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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, July 31, 2010

East And West Coast Liberals Nailed With Ethics Violations

Charlie Rangle - East Coast Corruption

Maxine Walters - West Coast Corruption

LA Times: Maxine Waters faces ethics charges
NYT: Ethics Trial Expected for California Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Politico: Waters chooses ethics trial
Hill: Reports: Rep. Waters chooses trial rather than accept ethics charges
NYT: Panel Advises Reprimand, Not Expulsion, for Rangel

WaPo: Rangel says colleagues who similarly sought donations were not punished
Hill: House ethics panel, Rep. Rangel spent two years going toe-to-toe
Wash Times: Obama on Rangel case: 'Very troubling'
Hill: Calls for Rangel to resign from House are on the rise
Politico: Speaker defends troubled majority
Rush Limbaugh: Pelosi and Rangel Head Up the "Most Ethical Congress in History"
Some Observation: Remember when a certain member of Congress was forced out of office for allegedly foot taping in a bathroom. Well these two, Rangle and Walters, as well as a few others have not only been foot tapping with your money, they have been misusing and wasting your money and abusing their positions of authority. Arkansas' Mike Beebe and his Democrat cohorts have "cover words" for what Rangel and Walters have been doing: tradition and practice.

It has been 9 months since the House Democrat leadership was faced with a resolution calling for Rangel's removal and opted instead to refer Rangel to the Ethics Committee. While Rangel has been seeking immortality by using taxpayer money to get his name engraved on three NY buildings, Walters declared she wanted to Nationalize ("Socialize") the Oil Industry.

Can't help but wonder if the chips are starting to fall apart in the Democrat corruption schemes because the legend  "king of earmarks" and corruption, John "Jack" Murtha, is no longer alive to provide cover for these two and other reprobates. With President Obama calling the Rangel case "very troubling." why isn't Attorney General Eric Holder going after these two and other Democrats for corruption?

Tags: Charlie Rangel, NY, Maxine Walters, CA, US House, corruption, ethics violations, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln Makes $1.5 Billion Deal Favoring Whites and Angers Black Farmers

Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln appears desperate for votes in the 2010 Election and in her desperation, she appears to have turned her back on Arkansas black farmers. Lincoln made a $1.5 Billion deal with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. What was the quid pro quo? Black Lawmakers are angry and they and Arkansas black farmers note that the deal was made primarily for white farmers while black farmers are being denied funding for to settle prior suit for discrimination against black farmers. This situation looks like just another example of 136 years of Arkansas Plantation Politics. You can take the girl (Lincoln) off the plantation but we evidential you can't seem to get the plantation out of the girl. Yes - Sen Lincoln is obviously no  girl and as a woman  is fully responsible for her actions and failures to listen to her constituents. She long ago needed to set aside plantation politics.  And, Lincoln definitely did not need to be making deals with the political chief for the Chicago gang at Big "White" House. Background Story from The Hill follows:
By Alexander Bolton, The Hill: African-American lawmakers are irate that the Obama administration has promised Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) $1.5 billion in farm aid while claiming it can’t pay a landmark legal settlement with black farmers.

Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to President Obama on Thursday calling on him to find a way to compensate black farmers who suffered discrimination in government loan programs during the 1980s and 1990s. The letter was spurred by behind-the-scenes deal-making in the Senate as part of an effort to pass small-business legislation.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel promised Lincoln, who sponsored the provision, that the administration would find a way to pay out $1.5 million in disaster assistance to farmers while they wait for programs in the 2008 farm bill to be implemented.

At the same time, the administration has told black farmers it lacks the funds to pay a $1.2 billion agreement they reached with the Department of Agriculture in 1999 to settle the Pigford class-action lawsuit. . . . Members of the black caucus say that if the administration can find $1.5 billion within its administrative funds to pay mostly white farmers in Arkansas and other states, it should be able to pay black farmers who suffered discrimination. “The current hardships experienced by other farmers should not trump hardships placed on African Americans and Native Americans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the past,” they wrote. . . . [Full Story]

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, deal, farmers, angers black farmers, Arkansas, plantation politics, Rahm Emanuel, White House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Memo: “A Non-Legislative Version Of Amnesty for Illegals"

Obama Administration Memo Cites Non-Legislative Amnesty As Possible Option On Illegal Immigration


MEMO TO U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES DIRECTOR: “This memorandum offers administrative relief options to promote family unity, foster economic growth, achieve significant process improvements and reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization. It includes recommendations regarding implementation timeframes and required resources.” (Denise A. Vanison et al, Memorandum For Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “RE: Administrative Alternatives To Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, P.1)

“Summary: In The Absence Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, USCIS Can Extend Benefits And/Or Protections To Many Individuals And Groups By Issuing New Guidance And Regulations…” (Denise A. Vanison et al, Memorandum For Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “RE: Administrative Alternatives To Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, P.1)

“To Promote Family Unity, USCIS Could Reinterpret Two 1990 General Counsel Opinions Regarding The Ability Of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Applicants Who Entered The United States (U.S.) Without Inspection To Adjust Or Change Status.  This Would Enable Thousands Of Individuals In TPS Status To Become Lawful Permanent Residents.” (Denise A. Vanison et al, Memorandum For Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “RE: Administrative Alternatives To Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, P.1)

“…USCIS Could Grant Deferred Action. This Would Permit Individuals For Whom Relief May Become Available In The Future To Live And Work In The U.S. Without Fear Of Removal.” (Denise A. Vanison et al, Memorandum For Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “RE: Administrative Alternatives To Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, P.2)

“Rather Than Making Deferred Action Widely Available To Hundreds Of Thousands And As A Non-Legislative Version Of ‘Amnesty’, USCIS Could Tailor The Use Of This Discretionary Option For Particular Groups Such As Individuals Who Would Be Eligible For Relief Under The DREAM Act (an estimated 50,000), or under section 249 of the Act (Registry), who have resided in the U.S. since 1996 (or as of a different date designed to move forward the Registry provision now limited to entries before January 1, 1972).” (Denise A. Vanison et al, Memorandum For Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “RE: Administrative Alternatives To Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services, P. 11)

Tags: Obama administration, non-legislative amnesty, USCIS, Denise A. Vanison, backroom deals, amnesty, illegal immigration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Paint the Democrats: The Party of “O”

Don't skip this read. Pass it on to others. David Slavens' is correct -- It is time to tie every Democrat candidate to The Party of "O". Democrats at the state and local levels are just as guilty.

Every Democrat - The Party of "O"
By Chris Slavens: Throughout 2010, Democrats have attempted to deceive the public with a number of mudslinging strategies, ranging from the feeble “blame Bush” tactic to the slightly more successful (but utterly despicable) ploy of race-baiting. Finally, they resorted to calling the minority party the “Party of No,” claiming that Republicans have no ideas of their own. Republicans have responded to these attacks with facts and figures, but who really wants to listen to those? Not the liberal media, that’s for sure.

The GOP can continue to refute the label “Party of No,” as it should, but conservative candidates must also make it clear that they are running against the “Party of O” — a fitting nickname for the Obama-worshipping Democrats of the day.

“O” can refer to a number of things, most obviously the president himself. Various polls indicate that the majority of Americans are consistently opposed to Obama’s agenda,yet Democrats have gone far out of their way — risking their seats to mid-term challengers in many cases — to make his Marxist vision for the United States a reality.

Conservatives should tie each and every Democrat to the party’s chosen deity, Barack Hussein Obama, who is on his way to being the most unpopular leader in the history of Western democracy. In the ongoing battle of liberty versus tyranny, there is no neutral territory. Lawmakers stand either with us — the American people — or with the Obama administration.

In the past, the Democratic Party was said to have a large tent, because it tolerated a wide range of viewpoints with the goal of representing blue-collar voters. The South produced conservative Democrats that would put wishy-washy moderates like Michael Castle (R-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to shame. No longer.

Time and time again, Democrats thought to be conservative have showed their true colors (various hues of yellow, mostly) and bent under pressure from Pelosi and Reid, who have taken upon themselves the task of legislating the president’s radical agenda. Years ago, Democrats would have resisted the demands that are handed down from these shady characters. But not today. Not the lock-step “Party of O.”

Democrats at the state and local levels are just as guilty. A number of states are in the process of nullifying ObamaCare, as every state should. Other states, controlled by Democrats, have refused to stand up for their own citizens’ constitutional rights. These accomplices — spineless members of the “Party of O” — must be removed from office along with their federal chums if there is to be a chance of restoring constitutional government.

There are good Democrats, to be sure, but if they aren’t alert enough to recognize that their party is in the hands of anti-American radicals, then government is not the place for them. At this point, simply having a “D” after one’s name contributes to the oft-misused power of the Obama regime, and the country’s downward spiral.

The letter “O” is also suggestive of zero — the number of real jobs (private sector jobs, that is) that Democratic policies have created. More likely, it’s a negative number. Hiring census takers and additional IRS agents (as if there weren’t enough already) might help to offset the unemployment rate, but it’s not particularly helpful to the employed among us who are paying for these unneeded positions.

If all goes well, and the American people clean house in Washington, as it seems they will, “O” is the shape that many Democrats’ mouths will form as they clean out their offices and head home to reality.
Chris Slavens, former contributor to the Wilmington News Journal, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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Today in Washington, D.C. - July 30, 2010 - Democrat Leaders ‘Ridicule,’ ‘Laugh’ Off American People’s Priorities

The Washington Post reflects what all Americans know: It is the Economy Stupid! The are reporting that "recovery lost momentum in the second quarter as growth slowed to a 2.4% pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment. Weaker spending by consumers, less growth coming from companies restocking shrunken stockpiles and a bigger drag from the nation's trade deficits were the main factors behind the second quarter's slowdown."

Even in the aftermath of this new, House Democrats Continued their contempt for the American people, and today, introduced a job-killing tax bill seconds before the House debated it this morning.  Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the ranking Republican on the Ways & Means Committee, was rightly outraged that Democrats had not given members of Congress – not to mention the American people – sufficient time to review a bill before debating it.  Camp asked the Democrat in the Speaker’s chair to have the House clerk read the bill aloud, yet that request was also refused.

This is far from the first time we’ve seen this kind of behavior from House Democrats.  They dropped their 1,000 page “stimulus” bill hours before the House voted on it and they added more than 300 pages to their national energy tax at 3:14am in the morning.  Just last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), publicly mocked suggestions that reforms should be adopted in Congress that would prohibit the House from considering any bill that has not been publicly available on the Internet for at least three days, calling the idea “unreasonable” and “not relevant.”

It’s a sure sign that Congress is out-of-touch with the American people when Washington Democrats refuse to allow all Members of Congress and the public to read the bills before they come up for a vote. Washington Democrats may be running away from their own record, but they are not being coy about continuing to ignore – and even outright mock – the will of the American people.  In just the last week, House Democratic leaders have provided the American people with two prominent examples of such arrogance.  Speaking to POLITICO yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) professed “indifference” and broke “into laughter” when informed of House Republicans’ efforts to cut wasteful Washington spending.

Also in the House, Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced critical legislation that will codify the pro-life Hyde amendment and bar Congress from using taxpayer funds for abortion or abortion coverage.

The same contempt by Democrats is occurring in the Senate.  Yesterday, after Senate Democrats continued to refuse Republicans the opportunity to have a fair amendment process on the small business bill, cloture on the Baucus-Landrieu substitute amendment failed by a vote of 58-42. So Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the bill from the floor yet again.   On Monday, the Senate will take up the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to HR 1586, a shell for Reid’s substitute amendment with bailout money for teachers and Medicaid money for states.

Recently, President Obama’s political strategy on policies that are problematic or controversial has been to double down instead of reevaluating or changing course.

When polls showed the overwhelming majority of Americans disapproved of the massive health care bill during the winter and Massachusetts voters sent an unmistakable message by electing Sen. Scott Brown, who campaigned on opposition to the bill, the President didn’t decide to change the bill. Instead, he pushed Democrats in Congress ever harder to ram the bill through via reconciliation.

Meanwhile, unemployment has been hovering near 10%, and millions of jobs have been lost since the $862 billion stimulus was passed in February 2009, despite promises from the Obama administration that it would keep unemployment around 8% and create 3.5-4 million jobs. Yet in the face of clear evidence that the stimulus has failed to live up to the promises of the administration that I would spur an economic recovery, the Obama White House is touting this summer as “Recovery Summer,” and trying to claim the stimulus bill is working.

In the aftermath of the explosion and massive oil leak at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration declared a moratorium on further oil drilling in deep ocean, disregarding the impact such a ban would clearly have on the economy of the Gulf Coast and on American energy supplies. But a district court judge, and later the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, blocked the moratorium, “ruling that, in issuing it, Obama and interior secretary Ken Salazar had trivialized the economic impact of the moratorium,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Again, though, the administration doubled down, with Salazar issuing a new moratorium just days later, despite Democrat Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu declaring, “Even the revised moratorium will force thousands of hard-working Louisianians and others along the Gulf Coast into the unemployment lines.”

And today, The New York Times reports, “Mr. Obama will be delivering the opening salvo in a White House effort to argue that government bailouts, now the most charged phrase in the political lexicon, actually worked in the case of the auto industry” when he visits a GM plant in Michigan today. He’ll be doing so “as the majority shareholder surveying the government’s investment in a company the White House called ‘moribund’ just 18 months ago” and defending a bailout that poured over $60 billion of taxpayer money into GM and Chrysler. According to the AP, “The most recent government estimate found that taxpayers will lose $24.3 billion on the auto bailout.”

But the auto industry is not the only place the Obama administration is doubling down on bailouts today. The Wall Street Journal editors write, “President Obama has been trying to rebut the claim that he's antibusiness by promoting something called the Small Business Jobs Act, which would provide loans and temporary tax cuts to small businesses. If you've been paying attention over the last 18 months, you're probably asking, what's the catch?” “[T]he most expensive provision of the bill,” the WSJ editors explain, “creates a new Small Business Lending Fund.” This fund, the editors point out, may as well be the “Son of TARP”: “Hard as it is to believe, the fund would operate as a new TARP program in which Uncle Sam would take an ownership stake in small banks. The bill authorizes Treasury to purchase up to $30 billion of stock in small, community banks across the country. The banks in turn would agree to issue as much as $300 billion in loans to small businesses that they wouldn't otherwise lend to. You can bet that many businesses that get the loans will be engaged in not very profitable, but politically correct activities, such as diversity investing and renewable energy. Sound at all like subprime mortgage loans?”

Over the last 18 months, President Obama has gotten quite good a doubling down on policies that are either demonstrated to be ineffective, like the stimulus, harmful, like the drilling moratorium, or meet massive public resistance, like the health care law and now the auto bailouts. Certainly, this makes it easy to see why the Washington Post/ABC News poll earlier this month found Obama’s approval rating at an all-time low and that “51% . . . would rather have the Republicans run Congress ‘to act as a check on Obama's policies . . . .’” At what point will President Obama and Democrats in Congress decide that maybe they should listen to the American people and rethink how they’re governing instead of doubling-down on their flawed policies?

Tags: US Senate, US House, Washington, democrat arrogance, small business, jobs, job-killing, tax bill, unemployment, the economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Other Views

William Warren:

Tags: BP Oil Spill, Jobs, Barack Obama, The View, Unemployment, War, William Warren, Political Cartoon, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What does Lame Duck mean in Politics?

In varied posts, we have mentioned the term "Lame Duck" and we will do so again regarding the upcoming "Lame Duck" session of Congress. The term often congers up varied images especially for those who are also duck hunters. The following source material is available to all via Wikipedia. A Hat Tip to Michelle Selaty at United We Stand For America for the image and summarizing the following:

A lame duck is an elected official who is approaching the end of his or her tenure, and especially an official whose successor has already been elected.

The status can be due to:
* having lost a re-election bid
* choosing not to seek another term at the expiration of the current term
* a term limit which keeps the official from running for that particular office again
* the abolishment of the office, which must nonetheless be served out until the end of the official’s term.

Lame duck officials tend to have less political power, as other elected officials are less inclined to cooperate with them.

However, lame ducks are also in the peculiar position of not facing the consequences of their actions in a subsequent election, giving them greater freedom to issue unpopular decisions or appointments. Examples include last-minute midnight regulations issued by executive agencies of outgoing U.S. presidential administrations and executive orders issued by outgoing presidents.Such actions date back to the Judiciary Act of 1801 (“Midnight Judges Act”), in which Federalist President John Adams and the outgoing 6th Congress amended the Judiciary Act to create more federal judge seats for Adams to appoint and the Senate to confirm before the Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated and the Democratic-Republican majority 7th Congress convened. In more recent history, U.S. President Bill Clinton was widely criticized for issuing 140 pardons and other acts of executive clemency on his last day in office, including two former close colleagues, donors, fellow Democratic members and his own half-brother.

Origins of the term: The phrase lame duck was coined in the 18th century at the London Stock Exchange, to refer to a broker who defaulted on his debts.The first known mention of the term in writing was made by Horace Walpole, in a letter of 1761 to Sir Horace Mann: “Do you know what a Bull and a Bear and Lame Duck are?”In the literal sense, it refers to a duck which is unable to keep up with its flock, making it a target for predators.

It was transferred to politicians in the 19th century, the first recorded use being in the Congressional Globe (the official record of the United States Congress) of January 14, 1863: “In no event . . . could [the Court of Claims] be justly obnoxious to the charge of being a receptacle of ‘lame ducks’ or broken down politicians.”

Tags: lame duck, lame duck Congress, 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. - July 29, 2010 - Dems Proven Record of Hurting Small Business

The Senate resumed consideration of the small business bill, H.R. 5297, and the pending Baucus-Landrieu substitute amendment. Around noon, the Senate began a vote on cloture on the Baucus-Landrieu substitute. Last night and this morning, Democrats again tried to restrict Republican amendments to the bill, so no agreement was reached on how to move forward. If cloture is not invoked on the small business bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid is likely to turn to his scaled-back energy bill, S. 3663.

CongressDaily reports today, “Hopes for quick passage of a Senate bill to spur small-business hiring tumbled Wednesday as senators failed to close a deal on amendments. The breakdown threatened to derail the measure until September. Senate Majority Leader Reid on Wednesday announced negotiations over amendments to the bill had broken down . . . .”

Once again, Senate Democrats are blocking Republicans from being able to amend a bill, while larding it up with unrelated spending, such as $1.5 billion in agriculture disaster funding. Instead of working across the aisle on something as basic and agreeable as helping small businesses at a time of severe economic hardship, Democrats instead decided they were more interested in playing partisan games.

Speaking on the floor this morning, Sen. Mitch McConnell explained what’s going on here: “We first got on this bill in late June, and since then, Democrats have set it aside six separate times to move to something else. So from the beginning, this bill clearly wasn’t a priority to them until they realized that they didn’t have anything to talk about when they go home in August. . . . one Democrat senator put it best when he suggested this week that a midterm campaign that revolves around his party’s agenda and that of the White House is a losing proposition for the majority. He was summing up their strategy on this bill. They knew they couldn’t run on a record of job-killing taxes, burdensome new regulations, massive government intrusions, and record deficits and debt.”

Indeed, Democrats’ record on small business is one of a series of legislative efforts that increase tax and paperwork burdens on small businesses, could force them to lay off workers, and a massive, unpopular health care bill that the NFIB sayswill devastate their business and their ability to create jobs.” Democrats also passed a flawed financial regulation bill that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says “will only exacerbate uncertainty and jeopardize job creation.” And the NFIB points out that “many small business retailers and merchants – such as medical professionals, hardware, electronics, and jewelry stores – struggling through the current economic climate would be subject to these new regulations.” And then there was  The New York Times report last week which detailed how the Obama administration’s auto task force “pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost . . . an audit of the process has concluded.” In fact, the NYT noted, “The report . . . estimated that tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.

But Democrats are preventing Republicans from trying to correct some of these damaging policies on a bill that allegedly about helping small businesses. One of the worst provisions for small businesses in the health care bill “requires businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service the names and tax identification numbers of vendors that sell them more than $600 in goods in a year, starting in 2012,” according to the AP. As Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) says, this provision is “[o]ne more mandate that stifles small businesses at the same time that Washington urges them to hire workers.” Yet Democrats continue to block GOP amendments to the bill, including one from Sen. Johanns that would repeal this onerous reporting provision in the health care law.

As Sen. McConnell said, “[Democrats] can try to deflect attention all they want. You can manufacture a legislative impasse. But the American people know what’s going on here. Nearly every major piece of legislation this Congress has considered has had painful consequences for small businesses.” If Democrats really wanted to help the economy, they would stop blocking amendments that might actually relieve some of the pressures and regulations that they’ve imposed on small businesses. But instead, Democrats seem to prefer political arguments to actually helping small businesses create jobs.

Tags: US Senate, Washington, small business, jobs, the economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Democrats Ducking, Dodging, In Disarray On National Energy Tax Legislation

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH): A little more than a year ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “laid down the gauntlet,” “going all out” to strong-arm members of her caucus into supporting a job-killing national energy tax.  Now, with the bill stalled in the Senate, there is a growing backlash amongst Democrats who “walked the plank” on this unpopular bill.  And prominent Democrats won’t give up on the idea of ignoring the will of the American people and passing a national energy tax in a ‘sour grapes’ lame duck session following the election. Under the headline “Dems feeling burned on climate,” today’s POLITICO reports on the brewing discontent amongst Democrats:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanded the June 2009 vote over vocal complaints from within her ranks that she should lead President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda with anything but climate change. …

“Several House Democrats said there’s a bit of an ‘I told you so’ sentiment after they saw Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) abandon cap-and-trade legislation last week because of nearly uniform Republican opposition and dissent from about a dozen moderates in his own party.

“‘In hindsight, we’d have probably done it differently,’ said Rep. Gene Green, a Houston-area Democrat who ultimately supported the climate bill. …

“‘If this was all about the theatrics of climate change for our base ..., that’s simply not good enough,’ said Rep. Tim Walz, a southern Minnesota Democrat who helped negotiate key agriculture provisions just before the floor vote.”
Yesterday’s Washington Post also noted Democrats’ “sense of abandonment” by their leadership:
“This has left some House Democrats feeling badly served by their leaders. Although lawmakers are reluctant to say so publicly, their aides and campaign advisers privately complain that the speaker and the president left Democrats exposed on an unpopular issue that has little hope of being signed into law.”
At a White House meeting between the President and Congressional leaders yesterday, House Democratic leaders reportedly tried to pass the buck by blaming the Senate for failing to take up the measure. According to an account of the meeting, Speaker Pelosi turned to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “and announced, ‘The Senate is moving at a glacial pace, slower than the glaciers are actually melting.’”

Sensing political danger,” Senator Reid “has repeatedly put off energy legislation” this year. Instead, Democrats have come up with a ‘plan B’ – moving the bill through Congress in a lame duck session.  Several Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, have already hinted at the plan:
  • Speaker Pelosi: “This is an Issue that the Senate Can’t Walk Away From.” “Across town at Netroots Nation, a rival gathering of liberal activists, the prospect of lame duck action on climate was welcome news. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today did not expressly commit to action in a lame duck session during a Q-and-A session, but she said she ‘certainly’ wanted Congress to act this year, noting it is a ‘flagship issue’ for her. ‘This is an issue that the Senate can’t walk away from,’ Pelosi said to an enthusiastic response. ‘I just hope they have a bill that’s substantial enough that we can pass it but we’re not going away on this.’” (The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/10)
  • Senate Majority Leader Reid: “We’re Going to Have to Have a Lame-Duck Session, So We’re Not Giving Up.”< “‘We’re going to have to have a lame-duck session, so we’re not giving up,’ Reid said at the weekend Netroots Nation conference of liberal bloggers, in reference to Democrats’ unfinished priorities. Those priorities include comprehensive immigration reform, climate change legislation and a whole host of other issues.” (The Hill, 7/27/10)
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) “Stopped Short of Pledging Not to Move a Major Initiative.” “While Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Democratic leadership, said there was no plan to move energy legislation or any other major measures during the period after the election before new lawmakers are sworn in, he stopped short of pledging not to move a major initiative.” (The Hill, 7/27/10)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA): “Maybe After November Hopefully People Will Take a Deep Breath and Be Able to Come Back Here Do It.” “‘My hope is we can do much better than that,’ Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said of the Reid bill, which focuses mainly on the Gulf oil spill cleanup, oversight of coastal drilling and little else. ‘I think we are missing a major opportunity here to do something that is not only good for the environment, but actually good for job creation. Maybe after November hopefully people will take a deep breath and be able to come back here do it.’” (The Examiner, 7/28/10)
While Democrats are busy arguing with one another and making plans to dodge voter accountability in a lame duck session of Congress, Republicans remain squarely focused on listening to the American people and “deliberately reaching out to the grass roots” through America Speaking Out. Republicans are also offering better solutions to address our nation’s energy and climate needs with the American Energy Act. This legislation would use the funds generated by expanded American energy production to speed up the development of the next generation of clean-energy alternatives. It would also lower fuel costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and – at a time when Americans are asking, where are the jobs? – it would create more than a million new American jobs.

Tags: Democrats, National Energy Tax, cap-and-trade, John Boehner. US House, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Silencing Citizen's Free Speech & Dissent Will Destroy The United States

Bill Smith, Editor: The following referenced FRC Update article is problematic for all American citizens, regardless of which side of the issue they stand on. When any aspect of the Bill of Rights is legislatively restricted for certain classes of American citizens or used to abuse certain groups of American citizen, then all citizens are placed at risk. ENDA is not a road to freedom or protection of any group; it is part of the road to future enslavement and loss of freedom. While all persons have the right to equal access to the American Dream and by the very nature of a free society to associate with people with whom they wish to associate, so must all people's freedoms under the Bill of Rights be protected.

When one people group's rights be they religious or nonreligious, gay or straight, tall or short, slim or fat (you get my drift - anyone) are hindered or denied, all people's rights are placed at risk. When the a majority takes away the rights of the minority, it is an abuse by numbers; when the minority takes away the rights of the majority, it is abuse by persuasion, intimidation, or tyranny. Why should anyone fear the words of another person's religion belief unless the first party also believes that religion belief to be correct in it's interpretation? And, if a person does not believe that the religious interpretation by another is correct, why would they not merely consider such an interpretation it as mere babble?

What is of utmost concern is that limiting anyone's free speech or any other person's Constitutional rights, in fact opens the doors to all people eventually loosing their rights to whims of big government or to tyranny. Not to belabor the often used examples of 1933-1941 Germany, but when Hitler came to power hailed by people, he proceeded to eliminate people outside of the "norms" established for a pure German race. He sought to silence all forms of dissent by a formerly enlightened free people. In the following example relevant to this post, my skipping all the other groups silenced (murdered) is not meant to belittle what also happened to those people. For this discussing, consider this point. Both as dissent and free speech were being removed in Germany - and eventually totally removed - two people groups that were rounded up and silenced were homosexuals and Christians. Even today, in many Muslim controlled countries, the fate of homosexuals and Christians is often the same. As a minimum severe punishment and loss of freedom; and at the maximum, death.

In America, freedom has overcome barriers. Restricting any form or aspect of Constitutional freedoms in the United States for any of its people, leads back to tyranny and eventually to the destruction of the freedoms for all our people. May the people of America regardless of alleged "sexual orientation" or alleged "religious belief" awake and not be played by those who seek to pit one people group against another for either political advancement, an agenda, or a desire to destroy this great American Republic. Silencing Citizen's Free Speech And Dissent Will Destroy The United States.
[Point of Clarification: In consideration of that one might misinterpret the comments above and miss the key point, let me clarify that comments are in no way not meant to assign people to mutually exclusive groups.]
FRC Washington Update: Homosexual activists are no longer content to try to end "discrimination" against homosexuals--they are now trying to impose discrimination on anyone who dissents from their views. The most recent evidence comes from Georgia, where Augusta State University counseling student Jennifer Keeton has had to file a federal lawsuit, with the help of our friends at Alliance Defense Fund, to defend her rights. When Jen expressed her Christian view that homosexual conduct is morally wrong in class and in private conversation with other students, the faculty responded by insisting that she participate in a "remediation plan"--essentially, a year-long program of intensive pro-homosexual indoctrination that would only be considered successful if she abandoned her moral values.

Unfortunately, this is not the first such story of political correctness in the counseling profession reaching totalitarian levels. ADF is representing a student who was already kicked out of a similar program at Eastern Michigan University, and another woman who was fired as a counselor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her story appears on our video "ENDA: The End of Religious Freedom in America?." This radical agenda--not just to officially affirm homosexuality, but to forcefully crush any dissent--is exactly what Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has endorsed. When will they learn that we have no intention of forfeiting our constitutional right to free speech and freedom of religion?

Tags: FRC, Washington update, dissent, punishment, free speech, religious freedom, ENDA, tyranny, human rights, liberty, Bill or Rights, religious beliefs, Christians, homosexuals, gay, straight, Germany, Muslim nations, United States 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. - July 28, 2010 - Democrat's Priorities in Question - Nevada Could Help Save America

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate resumed consideration of the small business bill, H.R. 5297, and the pending Baucus-Landrieu substitute amendment. Majority Leader Harry Reid has filled the amendment tree on the substitute amendment, preventing any further ones from being offered, though he has said he plans to let Republicans offer amendments. Reid has also filed cloture on the substitute amendment and on the underlying bill. More on Reid later.

Yesterday, Democrats failed, by a vote of 57-41 , to get the 60 votes they needed to move to the Schumer-Van Hollen “Disclose Act,” S. 3628. Senate Republicans stood united to filibuster the Democrats’ “Disclose Act,” a partisan assault on the First Amendment, designed to rig the fall elections in Democrats’ favor. The bill was written by the man in charge of electing Democrats in the House, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and the man who just recently had the equivalent job in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and would have gone into effect immediately in order to restrict the ability to criticize Democrat incumbents prior to this November’s elections.

The Wall Street Journal elaborated on the partisan nature of the Disclose Act in its editorial today: “House and Senate Democrats, egged on by President Obama, want to limit what corporations can spend on political campaigns, while not imposing similar limits on their union friends. Previous campaign finance reforms, however misguided, have at least waited an election cycle to take effect. But Democrats want to give unions a leg up this year, as they scramble to maintain their majorities in the face of rising voter anger against liberal policies.” And in her syndicated column today, Michelle Malkin writes, “Drafted out of public view with left-wing lobbyists and rammed through Congress after bypassing committee hearings, this bum bill would have been better named the CLOSEDDOOR Act.” The bill is so bad, The Washington Times reported yesterday, “One Democratic senator literally held her nose as she voted with her colleagues to advance the bill.”

Summarizing just how awful the Disclose Act is in a speech prior to the vote yesterday, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The Disclose Act is not about reform. It is nothing more than Democrats sitting behind closed doors with special interest lobbyists choosing which favored groups they want to speak in the 2010 elections — all in an attempt to protect themselves from criticism of their government takeovers, record deficits and massive, unpaid-for expansions of the federal government into the lives of the American people. In other words, a bill to shield themselves from average Americans exercising their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.”

But Senate Republicans stood together to reject this outrageous attempt to injure the First Amendment for partisan advantage, despite Democrats’ mischaracterizations of the bill and President Obama’s decision to advocate for the bill this week. The Washington Post writes today, “The vote -- in which Democrats fell just shy of the 60 votes needed to avoid a GOP filibuster -- marks a major setback for President Obama . . . . The development also represents a significant victory for Senate Republicans and business groups, which portrayed the measure as a Democratic attempt to tilt the playing field by discouraging corporations and other likely critics from spending money on political ads. The measure is the latest in a series of Democratic initiatives that have been approved by the House only to die in the Senate, including comprehensive climate-change legislation abandoned last week.”

But at a time of 9.5% unemployment and with President Obama blaming Republicans for a lack of movement of Democrats’ small business bill, the fact that Democrats preferred to move the Disclose Act instead is a powerful indicator of where their priorities really lie. Obama is travelling to New Jersey today to visit a sub shop and push for small business legislation, but earlier this week, he was demanding the Senate take up the Disclose Act, which would have pushed the small business bill off the floor again.

Americans are looking for leadership in fostering an environment for job creation, but instead Democrats yesterday demonstrated that the jobs they care the most about saving or creating are their own. Neither Reid (the former gambling commissioner & politician) nor Obama (former NGO activist and politician) understand the needs of small business, big business or anykind of business. All their actions to date except for a few diminshing crumbs on the table have in total placed small business at risk. It is amazing what duplicitious statements constantly roll off their tounges. They have perfected the practice of projecting the "big lies."

Will Nevada again fall into the pit designed to return Harry Reid to the U.S. Senate? While not all conservatives in Nevada backed the same alternative to Harry Reid, now that the dust has settled, they have a clear choice. They can return Obama's key advocate in the Senate or they can break the cycle and send a new voice to represent them. Even if some Nevadans in Las Vegas like Harry, unfortuantely, not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Their Senator Harry Reid has helped lead the efforts to bankrupt our country and to trample on individuals liberty and freedoms. Nevadans have a clear alternative in Sharron Angle, who will NOT be carrying water for Obama and will end Harry Reid's reign helping to dismantle America.

It is also true that not everything that happens in other parts of the country does not come back to roost in Vegas. All of Harry Reid's actions dismantling America are coming home to roost in Nevada especially in Las Vegas. At the rate things are going, Las Vegas is on the road to be coming a mecca of unemployment as American business and employees have their incomes either destroyed or consumed by Big Government. Even Obama, has challended businesses for having corporate events in Las Vegas. Nevada, could help save America and in the end themselves - now will they?

Tags: US Senate, Washington, White House, budget, federal spending, over spending, DISCLOSE Act, Small Business, Barack Obama, Nevada, Harry Reid, Sharron Angle To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

“Fiesta de Té”

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The liberal elites have been trying to paint the Tea Party movement as racist. But events in a small California city suggest otherwise.

There is a taxpayer/citizen uprising taking place in Bell, California, against corrupt government officials. It has already claimed the scalps of several top city leaders. The liberal media is trying hard to ignore it, but the story is beginning to break out. It’s a story of Big Government excess and greed against a low-income minority community.

Bell is a small city of about 40,000 residents, 10 miles south of Los Angeles. According to various reports, about half its residents are foreign born (mostly Mexican), its per-capita income is just under $25,000 and more than 25% of its residents live below the poverty level.

Somehow this small, impoverished community was paying its city manager more than $787,000 a year. The police chief made more than $450,000 a year, and the assistant city manager was making more than $375,000 a year. The three individuals were the highest paid city officials in the country. Part-time city council members in Bell were making nearly $100,000 a year.

Granted, what was happening in Bell, just one small town in California, is an extreme example. But throughout the country, liberal politicians and public employee unions have been extraordinarily generous with the people’s money. So much so that many towns now can’t afford the bureaucracies that have been built, and entire states like California, Illinois and New York are facing bankruptcy.

Public records indicate that 62% of Bell’s registered voters are Democrats, 18% are independents and just 13% are Republicans. As the Orange County Register notes, “Democratic Party members represent Bell voters in every level of government.” From the halls of Congress, to the state legislature in Sacramento, to all five members of the city council – every elected politician in the area is a Democrat.

But proving that opposition to out-of-control Big Government is not a fringe or racist movement, Bell’s outraged residents took action. They stormed city hall with homemade signs and demands for less spending and smaller government. Given the community’s demographics, many referred to it as a “Spanish Tea Party.”

They formed a group called the “Bell Association to stop the Abuse,” BASTA, which is Spanish for “enough.” The protestors forced the resignation of the city manager, assistant manager and police chief. Yesterday, city council members agreed to slash their salaries by 90%. The mayor and vice mayor announced that they will finish their terms without pay.

The NAACP, MSNBC, other left-wing networks and liberal politicians might want to rethink their ludicrous claim that opposition to Big Government amounts to racism. And minority voters ought to rethink their allegiance to the party of Big Government.
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. He submitted the above in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, CA, Bell, California, city government, liberal elites, impoverished community, BASTA, out-of-control, Big Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Conservative Christine O'Donnell at Right Online 2010

Bill Smith, Editor: At a RightOnline 2010 after action blogger event in Las Vegas, Nevada, I literally bumped into (another time - another story) and met Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell is the conservative Republican US Senate candidate in Delaware's special primary election (and hopefully) for the follow-on special election to fill Delaware's US Senate vacated by VP Joe Biden. Christine has excellent polling numbers against the Democrat and is gaining on her RINO opponent Rep. Mike Castle. Castle votes with the Democrats more than with the Republicans in the US House and would have been welcome at the liberal NetRoot verses RightOnline.

Coincidentally, my meeting O'Donnell occurred after I posted about her being the "Tea Party Candidate could be single Senate vote that stops Dems dead in tracks during lame duck session!" So, fate requires me to re-address the Delaware race which could impact all of us. Both Rep. Mike Castle who is clearly a RINO (liberal wearing the Republican label) and conservative Christine O'Donnell are out polling the Democrat opponent. This begs the question, why send another liberal to the US Senate disguised as a Republican.  The Right Scoop reported on Mark Levin describing Christine as a Reagan conservative and fully endorsing her  [Levin's interview and comments about Christine O'Donnell.]

Many liberals are backing RINO Mike Castle in fear of Conservative O'Donnell being elected. O'Donnell addresses Castle's liberal voting record on camera in an interview by Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit.

As said in the previous referenced post:
The tea party candidate in the Delaware Senate race could derail the plans of the left. That is, if we can help her cross the finish line and win. With this in mind, I strongly encourage you to visit and DO what needs to be done.

Tags: RightOnline, Nevada, Delaware, US Senate, candidate, Christine O'Donnell, Mike Castle, lame duck session, liberal agenda, Election 2010, Mark Levin, Jim Hoft 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. - July 27, 2010 - Democrats Move to Silence Free Speech

Update (3:24 pm) The Democrats failed to get enough voted for cloture today for the DICLOSE Act. The vote was 57-41. Democrats vow to keep bringing it up for a vote - so expect more shenanigans. Adding to the confusion is the Democrats attempt to pass this bill off as more transparency when in fact they are playing politics. Unfortunately, transparency organizations like the Sunlight Foundation want this bill passed because they will take transparency in any form even though the Democrats are trampling on free speech rights and are exempting liberal special interests groups in the bill.
Warning: At 2:15, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 3628, the Schumer-Van Hollen “Disclose Act,” a partisan campaign finance bill crafted solely to help Democrats and designed to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  This partisan bill limits free speech and is cloaking behind a euphemism - saying the bill is about transparency. Most Americans are for greater transparency but we are against the progressive elitists agenda and this fake transparency bill which intends to limit free speech. It is not limiting their free speech but the free speech of liberty loving Americans. Tired of the lies? November is Coming! More comments below. Following 30 minutes of debate, at 2:45 PM the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Disclose Act. If this bill passes, it will be another tragic day in America.

If the cloture motion fails, the Senate will return to the small business bill, H.R. 5297, and the pending Landrieu amendment. Majority Leader Harry Reid has filled the amendment tree to prevent Republicans from offering any amendments.

Two weeks ago, President Obama used his weekly address to attack Republicans, blaming them for holding up a bill he says will help small businesses in the struggling economy. Obama said, “[T]hree times, a minority of Senators – basically the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses – said ‘no’ to folks looking for work, and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.” And last week, the President again urged the Senate to move on small business legislation, saying, “[O]ur goal is to make sure the people who are looking for a job can find a job.  And that's why it’s so important for the Senate to pass the additional steps that I’ve asked for to cut taxes and expand lending for America’s small businesses, our most important engine for hiring and for growth.” But today, President Obama and Senate Democrats are asking the Senate to set aside that small business bill and instead take up the partisan DISCLOSE Act, a campaign finance reform bill that will not create jobs. In fact, as Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander pointed out on the floor this morning, “This is a piece of legislation that is primarily about saving the jobs of Democratic Members of Congress.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has long been an opponent of the kind of restrictions on core political speech by so-called campaign finance “reform” laws, and blasted the Disclose Act yesterday, saying, “The mere suggestion that a bill designed to save politicians' jobs should take precedent over helping millions of Americans find work is an embarrassing indictment of Democrats' priorities. The DISCLOSE Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all out attack on the First Amendment. In the process, the authors of the bill have decided to trade our Constitutional rights away in a backroom deal that makes the Cornhusker Kickback look like a model of legislative transparency.”

The Wall Street Journal takes a similarly dim view of this awful bill in an excellent editorial today: “[W]hat [Democrats have] proposed is a blatantly partisan bill sponsored by two Members whose main duty is electing Democrats. The House version, which passed last month on partisan lines, is sponsored by Representative Chris Van Hollen, who runs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Charles Schumer, the two-time head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee . . . .”  The WSJ also lays out some of the worst partisan provisions in the bill. “In the name of ‘transparency,’ the Schumer-Van Hollen legislation tilts the playing field in favor of Democratic candidates by taking direct aim at corporate speech. . . . Even provisions that ostensibly apply to both corporations and unions would in practice mostly restrict the ability of corporations to participate in elections. For example, the government contractor restriction applies to those with contracts of $10 million or more, a threshold met by many corporations but few unions. Another provision allows political donations under $600 to be made anonymously. As it happens, the average union member pays annual dues below that amount, while the typical corporate donation exceeds it. Thus the donor-disclosure requirement would effectively apply to corporate speech while allowing Big Labor to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising without revealing donor identities.”

If there was any doubt about the partisan nature of the Schumer-Van Hollen bill, it would go into affect almost immediately, designed to protect politicians in this November’s elections, barely 100 days away. Even the deeply flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 delayed its effects until the following election cycle.

And that’s all without getting into the backroom deals with special interest groups designed to secure votes for this bill. As the WSJ writes, “Democratic attempts to win support for these faux reforms have been equally cynical. Lawmakers have cut deals with the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club and a few other powerful special interests to exempt them from the new restrictions and, most importantly, remove them as potential obstacles to the bill's passage.”

As Sen. McConnell said, “It should be beyond suspicious when the man in charge of electing Democrats in the House teams up with the man who held the same job in the Senate to tell Americans how they can express themselves in an election.  Make no mistake about it, [this bill] is not about reform, transparency, accountability or good government. It is about election advantage plain and simple.  An effort to disregard the First Amendment and defy the Supreme Court in order to limit the speech of those wh o may disagree with you is an effort that has no place in this country.”

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Lights Out - American Solutions Takes on Harry Reid

American Solutions: Higher taxes kill jobs. The jobless rate in Nevada is already 14.2% and yet Reid doesn't care that his energy tax will kill even more jobs in his home state.

If Harry Reid doesn't care about killing jobs in his own state, do you think he cares about killing jobs in your state?

Reid's energy tax will kill jobs and lower the standard of living of every American that uses electricity. Opinion poll after opinion poll show that Americans reject higher energy taxes.

Yet week after week liberal politicians in Congress keep up their taxation march to run over the wishes of the American people. Now is the time to let Senator Reid know that "no means no." [New Video]

Tags: Harry Reid, taxes, lights out, Las Vegas, Nevada, American Solutions, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

How Bout a Cold Drink?

by William Warren:

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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Recovery Just Around The Corner - NOT With Obama

By Lisa Benson:

Tags: Lisa Benson, Barack Obama, United States, Uncle Sam, economic recovery 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. - July 26, 2010 - WH Budget Numbers Highlight Democrats' Fiscally Reckless Spending Spree

The Senate will reconvene today at 3 PM and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 3628, the Schumer-Van Hollen “Disclose Act,” a partisan campaign finance bill crafted solely to help Democrats and designed to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday), the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Disclose Act.

Last Thursday, the Democrats failed to get 60 votes to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.R. 4899, the supplemental war funding bill, because of extra unrelated spending added to the bill. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 60-37 to invoke cloture on the Landrieu amendment to the small business bill, H.R. 5297. But though President Obama has attacked Republicans for holding up the bill, Democrats have repeatedly pulled it from the floor to work on other priorities, such as this week’s action on the Disclose Act.  Also on Thursday, the Senate voted 99-1 to pass H.J. Res. 83, sanctions on Burma.

Over the weekend, there were two troubling stories about our nation’s fiscal situation. The White House’s Mid-Session Budget Review came out Friday night, and the numbers are grim. The Washington Post summarized, “The federal budget deficit, which hit a record $1.4 trillion last year, will exceed that figure this year and again in 2011 . . . . The latest forecast from the White House budget office shows the deficit rising to $1.47 trillion this year, forcing the government to borrow 41 cents of every dollar it spends.”

That eye-opening number was accompanied by others, as CBS’ Mark Knoller reported: “New projections contained in the Administration’s Mid-Session Budget Review, show the National Debt doubling between now and the year 2020 when it’s forecast to hit over $26 trillion. The new budget numbers show the Debt will top 100 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total output of goods and services, in the year 2012. It’ll stay above 100 percent for the remainder of the decade.”

These are sobering reminders of the dire financial straits our country is in, thanks in large part to the out-of-control spending from the Obama White House and the Democrat majority in Congress. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “Democrats are simply spending much more, sending outlays as a share of GDP above 25% for the first time since World War II. The White House now says outlays will be higher in 2011, at 25.1% of GDP, than at the height of the stimulus in 2009 and 2010. This is an ironic tribute to the degree to which Democrats on Capitol Hill have been increasing spending willy-nilly below the media radar. The 111th Congress is the most spendthrift in a century outside of World Wars I and II.”

This is the result of Democrats consistently using deficit spending to pay for their priorities, such as the $862 billion stimulus bill, which failed to keep unemployment from exceeding 8%. But Democrats have refused to even pay for more modest spending, such as last week’s $34 billion extension of unemployment benefits, all added to the national debt. Republicans tried five times to get Democrats to agree to pay for the cost of extending these benefits, but each time, efforts were rebuffed, even when the offsets were those Democrats proposed to pay for other legislation.

Concluding their editorial today, the WSJ editors criticize Democrats’ dedication to deficit spending, and note that the White House’s own budget numbers show how this course of action is simply not working. They write, “To put it another way, Democrats have been undertaking a vast fiscal policy experiment, blowing out the federal balance sheet in an effort to show that a country can spend and tax its way to prosperity. Look no further than the numbers in the White House’s own budget review for the unhappy lab results.”

Tags: US Senate, Washington, White House, budget, federal spending, over spending, DISCLOSE Act, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Herman Cain at RightOnline 2010 in Las Vegas - The Video

Illinois Review captured part of Radio talk show host and business leader Herman Cain's inspired presentation at RightOnline 2010 in Las Vegas, July 23, 2010. Cain shares what inspires him to believe we're going to take back our government in 2010 ... "The Bumblebee Story." Everybody loves Herman's "Bumblebee Story" : [Video]

Tags: Herman Cain, RightOnline, 2010, Las Vegas, video, Illinois Review, Americans for Prosperity To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mike Pence addressed RightOnline Conference and Then the Nation

This first video is of Rep. Mike Pence at Americans For Prosperity RightOnline on Friday July 23, 2010. ARRA News previously reported on the text of Pence's speech.

On Saturday July 24, 2010, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) delivered the Weekly Republican Address to the Nation about Washington Democrats' refusal to listen to the American people and take action to prevent the largest tax increase in history from taking effect. Republicans are listening to the American people through America Speaking Out and offering better solutions to get people working again and make government more accountable to the people it serves.

Tags: Mike Pence, RightOnline, AFP, Americans for Prosperity, Las Vegas, Republican, Weekly Address, US House, taxpayers, America Speaking Out, Democrat, spending, bailouts, jobs, unemployment, fraud, waste, abuse To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arkansas Republicans Read & Approve Party Platform Line by Line

By Jason Tolbert, State Politics: The Republican Party of Arkansas had almost wrapped up its 2010 convention with only one order of business to finish. Shortly after noon as delegates began gathering their belongings for lunch, Chairman of the Platform Committee Joe LaBlanc [sic, LeBlanc] came to the podium to recommend passage of the platform as presented. The only problem was that delegates did not have a copy of the final version to review.

Although drafts had been sent out to county committee chairman to distribute several weeks ago, the final proposal from the platform committee had only been drafted on Friday afternoon before the convention. This did not allow time for copies to be made for all the delegates and instead the proposal was shown on an overhead projector.

Several delegates questioned how they could vote on something they had not read; however, Charles Mazander, a delegate for Saline County, called for the immediate consideration of the question without discussion, which requires a two-thirds vote. Delegates voted by standing and Chairman Webb, in a very close vote, ruled the motion passed. This brought the adoption of the platform immediate to the floor that passed with a majority however many delegate voted against.

Several delegates, including one time Senate candidate and tea party organizer Randy Alexander, took the floor expressing that they felt that they needed to read the platform before putting their seal of approval. Some questioned how they could criticize Congress for passing bills without reading them and turn around and do the same. This lead to a delegate making a motion to reconsider the previous vote which also passed on a narrow majority vote.

The result? A three-hour extended session for the convention in which the platform was read in its entirety and voted on one section at the time. However, in the end the platform was adopted and the delegates left feeling much better about the process.

Much of the platform language is similar to the 2008 platform but there were some changes and additions. The preamble adopted a new set of basic principles (power of faith in God, sanctity of life), objectives (reduce the size of government, promote national defense) and strategies (make English the official language of the United States.)

Among the changes was a strengthening on the position against changing the Electoral College saying, “We support the Electoral College process as it presently exists and oppose modifications that would weaken or diminish its role in electing the President.” There is a national movement to change the election of the President to be based on the popular vote. A bill was introduced and defeated in the previous state legislative session, fought largely by state Republican legislators.

The tax reform section of the platform saw major revisions with sections for the national and state level. On the national level, the platform supports drastic tax reduction including complete elimination of the personal income tax and the estate tax as well as the passage of a balance budget amendment. On the state level, it supported a replacing the state income tax with a state sales tax limited to no more than two percent. In the interim, it calls for opposition to any income tax increase and exemption of all the retirement income. It also calls for repeal of the political contribution credit, which it calls “unethical” and “immoral.”

In the criminal justice section, the platform adds a section affirming the sovereignty of the United States and opposing reliance of foreign or international laws within the judicial system. It also supports stricter limits on sexual offenders under the sexual offenders residence law.

The health care section added support for the “repeal of Obamacare.” Read adopted platform.

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

Incumbent Advantage: Putting Your Tax Money In Their Re-election Campaigns

Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: The July 12, 2010 issue of TIME magazine [Vol. 176, No. 2, p.28ff] has an extraordinary story about how $3.5 billion was spent on lobbyists last year - On Sale: Your Government. Why Lobbying Is Washington’s Best Bargain. Steven Brill describes how in 2009 money managers invested an estimated $15 million in lobbyists to pressure legislators to protect a favorable tax treatment. The return? Brill estimates $10 billion in lower taxes for the special interest group.

Describing it as “political influence purchasing”, Wall Street Watch reported, “The entire financial sector (finance, insurance, real estate) drowned political candidates in campaign contributions, spending more than $1.738 billion in federal elections from 1998-2008.” Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, once boasted "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama -- $60.7 million to be exact -- and we're proud of it.”

The fact is, only in a minority of elections are everyday voting Americans selecting the people who will represent them in the House and Senate. So who is selecting our Congressmen and Senators? They’re being chosen by the Fourth Branch of Government. And it is one of the most compelling reasons we must make an incontrovertible multi-generational commitment to returning our federal government to the prescription – and constraints – of the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution ordains three branches of government:
            The Legislative – the House and the Senate
            The Executive – the President and Vice President
            The Judiciary – the Supreme Court and lesser federal courts

Today, there is a fourth branch – an un-ordained unconstitutional branch of government arguably more powerful than the any of the other three: The Special Interests – with their lobbyists and campaign donations.

“Lobbyists have been at work from the earliest days of the Congress,” wrote the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. “William Hull was hired by the Virginia veterans of the Continental army to lobby for additional compensation for their war services."

When 18th and 19th century candidates for the House, the Senate and the Presidency campaigned on tree stumps, wooden platforms and from the backs of trains, Special Interests and their lobbyists may not have represented the threat to The Republic they do today, when what candidates actually say or believe can have almost nothing to do with whether or not they get our votes. How much money candidates can raise almost invariably determines who gets elected, or re-elected, because name ID and favorable or unfavorable impressions (sometimes based on fact and often on innuendo) are created in 30- and 60-second TV spots. The candidate that airs the most commercials and wins the positive or negative impression war wins the election.

So how do incumbents put your money into their re-election campaigns without your permission or even your knowledge? Via the Fourth Branch of Government.

Here’s how it works:
Step 1: A lobbyist representing a special interest group arranges a campaign donation to an incumbent in return for a commitment to vote on legislation that will:
1.     Create a cash earmark for the group, or
2.     Create a “carve out,” a special favorable tax treatment or “tax break” for the group CNSNews reported that more than 80% of Americans agreed with the statement, “Some contend that the reason federal legislation is often thousands of pages long is because provisions to benefit special interests can be more easily buried in long bills, and so citizens cannot decipher the legislative language quickly enough to be able to communicate support or opposition to their Senators or Members of Congress before a vote is taken.”, or
3.     Create a financial advantage for the group by exempting the group from The Rule of Law. Violating a legal maxim according to which no one is above the law. Thomas Paine wrote in his pamphlet Common Sense that "in America, the law is king.” In 1780, John Adams advocated in the Massachusetts Constitution"a government of laws and not of men." See Rule of Law.

Step 2: The special interest group uses a portion of the tax dollars or tax relief it received because of the legislator’s vote to make another contribution to the legislator’s re-election campaign. In other words, your tax dollars are now going to that candidate without your permissionor even your knowledge.

Common Cause released a report that “18 members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense inserted more than $355 million in earmarks into the 2008 defense spending bill on behalf of their campaign contributors. Those contributors, according to campaign disclosure reports, donated a total of $1.3 million to the individual members who sponsored the earmarks.”

Step 3: The entire cycle repeats, and repeats, and repeats.

The next federal election report is due this week on July 15.  In Arkansas (the home of The New South Conservative), incumbent U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) and incumbent Congressman John Boozman (R) are in a battle for Arkansas’ 2nd U.S. Senate seat. Their financial reports will be posted here: Don’t be surprised if either candidate reports more money from special interest groups outside of Arkansas than from individual Arkansans.

What about campaign finance reform laws like the McCain-Feingold Act?  My good friend and former fellow U.S. Senate candidate Randy Alexander correctly called these laws “the incumbent protection acts.”  It is important to remember that incumbents write the campaign finance “reform” laws.

What can be done? There is no silver bullet that will fix this enormous threat to our Republic, but a combination of solutions can make a tremendous improvement:
1.    Term Limits. We must adopt an amendment to the Constitution that will limit the terms of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate: three terms for the House and two terms for the Senate. Term limits will diminish the repeated injury of Step 3 above.

2.    Eliminate Earmarks.  While earmarks don’t do damage equal to carve outs, their contribution to deficit spending is immense, and they are the medium for the most conspicuously offensive favors.

3.    A Line Item Veto [With a veto-like override provision for the Congress]. Regardless of the persuasion of the President, a line item veto will place squarely on his office the opportunity and accountability for limiting unnecessary and unwarranted expenditures.

4.    A Level Playing Field. Although Special Interests will always out-contribute “ordinary” voting Americans (in large part because they’re contributing our money), the playing field can be made more level by removing the limits individuals can contribute to campaigns.&

5.    A Fixed Budget. We must begin to operate the federal government just like most American households – on a fixed (limited) budget.; Most Americans live on a fixed amount of money each month.  If they decide to buy a new car that increases their car payments, they have to stop spending money on something else, or reduce their savings.  When a new expense is added to the budget, something already there has to come out.  A fixed, limited budget for the federal government will dramatically reduce earmarks and tax carve outs (and is an essential step toward a balanced federal budget).

There are other possible solutions. Some are advocating that campaign funds be treated as blind trusts; that is, anyone can make a contribution to any candidate, but the source of the funds is hidden from the candidate.

And there are other significant problems. The unfettered campaign activities of unions create a very unlevel playing field. Chris Cilliza of The Washington Post reported yesterday, “The AFL-CIO is launching the first stage of its field operation for November's elections, dropping more than 300,000 fliers at work sites in 23 states over the next two weeks. The effort, which is set to be announced this morning, is the start of what the union says will be an unprecedented effort in the 2010 campaign.”b How such powerful non-cash contributions to campaigns will be disclosed is a major problem that must be addressed.

Finally, we must demand a commitment before election. As “ordinary” citizens, we must take the time to study the candidates, their records, and their platforms. Voters must start demanding a firm, written, public accountable commitment to these reforms from candidates before they are elected. And then voters must be prepared to hold these legislators accountable for their commitments when they’re in office.

Ultimately, we need a popular cultural change towards norms of limited and constitutional government. Nothing less than the future of freedom for this generation and millions of yet-to-be-born Americans is at stake.
Curtis Coleman is President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor. Coleman is also the Co-founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Foods Corporation. He lectures on team building and servant leadership in the Emerging Leaders program at the Center for Management and Executive Development, University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton School of Business.

Tags: Incumbent Advantage, Tax Money, Re-election, Campaigns, elections 2010, Curtis Coleman, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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