ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Quick Video Review Of The Dodd Financial Takeover Bill S3217

ALGNewsNetwork Video:

Tags: ALG, Chris Dodd, Financial Reform, Financial Takeover Bill, S3217, Bailout, Government Seizure, Takeover, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Nanny of the Month for April 2010 - Runner-Up: AR U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln; Winner: Anti-Flag N.C. Cop Scott Hunter Last month's biggest busybody was the New York politician who's waging a war on salt. This month's top honors could have gone to the Arkansas US Senator Blanche Lincoln who wanted to block betting on box office sales or to the Silicon Valley politician yanked toys from kids' happy meals.

But the Nanny of the Month goes to the North Carolina cop - State Capitol Police Chief Scott Hunter who clamped down on tax day protesters' right to carry flags and signs because he feared Old Glory might be used as a weapon. (Hey, we can't have those tea party loons goring people with flag poles!)

"Nanny of the Month" [Video]is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Editor: Alex Manning; Associate Producer: Paul Detrick; Animation: Meredith Bragg.

Tags: Nanny of the Month,, Blanche Lincoln, Scott Hunter, TEA Party, Arkansas, North Carolina, California, box office sales, happy meals, flags To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Racialism: The First Refuge of Desperate Democrats

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: You know internal White House polling must be dismal if the President and his allies are dropping all pretense of “Obama the Uniter” to embrace the sordid politics of racial division. And that’s exactly what they are doing.

That liberals cast every issue through a racial prism is not exactly news to conservatives. What’s interesting is that the Left’s racialism is not fundamentally about race but rather about using one of society’s most divisive issue to distract voters when it has lost an argument. By framing every issue in racial terms, liberals avoid having to engage their opponents on the substance of debates it can’t win.

Democrats and the liberal media constantly suggest that criticism of the president, especially the sort that emanates from talk radio and appears in block lettering on signs at Tea Party rallies, is racially charged.

Opposition to Obamacare quickly became labeled as pent up racism against the country’s first black president, rather than disagreement over socializing the best medical system in the world. A new Arizona law that, as an MSNBC headline put it, makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrant, has been immediately cast as xenophobic and racist (even though the new law strictly prohibits racial profiling). But Obama is the master of exploiting race for political ends.

In a Democratic National Committee video released this week, the president attempts to rally the troops for the upcoming Democratic bloodbath that will be the mid-term elections. Obama implores “young people, African Americans, Latinos and women” to unite and go to the polls for Democrats just like they did back in 2008.

The video is a self-conscious acknowledgement of the enthusiasm chasm between Democratic and Republican voters. It’s also a desperate attempt to energize voters with an “us versus them” appeal. Obama ran for president as a post-partisan, post-racial uniter. But his knee-jerk response to the coming disaster is to divide on racial grounds.

When Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last summer, Obama immediately cast the matter as fundamentally about racism. While admitting that he did not know the facts of the case, Obama offered that Cambridge policemen had acted “acted stupidly.”

“There’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” he said. “That’s just a fact.”

Of course, when the facts became known, it was clear Sgt. Crowley had acted sensibly and that Gates had not. But it didn’t matter. Obama had already framed the entire debate in racialist terms; the truth of the case became mostly irrelevant.

The left has learned that to brand something—a movement, a law, a politician—as racist is to make it toxic even to those who know the label is false. Liberals know that just a hint of a racial component is enough to shut down most debate over issues they can’t win on their merits.

Even when there’s no proof that race is involved, liberals will often just make it up, as black Democratic congressmen seem to have done when they accused protestors of greeting them with racial epithets as they walked through a Tax Day protest on Capitol Hill.

The new Arizona immigration law merely adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. It expressly “prohibits the use of race or nationality as the sole basis for an immigration check.” In fact, Arizona police can only conduct an immigration status check after someone has been stopped for another offense.

The Left’s racial obsession is only a means to an end. Democrats see in the law a chance to energize the minority voters they are so worried won’t show up in November.

Liberals hype nonexistent racism by conservatives even as they ignore clear evidence of racial insensitivity and worse among their own.

If the Left were truly as race conscious as it presents itself, Joe Biden, who during the 2008 primaries, called Obama “articulate, and bright and clean and nice looking” would not be vice president. If racial insensitivity mattered as much as Democrats insist it does, Harry Reid, who it was revealed earlier this year referred to Obama as a “negro,” would no longer be Senate majority leader.

If the Tea Partiers were pushing a liberal policy agenda, no one on the Left would even notice that most of them are white. I didn’t attend the Earth Day rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C., but judging by photos of the crowd, the event had about the same proportion of whites as do the Tea Parties. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for media commentators to point that out to us.

Racism is a non-partisan sickness. But the crass exploitation of race for political advantage has become the first refuge of desperate Democrats. But this time, it doesn’t appear to be working.
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 the above in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor which also appears in Human Events. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, liberal media, exploiting race, Racialism, Democrats, politics, Barack Obama, Obama Administration, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Majority of Voters Want the Health Care Law Repealed

60% Believe Health Care Law Will Increase Deficit, 58% Favor Repeal

Rasmussen Reports: says, "Support for repeal of the recently-passed national health care plan remains strong as most voters believe the law will increase the cost of care, hurt quality and push the federal budget deficit even higher."

The latest April 24-25, 2010 Rasmussen Reports national survey finds:
58% of likely voters nationwide favor repeal
38% are opposed.
60% of voters nationwide believe the new law will increase the federal budget deficit
19% say it will reduce the deficit
57% think the law will increase the cost of health care
18% believe it will reduce costs
51% expect the quality of care to decline
24% predict it will get better

Support for repeal is proving to be just as consistent as opposition to the plan before it was passed into law.

Rasmussen also identified that there is a huge gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans on the new health care law: 82% of Political Class voters oppose repeal while 71% of Mainstream American voters take the opposite view and favor repeal.

And we wonder why are elected politicians and staffs are out of touch with the people. They don't care and they refuse to listen.
The More the Public Learns, the More They Want It Repealed!
What Was Billed As “The Largest Middle Class Tax Cut” Actually “Will Go Directly To Insurers”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It's Also Important To Note That The New Health Reform Law Includes The Largest Middle Class Tax Cut For Health Care In History, and once it's implemented; millions of Americans will finally be able to purchase quality, affordable care and the security and peace of mind that comes with it.” (President Obama, Weekly Radio Address, 4/10/10)

IRS: “The Health Care Subsidies Will Go Directly To Insurers, Not Taxpayers” “The IRS does a poor job of managing social programs. … In tax year 2006, the latest year available, IRS made $10 billion to $12 billion in erroneous EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] payments, according to a study by the Treasury Department's inspector general. IRS officials argue that the two programs are vastly different. The health care subsidies will go directly to insurers, not taxpayers, giving individuals little incentive to cheat, says IRS spokesman Frank Keith.” (“IRS Lacks Clout To Enforce Mandatory Health Insurance,” USA Today, 4/29/10)

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, Health Care law, Obamacare, poll, repeal it, repeal health care, increase cost, insurance companies, Barack Obama, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Who is Senator Blanche Lincoln?

Republican Party of Arkansas: On Saturday, at a Democrat U.S. Senate debate held in Little Rock, Senator Blanche Lincoln was asked by a reporter if she thought her opponent Lt. Gov. Bill Halter was more liberal than she. Desperate to thieve a smidgen of left-wing credibility, the incumbent Senator responded by saying: “No. He’s just trying to get elected.”

Why, Senator Lincoln, aren’t you frantically trying to do the same – get elected? Nevertheless, the enigma that is Lincoln recently materialized when we discovered that she received nearly $1 million in contributions from Wall Street.

Hold the phone. Isn’t Lincoln the perceived pioneer Senator attempting to push for the regulation of the derivatives market as part of Congress’ questionable Financial Regulatory Bill, which seeks to create a $50 billion permanent bailout fund? Why yes she is. And isn’t it funny that part of that Wall Street money came from Goldman Sachs, the colossal yet criminal Wall Street bank?

But back to Halter. With the affection and support of labor unions and radical activist organizations like, Halter is a quintessential liberal puppet if we've ever seen one. Could Lincoln have made an erroneous statement when she declared she is as liberal as Halter? Perhaps so. What about when Lincoln said she was against the public option when Halter was for it…Was she secretly lying? And if she was lying, was it to get re-elected?

Back to money. We can’t hold Lincoln accountable for her Wall Street ties alone without mentioning her agenda buddy, President Barack Obama, who in 2008 received $994,795 from Goldman Sachs alone. This begs the question: Who is Senator Lincoln? Is she a closet centrist or a proud liberal? We many never know, nor want to.

However, we know what Senator Lincoln is not. She is not an honest representative of the people of Arkansas. She is not a decisive leader who listens to her constituents. And most importantly, she will not be a three term Senator.
Bye Bye Blanche.
Bye Bye Bill.
Hello Conservative Victory!
The May 18 Primary is almost here! Early voting begins on Monday, May 3. To find voting locations please visit

Tags: Arkansas, Republican Party of Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Bill Halter, liberals, 2010 election 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. - April 30, 2010 - More on Puerto Rico Statehood & Financial Regulation Bills

Yesterday, the House passed the Puerto Rico Democracy Act H.R. 2499 by a vote of 233-169. In a separate vote, an amendment that would have required English as the sole official language as a condition for Puerto Rican statehood was defeated 194-198. The vote by party was mixed.

Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. issued the following statement after the vote: "All Americans who care about our national unity should be outraged by this vote. No state has ever come into the Union where its core organs of government operate in a foreign language and Puerto Rico must not be an exception. This bill constitutes an invitation by Congress to take a very large step on the road to statehood. But this invitation must not be issued without full clarity about the consequences of statehood for Puerto Rico and for the current 50 states. On behalf of our members and the millions of Puerto Ricans who oppose this flawed bill, I pledge that we will work tirelessly to fight this battle in the Senate."

Puerto Rico has language policies that are unlike any state in the Union’s history. English is taught as a foreign language in public schools, and the courts and legislature are conducted in Spanish, with English translations available only by special request. Congress has previously required language requirements as a condition for statehood when the language of potential states was in genuine doubt: Congress required French Louisiana to conduct its government functions in English, and required Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma to make English the language of public education.

The Senate resumed consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. No votes are scheduled for today. For two weeks, Democrats have attacked Republicans, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in particular, for pointing out that the financial regulation bill, offered by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT), doesn’t end “too big to fail” and actually allows for future taxpayer bailouts.

Before the bill came up for debate, Sen. McConnell warned, “This bill not only allows for taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street banks; it institutionalizes them.” The next day, he explained, “If you need to know one thing about this bill, it’s that it would make it official government policy to bail out the biggest Wall Street banks. So if the administration is looking for bipartisan support on this Wall Street bill, they can start by eliminating this aspect of the bill — not because Republicans are asking for it, but because community bankers all across the country and American taxpayers are demanding it.”

Democrats rejected these criticisms on their face. In his weekly address that same week, President Obama declared that Sen. McConnell “made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts – when he knows that it would do just the opposite.” This week, Obama went to New York to proclaim, “[W]hat’s not legitimate is to suggest that somehow the legislation being proposed is going to encourage future taxpayer bailouts, as some have claimed. That makes for a good sound bite, but it’s not factually accurate. It is not true.”

Senate Democrats were no less emphatic. Sen. Dodd came to the floor many times to denounce the criticisms. At one point he affirmed, “[O]ur bill stops bailouts by literally eliminating any possibility for the government of the United States to bail these firms out.” And he later said, “They knew, at least those who’d read the bill, that those provisions had been written so tight that no one could possibly argue that too big to fail would ever be allowed again.”

But today, Democrats appear to have acknowledged that Sen. McConnell and Republicans were right all along in the very first amendment they’ve offered to the Dodd bill. The New York Times writes, “The first amendment proposed to the bill, by Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, was intended to tighten language in the bill regarding how the government would handle any future collapses of financial companies. . . . In a floor speech, Mrs. Boxer again rejected the Republican criticism, although her amendment suggested that there might have been some reason to question the possibility of future bailouts.” And The Washington Post writes, “The first proposed amendment, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), would prohibit using any more taxpayer money to bail out troubled financial companies. This goal is so widely shared that members of both parties have been tripping over one another to assure the public that they are best at safeguarding taxpayers' wallets.”

Clearly, Republicans were right all along, as NPR’s Adam Davidson seemed to confirm last week. He wrote, “We at Planet Money did an informal survey of economists and regulatory experts on the left and the right. We couldn't find any who fully endorse the reforms backed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. . . . Take, for example, "too big to fail" - the idea that if one of the largest banks in the country gets into trouble, the government will save it with taxpayer money. ‘A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts,’ Obama said in his speech in New York on Thursday. I cannot find any experts - of any party - who are willing to agree with Obama on this one.”

An amendment to prevent taxpayers from being on the hook for bailouts that bill still allows for is a good start, but there are many more problems with the Dodd bill that need to be fixed. Maybe on the other issues, Democrats will save everyone some time and energy and listen to Republican concerns instead of spending weeks trying to score political points off of legitimate policy critiques.

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pence and McMorris Rodgers Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts for Europe

The House Republican Conference: Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, and Conference Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers urged their House colleagues today to sign a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, calling on the Obama Administration to block any American taxpayer-funded bailouts of Greece. Greece is seeking funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), due to the country's debt, and other European countries, including Portugal and Spain, may soon make similar appeals. Congressman Pence made the following remarks today:

"The American people are tired of the endless bailouts. The United States is facing nearly 10 percent unemployment and a fiscal crisis of its own, and propping up Greece or any other European Union nation that may face a similar crisis in the future should not be the responsibility of American taxpayers. The EU was created to compete economically with the United States, and if it needs to bailout one of its own, it should do so without bilking the American taxpayer.

"The administration should do everything in its power to block taxpayer money from financing an international bailout slush fund. Hard-working Americans should not see their tax dollars sent overseas to bail out nations that have acted irresponsibly. As we are seeing here in the United States, borrowing, spending and bailouts are not the path to economic prosperity, but are instead a formula for disaster."

"At a time when America is experiencing its worst economy in 30 years and is burdened by a $1.3 trillion deficit, it is simply unfair to force American taxpayers to spend billions more of their hard-earned dollars to prop up failed policies in a relatively wealthy nation," said Vice Chair McMorris Rodgers.

Congressman Pence added, "The Obama Administration needs to understand that bailing out Greece will not solve Greece's problems; it will only create a moral hazard that gets America more involved in the gathering storm of European bailouts. A Greek bailout today will encourage larger countries, such as Spain and Italy - which have similar problems - to get in line for American tax dollars tomorrow and continually delay the fiscal disciplinary actions that are necessary for a long-term recovery."

Tags: Europe, Bailout, Stop the Bailouts, Mike Pence, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Obama Administration, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, Greece, European Union, American taxpayer To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

SCOTUS Says Veterans Memorial Cross Can Stay

CitizenLink: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a veterans memorial cross currently covered up by a box in California's Mojave Desert can stay right where it is. In a 5-4 decision, the court agreed that the 9th Circuit decision holding the memorial unconstitutional needed to be reversed, even though there were not five votes for any particular legal basis for the reversal. The case now goes back to the trial court level.

The lower court order was the result of a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2001 on behalf of a former Mojave Preserve employee who claimed to be "offended" by the cross.

"It is a disgrace that this memorial to our fallen veterans has been covered in a box of plywood for 10 years while the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, which represents Henry and Wanda Sandoz, the longtime memorial caretakers, and more than 4 million veterans through the VFW, The American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the American Ex-Prisoners of War.

"We applaud the Supreme Court for overruling the decisions below, but this battle is not over. This box must come off. No war memorial with religious imagery is safe until the court rules that these memorials, which serve to remember our fallen heroes of the military, are allowed under the Constitution."

Various forms of the memorial cross have existed at the location since 1934, when the Veterans of Foreign Wars placed it at its current spot. In 2004, Congress authorized the transfer of one acre of land under the cross back to the VFW, a private organization, in exchange for five acres of other land. The ACLU argued that the land transfer was unconstitutional, and a district court judge agreed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision.
Reference prior story: Desert Cross Has Court in Hot Pursuit

Tags: cross, Mount Soledad, California, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, ACLU, veterans memorial cross, Ninth U.S. Circuit Court, Mojave Desert 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. - April 29, 2010 - Puerto Rico & Dodd Financial Regulation Bills

Today, in the House, they will vote on the Puerto Rico Democracy Act H.R. 2499 which some are identifying as a rigged referendum process to favor Puerto Rico being admitted as the 51st state. After reviewing the proposed law stipulating a proposed ballot, this bill appears to be an effort to confuse the voters of Puerto Rico. The bill will force a vote not on being a state but on do you want to retain the status quo in Puerto Rico which force Puerto Rico to vote to change the present Territorial relationship. The citizen's of this Territory should decide on one issue without any complications or bias in the process. They have voted three times against becoming a state. Now, they have being asked to vote on this complex measure. They can and should be able to vote without our interference alone.

In the Senate: Prior to an agreement yesterday to begin floor debate on the bill that came after Democrats promised concessions on bailout language, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Dodd bill by a vote of 56-42. The Senate will again resume consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. No amendments will be in order until Dodd offers his substitute amendment.  A number of amendments are expected from both sides and votes on some are possible this afternoon.

In fact, both Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) have publicly expressed reservations about aspects of the bill. Nelson explained his multiple votes against moving to the bill in a statement yesterday: “I have heard from Nebraska business owners and leaders that the underlying bill will extend too far and adversely impact Main Street businesses that use third party financing to help customers pay for their products or services.” And earlier this week, Warner told The Daily Caller, “There are parts that need to be tightened.”

The Washington Post notes, “Although Democrats have scaled a major procedural hurdle, final passage of the massive bill is by no means guaranteed. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) supported the Republican filibuster on all three votes, and if Democrats decide they can't or won't address his concerns, they must win at least two GOP converts to push the legislation across the finish line.”

Analyzing the outcome, National Review Online’s Stephen Spruiell wrote yesterday, “Since this outcome was all but preordained — Democrats couldn't support ‘bailouts’; moderate Republicans weren’t going to filibuster over ‘consumer protection’ — why didn’t Dodd just agree to these changes on Monday? The answer is exactly what you think it is: The Democrats wanted to force the GOP to filibuster ‘Wall St. reform’ a few times in order to milk their political advantage.”

If Democrats really want to pass a bill to rein in Wall Street and help Main Street, they need to drop the political games, follow through on their commitment to remove bailout provisions, and join with Republicans to ensure that onerous regulations don’t crush businesses across the country that had nothing to do with the financial crisis.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Predicting the Arkansas third district race

by Patrick Briney, President Arkansas Republican Assembly (ARRA): Northwest Arkansas third district conservatives are looking for a conservative champion to put in the U.S. House of Representatives. Eight candidates are in the running trying to convince the voters that they are conservative.

Sure enough, if you talk to each one, you find out that they claim to believe in Judeo-Christian values, in God given, inalienable rights, in self-government, in decentralized government, in national sovereignty, in free enterprise, in cutting taxes and wasteful spending, in the right to bear arms, in the sanctity of life from birth to cradle, in one man-one woman marriages, and in parental authority. All claim to possess excellent leadership skills. This is perhaps the finest field of conservative choices Northwest Arkansas has ever had.

The challenge for conservative voters is deciding which of these decent and conservative candidates will best represent them. A vote for one could easily be cast for another. In fact, it would interesting to hear from the candidates which candidate they would pick if they had to choose other than for themselves. Perhaps they can all work together to accomplish the conservative goals regardless of the outcome. After all, they all agree that conservative change is important enough to work hard for.

In an excellent and well organized April 17, 2010 debate, the candidates were given opportunity to set themselves apart from the pack. Other than for one panelist, Ed Bethune, overstepping his bounds and showing lack of control over his arrogance and contempt when telling Bernie Skoch how to use his time, the debate was vastly superior to the Senate debate held the same day.

Bernie Skoch, Kurt Maddox, Mike Moore, and Gunner Delay said what conservatives want to hear. Skoch showed his commitment to conservative principles over politics by condemning the reckless spending of both parties. Maddox stated that he did not support earmarks of any kind period, that all spending should be balanced with revenues, and that transparency was a priority. Moore said he threatened to veto every new tax increase presented to him while serving as Boone county judge and denied three attempts to raise taxes on his watch. He said budget problems are spending problems not income problems, and that voters should decide if they want to raise their taxes. Delay argued that it is not the business of the federal government to bail out states for irresponsible spending sprees. The Federal government does not belong in the health care business, car business, or the finance business.

Debate on the panel was highlighted by a spirited exchange between Delay and Womack. Womack challenged Delay with hypocrisy for sponsoring legislation in 2001 that raised compensation rates on businesses. Delay responded by saying he made a mistake in not looking for other ways to cover those costs.

Gunner challenged Womack for supporting Democrat Beebe as Governor. Womack responded saying that Beebe was a good man and a friend, and that he was a good choice for Arkansas and had no problem with him as a Governor. Matayo pointed out that one of the first things Beebe did was repeal legislation that would have saved Arkansans millions of dollars. Delay pointed out that Womack had said in his campaign that he favored building health clubs all over the country at tax payer expense. It was clear from the debate that Womack distinguished himself as one candidate who could support Democrats and justify ‘worthy’ tax increases.

Likewise, Matayo distinguished himself as a party man over principles. When asked if he supported legislation such as state sanctioned health care, Matayo side stepped the question by saying he did not favor state mandated health insurance. He went on to say that he believed it was important to stand by the party line and that people are better served by keeping disagreements within the party in the ‘cloak’ room. Conservatives will take note that a vote for Matayo is a vote for the party line even if he disagrees with it in private. To Matayo’s and Womack’s credit, they express what they believe.

Bledsoe is the lone female in the running. As an Arkansas representative and senator, she was challenged to defend her support of the cigarette tax, her spending of discretionary funds, and other new spending programs on her watch. Rather than express regret for supporting the cigarette tax, Bledsoe defended it. With regard to raising other taxes, she said that she could not remember if she supported new spending programs. This includes forgetting about her support for a new tax on milk, which would have increased the cost of milk. Ironically but fortunately, Democratic Gov. Beebe vetoed the bill saying that his goal was to reduce costs and taxes on food not to increase it. Not surprisingly, at a Tea Party rally, Bledsoe proclaimed her opposition to raising federal taxes. But conservatives will wonder if this means except for tax increases on cigarettes, milk, and any other ‘justifiable’ items to tax. Once one tax is justified, all taxes can be justified.

Candidate Steve Lowery also seems to find it justifiable to raise taxes at least for funding the war on drugs. As an experienced drug enforcement officer, he made it very clear that the DEA is underfunded by the government to adequately work with countries of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Conservatives would agree with him that illegal drug problems lead to more social problems and harm more innocent citizens. We do need to increase our success against illegal drugs. However, raising taxes is not the answer. Instead, a conservative solution is to reapportion taxes from government earmarks, waste, and redundant departments to the DEA.

For a field of conservative candidates, Skoch, Maddox, Moore, and Delay are left in the forefront. Skoch separates himself from the field with articulation and commanding leadership. Maddox vows to return half of his salary to charity. Moore states plainly, “We're taxed to death and the last thing we need is another tax. Our government does not have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem.” Delay brings political experience and a track record of challenging the party line when it violates conservative principles. Imagine if these four guys could work together.

Distinguishing between this pack-of-four comes down to political savvy and campaign leadership. Money wise, Moore has raised over $10,000 $27,000 for the 1st quarter*, Skoch over $18,000, and Delay over $31,000. A search for money raised by Maddox was unsuccessful. Poll wise, The Political Firm in Little Rock conducted a poll in early April using automated calls to survey 600 registered Arkansans likely to vote in the Republican primary. The results show Delay in the lead of the conservative-pack-of-four favored by 16 percent. Mike Moore had 8 percent of supporters; Skoch had 5 percent; Kurt Maddox 1 percent; and 27 percent were undecided. The remaining voters spread their support among the other four candidates. With a 4% margin of error in the poll, Delay is the decisive favorite.

Admittedly, many conservatives find themselves torn between a field of wonderful candidates, but only one can serve as Congressman. The choice is so painful that some voters are apologizing to candidates for supporting someone else due to earlier commitments. We take comfort that regardless of the outcome, if the winner keeps his promises, conservatives win. That is the predictable bottom line.
Dr. Patrick Briney serves as President of the Arkansas Republican Assembly and is founder of the Leadership Training Institute of America. Views expressed in this article are his own.
* Correction: Moore raised nearly $27,000 for the 1st quarter, not $10,000. The FEC report showed cash on hand of just over $10,000.

Tags: Patrick Briney, Arkansas Republican Assembly, Arkansas, Republican candidates, US Congress, 3rd Congressional District, AR-03, primary, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Two Arkansas US Senate Candidates Roll Out Special Campaign Vehicles

Bill Smith, Editor: Two Arkansas Republicans running for the US Senate have rolled out their special campaign vehicles with messages addressing the liberal agenda. The two are Jim Holt and Gilbert Baker. Messages on Holt ambulance is taking shots at incumbent Democrat Sen. Blanche Lincoln.  Baker bus messages are taking shots at fellow Republican candidate Rep. John Boozman as well as at Sen.Lincoln.

Both Holt and Baker have good polling numbers against Blanche Lincoln but may split in their efforts to make it to the primary run-off because U.S. Rep John Boozman and five other Republican candidates are also running in the Republican primary. Maybe these vehicles at campaign stops will help their message. Democrats are already endorsing Holt's ambulance by attacking it - kind of cool!  Wonder if any of the other Republicans will roll out specialized vehicles in their races. Hint to a couple of the other Republicans: consider a Military Jeep or Tank; Tractor; Delivery Truck. Enjoy the following pictures:

Holt introduced the 2004 Ford F450 former emergency ambulance that several Holt supporters and volunteers have modified to read "ObamaCare Repeal Unit" in bold print on the face along with phrases like "Stop The Barackracy" and "The Cure for Obama's Hope & Change." In addition, America's Ambulance touts a caricature of President Obama with a Soviet hammer & sickle insignia affixed to his lapel while the other side displays a cartoon sketch of Sen. Lincoln posing alongside Sen. Harry Reid & Rep. Nancy Pelosi next to the words "Revive America: Vote Jim Holt for U.S. Senate."

Hold said, "The current administration is cramming their liberal agenda down the throats of the people in much the same way - with no thought for the American public. When you attack the leader of the most Socialist minded progressive agenda our nation has ever seen, it is bound to cause quite a stir.

"We are speaking out and representing Americans who have not had a voice in Washington that represents them. With recent attacks on freedom and liberty, citizens need a leader - someone who will fight to defend their Constitutional rights." Holt reiterated, "The illustration in America's Ambulance harnesses the momentum we need to drive us through to victory in November. Then we will head for the ER — Economic Recovery."

Baker is using a bus for his three-day “No Bailouts Bus Tour," stopping in Conway, Little Rock, Cabot, Searcy, Heber Springs, Mountain View, and Marshall. The tour highlights Baker's opposition to big government bailouts and his support for fiscal responsibility in Washington D.C. “It's time to say 'no' to big government bailouts," Baker said. "My opponent, Congressman John Boozman, voted for the TARP bank bailout, and people I've talked with today agree that someone who's been part of the DC problem can't fix the DC problem. I would not have voted for the bank bailout and I call on Congressman Boozman to join me in pledging to vote against any government bailouts in the future.

Tags: US Senate, Arkansas, campaigns, vehicles, ambulance, bus, Jim Holt, Gilbert Baker To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

News Reports on Arizona's Law Addressing Illegals

H/T for leads to links
WSJ: Arizona's Immigration Frustration: Result of a failed national policy
WaPo: Both sides in immigration debate blame congressional inaction for Arizona law
LA Times: Arizona immigration law reshaping the push for reform
SacBee: Arizona's new law draws chorus of protest in California [LOL - CA who is broke partly because of illegals and liberal agendas]
WaPo: Mexican officials condemn Arizona's tough new immigration law [Who cares what the Mexican Gov't says - hey we will give the illegals back to you & you can deal with them]
Politico: Arizona jumpstarts immigration bill
Politico: Arizona tears open immigration debate  [The only debate should be secure our borders!]
CQ Politics: Tancredo Says Arizona Law Goes Too Far [Tancredo proves again that he is deranged - tries to be for border security and stopping illegals in the US and then turns on AZ for doing something]

NYT: In Wake of Immigration Law, Calls for an Economic Boycott of Arizona  [Like AZ cares, cheaper for AZ to send the illegals to the states / cities that want to boycott AZ]
Linda Greenhouse: Breathing While Undocumented
Richard Cohen: In Arizona, immigration creates another Tea Party moment
Wash Times: Hayworth sees momentum in Ariz. law [Some sanity, get out of the way McCain, Hayworth supports rule of law]

Wash Times: Hayworth: McCain flip-flops on immigrants
Rasmussen: 58% Favor Welcoming Immigration Policy
Rasmussen: Nationally, 60% Favor Letting Local Police Stop and Verify Immigration Status
Hill: Immigration push may help Dems in the West [ditto prior comment]
Rush Limbaugh: The Left Exploits Illegal Aliens [Rush right again!]
Human Events: Arizona Gets it Right on Illegal Immigration[READ THIS ONE]

Exercising its sovereign right under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, Arizona has enacted a law empowering its state and local police officers to use suspected illegal immigrant status as a crime-fighting tool. The law, which GOP Gov. Jan Brewer signed April 23, uses state police authority to step up pressure on illegal aliens. This should help force many to leave the state—and the country—on their own or else face time behind bars. This measure promotes attrition through enforcement, the most reasonable, rational strategy on the enforcement side of the immigration equation....
Bay Buchanan: America’s Choice: Arizona or Amnesty
Ted Nugent: Arizona Has It Right
Pat Buchanan: Whose Country Is This?
With the support of 70 percent of its citizens, Arizona has ordered sheriffs and police to secure the border and remove illegal aliens, half a million of whom now reside there. Arizona acted because the U.S. government has abdicated its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion and refuses to enforce America's immigration laws. . . . Last year, while Americans were losing a net of 5 million jobs, the U.S. government -- Bush and Obama both -- issued 1,131,000 green cards to legal immigrants to come and take the jobs that did open up, a flood of immigrants equaled in only four other years in our history. What are we doing to our own people? Whose country is this, anyway?
Jonah Goldberg: Arizona's ugly but necessary immigration law
IBD: Praising Arizona (In Border Battle)
American Spectator: Fixing America's Immigration Black Market
American Thinker: The Arizona Uproar
Arizona Republic: Court fight looms on new immigration law
ABC: Obama Considering Options Regarding AZ Immigration Law Including Suing to Block It
NYT: Unexpected Governor Takes an Unwavering Course
Hill: McCain to Obama: Send troops to border if you don't like new immigration law
CSM: Arizona immigration law: Embarrassment or way forward for Republicans?
Raw Story: Judge Napolitano: Immigration law will ‘bankrupt the Republican Party’
Boston Globe: Arizona immigration law stirs emotions [Irish who are illegal living in Boston might have to leave]
AP/Cooper: Hispanics fear profiling under new Arizona law [Why are Hispanics the only illegals; the American citizens who are Hispanics that I know agree with AZ law]
Rasmussen: 70% of AZ Voters Favor Measure Cracking Down On Illegal Immigration [Take Note]
Des Moines Register: States pushed to get tough on immigration
Ann Althouse: What is irresponsible and unfair about what Arizona did?
Instapundit: Feds are in default on their “protection against invasion” responsibility
Originally Posted at Blogs For Borders.

Tags: Arizona, Jan Brewer, law, enforcement, news, illegal aliens To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Election 2010: Arkansas U.S Senate Race - Rasmussen Reports Poll

Report on survey completed April 25, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports: Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln has fallen to her lowest levels of support yet in her bid for reelection, while her five top Republican challengers now pull over 50% support from Likely Voters in the state. Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, who is challenging Lincoln in the Democratic Primary, runs only slightly stronger than she does.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters in the state now have a very unfavorable opinion of the Democratic senator, while 18% view her very favorably.

Of the GOP contenders, Congressman John Boozman earns the most voter support with 57% to Lincoln’s 29%. Former State Senator Jim Holt gap with Boozman is closing and Holt was second with 54% to Lincoln's 31%. Third was State Senator Gilbert Baker with 53% to Lincoln's 31%. Businessman Curtis Coleman was 52% to Lincoln's 32% and State Senator Jim Hendren was 51% to Lincoln's 30% with 8% undecided on this match-up.

Against Lt Gov Bill Halter (D), Boozman is he strongest with 56% to Halter's 31%; Holt was second with 49% to Halter's 31%; Baker was 48% to Halter's 33%; Coleman was 43% to halters 37% and Hendren was 45% (11 points back from Boozaman) to Halter's 33%.

Every Republican picks up more than 50% support among voters not affiliated with either major party in match-ups with both Lincoln and Halter. The one exception is Coleman who earns 47% of unaffiliateds against Halter.

Halter is viewed very favorably by 13% of Arkansas voters and very unfavorably by 23%.

Boozman earns very favorable marks from 26% of Arkansas voters, up six points from last month, while 9% view him very unfavorably. Jim Holt 13% very favorable opinion of Holt, while 11% view him very unfavorably. Other's had lower numbers with Hendren being the lowest with very favorables are 3%, very unfavorables 6%.

Only 35% of Arkansas voters approve of the president’s performance, while 64% disapprove. These numbers have changed little from a month ago and give Obama a much lower job approval rating than he earns nationwide in daily Presidential tracking poll.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the Arkansas’ voters favor legislation that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant, which is slightly higher than results found on the national level.
Note: Three other Republican candidates were again not covered by the Rasmussen Reports Poll

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, Poll, Arkansas, US Senate, Republican, Democrats 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. - April 28, 2010 - Financial Regulation Bill Headed to Floor Debate

The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. At 12:20 PM, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid planned to forced a third straight cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the Dodd bill, even though he failed to get 60 votes last night by the same margin as on Monday, 57-41. Reid also re-filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill last night, which would allow for yet another cloture vote on Thursday.

However, an agreement was reached on a single contentious element of the overhaul proposal: the creation of new government authority to wind down failing financial firms.  The Democrats conceded that they would kill a proposed $US50 billion ($54bn) fund to break up large, failing financial companies. The move gave Republicans an opening to end their opposition to moving the legislation as even their unified position had started to fray.

However, Sen. Shelby (R-AL), the ranking member on the Banking Committee and the main GOP negotiator who brokered the deal with Sen Dodd, informed Senate Republicans that bipartisan negotiations don’t seem like they’ll go any further, as Democrats aren’t budging yet on the regulatory overreach in their consumer financial protection agency provisions. There’s no deal on moving forward, but  thanks to Republicans sticking together, Sen. Shelby had enough time to get key concessions on protecting taxpayers from paying for future bailouts.

Note the bill has never made it through cloture, so keep in mind that when the bill comes to the floor for debate, whatever amended version emerges from floor debate would still need to get 60 votes to pass. So far the Democrats are not very open minded as identified previously.

Senate Republican Leader Minority McConnell issued the fooling statement today: "I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Shelby to work toward a bipartisan solution on an issue that will have an impact on nearly every American. The time afforded by my Republican colleagues and Sen. Ben Nelson was instrumental in gaining assurances from the Chairman that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail.

"Unfortunately, Sen. Shelby believes that continued talks on a number of provisions affecting Main Street will not bring the negotiators any closer to an agreement. Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over.  I remain deeply troubled by a number of provisions in this bill and will work aggressively in the days ahead to ensure that the majority does not use our mutual interest in regulating Wall Street to extend the federal government’s unwanted hand into Main Street."

Today,  The Hill reports, “The Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched a new national television ad targeting all 41 Senate Republicans who voted earlier this week against allowing debate to begin on Wall Street reform legislation.” And in a story titled “White House keeps losing votes -- and loving it,” The Washington Post writes, “In the last two days, the White House has lost two straight votes in the Senate that would have moved the massive overhaul of the financial system along. . . . But don't feel bad for the West Wing. Obama aides are practically giddy about the turn of events. . . . [T]he White House and Democratic allies are relishing the rhetorical gift that Republicans have given them. They have once again described the GOP as the party of ‘no.’ And they have sought to paint them as the defenders of greedy and irresponsible Wall Street moguls.”

Of course, all this ignores the fact that Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted both times with Republicans, noting his concerns that the bill could adversely affect businesses on Main Street. Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell noted that even The New York Times is warning that the Democrats’ bill could affect businesses that had nothing to do with the financial collapse. The Times writes today, “The Democrats’ bill gives broad powers to a consumer protection agency to regulate almost any business that extends credit, meaning that companies like car dealers and professionals like orthodontists who allow customers to pay over time could be subject to a new regulatory and supervisory regime.” As Sen. McConnell said, “The last thing we want is for the little guy to get hurt by a piece of legislation that’s intended to rein in bankers on Wall Street.”

But more and more concerns have been raised about precisely that possibility in the last few days. It was only yesterday that another NYT report pointed out the fears of Mars, Harley Davidson, USAA, and eBay, among others, that the bill would subject them to new government regulations.

Sen. McConnell noted, “In fact, the only people who seem willing to come out in support of this bill are the executives at Goldman Sachs — the biggest bankers at the biggest Wall Street firm of all. The CEO of Goldman Sachs was here on the Hill yesterday discussing his firm’s role in the financial crisis, and the point he made about this bill is that he agrees with the President, who said last week that the biggest beneficiaries of this bill are on Wall Street.” Indeed, at yesterday’s hearing Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), “[L]ast week, in New York, I listened to a speech by Barack Obama at Wall Street, and one of the points he made resonated with me because I’d said it myself. He said that the biggest beneficiaries of reform will be Wall Street itself.”

Another problem with the bill that’s gotten little attention is the creation of the Office of Financial Research and Bureau of Consumer Protection, which the bill says will “have the authority to gather information from time to time regarding the organization, business conduct, markets, and activities of persons operating in consumer financial services markets.” But who does this apply to?

As Sen. McConnell asked, “Does having a credit card make you a person operating in consumer financial service markets? What if you sell something on eBay and someone pays you with their credit card through Paypal? Does that make you someone operating in consumer financial service market?” It doesn’t appear that the bill makes the answers to these questions clear.

Republicans want a bill that addresses the real problems on Wall Street, but the Democrat bill, as it stands, perpetuates bailouts, extends government regulation to main street businesses and generates consumer privacy concerns. To get a good bill, these issues need to be addressed, and hopefully they can be in bipartisan negotiations, if Democrats put their political games aside.

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Where That Came From

by William Warren:

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

Wrong Again: Dems Admit New Health Care Law Hurts Employers, Jobs

March: More Than 130 Economists Warned That ObamaCare Would Make It Harder to Put People Back to Work

By House GOP Leader John Boehner: Washington - It’s yet another blow to Washington Democrats’ credibility: just days after an Obama Administration report revealed that the new health care law will increase costs, Washington Democrats are now admitting that their trillion-dollar government takeover will hurt the nation’s employers, too.

This marks a major reversal for Washington Democrats, who attempted to intimidate employers and haul them in for questioning for alerting their shareholders and the public to the impact of the new law’s job-killing tax hikes.  But Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) backtracked and canceled the hearings when it became clear he couldn’t bully these employers into staying quiet; now his own experts have conceded that the companies “acted properly.”

Last December, President Obama laid out a clear benchmark for health care reform by describing his plan as a jobs program, calling it “part and parcel with where we need to take our economy.” In March, however, more than 130 economists warned President Obama and Congress that the new health care law would make it even harder to put people back to work.  Unfortunately for struggling families and small businesses, President Obama ignored the economists, just as he ignored the will of the American people.

Republicans are committed to repealing this job-killing health care law and replacing it with common-sense reforms focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs. This, not permanent bailouts for Wall Street, should be Congress’s highest priority.

Today’s New York Times reports that Democrats have reversed course and admitted that their new health care law will hurt the nation’s employers:
“When major companies declared that a provision of the new health care law would hurt earnings, Democrats were skeptical. But after investigating, House Democrats have concluded that the companies were right to tell investors and the government about the expected adverse effects of the law on their financial results.

“The White House suggested that companies were exaggerating the effects of the tax change. The commerce secretary, Gary F. Locke, said the companies were being ‘premature and irresponsible’ in taking such write-downs.

“In a memorandum summarizing its investigation, the Democratic staff of the committee said, ‘The companies acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards in submitting filings to the S.E.C. in March and April.’”
ObamaCare fallout continues around the country, including unhappy small owners in Wisconsin and “sticker shock” premiums for young adults in Arizona:
Buffalo News: “Health costs to rise. As more information emerges on the recent health care reform legislation, it is not surprising that analysts now believe it will cost more than people were told.... Without cost controls, reform can’t achieve the necessary and crucial long-term goals of providing affordable, high-quality health care to all Americans. Congress and the administration need to monitor the implementation of this law, misnamed the Affordable Health Care Act, and make changes as they are called for. ... But failure to curb those costs and pay for the expansion of care makes it even more likely that this year's legislation will lead to very serious consequences for everyone.” (Editorial, 4/26/10)

WLUK-TV, Appleton, WI: “Small businesses unhappy with health care law, insurance costs. … Allison Blackmer is co-owner of a small computer software business in Appleton and has eight employees. She’s expecting a premium increase of up to 20 percent. … But the more Blackmer learns about the new health care insurance law, the more she gets angry. ‘I am so sick of hearing that word transparent. This health care bill was not transparent,’ Blackmer blasted at Congressman Steve Kagen during a gathering of small business owners designed to highlight the benefits of the law. ‘Premiums are going up this year you didn't fix a thing,’ she told the Congressman. In meeting with small business owners Kagen is finding some resistance to the new law.” (4/26/10)

The Arizona Republic: “Young adults likely will face sticker shock when mandatory health insurance becomes law. ... Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Arizona's largest health insurer based on revenue, predicts that health insurance for adults in their 20s could increase 30 percent or more once reform starts. Other health consultants and industry groups also predict price spikes for young adults.” (4/25/10)
Tags: Health Care Law, Hurts Employers, Lost Jobs, John Boehner, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Huh? Harry Reid Shovels More Lies & Crap

The Senator Who Wrote The Health Bill “Behind Closed Doors” Now Says Bipartisan Wall Street Negotiations Are “Out Of View From The Public” And “Unprecedented”

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “They Want All The Details To Be Worked Out Beforehand Behind Closed Doors, And Out Of View From The Public. That's Unprecedented In The More Than 200 Years We've Been A Senate.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 4/27/10)

Democrats Spent Months Writing The Health Bill In “Secret,” “Behind Closed Doors,” Opting To “Forgo” Public Proceedings In Favor Of “The Privacy Of The Senate Leadership Office”

In October, The Health Bill Was Moved “Behind Closed Doors” Into “An Invitation-Only Affair In Reid’s Office”

WASHINGTON POST: “But Now, As A Senate Vote On Health-Care Legislation Nears, Those Negotiations Are Occurring In A Setting That Is Anything But Revolutionary In Washington: Three Senators Are Working On The Bill Behind Closed Doors.” (“Small Group Now Leads Closed Negotiations On Health-Care Bill,” The Washington Post, 10/18/09)

“But After Weeks Of Senate Finance Committee Public Hearings, The Senate Negotiations Are Now An Invitation-Only Affair In Reid's Office. The majority leader is unlikely to expand his group, even as some senators unhappy with parts of the legislation, such as John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), have asked to be in the room.” (“Small Group Now Leads Closed Negotiations On Health-Care Bill,” The Washington Post, 10/18/09)

In Nov, “The Next Phase” Was “Waged in the Privacy of the Senate Leadership Office”

POLITICO: “The Next Phase In The Democrats’ Health Care Push Will Be Waged In The Privacy Of The Senate Leadership Office, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will attempt to do something that has eluded him all year: negotiate a compromise on the public insurance option that can garner 60 votes and win over a public still leery of reform.” (“Dems Seek Deal As Sen. Debate Begins,” Politico, 11/30/09)

Sen. Harry Reid Is Conducting “Backroom Negotiations” To Secure Votes For The Health Care Bill. “Nelson, who has said he will vote against the bill because of the public option, will be a prime target of Reid’s backroom negotiations.” (“Dems Seek Deal As Sen. Debate Begins,” Politico, 11/30/09)

In Dec,, The Health Bill Briefly Emerges “After Weeks of Closed-Door Deliberations”
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “After Weeks Of Closed-Door Deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., On Saturday Released His Package Of Amendments To Make Final Adjustments To The Senate Health Care Bill.” (“Comparing The Health Bills,” Chicago Tribune, 12/20/09)

In Jan, Dems Sought To Continue “Secret” Negotiations and Opted to “Forgo” A “Public Conference” to Write the Bill “Behind Closed Doors”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Democrats Are Starting To Mash Together The Senate And House Health-Care Bills, All Of The Negotiations Taking Place In Secret.” (“ObamaCare On Drugs,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/2/10)

WASHINGTON TIMES: “Democratic Leaders Are Looking To Forgo A Formal, Public Conference To Merge The House And Senate's Health Care Overhaul Bills, Giving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi And The White House Free Rein To Hammer Out The Final Measure Behind Closed Doors And Thwart Republican Efforts To Stymie It.” (“Dems Look To Skip Formality On Health Bills,” The Washington Times, 1/5/10)

Tags: Harry Reid, U.S. Senate, lies, deceptions 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. - April 27, 2010 - Dems Bully Flawed Financial Regulation Bill & Playing Games with the Public

Update (4:35 pm CT): The second vote today on cloture failed. There were 57 votes in favor and 41 against starting formal debate which was three short of the 60 needed. Republicans agree there is need for reform, but oppose the Democrats' bill as an overreach by government.
Last night Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Dodd bill by a vote of 57-41.  Democrat Senator Ben Nelson voted no - wonder what he wishes for his vote?  Also, Reid voted no as Majority leader which allows him to again submit the bill for cloture.  After the vote, the liberal team ran out several young democrats who ranted about the Republicans not being willing to debate and calling cloture an arcane process.  When in fact, the Democrats never allowed the Republicans   to participate in the development of the Dodd financial regulation bill.

Immediately after last nights vote and his voting no on the bill, Reid re-filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill which would allow for yet another cloture vote. So, today at 4:30 pm ET, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will again force a cloture vote on proceeding to the Dodd bill --- though has nothing has changed about it.

Today, the ARRA News editor attended a Bloggers Briefing at Heritage Foundation and listened to House Financial Services Committee Member Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) address Wall Street and the financial state of the country Sen. Chris Dodd's financial reform (bailout) bill. He detailed how the bill's "measures would subsidize financial institutions at expense of taxpayers":
- "Under the bill the Fed would be the primary regulator overseeing banks and bank holding companies with assets of more than $50 billion as well as any institution the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council believes could pose a systemic risk to the financial system. Backstopping these firms will be a $50 billion bailout fund. Should $50 billion not be sufficient, the fund can issue virtually an unlimited amount of debt that "shall be treated as public debt transactions of the United States" (that is, paid for by the American taxpayers). The problem with this approach (beyond the potential taxpayer losses) is that it reinforces the existence of a too-big-to-fail industry."

- "However, institutionalizing instead of eliminating the too-big-to-fail problem will likely be the most damaging. The ultimate cost of this failure will be shouldered by our capital markets, and our financial system will be split between the haves (those with a taxpayer guaranty) and the have-nots (everyone else).

Those institutions labeled too-big-to-fail will see a significant competitive advantage over smaller firms. In fact, we have already seen evidence of this phenomenon. A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the too-big-to-fail doctrine has translated into a tangible subsidy for the 18 largest bank holding companies worth $34 billion per year and a 78 basis points lower cost of capital when compared to their smaller competitors."

- "Armed with the competitive advantage, these mammoth financial institutions will dominate the marketplace. This is precisely what happened with the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the original too-big-to-fail institutions. Fannie and Freddie wiped out any competition and formed a duopoly over the prime secondary mortgage market because they were perceived to be government-backed."

- "Another ill effect of creating a too-big-to-fail industry is the inextricable link established between big business and big government. Undoubtedly, favors will be doled out by both sides of this relationship. Again, Fannie and Freddie set a precedent on the subject. They were able to continue their reckless ways because they had enough allies in Congress willing to turn a blind eye to safety and soundness as long as the GSEs met their demands."

The New York Times writes today, “Senate Republicans, united in opposition to the Democrats’ legislation to tighten regulation of the financial system, voted on Monday to block the bill from reaching the floor for debate. . . . Republicans said they were intent on winning substantive changes to the bill and accused the Democrats of rushing the most far-reaching overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in his floor remarks this morning, “Last night, the Democrat Majority forced a vote on a bill that wasn’t ready for prime-time. We know this because every day, it seems, another one of its flaws comes to light.”

But it’s not just Republicans pointing out these flaws. In fact, Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson voted with Republicans against moving to the bill and explained some of his objections to The Washington Post: “Nelson said he had opposed starting debate on the bill because he objected to consumer-protection provisions that could harm ‘Main Street businesses’ back home, including dentists, whose patients often borrow to finance major procedures that their insurance policies don't cover, and auto dealers.”

And according to the Daily Caller, “Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who has been closely involved in negotiations, said that concerns being raised by Republicans about potential bailouts of large financial institutions are legitimate. ‘There are parts that need to be tightened,’ Warner said, referring to the bill in the same manner as Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama Republican and ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee.”

A New York Times story seems to confirm the concerns many have with this bill: “Far afield from Wall Street, the intense debate over the overhaul of financial regulations by Congress is attracting some unlikely but powerful players. More than 130 companies from the manufacturing, retail and service sectors have retained high-powered lobbyists to weigh in on, and often oppose, the regulatory system being debated this week in Washington, according to an analysis of lobbying records by The New York Times. The companies bear little resemblance to Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street financial giants that have become the main targets of the legislation. The lobbying push by these other industries shows just how broadly the legislation could affect businesses.”

“While the legislation’s backers in Congress insist that most non-financial companies have little to worry about,” the NYT explains, “many of these businesses say they are deeply concerned that the sweeping provisions in the 1,400-page Senate bill, particularly the regulation of the derivatives market, the creation of a consumer protection board and rules on corporate government, could draw them in and affect their bottom lines.”

The Times lists just a few of the companies concerned about the broad reach of Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd’s bill: “Mars, the maker of M&Ms and Snickers, wants to make sure it can continue dabbling in the derivatives market to protect the price of sugar and chocolate for its candies. Harley-Davidson is worried that its dealer-financed loans to bikers will fall victim to new federal financing regulations. And eBay is concerned about possible restrictions on PayPal, a subsidiary, in moving money in the Internet marketplace.”

And there are more. Auto dealerships from 35 states are concerned they would be regulated as financial lending institutions. The popular insurance company for military families, USAA, is afraid the bill could harm its finances. And “some colleges and universities, for instance, say that the broad definition of financial companies would mean new regulations and, ultimately, greater costs on some types of student loans,” the NYT writes.

As identified by the Republican leadership, “Clearly, this bill isn’t finished. It falls short of our constituents’ demands to prevent future bailouts, and it’s expected to hurt America’s job creators at a time when we need jobs most. I mean, does anyone really believe that the people who make Harley Davidsons and Snickers bars are responsible for the financial crisis? Then why would we want to punish them in our effort to hold Wall Street accountable. These are just the kind of unintended consequences you get from rushing legislation.”

Democrats are bullying a flawed financial regulation bill and playing games with the public. They should stop holding political votes to generate headlines and instead continue bipartisan negotiations to produce a bill that ends taxpayer bailouts of firms that made bad decisions.

Tags:Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, financial regulation, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, banks, auto dealers, M&M, Harley-Davidson, USA, colleges, universities, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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