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]
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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, October 10, 2009

How Safe Are Kids with a "Safe School Czar" who Supports Statutory Rape?

The Long March of Kevin Jennings

Is statutory rape less of a rape when it involves the homosexual abuse of a minor boy by an older man? The story is common knowledge now that Kevin Jennings once counseled a 15-year-old student engaged in homosexual sex with an older man to "use a condom." Were "mandatory reporting laws" in effect then? If so, Jennings was engaged in a criminal act when he failed to report the sexual abuse to authorities.

Hiring Jennings as "Safe Schools Czar" is like asking the fox to operate a "safe henhouse." His enthusiasm for NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) pedophile promoter Harry Hay is well documented as well as the forward he wrote to Queering Elementary Education along with former Weatherman terroris, Bill Ayers.

The mainstream media is painting the accusations against Jennings as a "smear" but the data is there: the quotes, the book recommendation, the speeches of admiration for Hay. In today's America truth is called a "smear" proving the scriptural prophecy that a day will come when "good will be called evil and evil will be called good." It's a tactic this administration has down pat.

If you haven't considered home schooling, why not?
Obama appointee lauded NAMBLA figure
Protecting Children--Not right or left, just right or wrong
Hat Tip for this post: LEZ FEMMES - THE TRUTH

Tags: Czar, homosexual activism, pedophile To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reagan responds to Obama and his supporters

From the archives: worth viewing again and again!

Tags: America, Freedom, patriotism, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

THE TRUTH: Too funny (and too sadly true) not to share

H/T Mary Ann Kreitzer at LES FEMMES: "Gotta keep a sense of humour these days. I know, I's not easy with "the one" in the White House and both houses of Congress overrun by the criminally insane. But don't panic. God is still God and His perfect justice will not be thwarted. Remember scripture. Don't fear the one who can kill the body, but the one who can cast the soul into Gehenna. Pray hard. And for another laugh go here."

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

Friday, October 09, 2009

Immaculate Deception - Obama Takes The Prize! - Top 10 Reason Obama Won!

The Patriot Post: Wait, it's not a hoax? Are they serious? Early Friday morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Barack Obama would receive a consolation prize for losing out on the 2016 Olympics -- namely the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Here in our humble editorial shop, our first reaction was, naturally, to spew coffee on our keyboards. Our second reaction was to wonder, For what? There's been no signing of peace treaties, no ending of wars, no stopping of nuclear proliferation. Obama hasn't stood up for human rights in China, hasn't denounced the oppression of women in the Muslim world, hasn't stared down brutal dictators such as Castro, Chavez, Kim and Ahmadinejad. Again, we ask: For what?

The Nobel Committee explains that it was "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," and the fact that he has "created a new climate in international politics." Didn't Al Gore get the award two years ago for seeking to stop climate change?

Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee, gushed, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." In other words, it was the Nobel Prize for Narcissism. Unfortunately, the committee did not pass out barf bags prior to the announcement.

Apparently, the fact that the community organizer took up residence in the White House less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline was not as important to the committee as being able to give a slap in the face to his resolute predecessor, George W. Bush. It certainly sends a message against actually winning in Afghanistan.

The president joins other you've-got-to-be-kidding winners Jimmy Carter, who is largely responsible for present-day Iran, Gore, who does nothing but scare people about global warming, and Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat, who assumed room temperature in 2004. Obama's win is one more sign that the award has long since jumped the shark.
Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: Eyes rolled across America today as the sunrise brought news that our apprentice president had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama’s name is now added to an esteemed list that includes such note-worthies as Jimmy Carter (2002), Kofi Annan (2001) and Yasser Arafat (1994). (Somehow the Nobel Committee never got around to recognizing the achievements of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul II, who brought down Soviet Communism and peacefully liberated tens of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain.)

All the commentators are suggesting the prize is premature because President Obama hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet to bring about peace. That view fails to understand the mindset of leftwing elites who run international organizations like the Nobel Committee. To them, America is the real threat to peace, particularly when we are led by men like Reagan and Bush, confident leaders who believed in American exceptionalism and willing to confront tyranny.

It also sends a message of just how much disdain the European elites have for the rest of us who dare to oppose the president’s appeasement and his socialism. George Bush’s efforts to keep America and the world safe from radical Islamic terrorism – the biggest threat to world peace today – were never deserving of recognition. But by electing Barack Obama, America got it “right,” and the liberal elites want to make sure you understand that fact, so they have bestowed Barack with one of the highest honors the international community can offer.

Today America is led by the “anti-Reagan.” In his eight-and-a-half months in office, Obama has made apologizing for America a top priority. He couldn’t find his voice when the Iranian regime crushed skulls. He tells the United Nations that no country or group of countries can be above anyone else. He has turned U.S. policy in the Middle East on its head – reaching out to Syria, Iran and Libya while regularly suggesting too many Jews in Jerusalem are the roadblock to peace. He has dissed our allies, cancelled a defensive missile system and has been silent on human rights abuses in Cuba, Venezuela and around the world.

Just so you know, there were other nominees, including folks like Greg Mortenson, a decorated Army veteran, son of a Lutheran missionary and best-selling author. Mortenson has dedicated more than a decade of his life working in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan building schools and helping to educate tens of thousands of children, especially young girls. You can read more about Greg Mortenson here.

That Mortenson’s incredible record of accomplishment lost out to Obama’s rhetoric is not surprising. If you are a left-wing internationalist who thinks the key to peace is a weaker America willing to take orders from the U.N., who in the world would you give the Nobel Peace Prize to other than Barack Hussein Obama?

As the peace prize winner ponders whether or not to pull out of Afghanistan, I wonder what he has done to bring peace to the schools of Chicago. In my Human Events column today, I explore this issue and ask: When Will Obama Address the Real Causes of Youth Violence?
David Bernstein, The Volokh Conspiracy: With David Letterman somewhat distracted, I thought I’d solicit nominations for a top 10 list.  Here’s a few to start off:
  • Consolation prize for losing the Olympics>
  • Who gives a rat’s you-know-what about Afghanistan, anyway
  • The Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology were already taken
  • “We couldn’t give an ‘un-prize’ to George W. Bush, and this was the next best thing”
  • For extraordinary diplomacy at the Gates-Crowley “Beer Summit”
  • UPDATE: “Obama? I thought we were giving it to Osama
  • The Norwegians wanted to honor one of their own, and the committee discovered that Obama was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker.
  • ONE MORE: Norway needed to stimulate its prize industry, and Obama was willing to trade in an older, less efficient prize.
AND FROM THE COMMENTS: He was the 10th caller.

Tags: Barack Obama, Gary Bauer, The Patriot Post, Top 10 Reasons 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. - Oct 9, 2009

The biggest news that rocked Washington D.C., was the announcement that President Obama had won a Nobel Peace Price. But most people are asking , why and for what. There will be plenty of comments coming out today. But the initial comments by Jennifer Loven, AP's chief White House corespondent sums up the shock: "He won! For what? For one of America's youngest presidents, in office less than nine months . . . The prize seems to be more for Obama's promise than for his performance. . . . He has no standout moment of victory that would seem to warrant a verdict as sweeping as that issued by the Nobel committee. . . . The Nobel committee, it seems, had the audacity to hope that he'll eventually produce a record worthy of its prize."

Senate is in recess until Tuesday afternoon. But we can expect plenty of back room committee going on especially with Democrats! Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 2847) from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which would have cut $20 million in grants for telecom facilities. Also rejected was a motion from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to return the bill to committee and cut funding by $3.4 billion. Also, the Senate voted 76-22 to adopt the conference report for H.R. 2997, the $121 billion fiscal year 2010 Agriculture appropriations bill.

Much was made of yesterday’s news about a CBO score for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care reform bill, but several news stories today help clarify that that the CBO score  1) is not meaningful when the bill being cobbled together by democrats is not the same bill analyzed and 2) it didn’t sweep away the publics concerns with President Obama’s push for an expensive health care reform.

In fact, much of the criticism continues to come from a number of Democrats. The Hill reported last night that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the Baucus bill. “Pelosi (D-Calif.), an advocate of the government-run health insurance option left out of the Senate Finance Committee chairman’s bill, criticized the means by which Baucus kept costs down. ‘The savings come off the backs of the middle class,’ Pelosi told a closed-door caucus meeting.”

In the Senate, Baucus’ proposal faced criticism from both sides of the Democrat caucus. Politico reports that 30 liberal Democrat senators, led by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), signed a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to include a government-run insurance plan in the final Senate bill, which was not included in Baucus’ plan.  But Reid received a letter from 10 Democrat senators “protesting an annual $4 billion tax on the medical device industry as a killer of jobs and research,” a key source of revenue in the Baucus bill.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports today, “The industry heavyweights President Obama neutralized through the summer are agitating that the health-care bills in Congress violate agreements they made with the White House, leave 25 million Americans uninsured and have the potential to increase medical costs. One day after Democrats celebrated the news that a bill drafted in the Senate Finance Committee would not increase the deficit, the prospects for speedy enactment of landmark reform grew murkier. Industry leaders, who have held their tongues for months, spoke in increasingly dire tones Thursday about the impact of the Democratic proposals, raising the specter of an eleventh-hour lobbying campaign to defeat Obama's centerpiece domestic policy goal.”

The White House had been pleased with support for their efforts from the AMA and certain hospitals.  But according to The Post, “The American Medical Association is concerned because the 10-year $829 billion cost of the Senate bill does not include $200 billion in promised higher Medicare payments. Hospital executives, meanwhile, complained that the legislation would leave 25 million people without coverage in 2019. The uninsured place a high burden on hospitals, which are required by law to treat everyone who arrives at an emergency department, regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. Those costs result in debt for hospitals and higher fees for people with insurance.”

Though the Baucus bill was presented as a major achievement and a breakthrough for a CBO score that didn’t massively add to the deficit, Democrats are still at odds over key provisions in the bill and health industry groups are increasingly uncomfortable with deals the made with the White House in light of many of those provisions.  As reported yesterday, Democrats are starting with two flawed pieces of legislation and will then be stitching them together behind closed doors. As Sen. McConnell put it, “the real bill will soon be cobbled together in a secret conference room somewhere in the Capitol by a handful of Democrat senators and White House officials.” And that’s why the CBO score that Democrats are so proud of today is really a farce and; much less consequential. than being touted in the press.

Tags: CBA, government healthcare, Harry Reid, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C., Nobel Peace Price, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Obama Justice Department's Secret Blogging Team?

Does the Obama Justice Department have a secret blogging team? If so, it is not so secret now. Warner Todd Huston, Publius Forum reports:
Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, has apparently hired a cadre of left-wing, Democrat campaign bloggers to troll through the Internet looking for news stories and blog posts that denigrate the Obama agenda. After such websites are found it is the job of these secret lefty bloggers to leave comments that come to the support of Obamaism in the comments sections. It seems that Eric Holder has created his own little propaganda unit in a valiant effort to become the Bloggi Riefenstahl of the Obama era.

As reported at The Muffled Oar, a blog that first broke the story of Holder’s secretive blogging unit - dubbed the “Blog Squad” by blogger Isaac Muzzey - Holder has housed this unit in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice. . . . If indeed this is what DOJ media outreach [then] it would most certainly qualify as “astroturfing.” Astroturfing is the action of using fake commenters and multiple screen names on all sorts of sites to push a similar opinion to create the appearance of a grass roots movement and make it seem as if there are all sorts of individuals naturally supporting a product or political movement.

It most certainly is a creepy, propagandistic sort of effort that Holder’s office is involved in and it is one that certainly seems an immoral one. After all, it most certainly is lying to the public if there are a handful of DOJ employees casting about on hundreds of different websites pretending that they are just your average citizen coming to the support of the Obama administration. But is it illegal? . . . .

[Mr. von Spakovsky] wonders if the Obama administration will ever learn the difference between political campaign and the “entirely different responsibility it now has to enforce this nation’s laws in an objective, nonpartisan, nonpolitical manner”? I think that the question is a good one. After all, after nearly a year in office, we have yet to see the end Obama’s constant blaming of Bush for every little problem he runs up against not to mention the constant campaign speeches and appearances on TV at every hour, day and night. One gets the uneasy feeling that President Barack Obama has yet to put in an actual day’s work as he constantly campaigns for office instead. . . .
Warner Todd Huston: The Obama Justice Department's Secret Blogging Team . . . Is it Illegal?

Tags: Astroturf, blogger, Eric Holder, US Justice Dept To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

True Olympic Rings

O-Lympic Rings by William Warren:

Chicago Olympics Rings - Patriot Post Humor:

Tags: Chicago, Olympics, political cartoon, The Patriot Post, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Going to the Hospital DMV Style

Catholic Vote Action: A parody PSA about Big Government and its plans to take over health care.

Tags: big government, government healthcare, Socialized medicine, 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. - Oct 8, 2009 - The Donkeys (Jackasses) are Braying Today!

Senate will resume consideration of the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847. The bill provides $65 billion in funds, including $7.3 billion for the Census Bureau. Votes on amendments are possible throughout the day. Yesterday, the Senate voted 61-38 to table an amendment to the CJS appropriations bill from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), which would have withheld certain law enforcement funding from sanctuary cities (cities harboring and supporting illegal aliens).

With last night’s release of a Congressional Budget Office score on the amended health care reform bill that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is pushing through the Senate Finance Committee, Democrats are crowing about renewed momentum on health care and touting Baucus’ bill as a great step forward.  However, there are important things to keep in mind about the Finance Committee bill and the entire health care reform process that Democrats have set up.

First, as Sen. Mitch McConnell pointed out this morning, the bill “has as its foundation a trillion dollars in spending, half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, higher premiums, higher taxes on just about everyone at a time of near double-digit unemployment, and limits on the health care choices that millions of Americans now enjoy.” As for the CBO score, “It’s irrelevant. The bill it’s referring to will never see the light of day. . . . This partisan Finance Committee proposal will never see the Senate floor since the real bill will be written by Democrat leaders in a closed-to-the-public conference room somewhere in the Capitol.”

Indeed, The New York Times reported last week that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will be leading the effort to write a new bill, melded from the Finance Committee bill, and the one passed by the HELP Committee in July. According to the NYT, “Top Democratic staff members from the two committees have already begun meeting with Mr. Reid’s closest aides. Once the bills are melded together, Mr. Reid will bring the legislation to the floor, perhaps by mid-October.” Politico noted yesterday, “Reid has decided to keep the group intimate, limiting entree to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT); Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CN), who ushered the bill through the Senate health committee; and top White House aides, according to a Senate leadership source. . . . ‘Everybody wants to be in,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide. “It’s where all the action is happening.’”  So now, we have White House aides performing Congressional actions - so much for separation of powers and representation of the the American people by their elected Congressional members.

And this leaves aside the numerous problems with the Baucus proposal itself. The AP reported yesterday, “The Joint Committee on Taxation says drug companies, medical device manufacturers and insurers would pay $121 billion over 10 years as a result of taxes in the Senate Finance Committee bill.” Those taxes will  be passed along to consumers. Further, The Washington Post reported last week, “The legislation the Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve this week calls for the biggest expansion of Medicaid since its creation in 1965.” That fact has generated a great deal of concern from Democrat and Republican governors alike, given that many states are struggling to close huge budget gaps as things currently stand.

And of course, some Democrat senators aren’t even sure they can support Baucus’ legislation because they don’t feel the over $800 billion bill is generous enough. Monday’s Washington Post reported, “At least two Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to pledge support for the health-care reform bill scheduled for a vote this week . . . . Although Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said he has the votes to pass the 10-year, $900 billion bill out of the committee, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) remained undecided Sunday.”

So Democrats are starting with two flawed pieces of legislation and will then be stitching them together behind closed doors. As Sen. McConnell put it, “the real bill will soon be cobbled together in a secret conference room somewhere in the Capitol by a handful of Democrat senators and White House officials.” And that’s why the CBO score that Democrats are so proud of today is really a farce and; much less consequential. than being touted in the press.

Yesterday, Sen. Dick Durban showed his dismissive treatment of Democrats’ propensity to offer massive 1,000 page bills and then not give anyone time to read them. While Sen. Lamar Alexander talks about the problems with 1,000-page bills, specifically the problems with the 1,000-page health care bill, which would raise taxes, cut Medicare, reduce health care choices, and drive up the debt. [video].
Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) complains that Republicans have expressed concerns about the size and complexity of health care legislation being written by Democrats. Reid ridicules the public's concern over Congress' recent trend of passing massive unread 1000 page+ bills. [video]

Remember the spin off song the Lion Roars Tonight.  Well, the Donkeys (i.e., Jackasses) are Braying Today!

Tags: 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847, Dick Durbin, government healthcare, Harry Reid, US Congress, US House, 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!

Commander-in Chief AWOL - Obama "Fiddles Around" While American Troops Lose Heart

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Before proceeding it is only right to say that as a 22 year veteran, I am by nature a "hawk" and support all efforts to stop the enemies of America. However, I already saw one war - the Vietnam War - mired down by bureaucracy and lack of direction. [For those who prefer using the term "Vietnam Conflict," tell it to the American families, friends of the veterans who served and lost 58,159 comrades in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia plus all those who died from war related issues after that "conflict."]

Most career military have served under Presidents with whom we did not politically agree. Some Presidents were more competent than others. Most Presidents and Defense Secretaries who had not served in the military have made decision or failed to make decisions that resulted in the wasting of military resources and lives. Although not always understood by the general population, military leaders clearly understand that the military is both a tool in defending America including America's economic interests and a tool of diplomacy. However, when a president lacks declared interest or focus during a time of war - or major deployments with people at risk, military casualties increase and troop morale suffers and leads to more losses.

The Times Online is reporting a story about "American troops in Afghanistan losing heart." It is like "deja view" - a scene from the past when leadership and adequate direction was not shown by prior Commander-in-Chiefs and Secretaries of Defense. A few excerpts from the article:
American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban [sic, Taliban]. Many feel that they are risking their lives — and that colleagues have died — for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, . . . “They feel they are risking their lives for progress that’s hard to discern,” . . . “They are tired, strained, confused and just want to get through.” The soldiers are, by nature and training, upbeat, driven by a strong sense of duty, and they do their jobs as best they can . . . admitted that their morale had slumped.

“We’re lost — that’s how I feel. I’m not exactly sure why we’re here,” . . . “I need a clear-cut purpose if I’m going to get hurt out here or if I’m going to die.” . . . Asked if the mission was worthwhile, . . . “If I knew exactly what the mission was, probably so, but I don’t.” The only soldiers who thought it was going well “work in an office, not on the ground”. In his opinion “the whole country is going to s***”.

The battalion’s 1,500 soldiers are nine months in to a year-long deployment that has proved extraordinarily tough. Their goal was to secure the mountainous Wardak province and then to win the people’s allegiance through development and good governance. They have, instead, found themselves locked in an increasingly vicious battle with the Taleban [sic, Taliban].

They have been targeted by at least 300 roadside bombs, about 180 of which have exploded. Nineteen men have been killed in action, with another committing suicide. About a hundred have been flown home with amputations, severe burns and other injuries likely to cause permanent disability, and many of those have not been replaced. More than two dozen mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) have been knocked out of action.

Living conditions are good — abundant food, air-conditioned tents, hot water, free internet - but most of the men are on their second, third or fourth tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, with barely a year between each. . . . The men are frustrated by the lack of obvious purpose or progress. “The soldiers’ biggest question is: what can we do to make this war stop. Catch one person? Assault one objective? Soldiers want definite answers, other than to stop the Taleban [sic, Taliban], because that almost seems impossible. It’s hard to catch someone you can’t see,” . . .

“It’s a very frustrating mission,” . . . “The average soldier sees a friend blown up and his instinct is to retaliate or believe it’s for something [worthwhile], but it’s not like other wars where your buddy died but they took the hill. There’s no tangible reward for the sacrifice. It’s hard to say Wardak is better than when we got here.” "We want to believe in a cause but we don’t know what that cause is.” . . . The soldiers complain that rules of engagement designed to minimize civilian casualties mean that they fight with one arm tied behind their backs. . . “You get shot at but can do nothing about it. You have to see the person with the weapon. It’s not enough to know which house the shooting’s coming from.” . . .

The constant deployments are, meanwhile, playing havoc with the soldiers’ private lives. “They’re killing families,”. . . “Divorces are skyrocketing. PTSD is off the scale. There have been hundreds of injuries that send soldiers home and affect families for the rest of their lives.” The chaplains said that many soldiers had lost their desire to help Afghanistan. “All they want to do is make it home alive and go back to their wives and children and visit the families who have lost husbands and fathers over here. It comes down to just surviving,” . . . “If we make it back with ten toes and ten fingers the mission is successful,” . . . “You carry on for the guys to your left or right,” . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Kimo Gallahue, 2-87’s commanding officer, denied that his men were and insisted they had achieved a great deal over the past nine months. A triathlete and former rugby player, he admitted pushing his men hard, but argued that taking the fight to the enemy was the best form of defense. . . . Above all, Colonel Gallahue argued that counter-insurgency — winning the allegiance of the indigenous population through security, development and good governance — was a long and laborious process that could not be completed in a year. “These 12 months have been, for me, laying the groundwork for future success,” he said. . . .
These reported comments depict more than just complaints by G.I.s. They are a clear signs of bigger issues both at the DOD, in the force structure and support of today's military, and with the direction of the war as defined by the President of the United States. As for the field commander on the record comments about his belief in the mission, this was expected but it is not a measurement of success. However, while failing morale and expressions like "you carry on for the guys to your left or right" are both true and admirable, they are also a definite indicator of failed purpose and direction.

As heads up, the following comments are directed to what appears to be an often AWOL (absent without leave) Commander-in-Chief: Mr. Obama, you choose to run for President of the United States. And, the American people elected you to be president. Most Americans know that a "chief" responsibility of the president is being Commander-in-chief of the military. It is not being the commander of the American people. While you have "fiddle around" tripping off to other countries expressing your regrets about the United States or to another location to promote or sign a bill that could have been done efficiently right in the Oval office; while you wasted time trying to recruit the Olympics or taking time for another sports event or White House party; while you expend a disproportionate amount of your time on agendas which have or will send the United States further into debt and on efforts to reshape the social fabric of America, you are not focused on your primary responsibility of being Commander-in-Chief.

American military are dying or at risk because of your lack of leadership. Members of the military understand sacrifice and giving their lives for a greater cause. However, they do not understand dying without purpose or a clear objective. Often they die for their comrades but they do not wish to die for absentee leadership or an undefined mission.

Mr. President, above all else, (except possibly for those who feel they must engender themselves to you for their jobs and their agendas or who happen to hate America) people on both sides of domestic issues expect you to complete your primary duties as president. The United States of America has men and women in harms-way risking America's chief treasure - American blood. For "Pete's sake" - Wake-up! You are the Commander-in-Chief! It cannot be delegated; nor should it continue to be ignored! It is a lonely sacred responsibility. Mr. President, no matter how important you believe your other agendas to be, you must focus on your primary responsibility as Commander-in-Chief!

Update: Story Cross Posted by:
America, You Asked for It!
America's Best Choice
BattleGround States
Conservative Voices
Local Republicans Net
Right in a Left World
The Blue Eye View
The NextRight
The Snooper Report

Tags: Afghanistan, ARRA News Service, Barack Obama, Bill Smith, Commander-in-Chief, military, President Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 7, 2009 - WH Misrepresents Health Care; Resoultion Calls for Removal of Rangle as Chairman

Update: The House refused to vote on the resolution that would have removed Congressman Charlie Rangel as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Instead, the House voted 246 to 153 to refer the resolution to the Ethics Committee thereby opposing the resolution. Again, the Democrats have buried the issue and protected Rangle. Rangel is already been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. According CBS' Marcia Kramer, Rangel may have gone as far to "influence" members of the Ethics Committee to look the other way: "CBS 2 HD has discovered that since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Americans for Limited Government has a petition website, at, to encourage Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately investigate Rangel's "repeated violation of public disclosure laws… [and] exactly how Mr. Rangel came into at least $650,000 in undisclosed income, and to audit the extent of his income."
The Senate will resume consideration of the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847. Yesterday the Senate voted 72-22 to confirm Thomas Perez to be Assistant Attorney General. Last night the Senate passed the $636 billion fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) by a vote of 93-7. Prior to final passage the Senate rejected several amendments from Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) to eliminate or shift funding from certain earmarks in the bill. Also rejected were an amendments from Sen. McCain to eliminate funding for more C-17s and from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) to bar funding for the CIA’s Center on Climate Change and National Security.

Today at noon, Congressman John Carter (R-TX) takes the Rangel Resolution to the House Floor. It’s obnoxious that Rep. Charlie Rangle (D-NY) hasn’t stepped down and it is a disgrace that he is the Chairman of Ways and Means failing to report numerous financial assets. Also, in an article on Red State, Rep. Carter explains,
One month, 12 months and 15 months. That’s how long it has been since we learned of Congressman Charlie Rangel’s (D-NY) most recent failure to disclose financial assets, since the New York Times first called for him to step down as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and since the House Ethics Committee began investigating Rangel’s previous violations, respectively.

Yet through all that - despite all the revelations of not disclosing income and not paying taxes - Mr. Rangel still runs the committee that oversees the IRS and enforces the tax laws for all Americans, except for himself. To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as Chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as Chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial. The reputation and integrity of this body has suffered serious damage by the actions of Mr. Rangel, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not lived up to her promise to make this the most honest and ethical House in history. . . .

Mr. Rangel’s list of violations continues to grow. You or I would have paid tens of thousands of dollars in interest and penalties had we committed similar tax evasions. Rangel apparently is immune from penalties, which is unethical, but especially unscrupulous when you consider his powerful Chairman position. This is not the first time I have moved to have Mr. Rangel removed from his chairmanship. I offered a similar Privileged Resolution in February, but Democrats under Speaker Pelosi blocked consideration of the bill.

When the Ethics Committee first began investigating Mr. Rangel on July 31, 2008, Speaker Pelosi publicly stated that the investigation would be complete before the end of 2008. But with the probe now well into its second year, the investigation has already been expanded twice to include new charges of tax and ethics violations by Mr. Rangel.
The Washington Post reported yesterday, “Seeking to provide fresh evidence of bipartisan support for health-care reform, the White House is orchestrating a series of endorsements from GOP heavyweights around the country. With a key Senate panel poised to vote on a broad bill, President Obama and his top aides have reached out to current and retired Republican leaders in the hopes of countering the charge that Democrats are using their congressional majorities to push through partisan legislation.” And according to Politico, “California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued statements in support of health care reform legislation this week after direct urging from the White House that they speak up on behalf of the president's agenda. The White House wasted no time Tuesday touting the statements as proof of bipartisan support for health care – and using the comments to paint congressional Republicans as obstructionists.”

Of course, the press dutifully reported the White House spin with a series of headlines describing “Republican support” for “bipartisan reform” touting statements from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media ignored significant reservations these and other Republicans had about the health care reform plans being pushed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

Back in July, Gov. Schwarzenegger said in a letter to members of Congress, “I cannot and will not support federal health care reform proposals that impose billions of dollars in new costs on California each year.” And just last week he said, “I will be clear on this particular proposal: if Congress thinks the Medicaid expansion is too expensive for the federal government, it is absolutely unaffordable for states.” The Washington Post noted he “estimated that the Medicaid expansion could cost his state $8 billion a year.” Underscoring this, the San Francisco Chronicle’s blog featured a post titled, “Dems exaggerate Arnold's love for health care plan.” The blog post noted, “He didn't endorse anything. Not the Obama plan, not the House-passed plans, nothing. He doesn't favor the public option -- in fact, he loathes it.”

Sen. Frist told CNBC yesterday that he “wouldn’t vote for any” of the health bills currently working their way through the House or Senate. And in an interview with Politico today, he pointed out serious problems with the Democrats’ bills. Frist said, “the bill does not ‘bend the cost curve’; spending growth will continue to outstrip the growth of our economy, and thus the promises made today cannot be sustained over time.” He also predicted that any bill passed would “raise health care premiums and spending for all Americans under the age of 65” and not be bipartisan.

Meanwhile, Democrat governors have raised fresh alarms about the burdens imposed on their financially strapped states in the health care proposals. Democrat Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said, “[T]he states, with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities.” According to the Los Angeles Times, Democrat Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire refused to sign a letter supporting health care reform because it failed to “address concerns regarding potential cost shifting to the states.” Democrat Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen added in a letter to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), “My guess is that most other states would face a similarly painful situation if these costs are passed down.” The Democrat Governor of Wyoming, Dave Freudenthal, told theWyoming Tribune Eagle, “[Y]ou only have so much money, and this is the basic math: If you have 47 million people who don't have coverage in the country, and your goal is to get coverage for those people, you can't come to us and say that it's not going to cost society anything.” And Democrat North Carolina Governor Betty Perdue said, “[T]he absolute deal breaker for me as governor is a federal plan that shifts costs to the states.”

The White House is desperate to show momentum for their trillion dollar health care experiment, but their arguments are undermined when they misrepresent the positions of Republicans and ignore significant objections from key Democrats.

Tags: Charlie Rangel, government healthcare, US Congress, US House, 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!

Support for Abortion at an All-time Low

Tony Perkins: Washington Update: Just days ago, a new Pew Research Center poll showed support for abortion at an all-time low. The survey was one in a long line of polls that's reporting how unpopular the procedure has become under the most pro-abortion President in American history. Less than half of the public--47%--now think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, down from 54% last year. Over the past few months, abortion has taken a hit in almost every major demographic. And those numbers don't even take into account the whopping number of taxpayers who oppose funding it.

Across the nation, there's a pro-life undercurrent that seems to be carrying away everyone but Congress. Instead of adapting to this new anti-abortion climate, what does the congressional majority do? Try harder to fund it. As we speak, members of the House are working on a second abortion "compromise" in the health care bill- led by one of the most militant pro-choicers in the chamber. This week, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has been tasked with peeling support away from Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who announced last week that he had commitments from 40 Democrats to vote against any health care bill that doesn't include an outright ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. To win back some of his party, Waxman is putting together a second abortion "compromise" to follow up on the controversial Capps amendment.

As the Denver Post pointed out, Democrats will probably try to tighten the Capps language without including the blanket restrictions that Stupak wants. Although House liberals said the original amendment would only allow private funds to pay for abortion, even the New York Times called it a fraud. According to the paper, "In practice, the public and private money would all go into the same pot, and the source of money for any single procedure is largely a technicality." That's not good enough for Rep. Stupak and House Republicans. "The Capps Amendment says at least one plan [participating in a federal health insurance exchange] must provide abortion coverage and must have one that doesn't have it," he told U.S. News and World Report. "For the first time ever, federal policy is saying that abortion is a covered service." In other words, what happens on life in the next few days is crucial. If the negotiations fall apart, so too may any possibility for real reform.
Tags: abortion, FRC, Tony Perkins, Washington Update To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Power & Danger of Iconography

Bill Whittle: Barack Obama ran an unprecedented Presidential campaign - utilizing the power of design to help secure the seat of the President of the United States of America. However, his iconic emblem, the ever present "O", holds more power than even Obama knows. Bill Whittle points out the dangers of branding an ideology with an icon and how, perhaps, the powerful symbol will be used against the very man it built up. [Video]

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Arkansas State University NPR Affiliate News Director's Abuse of Email

Update (6:40 pm):  This posted story preceded the AP and local news by 13 hrs.  The ASU Communications office has indicated that the reported incident is being handled as an internal matter.  Today, in a totally unrelated but coincidental press release,  the ASU Communications Office identified in  that "The Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans will celebrate its new home at an open house reception [tomorrow on the ASU campus] . .. Center officials will recognize Conrad Reynolds, Col.-Retired, USA, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Jonesboro chapter, for outstanding support to the Beck PRIDE Center and to wounded veterans in the Jonesboro community." Col. Reynolds had been previously noted in an ASU press release for presenting "a special U.S. flag flown over his post in Iraq last year to hang in the Beck PRIDE Center Day Room."
Bill Smith, Editor: Arkansas State University (ASU) has an NPR station affiliate on its campus. NPR usually offers easy listening, some classics and local news for college students and often afford training for college students in radio communications. The affiliate is also supported by federal and state dollars. According to a breaking report on today's Washington D.C.'s Roll Call, Greg Chance, the NPR station's news director, used his university funded email to communicate with the office of Senator Blanche Lincoln and to insult a Republican candidate running for the U.S. Senate.

The candidate is retired Army Colonel Conrad Reynolds, a native Arkansan who served his country with distinction including commanding troops in Baghdad, Iraq. Reynolds is one of several candidates running for the position occupied presently by Senator Lincoln. Recent polls indicate that Lincoln is vulnerable and has a low favorable rating with Arkansas voters. Greg Chance in his capacity as news director, received a press release from the Reynolds' campaign which challenged Lincoln's vote on a recent issue.

According to Roll Call, Chance attempted to forward the Reynolds' campaign email to Katie Laning Niebaum, Lincoln's Washington-based communications director. Chance forwarded message to Lincoln's office did not seek a response as would be expected from a news director. Instead, Chance displayed either his total lack of impartiality or a deficit in his ability be impartial in his position as "news director." One might question if Chance could have been seeking to curry favor with Niebaum or the Senator in "hopes of whatever" but this is unknown at this time.

Chance as the news director for an NPR affiliate at Arkansas State University proceeded to make derogatory comments in the email about Col. Conrade Reynolds. Chase called the decorated officer a "nimrod" and mocked his campaign logo which features an Eagle which is also the insignia used for the rank of Colonel in the U.S. military.

When Chance proceeded to forward the Reynolds' email with his comments to Niebaum, he apparently was overcome by his wit or his witlessness. Instead, he replied to K. Ryan James who had sent the original press release from the Reynolds campaign. Wow - what a surprise! Niebaum at Sen. Lincoln's office has said that she did not receive Chance's email.

As a result, Greg Chance acting as the ASU Affiliate NPR news director proved himself to be, in his own words, a "nimrod." Now that Chance has acted inappropriately in his official capacity as news director, where does that leave the university? Insulting a United States Colonel and candidate for the U.S. Senate on behalf of the university was definitely not what ASU President Les Wyatt is looking forward to addressing today.

I expect Chance will be counseled by ASU officials on his lack of professionalism and his misuse of his position in using university email to express derogatory statements which do not reflect favorably on the University. Also, insulting a decorated retired Arkansas United States Colonel showed a lack of understanding of protocol by Mr. Chance. I would suggest that since Chance showed such poor judgment and a willful disregard for protecting ASU, there is a potential that he may have misused university email in other situations. Therefore, his other emails should be reviewed to determine if any other potential actions "by Chance" that reflect negatively on Arkansas State University or its NPR affiliate.

In closing, this is a lesson for everyone. As I warned my children when they were growing up, be careful in what you say and do. Because, when act unprofessional and treat people with disrespect, you eventually get caught or as a minimum find four fingers pointing right back at you. Also, I may be stretching a point a little, but I noted that it is very strange that the word "nimrod" was used. This is the very same word used previously by Arkansas 1st District U.S. Representative Marion Berry to verbally attack a fellow representative on the floor of the House of Representatives. I suggest that all representatives and news directors retire the use of this word.

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, candidate, Conrad Reynolds, email, Marion Berry To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable

DeNuke Iran: Today was a meeting among Iranian and Western diplomats in Geneva. It sounds like this will be the first of many such talk-fests. If history is any judge, this is a clever delaying ploy on the part of the Iranians. What seems to be forgotten by all the "talking heads" are the stakes.

A nuclear-armed Iran poses a dire threat to the United States. The Islamic Republic of Iran is close to having nuclear warheads. It has missiles to deliver those warheads to America.

The Mullahs, the theocratic rulers of Iran, have brutally crushed the protesters in the street. These same rulers will now turn their full attention to obtaining nuclear weapons.

A nuclear-armed Iran poses a dire threat to Israel. And will set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Our government must stop Iran from getting atomic weapons.

By any means necessary. Before it's too late. The clock is ticking! Share this information and video with others and please sign the petition at the DeNuke Iran website and consider joining the DeNuke Iran Network:

Tags: DeNuke Iran, Iran, nuclear attack To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Duties of the Executive

In a prior post today, it was mentioned that being commander-in-chief is a prime responsibility of a president. However, it seems that the democrats believe otherwise. The following cartoon highlights the liberals confusion over the duties of the executive.
by William Warren:

Tags: All Barack Channel, Commander-in-Chief, Executive Branch, Olympics, political cartoon, President, William Warren 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. - Oct 6, 2009 - Democrats' Amazing Hypocrisy Concerning Listening To Generals

The Senate began consideration of the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Assistant Attorney General and then will vote on cloture which is expected and then will vote on confirming the nomination. At 2:30 p.m., congressional leaders will gather at the White House for a briefing on Afghanistan. Subsequently, the Senate will resume consideration of the $636 billion fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill, H.R. 3326. There will then be up to 13 votes on amendments to the bill, followed by a vote on final passage.

As congressional leaders head to the White House today to meet with President Obama about a way forward in Afghanistan, there is a building controversy with Democrats over General Stanley McChrystal, the commander in Afghanistan, advocating for more troops to implement a counterinsurgency strategy. Gen. McChrystal seems to be taking more and more heat from Democrats and administration officials for speaking out publicly about his plans.  This is frankly incredible coming from a party that spent several years demanding that former President George W. Bush “listen to the generals.”

The controversy over Gen. McChrystal’s plan began last week in the wake of his report on Afghanistan and a speech he gave in London. The Washington Post reported:
“In a three-hour meeting Wednesday at the White House, senior advisers challenged some of the key assumptions in Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s blunt assessment of the nearly eight-year-old war, which President Obama has said is being fought to destroy al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and the ungoverned border areas of Pakistan. . . . White House officials are resisting McChrystal’s call for urgency, which he underscored Thursday during a speech in London, and questioning important elements of his assessment, which calls for a vast expansion of an increasingly unpopular war. One senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the meeting, said, ‘A lot of assumptions -- and I don’t want to say myths, but a lot of assumptions -- were exposed to the light of day.’”
The Wall Street Journal notes, “Retired Gen. James Jones, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, on Sunday appeared to suggest Gen. McChrystal had gone outside normal channels when he gave the speech. ‘Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command,’ Gen. Jones said on the CNN program ‘State of the Union.’” A Washington Post story from today adds, “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates cautioned military and civilian leaders Monday against publicly airing their advice to President Obama on Afghanistan, just days after the top U.S. general in that country criticized proposals being advocated by some in the White House.” And according to The Hill, “It has been ‘odd’ for Gen. Stanley McChrystal to speak out so publicly about his opinions on strategy for Afghanistan, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) said Tuesday.”

For those who recall Democrats’ reactions to any questions, complaints, or critiques of President Bush’s war strategy during the previous administration, these complaints from Democrats and the White House about Gen. McChrystal look like a complete reversal. In 2006, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), “You don’t give up your citizenship in the United States, when you’re in the military or when you’re outside of it. . . . And those generals have the right -- indeed, I think they have a duty and an obligation -- to stand up and tell the truth.” In 2007, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said to CNN’s Larry King, “[D]on’t take it from me. Just listen to the generals. General after general after general has said that this course of action is not going to bring our troops home soon.” And a year before that, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), now the Senate Majority Leader, said, “We know that Secretary Rumsfeld ignored the advice of the uniformed military and went into battle with too few troops and no plan to win the peace.” And in January 2007 Reid was saying to the National Press Club, “Listen to the generals.”

Now, Jim Jones is saying, “Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command,” and Jim Webb says Gen. McChrystal’s speeches are “odd”? It appears that for Democrats what constitutes acceptable debate on war strategy and even criticism of the president seems to depend on who’s in the White House. Jones some how has forgotten that Gen. McChrystal is the commanding general and the Pentagon staff is not in that chain of command for war operations.

While most Americans want the enemy terrorists defeated in the field, if politics is going to prevent Generals from speaking out on operations and the need to both minimize troop losses and defeat the enemy, then bring the troops home from Afghanistan and use extreme measures to end the controversy in Afghanistan.

During Vietnam Conflict (WAR), we had similar issues. Generals were forced to compromise reporting the truth by the Johnson administration and to accept operational conditions for military in the field that were subject to the bureaucracies of both the United States and South Vietnam. These operational conditions placed our military at risks and resulted in the deaths of many of American's finest. Those of us who remember should be demanding that the President, who lacks military experience, and his administration listen to General McChrystal’s blunt assessment. Bluntness may be tough but it is needed. In fact, Obama should be thankful for McChrystal's honest appraisal especially as we have troops serving in harms way or being prepared to serve in harms way. Any other actions by President Obama or his administration which results in further deaths of Americans will be a permanent stain on Obama's historical record as commander-in-chief, a prime responsibility of a president.

Tags: Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief, Defense appropriations, General Stanley McChrystal, US Congress, US House, 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!

Sen. Lincoln targeted by Democrats for a reason

There are reports that Sen. Blanche Lincoln is being targeted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and other liberal leaders to change her vote on the public option.

Conrad Reynolds, Candidate for U.S. Senate* issued the following opinion:
“There is one reason why Sen. Lincoln is being targeted by the likes of Sen. Schumer and other liberal leaders: Sen. Lincoln. If she had a strong record of standing for the conservative principals of her state, there would be no reason why Democrats in DC would waste their effort on her.

Sadly, Sen. Lincoln does not have this type of record, which is why her leaders feel they can change her mind. I call on her to follow through on her decision last week to reject the public option, urge her to vote against it on the floor and oppose any back-room deal which would allow it to be passed.

Arkansans deserve a senator they can count on, not be counted on by the Obama administration to change her mind when it suits them. This is why we must elect a new senator which will restore our voice in Washington and ensure our conservative values are upheld.”

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Conrad Reynolds, Election 2010, US Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Lincoln Fails to Represent Arkansans - Again

Curtis Coleman, Candidate for U.S. Senate:* Senator Blanche Lincoln has once again failed to represent the values of Arkansans by voting against two key amendments to the Senate Finance Committee’s “Baucus Bill” yesterday.

“Arkansans should know that I will not support a health care plan that would require insurance companies to cover abortion, require physicians to perform abortions, or allow federal dollars to fund abortions,” Lincoln said. But in clear contradiction of this statement, she voted (by proxy) against two amendments submitted by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Sen. Hatch proposed an amendment that would have ensured that taxpayers’ dollars would not be used to fund abortions through the new programs or subsidies created in the current health bill. Senator Lincoln voted against the amendment. According to Americans United for Life, the Baucus bill allows qualified health plans to provide coverage for all abortions and mandates that at least one plan in each state exchange provide coverage of all abortions. Senator Hatch proposed his amendment “because this bill both authorizes and provides the funding for the premium subsidies, [and] no future appropriations bill would be necessary in regards to this specific funding.”

The second amendment offered by Sen. Hatch would have prohibited the federal government, state governments and local governments from forcing health providers, such as hospitals and physicians, to provide abortions. His amendment also would have prohibited governmental bodies from receiving federal dollars if they take action against any health care provider because the provider does not cover, provide or make references for abortions; in short, from discriminating against those who do not want to perform, cover or make references for abortions. Senator Lincoln voted against this amendment also.

It is clearly time for Arkansas to recover its voice and vote for life in the U.S. Senate.

*Editor's Comment: ARRA News Service has not endorsed any Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Blanche Lincoln. However, we oppose Lincoln's re-election and therefore reserve the right to share any opinion or position expressed by a candidate concerning Lincoln's performance or actions.

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Curis Coleman, Election 2010, US Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Defending the American Dream Summit - #DAD09

While Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, was in the forefront of events for the 2009 Defending the American Dream Summit, he would be the first to acknowledge the numerous staff members who worked to make sure everything went off well from the initial planning and securing of facilities, dinners, coordination of speakers, new media and regular media, sponsors, etc. But, even more important were those who jumped through hoops to resolve problems on behalf of attendees and the myriad of unplanned situations that can and did occur. This year, AFP experienced a success factor that led to numerous problems.

People who had not preregistered came in large numbers because of numerous factors from good weather to an updated speakers list that included Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham. The result was more people "coming to dinner" than could be managed in the main hall for dinner. It is hard to manage a sit-down dinner for 1500 people but when 300 unplanned people are added, new dynamics occur. However, the AFP staff and the service providing the dinners quickly adapted and created an overflow room, a large TV with a live feed of the speakers and quality service. And to top off this special overflow room, those assigned to the room were joined for dinner by former House Speaker and Mrs. Newt Gingrich.

The next day, all the speakers starting with Newt Gingrich were cheered on by 2000 attendees to such an extent that the scheduled speakers were soon far over their allotted time. My wife was seated front and center on the third row enjoyed the entire event. So again, the staff adjusted the schedule and meeting places for lunch and the follow-on breakout meetings. No complaining - just a quality responses on all levels. An enjoyable time was had by all.

As for me, except for Capitol Hill Rally and the “Tribute to Ronald Reagan” Dinner, I worked a long side of other new media types in a conference center ("bloggers row") tailored with a wide screen monitor and high-speed and wireless internet connections. AFP's "new media" director, Erik Telford, a professional and friend too many of us, made sure that we had what we needed, and he kept a steady stream of speakers pointed our way for interviews. On the second day, three or four interviews would occur around the room at the same time. Interestingly, while the many of the bloggers / writers were interviewing speakers and AFP guests, preparing stories, live blogging or Twittering (#DAD09) with hundreds of thousands of people about the AFP events, many of these same bloggers are themselves noteworthy and could provide for hours of potential interviews in other setting.

Before identifying a partial list of the new media people who shared our time together on "bloggers row," I wish to thanks a fellow blogger who "saved my bacon" on the first day. I encountered an a virus the prior evening when checking email and posting a couple items before retiring after a long day's travel from Arkansas. Although my system stopped the virus, it also deleted access to the mouse for my laptop. A fellow blogger and technical guru, Steve Eggleston came to rescue and worked over an hour fixing my computer while allowing me use his computer.  Again, thank you - Steve!

Also, present on "bloggers row" were Maggie Thurber, 2008 AFP's Blogger of the Year and Bob Weeks, the 2009 AFP's Blogger of the Year. Hot Air's blogger Ed Morrissey also interviewed blogger Leslie Carbone, author of the new book Slaying Leviathan. Long time SamSphere friends Emily Zanotti and Krystle Weeks attended. Investigative bloggers Steven Allen Adams and Chetly Zarko showed their style. Others included Sean Hackbarth, Melissa Clouthier, John Hawkins, Aaron Marks, Katie Favazza, Tabitha Hale, Anita MonCrief, Chuck Young, Bob Carr, Tom Gartert, Dan Wholihan, Katy Weatherly Benningfield, and Rachel Alexander, Teri Christoph, Michelle Moore. Again, this is only a partial list!

With the close of the AFP summit, bloggers headed home. However, we will keep in contact by twitter and taking time to read and comment on what the others are posting. We all appreciate the effort to make us comfortable as we reported at the AFP Defending the American Dream Summit and we all hope to see our special friend Erik Telford at other events throughout the year.
Tags: AFP, blogger, Defending the American Dream To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Who Are These People And Where Did They Come From? - #DAD09

Hugh Hewitt was a guest speaker at the American For Prosperity Defending the American Dream 2009 Summit. After speaking, he wrote the following article:
By Hugh Hewitt: More than 2,000 activists packed the Crystal City Gateway Marriott this weekend for the annual "Americans for Prosperity" meeting. It is a football weekend in the most beautiful time of the fall, but these folks were in a vast ballroom on Saturday morning cheering Newt, Jim DeMint, Stephen Moore, Ed Morrissey, John Fund, Herman Cain and the always energy-and-enthusiasm generating Larry Kudlow as each in turn spelled out the details of the sharp left lurch the country has taken in the past nine months.

Americans for Prosperity was founded by, among others, David Koch and is ably guided by, among others, Tim Phillips. As Koch and Phillips chatted with guests and members throughout the morning, their confident smiles telegraphed that the surge in their membership and their reach is continuing. With a seasoned field staff and a dynamic group of young volunteers and headquarters professionals, AFP is filling a gap that exists on the right in the space between the think tanks, web portals and the GOP party apparatus. This is the sort of para-party organization that the Democrats benefited from during their wilderness years, and the appearance of a AFP as a major force in conservative circles marks a key moment in the renewal of the conservative movement.

So to does the rise of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a new PAC founded by South Carolina's DeMint. "SCF is a political action committee dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate," the PAC's website declares. "We do not support liberal Republicans and we are not affiliated with any Republican campaign committee."

The declaration of purpose continues: "SCF seeks to bring bold conservative leadership to Washington by supporting only the most rock-solid, conservative candidates nationwide -- candidates who believe in the principles of limited government, strong national defense, and traditional family values."

The Fund is off to an incredibly strong fundraising start though of course it can use more, especially from small dollar donors who will help build the organizations reach just as AFP has built. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been deeply damaged by its past support for some very unusual Republicans, chief among them the nutty Lincoln Chaffee. John Cornyn of Texas is rebuilding the brand, and the defection of Arlen Specter to his new team made Cornyn's life much easier, but the opportunity for conservatives to invest in a PAC as focused on electing only conservatives will be welcomed by many donors who simply refuse to fund pro-choice Republicans for example, or senators who are willing to vote for portions of Obamacare when the vast weight of American opinion is against it in total.

The success of AFP and the Fund are just two more indications that a tide is building in reaction to the presidents twin agendas of apologies abroad and power at home. The retreat from Poland and the Czech Republic and the fecklessness on Afghanistan makes large numbers of Americans queasy over the new president's grasp of the nature of our enemies. When France has flanked us on the right as it has vis-a-vis Iran the concerns over the president's unfolding appeasement policies skyrockets.

At home the failure of the stimulus to do anything except grow government is manifest in another surge of unemployment, and GM's continuing collapse even as other car companies steady underscores the opinion of the marketplace on the wisdom of the president's takeover of a once private car company. The president may succeed in jamming down some sort of health care bill, but an army of walkers and artificial knees is already organizing its payback to Democrats for the massive cuts to Medicare.

The Alinksyites at the heart of the new Administration's political operation don't want to admit any concern over the coalescing counter-revolution, but their feigned indifference to the president's plummeting poll numbers shouldn't fool anyone. Their nonchalance makes sense as there isn't much they can do to halt the deep seated, deeply felt revulsion at the president's radical agenda on spending and the growth of government power. This isn't a leftist country, or even center-left, no matter how many MSMers believe it is. Opposition to the president isn't based on his race, it isn't fueled by hatred, and it doesn't threaten to do anything other than organize and vote --legally, not the ACORN way for that matter.

Next year's AFP gathering will be even bigger, its organization even more completely developed, and the Senate Conservatives Fund's coffer will be full of contributions from Americans eager to restore balance to an unbalanced capitol. Thirteen months to go, and the energy is building.
Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School, radio show host and best selling author. He is frequent guest on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He served in the Reagan Administration. Hewitt writes for his blog, and is the Executive Editor of

Tags: AFP, Americans for Prosperity 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. - Oct 5, 2009 - Dems Still Divided On Health Reform Issues

The Senate began consideration of the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847. No votes are scheduled today. Tomorrow, the Senate resumes consideration of the $636 billion fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill, H.R. 3326, with 13 amendments to work through. This week the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on passing chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care bill once a preliminary CBO score is released.

As the health care debate enters its fifth month and Senate Democrats are finally preparing to vote on a health care reform bill in the Finance Committee (something that was initially supposed to happen in June), it appears that they’re still divided over key issues.

The Washington Post reports today, “At least two Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to pledge support for the health-care reform bill scheduled for a vote this week, underscoring the hard work ahead for President Obama as he tries to enact the most ambitious domestic policy legislation in more than a generation. Although Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said he has the votes to pass the 10-year, $900 billion bill out of the committee, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) remained undecided Sunday.” Rockefeller reportedly is still agitating for the creation of a government-run insurance company (the so-called “public option”), despite a defeat of two different versions of that idea in the Finance Committee last week. Beyond that, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) wants an employer mandate in the bill while Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) seems concerned about new taxes and fees being passed along to middle class families.

The elephant in the room is the massive and expensive Medicaid expansion and it is seriously troubling governors. According to The Washington Post, “The nation’s governors are emerging as a formidable lobbying force as health-care reform moves through Congress and states overburdened by the recession brace for the daunting prospect of providing coverage to millions of low-income residents. The legislation the Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve this week calls for the biggest expansion of Medicaid since its creation in 1965.” Democrat Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen told The Post, “I can’t think of a worse time for this bill to be coming … I’d love to see it happen. But nobody’s going to put their state into bankruptcy or their education system in the tank for it.” The Post article continues, “Bredesen said Tennessee could face $1 billion in extra Medicaid costs for the first five years of the expansion. ‘I have no idea how we’re going to afford it,’ he said.”

The Medicaid issue isn’t lost on Democrat senators, either. The Washington Post writes, “[C]ongressional Democrats are sufficiently alarmed about the potential impact that they already are seeking special protections for their states. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid cut a deal with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (MT) to ensure that the federal government would pay the full cost of expanding Medicaid in Reid’s state, Nevada.” Indeed, “health-care negotiators are prepared for a flood of pleadings like the one Reid made that could add up to many billions, forcing reductions to other portions of the bill. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), for one, estimated that the Medicaid expansion could cost his state $8 billion a year. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) underscored those concerns with her own pledge: ‘I could not support a bill that pushes additional costs on California state government or its counties.’”

So will Democrats again fight with each other over a government insurance option? Will they side with the White House or Max Baucus over the pleas of their states not to increase their financial obligations? And there are even more fundamental questions, as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out on Friday, “Are [Democrats’] own members comfortable enough with a proposal that takes $500 billion out of Medicare over the next 10 years and raises billions of dollars in taxes on both individuals and corporations? Are they comfortable with that?”

Tags: health care, US Congress, US House, 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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