ARRA News Service
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, March 14, 2009

Former GITMO Detainee Leads Taliban Fight Against U.S.

Move America Forward: The new head of the Taliban who is leading the fight against Americans in southern Afghanistan is a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. Now his goal is to slaughter the 17,000 additional troops that President Obama has sent to Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.“Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007. Rasoul is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a nom de guerre that Pentagon and intelligence officials say is used by a Taliban leader who is in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.”
Rasoul’s “stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge” in Afghanistan, according to the AP. Rasoul’s return to terrorism is a prime example of why Obama should not close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. What is he thinking when he knows that these terrorists are returning to the battlefield to kill Americans?

At the same time that Rasoul’s Taliban promotion hit the news, five other Gitmo prisoners said they are proud of their part in the slaughter of innocents on 9/11. Obama stopped the trial for these terrorists, but a judge released their statements.
"Killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you ... are all considered to be great legitimate duties in our religion," said the five terrorists, one of whom is Khalid Sheik Mohammed the alleged 9/11 mastermind, who call themselves the "The 9/11 Shura Council,” which is the Arabic word for advisory group.
The evidence is mounting that Obama’s order to close Gitmo endangers Americans, but his first priority should be protecting the American people,” MAF Executive Director Catherine Moy said. “Our troops will now have to deal with Rasoul and other former Gitmo prisoners because they were allowed to leave the prison, which is safe and humane.”

Even the AP admits that the revelation of Rasoul’s leadership position and intent to attack American troops hurts Obama’s plans to close Gitmo and send the prisoners to the United States or other countries. America released Rasoul to the Afghan government, which released him. At least two Saudi detainees once held in Gitmo were released to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation. Now they are al-Qaida members, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said.

“Mr. Obama has no concrete plans on what to do with these very dangerous prisoners, and that should alarm Americans,” Moy said. “The leader of the Taliban was set free in Afghanistan. The same thing can happen over and over if Obama closes Guantanamo Bay.”

Move America Forward has produced a TV commercial focused on Obama’s dangerous plans to close Gitmo and says: we DO NOT WANT Terrorists brought from Gitmo to our homeland! Then GO Sign the Petition to Leep GITMO Open!

Tags: Blogburst, video, Gitmo, Move America Forward, Taliban, terrorist To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nothing But Hype

by William Warren: [One of our favorite political cartoonist!]

William Warren -

Tags: ALG, Barack Obama, federal spending, Gallup Poll, global warming, Media, NextRight Nation, political cartoon, polling, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Whoopi Goldberg on Taxes: "Back Off Me!" [Video]

H/T Dominic Rupprecht at NTU: Whoopi Goldberg, not known for being a raging conservative, has three words for the taxman (which I'm nominating to be the new official NTU motto): "Back off me!"

Tags: capital gains taxes, NTU, video, Whoopi Goldberg To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rep. John Boozman: Card Check Challenges the Ideal of Democracy

U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR Dist 3) is on record below with his position on Card Check. Waiting to hear from the rest of the Arkansas Delegation especially Rep. Mike Ross (D-Dist 4) and Rep Marion Berry (D-AR Dist 1). Not holding my breath for Rep. Vick Snyder (D-Dist 2); would be shocked if he supported "secret elections for workers." Also, waiting on positions by Senators Mark Pryor (D) and Blanche Lincoln (D).
U.S. Representative John Boozman (R-AR) issued the following statement on the introduction of the “Employee Free Choice Act” also known as Card Check, the job killing legislation that removes the ability for secret ballots to be used before a union can become a certified bargaining agent for all employees, exposing employees to intimidation by union bosses or employers.

“We must not be forced by an employer, union, or set of coworkers to do anything against our free will. I strongly believe Card Check will erode the freedoms of America’s employees and expose them and their families to greater opportunity for threats, intimidation, and retribution for expressing their opinions. Card Check brings in Washington-style bureaucrats to discuss contract negotiations such as pay, benefits and working conditions. Our workers are the ones who need to be involved in discussions that affect them, not unwelcomed union representatives.

At a time when Arkansas families are faced with tough budget decisions because of this economic climate, it doesn’t make sense to vote for legislation that would force workers to pay union dues, forcing them to bring home even less money. Ever since I had the honor of being elected to represent Northwest Arkansas in the House of Representatives, I have worked to protect the rights of all Americans and ensure that they take home more of their paychecks and send less to bureaucrats.

We must protect the secret ballot. This is a democratic ideal that is at the foundation of our voting process. Today, in the United States Congress, this ideal of democracy is being challenged.”
Boozman is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1176 the Secret Ballot Protection Act which protects our nation's workers against threats, intimidation and retribution by any employer, union or set of coworkers.

Tags: American workers, Card Check, John Boozman, union activism, voting rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Lincoln and Obama Compared

Lincoln and Obama are very much alike:
1. Lincoln placed his hand on the Bible for his inauguration. Obama used the same Bible.
2. Lincoln came from Illinois. Obama comes from Illinois.
3. Lincoln served in the Illinois Legislature. Obama served in the Illinois Legislature.
4. Lincoln had very little experience before becoming President. Obama had very little experience before becoming President.
5. Lincoln rode the train from Philadelphia to Washington for his inauguration. Obama rode the train from Philadelphia to Washington for his inauguration.
6. Lincoln was a skinny lawyer. Obama is a skinny lawyer.
7. Lincoln was a Republican. Obama is a skinny lawyer.
8. Lincoln was highly respected. Obama is a skinny lawyer.
9. Lincoln was born in the United States. Obama is a skinny lawyer.
10. Lincoln was called Honest Abe. Obama is a skinny lawyer.

Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, humor, Illinois, President 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. - March 13, 2009

The Senate joins the House is in recess and will reconvene Monday. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 146, a vehicle for a public lands bill (S.22) that passed the Senate in January. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill. Previously reported in an update: yesterday the Senate confirmed David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General and Thomas Perrelli as Associate Attorney General. Ony addition: God help us!

There is more reported unease from Democrats about President Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal today, much of it coming from the Democrat chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad.

The AP reports today: “Sen. Kent Conrad, the chairman of the Budget Committee called the track of future deficits ‘unsustainable’ and singled out Obama’s proposal for adding $634 billion in health care spending over the next 10 years. ‘Some of us have a real pause about the notion of putting substantially more money into the health care system when we’ve already got a bloated system,’ said Conrad (D-ND).” Conrad’s concerns about the proposal for hundreds of billions in health care spending are echoed by Blue Dog Democrats in the House, according to The Hill: “Obama’s budget called for carving out a $634 billion fund to be put toward a universal healthcare plan, a number that Blue Dogs believe is far too high given the current level of deficit spending.”

Ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Judd Gregg drove the point home: “You’re exploding the size of health-care spending, on top of the health-care spending which already exceeds any other industrialized country in the world by about 5%. There’s no discipline there.”

Meanwhile, more Democrats expressed their concerns about the increases in borrowing and taxation in the budget. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in The Grand Island [Nebraska] Independent said, “In particular, I’m concerned about the prospect of raising taxes during an economic downturn. On the one hand you’re trying to stimulate the economy. On the other hand, you’re trying to keep money from going into taxpayer’s pockets. The logic puzzles me.” Appearing on Fox News earlier this week, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) said, “We can’t run deficits like this forever. . . . It’s now at an unprecedented level -- well, except during the Second World War, perhaps, or the Civil War -- of 12 percent of GDP, and this is just not sustainable.” And at a Budget Committee hearing yesterday Conrad added, “[W]hen I look at this budget, I see the debt doubling again. And that gives me great concern.”

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

Unions Gave Millions to Elected Officials for Their Future Votes on Card Check (EFCA); Sponsors Got $1.7 Million Each

Why would Rep. Harkin from Iowa who represents agriculture introduce Card Check, the "Employee Free Choice Act," which strips away an the employees' rights to a secret vote. The nonpartisan watchdog Center for Responsive Politics reports that the main Democratic sponsors, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), both collected over $1.7 million in union contributions over the last two decades. While the $1.7 million represents 5% of the $35 million Harkin raised over the same period, the labor union contributions accounted for about 33% of the $5.4 million Miller raised since 1989.

Could you put a price on denying workers their rights to a secret ballots? Evidently the unions did! And, it appears that Rep. Harkin and Rep. Miller have been bought "lock, stock and barrel." It is doubtful that the union workers voted to give this $3.4 million dollars. The future strength of the union members' pension funds would have benefited from this money.

But the situation is even worse: "In the 2008 election cycle, labor unions spent . . . $80 million on independent broadcast advertising, mail and internal advocacy to help elect or defeat specific federal candidates." Members of Congress who voted in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007, when the bill wasn't passed, collected on average $862,065 from union PACs during their careers.

So, how much was given by unions to support electing President Barack Obama? The Center reports, "In the 2008 presidential race, the labor sector spent at least $45.3 million on independent expenditures and communications costs toward getting President Obama elected and $6.6 million to defeat [John McCain]. " That's $51.9 million!

Tags: American workers, bribes, Card Check, EFCA, free speech, labor unions, union contributions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arkansas Tea Party! - #sgp #teaparty

What: Arkansas Tea Party!
When: March 14, 2009 5:00 PM
Where: Peabody Hotel, Little Rock, AR
A coalition of conservative organizations is planning to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the “stimulus package” and other outrages in Little Rock, Arkansas, on March 14, 2009, at 5 p.m. on the public sidewalk in front of the Peabody Hotel. Jeannie will have signs available beginning at 4:15 p.m. in front of the Statehouse Convention Center (that connects to the Peabody). If you don't know Jeannie, she is a tall, blond, lady in her 50's.

Vice President Joe Biden happens to be appearing at a $150 a plate luncheon fundraiser for Senator Lincoln on that day. Lincoln, D-Ark, will be kicking off the 2010 campaign for her third term as senator at the hotel. Come and bring your friends, bring clever signs, chants and be ready in case you are interviewed by the press. We are hoping for good weather, but will be there either way -- fair or otherwise. Hope to have a large group.

Tags: Arkansas, Little Rock, Peabody Hotel, protest, Rally, tax protest, tea party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

It's Time to Set the Record Straight

Michael Steele, Chairman, Republican National Committee: President Obama recently compared the stock market plunge to the fluctuations in political polls - ignoring the fact that real people are losing real money when the market slides. And Senator Chuck Schumer said on the Senate Floor that the American people don't care about the "pork barrel" projects in the "stimulus" bill.

President Obama and Liberal Democrats in Congress don't seem to grasp the fact that since the Democrats took total control in Washington, the stock market has lost over 20% of its value. And over 50 million middle class Americans have lost a huge amount of their life savings.

The Democrats' wrongheaded economic policies and their apparent lack of understanding for the pain hard working Americans are feeling is being handled with kid gloves by the liberal mainstream media. They refuse to hold President Obama and company accountable for their actions and words.

President Obama pledged to cut taxes -- not raise them -- cut them. It sure sounded good during the campaign. But the President's budget actually raises taxes by $1.4 TRILLION over the next 10 years. His proposed cap and trade emissions tax plan alone imposes $646 billion in new energy taxes that will be paid by every American household as the companies pass the cost onto consumers.

There's also the President's claim that his budgets will cut the deficit in half by 2013. This can only be achieved through smoke and mirrors accounting and assuming that the new programs passed in the $787 billion "stimulus" bill won't be renewed. The fact is that the President's tax hikes and spending boondoggles will increase the national debt by $23.1 TRILLION over the next ten years.

The liberal talking heads who act as Democrat mouthpieces won't give you the facts about Democrats' budgets that grow the size and scope of government at all levels, increase spending to record levels, foster the redistribution of wealth, and destroy the savings of millions of Americans.

Tags: Michael Steele, RNC, RNC Chairman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's Phony Mortgage Plan

by Dick Morris: President Obama and his big spenders are moving quickly, to the relief of those who are facing foreclosure on their mortgages. But the program they are offering will do nothing for those most in need.

In the fine print, Obama's plan provides no relief for any homeowner whose mortgage exceeds the total value of his home. But these folks are the ones who have been conned into taking sub-prime mortgages so loaded with brokerage commissions, interest rate subsidies, bank fees and lawyer and title-company charges that the amount of the mortgage has ballooned. These high mortgage amounts, coupled with declining property values, have turned about 20 percent of American mortgages upside down, so that the debt exceeds the value of the property.

By excluding these homeowners from help, Obama is guilty of a holier-than-thou hypocrisy. Was it not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that encouraged such over-mortgaged properties? Was it not the Democrats in Congress who passed legislation urging Fannie and Freddie to weaken the standards to allow more low- and lower-middle-income families to buy homes?

How can Obama suddenly pretend to be so shocked — shocked — that about 20 percent of America's home mortgages are now worth more than the property they finance? It was the insistence of liberal Democrats that made it so. When Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros demanded that Fannie and Freddie invest 42 percent of their assets in buying low- and lower-middle-income mortgages, and when his successor Andrew Cuomo raised the quota to 50 percent, what did they think would happen? When they explicitly told Fannie and Freddie not to insist on down payments in the mortgages they purchased, how did they think the purchase would be funded? Obviously, if you don't require the borrower to put money down, the full purchase price must be covered by the mortgage. To now, piously, refuse to come to the rescue of those who fell for your party's seeming generosity and bought homes on the terms it suggested is hypocritical at best.

But it is not only the over-mortgaged whom Obama will ignore, but those who have lost their jobs! If you do not make enough money such that your mortgage payments come to 31 percent of your income, you can't get your mortgage refinanced. If your income has dropped to a point where your monthly payments on your loan consume a greater part of your earnings than 31 percent, you are stuck.

So we have Obama rushing to the aid of those who have been hurt in this bad economy, but exempting from his proposed relief anyone who has lost his job and seen a cut in income or whose property values have dropped below the amount of his mortgage. In other words, he'll help anyone but those most in need.

And, once again, Obama would limit his aid to those who make below $200,000 a year. While he doesn't specify this limit in his proposal, he does limit his intervention to mortgages of less than $720,000. At standard mortgage interest rates, such a loan would call for $60,000 or so in payments a year. To qualify for relief, your mortgage payment can't be larger than 31 percent of your income — or about $200,000. Once more, Obama makes it clear that he is not the president of anyone who makes that much money or more. He is only the president of the other people.

Obama, of course, forgets — or doesn't care — that those making over $200,000 account for almost a third of the total national spending and that you cannot stimulate an economy while constantly cutting off those people from any consideration in any government program. But Obama is determined to try.
Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of Outrage. To get all of Dick Morris's and Eileen McGann's columns for free by e-mail or to order a signed copy of their new best-selling book, Fleeced, go to

Tags: Barack Obama, Dick Morris, mortgage bailout, mortgages To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rep. Boozman Introduces Corps Legislation

In an effort to Keeps more money in Arkansas. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) today introduced the “Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Improvement Act,” which would require a minimum of 80% of collected recreational user fees to be reinvested at the Corps of Engineers projects where they were collected. This legislation would result in millions of dollars of annual reinvestment in state recreational facilities."

Money outdoor enthusiasts spend in Arkansas should stay in Arkansas,” Boozman said. “This is common sense legislation that allows us to benefit from the number of people enjoying the Natural State. In turn those users will be able to see how their money is being spent to maintain and improve the facilities and resources that attract them to the area.”During the 2007 fiscal year, the Corps of Engineers collected nearly $4 million in fees in Arkansas. Under this new legislation, more than $3.1 million would have been reinvested at Arkansas Corps facilities instead of being sent to Washington. Here is a breakdown of the potential reinvestment of Corps user fees by Arkansas Congressional District:District Fees collected in FY2007 80% Minimum reinvestment
AR-01 $ 1,758,705.56 $ 1,406,964.45
AR-02 $ 938,570.50 $ 750,856.40
AR-03 $ 1,729,297.56 $ 1,383,438.05
AR-04 $ 555,650.90 $ 444,520.72

The bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Boozman introduced this legislation in the 110th Congress.

Tags: Arkansas, Army Corps of Engineers, John Boozman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Bill Filed To Allow Open Carry of Handguns

Update: An Arkansas Petition For Open Carry Of Handguns has been set up by supporters for those interested in identifying their support of HB2184.
State Rep. Mark Martin, R-Prairie Grove, introduced House Bill 2184, an act concerning the lawful open carry of handguns on Monday. The law would let anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun to carry it in plain sight, as long as the gun owner does not act offensively. "Plain sight includes a handgun that is holstered as long as the holster is not hidden from view or concealed from observation and is in open view," the bill states.

Arkansas is one of six states that does not allow the open carry of weapons, Martin said. MArtin said, "Most states do not even require a license to open carry. Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida and New York are the other states that do not allow open carry. Most people don't know that it's not legal (in Arkansas)."

Under the bill, the person carrying the gun is presumed to be acting defensively unless they exhibit behavior that can be considered offensive or aggressive, such as raising their voice or threatening someone, Martin explained. "They better not act stupid, or they'll have a crime on their hands," Martin said. The bill would not allow people to take guns into places where they are already forbidden, such as public schools, churches and courthouses, he explained. Martin said his pastor alerted him about the restrictive gun laws in Arkansas, and Martin agreed to introduce the bill for Arkansas Carry, a lobbying group trying to get the law changed.

Tim Huett, the chairman and co-founder of Arkansas Carry, said the change is needed to restore constitutional rights, "By allowing open carry, it will also remove an infringement on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution doesn't say that a person may carry firearms as long as they remain concealed. Under current laws allowing concealed weapons, gun owners can be arrested and have their concealed weapons license revoked if they display their firearm, which can happen accidentally. This bill is great because it will allow lawful firearm owners to carry their weapons openly without having the fear of being arrested and without having to alter their wardrobe in the summer months to conceal their firearm."

Tags: Arkansas, gun rights, support open 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. - March 12, 2009 -

Update 5:30 pm: The Senate confirmed Porn lawyer, David Ogden, as Deputy Attorney General by a 65-28 vote. The Senate also confirmed Euthanasia lawyer, Thomas Perrelli as Associate Attorney General by a 72-20 vote. Again as mentioned below: If you have not been taking a stand on family values, then welcome to the dark side of not being involved in supporting family values.
The Senate resumes consideration of David Ogden to be Deputy Attorney General and at 2 pm, senators will vote on the nomination. Pro family groups are opposing Ogden's nomination. I guess we will learn today, if the U.S. Senate listens anymore to the majority of American voters. They already confirmed a tax-cheat for Secretary of the Treasury. Now they may confirm a supporter of child pornography. As you may recall, Ogden, whose Senate vote was delayed after thousands of calls and emails, represented purveyors of hard-core pornography in court, including those who did not want to take the trouble to verify that their "actors" weren't underage. David Ogden opposes restrictions on abortion and pornography and filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of child pornographer Stephen Knox, who possessed sexually explicit videos of children. Ogden argued that, because the children's genitalia were partially covered by clothing, such exploitation is protected by the First Amendment.

The Senate will have a limited 90 minute debate and vote on the nomination of Thomas Perrelli to be Associate Attorney General. It's pay back time for financially supporting President Obama. We all understand this concept but it is obvious Obama is does not wish to even take an impartial a pro-family, pro-life position. He is going to extremes to present a team that has an opposing stand on family values. Thomas Perrilli , who raised over $500,000 for Obama and helped Obama put together his Justice Department team is now about to be rewarded. Perrilli is the attorney who won an award for representing Terri Schiavo's husband Michael in his successful efforts to kill his disabled wife. If you or a loved one is sick, ill or infirmed be very concerned. If you represent, an opposing pro-life view be very concerned. In Rome, the Senators were in disarray and Nero fiddled as Rome burned. If you have not been taking a stand on family values and the above are confirmed, then welcome to the dark side of not being involved in supporting family values.

At the beginning of this week, a number of reports appeared warning that Democrats’ problems in getting their members in line to pass the omnibus bill "could" mean trouble for President Obama’s budget and legislative agenda down the line. The budget is not yet on the floor of either house, and reports today are filled with quotes from squeamish Democrats about the budget and card check. But the real questions is how squeamish are they? Can they even take a stand? After all, most of them have their Pork already. Now, will the oppose "the one" who did not veto the bill and thus allowed them to have the pork.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times noted, “President Obama is facing misgivings about his policy agenda from inside his own party, with prominent Democrats objecting to parts of his taxation and spending plans and questioning the White House push to do so much so fast.” On Tuesday, both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal had major stories declaring, “Fight on Bill Augurs Woes for Democrats,” as the WSJ put it.

Today, Roll Call features a front page story pointing out that Obama is scrambling to find Democrat allies on his budget. Ben Nelson doesn’t appear to be one of them yet. According to Roll Call, “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) said Tuesday that he did not intend to vote for any tax increases, such as Obama’s proposal to reduce tax breaks for the rich who give to charities. Nor does he plan to support a cap-and-trade carbon emission plan if it would lead to higher utility bills every time a consumer turns on a light switch.” The story also notes, “As he has previously, [Democrat Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent] Conrad noted that Obama does not now have the votes to pass his budget.”

On the spending front, Politico reported last week that “moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama’s budget plans.” Today, Democrats are balking at the idea of a second stimulus, a possibility that had been floated recently by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Politico reports, “[R]eaction on Capitol Hill has been almost uniformly negative — and much of the blowback is coming from Democrats. ‘If there’s appetite, there’s not in my office,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). ‘Enough for now. No mas. No mas.’”

Meanwhile, the union back card check bill may be experiencing some friction. Politico reports today that centrist Democrats are fleeing as fast as they can from taking a position on the union-backed card check bill. Politico writes, “Caught between Big Business and Big Labor in the midst of a deepening recession, moderate Democrats are washing their cars, polishing their silver, rearranging the pictures on their desks — anything they can do to buy some time while hoping that EFCA somehow goes away.”

With so many Democrats having so many problems with the Obama budget and with card check, one can only hope for a negative reaction to his proposals down the road for a carbon cap-and-trade plan, a massive expansion of government involvement in health care, and a raft of huge tax increases.

Tags: Budget, Card Check, David Ogden, federal spending, nominations, Thomas Perrelli, US Congress, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mike Pence to Republicans: “We Need to Humbly Admit Our Mistakes”

Jim Pfaff, Opinion Times: Mike Pence makes the point today that Republicans need to humbly admit they are guilty as well of profligate spending during the Bush administration. And he says that the Obama administration is guilty of “spending on steroids.” He is right on target! The humble who apply truth are rewarded–always. It’s a hard and fast principle which is a major factor what has made America great. We can probably trace most of our problems these days to pride. Yet Americans have always been willing to learn the hard lessons whether put upon them or resulting from their own mistakes and change course. I believe we will do so again. . . . [Opinion Post]

Tags: conservative, earmarks, economic lessons, federal spending, fiscal reform, Mike Pence, MSNBC, Politics, Republicans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Israel planners weigh multi-front war with Iran, minus U.S. support

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Paul E Vallely, Major Gen, USAF (Retired) identifeid today that his sources in Jerusalem have identified that Israel's General Staff has ordered the drafting of studies that would determine the feasibility of an Israeli strike on Iran and Syria. Officials said the studies would assume that Israel would operate alone in a multi-front war directed by Iran. Officials said the military plans reflect an assessment by the Israeli intelligence community that the United States would not confront Iran and Syria, regardless of their threat to the region.

Tags: Iran, Israel, Paul E. Vallely, Syria To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Compromise on massive land bill does not protect Second Amendment rights

Emergency Alert! Larry Pratt, CEO,Gun Owners of America: GAO does not sound the "Emergency alarm" often -- and when we do, we mean it. Remember the massive land bill, S. 22, that passed out of the Senate last month? It was expected to pass quickly in the House, but your opposition to an expansion of gun control contained in the bill forced it to be pulled from the floor.

GOA has just learned that after some backroom deals, the bill is headed to the floor WEDNESDAY MORNING, without any amendments to truly protect your Second Amendment rights on National Park Service (NPS) land. Unlike U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, which allow for state and local law to govern firearms possession, NPS land is subject to a complete gun ban for any citizen who does not hold a concealed carry permit.

The bill coming to the floor March 11 greatly expands NPS land, thus spreading the agency's anti-gun regulations into more areas. S. 22 is actually a compilation of over 190 bills, many of which were never even debated on their own merits. Here are just a few examples of land expansions in the bill:

* Section 5204 of the bill establishes the Washington-Rochambeau Route as a Historic Trail. This dual trail begins in Rhode Island and travels 650 miles to Yorktown, Virginia. The trail includes parts of major thoroughfares on the east coast such as Interstate 95 and US Route 1, meaning the gun ban could effect hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting gun owners each day.

* Section 5301 authorizes the federal government to buy private land adjacent to national parks and trails. Such land would be controlled by the NPS, and thus be subject to the agency's anti-gun regulations.

* Section 7002 makes the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton a National Historic Site. Perhaps it's fitting that the legacy of former President Clinton, who was responsible for so many anti-Second Amendment laws, will include yet another "gun free" zone.

In all, the bill designates over 2 million acres of wilderness, establishes three new national parks, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, and four new national trails.

In an effort to persuade pro-gun Congressmen to vote for the bill, the leadership apparently agreed to one backroom change-- an amendment to protect hunting and recreational shooting. The compromise measure misses the point. The founding fathers did not, in their struggle to secure essential freedoms, craft the Second Amendment with the idea that it would protect hunting and recreational shooting. It is seemingly simple to understand, yet we have to continually remind the Congress that the Second Amendment is not about hunting!

If we have any chance of stopping this bill, you must contact your Representative right away. The bill is scheduled to come to the floor before noon, Wednesday, March 11. Please don't let Congress sneak this expansion of gun control through the House under the guise that compromise language protects your Second Amendment rights. It doesn't.

ACTION: Right now, please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Representative a pre-written letter or copy the information at the center and fax it to your Congressman.
Tags: 2nd Amendment, BLM, Bureau of Land Management, GAO, gun ban, Gun Owners of America, gun rights, National Park Service, NPS, US Forest Service 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. - March 11, 2009 - Congress Unleashes Porkubus on the Taxpayers

Update 7:00 p.m.: Below are the phone numbers for the eight republicans that voted Yes on Porkubus and could have stood together and defeated the omnibus bill. As them why they did not stand strong for fiscal responsibility and limited government spending. Ask them why they did not support continuing the operation of the government at last years rate of spending via a continuing resolution which would have stopped the increased cost of spending in a time when we are facing severe economic hardship across the land and also would have stopped $7.7 billion in pork projects. Just consider, they even voted to give $473,000 for National Council of La Raza which has supported violence and radical Mexican nationalism within our borders. This bill could have been soundly defeated if these eight Republicans had stood strong. Even three Democrats voted no!
Thad Cochran 202/224-5054
Roger Wicker 202/224-6253
Chris Bond 202/224-5721
Richard Shelby 202/224-5744
Arlen Specter 202/224-4254
Lisa Murkowski 202/224-6665
Lamar Alexander 202/224-4944
Olympia Snowe 202/224-5344
If calling is too much effort, Alliance has provided a link where you may opt to fax all eight people using their services for a small fee.

Update on David Ogden's nomination: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to cut off debate on David Ogden’s nomination to be deputy attorney general, a move that could produce a vote by the end of the week. Reid's petition to cut off debate needs the support of 60 senators, but even a single senator can hold the floor and delay Ogden's vote by another 30 hours if the cloture vote succeeds. The Family Research Council and other pro-life groups are calling for senators to vote no.
The Senate will consider the nomination of David Ogden to be deputy attorney general. On Thursday, the Senate will vote on the nomination. As you may recall, Ogden, whose Senate vote was delayed after thousands of calls and emails, represented purveyors of hard-core pornography in court, including those who did not want to take the trouble to verify that their "actors" weren't underage. David Ogden opposes restrictions on abortion and pornography, and has represented Playboy in court. Ogden filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of child pornographer Stephen Knox, who possessed sexually explicit videos of children. Ogden argued that, because the children's genitalia were partially covered by clothing, such exploitation is protected by the First Amendment.

Yesterday, the Senate passed 62-35 H.R. 1105, the $410 billion fiscal year 2009 omnibus (Porkubus) appropriations bill. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature who is expected to sign the pork ridden bill; after all he wants his budget to sail through Congress. Remember, the bill was actually not needed. After all of the months of delay, a concurrent resolution could have been passed for the government to operate at it's present level of approved spending until September. The following eight Republican Senators supported this unneeded bill: Alexander (R-TN), Cochran (R-MS), Murkowski (R-AK), Shelby (R-AL), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), Wicker (R-MS) and most disappointingly Bond (R-MO). Three Democrats stood against the bill: Bayh (D-IN), Feingold (D-WI), and surprisingly an avowed Obama supporter McCaskill (D-MO).

Prior to passage, the Senate killed or rejected six Republican amendments. Among them were amendments from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to prohibit the FCC from using funds in the bill to reinstate the fairness doctrine, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to reauthorize the E-Verify program for 6 years, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to remove a provision designed to kill the D.C. school voucher program, and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to do away with automatic congressional pay increases.

After a week of rejecting Republican amendments to address the numerous problems with the bloated $410 billion omnibus spending bill, Democrats passed the bill last night. In an op-ed for National Review Online today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the myriad problems with the bill, and the Republican attempts to fix it that Democrats voted down.

“The original version of the bill showed no recognition whatsoever of the current economic climate. With the stock market plunging, unemployment at a 25-year high, and millions struggling just to pay their mortgages, the bill sent over from the House included an across-the-board 8 percent increase in spending over last year — twice the rate of inflation. Republican proposals to improve the bill would have saved billions of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, every one of them was turned aside. . . . In the midst of an economic crisis, government has an obligation to show some restraint. But looking at the final omnibus bill, Americans are likely to conclude that congressional leaders think government operates in a different realm of reality than the rest of the country. It seems some still believe members of Congress aren’t obliged to make any of the tough decisions that most other people do.”
Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demonstrated this pretty clearly in an interview with his home state paper, the Reno Gazette-Journal. Asked about the spending in the omnibus measure, “Reid . . . said critics who blast the spending as wasteful pork ‘should get a life.’”

To quote Sen. McConnell: “The dizzying amount of spending and borrowing that has been going on in Washington in recent weeks is simply unsustainable. The president’s budget calls for spending $3.6 trillion. The housing plan that went into effect last week could cost a quarter of a trillion dollars. The financial bailout will cost another $1 trillion to $2 trillion. Meanwhile, the nation has more than $10 trillion in debt.”

Troubled by the massive amounts of actual and proposed spending, Republicans in Congress held press conferences yesterday to begin examining the problems with President Obama’s budget. As The New York Times notes, Republicans have a very basic message: the budget has three fatal flaws:1) it spends too much,2) it taxes too much; and 3) it borrows too much.

The AP reports today that Democrats also have significant criticisms of the Obama budget. According to the AP, “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said numerous colleagues have cited objections and told him, ‘If this is in, don't count on my vote.’ It has happened so often, Conrad told White House budget director Peter Orszag at a hearing Tuesday, that everyone can ‘absolutely be sure we can't pass this budget.’” That’s a pretty blunt comment from the Democrat chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus. To put that in perspective, that’s about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour—most of it borrowed. There’s simply no question: government spending has spun out of control.

Tags: Barack Obama, David Ogden, federal budget, omnibus bill, porkubus, US Congress, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hurt soldiers punished for injuries

Authorities hold sick, disabled troops to same standards as the able-bodiedFORT BRAGG, North Carolina - Staff Sgt. Jason Jonas says when he goes to bed at night, he is terrified his medication will cause him to oversleep and miss morning roll call again. His commanders are fully aware the paratrooper wounded in Afghanistan has been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, because he is one of about 10,000 soldiers assigned to the Army’s Warrior Transition units, created for troops recovering from injuries.

Instead of gingerly nursing them back to health, however, commanders at Fort Bragg’s transition unit readily acknowledge holding them to the same standards as able-bodied soldiers in combat units, often assigning chores as punishment for minor infractions. In fact, the unit has a discipline rate three times as high as Fort Bragg’s main tenant, the 82nd Airborne Division, and transition units at two other bases punish their soldiers even more frequently than the one at Fort Bragg, according to an Associated Press review of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

“In my 10 years of service I have often seen soldiers mistreated, abused or left hanging, but never have I seen an entire unit collectively mentally and physically break down its members,” said Jonas, a 28-year-old from Tempe, Arizona. . . . [Full Story Here: Hurt soldiers ‘punished for injuries’]
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: As a retired 22 year veteran, this article even with its rationalizations indicates that there appears to be an abuse of authority as well as abuse of their assigned troops. Health care providers and military commanders may be frustrated with caring for the injured - some who may be emotionally damaged. But that is no basis for mistreating the troops or creating situations where they will forced fail because of medical conditions and then be subject to punishment for the failure. In the military, punishment via disciplinary actions has often been a prelude to the means to discharge a person who happens to be too healthy for a medically discharge but too ill or injured to return to full operational duty status. Thus, if a military commander can label a person as a malingerer or malcontent then they can get rid of the solder verses being responsible for their treatment on active duty. Heck, this could be a deliberate policy or program by those higher in the chain-of-command.

I remember the unwritten "ease out" program in the Air Force. It was used when the Air Force wanted to reduce the number of senior officers after the Vietnam War, to force them to opt to retire. The Air Force would deliberately assign five or six Colonels to the same projected command positions in places like Minot, North Dakota where 1) its gets very cold much of the year, and 2) no one is getting promoted for putting up with the assignment. They knew most of the officers would opt to retire rather than continue to serve in places like Minot. Now, consider the potential of policies or actions being considered by the Army to addresses its military manpower requirements, e.g., getting back to full combat strength while controlling costs. Something in the treatment of these solders doesn't pass the smell test.

I often wondered if those assigned to Command medical or transition units are those who are not considered able to command as leaders in the field. Are these commanders and even their noncoms - sort of like the character, Dr. Frank Burns, on the TV series: MASH? On MASH, we saw portrayed the incompetence of Burns who wanted to Command when he could not even control himself. As we saw with Frank Burns, there is absolutely NO excuse for mistreatment of our injured troops be it physical or psychological. [H/T to Texas Fred for calling this article to my attention; I am sure he and some of the military blogs will have a few choice words about this situation.]

Tags: harassment, injured troops, medical care, military, military commanders, punishment, TexasFred 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. - March 10, 2009 - Porkubus Still Roams & Now Card Check Arrives in the US Senate

Update: 1:55 pm - To understand the mind set of the union leadership in stopping the right of workers to a secret vote is expressed in the following words by Jim Hoffa (president of the Teamsters union and son of the infamous former Teamster Union president Jimmy Hoffa) released today: March 10, 2009 International Brotherhood of Teamsters press release: "Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?" Hoffa said. "Town meetings in New England are as democratic as they come, and they don't use the secret ballot. Elections in the Soviet Union were by secret ballot, but those weren't democratic." Not everyone in America is in favor of our Constitution or our way of life. Evidence that we have reasons to be very concerned! Contact your Senators and tell them to oppose Card Check (the deceptively-titled “Employee Free Choice Act”).

The Senate AGAIN considers Porkubus - the 2,900 paged H.R. 1105, 2009 omnibus appropriations bill. The $410 billion bill combines the 9 unpassed appropriations bills from last year and funds the federal government through September and adds more than $7.7 billion in pork projects as detailed in yesterdays post. A continuing resolution expires on Wednesday. If they would extend the continuing resolution through September, it would fund the government at its present level with no increases and would stop all this pork! Why shouldn't the federal government have to tighten its operations just like most taxpayers?

Eight amendments are expected to be considered today. Among these are amendments from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to remove a provision designed to kill the D.C. school voucher program, from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to do away with automatic congressional pay increases, from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to reauthorize the E-Verify program, and one from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) concerning the fairness doctrine. After all debate on amendments is completed (likely sometime this afternoon), the Senate will being a series of roll call votes. Following the amendment votes, senators will vote on cloture on the omnibus bill itself. If cloture is invoked, the Senate will vote on final passage of the bill.

Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to strip earmarks from the bill by a vote of 32-63.Sen. McCain somehow believed his fellow Senate democrats would be reasonable -- they rolled you again John! Also rejected were an amendment from Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to prohibit funds for reconstruction in Gaza from going to Hamas and two other GOP amendments. Looks like democrats are determined to have more pork and to subsidized a terrorist group.

Today, George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, are holding a press conference to announce the introduction of the infamous card check bill (the deceptively-titled “Employee Free Choice Act”) in Congress. Card check is a bill desired by both President Obama and his Union (leaders not workers) financial backers. It strips away the right of the workers to have a secret yes or no vote on creating a union where they work. If passed, thugs working for union leadership can go to a non-unionized company or even approach workers outside of the company and intimidate them into signing a petition to unionize without later having the protection of the secret ballot on whether to unionize or not unionize. This bill is a payback to the unions by the President and members of Congress members who relied on union funds for their campaigns.

Just consider the impact: an American institution - the right to a secret vote may soon be taken away by the Congress United States government. And President Obama met with the unions and said he wanted "card check" passed so the Senate Democrats previously mentioned are putting the bill forward. We already have problems with the union's self-serving interests (not the workers) destroying the American auto industry. How's that working for us? Of interest is that Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have both reported that several Democrats in the Senate are uncomfortable with supporting this legislation, even though they voted for it last year.

Arkansas' Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Sen. Mark Pryor should be very concerned because most of their constituents do not support Card Check, i.e., the taking away a workers right to a secret ballot. Also, businesses headquartered in Arkansas will be seriously affected. Reuters has already reported this morning that the stocks for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., headquartered in Arkansas, are being affected by announcement of the the pending Card Check bill. Citigroup downgraded Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) to "hold" from "buy" saying the proposed card check legislation would increase laborcosts and could be a significant drag to earnings for the world's largest retailer. "We believe that WMT would be the primary target if EFCA/card check were to be passed," analyst Deborah Weinswig wrote in a note to clients."

During this debate on the Democrats’ $410 billion "porkubus" spending bill, the following reports in the press reflect that a number of Democrats are uncomfortable with the agenda that their leadership and the administration are pushing. Although the train has left the station, maybe there is hope and a signal of trouble for Obama’s ambitious plans that are pushing us towards greater socialism, less individual rights, and loss of control of our money and decisions.

The Wall Street Journal reports today, “Democrats’ difficulty passing what party leaders expected to be a routine spending bill could signal problems ahead enacting President Barack Obama’s agenda.” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, tells The Journal, “It’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be.” The WSJ points out, “The spending-bill fight has also exposed tensions between the House and Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said that if even one Republican amendment to the spending bill passes, the entire measure would be set aside and the government would be left to operate at 2008 spending levels through the end of the current fiscal year.” What a Great result - American taxpayers would benefit by holding to the 2008 spending levels!

The Washington Post picks up on the same issue, writing, “Democratic leaders in Congress did not expect much Republican support as they pressed President Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda. But the pushback they are receiving from some of their own has come as an unwelcome surprise. As the Senate inches closer to approving a $410 billion spending bill, the internal revolt has served as a warning to party leaders pursuing Obama’s far-reaching plans for health-care, energy and education reform.” It is worth reading this entire article.

Looking ahead, The Post notes complaints from Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) over aspects of the Obama budget that could hurt their states. Even The New York Times runs down a whole list of objections to budget items by key Democrats in an important article today. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), the House Budget Committee chairman, admits to The Times, “This is not an easy budget to market, for sure.”

Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Card Check, Congressional Pork, Mark Pryor, omnibus bill, porkubus, US Congress, US Senate, Wal-Mart, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Creates Incentive to Destroy Human Embryos

by Jennifer Mesko, CitizenLink: In another blow to family advocates, the president also wants to overturn rules that protect health care providers' freedom of conscience. As promised, President Barack Obama has overturned his predecessor's policy and created an incentive to destroy human embryos for federally funded research. "The latest government bailout was announced today as Obama will now attempt to bail out the morally bankrupt and failing industry of destructive embryonic stem-cell research," said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action. "Americans deserve the very best investment of our tax dollars, and embryonic stem-cell research doesn't make the grade. After years and millions of dollars in research, no patient has been successfully treated with human embryonic stem cells." . . . Read More

Tags: Barack Obama, CitizenLink, embryonic stem cell, killing human embryos, stem cells To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Arkansas Bill to Prohibit a Domestic Partnership Registry

Bryan KingThe Tolbert Report: Amid the plethora of bills filed today at the deadline was a bill by Rep. Bryan King meant to address a situation in his home district of Eureka Springs. HB2176 will prohibit a county or municipality from recognizing a domestic partner relationship that is not recognized by Amendment 83 of the Arkansas Constitution. Amendment 83, more commonly known as the Defense of Marriage Amendment was passed by 75% of Arkansas voters in 2004 and states “Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman.”

However, recently the city of Eureka Springs has sought to make an end run around this State Constitutional Amendment by recognizing “domestic partnerships.” In October of 2007, the Eureka Springs city council passed city ordinance 2052, which allows the city to register and recognize domestic partnerships. By filing the city’s “Declaration of Domestic Partnership” same sex couples can gain official government recognition allowing them to qualify for benefits traditional reserved for married couples such as health care benefits.

If passed, HB2176 will prohibit cities such as Eureka Springs from continuing this registration and bring the counties and municipalities of the state into conformity with the Defense of Marriage Act. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on City, County & Local Affairs where committee member Rep. Kathy Webb, the only openly homosexual member of the Arkansas legislature, is likely to lead outspoken opposition.

Tags: Arkansas, Bryan King, Defense of Marriage, domestic partners, Eureka Springs, gay activists, legislature To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Are we the lobsters?

H/T to The Patriot Post for these by author Michael Ledeen: "Most of us imagine the transformation of a free society to a tyrannical state in Hollywood terms, as a melodramatic act of violence like a military coup or an armed insurrection. [Alexis de] Tocqueville knows better. He foresees a slow death of freedom. The power of the centralized government will gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives until, like a lobster in a slowly heated pot, we are cooked without ever realizing what has happened. The ultimate horror of Tocqueville's vision is that we will welcome it, and even convince ourselves that we control it. There is no single dramatic event in Tocqueville's scenario, no storming of the Bastille, no assault on the Winter Palace, no March on Rome, no Kristallnacht. We are to be immobilized, Gulliver-like, by myriad rules and regulations, annoying little restrictions that become more and more binding until they eventually paralyze us. ... Permitting the central government to assume our proper responsibilities is not merely a transfer of power from us to them; it does grave damage to our spirit. It subverts our national character. In Tocqueville's elegant construction, it 'renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself.' Once we go over the edge toward the pursuit of material wealth, our energies uncoil, and we become meek, quiescent and flaccid in the defense of freedom."

Tags: lobsters, Michael Ledeen, The Patriot Post, Tocqueville To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mexican Drug Cartels

by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: A few weeks ago I did a commentary on the turmoil in Mexico. Since then the situation has gone from bad to worse. The U.S. Defense Department now believes that the two largest Mexican drug cartels have put together a combined military of more than 100,000 foot soldiers. This is an army that rivals Mexico's armed forces. Some believe this development alone could turn our neighbor to the south into a narco-state.

The best estimates are that about 7,000 people have died, and that includes 1,000 who were killed in January alone. To put that in perspective, there were about 200 fatalities in Afghanistan including 29 U.S. troops were reported in the first two months of 2009. In Iraq about 400 people were killed, including 31 American troops. . . . The reason for the increased violence goes back to a decision Mexican President Felipe Calderón made about the drug cartels. He launched a nationwide war on drugs and the cartels. They have struck back with a vengeance. Even so he denies that he is losing the war against these drug cartels and points to the fact that the government has not lost any Mexican land.

It looks like it is time for more cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico. Fortunately, that appears to be taking place. One counterterrorism official said that "both countries have a common interest in clamping down on the cartels." And both countries must be serious about dealing with this growing threat. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.

Tags: drug cartel, drug smuggler, Kerby Anderson, Mexico, Point of View To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Nevada Voters Want E-Verify -- Will Their Sen. Reid Give In To Them?

By Roy Beck, Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA: A Zogby poll found that it is difficult to locate anybody in Nevada who doesn't support the E-Verify program to keep illegal foreign workers out of jobs. Yet, Nevada Sen. Reid has been blocking a long-term reauthorization of E-Verify for months. Friday, he finally gave in and said the Senate can vote on the program, but insiders say to watch out for a parliamentary trick that will block the vote at the last minute on Tuesday.

The recently released Zogby poll was taken just before Senate Majority Leader Reid pulled a parliamentary stunt on the Stimulus bill and killed a requirement that all Stimulus jobs be run through E-Verify to ensure that illegal aliens don't get them. Zogby found that 77.7% of Nevada voters wanted E-Verify in the Stimulus bill. But Reid pulled it out. You have to wonder just who Sen. Reid is working for. Frankly, it looks like some powerful force is holding something sinister over Reid's head because his consistent support for illegal immigration is so unpopular with voters who he will ask to re-elect him next year.

Why would he endanger his popularity at home by working against enforcement and working for the outlaw businesses and outlaw unions that rely on cheap, compliant illegal foreign workers? Secret promises to some campaign contributors may be the force causing him to work against nearly four of every five Nevada voters, some suggest, pointing out that the state's gambling industry that is so cozy with Reid has not always worked in the most honorable ways for the public good. These are ugly insinuations, but they are the kind of conjecture that arises when a Senator works so hard against the interests of his voters who overwhelmingly tell pollsters they disagree with his actions. . . .

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) just announced a study that found illegal immigration costs Nevada $630 million annually. The state is looking in the face of big budget deficit. Its unemployment is over 9%. Nevada voters are growing restless and will become more so as they learn of Sen. Reid's preferential actions for illegal workers and the companies that hire them. Zogby found only 33.9% of Nevada voters approve of the amnesty that Sen. Reid recently promised that he will engineer through the Senate this year. And 76.5% of Nevada voters believe the illegal immigration favored by Sen. Reid has a negative impact on the state budget. The FAIR study concluded that Nevada taxpayers are paying $515 million a year to educate the children of illegal aliens, $85 million a year on unreimbursed health care for illegal aliens, and $31 million a year to incarcerate criminal illegal aliens. . . .

. . . Sen. Reid praises it in his letters to constituents. Pres. Obama praised it as a Senator. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said it doesn't mind it being reauthorized for voluntary use. Unfortunately, the amendment we are demanding this week won't really advance our battle against illegal hiring. That is, it doesn't mandate the use of E-Verify for anybody. It just continues what we already have. But at least it would end the uncertainty about the future of E-Verify for all those states, localities and businesses who are wondering if they can depend on it. And it would remove the bargaining chip that Reid and others had hoped they could use E-Verify for getting an amnesty passed this fall. . . . [Full Story]

Tags: e-verify, Harry Reid, illegal aliens, illegal workers, Nevada, Roy Beck To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ICYMI: Jonathan Krohn Addresses CPAC - video

Jonathan Krohn was 13 yrs old (a few days shy of his 14th birthday) when spoke at the 2009 CPAC conference to promote his book: Define Conservatism. He had two minutes, stunned the crowd, and is now making the round of TV and talk shows. Below is a summary of a few of his remarks:
Conservatism in four categories:
- Respect for the Constitution
- Respect for Life
- Less Government
- & Personal Responsibility

The key for the Conservative view is to have principle over power, the people first, the people's rights based on principled views.

Conservatism is not an ideology based on feelings, it is an ideology of protecting the people and the people's rights.
Tags: 2009, conference, conservatism, CPAC, definition, Jonathan Krohn, Teenage Republican, video 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. - March 9, 2009 - Porkubus Roams the US Senate - #pork #statebooks

The Senate will reconvene at 2 pm today and resume consideration of Porkubus - the 2,900 paged H.R. 1105, 2009 omnibus appropriations bill. The $410 billion bill combines the 9 unpassed appropriations bills from last year and funds the federal government through September and adds more than $7.7 billion in pork projects.

Action Alert: Folks do you think, they have read the 2,900 pages of the Porkubus bill. They have had more time to review this bill than the previous passed stimulus, Porkulus, bill. I bet senators and congressmen have checked to see if their pet project is in the bill. This Omnibus bill is laden with 8,500 pork-filled earmarks totaling more than $7.7 billion including (thus the name Porkubus):
--$2.1 million for a Center for Grape Research in NY (Hey, is that for green, red or purple grapes?)
--$1.7 million for pig odor and manure management. (In the Midwest, this was the smell of jobs and money; biology lesson: pigs and manure stink! Economic lesson: use your own money not mine.)
-- $2 million for "the promotion of astronomy" in Hawaii (Hawaiians were looking at the stars before the Haole arrived. What's the problem?)
-- $951,500 for Sustainable Las Vegas (Give me a break!)
-- $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles.
-- $1.9 million for a water taxi service in Connecticut (called the taxi to nowhere).
-- $473,000 for National Council of La Raza (La Raza has supported radical Mexican nationalism within our borders).
-- On on it goes (and soon may be released on the American taxpayers).
Just as bad, the bill does not require competitive bids -- which will lead to corruption and insider deals for our tax dollars! Well-connected friends of members of Congress and the lobbyists will get the contracts without even having to compete for them!

A continuing resolution passed Friday expires on Wednesday. At 5:30 pm, a series of votes on amendments is expected to begin. There is still time to call your Senators and to tell them to Senate now and say "Purge The Pork"

On Thursday, Democrats were unable to get 60 votes to cut off debate and amendments to the omnibus bill, so work on the bill continues today. Thirteen amendments remain to be considered. Among these are amendments from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to remove a provision designed to kill the D.C. school voucher program, from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to do away with automatic congressional pay increases, from Sen. John McCain to require earmarks appear in the text of bills, and one from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) concerning the fairness doctrine.

Freedom Alert: tomorrow, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is expected to hold a hearing on the card check bill in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. This is the bill to take away the secret voting rights of employees to decide if they wish to have a union.

It appears that the more pundits, publications, and members of Congress examine the spending plans coming from Democrat leaders in Congress and the administration, the more they’re uncomfortable with them.

The Washington Post takes a look at Democrats’ $410 billion omnibus bill in an editorial today and sees “discouraging tendencies.” The Post writes, “[N]oteworthy is the significant jump in domestic spending that is built into the annual baseline. . . . [T]his jump raises both short- and long-term concerns. In the short term, can government agencies effectively spend this much more on top of the huge stimulus package just passed? Congressional appropriators say that they scoured the spending to make certain such problems would not arise; still, the overall increase in domestic spending is a staggering 80 percent, according to the Republican staff of the House Budget Committee. . . . In the longer term, this year’s levels, as a practical matter, set the floor for future spending. . . . [I]ncreases of this size cannot continue; it’s worrisome that the president’s proposed budget for 2010 appears to envision another increase in excess of 6 percent in this category.”

The $787 billion stimulus package and the omnibus are only the tip of the spending iceberg. The Economist explained last week, “The plan Barack Obama delivered on February 26th envisages an ambitious and costly expansion of the government’s role in the lives of Americans. Its centrepiece is a big expansion of state-provided health care—for which he has budgeted $634 billion over the next decade while admitting that yet more will be needed. . . . Add increased spending on education, energy and other initiatives, and federal expenditures, excluding defence, would rise to a new high of 18% of GDP in the coming decade.”

Writing today in The Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson discusses his exasperation with President Obama’s budget: “[Obama] repeatedly says he is doing things that he isn’t, trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made ‘responsibility’ a personal theme; the budget’s cover line is ‘A New Era of Responsibility.’ He says the budget begins ‘making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline.’ It doesn’t.”

Fortunately, all of this has not been lost on a number of rank-and-file Democrats in Congress. Politico examines the internal fault lines among Democrats exposed by the omnibus negotiations last week. And the Los Angeles Times writes today, “President Obama is facing misgivings about his policy agenda from inside his own party, with prominent Democrats objecting to parts of his taxation and spending plans and questioning the White House push to do so much so fast.”

Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are asking Americans and their representatives in Congress to approve of unprecedented increases in spending, in borrowing, and in taxes. Hopefully more Democrats will show more skepticism of these plans in the next few weeks. The important question, of course, is whether enough Democrats will be skeptical enough to make a difference.

Tags: Card Check, Congressional Pork, federal spending, omnibus bill, porkubus, US Congress, US Senate, 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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