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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Stossel - Crony Capitalism in Toyland

John Stossel: John Stossel looks at one way politicians use the pretense of safety to reward their big business cronies. Note: John's argument in that this was to support big business cronies may not be exactly correct. It also could be big Government liberalism is just gone a muck with agencies like the EPA regulating our lives.

Tags: government regulation, John Stossel, testing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Has Negative 21 in Polls on 1st Anniversary of Tea Party Movement

Hat Tip to Bobbi85710's Mouth of the South for the following:
Cause: Obama Signs Stimulus Into Law and the following Reaction: Read the Stimulus

The Spark:

The Birth: *Tea Parties, April 15, 2009, National tax day, Map, View tea parties across US, The real Barack Obama *Notes From A Tea Party Participant

A Pinnacle:

The Convention: National Tea Party Convention – Nashville TN, Feb 4 – 6, 2010

The Continuing Activities, Results and Pride:  The following photo is of a billboard recently established on I-75 just south of Lake City, FL. A group gathered there today to celebrate its unveiling. The cost of 10 months rental of the Billboard and doing the artwork was $6500. We feel that is a reasonable cost to reach out to 1,000,000 vehicles per month and perhaps motivate their participation in the electoral process to get our country on a sound footing.
Are the everyday American Citizens awakening? The Effect:
Appears to be a Negative 21 Gun Salute for POTUS!
Tea Party On! Patriots!

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Tags: Anniversary, Barack Obama, job approval, President Barack Obama, Rasmussen Reports, TEA Parties To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Senator Tom Coburn Responds to The Democrats Blair House Show

‘We Believe In Expanding Options, Not Government; Increasing Access, Not Taxes; And Reducing Costs, Not Quality.’

GOP Address by Sen. Top Coburn: Hello, I’m Dr. Tom Coburn, a practicing physician from Oklahoma and a member of the United States Senate. This week I had the opportunity to join President Obama and my Democrat and Republican colleagues for a summit on health care. We had a respectful and constructive discussion.

While we listened to one another, I’m concerned that the majority in Congress is still not listening to the American people on the subject of health care reform. By an overwhelming margin, the American people are telling us to scrap the current bills, which will lead to a government takeover of health care, and we should start over.

Unfortunately, even before the summit took place the majority in Congress signaled its intent to reject our offers to work together. Instead they want to use procedural tricks and backroom deals to ram through a new bill that combines the worst aspects of the bills the Senate and House passed last year.

The American people have rejected the majority’s plan for good reason. Their plan includes a half trillion dollars in new tax increases, a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, job-killing penalties for employers, taxpayer funded abortion and new boards that will ration care to American citizens. At its core, their plan continues a government-centered approach that has made health care more expensive. Federal and state governments already control 60 percent of health care. If more government spending and control was the answer we could have fixed health care long ago.

Republicans in Congress have a different vision for reform. We have put forward several proposals that lay out a common sense step-by-step path to reform. Our solutions are patient-centered, not government-centered. We believe in expanding options, not government; increasing access, not taxes; and reducing costs, not quality. Most importantly, we believe that no one has the right to step between you and your doctor.

I introduced a health care bill called the ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ last May along with Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Representatives Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Devin Nunes of California that includes several step-by-step ideas for reform. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ and other Republican plans accomplish all of the president’s goals, including expanding coverage, without raising taxes, bankrupting the country or rationing care.

Our ideas address the core problem in our health care system – skyrocketing costs – by using the only force that ever lowers cost – competition and consumer choice. Health care is so expensive today because third-parties – government and insurance company bureaucrats – have stepped between you and your doctor.

Our solutions restore the doctor-patient relationship and put you – not your insurance company, your boss or the government – in charge of your health care dollars and decisions. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act,’ for instance, provides generous tax credits that let you buy, and keep, the plan of your choice. We also limit lawsuit abuse which causes doctors to order costly tests that protect themselves rather than you, the patient.

Our proposals to rein in the massive amount of fraud, waste and duplication in our health care system drew widespread praise from Democrats at the summit, including the President. One in three dollars in our more than $2 trillion health care system does not do anything to help people get well or prevent them from getting sick. Democrats and Republicans agree that eliminating waste and inefficiency would lower costs and improve access tomorrow.

The majority now has a choice. We can continue to make progress like we did at the summit. Or, they can try to ram through a partisan bill that will divide and bankrupt America. I wholeheartedly share President Obama’s desire for more civility and bipartisanship in Washington and I’m proud of the work that we did together when he was a member of the Senate. True civility, however, is measured by actions, not words.

I was disappointed the President rejected my suggestion that he host another summit. The President himself proposed that such meetings be televised more than a year ago. Last year, dozens of Democrat-only summits were held in secret, behind closed doors and produced many unsavory deals. Had those meetings been open and bipartisan I believe Congress could have passed a bipartisan health bill months ago.

If the President and the leaders in Congress are serious about finding common ground they should continue this debate, not cut it off by rushing through a partisan bill the American people have already rejected. If the majority agrees to work together they will find many Republicans ready to help them pursue our common goals of helping all Americans access quality and affordable health care for themselves and their families.

Thank you so much for listening.

Tags: government healthcare, Costs, Not Quality, Tom Coburn, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Interrupter: President Obama on the Blair House Show

Video: President Obama interrupts Republicans during Health Care Summit. PRESIDENT OBAMA ALONE: 119 MINUTES OR 1 HOUR AND 59 MINUTES more than all the Republicans and all the Other Democrats

Tags: Barack Obama, government healthcare, summit, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Liberalism Exposed: Beyond the Elitist, Preening America-Hating Stereotypes

Andrew Klavan,: Have you ever wondered how liberals think? PJTV's Andrew Klavan takes you inside the mind of a liberal ... and it ain't brain surgery.

Tags: Andrew Klavan, culture, How Modern Liberals Think To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Nancy Pelosi "Rangels" With the Truth

PELOSI FACT CHECK: Chairman Rangel DID violate House rules

Speaker Pelosi: “All I saw was the press release where they said he did not violate the rules of the House.” (The Hill, 2/26/10)

Ethics Report: “The Report further finds that Representative Charles B. Rangel violated the House gift rule by accepting payment or reimbursement for travel to the 2007 and 2008 conferences.” (Statement of the Chair and Ranking Republican Member of the Ethics Committee, 2/26/10)

The House ethics committee found that Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel violated House gift rules by accepting corporate-funded trips to the Caribbean through an organization called the Carib News. Rangel has a long history with the Caribbean. He owns rental property in Jamaica which he did not report income on for years. He also uses a rent controlled apartment meant for the poor as his office in New York. This is the guy that Nancy Pelosi chose to run the most powerful committee in the House.

- The ongoing saga of Charlie Rangel: Why now’s the time he needs to step down

- Documents Show Rangel Had Info on Corporate-Sponsored Trips to Caribbean

Gary Bauer observed: "With his long list of ethics violations, Rep. Rangel is a heavy albatross around the Democrats’ necks. Republican candidates across the country will surely highlight Rangel as an example of the type of entrenched and corrupt politician who needs to be shown the door."

Tags: Charlie Rangel, ethics investigation, Nancy Pelosi, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Jim Keet Announces Candidacy for Arkansas Governor

Former Republican State Senator and businessman Jim Keet announced today his candidacy for Arkansas Governor. Keet plans to formally announce his run for Governor during a five city tour of Arkansas on Tuesday, March 2nd, where he will visit Jonesboro, El Dorado, Little Rock, Fort Smith and Bentonville. Next week, Keet will also visit Texarkana, Fayetteville, Springdale, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs and West Memphis. Times and locations for the “Jim Keet for Arkansas Governor Announcement Tour” to be released on Monday.

Jim Keet says: “My top priorities for Arkansas include establishing creative methods to develop our state as one of the nation’s leading business-friendly environments, advancing literacy initiatives at every age and reforming Arkansas’ tax structure to fuel job creation.”

“If President John F. Kennedy can start a process which put a man on the moon within one decade, surely together we can accomplish the following:
  • Reposition the Arkansas literacy rate within the top five states by 2019.
  • Revise the Arkansas tax code so as to attract both small and large businesses from outside the state’s borders. Encourage existing Arkansas companies to remain here rather than fleeing the state which deprives our businesses of the seed capital they need to grow and prosper.
  • Continue working on the prevention of drug abuse which has a devastating impact on Arkansas families and contributes to the overcrowding problem within our prison system. The drug problem and high unemployment are inextricably linked to the problems we have with a prison system that is bursting at the seams.
  • Appoint a bipartisan commission to be styled after the military base reduction effort at the national level. The commission would eliminate waste by looking into the efficacy and need for various boards, commissions and staffing levels within our government.”
"Arkansans are sick and tired of the divisiveness and destructive rhetoric that we see on a national basis. I intend to bring a breath of fresh air to the campaign trail by discussing issues and differences of opinion constructively. I want to create a new day in Arkansas politics where everyday citizens are attracted to the political process rather than disgusted by it.”

Jim Keet worked his way through SMU where he graduated with honors in 1971. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration, majoring in finance and minoring in real estate finance.

Jim Keet is the President of Taziki’s Restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas and former President and CEO of Barnhill’s Buffet. In 1975, Keet joined Gerald Hamra to bring Wendy’s to Arkansas. During the next eleven years, the company developed, owned and operated twenty-seven Wendy's and Sisters' restaurants in Arkansas and Texas, with more than 1,200 employees. The company received numerous awards from Wendy's International, including the Founders Award as the nations top Wendy's franchise. During that time, Wendy's of Little Rock was recognized by numerous civic organizations for their charitable endeavors.

In 1988, Keet was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives and was then elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 1992. During his time in the State House and Senate, Keet worked tirelessly to increase literacy rates, fight the exploding drug problem and also authored the strongest “two strikes and you’re out” violent offender statute in America.

Keet has served on more than 20 civic and charitable boards and commissions including Arkansas Children's Hospital, the Arkansas Literacy Commission, Arkansas Easter Seals, the Arkansas Council on Economic Education, and Arkansas for Drug Free Youth Advisory Board. He also served on the boards of the YMCA, Arkansas Literacy Councils, and the United Negro College Fund Advisory Board.

Keet has received various awards and honors including The Arkansas National Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the FBI Community Service Award, the Outstanding Arkansas fund-raiser Award from the National Association of Fund Raising Executives, and an Outstanding Legislator Award from the Arkansas Education Association.

He has been married to Margaret Keet for thirty-eight years and they have four children, Tommy, Chase, Jake and Cassie as well as two grandchildren, Holden Keet and Haskins Crocker.

Tags: Arkansas, candidate, Governor, Republicans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

'Serious Concerns' About Obama Appointees Who Backed Gitmo Detainees

By Jonathan Karl, ABC NEWS: In an escalating war of words with Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Republicans are raising "serious concerns" about political appointees at the Justice Department who previously worked on behalf of terror suspects. The Republicans told Holder in a letter obtained by ABC News that "unanswered questions" about these political appointees "raise serious concerns about who is providing advice on detainee matters." The letter, signed by all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also accuses the Justice Department of being "nonresponsive" and "intentionally evasive" to questions on this issue.

The Senators are demanding answers about these political appointees by March 12, when Holder is next scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Justice Department has acknowledged that at least ten political appointees at the agency previously worked on behalf of detainees in terror cases, including six lawyers who worked as legal counsel for detainees and four who worked for advocacy organizations.

The most prominent is perhaps Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who previously represented "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal represented Afghan Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Hamdan in a case that was an enormous setback for the Bush administration's early plan for military commissions.

Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich acknowledged, in a letter earlier this month to Senator Chuck Grassley, that several appointees have defended detainees. But the letter did not list the names of the political appointees or answer questions about what work they are doing on detainee issues for the Department.

In his letter to Grassley, Weich said the former detainee representatives are not excluded from Department of Justice decisions on issues related to terror cases except for those involving individuals where there is a conflict of interest. "Department appointees have been authorized to participate in policy and legal decisions regarding detainee matters and decisions relating to the disposition of detainees, except in those particular matters involving specific parties from which they are recused," wrote Weich.

In the blistering letter to Attorney General Eric Holder sent today, the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans are demanding to know the names and titles of all political appointees who represented detainees and a list of all who are working on detainee-related issues and/or policy issues. "These unanswered original questions and the new questions," the Republicans wrote, "raise serious concerns about who is providing advice on detainee matters."

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

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 26, 2010 - GOP Had Good Day At Summit, But Democrats Still Stuck

After the events at Blair House, the Senate last night voted 78-18 to pass H.R. 1299, the vehicle for Majority Leader Harry Reid’s tourism promotion bill, which creates an Office of Travel Promotion in the Commerce Department.  Prior to that vote, the Senate rejected by a vote of 38-58 a motion from Sen. Jim DeMint to allow DeMint to offer an amendment to the bill prohibiting the Interior Department from designating certain national monuments.

For those who made it through all seven-plus hours of yesterday’s health care summit at Blair House, two things are quite clear: Republicans had a good day and seriously made their case against the Democrats’ health care reform bills and Democrats find themselves in the same place today that they were last week in the problems they face trying to move a bill.

Many pundits and journalists had high praise for Republicans, after a number spent the week assuming they would be outclassed or painted as simply partisan obstructionists. NBC’s Chuck Todd said, “Republicans were seen 10 times more prepared for this summit than the Democrats were.” CNN’s David Gergen opined, “Intellectually, the Republicans had the best day they’ve had in years,” and added, “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now.” CNN’s Gloria Borger said, “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” A.B. Stoddard of The Hill said, “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’” And even Democrat political consultant Dan Gerstein admitted to Politico, “The Republican tone was just right: a respectful, substantive disagreement, very disciplined and consistent in their message.”

Conservative commentators seemed to agree. Rush Limbaugh, after initially saying he thought Republicans shouldn’t attend the summit, no longer considered it a mistake and said, “I want to commend the Republicans for, at least up to now, sticking to the high arguments of this . . . .” Sean Hannity tweeted, “I think Republicans did a great job today. They were respectful yet confrontational and addressed the real issues.” On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer said, “The Republicans really helped themselves.” The American Spectator’s Philip Klein wrote, “I think that Republicans have been, generally speaking, handling this very well.” And at The Corner, Yuval Levin wrote, “The Republicans seem genuinely well-prepared, seem to have thought through the question of who should speak about what rather carefully, and several of them have done quite a good job making their case against the Democrats’ approach. If we were to judge by debating points, Republicans certainly won the morning handily.”

Meanwhile, in the process of analyzing yesterday’s summit, journalists said the day did not get Democrats any closer to passing their unpopular health care reform bill. Marc Ambinder and Politico’s Glenn Thrush both deemed the summit “a tie” that went to Republicans. According to Thrush, “In this case, the tie goes to Republicans, according to operatives on both sides of the aisle — because the stakes were so much higher for Democrats trying to build their case for ramming reform through using a 51-vote reconciliation tactic.” The New York Times noted, “For the president, Thursday’s session was a kind of Hail Mary pass, a last-ditch effort to keep his top legislative priority from slipping out of his grasp.”

“But the truth is,” another Politico story observes, “the Democrats are no more certain of getting health care done after the summit than they were before. The seven-hour session did little to change the underlying dynamics of the debate.” A New York Times analysis elaborated that moving forward “would require mustering the support of centrist Democrats in the House and the Senate who have expressed apprehensions about both the health care bill and the reconciliation process … It was unclear if the event had won over any of those votes, especially among House Democrats who opposed the bill in November, and whose support could be critical to reviving it.”

And importantly, Politico points out, “Gallup polls going in showed the public didn’t favor Obama’s bill and also opposed the reconciliation process – and it’s hard to picture how the summit changed those results.”

Republicans had a clear message going in: the public does not support the Democrats’ bills, so it’s time to scrap them and start over. Democrats don’t seem to have made any headway convincing people otherwise. Will the key Democrat swing votes pay attention to what happened yesterday and vote against these bills if their leaders try to move them anyway?

Tags: 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!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama's Health Summit - Slippery Slope

William Warren:
Updated 2/26/- Comments by ALG: Yesterday, the long-awaited health care takeover summit at the White House took place, and it was not as was expected nor advertised. It was supposed to be a trap. Congressional Republicans were supposed to “compromise,” laying the groundwork for the government takeover of the nation’s entire health care system once and for all.

Only, they did not lie down. Indeed, they were well-prepared and their arguments were highly effective against ObamaCare on just about every point, even though Democrats spoke for 233 minutes compared to the GOP’s 110 minutes, according to the Senate Republican Conference. Barack Obama alone spoke for 119 minutes, which he studiously ignored as not counting towards the Democrats’ time. Said Obama, “I don't count my time because I'm the President.”

Leaving Obama’s arrogance aside, Republicans made the most of their time in the summit, and outside of it. Congressional Republicans’ messaging machine was firing on all cylinders throughout the day. They deployed a rapid response fact-checking barrage of press releases, which ALG News chronicled at its news aggregator, Washington News Alert. Everything from Obama lying about CBO’s report, which does state that ObamaCare would raise premiums; to Reid lying about the Democrat threat of reconciliation.

Congressional Democrats, on the other hand, apparently were not so concerned about getting rapid responses out to the media at all. By design, it appears, they put all their stock on the summit selling itself, or perhaps the media promoting it for them. The truth is, their silence was telling.  Republicans, on the other hand, climbed the summit. And they came out on top. . . .  [Full Article]

Tags: Barack Obama, government healthcare, political cartoon, summit, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Healthcare Summit: The Talk Clock

President Talks For More Time Than Either The Republican Or Democrat Delegation
Democrats Collectively Talked For More Than Twice As Long As Republicans
DEMOCRATS (Including President Obama): 233 MINUTES OR NEARLY 4 HOURS

Tags: College Republicans, Democrats, government healthcare, President Barack Obama, summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

What They Are Saying About The Health Care Summit

“Republicans Certainly Showed Up Ready To Play” “Came In With A Plan,” “The Best Day They Have Had In Years,” “Strong Day”

CNN’S DAVID GERGEN: “Intellectually, The Republicans Had The Best Day They’ve Had In Years.  The Best Day They Have Had In Years.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The Folks In The White House Just Must Be Kicking Themselves Right Now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

NPR’S MARA LIASSON: “I Think That The Republicans Made Their Arguments Very Well.” (Fox News, 2/25/10)

CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “It Looks Like The Republicans Certainly Showed Up Ready To Play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

·    CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “And The Republicans Had Less Speaking Time, But They Took Full Advantage Of Every Minute They Had.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 2/25/10)

THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I Think We Need To Start Out By Acknowledging Republicans Brought Their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform.  I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans Have Been Very Effective Today. They Really Did Come To Play. They Were Very Smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

·    BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

·    BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.”  (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

POLITICO: “By The Afternoon, However, Both Sides Took A More Substantive Approach That Played To The Republicans’ Benefit, given Democratic attempts to portray them as unreasonable and partisan.” (“Six Hours Later, Stalemate Remains,” Politico, 2/25/10)

FOX NEWS’ CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “The Republicans Really Helped Themselves. The argument against them, it’s the party of no, they have no ideas, they are against anything, they’re nihilists. In fact, they spent seven hours, I think, presenting a very strong case. They're knowledgeable. They have ideas. They are interested in reform, but they have differences. Lamar Alexander was dazzling, Paul Ryan was rapier sharp in rebutting all of the smoke and mirrors that the democrats had presented.” (Fox News, 2/25/10)

JAMES CARVILLE: “First, In General, You’d Have To Say, By The Most Part Most Of These People Were Pretty Knowledgeable, They Had Done Their Homework … I Thought That Senator Alexander And Senator Coburn Did Great...” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 2/25/10)

FOX NEWS’ BRET BAIER: “Republicans Had A Strong Day Making Their Points.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

WASHINGTON POST’S MICHAEL GERSON: “The Democrats’ Health-Care Ambush Failed”(Michael Gerson, Op-Ed, “The Democrats' Health-Care Ambush Failed,” The Washington Post, 2/25/10)

Tags: CNN News, Fox News, government healthcare, NPR, Politico, summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fact Checking: The Blair House Healthcare Show!

Medicare Cuts Could “Diminish The Quality Of Care”

SPEAKER PELOSI: “Mr. Camp, You Said That The Medicare Cuts In This Bill Cut Benefits For Seniors. They Do Not.” (Speaker Pelosi, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)
CBO: Medicare Cuts Could “Reduce Access To Care Or Diminish The Quality Of Care.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 12/19/09, P. 1, 19)

Americans “Aren’t Always That Interested In Procedures Inside The Senate”
Today’s Gallup Poll Shows 52% Of Americans Oppose Reconciliation To Pass Health Care

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “You know, this issue of reconciliation has been brought up. Again I think the American people aren't always all that interested in procedures inside the Senate. I do think they want a vote on how we’re going to move this forward.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

52% Of Americans Oppose Using Reconciliation

GALLUP: “By a larger 52% to 39% margin, Americans also oppose the Democrats in the Senate using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible Republican filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote.” (“Americans Tilt Against Democrats' Plans if Summit Fails,” Gallup, 02/25/10)

“What the American People Think"
Polling Shows Large Majorities Opposing The Democrats’ Health Care Bill

VP BIDEN: “I am always reluctant after being here 37 years to tell people what the American people think. I think it requires a little bit of humility to be able to know what the American people think. And I don’t.” (Vice Pres Biden, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

What Biden Should Know: The American People Oppose Obama's Health Care Plan

QUINNIPIAC: “American Voters Still Disapprove 54 - 35 Percent Of Obama's Health Care Reform Plan, but they say 52 - 44 percent they want Congress and the President to keep trying on health care reform rather than giving up and moving on to other matters.” (“U.S. Voters Split On Obama, Down On Everyone Else, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds,” Quinnipiac, 2/11/10)
RASMUSSEN: “Forty-One Percent (41% ) Of Voters Favor The Proposed Health Care Plan, While 56% Oppose It.” (“51% Fear Government More Than Private Health Insurers,” Rasmussen, 2/24/10)
PPP: “50% Of Voters Say They’re Opposed To Barack Obama’s Health Care Plan With 39% In Support.” (“Major Divides On Health Care, DADT,” Public Policy Polling, 2/17/10)
PEW: “More Americans Continue To Generally Oppose (50%) Than Generally Favor (38%) The Health Care Bills Being Discussed In Congress.” (“Obama’s Ratings Are Flat, Wall Street’s Are Abysmal,” Pew, 2/12/10)

CBO Never Stated Deficit Projections In Second Ten Years

REP. XAVIER BECCERA (D-CA): “The Congressional Budget Office, The Referee, Not Political Parties, The Referee, Said That These Bills Reduce The Deficit In The Succeeding Years After The First Ten Years By Over A Trillion Dollars.” (Rep. Becerra, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)
CBO: “A Detailed Year-By-Year Projection For Years Beyond 2019, Like Those That CBO Prepares For The 10-Year Budget Window, Would Not Be Meaningful Because The Uncertainties Involved Are Simply Too Great.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 12/19/09, P. 15)

VP Says “We’re In Trouble” If We Don’t Reduce Health Care Costs, But Administration’s Actuary Says Sen. Bill Does Not Reduce Health Care Costs

VP BIDEN: "Unless We Bend That Cost Curve, We're In Trouble." (Vice President Joe Biden, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

CMS On Senate Bill: "This Bill Would Increase [Health Expenditures] By An Estimated Total Of $222 Billion"

CMS: “…We Estimate That Overall National Health Expenditures Under This Bill Would Increase By An Estimated Total Of $222 Billion (0.6 Percent) During Calendar Years 2010-2019…” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, P.4, 1/8/10)

“Current Law Baseline, Total National Health Expenditures (NHE)… Total, CY 2010-2019… $35,253.3 [Billion Dollars].” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, P.36, 1/8/10)

“Proposed-PPACA, Total National Health Expenditures (NHE)… Total, CY 2010-2019… $35,475.6 [Billion Dollars].” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, P.36, 1/8/10)

“Impact Of PPACA, Total National Health Expenditures (NHE)… Total, CY 2010-2019… $222.3 [Billion Dollars].” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Passed By The Senate On December 24, 2009,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, P.37, 1/8/10)


CBO: “Under The Legislation, Federal Outlays For Health Care Would Increase During The 2010–2019 Period, As Would The Federal Budgetary Commitment To Health Care. The net increase in that commitment would be about $200 billion over that 10-year period, driven primarily by the gross cost of the coverage expansions (including increases in both outlays and tax credits).” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 12/19/09, P. 18)

“Not Factually Accurate” Vs. “Yes, I’m Paying 10% To 13% More”

President Obama: “What The Congressional Budget Office Is Saying Is … Yes, I’m Paying 10% To 13% More Because Instead Of Buying An Apple, I’m Getting An Orange.” “What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is, is that if I now have the opportunity to actually buy a decent package inside the exchange, that costs me about 10% to 13% more but is actually real insurance, then there are going to be a bunch of people who take advantage of that. So yes, I’m paying 10% to 13% more because instead of buying an apple, I’m getting an orange.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

President Previously Maintained The 10-13% Increase Was “Not Factually Accurate”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It's Not Factually Accurate. Here's What The Congressional Budget Office Says. The Costs For Families For The Same Type of Coverage That They're Currently Receiving Would Go Down 14% To 20%.”
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise in the individual market as a result of the Senate bill.” OBAMA: “No, no, no, no. Let me -- and this is an example of where we've got to get our facts straight.” ALEXANDER: “That's my point.”OBAMA: “Well, exactly, so let me -- let me respond to what you just said, Lamar, because it's not factually accurate. Here's what the Congressional Budget Office says. The costs for families for the same type of coverage that they're currently receiving would go down 14 percent to 20 percent.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

CBO: “Average Premiums Per Policy In The Nongroup Market In 2016 Would Be Roughly $5,800 For Single Policies And $15,200 For Family Policies Under The Proposal, Compared With Roughly $5,500 For Single Policies And $13,100 For Family Policies Under Current Law. The Weighted Average Of The Differences In Those Amounts Equals The Change Of 10% To 13% In The Average Premium Per Person Summarized Above…” (Emphasis In Original; CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Bayh, P. 6, 11/30/09)

“Tried to Take Every Single Cost Containment Idea That's Out There”

President Barack Obama: “Now, The, What We’ve Done Is We’ve Tried To Take Every Single Cost Containment Idea That’s Out There.  Every Proposal That Health Care Economists Say Will Reduce Health Care Costs, We’ve Tried To Adopt In The Various Proposals.” (Pres. Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

“Obama's Health Plan Does Not Include” Liability Reform Which “Could Save As Much As $54 Billion Over The Next Decade”

“Congressional Budget Analysts Said Friday That Lawmakers Could Save As Much As $54 Billion Over The Next Decade By Imposing An Array Of New Limits On Medical Malpractice Lawsuits -- 10 Times More Than Previously Estimated.” (“Tort Reform Could Save $54 Billion, CBO Says,” The Washington Post, 10/10/09)

“The GOP Has Been Pushing A Series Of Modest Changes They Say Could Bring Down Costs And Improve Coverage, Including Tort Reform … Obama's Health Plan Does Not Include Those Republican Proposals.” “Instead, the GOP has been pushing a series of modest changes they say could bring down costs and improve coverage, including tort reform and new freedoms for insurance companies to sell their policies across state lines.  Obama's health plan does not include those Republican proposals, although White House officials said several times Monday morning that the president will be open to Republican ideas at the meeting on Thursday.” (“Obama Offers New Health-Care Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/22/10)

CBO And Democrat Senator Say “It Is True That Some Persons” “Would Find Their Premiums” Going Up

CBO: “Average Premiums Per Policy In The Nongroup Market In 2016 Would Be Roughly $5,800 For Single Policies And $15,200 For Family Policies Under The Proposal, Compared With Roughly $5,500 For Single Policies and $13,100 For Family Policies Under Current Law. The Weighted Average Of The Differences In Those Amounts Equals The Change Of 10% To 13% In The Average Premium Per Person Summarized Above…” (Emphasis In Original; CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Bayh, P. 6, 11/30/09)

SEN. BAUCUS (D-MT): “So It Is True That Some Persons In The So-Called Nongroup Market In The Year 2016, Would Find Their Premiums Would Go Up Without Subsidies. And I Think That Figure Nets Out To About 7%, But They're Getting Better Insurance.” (Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/7/09)

“Promises on Medicare”
Speaker Says “We Cannot Keep Our Promises On Medicare” Without Passing A Bill That Cuts Nearly $500 Billion Out Of Medicare

REP. PELOSI (D-CA): “And I Want To Say, Because Medicare Was Mentioned, Unless We Pass This Legislation, We Cannot Keep Our Promises On Medicare.” (Rep. Pelosi, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

Democrat Health Care Bill: Nearly Half TRILLION Dollars in Medicare Cuts

“Plan … Largely Embraces The Approach Already Taken By The U.S. Senate.” “President Obama made it clear Monday morning that he intends to make a final push for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's health care and insurance system, offering a new health care plan that largely embraces the approach already taken by the U.S. Senate.” (“Obama Embraces Senate Approach In New Health-Care Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/22/10)

Senate Bill: $466.7 Billion In Medicare Cuts
(Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff Review Of JCT And CBO Cost Estimates, 12/19/09)

CBO: Medicare Cuts Could “Reduce Access To Care Or Diminish The Quality Of Care.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 12/19/09, P. 1, 19)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I Hope That This Isn’t Political Theater.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)
VP BIDEN On Today’s Summit: “Could Be Pure Theater.” “Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Democrats are ready to work with any good ideas Republicans bring to today's White House summit on health care reform, but he also said the event ‘could be pure theater.’” (“Biden Open To Finding Deal On Health Care Reform,” [Delaware] News Journal, 2/25/10)

Tags: Fact Checking, G8 Summit, government healthcare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

We The People Open Video Letter to President Barack Obama

Patriot Americans will love this We The People Open Video Letter to President Barack Obama. Obama worshipers will try to silence it.

Tags: Open Letter, President Barack Obama, video, We the People To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Advice for the Fellow Tea Party Folks

Bill Smith, Editor: Before sharing the well developed thoughts below by a fellow TEA Party member, let me share some thoughts. Forget California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who believes that the TEA Party movement is “not going anywhere.” Under his leadership, California is going very far! He may have become a movie star, an American citizen and governor of California, but he reflects too much arrogance in not listening to those who could have been his strongest allies.

We the People (includes me) in the TEA Party have "gone somewhere" in influencing the discussion except with die hard liberals or brain numbed politically arrogant elected officials and staffers. Where Schwarzenegger and others are missing the point is that indeed the people in the TEA Party are angry but they are NOT asking for more Big Government to give them anything except their God given freedom and  liberty and less government. They are screaming:  "Big Government STOP STOP STOP!" Stop wasting money, Stop the excessive spending, Stops the bailouts, Stop trying to control our lives, Stop restricting our freedoms and rights.

However, in advancing our cause, we need to ignore defeatism comments of the Schwarzeneggers. We also must be aware of potential wolves in sheep's clothing seeking to lead us astray. Unfortunately, we must also be cautious of those who are charlatans seeking personal financial gain from the TEA party movement. Finally, we must not be lead along a track that defeats our desired outcomes. Group think and assuming that we can carry the banner of conservatism alone will allow liberalism and Big Government to advance in spite of our efforts. Focus remains the key.

God Bless and Thank You to everyone who gives time and effort to their local or regional TEA Party. Now, please consider the following article by another TEA Party advocate:

by American and Proud:
Here is a little advice for the Tea Party faithful: Know Your JOB!

Your job is to put the fire under the feet of the RINO’s, and so called conservatives. Your job is to use your political clout to make them understand we are fed up with their spending, their disregard for the constitution, their pandering, and their compromising principles for the sake of “Bi-Partisanship”

Your job is to attack relentlessly, the liberal/progressive Democrats to make them understand that the American people are tired of their wealth distribution, tax and spend policies. And that their days are numbered in the office they hold.

Your job is NOT to become a third party. (Yet) We need to put the right “R” or even “D” in place that will uphold the office on the behest of the PEOPLE. Not hold the office at the behest of themselves. A third party at this time guarantee’s a liberal win in most upcoming races. And while I can’t stand the thought of electing another Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, or John McCain to office the fact is, IF we don’t replace the “D”s or “R”s that have led us to the brink, we will end up off the cliff. In state elections, the candidate represents the people in THAT state, so it was no surprise that Scott Brown was a RINO, he’s at least a MODERATE Democrat who replaced a liberal so it’s a small upgrade. (Trust me it pains me to say it but it’s true.)

Your Job is to make any politician that you helped get elected know that WE ARE WATCHING, and we will campaign twice as hard to remove you if you go back on your promises. AND You will be a one term seat filler.

Your Job is to continue to make liberals' heads explode. Your job is to make our voices heard in the streets, in papers, on blogs, and at the ballot box.

Your job is to heap praise on the CONSERVATIVES (There are a few) that ARE doing the RIGHT thing, they need to be hoisted up as examples and praised when they act responsibly. Your job is to give them public praise and backing when they do the right thing.


Tags: advice, TEA Parties, tea party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Snake Oil - Reconciliation Not What the Doctor Ordered or What the People Want

Read: Everything you ever wanted to know about passing bills by "reconciliation"

Tags: government healthcare, snake oil, 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!

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 25, 2010 - The Blair House Healthcare Show!

Yesterday, the Senate voted 62-34 to waive pay-as-you-go rules for Democrats’ $15 billion jobs bill (H.R. 2847) and then voted to approve the bill 70-28.

Today, the Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 1299, the vehicle for Majority Leader Harry Reid’s tourism promotion bill . A cloture vote could happen Friday morning unless agreement is reached to vote this afternoon.  However, the real activity is over at  Blair House Healthcare Summit where the President, Senators and Representatives are meeting to discuss publicly their positions on healthcare.  However the statements before this meeting identify that the Democrat agenda is already determined.

As Republicans and Democrats gather for a health care summit, it’s revealing to look at the attitudes Democrats seem to be taking in to the summit compared to those of the American people.   According to Politico’s Playbook this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says today, “[I]naction and incrementalism are simply unacceptable.” But a CNN poll this week finds that “48 percent [of Americans say] lawmakers should work on an entirely new bill and a quarter [say] Congress should stop all work on health care reform.” That’s 73% saying Congress should start over on health care reform or stop altogether.  Yet Speaker Pelosi has deemed these views “unacceptable.”

Last night, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who helped write the Senate Democrats’ health care bill, told a rally, “[A]fter that meeting, you can either join us or get out of the way.” That sounds a lot like Democrats are readying to jam through a bill via the partisan reconciliation process. But USA Today and Gallup asked Americans about this in a poll and found that 52% oppose such a move and only 39% support it.

In an op-ed today, House Republican Leader John Boehner gets to the key question, writing, “For all the ink spilled over Thursday’s health care summit, it really boils down to one question: Who is listening to the American people?” Boehner explains, “Americans want Washington to scrap this job-killing government takeover of health care and start over with a step-by-step approach that will lower health care costs. That’s not the ‘Republican’ view. It’s the view of the American people.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week, “Americans don’t want to be told what’s best for them. They call the shots. And what they’re telling lawmakers in Washington to do on health care is to stop and to start over.”  So will Democrats decide they want to listen to the American people, or will they declare Americans’ views on health care reform “unacceptable” and tell them to “either join us or get out of the way”?

Tags: 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!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moat in a $1 Billion Embassy in London - Is It Gov't Waste?

Bill Smith, Editor,: From the UK TimesOnline, we learn today that the Obama Administration and more specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is plans to build a new $1 Billion Embassy in London which includes a "moat." Are we to expect a drawbridge next? Or, maybe a few gators, to discourage wood be scuba attackers? When did an Embassy have to be a palace? As one person shared concerning the noted article, "Are they kidding me, at what point do they stop this! Oh that's right when it all collapses..."

The new American Embassy is being built "behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs." This comment reminded me that back in May, 2009, Secretary Hillary Clinton made history by increasing federal spending in ways not supported by a significant majority of Americans. But, really can we expect any less from the Obama administration. Hillary extended funded benefits to "domestic partners" of state department diplomats and employees. Clinton said at the time, “At bottom, the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.” Her decision grew the operating cost of the State Department and passed this new cost on  to the taxpayers and added to the growing Obama administration national debt. She extending medical, travel, housing, and all other benefits to cohabiting ("shacked up") partners of state department employees who are not legally married. So, "We the People" now pay for the transitory lady and men friends of state department employees. On top of this, by sanctioning of these relationships and granting these "partners" diplomatic status, the State Department  has granted protection in countries where such cohabiting relationships are illegal and immoral. So much for the U.S. being diplomatic.

Back to Hillary's London moat! What is going on in the State department? President Obama what are you doing to reign in cost at the State Department? Having been attached to the American Embassy in Brussels, Belgium and having traveled throughout much of Europe, I noted that the state department diplomats and American employees in England and numerous other European countries are very fortunate to be posted to these countries and to live on a perpetual paid European vacation at the taxpayers expense.

Obviously, this cannot be said for diplomats and employees serving in more remote high risks areas of the world. It is in these other places that the State department needs to provide the resources to assist and protect our diplomats, employees and their families. Note the mention of  the cost various of embassies in high risk countries are less than the new embassy in the "mother county" which we saved twice in the last hundred years.  We must have worn out are welcome "over there" - maybe it is time for a majority of the state department employees to come home.  We could then have much smaller embassy.  Obama, are you listening - cut the number of employees in the State Department stationed in Europe starting with London!

One more point, please don't be fooled by the statement that the old embassy is being sold for enough money to cover the new construction of this luxury embassy with its moat. It is our money and personally I want it back! But since that is unlikely, the monies above the cost to build a less luxuriant embassy [even if maybe they need the moat - I know, but see the story] should be returned to meet other more "needed" projects or maybe even to help offset the a few days of the cost of  Sec. Hillary Clinton's domestic partnership benefits.

The UK TimesOnline reports:
The United States has unveiled plans for its new $1 billion high-security embassy in London — the most expensive it has ever built.

The proposals were met with relief from both the present embassy’s Mayfair neighbors and the residents and developers of the Battersea wasteland where the vast crystalline cube, surrounded by a moat, will be built.

The decision to abandon the former site in Grosvenor Square by 2016 came after a prolonged battle with residents angered by the security measures demanded after the September 11 attacks. More than a hundred residents took out a full-page advertisement in The Times to oppose tighter measures that they said would leave the area more vulnerable to attack.

The new embassy, on a former industrial site behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs, will be designed by Kieran Timberlake, the Philadelphia architect. A moat 30 meters (100ft) wide and rolling parkland will separate the building from the main road, protecting it from would-be bombers and removing the need for the blast barriers that so dismayed the people of Mayfair. [So the Moat is to mute would be bombers.]

The State Department sought to play down the cost of security measures, noting the expense of London building work. But the price puts the London embassy above the US’s most fortified missions, including the Baghdad embassy, which cost $600 million (£390 million) but required a further $100 million of work on air conditioning, and the Islamabad embassy, still under construction, which has cost more than $850 million.

. . . The new location will take the embassy out of the Central London congestion zone. US diplomats owe an estimated £32 million in congestion charges and fines, which they refuse to pay on the ground that they are exempt from taxes in Britain.  . . . the embassy learned in November that its Grosvenor Square premises were to be given a Grade II listing. Despite the development limits imposed by the decision, the embassy was still sold for more than $1 billion to a Qatari company that plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.

The embassy said that a statue of Ronald Reagan soon to be put up in Grosvenor Square will not be part of the Battersea site. “It will absolutely not be moved,” an official said. “Nor will the Eisenhower.” [In other words, they are leaving Reagan and Eisenhower behind for the British pigeons.]

Tags: government spending, Harry Hillaker, London, U.S. Embassy, United Kingdom, United States To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Watchout Nevada - Abusive Harry Reid Will Soon Be Unemployed

Toon by William Warren
Update 2/26: Comments by William J. Murray, Chairman Religious Freedom Coalition: "Men when they're out of work tend to become abusive," according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Majority Leader, who is up for reelection this year, is running behind in the polls and this should hurt his popularity among men. One columnist wondered if Reid would beat his wife if he lost the election and became unemployed. Not only did he say that unemployed men were abusive, he said that unemployed women were not. REALITY: The comments of Harry Reid were elitist. Like most liberals he groups people by sex, race, religion and ethnic background and uses broad statements to classify them. Liberals just don't see people as individuals; they see them as serfs who are beneath them.

Tags: 2010 Elections, abuse, Harry Reid, Nevada, political cartoon, unemployed, US Congress, William J. Murray, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Americans for Prosperity Five Year Budget Study: Arkansas' Government has a Spending Problem

Bill Smith, Editor: the Arkansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity is to be commended for addressing Big Government Spending and Growth by the State of Arkansas. They have released part one of its anticipated five year government spending overview for the state of Arkansas.

They are also to be commended for making this study fully transparent and available for Arkansans to review online. It is time for Arkansas "Big Government" thinking to be replaced by conservative elected officials that will help reduce the size of government and not promote political agendas and government agendas from either the home front or in Little Rock. It is a fact, that the Democrats have controlled the legislature and most administrative positions in Little Rock for so long that they have established a system of entitlements.

As an aside, consider the juxtaposition of Win Rockefeller's 10 year period of service as Lt Governor and Bill Halter's less than 2 year period of service. Conservative billionaire Winthrop Paul Rockefeller he did what was right and responsible in the office of the Lt Governor. He kept his staff and expenses reasonable and did NOT use his position to advance legislation or constitutional amendments. By comparison, in less than two years, liberal progressive Bill Halter sponsored and promoted the lottery - the most enticing regressive tax on Arkansas' poor which also resulted in more government via an excessively paid lottery commissioners. Also, in less than two years, Halter increased his supportive staff. Now the legislature faced with rising costs and is considering proposed budget cuts for the Lieutenant Governor’s office.

In addressing the study, Teresa Oelke, State Director of AFP-Arkansas, stated, “You hear many elected officials talk about a balanced state budget, but very little is being said of how quickly Arkansas Government is growing and how uncompetitive our taxes are.” The study highlighted the following issues:
  • The Murphy Commission was shocked to find that the state government’s employees grew by 228% from 1965 to 1998.  Yet from 1998 to 2007 the state government has grown by an additional 171% in one-third of the time.
  • Arkansas ranks 12th among states in its debt growth! Arkansas state and local debt works out to an astonishing $4305 owed for every man, woman and child in the state.
  • Arkansas has the highest per capita state tax burden of any state in our region.
  • Arkansas’ individual income tax has a top rate of 7% that kicks in at only $31,000 in income, tallying $2,170 per year or $181 per month!
  • Americans for Prosperity’s five year review shows that total state spending after removing federal funds increased by 10.88%, 6.38%, 8.19%, 5.19% and 6.17%.
  • If Arkansas had practiced “constrained spending” (allowing for inflation and population growth) $5.9 billion dollars would have been available to refund Arkansans taxpayers to create real economic stimulus.
Oelke noted that despite the continued problems with transparency, over-taxation and over-spending all is not lost. “This overview isn’t about what we do wrong, but offers ideas being used in other states to rein in government growth. Arkansas families have been tightening their belts and it’s time for State government to follow their example.”

Former Murphy Commission Member, J. French Hill, who chaired the Murphy Commission Tax Workgroup stated, “All budgets of public and private endeavors require periodic independent review. Such scrutiny often reveals significant opportunities for savings and increased productivity. I commend Americans for Prosperity for undertaking the hard work of a close review. Taxpayers deserve it.”

The Arkansas Chapter of Americans for Prosperity goal for Part One of the five year overview of Arkansas State Government spending renews the conversation among citizen leaders and elected officials on how to address excessive across the board government spending increases and the competitiveness of Arkansas’ tax climate. To be released later this year, Part two will be a five year agency by agency review and Part three will be a model budget that puts hard working Arkansas families as the top priority.

The study has been certified by CPA Steven J. Anderson, CPA, MBA; who is a research fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and served under former Gov. Frank Keating in the Oklahoma Office of State Finance. His firm conducts budget reviews across the country for Americans for Prosperity state chapters. The AFP-Arkansas study is available for the public to review on their AFP-Arkansas website.
The Arkansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity is part of a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity and to reducing the size and scope of government as the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. The Arkansas-AFP chapter was chartered in 2009 and actively addressed the impact on Arkansans by the proposed nationalized heath care and cap and trade bills.

Tags: AFP, Americans for Prosperity, Arkansas, Budget, Little Rock To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 24, 2010 - Arrogant Democrats Move To Ram - "Rahm" - Through Obamacare

This morning the Senate approved a $15 billion jobs bill, 70 to 28. The next stop is the House where Democratic leaders are weighing whether to pass the Senate version or go to conference the US House to reconcile it with the $154 billion jobs bill the House passed in December.

The press has taken up the terms "Ramming" or "Ram" in regard to the method of violating normal protocol to get Obamacare (government health care) through Congress and to the President for signature. Although, "Ram" may be the correct term, it might well be labeled "Rahm" after White House Rahm Emanuel, Chicago style thuggery methods.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board posted “ObamaCare At Ramming Speed” noted: "'The President's Proposal,' as the 11-page White House document is headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them-but by expanding them to everyone. . . . The larger political message of this new proposal is that Mr. Obama and Democrats have no intention of compromising on an incremental reform, or of listening to Republican, or any other, ideas on health care. They want what they want, and they're going to play by Chicago Rules and try to dragoon it into law on a narrow partisan vote via Congressional rules that have never been used for such a major change in national policy. If you want to know why Democratic Washington is "ungovernable," this is it."

Today, Politico reports, “An idea that seemed toxic only weeks ago — using a parliamentary tactic to ram health reform through the Senate — is gaining acceptance among moderate Democrats who have resisted the strategy but now say GOP opposition may force their hands.”

And yet President Obama is inviting members of Congress to the White House to supposedly hash out bipartisan ideas on health care. Just on Saturday, he said, “I am inviting members of both parties to take part in a bipartisan health care meeting, and I hope they come in a spirit of good faith. . . . I ask members of both parties to seek common ground in an effort to solve a problem that’s been with us for generations.”

If Senate Democrats are readying a reconciliation bill behind the scenes to "ram" it through without Republican input or votes, how exactly is that “in a spirit of good faith”? Who could plausibly argue that a health care bill written in this way is “seek[ing] common ground”?

For many Democrats, supporting reconciliation would be an about-face from what they said just a year ago. In September, the Omaha World-Herald reported, “Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, said Sunday that he would vote against using a tactic called reconciliation to push through a health care bill.” But according to Politico today, “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said he doesn’t prefer reconciliation, but it may be the only way.” He said, “[A]t the end of the day, with the obstructionism going on at the level that it is, I’m more interested in what’s in the package than I am in the process of how many votes it takes to get it through.” Last year, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said reconciliation “was intended for deficit reduction, and it should not be used for other things.” But she told Politico, “I’m staying open to see how these negotiations go forward.”

What’s even worse is the incredible arrogance on display in ignoring the clear wishes of the American people to scrap this health care bill and start over. According to Politico, “[The] mood in the Senate was matched Tuesday by a growing momentum for President Barack Obama’s health care proposal in the House, where Democrats were beginning to coalesce around the view that passing a flawed bill is better than passing none at all.”

Democrats are apparently eager to "ram" through a bill that they know is flawed, just for the sake of passing it. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed this morning, “What [Democrats] have in mind is a last ditch legislative sleight of hand called reconciliation that would enable them to impose government-run health care for all on the American people, whether Americans want it or not. And we know that Americans don’t, in fact, want it. Americans have seen these proposals before. They don’t want them. So this is the height of legislative arrogance. If you didn’t like the Cornhusker Kickback, get ready. This is the Cornhusker Kickback on steroids.”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) responded: "There's no question . . . the American people want health care reform that lowers the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government. But it's also clear that the American people don't want a government takeover of health care. They don't want the government takeover of health care that passed the House or the Senate, and the American people don't want the more of the same government takeover bill that the White House raised the curtain on . . ."

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) sums up the position of Republican house members over the Democrats actions to "ram" through Obamacare: "The American people have spoken loudly and clearly that they want to scrap this big government takeover of health care and start over. Republicans have been offering ideas for months about how to take commonsense steps to make our current system work better for American families and businesses that would help bring down the cost of health insurance and make it more available for more Americans. [ has the Republican Proposals] . . . look at what the president has done, he's basically crippled the summit that's expected on Thursday by coming in with a re-run of the same failed bill that couldn't pass the House or Senate. ... I would hope that the president would heed our call. Let's scrap the bill. Let's begin to work on common sense steps that will make our current system better. But if you look at one piece of the president's proposal yesterday, and that's the tax - or penalty, if you will - on employers who do not provide health insurance. Under the president's new proposal, it's $2,000 per employee if you don't provide health insurance to your employees. What that will do will cripple job creation in America at a time where the American people are asking ‘where are the jobs?' We can't make it more difficult for American employers to bring new employees onto their payroll. It's our intent to be there on Thursday. Eric [Cantor] and I sent a letter to Rahm Emanuel two weeks ago and we are waiting for a response and we are hopeful that we will receive one soon."

Americans oppose the health care bills the House and Senate Democrats passed, and on which Obama’s new proposal is based. Rasmussen Reports yesterday identified that 56% Oppose the Obama’s Health Care Plan with 41% favoring. Note the opposition continues to grow while the those favoring continues to decline as they become educated on the situation. Note there will always be those who live predominantly on the Government dole who will favor getting something more from the government without regard to the cost to others especially the cost to future generations.

Even the Democrats admit the major flaws in the bill, they are apparently planning to arrogantly "ram," or is that "Rahm," through the health care bill despite public opposition.

Tags: arrogance, jobs, jobs bill, Obamacare, Rahm Emanuel, 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!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jihadist Attorneys at Dept of Justice

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: When Barack Obama ran for president, he often promised he would not appoint a lobbyist who represented various U.S. companies to jobs in the government. Why? Because there was too much risk that those lobbyists would continue to represent the business interests instead of the public good.

Now comes some astonishing news. Since January 2009, Obama has appointed to jobs in the Justice Department nine individuals who previously represented or advocated for the jihadist thugs being held at Guantanamo Bay♠, Cuba. Yes, you read that right.

Perhaps this explains why Obama’s Justice Department seems so interested in giving foreign jihadist suspects constitutional rights to which they are not entitled. But it gets worse. The Justice Department refuses to release the names of the nine individuals! We know only two of the names from previous news stories. For example, one of the attorneys is former Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal. He once served as the lawyer for Osama bin Laden’s driver. Today, he is the deputy solicitor general, arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The public deserves to know who the other appointees are. We pay their salaries. They work for us. Tell us their names, their positions and the roles they have played in formulating the ridiculous Department of Justice policies that have us now telling enemy combatants that they have a “right” to remain silent.
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. He submitted this article in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.
Tags: attorneys, Campaign for Working Families, Gary Bauer, Gitmo, Jihadist To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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