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

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Romney wins Iowa Republican straw poll; Huckabee finishes second

by John Whitesides, Political Correspondent: AMES, Iowa (Reuters): Republican Mitt Romney won the first test of the 2008 White House race on Saturday, using a big wallet and broad organization to muscle aside a field of second-tier rivals in a low-turnout Iowa straw poll. Romney won 31% of the votes cast in the nonbinding mock election, a traditional early gauge of support in the state that holds the first nominating contest leading up to the November 2008 election. Romney was a heavy favorite after the other top three national Republican candidates -- Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson -- skipped the poll. Romney matched the 31% of the vote won by then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in his 1999 straw poll victory . . .

Competing on a shoestring budget, Mike Huckabee finished a surprising second with 18% of the 14,302 votes cast . . . A ticket cost $35, and campaigns paid the bill for as many supporters as they could afford. Romney's rivals said they could not compete with his ability to spend millions. "I'm not the best-funded candidate in America. I can't buy you, I don't have the money," Huckabee told the Ames crowd during the voting. "I can't even rent you." Sam Brownback finished third with 15%, Tom Tancredo finished fourth with 13.7% and Ron Paul finished fifth with 9% . . . [Read More]

Tags: Iowa, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, presidential candidates, Republican, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, straw poll, Tom Tancredo, Election 2008 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

This Entitlement Will Sink Us
Truth About the SCHIP Bill Reauthorization

by Scott Garrett: The U.S. House . . . approved a $160 billion entitlement explosion, a $53 billion tax hike, relaxed rules for illegal immigrant access to federal benefits, and a package of Medicare cuts. With this they are saddling our children with extraordinary debt, and are doing so without my vote. All of this was rolled into a single bill: the so-called reauthorization of the SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program). . . . established under the premise that it would provide health insurance for children whose families were too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid, but too poor to afford private insurance. . . . the bill passed this week . . . expands it so dramatically that, if signed into law, two-thirds of the American people could end up under government-run health care. The Democrats' SCHIP bill is a thinly veiled effort to shift children – and . . . adults - from private health coverage to a government-run entitlement program.

Nationalized health care The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 2.1 million people who are currently covered by private health plans will be forced into this nationalized health care. We all know how efficiently the government runs the programs already in its authority . . . the Medicare hot line rang 42.2 million times last year and Medicare lost an estimated 3 % to 10 % of all its funding to waste, fraud, and abuse in 2006. . . .
- Unfair taxation Furthermore, there's almost no effort to hide this bulk transfer to nationalized health care. . . . the SCHIP bill balances the new entitlements on the backs of our nation's vulnerable seniors with $37.1 billion in cuts to Medicare providers. It makes cuts for hospital care, skilled nursing care, home health care, oxygen therapy and imaging. It even limits access to wheelchairs. And, . . . an estimated 3 million seniors will literally lose their coverage altogether . . .
- Paying for illegal immigrants . . . the SCHIP bill also forces the American taxpayer to pay for health benefits for illegal immigrants. It removes current safeguards meant to keep illegal immigrants from accessing SCHIP benefits, while simultaneously establishing mandatory $400 million expenditure for translation services for non-English-speaking enrollees. . . .
- The SCHIP bill is dangerous policy. it was brought to the floor . . . bypassing debate and committee review in an effort to cram it through the House . . . The president has said he will veto this bill. With a strong bipartisan vote against the bill of more than 200 representatives, his veto should stand. At that point, I hope the Democratic leadership will go back to the drawing board and formulate a reasonable proposal that protects children, seniors and taxpayers . . . [Read More]

Tags: employing illegals, illegal immigrants, Medicaid, medicare, SCHIP, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems Try to Pass Gas...Tax

In the wake of the Minneapolis tragedy, a new CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans are worried that another bridge will collapse. But, much to the liberals' dismay, that doesn't mean they're willing to accept a tax increase to help inspect and repair them! Of those surveyed, 65 percent oppose the Democrats' plan to force new taxes on the country to address the infrastructure problem. Playing on the country's fear, House Democrats seized on last week's disaster as an excuse to raise the gas tax by five cents. According to the leadership, that new money would be directed to a "trust fund" for fixing highway bridges. Conservatives, including President Bush, are loudly criticizing the idea. He promises to veto any tax hikes that reach his desk. "My suggestion would be that [Congress] revisit the process by which they spend gasoline money in the first place," the President said yesterday. He's right. Congress keeps wasting taxpayer money on pet projects, then, when their out-of-control spending leaves nothing to meet Americans' real needs, they demand more! It's time to stop building "bridges to nowhere" and start rebuilding taxpayers' trust. [Source: FRCAction] See also: Bush resists raising gas tax for bridges & Poll: Americans worried but reject higher taxes to fix bridges

Tags: fuel tax, gas tax, gasoline, highways, increased taxes, taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Firefighters' Revenge (Humor)

This photo has been making the email rounds for some. Obviously, the person parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant. But is it "coincidence" that it is appearing again after the national news story about San Diego Firefighters File Complaint for Being Forced to Attend Gay Pride Parade ?

Tags: firefighter, Firemen, humor, Firefighters' Revenge To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Politcal Promises!

Caution: Vehicle may be transporting political promises!

Tags: political humor, political promises To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Why is the Media Ignoring Ron Paul? [Video]

by Jessica Blakemore, OpEdNews: If you live in America, you probably don’t even know who Ron Paul is. That is, unless you spend any time online researching the current Presidential candidates. Do me a favor, and “Google” Ron Paul’s name and see what happens. I just did & got 4,600,000 results. He & his campaign are literally a phenomenon taking place right now. Thousands of grass roots organizations have formed across the country through websites such as There are also hundreds of videos on YouTube… mostly from young and independent supporters. Even Elliot Schrage (Vice President of Global Communications & Public Affairs) from Google has acknowledged that Ron Paul received more questions for his interview at Google than any other candidate running for President . . . [Read More]

Tags: presidential candidate, Republican, Ron Paul, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Chuck Balwin on Romans Chapter 13
Christian Involvement in Government

by Chuck Baldwin: It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, "What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone." Or words to that effect. . . . let's briefly examine Romans Chapter 13.

. . . Remember that every apostle of Christ (except John) was killed by hostile civil authorities opposed to their endeavors. Christians throughout church history were imprisoned, tortured, or killed by civil authorities of all stripes for refusing to submit to their various laws and prohibitions. Did all of these Christian martyrs violate God's principle of submission to authority? So, even the great prophets, apostles, and writers of the Bible (including the writer of Rom. Ch. 13) understood that human authority -- even civil authority -- is limited.

Plus, Paul makes it clear that our submission to civil authority must be predicated on more than fear of governmental retaliation. Notice, he said, "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." Meaning, our obedience to civil authority is more than just "because they said so." It is also a matter of conscience. This means we must think and reason for ourselves regarding the justness and rightness of our government's laws. Obedience is not automatic or robotic. It is a result of both rational deliberation and moral approbation.Therefore, there are times when civil authority may need to be resisted. Either governmental abuse of power or the violation of conscience (or both) could precipitate civil disobedience. Of course, how and when we decide to resist civil authority is an entirely separate issue. . . .

Beyond that, we in the United States of America do not live under a monarchy. We have no king. There is no single governing official in this country. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with any man or any group of men. America's "supreme Law" does not rest with the President, the Congress, or even the Supreme Court. In America, the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Under our laws, every governing official publicly promises to submit to the Constitution of the United States. Do readers understand the significance of this distinction? I hope so.This means that in America the "higher powers" are not the men who occupy elected office, they are the tenets and principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Under our laws and form of government, it is the duty of every citizen, including our elected officials, to obey the U.S. Constitution. . . .

. . . Furthermore, Christians, above all people, should desire that their elected representatives submit to the Constitution, because it is constitutional government that has done more to protect Christian liberty than any governing document ever devised by man. As I have noted before in this column, Biblical principles form the foundation of all three of America's founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. As a result, Christians in America (for the most part) have not had to face the painful decision to "obey God rather than men" and defy their civil authorities. The problem in America today is that we have allowed our political leaders to violate their oaths of office and to ignore, and blatantly disobey, the "supreme Law of the Land," the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we truly believe Romans Chapter 13, we will insist and demand that our civil magistrates submit to the U.S. Constitution. Now, how many of us Christians are going to truly obey Romans Chapter 13? [Read Full Article]
Tags: Bible, Christian responsibility, Christianity, Chuck Baldwin, civic responsibility, Declaration of Independence, government, The Bill of Rights, US Constitution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Comments on the Democrat "Presidential Gay Debate"

On Thursday, the first ever televised (Logo TV) Democrat "Presidential Gay Debate" was held in Los Angeles. The two-hour forum had been previously tagged as an event to address issues affecting the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in the United States . However, it was also clearly a biased GLBT agenda driven event. See also: Democratic Contenders Address Gay Rights in TV Forum In keeping with the 'fairness doctrine" for televised events, below some limited comments from two traditional family organizations.

1) Religious Freedom Coalition: Want To Be Presidents & Gays -There they were, six of the eight Democratic presidential hopefuls on a gay TV cable channel pandering to homosexuals. Hillary Clinton told them she would be a "...president who will fight for you." The "debate" was held in West Hollywood (where else?) and was sponsored by the gay TV network Logo and the Homosexual lobbying group Human Rights Campaign. After the event Hillary Clinton held a fund raising party at the Abby in West Hollywood which is the largest homosexual night club in the United States. Click here for more.

2) Family Research Council: Shades of Gay: Hopefuls Go to Mat on LOGO - For all the hype surrounding last night's first presidential "Gay Debate," there were few real surprises. Trying their best to placate homosexuals without disillusioning the rest of America, the candidates walked gingerly through a maze of loaded questions. All reaffirmed their commitment to broadening "hate crimes" laws, repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. Interestingly enough, none of the Democratic front runners went so far as to endorse same-sex "marriage"--though they did vow to fight for the same "rights" and benefits through civil unions. Former Gov. Bill Richardson felt the heat when he was asked whether he believed people are "born gay or chose to be gay." He said, "It's a choice." When it was obvious that the moderator was unsatisfied with his response, Richardson stumbled to clarify, saying, "I'm not a scientist... I see gays and lesbians as people..." Nanoseconds after the event, Richardson's office released a statement recanting his answer and stating that he "misunderstood the question." If liberals wanted to make a social statement last night, participating in the debate was a good move. If they want to raise money among special interest groups, it was a good move. But if they want to win the White House, polling shows that courting the homosexual vote is not the thing to do. For the truth on one of the hot issues in last night's debate--"hate crimes" legislation--read Peter Sprigg's op-ed in today's Washington Times: Op-ed: Reject The 'Hate Crimes' Bill

Tags: debate, Democrat, Family Research Council, gay agenda, gay debate, Religious Freedom Coalition To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Unions & the US Chamber of Commerce Opposing DHS Procedure to prevent employment of illegal aliens

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected on Friday to announce regulations requiring employers to take additional steps to confirm certain employees are authorized to work in the United States. An employer who fails to follow the rules could be fined for knowingly employing an illegal immigrant. Under current law employers that knowingly hire an illegal employee can be fined up to $2,000 per worker. If the employer has been previously found to hire an illegal employee, the employer can be fined up to $5,000 or up to $10,000 if more than once the employer has been found to hire an illegal employee.

The AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce both say they have a problem with the proposed rule. The nation’s largest federation of labor unions says legal immigrant workers will suffer discrimination under the rule. Both are considering suing to stop the rule, while cautioning that they have not seen its final language. Angelo Amador, director of immigration policy for the chamber, predicted that the rule would face a legal challenge. The chamber is considering suing over the law and could join several other interest groups that might sue, he said. The AFL-CIO’s Ana Avenda-o, the union’s associate general counsel and director of its immigrant worker program indicated she believes DHS does not have the legal authority to promulgate these rules. According to Avenda-o, legal immigrants will be found to have more data mismatches and suffer discrimination as a consequence of the rule because Latin Americans’ names are hyphenated, and Asian first and last names are often transposed in documentation.

Laura Keehner of the DHS said “It is our responsibility and job to enforce the laws,” and that the deadline for employers to begin following the new rule will be announced Friday. Employers have told DHS they did not know how to respond to no-match letters and the final rule will clarify how, she said. It “will also include and help define, if the employer chooses to flagrantly disregard the law, there will be fines and there will be consequences; employers have no more excuses.” It’s an employees’ responsibility to make sure their information is accurate. DHS delayed finalizing the rule as it awaited the outcome of the debate in Congress on overhauling immigration. Immigration overhaul legislation (S 1639), supported by the administration, died in the Senate in June. There are an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Since fiscal 2003, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has sent out about 130,000 no-match letters to employers each year. A September 2006 SSA inspector general audit found that 6 employers in tax year 2002 had between 15,001 and 36,000 employees with SSA data that didn't match official records; another 65 employers had between 5,001 and 15,000 such employees.
[ARRA Editor: The odd partnership between the US Chamber and AFL-CIO and their illogical reasoning begs the question: if the Department of Homeland Security does not have the authority to enforce laws regarding illegal aliens, who does? The above info was furnished to ARRA on background from a confidential Senate source who indicated it was developed by a Congressional Quarterly staffer. Two calls were made to the Congressional Quarterly but we were not able to confirm the source. We also checked but it is restricted to subscribers.]

See also: Government to Step Up Immigration Law Enforcement

Tags: AFL-CIO, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, employment verification, false social security numbers, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, US Chamber of Commerce To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thompson Closer to Official - Taps Former Campaign Manager

Fred Thompson on Wednesday tapped the man he credits with saving his 1994 Senate campaign to take over his likely presidential bid. Bill Lacy, a former strategist for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Republican National Committee, will run day-to-day operations of Thompson's committee to ''test the waters'' for a presidential run. ''He turned around my campaign for Senate in 1994 and, as I move toward a decision on whether to run for president, I am confident he will take our operations to the next level,'' Thompson,. . . said in a statement. ''I'm here for the long haul,'' Lacy said in an interview from the committee's headquarters in a Virginia suburb. He said he has taken a leave of absence from his current post as the director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the Univ. of Kansas . . . Thompson is expected to officially enter the race Labor Day week, and is showing strongly in national polls and surveys in several early primary states . . . [Read More]

Tags: Bill Lacy, Fred Thompson, GOP, presidential candidate, Republican To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

San Diego Firefighters File Complaint for Being Forced to Attend Gay Pride Parade

by Melissa Drosjack, Fox News: In 28 years of responding to fires and saving lives, Fire Capt. John Ghiotto of the San Diego Fire Department never thought his job would require him to attend a Gay Pride parade."I've dealt with finding bodies in burning buildings, traffic accidents with kids, but I've never been so stressed out before until this incident," Ghiotto told in an exclusive interview.

Ghiotto and three other firefighters filed a sexual harassment complaint against the city's fire department last week after being forced to attend the parade in uniform despite objections they made to superiors. “I don’t want anybody else to go through this. This is a whole different ball game. I think our officials up above need to look at this,” Ghiotto said. The firefighters claim parade attendees made obscene gestures, uttered inappropriate remarks and displayed lewd behavior that made them uncomfortable. They also demanded a work environment without discrimination and harassment . . . [Read More] See also: San Diego Firemen Rescue the Culture

Tags: Firemen, gay agenda, gay parade, San Diego, CA, sexual harassment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Admit Surge Is Worling

Surprise! A number of stories have appeared today noting that Sen. Durbin and other Democrats are acknowledging military progress in Iraq:
- The Associated Press: Democrats Praise Military Progress
- The New York Sun: A Ranking Senate Democrat Concedes Surge Is Working
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Durbin Cites Promising Military Progress In Iraq
- The [Springfield, IL] State Journal-Register: Durbin: Surge Helping, But Iraqi Government Must Do More
- D.C. Examiner: The Surge Is Working. What Now?

Tags: Democrats, Iraq, Iraq War, military, troop surge To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Boozman "warns" that farmers could become minor players in future farm bills

Congressman John Boozman (R-AR) has been speaking out on the influence of non-farmers on future farm bills:
by Doug Thompson, Arkansas News Bureau: Federal farm legislation now moving through Congress could be the last version in which farmers have a major say, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers. The head of Arkansas' biggest farm lobby also acknowledged a growing number of interests involved in crafting the federal farm bill but said he could not foresee agriculture not having a major role. H.R. 2419 passed the House on July 27.

Boozman said he supported the bill until the tax on foreign-owned businesses was added. "There are too many people, many of whom have never lived on a farm, who are demanding a say in (farm legislation)," Boozman said, pointing to provisions in the House version that include the tax on foreign-owned businesses operating in the United States, which the congressman said has nothing to do with farming."It's a tax on Toyota plants in the U.S., among others," he said. . . . [Read More]

Tags: Arkansas, Farm bill, increased taxes, John Boozman, taxes

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Tony Perkins, FRC: Former Air Force lawyer Michael Weinstein, who sued the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2004 for religious discrimination, has now taken a shot at the Pentagon. At Weinstein's request, the DOD agreed to investigate seven military officers for their appearance in a video for an organization called The Christian Embassy. Weinstein's group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, charges that the officers violated the regulations that prohibit personnel from appearing in uniform during "speeches... rallies, or any public demonstration... which may imply Service sanction of the cause." The government's 47-page report concurred, finding the officers guilty of violating ethical policy. However, the report did not substantiate Weinstein's biggest claim that these men violated the Establishment Clause by lending their support to a religious entity. In fact, the report didn't even touch on the nature of the video; it simply reiterated that officers cannot endorse a non-federal organization while in uniform at the Pentagon. Although the report called for "corrective action," Weinstein is calling on Congress to hold oversight hearings. Disappointed that the DOD didn't reprimand the officers for "dismantling" the so-called "wall between church and state," Weinstein hopes to plead his case on Capitol Hill. It is an unfortunate reality that even cases like this, which deal strictly with military protocol, are used by Mr. Weinstein in disingenuous ways that violate not the Establishment Clause but the equally important Free Exercise provision of the First Amendment. See also: Officers' Roles in Christian Video Are Called Ethics Breach

Tags: FRC, military, religous freedom, Tony Perkins To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Plans for Economic Integration

by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Canada in the summer and Mexico in the spring offer good weather for planning international policies. Nervousness about the political weather, however, is putting the third Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit on August 20-21 at a site where the uninvited can be easily excluded: the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort about 50 miles outside of Quebec. The cheering gallery for SPP is hysterically chanting that its goal is NOT a North American "union" modeled on the European Union (and that anyone who thinks otherwise must be peddling conspiracy fears). But the SPPers candidly admit they want North American "integration," which may be a distinction without a difference. President Bush started down this trail back on April 22, 2001 when he signed the Declaration of Quebec City in which he made a "commitment to hemispheric integration." After Communist Hugo Chavez took over Venezuela, "hemispheric" was quietly scaled down to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of just NORTH America. . . .

Peter F. Drucker wrote in his 1993 book Post-Capitalist Society that the European Union "triggered the attempt to create a North American economic community, built around the United States but integrating both Canada and Mexico into a common market." He gleefully added, "So far this attempt is purely economic in its goal, but it can hardly remain so in the long run. . . . The economic integration of the three countries into one region is proceeding so fast that it will make little difference whether the marriage is sanctified legally or not." Now that the game plan is laid out, we can connect the dots: NAFTA, the admission of Mexican trucks onto our highways, the contract to build the TransTexas Corridor and the plans to extend it into a NAFTA Super Highway, making Kansas City an international "port," the "totalization" of illegal aliens into our Social Security system, and the recently defeated Senate amnesty bill. That bill would have integrated 20 million illegal aliens into our labor force, locked us (by Section 413) into the SPP, and spent massive foreign aid to "improve the standard of living in Mexico." [Read More]

Tags: Eagle Forum, NAFTA, NASCO, Phyllis Schlafly, Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP, Superhighway To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

One Sheriff Shows America How To Deal With Illegal Immigration

by Matt Towery: While politicians have hacked and sloughed their way through the issue of illegal immigration, one sheriff in Atlanta has taken matters into his own hands by doing what the law already allows law enforcement to do -- begin deportation proceedings against illegal aliens who are charged with crimes. Cobb County is a large, upscale and well-run county just north of the city limits of Atlanta. . . .

Sheriff Warren's team is doing the one thing that every law enforcement agency in America could and should be doing, taking advantage of the existing laws and programs that could have an immediate impact on illegal immigration throughout America. Cobb County sheriff's deputies have been trained by federal immigration officials as to what to look for and how to examine documents in order to determine whether someone arrested and placed in their custody is a legal resident. . . . The difference is that Sheriff Warren is taking the opportunity that federal law also provides. He and his department have started to initiate, on their own, deportation proceedings once a determination is made that an individual in their custody is in the United States illegally.

In the four weeks since the Georgia county began its new program, removal proceedings have commenced against 42 individuals who either committed crimes or were pending trial for a lesser offense. Those who commit serious felonies are held for trial first, with the issue of deportation to be dealt with after their case is concluded. It's important to note that the county works with federal officials, and that federal immigration officials must review the case before it goes before a judge. In other words, this is not fly by night justice. . . .

Sheriff Warren is not alone in dealing with the illegal immigration crisis. . . . jailers throughout the nation have identified some 20,000 illegal immigrants using cooperative agreements with federal enforcement officials. How many actually initiated deportation procedures is unknown. Regardless, that number is just a drop in the bucket. The fact is that most sheriffs and police departments in America have not gone to the trouble of obtaining federal training, much less have they taken the additional step of initiating deportation proceedings against those who are illegally in the country -- which in and of itself is breaking the law -- and then violate the law while illegally here. One reason we don't see a nationwide run on such tight enforcement is, big shock, Washington hasn't provided enough funding to educate every local law enforcement agency, nor has money been appropriated to handle the deluge of deportations that would occur should every sheriff or police chief decide to follow the lead of Warren and others who have implemented such aggressive programs . . . [Read More] Thanks to Keep Arkansas Legal for putting on the trail to find the article.
Tags: illegal aliens, illegal immigration, immigration, rule of law To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wal-Mart Goes Left
Why Is It Pandering To Blue State America?

by Kirk MacDonald, Capitol Research Center: Wal-Mart, the family-friendly, patriotic company founded by the late Sam Walton has transformed itself into a reliable ally of the political left in order to boost revenues by pacifying its growing chorus of critics. The company now funds radical groups and intimidates its suppliers into adopting its liberal, Big Government agenda.

Below are a few excerpts from the CRC's August 2007 Organization Trends: - Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott has embarked on an aggressive strategy of pushing his company to the left in order to appease liberals and boost sales in left-leaning states.
- Wal-Mart brought longtime Democratic operative Leslie Dach aboard to preside over the mega-retailer’s dramatic left turn. The rainmaker left a plum post at a posh Washington, D.C., public relations firm last year and now serves as Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs and government relations.
- In 2004, the company’s charitable foundation, the Wal-Mart Foundation,
gave $732,350 to groups on the political left, while just $2,530 went to groups on the political right. (See “Funding Liberalism with Blue-Chip Profits,” by David Hogberg and Sarah Haney, Foundation Watch, August 2006.)

- Among the recipients were the NAACP ($60,850), AARP ($3,750), the Izaak Walton League ($2,250), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) ($12,000), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation ($10,000), and abortion rights group Planned Parenthood ($2,500).
- The biggest recipient of Wal-Mart money that year —at $630,000— was the National Council of La Raza (Spanish for “The Race”), a mostly left-wing Hispanic advocacy group . . . [Read More]
ARRA Comment: Ouch, I spend a lot of money at Wal-Mart. It's our biggest retailer. As the reports says, "It is hard to imagine Walton, a conservative who died weeks after receiving the award, being pleased with his company’s new found liberal bent."

Tags: Capitol Research Center, Wal-Mart

The Other Man From Hope
Mike Huckabee, the likable longshot . . .

by Terry Eastland, publisher, The Weekly Standard: . . . On the stump he describes the great America that was his growing up in Hope, Arkansas: He was the first male "in my entire family ever to graduate high school," and he attributes his achievements to his parents, who, wanting "something better for me," worked multiple jobs, making "enormous sacrifices." That great America, however, is one that Huckabee believes has slipped away. And so, as he told a crowd of 60 assembled in Central Park in downtown Ottumwa, "I want us once again to believe that the greatest generation is not the generation that's already come but the generation that's not been born yet."

. . .vertical governing," (is) . . . a concept he defines with reference to his ten-and-a-half years as governor, in which capacity it was, . . . "not my luxury to just simply make speeches and tell people what to do. I had to do things. I was judged on whether or not the roads got better or worse, whether the schools got better or worse, whether jobs improved or declined, whether wages got better or worse, whether we took better care of our natural resources or didn't, whether taxes went up or down, whether the cost of government got better or worse. It's what I like to call 'vertical governing.' Because, quite frankly, the average American isn't that concerned about whether you are left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, even though I am unapologetically . . . to the right of center, probably to the right of most people in this room. But the point is . . . people want . . . vertical leadership, which they expect to lead up and not down. The net result of being elected is not to talk about what the right thing is but to do what's right."

Huckabee is offering what might be called "results conservatism." The conservative part is fundamental because it identifies where governing, for him, must be grounded, in terms of philosophy and ideas. And as he makes his campaign stops, Huckabee takes care to assert his conservatism. He explains how, growing up in a very blue county, he became a conservative "by conviction" when he was a teenager. He states his preferences for "less government, not more" and "lower taxes, not higher." He insists on understanding marriage in traditional terms, as the union of a male and a female. He stresses the sanctity of human life and calls for protecting it from the moment of conception. He criticizes Roe v. Wade as having "imposed an unconstitutional concept of privacy" upon the country. He cites the Tenth Amendment as a bulwark against an overweening federal government. And he underscores that the "first job" of the president "is to protect the American people," which, he emphasizes, means protecting the country against "fanatic jihadists" who are waging "a theological war" against us. Huckabee's results conservatism is not to be confused with President Bush's compassionate conservatism. Huckabee rejects the latter term on the ground . . . that compassion isn't a matter of political ideology but is related to "your spirit and heart."

Huckabee wants his audiences to know that he doesn't have "several different views" on right to life, say, or taxation or same-sex marriage. . . . On specific issues, Huckabee says that the immigration bill failed because it didn't "take care of the first test of a real immigration policy, which is having a secure border." On energy, he declares that we need "to produce our own energy sources" and quit our dependence on foreign sources. On the No Child Left Behind law, he states his agreement with its general thrust and would make only minor changes. On health care, he argues that the country needs to shift from an intervention-based system to one based on prevention. On judges, he says he would appoint judicial conservatives like Antonin Scalia, whom he calls "the gold standard" for judging. And on the question of the Supreme Court's overruling Roe, he's emphatically for it. On Iraq--a subject that generates only one or two questions at each event--Huckabee supports the surge, and opposes any timetable for pulling troops out, and he accuses Democrats of playing politics. On the war on terrorism more broadly, he says we have to be in it for the long run: "What people don't understand is what we're up against. . . . We're fighting people who don't care if it takes a thousand years. They've been at it for longer than that. A few hundred more years won't matter."

The one big idea Huckabee advances on the stump is the fair tax. Huckabee told me he became a fair-tax proponent after first being attracted to the flat tax. "But then I realized that the flat tax . . . was a tax on productivity, which is not the way you stimulate entrepreneurial activity." . . . As he explains the concept in his speeches, the fair tax would replace all current taxes on productivity with a consumption tax of 23 % on all goods and services (education being the lone exception). It would be so simple to administer, he says, that "a seven-year-old running a lemonade stand would be able to figure it out." We could eliminate the IRS, he adds, since the government no longer would collect taxes. "And"--an applause line--"April 15 would be just another spring day in America."

. . . There was, of course, another man from Hope, Arkansas, who became president of the United States. What are the odds of that happening again? Will Americans want it to happen again? Huckabee recognizes there may be a sort of been-there, done-that feeling out there. On the campaign trail, he meets it head-on: "There was another guy from Hope, Arkansas, who ran for president," he says. "He would have turned out better if he'd stayed there longer," a line that honors Hope at Bill Clinton's expense, something Republican crowds like. "People ask me all the time: Do you really believe that another unknown, obscure governor born in Hope, Arkansas, can become president of the United States. My answer is: Give us one more chance!" . . . [Read More]
Tags: Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, Republican, Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard

Gingrich predicts Huckabee will catch on

WMC-TV 5, Memphis: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will catch on with Republican primary voters. . . . Gingrich said Huckabee is going to emerge as "the most interesting dark horse" over the next few weeks. He said Huckabee has a level of authenticity and candor that is beginning to resonate with people . . . [Read More]

Tags: Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate, Republican

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Social Liberals Long Shots for GOP Nomination

by David Limbaugh, Human Events: For the longest time I have believed -- and continue to believe -- Republicans will not nominate a social liberal as their presidential candidate, but even more so that if they do, they will severely handicap themselves in the general election.The Washington Times reports that some Republican Party officials are concerned their party is drifting away from social conservatism in anticipation of the 2008 election. . . .

For those who might have forgotten, the mainstream media, which was immeasurably more powerful at the time of Reagan's rise, tagged Reagan as a dangerous extremist. They said his tax-cutting policies would bankrupt America, his social policies would send women to the back allies for abortions, and he would ignite World War III with the Soviet Union. The GOP social liberal who urges the party leftward in the name of sound strategic analysis is allowing his own policy preferences to skew his thinking. For if he truly understood history or the pulse of the conservative movement that still drives the GOP, he would see the folly of his prescriptions for the party.

Those GOP "moderates" can't seem to get past their own belief that pro-life conservatives are indeed extreme and so assume it will be easy for Democrats to paint them as such in the election. But most Americans are less likely to view those defending innocent life as extreme than those defending its extermination in the name of women's rights. They are less apt to consider the championship of traditional marriage as extreme than forcing society to sanction, even celebrate homosexual unions. Interestingly, Democrats instinctively understand the awesome power of social conservatives -- they call them values voters. That's why for the last three or four years we've seen . . . Democrats' "new" efforts to woo values voters . . . [Read More]

Tags: conservative, David Limbaugh, Election 2008, GOP, Human Events, liberals, presidential candidates, Republican To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Congress Approves Ethics Overhaul

by Aaron Sadler, The Morning News: Lawmakers last week overwhelmingly approved broad ethics and lobbying rules crafted in response to corruption scandals that beset Congress a year ago. The Senate voted 83-14 and the House 411-8 . . . The ethics bill bans lawmakers from accepting gifts from lobbyists or their clients and forces elected officials and presidential candidates to pay the full charter rate for trips on noncommercial planes. It sets new guidelines for public disclosure of individual projects, or earmarks, 48 hours before a vote. Earmark sponsors would be required to declare they have no financial stake in the project.Opponents said the bill didn't go far enough toward providing full earmark disclosure. . . . the bill prohibits senators from taking lobbying jobs until two years after they leave office. The window for House members would be one year.It would also require lawmakers to name lobbyists who raise more than $15,000 for them from different sources over a six-month period. [Read More] [Note: The entire Arkansas voted for the reform bill: Sens. Blanche Lincoln & Mark Pryor & Reps. Marion Berry, John Boozman, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder ] See Also: Draining the 'Swamp' Is Not So Easy: Skeptics Question Bite of Ethics Rules

Tags: earmark reform, earmarks, Ethics, ethics reform, gifts, lobby reform, lobbying, lobbyist, US Congress To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select Most & Least Desired 2008 Republican Nominee (3rd Qtr 2007 Edition)

Update: See the Right Wing News report for the 4th Qtr 2007 Edition: [Summary: Fred Thompson continues as candidate of choice for right-of center bloggers.]
8/06/07: Right Wing News surveyed more than 230 right-of-center bloggers and asked them to send us a ranked list 1-5 of the candidates that they would most like to take the Republican nomination for President in 2008 and the 1-5 candidates they'd least like to see . . .

Most Desired GOP Nominee (desired position: 1st)
11) Tommy Thompson (5) - dropped out
10) Sam Brownback (5) - dropped out
9) Ron Paul (9.5)
8) Newt Gingrich (15.0)
7) John McCain (17.0)
6) Tom Tancredo (27.5)
5) Mike Huckabee (31.25)
4) Mitt Romney (56.25)
3) Duncan Hunter (60.0)
2) Rudy Giuliani (70.0)
1) Fred Thompson (86.5)

Least Desired GOP Nominee (desired position: 11th)
11) Fred Thompson (6.0)
10) Newt Gingrich (7.5)
9) Duncan Hunter (9.5)
8) Mike Huckabee (20.0)
7) Rudy Giuliani (20.5)
6) Mitt Romney (21.5)
5) Tom Tancredo (39.5)
4) Tommy Thompson (45.5) - dropped out
3) Sam Brownback (56.0) - dropped out
2) John McCain (61.0)
1) Ron Paul (87.0)

Net Score For The GOP Nominees (Positive Minus Negative - desired position: 1st)
11) Ron Paul (-77.5)
10) Sam Brownback (-51) - dropped out
9) John McCain (-44)
8) Tommy Thompson (-40.5) - dropped out
7) Tom Tancredo (-12)
6) Newt Gingrich (7.5)
5) Mike Huckabee (11.25)
4) Mitt Romney (34.75)
3) Rudy Giuliani (49.5)
2) Duncan Hunter (50.5)
1) Fred Thompson (80.5)
Read More]

Tags: GOP, online polls, Republican, republican candidates, Right Wing, election 2008 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tougher Rules Change Game for Lobbyists

by David D. Kirkpatrick, The New YorkTimes: . . . The first worry was what lobbyists are calling the new “temptation rules.” Not only do they bar lawmakers and aides from accepting any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists, they also impose penalties up to $200,000 and five years in prison on any lobbyist who provides such freebies. . . . under the new law he is required to certify each quarter that none of the 50 lobbyists in his firm bought so much as a burger or cigar for someone on a lawmaker’s staff. . . .

By requiring them to certify the good behavior of their employees, the law puts lobbyists at new legal risk and could subject them to new pressure from prosecutors. And new centralized disclosures of lobbyists’ campaign contributions, fund-raising activities and even their achievements - in the form of Congressional earmarks in spending bills - make it only easier for federal investigators to paint unflattering portraits of lobbyists’ influence. . . . Stanley Brand, a longtime Washington defense lawyer who usually represents Democrats, said the law was a sea change. “It should send shivers down lobbyists’ spines,” Mr. Brand said. “It is a minefield now.” These are hardly the first restrictions, of course. Internal rules already barred lawmakers or senior staff members from accepting a gift or a meal worth more than $50 from a lobbyist. But the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced and did not govern lobbyists. President Bush has not said whether he would sign the bill . . . [Read More]

Tags: lobby reform, lobbying, lobbyist, US Congress To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Confession of a Recovering Democrat

by Burt Prelutsky: I grew up in a home in which Franklin Roosevelt was regarded as a saint. Is it any wonder that it took me so many years before I finally saw the light? As a rule, I don’t approve of people who lay their own shortcomings at the feet of their parents, but when I realize that for no other reason than the way I was raised that I actually voted for Jimmy Carter, it’s awfully tempting to blame my folks.

But whoever is at fault, it is certainly high time to acknowledge how much harm was done to this country during FDR’s administrations, and how much spin left-wing historians have put on his record . For instance, he has often been credited with keeping America from going Communist during the Great Depression. But you might say the same about the leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain.

The fact is, Roosevelt simply introduced an American form of Communism, one the country was willing to swallow. There were no gulags or show trials; instead, there was an alphabet soup of new federal departments and bureaucracies, whose sole purpose was to diminish the power of the states and its citizens. FDR tried and pretty much succeeded in turning the federal government into a grotesque, power-crazy, creature that was all mouth and no brain. . . . [Read More] Check out Burt Prelutsky book: Conservatives Are from Mars, Liberals Are from San Francisco: 101 Reasons I'm Happy I Left the Left

Tags: Burt Prelutsky, Democrats, liberals

Women deserve right to informed choice
Mothers should know about pain felt by unborn child

U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) announced his co-sponsorship of legislation which provides expectant mothers with important information on the health of their unborn child. The “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act,” offered by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), would require abortion providers to notify women seeking an abortion after 20 weeks that their unborn child may feel pain, and allow mothers to request anesthesia for their unborn child to reduce or eliminate pain caused by the abortion process. “This is common-sense legislation which will provide mothers with important information while they make the choice on whether to have an abortion, or not,” Boozman said. “As a medical professional, I know the importance of having all the available information before choosing a course of action.”

Boozman noted that the partial-birth abortion ban trials leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ban have drawn new attention to the pain that unborn children feel during an abortion. In expert testimony during those trials, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, Director of the Pain Neurobiology Lab at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute explained, “the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense that that perceived by term newborns or older children.”

“The unborn child feels pain after 20 weeks. This is information every mother should have so that they may make a more informed choice,” Boozman, a member of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus said. “In this regard, we must respect the advancement of scientific knowledge and research. It makes sense to offer the ability, at 20 weeks and beyond, to give mothers the knowledge needed to understand that, and offer the opportunity to choose to give anesthesia to remedy that situation.”

The “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act” was first introduced in the 109th Congress, and was co-sponsored by Boozman. It was considered under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. In December 2006, the bill garnered 250 votes, a majority, but below the two-thirds threshold. “It is important to note a bipartisan majority voted to give America’s mothers the capability of being more fully informed as to the health of their unborn child,” Boozman said. “Women deserve to be given the right to an informed choice. I call on the House leadership to allow this measure to come to the floor for a vote.”

In the last year, Boozman has co-sponsored and called for passage of several pro-life pieces of legislation, including: the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, giving parents the right to know when their child is taken across a state line to undergo the abortion procedure; the Pregnant Women Support Act, providing resources, including health insurance, which enable pregnant women to choose life; and the Post Abortion Research and Care Act, providing funds for the National Institutes of Health to research the emotional impact of abortion on women. [Source]
Tags: Arkansas, child pain, John Boozman, Republican, unborn, Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, US House

FairTax front and center in GOP debate!

by David C. Polyansky: ABC News’s top editors agreed with us in meetings over the past several weeks that the FairTax has become increasingly newsworthy. Not only did ABC ask the GOP candidates about the FairTax in the latest Iowa GOP debate (to an estimated audience of 33.2 million), but they put the FairTax logo, Web site, and key points of the plan on the screen while George Stephanopoulos defined the FairTax proposal to the audience and the presidential candidates (Click here to watch the FairTax clip).
Tags: ABC News, debate, FairTax Plan, GOP, presidential candidates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mike Huckabee is Decisive Winner of ABC GOP Debate

"They like Mike" by Mike Allen: Going into Sunday's Republican presidential debate, most of the Iowans . . . had never heard of Mike Huckabee, or knew very little about the ex-preacher and former governor of Arkansas. But by the debate’s end, they knew a lot more - and liked what they saw. . . . 29 GOP voters from the Des Moines area were assembled by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster and political consultant. "Huckabee is hitting it out of the park with these people," Luntz, a Fox contributor, said as he listened to comments from this small but influential group of voters, whose reactions will be featured on Fox News. Their reasoning - he was appealing because he seemed like a non-Washington, regular guy - may sound a wake-up call for the leaders in the race. . . . Huckabee’s best moment - "Off the charts!" crowed Luntz - came when he attacked the Saudi royal family while talking about the importance of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. "Look, we've made them rich," Huckabee said. "Every time somebody in this room goes to the gas pump, you’ve helped make the Saudi royal family a little wealthier. And the money that has been used against us in terrorism has largely come from the Middle East." . . . [Read More]

The Massachusetts for Huckabee Blog reported: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came out as the obvious winner in today's Iowa Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa, according to news reports. The victory comes on the heels of Huckabee's strong showing in the latest ABC News-Washington Post telephone poll of 402 likely caucus-goers (conducted July 26-31). The new poll places Huckabee in a tie for third place among declared candidates – and gaining momentum. The campaign welcomed the good news, which comes in the final week before the August 11th Ames Straw Poll. Iowa voters saw Mike Huckabee define himself again today as a candidate with executive experience and a message focused on a strong, safe, economically vibrant America. . . . [Read More]

Tags: debate, Iowa, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, Republican, wins ABC debate, Election 2008, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Keyes supporters plan presence at Iowa Straw Poll

AMES - Supporters of Alan Keyes plan to attend the Iowa Straw Poll Aug. 11, to get Keyes' name before the public as a possible Republican presidential candidate. "We Need Alan Keyes for President," an organization of grassroots volunteers conducting a petition drive to draft Keyes, will hand out literature, donation forms, and sign-up sheets and show video clips of the former Reagan administration diplomat.

Keyes — who in 2000 drew 14 percent in the Iowa Caucus and averaged 16 percent in his best ten states during the presidential primaries — says he is open to the possibility of running, if enough support exists at the grassroots for his candidacy." I've told my supporters — who, by the way, are undertaking this effort on their own — that if they can demonstrate sufficient grassroots support for me to run, I will do so," Keyes commented. Stephen Stone, head of the draft-Keyes movement, said, "A recent AP poll suggested that the leading candidate among GOP hopefuls is 'none of the above.' One-fourth of respondents rejected all the current hopefuls . . . [Read More]

Tags: Alan Keyes, presidential candidate, Republican To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Romney finds a foothold to continue upward climb

by David Yepsen, Des Moines Register: Most of the Republican presidential candidates used Sunday's ABC-TV debate at Drake University to court the votes of social conservatives in Saturday's straw poll of Iowa GOP activists in Ames. With that as a yardstick, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came out on top. He leads in public opinion polls of Iowa Republicans and is expected to win the straw poll. Nothing that happened Sunday knocked him off that course. He turned in his usual polished, executive-like debate performance. He also got off one of the best one-liners of the day when he attacked Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama. Romney said: "In one week, he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies. I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week." . . . [Read More]

Tags: Election 2008, debate, GOP, Iowa, Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, Republican To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fred Thomson Wins NFRA Straw Poll - Giuliani and McCain Receive Resolutions of Strong Disapproval

by Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA Editor (note: I was not a delegate at the convention; only a news reporter): [Updated] The 2007 National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) Convention was held in St. Louis this weekend. The convention began on Friday and ended Sunday evening. Over 250 people attended the convention.

Several speakers provided workshops for the delegates and guests. The Convention board had to make several last minute adjustment when scheduled Republican presidential candidates could not attend. Representatives Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul could not attend when the US House was kept in session. Others had to redirect their efforts to Iowa when ABC announced they would interview candidates Sunday morning. John Cox who had not been invited to participate in the Iowa interviews spoke at the convention. Campaign representatives for Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter also spoke on behalf of their candidates.

A "straw poll" was conducted by secret ballot:

Fred Thompson 33%
Mitt Romney 15%
Ron Paul 14%
Duncan Hunter 10%
Tom Tancredo 10%
John Cox 6%
Newt Gingrich 3%
Mike Huckabee 3%

Tommy Thompson 2%
John McCain 2%
Rudy Giuliani 1%
Sam Brownback 1%

In a separate session, convention delegates took action to determine if they would endorse a candidate. Rules required that the delegates cast their votes while in session for candidates that they wish to endorse. Only candidates receiving more than 15% of the delegates votes in the first round of voting may be considered for endorsement. After this first round of voting only two candidates received more than 15% of the delegates votes. Those candidates were Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. For a candidate to be endorsed, it takes two-thirds of the delegates to agree with the endorsement. six more ballots and spirited debate, neither Thompson nor Hunter received the required two thirds vote by the delegates in order to be officially endorsed by the NFRA.

In addition, delegates introduced resolutions to "censure" two "top-tier" Republican presidential candidates. The word "censure" was amended to "strong disapproval." The delegates voted to express their "strong disapproval of Senator John McCain because of his actions in developing and promoting immigration reform that would have in essence granted amnesty to illegal aliens. Delegates also voted to expresse "strong disapproval" of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani because of his positions on marriage and civil unions for homosexuals, favoring gun control, and having positions conflicting with the pro-life platform of the Republican Party.

The convention elected new NFRA national officers which will be reflected on their website. Of special note were the elections of Rod Martin as NFRA President and Chris Brown as Executive Vice President.

Tags: Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mitt Romney, National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NFRA, republican candidates, Rudy Giuliani, straw poll, Election 2008 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Congress is Hooked on your Money

To quote from a recent op-ed by Jeffrey Gardner in the Albuquerque Times: "Here's an interesting quote from the New York Times: 'When men get in the habit of helping themselves to the property of others, they cannot easily be cured of it.' You'll be stunned to learn that those words were in reference to income taxes and not thievery - mere semantics, of course. Unfortunately they were written nearly 100 years ago, in a 1909 editorial protesting the first federal income tax, to be precise. That, as they say, was then, long before we became so inured to the notion of redistributing wealth. . . . A short hundred years ago, we were a tax-free land. Those days are long gone, of course. Now, the Democrats' addiction to higher taxes and their base's blind hatred of the president are about to drive a stake into the heart of an economy that's simply rocking."

Now we learn from an article by Edmund L. Andrews and Robert Pear that with New Rules, Congress Boasts of Pet Projects : If the idea was to shame lawmakers into restraint, it did not work. Eight months after Democrats vowed to shine light on the dark art of “earmarking” money for pet projects, many lawmakers say the new visibility has only intensified the competition for projects by letting each member see exactly how many everyone else is receiving. So far this year, House lawmakers have put together spending bills that include almost 6,500 earmarks for almost $11 billion in local projects, only half of which the Bush administration supported. The earmark frenzy hit fever pitch in recent days, even as the Senate passed new rules that allow more public scrutiny of them.

Far from causing embarrassment, the new transparency has raised the value of earmarks as a measure of members’ clout. Indeed, lawmakers have often competed to have their names attached to individual earmarks and rushed to put out press releases claiming credit for the money they bring home. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has obtained about $63 million worth of projects, most of them in or near her district in San Francisco. But Ms. Pelosi was overshadowed by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, who obtained $163 million in pet projects . . . [Read More]
ARRA Editor: I guess Congress will stop earmarks only "when pigs fly."

Tags: Congressional Pork, earmarks, pork, pork-barrel spenders, US Congress, US House, John Murtha, PA, Nancy Pelosi, CA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

House Approves Changes in Eavesdropping -- on Foreign Terrorists

by Carl Hulse & Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times: . . . Racing to complete a final rush of legislation before a scheduled month long break, the House voted 227 to 183 to endorse a measure the Bush administration said was needed to keep pace with communications technology in the effort to track terrorists overseas. “The intelligence community is hampered in gathering essential information about terrorists,” said Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX). The House Democratic leadership had severe reservations about the proposal and an overwhelming majority of Democrats opposed it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure “does violence to the Constitution of the United States.” But with the Senate already in recess, Democrats confronted the choice of allowing the administration’s bill to reach the floor and be approved mainly by Republicans or letting it die. If it had stalled, that would have left Democratic lawmakers, long anxious about appearing weak on national security issues, facing an August spent fending off charges from Republicans that they had left Americans exposed to threats. . . . [Read More]

Tags: surveillance, terrorist, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Enough is Enough - Democrats Democrats Whitewash the Congressional Record

Democrats Ignore GOP Objection to Rules Violation,
Then Whitewash Record to Cover It Up
PROMISE MADE: “This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”(
Then-Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi, Release, 11/16/06)
We control this House, not the parliamentarians!”
(Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 8/2/07)
From the Congressional Record:

“The SPEAKER pro tempore: The resolution constitutes a question of privilege.”

“Mr. HOYER: Madam Speaker, I move to table the resolution.

“Mr. BOEHNER: Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order that the gentleman from Maryland engaged in debate.

“The SPEAKER pro tempore: The question is on the motion to table.

“Mr. BOEHNER: Parliamentary inquiry, Madam Speaker.

“The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his inquiry.

“Mr. BOEHNER. Madam Speaker, isn't it correct that the gentleman from Maryland engaged in debate, which allows the House to then proceed with up to 1 hour of debate on this resolution?

“The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman was not recognized as the Chair had not yet ruled that the resolution constituted a question of privilege.” The question is on the motion to table. The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Mr. BOEHNER. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.”

(Congressional Record from 8/3/07, published 8/4/07)

Watch What Actually Happened:

Speaker Pro Tem (Rep. Ellen Tauscher): For what purpose does the gentleman from Maryland rise?
Rep. Hoyer: Madam Speaker, enough is enough.

Rep. Tauscher: [to the Parliamentarian] Does the what?

Rep. Tauscher: Does the gentleman have an amendment?

Rep. Hoyer: Madam Speaker, I move to table the resolution.

Rep. Tauscher: The resolution…

Leader Boehner: Madam Speaker! [no answer] Madam Speaker! [no answer] Madam Speaker! [no answer] Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. The gentleman from Maryland engaged in debate…

Rep. Tauscher: The question is on the motion to table. All those in favor say aye…

Leader Boehner: Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer]

Rep. Tauscher: All those opposed say no. All those opposed say aye.

Leader Boehner: Parliamentary inquiry, Madam Speaker! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry! [no answer] Parliamentary inquiry!

Rep. Tauscher: The Leader will be heard.

Leader Boehner: Madam Speaker, isn’t it correct that the gentleman from Maryland engaged in debate, which allows the House to then proceed for up to one hour of debate on this resolution?

Rep. Tauscher: The Chair did not yet rule that the question constitutes a question of privilege. The question is on the motion to table. All those in favor say aye, all those opposed say no. In the opinion of chair, the ayes have it.

Leader Boehner: Madam Speaker, on that, I demand the yeas and nays.

U.S. House of Representatives, 8/3/07, transcribed from the video)

Tags: Enough is Enough, democrats, Politics, US House, Republican leader, John Boehner To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

'God talk' and politics - Missing the Point

Mark Earley: For the past several months, the media have been full of stories about outreach efforts to evangelical voters by candidates from the major political parties. The candidates have had faith forums, websites, as well as simply talking a lot about God. There's a place for religion in the public square, and any effort to make that bipartisan is welcome from me. But if Democrats--or Republicans--think that wooing evangelical voters is about "God talk," they are mistaken. . . .

It’s hard to know which is worse: that candidates think that talking about religion will make evangelical Christians forget why they care about politics—or that they might be right. Democrats and Republicans are suggesting that Christians set aside their concerns about the sanctity of life and preservation of the family: Indeed, the same period that saw all the stories about Democrats and religion saw stories about a “maturing” of the evangelical vote on the Republican side. By “maturing,” the commentators meant that Christians are willing to overlook where GOP hopefuls stand on abortion and same-sex marriage. But if we do that, we will have forgotten why we got involved in the first place. Like the candidates, we’ll be missing the point. As the country song says, “How about a little less talk, and a lot more action?” . . . [Read More]

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