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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 20, 2015
One Nation Under Allah ... and More
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The latest example of the multicultural virus infecting our schools just erupted at Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, New York. The school, to its credit, begins the day with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance over the school intercom.
Recently, school administrators decided they could show their really cool progressive commitment to diversity by directing that the Pledge be recited in Arabic -- including "one nation under Allah" instead of "under God."
The local community, including veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many students were not amused. The school has since apologized. Apparently they thought "under God" and "under Allah" were synonymous. They are not.
The fact is there are many nations in the world that are "under Allah," and they generally are not pleasant places for women, minorities, Christians and Jews -- or many Muslims for that matter.
There is only one country in the world built on the idea that liberty comes from God, the God of the Bible. That nation is the United States of America. And that central idea of our founding is a reason why we have been a force for good around the world and a haven for the world's persecuted.
Sadly, given the growing jihadist wave around the world and the likelihood of a nuclear-armed Iran, young men and women like those at Pine Bush High School may be called upon in the years ahead to go off to battle those who truly intend to make one world under Allah.
Obama Encourages Iran's Youth
President Obama is once again reaching out to Millennials -- Iran's Millennial generation. In a video message wishing Iranians a happy new year, the New York Times reports that Obama is encouraging Iran's youth "to pressure their leaders to accept the [nuclear] deal on the table."
I couldn't help but recall a little history here. The last time the youth of Iran in a meaningful way pressured their government was in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of young Iranians took to the streets protesting corruption and a rigged election and demanding an end to the Islamic regime.
If they had been successful, there probably would be a lot less worry today about that same regime building a nuclear arsenal. But far from encouraging Iran's youth then, Obama abandoned the demonstrators, and today the Islamic Republic is wreaking havoc across the Middle East.
Sadly, even in this new year's greeting, Obama could not resist criticizing Americans who disagree with his bad nuclear deal. He said: "There are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution."
Obama is referring to conservatives like Senator Tom Cotton and the 46 senators who signed his letter. He is referring to the millions of Americans who don't trust that he will get a deal that stops Iran's nuclear program. (We have seen this movie before -- the last Democrat administration gave us a nuclear North Korea.)
The mullahs of Iran don't want a deal if it in any way limits their ability to develop nuclear weapons with which they could annihilate Israel and threaten the United States.
Conservatives and a significant number of pro-Israel Democrats are trying to protect the country from a weak deal they believe will enable the mullahs to develop nuclear weapons.
Yet Obama claims these diametrically opposite points of view are somehow equivalent. Moreover, his statement is simply not true.
There is no one I know of who opposes a tough, verifiable deal. But few outside the cloistered confines of the Obama White House believe this deal is tough or verifiable. History gives us little reason to trust the tyrants in Tehran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.
He then goes on to say, "Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons."
He can't possibly believe that. If he does believe it, why have we wasted the last two years on these negotiations?
If the ayatollah's intentions are purely innocent, then why are the Iranians being so uncooperative -- burying their centrifuges underground and in mountains, refusing to grant international inspectors access to Iranian scientists and nuclear sites? In fact, there is no such fatwa and if there were it wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on.
It is hard to come up with words to describe the foreign policy this administration has implemented and the damage that will last for years when and if we can try to clean it up.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Weekend Review, One Nation Under Allah, Iran's Youth, Obama's ContemptTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: I was in Washington, DC yesterday and after I finished my business there I had a few hours of free time before my flight home. I had been wanting to visit the Newseum, and here was my chance.
At this point I should come clean. I must admit that I have an addiction. My name is Tom Balek, and I am a newsaholic.
There, I said it. Ever since high school journalism class I have had a fascination with news – the process of investigation and reporting, the incredible importance and power of freedom of the press, the technology, the ethics, the relentless pace, the pathos of a great story well written. I spent many hours working on my high school paper, and after college I taught journalism for a couple of years in small-town Montana.
Back then journalism students learned that impartial honesty and accuracy were sacrosanct to a reporter or editor. A journalist was duty-bound to report the facts and nothing else. Facts must be verified and double-verified. Opinion was not allowed outside the confines of the editorial section. That was that.
It was the “Edward R. Murrow” school of journalism. Murrow has been credited with creating radio and television news as we know it. Or, I should say, knew it. Modern news reporting came of age during World War II, and pioneers like Murrow set the bar high.
Then, as we all know, journalism changed. Some years ago I had an animated discussion with a top news producer for ABC about what I felt was a growing liberal bias in news reporting. He very candidly told me that as far as he knew, at least in his own news division, there was (at that time) no left vs. right bias. The mission of his department was to produce news stories that would increase ratings and thereby maximize ad revenue. Period.
That caused me to ponder whether the news is a reflection of real life, or real life is a product of the news. I concluded that the question is really not that deep: the news media merely pander to the latest whims of pop culture in search of ratings.
This was just before the first Obama election, and we all know what happened to the news media since then. Chris Mathews’ “thrill up my leg.” The defense of blatant lies by the State Department about the Benghazi embassy attack. The blind eye to the attorney general’s Fast and Furious scandal. The refusal to report the IRS targeting of opponents of the administration. While talk radio and Fox News built a thriving industry on the popularity of conservative opinion and news analysis, the liberal media bias in hard news reporting became almost universal. Ratings were no longer the primary objective. Networks like MSNBC and CNN persisted in their liberal propaganda campaigns despite plummeting viewership.
Nowhere is this liberal bias more evident than at the shrine of the news industry, the Newseum. It would be naive to expect anything else. Study after study has determined that modern journalists are predominantly liberals and any pretense of adherence to the Edward R. Murrow rules of journalistic propriety is routinely sacrificed to the mission, as defined by Peter Jennings: “Those of us who went into journalism in the ’50s or ’60s, it was sort of a liberal thing to do: Save the world.”
While the Newseum does point out some ‘errors in fact’ produced by the news media over the years (Dewey Defeats Truman), it has no criticism of MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, who remains immune from a history of outrageous lies, including his totally fabricated story of the rape of Tawana Brawley by a group of Boston police officers and an attorney. Only fleeting mention is made of the pioneers of conservative media, such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Andrew Breitbart, who had a profound effect on national politics and culture. And that fleeting mention is pointedly disparaging.
At least half the displays in the Newseum were dedicated to the civil rights movement, featuring compelling stories, photos, and video of Ku Klux Klan rallies and violent abuse of southern blacks. But there was not a single mention of the ties between the Democrat party and the Klan, or the Republican leadership against segregation.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.” Unfortunately, the average citizen today is not very discerning – only 36% of adults know the three branches of government – and the news industry does not hesitate to take advantage of our ignorance.
The Newseum aspires to be a “champion of the first amendment” and promotes the value of freedom of the press. It admits, in one display, that bias can exist in news reporting, and then points to Fox News as an example. If only it could see this failing within its own left-tilting walls.
--------------- Tom Balek – Rockin' On the Right Side is a fellow conservative activist, blogger and musician. Tom and the ARRA News Service Editor left part of their hearts in Montana. Tom resides in South Carolina and between playing in weekend bands, he seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. I make my living off the Evening News
Just give me somethin', somethin' I can use
People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry Dirty Laundry - the Eagles Even idiot rock stars can't resist taking a shot at Fox News. Tags:Newseum, tilts left, left stream media, Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, 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 Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: On April 13, 2005 the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 272 to 162, to permanently repeal the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. But in the ten years since, they have all but dropped the issue. A stunning 236 of the current members of the House have never had an opportunity to vote on it - that's OVER HALF of the current members of the House!
Politicians constantly use “repeal the death tax” as part of their platform when running for office, yet they do nothing once elected and family businesses continue to be victims, punished for working hard and paying taxes all their lives.
Fortunately, the Ways & Means Committee will soon consider a bill, H.R. 1105, that would repeal the death tax.
The Founders of our country believed this so strongly that they included a clause in the U.S. Constitution that forbids seizing an estate at death as a punishment for treason. Yet we now have a tax on the books that takes up to 40 percent of everything a person leaves to his or her children as a punishment for success, for achieving the American Dream.
Death should NOT be a taxable event.
The U.S. House has a great opportunity to do the right thing by bringing H.R. 1105 to the floor for a vote, and, with the tenth anniversary of the last vote approaching, they should do so as soon as possible.
Help ensure this bill FINALLY gets a floor vote for the first time in a decade.
. . . Obama fuel mandate is creating higher prices for food, fuel, and products for consumers across the nation. Jay Leno says it’s hurting older cars not equipped to to deal with the destructive effects of bio-fuels.
Tags:Barack Obama, Corny mandate, Obama fuel mandate, higher prices, food, fuel, products, 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!
ATF Director Resigns Amid Controversy Over Backdoor Ammo Ban
B. Todd Jones, Ex-ATF Director
by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller: The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives resigned suddenly on Friday while the agency is still reeling from its failed “backdoor ammo ban” of the popular 5.56 M855 bullet.
It is unclear if B. Todd Jones’ departure is at all related to that proposed ban. A statement released by the agency only said that he will resign effective March 31 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. ABC News reported that Jones will take a job in New York City, possibly with a professional sports league.
Whatever the reason for his departure, the 57-year-old Jones leaves the agency on a sour note after the ban attempt.
With backing from the Obama administration, ATF sought to prohibit the sale of the M855 — the so-called “green tip” — out of fear that they pose a risk to police officers since they can pierce bullet-proof vests. Green tips were approved by the ATF in 1986, and have become more popular for use in AR-15 pistols.
The agency offered a comment period from the public, but did not advertise the proposal.
Gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association and numerous lawmakers pushed back heavily on what was characterized as a “backdoor ammo ban.”
That outcry forced ATF to temporarily table the idea.
But Jones did little to assuage those groups’ fears after the ban was shelved. Last week he told the Senate Appropriations Committee that all 5.56 rounds pose “a challenge for officer safety.”
That statement was interpreted by many as an indication that the Obama administration has plans to ban more than just the M855.
Jones has served as director of the agency since July 31, 2013. He was nominated by President Obama in January of that year after serving as acting director since August 2011.
“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” he said in a statement. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”
Jones will be replaced by current ATF deputy director Thomas Brandon. He’s been with the agency since October 2011. . . . [Full Story] Tags:ATF Director, Resigns, B. Todd Jones, The Daily Caller, Chuck RossTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Here’s the Obama Administration’s Response to the Shale Boom: More Regulations
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: In the last few years, we’ve seen innovative companies combine old and new technologies to tap into shale deposits that were once unreachable. The resulting shale energy boom has made the United States the world’s top oil and natural gas producer while creating jobs and improving the nation’s energy security.
Now that we’ve moved from an age of energy scarcity to one of abundance, the Obama administration wants to add another layer of bureaucracy on energy producers.
The Interior Department released its long-awaited proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, and on page 12 is this nugget:Operators with leases on Federal lands must comply with both the BLM’s regulations and with state operating requirements, including state permitting and notice requirements to the extent they do not conflict with BLM regulations.Federal regulators aren’t known for being speedy, as Katie Tubb and Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation explain:The [Bureau of Land Management] estimates that it took an average of 227 days simply to complete a drill application—just one step in the approval process to harvest oil and gas resources on federal lands. This is compared to 154 days in 2005 and the average 30 days it takes state governments to do the same.As a result, the number of acres of federal lands leased for energy development has been declining.
Acres leased on all federal onshore land. Data source: Bureau of Land Management.
Now, don’t think states are failing to regulate hydraulic fracturing. If Pennsylvania is any indication, it’s far from the truth. Check out my favorite scene from the documentary Fracknation:
“There are numerous permits you have to get before doing anything” on the Marcellus Shale, Range Resources’ Tony Gaudlip said.
The only thing these duplicative, redundant federal regulations will do is ensure less of our energy abundance is available for our energy-hungry economy.
--------------- Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and Senior Editor at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Obama Administration, response to, Shale Boom, more regulations To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Debate Over How to Pay Medicare Doctors, Explained in 75 Seconds
The latest debate on Capitol Hill has created an unlikely alliance between the House’s most powerful Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and it centers on a little-known formula that determines how much Medicare doctors are paid each year.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have agreed to a deal that would replace the Sustainable Growth Rate—the formula that governs payments for Medicare physicians—and implement it with a new payment system.
Details of the deal haven’t yet been released, but already the proposal is pitting conservative lawmakers against their Republican and Democratic colleagues. Watch this video to better understand the debate.
Yesterday, for the third day in a row, Senate Democrats voted to filibuster S. 178, the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. That makes it the fifth time they've voted to block moving forward on the bill.
Yesterday the House passed along party lines 232 to 186 with all Democrats voting against S.J. Res. 8 — "Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation case procedures."
EPA's War on Coal and & States
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on the Nation’s Governors to reject the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed EPA regulation that requires states to dramatically restructure their electricity systems based on how the agency thinks electricity should be produced and used in each state. The EPA’s demands, McConnell noted, are “far beyond its legal authority.” In a letter to all 50 Governors, Leader McConnell wrote that he has “serious legal and policy concerns regarding the proposal.”
Leader McConnell asked the Governors to “carefully review the consequences before signing up for this deeply misguided plan. I believe you will find, as I have, that the EPA’s proposal goes far beyond its legal authority and that the courts are likely to strike it down. All of which raises the very important question of why the EPA is asking states at this time to propose their own compliance plans in the first place.
“This proposed plan is already on shaky legal grounds, will be extremely burdensome and costly, and will not seriously address the global environmental concerns that are frequently raised to justify it. Moreover, declining to go along with the administration’s legally dubious plan will give the other two branches of government time to address the proposal and will not put your state at risk in the interim. It will provide time for the courts to rule on whether the EPA’s proposed rule is legal, and it will give Congress a chance to address numerous concerns surrounding this latest power grab by the EPA.”
In a reportthis morning, The New York Times writes, “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block President Obama’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country . . . .The campaign of Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is aimed at stopping a set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring states to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Once enacted, the rules could shutter hundreds of coal-fired plants in what Mr. Obama has promoted as a transformation of the nation’s energy economy away from fossil fuels and toward sources like wind and solar power. Mr. McConnell, whose home state is one of the nation’s largest coal producers, has vowed to fight the rules." . . .
The NYTalso discussed the McConnell strategy: “As he campaigned across Kentucky’s economically ravaged coal towns last fall, Mr. McConnell frequently declared that he would do everything in his power to battle what he calls Mr. Obama’s ‘war on coal.’ . . .
“Using its existing authority, the E.P.A. will require each state to submit an individual plan for cutting emissions from power plants. Ultimately, the success or failure of the plan will depend on how — and if — states comply with the rules. It will also depend on the courts. Coal-dependent states and coal mining companies are already planning legal challenges to the regulations. Those coal-dependent states are where Mr. McConnell has trained his fire. . . .
“Mr. McConnell contends that the Obama administration has bypassed Congress and stretched the boundaries of existing law to impose climate change regulations — and that he intends to step outside of Congress and use creative legal methods to push back. . . . [L]ongtime experts in the field of climate change law and policy say that Mr. McConnell’s unconventional efforts could prove formidable.
“‘The majority leader is a master tactician,’ said Scott Segal, a lobbyist with the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani and the director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which represents power companies. ‘He understands the legal vulnerabilities, and he’s acutely aware that not all solutions go through traditional legislative channels.’ Over the coming weeks and months, Mr. McConnell’s office intends to continue to push to undermine the climate regulations, using a host of legal, lobbying and legislative tools.” Tags:Obama, EPA, War on Coal, War on States, Senate Dems, filibuster, Justice for Victims of Trafficking ActTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
IBD Editorial: Exortation: After 16 banks caved in to White House demands to refund billions in losses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, one outlier remains unrepentant. Nomura Holdings refuses to succumb to the political shakedown.
The Japanese bank's U.S. unit won't give in to the extortionist regulators protecting Fannie and Freddie who claim it hoodwinked the toxic twins into buying pools of subprime mortgages, like it claimed Bank of America, JPMorgan and other U.S. banks did in the run-up to the mortgage crisis.
The government demands $1 billion in damages. Nomura says it won't give a dime toward the $18 billion ransom the feds already have shaken out of other banks who settled with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Instead, it will make government prove it in court.
In opening arguments this week, the defendants argued Fannie and Freddie bought the mortgages knowing they were subprime and did so to meet "affordable housing" quotas of their political masters at HUD.
Unfortunately for Nomura, the game is rigged. The federal judge hearing the case — Clinton appointee Denise Cote — is a ringer for the administration.
In recent filings, Cote has shown extreme prejudice in her decisions — virtually all rendered against Nomura.
Even though she concedes that, in buying subprime securities from Nomura, "Freddie Mac considered the extent to which the underlying mortgage loans satisfied these housing goals," Cote claims such evidence is "immaterial" to the case. She argues the regulatory mandates, purchasing quotas and other political pressures heaped on Fannie and Freddie were merely "idiosyncratic" and therefore irrelevant.
Please. The HUD goals are highly relevant to this case. Internal documents from both HUD and Fannie and Freddie show the goals were driving them deeper into the subprime securities market and both complained about a growing risk of losses. So clearly, they understood the risks. There was no "misrepresentation."
And if they failed to perform the proper due diligence, it's because it wouldn't have mattered — they had to buy risky subprime securities to meet HUD quotas for loans to low-income borrowers with bad credit. They were culpable in the recklessness, and therefore culpable in the losses they suffered when those loans defaulted. Nomura shouldn't be on the hook for those losses.
In its defense, Nomura plans to call former Fannie and Freddie officials, including former Fannie CEO Daniel Mudd, to testify about how it was Fannie and Freddie who on orders from HUD lowered underwriting standards, not Nomura.
According to former Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission member Peter Wallison's "Hidden in Plain Sight," Mudd wrote to a top HUD official in 2007: "In 2006 Fannie Mae relaxed certain underwriting standards and purchased some higher risk mortgage loan products in an effort to meet the housing goals. The company continued to purchase higher risk loans into 2007, and believes these efforts to acquire goals-rich loans are partially responsible for increasing credit losses."
So Nomura didn't sell them fraudulently sub-standard loans from 2005 to 2007; Fannie and Freddie had already lowered standards to find more goals-qualifying loans in that riskier market.
Portraying the largest, most sophisticated players in the mortgage market as rubes or victims is laughable. Fannie and Freddie knew what they were buying. They have only themselves — and their regulators — to blame.
Even now, Fannie warns investors of the "risk factors" associated with its housing goals, which are now enforced by FHFA.
"The potential penalties for failure to comply with housing plan requirements include a cease-and-desist order and civil money penalties," it reported in its Dec. 31 10-K filing. "As described in 'Risk Factors,' actions we may take to meet our housing goals may increase our credit losses and credit-related expense."
Cote is expected to rule against Nomura sometime next month. When she does, the administration no doubt will trumpet it as proof Fannie and Freddie were steered into subprime waters by greedy Wall Street bankers and not their politically driven regulators.
Don't buy it. It's part of the ongoing cover-up of government's role in the financial crisis. Tags: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, failure, IBD, Ivenstment Business Daily, editorial, editorial cartoon, Mike Keefe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Netanyahu, Bibi Wins, Israeli elections, President Obama, operatives, 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!
The Big, Fat “American Recruitment First” Lie of H-1B
by Michelle Malkin: You’ve heard it from Big Government lobbyists. You’ve heard it from Big Business lackeys in both political parties. And you’ve heard it from journalists, pundits and think-tankers ad nauseam:
The H-1B foreign guest worker program, they claim, requires American employers to first show that they searched for and tried to recruit American workers before tapping an ever-growing government-rigged pipeline of cheap foreign workers.
The foot soldiers of the open-borders brigade are lying, deluded, ignorant or bought-off.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee brought top independent academics and informed whistleblowers to Washington to expose the truth. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, hosted Howard University associate professor of public policy Ron Hira, Rutgers University professor Hal Salzman, Infosys whistleblower Jay Palmer and former computer programmer-turned-lawyer John Miano, who brought much-needed reality checks on the systemic betrayal of American workers to the Beltway table.
Miano’s testimony was particularly important because he explained how the little known “OPT” (Optical Training Program) for foreign students is being used to circumvent H-1B and supply large corporations with cheap foreign labor. President Obama has expanded this regulatory program by unfettered administrative fiat. As Miano noted: “OPT has no labor protections of any kind. Aliens on OPT do not even have to be paid at all. While DHS requires aliens to work in an area related to their major area of study, DHS has no ability to ensure that this happens. Under OPT, over 125,000 foreign workers a year are simply turned loose in America with no supervision or restrictions.”
Grassley put it plainly: “Most people believe that employers are supposed to recruit Americans before they petition for an H-1B worker. Yet, under the law, most employers are not required to prove to the Department of Labor that they tried to find an American to fill the job first.”
He added, “And, if there is an equally or even better qualified U.S. worker available, the company does not have to offer him or her the job. Over the years, the program has become a government-assisted way for employers to bring in cheaper foreign labor, and now it appears these foreign workers take over — rather than complement — the U.S. workforce.”
Hira affirmed: “It’s absolutely not true” that employers seeking H-1Bs must put American workers first, either by “law or regulations.”
How did this myth gain such traction? Many commentators and journalists confuse the labor certification process required for companies applying to obtain green cards (lawful permanent residency status) for H-1B workers with the Labor Condition Application (LCA) process for H-1Bs. Labor certification in the green card process “exists to protect U.S. workers and the U.S. labor market by ensuring that foreign workers seeking immigrant visa classifications are not displacing equally qualified U.S. workers.” Only in extremely narrow and exceptional circumstances do these nominal protections exist in the H-1B LCA process. (Companies must be classified as “H-1B dependent” for the requirements to apply. Big Tech giants like Facebook have been lobbying mightily to avoid the classification.) And even those narrow exceptions are easily and often circumvented by H-1B foreign worker traffickers.
Conservative journalist W. James Antle gets to the heart of the matter: “If the government has discretion in how it exercises its legitimate authority over who comes and who goes, a prerequisite for national sovereignty, then shouldn’t it exercise such discretion in a way that minimizes the impoverishment of Americans?”
For a very brief window, Grassley and, yes, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a small group of H-1B-employing banks and other financial institutions that accepted federal bailout money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) did have to demonstrate that they had taken “good-faith steps to recruit U.S. workers” and offer them wages “at least as high” as those offered to H-1B workers. In addition, the targeted employers had to show that they “must not have laid off, and will not lay off, any U.S. worker in a job essentially equivalent to the H-1B position in the area of intended employment of the H-1B worker” within a narrow time frame.
But this American worker-first provision, vociferously opposed by Big Business and Big Government, expired in 2011. The refusal of the vast majority of politicians and the White House to embrace these protections for all U.S. workers tells you everything you need to know about H-1B’s big, fat lies. Tags:Michelle Malkin, Immigration, H-1B visas, recruiter lie, need to, protect, American workersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kate Scanlon: After a failed attempt to block implementation of the president’s executive action on immigration by not funding it through the Department of Homeland Security funding, Congressional Republicans are seeking another strategy to combat the president’s action.
One writer has raised the idea of blocking judicial nominees until the president relents.
Curt Levey, the president of the Committee for Justice, wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that Congress should block all of President Obama’s circuit court nominees.
“If Republicans opt for a plan, their best bet is a vow not to confirm the president’s appeals-court nominees until he rescinds his immigration fiats. This strategy has virtues that others do not,” wrote Levey.
Levey called this approach “more modest,” with a “better chance of success” than previous efforts.
“Judicial appointments are an important part of any president’s legacy because federal judges serve for life, long beyond the terms of the president and his executive appointees. Judicial confirmations slow to a trickle during the final year of a presidential term, so Mr. Obama knows that 2015 is the last good year for getting judges confirmed,” wrote Levey.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Levey said that this approach would mean congressional Republicans took “a principled stand.”
“These are the ones who will ultimately determine the constitutionality of Obama’s order,” said Levey. “So they say ‘we won’t approve the very judges who will rubber-stamp the orders.’”
Levey called it a “no-lose” strategy, either resulting in Obama backing down from his orders and a “victory for the Constitution,” or “vacancies” in the judicial system for the next president to fill instead.
Levey added that there is “limited potential for public outrage” unlike blocking high-profile nominees such as attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, or shutdowns of the government or various agencies.
“It will be a test of wills, but one I think we can win,” said Levey.
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, applauded Levey’s suggestion.
“Senators concerned about President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty program for illegal aliens should give serious consideration to Curt Levey’s proposal that they hold up the president’s appeals court nominations,” said von Spakovsky. “As I pointed out recently, holding up nominations is one of the few, effective tools the Senate has under the Constitution to check an imperial president.”
“In fact, I don’t think the Senate should approve any nominations until the president backtracks,” added von Spakovsky.
------------- Kate Scanlon (@scanlon_kate) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program. Tags:strategy, stopping, obama Executive Action, Immigration, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: President Obama in less than 24 hours has "backtracked" on his mandatory voting statement. Someone must have reminded him that "free speech" also included one's right not to speak or to not express their opinion. Liberals hate it when they cannot garner enough "love me" support by the very people whom they demean and hold in low disregard. In counties ruled by dictators, Lord help the voter who does not have his or her name marked as having voted in the election where only the "supreme leader" is on the ballot.
The president's latest tune is a variation on a very old theme: whatever government breaks "requires" a new government program.
See a problem; propose and enact a government solution; the problem gets worse, some new ones pop up; blame everything on the voluntary, "freedom" side; demand more and newer government programs.
It's a trap. Literally, since it involves more coercion by government at every step.
Here's the story: President Obama was largely repudiated at the polls last November. The performance of his administration and congressional allies proved so lackluster that his party couldn't muster much of a vote in their favor.
"It would be transformative if everybody voted," Obama said. He mentions Australia, which has had mandatory voting for a while. He doesn't mention North Korea, which also forces its citizens to vote, or that totalitarian and authoritarian regimes have often used compulsory voting to give their dictators a patina of "democratic legitimacy."
I'd be embarrassed to bring it up.
Obama brought it up in the context of fighting the influence of big money.
So, to fix particular problems, government gets involved in the economy generally, everywhere - and not by playing umpire to establish a "level playing field," but by siding first with one group, then with another, with mandates, prohibitions, regulations, etc. (He calls all this "fair," incredibly.) Naturally enough, affected businesses and individuals petition for insulation from each and every proposed "fix." Many go on for special favors. This leads to increased money in campaigns, as well as increased lobbying.
So now? Direct coercion of citizens - simply to "get out the vote."
It's always force with these folks.
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, President Obama, Latest Big Fix, mandatory voting 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: After decades of environmental claims that “global warming” would plunge the planet into catastrophic harm to its human and other inhabitants—at the same time blaming humans for causing it—the sheer arrogance and ignorance of these claims always ignores the real power that is represented by the Earth itself and the beginning of Spring should be proof enough for anyone paying any attention.
This year, Spring begins in the northern hemisphere on Friday, March 20 at 6:45 PM EDT. In the southern hemisphere it marks the beginning of Autumn.
Spring manifests itself in ways we take for granted yet it is a combination of many events that should make us marvel if we gave them any thought. For example, where does all the snow go? The U.S. and the rest of the world set records of snowfall levels throughout Winter.
“Mountain snow fields act as natural reservoirs for many western United States water-supply systems, storing precipitation from the cool season, when most precipitation falls and forms snowpacks…As much as 75 percent of water supplies in the western states are derived from snowmelt.” Snowmelt ensures sufficient water for all of us and for the Earth that depends upon it for the growth of all vegetation.
How do the flowers know it is Spring? In a 2011 article for the Inside Science News Service, Katherine Gammon noted that “Just in time for the birds and bees to start buzzing, the flowers and the trees somehow know when to open their buds to start flowering. But the exact way that plants get their wake-up call has been something of a mystery.” A molecular biologist at the University of Texas, Sibum Sung, has been trying to solve that mystery and has discovered “a special molecule in plants that gives them the remarkable ability to recall Winter and to bloom on schedule in the Spring.”
Nothing on Earth happens by accident. It is a remarkable inter-related system to which we give little thought. The sheer power of all those blooming flowers and trees should tell us something about the power of Nature that dwarfs all the claims that humans have any influence whatever on the events of Spring or any other time of the year.
Then think about the role of the animals with whom we share the planet. In the Spring many come out of hibernation in their dens, while others such as birds make lengthy migrations from the warmer climes to those in the north. The huge migration of Monarch Butterflies should leave us speechless. Spring is a time when many animals give birth to their young.
A sign of the Spring that leaves us breathless is the way it is the season for the aurora borealis. Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA notes that “For reasons not fully understood by scientists, the weeks around the vernal equinox are prone to Northern Lights. >From Canada to Scandinavia they provide a great show.
“Such outbursts are called auroral substorms and they have long puzzled physicists,” says UCLA space physicist Vassilis Angelopoulos. They represent “a potent geomagnetic storm.” The equinox in Spring and Autumn is a time when magnetic connections between the Sun and Earth are most favorable.
One book, “Silent Spring”, by Rachel Carson, first published in September 1962, started the environmental campaign against pesticide use for any reason, leading most famously to the ban on DDT in the U.S. What Carson neglected to tell readers was how they were supposed to cope with the trillions of insects that come with the advent of warm weather.
No pesticide use does not mean less mosquitoes, less termites, less flies, less ants, or less of any other insect species and the diseases they spread, property damage, and the damage they cause to crops of all descriptions. And, of course, the much of the pollination of crops and other vegetation depends on insect species.
Carson’s claims of a silent spring bereft of bird species was a blatant lie. An authority on pest management, Rich Kozlovich noted that “Bird populations were never so high in North America” despite the use of DDT and other pesticides. “Carson’s claim about how the poor robin was going to disappear was not only wrong, she was deliberately lying.”
“Carson was a science writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and absolutely had to know that in 1960 there were 12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, 131 times more grackles, etc., compared to 1941 numbers.”
Spring is a time of renewal in the northern hemisphere and it occurs with enormous levels of natural power. Most people, however, are oblivious to that power as they enjoy the sight of flowers and trees blooming.
I could almost guarantee that you will read or hear about “global warming” or “climate change” being attributed to the arrival of Spring. Do yourself a favor. Keep in mind that those claims, like Rachel Carson’s, represent an anti-humanity, anti-energy, and anti-capitalism agenda of the environmental movement.
Instead, celebrate the seasonal renewal of life on Earth and give thanks for the energy that permits you to control the environment of the structures where you live and work, that provides you the means to get in your car and go anywhere, and that powers every device you use.
----------------- 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 SignsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The House reconvened 9 AM. The House may considering the following bills: S.J. Res. 8 — "Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation case procedures." Passage of S.J. Res. 8, legislation would prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing its ambush elections rule that drastically shortens the time frame for union elections and compromises the privacy of American workers. H. Res. 132 — "Providing for the expenses of certain committees of the House of Representatives in the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress."
The House is expected to adjourn early today until 12 PM on Monday, March 23.
Yesterday the House passed (241-175) H.R. 1030 — The Secret Science Reform Act: "To prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible."
Speaker John Boehner commented after passage of H.R. 1030, "“There’s no better, more blatant example of bureaucracy run amok than the EPA. It puts the screws to small businesses, hardworking taxpayers, and entire industries every day, and it does so without adhering to the most basic standards of transparency. Chairman Lamar Smith’s bill requires the EPA to release all the data on which its regulations are based, and if it won’t, then it can’t issue those regulations. No more secrets – it’s that simple. This will be good for American jobs, and it will rein in a serial offender against the public’s right to know what goes on in its government.”
The Senate reconvened at 11 AM and resumed consideration of S. 178, the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
At noon, the Senate again began a vote on cloture on the committee-reported substitute amendment to S.178. If that cloture vote fails, there will be another cloture vote on the underlying bill immediately following.
Yesterday, Democrats filibustered the anti-trafficking bill, S. 178, for a third time.
The House may considering the following bills: S.J. Res. 8 — "Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation case procedures." Passage of S.J. Res. 8, legislation would prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing its ambush elections rule that drastically shortens the time frame for union elections and compromises the privacy of American workers. H. Res. 132 — "Providing for the expenses of certain committees of the House of Representatives in the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress."
Late yesterday, the AP reported, “Senate Democrats blocked debate on stalled human trafficking legislation for a second day Wednesday as a Democratic senator's office belatedly conceded that a staff aide knew weeks ago that the measure included a controversial abortion-related provision.
“Democrats have said for more than a week that their side of the aisle was not aware of the provision until a few days ago, nearly two months after the legislation was made public and long after a bipartisan vote in the Judiciary Committee on Feb. 24. Several Democrats have accused Republicans of sneaking it into the measure without their discovering it.
“But Julia Krahe, a spokeswoman for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, said an aide to the Minnesota Democrat ‘had seen the language’ relating to abortion before the committee voted. The aide ‘did not inform the senator. The senator takes responsibility for the work of her office and missing the provision and she is focused on moving forward to find a way to fix the bill and protect victims of trafficking,’ Krahe added. Her disclosure came in an email Tuesday evening in response to an inquiry first made a week ago. Klobuchar is a leading Democratic advocate for the trafficking bill.”
In a speech on the floor this morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Throughout Democrats’ filibuster of anti-slavery legislation, this is basically what they’ve been telling us: We don’t read legislation we vote on.
“Even so, It was always a stretch to believe that not a single one of the 13 original Democrat cosponsors of this bill — nor the many Democrats who voted for this bill in committee, nor their well-educated staffs — could not have been bothered to make it to page four before deciding to support it. Well, support it, at least until far-left lobbyists told them they couldn’t anymore.
“So yesterday’s revelation — that the Democratic side was indeed aware of the language in question — could hardly have surprised anyone. It also makes clear that Democrats decided to yank their support for an anti-slavery bill for one simple reason: because far-left lobbyists said so.
“Not because the American people said so. Nearly 70% of Americans support the kind of bipartisan provisions Democrats now claim they object to. And many Democrats have voted for similar bipartisan Hyde language many times before, in both appropriations and authorizing legislation.
“So our Democratic colleagues obviously lack a rationale for this continued filibustering of anti-slavery legislation.”
Today, they have yet another opportunity to put victims of trafficking ahead of left-wing lobbying groups. So far, though, Democrats have voted against doing that.
As the Chicago Tribune editors said, “Democrats, swallow your pride. Vote to move forward with the human trafficking bill. … And Democrats can resolve never again to vote for a bill they haven't read.” Tags:U.S., House, EPA, No More Secrets, Senate, Human Trafficking BillTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Eric Holder, leftest leaders, anit-Cop rhetoricTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Netanyahu Proves Elections Matter and Campaigns Matter
by Newt Gingrich: Yesterday’s election in Israel is a healthy reminder that the vote of the people matters. It is also a useful reminder that campaigns can make a big difference.
Prime Minister Netanyahu focused his campaign on national security. He argued that Israel’s very survival is at stake. His opponents wanted to emphasize the economy.
Forced to choose between their pocketbook and their lives, a large number of Israelis chose national security.
The bias of the media in this campaign was obvious and deeply anti-Netanyahu. Before election day, there were predictions that Netanyahu’s party, Likud, would only win 21 seats. Then the media decided based on exit polls that the race would be a tie with 24 seats for Likud and 24 for the left.
My guess is that media hostility to Netanyahu caused a significant number of those polled to refuse to admit they voted for him.
In the real results, it seems Likud won 30 seats for a surprisingly big gain in the complex world of Israeli politics. As the New York Post reported, “Not only was that shockingly good for Likud, it was a far stronger showing than in the last election.”
If Netanyahu was the biggest winner of the day, Speaker John Boehner may have been the second biggest winner. His decision to invite the Israeli Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress created a close tie with the newly reelected Israeli leader.
President Obama has publicly expressed disdain for Netanyahu and sent political operatives (not to mention, according to some allegations, taxpayer money) to defeat Likud. He lost.
This outcome is a good reminder that elections matter. The real vote was very different from the pre-election analysis which was off by 45% in the number of seats won. It was also “a far cry from the virtual dead heat that television exit polls had reported Tuesday evening,” as the Jerusalem Post put it.
Sometimes leaders have to make powerful, clear, emotional arguments buttressed by compelling and understandable facts.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say, “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”
This outcome has to worry Hillary Clinton, who saw Barack Obama win the 2007-2008 primary campaign even though she was far-and-away the frontrunner, in part because she had no argument to make. She seems to have the same problem today.
Republicans should take heart that a sound campaign that makes an important argument can lead to a good election outcome.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Israel, Netanyahu, Elections Matter, Campaigns MatterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
“There is a very bright line between political activity, which is trying to get the governor re-elected, and doing the state’s business in which the governor is supposed to act in the best interest of taxpayers.”…
“These emails show that a lot of the state’s business was being conducted in secret on private email accounts and far from the scrutiny of the Legislature, or the press, or the public.”Hillary Clinton, anyone?
Oregon’s exchange is seen as the worst of the more than a dozen states that developed their own online health insurance marketplaces….
Oregon…received a total of $305 million in federal grants to fund its operations….That’s a lot of our coin. How did Cover Oregon do with all of it?Oregon Ranks Last in Health Insurance Sign-UpsOutstanding. That explains Kitzhaber’s earnest interest in transparency. Turns out his political consultant wasn’t the optimal choice for the gig.
The former governor and Hayes showed up at the Knott Landfill southeast of Bend in a pickup and an SUV about 2 p.m. last Friday and spent a few minutes dumping trash, according to Timm Schimke, the director of the Deschutes County Solid Waste Department.Even more transparency.AG: ‘Oregonians Deserve ... the Facts’Check the landfill. Bring a mask and some air freshener.
The thing is - this isn’t just an Oregon scandal and a Cover Oregon failure. The Barack Obama Administration is absolutely also on the hook.
They kept pouring federal money into Oregon - way, way after it was obvious Oregon’s ObamaCare was a train wreck.
The federal ObamaCare superstructure is where the real coin is wasted. Our intrepid investigating Congressmen should adhere to Sutton’s maxim - and go there.
---------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter / Facebook. Tags:Seton Motley, Less Government, Cover Oregon, Hillary Clinton, IRS, John Kitzhaber, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Looking for the Next President - Not A Republicans In Name Only
by Phyllis Schlafly: It seems so early, but eager candidates are already lining up to become the Republican nominee for President in the important race of 2016. There has already been one showcasing in Iowa, and candidates are seeking opportunities to strut their stuff and show why they are different from and better than the others.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush realizes that he is on the wrong side of the hottest issue at the grassroots, Common Core, so he is stressing his “backbone” in continuing to support an unpopular issue, calling it one of his “core beliefs.” Governor Bobby Jindal, on the other hand, demonstrated his leadership by reversing his original support of Common Core after his own kid came home with the stupid incoherent math homework assigned by the Common Core curriculum.
Maureen Dowd has already predicted who Democratic-Republican nominees will be: “Brace yourself for Hillary and Jeb.” The New York Times made its choice by citing Jeb as “a top-banner intellect” who maintains 25 books on his Kindle and takes vacations called “think tanks.”
Rush Limbaugh gave us a laugh by suggesting a Hillary-Jeb ticket because they agree on so many important issues, such as Common Core and amnesty for illegal aliens. But the 2016 election isn’t any laughing matter; it could be the most important presidential election of our lifetime. It could be when we decide if will accept or reject Barack Obama’s promise of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Do conservatives have a future? Can we hope to offer the American people a real choice, not an echo of the loser Republican nominees (Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney) foisted on us by the little gang we used to call the kingmakers and now call RINOs (Republicans In Name Only)?
I remember when one of the U.S. Senate’s all-time greatest orators, Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, intoned against a kingmaker nominee during a Republican National Convention: “We followed you before and you led us down the road to defeat.” We are still hurting from the way the powers-that-be foisted on us the men we used to call “me-too” candidates (whatever the liberals and Democrats said, the Republican nominee echoed).
Do conservatives have a future? Can we hope to elect a choice and not an echo of previous mistakes? We did it in 1980 when we defeated the Establishment choice and nominated and elected Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of the 20th century.
Here are some fundamental questions to ask all presidential wannabes.
What is your plan to clip the wings of supremacist judges (who believe the Constitution is a “living” document that they can rewrite)? We will not allow supremacist judges to rewrite the definition of marriage, or to abolish placing a cross or a Ten Commandments monument in public places, or to stop the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Do you faithfully support the right to life in all congressional and state legislation and judicial litigation?
What is your plan to protect parents’ rights to guide the education of their children? Specifically, will you oppose the adoption in all schools of Common Core so-called standards and tests which, in turn, control the curriculum?
What is your plan to protect the jobs of American workers from invasion by amnesty for illegal aliens who do not respect our laws or constitutional government? What is your plan to establish border security?
What is your plan to protect the jobs of American workers from foreign trade agreements negotiated by Obama behind closed doors, which pretend to endorse free trade but actually are a cover for outsourcing good American jobs and insourcing foreigners to take away from Americans.
It’s time for all Americans to engage in the political battle and make sure we have candidates on the ballot we can support. The kingmakers and RINOs are playing for high stakes: control of federal spending, an awesome amount of money that most Americans can hardly comprehend.
Grassroots Americans should take this good advice from Patrick Henry: “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.”
The lessons from the past about how Republican nominees are usually chosen by the kingmakers are described in my new book, A Choice Not An Echo. There you can read about kingmaker shenanigans not reported in any other book.
-------------------- 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, looking for the Next President, 2016, 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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