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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Suprise Republican Victory - Djou Wins Hawaii Special Congressional Election

Charles Djou (R) defeated 13 other challengers, including state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D) and ex-Rep. Ed Case (D), to win a special election to replace ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI 01). NRCC Chair Pete Sessions said in a released statement, "Eighteen months ago, President Obama carried this district with seventy percent of the vote, which makes Charles Djou's victory an impressive one." Session also said, "Tonight, Charles Djou earned a historic victory by overcoming enormous odds to win the special election in HI-01. This is not only a victory for Djou, it's a victory for you and the American people.

Djou's message of lower federal spending to reduce - and stop - the growth in our nation's public debt resonated with Hawai'i voters. He overcame "blatantly false" attack ads aired by National Democrats in a desperate attempt to hold this seat."

Djou won with a majority of 39.5% with the next two Democrats taking 30.8% and 27.6%. Djou became the first Republican elected in a federal race from Hawaii in decades. He will have to defend his re-election to this office in the Regular Elections in November.

Tags: Charles Djou, Republican, special election, Hawaii, victory, US House, Congress, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Finance Bill Will Allow Seizure of Companies

By Dick Morris & Eileen McGann: President Barack Obama has taken the United States one more giant step towards socialism by ramming through the Senate his financial regulation bill. The bill authorizes the secretary of the Treasury — a political appointee — to seize any financial company (bank or nonbank) simply because, in his opinion, it is too big to fail and in danger of insolvency.

This power can be used for political retribution, pressure for campaign funding, or any other abuse bureaucratic whim or partisan politics can conceive. It is a power Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez would love to have!

The legislation also requires that any business that extends credit, in any form, to clear the loan instrument in advance with the new consumer protection agency. The backlog of pending applications will strangle consumer credit.

And the bill fails to do the one thing it must do — regulate derivatives and make them transparent. Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., bowed to pressure from his sponsors on Wall Street and deleted the regulatory provision and set up a commission to study the situation for two years! . . .

Now the federal government has effectively taken over about one-third of our national economy by passing Obamacare and regulatory reform in almost the same breath. Repealing this regulatory travesty must be high on our 2011 agenda! . . . [Full Article]

Tags: Dick Morris, Eileen McGann, Dodd Bill, financial regulation, US Senate, Wall Street, Real the Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Elitist Soul Mate of SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan and OMB Regulator Cass Sunstein Believes Animals Should Be Able To Sue People and Advocates Forcing Internet Fairness

by Rick Manning: Sometimes it really hurts to be right. But based upon the record, you didn’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent or Miss Cleo to predict the future if Cass Sunstein was confirmed for the post of Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget. . . . Sunstein’s comments that Congress should impose mandates to force equal time be provided on websites and blogs to opposing points of view would be alarming on their own. But coming from the chief regulator in the federal government, they should send a shiver down the spine of every American who treasures their First Amendment right to free speech. . . .

Believe it or not, Sunstein has actually advocated that animals should have the right to sue, when he wrote in 2002 in “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” that “We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are persons, or that they are not property.” That’s right, . . . a guy who believes that animals should be able to access our court system, and sue for damages, in charge of reviewing all of the regulations that come through the federal government. Can they really be surprised that he is advocating forcing opposing views to be presented onto websites? After all, prior to his appointment and confirmation, Sunstein argued in his book “Nudge” in favor of a “civility check” on e-mails. He went as far as to suggest that there could be a 24 hour waiting period on the sending of e-mails that a master Internet e-mail censor deemed “uncivil”.

Of course, Sunstein’s latest authoritarian trial balloon of forcing websites to have opposing views presented for readers has some humorous potential. Imagine the horror from the left if an atheist website had to run a series of pop up ads advocating for a loving God using the booming voice of James Earl Jones. But of course this is not what Sunstein is talking about. No, he wants to give the ratings-retarded Keith Olbermann a mandated voice on Bill O’Reilly’s website. After all, it isn’t fair that no one cares what Keith thinks, he must be heard.

The truly scary thing about Cass Sunstein is that he is viewed as Obama and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s intellectual soul mate. Soul mates whose philosophy is based upon an elitism that doesn’t trust Americans to think for themselves. In many respects, Sunstein reveals who Obama and Kagan are, and why it should be unsurprising to America that this Administration has embarked on policies designed to make the federal government each of our watchful nannies.

In Sunstein, Obama and Kagan, we may very well be seeing the horrors of Plato’s philosopher kings being played out before our eyes. A group of “intellectuals” who just think they know better than the rest of us, and are determined to use the coercive power of government to force us to conform to their sensibilities.

Unfortunately, the Senate knew who and what Cass Sunstein is when they voted to confirm him into a post that gives him incredible power to regulate every aspect of American life, and soon they will face the question of whether to give his soul mate Kagan a lifetime position on the highest court in the land. . . . [Full Article]
Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government, and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Tags: Cass Sunstein, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, animals suing people, forced internet fairness, blogs, bloggers, websites, SCOTUS, Obama nomination, Elena Kagan, elitist, soul mates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Nancy Pelosi Has Big Plans For Using Your Money Under Obamacare

[Video] - On this video we see and hear Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling others that they may now quit their jobs and pursue their interests in hobbies or in careers of music, dance, etc. because they will now have health care under Obamacare. Note: she means they will have health care paid for by OPM - other people's money - paid by people that may still really be working or drawing their retirements. Thanks for nothing Nancy.

Tags: Nancy Pelois, OPM, other peoples money, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Congressional Pro-Growth Policy Scorecard for 2009

Bill Smith, ARRA News Service: After a year of trillion dollar mistakes, bailouts, and power grabs, the Club for Growth revealed ratings on pro-growth votes and actions of Congress in its published 2009 Congressional Scorecard. While reviewing the scorecard, voters can also examine the four previous years to make a judgment on whether their elected officials have listened to their concerns and opinions over the years?

Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth identified that they comprehensively examined each lawmaker’s record on pro-growth policies and computed an Economic Growth Score on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 100% indicates the highest support for pro-growth policies. Those lawmakers scoring 90% or higher received the Defender of Economic Freedom award. Chocola said, "The rating examines legislative actions that affect our immediate pro-economic growth policy goals, including:

• Lower marginal income tax rates
• Cutting and limiting government spending
• Death Tax repeal
• Expanding free trade
• Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
• Replacing the current tax code
• School choice
• Regulatory reform and deregulation
• Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts

Not all of these policy goals will come up for a vote in each session of Congress. In the 2009 Session, many of the votes were on bills that proposed laws that would directly harm these goals."

The Club’s rating included 24 House and 22 Senate roll call votes as well as other selected actions that advance or harm pro-growth policies. Points were also awarded to representatives who consistently voted to stop 68 earmarks. Points were deducted for lawmakers who sponsored anti-trade legislation and lawmakers who sponsored the health care takeover legislation by Sens. Ron Wyden and Bob Bennett. Finally, the rating also accounted for all tax, spending and regulation votes, and spending bill sponsorships.

Not surprising in the year of the socialist elite democrats being in charge, not one House or Senate Democrat received the Defender of Economic Freedom award. Senators Sessions (AL), Chambliss (GA), Coburn (OK) and DeMint (SC) were among those who received 100%. Thirty-six democrat senators received less than a 10% rating with 4 Democratic senators achieving the imperfect 0% for pro-growth policies. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid received a 3% rating.

In the House, 9 members, all Republicans, received a perfect 100% score: Flake (AZ), Foxx (NC), Hensarling (TX), Linder (GA), Price (GA), Shadegg (AZ), Brown (GA), Lamborn (CO) and McClintock (CA). Well known Republicans like Pence (IN) received 99%, Bachmann (MN) and Sessions (TX) received 98%; Paul (TX) along with 6 other Texans received 97%; House Minority leader John Bohner had 88%. the lowest Rated Republican was Castle (DE) with 43%. The highest Rated Democrats above 50% were Bright (AL) with 64%, Democrat Taylor (MS) with 58%, and Minnick (ID) 53%. Seventy-six (76) Democrats received the imperfect 0% rating. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received 7%.

With Arkansas being a bell-weather primary state, a review revealed the following ratings for their delegation: Senators Lincoln (D - seeking re-election) had a rating of 20% and Pryor (D - not up for re-election) 14%; Representatives John Boozman (R - CD1 - candidate for U.S. Senate) qualified for the Defender of Economic Freedom award with 91%, Ross (D - CD4 - seeking re-election) 26%, Berry (D - CD1 retiring) 21%, Snyder (D - CD2 - retiring) 6%.  It appears that barring Boozman's favorable pro-growth votes in 2009, the rest of the Arkansas delegation offered its constituents little support in advancing pro-growth  values that enrich all.  Instead these Democrats followed their fellow party members and focused on earmarks, grants, social handouts and expanding government and marching in step with the Obama, Reid, Pelosi agenda.

Tags: economic freedom, ratings, US congress, Senators, Representatives, Club for Growth, Arkansas 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. - May 21, 2010 - Congress Still Not On Board With Closing Gitmo

The Senate is in recess until 2 PM on Monday when it will take up the fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 4899.

Last night, the Senate voted 59-39 to pass Democrats’ flawed financial regulation bill. Sen. McConnell described the bill yesterday: “[I]t uses this crisis as yet another opportunity to expand the cost and size and reach of government. It punishes Main Street for the sins of Wall Street. Worst of all, it ignores the root of the crisis by doing nothing to reform [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac].”

Prior to final passage, the Senate voted 60-40 to invoke cloture on the Dodd substitute amendment, which had been the basis for debate.  Three Republicans voted for cloture which cut-off debate on the bill.  They were  Scott Brown (MA),   Susan Collins (ME), and Olympia Snowe (ME). The Senate then voted 60-39 to waive the Budget Act for the bill with Republican Charles Grassley (R-IA) joining the prior three and the Democrats voting for the bill.

A year ago today with his plans to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay under fire, President Obama gave a major speech at the National Archives defending his administration’s national security plan and criticizing many of the Bush administration’s decisions on national security. Obama renewed his pledge to close Guantanamo, saying, “[T]he record is clear:  Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security.  It is a rallying cry for our enemies.  It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries.  By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it.  That's why I argued that it should be closed throughout my campaign, and that is why I ordered it closed within one year.

Obama added, “Now let me be blunt.  There are no neat or easy answers here.  I wish there were.  But I can tell you that the wrong answer is to pretend like this problem will go away if we maintain an unsustainable status quo.  As President, I refuse to allow this problem to fester.  I refuse to pass it on to somebody else.  It is my responsibility to solve the problem.  Our security interests will not permit us to delay.  Our courts won't allow it.  And neither should our conscience.”

But the president’s first deadline, a year after his executive order ordering the facility be closed, came and went this January with the facility still open. At a press conference two days after he was inaugurated, Obama declared, “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.” Asked by reporters 6 months later whether the administration would still meet their self-imposed deadline, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “Absolutely.”

Yet it’s now a year after President Obama doubled down on his decision to close the facility, and they still have not managed to do that or figure out what to do with all the terror detainees held there.

Not only that, The New York Times reports today, “The House Armed Services Committee has dealt a blow to President Obama’s hopes to shutter the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by unanimously approving legislation that would prohibit creating a detention center inside the United States. The administration had asked Congress to approve about $350 million to buy and renovate a nearly empty prison in Thomson, Ill. The White House plan was to empty Guantánamo and transfer its detainees to Illinois — including 48 who would be held without trial as wartime prisoners. But late Wednesday, the House committee unanimously approved a defense bill for 2011 that bans spending money to build or modify any facility inside the United States to house Guantánamo detainees . . . .”

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said in January, “Al Qaeda terrorists were at war with us long before we started putting them in Gitmo. They won’t lay down their arms or run out of grievances if we move it to Illinois. If it’s not Guantanamo, it’s something else. So it’s hard to see how moving Guantanamo would make any difference to our critics either at home or abroad. But it’s easy to see how it would make America less safe — starting with the fact that the moment terrorists set foot on U.S. soil they would likely gain many of the same rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, including possibly the right to sue their way to freedom. This alone should be reason enough to keep them off our shores and far away from our communities. . . . The fact is, as long as we remain at war with Al Qaeda and until we hear a better option, Guantanamo is the perfect place for terrorists.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Media Misrepresents Tuesday Election Results

by Florida Pundit: The mainstream media was quick to describe primary election results in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas as "anti-establishment" and hyped the victory of a Democrat in a special Congressional election to replace the Jack Murtha who died in February.

Not so fast. Let's look at each of these races and see whether there is an overall trend.

In Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter lost the Democrat primary. Most Democrats had voted against Specter in five elections to the Senate when he was a Republican. When Specter switched parties last year, he explained that he became a Democrat so he could win reelection, not because he suddenly identified more with Democrat positions. Not surprisingly, Specter's cynical calculation had crossed a line and he was rejected as a calculating politician whose only concern is holding on to power. Specter voted for Obamacare and other bills on the Democrat's agenda since he switched parties and, as a Republican, had never been a reliable supporter of conservative positions.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul, son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, won against the candidate supported by Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Rand Paul is a principled libertarian whose anti-government sentiments would not have won him elections before the age of Obama when most Americans where too complacent to support a candidate like Paul. Clearly, this was a vote against Obama's policies and Paul is in a strong position to win the Kentucky senate seat in November.

In Arkansas, Democrat Blanche Lincoln failed to win 50 percent of the votes in the Democrat primary. She is likely to lose a primary runoff election next month. Arkansas is a conservative state and Lincoln's party-line vote for Obamacare, the stimulus and other Obama projects alienated moderate Democrats. This is another result indicating opposition to Obama's policies.

In the Pennsylvania special election, Democrat Mark Critz defeated Republican nominee Tim Burns. Critz ran as a pro-life, pro-gun candidate and said he would have voted against Obamacare. The Democrat won because of his positions in opposition to the Obama administration. Higher turnout among Democrats because of the high profile Specter-Sestak senate primary may also have played a role in Critz' victory.

The conclusion from these results is not that voters are blindly voting against incumbents. Instead they are voting, in the case of Specter and Lincoln against candidates who had supported Obama's policies, and, in the case of Rand Paul and Mark Critz, for two very different candidate who both oppose key items in the Obama agenda.

In Pennsylvania Joe Sestak, a more leftist Democrat, will run against Republican Pat Toomey in November which makes a Republican victory more likely. The same is likely to happen in Arkansas. In Kentucky, the Republican establishment is quickly uniting behind Rand Paul.

The mainstream media got it wrong again. Tuesday's election's dominant theme was a rejection of Obama's policies, not just an ideologically neutral vote against incumbents.

Tags: Primary Elections, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Only One, Tom McClintock, Objects to Mexico's President Attacking the USA From the Floor of Congress

H/T a12iggymom for the following post:
Rep Tom McClintock, R-CA-04 - Video - May 20, 2010 — Response to President Calderon
House Chamber, Washington, D.C.
May 20, 2010
M. Speaker:
I rise to take strong exception to the speech of the President of Mexico while in this chamber today.
The Mexican government has made it very clear for many years that it holds American sovereignty in contempt and President Calderon's behavior as a guest of the Congress confirms and underscores this attitude.
It is highly inappropriate for the President of Mexico to lecture Americans on American immigration policy, just as it would be for Americans to lecture Mexico on its laws.
It is obvious that President Calderon does not understand the nature of America or the purpose of our immigration law.
Unlike Mexico's immigration law -- which is brutally exclusionary -- the purpose of Americas law is not to keep people out. It is to assure that as people come to the United States, they do so with the intention of becoming Americans and of raising their children as Americans.
Unlike Mexico, our nation embraces immigration and what makes that possible is assimilation.
A century ago President Teddy Roosevelt put it this way. He said:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
That is how we have built one great nation from the people of all the nations of the world.
The largest group of immigrants now comes from Mexico. A recent RAND discovered that during most of the 20th Century, while our immigration laws were actually enforced, assimilation worked and made possible the swift attainment of the American dream for millions of immigrants seeking to escape conditions in Mexico.
That is the broader meaning of our nations motto, E Pluribus Unum from many people, one people, the American people.
But there is now an element in our political structure that seeks to undermine that concept of E Pluribus Unum. It seeks to hyphenate Americans, to develop linguistic divisions, to assign rights and preferences based on race and ethnicity, and to elevate devotion to foreign ideologies and traditions, while at the same time denigrating American culture, American values and American founding principles.
In order to do so, they know that they have to stop the process of assimilation. In order to do that, they must undermine our immigration laws.
It is an outrage that a foreign head of state would appear in this chamber and actively seek to do so. And it is a disgrace that he would be cheered on from the left wing of the White House and by many Democrats in this Congress.
Arizona has not adopted a new immigration law. All it has done is to enforce existing law that President Obama refuses to enforce. It is hardly a radical policy to suggest that if an officer on a routine traffic stop encounters a driver with no drivers license, no passport, and who doesn't speak English, that maybe that individual might be here illegally.
And to those who say we must reform our immigration laws I reply that we don't need to reform them we need to enforce them. Just as every other government does. Just as Mexico does.
Above all, this is a debate of, by and for the American people. If President Calderon wishes to participate in that debate, I invite him to obey our immigration laws, apply for citizenship, do what 600,000 LEGAL immigrants to our nation are doing right now, learn our history and our customs, and become an American. And then he will have every right to participate in that debate.
Until then, I would politely invite him to have the courtesy while a guest of this Congress to abide by the fundamental rules of diplomacy between civilized nations not to meddle in each others domestic debates.
ARRA Editor's closing comment: My twitter response: "Mexico's President questioning our immigration laws was insulting but worse was Obama's "kiss ass" diplomacy - Surprised he didn't bow." Thank you, Congressman McClintock for speaking out. If you agree and appreciate Tom McClintock's comments, drop by his campaign site and show your tangible appreciation.

Tags: Tom McClintock, California, Congress, Joint Session, Mexican President, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, immigration, Arizona, illegal aliens, insulting 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. - May 20, 2010 - Obamacare need to be repealed!

The House and Senate Will join to meet at 11 AM Joint Session of Congress to hear an address from Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico.  It is difficult to accept that the Democrat leadership would honor Calderón with a Joint Session of Congress. His government is the number one problem creating and supporting the Mexican illegal immigrants fleeing to the United States. In addition his government has failed on numerous avenues to stop the crimes and criminals in his country which are bleeding over into the united states. There have been over 71,000 U.S. citizens killed by illegal aliens since 9/11. In just the year 2005, criminal aliens killed more than three times the number of Americans murdered in the terrorist attacks of 9-11; 9,125 Americans died at the hands of criminal aliens in 2005, as compared to approximately 3,000 Americans who perished in 9-11. For every applause by the democrats to this foreign leader, consider the families of the killed American citizens due to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and his governments failed efforts.  He loves the American money sent back to Mexico by illegal aliens from his country. It is like an opiate, why would he want it to stop - he doesn't.

After the joint session the Senate will again resumed consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. At 2 PM, the Senate will vote yet another time on the motion to reconsider cloture on the Dodd substitute amendment to the bill.   One can only ask, what behind the scenes deals has Harry Reid committed to with democrats.  Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the Dodd bill, by a vote of 57-42. Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Republicans in voting against cloture.   Also yesterday, the Senate voted 35-60 to reject an amendment from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would allow states to set usury laws.

In a must-read fact check piece on the health care bill today, the AP writes, “Zach Hoffman was confident his small business would qualify for a new tax cut in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law. But when he ran the numbers, Hoffman discovered that his office furniture company wouldn’t get any assistance with the $79,200 it pays annually in premiums for its 24 employees. ‘It leaves you with this feeling of a bait-and-switch,’ he said.”

In a speech touting the his $2.6 trillion health care takeover at the beginning of April, President Obama said, “Starting Now, small business owners that provide health care for their workers can sit down at the end of the week, they can look at their expenses, and they can begin calculating how much money they’re going to save.” But when Zack Hoffman did just that, the AP points out, Hoffman found that “to get the most out of the new federal credit… he’d have to cut his work force to 10 employees and slash their wages.”

The AP explains, “Lost in the fine print: The credit drops off sharply once a company gets above 10 workers and $25,000 average annual wages. It’s an example of how the early provisions of the health care law can create winners and losers among groups lawmakers intended to help—people with health problems, families with young adult children and small businesses. Because of the law’s complexity, not everyone in a broadly similar situation will benefit.”

So we’ve now added yet another news story explaining that what Republicans warned would be the consequences of the Democrats’ massive, unpopular health care law are coming to pass. Last week, we learned from the CBO that the bill will cost $115 billion more than the original projections and from the Health and Human Services Department that “[l]etting young adults stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 will nudge premiums nearly 1 percent higher for employer plans,” according to another AP story. Earlier this month, CNNMoney reported, “An all-but-overlooked provision of the health reform law is threatening to swamp U.S. businesses with a flood of new tax paperwork.” And Fortune Magazine reported that thanks to the law, major companies are considering dumping their health care plans. A month after the bill was signed, it was reported 4 million Americans will be paying higher taxes and 2,500 people would lose their jobs because of the new law. And on and on.

All of these things were true before the bill was passed and signed into law. Republicans warned about all these consequences. But where was the press coverage of all of these problems when it could have made a difference? Maybe this was what Democrats were afraid of in their rush to pass these bills. Over and over, Democrats would unveil a new version of their expensive bill and then rush it to a vote on a weekend or at night or during a snowstorm without adequate time for many to read the bill, let alone for studies of it. But that doesn’t excuse the lack of reporting, since almost all of these new reports contradict repeated claims by Democrats and the Obama administration about that bill.

Speaker Pelosi in a moment of elitist stupidity told Americans we had to pass the health care bill so we could know what was in it. What moronic leadership and the selling out of Americans.  Well,  Americans are now learning what was buried in the fine print and they are angry.  And more will be angry in the coming days as they learn the effects on them. Small businesses are denied the help they were promised while facing new job-killing taxes and government mandates. Health care costs are going up, not down and doctors are dumping Medicare / Medicaid patients.  Obamacare need to be repealed!

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Dodd Bill, financial regulation, joint session, Mexico, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama’s Coattails

by William Warren:

Tags: Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, ObamaCare, Political Cartoons, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where Is The Democrats' Budget?

Today, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) criticized House Democratic leaders’ supposed pivot to jobs and highlighted their continuing unwillingness to perform the basic functions of government by offering a budget. Boehner released the following statement:
“We continue to read about the Democrats’ supposed pivot to jobs, but all the American people are getting from Washington is more spending and more debt. Millions of jobs have been lost since President Obama signed the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus,’ and unemployment is near 10 percent. The new health care law is going to kill small business jobs and increase Americans’ health care costs. And this out-of-control spending spree has got to stop.

“Our record national debt is about to hit $13 trillion, and Washington Democrats have no budget in place to deal with it. They want to continue the out-of-control spending spree that is scaring the hell out of the American people.  And they want to do nothing but spend more at a time when economists say we need to cut spending to create jobs. This would be the first time the House has failed to pass a budget in the modern era. That’s according to the Congressional Research Service.

“The American people want us to work together to stop the out-of-control spending spree and create jobs. A responsible budget would be a good place to start.  Where is the Democrats’ budget?”
In 2006, then-Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said enacting a budget was the most basic responsibility of governing.. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, put it more succinctly that year when he said, if you can’t budget, you can’t govern.

Tags: John Boehner, statement, Democrats, no budget, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ObamaCare Flatlines: Docs Already Dropping Medicare

CMS says ObamaCare may jeopardize access for seniors

Just as the Obama Administration begins to implement ObamaCare, a large number of doctors are deciding to drop out of Medicare and not treat seniors. In new data from the Houston Chronicle, more than 300 doctors have stopped seeing Medicare patients in Texas over the last two years, including 50 in the first three months of 2010, with primary care physicians leading the departure. CMS has already stated that ObamaCare’s reductions in Medicare reimbursement rates to health care providers could potentially jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries. [Source]

Tags: CMS, ObamaCare, health care law, Medicare, Medicare reimbursement, Medicare Advantage, doctors, dropping patients To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ShareThis Legislating Without Public Approval

Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Can you ever remember a time when Congress and the president pushed through legislation even though it was so unpopular with the public? This is a question that I am asked by callers and even co-hosts on a fairly regular basis. The way in which the question is asked varies from person to person. But the thrust is always the same. What is happening in Washington seems unprecedented. It is.

Recently Fred Barnes took the time to address the issue in the Wall Street Journal. He began by reminding us that President Reagan had a sign on his desk that said, "It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit." He remarked that if President Obama has a sign on his desk, it would say, "It's amazing how much you can accomplish if you don't care what the public thinks."

Those in control in Washington "are bent on enacting a series of sweeping domestic policy changes" which are very unpopular with the public. This is unprecedented. Sure, we have some examples of presidents moving forward in some foreign policy areas despite popular objections. Fred Barnes cites President George W. Bush in 2007 ordering a "surge" of troops in Iraq and President Jimmy Carter turning over the Panama Canal. But you won't find anything similar to what is taking place right now in Washington.

He says, "I can't think of a single major domestic initiative that became law in recent decades without public approval. Even the much-maligned Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, which was repealed in 1989, was reasonably popular when it passed Congress the year before."

Why is the president and Congress determined to legislate without public approval? There are lots of reasons ranging from a belief that they know better than the public to a realization that the clock is ticking and the window for passing such legislation may soon be closing.

The point is this. The leadership in Washington is legislating without the consent of the governed. The citizens have an opportunity to stop it in November. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Point of View, legislating, Obama Administration, public approval, November, 2010 elections 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. - May 19, 2010 - Dem's Play the Political 2-Step Over Oil Spill

Update 3:30 PM, Washington Post: Senate votes to continue debating the Dodd Bill, dealing a setback to Democratic leaders, who wanted to move toward a final vote on the legislation. A vote to end debate and move to a final vote was scheduled at 2 p.m. But some Senate Democrats were angry that their amendments haven't been considered and derailed that. At 3:15 p.m., Democrats called an emergency caucus meeting. About 30 minutes after that meeting, Majority Leader Harry Reid called for a cloture vote. Reid lost; 57-42 because he lost Democrats. Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted for cloture. Their votes were canceled out by Democrats like Maria Cantwell and Russ Feingold, who aren't ready to give up on their amendments.
The Senate resumed consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill.; At 2 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the Dodd substitute amendment to the bill.

Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) which would prevent federal bailouts of state and local governments at risk of default. Also rejected was an amendment from Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to prohibit the trading of naked credit default swaps.

Thinking they had a great political issue on their hands, Senate Democrats spent a lot of time the last couple of days trying to push a bill being offered by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the DSCC chairman, which “would retroactively boost the legal cap of $75 million on how much companies must pay for economic damages,” according to the LA Times. In an obvious political ploy, the bill was titled the “Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act.” Since Democrats were clearly more interested in having a political issue than serious legislation, they didn’t hold hearings on the bill and instead have simply gone to the floor to ask unanimous consent to pass it so they could then accuse the GOP of protecting oil companies when Republicans objected to hastily passing such ill-considered legislation.

But yesterday, Menendez’ maneuvering was undermined by the Obama administration when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was asked at a hearing about what he thought of raising the liability caps. The Hill reports today, “The Obama administration broke away from Senate Democrats on Tuesday when it echoed a Republican argument against raising liability claims on oil companies. . . . Salazar told lawmakers that a drastic increase in liability could drive smaller oil-drilling companies out of business, echoing an argument Republicans have used. Salazar’s position is in contrast with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.), who told reporters Tuesday that he wanted to lift the cap on economic damages above $10 billion.”

In fact, The Hill notes, “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Salazar about the proposal to raise the liability ceiling to $10 billion at an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.  Salazar declined to endorse the $10 billion figure, saying lawmakers should avoid setting a cap that would harm smaller companies. He called for working with Congress to arrive at a number that ‘makes sense’ and isn’t ‘arbitrary.’ ‘It is important that we be thoughtful relative to that, what that cap will be, because you don’t want only the BPs of the world essentially to be the ones that are involved in these efforts, that there are companies of lesser economic robustness,’ Salazar said.”

And Salazar wasn’t the only Democrat breaking ranks with Reid and Menendez. At the same hearing, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who is from one of the states likely to be most affected by the oil spill, seemingly agreed with Republicans that the Menendez bill is a bad idea. She said to Salazar, “But the question of this liability issue going forward -- I want to commend you for taking your time to decide on the right answer, because if we don’t do this correctly, we could put independent and smaller companies that employ 1.8 million people in this country at risk, if this issue isn’t handled correctly. So with all due respect to my colleague, who I have the utmost admiration for, Senator Menendez and others that are calling for unlimited liability, it will put out of reach the possibility for insurance, which is extremely important for this and any industry to have to operate. So it has to be done in the right way, and I thank you for taking your time on the details of that.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has tried to get the focus back on the real issues by pointing out the that the most important is to stop this spill as rapidly as possible. While it’s also important to find out what went wrong, both with the companies involved and with the administration’s oversight and approval of drilling procedures, the Democrats are playng political games.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Dodd Bill, financial regulation, Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, politics, lack of focus, Democrats To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Enough Money" - Actions of Anti-Social Politicis

by Dr. Thomas Sowell: One of the many shallow statements that sound good-- if you don't stop and think about it-- is that "at some point, you have made enough money."

The key word in this statement, made by President Barack Obama recently, is "you." There is nothing wrong with my deciding how much money is enough for me or your deciding how much money is enough for you, but when politicians think that they should be deciding how much money is enough for other people, that is starting down a very slippery slope.

Politicians with the power to determine each citizen's income are no longer public servants. They are public masters.

Are we really so eaten up with envy, or so mesmerized by rhetoric, that we are willing to sacrifice our own freedom by giving politicians the power to decide how much money anybody can make or keep? Of course, that will start only with "the rich," but surely history tells us that it will not end there.

The French Revolution began arbitrary executions among the hereditary aristocracy, but ended up arbitrarily executing all sorts of other people, including eventually even leaders of the Revolution itself, such as Robespierre. Very similar patterns appeared in the Bolshevik Revolution, in the rise of the Nazis and in numerous other times and places, where expanded and arbitrary powers were put into the hands of politicians-- and were used against the population as a whole.

Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy -- quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody's rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can't tell the water where to go.

The moral bankruptcy of the notion that third parties can decide when somebody else has "enough" money is matched by its economic illiteracy. The rest of the country is not poorer by the amount of Bill Gates' fortune today and was not poorer by the amount of John D. Rockefeller's fortune a century ago. Both men were selling a product that others were also selling, but more people chose to buy theirs. Those people would not have voluntarily continued to pay their hard-earned money for Rockefeller's oil or Gates' software if what they received was not worth more to them than what they paid.

The fortunes that the sellers amassed were not a deduction from the buyers' wealth. Buyers and sellers both gained from these transactions or the transactions wouldn't have continued. Ida Tarbell's famous muckraking book, "History of the Standard Oil Company," said that Rockefeller "should have been satisfied" with the money he had acquired by 1870, implying greed in his continued efforts to increase the size and profitability of Standard Oil. But would the public have been better off or worse off if Rockefeller had retired in 1870?

One of the crucial facts left out of Ida Tarbell's book was that Rockefeller's improvements in the oil industry brought down the price of oil to a fraction of what it had been before. As just one example, oil was first shipped in barrels, which is why we still measure oil in terms of the number of barrels today, even though oil is seldom-- if ever-- actually shipped in barrels any more. John D. Rockefeller shipped his oil in railroad tank cars, reducing transportation costs, among other costs that he found ways of reducing.

Would the public have been better off if older and more costly methods of producing, processing and shipping oil had continued to be used, leading to prices far higher than necessary?

Apparently Rockefeller himself decided at some point that he had enough money, and then donated enough of it to create a world-class university from day one-- the University of Chicago-- as well as donating to innumerable other philanthropic projects.

But that is wholly different from having politicians make such decisions for other people. Politicians who take on that role stifle economic progress and drain away other people's money, in order to hand out goodies that will help get themselves re-elected. Some people call that "social justice," even when it is anti-social politics.
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Tags: Thomas Sowell, personal income, wealth, money, Barack Obama, moral bankruptcy, arbitrary power, politicians, stifling economic progress, anti-social politics 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. - May 18, 2010 - Questions Increase About Obama Admin Drilling Oversight and Recovery Failures

Senate will resume consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. Today, they will vote on an amendment from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) which would prevent federal bailouts of state and local governments at risk of default. Yesterday, the Senate voted 94-0 for an amendment from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to require that the U.S. representative at the IMF vote against any bailouts to a country that are not likely to be repaid. They also  rejected an amendment from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) which would have capped the amount of Treasury funds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can receive.

The New York Times reports today, “The White House . . . said late Monday that President Obama would soon name an independent commission to investigate the cause of the [Gulf of Mexico oil] spill and the response to it, largely supplanting the inquiry now being conducted by the United States Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service, the Interior Department agency responsible for overseeing offshore oil operations. The role of both agencies in approving the drilling, preparing for an accident and supervising the cleanup are part of any overall inquiry and have raised questions about the independence of their work.”

Yet based on the bulk of news coverage and reactions from Democrats one might not get the idea that there are serious questions about the federal government’s oversight of offshore oil drilling in the wake of the disaster at the BP rig in the Gulf. There’s been a great deal of focus on the companies involved in the incident: BP, Transocean, and Halliburton. And that’s proper. However, a number of issues have arisen about the government’s role in this incident.

Appearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning, “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar concede[d] the government failed to hold the oil industry accountable and ensure safety in offshore oil drilling,” the AP reports today.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, “The top federal official who led regulation of offshore oil drilling at the Minerals Management Service will retire at the end of the month, according to people familiar with the situation. The departure of Chris Oynes, associate director for offshore energy and minerals management at the MMS, comes as the agency faces growing criticism from Congress and the White House following last month's deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.”

And last night, CNN’s Gloria Borger pointed out, “I think it’s an administration that knows … that it’s got huge regulatory failures on its hand that it has to examine. It’s got CEOs pointing fingers at each other. But if this administration wants to continue its policy of offshore drilling, which of course they’ve temporarily suspended, they have to get some answers to these questions about what went wrong in order to assure the American public that it won't happen again. And they know that they have made mistakes in regulation and they've got to fix those mistakes before they can drill.” John King added, “And it raises the stakes for them, though, because you mentioned those mistakes. When they lay out that permits are being issued for these rigs out there even though they don't have the environmental permits required by federal law, not suggested by federal law, required by federal law, and yet agencies in the government—and they've been in power for 16 months--saying go ahead.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday's Meet the Press, “This is an environmental disaster of gargantuan proportions” and stopping the leak and cleaning up the spill must be the first priority. However, “We're also interested to know what the administration did. Was the Mineral Management Service a part of this administration that approved this site? It also approved this spill response plan. What kind of oversight did the administration provide during the course of the drilling? There are plenty of questions that need to be answered.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Dodd Bill, financial regulation, Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, off-shore, oil drilling, environmental cleanup, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Hilda Solis' Price is Right - Who's the Sucker Now?

Americans for Limited Government: Obama Labor appointees get massive pay raises. Sorry didn't you play the game. The rest of America is broke / in debt! [Video]

Tags: Obama Administration, Labor Department, pay raises, ALG, Americans for Limited Government, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beware of Fake TEA Party Candidates & Liberal Dirty Tricks

by Bill Smith, ARRA News Editor: To quote Warner Todd Huston at Publius Forum, "Every Democrat I know likes to act as if it were the GOP that fights dirty. Of course, every time I ask them for an example they just stare back blankly at me. . . . On the other hand, I can give reams of evidence of the left doing all it can to win by hook or crook, and it’s usually crook. From ACORN, to constant use of the race card, to changing rules in the middle of the game both at a local level as well as a federal level, as well as the leftist’s prosaic hypocrisy of double standards, we can all name a dirty trick from the left."

The below information confirms that at least in Michigan one more dirty Democratic trick has been confirmed. However, voters in other states must also beware of Independents and fake TEA Party candidates claiming to be conservatives. For a long time, Democrats across the heartland of America have claimed to be "conservative democrats." But, then after being elected, the first thing they do is vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. Pelosi is one of the most liberal progressives in the House of Representatives. For example, Arkansas 4th Congressional District Rep. Mike Ross who has the practiced mantra of claiming to be a conservative democrat. But Mike Ross is not conservative. His first vote each congressional term has been voting for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. The result has been Pelosi being in charge of the Congressional Democratic Caucus for the last 8 years and Speaker of the House for the last 4 years.

While it is great that American voters are waking up, but in this awakening they need to be alert to fake candidates. Conservative voters are concerned about the federal spending problem, rising unemployment, being forced to pay for others, the expansion of big government, the reductions of individual choice, and the increased threats to the US by foreign governments, radical terrorists, and lack of border security. Fake candidates are put forward to split the conservative vote so that democrats win. Note that if elected,  independents and 3rd party candidate will out of necessity caucus with one of the two major parties or they will not be on committees, will not find co-sponsors for their bills and will find themselves silenced and dysfunctional in Congress. So, consider which party will they caucus with or declare to be a part of?  It is clear that in the following described situation,  these fake TEA Party candidates would caucus with the Democratic Party.

In Michigan, there is a "Democrat Party group is registering a 'new' party that its calling the 'Tea Party.' Yeah, imagine that! Where do you think they got the idea for the name, eh?" TheBlogProf reports:
This isn't even AstroTurf. It is outright political fraud. Fearful of the tea party movement in Michigan (which Democrats and Republicans alike should be), the Democrats and/or their special interest groups have begun the process of officially hijacking the movement. Like in Nevada, they will likely launch their own 'tea party' candidate that is anything but. Unfortunately for the Democrats, 1) the tea party is more informed than they give us credit for; and 2) this news is breaking at the very conception of this slimy political move. The news was broken last night by Chetley Zarko on his website Outside Lansing: Zarko Research Exclusive: Dem Dirty Trick on Fake Tea Party Petition Revealed
Zarko Research has learned that a nefarious unknown group calling itself "The Tea Party" at PO Box 23 in Richville, MI 48757 (near Flint) is circulating a petition on a paid basis, at roughly $1 per signature to the circulator. The group is so new that the Secretary of State has nothing on file as of this moment.

The petition was mailed to known paid circulators in the metro Detroit area earlier this week and based on conclusions of proprietary knowledge to Zarko Research, the petition is being operated by a liberal-leaning petition management firm with ties to the Democratic Party.  The petition claims to seek access to the ballot for an entirely new party - the "Tea Party", although when Zarko Research interviewed known organizers of the Tea Party they all knew nothing about it.  ...
No one in any TEA party movement is sponsoring this effort. There is a lot of money being thrown into this as well. Chetley wrote a follow-up post with more specific information: Zarko Exclusive Follow-up: "Progressive" Campaigns Inc (PCI) Hired for Fake Tea Party Petition
Zarko Research has now verified through technical means that Progressive Campaigns Inc. (PCI) has been hired to collect signatures to put on the ballot a "Tea Party" party.

Progressive ... has been funded by Soros, the Michigan Democratic Party, and is most recently known for the crude attempt to re-game the Michigan Constitution for the Democratic Party in 2008 through the Reform Michigan Government Now petition, which also operated initially for its first several weeks as a "stealth petition" (a petition that does not go through the Board of Canvasser approval process before circulation, but rolls the dice and operates quietly as long as possible).  It took two months before the Michigan Democratic Party and Mark Brewer's fingers were proven to be behind Progressive's RMGN effort, but eventually the truth came out on that.  While it can't be proven where Progressive is taking its marching orders from this year - the company's history shouldn't leave any doubt in what direction its comes from.  Their own client list contains a laundry list of SEIU, Humane Society of the US, George Soros, John Sperling, T. Boone Pickens, John Freeman, the UAW, and the Michigan Democratic Party itself. ...

Tags: fake party, deception, dirty tricks, democrats, TEA Party, Leftists, Elections, Government, Corruption, Liberals, Michigan, Arkansas, Mike Ross 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. - May 17, 2010 - Did Kagan Argue The Gov't Could Ban Books & Political Pamphlets?

The Senate will reconvene at 2 PM today and  will resume consideration of S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. At 5:30 PM, votes on amendments to the bill are schedule to continue.

Today, Rep. Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference announced that Republican members of Congress will host on Wednesday May 19th the "End the Bailouts: A Greek Forum." They are inviting leading economic experts to discuss the current situation in Greece and Europe and the impact these bailouts have on the U.S. economy and its taxpayers. Last week, Republicans introduced H.R. 5299, legislation which would put restrictions on U.S. tax dollars from being used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailouts for European countries.

During his appearance on Meet the Press Sunday, NBC’s David Gregory asked Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell about his thoughts on the qualifications of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Sen. McConnell noted that he’s particularly troubled by the arguments Kagan made in the Citizens United case, where the Court ruled that certain campaign finance restrictions violated the First Amendment. He said, “Solicitor Kagan's office in the initial hearing argued that it'd be OK to ban books. And then when there was a rehearing Solicitor Kagan herself, in her first Supreme Court argument, suggested that it might be OK to ban pamphlets. I think that's very troubling, and this whole area of her view of the First Amendment and political speech is something that ought to be explored by the Judiciary Committee and by the full Senate.”

During one oral argument session, Chief Justice John Roberts asked Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, “If it's a 500-page book, and at the end it says, and so vote for x, the government could ban that?” Stewart replied, “We [the U.S. government] could prohibit the publication of the book.”

In the course of a later oral argument, Kagan herself was questioned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg about whether the government (in defending the statute in question) was still arguing it could prohibit publication of things like campaign biographies. Kagan said her office’s view had changed, “The government’s view is that although [the statute] does cover full-length books . . . the FEC has never applied [the law] in that context.” Chief Justice Roberts apparently didn’t think highly of the answer, as he jumped in: “We don't put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats; and if you say that you are not going to apply it to a book, what about a pamphlet?” Kagan responded, “I think a pamphlet would be different.”

Kagan’s argument on pamphlets is certainly worth asking her about when the Judiciary Committee hearings begin. Was she really claiming that the federal government has the power to ban the publication of political pamphlets, considering our nation’s unique legacy of politically influential pamphleteering? Would this statute have empowered the government to ban some of the most famous pamphlets ever published like Thomas Paine’s 1776 call for American independence, Common Sense, or perhaps even the Federalist Papers, penned by founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to urge the adoption of the Constitution?

When the Supreme Court eventually issued its decision on the Citizens United case, it rejected Kagan’s arguments. Writing for the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, explained, “This troubling assertion of brooding governmental power cannot be reconciled with the confidence and stability in civic discourse that the First Amendment must secure.” In a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “The Government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern.”

Kagan’s arguments in this case need to be explored by both the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. Political speech is at the core of the protections the First Amendment secures for Americans and this nominee’s views on the matter are quite important for someone tasked with interpreting the Constitution.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Dodd Bill, financial regulation, Greek bailout, Elena Kagan, SCOTUS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fred Thompson - Teaching the Pig to Dance

Tomorrow, Thompson releases a new book. It is called Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances - Fred Thompson remembers the solid American values his father taught him -- and that he took to Hollywood and Washington.

Fred Thompson has been a TV star, a Senator, columnist, radio host, and a candidate for President of the United States – and now, in this homespun recollection of growing up in small-town America, he sets out with abundant charm and wit the American values that carried him through his remarkable career. In Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances, Thompson takes you to the Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, of the 1950s -- an American town where young men like Thompson learned the importance of hard work, honesty, perseverance, and other solid American virtues that are sadly vanishing in Barack Obama's America.

"There is an old saying," Thompson recalls, "that teaching the pig to dance is a fruitless endeavor. It is a waste of your time and it irritates the pig. That was probably how my parents, teachers, coaches and townsfolk felt about me. That, of course, makes me the pig." Thompson brings to life the characters he ran into in Lawrenceburg and the indelible lessons he learned from his father and family, and then carried through life. He tells it all with a wry good humor that makes Teaching the Pig to Dance a Southern, solidly conservative version of the NPR tales of Lake Wobegon.

Teaching the Pig to Dance is not a political manifesto, but in it, Thompson recounts his life-changing discovery of Barry Goldwater and conservatism. That makes this not just a heart-warming evocation of a lost, better America, but a soft-spoken manifesto for taking our country back today.

Sample the wit and wisdom of Fred Thompson: "My parents never set the bar high for me as far as education or professional titles were concerned. But they gave me much more. Dad set the standard for what a man ought to be -- strong and protective of those who depended on him. Trustworthy and striving every day to be a better man."

"Good guys looked and dressed the part, were strong, brave, took up for the little guy, won against all odds and apparently never had to make a living. Any little boy who didn't want to grow up to be like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry would have been cause for serious concern by his parents."

"Many years later, when I was in the United States Senate and attending a hearing, we were talking about how violence in the movies and television had increased over the years. I made a passing reference to growing up with Gene and Roy and watching them shoot a lot of bad guys. Soon I received a long letter from a Gene Autry-related organization taking umbrage and expressing outrage over my statement. They pointed out that Gene Autry always shot the gun at the bad guy's hand. He never actually shot anybody. I stood corrected."

"Perhaps surprisingly to some, having political views based on childhood religious influences does not necessarily translate into approval of a lot of the political activities of some religious groups. In our church we drew a clear distinction between the responsibilities of church and state. This was not a legal concept. This was based upon scripture. 'Render under Caesar. . .'"

Back in law school for my final year I had to smile when asked what I had done on my summer vacation. I wanted to say, 'Well I won my first case, carried a gun and busted a strike.'"

"Although my friends and family had conservative viewpoints, the Republican Party had little standing in the South; everyone still seemed to be trying to reconcile their values with the policies of the Democratic Party. But it's a reconciliation that I could not make. So although my state, my country and my Dad. . .were Democratic, I decided I was going to be a Republican."

"As a campaign manager I got to sit backstage with Governor Reagan for a few minutes before he went on stage. He turned to me and said, 'What do you think I ought to tell them?' Taken by surprise I gave him a few thoughts. He went out and said exactly what I had suggested. I was amazed. So Reagan had me for life even before I fully understood his philosophy. His philosophy was a bonus."

Tags: Fred Thompson, book, book review, pig, dance, biography, Memoir To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ignorance of a Lawyer is No Defense

by Michael Ramirez:
Michael Ramerez's satirical wit in his cartoon captures Eric Holder performance as Attorney General: "Ignorance of the Lawyer is No Defense."  Folks, Eric Holder has been a disappointment in the handling or his failure to handle properly so many things. And, he has not even been in office for 2 years. Is he playing the AG office jester to Obama's tune?  Can he really be so inept as to not have read the AZ law? Then there was the botched Black Panther voter abuse scandal; the on going Gov. Blogo incident and forthcoming trail; and the Holder's failure to allow the military to try Muslim terrorists as enemy combatants.
Tags: Michael Ramirez, political cartoon, Eric Holder, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Clothes Encounters of the Absurd Kind

Tony Perkins, FRC Washington Update:Yo Smith would be an expert on the men's and women's clothes at American Eagle (AE). As a cross-dresser, she's worn both! To some folks, that makes her the perfect AE salesperson. To the store managers, Yo's appearance is a side-show that drives away business. Unfortunately, the company's opinion no longer matters.

According to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the retailer will have to hire cross-dressers like Smith regardless of how uncomfortable it makes customers or employees. He cites the state's Human Rights Law, which grants special protections based upon gender identity. As a result, the 2,000-store chain has surrendered to state pressure and agreed to hire workers like Smith as part of a private settlement.

It started several months ago, when Yo took the store to court after it refused to offer her/him a job. "To avoid further expense and the distraction of a prolonged argument, [we have] agreed to a compromise settlement in this case, with the understanding that AE is not admitting to the findings," said an AE spokesman. "We wholeheartedly believe that transgender individuals should be treated equally." In the name of tolerance, American Eagle has been forced to take on a sales liability to satisfy the PC brigade. Shouldn't employers have the freedom to impose a dress code as they see fit?

Congress certainly doesn't think so. Democratic leaders want to make laws like the one in New York national policy. Under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the business community would have to surrender their most basic rights, including the freedom to set workplace standards. Until now, most Americans dismissed the legislation as a harmless anti-prejudice workplace bill. Companies in every state will soon know it as something far more dangerous. H.R. 3017 would require employers to hire transvestites, transsexuals, and drag queens and kings. That means co-workers could be subject to sharing restrooms or locker rooms based on their colleagues' gender "expression."

As our own Peter Sprigg points out in his Washington Times op-ed, "ENDA Sanity," there are plenty of jobs where personal appearance is a legitimate concern. Under ENDA, those concerns would be secondary to cross-dressing tolerance. How extensive is this tolerance? AE's stores have been bullied into "sensitivity training" for all staff on transgender issues. If the federal cross-dressing protection act passes, churches, businesses, and others workers would not only have to accept--but embrace--these wardrobe malfunctions. For more on this nightmarish piece of legislation, don't miss FRC's new documentary, ENDA: The End of Religious Freedom in America? Click here to order your own copy!

Tags: Tony Perkins, Washington Update, FRC, Transgenders, cross-dressers, NY, ENDA, American Eagle, AE, religious freedom To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

20 States Now Joined In A Lawsuit Against ObamaCare

Update: In an interview, National Federation of Independent Business President Dann Danner said that NFIB with its 350,000 members will join the 20 States in the argument that Americans cannot be required under the Constitution to obtain insurance coverage.

Georgia Governor's Office: Atlanta – Governor Sonny Perdue announced that Georgia has officially joined 19 other states in challenging the federal healthcare reform act when the amended complaint was filed today.

The amended complaint now features 20 state plaintiffs and two individual plaintiffs; additionally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff on behalf of its members nationwide."Congress's healthcare bill will exact a huge cost on our state and curtail our economic growth," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Congress has gone too far in infringing upon individuals' rights by imposing burdensome regulations on all Americans."

The original lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Labor on March 23, 2010, minutes after the health care reform act was signed into law by President Obama.

Georgia is being represented by Frank C. Jones as Special Attorney General.  Jones is joined by a team of other pro bono lawyers serving as deputy Special Attorneys General including: Mike Russ, retired Partner at King & Spalding; Jason Alloy and Josh Belinfante of RobbinsLaw LLC; Pitts Carr of Carr & Palmer; John Parker and Keith Blackwell of Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP; and Mercer University law professor David Oedel.

"Georgia's legal team has carefully considered our State's options for challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare reform legislation. We concluded that the Amended Complaint being filed today includes the strongest Constitutional arguments and, accordingly, that the interests of Georgia and its citizens are best served by joining in the Amended Complaint in the Florida action," said Frank C. Jones, Special Attorney General for the State of Georgia.

The individual mandate directly affects NFIB and its members by requiring those individuals to obtain health care or pay a penalty, giving NFIB a distinct basis to represent its individual members and join the lawsuit. The seven states who formally joined the lawsuit today are Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Alaska.

"Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned that the unconstitutional new mandates, countless rules and new taxes in the health care law will devastate their business and their ability to create jobs. They are also concerned about their personal freedoms," said Dan Danner, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. "This law is the first time the federal government has required individuals to purchase something simply because they are alive. If Congress can regulate this type of inactivity, then there are essentially no limits to what they can mandate individuals to do."

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Florida on March 23, alleges that the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of Floridians and residents of the other states by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution. Additionally, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.

The lawsuit further claims the health care reform law infringes on the sovereignty of the states and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution by imposing onerous new operating rules that Georgia and the other states must follow as well as requiring the state to spend additional dollars without providing funds or resources to meet the state's cost of implementing the law. Online copy of the lawsuit.

Tags: States, lawsuit, ObamaCare, Federal health care, big government, infringement on individual rights, Georgia, sovereignty, 10th Amendment, mandatory health care insurance, tax pentalty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

2+2=4: Fort Hood and the Rotarians

American Solutions Video:

Once we have the courage to insist that 2+2=4 in national security we will rapidly develop a bold, appropriate and ultimately victorious strategy for the preservation of our civilization against those who would kill us. Until then we will flounder and fail.

Tags: American Solutions, Newt Gingrich, 2+2=4, Rotarian, Terrorists, Muslims, Fort Hood, attorney general, Eric Holder, terrorist trials To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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