ARRA News Service
News Blog 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 "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/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, February 28, 2009

Is Blanche Lincoln Going to Support Taking Your Guns?

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Almost every time we turn around, Sen Blanche Lincoln takes another lock step with Washington D.C. liberals. And when her constituents complain, her staff develops a form letter full of pablum, ignores our concerns, and details that she had to support another action left of her main stream constituents. the staff applies her automatic signature and sends out the letter. Listen up Sen. Lincoln, your constituents are no longer asleep and they are not dull minded. After a few too many of these letters, people across the State have started comparing them with our friends and neighbors and discovered your staff responds to everyone with the same letters except for our names and addresses. Maybe in honesty, you should just tell us, you don't have time to answer our letters, emails and faxes.

Now we learn as detailed latter of another movement to take away the guns of citizens. We thought that this issue had been settled by the US Supreme Court, but e President Obama and his new AG Holder is again threatening gun rights. Before addressing the Obama administration, let's reflect on a couple issues related to Blanche Lincoln that may in the end also lead to her supporting such actions. When she was Rep. Blanche Lambert, she voted for the stand-alone Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, as well for the larger 1994 crime bill (in addition to Joe Biden, ) which included the ban and was signed into law by President Clinton. And who recently came to Little Rock to raise funds for Blanche Lincoln 2010 campaign? None other than Vice President Joe Biden. As pointed out by K. Ryan James:
This is interesting for more than a few reasons:
  • Blanche Lincoln has no announced opponent for the Democratic nomination, nor an announced Republican opponent.

  • Blanche Lincoln is holding a fundraiser over a full year ahead of the Arkansas primary election, which tells me she is making sure her war-chest is properly girded despite not having an announced opponent.

  • Blanche Lincoln is welcoming a Vice President who was part of a ticket resoundingly rejected by the people of Arkansas.

  • Blanche Lincoln was a Senate colleague of both Biden and Obama in the Senate. Isn’t it telling that the number two is coming to Arkansas?

  • So far, we have noted Sen. Blanche Lincoln flexing her ego withe her newest "look at me" campaign: I am important and connected -- elect me in two years, even if I am too busy to answer constituents. She let's us know she is closely connected to her two former friends, Obama and especially Biden, even though over 61% of her constituents rejected them. Lincoln appears to sense she will need money later but might not be able to get it so easily in two years (economy is heading downward and so may be the democratic party) and so she shuffles her democrat tarot cards and gets V.P. Joe Biden to raise funds in Arkansas now -- not later. We also noted previously that Lincoln has opposed gun ownership before and must add her voting records on controlling and stopping illegal immigrants (aliens) and protecting constituent jobs from these illegals are abysmal.

    Now our by our Washington, D.C. contact K Ryan James points out that Barack Hussein Obama is coming after your guns, and he is sending Eric Holder to get them. Eric Holder’s justification for violating the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans? That it would help curb drug gang violence - in Mexico.
    The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today. “As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters. Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.
    James continues: Obama seemed to think gun ownership is really more of a tradition instead of an enumerated right:
    "Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it’s important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of people – law-abiding citizens use if for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets.
    In conclusion, how will Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln vote this time on taking guns from her constituents? Will she even speak out in defense of her fellow Arkansans? Hum -- other than the occasional pontification or pushing of farm subsidy, when in her capacity as Senator has Lincoln spoken out passionately exclusively for the benefit of Arkansas? As to the headline question, "Is Blanche Lincoln Going to Support Taking Your Guns?," at the moment, odds don't look good.
    Tags: 2010, 2nd Amendment, Barack Obama, Blanche Lincoln, broken promises, Democrat, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Friday, February 27, 2009

    Stopping Fairness Doctrine - Victory! or is it?

    by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Yesterday, the Senate voted to ban the FCC from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine by a margin of 87-11! The more than 10,000 letters our listeners sent to Capitol Hill this week played an important role in securing this victory. In response to the vote, CBN White House Correspondent, David Brody, said, “I think it’s fair to say that the Fairness Doctrine in its purest state is history for now.”

    The amendment is called the Broadcasters Freedom Act and was written by Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina. However, another amendment was attached to the same bill that orders the FCC to encourage radio ownership “diversity.” This amendment passed by a vote of 57-41.

    An aide to Senator DeMint said this measure will “impose the Fairness Doctrine through the back door by trying to break up radio ownership.” This is the precise reason the letters we asked our listeners to send to Washington asked legislators to “oppose the reenactment of the Fairness Doctrine or any other similar legislation.”

    Liberal senators have heard from their constituents and recognize that the American people oppose the Fairness Doctrine so they are trying to sneak it in piece by piece through the back door. The good news is that congress is hearing from so many people that they know they cannot pass the Fairness Doctrine in its original form. Now we have to make sure they can’t sneak it through the back door either. Your representatives need to know that you see through their deception and know what they are trying to do.

    Please take a moment right now to send another letter to both of your senators and your representative and let them know you oppose any part of the Fairness Doctrine being imposed on the American people. Momentum is on our side! We must press forward for a complete victory and not allow apathy to snatch defeat from the jaws of our victory.

    Tags: Broadcasters Freedom Act, fairness doctrine, free speech, Kerby Anderson, Point of View, Protect Fairness Doctrine To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Blue Dogs - Any Bite Or All Bark?

    Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: The issue of the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, is coming to a head for alleged "Blue Dog" democrat representatives from states like Arkansas. Blue Dogs have claimed to be different than their fellow democrats. But their numbers have been dwindling? So are Blue Dogs all bark or do they have some bite left on their side of the isle. With respect to Card Check which the majority of Arkansans oppose, Arkansas' Senators and Congressmen, blue dogs or not, will face this subject and will be forced to decide weather they side with their constituents or with Big Labor and Sen. Majority Reid or House Speaker Pelosi. David Sanders shares some insight:
    Arkansas’ 1st District Democrat told chamber officials a few weeks ago that he wasn’t enamored with the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check. He told them he only voted for the legislation twice because he knew that President Bush would veto it. [Rep. Marion] Berry also recounted a recent discussion between his Blue Dogs and the House Democratic leadership in which they told leadership that EFCA wasn’t a free vote for them anymore and that their constituents were giving them a lot of grief over the issue.

    And, he said the Blue Dogs strongly urged House leadership not to bring this bill back to the House floor until the Senate had passed something first. Until last week, no one else had reported on a Democratic member deriding EFCA or that the Blue Dogs had urged Democratic leaders to insist the Senate take up the bill first. . . .

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said its passage is one of her highest priorities. Berry’s office did not comment specifically about his conversation with chamber officials, except to say the congressman believes the Senate, which has not shown an interest in addressing the issue to date, should consider the legislation first. . . .

    [C]ompanies like Wal-Mart didn’t care about Berry’s support of the bill, now they do, which means in the future Berry may be a “pivotal player in stopping it (EFCA) from happening.” . . .

    Washington’s Gary Sargent reported on his blog “The Plum Line” about a conversation with a senior Democratic aid who said the House leadership agreed with the Blue Dogs’ request that the House postpone a vote on EFCA until after the Senate voted on it.

    If the Blue Dog’s sentiments are, in fact, shaping the House’s legislative calendar, then it underscores that unlike any other group or faction either inside or outside Congress, the 49 moderates hold enormous sway over Pelosi’s 255-member Democratic Caucus. Apparently these Blue Dogs have plenty of bite to go along with their bark.

    Tags: Arkansas, Blue Dogs, Card Check, David Sanders, EFCA, Marion Berry, Wal-Mart To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Arkansas House Votes to Give Away Arkansas Popular Vote For President

    Update: House Bill 1339 died in Senate Committee at Sine Die adjournment.

    Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Arkansas voters will lose their influence in future presidential elections if the Senate concurs by an action by the Arkansas House of Representatives. It appears that extreme liberalism has reached into and grasped even the heart of at least the elected Democrat representatives in Arkansas. The term "conservative democrat" for elected officials is obsolete in Arkansas and those who have tried to retain their previous stand as "conservative democrats" are being trampled by their fellow "not conservative" democrats. Now another part of Arkansas voice and influence is about to be surrendered. It began two years ago when a Rep. Monty Davenport, D-Yellville sought to give Arkansas' electoral college votes away. This was defeated.

    However, the issue returned this legislative session and yesterday the Arkansas House of Representative passed House Bill 1339 introduced by Rep. Eddie Cooper, D-Melbourne, with a vote of 56-43-1 vote. The bill now proceeds to the Senate. Republicans along with a few democrats stood against the bill.

    The bill would "pledge" the Arkansas' six electoral votes to an "interstate compact" with other states if they pass similar legislation, awarding Arkansas' electoral votes NOT to the candidate who won the state, but to the candidate who won the most votes nationwide. As an example, if Bill Clinton had won the majority vote in Arkansas for President but had not won the most votes nationwide, then Arkansas electoral votes would NOT have been voted for Bill Clinton. In the last presidential election, the peoples of Arkansas voted in the majority (58.72%) for John McCain and 38.86% voted for Barack Obama and 2.42% voted for other people. Arkansas casts it electoral college votes for John McCain in accordance with the majority vote. However, under the proposed bill, the electoral college votes would have been awarded to Barrack Obama because he won California, New York and other highly populated states.

    It appears that many of our legislators are ignorant of the wisdom of our forefathers who established the Electoral College. Rep. Ann Clemmer (R-Benton) who is a political scientist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said it was "Civics 101" that Arkansas would be giving up some of its advantage by entering into the compact, which will take effect when states possessing 270 electoral votes have enacted the law. If Arkansas voted for a candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide, Clemmer said, the legislation would require the state, in effect, to tell voters: "We voted to ignore what you said."

    While some representatives will try argue that this is a political principle: "one person, one vote," they are both incorrect and applying this electoral concept incorrectly. They are only read from the National Democratic playbook, not the U.S Constitution and are ignoring Arkansans. People voting for President are entitled to one vote. But in wisdom, our forefathers saw that various large populations in varied parts of the United States should not suppress and abuse the rest of the country in the selection of the President of the United States.

    Highly populated states (one may argue overpopulated) already get more representation in the US House of Representatives. The Electoral College was established by the founding fathers as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and election by a popular vote. According to the National Archives and Records Administration which administers the Electoral College. the people in their respective states vote for the electors (via their vote for president) who then vote for the president.

    It was never intended for the President to be elected by popular vote but that the votes by the states should be weighted (thus the electoral votes) thus providing a more fair playing field to represent all of the people of the United States. Only four times in history (1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000) has the electoral college vote not also resulted in the same outcome as the general national popular vote; when more of the people in a larger geographic areas of the US supported a different president than those voting from the highly dense populated areas. The electoral college worked. Much of the reaction to change the electoral college by the democrats is in reaction to the failure of Al Gore to win the presidency. But even in the 2000 Arkansas election, Gore in spite of the fact that President Clinton campaigned in Arkansas for Gore. Bush received 51% of the vote, Gore 46%, Others 3%.

    If the Senate now votes for the bill, Governor Beebe, said he will sign the bill. This proposed action has been one of the major actions items at the Democratic National Committee and Gov. Beebe is to tied to the DNC and therefore will not protect the people of Arkansas. Please contact your State Senator and ask them to protect the voice of Arkansas by voting NO on HB1339.
    See also: State Legislatures Plot To Abolish Electoral College

    Tags: Arkansas, Electoral College, National Popular Vote, NPV, Arkansas, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    'Iran Lobby': Teheran's front groups move on-- and into-- the Obama Administration

    by Clare M. Lopez, Center for Security Policy: A complex network of individuals and organizations with ties to the clerical regime in Tehran is pressing forward in seeming synchrony to influence the new U.S. administration’s policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. Spearheaded by a de facto partnership between the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line, the network includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world.

    This report-- documenting the rise of what can accurately be described as the “Iran Lobby” in Washington, D.C.--is derived entirely from unclassified open sources and describes in detail the activities, linkages, and objectives of this alarming alliance between NIAC, CAIR and others that is aimed at co-opting America’s foreign policy in the Middle East and specifically with Iran. . . .

    To be sure, efforts at influencing U.S. decision-making are common among a host of legitimate interest roups, including many foreign countries. But in this context, where the guiding force behind such influence operations emanate from the senior-most levels of a regime like Iran’s – which holds the top spot on the State Department list of state-sponsors of terror, makes no secret of its hatred and enmity for the United States and its ally, Israel, and acts in myriad ways to support those who have assassinated, held hostage, kidnapped, killed and tortured American civilians and military personnel over a 30-year period – such operations must be viewed with serious concern.

    Specifically, the de facto alliance between CAIR, one of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates named by the U.S. Department of Justice as an unindicted co- conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials, and groups such as NIAC and its predecessor, the American-Iranian Council (AIC), which long have functioned openly as apologists for the Iranian regime, must arouse deep concern that U.S. national security policy is being successfully targeted by Jihadist entities hostile to American interests. . . . Continue Reading (PDF) -- source link no longer available (update: Dec 30, 2014)

    Tags: American-Iranian Council, Barack Obama, CAIR, Iran, lobbyist, Muslim, Teheran To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Borrowed Money

    by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: All of the current spending by the government creates a problem. The money for this spending must be borrowed. And that is creating a number of problems for the government. Let's consider each one of these problems.

    The U.S. borrows heavily from foreign countries, especially the Chinese. And this creates the first problem: foreign influence. Former congressman Ernest Istook reminds us "that whoever pays the piper gets to call the tune. Foreign leaders aren't incline to whistle 'Yankee Doodle!'"

    Another problem is that these countries are not an infinite source of credit. They have their own economies to deal with and will probably want to put their investments closer to home especially as they look at the current congressional spending spree.

    Are we approaching a time when America's excessive borrowing makes us a bad credit risk? Sometimes the U.S. looks like some of its citizens who have maxed out their credit cards and have nowhere else to turn. Experts are predicting a $1.2 trillion deficit. This is unprecedented. Add to that the trillions of dollars that have been spent or will be spent in the bailout package and the stimulus package. A foreign investor may not want to lend any more money to the U.S.

    The amount some of these countries hold in American debt is staggering. China's holdings nearly approach $700 billion, and countries in the Middle East hold almost $200 billion. Add to that more than another $200 billion held by foreigners who use Caribbean banks for secrecy. These countries may not wish to invest any more in America and might even decide to withdraw their current investments. In a previous commentary I warned about the possibility that these foreign investors may simply decide to cash in their Treasury bills and invest them closer to home. If our creditors cut us off, our Treasury securities could reach junk bond status.

    If America becomes a bad credit risk, then the government will have only one option: print the money. Ernest Istook believes that will "produce Wiemar Republic-style hyperinflation." The lesson here is simple. Before you spend the money, you need to know where it will be coming from. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.

    Tags: Borrowing, Chinese, deficit spending, Kerby Anderson, Point of View, US Debt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    "Mad" Max Brantley No Friend of Gun Owners

    Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News: My mother would tell us, "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it." In other words, being stupid is an option. Well it is time for Arkansas Times to look for new managing editor. There present editor, Max Brantley, hereafter referred as "Mad" Max has made the news not for just by "alleged" reporting but for performing a capricious act. Why? - Just because he could. On the Arkansas Times Blog, "Mad" Max made public all of the names and addresses of all people in Arkansas with concealed gun permits.
    Tolbert Report: Max Brantley has received quite a bit of criticism lately for an item he posted on his blog two weeks ago. Brantley was inspired by a stunt pulled by the Memphis Commercial Appeal which published the list of the Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit holders resulting in nearly a half million hits to their website. Apparently Brantley, thought this sounded good to him plus he got to give some heat to the Arkansas gun carrying crowd, so he followed suit publishing the Arkansas list on his Ark Times Blog in an excel file on February 16. After several days of exposing, the name and home address information of every Arkansas concealed carry permit holder, he pulled it down.

    Appearing on KARN, Brantley faced numerous outraged callers who questioned his motives for posting the data. Brantley said that he felt this information, which can easily be obtained, was important for the public to know. “I think we need to know who among us is walking around with a gun,” stated Brantley. Several callers said they were concerned that their unlisted address had been compromised by the posting. One caller said that she runs a mission that ministers to indigent people and that she has a unlisted address for her safety and this information was compromised by Brantley’s action. Brantley said that in spite of the criticism, including personal threats against him and his family, he does not regret posting the information and if faced with the choice, he would do it again.
    One of our readers sent this note to friends:
    PLEASE UNDERSTAND, THIS IS SERIOUS, folks. Ask yourself: What was Brantley's purpose? He is one of many who want to expose those who own guns, not to mention to expose those who did the right thing, took the course to learn the rules and how to shoot in order to protect their family and home. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AND PUTS PEOPLES’ LIVES IN DANGER!
    At the ARRA News Service, I have supported transparency. However, I do not support invasion of privacy or abuse of the Freedom of Information Act. It is one thing to get information to perform research and to advise the public, it is quite another to deliberately abuse the process for ones own personal gain and notoriety. Well what can be done about this? A few suggestions:
    1) Because of "Mad" Max's actions, a new bill has been introduced in the legislature by Rep. Randy Stewart (D): HB1623 PROHIBITING THE RELEASE OF THE IDENTITIES OR OTHER INFORMATION CONCERNING CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSEES. Call your State Senator and Representative and tell them to support and expedite HB1623l and then contact Gov. Beebe. It is interesting that its was Attorney General Dustin McDaniel who argued against the bill that would make it easier for the public to access the the prior criminal records of candidates and elected officials. He said that we should "protect the privacy" of criminals' public records Hopefully, he will want to afford the same protection to the records of law abiding Arkansans who went the extra step of obtaining a carry permit even though they already had the Second Amendment giving them that right. "Mad" Max has in "news speak" spit on these people just because he knew he could get away with it and now our legislature is forced to avoid further violations of privacy.

    2) "Mad" Max Brantley posted the release of the names on the Arkansas Blog which is part of the Arkansas Times where he is the managing editor. He hid behind his position and his perception of his rights under the free press. However, that does not mean that he can hid from the responsibilities for his actions or that his employer does not bear any responsibility for not controlling the actions of "Mad" Max. As we have seen with the national media, even high paid news commentators can be held responsible for their actions by their employers via change of positions or even a pink slip. After all, Arkansas is an "at will state" and an employer does not need to keep an employee. "Mad" Max did his deed on the blog and he is not even a true "blogger" but a paid "dead tree" reporter who on his employers site. He was seeking attention and hits for the site by duplicating the actions at another news service. Interesting that the Arkansas blog claims to be "the blog for Arkansas."

    Well its time for both "Mad" Max and the Arkansas Times to hear from you are concerned by Brantley's capricious act which he has said he would do it again. But, please don't sent threats to Brantley, not only is this not the thing to do but would just feed his shrinking ego. And posting comments at the Blog or sending letters directly to the Arkansas Times may not gain managements attention. You may wish to consider how strongly you feel and whether you think the advertisers at the Arkansas Times should know your feeling and your lack of appreciation for financially supporting the continued actions of Brantley. Let the advertiser know about your perspective on how "Mad" Max actions have threatened your privacy and the security of your families. After all you or a family member or frined complied with the law and Max used this fact against you. I for one will not patronize any business which does not publicly reject this action by Max Brantley.

    3) Finally, let your Arkansas State representative and senators, state officials, and prior candidates and future candidates know how you feel about the actions of Max Brantley. Let them know that you object in anyway their support of or association with anyone who supports Brantley's actions or "cow tows" to giving Brantley press information or even "the time of day." The doors to Brantley do not need to be open to him. Not everyone press person has a right to a "press pass."

    For those who feel violated, your letters will be good catharsis. After all, it was either your name and address that has been made public or it was that of a family member or friends. And for those of you who carry, please be more attentive and prepared at home since your name and address is not only in the hands of the government but now potentially in the hands of people who are definitely not your friends. Once the file was released by Brantley and downloaded by readers, it is now floating around. I wonder how many people previously have obtained a copy of this information. Hum - "lock and load"!
    Tags: 2nd Amendment, abuse, Arkansas Times, concealed gun rights, freedom of information, gun rights, Max Brantley, right to carry To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 26, 2009

    The House passed $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1105) by a vote of 245-178 yesterday. Next week, the Senate is expected to consider the bill. The bill funds the federal government through September. A continuing resolution passed last fall to fund the government expires March 6th.

    Today the Senate resumed consideration of S. 160, the unconstitutional DC voting bill. Votes on amendments to the bill will continue today, with a vote on final passage possible as early as this evening. Yesterday, the Senate failed to sustain a point of order on the DC bill offered by Sen. McCain that it violates the constitution by a vote of 36-62. Senators also voted down a substitute amendment by Sen. Coburn (R-OK).

    President Obama is set to officially release his budget plan later today, but the press is already full of reports of the staggering sums of money that he plans to spend. According to Politico’s Mike Allen, the full cost of his plan for the next fiscal year is an unprecedented $3.7 trillion dollars. For comparison, President Bush’s final budget proposal was $2.9 trillion.

    Reading some of the numbers being reported this morning, most "adjectives" that come to mind seem unprintable. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The White House projects a $1.75 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, which ends in September. That will be more than triple the previous record -- $455 billion. As a percentage of gross domestic product, the 2009 deficit would hit 12%, a level not seen since World War II.”

    And these astonishing sums of money, only cover what’s planned for this year. According to The Washington Post, “President Obama is proposing to begin a vast expansion of the U.S. health-care system by creating a $634 billion reserve fund over the next decade, launching an overhaul that most experts project will ultimately cost at least $1 trillion. . . . Obama aims to make a ‘very substantial down payment’ toward universal coverage by trimming tax breaks for the wealthy and squeezing payments to insurers, hospitals, doctors and drug manufacturers, a senior administration official said yesterday.”

    After one recovers from the sticker shock, the first question that comes to mind is "How is all of this gpomg to be paid?" Clearly, some of it won’t be, given that the Obama administration said earlier in the week that they’d like to cut the deficit to around $533 billion by 2013, still far in excess of the prior deficit record. However, Obama’s budget does plan to pay for some of his spending with huge tax hikes. According to Politico, the Obama budget plans to “squeez[e] the wealthy to help get $2 trillion in 10-year savings.” The same article notes that the budget also allows some of the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. And The Wall Street Journal reports that the budget explicitly calls for $318 billion in tax increases over 10 years as part of Obama’s $634 billion health care plan.

    It’s important to remember, though, that this is in addition to all the spending we’ve heard about over the last month: the $787 billion stimulus, the $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill, and billions for a home mortgage rescue plan and more cash infusions for banks. As Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “This isn’t Monopoly money. It’s real. It adds up — and it has to be paid back, by our children and by their children.”

    Tags: DC, Excessive spending, excessive taxation, federal spending, omnibus bill, US Congress, US House, US Senate, voting rights, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Arkansas Republican Party Executive Director Rumors

    Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News: Jason Tolbert, The Tolbert Report keeps us to date on rumors in Little Rock. Lately, he has been "sniffing out" who might just be the next Executive Director for the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA). Before proceeding, let me "ditto" a comment expressed by Tolbert regarding outside influence on filling the position:
    We do not need someone coming in here to tell Arkansas what the national party wants us to do, to say, and to think. If our party is going to succeed and build on the gains from 2008, then we have to get back to a grassroots bottom up approach to the way we do things. We have to recruit quality conservative candidates to run for local and state offices and then provide them with the resources to run a strong campaign. We do not need a satellite office of the RNC. If we do that, we might as well wave our white flags and surrender to the Democrats because we will quickly lose any and all relevance.
    It has been rumored that RPA Chairman Doyle Webb may himself become more full time and take an active roll in directing office operations of the Republican Party. Webb has proven experience as the Chief of Staff for Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller. He needs an upbeat, aggressive, and talented RPA office staff capable of using existing technology to both advance and promote the Republican message and incorporate and give others within Arkansas the opportunity to be involved. They staff need to understand and use the benefits of Web 2.0 and social networking and reach out to the Republican conservatives who use and are skilled building groups and networks within Arkansas and their communities.

    While we need Chairman Webb in the field carrying the Republican message throughout Arkansas to the grassroots team, his greater involvement with the RPA staff could raise the bar for the future that would setting a legacy for the future. A lot of us outside of Little Rock are both pulling for him and are willing to help.

    Regardless, of Webb's leadership choice, the RPA need either an Executive Director or Chief of Staff to direct the office staff and operations. That person needs to understand and be able to coordinate and implement the use of new technology while not stepping on the growing grassroots effort in Arkansas. It needs to be person without a condescending or arrogant attitude. The RPA needs to repair quickly a lot of GOP bridges across the state and to restore trust. The threat always exists for those working and living in the Little Rock area to become myopic and to forget that the real work of building the party rests with the grassroots efforts in the counties of Arkansas' four Congressional Districts.

    The former RPA chair and outgoing executive director has not led the RPA staff to be active in working well with the growing conservative grassroots in Arkansas. The RPA has not teamed up with new media conservative activists who are active in Web 2.0 social networking via FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning groups, Google groups and more. The result is an expanding conservative network outside of the RPA. This same situation has been debated as a central issue prior to the selection of our Republican National Committee Chair. Chairman Michael Steele has reached out and working to build the needed coalitions for future success and recognizes that the work is at the grassroots. Maybe the motto of the year for the RPA should be "It is easier to fan a flame than to get the flame started."

    The RPA executive committee will meet on March 21 to begin the process of searching for a new director. Here are few of the rumored candidates identified by Tolbert. The first is David Kinkade, the principal Arkansas Project contributor, is a freelance writer in Little Rock. A former reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Times, he served as speechwriter to U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security. He also served as director of communications on Asa Hutchinson’s 2006 campaign for governor.

    The next is the current RPA Chief of Staff Staci Cates - Although not much of a blogger, Cates has done actual real work for the Party since 2005 which is likely to carry more weight with the executive committee.

    Former communications director for Gov. Huckabee, Rex Nelson may also be waiting in the wings. With his soon Obama mandated departure from the Delta Regional Authority, he will be looking for something new.

    RPA political director Chase Dugger (not related to Jim Bob) is considered to be a favorite of most Republican state legislators. Dugger is relatively new to the RPA office but is considered to be a young rising star among Arkansas Republicans. Chase has worked effectively supporting Republican campaigns even when he knew the campaign would not win. The political director position is the same position Clint Reed came from when he was hired as executive director.

    We can all dream right! Princella Smith (view her handling of the media at her website) is another Arkansas Republican gone to Washington name being tossed around. She is a guest lecturer on the topics of “New Media” and “Grassroots Activism” at The Leadership Institute, an organization founded by Morton Blackwell committed to identifying, recruiting, training and placing conservatives in the public policy process. Princella is a regular political contributor and has been featured and/or written for several national media outlets including FOX News, FOX Business News, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Bloomberg News, France 24, EuroAmerican News, Danish Broadcasting, NPR, the New York Times, USA Today, XM Satellite Radio, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Essence Magazine, YouTube News, XM Radio, Armstrong Williams Show, AOL Radio/TV, Black America Web,, Daily Kos ,, Huffington Post, and several local press/media outlets among others. She loves both Arkansas and the political process and advancing Republican values. Smith is a graduate of Wynne High School and Ouachita Baptist University. She currently serves as a Chief Advocate for Newt Gingrich’s group American Solutions. Smith’s speech on behalf of American Solutions was one of the highlights of the Arkansas State Republican Convention this past summer. Plus, as a former campaign employee for RNC Chairman Michael Steele she may have just the right blend of Arkansas ties and beltway connections to land the job - if she wants it.

    bryantadamsArkansas Republican Bryant Adams (twitter account) from DeWitt may get a look by the RPA Executive Committee. Adams has an extensive resume in his young career with the party. He has worked here in Arkansas during the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign and he has also worked for the Republican National Committee, the Colorado Republican Party, and the Department of Homeland Security. Adams was rumored to be considered for the job back in 2007 when Ray was hired due to influence by the White House staff. Adams indicated that he would be flattered to be considered for such an important job, because "I am passionate about fighting for things like lower taxes, less regulation, and more transparency in government. If the RPA’s central committee felt that I was the right person to lead the organization along with Chairman Webb, I would strongly consider it.”

    Another name that has emerged is fellow conservative Republican blogger Kenneth" Ryan" James. James serves as the Arkansas Republicans eyes and ears inside Washington, where he works as a political consultant. Ryan served previously as the Deputy Director of Communication for the 2008 Republican National Convention and before that as Director of Communication for Arkansas Congressman John Boozman. At Boozman office, he established an open door to the New Media in Arkansas which has not been matched since he left that position. James has said, “There is a real opportunity for the Republican Party to continue its growth in the state and become the true home for conservatives in Arkansas and I would consider myself fortunate to work with Chairman Webb in order to accomplish this. As a state, we resoundingly rejected the liberal plans of Barack Obama. We must hold accountable those from the other side who campaign as conservatives yet vote according to their liberal masters while in office. Moving forward, we must continue to offer new ideas and solutions in order to be true alternative for conservative Arkansans.”

    Tags: Chase Dugger, Doyle Webb, Republican Party of Arkansas, RPA, rumors, Staci Cates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 25, 2009

    Tags: INSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!Yesterday, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) to be Secretary of Labor. The Senate also voted 62-34 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 160, the DC voting bill and resumed consideration today of the bill that would grant un-Constitutional House voting rights the delegate from the District of Colombia. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible today.

    The day after President Obama warned that both parties “will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars,” the House is set to pass a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill that, according to Politico, “adds another $20.5 billion” on top of last year’s budget requests and “breaks the trillion-dollar mark for nonemergency appropriations” in one year.

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed to one of the key problems with this bill, duplicative spending for programs already funded or granted funding increases in the stimulus. Sen. McConnell said, “The Democrats are asking taxpayers to pay for over 100 accounts in the omnibus bill that are also in the stimulus bill.”

    But the president made plain last night that this is only the tip of the proverbial spending iceberg. Politico described the plans suggested by President Obama thusly, “The 52-minute address outlined more commitments by the public sector, more intervention into the private economy, and more spending than anything Washington has undertaken at least since the Great Society and more likely the New Deal.”

    As Sen. McConnell noted on CNN on Sunday, “We’ve spent, in this new administration, 32 days, $36 billion a day. If you add all that up, that’s as much as the previous administration spent over seven years on both the war on terror and the recovery from Katrina.” But this is before considering the costs of some of the major Obama proposals such as carbon cap and trade, a comprehensive health care reform, further shoring up tottering banks, and even more education spending.

    The key question is where is all the money for this? The Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday, “With the stimulus and Mr. Obama’s proposed housing rescue, the deficit [for 2009] is likely to be well in excess of $1.5 trillion and possibly as wide as $1.9 trillion, according to private forecasts.” How much will that figure increase before the year is over, given how much has been spent just in the first month?

    President Obama was right in saying that we should strive to “save our children from a future of debt,” but sacrificing certain priorities is going to have to start somewhere if we’re to do that. Duplicative spending in the omnibus bill would be a positive beginning.

    Tags: DC, US Congress, US Senate, voting rights, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    $91,000 Income Families Eligible for ARKIDS

    Iris Stevens, Women's Prayer & Action Group: It is incredible that we abort 4,500 babies a year in Arkansas, yet for the children we can rob the poor taxpayers and bankrupt our state to provide insurance for the children of families up to $91,000, and liberals are already pushing for more. And those legislators who can't even vote against partial birth abortion are the most ardent supporters of children's health care. It is obvious this is not about the children but about the liberals fulfilling their agenda for nationalized health care.

    According to an article by Columnist David Sanders, Arkansas News, families with incomes of $91,000 could get welfare insurance under cigarette tax.
    . . . The threshold for the ARKids First health insurance program moved from 200 percent over federal poverty to 250 percent. This means taxpayers will soon begin subsidizing the health insurance for children from families of four (two children) earning $55,000 annually — $64,000 (three), $73,000 (four), $82,000 (five) and $91,000 (six).

    Most lawmakers – especially those in the House — had no idea that their vote would essentially put the state in the business of providing middle class and upper-middle class families with a new health care entitlement.

    And, of those who knew, they wholeheartedly embraced the increase. Their justification — we must do it for the children — was both predicable and incredibly shortsighted. . . . Quite frankly, if state officials were really concerned about Arkansas families who don’t have enough money to pay for life’s necessities — like health insurance for their kids — they might consider indexing income tax rates. But the mere mention of injecting common sense in the state’s income tax policy causes most lawmakers to break out in hives.

    Under current tax law, an annual income of $31,000 qualifies for state’s top income tax rate of 7 percent — Arkansas just so happens to have the highest income tax rates in the region. . . . [Full Article: Raising the income bracket for ARKids]

    Tags: abortion, Arkansas, cigarette tax, health care, income tax, nationalized health care, Women's Prayer and Action Group To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    An American Fairytale - A Tale of Warning - And of Hope (video)

    H/T to The BoBo Files who reflects: "Watching this video while listening to the Obamessiah really sends this message home. Obama speech [Address to Congress 2/24/09] tonight is so disingenuous it’s not even funny. Sure, in one breath he says the recovery of this economy requires action and not to look back at other administrations, then in the other breath he blames only Republican administration era policies for the problems. When he was talking about how we got to this mess - he talked about energy independence - but - never once brought up drilling for oil - he’s implying green energy only…nor did he bring up the failed Clinton policy allowing (forcing) banks to give loans to people without first verifying income, identity, employment, or the ability to pay. When he’s talking about helping responsible homeowners - he’s talking about allowing those who are upside down on their mortgage refinance on my dime even if they’re not struggling to pay their bills. How is that even fiscally responsible?"
    This video is based upon a short story written by Dr. John Rossi, and is narrated by Glenn Beck.

    Tags: America, Fairytale, communism, conservative, Glenn Beck, Hope, liberal, Marxism, politcs, socialism, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Mere Monopoly Money

    By Robert Romano: President Obama yesterday declared at his much-ballyhooed Fiscal “Responsibility” Summit that “We've got a lot of hard choices to make.” And staring at a $10.7 trillion national debt and at least a $1.2 trillion budget deficit just for 2009 in the eye, he is right. Unfortunately, he is not making the right choices. Instead he is relying on mere Monopoly money to keep a battered system afloat, much of it provided from overseas. . . . In short, the U.S. government is consuming far more than it can productively generate in the form of revenue. And so it borrows. On a massive scale. But it is obviously not enough.

    . . . The timing of bringing the U.S. off of its debt addiction may be politically inconvenient for the Administration—and it may fly in the face of its government expansion ideology that pervades thinking there—but that does not mean it is any less necessary. President Obama's fiscal responsibility summit of yesterday sent an important message, but not the one the Administration had hoped. It was a joke; laughable in the face of the Administration's $787 billion “stimulus” spending bill just passed, the $2.8 trillion financial “stability” plan to infuse yet more credit in the crumbling U.S. financial system, and now this week, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill now being proposed. And, that's not even counting interest.

    This infusion of Monopoly money will not work, and the predictable result will be unbridled inflation, which coupled with a lagging recession, could unseat the U.S. as the world's foremost economic superpower. President Obama's plan to sustain the unsustainable will bankrupt the nation. Go to and sign the petition to put an end to the bailouts once and for all! Contact your Senators and Representative -- before it's too late -- and tell them that enough is enough with the bailouts and that not another cent should go to Wall Street or Washington!

    Tags: bailout, Barack Obama, money, Monopoly, Robert Romano, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    How to be a Left-Wing Budget Balancer

    by Bobby Eberle: The Obama administration has barely had time to get settled into the job, yet the actions of this new president have already transitioned into the surreal. Under Barack Obama, every problem facing this country comes with a liberal remedy and a huge, taxpayer-funded price tag. Economy in trouble? Throw money at it. Banks failing? Throw money at it? Mortgage mess? Throw even more money at it?

    Obviously, there are numerous problems with this approach, and they all fall under the umbrella of "common sense." However, common sense is an attribute in short supply in Washington, DC. What's even crazier than the proposed socialist solutions by Obama and company, is the fact that Obama is now screaming about the deficit. Does anyone really think that Obama or the liberals in Congress would actually cut any government program with the exception of the military and defense?

    That's right... Barack Obama is now talking about "slashing the deficit." This talk is coming from the man who pushed for (and received) a stimulus bill in the neighborhood of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. What did he do after handing the country the biggest dose of government spending and control in history? He followed up with a speech requesting a quarter of a trillion dollars to tackle the housing and mortgage crisis... that's right, everything is a crisis with him.

    So, there's a trillion dollars of taxpayer money being thrown at the problem. Never mind the fact that the stock market continues to go down, that this is money America doesn't have, and that people can solve problems better than government. The spending doesn't stop there, however. Now, the House Democrats are proposing $410 billion in their latest spending bill. As noted in the news story, "The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls." The bill represents "an increase of roughly 8% over spending in the last fiscal year."

    That's right... an 8% increase. This increase is much higher than the inflation rate, and comes when the nation is already getting all those liberal stimulus dollars. Barack Obama, of course, supports this increase in spending, but is suddenly seeing the need to "slash the deficit." What gives? Believe it or not, the Associated Press, in its story on Obama's pledge to cut the deficit, actually provides a clue to this motivation. The AP reporter actually writes, "With his re-election race just a few years away, he also has an interest in avoiding being labeled as a big-government, big-spending Democrat."

    If even the AP sees politics being played with Obama's budget comments, that's really saying something. Just reading the sentence makes me shake my head. The guy just got elected, and he's already posturing for reelection? And the AP words this action as if it's to be expected. After all, his reelection is "just a few years away." Hello! He just took the oath of office!

    So, how does Obama do it? How does he slam the country with massive spending and government intervention and then balance the budget? The answer is simple, and it starts with a big, capital T. That's right... taxes. Taxes, taxes, and more taxes. Of course, the liberals don't expect all Americans to bear this burden. Tax increases for the "rich" will do just fine. It's pathetic.

    As reports, "With massive tax increases waiting in the wings for American taxpayers when the Bush tax cuts end in 2010, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats will soon turn their attention to taxes." President Bush's tax cuts will expire next year unless Congress renews them. Without the renewal, the citizens of this country will face a massive tax increase.

    The top tax rate would jump from 35% (which should be already be illegal) to 39%. For the record, I support the Fair Tax and always have. However, as long as the income tax is in place, no one should have a percentage higher than 15% and it should be fair. Everyone should pay their share. A "rich" person will always pay more because he or she makes more. It's simple math. So, the idea that this person should also be assigned a higher percentage to pay is just plain wrong.

    The current 10% tax bracket would climb to 15%, but I'm sure Obama would say, "Well that's not fair" and try to raise the upper brackets even higher. What would that do to the economy and job creation? Our big spending president will become a watchdog for the budget just in time for reelection. How convenient. But we all know that no program will be cut. No experiment in social engineering will see its funds disappear. No department which takes freedom away from individuals and places the control with the government will see that power diminish. No, instead, Obama will tax and tax and tax. That's change we can all believe in.... and change we can do without.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bobby Eberle, Budget, GOPUSA, left-wing, leftist To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Interrogating Army 'justice' - A call for reform

    Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: In the following Washington Times' "Op Ed," two retired military generals and a colonel seek justice for a Army Captain who faithfully served his country and was abused by an inept defense attorney and the military justice system. The rightly address that "We are asking a lot from our people. They must fight the enemy with great restraint. Even the appearance of transgression of the rules of engagement is punished severely by military courts. It is time for a public debate regarding the double standards that bind our hands in battle but impose no restraint on the enemy. Our soldiers are fighting under the most difficult conditions and are being second-guessed by military lawyers and bureaucrats in snug offices in safe, rear areas. We need to remember that life is a lot messier at the front." The call to fair treatment of our military troops by its own justice system is made by Major General Paul Vallely (USA), Lt. General Thomas McInerney (USAF) and Colonel Andy O'Meara (USA).
    A call to arms on behalf of soldier in Afghan detainee case. OP-ED: When President Obama dispatched another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, he didn't know that one of the biggest risks they face comes from the U.S. military's own lawyers. An out-of-control, politically correct legal code means U.S. soldiers could be brought up on charges just for discharging their duty. Take the case of Capt. Roger Hill.

    Capt. Hill commanded D Company in the U.S. Army's 101st Air Assault Division,1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, in a lonely outpost in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, an area the size of Connecticut with many Taliban lurking amid among its half a million people.

    The men in Capt. Hill's unit learned that some of their Afghan interpreters were double agents - passing information to the Taliban about planned troop movements. Ambushes followed. As many as 30 Americans were injured and two were killed. Capt. Hill detained about a dozen suspects and asked that they be evacuated from the outpost to headquarters for interrogation. His request was denied.

    Detainees can be held only 96 hours without charges. Given this constraint and the lack of support from his superiors, Capt. Hill and his officers interrogated the detainees. Worried about the safety of his men, Capt. Hill reportedly made verbal threats, allowed his first sergeant to sit on the prisoners' chests demanding answers, and is even said to have fired his pistol near the blindfolded heads of prisoners to trick them into thinking one of their comrades had been killed. Capt. Hill was soon brought up on charges for using these methods to learn about future ambushes. The prisoners were not physically hurt by Capt. Hill.

    For not meeting standards in the field comparable to those imposed on police investigating a domestic disturbance or a drug ring, Capt. Hill was called before the equivalent of a grand jury, and criminal charges were pursued. Capt. Hill's defense attorney was advised that if he pleaded guilty to the charges no court-martial would be conducted. He did so. He was fined by his commander and ordered "discharged" from the Army under other than honorable conditions - an excessive sentence for a fine professional officer operating under duress in a harsh environment. This is a miscarriage of justice that will undermine the war effort. When forced to choose between the safety of our troops and the comfort of the enemy, why is it that the enemy can never be inconvenienced?

    The secretary of the Army should authorize an honorable discharge for Capt. Hill or allow him to return to service as a commanding officer. This is not too much to ask since the Army prosecutors decided to downgrade everything to an Article 15 and allowed him to resign his commission (a way to subtly oust him from the Army). After four years at West Point and nine years of honorable service, including two wars, and having been awarded the Bronze Star for valor, he also deserves his hard-earned veterans benefits.

    Our rules of engagement punish servicemembers for nonlethal acts, such as threatening captured enemy agents. In this bitter war, the armed forces have imposed strict rules of engagement upon our forces while our enemy beheads and tortures noncombatants. Strict enforcement against our forces wins us no mercy from the terrorists. Just ask Daniel Pearl.

    Meanwhile, we are asking a lot from our people. They must fight the enemy with great restraint. Even the appearance of transgression of the rules of engagement is punished severely by military courts. It is time for a public debate regarding the double standards that bind our hands in battle but impose no restraint on the enemy. Our soldiers are fighting under the most difficult conditions and are being second-guessed by military lawyers and bureaucrats in snug offices in safe, rear areas. We need to remember that life is a lot messier at the front.

    And the public must demand reform. Capt. Hill's honorable status should be restored and his case should be the last in a string of prosecutorial overzealousness that began in the Bush years. If President Obama is serious about righting the wrongs of the Bush years and winning the war against terrorists, here is a good place to start.
    Hill is a West Point graduate and former “Old Guard” (3d Infantry Regiment) in Washington, D.C. Hill was the officer in charge at President Ronald Regan’s funeral detail. He stood guard beside Ronald Reagan’s casket through the whole ceremony (Reagan's visitation and memorial service). Also see - by the three authors: Stand by our Warriors in Battle and by Dr. Laurie Roth: More Persecutions of Our Military Officers.

    I agree with Dr. Roth: "Let’s stop persecuting our brave military officers in times of war!" and Let’s do the right thing regarding Captain Roger Hill. Ask Secretary Pete Geren to reverse the prior action and to honorably discharge Captain Roger Hill. Address your letters to Secretary Pete Geren, Department of the Army, Office of the Secretary of the Army, 107 ARMY PENTAGON, Washington, DC 20310-0107.

    Tags: military, military justice, political correctness, Roger Hill, US Army, Army Justice, reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 24, 2009

    The Senate schedule is different than reported yesterday. they will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 160, the DC voting bill. The unconstitutional bill would grant House voting rights the delegate from the District of Colombia. At 11 AM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill. At 4:30 PM, senators will vote on the nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) to be Secretary of Labor.

    Tonight 8:30 pm (EST), there will be a Joint Session of Congress and at 9 pm President Barack Obama will address the Joint Session. Following the president’s speech, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will deliver the Republican response.

    The two issues set to dominate Congress this week are the so-called DC voting rights bill, and government spending issues in light of President Obama’s first budget proposal and the Democrats’ omnibus appropriations bill.

    This morning, senators will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to a bill that would grant unconstitutional voting rights to the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia. This bill has been misleadingly referred to as “DC voting rights,” when it has little to do with the ability of District residents to actually vote. Rather, the issue at hand is whether the District’s delegate should be able to vote as a full member of the House.

    Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress have decided to address this issue in a clearly unconstitutional way, granting voting rights in the House by statute, instead of by an obviously necessary constitutional amendment. The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky explained the constitutional issues in an article for National Review Online yesterday. Von Spakovsky points out, “Article I specifies that ‘Representatives . . . shall be apportioned among the several States,’ and this is confirmed in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment. One of the qualifications to be a congressman is to ‘be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.’” As von Spakovsky goes on to say, the Founders were very specific in distinguishing the District of Columbia from the states in the Union. Indeed, he notes, “It also took an amendment — the 23rd Amendment, ratified in 1961 — to provide District residents the right to vote for president.”

    There is a proper way to go about this. Just as with the 23rd Amendment, Congress can pass a proposal and submit it for ratification to the states. But in utilizing its constitutional power to “exercise exclusive legislation” over the District, Congress is not free to ignore the rest of the Constitution.

    While the Senate debates the DC bill, the House will begin work on a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill Democrats are rolling out today. Politico writes, “Covering more than a dozen Cabinet departments, the giant bill adds another $20.5 billion to former President George W. Bush’s domestic spending requests for the current budget year ending Sept. 30. Together with prior appropriations for defense, homeland security and veterans, this breaks the trillion-dollar mark for nonemergency appropriations — providing $1.012 trillion for 2009, a 6.7 percent increase over 2008.”

    In an excellent column for The Examiner, Byron York takes a step back to look at all this spending. York writes, “At some point last week, the sheer velocity of Obama’s spending proposals began to overwhelm even experienced Washington hands. In the span of four days, we saw the signing of the $787 billion stimulus bill, the rollout of a $275 billion housing proposal, discussion of Congress’s remaining appropriations bills (about $400 billion) and word of a vaguely-defined financial stabilization plan that could ultimately cost $2 trillion.” York asked Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell about the staggering numbers. “We thought the Bush deficits were big at the time,” Sen. McConnell said. “But this is going to make the previous administration look like rank amateurs. We could be adding multiple trillions to the national debt in the first year.”Tags: D.C., omnibus bill, US Congress, US House, US Senate, voting rights, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Republicans Surpass Democrats on Twitter

    Urban Conservative: Interesting story in the Washington Times about how Republicans are jumping on the technology bandwagon by joining in on the fun with twitter; and they are even beating out the democrats on Capitol Hill Ha! This is a moot story and I will tell you why. Current Republicans in the Senate and Congress aren’t going to win us any future elections. I will tell you what it is – it’s the thousands upon thousands of conservatives who are using twitter to converse, build relationships, and spread the conservative message; specifically the Top Conservatives on Twitter — #tcot. Granted, twitter only has about 14 million registered users but that number is growing exponentially month over month and I believe it will be mainstream in the next couple of years. Mark my words folks … the conservative movement has just begun! If you enjoyed this post, follow Urban Conservative on Twitter.
    Follow Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service on Twitter; he's in the top 3% of Conservative Twitterers tracked at Top Conservative on Twitter - #TCOT

    Tags: conservative twitters, twitter, Bill Smith, TCOT To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Debunking Liberal Economics

    H/T - Scott Miller, The Conservative Post: If there is one video that you watch, and pass along to friends, this should be it… the more things “change” the more they stay the same… Milton Friedman's views are as applicable today as it was decades ago when he was interviewed.
    Watch him tear apart liberal economic theory (such as is is) in a few short minutes. The man is simply brilliant. What liberals fail to grasp is that government can not give a dollar to someone, without first forcibly taking a dollar from someone else… and as Morton said, that destroys the idea of freedom. Government essentially is stealing our labor, at the point of a gun, and giving our labor to another - all under the guise of “doing good.”

    Tags: bailout, big government, conservative, Economics, Freedom, liberal economics, liberty, Milton Friedman, Obamanomics, Pelosi, Scott Miller, taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Halt Greatest Theft in Human History - "Stop the Bailout"

    “The people intuitively know when they are being robbed. There is genuine anger out there on the part of taxpayers and homeowners who do not want any part in paying for somebody else's poor decisions.” — ALG President Bill Wilson.
    Feb 23rd, 2009, Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government today launched, an online petition in response to President Barack Obama's $2.8 trillion financial plan to urge Congress to halt what ALG President Bill Wilson termed the “greatest theft in human history.” Throughout 2008, and now into 2009, Congress, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve have otherwise committed, appropriated, borrowed, and printed some $10 trillion for the largest financial bailout ever,” said Wilson.

    By Wilson's count the bailout is “astronomical on an order not yet seen: $2 trillion in FDIC assurances, $1.75 trillion in Federal Reserve commercial paper purchases, $900 billion in term auction facility lending, $600 billion to insure money market funds, $600 billion to cover Fannie and Freddie's worthless mortgage-backed securities, $550 billion for discount Federal Reserve loans, $500 billion to insure FDIC deposits, $300 billion for FHA mortgage relief, $250 billion for Citigroup debt, $225 billion for securities loan facility lending, $200 billion for Fannie and Freddie's debt, $112 billion for A.I.G., $700 billion for the TARP, and finally, $787 for 'stimulus.'”

    “And that's not even counting interest,” Wilson noted. “Now, the Obama Administration wants the American taxpayer to once again take responsibility for the irresponsible by committing more than $2 trillion to keeping delinquent borrowers in homes they can't afford and bailing out banks that were forced by government to make the bad loans in the first place,” Wilson added.

    Several economists, financial analysts, and policy makers have noted that “easy money” from the Federal Reserve, coupled with excessive lending and a record expansion of credit, fueled the housing bubble. Wilson believes that there is increasing frustration on the part of taxpayers and homeowners “who play by the rules and bear no responsibility for the errant government policies that fostered the financial meltdown.”

    Wilson is urging angered citizens to take action in addition to signing the petition by contacting their Congressmen and Senators. “Congress can put a stop to all of this nonsense, but they will only do so if their constituents keep up the pressure on members,” said Wilson. “The 'stimulus' debate may be over, but the battle over the bailout will continue,” Wilson promised.

    Wilson predicted that eventually the bailout would be defeated. “The people intuitively know when they are being robbed. There is genuine anger out there on the part of taxpayers and homeowners who do not want any part in paying for somebody else's poor decisions,” Wilson concluded.
    Tags: Americans for Limited Government, Bill Wilson, mortgage bailout To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    What Change Did You Vote For?

    by Glenn McCoy
    by Glenn McCoy at Townhall

    Alan Keyes Speaks Out Strongly on Barack Obama
    Alan Keyes was a featured speaker at a fundraiser for the Triple A Crisis Pregnancy Center in Hastings, Nebraska, on February 19, 2009, where a reporter from KHAS-TV interviewed him about his thoughts on Obama. With conviction, Alan stated that Barack Obama is a radical communist, Obama is a usurper (original birth certificate hasn't been produced), supports infanticide--the killing of babies born alive after botched abortions, and Obama's policies are leading to a collapsed economy.

    Tags: Alan Keyes, Barack Obama, change, Glenn McCoy, political cartoon, socialism, White House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

    Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 23, 2009

    Congress Returns - Senate reconvenes at 2 PM today and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) will be recognized to read George Washington’s Farewell Address. No votes are scheduled today.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a vote for Tuesday morning on a cloture vote on the nomination of far left Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) to be Labor secretary. She has has always been a "shill for Big Labor" and was allowed to pass in the confirmation on major issues like "card check." More disturbing, though, Americans for Limited Government identified that Solis served as treasurer for the pro-labor group, American Rights at Work (ARW). House Ethics Rules dictate that no member of the House of Representatives may “personally supervise” lobbying efforts by lobbyist groups:
    “[A member] may sit on the board of an organization which, among other things, lobbies Congress, but the Member should not personally supervise the organization's lobbying activities since such action on behalf of a single private group would appear inconsistent with her responsibilities to the public at large. [p 352]”
    While she is not paid in her capacity as treasurer, she no doubt “personally supervised” the $169,000 which ARW spent on urging residents of New Hampshire to urge congressional support of the Employee “Free Choice” Act [Card Check] of which she also co-sponsored in the House.

    Following that vote, Reid has scheduled cloture on the motion to proceed to the unconstitutional bill to grant House voting rights the delegate from the District of Colombia (Washington.D.C.) (S. 160). While Senate Democrats may get the unconstitutional bill passed with a few compromised Republicans who are willing to pass the bill and then let the Supreme Court decide (forget their reading the US Constitution they swore to uphold). The Constitution says "the several states" shall send representatives to Congress - not the District or Territories. The Republican leadership is expected to try to advance the debate and detail information needed to prepare the groundwork for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court assuming that "alleged constitutional scholar" Pres. Barack Obama signs the bill.

    Later this week, President Obama is set to unveil his first budget proposal. As details about the plan are revealed, though, a number of questions are arising about the assumptions in the Obama blueprint.

    According to The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Obama will promise that he can shrink [the more than $1.9 trillion deficit] to $533 billion, or 3% of GDP, by 2013, primarily through savings from withdrawing combat forces from Iraq and allowing George W. Bush’s tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 to lapse in 2011.” Of course, raising taxes is where the first problems with this plan begin. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was not enthusiastic about the idea of tax hikes, saying, “I don’t think raising taxes is a great idea and when our good friends on the other side of the aisle say raising the taxes on the wealthy, what they’re really talking about is small business. A vast majority of American small businesses pay taxes as individual taxpayers. So, we got to ask ourselves whether increasing capital gains taxes, dividend taxes and taxes on small business is a great thing to do in the middle of a deep recession.”

    And The Journal notes, “The forecast for a sharp narrowing of the deficit will also rest on the assumption that the economy recovers from the current slump.” In an article analyzing the Obama proposal today, McClatchy points out, “While it’s quite possible, this scenario relies on successful efforts to shore up the banking system, recovery in the housing market and a sharp recovery in the global economy to lift U.S. exports.” No one at the moment knows whether the current recession will see a quick recovery or a prolonged slump. Yet the Obama plan assumes “that the U.S. economy will rebound late this year and begin to recover next year, hitting a fast pace in 2011 and 2012,” according to McClatchy.

    Further, the plan assumes saving from removing troops from Iraq, but McClatchy points out that that assumes things continue to go well there. It also rests on the assumption that withdrawing troops doesn’t make the situation worse and require some to go back. Finally, McClatchy, writes, “Lawmakers will talk a lot about curbing spending, but history — as well as Congress’s recent actions — suggest that it won’t show much restraint.” Having just passed an unprecedented $787 billion spending bill and beginning work on a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill, Congress certainly doesn’t seem inclined towards spending restraint.

    As Sen. McConnell pointed out that, “We have been on an incredible spending spree, though. We’ve spent, in this new administration, 32 days, $36 billion a day. If you add all that up, that’s as much as the previous administration spent over seven years on both the war on terror and the recovery from Katrina.” It would certainly be a positive step, then, if President Obama works to create some restraints on spending in order to reduce the deficit. However, if the deficit cutting plans rely mainly on rosy scenarios and raising taxes, the administration would do well to give them another look.

    On the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already indicated her preference to remove the Bush tax cuts this year and not to wait until they are sunset in 2010. She has also indicated he desire to pass on "Card Check," and to ask the Senate to vote first. This has sparked interests in the position of "blue dog" senators and senators, like Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln, who's constituents oppose taking away a workers right to have a secret vote. The Examiner had a great piece last week highlighting the hypocrisy of Congressional Democrats who are pushing for card check in the US yet signed a letter in 2001 chastising Mexico over the same issue saying, "the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose."

    Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Card Check, DC, Harry Reid, Hilda Solis, Nancy Pelosi, US Congress, US House, US Senate, voting rights, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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