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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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 (429-347 BC)

Friday, May 08, 2015

Rick Perry Changes His Mind on Ex-Im Bank, Calls for Its End

Gov. Rick Perry
by Kate Scanlon: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for an end to the Export-Import Bank—a reversal from the position he held as governor.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Perry, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, wrote that he has changed his mind.

Perry wrote that during his time as governor, Texas “became the nation’s leading exporter,” and that the Ex-Im Bank “played a role in making this happen.”

According to Perry, over 1,200 companies in Texas have financed $24 billion in exports through Ex-Im. He acknowledged that in June of last year, he wrote a letter to Congress “urging the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.”

But now, in light of “recent revelations of corruption and bribery at the institution,” Perry said he can no longer support it.

“Next month, the bank comes up for reauthorization again—but this time I can’t get on board,” wrote Perry.

“Those at Ex-Im who have abused the public trust must be pursued to the full extent of the law,” wrote Perry. “But it may be that the best way to mend Ex-Im is to end it.”

The Export-Import Bank is a little-known government agency that provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

Ex-Im’s backers argue the bank helps small businesses compete in the global market.

The bank’s charter expires June 30, and as Congress inches closer to its deadline on whether Ex-Im should be reauthorized, the debate over its future is heating up.

A number of other presumed and declared Republican presidential candidates—including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—have also called for the bank to be shuttered. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham appears to be its lone supporter in the present GOP field.
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Kate Scanlon (@scanlon_kate) is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Rick Perry, changes mind, end, Ex-Im Bank, Kate Scanlon, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Squirrelly Taxes . . .

. . . Congress created the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in 1956 to fund construction of the Interstate Highway System. The HTF is funded primarily though an 18.4-cent per gallon federal excise tax on gasoline. Funding for the HTF expires May 31, and with the HTF facing a budget shortfall, some in Congress have proposed raising the federal gasoline tax.

Yet more than 25 percent of HTF revenues aren't even spent on highways. Instead, they’re diverted to subways, streetcars, buses, nature paths, and even squirrel sanctuaries.

The bottom line? There is never a good time to raise taxes on the American people to fund a broken system in which the federal government no longer has business being involved.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony Branco

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, squirrelly taxes, Highway Trust Fund, HTF, subways, streetcars, buses, nature paths, squirrel sanctuaries, federal gasoline tax To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Four Clinton Foundation Trustees Charged Or Convicted Of Financial Crimes

by Warner Todd Huston: Shocking revelations show that at least four Clinton Foundation board of directors have either been charged or convicted of financial crimes, including bribery and fraud.

This newest, startling revelation is just one more of many in Peter Schweizer’s bombshell book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, the book that has sent the Hillary Clinton campaign and the media scrambling.

The book shows that there are many problems with the Clinton charity. In fact, the Clinton Foundation is so unlike a real charity that even charity watchdog group Charity Navigator refuses to rate the Clinton Foundation because of its “atypical business model.”

One of those problems is the fact that the Clintons put big donors and close pals on the board for reasons that are hard to fathom. In fact, at least four of these “board members” have either been charged or convicted of serious financial irregularities, crimes including bribery and fraud.

The most well-known of these board members is Vinod Gupta.



“Vinod Gupta, the founder and chairman of the database firm InfoUSA, was a major Clinton financial supporter who served as a foundation trustee,” the book says.In 2008 he was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for using company funds to support his luxurious lifestyle. He was alleged to have used more than $9.5 million in corporate funds to pay for personal jet travel, millions for his yacht, personal credit card expenses, and the cost of twenty cars. He settled with the SEC for $4 million.

Gupta also paid Bill Clinton a $3 million “consulting fee,” an act of misuse of corporate funds that brought shareholders to file a suit against him. The company eventually settled with shareholders to the tune of $13 million, Clinton Cash reports.

Another such person involved with financial irregularities is foundation trustee Sant Chatwal, who has convictions for illegal campaign financing, obstruction of justice, and a list of other charges.

Then there is trustee Victor Dahdaleh, who “was charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Great Britain with paying more than 35 million pounds in bribes to executives in Bahrain to win contracts of more than 2 billion pounds,” the book notes.

Clinton Cash goes on to report that Dahdaleh “has worked for the American aluminum company Alcoa as a ‘super-agent.’ (The billionaire had his bail revoked in the case because he contacted prosecution witnesses.) Dahdaleh was found not guilty after the SFO offered no evidence against Dahdaleh because a key witness, Bruce Hall, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to corrupt but refused to testify. Alcoa ended up pleading guilty in the US case arising out of the transaction and settled with the US Justice Department for $384 million. Dahdaleh was not charged in the United States individually.”

Finally, there is current Clinton Foundation board member and trustee Rolando Gonzalez Bunster, who “has been named in a fraud case in the Dominican Republic involving his company InterEnergy. The charges were filed by the Dominican government’s Anti-Corruption Alliance (ADOCCO). In 2013, Bunster was charged along with officials of a government agency concerning alleged ‘ballooned’ fees charged to the government. The company dismisses the charges as ‘baseless allegations.'”

These are just a few of the troubling things that Clinton Cash reveals about the Clinton Foundation.
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Warner Todd Huston (@warnerthuston) blogs at Publius Forum and is a freelance writer for Breitbart.com/BigGovernment where he shared this article and numerous other conservative publications.

Tags: Warner Todd Huston, Big Government, 2016 Presidential Race, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Cash, Fraud To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Senate, Big Business & Media Push Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

Early Americans Enter Into Trade With European Settles.
How's That Work Out for the Native Americans?
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 8, 2015:
The House is not in session.

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed consideration of H.R. 1191, the vehicle for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. At 2 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the Corker substitute amendment (the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015) to H.R. 1191. The Senate will then vote on final passage of H.R. 1191.

On the Senate floor this morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued making the case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and the Trade Promotion Authority legislation as being vital to conclude the agreement.

He said, “We are a Pacific nation. We have important allies in the region, nations like Japan, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand that are today just as much a part of a modern, democratic, and market-oriented West as we are.

“The 21st Century also promises to be an Asian-Pacific century. If we care about preserving and extending American leadership globally, then we cannot cede the most dynamic region in the world to China. One way to preserve our leadership would be to invest in the weapons systems and platforms that would fulfill the Obama administration's would be ‘pivot' to Asia.

“Another important way would be to demonstrate our economic leadership. That’s one more reason why passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act is so important.

“The United States is currently negotiating an agreement with a whole host of Pacific nations — not just Japan and Australia, but also countries like Canada and Chile — that would cement and enhance our role in the world’s fastest-growing region. The . . . Trans-Pacific Partnership would lower unfair trade barriers to American-made goods and American produce sold in the Pacific. That would represent a huge win for American workers and American farmers, to say nothing of the far-reaching geopolitical implications for our country.

“But our trade negotiators cannot bring this Pacific agreement back to Congress for careful review and deliberation unless Congress assures our trading partners that the agreement they is going to get a fair up or down vote. That’s just what the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act would do. This bipartisan bill would also force America’s trade negotiators to meet congressional objectives and consult with Congress regularly throughout the process, and it would ensure that an agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership could not be enacted without explicit congressional approval.”

There’s a critical security dimension to these trade negotiations. McConnell explained, “China wants to diminish American influence in the Pacific. And China wants to substitute American-style rules of global economic fair play for Chinese-style rules of monopolistic cartels and mercantilism. That’s not an outcome any American should be willing to accept. . . . The other countries in the region have made clear that they will have regional trade agreements with or without us. And if we walk away, China will step in. There’s no question of that.”

In his speech to Congress last month, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “[P]rosperity is nothing less than the seedbed for peace. Involving countries in Asia Pacific whose backgrounds vary, the U.S. and Japan must take the lead. We must take the lead to build a market that is fair, dynamic, sustainable, and is also free from the arbitrary intentions of any nation. …we can spread our shared values around the world and have them take root: the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. That is exactly what the TPP is all about.” He emphasized, “[T]he TPP goes far beyond just economic benefits. It is also about our security. Long term, its strategic value is awesome. We should never forget that.”

For more media pro-PTA news, the ARRA News Service published yesterday the Senate Republicans Communication Center summary of press reports and leaders supporting Trade Promotion Authority.

Also noted yesterday, "Not everyone is buying into to the need for Trade Promotion Authority, Money Mogul Donald Trump has joined with Americans for Limited Government in an effort to oppose the Trade Promotion Authority & Trans-Pacific Partnership deal."

In addition, ARRA News noted, "Americans for Limited Government announced a series of brand new radio advertisements featuring Donald J. Trump that will air nationally with an initial emphasis on New Hampshire and South Carolina. The ad, in which Mr. Trump calls on Republican leaders to stop passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will be broadcast statewide in New Hampshire and South Carolina followed next week by a national rollout. The ad will educate Americans on the detrimental ramifications of these proposed agreements and the combined determination of Americans for Limited Government and Trump to defeat any deal that harms the protection and creation of American jobs. . . .

"Carly Fiorina's questioning the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a big deal. Joining Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Donald Trump in opposition to granting trade promotion authority to President Obama to negotiate the deal now nationalizes the debate. . . ."

Tags: TPA, Trade Promotion Authority, U.S. Senate, Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Angry White Baggage Lady - Hillary Clinton, - View . . .

. . . Of angry "white men," Fiorina, Carson, Cruz and Jindal running in the 2016 republican presidential primary.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, Editorial Cartoon, Hillary Clinton, Baggage lady, view, Republican candidates,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Learning from Obamacare’s Spectacular State Failures

With Obamacare being a Train Wreck, the Obama Admin
  turns to implement the EPA Energy Train Wreck
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Federal taxpayers spent a shocking total of $5.4 billion – with a B – on grants to establish what ended up being just 13 state Obamacare exchanges. In some states the failures have been spectacular enough to embarrass officials and imperil political careers, and in far too many places, Republicans who should have known better went along. It’s an object lesson in keeping your fingerprints off the other party’s very bad ideas, and should be front of mind not just if the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell sparks new Obamacare exchange fights in state capitals, but also as states decide whether to cooperate with the Obama administration’s equally misguided global warming regulations. In both cases, the playbook is the same.

So how hard can it be to build a website when you have access to vast grants of federal taxpayer dollars? Very, it turns out, when the website has to comply with and implement the thicket of rules and regulations in the Obamacare law.

Massachusetts, which had a perfectly functional health exchange built by then-Governor Romney for a total of about $3.5 million, received $225 million from federal taxpayers for “upgrades” that broke the site so badly its director broke down in tears.

Tiny Vermont got $200 million and built a site so bad that they may pull the plug later this summer. Minnesota is also considering shutting down; they got $189 million.

Hawaii’s site is hemorrhaging cash, despite getting $205 million from the feds, and is likely to shut down if state legislators say no to an emergency $28 million bailout request.

Maryland’s exchange wasted $190 million from federal taxpayers and another $20 million or so from state taxpayers on their first site before they gave up and started over on a different technology platform. They will likely request another big bailout from the governor this summer.

Republican governors in New Mexico and Nevada accepted $123 million and $101 million in federal funds with nothing to show for it; both states have shut down and moved into the federal exchange.

Even California, supposedly the “success story” among state exchanges, doesn’t have much to show for a cost to federal taxpayers of precisely $1,065,683,056. Its 2015 goal was to boost enrollment by 500,000 people – it actually added just 7,098. Total enrollment has stalled at just 40% of potential. And the site has a miserable one-star Yelp rating. Not exactly the greatest results for a billion-dollar website.

Then there is Oregon, the disaster so astonishingly spectacular that it almost makes the rest look quaint. With $305 million of federal tax dollars flushed and not a single person ever signed up, Oregon would be a scandal simply for the scale of its failure. But it’s much worse. A blockbuster report by Wilmette Week found that the whole Cover Oregon debacle was run by now-disgraced former Governor John Kitzhaber’s reelection campaign, based entirely on politics. Specifically, they found that the site was being run by a political consultant named Patricia McCaig, who calls herself “the Princess of Darkness.”

“By her own admission, Patricia McCaig knew virtually nothing about health care reform or the reasons Cover Oregon had crashed,” according to Wilmette Week. “Her primary mission was not to save a beleaguered state program but to get Kitzhaber re-elected.”

With such an albatross, it might be surprising that Oregon saw Democratic gains last year while Republicans were winning everywhere else. But it’s probably because the state Obamacare exchange law passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. In fact, Kitzhaber’s Republican opponent for governor, Dennis Richardson, voted for it.

There is a vitally important lesson here. A bad policy idea must be opposed, full stop. There is no good way to implement Obamacare; states can’t do it any better than the feds, but they can discredit themselves badly by trying. If the Supreme Court rules that subsidies can flow only through state exchanges, states should be smart enough to demand Congress step up with reforms that will give them much greater flexibility before they move forward with any new health care program.

The same lesson applies to energy policy. The Obama administration is using the exact same playbook, demanding states implement cap-and-trade and other power sector rules under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act – with a threat that if they don’t the EPA will do it themselves. Well, let them try. Any state tempted to play along under the theory that they can implement a bad idea in a less damaging way than the feds should look at what happened in Obamacare states and instead stand and fight.
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Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, Obamacare, state failures, EPA policy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How Congress Kept Its Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies

Health-care experts call it D.C. insiderism at its worst.

by Brendan Bordelon: The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on April 23: Republican leadership was quietly pushing senators to pull support for subpoenaing Congress’s fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange — the document that facilitated Congress’s “exemption” from Obamacare by allowing lawmakers and staffers to keep their employer subsidies.

The application said Congress employed just 45 people. Names were faked; one employee was listed as “First Last,” another simply as “Congress.” To Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter, who has fought for years against the Obamacare exemption, it was clear that someone in Congress had falsified the document in order to make lawmakers and their staff eligible for taxpayer subsidies provided under the exchange for small-business employees.

But until Vitter got a green light from the Small Business Committee to subpoena the unredacted application from the District of Columbia health exchange, it would be impossible to determine who in Congress gave it a stamp of approval. When Vitter asked Republicans on his committee to approve the subpoena, however, he was unexpectedly stonewalled.

With nine Democrats on the committee lined up against the proposal, the chairman needed the support of all ten Republicans to issue the subpoena. But, though it seems an issue tailor-made for the tea-party star and Republican presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) refused to lend his support. And when the Louisiana senator set a public vote for April 23, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies got involved.

“For whatever reason, leadership decided they wanted that vote to be 5–5, all Republicans, to give Senator Paul cover,” one high-ranking committee staffer tells National Review. “So they worked at a member level to change the votes of otherwise supportive senators.” Four Republicans — senators Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer — had promised to support Vitter, but that would soon change.

Senate staffers, according to a top committee aide, reported seeing Missouri senator Roy Blunt make calls to at least two Republican committee members, lobbying them, at McConnell’s behest, to vote no on subpoenaing the exchange. By the time the committee was called to quorum, Enzi, Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer voted no.

To many observers, it was curious that any Republican would move to put the brakes on an investigation into Obamacare fraud, and particularly curious that they would pull back in an instance where the federal government was actually defrauding itself, one that so clearly illustrates Obamacare’s flaws by exposing the bureaucratic jujitsu and outright dishonesty required of federal employees themselves to navigate the law.

Conservative health-care experts can’t understand the reasoning behind the GOP senators’ opposition. They see politics and self-interest at play, and they allege that Republican leaders are as invested as their Democratic counterparts in maintaining their subsidies, fraudulently obtained, while avoiding scrutiny from an overwhelmingly disapproving American public.

“We deserve to know who signed that application, because they are robbing taxpayers,” says Michael Cannon, director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. The staffers who signed the fraudulent application, he says, “know who was directing them to do this. And so we have to follow the trail of breadcrumbs. This is the next breadcrumb, and whoever is farther up the trail wants to stop Vitter right here.”

The story of the ill-fated subpoena can be traced back to the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) insisted that lawmakers and congressional staff join a health-care exchange set up under the bill. For government employees, that meant giving up government-subsidized health-care contributions of between $5,000 and $10,000 per person. The White House scrambled to find a way to allow congressional employees to keep those subsidies. In Washington, D.C., only the small-business exchange allowed them to do so. After secret meetings with House speaker John Boehner in 2013, President Obama instructed the Office of Personnel Management to allow Congress to file for classification as a small business, despite the fact that the law defines a small business as having no more than 50 employees and the House and Senate together employ tens of thousands.

When Vitter’s staffers tracked down the application and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you've got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

“I think it makes sense to find out what happened,” says Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs, a noted conservative health-care voice and a National Review contributor. “It would be pretty interesting to see whose name is on the forms,” he says. “It has to go beyond mid-level staffers.”

But some congressional Republicans, it seems, are also resistant to getting to the bottom of the mystery — or, at the very least, they are content to let sleeping dogs lie.

Committee rules for a subpoena require either the consent of the ranking member or a majority of the group’s 19 senators. Because Democrats quickly made their opposition clear, Vitter needed the approval of all ten Republicans. Nine of them quickly consented via e-mail; one senator was strangely unresponsive.

Senior committee aides say that Rand Paul’s staff didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting the senator’s consent and, when they did, they refused to provide it. When Vitter attempted to set up a member-to-member meeting, his overtures were ignored or put off. Paul’s policy staff refused to take a meeting. When Vitter tried to confront Paul on the Senate floor, they say, the Kentucky senator skirted the issue.

It wasn't until after the vote that Paul shared his reasoning. “Senator Paul opposes allowing Congress to exempt themselves from any legislation,” an aide told the Conservative Review. “To that end, yesterday, he reintroduced his proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit Congress from passing any law that exempts themselves. Senator Paul prefers this option over a partisan cross-examination of Congressional staff.”

But a constitutional amendment is a longshot that would take years, and it hardly precluded an investigation of congressional corruption here and now.

“That’s absurd,” says Robert Moffit, the director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You don’t need a constitutional amendment to get a subpoena . . . I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

“The answers he has given do not make sense,” Cannon says of Paul. “And when someone with his principles does something that is so obviously against his principles, and does not give an adequate explanation, you begin to think that politics is afoot. It would have to be someone very powerful that made him a powerful pitch — or threat — to keep him from doing this.”

Paul’s press secretary tells National Review that the senator “examines every opportunity to [oppose Obamacare] individually, and does not base his vote on requests made by other senators, including the majority leader.”

Asked whether McConnell pushed Paul or any other senator on the subpoena, a spokesman for McConnell says the majority leader “didn't make any announcements when that committee voted.”

The flip-flopping Republicans justified their change of heart. Risch said in the April 23 committee meeting that legal wrangling with the D.C. exchange could take time away from the committee’s small-business work. Enzi said he saw little wrong with the application as is.

“Each of us has our own budget, each of us has our own staff,” he said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m way under 50 [employees]. So my staff qualifies as a small business.”

Enzi was one of the original sponsors of Vitter’s 2013 amendment to end the congressional Obamacare exemption, but his press secretary tells National Review he felt the probe “could inadvertently target staff who simply completed paperwork as part of their job.” He insists that Enzi “made up his own mind.” Risch, Ayotte, and Fischer declined to comment.

A spokesman for South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who voted for the subpoena, says that nobody lobbied him one way or the other, while a spokesman for Florida senator Marco Rubio, who also voted in favor of the measure, declined to comment.

Health-care experts dismiss Enzi’s claim that each member’s office is its own small business, and not just because the health exchange application was filed for Congress as a whole. “These congressional offices that think they’re small businesses, are they LLCs?” Cannon asks. “Are they S-Corps? Are they shareholder-owned? Are they privately held? What is the ownership structure of this small business that you’re running, senator? It’s just utterly ridiculous.”

“They’re transparently absurd,” says Moffit of Senate Republicans claiming small-business status. “Who made the determination that Congress is a small business and is therefore eligible for subsidies that do not legally exist? How did that happen?”

No one quite knows what’s behind leadership’s apparent push to kill the subpoena. The move baffled some committee staffers. “The amount of blood that McConnell and Paul spilled to prevent [the subpoena] from happening makes me wonder [if] maybe that isn't all that there is to it,” the high-ranking staffer says. “Maybe other people signed it . . . They’re clearly afraid of something bigger than a person’s name getting out there.”

Others, however, think the motives behind GOP leadership’s apparent obfuscation are clear. “If there’s one thing that absolutely drives Americans fundamentally crazy, it’s the idea that Congress can set one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else,” says Moffit. “That’s political poison, and that’s why they have been so desperate to avoid the issue.”

“The most powerful interest group in Washington D.C., is not the Chamber or the unions or anyone else,” Cannon says. “It is members of Congress and their staffs. And when it comes to their benefits, they are all members of the same party.”
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Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review. The research is solely that of the author. This National Review article was shared under the Fair Use Doctrine for educational purposes concerning Congress and Obamacare Subsides.  Take Action: Click here to demand Congress STOP hiding FRAUD and END its illegal Obamacare exemption! It's Free!

Tags: Congress, Legislators, Staff members, Kept, Fraudulent Obamacare Subsidies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Celebrating Mothers

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: As someone who had the great good fortune to have had a remarkable mother, a woman who embraced being my Mother by providing unconditional love and support for my various activities and decisions over the course of my life, I approach the subject of motherhood with the knowledge that this does not apply to everyone.

I have friends whose mothers were true horror stories. One wonders how they survived theirs. And, of course, I can only approach the topic from a son’s point of view. A mother’s relationship with a daughter may differ, but I cannot speak to it. Daughters, too, have benefitted or paid a price for their mothers.

What struck me as I contemplated the forthcoming Mother’s Day was the way my Mother, born in the early 1900’s both loved being a mother and, well before the woman’s movement that demanded equality, was in the adult school workplace teaching the art of gourmet cuisine for some three decades.

Rebecca acquired a great following and her classes were always sold old. Mother, who occasionally expressed regret she had not attended college, had an encyclopedic knowledge, not only of food, but of wines. Not only would she author two cookbooks, she would become the first woman board member of the Sommelier Society of America.

Need it be said that dinner was the highlight of our days together, Mother, my Father Robert, and myself. An older brother was largely gone out of our lives as the result of service in the Army and marriage shortly thereafter.

Mother brought to her classes the philosophy she lived at home. My Father adored her. Their marriage exceeded sixty years together. He delighted in her success. That was reflected in an atmosphere of love that imbued our lives together.

Mother lived to age 98, passing away in 2002. A day never passes without thoughts of her. I was truly blessed in the same way my Father, her friends, and countless students felt. She imparted a philosophy that saw life as a constant opportunity to learn about one’s passions and to pursue them.

The modern American holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She had begun her campaign to have Mother’s Day become a recognized holiday in 1905, the year her mother passed away. As she put it, your mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Several states officially recognized Mother’s Day and in 1914 President Wilson signed a proclamation creating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday.

There have been men whose mother’s contributed in significant ways to the success they achieved. To call them Mama’s Boys is to realize that the relationship had both a good and not so good effect on them. Elvis Presley began his rise when he went to Sun Records in Memphis to record some songs as a birthday present for his mother, Gladys. He was her only child and had a very close, loving relationship. She was living with him at Graceland until she passed away in 1958.

Another Mama’s Boy was General Douglas MacArthur. The youngest of her three sons, when he went off to West Point, she followed, taking up residence at a hotel where she could keep an eye on him. Reportedly they got together for an hour after he dined with his fellow students. He, of course, grew up to lead America to victory in the Pacific Theatre of World War Two. There was nothing about him that suggested his mother’s close attention and love did anything but prepare with a great sense of self-confidence.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only son of Sara and she was as controlling a mother as one could imagine. After he married Eleanor without Sara’s approval, she gave them a townhouse in Manhattan which connected to her own! Reportedly, Franklin latter admitted he had been terrified of her mother his entire life. That, however, did not interfere with his rising to become President and one of the great leaders of his times.

One might speculate that, for good or ill, being a Mama’s Boy, loved and/or controlled applies in some fashion to the sons of all the mothers.

The fortunate ones like myself can grow up to bask in the love of their mothers and look back on their lives together with memories that guide our present lives.

To me, motherhood, along with fatherhood, has surely got to be the most important job any woman or man can undertake.
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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, celebrating Mothers, Mother's Day To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Not Everyone Agrees With Senate Pushes TPA As Vital For US Economic, Strategic, Security Interests In Asia

Donald Trump has joined with
Americans for Limited Government
in opposing the Trade Promotion
Authority & Trans-Pacific Partnership
(Info and video below)
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 7, 2014
The House is not in Session.

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and resumed consideration of H.R. 1191, the vehicle for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.

At 2 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the Corker substitute amendment (the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015) to H.R. 1191. The Senate will then vote on final passage of H.R. 1191.

This morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued making the case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and the Trade Promotion Authority legislation that’s vital to concluding that agreement.

He said, “We are a Pacific nation. We have important allies in the region, nations like Japan, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand that are today just as much a part of a modern, democratic, and market-oriented West as we are.

“The 21st Century also promises to be an Asian-Pacific century. If we care about preserving and extending American leadership globally, then we cannot cede the most dynamic region in the world to China.  One way to preserve our leadership would be to invest in the weapons systems and platforms that would fulfill the Obama administration's would be ‘pivot' to Asia.

“Another important way would be to demonstrate our economic leadership. That’s one more reason why passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act is so important.

“The United States is currently negotiating an agreement with a whole host of Pacific nations — not just Japan and Australia, but also countries like Canada and Chile — that would cement and enhance our role in the world’s fastest-growing region. The . . . Trans-Pacific Partnership would lower unfair trade barriers to American-made goods and American produce sold in the Pacific. That would represent a huge win for American workers and American farmers, to say nothing of the far-reaching geopolitical implications for our country.

“But our trade negotiators cannot bring this Pacific agreement back to Congress for careful review and deliberation unless Congress assures our trading partners that the agreement they is going to get a fair up or down vote.  That’s just what the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act would do. This bipartisan bill would also force America’s trade negotiators to meet congressional objectives and consult with Congress regularly throughout the process, and it would ensure that an agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership could not be enacted without explicit congressional approval.”

But there’s a critical security dimension to these trade negotiations, too. Leader McConnell explained, “China wants to diminish American influence in the Pacific. And China wants to substitute American-style rules of global economic fair play for Chinese-style rules of monopolistic cartels and mercantilism. That’s not an outcome any American should be willing to accept. . . . The other countries in the region have made clear that they will have regional trade agreements with or without us. And if we walk away, China will step in. There’s no question of that.”

The ARRA News Service published today the Senate Republicans Communication Center summary of press reports and leaders supporting Trade Promotion Authority.

Not everyone is buying into to the need for Trade Promotion Authority,  Money Mogul Donald Trump has joined with Americans for Limited Government in an effort to oppose the Trade Promotion Authority & Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Americans for Limited Government announced a series of brand new radio advertisements featuring Donald J. Trump that will air nationally with an initial emphasis on New Hampshire and South Carolina. The ad, in which Mr. Trump calls on Republican leaders to stop passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will be broadcast statewide in New Hampshire and South Carolina followed next week by a national rollout. The ad will educate Americans on the detrimental ramifications of these proposed agreements and the combined determination of Americans for Limited Government and Trump to defeat any deal that harms the protection and creation of American jobs.

Donald J. Trump said, “Yet again, the politicians are allowing our president to reinforce the lack of respect countries like China and Japan now have for the United States. They will devalue their currency, exploit our trade agreements, continue to destroy our economy and put Americans out of work. Politicians are all talk and no action. Instead of fast tracking TPP, Congress should pass legislation that holds China and Japan accountable for currency manipulation. This would send a message to the world that there are consequences for cheating the United States. It’s time for action. It’s time to Make America Great Again!”

Trump’s opposition to TPP is consistent with his long criticism of trade practices that negatively impact the American worker and manufacturing sector. He has been a consistent and vocal critic of TPP and TPA tweeting his opposition for the last year.  Trump’s opposition to TPP is based on his extensive knowledge of currency manipulation and trade agreements that he has accumulated through The Trump Organization’s international dealings. He also criticized leaders for continuing to allow such antics, stating his disapproval of the TPA fast track legislation, which  Trump says is designed to allow the president to enter such an agreement without the support of a supermajority in the Senate.

Update: 2:30 PM: Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising presidential candidate Carly Fiorina for stating she is "uncomfortable with this deal and giving him trade authority" to Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on the Laura Ingraham Show:
"Carly Fiorina's questioning the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a big deal. Joining Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Donald Trump in opposition to granting trade promotion authority to President Obama to negotiate the deal now nationalizes the debate. Fiorina's experience as a multinational corporation CEO who has dealt with countries who cheat on trade makes her voice particularly important as Congress considers fast track.

"More broadly, moving the discussion out of the beltway and into the heartland makes it increasingly unlikely that fast track will be granted on a secret trade deal that everything we know about it screams vote no. Giving President Obama this enormous grant of power now requires a great deal of faith and trust that the final treaty will be in America's interests. When the details of the treaty become public, those who now vote to fast track it better be darned certain that they are not embarrassed by what it contains, including its characterization as a living agreement."


Tags:  TPA, Trade Promotion Authority, U.S. Senate, Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, Americans for Limited government, Donald Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Rise In Unrest Under Obama's Economic Policies

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: On Monday, pushing an expansion of his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, President Barack Obama gave a talk about the recent rise in racial discord.

Does he ever ask himself, “Under whose watch?”

When the financial system melted down in 2008, candidate Obama — not without some justification — blamed President Bush and the Republicans. Why shouldn't he and his party be today held somewhat responsible for rising racial unrest?

Wasn’t his very status as the First Black American President supposed to continue the healing process between blacks and whites?

In his talk, Obama recognized the “sense of unfairness, of powerlessness, of not hearing their voices, that’s helped fuel some of the protests. . . .” Well, sure. But there would be no occasion for this were inner-city blacks not treated unfairly in the first place.

The president wants to spend more money on education, for example, despite the high levels of per-student public ed funding in hot spot Baltimore.

It is quite clear that other programs have done the most damage. We still have a War on Drugs, which is unpopular enough that it turns cops “racist” perhaps even against their wills — as I’ve explained before, police tend to focus their unpopular policing against drug use to the classes of society that have the least direct political power, most especially against inner-city blacks.

But even more bedrock: we see protests and talk about inequality during economic downturns. Obama should learn from Bill Clinton’s initial presidential campaign: It's the economy, stupid.

Or put more bluntly: It’s your stupid economic policies.

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, rise of unrest, inner city, Obama's economic policies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trade: ‘Its Strategic Value Is Awesome’

Twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership Nations ‘Not Only An Enormously Lucrative Trading Bloc But A Vital Geostrategic Counterweight To China’

SEC DEF ASH CARTER: ‘We Need Congress To Pass Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority,’ ‘Time’s Running Out’

ASH CARTER, Secretary of Defense: ‘We need Congress to pass bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority … [to] ensure America gets the best deal in a historic, new trade agreement with eleven other Asia-Pacific countries, which is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership … as important to me as another aircraft carrier’ “…we need Congress to pass bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority for the President – so that he can ensure America gets the best deal in a historic, new trade agreement with eleven other Asia-Pacific countries, which is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As Secretary of Defense, I never forget that our military strength ultimately rests on the foundation of our vibrant, unmatched, and growing economy.  TPP is so important because of its enormous promise for jobs and growth across our nation’s economy. … But TPP also makes strong strategic sense, and it is probably one of the most important parts of the rebalance, and that’s why it has won such bipartisan support.  In fact, you may not expect to hear this from a Secretary of Defense, but in terms of our rebalance in the broadest sense, passing TPP is as important to me as another aircraft carrier.  It would deepen our alliances and partnerships abroad and underscore our lasting commitment to the Asia-Pacific.  And it would help us promote a global order that reflects both our interests and our values.” (Sec. Carter, Remarks At The McCain Institute, 4/6/15)
  • CARTER: ‘Time’s running out … [to] cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world’ “Time’s running out: we already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets…forging many separate trade agreements in recent years, some based on pressure and special arrangements rather than openness and principle.  Agreements that don’t incorporate our high standards and leave us on the sidelines.  That risks America’s access to these growing markets, and it risks regional instability. We must all decide if we are going to let that happen.  If we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy, support higher-paying jobs across America, and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.” (Sec. Carter, Remarks At The McCain Institute, 4/6/15)

SHINZO ABE, Japanese Prime Minister: “…prosperity is nothing less than the seedbed for peace. Involving countries in Asia Pacific whose backgrounds vary, the U.S. and Japan must take the lead. We must take the lead to build a market that is fair, dynamic, sustainable, and is also free from the arbitrary intentions of any nation. …we can spread our shared values around the world and have them take root: the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. That is exactly what the TPP is all about.” (Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 4/29/15)
  • ABE: “…the TPP goes far beyond just economic benefits. It is also about our security. Long term, its strategic value is awesome. We should never forget that. The TPP covers an area that accounts for 40 percent of the world economy and one-third of global trade. We must turn the area into a region for lasting peace and prosperity. That is for the sake of our children and our children's children. … We must make the vast seas stretching from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans seas of peace and freedom, where all follow the rule of law. For that very reason, we must fortify the U.S.-Japan alliance. That is our responsibility.” (Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 4/29/15)
GEN. JIM JONES, Former National Security Advisor: ‘By leading on trade, the United States tightens our bonds with allies around the globe, strengthens our influence in would-be hotspots, and fosters greater global stability’ “Promoting robust international trade contributes to national prosperity--a simple, empirically based fact of modern economic life. A strong economy won't solve all our problems, foreign or domestic, but without it we can solve very few of them. Among the enduring lessons of the past century is that a prosperous America is far better able to protect the country's values and advance its interests in a dangerous world. … By leading on trade, the United States tightens our bonds with allies around the globe, strengthens our influence in would-be hotspots, and fosters greater global stability through expanding economic cooperation.” (Gen. Jim Jones, Op-Ed, “The Strategic Imperative Of Trade,” Connecticut Post, 4/17/15)
  • JONES: ‘approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)… essential… a vital geostrategic counterweight to China’ “In Asia, approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help stabilize a region in flux. An ambitious and comprehensive trade accord among the United States and 11 other countries that touch the Pacific Ocean, the TPP is essential for expanding our market access and influence in this strategically critical area. These 12 nations account for nearly 40 percent of the world's GDP and about a third of all trade, creating not only an enormously lucrative trading bloc but a vital geostrategic counterweight to China.” (Gen. Jim Jones, Op-Ed, “The Strategic Imperative Of Trade,” Connecticut Post, 4/17/15)

NEWSPAPERS: ‘It’s About Anchoring Asian Countries … To A Free-Market Economy Upholding Western Standards And Values,’ ‘Rather Than China’s Mercantilist Goals’

WASHINGTON POST: “An agreement that would organize trade in the Pacific Rim according to U.S. free-trade principles rather than China’s mercantilist goals is therefore a vital interest for them — and for the United States.” (Editorial, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Can Help The U.S. Counter China’s Expansion,” Washington Post, 1/22/15)
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: “We have the opportunity to cement relationships with crucial trading partners and to offer a bulwark against China in a fast-growing region.” (Editorial, “Congress Must Pass The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7/15)

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “This opportunity to expand free trade — and move China in a positive strategic direction — should be irresistible.” (Editorial, “As China Visits Chicago, Good Signs For Free Trade,” Chicago Tribune, 12/17/14)

THE NEWS TRIBUNE: “The 800-pound gorilla missing from the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] list is China. That’s by design. One of the purposes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to tighten Western ties with countries – like Singapore and Japan – that fear domination by the increasingly aggressive Chinese. Another purpose is to preempt a Chinese attempt to build its own Pacific trade zone on its own terms. A Chinese version of the Partnership, for example, wouldn’t likely contain the copyright and patent guarantees the Obama administration has secured to protect U.S. inventors, tech firms, researchers, filmmakers, artists and entertainment companies.” (“Give Obama Authority To Deliver Trans-Pacific Partnership,” The News Tribune, 3/24/15)

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not just about exports and imports; it’s also about enhancing America’s role among Pacific nations and standing strong against an assertive China ... Nationally, the pact will enable the U.S. to help set the rules in the fast-growing markets of Asia, rather than leaving them to China. Let’s do it.” (Editorial, “Why The Trans-Pacific Partnership Would Be Good For Texas,” Dallas Morning News, 4/22/15)

USA TODAY: “A major agreement is going to happen, one way or another. China is pushing an alternative plan, one that does not include any countries in the Americas, and that Asian countries would turn to if the trans-Pacific deal falls through. That approach would freeze U.S. exporters out of the fastest growing region in the world. It would also enhance China's economic power and its influence over its neighbors. The pan-Pacific deal, on the other hand, would help the U.S. retain a key role in the region, while promoting competition that would give consumers more choices and lower costs.” (Editorial, “Trade Deal Vs. Fact-Free Uproar: Our View,” USA Today, 5/3/15)

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: “TPP is important because it puts the US in the game to set the rules.” (“Trans-Pacific Partnership: Obama Pushes US Lead Role In Asia,” Christian Science Monitor, 4/18/15)
SEATTLE TIMES: “The United States must remain a top influencer in global trade and TPP is one way to do that. The proposal is shaping up to align larger economies like those of the United States and Japan with smaller economies in a position to better compete with China.” (Editorial, “Give Obama Fast-Track Authority In Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations,” Seattle Times, 4/20/15)

NATIONAL REVIEW: “The TPP countries represent a third of our top 15 export markets; Singapore consumes nearly as much in American goods as does France, which has 12 times the population. Together they constitute a strong economic counterpoint to the major Pacific power missing from the list of TPP countries: China. If the United States does not exercise economic leadership in the Pacific, Beijing surely will.” (Editorial, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Deserves a Hearing,” National Review, 4/20/15)

Tags: trade, strategic value, Senate Republicans, Trans-Pacific Partnership Nations To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Let's Talk

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, Americans feel race relations are the worst they have been since the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Sixty-one percent of Americans say race relations are bad, while 34% say they are good.

Those figures are sadly ironic considering that millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama hoping our nation's first black president could bring racial reconciliation. Instead, Obama's tenure in the White House seems to have accomplished the opposite.

Many in the media and on the left have repeatedly called for a national conversation on race. Of course, when the left says "conversation" it really means conservatives need to shut up while we listen to lectures from Al Sharpton or Barack Obama.

But I think everyone would appreciate a real conversation where each side listens so that fewer people end up like Freddie Gray or Officer Brian Moore. Let's start with both sides conceding a few points.

For example, the left should stop supporting programs that undermine family formation. There are a lot of police in black neighborhoods in part because there are so few fathers.

More than 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. Research shows that children raised in fatherless homes are more likely to grow up in poverty, attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol and drop out of school.

The left should stop the charade that "lack of investment" or spending is the problem. Consider this: In 2001, George W. Bush's budget requested $40 billion for the Department of Education. This year, President Obama's budget calls for spending more than $82 billion. And don't forget the $100 billion schools got in the 2009 stimulus bill.

Perhaps some on the left might reconsider their opposition to school choice, thereby empowering low income families to free their children from failing schools.

Now, what about the economic/establishment wing of the Republican Party? Perhaps they should drop the rhetoric about eliminating the minimum wage. Overwhelmingly people want it raised -- including many Republicans. Yes, I know all of the arguments about how a higher minimum wage can destroy jobs. But we will never win that argument.

In addition, the corporate wing of the GOP could rethink its support for amnesty for illegal immigrants. There is little doubt that high levels of immigration, especially illegal immigration, have hurt minority communities by driving down wages.
-------------
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, let's talk, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rocks Down, Don’t Loot . . .

. . . President Obama's economic policies have been devastating to the private sector.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, rocks down. don't loot, President Obama, economic policies, devastating, private sector, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ultimate Result of Campaign Finance Regulations

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Last Thursday I tried to be magnanimous. Of campaign finance regulation proponents, I wrote, “I suppose a reasonable person could blanch at rich people giving money to political causes . . . if they objected to all super-rich donors.”

My expectation of reciprocity was dashed at the non-reciprocal gambits of the Koch-hating campaign finance regulation advocates. It all really does come down to how they hate having others spend lots of money . . . against their causes.

Hardly democratic, that. Sorta ‘live and don’t let live.’

But they could (and will) defend themselves. They could say something like this: “We don’t like our billionaires having to give so much either. We’d like to cap our billionaires’ giving, too!”

It’s tough to have to keep up with your opponents’ spending, a pain having to give and give to get what you want and want.

We’d all like to get our way without having to spend time and money. But that doesn't seem to be the way the world works — everything has a cost.

I sympathize. Economists call the problem of political campaign spending a “Tullock auction,” which sports no rational upper limit on spending, because winners take all.

Still, to bitch about your opponents’ spending but never your own gives away your game.

And we all know what the ultimate progressive game is: tax-funded elections. Tightly controlled, with more and more intrusions into how citizens assemble and cooperate to promote their candidates and causes.

So if the promotion, debate, and decision process is to be government-funded, government-controlled, we might as well call it Socialism and be done with it.

Could such a system be biased, just possibly for the pro-government growth side?

All mysteries solved.

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, ultimate result, campaign finance, refulation  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Government Tries to Micromanage a Market - And Yet Again Fails Miserably

We Don’t Need the
 Former - or the Latter
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The bigger government is – the more room there is for big companies who wish to do so to rig the system. And the more small companies – without the wherewithal to similarly rig – suffer.

The long-term, permanent solution is to reduce the size, scope and sphere of influence of government. The less government tries to micromanage things – the more it steps back and lets the private sector do its magical goodness – the better off we all are.

In the meantime, may we please at least stop the government busy-bodying that is so bad even the busybodies in question acknowledge its absurdity?Dish Network Surprise Winner In Spectrum Auction

In what appeared to be an unprecedented move, Dish also secured all of its winning bids through entities that qualified for a 25% discount set aside by the Federal Communications Commission for small businesses. As a result, Dish and its partners will only owe about $10 billion, saving more than $3 billion….
Wait – what set asides?FCC to Set Aside Spectrum for Smaller Wireless Firms

Federal regulators plan to set aside a portion of choice spectrum for smaller wireless carriers at an auction of TV airwaves scheduled for next year….

According to people familiar with the matter, the Federal Communications Commission plans to reserve a portion of that spectrum to prevent the two largest wireless carriers (Verizon and AT&T) from purchasing it all.
Wait - I thought an auction was…an auction. Everyone can participate and bid - and the highest bids win.

But this isn't Reality - this is "GovernmentLand." In GovernmentLand, bureaucrats try to warp reality to meet their perverse worldview. It’s unfair that successful entities are successful - government must rig the system against them.

Yet again, government isn’t picking winners and losers - it’s picking losers at the expense of winners.

Except Dish isn't a loser - and it certainly isn’t small. It’s currently worth $17.9 billion. Not exactly the Little Guy for whom government was trying to rig the game. And that’s the point.

The road to Hell is paved with good government intentions. Its attempts at making things “fair” nearly always fail - miserably. Big companies can always find a way around whatever attempts at “fairness” government makes.Dish has said it followed all of the auction's rules….Dish probably did. And that’s the point.

And no matter how many times bureaucrats fail at micromanaging - no matter how many times the private sector eats their lunch - each and every time they are surprised anew.Regulators May Reject Dish Entities’ Spectrum Discount Claims

Shortly after the auction wrapped up, (Federal Communications Commission) FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the commission’s staff to study SNR and Northstar’s (the two Dish front companies) applications closely, and told the staff that he thought something didn't smell right, one of the people said.
Get that? Government sets up stupid rules. Company adheres to their letter - while eviscerating the ridiculous spirit. Government then unilaterally undoes the legal result it ham-handedly created.

How’s that for economic and marketplace certainty?

Look, the government should pull the plug on Dish’s purchases - as a way to unwind the inanity of its own making. We the Consumers are best served by the best winning - not those winning by best rigging the system.

And going forward, rather than government yet again breaking the private sector and then having to attempt to repair it - just leave it alone.

It is under those unfettered circumstances that things always go best.
----------------
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, Government ties, micromanage the market, fails miserably, Dish Network, FCC, big governments, big companies, GovernmentLand,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Latest Report on Global Free Trade Impediments Details the Ridiculousness

Not Exactly Free Trade
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: Most of us on the Center-Right very much like free trade – for at least a couple of reasons.

The freer trade is – the cheaper the things traded are. Which makes life easier for everyone in the nations engaged in said trade.

You know what else makes their lives easier? Not being at war. If countries are engaged in commerce with one another – they are far less likely to be engaged in conflict with one another.

These sentiments were very well captured by writer Aaron Sorkin in his great show “The West Wing”:You want the benefits of free trade?…Food is cheaper, clothes are cheaper, steel is cheaper, cars are cheaper, phone service is cheaper…It lowers prices, it raises income….

Free trade stops wars. And that’s it. Free trade stops wars. And we figure out a way to fix the rest.
Unfortunately, the global market landscape is not at all free – it is a lattice work nightmare mess of regulations, taxes and subsidies.

We didn't get here overnight. A decades-long, international regulatory arms race got us here – with nation after nation engaged in an ever-escalating tit-for-tat on terrible policy.

“You’re taxing this? Ok, so will we.” “You’re subsidizing that? Fine, we’ll subsidize it too.” Lather, rinse, repeat – for about eighty years. And here we are.

Ambassador Michael Froman is the United States Trade Representative. (Not to be confused with Abe Froman – the Sausage King of Chicago.) His office just issued the “2015 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.”

It individually looks at our trade relationships with sixty-one nations and nation-conglomerates (the European Union and the Arab League are listed as units – with each nation therein also individually analyzed).

It ain't good.

Trade barriers take on many, many more market-warping forms than most of us can likely even imagine. To wit – from the report:
  • Import policies (e.g., tariffs and other import charges, quantitative restrictions, import licensing, customs barriers, and other market access barriers);
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade;
  • Government procurement (e.g., “buy national” policies and closed bidding);
  • Export subsidies (e.g., export financing on preferential terms and agricultural export subsidies that displace U.S. exports in third country markets);
  • Lack of intellectual property protection (e.g., inadequate patent, copyright, and trademark regimes and enforcement of intellectual property rights);
  • Services barriers (e.g., limits on the range of financial services offered by foreign financial institutions, regulation of international data flows, restrictions on the use of foreign data processing, and barriers to the provision of services by foreign professionals);
  • Investment barriers (e.g., limitations on foreign equity participation and on access to foreign government-funded research and development programs, local content requirements, technology transfer requirements and export performance requirements, and restrictions on repatriation of earnings, capital, fees and royalties);
  • Government-tolerated anticompetitive conduct of state-owned or private firms that restricts the sale or purchase of U.S. goods or services in the foreign country’s markets;
  • Trade restrictions affecting electronic commerce (e.g., tariff and nontariff measures, burdensome and discriminatory regulations and standards, and discriminatory taxation);
  • Other barriers (barriers that encompass more than one category, e.g., bribery and corruption, or that affect a single sector).
Yeesh. And there are likely many others the government missed. It is, after all, the government. Trading trade barriers – rather than goods and services – leads to greater antagonism. Which leads to more trade barriers (“We’ll show them…”). Lather, rinse, repeat…. Sitting down with nations to try to bring down these barriers nets benefits – in many directions. (Talking just to talk – just for show – doesn’t. Photo ops in the Oval Office aren't substantial international interaction. A tangible objective – a seriousness to the niceties – makes a positive outcome exponentially more likely.) As the relationships thaw – the trade barriers fall. And the parties involved are going forward much less likely to want to shoot each other. There is underway one effort – on one traded commodity – to emplace this sensible approach.Expressing the sense of Congress that all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar by all major sugar producing and consuming countries should be eliminated.May it be replicated a thousand times over. Lather, rinse, repeat – on a rapidly rolling assembly line. We have nearly a century’s worth of heinousness to undo.
----------------
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, latest report, global free trade, impediments, details, ridiculousness 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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  • 9/20/15 - 9/27/15
  • 9/27/15 - 10/4/15
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  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
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  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
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  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
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