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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. 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 - 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]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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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, September 22, 2007

K-12 Courses on the Middle East: Are They a 'Stealth Curriculum'?

Education Reporter: The need to educate primary and secondary students on Islam and the Middle East has far outpaced teachers' own knowledge since September 11, 2001. Teachers find that they need new materials to educate themselves and their students. What one critic calls a "stealth curriculum" is filling the gap. Strongly pro-Muslim, anti-Israel groups have provided supplementary curricula on the Middle East for American classrooms. Muslim groups financed by the Saudi Arabian government have poured money into the creation and adoption of materials that reflect their point of view. . . .

Under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, the federal government subsidizes Middle East Studies centers and programs at a number of American universities. Centers receiving federal funds under Title VI must participate in "public outreach" through designing and/or distributing lesson plans and teacher training materials on the Middle East to K-12 teachers. Since most K-12 teachers need professional development credits to maintain their certification -- and most also need extra training if they are to teach on the Middle East -- teacher training materials and seminars on this topic serve a dual purpose. But such professional development could affect teachers' perspectives on the issues, especially if the materials present information from a subtle but definite bias. Saudi Arabian groups currently fund several organizations that create curricula and teacher training materials for K-12 social studies classes in the United States. . . . [Read More]

Tags: education, K-12 social studies, Middle East To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ARRA News agrees with Thompson & Romney on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visit

ARRA Editors agree with and thank Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson for making clear statements that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should not have been permitted. Their comments follow:
Fox News, Mitt Romney Says Iran's Ahmadinejad Should be Kept Out of U.N. Meeting, Indicted: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to address the U.N. General Assembly next week, but instead should be greeted "with an indictment under the Genocide Convention," Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney. . . "The Iranian regime under President Ahmadinejad has spoken openly about wiping Israel off the map, has fueled Hezbollah's terror campaign in the region and around the world and defied the world community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons -- capabilities that make these threats even more ominous," Romney said in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon posted on his campaign website. . . . Romney told reporters: "I think the invitatiom should be withdrawn. I think instead, Ahmadinejad should be indicted under the Genocide Convention." Romney routinely talks about the threat the United States faced from "radical jihadists," and he has staked out a hard-line position against Iran in particular . . . [Read More]

by Gromer Jeffers Jr, The Dallas Morning News, Thompson calls for stop to Iranian leader's visit: Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should not be allowed into the country, much less at the World Trade Center site, when he travels to New York next week to address the United Nations.
"I know there would be ramifications in the United Nations" if the U.S. refused to let Mr. Ahmadinejad into the country, Thompson said during a brief news conference at Dallas Love Field. "I would deny this character a visa. What's he going to do, visit there to get pointers for his own activities? I wouldn't let him in the country." Thompson said the Iranian regime was a threat to Americans and should be dealt with accordingly. "They've been killing Americans here and there all over the world for some time," he said. "They're doing so in Iraq today." . . . Thompson said he would "ratchet up" sanctions against Iran and help Iranians overthrow their government. . . . [Read More]

Fred Thompson telling it like it is!

Tags: Ahmadinejad, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iran, Mitt Romney, presidential candidates, Republican, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Analyst: China building world’s largest navy as U.S. sea power is in 'absolute decline'

by Cliff Kincaid, Editor of Accuracy in Media , : Did you know that China could become the world’s leading naval power by 2020? That’s the verdict of military analyst Tony Corn. This may help explain why the U.S. Navy thinks a piece of paper called the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty provides some sort of protection for American forces on the high seas. It offers no such protection, of course, but it creates the impression that Navy leaders are doing something about our increasing weakness and vulnerability. However, like so many other U.N. treaties, including the 19 anti-terrorism treaties in effect on 9/11, this one offers a false sense of security. It will mask a dramatic decline in our military power. . . . [Read More]

Tags: China, Cliff Kincaid, Law of the Sea Treaty, US Navy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Former AR Gov. Mike Huckabee's Positions on National Policy

by Will Hall, Baptist Press: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee as a Southern Baptist was interviewed by the Baptist Press [excerpts on Huckabee positions]:
On Courts: I want to appoint judges who understand it's their purpose and role to interpret the law, not to make it. They need to be not only strict constructionists, but they need to have a clear understanding of what the limitations of the court [should] be. . . . One of the areas of a litmus test would be that they recognize that they are to interpret United States laws and not to base their decisions on international law, and that's a trend that's beginning to take place in the federal court system that is extremely unacceptable. We have judges -- even at the appellate court level -- acting as if the precedent on which they base a decision is international law or some unofficial, so-called "treaty" that ties us to a U.N. doctrine. That should never, ever be the case for a United States judge. They have one document from which they can judge, and that's the U.S. Constitution.

On Illegal immigration: I think we first have to secure the borders, and we don't do that because we dislike immigrants. We do it because we love our freedom and want to protect and preserve it. The only way you can do that is if you know who's coming into your country . . . who might come in with a truck filled with a dirty bomb. You can't do that if you have open borders. So, it's not a matter of disliking people who aren't like us, it's a matter of doing the one thing that government is supposed to do, and that is protect our security. We have to have actual secure borders. . . .

On Iraq: We have to demonstrate that we have a will to win. If we do anything other than that, we are going to embolden Al Qaeda. The Democrats' approach is to just walk away and hopefully nobody will notice. Well, I promise you Al Qaeda will notice. . . . there are only two choices, we can win or we can lose and if we leave, just because we don't have the stomach to stay there, we lose -- that does two things: it demoralizes our military, as well as the Iraqis', and it emboldens our enemies in Al Qaeda and the rest of the jihadist world. That's what we can't afford to have happen. We can argue whether we should have gone, we can argue whether some of our decisions about how we're conducting the war . . . . What we can't do . . .is to make the even greater mistake of losing this war, and that's what an arbitrary, automatic pull-out would in fact be. I think we continue to push for acceleration of getting the Iraqis where they can control their own security. That's the right thing to do, and that's what we're doing. It's slower than any of us want. None of us want to be there a single day more than is necessary, but the only thing worse than staying too long is not staying long enough to let our military finish the job and to give the Iraqis time to get things where they can govern themselves. It will never be perfect. Even when we are able to pull away, it's not going to mean that sectarian issues and violence won't continue in Iraq, because it will -- it's been going on for 1,600 years -- we're not going to fix it. But, we need to make it so they can at least govern themselves -- imperfect as it will be.

On National debt: The best way . . . is to create a more vibrant economy. I think the way to do that is to replace the very punitive tax system that we have now -- which penalizes productivity -- with the fair tax option, which would change the entire tax structure from one of taxing people at their earnings and instead tax them at the point of consumption. We would eliminate all income tax -- both corporate and individual -- taxes on savings, dividends, capital gains and inheritance. And you would replace it with a simple consumption tax that would be levied at the time of purchase at the retail level. What it does, it ends the underground economy for drug dealers, illegals, gamblers, pimps, prostitutes. It creates a system where you are not penalized for working the second job or for going into business or making a profit, and it provides for a much more vibrant economy. . . .

On health care: First, it has to be changed from an intervention-based system to prevention-based. The whole system now is based on waiting until people are catastrophically ill and then coming in with extraordinarily expensive coverage. What has to happen is to begin to put the focus on prevention instead of intervention. For example, we cover a $30,000 foot amputation, but not a $150 visit to the podiatrist. . . . it takes less money to prevent and to screen and to deal with diseases at the early stage than it does to wait until they're advanced. So then with those who have chronic disease -- diabetes, hypertension -- the focus needs to be on managing those diseases. If you say we're not going to cover the medicines . . . because medicines are expensive. What's more expensive is several days in the hospital because they didn't have the medicine.

On education: Education needs to be student-focused, not school-focused. Unfortunately the history of education in our country is that we really focus on perpetuating the schools and the institutions as opposed to really empowering students. We have to make the curriculum exciting and desirable. We've got 6,000 kids a day that drop out of school, largely because they're bored, not because they're dumb, and that has to change. The only way to change that is to make sure the curriculum is developing both the left and the right sides of the student's brain. Part of what has to happen is that rather than cut music and art programs they need to be restored and put front and center as a vibrant part of the educational curriculum. What we've kind of gravitated to is a left-brain focused education system that says: "We're not going to deal with music and art. Those are extracurricular and expendable and extraneous things. We're going to focus on math, reading and science." . . . The capacity of a student to think creatively is really what makes education work . . . [Read More]

Tags: Arkansas Federation of Republican Women, Baptists, GOP, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tax-Happy Dems Jeopardize U.S. Economy

by Deroy Murdock: Now that recession-warning lights have begun to blink, Democrats should give tax hikes a rest. As tax-happy Democrats might have noticed, the stock market resembles a kindergartner on a swing set: half-giddy, half-scared, and hyperactive. Meanwhile, payrolls sagged by 4,000 positions last month. Not since August 2003 has America created no new jobs. Fifty-two economists in September 13’s Wall Street Journal offered a 36% average probability of recession by next September, up from 28% in August. Oil hit $81.93 per-barrel Wednesday - hardly good news. And the tumultuous home-mortgage industry suffered 243,497 foreclosure listings last month, up 115% versus August 2006, reports. This mess triggered 12,000 layoffs, just at lender Countrywide Financial Corp. To prevent tight credit from suffocating the economy, the Federal Reserve Board Tuesday hastily administered a 0.5% federal-funds-rate reduction.

Amid these worrisome omens and genuine human suffering, the last thing America needs is for congressional Democrats to stuff a pillow over the economy’s face. But they can’t control themselves. “Through 2012, the Democratic Congress’ new budget raises taxes $217 billion,” the National Taxpayers Union’s Pete Sepp calculates. “If no surpluses appear that year, another $175.5 billion tax hike automatically kicks in.” This $392.5 billion includes a halving of the per-child tax credit, restoration of the marriage penalty, a 50% leap in the low-income tax bracket (10 percent under Republicans; 15%under Democrats), and the resurrection of the Death Tax - from 0 to 55% . . . .

Foreign economic ministers understand these lessons and are lowering taxes . . . Sweden and Russia last year eliminated their estate taxes because they said the tax was economically counterproductive,. . . . In Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel, the corporate tax rate has been reduced to less than 30% from 39%. Poland recently chopped its business tax from 27% to 19. Even Hanoi gets it! . . . While America’s corporate tax levitates at 35%, seven European Union nations have lowered business levies this year. The EU-average corporate tax is 24.2%. Further corporate tax rate cuts are being implemented in Germany, Estonia, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and rate cuts are being discussed in the Czech Republic and France . . .

Democrats thus resist global pro-market trends, even among progressive governments long on social solidarity and short on “reckless cowboyism.” But, for most Democrats, these facts and numbers are irrelevant. Taxes are not about merely funding vital government duties and basic public services. They are meant to punish the wealthy, “correct” personal behavior, and distribute universal largesse. Thus, Democrats itch to raise taxes on highly lucrative private-equity partnerships, from 15 to 35%. . . . While America’s economy clings from a ledge, Democrats dance on its fingertips. When the donkey party promises “change,” it delivers - good and hard. . . . [Read More]

Tags: Democrats, Deroy Murdock, economy, increased taxes, recession To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Boozman Calls for Earmark Transparency

U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) joined House Republicans in calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow full earmark transparency and allow all earmarks to be challenged and debated on the House floor. Boozman joined over 100 GOP Members in signing a discharge petition to bring forward H.Res. 479, a GOP-sponsored piece of legislation which continues Republican efforts to ensure that every House Member has the opportunity to question a list of earmarks (or the statement that there are no earmarks) on all bills and conference reports, including appropriations bills, authorizing bills, and tax or tariff bills. Discharge petitions are used to bring legislation to the floor of the House when its leadership will not allow it. Under current House rules, 218 signatures are needed on the petition to move the earmark reform bill forward for an up-or-down vote.

Boozman said: “As a member of the minority party, this is a tool we needed to use in order to bring full earmark reform to the House of Representatives. The previous agreement on earmarks in appropriations bill was only the first step in making sure Congress is not wasting the money of the American taxpayers. We must now take the further step in allowing close inspection and challenges to earmarks, wherever they occur, so fiscal discipline can be reestablished and we can proudly show Americans that we are being good stewards of their hard-earned tax money. This legislation for true earmark reform and transparency deserves to see the light of day. [Source]

Tags: Arkansas, earmark reform, earmarks, John Boozman, Representative, US House

Democrats Now on the Record Selling Out to

by Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA: Now it's official. Thanks to Texas Sen. John Cornyn, an amendment was put forward condemning the left-wing political group for its attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus. Although the measure passed strongly with a 72-25 vote, no leading Democrat, especially those running for president, voted yes. None could step forward and do the right thing, proving that does call the shots for the Democrats . . . [Read More]

Tags: Bobby Eberle, General David Petraeus, GOPUSA, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

What if existed 65 years ago?

General Eisenhower is a man constantly at war with the facts. He believes Nazi Germany is a direct threat to the United States. It was Japan that attacked us, not Nazi Germany.

More importantly, General Eisenhower will not admit what everybody knows: America is in an unwinnable war on two fronts that are thousands of miles away. Even if America could win, we could have to keep thousands of troops in Europe for decades.

General Eisenhower has become General Lies and Power for not retreating and sending our troops home.
Paid for by the
'Twas Time To Move On
Political Society

Complements to Restate

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

Who's paying for ads attacking Mike Huckabee?

The not-so-mysterious case of the coy candidate: Who's paying for those ads attacking Mike Huckabee? Everybody in Arkansas seems to know -- except Huckabee.

by Michael Scherer:
As political whodunits go, it was a remarkably easy case to crack. In late August, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee went on Fox News Sunday to ask a nation of amateur sleuths for help. A conservative low-tax group, the Club for Growth, had just spent $85,000 on a television attack ad in Iowa, accusing the former Arkansas governor of "raising taxes like there was no tomorrow" . . . . Huckabee, who claims to be a fiscal conservative in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, said he just didn't know who was behind the attacks. . . .

The Huckabee challenge -- solve the Case of the Huck Attack -- sounded at first like a real grade-A mystery. But under the surface, something was afoot. . . . In the case of Huckabee, the national television challenge amounted to little more than a red herring to throw voters off the scent. The real culprit of the attack ads lay . . . in the backwater squabbles of Arkansas Republican politics. In fact, . . . the political chattering class in Arkansas was already well aware of the probable culprit behind the Club for Growth's decision to run costly advertisements against Huckabee. . . . The ads had been paid for by a spin-off group called Club for, which files regular disclosures through the Internal Revenue Service. A quick review of those filings showed . . . a Little Rock neighbor and political rival of Huckabee's named Jackson T. "Steve" Stephens Jr. had given the group $125,000, including a $50,000 check just days before the 2006 election when it was too late to spend more on that election. A member of one of Arkansas' richest families, Stephens also serves as chairman of Club for, along with his Arkansas business associate, Gary Faulkner. . . . The battle between Huckabee and Stephens dates back a decade and focuses mostly on their disagreements over the best fiscal policy for the state and the local Republican Party. Huckabee governed as a fiscal moderate; while he cut taxes, he also raised taxes . . . Stephens never made any secret of his displeasure at Huckabee's actions. In 2002, Huckabee decided to oppose a voter initiative to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and medicine, an effort that Stephens was helping to fund.

. . . In fact, the Case of the Huck Attack was so easy to solve that it presented a second mystery -- the Case of the Coy Candidate. Why was Huckabee going on national television claiming not to know what everyone else knew about his old political foe in Arkansas? And what business did he have impugning the reputations of his rival candidates by suggesting that they were surreptitiously, if not illegally, using a third party to smear him?

In a conference call with reporters . . . Huckabee again repeated his claim that he did not know who was behind the campaign, an information deficit that would make him unique in Arkansas political circles. "I hope he is not involved in the Club for Growth stuff," Huckabee said about Stephens. "I would be disappointed and I would be wondering why." . . . Huckabee boasted of pushing through a state education reform initiative that Stephens supported and enacting other reforms from an advisory panel on which Stephens served. He also mentioned that both Stephens' brother and cousin were supporters of the Huckabee for President campaign. "He ought to love me," Huckabee said. The betting money believes Huckabee knows full well that he is searching for love in all the wrong places. But given the choice of responding to an attack ad and demonizing its backers on national television, Huckabee made the politically prudent choice. He would rather make a mystery out of the obvious. Rather than get bogged down in a discussion of his mixed record as a fiscal conservative in Arkansas, . . . [Full Article]

Tags: Arkansas, Club for Growth, Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, Politics, presidential candidate, Republican

Gingrich Wants $30 Million to "Maybe" Run

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Gingrich supporters indicate that Newt's National workshops and the many home based groups established to study Newt's book have nothing to do with "campaigning" or should I say "pre-campaigning." "Newt's not campaigning - when pigs fly." Newt - cut the bull and be honest! We don't need a repeat of your mistake in Congress. You are smarter than that. You have good ideas but you also demean those ideas, your fellow Republicans and the American voters by pompous taunting comments and tactics. Talk about bravado - Newt now wants $30 million in his non-existed campaign coffers by November. Here's the latest news . . .

by Libby Quaid, AP: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he still might run for president if supporters will pledge $30 million by November. "You can't bring all your good ideas if you don't have the resources to communicate," Gingrich told reporters. . . . Gingrich is holding a national Internet-based workshop next week. Afterward, his top political adviser, Randy Evans, will spend October seeing if he can generate pledges of $30 million, which Gingrich said would be needed to compete . . . . On Nov. 1, if the pledges pan out, Gingrich will consider running, he said. He didn't say when he would decide, but noted that Nov. 13, when Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in 1979, is a "propitious" date. . . .

Tags: American Solutions, Election 2008, Newt Gingrich, Republican To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Arkansas GOP Director at odds with State Republicans

ARRA Update on latest news about RPA News: Karen Ray, Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) Executive Director, has stirred up a furor by speaking and possibly advocating and working outside of of her official office duties. She is an office manager and facilitator for growing the RPA and assisting in the election of Republicans to office. She holds no political position in the party. However, according to several sources, she has audaciously exceeded her authority as RPA executive director especially in confronting an elected official and urging them to back off on addressing illegal immigration. Maybe she relapsed to when she was the Confidential Asst to the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Although unconfirmed, sources say that Ray may be assisting the lobbying efforts of the Farm Bureau and aiding in drafting immigration legislation for next session that would benefit employers. If proven true, a serious conflict of interest could exist!

Background Story reported by the Arkansas News Bureau: by John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau: In an e-mail to a Republican legislator, the state executive director of the Republican Party of Arkansas cautioned against "feel-good legislation" to combat illegal immigration.

RPA chairman Dennis Milligan said Wednesday he had not seen the e-mail sent by party director Karen Ray, but he said illegal immigration is a problem that has to be solved at the federal level, not the state level. "Passing fair policies that make it easier for businesses to locate in Arkansas should be our priority, not passing feel-good legislation that is unconstitutional and runs the risk of making our party look racist. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh," Ray wrote in the e-mail. She also wrote that that lawmakers "should be championing economic policies that create jobs, not introducing immigration legislation that makes Arkansas less attractive to business."

[ARRA Note: another source identify her words as follows: "I understand that fighting hard for your constituents' wants is very important. But I think as an elected official, it is more important that you fight for what they need, not necessarily what they want. Passing fair policies that make it easier for businesses to locate in Arkansas should be our priority, not passing feel-good legislation that is unconstitutional and runs the risk of making our party look racist. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh. Arkansas needs better economic development incentives. Beebe has lost out on a few plants already. I think y'all should be championing economic policies that create JOBS, not introducing immigration legislation that makes Arkansas less attractive to business."]

Ray said Wednesday her comments were not meant to reflect the state party's views. "With that being said, the Republican Party being an all-inclusive party is firmly committed to policies that provide economic growth for industry in Arkansas and better paying jobs for all Arkansans. I have an obligation to listen to concerns from all entities involved in this discussion," Ray told The Associated Press in an e-mail. . . . {Oops - another email with code words -- "ignore what I said, I have obligations to listen" -- maybe to listen but not to speak!}

Rep. Rick Green (R-Van Buren) one of a group of legislators leading an interim study on the effects of illegal immigration on the state, said Wednesday he disagreed with the opinions expressed in the e-mail but had not yet had a chance to discuss them with Ray. . . . Ray apparently was expressing her opinion in a conversation she believed was private, which was her right, Green said."I don't think the party as a whole is involved in this issue," he said . . . {Read Green's comments in NWA News below}

But with both the executive director and the chairman of the state Republican Party speaking against immigration reform at the state level, the party leadership appears to be at odds with Green and other Republican lawmakers who say the state may need to act on immigration. Green said it is too soon to say what kind of legislation, if any, may result from the interim study, but he said in the absence of immigration reform at the federal level, the Legislature has a responsibility at least to study the issue. ". . . people want us to be forthright about money being spent, and they want us to follow suit with what some of these other states are doing to crack down on illegal activity." Milligan's predecessor as GOP chairman, Sen. Gilbert Baker, R-Conway, supported taking at least some action on immigration at the state level. . . . [Read More]

Excerpt from NWA News - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: GOP official chides legislator on aliens policies: . . . Her (Ray's) comments came as some Republican lawmakers have been pushing for stricter laws against illegal immigration. A legislative panel held a hearing Tuesday over the cost of government services provided to those in the state illegally. Rep. Rick Green (R-Van Buren) said he had been read the e-mail and was concerned by Ray’s remarks. Green and Rep. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) have been pushing for information on illegal aliens. Green said he hoped to meet soon with Ray about her remarks. “My initial concern was we had our director chastising a legislator for what they thought was best for their area. This conversation should never have taken place. All we’re doing is a study here,” Green said. “Part of my conversation will be how did she get involved in this.” . . . [Read More]

The Arkansas Times Blog Immigration Mailbag is a buzz with comments: . . . Ray has been quoted as saying she'll be working with the Farm Bureau on immigration legislation. That is, the legislation will protect farmers' dependency on immigrant labor, to the extent possible. . . . Karen has been asked by the Farm Bureau to be on their board to draft immigration legislation next session. Is this not a huge conflict of interest? . . .
[Read More] Note: ARRA has not confirmed these remarks are true.

1st Day: Karen Ray Talks about being new RPA Exec. Director

Tags: Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis Milligan, illegal aliens, illegal immigration, Karen Ray, Rick Green, RPA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

House should act on MoveOn attack

by U.S. Rep John Boozman: In a bipartisan move, the Senate passed, 72-25, an amendment from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) which expresses “the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.”

I applaud the bipartisan move by the Senate to condemn MoveOn’s unwarranted attack on a four-star general serving in a war zone. It is my hope the House leadership can move in a similar bipartisan fashion to pass our own condemnation. In an exchange on the House floor this afternoon, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he would not commit to bringing up legislation condemning the attack ad against Gen. Petraeus that ran last week in The New York Times.

Click To Read a Transcript of the Exchange

Tags: General David Petraeus, John Boozman,, Representative, US House

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Boozman Calls For End of Sanctuary Cities

U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) today called for the end of so-called “Sanctuary Cities,” by adding his name to the “Accountability in Enforcing Immigration Laws Act of 2007. ”The bill, offered by Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), would allow the Dept. of Homeland Security to withhold 25% of non-emergency security funding from cities and municipalities which provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants, while requiring immigration checks for employees at airports and critical infrastructure sites. Additionally, the bill requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take illegals into custody, or pay state and local governments a per-diem rate for detention, while authorizing a bonus program for state and local agencies to help enforce immigration law under the 287(g) program.

“This is important legislation which will stop the practice of some cities ignoring our immigration laws by providing illegal immigrants sanctuary,” Boozman said. “’Sanctuary Cities’ must be ended as we continue to work on securing our homeland. “By withholding non-emergency money from these localities, the federal government is sending a serious message. This legislation will make our cities safer, as it will gives us the opportunity take violent criminal offenders off the streets who would otherwise not be asked their immigration status when arrested,” Boozman said . . . [Read More]

Tags: Arkansas, illegal aliens, John Boozman, Representative, Republican, sanctuary cities, US House

N.W. Arkansas: 41 illegal aliens arrested, suspected of gang ties

by Michelle Bradford: Federal immigration agents working with local police said Tuesday that they arrested 41 illegal aliens with gang ties in Northwest Arkansas last week. U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a gang “surge” in Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville and Fayetteville, said Rod Reyes, resident agent of the immigration agency based in Fort Smith. The operation ran seven days and ended Sunday. Most arrests were in Rogers and Springdale, Reyes said. Suspects have ties to three Mexican gangs - the Mexican Mafia, Sureno 13 and Latin Kings - and with an El Savadoran gang, Mara Salvatrucha, he said. Some face only deportation, while others will be charged federally for re-entering the country after already being deported, and for weapons and drug possession. . . .

Other key points in the article:
  • Illegals who weren't wanted for serious crimes weren't arrested
  • Those arrested were living and probably working in the community.
  • Most arrests were in Rogers and Springdale
  • Roundup was in response to requests by local police.
  • Many arrested were charged with violating parole.
  • Some gang members targeted had already moved and that the gang element tends to be a population that moves often.
. . . [Read More]

Tags: Arkansas, cimes by illegals, gangs, illegal aliens

The “No Comment” Caucus
Shamed by Earmark Abuses, Democrats Duck the Press & the Public

Democrat Earmark Abuses
No Democrat Comment
“Every private entity that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) favored with an earmark in this year’s defense bill recently has given political money to the lawmaker … PACs and employees of those 26 groups together have contributed $413,250 to Murtha since the beginning of 2005. He collected nearly a quarter of the sum — $100,750 — in the two weeks leading up to March 16, the original deadline for lawmakers to file their earmark requests.” (Roll Call, 9/19/07)A Murtha spokesman declined to comment, and a spokesman for Dicks did not respond to a request for comment.” (Roll Call, 9/19/07)
“The $2 million earmarked for the Samueli Institute for Information Biology, started by Broadcom Corp. Chairman Henry Samueli and his wife Susan, was inserted into the measure by Democratic Representative Peter Visclosky. The Samueli family has contributed thousands of campaign dollars to Visclosky, whose Indiana district is nowhere near either the Virginia Institute or Broadcom, the Irvine, California-based maker of chips for wireless phones and other devices.” (Bloomberg, 9/19/07)A spokesman for Visclosky, 58, didn't return repeated telephone and e-mail requests for comment. Neither did representatives of Samueli, 52, whose personal fortune is estimated by Forbes magazine at $2 billion.” (Bloomberg, 9/19/07)
“The lawmakers — Reps. John Murtha (Pa.), Jim Moran (Va.) and Peter Visclosky (Ind.) — used the Defense spending bill to earmark 36 projects to clients of the PMA Group … Meanwhile, PMA lobbyists and their clients have been stepping up their fundraising for the three lawmakers, contributing $542,350 in the first six months of this year.” (Roll Call, 9/17/07)Spokesmen for the three lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment. Eight PMA clients also did not return calls or declined to discuss their relationship with the firm.” (Roll Call, 9/17/07)
“… one member of Congress funneled $2 million in tax dollars into the project through a special ‘earmark’ and the whole thing is named after him … the soon-to-be refurbished building will house the new ‘Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service,’ the ‘Rangel Conference Center,’ ‘a well-furnished office for Charles Rangel’ and the ‘Charles Rangel Library’ for his papers and memorabilia. It's kind of like a presidential library, but without a president.” (CBS News, 9/14/07)“Rangel wouldn't agree to an interview…” (CBS News, 9/14/07)
“Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) has withdrawn from the board of directors of a charity with close ties to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) in response to a Roll Call investigation of the group’s limited achievements and close ties to a broad network of people and companies Murtha has aided … Launched with his backing, the organization gathers government contracts that Murtha earmarks but works primarily with other companies Murtha has funded. And it can point to few successes that are unrelated to the Congressman. Since its inception, Murtha has kept PAID on life support … PAID has received about $1 million in government grants to help people with disabilities get jobs, mostly through earmarks provided by Murtha.” (Roll Call, 9/11/07“Through a spokesman, Murtha declined to comment for this story.” (Roll Call, 9/11/07

Tags: Congressional Pork, Democrats, earmarks, pork, pork-barrel spenders To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Brownback Attacks Huckabee's on Pro-Life Issue -- Huckabee Wins Values Voter's debate 219 votes to Brownback's 18 votes

ARRA: Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) smarting from receiving lower delegate votes than former Gov. Huckabee at the conclusion of the "Value Voter's" debate has attacked Huckabee's "Ignorance of Key Pro-life Issues." Brownback had been a banner carrier of the pro-life movement in the Senate and in January was still a winner among the antiabortion right. Brownback's stumbling over the illegal immigration issue has had a serious impact on his poll ratings which remain on average between 1% of likely Republican voters.

However at the Huckabee's charismatic preacher presence overshadowed Brownback's slightly senatorial arrogant demeanor. As a result. Huckabee received 63% of the 340 delegates who were hand-selected by 40 of the country's social activists and opinion-makers. Huckabee received more votes than all the other candidates combined. Huckabee had 219 votes to Brownback's 18 votes.

Brownback's campaign came out swinging and said about Huckabee:
While Senator Sam Brownback has lead the fight in the Senate to protect a key pro-life federal policy, former Governor Mike Huckabee revealed an alarming ignorance of the issue when asked about it at today's Values Voters Presidential Debate.

When asked if he would apply the principle of the Mexico City Policy--which prevents American taxpayer dollars from supporting overseas organizations that provide abortions--to groups that provide abortions in the U.S., Huckabee seemed confused and twice asked clarifying questions that indicated his ignorance of a major element of pro-life policy on the federal level.

Two weeks ago, when Democrats in the U.S. Senate moved to overturn the Mexico City Policy, Senator Brownback lead the pro-life fight and introduced the amendment that would have kept this key pro-life policy intact. When Huckabee indicated his unfamiliarity with the issue at the Values Voters debate, Senator Brownback stepped in to explain the moderator's question.

"Time and time again, Senator Brownback has been on the leading edge of the fight to protect the right to life," said John Rankin, Iowa Communications Director of Brownback for President. "Other candidates might talk about being pro-life, but none can match Senator Brownback's record of demonstrated leadership." [Source]
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor's Opinion: We commend Sen. Sam Brownbacks support of the "right to life" movement. However, it is time for Sam Brownback to end his presidential campaign and focus on his responsibilities as senator. He is adding literally nothing of consequence to the presidential debate and at 1% is making little or no impact. At this time, he cannot effectively compete and would not receive the Republican nomination. Time to stop waisting your limited supporter's money and to regain some credibility to influence the conservative cause.

Tags: debate, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidates, pro-life, Republican, Senator, Sam Brownback, value voters, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

D.C. Voting Rights bill slowed down but not DOA -- What parts of the U.S. Constitution are "value voters" willing to give up?

by Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Yesterday, the D.C. voting rights bill did not get 60 Senate votes to limit debate. Their was a majority based on Democrats and a few compromising Republicans who voted for cloture. Before proceeding, as with many words used in Washington D.C, the term "D.C. voting rights" is a misnomer. The people of D.C. do get to vote in elections. However, according to the U.S. Constitution, the District of Columbia (D.C.) like our other territories, protectorates and commonwealths do not have voting U.S. Representatives or U.S. Senators.

Unfortunately, the bill was not DOA as it should have been. The reason; some Republicans are willing to sacrifice a clearly worded part of the U.S. Constitution and the historical precedence of both the Constitution's designers and 200 years of actions by Congress, in return for "who knows what." Republicans who voted for the bill were Sens. Bob Bennett (UT), Norm Coleman (MN), Susan Collins (MA), Orrin Hatch (UT), Richard Lugar (ID), Olympia Snowe (MA), Arlen Specter (PA) and George Voinovich (OH). The two Utah Senators Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch are the most disappointing of the group. In an apparent effort to get an early allocation for Utah of one additional voting U.S. Representative, which they will still get with the next redistricting, they voted to compromise the Constitution and to give the D.C. a voting U.S Representative.

Congress has been more than generous in the past by allowing seated non-voting representatives for D.C. and the territories, protectorates and commonwealths. In good faith, how can Utah continue to identified as a "conservative" state, when their two Senators would abrogate the Constitution for the benefit of their own state? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a co-sponsor of the bill, said the measure deserved to pass to give citizens voting rights. "Frankly, if it’s so unconstitutional, then what does the other side have to fear?" he said. "We’re prepared to accept whatever the Supreme Court says." Sen. Hatch, a Republican, was willing to compromise the Constitution and let the US Supreme Court be their final conscious to justify or repudiate his deed. Et tu Brute!

What did other senators say on this issue to give us some hope and to offer the other senators a chance to pause on this issue:
  • Max Baucus (D-MT) said, "It’s a slippery slope. If we expand the playing field now, then who is to say where it will stop? Will we give votes to territories, protectorates and commonwealths? This measure just doesn't make sense."

  • Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) did not vote because he has constitutional concerns and favors a resolution that would amend the Constitution.

  • Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the bill is unconstitutional because the Constitution limits membership in the House to the states and thus excludes the District. "If the residents of the District are to get a member for themselves, there remains a remedy: Amend the Constitution."

  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), presidential candidate, "I come down on the constitutionality side of it."

  • Although there may be no hope for a few senators, all Republicans and "conservative" Democrats, who voted without concern for protecting all of the Consititution, should repudiate their actions. It is only under the full measure of the U.S. Constitution that all of our citizens are protected.

    As Republicans look for a presidential candidate who can both win the election and who will solemnly uphold the oath to "preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States," we are already faced with a paradox in one campaign. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has identified that he would ignore the Constitution and said he would sign a bill allowing D.C. to have a voting U.S. Representative. [background info] Huckabee says he is the "values voter's candidate" and indeed for the moment appears to many to be their "value voter's" candidate. He has also gained the support of several Christian rights advocates. Since the "Christian rights value voters" rely for protection on both God and the U.S. Constitution, a fair question would be which parts of the Constitution are you willing to give up if your primary candidate wins? In keeping with the values voter debate guidelines, mentally press your green button for "willing to give up NO parts of the Constitution"; press red button for "willing to give up a part of the Constitution." COMMENTS WELCOME!
    Tags: Washington, D.C., Mike Huckabee, US Constitution, US House, value voters, voting rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Who Isn't A 'Values Voter'?

    by George F. Will: An aggressively annoying new phrase in America's political lexicon is "values voters." It is used proudly by social conservatives, and carelessly by the media to denote such conservatives. This phrase diminishes our understanding of politics. It also is arrogant on the part of social conservatives and insulting to everyone else because it implies that only social conservatives vote to advance their values and everyone else votes to . . . well, it is unclear what they supposedly think they are doing with their ballots. . . . Conservatives should be wary of the idea that when they talk about, say, tax cuts and limited government -- about things other than abortion, gay marriage, religion in the public square and similar issues -- they are engaging in values-free discourse. And by ratifying the social conservatives' monopoly of the label "values voters," the media are furthering the fiction that these voters are somehow more morally awake than others. . . .

    Attempts to assign values-seriousness can get complicated: Freedom and happiness are valuable. Arguably, governmental actions that did much to increase freedom and happiness in the past half-century were state laws liberalizing divorce. These made important contributions to the emancipation of men and especially women from mistaken marriages. Perhaps the most important of these laws -- it was among the most liberal and was in the most populous state -- was signed by a divorced governor, Ronald Reagan. What do socially conservative values voters make of that?

    The two front-runners for the 2008 presidential nominations are studies in contrasts, yet they have two things in common. First, both stand to gain from a Republican debacle this November: The weaker that Republicans look on Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, the easier it will be for Clinton to dampen Democrats' anxieties about her electability, and the larger she looms, the more the Republicans will focus on the electability of their competing candidates, which will favor McCain. Second, both are and will remain busy courting only values voters, because there is no other kind. . . [Read More]

    Tags: conservatives, conservative, George Will, value voters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Huckabee triumphs in ‘Value Voters’ straw poll

    by Klaus Marre: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) was the big winner of a straw poll of “value voters,” garnering 64 percent of the vote and easily beating all other GOP presidential hopefuls. The poll of 340 delegates, who were handpicked by social conservative activists, followed a debate on issues important to many members of the Republican base.

    The forum attracted only the so-called “second-tier” GOP candidates, with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney all skipping the event. Their absence was reflected in the poll results. . . . [Read More]

    Tags: Mike Huckabee, straw poll, value voters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Revival of the tax hikers

    by Richard W. Rahn, Chair, Institute for Global Economic Growth, editorial in the Washington Times: In recent years, the old "let's tax them more" crowd was on the defensive. But now, with a politically weakened president, the tax increase lobby is out in full force. All the Democrats running for president have promised to increase taxes. Almost every week, some senator or representative advocates more taxes to impose upon the American people. The tax increasing Democrats are betting the new generation of voters does not remember how the old, high tax rates affected the economy. The U.S. has only suffered three "down" quarters of economic growth since 1982 — a record never before enjoyed. To pull off the "new taxes will not hurt" charade, the Democrats need to convince people the Reagan and Bush tax cuts had nothing to do with the unmatched economic growth and job creation. But the record is very clear about how the economy improved once the Reagan and, subsequently, the Bush tax rate reductions were enacted. Thus, the new line of attack is that the economy would somehow magically have improved without the tax cuts, and that the people behind the Reagan tax cuts were "crackpots." . . . [Read More]

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

    USAF - 60th Anniversary

    Happy 60th Anniversary
    United States Air Force
    1947 – 2007

    Air Force 60th Birthday: The Air Force celebrates its 60th Anniversary, Sept. 18, 2007. On Sept. 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington was sworn in as the first secretary of the Air Force with the new Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal in attendance. After many years of planning, an independent air arm was formed, an equal to the Army and Navy. Based on achievements in air superiority, the Air Force became the "first line of defense" in a post-war world. . . . [Read More] See Also: USAF Mission / History

    Tags: Air Force, U.S., USAF To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    U.S. Sovereignty Threatened by U.N. Treaty, Critics Charge

    ARRA Comment: President Ronald Reagan was against this treaty and understood that it would reduce American sovereignty. Now President George W. Bush appears to support this treaty. What is wrong with this picture - or with "conservatives" today? Why would a president subject the US Navy - the most powerful Navy in the world - to control by the UN? Examples listed in article.
    by Chris Gonsalves: The U.S. is poised to turn much of its authority on the high seas over to international arbiters by ratifying a long-controversial United Nations sea treaty. Approval of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a 25-year-old international treaty regulating use of the world's oceans, is steaming full speed ahead in the Senate, where committee hearings are set to begin Sept. 27. The full Senate is likely to ratify the treaty -- which would link U.S. naval actions to those of 155 other member nations -- by year's end. For decades, critics have derided the 182-page Law of the Sea pact as a threat to U.S. sovereignty and naval independence.

    “This is nothing less than a raid on our sovereignty,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). “I objected to it when it resurfaced in 2004, and I object to it now as I see it sneaking up on us again. What is this obsession we have for surrendering our jurisdiction to this international body? Nobody can give me a reasonable answer.” Despite those concerns, however, support for the measure has never been stronger. The treaty has garnered a letter of support from President Bush, favorable testimony from the Navy and Coast Guard, and the backing of at least a dozen oil, gas, and environmental groups . . .

    The most controversial provisions are expected to relate to military sea travel. For example, UNCLOS places tight restrictions on how ships must exercise their right to “innocent passage” in territorial waters, most notably requiring certain submarines and unmanned vehicles to operate on the surface and show their nation’s colors. Opponents say the restrictions would jeopardize U.S. counterterrorism efforts by limiting the boarding of vessels to only those suspected of drug trafficking, piracy, slave trading, and illegal radio broadcasting. They fear provisions stating that “the high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes” and that signatories must refrain from “any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” could be used to thwart U.S. naval operations. “If we had info that some terrorist threat was heading our way on a ship, we would be restricted in what we could do in terms of search and seizure,” says Inhofe. “We would have to go through this international body to do that.” David Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy in Washington, D.C., said: “The treaty could complicate our efforts to apprehend terrorists or ships our intelligence believes are carrying WMDs by subjecting our actions to review by an international tribunal, a body that is unlikely to be favorable to the United States.”

    George Mason University law professor Jeremy Rabkin . . . cites several historical examples of U.S. naval actions that he suggests would be compromised by the Law of the Sea treaty . . .:
    - The October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when President Kennedy ordered the Navy to blockade vessels coming in and out of Cuba.
    - The U.S. response to the 1975 Cambodian seizure of the American vessel USS Mayaguez. President Ford declared the seizure an act of piracy and dispatched Marines to force the ship's release.
    - In the 1980s, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi demanded that foreign vessels obtain his permission before entering the 300-mile-wide Gulf of Sidra. Reagan directed that a carrier task force enter the waters in 1986. Two Libyan patrol boats tried to resist, and were destroyed. . . .
    [Read More]

    Tags: James Inhofe, Law of the Sea Treaty, UN To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Top GOP Candidates Dodge Values Debate

    by Matt Sedensky: Self-described "values voters" gathered here Monday to grill Republican presidential candidates, but the forum was most notable for its empty lecterns and its unanswered questions. The biggest GOP names — Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson — sat out the Values Voter Presidential Debate, citing scheduling conflicts. That didn't stop questioners from addressing the front-runners who didn't attend. . . . In attendance were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Chicago businessman John Cox, Maryland conservative Alan Keyes and Reps. Ron Paul of Texas, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter of California. The debate was marked more by the candidates' agreement than anything else, illustrated in a round in which they were asked a string of yes-or-no questions.

    All seven participants said they would work to keep federal funding away from organizations that perform or promote abortions; to revive an attempt to reform Social Security by offering personal retirement accounts; and to oppose a government-run universal health insurance system. They all vowed to increase funding for abstinence education, to veto hate crimes legislation and to oppose embryonic stem cell research. They all agreed multiculturalism "weakens and divides" the country. Candidates were asked about combating radical Islam and their positions on free trade and open borders between Mexico and Canada. . . . [Read More]

    Tags: debate, value voters, GOP, Republican candidates, 2008 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Constitution Day - Sept. 17th, 2006

    Today, Sept. 17th, 2006, is Constitution Day. Federal law requires that all high schools, colleges and universities that receive federal funds hold an educational event about the Constitution on September 17. However, Congress didn't attach a penalty to the 2004 law requiring that schools observe Constitution Day. Unfortunately, many schools failed to do anything or carried out activities that in reality did not promote Constitution Day. See: Schools taking liberties with Constitution Day. If you would like to know more about the Constitution, Visit: National Archives' background on Constitution Day and Constitution Day.

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

    Support Needed of Southwick for Appeals Court

    Pulaski Co. Republicans: A.J. Kelly, Chairman of the Arkansas 2nd District Republicans is calling for a letter writing campaign and asking Republican County Republican Committee members to contact Senator Pryor's office and to submit letters to the editor in support the nomination of Judge Leslie H. Southwick. Due to partisan Democrat tactics, Judge Southwick has never been given a full up or down vote by the United States Senate. It is the constitutional duty of every representative of every state to vote on such important matters as the confirmation of well-qualified candidates to federal court benches and for the Supreme Court.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee has cleared the way for Judge Southwick's nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, to go to the full Senate for a vote. This marks the second consecutive year he has been cleared by the committee for a vote on his nomination. Judge Southwick has been rated highly qualified by the American Bar Association for his achievements, which include: Serving on the Mississippi Court of Appeals from January 1995 through December 2006; Serving as a member of the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps in the U.S. Army Reserves; Active duty in Iraq with the JAG Corps.
    Click here for more on Judge Southwick's background.
    Tags: Arkansas, federal judges, Leslie Southwick

    Veterans Disarmament Bill: Amendments Proffered

    GOA: The Senate could bring up the Veterans Disarmament Bill at any time, as a result of its passage in the Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago. The bill -- introduced by F-rated Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Sen. Patrick Leahy -- is ready to come to the floor. Gun Owners of America (GOA) delivered draft amendments to every Senate office yesterday, providing important changes that must be made to the bill.

    . . . the most important amendment would make it clear that veterans suffering from PTSD are NOT prohibited persons, and thus, are not to be denied the ability to purchase a firearm simply because of emotional problems resulting from their service to this country. Military veterans are justifiably concerned that this bill will legitimize the very thing that President Clinton did over seven years ago, when his administration added 83,000 names of veterans -- suffering from maladies such as PTSD -- into the NICS background check system.

    Proponents of the bill argue that this bill gives veterans a mechanism for getting their names off of the prohibited person list. That's like giving a mugger access to your home, but then stating you can hire a lawyer and pay "thousands" of dollars to eventually (maybe) get your stolen items back. If the proponents are right -- that this bill will actually help gun owners -- then surely they won't object to friendly amendments that are designed to make it unmistakably clear that military veterans or grownups who suffered with ADHD as children will never be denied the ability to purchase a firearm . . . [Read More] Take action. Please contact your Senators You may email a pre-written message at GOA Legislative Action Center ( phone and fax numbers are also available).

    Tags: GOA, Gun Owners of America, gun rights, veterans, Veterans Disarmament Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Arkansas legislators study impact of illegal immigration

    KSFM TV5 News: Some state lawmakers fear that Arkansas could become a safe haven for illegal immigrants after neighboring states passed stricter laws. . . . Oklahoma and Tennessee have passed sweeping immigration reform putting stiff penalties in place for employers who knowingly hire those in the country illegally. They're also cutting benefits to illegal immigrants. Now, Arkansas lawmakers are studying the impact to the Natural State.

    "The study came about after it appeared that congress wasn't going to take any action this year," Rep. Rick Green told 5NEWS Friday. Green along with Rep. Jon Woods and Sen. Ruth Whitaker decided to begin gathering information for possible legislation. The first thing they've learned is that state agencies are not currently counting the cost."The 2nd thing is the cost to the Arkansas taxpayer is going to be alarmingly high," Green warned.

    The education and corrections departments estimate they've lost at least 170 million dollars, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Lawmakers will soon hear from more state agencies. Their study is gaining support of some Arkansans. "They need to have proof of us citizenship to get a job or rent and apartment," Jennifer Jewell told us today. But another woman who came to the U.S. from Mexico 20 years ago says she sympathizes with illegal immigrants and says her people just want to work.

    The study itself has become a bi-partisan effort. Five Democrats and five Republicans have signed on; a rare move that's certain to make illegal immigration a hot topic in the 2009 legislature. The public is welcome to attend the second study session September 18th at 10 AM in Little Rock. You can let state lawmakers know how you feel about the issue by calling or emailing them. . . . [Source]

    Tags: Arkansas, economic cost, illegal aliens, illegal immigration

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Illegals Fleeing States Enacting Laws - What is Arkansas Doing!

    by Debbie Pelley, Arkansas Watch: Arkansas Governor Needs to Follow Missouri Governor's Example. In August, it was reported that "Gov. Mike Beebe said that before Arkansas passes more laws addressing illegal immigration, state officials should study such laws recently passed by other states." The problem with that philosophy of waiting makes Arkansas a haven for the illegal aliens who are rapidly moving out of those states that have toughened their laws. Tens of thousands of Hispanics have left the Tulsa area because of a tough law passed there. It is reported that "Most illegal immigrants are ending up in either Kansas or Arkansas."

    In Arkansas, there was a 437 percent increase of Hispanics from 1990 to 2003, the first or second in the nation. But the actual number of Hispanics in Arkansas is likely two or three times the census figure, said Sarah Breshears of the State Data Center. Our governor needs to follow the judicious actions of the Governor of Missouri who just recently announced a plan to get tough on illegal aliens and businesses. If he doesn't, then more of those illegal aliens will just move into Arkansas. "Mo. Gov. Matt Blunt's plan means some companies that get tax incentives face random on-site inspections, and on the roads state troopers with new powers to hunt illegal aliens."

    Since Gov. Beebe said state officials should study such laws recently passed by other states, below are summaries of articles on actions taken recently by four southern states [
    Oklahoma, Arizona, Tennessee & Missouri] to curb the number of illegal aliens coming into their states. We call on our Governor to step up to the plate and do for Arkansas what the Governor of Missouri did and protect the citizens of Arkansas rather than the illegal aliens. . . . It is interesting how often we have heard the statement that there is no way to deport all these illegal immigrants. It is obvious now, as many have maintained - they won't have to be deported if our officials will just make and enforce the right laws. They will leave on their own accord! . . . [Read More]

    Tags: Arkansas, Debbie Pelley, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, Mike Beebe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Beebe: Yes to severance tax hike, no to gasoline tax cut

    by John Lyon: Gov. Mike Beebe reiterated his support for increasing the state's severance tax on natural gas Friday but said lowering the tax motorists pay at the pump for gasoline is "not in the cards." . . . Beebe said. "We're actually looking to see what increase would be fair and appropriate based upon the surrounding states. If you want to fuss at me for being supportive of increasing the severance tax, I'll plead guilty to that."The caller said energy companies would pass any severance tax increase on to consumers. He accused Beebe of advocating a philosophy of "tax and spend, tax and spend."

    . . . another caller to Beebe's radio show asked if it would be feasible to give motorists a break by lowering the state's gasoline tax.Beebe said the state Highway and Transportation Department has identified about $19 billion in needs over the next 10 years, but revenue from the gas tax over that period is projected to be only about $5 billion."I wish ... I could tell you that I could give you some relief by lowering the gas tax," the governor said. "That's not in the cards. The gas tax is really not even sufficient to be able to maintain and do what we need to do on highways."Arkansas' gasoline tax is comparable to that of neighboring states, Beebe said. . . . [Source] ARRA: As noted before Beebe was elected, he has never met a tax that he didn't like. He would not have lowered the State's sales tax on food if he had not been forced to create a campaign promise to offset his opponent's campaign pledge and if the state's revenue surplus created by excessive taxes had not been so enormous. Have you seen him proposing to eliminate the remaining portion of the state's food tax?
    Tags: Arkansas, food tax, gasoline tax, Governor, increased taxes, Mike Beebe, severance tax, taxes

    Christian leader dismissed over praying 'in Jesus' name'

    ARRA Editor: Remember when we reported of Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who was removed from the military service because of his prayers "in Jesus' name."If not, click to read varied postings. The trampling of Christian rights to pray in the name of their Lord continues.
    World News Daily has reported that a Christian leader has been dismissed over praying 'in Jesus' name.' Chaplain Danny Harvey recently was "involuntarily terminated," according to a letter from the Leesburg Regional Medical Center, Virginia. Harvey's supervisor had called him into her office, and ordered that not only would he not prayer further "in Jesus' name," but that he was to instruct his volunteer chaplains to follow the same restriction.

    The hospital said it dismissed Harvey from his $48,000-a-year post not because he was praying in the name of Jesus Christ, "but [because] the official duties of a paid position were not being met. Those duties include being respectful of the different religious beliefs of our patients and the ability to lead them in their faith in their time of need." Hospital officials told a newspaper guidelines from the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education teach respect for all religions. Harvey said as a Christian chaplain, he routinely supported other faiths, such as Islam, expressed by patients by getting them access to someone who could help them directly with their needs. "There are some things I can't do as an evangelical pastor. For example, I can't offer certain things of the Catholic faith, including confession. I would get a Catholic priest," he said.

    Harvey said the issue first arose several years ago when he was asked to pray over the opening of a new hospital unit. He was told he would not be allowed to include "in Jesus' name." He objected, and was ordered to take a diversity course, which he did. Then at a staff meeting in August, Havey closed with a prayer in the name of Jesus. "That's what sparked this issue. I have written documentation. I was pulled into the office on Friday and told 'Under no circumstances will you pray in this name again,'" he said. "I said, 'I can't abide by your wishes.' She also told me I should tell my volunteer chaplains they shouldn't pray in Jesus name either. About four or five days later, I was relieved of my duties." . . . [Read More]

    Tags: anti-christian, chaplain, Christian Right, Christian Values, Jesus Christ, prayer, religious freedom To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


    by Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute: . . . The GOP candidates have spoken about immigration, taxes, social issues, and the war in Iraq. . . . The candidates, however, have overlooked a central idea that animated Reagan's view of government. That was federalism, the constitutional principle that the federal government's responsibilities are "few and defined" as James Madison put it.

    Reagan believed that the federal government had grown too big and swallowed up too many activities that, in the words of the 10th Amendment, should be left to the states and the people. Education, welfare, food stamps, and other such activities were not properly federal roles in his view. Here is Reagan kicking off his run for the presidency on Nov. 13, 1979: "The federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people ... The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities." When in office, Reagan worked to effect that "orderly transfer." He took aim at the massive system of "grants-in-aid" for the states that had been built up in the 1960s. He managed to cut the number of these subsidy programs from 434 in 1980 to 335 by 1985, and to shrink aid spending by 24 % relative to the size of the economy. He also killed "revenue sharing," which was a no-strings-attached spigot of federal cash for the states. Unfortunately, state aid soared after Reagan left office . . .

    That's why I'm pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that "centralized government is not the solution to all our problems...this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007." Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues. Federalism "is a tool to promote freedom" as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let's hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size. . . . [Read More]

    Tags: Cato Institute, Chria Edwards, Federalism, Fred Thompson, Ronald Reagan To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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