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 29, 2010

Arizona - Mission Accomplished - Boycott Perspective

by Michael Ramirez:
by John Trever:

Tags: Arizona, boycott, illegal aliens, Michael Ramirez, John Trever, cartoon, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Herman Cain - Three Things We Need to Do

Note: Those in or near Arkansas: Herman Cain will be speaking in Little Rock at the Arkansas Defending the American Dream Summit on June 12th.
In the following video, our conservative friend, noted speaker and radio show personality addressed Three Things We need to Do as Conservatives. This is the speech he gave at the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

Tags: Herman Cain, SRLC, Southern Republican Leadership Conference, radio talk show host, wisdom, video, speech, AFP, Arkansas, Defending the American Dream To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

When Government Gets Too Large

Ah, the efficiency of the feds! Enjoy funny clip about different members of our national security going after a "Terrorist" [video]

Tags: big government, inefficiency, humor, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sen. Lamar Alexander Discusses BP Oil Spill, Politics, Economy, Bipartisanship

Sen. Alexander asks: “What was the president’s cleanup plan, and where were the personnel and equipment to implement it?”
On C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” says since 1990, the president has had legal, ultimate responsibility for cleaning up spills
“In our country, we move in big waves. Back in the early 70s, it was environmentalism … I think the same thing is about to happen with debt … People are afraid, older people especially, that we’re spending so much in Washington that there won’t be money left for Medicare and for Social Security … So I see a huge movement in the country that’s saying to us, ‘You’d better deal with this debt,’ and we’re going to have to do it. . . .” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, was this week’s guest on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers" with the New York Times' David Herszenhorn and The Hill's Bob Cusak to discuss the Gulf oil spill, bipartisanship, and the flooding in Tennessee. Watch the interview on C-SPAN’s website or tune in Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern; below are excerpts from the interview:

On the Gulf oil spill: “I asked my staff to go look at the law and see what the law says, and what [it] says is that we’ve faced this before.  After the Exxon Valdez spill in 1990, Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act. It says the president shall ‘ensure’ that the oil spill is cleaned up, and that he has ‘personnel and equipment’ to do it. That’s the president’s responsibility. So, it’s my responsibility as senator to ask the questions, ‘What was the president’s plan? And where were the personnel and the equipment necessary to implement that plan?’

On Tennessee flooding and the EPA “lead paint rule”: “There’s a law that states, basically, that if a house, school, or childcare center was built before 1978, it probably had lead paint in it, so contractors need to know what they are doing when they disturb lead paint to prevent possible health risks - especially for pregnant women and children. That sounds pretty good. Well, EPA comes along and says, ‘Okay, to implement that law, contractors are going to have to get certified or we’re going to fine them $37,500 a day for every violation. In Tennessee, we had a flood – the biggest natural disaster since President Obama took office. In Nashville alone, we’ve got 11,000 homes that need to be rebuilt and there are only three EPA trainers in the entire state to certify these contractors, painters, and repairmen. So, Senator Collins and I have asked for a delay of implementation of that rule until we can get enough training classes so we don’t make fixing your house up, flooded or unflooded, more expensive or slower.”

On the president and bipartisanship: “Presidential leadership should be reserved for only a handful of truly presidential issues. Number one is jobs. Number two is debt. Number three is the war on terror. And if [President Obama] could focus on those three and not do much more – except if he had to, such as with the Gulf oil spill – the country would be better off.”

“Now, give credit to [President Obama’s] education secretary and energy secretary for reaching out and giving me a chance to work with them. In terms of the White House, I’m puzzled. Either the White House doesn’t want to work in bipartisan way on the big issues or it doesn’t know how. For instance, the president came to see [Republican senators] this week. We were delighted to see him. We always like to see him, but he didn’t say why he was coming; he didn’t tell us what he was going to talk about. Like, ‘I’m sending troops down to the border. What do you think about it?’ I think he and Senator McCain could have jointly said that. McCain actually said it’s an important first step. So there wasn’t any real effort to involve the other party in the way I always did as governor, and I guess they won’t pay any attention to us until we have more senators, and then they‘ll have to.”

"On the big issues – on health care, on so-called financial regulation, on the stimulus bill – the White House has been absolutely tone-deaf to bipartisanship. The president has not had a single meeting – I believe this was reported in one of the newspapers – with [Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell] since he’s been president.  One-on-one.  President Johnson, who had bigger Democratic majorities than President Obama does, telephoned Everett Dirksen, the Republican minority leader, every afternoon at 5:00 and had the Civil Rights bill written in his office.  So, we know how to be bipartisan. I’m not sure the White House does.”

On debt and the economy: “In our country, we move in big waves. Back in the early 70s, it was environmentalism. We weren’t doing anything in the 60s, and all of a sudden people were recycling and we had Earth Day and everybody became environmentally conscious. All of a sudden in the early 1970s, we pass the early Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. I think the same thing is about to happen with debt. We see what’s happening in Greece; we see what’s happening in Europe. People are afraid, older people especially, that we’re spending so much in Washington that there won’t be money left for Medicare and for Social Security, and grandparents are saying, “My grandkids aren’t going to be able to afford this.” So I see a huge movement in the country that’s saying to us, ‘You’d better deal with this debt,’ and we’re going to have to do it, and I believe we’ll have to do it as soon as possible.”

On the November elections: “I feel the same sort of mood out in the country that I felt in the year that most of your viewers won’t remember. It was 1974 and I was a very young Republican and I got the Republican nomination [for Tennessee governor] and it was the Watergate year. And in Tennessee, people were so mad at Republicans, they came down out of the mountains to find out who the Republicans were so they could vote against them. I think people are going to come down out of the mountains to vote against the rascals in Washington and most of the rascals in Washington are Democrats, by a large majority – and so Republicans are going to do very well.”

“… [P]eople will make a choice on Election Day. They’ll look at Washington and say, ‘Do you think Washington needs a check and a balance on spending, taxes, and debt?’ And I think more people will say the only way we can get that is to elect more Republican senators and they’re going to send a lot up here… and they’re going to come from all directions. We have more good candidates this year than we’ve had in a long, long time.”

Tags: Senator, Lamar Alexander, Republican, Tennessee, Oil Spill, BP, Politics, Economy, Bipartisanship, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hillary Clinton - Just how much is someone's fair share?

By Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA: Even though Barack Obama and his administration have been doing their thing for about a year and a half, the things they say sometimes still surprise me. Yes, they are left-wing radicals who want to "fundamentally change" this country, but come on! Surely they can see from history that a government that tries to do all and control all is unsustainable and completely counter to the American spirit, right? Well, maybe not, because Hillary Clinton took to the podium this week to say that wealthy Americans "are not paying their fair share" in taxes. Question... just what is a "fair share" and how can unemployment go down when the government raises taxes on those people who actually could hire other people?

As noted in a story on, Clinton, while addressing an audience at the Brookings Institute, said, "The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] -- whether it's individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms." Just listen for yourself:

Wow! I don't even know where to start. Not once in that clip does Clinton ever mention the fact that private companies are the ones that hire most of the people. She is focused exclusively on the government "creating" jobs. This means money is taken from taxpayers and put toward "jobs" that the government deems worthy. As she notes, these tend to be large "public works" jobs.

If a job really needs to be created, the private sector will create it! If unemployment is high, cut taxes so that more people can be hired. If more people are working, then there is more tax revenue coming in. AND... the system is working based on the needs and desires of individual Americans... not what the government says is the "right" kind of job.

Nearly half the country doesn't even pay income taxes any more. Is that fair? Obama wants to tax higher income people at nearly 40%. Is that fair? Is it fair for someone to pay 10% of their income while another person has to pay 30-35%? No! Treat all Americans fairly. The so-called "rich" will ALWAYS pay more because they make more.

Clinton and Obama place no value on the private sector. Innovation must come from government. Jobs must come from government. Prosperity must come from government. What kind of "American" philosophy is that? When government steps on the spirit of America, we cease to be the country that was made great through ingenuity, hard work, sacrifice, and a "never say quit" attitude. All that fades away with a government that says it will take care of all things, because it will control all things.

Tags: Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA, Hillary Clinton , wealthy, taxes, increase taxes, paying more, making too much money, Socialism, redistribution of wealth To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

FCC Chairman Genachowski Is Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski Porker of the Month for his recent decision to push forward with an ill-conceived and possibly extra-legal plan to impose federal regulations on the Internet.  The plan would treat the Internet by rules similar to those which currently pertain to the telephone industry under Title II of the Communications Act.

 “Chairman Julius Genachowski is leading the FCC into uncharted waters, straight into a legal headwind.  In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia laid down an unambiguous marker:  The FCC has no authority to force Internet service providers (ISPs) to give equal treatment to all Internet content flowing through their networks, nor can it regulate ISPs under Title II without Congress’s express authority.  The agency is out of its depth and will end up sinking time and the taxpayers’ money into harassing an industry that is functioning very well without ham-fisted government regulations,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.

“Chairman Genachowski is attempting to circumvent the court’s decision by seeking what he calls a ‘third way’ to insinuate the federal government into the workings of the Internet,” continued Schatz.  “This mystical proposition belies the manifest reality:  the taxpayers will be footing the bill for a giant new regulatory and enforcement bureaucracy to address an Internet crisis that does not exist.  Chairman Genachowski’s third way is the wrong way.”

“Broadband providers and their customers neither want nor need the FCC’s interference, which would stifle the innovation that has driven the success of the Internet.  Chairman Genachowski’s announcement simply confirms that, regardless of what the courts or public opinion say, this administration will continue its takeover after takeover of vital U.S. industries.  Its next target for conquest is the Internet, by any means necessary,” concluded Schatz.

For launching this damn-the-torpedoes (and the taxpayers), full-speed-ahead quest to regulate the Internet, CAGW names FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski its May Porker of the Month.

Tags: Julius Genachowski. Porker of the Month, CAGW, Citizens Against Government Waste, Federal Communications Commission, FCC To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamacare’s Cooked Books and the “Doc Fix”

James Capretta, The Heritage Foundation: The Obama administration continues to insist (see this post from White House budget director Peter Orszag) that the recently enacted health-care law will reduce the federal budget deficit by $100 billion over ten years and by ten times that amount in the second decade of implementation. They cite the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate for the final legislation to back their claims.

And it is undeniably true that CBO says the legislation, as written, would reduce the federal budget deficit by $124 billion over ten years from the health-related provisions of the new law. But that’s not whole story about Obamacare’s budgetary implications — not by a long shot.

For starters, CBO is not the only game in town. In the executive branch, the chief actuary of the Medicare program is supposed to provide the official health-care cost projections for the administration — at least he always has in the past. His cost estimate for the new health law differs in important ways from the one provided by CBO and calls into question every major contention the administration has advanced about the bill. The president says the legislation will slow the pace of rising costs; the actuary says it won’t. The president says people will get to keep their job-based plans if they want to; the actuary says 14 million people will lose their employer coverage, many of whom would certainly rather keep it than switch into an untested program. The president says the new law will improve the budget outlook; in so many words, the chief actuary says, don’t bet on it.

All of this helps explain why the president of the United States would be so sensitive about the release of the actuary’s official report that he would dispatch political subordinates to undermine it with the media. 
It’s not the chief actuary’s assignment to provide estimates of non-Medicare-related tax provisions, so his cost projections for Obamacare do not capture all of the needed budget data to estimate the full impact on the budget deficit. But it’s possible to back into such a figure by using the Joint Tax Committee’s estimates for the tax provisions missing from the chief actuary’s report. When that is done, $50 billion of deficit reduction found in the CBO report is wiped out. And that’s before the other gimmicks, double counting, and hidden costs are exposed and removed from the accounting, too.

For instance, this week House and Senate Democratic leaders are rushing to approve a massive, budget-busting, tax-and-spending bill. Among its many provisions is a three-year Medicare “doc fix,” which will effectively undo the scheduled 21 percent cut in Medicare physician fees set to go into effect in June. CBO says this version of the “doc fix” would add $65 billion to the budget deficit over 10 years. The entire bill would pile another $134 billion onto the national debt over the next decade.

If the Obama administration gets its way, this three-year physician-fee fix will eventually get extended again, and also without offsets. Over a full 10-year period, an unfinanced “doc fix” would add $250 to $400 billion to the budget deficit, depending on design and who is doing the cost projection (CBO or the actuary).

Administration officials and their outside enthusiasts (see here) say the Democratic Congress shouldn’t have to find offsets for the “doc fix” because everybody knows a fix needs to be enacted and therefore should go into the baseline. (By the way, the history of the sustainable growth rate [SGR] that Ezra Klein provides at the link above is a misleading one. The SGR was a replacement for a predecessor program that too had run off the rails — the so-called “Volume Performance Standard” enacted by a Democratic Congress in 1989.)

But supporting a “doc fix” is not the same as supporting an unfinanced one on a long-term or permanent basis. Not everybody in Congress is for running up more debt to pay for a permanent repeal of the scheduled fee cuts, which is why such a repeal has never been passed before. In the main, the previous administration and Congresses worked to find ways to prevent Medicare fee cuts while finding offsets to pay for it.

But that’s not the policy of the Obama administration. The truth is the president and his allies in Congress worked overtime to pull together every Medicare cut they could find — nearly $500 billion in all over ten years — and put them into the health law to pay for the massive entitlement expansion they so coveted. They could have used those cuts to pay for the “doc fix” if they had wanted to, as well as for a slightly less expansive health program. But that’s not what they did. That wasn’t their priority. They chose instead to break their agenda into multiple bills, and “pay for” the massive health entitlement (on paper) while claiming they shouldn’t have to find offsets for the “doc fix.” But it doesn’t matter to taxpayers if they enact their agenda in one, two, or ten pieces of legislation. The total cost is still the same. All of the supposed deficit reduction now claimed from the health-care law is more than wiped out by the Democrats’ insistent march to borrow and spend for Medicare physician fees.

And the games don’t end there.CBO’s cost estimate assumes $70 billion in deficit reduction from the so-called “CLASS Act.” This is the new voluntary long-term-care insurance program that hitched a ride on Obamacare because it too created the illusion of deficit reduction. People who sign up for the insurance must pay premiums for at least five years before they are eligible to draw benefits. By definition, then, at start-up and for several years thereafter, there will be a surplus in the program as new entrants pay premiums and very few people draw benefits. That’s the source of the $70 billion “savings.” But the premiums collected in the program’s early years will be needed very soon to pay actual claims. Not only that, but the new insurance program is so poorly designed it too will need a federal bailout. So this is far worse than a benign sleight of hand. The Democrats have created a budgetary monster even as they used misleading estimates to tout their budgetary virtue.

There is much more, of course. CBO’s cost projections don’t reflect the administrative costs required to micromanage the health system from the Department of Health and Human Services. The number of employers looking to dump their workers into subsidized insurance is almost certainly going to be much higher than either CBO or the chief actuary now projects. And the price inflation from the added demand of the newly entitled isn’t factored into any of the official cost projections.

We’ve seen this movie before. When the government creates a new entitlement, politicians lowball the costs to get the law passed, and then blame someone else when program costs soar. Witness Massachusetts. Most Americans are sensible enough to know already that’s what can be expected next with Obamacare.

Tags: Congressional Budget Office, cook the books, doc fix, entitlement expansion, Medicare, ObamaCare, Heritage Foundation 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 28, 2010 - Democrats Focus on Everything But the Important Issues

The Senate reconvened today. Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to change the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military. The full Senate is likely to consider the issue in a couple weeks.

Last night, the Senate voted 67-28 to pass the $59 billion fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 4899. The bill provides $33 billion for the surge in Afghanistan and $94 million for oil spill recovery efforts. Unfortunately, it is financed with deficit spending. Two amendments offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to pay for the bill through spending cuts were tabled earlier in the day by votes of 53-45 and 50-47.

Prior to passage, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the bill, rejected a motion from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to allow for a vote on an amendment to complete the border fence, adopted an amendment from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) to protect contractors from a new EPA rule, adopted an amendment concerning Filipino veterans from Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI), and rejected one on the same issue from Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

The House voted (234-194) last night night to repeal the 1993 bill - "don't ask, don't tell" codifying the controversial policy barring openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military. The legislation includes a provision ensuring that no change would take effect until the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops, due to Congress Dec. 1. It also requires that a policy change would not affect the military's ability to fight wars or recruit soldiers.  Democrats pushed ahead on the issue over the objections of some key military leaders, who said Congress should have waited to vote until the study is complete.

The dynamics on this issue are beyond interesting when looking at the facts of law verses Executive Orders and the 1993 Law codifying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy." First, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Federal criminal statue for the military, makes acts of homosexuality a crime. This legal code was not addressed. Therefore, anyone practicing such acts would be subject to Courts Martial and punishment including bad conduct discharge and prison. Second, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was first established by President Clinton as a Presidential Executive Order which could be rescinded by President Obama at any time. The executive order has been in fact been an umbrella of protection for gays and lesbians who wished to serve in the military while not revealing or displaying their sexual behavior publicly.  And it allowed for the administrative discharge verses Courts Martial for those who did reveal that they were gay or lesbian. If this executive order is rescinded without the Code of Military Justice being revised, the the very people celebrating this victory will be at risk in a military court. Also, military commanders cannot ignore certain provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, without placing enforcement of all other provisions at risk.

This issue is far from over and Congress should not be voting on an issue they did not have to vote on. First is the responsibility of Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama to decide on leaving or removing the "Don't Ask, Don't tell" policy and then for Congress to react to such an decision. Congress does have the responsibility to leave in-place or to remove or modify the provisions addressing homosexual behavior and/ or acts from the uniform Code of military Justice. Again, this issue has NOT been addressed properly by the President, or Congressional Democrats who appear to be providing cover for the President. Unfortunately, a few Republicans have been co-opted by the process. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have sent letters to Congress asking legislators to hold off on any effort to repeal the 1993 law and policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" until the Pentagon can finalize a review of the matter. However, the House did not listen to the Joint Chiefs. Will the Senate? The Democrats again are focusing on everything but the important issues like excessive federal spending, the expanding National Debt and much more.

In a must-read editorial today, The Wall Street Journal blasts the Health and Human Services Department for its taxpayer-funded mailer touting the supposed benefits for Medicare under Democrats’ new health care law: “In the full-circle department, recall the moment last September when Senator Max Baucus and Medicare went after the insurer Humana for having the nerve to criticize one part of ObamaCare. It turns out those same regulators have different standards for their own political advocacy. This week Medicare sent a flyer to seniors, ostensibly to inform them of what ObamaCare ‘means for you.’ Many elderly Americans are worried—and rightly so—about where they’ll rank in national health care, given that the new entitlement is funded by nearly a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts. They must have been relieved to hear that ‘The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this year will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality health care.’”

Of course, as the Journal points out, most of what’s contained in the mailer is contradicted by a report from Medicare’s own actuary released last month. For example, the mailer says Medicare “benefits won’t change” but the CMS actuary says Medicare cuts in the bill are “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors. It also claims the unpopular health care law makes “improvements to Medicare Advantage.” In fact, the actuary’s report says “The new provisions will generally reduce [Medicare Advantage] rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages.”

The WSJ writes, “That’s also what Humana told its customers, warning that seniors ‘could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage so valuable.’ Medicare threatened the Kentucky-based company with fines and regulatory punishments for ‘misleading and confusing’ beneficiaries, then issued a blanket gag order on Advantage insurers. The agency later backed down, once its Cosa Nostra message had been signed, sealed and delivered.”

This double standard is precisely what Senate Republicans criticized and was detailed by the ARRA News Service yesterday: Letter To Sebelius Demanding Answers On Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare Propaganda.

The WSJ concludes, “The larger issue is the White House’s view of political opposition. It seems to think its assertions will be true if they are repeated often enough, as long as no one is allowed to disagree.”

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

Retired Admiral Verses Chicago Political Operative - Who is Telling the Truth?

Breaking News - 5/28/2010: Greg Sargent, The Washington Post just released that "Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives . . . But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton's involvement."

If Sestak concurs with events as to be reported, it will illustrate 1) that a former Admiral may have been pressured by a former Commander-in-Chief,  2)  Bill Clinton was willing to speak on behalf of and support the administration that defeated his wife, Hillary, as president and 3) Democrats are a strange breed but they know Bill Clinton is the master of double speak. It is interesting that the White House may claim they were not involved,  Based on historical precedence, if the current President, Cabinet Secretary, or Senior White House staff member asks for another person to speak on their behalf to another person or country representative, it is indeed a message from the White House or the US Government. Using a former President, would indeed reflect that the White House intended for Sestak to step aside and that he would be rewarded accordingly.

Sestak has not resigned his military commission.  He took an oath as a military officer, let's see if he still believes in the sanctity of that Oath. If Sestak was not telling the truth or if he now bows to political pressure form the White House in reshaping the events of the offer, then Sestak should not be a U.S. Senator.
What are we to believe when we have two extreme liberal democrats talking about an event where a crime may have been committed and both are telling different stories? And, who do you believe?

One person is a retired 2-Star U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (upper half) after holding for a short period the rank of a 3-star Vice Admiral. A man with over 30 years service and the highest ranking former military officer currently serving in Congress. A person who commanded USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton and, following the September 11 attacks, was selected to serve as the first Director of "Deep Blue," the Navy's anti-terrorism unit. This man was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in American political systems. Between tours at sea, he earned a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D. in political economy and government from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The other person is an experienced political operative who was part of the Chicago political machine. He attended the University of Chicago majoring in political science. After graduating he worked as City Hall Bureau Chief and a political columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He is a longtime strategist for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and styles himself a "specialist in urban politics." In 2002, he was retained by the Liberal Party of Ontario Canada to help Dalton McGuinty and his party to be elected into government. In 2004, he worked for John Edwards' presidential campaign. In 2006, he consulted for several campaigns, including for Eliot Spitzer in New York's gubernatorial election and for Deval Patrick in Massachusetts's gubernatorial election. He also served in 2006 as the chief political adviser for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel. He also served as the chief strategist and media advisor for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. On November 20, 2008, Barack Obama named him as a Senior Advisor to his administration.

The first man is Pennsylvania U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak and the second man is Presidential Senior Advisor David Axelrod. Sestak says that he was offered a position in the Obama Administration if he would withdraw from the Democratic Senate primary as a candidate against Sen. Arlene Specter. If true, by law this would constitute an attempted bribe. Admiral Sestak is either telling the truth or he is lying.

Enter David Axelrod who tells CNN’s John King that there is “no evidence” that the bribe attempt ever happened. Axelrod acknowledged that if such an offer had been made that it would have been “a serious breach of the law.

So who do you believe is speaking the truth? Is it Sestak, who appears to have not hid that he had been offered a at least a promise of a position not to run for elections. Or, is it Axelrod the Chicago political activist? Heck, both may be are telling the truth.  Maybe Axelrod is playing the shill having been offered no or little info and is parroting the response fed to him. If so, who provided the comment being parroted?  Do we have a conspiracy going on in the White House?   If a bribe was offered, who made it and by what authority? If the position was Secretary of Navy or another significant post, how could the position have been offered without knowledge of the President Obama? Was another presidential adviser responsible; maybe White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel or senior adviser and assistant to the president Valerie Bowman Jarrett?  If no position was offered, then the Admiral is lying and needs to withdraw from office.

Who will be the scapegoat to protect President Obama? Heck, maybe they can blame the presidential teleprompter! It is time for a Congressional investigation and for a Special Prosecutor to be appointed to determine the facts  on whether a position was offered to Sestak and if it was, who offered the position and by what authority.  Let's cut the distraction and get to the facts. 

Tags: Joe Sestak, David Axelrod, bribery, interfering with election process, Obama administration, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arkansas Rep. John Boozman Supports "America Speaking Out"

thumbnailby Rep. John Boozman (AR-3)*: The agenda of Arkansans doesn’t match the agenda being forced through Congress. The message 'we can spend, borrow and tax our way to prosperity' that is coming out of Washington is being rejected by Americans.

I know Arkansans are ready for a new agenda in Washington; one that doesn’t increase taxes, pile up record deficits or ignore our nation’s job crisis. The time is now for a new way of doing business in Washington, where the priorities of the American people drive the agenda in Congress.

That's why I'm proud to join my House GOP colleagues in asking you to be part of this process. We are committed to our principles of smaller, more accountable government, and we believe that we must represent the interests of our constituents. We recognize that a new agenda should start with the voice of the American people.

I’m pleased to announce our new efforts to engage the American people in the process of building a new policy agenda for our country called ‘America Speaking Out.’ This provides a new opportunity to lend your ideas to the creation of a new national policy agenda.

This open process of engagement will lead to a new set of policy solutions for Congress that is consistent with our principles and built upon a national dialogue of ideas. If you have an idea or priority for a new agenda, you can join the debate at

This innovative tool works to engage all Arkansans. It features web tools and mobile applications that allows all Americans to submit a policy solution, promote priorities, debate ideas posted by others and share the conversation via Facebook and Twitter.

With the challenges our country faces, we need a Congress that understands the American people are really in control of this government. We need to hear your voice. I encourage you to play a part in changing the way Washington works.

Note: Rep John Boozman is an Arkansas Candidate for US Senate. Campaign Website
Tags: America Speaking Out, John Boozman, Arkansas, US House, Representative To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gov. Haley Barbour Will be in Arkansas to Endorse Jim Keet for Governor

Mississippi Governor and Republican Governor’s Association Chairman Haley Barbour is coming to Arkansas to endorse Jim Keet. Barbour will be the featured guest at Jim Keet for Arkansas Governor June 14th kick-off fund raising event in Little Rock.

Governor Barbour has successfully faced and led Mississippi through several major disasters. Knowing how to mobilize businesses, Barbour was supportive of Keet business experience saying , “As a successful businessman who knows how to create jobs and meet a bottom line, Jim Keet makes a very attractive and qualified candidate for governor of Arkansas. His problem solving skills and common sense policies will appeal to voters looking for leadership in difficult economic times.”

Keet said he was honored to have Governor Barbour’s support for his campaign. “Governor Barbour is a respected leader in Mississippi and across our Country. His visit demonstrates his confidence in my candidacy and ability to win the race for governor.”

Recent polls including the May 25th Rasmussen Poll have show that Keet’s numbers are improving while Governor Beebe is losing ground. While the incumbent Governor has a significant lead due to name recognition he has significant baggage. First, Beebe is a big on taxation and spending. Beebe had oversight of a $1 Billion surplus left by former Gov. Mike Huckabee. Did Beebe advocate returning the excess collected taxes to the Arkansans who were taxed too much? No, he spent a significant portion on programs which in expanded government or created a future burden on the taxpayers. Of course, he included all the members of the legislature so that legislators could earmark funds to projects they supported. In addition to spending and taxes, Beebe has endorsed and or supported of President Obama, Senator Blanche Lincoln and the liberal agenda of the Washington elites. Even though a majority of Arkansans oppose Obamacare, Gov. Beebe would not stand with the Arkansans and join with other states in opposing the nationalizing of health care and federally mandated increased costs both on the the State of Arkansas and on its citizens.

Jim Keet has rightly stated his message, "My message of job creation, reducing government regulation and intrusion into our lives, and eliminating wasteful government spending is resonating with the voters across the state.” People who oppose the programs of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, should associate their personal vote and the funding of candidates like Jim Keet.

If you would like to attend or for more information on the upcoming June 14th event, contact the Jim Keet for Governor Campaign Headquarters at 501.224.5338. All others no matter what state you live in, please visit the Jim Keet for Governor website and start your own private TEA Party protest by sending $5, $10, $25 or more to his campaign.
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: I am not associated with the Jim Keet Campaign. However, I endorses Jim Keet for Arkansas Governor. It is time for constructive change and for the elitists, including Mike Beebe to be benched.

Tags: Jim Keet, Haley Barbour, Mississippi, Arkansas, endorsement, fundraiser, Mike Beebe, Governor, campaign, 2010 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Letter To Sebelius Demanding Answers On Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare Propaganda

“The Representations Made In This Brochure Are Objectively Inaccurate And Incomplete. They Contradict A Report By Your Own Actuary”

“Given Your Recent Actions To Prohibit Private Companies From Communicating With Their Clients About The Potential Ramifications Of Health Reform, You Can Understand Our Concern About This Double Standard.  Last fall CMS issued a gag order prohibiting private insurance companies, which offer Medicare Advantage plans, from using their own private dollars to inform their customers about possible changes to their benefits.  We are deeply concerned about the apparent inequities evident in this situation. The representations made in this brochure are objectively inaccurate and incomplete.  They contradict a report by your own actuary as well as analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.  This creates a situation where private companies are prohibited from communicating with their customers, while at the same time taxpayer dollars are being used to communicate a misleading message to millions of seniors.” (Senators Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, John Thune, Charles Grassley, Mike Enzi, Tom Coburn, John Barrasso, Letter to Secretary Sebelius, 5/26/10)

May 27, 2010
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

We are concerned that taxpayer dollars were used to produce an inaccurate and misleading brochure entitled “Medicare and the New Health Care Law—What It Means for You,” recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We believe by selectively providing information, you are misleading seniors about the full impact of the new federal health care law.

For example, in the first paragraph, the brochure claims that the new health care law will result in "increased quality health care." Yet Medicare’s Chief Actuary noted that, absent legislation to intervene and correct the payment cuts in the new law,  some providers would "end their participation in the program" with the effect of "possibly jeopardizing access for beneficiaries."  The Chief Actuary further concluded that 15 percent of Part A providers – hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and home health agencies – may be unable to sustain their operations in the next ten years as a result of the drastic Medicare cuts in the new law.  Unfortunately, none of these important conclusions are disclosed to beneficiaries in the brochure.

Changes that jeopardize access to health care services will not increase the quality of care. It is not possible to simultaneously increase the quality of care and reduce access to services. Seniors will lose health services due to specific Medicare cuts in the health care law.  Any materials you produce to inform seniors about the impact of the new law should be forthcoming with that information.

In the second paragraph, the brochure states that the health care law will "keep Medicare strong and solvent."  However, the Chief Medicare Actuary concluded in an April 22, 2010, memorandum that cuts in Medicare "may be unrealistic."  In addition, cuts to Medicare are being used to pay for a trillion dollar health care bill, and therefore cannot also be used to improve the solvency of the program. The Chief Actuary's memorandum plainly states that the reduced spending resulting from the significant Medicare cuts in the new health care law, "cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund.”  The CBO Director asserted the same in a letter to Senator Sessions on December 23, 2009.

Both the CBO Director and CMS Actuary are in agreement that you cannot double count savings from Medicare.  Under the new health care law, the Medicare program will be cut by a total of $529 billion dollars. We believe any reductions in Medicare should be used to reduce the deficit and strengthen Medicare’s solvency – not fund a new entitlement program.

Further, the brochure states that "your guaranteed benefits won't change" despite the very clear conclusion by the Chief Actuary in his memorandum that the cuts to Medicare Advantage under the new law will "result in less generous benefit packages."  The statement in the brochure is misleading to millions of seniors, as the benefits they currently receive will change, and not only will they change, but they will be cut.

Given your recent actions to prohibit private companies from communicating with their clients about the potential ramifications of health reform, you can understand our concern about this double standard.  Last fall CMS issued a gag order prohibiting private insurance companies, which offer Medicare Advantage plans, from using their own private dollars to inform their customers about possible changes to their benefits.  We are deeply concerned about the apparent inequities evident in this situation. The representations made in this brochure are objectively inaccurate and incomplete.  They contradict a report by your own actuary as well as analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.  This creates a situation where private companies are prohibited from communicating with their customers, while at the same time taxpayer dollars are being used to communicate a misleading message to millions of seniors.

As Secretary of Health and Human Services, you have a duty to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have accurate information on how their benefits will change as a result of the new law.  More importantly, this duty requires you to fully inform beneficiaries about the effects of the laws, rather than providing misleading information.

At best, this brochure is an inappropriate and wasteful use of taxpayer funds; at worst, it is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds to provide biased information for political purposes.

Accordingly we ask you to provide us with the following information:

1. Please identify when the development of the brochure was initiated and by whom it was initiated.  Please also indicate if you personally approved the final version of this brochure.

2. Please indicate if White House staff were involved in the approval of the brochure, and if so, provide the name and office of each member of the White House staff that was involved. Please provide all communications, including but not limited to memos, emails and other relevant documents which relate, either directly or indirectly, to the development, drafting, review, clearance, printing and distribution of the brochure including any with White House officials.

3. Please indicate whether the Chief Actuary was consulted regarding the claims made in the brochure and, if so, whether he approved of the text as an accurate overview of the effect of the health reform law on Medicare beneficiaries and the program in general.

4. Please identify the name of each employee or contractor of HHS who was involved directly or indirectly in the creation, the development, drafting, review and clearance of the brochure. Please provide a copy of each draft version of the brochure from the first draft through the final version.

5. Indicate whether seniors are required to "opt-in" to receiving brochures of this type and, if so, when that opportunity is given and under what circumstances.  If seniors are not given the opportunity to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of receiving information from HHS concerning the effects of legislation on their benefits, please indicate the rationale for this policy.

6. Please provide complete details on where and how the brochure is being distributed.  Regarding the costs and funding for the development, drafting, review, clearance, printing and distribution of the brochure:
a.   Provide information, including all supporting documentation on the breakdown of costs of the development, drafting, review and clearance of the brochure.

b.   Indicate whether Congressionally-appropriated HHS funds were used for the development, drafting, review and clearance of the brochure and if so, what was the total amount spent to date, and what is the total budget for the initiative?  Provide supporting documents.

c.   If no HHS funds were used, indicate the exact source of the funds used for the development, drafting, review and clearance of the brochure and provide supporting documentation.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  We request that your agency provide a response by no later than June 11th, 2010.  Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact any of our staff.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republican Leader
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Republican Whip
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Republican Conference Chairman
Senator John Thune (R-SD), Republican Policy Committee Chairman
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)
Senator John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY)

Tags: Kathleen Sebelius, HHS, Health and Human Services, publication, flyer, propaganda, Obamacare, government healthcare law, Medicare, guarantees, false statements, incorrect statements 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 27, 2010 - Senate Republicans Demand Answers On Obamacare Propaganda

Update: In a phone call today withSen Tom Coburn he identified that his amendment to cut spending to pay for the 2010 supplemental appropriations bill was rejected.
Senate resumed consideration of the fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 4899. At 10 AM, the Senate began a series of votes on amendments to the bill. Rejected were amendments from Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and John Cornyn (R-TX), respectively to provide for 6,000 more National Guard troops for the border, to provide more money for border security programs, and to provide $200 million for border enforcement. Also rejected, by a vote of 18-80, was an amendment from Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to require a timetable for withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. Still pending were votes on amendments from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut spending in order to pay for the cost of the bill and a vote on cloture on the bill.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration told Congress that it was sending brochures explaining the unpopular new health care law to Medicare recipients, but it quickly became clear that these flyers, created and distributed at taxpayer expense, were marketing material and were claiming things contradicted by Medicare’s own actuary. Today, Senate Republican Leaders, including two Senate doctors, Tom Coburn and John Barrasso, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking where this brochure came from, how it was paid for, if anyone in the White house was involved in creating it, and if they bothered consulting the actuary about it. More on this in a separate post.

Of course, it’s not just the promises made about Medicare that continue to fall short of the expectations set by the Obama administration. Democrats repeated endlessly that the new law would assure people with pre-existing medical conditions health insurance coverage. In March, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said, “The new law is very important to early retirees because it will ensure lower insurance rates, and we will see a high-risk pool so that in my State, and all States, adults who cannot get insurance because of a pre-existing condition will be able to do so.” But The New York Times reports today, “The new health care law does not allocate nearly enough money to cover the estimated 5.6 million to 7 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions who will qualify for temporary high-risk insurance pools, according to a report scheduled for release on Thursday. The government-operated insurance plans are intended to serve as a stopgap until 2014, when insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with health problems. But an analysis by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research group, concluded that the $5 billion earmarked for the pools might cover as few as 200,000 people a year.” In other words, many people may be out of luck getting coverage from the government for the next four years.

And even a provision that the White House touted as being available immediately, forcing insurers to cover young adults up to age 26 on their parents’ plans may not be implemented right away either. In a weekly address earlier this month, President Obama said, “Even though insurance companies have until September to comply with this rule, we’ve asked them to do so immediately to avoid coverage gaps for new college graduates and other young adults.” But according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “[E]mployers, not insurers, pay the costs, and many employers across the country are balking. That means an untold number of 22- and 23-year-olds are going to have to buy their own policies or go uninsured for months. Their parents' health plans must offer coverage to age 26 once the new legal provision is triggered on Sept. 23, but companies then can wait until their next benefits-enrollment period -- typically Jan. 1 -- before extending coverage.”

As Sen. McConnell said commented earlier this week, “[Republicans’] arguments against this bill have been repeatedly vindicated, even as the administration’s many promises about the bill have been called into question again and again. So Democrats may have passed this bill, but the debate is far from over. And it’s important that Americans know the ways in which the promises they heard just aren’t adding up.”

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ObamaCare Creates Conditions That Could “Devastate” Small Businesses And “Their Ability To Create Jobs”

Health Law Creates Conditions That Could “Devastate” Small Businesses And “Their Ability To Create Jobs”

“In Prepared Remarks The President Says Government Can’t Create Jobs But Can ‘Create The Conditions For Small Businesses To Grow And Thrive And Hire New Workers.’” (“Obama Urges Help For Small Businesses,” The Associated Press, 5/25/10)


“About One-Third Of Employers Subject To Major Requirements Of The New Health Care Law May Face Tax Penalties Because They Offer Health Insurance That Could Be Considered Unaffordable To Some Employees, A New Study Says.” (“Study Points To Health Law’s Penalties,” The New York Times, 5/24/10)

“If An Employer With 50 Full-Time Employees Offers Coverage And 10 Of Those Workers Receive Premium Credits, Or Subsidies, The Employer Would Face A Penalty Of $30,000. If 30 Workers Receive Subsidies, The Penalty Would Be $40,000.” (“Study Points To Health Law’s Penalties,” The New York Times, 5/24/10)


“A Study By The National Center For Policy Analysis Shows That Tax Credits In The New Healthcare Law Could Negatively Impact Small-Business Hiring Decisions.” (“Report: Healthcare Law Tax Credits Encourage Small Businesses To Stay Small, Not Hire,” The Hill, 5/23/10)

“The Tax Credit Is Reduced As More Employees Are Added To The Payroll.” (“Report: Healthcare Law Tax Credits Encourage Small Businesses To Stay Small, Not Hire,” The Hill, 5/23/10)


“A Dire Warning From Bay State Medical-Device Companies That A New Sales Tax In The Federal Health-Care Law Could Force Their Plants - And Thousands Of Jobs - Out Of The Country Has Rattled Gov. Deval Patrick, a staunch backer of the law and pal President Obama.” (“Beware The ‘Jobs Killer’,” Boston Herald, 3/25/10)

“Salon Owners Predict Tanners Will Cut Back On Services. As A Result Salons Fear They Will Be Forced To Lay Off Employees.” (“Tanning Salons Feel Burn By Tanning Tax,” WNDU-NBC [South Bend, IN], 3/26/10)


“An All-But-Overlooked Provision Of The Health Reform Law Is Threatening To Swamp U.S. Businesses With A Flood Of New Tax Paperwork.” (“Health Care Law’s Massive, Hidden Tax Change,” CNNMoney, 5/5/10)


NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS: “Today the NFIB joined the 20 states in this historic lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The fundamental mission of our organization is to promote and protect the rights of small businesses and the self-employed to own, operate and grow their business, and this healthcare law directly undermines this core value. … Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned that the unconstitutional new mandates, countless rules and new taxes in the healthcare law will devastate their business and their ability to create jobs.” (NFIB, Press Release, 5/14/10)

Tags: Fact Check, Obamacare, small business, employees, workers, layoffs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gingrich: U.S. Government Is Next Bubble to Pop

by Forrest Jones, The Greek financial crisis has done more than just grab headlines in the financial world; it's repeatedly bruised the euro and it's served as a warning for what's in store for the U.S. economy, says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Public spending is out of hand in the United States as it has been in Greece and the day of reckoning is on the way.

"Federal spending alone this year accounts for 25 percent of our nation's gross domestic product," says Gingrich, according to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. "If you add state and local spending, the number is closer to 50 percent," he said. "No economy can thrive when nearly half of all economic output is directed by politicians rather than entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Unions are also causing problems, says Gingrich. While overall union membership has declined during the last decades, the government has been more than happy to lend a hiring hand. "Over 50 percent of all union workers in the U.S. are employed by the government compared with only 17 percent in 1980," says Gingrich. "In addition, government workers make about $10 per hour more than the average private sector worker."

For Gingrich, reduced public spending and tax cuts are the way to right America's finances. . . .

Tags: Newt Gingrich, U.S. Government, federal spending, 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 26, 2010 - Dems Want To Add Another $130 Billion To $13 Trillion Debt

America’s National Debt Hits Record High As Private Income Shrinks And Government Benefits Balloon

“The U.S. National Debt Hit $13 Trillion Today, A Stratospheric Number With Looming Implications For Every Citizen.” (“National Debt Clock — Tracking the Red,” Fox News, 5/26/10)

In the House, Republicans continue to wait for the Democrats to present a budget as required by law. Democrats are afraid presenting a budget will cost them elections in November.

In the Senate, they are considering the fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 4899. Votes are possible on amendments to the bill during the day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the bill yesterday. There were no votes in the Senate yesterday, but senators agreed to bills naming 14 post offices.

In the Senate offices, the case for the nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court is being advanced. The real danger is that Kagan portends to be a "moderate" -- pleasant, smiling, confident, so much so that even some Republican senators are reportedly "warming up" to her as she makes the rounds on Capitol Hill. But these Senators must stop being fooled or at least played.

Obama didn't put forth Kagan because she was a moderate or an experienced judge. He choose her because she is a radical and an activist. She has ZERO experience as a judge. Alsom she has manged to hide her record from the American public and the U. S. Senators while the White House has shielded her from the media. Her record is very slim. Her litigation experience is negligible. And one of her prior decisions as as Dean of the Harvard Law was taken all the way to the Supreme Court and unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court justices. It is time for Republicans to stop their love affair with allowing almost all judicial nominations to be approved because the "president should get his way on judges." Time to recall that the Democrats held up (stopped) Bush's nominations for numerous judges when the Democrats were in charge during the last two years of Bush's second term.

As Congress approaches its next recess, Democrats are once again scrambling to extend unemployment insurance that expires at the end of this month. This is a recurring theme for this Democrat-run Congress. At the end of every month, Democrats struggle to extend unemployment benefits because their leadership refuses to pay for the benefits, preferring to add it to the massive government debt. That debt reached an unprecedented $13 trillion today, but Democrats are urging passage of an extenders bill that would add another $130 billion to that total.

Roll Call explains the situation today: “[T]his week, Democratic infighting could put the blame for inaction squarely on the majority’s back. Unless Democratic leaders can get their act together quickly, unemployment benefits will expire while Congress is on its weeklong Memorial Day recess. On Tuesday, House and Senate Democratic leaders were still struggling to find the votes to pass a nearly $200 billion tax extenders bill that happens to include the latest extension of unemployment benefits. . . . At press time, House Democrats had still not figured out a way to bring the bill to the floor, with defections piling up from lawmakers worried about the bill’s cost, the $134 billion increase in the deficit over the coming decade or the provisions increasing taxes on carried interest that hedge fund managers receive for managing investments.”

Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “[A]ny delay in passing this bill is coming from the other side of the aisle. And I say this not to point fingers, but because we’ve seen the Democrat Playbook. We know they’ll try to blame Republicans for their own inability to come to an agreement if we don’t go along with their effort to add another $130 billion to the deficit by the end of the week. So let’s be perfectly clear: there’s one reason Democrats are having trouble getting an agreement on this bill and one reason only — and that’s because it’s so blatantly reckless. Europe’s in the midst of what German Chancellor Angela Merkel describes as an existential crisis, all brought about by governments that spent money they didn’t have. Americans are watching this crisis play out, and they see Democrats doing the same thing here day after day after day. This extenders package is just the latest example, just the latest evidence of a majority that’s out of control.”

Consider this fact,  if Democrats pass this bill, they would, in one vote, wipe out all ten years of the supposed deficit savings in the health care they spent all of March boasting about. That is if the health care law ever really would have saved any money; recent reports identify that it is going to cost even more than initial estimates.

Unlike the Democrats, Republicans will be offering an alternative bill to extend unemployment and tax cuts. The Hill points out, “The Republican bill would be offset with rescissions to unspent discretionary funds from the stimulus bill.”

Sen. McConnell laid out the stakes earlier today and added: “Far from doing anything about our own looming debt crisis, Democrats only seem interested in making it worse. The true emergency here is our national debt. A line must be drawn somewhere. Americans are running out of patience.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, National Debt, trillions, unemployment benefits, Elena Kagan, SCOTUS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quit Reading Off My Teleprompter

by William Warren:

Tags: William Warren, political cartoon, Barack Obama, TOTUS, teleprompter, Mexico's president To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ObamaCare Fact Check: CMS Mailer vs. CMS Actuary

Obama Administration’s Taxpayer Funded Medicare Mailer Is Disputed By Their Own Actuary

CMS Mailer Says New Law “Will Keep Medicare Strong And Solvent,” But CMS Actuary Says “The Longer-Term Viability” Of The Medicare Changes “Is Doubtful”

CMS MAILER: “These Are Needed Improvements That Will Keep Medicare Strong And Solvent.” (“Medicare And The New Health Care Law – What It Means For You,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 5/10)

CMS ACTUARY: “The Longer-Term Viability Of The Medicare Update Reductions Is Doubtful.” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Amended,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, P.21, 4/22/10)

CMS Mailer Says “Benefits Won’t Change” But CMS Actuary Says Medicare Cuts In New Health Law Are “Possibly Jeopardizing Access” To Care For Seniors

CMS MAILER: “Your Guaranteed Medicare Benefits Won’t Change – Whether You Get Them Through Original Medicare Of A Medicare Advantage Plan.” (“Medicare And The New Health Care Law – What It Means For You,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 5/10)

CMS ACTUARY: “Providers For Whom Medicare Constitutes A Substantive Portion Of Their Business Could Find It Difficult To Remain Profitable And … Might End Their Participation In The Program (Possibly Jeopardizing Access To Care For Beneficiaries).” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Amended,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, P.9-10, 4/22/10)

CMS Mailer Says New Law Makes “Improvements To Medicare Advantage” But CMS Actuary Says It Will “Result In Less Generous Benefit Packages” For Medicare Advantage Customers

CMS MAILER: “Improvements To Medicare Advantage.” (“Medicare And The New Health Care Law – What It Means For You,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 5/10)

CMS ACTUARY: “The New Provisions Will Generally Reduce [Medicare Advantage] Rebates To Plans And Thereby Result In Less Generous Benefit Packages.” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Amended,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, P.11, 4/22/10)

CMS Mailer Says New Law Provides “Greater Savings” But CMS Actuary Says Health Care Costs Will Increase

CMS MAILER: “The Affordable Care Act Passed By Congress And Signed By President Obama This Year Will Provide You And Your Family Greater Savings And Increased Quality Health Care.” (“Medicare And The New Health Care Law – What It Means For You,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 5/10)

CMS ACTUARY: “But The [CMS] Analysis Also Found That The Law Falls Short Of The President’s Twin Goal Of Controlling Runaway Costs, Raising Projected Spending By About 1 Percent Over 10 Years. That Increase Could Get Bigger, Since Medicare Cuts In The Law May Be Unrealistic And Unsustainable, The Report Warned.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” The Associated Press, 4/23/10)>

CMS Mailer Says “CLASS” Act “Improves Long-Term Care Choices” But CMS Actuary Says It Has “A Significant Risk Of Failure” And Is “Unsustainable”

CMS MAILER: “Improves Long-Term Care Choices… The New Law Creates A New Voluntary Insurance Program Called CLASS To Help Pay For Long-Term Care And Support At Home.” (“Medicare And The New Health Care Law – What It Means For You,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, 5/10)

CMS ACTUARY: “In General, Voluntary, Unsubsidized, And Non-Underwritten Insurance Programs Such As CLASS Face A Significant Risk Of Failure As A Result Of Adverse Selection By Participants … There Is A Very Serious Risk That The Problem Of Adverse Selection Will Make The CLASS Program Unsustainable.” (“Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act,’ As Amended,” Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, P.15, 4/22/10)

Tags: Obamacare, government healt hcare, fact check, CMS, Actuary, 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 25, 2010 - House GOP Launch America Speaking Out Initiative While Obama Administration Continues Propaganda Agenda at Taxpayers Expense

Senate resumed consideration of the fiscal year 2010 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 4899. President Obama is scheduled to speak with Senate Republicans at their lunch today on a variety of topics. Yes, this is always a scary proposition as he seeks to move things farther left. Yesterday, the Senate voted 60-30 to agree to a motion offered by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to instruct conferees to exempt car dealers from regulation under the Democrats’ financial regulation bill. The Senate also agreed to a motion to instruct conferees offered by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Kay Hagen (D-NC).

Today, the House Republicans were busy forming alliances and initiatives. Three Republicans joined with three Democrats to launch Congressional Coal Caucus. Calling coal "America's most abundant and affordable energy resource," the bipartisan group of congressmen and women note that coal provides nearly 50% of America's energy supply and generates more than 130,000 coal-mining jobs. They've pledged to use their new caucus to provide a voice for coal communities in Congress.

In addition, Republican leaders launched "America Speaking Out," an unprecedented initiative to engage the American people and give them a voice in crafting a new governing agenda for the 111th Congress. In launching their new initiative, Republican leaders said, "America deserves a Congress that respects the priorities of the people. Unfortunately, Washington hasn't been listening. Let's change that. America Speaking Out is your opportunity to change the way Congress works by proposing ideas for a new policy agenda. Republicans have offered solutions, and we have our principles, but this is a new venue for us to listen to you." While they encouraging a national dialogue, the new website also makes clear that House Republicans know their conservative principles and will stand by them. The front page of the site includes this statement: "Here, Americans are provided a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda. As Republicans, we are committed to our principles of limited, more accountable government; economic freedom; lower taxes; fiscal responsibility; protecting life, American values, and the Constitution; and providing for a strong national security. This is an open forum, however, where all Americans are welcome to respectfully offer their opinions, regardless of party affiliation and whether we endorse them or not."

Yesterday, we identified that a Rasmussen Poll revealed that 63% of American Voters Want Obamacare Repealed. However, that has not stopped he Obama propaganda campaign paid for by the taxpayers. Roll Call reports today, “According to an e-mail sent to Capitol Hill staff by Amy Hall, director of the CMS Office of Legislation, Medicare recipients beginning Tuesday will receive a brochure titled ‘Medicare and the New Health Law — What it Means for You.’ The pamphlet, published in English and Spanish, summarizes how the health care reform law enacted in March affects Medicare recipients and their families.”

ABC News adds, “The government is mailing out a 4-page pamphlet with a message from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who tells seniors they will still get the same basic Medicare benefits. The pamphlet has photos of smiling middle-aged seniors, some with their grand kids. And it uses words like ‘helps,’ ‘expands’ and ‘protects.’”  But as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained in a floor speech this morning, “The flyer purports to inform seniors about what the health care bill would mean for them. Much of it directly contradicts what the administration’s own experts have said about the law. And all this is bought and paid for by the American taxpayer. So this is a complete outrage, and it’s precisely the kind of thing Americans are so angry about at the moment.”

The flyer promises, “The guaranteed Medicare benefits you currently receive will remain the same.” But just last month the AP noted a report from the same HHS department “projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.” Incredibly, the flyer also touts “improvements to Medicare Advantage” and says the health care bill “protects Medicare Advantage members” when even before the bill passed it was known that the bill cut over $130 billion from Medicare Advantage.

Even more objectionable is the fact that the government is now doing, with taxpayer money, precisely what it tried to prevent private health insurance companies from doing in the fall: inform them about the health care bill. Recall that in September, the HHS Department issued an order “telling insurance companies who serve Medicare recipients to stop ‘misleading’ and ‘confusing’ mailings, saying, quote, ‘we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings… and remove any related materials… from your websites,’” as ABC’s Jonathan Karl described it. At the time, Sen. McConnell said, “This is so clearly an outrage it’s hard to believe anyone thought it would go unnoticed. For explaining to seniors how legislation might affect them, the federal government has now issued a gag order on that company, and any other company that communicates with clients on the issue, telling them to shut up — or else.”

It seems there’s no end to the hypocrisy, double standards, and misleading information that Democrats and the Obama administration will use to try to sell the public on the health care law Americans didn’t want to begin with. Opposition to their health care bill has remained steady since Obama signed it two months ago. And now the administration has the gall to spend tax dollars to continue  a government propaganda  campaign paid for by the taxpayers, saying things that have been contradicted by its own experts.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Obamacare, Obama administration, propaganda, House Republicans. America Speaking Out To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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