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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, April 15, 2016
Conservatives Renew Campaign to Impeach IRS Commissioner
by Philip Wegmann: In time for tax season, members of the Freedom Caucus are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to deliver the head of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on a political platter.
As most of Congress heads out of town for the weekend, a handful of members filed onto the House floor Thursday evening and renewed an effort to impeach the nation’s top taxman.
They argued that the IRS infringed on free speech when they unfairly targeted conservative groups and they blamed Koskinen for obstructing a congressional investigation into the agency’s conduct.
“When you’re talking about a right that’s so fundamental to Americans, our First Amendment liberties, and it’s infringed upon in this way … we think it warrants something of this magnitude, which is impeaching the commissioner,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told The Daily Signal.
The move comes just four days before the April 18 deadline to file individual tax returns. That timing was intentional, Jordan said. His group designed the move to spotlight issue during a week when “American are dealing with the IRS in an up close and personal way.”
Already written up, the impeachment articles remain mired in committee. And while conservatives can exert political pressure by rallying public opinion, they can’t technically advance the process.
Only Goodlatte can do that.
Last October, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, delivered impeachment articles to the Judiciary Committee for consideration. Since then, Goodlatte hasn’t brought it up for a vote.
That delay has sparked considerable frustration among conservatives, said Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., one of the architects of the Freedom Caucus push.
“Obviously we haven’t had the success that we hoped for getting leadership to move forward with this,” DeSantis told The Daily Signal. “Anytime we flex our muscle, I think that they feel we’ll get criticized by the press and it’ll backfire on us somehow and they’re very hesitant to make any waves.”
If impeached by the House, Koskinen would face a trial in the Senate. He would become just the 20th federal official to be put on congressional trial in American history.
DeSantis and Jordan stressed that the case against the tax collector is meant as a political check against the IRS and not a criminal prosecution. The two point to Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who wrote that impeachment was warranted for dereliction of duty in 1883.
DeSantis, a former federal prosecutor, argues that Koskinen flouted congressional authority when he didn’t comply with a congressional investigation, allowed subpoenaed emails to be destroyed, and misled the public during his testimony.
“This has been a total obstruction of justice. And the question is, will Congress do anything when an agency like that walks all over us? Or are we just going to let it happen?” DeSantis asked.
Last July, when there were calls for Koskinen to be removed, White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz called him “a man of the highest integrity,” according to the Washington Times, and the Treasury Department similarly defended him, saying in a statement that “Commissioner Koskinen is a man of the highest integrity with a steadfast commitment to public service during difficult times,” according to the Associated Press.
But GOP leadership isn’t likely to provide an answer to DeSantis’ question until after the November election.
At a Thursday press conference, Ryan said that the IRS “needs to be cleaned up,” but stopped short of calling for Koskinen’s impeachment. “What I think we need to do is win an election, get better people in these agencies, and reform the tax code,” Ryan said.
In 2010, the IRS began flagging applications from conservatives groups applying for non-profit tax status. Specifically, IRS agents targeted applications that included terms such as “tea party,” “patriot,” and “government-spending.”
When the scandal came to light, Lois Lerner, director of the IRS Exempt Organization Unit, stepped down from her position in Sept. 2013. And in May of 2014, the House voted to hold her in contempt of congress for refusing to testify.
Conservatives want to tap into taxpayer frustration to make their argument that Koskinen must go.
“At tax time, people are going to say, ‘gee, if the IRS asks for document from me and I destroy them, I wouldn’t get away with that,’” DeSantis said. “But that’s effectively what Commissioner Koskinen has been able to get away with.”
Goodlatte’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
----------------------- Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) is the congressional correspondent for The Daily Signal. Tags:Conservatives, Renew Campaign, Impeach, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, Philip Wegmann, 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!
Restructuring $72 Billion Puerto Rico Debt Necessary To Protect Taxpayers
Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to require Puerto Rico to restructure its $72 billion debt and not to bail out unsecured creditors who bet poorly on Puerto Rican debt:
"The United States finds itself in a difficult position in relation to the Puerto Rican debt crisis. Speaker Paul Ryan, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy have put together a thoughtful approach to protect the U.S. taxpayers by imposing a tested mechanism for getting the territory's finances under control and by creating a controlled environment for restructuring Puerto Rico's unsustainable $72 billion of debt that will keep taxpayers off the hook.
"There is a successful history of Congress imposing financial controls in the past with the most recent example being the successful effort in the District of Columbia to pull the nation's capital back from the brink of insolvency. Protecting taxpayers is job one of this legislation, and while the details of the bill need to be worked out through the regular process, any attempt to weaken the power of the imposed financial control board to restructure Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt must be a deal breaker.
"However, the legislation should not be viewed as sacrosanct, and should have a number of important riders added to it that will rein in President Obama's regulatory overreach which puts our nation's economy and freedom at risk, and the House Resources Committee and Rules Committee should incorporate riders which rein in this overreach.
"Time is working against the people of Puerto Rico due to the failures of their government, and Congress needs to move forward on the Duffy Puerto Rico financial control legislation provided it meets five criteria:
"1. Protects U.S. taxpayers from bailing out Puerto Rican bondholders and other creditors by preventing unsecured bondholders from cutting in line in any debt restructuring and that restructuring will be mandatory when there are no other funds to pay debts;
"2. Establishes a strong Financial Control Board mechanism empowered to restructure Puerto Rico's debt and make the changes needed to put Puerto Rico on strong economic footing moving forward, along with defined criteria for when control should be returned to the elected representatives;
"3. Does not establish a precedent whereby states with heavy debt burdens like Illinois and California can use it as a model for discharging their debt onto the U.S. taxpayer by requiring Puerto Rico to restructure its debt when there are no other funds to pay bondholders;
"4. Incorporates key riders to rollback President Obama's regulatory overreach;
"5. Legally insures that bondholders who were willing to benefit from the higher rates of unsecured bonds will be subject to the commensurate losses. Creditors who made a bad bet on unsecured debt in Puerto Rico must not be allowed to cut the line to get repaid.
by Newt Gingrich: In December 2010, a fruit seller in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire in front of a provincial government office. That act of despair–and the man’s subsequent death–ignited a revolution of consciousness in Tunisia and throughout the Arab world. The street vendor’s protest touched off a surge of public outrage with the corruption, abuses and failures of governments throughout the region. It was the turmoil that became known as the Arab Spring.
Last month, a 51-year-old veteran set himself on fire in front of a Veterans Administration facility in Northfield, New Jersey. His comparable act of despair should be a call to another political revolution here in the United States–one focused on transforming the bureaucracies that are failing many of the most vulnerable Americans, not least our veterans.
No American should be satisfied with the incompetence and corruption exemplified by the VA. That the Department of Veterans Affairs is grievously sick has been evident since at least 2007, when the stories of neglect at Walter Reed Army Medical Center began to get public attention. We learned that the VA had wounded veterans recovering in deplorable conditions, and that the carelessness and indifference of the administrators led to a number of deaths.
Over the next nine years, we have watched the bureaucracy try and fail to cure itself.
In 2014, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned after press reports revealed that dozens of VA medical facilities had been hiding outrageously long wait times through fraudulent record-keeping, and that tens of thousands of veterans had been waiting months or even years for appointments.
We later learned that more than 300,000 veterans may have died waiting for care.
Of course, firing the Secretary did not fix a system that is corrupt, extraordinarily resistant to change, and devoted to its own self-preservation. The new secretary, Robert McDonald, has attempted to fire several of the senior executives responsible for the wait-time fraud. He has discovered that, due to public employee unions’ intransigence, it will take up to 700 days (two years!) before the agency actually succeeds in firing them. In the meantime, they could continue to receive full pay–in one case, $250,000 a year–at taxpayer expense.
And so the outrages continue. In an Inspector General’s report released this month, we learned that the person the VA appointed to fix the Phoenix VA’s wait time scandal apparently manipulated wait times in her previous position as head of a VA facility in Vermont–and that her superiors knew it. The week she took control of the Phoenix VA, the Daily Caller reports, “her superiors saw papers confirming the Vermont hospital had the same issues with wait-time falsification — with equally deadly results — as Phoenix.” In the IG report, the story continues,
a litany of schedulers at White River [the Vermont facility] told identical stories about being instructed during [her] tenure to game the data to show that veterans were given instant appointments. Those who didn’t were told they would be punished. Multiple levels of supervisors enforced the instructions, all the way up to at least the patient care chief.In another report published this week, we learned that the backlog of appeals cases in the veterans benefits system approaches half a million. “We’re failing veterans,” Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said of the system. “This process is failing veterans. Nobody can defend the status quo here.”
In yet another case, we learned that the VA systematically and intentionally declined to pay its proper share of veterans’ emergency room bills, causing many veterans to face enormous fees:
In a recent court decision, the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims…held VA was violating federal law using an unlawful interpretation of statute. That statute required VA to pay for all uncovered costs related to veterans’ emergency room (ER) services.
VA surreptitiously interpreted the statute to justify denial of payments to veterans with insurance that would cover part but not all of emergency room visits.
The interpretation resulted in veterans getting stuck with enormous bills following emergency room visits. According to the National Law Journal article, VA stuck veteran Richard Staab with uncovered portion of his bill of $48,000.It is obvious that the VA is not going to fix itself, and so the task falls to Congress to impose real change. The sickness of the system is so deep that, like a body infected with life-threatening cancer, the agency will need radical surgery if it is to survive. And a radical surgery is what Congress should perform in completely overhauling the agency. It is time to put veterans first, not bureaucrats.
---------------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, VA. Needs, Radical OverhaulTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Tax Day - Today is April 15th. As you know, this is the day when most of us would normally file our taxes. This year, we get a short reprieve -- tax filings are not technically due until Monday, thanks to a holiday observed in the District of Columbia.
Many conservatives view April 15th as "Democrat Bailout Day" -- the day Democrats get more money to pay for their failed big government programs. Doesn't that make you feel better?
In honor of Tax Day, I thought it would be "fun" to stick with the theme of taxes and how Big Government spends your money.
An analysis by the Pew Research Center makes it clear that the United States already has a very progressive tax system, in spite of all the complaints from the left. For example:
Roughly 3% of taxpayers (those with adjusted gross incomes of $250,000 and more) pay 52% of all personal income taxes collected by the federal government.
16% of taxpayers (those with adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and more) pay 80% of all personal income taxes collected by the federal government.
The remaining 84% of taxpayers pay just 20% of all income taxes collected.
Think about that for a moment. The vast majority of the federal government is funded by a very small segment of society.
And guess what? It's still not enough!
Washington Waste - Last year, the federal government spent $440 billion more than it raised in tax revenues. That's an incomprehensible figure.
If you compared the government's spending to that of a typical American household, here's what it would look like:
The typical American family makes about $52,000 a year.
If that family spent money like the federal government spends money, it would spend $61,000 a year.
That means it is charging about $9,000 a year on a credit card.
And that doesn't even begin to address the $19 trillion national debt or $311,000 debt for our example family above.
Something has to be done to address our deficit spending. No doubt there will be some difficult choices along the way. But there are plenty of easy ones that should be made now.
For example, in a new report, the Government Accountability Office identified nearly 100 recommendations to save the taxpayers' money. Here are a few examples:
Nearly $400 million could be saved by consolidating federal government cell phone contracts. Last year, only five of 15 agencies could tell the GAO how many cell phones and plans they had.
Last year the Pentagon destroyed more than $100 million worth of excess ammunition. The GAO suggests that rather than "demilitarizing and disposing" of excess ammunition, it should be shared with other law enforcement agencies that need it.
Not surprisingly, the GAO found a lot of duplicated programs and inefficiencies in Obamacare. Among its findings: "some hospitals' total Medicaid payments exceeded the hospitals' total operating cost."
All told, the GAO's recommendations to eliminate wasteful spending could save taxpayers $125 billion over time.
The IRS - One government agency in desperate need of reform is the IRS. In 2013, the agency estimated that more than $6 billion in fraudulent tax refunds was issued. Much of that is going to illegal immigrants. That fraud likely exceeded $20 billion last year.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified on Capitol Hill this week. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana asked Koskinen why his agency continues to process returns that it knows are fraudulent. The IRS simply ignores warnings from the Social Security Administration that names and Social Security numbers don't match.
Koskinen essentially shrugged. As long as illegal immigrants are filing their returns, he's happy.
I thought we put people in jail for tax fraud!
For this gross mismanagement and a multitude of offenses related to the Tea Party targeting scandal, 62 House Republicans are co-sponsoring a resolution to impeach Commissioner Koskinen. Several leading conservatives took to the House floor yesterday to renew their demand for his removal.
I agree. Remove him now!
Hillary's Taxing Plans - Hillary Clinton doesn't think the American people pay enough in taxes. She recently told the New York Daily News that she is proposing a $1 trillion tax increase to fund all her new spending.
Speaking of Hillary, the Democrats had a debate last night in Brooklyn. Sadly, Bernie Sanders once again tried to position himself as the biggest apologist for the Palestinians.
He recently suggested that 10,000 people were killed during the 2014 Gaza war, an incredibly inflated figure. Last night, he again condemned what he claims was Israel's "disproportionate" use of force in Gaza but said nothing about the war crimes committed by Hamas.
The jihadists intentionally hid behind civilians, used mosques and hospitals to store weapons and dug tunnels into Israel so they could massacre innocent civilians.
Hillary Clinton must have been celebrating her good luck.
Hillary is extremely vulnerable on foreign policy. Clinton has bragged that she was the one who opened the door to Iran for Obama.
Her outreach to the Islamic Republic led to a horrific nuclear deal that jeopardizes the security of the United States. More importantly, it is an existential threat to the Jewish state of Israel.
But compared to Bernie Sanders, Hillary almost looks like Golda Meir.
------------- 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, Tax Day, Washington Waste, The IRS, Hillary's Taxing PlansTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: April 15 is usually considered Tax Day, but this year the tax deadline is on April 18. It was moved because Emancipation Day will be celebrated this year on April 15. That is why Tax Day was pushed back to April 18.
While we are talking about Tax Day, let also talk about Tax Freedom Day. That is the day when your tax burden is lifted. It is calculated by dividing the official government tally of all taxes collected in each year by the official government tally of all income earned in each year. Put another way, it is when you are no longer working for the government but are now working for yourself and your family.
This year Tax Freedom Day will arrive next week. That is something new. Back in 2009 when I started doing commentaries on Tax Day, the Tax Freedom Day was on April 13. Now it is more than a week after Tax Day.
But before you declare freedom from government, I need to tell you about another day. It is called Cost of Government Day. This is the date on which the average American has paid his share of the financial burden imposed by the spending and regulation that occurs on the federal, state, and local levels. This year the Cost of Government Day will be somewhere in early July. In other words, you work more than half a year for the government before you begin to work for you and your family.
These dates help us realize what is happening around us. There is a cost, but often we don’t see it. Our taxes are withheld from each paycheck, so we often don’t think about what we are paying. And since the cost of most regulations is hidden, we don’t see those costs either. But imagine if we had to pay all our taxes today in one lump sum. You can bet there would be an outcry.
----------- 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, Tax DayTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
-------------- Tags:AF Branco, editorial cartoons, Tax Day, April 15, 2016, IRS, FairTaxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
THE WASHINGTON POST:“Tehran’s behavior comes as no surprise to the many observers who predicted the deal would not alter its hostility to the West or its defiance of international norms. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response has also been much as critics predicted: It has done its best to play down Iran’s violations and avoid any conflict out of fear that the regime might walk away from a centerpiece of President Obama’s legacy.” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)
Tehran To World: ‘Iran’s Missile Program Will Not Stop Under Any Circumstances’
THE WASHINGTON POST: “The missile tests are one example of U.S. waffling. The administration has described them as a violation of U.N. Resolution 2231 and responded with mostly symbolic sanctions of several individuals and companies associated with the program. But it has appeared to yield to Russia’s contention that Iran did not, technically, breach the resolution because it was only ‘called upon,’ not ordered, to stop testing. A letter sent by the United States, Britain, France and Germany to the Security Council last week described the tests as ‘inconsistent with’ the resolution, rather than a violation that would mandate enforcement action.” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)
“Iran's recent ballistic tests involved missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and were ‘inconsistent with’ and ‘in defiance of’ council resolution 2231, adopted last July, said the joint U.S., British, French, German letter to Spain's U.N. Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon... The four powers' carefully worded letter stopped short of calling the Iranian launches a ‘violation’ of the resolution...”(“Exclusive: Iran Missile Tests Were 'In Defiance Of' U.N. Resolution - U.S., Allies,” Reuters, 3/30/2016)
Democrats: U.S., Allies Must ‘Prevent Tehran From Believing It Can Violate International Law With Impunity’
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “The responsibility to enforce the terms of the JCPOA goes hand-in-hand with an understanding that world powers must also push back on Iran's bad behavior outside the four corners of this agreement--specifically, its support for terrorism, its continued illegal ballistic missile tests, and its human rights violations.”(Sen. Coons, Congressional Record, S. 2015, 4/13/2016)
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT):“The United States and the international community must vigilantly enforce sanctions on Iran's ballistic development, as well as its state sponsorship of terrorism and human rights violations which continue day in and day out. These steps must be taken to hold this regime accountable and prevent Tehran from believing it can violate international law with impunity.”(Sen. Blumenthal, Congressional Record, S. 2014, 4/13/2016)
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY:“Iran deserves the benefits of the agreement they struck. And President Obama has said it; I have said it, Secretary Lew has said it. And we've, in fact, tried to work to make sure that -- that the banks that are supposed to be doing legitimate business with respect to the transactions that are OK after the agreement, that they're operating. So, we -- you know, it's fair for Iran to get what it deserves...” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/05/2016)
JOE SCARBOROUGH:“Mr. Secretary, you said earlier though, and the president said this also, by not living up to the spirit of the agreement, they're sending the wrong signal to the world community and sending the wrong signal to businesses. Should they not first take care of the problem that both you and the president have diagnosed, and then you all start helping them financially?”KERRY: “[I]f we said we would lift the sanction, we're under an obligation to lift the sanction, to make sure that in fact, people are performing the way they are supposed to.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/05/2016)
“The Obama administration is preparing to give Iran limited access to U.S. dollars as part of looser sanctions on Tehran, according to congressional staff members and a former American official briefed on the plans... The Treasury is considering how to issue licenses to offshore dollar clearing houses for specific Iranian financial institutions... ‘They are looking at a couple mechanisms to allow for this dollar trade, stopping short of normalizing banking transactions,’ said a congressional banking official briefed by the administration on its plans . . .” (“U.S. Moves to Give Iran Limited Access to Dollars,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/01/2016)
“Another area of potential accommodation concerns dollar transactions linked to Iran. U.S. sanctions tied to terrorism and human rights still prohibit Iranian access to the U.S. financial system. Iranian officials are complaining that they have been unable to draw on newly unfrozen assets elsewhere in the world, or make trade deals, because international banks are afraid to conduct any transactions in U.S. dollars. The administration is considering issuing a clarification to foreign banks that they can conduct dollar exchanges linked to Iran’s assets or future trade deals under certain conditions. Administration officials say the action may be needed to comply with the spirit of the nuclear deal, which promised Iran access to its frozen assets and the resumption of international trade…” (Editorial, “Iran Should Pay A Price For Its Ballistic Missile Tests,” The Washington Post, 4/07/2016)
SEN. MARK KIRK (R-IL):“Giving Iran access to dollarized transactions outside the U.S. financial system would benefit Iran’s financiers of international terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile threats while also ignoring the Treasury Department’s finding under the USA PATRIOT Act’s Section 311 that Iran’s entire financial sector is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern...” (Sen. Kirk, Press Release, 4/06/2016)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL):“The Iranian regime has failed to prevent rampant money laundering and has continued to finance terrorist organizations and expand its ballistic missile program, showing a blatant disregard for U.S. sanctions and the integrity of the international financial system. Iranian access to U.S. dollars or the U.S. financial system, whether direct or indirect, will only further support these threatening and destabilizing activities.”(Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 4/06/2016)
FLASHBACK: LEW: ‘Iranian Banks Will Not Be Able To ... Enter Into Financing Arrangements With U.S. Banks’
TREASURY SECRETARY JACOB LEW:“[A] number of key sanctions will remain in place... Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks. Iran, in other words, will continue to be denied access to the world’s largest financial and commercial market.” (Department of the Treasury, Press Release, 7/23/2015)
Tags:Iran Deal, to evolve, Iran missile program, Iran Banks, President ObamaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Why? Many of us think of the Fifteenth of April as Tax Day. It seems strange and arbitrary when it is jiggered with. And kind of annoying.
But a postponement of taxes could be a postponement we might all appreciate as a tiny (ever so slight) reprieve.
So, again, why this year's three-day extra leeway?
First off, it is regularly postponed when the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday.
Could it be that the "Nothing Gets Done on Friday" Rule has been acknowledged by the fine folks at the Internal Revenue Service?
People in Maine and Massachusetts celebrate Patriots Day on April 18, so their tax day is set another day later, April 19.
Which begs the question. Why the 18th in the first place?
Well, because of Emancipation Day, usually celebrated in Washington, DC, on April 16.
Because the 16th settles on a Saturday this year, and because the day is a traditional day off for federal workers, the holiday shifts a day in advance, to this Friday, the 15th. So, Emancipation Day -- commemorating the signing of the Emancipation Act by President Abraham Lincoln -- trumps Tax Filing Day.
Apt, since it might seem cruel to Americans to have Tax Day, marking the subservience of a whole population to its government, fall on something called Emancipation Day.
After all, consider: holding them on the same day? Hmmm. Might get people thinking.
Bigwigs in DC don't want that.
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, Procrastinators' Weekend, 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 Joshua Delano, TEA Forward: Remember When Hillary Clinton, Took Millions Off The Sultan of Brunei, Then Stood Up to Him for Stoning Gay Men? Neither Do We.
Hillary’s claims to be a champion of the Gay community, but her Foundation rakes in millions from the Sultan of Brunei while he stones gay men.
Tea Party Forward PAC just released a new ad calling out yet another case of Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy. Hillary Clinton says one thing to fat cat donors in the New York gay community, but meanwhile she’s taking millions from oil rich nations advocating for the murder, many times by stoning, of gay men.
While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton accepted between $1-5 Million dollars to her foundation from the Sultan of Brunei, who at the same time championed the implementation of murderous Sharia law that imposes death by stoning for gay men. Time and again the Clintons have masqueraded as advocates for the LGBT community here at home, all the while traveling to nations where the murder of homosexuals is common practice. The Clintons maintain one constant: self-interest – here in the way of payments to the Clinton Foundation to allow them to forget their LGBT bona fides in their relentless pursuit of wealth and power. This powerful new ad shines a brutal light on the Clinton’s hypocrisy.
“It should disgust everyone that Hillary Clinton takes money from a country that stones gays – literally hugging its despotic ruler while on “official” State business - while simultaneously masquerading as a gay rights advocate for the cameras. Time and time again, the Clintons prove that the only thing we can trust them to champion are the ideals of the highest bidder,” said Tea Party Forward Chairman Niger Innis.
Tags:TEA Party Forward, Truth About Hillary, millions from Sultan of Brunei, Stoning Gay MenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Administration Doubles Down on Forcing Religious Groups to Accept Abortion Drug ‘Accommodation’
by Elizabeth Slattery: Two weeks ago the Supreme Court asked both sides in the Little Sisters’ case to file supplemental briefs. The Little Sisters’ case challenged Obamacare’s requirement that nonprofit employers must provide employee health insurance coverage that includes potentially life-ending drugs and devices.
Now the briefs are in—and while the Little Sisters of the Poor and other challengers provided suggestions for other ways the government could advance its interest in making sure women receive contraceptive coverage—the government doubled-down and argued that its existing “accommodation” already fits the bill.
A Religious Objection to Providing Life Ending Drugs
Many employers, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, Priests for Life, and religious colleges and charities, object to including contraception and potentially life-ending drugs and devices in their health insurance plans.
Under the current regulations (which the government refers to as an “accommodation”), employers must either submit a self-certification form to their insurer or health plan administrator or notify the Department of Health and Human Services of their religious objection to providing such coverage in writing and provide contact information for their health plan insurer or third-party administrator.
Either way, the actions taken by the employer will authorize the inclusion of coverage of the objectionable drugs and devices in its health plan. The Little Sisters of the Poor and other challengers believe that forcing them to engage in such conduct that will trigger morally objectionable health care coverage makes them complicit, and that imposes a substantial burden on the free exercise of their religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court asked the parties to address how employees would obtain contraceptive coverage through their employer’s insurance companies without any involvement from the employer, including notifying the government, their insurer, or a third-party administrator of their objection.
The Little Sisters of the Poor and other challengers suggest that the government could require insurance providers to make separate contraceptive plans available to employees whose employer plans do not include such coverage. This would require a separate enrollment process along the lines of how some employers have separate dental, vision, or prescription plans, as well as separate “insurance cards, payment sources, and communication streams.”
They maintain that such “truly independent efforts to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees” would allay their religious objections because they would be removed from the process entirely.
The challengers also propose that the government could offer plans on the Obamacare exchanges, contract with commercial insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage for those who don’t receive it through their employer, or make contraceptives available for free through Title X (a federal grant for family planning).
Government Argues for ‘Minimally Intrusive’ Regulation
In its supplemental brief, the government insists that, aside from the “minimally intrusive” self-certification process, the existing “accommodation” meets the criteria the Supreme Court asked both sides to address.
The government implores the justices not to require changes to the self-certification aspect of the “accommodation.”
The brief closes with an interesting plea to “definitely resolve” the challenge to the “accommodation” because it “affects the legal rights of …. tens of thousands of women who presently are not receiving the health coverage to which they are entitled by law.”
Conveniently, the government ignores the fact that it has grandfathered or otherwise exempted the insurance plans of 1 in 3 Americans from these requirements. (There are several large corporations, such as Exxon, Chevron, and Pepsi, which are exempt from the government’s regulation.)
The Little Sisters of the Poor and other challengers presented the Supreme Court with alternatives to the government hijacking their insurance plans, and the government insisted, once again, that these deeply religious employers are simply mistaken about their involvement in the “accommodation” process. Reply briefs are due next week, so stay tuned for the next development in this important case.
---------------- Elizabeth Slattery (@EHSlattery) writes about the rule of law, the proper role of the courts, civil rights and equal protection, and the scope of constitutional provisions such as the Commerce Clause and the Recess Appointments Clause as a legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Tags:Obama Administration, Doubles Down, on Forcing Religious Groups, to Accept Abortion Drug ‘Accommodation’, Supreme Court, Little Sisters of the Poor, Priests for Life, religious colleges, religious charities, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
NRA - Freedoms First Choice: The indomitable courage of those who held the line at Benghazi is reflected in everyday acts of bravery by Americans at home. But we see none of that will to do the right thing in the politicians who left our warriors high and dry.
Benghazi hero and survivor, Mark Geist:
I know the truth about Benghazi.
I was there, fighting alongside five Americans, who were all raised to believe that if you have a chance to save someone's life and you don't try, that's more criminal than anything else. So we fought for 13 hours, and we saved lives. But we are not unique.
We are no different than the Americans who ran back into those crumbling New York towers, or the Americans who tackled the armed terrorists on that French train, or the many faceless, nameless Americans who every day risk their lives for perfect strangers trapped in burning cars or dangerous waters—because if they didn't, no one would.
Where was that courage among the politicians who had the power to make a difference during those 13 hours in Benghazi?
I am the National Rifle Association of America, and I am Freedom's Safest Place.
Tags:Truth, Benghazi, NRA, Mark Geist, Freedom's Safest PlaceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Putin Flexes Muscles
Russian President Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscles again. Two days this week Russian aircraft buzzed a U.S. destroyer conducting drills in the Baltic Sea.
On Monday, two Russian SU-24 fighter jets made several "close-range and low altitude passes" over the USS Donald Cook as it was conducting deck landing helicopter drills. The Russian harassment continued the next day.
On Tuesday, a KA-27 Helix helicopter circled the Cook seven times at low altitude. After the helicopter left the area, the SU-24s came back and made 11 passes over the Cook, while failing to respond to repeated safety warnings in both English and Russian. One official told CNN that the maneuvers amounted to "strafing runs without firing any weapons."
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman defended the aggressive actions, claiming the Cook was 45 miles from Russian military facilities in Kaliningrad. U.S. officials insist the ship was 75 miles away.
Putin has been pushing the envelope, especially in Eastern Europe. In October, Admiral Mark Ferguson, commander of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command, warned:
"The language coming from the Russian military reflects the mindset and actions characteristic of direct challenge and confrontation with NATO. . . This remilitarization of Russian security policy is evident by the construction of an arc of steel from the Arctic to the Mediterranean. . . This is a sea denial strategy focused on NATO."That same month, the U.S. Navy intercepted two Russian aircraft near the USS Ronald Reagan.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described Vladimir Putin as a "risk taker." Panetta said that Putin would continue pushing until someone calls his bluff. No doubt many pundits will insist that we can't risk "provoking" the Russians. But it is Putin who is doing the provoking.
When Putin sent military forces into Syria, he provoked NATO by flying his jets into Turkish airspace. Turkey shot one of them down. And what did Putin do about it? Absolutely nothing. Had Turkey not shot that jet down, Putin would be regularly violating Turkish airspace.
ISIS Threatens American Muslims Democrats
The latest edition of Dabiq, the ISIS propaganda magazine, calls on jihadists in the West to "Kill the imams of kufr [disbelievers or apostates] in the West." The magazine reportedly identifies nearly two dozen high pro-file Muslims in the West who, according to ISIS, reject true Islam and should be killed.
Among those on the ISIS hit list: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Clinton advisor Huma Abedin, Rashad Hussain, a former envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mohamed Elibiary, a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Arif Alikhan, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national executive director Nihad Awad.
As long as the "JV team" stuck to killing Christians, the left never seemed terribly bothered by radical Islam. Now that it is issuing fatwas against American Muslims and Democrats -- that has to be some sort of micro-aggression or something -- perhaps the left will take the threat posed by the Islamic State more seriously. But I'm not holding my breath.
------------- 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, Putin Flexes Muscles, ISIS Threatens Muslims DemocratsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Jenn Jacques, Bearing Arms, Howard Stern, schools liberal, anti-gun producer To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Truth Meters Might Explode; Clinton and Obama Electioneering Until November
by Jim Mullen, Contributing Author: The American electoral process, especially on the federal level, has always been something less than genteel. From the earliest days of our founding, political office seekers attacked each other unmercifully, and acted more like unruly, spiteful children than educated, brilliant men who had just formulated the greatest concept in government ever conceived by man.
Likewise, the news media of the day, newspapers and periodic magazines, chose sides and muckraked politicians and disparaged their families. They used their newborn constitutional freedom to guarantee only the fiercest, thick-skinned individuals survived the ordeal.
In this year’s Democrat primaries, voters are not flocking to the polls as they did in the last two presidential elections. The voters who are voting are split because Hillary Clinton is not radical enough or redistributionist enough. The far-left, after seven years of encouragement by Obama, feels they have a mandate to go for the full Monty, flat-out communism.
Hillary Clinton and her Marxist supporters are deathly afraid Barack Obama’s absence from the ticket will mean blacks will fail to make extraordinary efforts to vote in the fall election. They equally fear that women will get the “I’ve had it up to here” blues and avoid the polls.
What this means is, they must go after the black, and women vote with a vengeance. The country must be ready for an all-out assault on Middle America. Every value and principle, on which this Republic was founded, will be laid low by these two deeply flawed, radical Marxists and their lemming-like supporters.
The Communist indoctrination Sanders and Clinton supporters received in the classrooms of schools and American colleges and universities, will compel them to demonize evil capitalism and demand total control by the federal government. These useful idiots have no concept of the real world or what the country would be under a system they so mindlessly crave and pursue with such zeal.
It’s an understatement to say the left doesn’t play nicely with the truth. Indeed, the two are at war. Leftists use every weapon at their disposal to kill the truth. Marxism depends upon lies, misinformation, indoctrination, intimidation, and finally violence on its path to tyranny.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” - Joseph Goebbels
From now until Election Day, Goebbel's indoctrination philosophy will be prominent on the national political stage by the party of racism; the Democrat Party. Because they are the party of racism, they incessantly call others racist to deflect from their own history.
For example, they have a history of Jim Crow, the Klan, segregation, Woodrow Wilson, and Hillary Clinton’s favorite, one of the most wicked, immoral racists in history, Margaret Sanger. Founder of Planned Parenthood, she advocated the extermination of blacks, the poor, and any people with infirmities.
They frantically run from their sordid past, but cannot hide when faced with the truth. They rewrite history books, but cannot change history. For years, the Democrat Party has fashioned a public image of working to help the poor and middle class while hiding the reality that it targets the vulnerable.
Liberal progressives tell any lie, use every dirty trick known to man, and then utilize street riots, and civil disobedience to viciously defend their lies. Mischief and mayhem will be standard fare on every left-wing menu until the November election.
They will, of course, be led and abetted by the uber-liberal Main Stream-Media and Hollywood. Using their own version of justifying the unjustifiable, and defending the indefensible, they will shamelessly divide the nation by race, gender, religion, class, and any other possibilities of creating friction.
Being historically racist, the Democrat Party must persist in repeating the big lie that Democrats are the ones that help blacks. What they have done successfully, with help from some liberal Republicans, is placing millions on the Democrat welfare plantation where their policies lay waste to millions of lives. Drug and crime infested ghettos fed by a culture of dependency and a corrupt education system, capture and securely hold generation after generation. By keeping them uneducated, poor, and dependent, Democrats wall off minorities and poor whites keeping them enslaved on government-run plantations and reservations.
The New Socialist Democrat Party has several automatic reset buttons when facts and events connive to reveal the truth about their past. When this happens, their blatant, illusions and lies stand starkly against clear, blue reality. That’s when they desperately reach for the buttons of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, class warfare, and religious division. Liberals use the fear of being called these names to chill speech. Let the epithets begin!
Truth will never fill the gullet of congenital or ideological liars. Likewise, it falls much too harshly on delicate liberal ears. Therefore, liberals result to pretense, lies, and pettifoggery combined with street riots, physicality, and thuggery to control thought and speech. Angry mobs shouting down truth don’t change the truth. Neither do the media, Hollywood, and Marxist ideologues’ change truth when they attempt to indoctrinate the masses. However, they use extraordinary means to bury it beneath an avalanche of fascist nonsense.
From now until November, our streets and airways will exhibit the anti-American left fire every fraudulent, deceitful bullet from their big guns. Likewise, we will be regaled with every nonsensical, irrational notion dribbling from the little minds of the useful idiots.
In the next seven months, Democrats must convince minorities and women that Republicans hate them, while making everybody forget the sordid history Democrats have with blacks. Not to mention, Clinton and all the leftists must lie about the Marxist policies that keep most women and minorities poor and under the heel of government. As extraordinarily twisted as it sounds, Hillary and Company must repeatedly convince those on the plantations and those struggling low-income earners that they are lucky to have such caring Marxists on their side.
Yes, that’s correct. Hillary needs the votes of those she helped put on the plantations, so she can continue the policies to keep them there.
Turn on your truth meter, brace yourself, and hold on tight! With Clinton and Obama electioneering, your meter and your head just might explode.
------------ Jim Mullen is a West Virginia conservative Republican activist writing articles at Freedom For US Now and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service Tags:Jim Mullen, Freedom for US Now, Truth Meter, might explode, Clinton, Obama, electioneeringTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In a speech at Hillsdale College, Andrew McCarthy told the story of leading the prosecution in 1993 of the terrorist cell that bombed the World Trade Center. At the time, other government officials told him that he “should read nothing into the fact that all the men in this terrorist cell were Muslims.” These officials explained that the terrorist actions weren’t representative of Islam, because it is religion that encourages peace.
The government also portrayed the leader of the terrorist cell (Omar Abdel Rahman) as a wanton killer and an unbalanced lunatic. Andrew McCarthy discovered he was anything but. He was a globally renowned scholar with a doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence from a major university in Egypt.
That presented a problem. Andrew McCarthy needed to know enough about Islamic interpretation to press the case. He hoped to find inconsistencies between what the Qur’an teaches and what the leader of the terrorist cell taught. What he found was alarming. Every time Omar Abdel Rahman quoted the Qur’an or other Islamic sources, he quoted them accurately.
“When he said the scriptures command Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of Islam’s enemies, the scriptures backed him up. When he said Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage war until Islamic law was established throughout the world, the scriptures backed him up.”
Andrew McCarthy discovered the flaw in the oft-repeated argument that Muslim terrorists are perverting the religion of Islam. They are accurately quotes verses from the Qur’an. That doesn’t mean that all Muslims will be terrorists. Many do not know of these passages or have been able to contextualize them. But it does illustrate why we cannot continually argue that radical Muslims who are calling for jihad are teaching something that is contrary to Islam.
------------------------ 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, Terrorist, Interpretation, Andrew McCarthyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial cartoon, AF Branco, It's How You Finish, DNC, Superdelegates, rigged, in favor of Hillary, against BernieTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
“[T]he typical woman who works full-time earns 79-cents for every dollar that a typical man makes,” President Barack Obama said, repeating what we have already been told ad nauseum about the “wage gap” between men and women.
“Experts” simply added up all the money earned by all the men and all the women (subcategoried) and then divided by the number of men and women, respectively. No accounting for
the actual jobs performed,
. . . or any other factor.
Using this statistic make sense if all people — brain surgeons and taxi drivers alike, having worked every day for the last 40 years or re-entering the workforce after decades away — should earn the exact same amount.
It is already illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same work. Yet, on the WhiteHouse.gov page entitled, “This Is Why Today is Equal Pay Day,” the prez says “we must rid our society of the injustice that is pay discrimination.” The website insists that, Obama “has made equal pay a top priority.”
Then, why does a pay gap exist between the men and women working for Mr. Obama? According to the Washington Post, “The White House has not narrowed the gap between the average pay of male and female employees since President Obama’s first year in office . . .”
The good news? Equal Pay Day is over.
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, Hypocrisy Gap, Equal Pay Day, The White HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Maine’s Successful Welfare Reform and Why It Worked
Gov. Paul LePage, R-ME
by Genevieve Wood: States are often the best laboratories for testing out what public policies will make life better for their citizens. Maine’s experiment with welfare reform is a great example.
When Gov. Paul LePage, only the second Republican governor of Maine in the past 50 years, came into office, one in three people living in the state was on some form of welfare. LePage talked with me about how they turned the system on its head and how those reforms have made the American dream a reality for more of Maine’s citizens.
------------------------- Genevieve Wood(@genevievewood) advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal. Tags:Maine, Governor, Paul LePage, Welfare to Work, Genevieve Wood, Heritage Foundation, vido, interviewTo 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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