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] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, February 12, 2016
Saturday Night's CBS GOP Debate in Greenville, SC & Mystery In Columbus, OH
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson will face off Saturday night in Greenville, South Carolina. CBS will carry the debate live at 9:00 p.m. ET. Here's my quick take on what I think each candidate needs to do:
Macro Rubio needs to pivot off the nasty attack by Christie and use it to his advantage to get back into the game.
Ted Cruz needs to convince voters that he more than anyone else can put together the Reagan coalition of Southern evangelicals, Midwestern Catholics and working class voters, which remains the ticket to winning back the White House.
John Kasich needs to find a way to appeal to South Carolina's more conservative electorate, while distinguishing himself from Jeb Bush.
Ben Carson must convince voters that he can win.
Donald Trump just needs to continue being Donald Trump. In a divided contest, that gives him the advantage he needs to prevail.
Jeb Bush must prove that he does indeed understand the times. I doubt he can do it. If he truly can't stomach a Trump nomination, the best thing Jeb could do is get out so the field can begin to coalesce.
Somali Muslim named Mohammed Barry attacks
Americans with a machete, Why? It must have
been the lack of jobs or maybe global warming.
Or airborne PTSD. Or aliens. Can't be Islam. Image via FrontPage Mag
Mystery In Columbus - Police in Columbus, Ohio, need some help. Here's the situation:
Yesterday a man walked into a restaurant named Nazareth, owned by an Israeli Christian. The man asked to speak to the owner, who wasn't there, so he left.
About 30 minutes later, he came back, only this time he had a machete. He began attacking the customers, systematically working his way through the restaurant.
Thankfully, the patrons fought back with chairs and other items. He fled the scene, and police eventually caught up with him. He was shot and killed when he threatened officers.
The coroner's office identified the attacker as Mohamed Barry. Some reports indicate he was a Somali national. Yet a Columbus police officer said, "There's nothing to lead us to believe this is anything more than a random attack."
God bless the Columbus police, but seriously. . . Do they see anything in these facts that might lead to a different conclusion about why a Muslim named Mohamed attacked a restaurant named Nazareth, owned by an Israeli?
------------- 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, GOP Debate, Greenville, SC, Mystery, Columbus, OH, Muslim. Mohammed Barry, attack Americans, at restaurant, macheteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore Has Suspended His Campaign for President
Jim Gilmore Img via Wikipedia
Bill Smith, ARRA News Service: Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for President. He announced amoung other places his decision on the Gilmore for President Facebook page.Alexandria, VA -- Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, the only veteran in the race for the presidency, said today he is suspending his campaign for the White House. Gilmore said he will support the Republican nominee and that he intends to continue speaking out about the dangers of electing either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Gilmore, former U.S. Army intelligence agent who has spent the last eight months campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, said the difficulty of the debate structure combined with the national media coverage of the candidates made it impossible for him to continue his campaign for the presidency. But, he said he is determined to help elect a Republican president.
"My campaign was intended to offer the gubernatorial experience, with the track record of a true conservative, experienced in national security, to unite the party. My goal was to focus on the importance of this election as a real turning point, and to emphasize the dangers of continuing on a road that will further undermine America's economy and weaken our national security."
"Nonetheless, I will continue to express my concerns about the dangers of electing someone who has pledged to continue Obama's disastrous policies. And, I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that our next President is a free enterprise Republican who will restore our nation to greatness and keep our citizens safe."Gilmore didn't endorse any of the remaining candidates yet. He said in his statement that he will support the GOP nominee and that he "intends to continue speaking out about the dangers of electing either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders."
Some highlights on his political career:
January 18, 2001 – December 5, 2001: Gilmore was Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).
January 17, 1998 – January 12, 2002: Gov. of Virginia
January 15, 1994 – June 11, 1997: Attorney General of Virginia Tags:Former Virginia Governor, Jim Gilmore, suspends, 2016, Republican, presidential, campaign 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 Michelle Malkin: While a TSA agent pawed my hair bun this weekend, presumably on high alert for improvised explosive bobby pins, I pondered the latest news on the Somalia airplane terror attack.
Intelligence officials released video footage of airport employees in Mogadishu handing a laptop to a jihadist suspect before he boarded Daallo Airlines Airbus Flight D3159 last week. The device allegedly contained a bomb that exploded on the plane, which created a massive hole out of which the bomber was fatally sucked. Two other passengers were injured in the blast before the pilot successfully made an emergency landing.
The Somalia incident is not the only suspected in-flight inside job of late. Investigators believe a ramp worker at Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh airport was recruited by ISIS to plant a bomb on the Russian airliner that crashed last fall in the desert of the Sinai Peninsula. All 224 passengers and crew members aboard Metrojet Flight 9268 perished.
America can rest easy knowing that TSA aggressively tackled my harmless chignon like the Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.
But as the TSA carries out its multibillion-dollar charade of homeland security on babies’ bottles of breast milk, veterans’ prosthetic devices and suburban moms’ updos, who is screening the screeners?
Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general raised the alarm on the TSA’s faulty aviation worker vetting process. The IG’s testing showed “that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy.” Nor does the transportation bureaucracy have effective controls in place for ensuring that its employees “had not committed crimes that would disqualify them from having unescorted access to secure airports areas” and “had lawful status and were authorized to work in the United States.”
On top of that, “thousands of records used for vetting workers contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security numbers,” investigators found. “TSA did not have appropriate edit checks in place to reject such records from vetting.”
Stunningly, the IG disclosed that TSA has had to “deny credentials to 4,800 individuals that the airports had previously cleared for work in the United States because it could not verify lawful status for those individuals.” The report does not specify when exactly these 4,800 potential illegal immigrants from around the world finally had their badges yanked.
Eight months after this disclosure, the IG reported this week, “as few as one percent of all aviation workers applications” at larger airports are subjected to the inspections process to screen out aliens here illegally, visa overstayers and individuals convicted of disqualifying crimes.
Only in the last year has the Obama administration cracked down on airport and airline employees’ unfettered access to sensitive areas and ability to bypass security checkpoints.
Only in the last week has the federal government finally changed its policies to allow TSA to access counterterrorism databases.
Actually, it’s not clear from the DHS inspector general John Roth’s follow-up testimony on Capitol Hill this whether and when exactly this will happen. “TSA now or will soon have access to this information,” he told Congress. Hmm.
Even if and when TSA officials gain access to terrorism data, however, the question is whether that information is worth anything at all. DHS whistleblower Philip Haney, a 15-year veteran of the bureaucracy, reported last week on politically correct purges of counterterrorism databases ordered by his superiors. He says he was forced to “delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System.”
It gets worse. “Going forward,” Haney recounted, “my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.” Whitewash in, whitewash out.
A budget of $7 billion. A workforce of 55,000. Useless explosives-screening “puffing” machines. Unreliable full-body scanners. Thousands of lost and stolen badges and weapons. Unknown numbers of criminals, illegal aliens, impostors and terror operatives with security clearance to do as they please on ramps and runways across America.
Welcome to TSA: The Total Security Abyss.
------------------ Michelle Malkin is mother, wife, blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, and author. She shares many of her articles and thoughts at MichelleMalkin.com. Tags:Michelle Malkin, commentary, TSA, Total Security Abyss, jihadist, threats, Somalia, airplane, terror attack, illegal immigrantsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Dustin Howard: It’s just not fair. Bernie Sanders worked hard to beat Hillary Clinton 60 percent to 38 percent in New Hampshire, and she will walk away with more delegates. Why?
Democracy is to Democrats what freedom is to socialism: they are mutually exclusive. There is a meme that states that we millennials are supposed to be animated by fairness and equality. It’s half true. First to fairness: we do believe in a sense of fair play. Some among us think that the cold realities of the economy are incompatible with that.
One thing that should strike all of us is how the Democrat Party, the name sake of democracy itself, is indeed so afraid of the choice of the people that it has to install apparatchiks with weighted votes to countervail the will of their own voters. Ironic?
More ironic still is that Bernie Sanders, Mr. Socialism himself, is the victim of an arbitrary process that systematically deprives an individual of their rightful gains.
As to inequality, it’s quite one thing to aspire to wanting more in life. It’s another thing altogether to sacrifice what you have earned for someone else, were that the virtuous outcome. In reality, the democratic socialist ideal is to create a casino society, where everybody plays but few win, and nearly all walk away with much less.
The winners in this society will ultimately be the house itself, as any other winner will be deprived of their gains as surely as Bernie sits tied with Hillary because super-delegates negate his double-digit drubbing of the queen in waiting.
I urge my fellow millennials: keep striving for equality of opportunity and fair play. Just don’t expect the government to be any better than any other casino, where the house always comes out on top.
--------------- Dustin Howard is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government Tags:DNC, redistributes, Bernie Sanders delegates, delegates, Hillary Clinton, New Hampshire Primary, editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Dustin Howard, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Progressives are becoming increasingly defensive about nearly all forms of Big Government, relentlessly telling us that we need government for everything from money and roads to food inspection and subsidies and . . . well, the list is endless.
Food safety is one of their favorite subjects, but I'm increasingly skeptical. Do we really need to be protected from our neighbors' produce and cooked goods, as can be found in community bake sales and potlucks?
In Arizona, legislators had long carved out an exemption from commercial food safety regulations for potluck and similar "noncommercial social events." Great. But there was an unfortunate limitation to the exemption: it applied only to such events that took place at a workplace.
Home or church? Potlucks there are still against the law.
So of course officials took the occasion of said "loophole" to crack down on some neighborly events in an Apache Junction mobile home park, in Pinal County.
I'm sure hundreds, perhaps thousands of these events are routinely ignored by Arizona's police. Indeed, I bet half of the state's better cops engage in such activities themselves -- just because potlucks are part of everyday life all over the country.
But the idiotic regulation allowed public servants (loosely so called) discretionary powers to attack a few people for reasons tangential to community safety. Thankfully, Rep. Kelly Townsend has introduced HB 2341, which would extend potluck freedom beyond the office or warehouse workplace.
Let us be clear: this was not a problem waiting to be solved by Big Government. It is a Big Government problem to be solved by new legislation to de-regulate home and community potlucks.
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, Arizona, big government, potluck rites, rights, Rep. Kelly Townsend, HB 2341To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:negative thinking nanny president, big gulp folks, Bloomber, Sanders, Hillary, editorial cartoon, Tony BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Patrick Tyrrell: An analysis of mass shootings in the United States since the year 2002 shows that gun-wielding mass killers are more likely to strike where the Second Amendment right to bear arms has been supplanted by “gun-free zone” ordinances, be they federal, local, or specified by the owner of the property.
The Stanford University Libraries’ dataset of mass shootings (“Stanford Mass Shootings in America, courtesy of the Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries”) was analyzed for mass shootings over the past 14 years.
The definition of a mass shooting for the Stanford database is three or more shooting victims injured or killed, not including the shooter. Shootings that are gang- or drug-related are not included.
The dataset includes 153 incidents going back to the beginning of 2002.
Research done at the Heritage Foundation found that fifty-four of the 153 incidents (35 percent) involved a shooter targeting people at random who were not relatives or adversaries of the attempted murderer.
Of the 54 incidents that fit these criteria, the shooter chose locations where guns were banned 37 times (69 percent). Alternatively, the shooting occurred where guns were legally allowed only 17 times (31 percent). See graphic.
Of the 17 shootings that occurred where citizens could legally carry firearms, 5 (29 percent) were ended when the gunman was stopped or slowed by a gun permit holder’s intervention.
If you have a choice to be in a gun-free zone or a legal-to-carry setting, you are less likely to be the victim of a mass shooting where it is legal to carry guns. All else being equal, if a killer can strike where he is less likely to face lethal law-abiding resistance from ordinary citizens, he will.
------------- Patrick Tyrrell is a research coordinator in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Tags:mass shooters, prefer, gun-free zones, schools, The Heritage Foundation, research, Patrick TyrrellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Rakesh Upadhyay : The Obama administration's proposed $10.25 per barrel oil tax adds up to approximately $32 billion a year, and critics are coming out of the woodwork in defense of both the oil industry and end users who would foot the bill for transportation system reforms - but it may be a moot point since the effort will simply be killed off by Congress.
At the end of the day, this proposal is simply meant to start a discussion and possibly add to the Obama environmental legacy. The proposal has sparked immediate backlash, with critics blasting it as an impossible production tax, the death knell for the already struggling oil industry, and an unfair policy that would render gas at the pumps more expensive for consumers.
The $32 billion tax per year would be consistent with a production tax, tweeted Ed Crooks, the energy editor of The Financial Times.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, likewise criticized the tax, stating, as reported by Reuters: "The President is now apparently proposing yet another way of damage to our nation's oil industry".
According to Steven Kopits, Managing Director of Princeton Energy Advisors, at today's prices there would be no material impact on either U.S. mobility or the economy. However, if WTI were to hit $115 per barrel, an additional $10 per barrel tax could push the economy towards a recession.
Federal gas taxes have not been raised since 1993, and with gas prices at an all-time low, such a proposal will be fairly easy to justify at the pump, and is unlikely to cause much of a fuss for end users. Consumers would pay an additional 22-25 cents per gallon of gas — with the final price still well under gas prices a year or two ago.
According to the American Coalition for clean coal electricity report of June 2015, the lower and middle-income families, which represent 48 percent of the nation's households, spend an estimated average of 17 percent of their after-tax income on residential and transportation energy. If we consider the households earning less than $30,000 before taxes, the expense rises to 23 percent of their after-tax family incomes, without considering any energy assistance programs.
If gas prices should climb higher, the proposed increase would further strain the budgets of the poor, whereas the rich are unlikely notice the price difference between $30 and $40 per barrel—or if gas prices should climb—between $75 and $85 a barrel. It should be noted, however, that the Obama proposal would redirect 15 percent of the revenues to poorer households to offset higher energy costs. On the flip side of this emerging discussion, there are also economists who believe a tax on fossil fuels will benefit the U.S. economy. They talk about taxing "negative externalities" that may lead to "market failure.''
Harvard's Gregory Mankiw notes that there are a "host of side effects'' associated with oil and gas production and consumption, and economists view these negative side effects as a "kind of market failure" that needs to be addressed.
So will this proposal ever see the light of Congressional day? Not likely. History suggests it will be a major challenge. The first budget proposal of the Obama Administration sought to eliminate all remaining tax breaks for oil and gas producers, which would raise another $31 billion in revenue between 2010 and 2019, according to Reuters. That proposal has been shot down seven times already. For the latest budget proposal, Republicans are departing from decades of tradition by not even inviting the White House's budget director to attend Congressional hearings to explain the budget.
The government taxes on fuels have largely remained unchanged since 1993, as Congress has been unable to arrive at an agreement to raise them. The current proposal of a 22-25 cents per gallon rise on top of the existing taxes is unprecedented, so most are viewing this as a legacy-maker and a discussion starter and nothing more—for now, at least.
The proposal has put the spotlight on the administration's futuristic policy and has attracted headlines, but there is little chance that it will make it through Congress.
----------------- Rakesh Upadhyay authored this article contributed by James Stafford the editor of OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service. Tags:T. Boone Pickens, Obama Oil Tax, Dumbest Idea Ever, James Stafford, Rakesh Upadhyay, Oilprice.comTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Wall Street Journal editorial board called it an "important rebuke to the political method of the anticarbon activists in the EPA and White House."Ditching fossils fuels will be a capital-intensive and generation-long transition, to the extent it is possible, and states must submit compliance plans as soon as this September that are supposed to last through 2030, or be subject to a federal takeover.
The legal challenges will take years, but the EPA hopes to engineer a fait accompli by bullrushing the states into making permanent revisions immediately. Once the Clean Power Plan starts, it becomes self-executing. If the EPA loses down the road, it will laugh that the opinion is too late and thus pointless.
... The stay suggests that a majority of the Court won’t allow this deliberate gaming of the slow pace of the legal process to become de facto immunity for anything the EPA favors. It’s especially notable because courts tend to be highly deferential to executive regulation.What exactly did the court do?
Why did the court do this?
And why have states, businesses, labor unions, and trade associations — including the U.S. Chamber — welcomed this decision as they fight EPA’s regulatory overreach?
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Over the last few weeks, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse has been using Twitter to ask presidential candidate Donald Trump some pointed questions. After about a week of these, Trump decided to answer with a short insult rather than address some of the important constitutional questions.
This led to an interview Chuck Todd on MSNBC did with Ben Sasse in which he asked him to define conservatism. The Senator’s short answer has gone viral because it is succinct and profound.
He said: “America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because the U.S. Constitution is the best political document that has ever been written. It says something different than any people or any government has believed in human history. Most governments in the past said might makes right and the king has all the power, and the people are dependent subjects.”
“The American founders said no. God gives us rights by nature, and government is just our shared project to secure those rights. Government is not the author or source of our rights. You don’t make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, D.C. You make America great again by recovering a constitutional republic where Washington is populated by people who are servant leaders who want to return power to the people and the communities.”
Ben Sasse concluded by saying: “What’s great in America is the Rotary Club, small businesses, churches, schools, fire departments, and Little Leagues. It’s not some guy in Washington who says that if I had more power, I can fix it all unilaterally. That’s not the American tradition.”
Senator Ben Sasse isn’t the only person calling for America to return to its constitutional foundation. But he has become one of the most articulate voices doing so.
----------- Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service Tags:Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, U.S. Senator, Ben Sasse, Conservatism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Victory: U.S. Senate Joins House in Banning Taxing Internet Access
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: The Senate has voted 75 to 20 to pass S.431 - Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act which permanently bans state and local governments from taxing Internet access. You collectively sent over 31,000 letters supporting the bill and I cannot thank you enough. President Obama is expected to sign it.
Of note, the same three Republicans who stalled this vote for months to hold it hostage to their desire to apply sales tax to online purchases actually voted no. They were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, and Mike Rounds of South Dakota. They voted, in effect, to allow state and local governments to slap taxes on your home and mobile Internet bills that would average 12 percent. That's something zero Republicans should support.
But even with their spiteful no votes and the seventeen Democrats who also voted no, the bill passed easily. That's a big deal in a town where it's been very, very difficult to deliver any good news for taxpayers, and you helped make it possible.
By voting to permanently ban internet access taxes, Congress has ensured that Americans all around the country can have access to broadband internet without a fear of burdensome prices.
------------------ 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, Senate Bans, Internet, access taxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
"Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz agree that President Obama's political bureaucrats at the Department of Housing and Urban Development have no business overriding local zoning authority to impose their radical vision on America.
"Under HUD's AFFH regulation, the federal government is imposing its will by conditioning the acceptance of $3.3 billion of annual community development block grants on 1,200 local governments being forced to acquiesce to rezone cities and counties along racial and income fairness guidelines. Local zoning only determines what can be built where, not who can live there, which is subject to market conditions including demand, location and availability. This has nothing to do with real housing discrimination, which has been illegal for almost 50 years, it is about nationalizing neighborhoods, giving the federal government the power to determine where people live and what will be built where. This may be Obama's most far-reaching regulation yet, and that is why the Senate must stop it.
"There should not be a single Republican in the Senate opposed to the Lee, Rubio, Cruz bill that stops implementation of this radical rulemaking. HUD overreach is already impacting Dubuque, Iowa and Westchester County, N.Y. and this is only the beginning. The Senate needs to hold hearings, and join the House in passing an appropriations rider that stops Obama in the short-term. Additionally, the Lee, Rubio, Cruz legislation should be brought up for a vote and passed. Every Republican Senator still running for president agrees with Mike Lee on this issue, making this a national issue worthy of every senator's immediate attention.
"This is not a joke, it affects property owners in every senator's respective states. Now is the time to take a stand, before the HUD racial and income rezoning regulation becomes a permanent weapon of mass destruction in the federal government's arsenal against cities and counties.
"The House of Representatives, led by Representative Paul Gosar has passed defunding amendments of the Obamazone regulation in the HUD appropriations bill each of the past two years, and now it is time for the Senate to get on board and force an end to this noxious federal government overreach at once."
Sen. Vitter, David [R-LA]
Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR]
Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY]
Sen. Sessions, Jeff [R-AL]
Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]
Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]
------------ Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. Tags:Americans for Limited Government, Robert Romano, Rick Manning, support, S. 1909, Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2015, U.S. Senators, stop, HUD, radical zoning quotasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: On February 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will announce the winners of its annual movie awards. Many Americans watch this Academy Awards show as a rite, treating the “The Oscars” as if it were a big deal.
It certainly isn’t immune to controversy.
This year, a cry went up under the banner “#OscarsSoWhite.” Unlike in the recent past, no black actors or directors were nominated in the big categories. Charges of racism flew fast and wild.
AMPAS is a large but private membership organization, and its membership is overwhelmingly white. So one could “explain” the nomination list entirely on racial grounds.
But it’s not as if the organization doesn’t try to be fair: the voting process, for the final awards, is nothing as crude as America’s bizarre system, which combines first-past-the-post vote counting and selection by the Electoral College. AMPAS uses a form of ranked choice voting, instead.
“Since 2009, the Academy has used instant runoff voting to determine the winner of the coveted Best Picture award,” explains Molly Rockett at Oscar Votes 1-2-3.
The Academy has an interest in ensuring that winners at least enjoy majority support, so the selection process measures overall support, not picking the winner merely by a small plurality of first place votes in a crowded field.
Ms. Rockett tells us that the Academy is trying to racially diversify its membership. Maybe that will change something. Or maybe nothing needs to be changed — it’s not as if the Oscar nominees should be selected by racial quota.
But it is worth remembering that the Oscars sport a more rational democracy than the United States.
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, Academy, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
3/4 Billion in Obamacare Tax Credits May Have Gone to Illegal Immigrants
by Leah Jessen: The government granted up to $750 million in Obamacare tax credits to 500,000 persons who weren’t eligible, many of whom may have been illegal immigrants, a Senate report says.
Half a million individuals mistakenly received the tax credits because of a lapse in verification of their legal status and a lack of coordination among government agencies, the report determined.
Although they failed to verify citizenship or their legal status, they got the “advanced premium” tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The taxpayer dollars are awarded on the basis of income to help lower premium costs on Obamacare’s marketplace insurance exchanges.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released findings Monday that focus on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ “wasteful practice of distributing cost assistance in the form [of] tax credits to Obamacare enrollees without first verifying the enrollees’ citizenship or lawful presence in the United States.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees Obamacare.
The report, conducted by the Republican staff for Johnson’s committee, says the agency was responsible for distributing credits and subsidies to insurers on behalf of individuals. The Internal Revenue Service was responsible for reconciling the amount with what individuals are entitled to receive.
A press release from the committee said the report “found that the Internal Revenue Service lacks an effective plan to recoup these improperly awarded funds.”
In this “pay and chase” model used to pay and recoup funds, the Department of the Treasury “pays a portion of an enrollee’s premium without confirming whether the enrollee is eligible for such a payment, and then ‘chases’ after the enrollee to recover the payment if is later determined that the enrollee was ineligible,” the report states.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, has used this model to pay Medicare claims for 45 years. The result, according to the report, was “more than $60 billion, per year, in Medicare fraud.” It adds: In 2014, the exchanges paid out approximately $15.5 billion in advanced premium tax credits to an estimated 4.5 million taxpayers. The IRS estimates that only 10 percent of taxpayers—300,000 individuals—received the correct amount of advanced premium tax credit, and that approximately 50 percent of taxpayers—1.6 million individuals—received excess credit.Last March, Johnson asked Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell about the processes for eligibility verification and recouping of improper payments. He also wrote to the IRS.
“While CMS and the IRS must improve their coordination to ensure the administration recoups the $750 million improperly awarded,” the report says, “they also must work to prevent future improper spending of this type.”
Republican staff calculated the findings based on data provided by the agencies as of last June. CMS confirmed to Fox News Channel that 471,000 customers with Obamacare coverage last year failed to prove legal status.
“Lack of verification does not mean an individual is ineligible for financial assistance, but only that a marketplace did not receive sufficient information to verify eligibility in the time period outlined in the law,” agency spokesman Aaron Albright told Fox.
To test the accuracy of the verification process for the Obamacare insurance exchanges, the Government Accountability Office submitted applications from 12 phony applicants, over the phone and online, during the first enrollment period from October 2013 to April 2014.
The new Senate committee report notes that 11 of the 12 applicants were able to obtain subsidized health coverage and received a total of about $30,000 in advanced premium tax credits. The report states: For seven of the 11 successful applicants, GAO did not submit all required verification documentation, but the exchanges nonetheless provided subsidized coverage. The exchanges automatically re-enrolled all 11 fictitious enrollees for 2015 coverage. Eventually, the exchanges terminated coverage for six of the enrollees based on failure to provide documentation of eligibility. However, for five of the six terminations, GAO obtained coverage reinstatement and increases in advanced premium tax credit amounts.In January, President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have repealed much of Obamacare. The House failed to override the veto.
----------------- Leah Jessen (@_LeahKay_) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal Tags:Billion, Obamacare, Tax Credits, Illegal Immigrants, Leah Jensen, The Daily SignalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Project Veritas Revisits New Hampshire & Investigates Voter Fraud
by Skip Murphy: Yup, those jolly jesters of the “poke them in their political eyes” genre of investigative journalism have done it again. Here. In New Hampshire. During the First In the Nation Primary. Did I mention “Again”? Yep, James O’Keefe and his compatriots are showing us, once again, that the “thing that cannot happen here in NH” actually can be done thanks to clueless (or better put, hyper-partisan) election officials more excited about helping “their side” than protecting The Rule of Law.
Take a gander: Four years ago, James O’Keefe "released a video which showed how easy it would be for people to vote in New Hampshire using the names of deceased people. As a result of that video, New Hampshire changed its voter ID laws. Project Veritas Action (PVA) revisited New Hampshire during Tuesday’s presidential primary election and again showed how easy it is to cast fraudulent votes with the new law fully in place. In this new video, multiple election officials and Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staffers offered advice to journalists using hidden cameras about how to circumvent the law.
. . . [H]ere’s a bit of a transcript – and it TRULY is very sad. If we cannot trust government workers to obey the law, see to it that the laws are faithfully kept both in the Letter as well in Spirit of it, well, why should we little people have to follow it? The Rule of Law is only effective when it applies to ALL. But the transcript showing that those that would want to break the Law have willing co-conspirators in those that should be shouting “Hey, I need Law Enforcement here!”
VO #1: If multiple people from other states showed up in New Hampshire on election day with either no ID or an out of state ID…could they have voted in Tuesday’s primary? PVA: Okay and how long long do I have to live in New Hampshire before I can vote today? Emily Croots, Election Official, Durham, New Hampshire: Not long. I don’t know, there’s not really a set time. PVA: Okay, how long do I have to stay in New Hampshire to vote today? Emily Croots, Election Official, Durham, New Hampshire: There’s no requirement. PVA: Okay and what do I need, because I don’t have an ID? Emily Croots, Election Official, Durham, New Hampshire: You are just going to need to fill out an ID, just another form. PVA: I just need to fill out another form? Emily Croots, Election Official, Durham, New Hampshire: Right. Right. ----- Susan: (Poll worker, Nashua, New Hampshire) So they will allow you to sign an affidavit saying that you live in the state of New Hampshire. PVA: But, I’m not living here, I am just trying to vote here. Poll worker: Do you have an intention of living here indefinitely? PVA: No not indefinitely./// Susan: (Poll worker, Nashua, New Hampshire) If you want to vote today, you might want to tell them that you’re staying with a friend. And you’re here indefinitely, because it sounds like its true. PVA (Cori): Ok, yeah. Not 100% true though. Susan (Poll worker, Nashua, New Hampshire): Right, but you’re here indefinitely, and you’re staying at your friend’s house, and you’ll be about to vote. Otherwise, I don’t know. ----- Lacey Bang, Poll worker, Little Harbor School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Water bill or electric bill or anything like that? PVA: No, I don’t have that. Lacey Bang, Poll worker, Little Harbor School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Okay. So if you have your driver’s license, your Mass driver’s license with you. PVA: Okay, I just want to make sure, so if I sign that piece of paper, and then a Massachusetts ID works, then I can vote today? Lacey Bang, Poll worker, Little Harbor School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Yes. PVA: Okay, how long do I have to be in New Hampshire to vote today? Lacey Bang, Poll worker, Little Harbor School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Probably 48 hours. PVA: 48 hours? Okay. How long do I have to stay in New Hampshire to vote today? Lacey Bang, Poll worker, Little Harbor School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: If you’re here today, you vote, you can be gone. VO #2: It was just a little more than four years ago, when Veritas proved that lax voter registration laws in New Hampshire would allow for serious voter fraud. Sound up…dead man’s ballot VO #3: After the story broke, legislators rewrote the law but based on what we discovered this week, they did a lousy job. PVA: Okay. How long do I have to have lived here to do domicile? Joan Arroquette, Newmarket: Umm. I don’t think there is. I don’t think they ended up passing that…this needs to be your legal place where you live. Where your put your head on your bed, so to speak. PVA: All righty, so all I need to do is fill this out. I don’t have an ID, but I fill this out and then I can vote here today? Joan Arroquette, Newmarket: Yep. VO #4: The New Hampshire law and a memorandum from the state’s Attorney general’s office expressly states that quote, “Under no circumstances should a voter be turned away at the time and place of check in because they do not possess sufficient photo identification”, unquote. Diana Lytle, Poll Worker, Nashua, New Hampshire: “Ok so let me see your Identification.” PV Journalist: “Ok I’ll have to go grab it then.” Diana Lytle, Poll Worker, Nashua, New Hampshire: You don’t have your identification? PV Journalist: I’ll have to go grab it? But I was told you don’t even need an ID. Diana Lytle, Poll Worker, Nashua, New Hampshire: You don’t, but you have to have your picture taken then. PV Journalist: So I’ll go get my ID. PV Journalist: Well thanks for clarifying that. I’m glad I can vote. Diana Lytle, Poll Worker, Nashua, New Hampshire: Well you can vote. ----- Poll Worker, Carol M. Rines Center, Manchester, New Hampshire: Alright so you’ll need to fill this out… PVA: So I just fill this… Poll Worker: Yeah, fill both of these out and I’ll add you. PVA: And then I can vote? Poll Worker: Right. Do you have a Mass license? PVA: I’m not sure if I have one on me but… Poll Worker, Carol M. Rines Center, Manchester, New Hampshire: I need a picture ID. If you don’t have one I need to fill one of these out and take a picture. PVA: So I just need to fill out these forms and take a picture and then I can vote? Poll Worker, Carol M. Rines Center, Manchester, New Hampshire: You got it. VO #5: The problem is that without identification and confirmation, someone could vote with a made up name and address and by the time the state found the fraud, the vote would have been long counted with no way to correct the wrong. So how would campaign officials respond to requests to “skirt” the domicile law and vote? PVA: …when Hugo mentioned the domicile thing, I totally think I’m going to do that. Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: You should. PVA: You think I should? Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: Why not? PVA: The only thing is like I don’t know what address to use.///Oh can I use yours? Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: You can if you want. PVA: Oh, for real? Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: Yeah. PVA: Can you write it down? Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: Yeah. PVA: I can use your address? Peyor Gugal, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staff: Yeah. ----- Donna Waterman, Bernie Sanders Campaign Staffer: It’s incredibly easy. Like, I think in many ways New Hampshire is incredibly proud of their first in the nation primary, and for that reason they make all of these really lax laws, surrounding voting, so people can, like, take advantage of it. PVA Journalist: Why doesn’t just every volunteer, like, every in the office, just… Donna Waterman: Bernie Sanders, Campaign Staffer: I think they all have honestly. And like, all of our paid canvassers have done it. It’s very, very easy. PVA: It almost seems like its more, its better to have people from out of state. Because they can do that and it’s like more votes. Donna Waterman: Bernie Sanders, Campaign Staffer: Yeah. Like I said. I don’t know the legality of it. Perhaps it’s voter fraud. ----- PVA Journalist: So, I’m wondering if I can do domicile. Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: Are you registered? Oh, from here? Oh, yeah. PVA Journalist: The only problem is, I’m staying with her aunt and I don’t have an address. Because I do want to use her aunt’s. Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: Oh, why not? PVA Journalist: Yeah, we talked about it and just, like, she’s not cool with that. Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: She’s not cool with that? Okay? PVA Journalist: Cause we both want to do it. Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: Ummm…could you say you’re staying at 345 Cilley Road? PVA Journalist: Could we? Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: Yeah. PVA Journalist: That’s, that’s this address. Mariel Brown-Fallon, Bernie Sanders Field Organizer: Yeah. ****VO #6: We heard that Mariel, who is from Massachusetts, voted for Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. But has no intention of staying in the Granite state. 0:31 O’Keefe: Are you Mariel? Mariel: I am. O’Keefe: Hey, James O’Keefe Project Veritas. How are you doing? Mariel: Hey there good. Actually I have to tell you right now I’m now allowed to speak to press. O’Keefe: You live here? In New Hampshire? Mariel: I’m not allowed to speak to press. O’Keefe: Do you live here in New Hampshire? Hat girl: Garrett lives here. Mariel: Garrett lives here. O’Keefe: Because my understanding is that you’re from Massachusetts, right? And you’re kind of exploiting the voter loophole by voting here and then you’re leaving right away, right? Hat girl: Mariel’s been living here. Mariel: I can’t speak to the press. O’Keefe: Do you like New Hampshire? Because my understanding is you don’t like New Hampshire very much. Hat girl: Mariel’s been living here for over a year. (Inaudible) She can’t talk to you. O’Keefe: So are you voting, did you vote here? Mariel are you planning to vote here today? Because I think that you are voting here today, and that would be violating the voting loophole in New Hampshire, wouldn’t it? Because you’re not from New Hampshire and you intend to leave right away, so do you have a comment? Hat girl: Is this private property issue or something like that? Because this is my office and I get to ask you to leave right? Mariel: Mhm. O’Keefe: But there’s also a law in New Hampshire and you can’t… Hat girl: But I can ask you to leave my private property. O’Keefe: Yeah I can leave. Hat girl: This is a good time to go. O’Keefe: But do you have a comment about that? Hat girl: You can go. O’Keefe: So no comment. Hat girl: I appreciate your time so much. The pizza is really good across the street VO #7: Remarkably we even found poll workers who seemed to support the idea of out of state campaign workers voting in a New Hampshire election. Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: This is why they wanted to change the law. Some people wanted to change the law. PVA Journalist: Because people were… Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: …coming up here to work on campaigns and voting. PVA Journalist: Alright. Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Which I think, when you come up here to work on a campaign, I think, you know, you’ve been working on a campaign and you want to vote. So I personally understand. PVA: Okay. Just to clarify, what I need, because I don’t have an ID, I can either do this here, or there, wherever you decide. All I need is to sign the affidavit and that’s it. And I can vote in New Hampshire? Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Basically, what we’ve been told by the AG, is that if you’re to sign this, you can vote here today. Because we can’t do anything about it. You’ve admitted to us that you actually don’t live here. And so that puts us in a difficult situation. You’re also signing… PVA Journalist: Reading it, it looks like it’s more appropriate for me to vote in Weare. Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: It is. You know, if you feel comfortable doing this, it’s your call. I would say, you…cause my felling is I would never want to deny anyone the right to vote. PVA Journalist: So, technically, I can fill that out and do that here? Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Technically you can. It’s up to you It’s, I can’t stop you. I can’t stop you. I would just… It’s your call. PVA Journalist: So easy a caveman can do it. Barbara Ward, Registrar at Large, Little Harbour School, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Yep. Poll Worker (with Travis) He was staying in a dorm because he’s working for a campaign and so he thinks he can use that for his address. Is that allright? Betsy McClain, Hanover Town Clerk: Um, we’ll have to call the AG’s office, because I’m not sure… Let’s call and see. 1929 We’re in unfamiliar territory because of the transient living situation (into phone) Um, yes please, my name is Betsy McClain, I’m the town clerk in Hannover and I was hoping you could answer a question about domicile eligibility for me, can you help me there? Okay. That’s correct. Okay, thank you. …Okay, okay. That’s what we’ll do, thanks for the clarification. Okay. Bye-bye. PVA: What’s that? Betsy McClain, Hanover Town Clerk: You can complete the domicile affidavit, and that if you’re claiming that the dormitory is your residence… And he confirmed that the property might have issues with it, but that not what we’re trying to do here. PVA: Okay, so I just need the address and the form… Cool! Betsy McClain, Hanover Town Clerk: So in talking to the AG’s office, he just need to complete a domicile affidavit, to say he’s resident in the dormitory. How long he’s going to be there, isn’t really our business, he’s just going to attest that that’s where he lives today to be able to vote. Alrighty? VO #8: Alrighty then. So, I decided to see if James O’Keefe could vote in the New Hampshire primary. O’Keefe: Hey I’m interested in a… Poll Worker 1: You want to register. O’Keefe: Yup. PW 1 Right. O’Keefe: Establishing the domicile to vote. PW 1 What’s your address? O’Keefe: I don’t have my ID with me. Is that going to be an issue? PW 1 Well there’s a way to get around that. O’Keefe: How do I do that? PW 1 Well we’ll have you fill out… O’Keefe: Okay. I don’t have any documents with me is that a problem? PW 1 What’s your address? O’Keefe: I’m just concerned, like do I need to give you…? PW 1 Well what they’re going to take is they’re going to take your picture? PW 2 Do you have a picture ID? O’Keefe: Not with me, no. PW 2 No. PW 1 If you go to that table and they’ll take a picture of you and do an affidavit. O’Keefe: How long do I have to be living here in order to register to vote? PW 2 I think its 30 days, but I’m not sure that matters at this point because new registrations they’re going to. O’Keefe: And how long do I have to stay here? Could I leave in like a few days? PW 2 I can check with the moderator for questions like this. O’Keefe: Alright I’ll just wait here. At 3:29 You look familiar. O’Keefe: I was just wondering if I register to vote how long do I have to live here for? Poll worker: I was under the impression that it was 30 days but I’m not sure if they clarified that. When did you…? O’Keefe: I’ve just been here for a little while, like a few days. It’s supposed to be I think it’s at least 20 days. I think it’s 20 days. O’Keefe: Is it 20 days? Poll worker: Yeah. O’Keefe: Okay. PW 1 Have they pushed about how long you have to stay. O’Keefe: How long do I have to stay here afterwards? Poll worker: You can stay here until the day after the election. O’Keefe: So like I could leave tomorrow?” Poll Worker: Yeah. O’Keefe: Okay perfect. You know I do have, I could go get a driver’s license out of the car. It’s just an out of state driver’s license. PW 2: Yeah the law says if you don’t have a picture ID we just have to take a photo of you and have you fill out an affidavit stating you claim who you are. O’Keefe: But I could go get. PW 2 If you have anything that would help. O’Keefe: A New York driver’s license and bring it in. Okay thank you. Thank you. At 4:46 I swear I think I’ve seen him. O’Keefe: What did you say, I look familiar? PW 2 Ah the fellow who is doing the, I don’t watch those things, but documentaries. O’Keefe: Yeah. Yeah. PW 2 I don’t remember his name, but I’ve seen him. O’Keefe: I don’t know. Yeah neither can I, but I think I know who you’re talking about. VO #9: Elections in New Hampshire don’t seem to have improved in the four years since Veritas was last here. They had to rewrite the laws back then and based on what we saw here this week they need to do it again. Stay tuned to Project Veritas Action, because next week we will introduce you to a number of democratic campaign officials who aren’t just skirting election laws…they are brazenly breaking them. O’Keefe: James O’Keefe, Project Veritas. How you doin? Did you vote in New Hampshire here? Hugo: blah, blah, blah
------------ Skip Murphy is Co-founder of GraniteGrok. He is a New Hampshire TEA Party activist, citizen journalist (and pundit!)advancing Individual Liberty and Freedom. His goal is using New Media to advance the radical notions of America's Founders back into our culture again. Tags:Skip Murphy, GraniteGrok, Project Veritas, investigates, voter fraud, New Hampshire, 2016 Primary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Personal Tweets by the editor: Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
#Conservative #Constitution #NRA #GunRights #military 22 yr #veteran #professor #Christian #ProLife #TCOT #SGP #CCOT #schoolchoice #fairtax Married-50+yrs #MAGA
Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting the beliefs associated with the ARRA, this blog/site is not controlled by nor funded by the ARRA. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.