide immigration policy. The most popular statements emphasized that American workers should come first, that their increasing employment should take precedence over increasing immigration, and that our immigration policy should benefit the whole nation. These views are widely popular, with support from all races, political viewpoints, and economic status.
Senator Sessions is trying to alert Congress to the opportunity found in these results of polling data. Standing up for American workers is not only right, but is overwhelmingly popular. As he says in his new Immigration Handbook, “This is our chance to stand up and fight for millions of loyal struggling citizens who have been neglected.”
Republicans have majorities in both Houses in large part because of the immigration issue. President Obama threatened to issue his illegal executive amnesty in the summer of 2014, but Senators up for reelection begged him to hold off. He did delay, but finally issued his reckless amnesty on November 20.
The newly elected Congress now has a chance to pass an immigration policy that serves the national interest of all Americans. If they do, the voters will reward them.
Silicon Valley Misleads on STEM
STEM is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” It is one of those buzzwords used by the elites instead of real thinking. STEM is often invoked as a magic word in the debate over immigration. Corporate CEOs plead with Congress that America will fall behind in science and technology unless we import more foreign high-tech workers.
The truth is that we already have more STEM workers than jobs, as Senator Jeff Sessions writes in his new Immigration Handbook. In fact, three out of four Americans who hold a STEM degree did not get a STEM job.
Silicon Valley loves high-tech workers from overseas because they can be hired cheaper than American workers. Tech firms lay off Americans and replace them with imported STEM workers in order to keep wages down. Wages in the tech industry have not gone up since 1998.
Corporations also mislead when they complain about the low number of allowable guest workers. They also complain about the H-1B visa program, which is capped at 85,000. However, there are so many exemptions that last year, 263,000 H-1B visas were approved. Corporations know that more visas for foreign STEM workers who work for lower wages than Americans will expand corporate profits.
It is not surprising that the complaints of CEOs are welcomed by President Obama, who is always happy to let another law go unenforced. But too many Congressmen have fallen for the Silicon Valley “STEM Hoax,” as Senator Sessions calls it. This Congress has even been trying to increase H-1B visas. If Congress wants to rebuild the middle class in America, they can start by rejecting immigration advice from Chamber of Commerce lobbyists.
Court Blocks Sheriff From Arresting Illegals
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was doing his job and enforcing Arizona laws against illegal aliens who used stolen identities to get a job, which is a felony. But in one of the first major rulings of 2015, a federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush blocked Sheriff Arpaio from continuing to enforce Arizona law against those illegals. Although confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate in 2003, Judge David Campbell granted a preliminary injunction to the ACLU in order to stop Sheriff Arpaio’s law enforcement against illegal aliens.
Arizona is a flashpoint for illegal aliens because 97 percent of the illegal entry into the United States occurs along the U.S.-Mexico border, much of which is Arizona. Only about 20 percent of these illegals are caught while crossing the border.
While many other types of crime have been declining, crime associated with illegal immigration is sharply rising. The seizure of large quantities of drugs and the number of high-speed automobile chases have increased in areas of Arizona plagued by illegal aliens.
Sheriff Arpaio has been trying to clean up Arizona by simply enforcing Arizona law. But the federal district court has halted his efforts. The Court ruled that the law prohibiting illegals from using stolen identities was somehow “pre-empted” by a federal immigration law.
Sheriff Arpaio said that “the citizens of Maricopa County have been stripped of another protection to safeguard the integrity and identity of its citizens.” Sheriff Arpaio added that he doesn’t understand how federal law can pre-empt state law “when the federal government has proven it has no desire to protect its citizens in these areas.” USA Today reported that 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s plan to allow millions of illegal aliens to remain in this country.
The Cost of Accepting Illegal Children
Most of us have heard about the illegal entry into our country of busloads of what are usually referred to as unaccompanied minors. Most of them have been bused from Central and South America. It’s obvious that these kids didn’t just hitch a ride on a bus passing through their country. The whole process was well organized to dump on us a bunch of children, from babies to tough teenagers.
It’s time we discuss the high cost to American taxpayers of allowing Obama to bring in millions of illegal alien children. Because of an unfortunate Supreme Court decision years ago, we are compelled to allow these kids to enter our public schools, and the Washington, D.C. school system is straining under the tremendous cost of accepting these children.
The influx of 50,000 children across our southern border is burdening school budgets all over our nation. Most of the kids need specialized English language programs. The illegal kids are usually eligible to be on free or reduced-lunch programs, and of course medical care if needed.
These children didn’t make the trip north to the United States on their own. This was an organized invasion. The Border Patrol should have intercepted these kids and sent them back to their own parents in their own country. Many of these kids came from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador where the media have encouraged this phenomenon with news coverage that promotes crossing the border illegally. Although the U.S. media indicates it is young children coming in, CNS News reported that 80 percent of these kids now housed at Lackland Air Force base in Texas are male, 83 percent are over age 14, and some of them are tough and have a gang mentality.
Who Are Getting U.S. Jobs?
President Obama is bragging that U.S. employment numbers are on the rebound and the U.S. has just added 320,000 new jobs. But labor statistics show that foreign-born workers account for all net gains in U.S. employment in the last seven years. A report by the Center for Immigration Studies found that one and a half million fewer U.S.-born workers are employed than prior to the 2007 recession. On the other hand, 2 million foreign-born workers, both legal and illegal, got jobs during the same period.
President Obama’s plan is to allow more than 5 million new illegal aliens to get work permits. That will make it even more difficult for native-born Americans to get jobs despite a working-age population growth of 11 million. The influx of foreign workers includes many college graduates, thereby forcing many American graduates, who are burdened with big college debt, to take lower-wage jobs that do not require a college degree. They will be stuck with lower wages for many years.
Media coverage of the illegal alien worker issue has overwhelmingly focused on employer preference for foreigners who are willing to work for lower wages. These foreign workers to whom Obama gives work permits threaten wages for lower-skilled Americans, especially African Americans. In 2014, Obama offered work permits to 50,000 Central American and to 110,000 Haitian migrants.
Obama announced that he will increase the inflow of university guest workers for the same jobs hoped for by U.S. college graduates, even though we already have one million foreign university-trained guest workers working in a wide variety of jobs in universities, hospitals, finance firms, retail, and technology firms.
The impact of mass immigration on Americans’ jobs and wages should be a major issue in the 2016 election.
Fuzzy Math in Unemployment Statistics
Barack Obama is bragging that 252,000 new jobs were added in the U.S. economy in December. But the government unemployment figure is dishonest because it excludes from the count the million unemployed Americans who have given up looking for a job and are living on various types of welfare. You just don’t count as “unemployed” unless you are actively looking for a job.
The Obama Administration claims that unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent. In fact, the more accurate unemployment rate is twice as high: it was 11.2 percent in December.
A shocking 31.9 percent of the unemployed, about 2.8 million, have been out of work for 27 or more weeks. Once someone is out of work for an extended period of time, it becomes nearly impossible to get a decent job. After eight months of being out of work, the likelihood of being called for an interview declines to less than 50 percent.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are following the Chamber of Commerce game plan: bring in more cheap labor to keep wages low. Economics 101 still teaches that the law of supply and demand works, and a large supply of labor keeps wages low.
Obama facilitates this by illegally admitting illegal aliens, and some Congressmen of both parties are trying to expand immigrant visas at all levels (the well-educated by H-1B visas and the low-paid by calling them “guest workers”). A report from the Center for Immigration Studies in February stated that for every single job added since January 2000, the United States has added two new immigrants (either legal or illegal).
Results of Obama’s Executive Orders
The New York Times reported that Obama’s executive orders allow up to four million illegal aliens to “apply for a program that protects them from deportation and allows those with no criminal record to work legally in this country.” Obama’s order gives noncitizens the chance to obtain driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers. USCIS admitted to the House Judiciary Committee that illegal aliens who qualify for Obama’s program can apply for “advance parole status,” which is a key step in getting legal permanent status and an eventual path to citizenship.
When they get Social Security numbers, the newcomers become eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is another generous handout of taxpayers’ money.
USCIS also announced that illegal immigrants who enroll in programs established by Obama’s executive orders may bring their families into this country.
The New York Times explained further: Obama’s executive orders allow up to four million illegal immigrants to “apply for a program that protects them from deportation and allows those with no criminal record to work legally in the country.” They also can obtain driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers, and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted warned that these documents make it possible for illegal immigrants to register to vote.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) explained the significance of Obama’s orders to allow illegal immigrants to enroll in the deferred action program. “When an individual receives advance parole, upon return to the United States the individual can then be eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status . . . the precursor to U.S. citizenship.”
Senator Sessions called President Obama’s executive order on the deferred action program “an offense to the very idea of citizenship: a “sneaky” pathway to citizenship.
State elections officials testified that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers granted to the four million new illegal aliens are creating a major voting loophole. This will make it easier for them to improperly register and vote in elections. “It’s a guarantee it will happen,” said Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Senator Jeff Sessions, Immigration Handbook, immigration, National Security, Immigrants Gain, Americans Lose, Standing Up for U.S. Workers, Good Politics, Silicon Valley, Misleads on STEM, STEM workers, Court Blocks Sheriff, Arresting Illegals, American Taxpayers, Cost, Accepting Illegal Children, Who Are Getting U.S. Jobs, Fuzzy Math, Unemployment Statistics, Results, Obama’s Executive OrdersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
ARRA News Service - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report for February, 2015 depicts that the unemployment rate decreased to 5.50 percent from 5.70 percent in January, 2015. Sounds nice.
However. the number of people employed remained static. In fact, the tracked Civilian labor force declined slightly. The major issue is that statistics don't lie but a lair government doesn't share the whole truth about unemployment. It doesn't count the people who are unemployed because they couldn't get a job and are are no longer looking (filing for benefits) even though they are in fact - unemployed.
In a prior article titled: "The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment" by Jim Clifton, Gallup, noted:None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.
There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Also, the BLS report doesn't reveal detailed impact of unemployment on 18-29 years-old Americans. Below is more unvarnished information by two non-government organizations on Feb. 2015 reported unemployment rate.
Americans for Limited Government noted, "If the Bureau of Labor Statistics February household survey is to be believed, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percent, with only 96,000 more Americans finding employment. Shockingly, a seasonally adjusted 354,000 more people dropped out the civilian labor force, accounting for most of the drop in the jobless rate. On an unadjusted basis, 56 percent of those who left according to the agency were under the age of 65. So, while some are cheering this report as being good news, the sad truth is that about a quarter million more Americans gave up hope of finding work. That is an economic disaster."
Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, is announcing its Millennial Jobs Report for February 2015. The data is non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and is specific to 18-29-year-olds:
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 14 percent (NSA). The (U-
The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.815 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old African-Americans is 20.4 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 16.2 percent (NSA).
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old Hispanics is 14.4 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 9.8 percent (NSA).
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29-year-old women is 11.9 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 8 percent (NSA).
Patrice Lee, Director of Outreach for Generation Opportunity, issued the following statement:“Economic opportunity and the availability of jobs are perhaps the most important ingredients for social mobility and progress. That’s why it’s so disheartening to see young black people facing a 20.1 percent unemployment rate. That’s nearly four times the rate for American adults overall.
"Our broken criminal justice system is a major contributor, trapping people in a cycle of poverty driven by mass incarcerations and high recidivism rates and a lack of second chances after having served time. As a nation we should be encouraged that the broad unemployment rates are improving, but we must not leave behind our young people of color who continue to be disproportionately impacted by the gross incompetence of our nation’s criminal justice system.”Tags:unemployment rate, United States, February, 2015, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Urges Sen. Bob Menendez to Immediately Resign In Wake of Corruption Charges
Washington, D.C.—American Commitment is launching a petition drive urging Sen. Bob Menendez to resign immediately. News reports state that the Justice Department is planning to bring criminal corruption charges against the U.S. Senator from New Jersey, and the two-term legislator faces imminent arrest and prosecution.
American Commitment contends that Bob Menendez accepted lavish private jet trips to luxury resorts and huge campaign contributions from Salomon Melgen, a Florida doctor accused of a massive Medicare fraud scheme. Bob Menendez admitted accepting undisclosed private jet flights from Melgen, and was caught pressuring high-ranking officials not to investigate Melgen's Medicare fraud scheme. He was also caught manipulating a port security contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to benefit Melgen.
“Bob Menendez unethically, likely criminally, compromised his ability to represent the people of New Jersey, said Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment. “As the chairman, and now the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Menendez also endangered national security through these corrupt arrangements.”
“Bob Menendez is entitled to his day in court, which he will have. But he must resign now so that New Jersey can have a senator and America a ranking member who can represent constituents and the national interest free of an ongoing prosecution.”
American Commitment is urging citizens to sign its petition to Senator Bob Menendez: “Bye Bob! Please resign now!”
The petition can be viewed and signed online at: www.ByeBob.com Tags:American Commitment, petition, Bye Bob, Sen, Bob Menendez, corruption charges, should resign,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Republicans had just made historic electoral gains in the House and taken control of the Senate. Meanwhile, seven Senate Democrats were on the record voicing concerns about Obama’s unilateral move.
But when lawmakers had the opportunity in early December to stymie Obama’s moves by withholding funding, they punted. Congress approved the so-called “CRomnibus,” which funded the federal government for the full fiscal year and the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27.
“Come January, we’ll have a Republican House and a Republican Senate—and we’ll be in the stronger position to take actions,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a Dec. 4 press conference.
The strategy, proposed by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and embraced by Republican leadership, ultimately failed to undo Obama’s actions. This week, a majority of Republicans in the House (167 of 245) and Senate (31 of 54) opposed the Homeland Security bill, forcing GOP leaders to rely on Democrats to pass the measure.
“Unfortunately, leadership’s plan was never to win this fight,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. “Since December, the outcome has been baked in the cake. It was abundantly clear to anyone watching that leadership in both houses intended to capitulate on the fight against amnesty. It was a strategy doomed to failure.”
The Texas Republican was among the most vocal critics of Obama’s immigration actions, invoking Cicero’s warning to the Romans as he railed against the president’s “lawlessness.”
Even though a court case could still derail Obama’s actions, conservatives voiced disappointment with the outcome in Congress. Yet not everyone walked away surprised by how it played out.
The Daily Signal interviewed several of those lawmakers to better understand how events transpired after Obama’s Nov. 20 announcement through Tuesday’s vote.
Republicans United, Then Divided
Just weeks after Republicans swept the midterm elections, Obama outlined executive actions that he would take without congressional approval to defer deportations for up to 5 million illegal immigrants.
Obama’s move sparked a swift rebuke from Republican leaders. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the soon-to-be majority leader, and Boehner vowed to fight Obama using their new clout.
“We’re considering a variety of options,” McConnell said on Nov. 20. “But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.”
Within a matter of weeks, however, Republicans found themselves divided over the strategy.
Republican leaders settled on a plan known as the “CRomnibus” to fund the federal government. As part of the package, the Department of Homeland Security would be funded through Feb. 27, giving Republicans an opportunity to fight Obama’s actions when they controlled both houses of Congress.
“We were the ones back on Dec. 7 telling leadership not to do this,” Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, told The Daily Signal. “We were the ones who told them this was doomed for failure and we warned them this was going to lead to capitulation at the end of the fight.”
Conservatives weren’t united around a particular strategy but many of them had alternatives to the plan leadership ultimately pursued. Some wanted to have the fight in December, risking a government shutdown before Christmas, while others suggested a short-term funding plan for the whole government until early 2015.
Many conservatives didn’t like attaching the immigration fight to Homeland Security funding. Some, including Labrador, even took the rare step of opposing leadership on a Dec. 11 procedural vote that nearly failed when 16 Republicans broke ranks. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., later accused GOP leaders of misleading him into switching his decisive vote.
Had conservatives blocked the spending bill on that vote, it would have forced leadership to revise the strategy.
“From the onset, we really believed it was a poor strategy,” said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.
“Some have suggested the short-term funding for DHS will provide conservatives another opportunity to block President Obama’s actions in early 2015, but that approach is problematic,” the organization noted in a key vote alert.
Among the reasons: Republicans would be approving, at least temporarily, Obama’s executive actions, and waiting 100 days until Feb. 27 would allow the administration to get the program up and running.
“The tactic in Washington, D.C., is what they call defer and delay,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told The Daily Signal. “If they can defer the decision and delay the decision, then the passion and outcry of American people lessens. They’re able to capitulate and pass something that is certainly not as representative of the people’s will as it might be when the action initially takes place.”
Disagreement Over Strategy
Several of the lawmakers who spoke to The Daily Signal voiced concerns about leadership’s strategy.
“We’ve been through this time after time,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La. “We’ve heard the same promises and we’ve seen the same poor results. We’ve come to understand how it works. There are promises to fight but yet the process is created in a way that eventually there’s going to be a cave.”
Fleming said conservatives’ frustration led to the creation of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-some members who have vowed to be united on these fights in the future.
This week’s vote was the group’s first test and members of the caucus were optimistic about their impact, even if the outcome wasn’t ideal.
Salmon noted that Republican leadership urged members to vote in favor of the “clean” Homeland Security funding bill, which included no language defunding Obama’s actions. A majority of Republicans ultimately voted against the measure Tuesday.
“When 167 Republicans ignore leadership’s recommendations, that’s got to be a big wake-up call,” Salmon told The Daily Signal. “They voted with us, not with them.”
The Freedom Caucus also put forward several ideas for GOP leaders to consider during the standoff. None of their ideas were embraced, prompting Labrador to rethink the group’s approach next time.
“We need to get our message out, not just to the media but also to the other conference members,” Labrador said. “Every time I told other Republicans about our offers, they were stunned our leadership didn’t accept them. And I’m talking across the spectrum—conservatives and moderates.”
A spokesman for Boehner said the speaker welcomed ideas from members.
“Our strategy was developed working with and listening to our members,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “This fight was won in the House. Ultimately, we’re going to have to find a strategy to put more pressure on Senate Democrats in the future.”
Will Anything Change?
“Why does our leadership always do the same thing and expect a different outcome?” asked Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. “They do the same thing knowing it’s going to be the same results.”
Huelskamp, who has been stripped of committee assignments for voting against leadership, was one of a dozen members attacked in ads from the pro-leadership American Action Network. A spokesman for the group, which supported the Homeland Security funding bill, did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
Meadows, the North Carolina conservative, was also targeted by the group’s ads.
“The American people have had enough,” Meadows said. “I’ve had dozens of emails since the vote saying, ‘Why should I vote for another Republican when the results are the same?’ That’s troubling for me.”
Salmon shared a similar sentiment.
“The American people are not going to continue to be patient,” he said. “If we have any chance at all of maintaining the Senate and winning the White House, we have got to prove that we are the real deal.”
Despite the frustration, Boehner and McConnell’s jobs appear safe, even if members are displeased with their handling of the immigration fight.
“The speaker said, I’m going to fight tooth and nail. What that means to me is no stone unturned. Every option on the table. And that’s certainly not what happened,” Salmon said.
Huelskamp said Republicans managed to give away the only leverage they had to stymie Obama. With no more spending fights until this fall, he fears the president will be emboldened to take unilateral action on other issues.
Meadows suggested the White House is already signaling its next move.
“It doesn’t stop here with amnesty. The same day we’re debating amnesty, the White House is talking about taking action to increase taxes,” Meadows said. “It’s just a total breakdown of a wall of separation of powers of the executive branch and legislative branch.”
While the fight over Obama’s immigration actions now plays out in court, Huelskamp predicted the party’s establishment will ultimately prevail this time.
“The biggest donors to the Republican establishment, they all are happy today. They got their amnesty,” Huelskamp said. “They just hope the issue goes away and somehow they think conservatives are still going to show up and vote for whoever the presidential nominee is.” Tags:Rob Bluey, The Daily Signal, Conservatives, Fault GOP Leadership, Homeland SecurityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Rules are for the little people – Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Chinagate, Donorgate were bad enough. But Emailgate may be the scandal that disqualifies Hillary Clinton for president.~ Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: When news broke that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had used a private e-mail address for her official work, many in the media were quick to defend her. It was nothing unusual and did not violate any rules, her supporters claimed. Not so fast.
Last night, Jonathan Karl reported that a senior official at the State Department confirmed to ABC News that Hillary was in fact violating communications policy for "all four years she served" as secretary of state.
Using a private e-mail account is not a violation by itself, IF the e-mails are quickly turned over to be archived. But Clinton did not do that, Karl noted, "until late last year, nearly two years after she stepped down as secretary." Her failure to disclose her e-mails was the violation of policy.
The State Department has had guidelines in place since 2005 discouraging the use of personal e-mail accounts for government business. And in 2011 a memo was issued warning State Department employees to "avoid conducting official Department [business] from your personal e-mail accounts."
Who signed the memo? Secretary Clinton. So it seems she was violating her own policy!
And this policy was enforced. In 2012, the ambassador to Kenya was forced to resign for, among other reasons, according to the Washington Post, the "use of private e-mail for public work," which "was a violation of agency rules and created security risks."
But wait, there's more!
Fox News is reporting that there may be at least nine additional e-mail addresses connected to Clinton's private e-mail server that she may have used. So even after she handed over 55,000 pages of e-mails, it is not at all clear that the State Department has everything that it should. The department is reportedly reviewing Clinton e-mails -- at least the ones it has -- to see if any contained classified information.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Editor's Note: Three days ago, Investors Business Daily declared: Emailgate Disqualifies Hillary Clinton For POTUSThe former secretary of state's use of a personal account to exclusively conduct government business and to protect her political future in violation of the law ought to disqualify her from the presidency.
'Witch hunts" sometimes find a witch, and those who dismissed the establishment of the House Benghazi Select Committee, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as just another witch hunt are eating their words.
The existence of a personal account that Hillary Clinton used to conduct government business as secretary of state was discovered by the committee and reported by the New York Times.
Clinton's use of this personal account explains why investigations of the Benghazi terrorist attack — and her culpability in our diplomatic mission's vulnerability there, the failure to heed warnings and the cover-up afterward — failed to find much email evidence of her direct involvement.
According to the Times, Clinton never used her official government email account at all. What's more, she used exclusively one set up on the day of her Senate confirmation as secretary of state. This indicates premeditation in an attempt to deceive the American people by someone determined to fulfill her ambition to be the first woman to sit in the Oval Office.
The Times said that Clinton's aides made no attempt to systematically preserve her emails on government servers as required by the Federal Records Act. Team Hillary is now trying to use the excuse that they thought their government recipients would archive the emails and that was thought to be good enough.
Instead, Clinton's aides carefully culled the emails to find which ones contained no information damaging to her political future, and only these would be turned over to the State Department to be archived.
Jason Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives, told the Times that it was "very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business."
Actually, we can conceive of such a scenario — a presidential wannabe determined not to leave a potentially campaign-ending paper trail.
Though Benghazi occurred after the account was set up, the account fulfilled its predefined purpose and served to hide a paper trail documenting her malfeasance in office and deadly incompetence.
We know from others that warnings of the Benghazi terrorist attack came to her office along with warnings of the Benghazi mission's lack of security as it told of a surrounding sea of terrorist training camps.Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Hillary Clinton, EmailgateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today for a pro forma session. The Senate will return for legislative business on at 2 PM on Monday. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on two executive branch nominations and on two nominees to the Farm Credit Administration Board
The Senate was in an un-scheduled recess yesterday due to OPM closing federal government offices in DC due to the weather.
With tax season in full swing, Americans are beginning to see many new frustrations thanks to Democrats’ unpopular health care law.
The AP wrote last week, “It's not uncommon to feel some trepidation around tax-filing season. But there's an added hassle this year for nearly a million consumers who got financial help with health insurance premiums under President Barack Obama's law. The government sent consumers erroneous information on forms that they need to complete their 2014 tax returns. . . .
“‘It's been a comedy of errors from the start,’ said K.C. Crafts, a freelance financial writer from South Berwick, Maine. The mistake the government made affected 800,000 customers receiving subsidized health coverage through the federal insurance market. Some states running their own insurance exchanges also have had tax-form troubles. In the federal case, 2015 premiums were substituted for what should have been 2014 numbers on new tax forms called 1095-As. Those forms are like W-2s for people who got subsidized health insurance - building blocks for filing an accurate tax return. . . .
“Crafts said her form has another error as well, potentially more serious. The coverage dates are wrong, and the result makes it appear as if she and her husband got much more in subsidies than they actually received. . . . ‘This is not just an aggravation, it's a financial issue, because I could end up paying for a clerical error,’ she said. . . .
“Asked for an explanation at a recent House hearing, HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan put it this way: ‘It appears there was an unfavorable interaction between two pieces of software code.’ Translation: The administration still is technologically challenged by health insurance programs.”
Another way to translate that might be, “A law reordering 1/6th of the American economy to align with a massive new government program is unsurprisingly running into the bureaucratic screw-ups and snafus that are the predictable hallmarks of a large government undertaking.”
Meanwhile, The Hill reports, “A majority of ObamaCare customers, 52 percent, are being forced to pay back some of their subsidies during this year’s tax season, according to new data from H&R Block. Customers are paying back an average of $530, which has caused a 17 percent drop in the average return so far this spring, according to the analysis by the tax services giant. The Obama administration had warned that people could end up paying back some of their subsidies because many were relying on previous years’ income when applying for the tax breaks. H&R Block has predicted that ‘most filers’ would owe some of their subsidies back to the federal government because they were relying on 2012 income.”
And then there are the frequently troubled state health care exchanges, the worst of which have come from states dominated by Democrats who rushed to embrace Obamacare. According to a report in last week’s Seattle Times, “About 13,000 people with accounts in the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange were sent emails . . . that indicated a payment of their monthly health insurance premium had been made automatically. There was one problem. In many cases, many of them saw three times the correct amount deducted from their bank accounts.To make matters worse, some consumers who tried to log in to their Healthplanfinder accounts to check on the payment could not get in. And those who tried to call the exchange’s call center had to endure hold times as long as 79 minutes. . . . According to Bethany Frey, spokeswoman for the exchange, this latest glitch was caused by a coding error that affected accounts in which a change or correction had been made in the amount to be invoiced.”
When it comes to problems with the state health care exchanges, though, one can reliably find the bottom of the barrel in Oregon’s latest struggles.The AP writes, “A bill dissolving the independent corporation that runs Cover Oregon is on its way to the Gov. Kate Brown. But even when it is gone, Cover Oregon will leave a legacy of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a health exchange that failed — with even more millions in legal fees and other expenses still to come.Cover Oregon spent $300 million in federal funds, much of it to have Oracle America Inc. build an exchange for Oregonians to buy health insurance. The health exchange web portal failed to launch in October 2013.The state spent at least $26 million of its own money on Cover Oregon-related projects. Last spring, Oregon scrapped the web portal and switched to HealthCare.Gov, a federally run website.”
The AP then tallies all the money that the failure of Cover Orgeon cost both federal taxpayers and Oregonians from Bend to Eugene to Portland:
“$240 million — amount Oregon paid to Oracle for developing both the exchange for individuals and small businesses and for public assistance modernization projects. This was funded in part by a $300 million federal grant. The remainder of the federal grant went for salaries, marketing, communications, community grants and other administrative costs.
$23 million — additional state money spent on the failed modernization technology project.
$9.1 million— spent through the end of 2014 to hire hundreds of temporary workers to manually process paper applications.
$6.6 million — amount Cover Oregon paid Deloitte to assess glitch-filled exchange and provide future options for the state, as well as to transition the state to HealthCare.gov.
$1 million— amount paid for independent assessment of Cover Oregon project by First Data, and for services of turnaround expert Clyde Hamstreet and his team who took over Cover Oregon’s reigns at the height of its failure last spring.
$1.9 million — attorney’s fees for legal fight against Oracle and federal criminal investigation into exchange failure.”
But that’s not all, the AP notes, because Oregon will still have to pay $30 million to adapt another state’s Medicaid system,though “[t]he federal government has promised to pay 90 percent of it,” which translates to taxpayers in other states picking up the tab.And then there are all the yet to be determined costs, such as the “amount Oregon will pay Oracle to host the Medicaid system until December 2015,” the “amount it will cost Oregon to build a website for small businesses to obtain health coverage for employees, the “amount it will cost Oregon to modernize the state’s legacy social services computer systems,” and of course, the “additional legal fees for Oregon-Oracle lawsuits and criminal investigation.”
When Democrats insist in the face of all this evidence that “the law is working,” it’s clear they haven’t paid attention to any of the news reports about people losing coverage, unable to see doctors, struggling with higher premiums and skyrocketing deductibles, and it’s obvious they haven’t talked to anyone tussling with tax forms or Oregonians paying for that state’s disastrous health care exchange. Tags:tax season, compounds, Obamacare, problems, screwups, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author summed up the situation: The Keystone Lesson - What more can we say that hasn't already been said about the Keystone pipeline? This battle has gone on for six and a half years. Last week President Obama vetoed bi-partisan legislation authorizing construction of the pipeline. Yesterday the Senate failed to override his veto on a 62-to-37 vote.
The veto is not the big story. The big story is that the national Democratic Party is so infected with Obamaism that its reasonable moderate wing is virtually nonexistent. Every American politician should want to increase America's energy supply from a friendly ally. But not anymore.
That the vast majority of Senate Democrats are willing to let this project die bodes badly for our future. Whether it's the Keystone pipeline or stopping Obama's executive amnesty, liberal senators are unwilling to defend their constitutional obligations and more interested in advancing Obama's radical agenda at any cost.
Here's something else to keep in mind. While it's a double-edged sword (hurting our domestic oil industry), low oil prices are hurting Iran and Russia. Obama just passed up a great opportunity to exert even more strategic leverage over our enemies.
In addition, and I know this will come as a shock to many, he's lying to us. He keeps insisting that Keystone's oil will go overseas and benefit other countries, not America. Once again, he's demonstrating total ignorance of market economies.
Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement condemning 75 House Republicans who voted to fund President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty for 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children:
“The vote to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty will have a profound negative impact on our nation for years to come. The 75 Republicans who lost courage have aided and abetted the shredding of the U.S. Constitution by giving Obama the funds to rewrite federal law.
“Each of these Republicans took an oath of office less than two months prior to their vote. And in that oath, they swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Their failure may forever put Congress in a junior rubberstamp role for any presidential action. There is a time when every elected official is forced to make a choice. Unfortunately, the cowardly 75 chose to violate their oaths and break trust with America.
“I sincerely hope that the 75 find the heart to stand up to the President in the many upcoming battles.”
Tags:Americans for limited Government, press release, 75 Republicans, voted, Fund AmnestyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
. . . Hillary Clinton Government Email via a private email account on her private server in her and Bill's home that she bought when she was dead broke. Does anyone remember Hillary's involvement in the "White Water" scandal and the documents that went missing?
The Patriot Post noted today: Rep. Trey Gowdy’s House committee re-investigating the attack on the Benghazi consulate subpoenaed Hillary Clinton Wednesday for her emails about Libya during her time as secretary of state. Turns out, Clinton had been operating her own email account based on a server she set up in her New York home – and this gives her control of what information she releases. “I want the public to see my email,” Clinton tweeted last night. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.” But here’s the kicker: Because Clinton herself controls the emails, the State Department can only release the emails she gives it, according to State spokeswoman Marie Harf. This runs afoul of every ideal of free and open government, as well as the law. Sen. Chuck Grassley said, “The trend of using private email for public business is detrimental to good government. The public’s business ought to be public with few exceptions.” Clinton promises transparency, though there is no way to verify that she is disclosing everything. And the fact she navigated the creation of a home-based email service that permanently deletes emails shows she is determined to be anything but. . . . Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Hillary Clinton, Blackberry Grandmother, Government email, private server, private email, public email, White Water scandal, missing documentsTo 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 revelations, reported initially in the most left-wing newspaper in the nation, The New York Times, that Hillary Clinton used her own private emails to conduct public business, suggests that there are forces within the Democratic Party that do not want her to be its candidate for President in 2016.
It’s not like Hillary did not know she was supposed to use the State Department’s email system for reasons of national security; her private emails could have been hacked by forces unfriendly to the U.S. All government employees are routinely briefed on the laws that require this.
For the record, I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. On September 18 of last year, I wrote a commentary titled “Go Away, Hillary” in which I asked “Other than earning her law degree, name one thing that Hillary Clinton has accomplished on her own. Her accomplishments—slim as they are—have been achieved on the coattails of either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.”
Beyond Hillary, what I object to is the necessity to raise millions with which to secure either Party’s nomination and a billion to run for the presidency. We are electing someone who has literally bought the election courtesy of donors who have made the selection for the rest of us. There is something fundamentally undemocratic about that.
That said, I don’t think Hillary Clinton will run in 2016.
That may surprise you, but it surprises me as well. And, yes, I could be wrong, but the revelations about her patently illegal email use while Secretary of State suggests that there are forces within her Party that want to end her candidacy now rather than later. They are sending her a message.
Ron Fournier is the Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director of National Journal. Prior to that, he worked at the Associated Press for 20 years, most recently as its Washington Bureau Chief. On March 3rd, he wrote an opinion piece titled “Maybe she doesn’t want to run in 2016, top Democrats wonder. Maybe she shouldn’t.”
“Two weeks ago,” wrote Fournier, “we learned that the Clinton Foundation accepted contributions from foreign countries. Assurances from the Obama administration and Clinton aides that no donations were made during her tenure as Secretary of State were proven false.”
“Now The New York Times is reporting that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct government business as Secretary of State, an apparent violation of federal requirements that her records be retained.” He quoted one unnamed “senior Democrat” as saying “This story has legs as long as the election”, noting that many senior Democrats “are angry.”
“My concern,” wrote Fournier, “is that Clinton does not see this controversy as a personal failing. Rather, she sees it as a political problem that can be fixed with more polls, more money, and more attacks.” He described her problem as “a lack of shame about money, personal accountability, and transparency.”
If there is one thing to which the Democratic Party is totally dedicated, it is winning the White House and control of the Congress. Ever since President Obama has been in office, it has taken a beating as voters have relentlessly transferred power to the Republican Party in Congress and in many States. It is an unmistakable trend and one that must keep Democrat strategists up at night.
In January 2014, a Pew Research poll found that 69% of women who identified themselves as Democrats hoped to see a female President in their lifetime, compared to only 20% of Republican women. In April 2014, a Rasmussen poll found that “51% of likely U.S. voters have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Clinton, while 44% view her unfavorably.”
The Huffington Post analysis of the Pew poll concluded that “not wanting Clinton in office is the only one explanation for Republican woman’s relative lack of enthusiasm about electing a candidate of their own gender”, adding that “It may be that (the) gender of a candidate has simply become a less compelling factor for voters…”
Six years of having a President who was elected primarily because he is black have taught voters that race and gender are insufficient factors on which to base one’s vote.
Six years of a sluggish economy, massive unemployment, declining wealth among the Middle Class, and a disaster called foreign policy will influence 2016 votes along with, of course, whoever the candidates may be.
So I will return to my conjecture that Hillary, no matter her desire to be the first woman U.S. President, will also have to address the practical realities of politics. Opposition from within the Democratic Party will likely be a deciding factor. She has put off announcing her intentions until April. If she puts it off again that would suggest some deep misgivings.
If you had the choice between a life of great wealth and fame as opposed to the daily inquisition and criticism that comes with the presidency, which would you choose?
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs He is a contribution author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Hillary Clinton, 2016 electionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
You can’t say “niggardly” or “black holes” or “chink in the armor” without provoking protests or risking your job. You can’t invoke the Constitution or call illegal behavior “illegal” without being accused of hatred. And now, you can’t goof around at a high school basketball game in silly costumes without the world accusing you of “racial insensitivity.”
Last week, thanks to hyperbolic grievance-mongers and irresponsible reporters, the students of Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, N.J., garnered international headlines and Internet infamy. “Shocking moment students at Catholic school dressed as monkeys and a banana and taunted black basketball players … and DIDN’T get punished,” the U.K. Daily Mail blared last week. “Students who taunted black players at New Jersey basketball game get warning, no punishment,” USA Today decried.
Bossip.com, “the premier destination for African-American pop culture and entertainment,” exclaimed: “Really?!? White High School Students Taunt Black Basketball Team in Monkey and Banana Costumes.”
No, not really.
If any of these media outlets had bothered breathing into paper bags before making abject fools of themselves, they might have actually committed journalism. Holy Spirit is a tight-knit community with a 50-year tradition of excellence in academics, sports and character education. I know more than a little about the school and its student body because I am a proud alumna of H.S.H.S. and have stayed in touch with many of its dedicated teachers and administrators over the years.
Part of Holy Spirit’s half-century legacy includes a storied athletic rivalry with nearby Atlantic City High School. The competition between the Holy Spirit Spartans and the Atlantic City Vikings has always been fierce but friendly. At a basketball game two weeks ago, Holy Spirit students decided to show their team spirit by recreating Arizona State University’s famous “Curtain of Distraction” during their rivals’ foul shots.
Unlike the pot-stirrers who’ve turned an innocent prank into an international p.c. incident, Holy Spirit’s senior class president Pat Shober was actually in the stands on Feb. 18 during the game. He donned a green ballerina tutu for the foul shot skits. Other students scrounged up a bumblebee suit, monkey pajamas, costumes for Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” a jack-o’-lantern and a banana.
“The fan section was louder than it had been all season long, and the fans, of both sides I may add, were thoroughly amused and actually complimented many of us on our actions numerous times both at the game itself and throughout the time since then,” Shober recounted in an open letter to the public. “Racism was not brought up once by a student, player or spectator that night. We intended no racist connotations during our performances that night.”
The Spartans had used the costumes at previous games without controversy. Ray Ellis, a black Holy Spirit alumnus and former football player, had dressed up as the banana at a sports match three years ago. The 19-year-old athlete tweeted a photo of himself in costume after the manufactured brouhaha, which he rightly called “ridiculous.” Ellis explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Phil Anastasia — one of the few responsible journalists who covered the story — that “we get creative at games, we dress up in costumes, we show a lot of enthusiasm. … Other people see what they want to see and try to make it into something it’s not.”
Indeed, race didn’t enter the picture until two error-riddled reports from the Press of Atlantic City appeared a week after the game occurred and snowballed into global tabloid hysteria. The paper extensively quoted an Atlantic City high school coach who wasn’t even there. The paper failed to mention that the vast majority of the Holy Spirit basketball team is black. The paper neglected to describe the full array of costumes involved. Nor did it quote any of the kids involved in the skits.
Anastasia, who was in attendance, noted: “I was there that night in Absecon. There were black kids along with white kids in that student section, yelling at Atlantic City’s players and cheering for Holy Spirit players. And for the record, there were times during that game when Atlantic City had more white players on the floor (two) than Holy Spirit.”
Stephen Brown, a Holy Spirit alumnus who graduated last year and has many friends at the school, told me: “It is a classic example of how the race card is so unfairly pulled, and in this case is being used to vilify innocent high school students.” Showing more maturity than the Chicken Little instigators in newsrooms around the world who defamed his fellow Spartans, Brown reflected: “This is not only a perfect example of poor journalism, but an example of how members of the biased media like to stir the racial pot.”
What we have here is a textbook case of media-manufactured racism. Knee-jerk race-baiters who see bigotry at every turn are an embarrassment to the profession. Shame on the smear merchants and their enablers who go bananas over every last imagined slight and recklessly monkey around with students’ lives and reputations.
The cage-rattlers don’t care about truth, honor or integrity. Lesson learned: It’s a social justice jungle out there, kids. Be prepared. Tags:Michelle Malkin, Going Bananas, case study, Media-Manufactured RacismTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Ken Cohen, Exxon Mobile’s vice president of public and government affairs, looks at a pipeline approved by the Obama administration that does the same thing Keystone XL will do--move Canadian oil sands crude [emphasis mine]:Consider that the original Keystone pipeline took 693 days to approve. The current Keystone XL application has languished for 2,356 days and counting.
Then there’s the Alberta Clipper pipeline, another cross-border pipeline whose comparison to Keystone XL should leave many people scratching their heads.
That pipeline took 829 days to approve. That’s about one-third as long as the Keystone XL review.The Alberta Clipper pipeline moves oil from Alberta to Wisconsin.
Cohen quotes the State Department’s 2009 announcement of the Alberta Clipper’s approval [emphasis his]:The addition of crude oil pipeline capacity between Canada and the United States will advance a number of strategic interests of the United States. .… Canada is a stable and reliable ally and trading partner of the United States, with which we have free trade agreements which augment the security of this energy supply.
Approval of the permit sends a positive economic signal, in a difficult economic period, about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States’ energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.“The same arguments that prevailed for Alberta Clipper in 2009 apply even more to Keystone XL today,” Cohen writes.
Remember, this is President Obama’s State Department.
Its attitude toward Keystone XL is a mirror image of what it was toward the Alberta Clipper even though they have similar benefits.
Instead of appreciating how Canadian oil sands crude improves U.S. energy security, the president gets called out for misleading the public that oil through the Keystone XL pipeline will be exported from the U.S.
And instead of applauding the jobs what will be created by the pipeline, the president considers some construction jobs better than others.
What’s the difference between then and now? Politics.
Going back to the Senate's veto override attempt, Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, released a statement:In an era when Congress can't agree on much, the Keystone XL pipeline has stood out because it has such strong, bipartisan support. Unfortunately, pipeline supporters were a few votes short of the super-majority needed to overturn President Obama's veto, but the President should not ignore this strong level of support when he makes his final decision on the pipeline.--------------- 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:Sean Hackbarth, Obama Administration, Once Approved a Pipeline, Keystone XL,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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