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, October 02, 2010

The Churchhill Bust

by Ron Russell: Obama puts his personal feelings above those of most Americans. England under Churchill was our great friend in the darkest days of WWII, but this president, this son of Kenya, has spit on the beloved English leader. I would suggest that when the Republicans take by the U.S. House this fall that the bust be placed in the new Speakers Office until such a time that Obama is kicked from the Oval Office.

Tags: Churchhill Bust, Winston Churchhill, Barack Obama, U.S., England, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fed planning trillion dollar Quantitative Easing. Fed official admits it won’t work.

by Michael E. Newton, The Path to Tyranny: The Fed is currently planning a one trillion dollar quantitative easing program. As Jonathon Trugman of the NY Post reports
The Fed will likely undertake a very large quantitative easing program sooner rather than later, if the economic data doesn’t get markedly better in the very near future.

This QE2 will need to be far more aggressive than most expect, for there is not going to be a QE3. It is essentially the last chance the Fed has. It will want to eradicate any doubt about its ability to work; it is, in essence, the nuclear option.

The measure could be as much as $750 billion to $1.5 trillion. And expect far more aggressive purchases than in QE1.

Mortgage-backed securities, the root cause of the economic collapse, will be the cornerstone of the purchases, thereby allowing a possible 10 percent to 15 percent increase in home prices, which would do wonders for the flat-lined economy.

Credit card-backed paper will be on the tab as well as some auto loans to keep the administration happy.

Sadly, with credit still unavailable to the “middle class” due primarily to poor fiscal policy and economic leadership, the Fed will have to dramatically increase the money supply in order to spur spending. It will work, but it’s going to be complicated.
So Mr. Trugman believes this quantitative easing will work, but that it has to be huge to spur spending. He fails to ask the simple question: will such an aggressive program be worth the benefit?

But others are arguing that the quantitative easing will have no effect at all. Marketwatch reports:
A new round of Federal Reserve purchases of bonds would have little impact on markets or the economy, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said in a speech on Wednesday.

Speaking in London, Kocherlakota on Wednesday outlined several reasons why buying government bonds wouldn’t make a major impact. For one, banks already have nearly $1 trillion in excess reserves. “QE gives them new licenses to create money, but I do not see why they would suddenly start to use the new ones if they weren’t using the old ones,” he said, according to a copy of the text he was due to deliver.

As to the first round of quantitative easing by the Fed, Kocherlakota cited an academic study showing that the $1.5 trillion purchase of agency debt, agency mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries by the Fed between Jan. 2009 and March 2010 reduced the term premium on 10-year Treasury's relative to 2-year Treasury's by about 40 to 80 basis points, which in turn led to a slightly smaller fall in the term premia of corporate bonds.

Kocherlakota estimates a new round of QE would have a more muted effect, because financial markets are functioning much better than they were in early 2009. “As a result, the relevant spreads are lower, and I suspect that it will be somewhat more challenging for the Fed to impact them,” he said.
So Trugman says this aggressive quantitative easing will work, but Kocherlakota says it won’t. In reality, who knows? The real problem is that there is so little discussion of the risks and costs involved. Marketwatch explains the risk in one sentence: "Kocherlakota also said that the impact of quantitative easing is to shift the interest rate risk on bonds from investors to taxpayers."

So the real impact of this quantitative easing will be to socialize risk. The Fed risks creating further moral hazard. The Fed risks producing interest rates that are too low, which will create more bubbles. The Fed is going to create distortions in the market system. But despite these risks, there is no guarantee of success.

I applaud Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota’s efforts to restore reason and common sense to our ineffective and inefficient monetary policy.

Tags: Michael E. Newton, The Path to Tyranny, Capitalism, Economics, Federal Reserve, Stimulus spending | Tagged stimulus, capitalism, economics, Economic, Business, Inflation, Federal Reserve System, Money supply, Quantitative easing, United States Treasury security, Monetary policy, Federal Reserve, Kocherlakota To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Congress Ends the Scourge of Excessive Television Commerical Volume

by Duane Lester: They can’t pass a budget.
They can’t extend the Bush Tax Cuts.

They can’t investigate Charlie Rangel or Maxine Waters.

But they can drop a hammer on what really matters:  television commercials!
The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the “apparent loudness” of commercials. So it hasn’t been regulating them.
This reminds me of the federal instructions to change all the street signs in New York City. It’s not like there’s anything more pressing in the country than television commercials.

Tags: Congress, TV, commercials, television commercials, sound control To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Democrats Eye North Korean Power Transfer

William Warren:

Tags: Democrats, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Marxism, North Korea, Political Cartoons, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Public Pulse: Spending Just Got Personal

Bankrupting America: Has government spending gotten personal for you? Then do something about it. Send this video to your Congressman. Together we can tell Washington that the public has spoken: Political stripes no longer matter on this issue, we're fed up with government overspending.

Numbers don't lie. And we've got our finger on the public pulse! Seven out of ten voters say government spending is too high and 68% say spending is affecting them personally, according to a ten-state poll we sponsored. Our fans told us they love the infographics we made to visualize the poll's key findings. So we made a video taking the graphics to the next level.  Watch this video for a visualization of the key findings from our bipartisan poll (conducted by the Tarrance Group and Hart Research).

View more about the poll and download the infographics from which the video was based.
P.S.: Take the poll yourself and see how your views match up with the rest of the country.

Tags: Bankrupting America, public, pulse, Public Pulse, government spending, spending just got personal, debt, deficits, public opinion, poll, likely voters, November elections, 2010 elections, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Pence Supports Boehner Call to End Earmarking As We Know It

“It’s past time for Congress to make the hard choices that are necessary to break Washington’s spending addiction.”

Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement after House Republican Leader John Boehner said, in a speech today at the American Enterprise Institute, that it is time to “end earmarking as we know it and bring fundamental change to the way in which Washington spends taxpayers’ money:”
“Earmarks have become emblematic of everything that is wrong with spending in Washington D.C., and I am proud to stand with Leader Boehner in calling for an end to earmarking as we know it.

“House Republicans made a strong statement when we agreed to a one-year moratorium on all earmarks. As we go forward, closing the ‘favor factory’ is just one of the steps that Republicans will take to reform how Congress spends tax dollars. It’s past time for Congress to make the hard choices that are necessary to break Washington’s spending addiction, and ending earmarks as we know them is a step in the right direction.”

Tags: Mike Pence, John Boehner, earmarks, 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. - Oct. 1, 2010 - Rahm Emanuel Leaves White House

The big news in Washington, is Rahm Emanuel stepping down as White House Chief of Staff to return to Illinois to run for Mayor of Chicago. One wonders if Chicago is doomed to remain a political cesspool with the return of Emanuel. Obama said about Emanuel's leaving that "I will miss him dearly." Pete Rouse, age 62 and a longtime stealth adviser of Obama will become the new Chief of Staff. David Axelrod, Obama senior adviser, has already signaled that he will be leaving as well.

Congress is in recess. However, the Senate reconvened briefly for a pro forma session at 11:30 AM today. The Senate will hold a series of these sessions throughout the recess to prevent President Obama from making recess appointments. As identified yesterday, this was on the insistence of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It apparent that the American people cannot trust the current president to do things properly. This procedure needs to be enforced in the the upcoming years.

Presently, the Senate will also hold Pro Forma sessions on: October 5 at 11:00 AM, October 8 at 11:30 AM, October 12 at 10:00 AM, October 15 at 10:00 AM, October 19 at 12:00 PM, October 22 at 1:00 PM, October 26 at 12:00 PM, October 29 at 11:30 AM, November 1 at 9:00 AM, November 4 at 9:00 AM, November 8 at 12:00 PM, November 10 at 9:30 AM, and November 12 at 10:00 AM.

Congress will not reconvene in full force for legislative business on Monday, November 15th at which time an expected "Lame Duck" War will commence.  Ousted Democrats may seek to impose their agenda on America in spite of the fact that the American people will be sending a clear message that they are unhappy with the liberal progressive agenda of big government, increased spending, increased taxation, and intrusion on individual freedoms.

The democrats agenda is very clear by the fact that before leaving on recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the motions to proceed to 3 bills: a bill to promote natural gas and electric vehicles (S. 3815), a bill Democrats named the “Paycheck Fairness Act” (recall that they named “card check” the “Employee Free Choice Act”) (S. 3772), and a food safety bill that expands the FDA’s regulatory powers (S. 510). There was no effort to support extending tax relief which is due to expire.

On Wednesday, President Obama was in Iowa to again attempt to sell his policies, particularly his unpopular health care law. In a backyard discussion, a woman expressed her concerns to the President about his health care bill. Obama assured her, “[T]here’s nothing in the bill that says you have to change the health insurance that you’ve got right now.” He went on to say, “[I]f you’ve got health care through your employer, that’s not going to change, except to make it a little bit safer and more secure.”

But The New York Times reports today, “The Principal Financial Group announced on Thursday that it planned to stop selling health insurance, another sign of upheaval emerging among insurers as the new federal health law starts to take effect. The company, based in Iowa, provides coverage to about 840,000 people who receive their insurance through an employer.” So in the very same state the President assured an audience that if they get their health insurance through their employer, “that’s not going to change,” two days later, the NYT is reporting that 840,000 people in that state will no longer be able to get the exact same plan they had.

The NYT adds, “Principal’s decision closely tracks moves by other insurers that have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to drop out of certain segments of the market, like the business of selling child-only policies. State regulators say some insurance companies are already threatening to leave particular markets because of the new law.”

Indeed, the NYT notes that just yesterday, “McDonald’s recently asked federal officials for an exemption to rules that would ban the kind of health plans many of its restaurant workers have, because the existing policies sharply limit coverage.” As reported yesterday, The Wall Street Journal broke the story, pointing out, “The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.” According to the WSJ, McDonald’s dropping its insurance plans could affect “nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers.”

Just last week, The Washington Post reported, “Some of the country's most prominent health insurance companies have decided to stop offering new child-only plans, rather than comply with rules in the new health-care law that will require such plans to start accepting children with preexisting medical conditions after Sept. 23.” As The Post noted, “Three insurers - WellPoint, Cigna and CoventryOne - all cited uncertainty in the health insurance market for their decisions. That incertitude and the resulting decision of other insurers to drop their child-only plans, according to WellPoint spokeswoman Kristin Binns, ‘has created an unlevel competitive environment.’”

Today’s New York Times story adds, “At the Principal Financial Group, the company’s decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. . . . More insurers are likely to follow Principal’s lead, especially as they try to meet the new rules that require plans to spend at least 80 cents of every dollar they collect in premiums on the welfare of their customers. . . . “It’s just going to drive the little guys out,” said Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant in Alexandria, Va. . . . Mr. Laszewski is worried that the ensuing concentration is likely to lead to higher prices because large players will no longer face the competition from the smaller plans.”

Of course, this isn’t what Democrats promised when they were trying to sell their health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last year, “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the Finance Committee chairman who had a hand in writing the bill, said, “Folks who are satisfied with their current health insurance coverage could keep it. People would not be required to change health plans.” And another senator heavily involved in crafting the health care law, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), said, “I say at the outset, if you like what you have, you get to keep it, choose your doctor, hospital, choose the insurance program you have.”

But Americans were rightly skeptical of these unrealistic promises, and they were very clear that this wasn’t the kind of health care reform they were looking for. Yet Democrats arrogantly rushed the bill to passage. The bill was so poorly thought out that companies are already asking for waivers from some of the innumerable mandates in the bill so that tens of thousands of their employees won’t lose their health coverage.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said, “Along with most Americans, the entire Republican conference opposed this legislation. We listened to the public and argued strenuously against its passage at every opportunity. . . . And since its passage, our 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.” Today’s news is just one more broken promise capping six months of stories showing the American people and Republicans in Congress were right all along in opposing Democrats’ health care law.

November is Coming!  Beware of the Democrat attack machine trying to derail the projected tidal wave projected to remove many progressive liberal elites from power.  Remember, when Democrats are projected to loose, their attack machine attempts to paint everyone with tar in hopes of discouraging voters so as to retain their control.  Big lies often work even though they are not morally right.  It is time to remain committed to electing conservatives to help stop Reid, Pelosi and Obama train before they totally destroy the American economy.

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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sen. Dick Durbin Porker of the Mouth

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Porker of the Month for leading the effort to postpone a debate on extending the Bush tax cuts, creating [object Object] more uncertainty in the economy at a time when taxpayers and businesses have been clamoring for clarity. The debate over how and when to address the tax cuts, which will expire on January 1, 2011, has intensified over the last several weeks as the pre-election congressional recess approached. The disposition of the tax cuts is especially important to businesses of all sizes, which cannot plan ahead without knowing the tax consequences of their decisions. Yet, Congress has not taken action. “By failing to expeditiously consider what to do with the Bush tax cuts, Sen. Durbin and other politicians in Congress are contributing negatively to the anemic economy,” declared CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Most Americans support an extension of all of the tax cuts and renewed efforts to restrain the growth of government spending. This Congress, still completely out to lunch when it comes to the plight of average Americans, is holding taxpayers and the economy hostage while they play politics in the run-up to the elections.” For fomenting stress and uncertainty among taxpayers and businesses, kicking the can down the road on critically important tax policy decisions, and playing politics with the fragile economy, CAGW names Sen. Durbin the September, 2010 Porker of the Month.  Read More

Tags: Dick Durbin, CAGW, Porker of the Month To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thanks To Obamacare, 30,000 McDonald's Employees May Lose Health Coverage

Tom Harkin
YESTERDAY: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): "The rules protect you the consumer, it protects you in keeping the plan you like. Which we said, ‘if you like a plan you get to keep it.’" (Sen. Tom Harkin, floor remarks, 9/29/10)

TODAY: Wall Street Journal: McDonald's May Drop Health Plan
JANET ADAMY (9/30/2010):
McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul. The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans. The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care. McDonald's and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.

Democrats who drafted the health law wanted the requirement to prevent insurers from spending too much on executive salaries, marketing and other costs that they said don't directly help patients. McDonald's move is the latest indication of possible unintended consequences from the health overhaul. Dozens of companies have taken charges against earnings—totaling more than $1 billion—over a tax change in prescription-drug benefits for retirees.

More recently, insurers have proposed a round of double-digit premium increases and said new coverage mandates in the law are partly to blame. HHS has criticized the proposed increases as unwarranted.

Democrats, looking toward midterm elections in which the health overhaul is an issue, say it already has stopped insurance practices they call abusive, has given rebates to seniors with high out-of-pocket prescription costs and has allowed parents to keep children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.

McDonald's, in a memo to federal officials, said "it would be economically prohibitive for our carrier to continue offering" the mini-med plan unless it got an exemption from the requirement to spend 80% to 85% of premiums on benefits. Officials said McDonald's would probably have to hit the 85% figure, which applies to larger group plans. Its insurer, BCS Insurance Group of Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., declined to comment.

McDonald's didn't disclose what the plan's current medical loss ratio was.

The issue of limited-benefit plans has also hit colleges, which face the same 80-to-85% requirement beginning next year.

"Having to drop our current mini-med offering would represent a huge disruption to our 29,500 participants," said McDonald's memo, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. "It would deny our people this current benefit that positively impacts their lives and protects their health—and would leave many without an affordable, comparably designed alternative until 2014."

The health law expands Medicaid and offers large subsidies to lower-income people to buy coverage, but those provisions don't kick in until 2014. Federal officials say there's no guarantee they can grant mini-med carriers a waiver. They say the answer may not come by November, when many employers require employees to sign up for the coming year's benefits.

The government is waiting for the association of state insurance commissioners to draft recommendations. The head of the association's health-insurance committee, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, said she doesn't think these types of mini-med plans deserve an exemption. "If they are sold as comprehensive coverage, we expect them to meet the same [medical-loss ratio] standards as other health plans," she said.

Steven Larsen, the HHS official who received McDonald's email memo, said the department doesn't want employers to drop coverage over the law. The agency says it has already given the carrier for McDonald's and others the chance to seek exemption from new annual limits on benefit payouts.

Insurers say dozens of other employers could find themselves in the same situation as McDonald's. Aetna Inc., one of the largest sellers of mini-med plans, provides the plans to Home Depot Inc., Disney Worldwide Services, CVS Caremark Corp., Staples Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., among others, according to an Aetna client list obtained by the Journal. Aetna also covers AmeriCorps teaching-program sponsors, who are required by law to make health coverage available.

Aetna declined to comment; it has previously indicated that the requirement could hurt its limited benefit plans. "There is not any issuer of limited benefit coverage that could meet the enhanced MLR standards," said Neil Trautwein, a vice president at the National Retail Federation, using the abbreviation for medical loss ratio.

A spokeswoman for McDonald's said it would look for other insurance options if it couldn't get the waiver. The company's chief people officer for the U.S., Steve Russell, said, "McDonald's will continue to be committed to providing competitive pay and benefits." The chain has offered a limited benefits plan for more than 10 years. The current version provides outpatient, inpatient, preventive-care and prescription-drug coverage. McDonald's says 85% of participants have less than $5,000 in medical expenses a year.

The new rules at issue apply only to fully insured health plans and not those where the employer absorbs the risk and directly pays out medical claims. The rules wouldn't affect Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for instance, because it is self-insured. 

Benefit consultants anticipate that, by 2014, most employers will stop offering mini-med plans. Such plans likely wouldn't meet the definition of adequate coverage for full-time workers. Under the law, midsize and large employers that fail to offer such coverage will have to pay a fine.

Until 2014, workers on mini-med plans would have few affordable alternatives for coverage. According to a survey by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, workers without health insurance were three times as likely to visit the emergency room without being able to pay as their counterparts with health insurance.

"The packages maybe could be better, but for a start, they're quite good," said Jerry Newman, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, who worked under cover at McDonald's to write "My Secret Life on the McJob." He added: "For those who didn't have health insurance through their spouse, it was a life saver."

Tags: Obamacare, McDonald's, health coverage, 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. - Sept 30, 2010 - Dems Skip Town To Campaign, Leaving Americans With Looming Tax Increases

The Senate is in recess until Friday when the first of a series of pro forma sessions will prevent President Obama from making recess appointments until after Election Day.  The Senate will reconvene for legislative business on Monday, November 15th. Under the law, the president can only make a recess appointment if the Senate is adjourned for more than three consecutive days. Democratic leaders have agreed to schedule pro-forma sessions of the Senate every week over the next six weeks, a move that will prevent Obama from making emergency appointments, according to Senate sources briefed on the talks.

Obama had more than 110 executive- and judicial-branch nominees pending on the Senate’s executive calendar as of Wednesday afternoon. The Senate approved 54 of Obama’s nominees late Wednesday evening, including a dozen ambassadors, 11 U.S. Marshals and six U.S. attorneys. The Senate confirmed Sarah Raskin to serve as a member and Janel Yellen to serve as a member and chair of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve. The chamber also confirmed Maria Raffinan as an associate judge of the D.C. Superior Court, the only judicial nominee on the list.

According to a senior GOP aide,Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) using an established procedure for the minority leader threatened to send Obama’s most controversial nominees back to the president if Democrats did not agree to schedule pro-forma sessions, Democrats agreed earlier in the day to a Republican demand to cut spending levels for government agencies in order to pass a stop-gap spending measure.

Democrats are eager to get back home to defend their record to voters and they couldn’t do that until the spending bill passed. Yesterday the Senate voted 69-30 to approve H.R. 3081, a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 3rd, since Democrats failed to pass either a budget or a single appropriations bill before the end of the fiscal year today.

Prior to approving the CR, the Senate voted 48-51 to reject an amendment from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to reduce the amount of non-defense, non-veteran spending in the bill by 5%. Also rejected, by a vote of 39-60, was an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to extend the CR to February, to allow the new Congress to consider the unpassed spending bills.

Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 40-59 against a motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 39, a resolution of disapproval, offered by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), of the administration’s newest health care regulations which could force many businesses to change or drop their health care plans under Democrats’ new law.

Democrats voted to adjourn the Senate without taking up a bill to prevent massive tax increases in January.

The New York Times writes today, “Congress on Thursday adopted a stopgap spending measure to finance the government through Dec. 3 as lawmakers dashed for an earlier-than-expected exodus from Washington and headed home to focus on the midterm elections. . . . The last day of the brief September session was as notable for what did not get done as for what did. Neither chamber voted on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts as Democrats skipped a politically treacherous debate and Republicans slammed them for it. . . . The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that Democrats were far more eager to leave Washington. ‘They have a unified desire to leave town,’ Mr. McConnell said . . . .” The AP was a little more pointed, writing, “Majority Democrats facing significant losses in the wake of unpopular bills to stimulate the economy and overhaul the nation's health care laws sought to do their party no further harm on Capitol Hill.”

Despite that desire, Democrats have irresponsibly left town while leaving Americans to wonder whether their taxes will go up in January. As The Boston Globe noted, “The House and Senate adjourned last night, leaving the central pocketbook issue to be decided after the Nov. 2 midterm elections — and just weeks before the tax cuts are set to expire. That indecision injects more uncertainty into whose taxes will go up, and by how much.”

Indeed, Politico reported yesterday, “A wide swath of U.S. businesses Tuesday reported that the economy has slowed significantly in the last few months, and they said that the tax stalemate in Washington was a major reason that flagging consumer sentiment is now endangering the recovery. In separate reports, big business members of the Business Roundtable, along with manufacturers, home builders and the oil industry gave gloomy assessments of the recovery and said Congress’ decision to postpone action on tax cuts until after the election was weighing heavily on consumer sentiment.”

And yet Democrats seem content to let this problem persist. Not only did they bolt without addressing the issue of looming tax increases, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) apparently decided that protecting Americans from tax hikes still won’t be a priority for Democrats when Congress returns for a lame duck session in a little more than 6 weeks.  Before leaving, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the motions to proceed to 3 bills: a bill to promote natural gas and electric vehicles (S. 3815), a bill Democrats named the “Paycheck Fairness Act” (recall that they named “card check” the “Employee Free Choice Act”) (S. 3772), and a food safety bill that expands the FDA’s regulatory powers (S. 510).  None of these bills have anything to do with preventing tax increases. Instead his priority is on electric cars and food safety.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “[W]e’ll be leaving Washington to head back to our states. And when we do, Democrats will have a lot of explaining to do about how they’ve spent their time here in the last year and a half.” He pointed out, “Just yesterday the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said these tax hikes will hurt the economy and slow the recovery. So what did we do here over the past week in the Senate? An ill-conceived bill that the Chairman of the Finance Committee said would put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage and a campaign finance bill the entire goal of which is to give Democrats an electoral advantage in upcoming elections by muzzling their opponents. If Americans needed any further proof that Democrats haven’t been listening to them, this past week has provided all the evidence they need. Americans want us to focus on jobs, and our friends on the other side focused on preserving their own jobs and spending more taxpayer dollars.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, democrats, tax increases, recess, Barack Obama, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Brother - Government - "Monitoring" The Internet

WSJ: New Technologies Prompt Push for Better Wiretap Law
WaPo: Administration seeks ways to monitor Internet communications

Tags: Big Brother, Government, Monitoring, spying, wire tapping, Internet, email, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Net Neutrality: A Path to Censorship

Chris Slavens
By Chris Slavens: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So goes the old saying; its originator, Bert Lance, is perhaps best known for his involvement in the BCCI scandal of the 1980s, but the phrase became a modern proverb. It warns folks not to attempt to repair or alter something that is running smoothly; today, its wisdom should be applied to the Internet.

A recent Hart Research Associates poll found that 75% of Americans think the Internet is “working well,” and 55% believe the government should not regulate it. Yet proponents of Net Neutrality, most of whom hail from the political left, disagree.

Net Neutrality is the principle that all websites should be accessible with equal speed, and that the federal government (specifically, the Federal Communications Commission) should see to it that they are, or else. No longer would access be a private matter between buyer and seller. If implemented, the FCC would be granted regulatory powers over much of the Internet, a prospect that should terrify anyone who favors free, uncensored speech.

When asked why Net Neutrality is necessary, its proponents usually spout outlandish conspiracy theories, the most popular of which involves a sinister plot by evil telecom companies to discriminate against certain groups of users, block access to select websites, and stifle free speech. Of course, this is not happening, and there is no logical reason to assume that it ever will. Even if such a scenario did occur, the free market would provide solutions; competition, not regulation, is the best way to ensure that the Internet remains open and free.

Admittedly, most proponents of Net Neutrality probably believe they are fighting for a noble cause. “Save the Internet!” they cry. “Keep the Web free!” Yet they fail to realize, or else ignore, the fact that government regulation of the Internet would inevitably lead to the very loss of online liberty that they argue could occur in the absence of a broadband regulatory authority.

But behind these well-meaning -- if misguided – activists, there are authoritarians who are stirring the pot, repeating the “save the Internet” rhetoric out of political necessity, while privately viewing Net Neutrality as the first step towards establishing government censorship of ideas they believe to be outdated, undesirable, or dangerous. The Internet makes it easier than ever before for Americans of all races, religions, and income levels to exercise their First Amendment rights, which poses a serious threat to those grappling for long-term power; they are desperately searching for a way to stifle dissent and control the flow of information.

A Republican takeover of the House, which seems increasingly likely as the midterm elections approach, would certainly delay the implementation of Net Neutrality, but that will not be enough. Americans must draw a line in the sand, and firmly instruct the federal government to keep its hands off the Internet. It is not the role of the FCC (if indeed it has a legitimate, constitutional role, a point which is open for debate) to tell Internet access providers how to operate their businesses; this duty falls on consumers, who will surely take their business elsewhere if they do not receive satisfactory service. Short of a future monopoly on Internet access, there is simply no reason for a government agency to involve itself in this process.

At the very least, the FCC should wait for a problem to occur before proposing a solution – otherwise, it is only trying to fix something that, most Americans agree, “ain’t broke.”

Chris Slavens is a libertarian columnist. He lives in Sussex County, Delaware. He contributes to numerous conservative sites including NetRight Daily, ARRA News Service, Conservative Voices, and his own blog, Slavens Says.

Tags: Chris Slavens, Delaware, Net Neutrality, Internet, censorship, free speech, FCC, Federal Communications Commission,
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Democrat Voter Apathy

by Michael Ramirez, Senior Editor & Editorial Cartoonist, Investor's Business Daily:

Tags: Barack Obama, democrat, voter apathy, buck up, unemployment, political cartoon, Michael Ramirez, 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. - Sept 29, 2010 - Even a Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day

The Senate began consideration of S.J. Res. 39, a resolution of disapproval of the administration’s newest health care regulations which could force people off their health care plans and instead let Americans keep their current insurance plan if they like it. Around noon, the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to the resolution. If the motion is agreed to, there will be an additional hour of debate, followed by a vote on the resolution.

After disposition of S.J. Res. 39, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 3081, the vehicle for the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past the end of the 2010 fiscal year on Thursday. Yesterday the Senate voted 84-14 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3801, the vehicle for the CR.

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators rejected Democrats’ political show of a so-called “outsourcing” bill which would have actually raised taxes on certain companies, putting some U.S. employers at a competitive disadvantage.

The AP is reporting today, “Forty-seven House Democrats - enough to give Republicans a victory on taxes if the issue came to a vote - are breaking ranks with President Barack Obama by calling on party leaders to continue Bush-era tax cuts on investment income. The lawmakers, led by Rep. John Adler, D-N.J., have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they strongly support extending the current tax rates on capital gains and dividends.”

And The Wall Street Journal notes, “It's the latest sign of widening divisions among Democrats over plans by the party leadership and President Barack Obama to allow Bush-era tax breaks to expire for higher earners, defined as families making more than $250,000, while extending them for middle-income earners. Many centrist Democrats in the House and Senate have objected, saying raising any taxes could harm job creation and slow economic recovery.”

This new letter joins a growing chorus of Democrats urging the Obama administration and their leadership in Congress not to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. Previously, at least 5 Democrat senators and 31 Democrat House members all agreed that now was not the time to raise taxes.

According to the WSJ, “The letter from House Democrats argues that raising taxes on dividends and capital gains would be harmful to companies' ability to grow and add jobs. It also makes the case that older Americans, who often depend on dividends for income, could be hurt by a change that encourages companies to reduce their dividends.” This is at odds with President Obama, though. As the AP notes, “Tax cuts enacted in 2003 set the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends at 15 percent. Those tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and Obama wants to let the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends increase to 20 percent for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000.”

But job creators are already troubled by the Obama administration’s plans to let taxes increase next year. Politico reports, “A wide swath of U.S. businesses Tuesday reported that the economy has slowed significantly in the last few months, and they said that the tax stalemate in Washington was a major reason that flagging consumer sentiment is now endangering the recovery. In separate reports, big business members of the Business Roundtable, along with manufacturers, home builders and the oil industry gave gloomy assessments of the recovery and said Congress’ decision to postpone action on tax cuts until after the election was weighing heavily on consumer sentiment.” Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman of the Business Roundtable, which sided with the White House on health care, said, “It would be good for Congress to clarify its position on taxes . . . . In a sluggish economy, there are signs that a tax increase would have a [bad] effect.”

A little over a year ago, President Obama said, "The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would…take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole." As the old saying goes, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Well, President Obama was certainly right at that time. He’d do well to recall his own admonition and to now listen to the advice of his fellow Democrats, business leaders and Republicans, who are all saying that now is not the right time to raise taxes on anyone. Unfortunately, as evidenced by his constant campaign rhetoric, Obama seldom does any right minded listening.

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama's Top Priority is thrilled to announce President Obama's top priority.

Obama's Top Priority from RightChange on Vimeo.

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

This Lame Duck's Got Lots of Bills

FRC Washington Update: No wonder Congress is taking it easy these last few days. Based on the latest news from Capitol Hill, Democrats plan to pack more into the six weeks following the election than they've managed in the last two years! As many as 20 pieces of legislation could be stuffed into the leadership's final days, including hugely controversial policies on illegal immigration, gays in the military, taxpayer-funded abortion, education, energy, taxes, Medicare reimbursements, and more. After propping their feet up this week, liberals plan to make up for these lazy September days with a wild push in November. While most of Congress heads for the exits, Democrats are activating their army. The lame duck strategy, which one congressional aide scoffed in August as "straight out of the black helicopter wing of GOP thinking," is suddenly more than a theory. ; Fast-forward to last Sunday, when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) took a turn on Chris Wallace's "Fox News Sunday.
WALLACE: If your party loses control of the House, will you promise not to hold a lame duck session...?
HOYER: Of course I'm not going to promise that, Chris. That would be an irrational promise to make...
WALLACE:o you think it's right to have... members of Congress who have just lost come back and decide taxes and spending against the will of the Americans who have just voted?
HOYER: don't think we're going to make any decisions against the will of the American public... [M]embers of Congress are elected for 24 months, not for 21 months, not for 22 months--for 24 months.

Perhaps someone should have reminded them of that this month, as leaders breezily ran out the clock without so much as passing a formal budget! Now suddenly they're slaving away with America's best interest at heart? Meanwhile, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is trying to head off the Left's plan at the pass. Last night, he promised to shut down any legislation that had not been cleared by his office before close of business tonight. Under Senate rules, there has to be unanimous consent to begin or end debate on a bill. If all 100 senators aren't on board, the minority can force up to 60 hours of debate on the issue. With just weeks left until leaders hand over the keys to the 112th Congress, the GOP could use this rule to stick a fork in some of Sen. Reid's agenda. You can help. Click over to FRC Action and sign our petition telling Congress not to be a lame duck! (We all know what happens to lame ducks... right, Dale?)

Tags: Lame Duck, Lame Duck Session, Congress, Democrat agenda, bills, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi,agenda, FRC Update, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA ews Service. Thanks!

The Enthusiasm Gap For Democrat Voters

by William Warren:

Tags: Democrats, Elections 2010, Enthusiasm Gap, Political Cartoons, Politics, William Warren 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. - Sept 28, 2010 - Democrats Opt For Political Symbolism Over Jobs & Tax Cuts

Breaking News: Household incomes plunged for the second year in a row in 2009, as fewer families earned over $100,000 a year while the ranks of the poor rose, according to census statistics released today.

The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 3816, Democrats’ competitive disadvantage bill to raise taxes on certain companies. At 11:30, the Senate began a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3816. If cloture is not invoked, the Senate will immediately begin a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3801, the vehicle for the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past the end of the 2010 fiscal year on Thursday.

The Hill reports today, “Senate Democrats are moving forward with a vote on legislation they say will restrict the ability of U.S. companies to move jobs overseas, even as Republicans decry the legislation as mere election-year posturing. Democratic leaders are not optimistic they will achieve the 60-vote total needed to break a filibuster and bring the bill up for a final vote.” CongressDaily adds, “Democrats are now talking up a vote today on an anti-outsourcing bill they had until last week spent little time touting and which Democratic leaders forthrightly acknowledge will not pass and is on the floor mostly for political symbolism.”

This shows once again that the bill Democrats’ spent all day pushing yesterday is an unserious attempt at legislation, meant instead to message prior to leaving for the fall campaign. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said morning, “[W]ith just three days left in the Democrats’ two-year experiment in expanded government, they want to make a good last impression with a bill that they know has no chance of passing and which they have no interest in passing. So this is about as pure a political exercise as you can get.”

The Hill writes, “GOP aides compared Tuesday’s vote to [Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s reintroduction of the Disclose Act last week . . . . With the key Senate votes on the Disclose Act unmoved, Republicans viewed the vote as a partisan political exercise meant to put them on record as supporting corporations over middle-class Americans. ‘This is just another bill Democrats are pushing in hopes it will help them come November,’ one senior GOP aide said of the outsourcing bill. . . . ‘They’ve got a time crunch, they’ve got members not coming back, they’ve got Democrats on their side who are not serious about this bill — and they’ve written a revenue bill in the Senate instead of the House,’ the aide said.”

And even if Democrats were serious about this bill, it’s simply not a good idea. Democrats have expressed serious reservations about the bill. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the Finance Committee chairman, told CongressDaily last week, “I think it puts the United States at a competitive disadvantage. That’s why I’m concerned.” And according to The Hill, “Another GOP leadership aide . . . noted that four Democratic senators — Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Maria Cantwell of Washington state and Ben Nelson of Nebraska — all opposed the bill in 2005.”

The Democrats’ competitive disadvantage bill is simply bad on the merits, as The Wall Street Journal explained in an editorial yesterday. “We're all for increasing jobs in the U.S., but [this] plan reveals how out of touch Democrats are with the real world of tax competition. The U.S. already has one of the most punitive corporate tax regimes in the world and this tax increase would make that competitive disadvantage much worse, accelerating the very outsourcing of jobs that Mr. Obama says he wants to reverse.”

Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that Democrats’ plan to adjourn Congress without stopping the coming tax hikes on all Americans will further impede economic recovery.  Under the headline “CBO: Scheduled tax increases will hinder recovery,”
The Hill reports on the CBO’s findings: “The Economic Outlook released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday states that coming tax hikes will hinder spending and hurt recovery efforts.

“‘[The] scheduled increases in taxes and the waning of fiscal policy measures that supported the economy earlier in this recovery will hold down spending, especially in 2011,’ it states. ‘The weak demand for goods and services resulting from those various factors is the primary constraint on economic recovery.’”
Sen. McConnell noted this morning, “As a number of my colleagues pointed out yesterday, the way to get U.S. businesses to produce more here isn’t to tax them even further, it’s to stop punishing them with our high corporate tax rate. If American businesses are going to compete with foreign corporations, we should have competitive tax rates. It’s that simple.”

In an effort to provide some measure of certainty to small businesses afraid to hire new employees without knowing what their tax rates will be less than 100 days from now, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) once again called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to hold an open and fair debate – and an up-or-down vote – on stopping all of the tax hikes on American families and small businesses.  ABC News reported on the Republican effort to secure a vote on stopping all the tax hikes BEFORE Congress adjourns for the fall.
Democrats still don’t seem to get it. Across the country, job creators are frustrated by the uncertainty stemming from Washington Democrats’ big government legislation. Employers are worried as they try to figure out whether the new financial regulation bill will impact them, whether they can afford to continue to offer health care after President Obama’s massive takeover, and whether their taxes will go way up in January. And now Democrats are proposing even more punitive taxes on American companies?

As Sen. McConnell (R-KY) said today, “Democrats made a very clear choice. They chose to ignore the concerns of the American people and to press ahead with their own agenda over the past year and a half. And now, in the last three days of the session, they’ve decided they can at least pretend to be concerned. ”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, political games, Democrats, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, jobs, tax cuts, CBO, household incomes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama Says GOP's Focus on Creating Jobs and Cutting Spending Is Irresponsible

Republicans Again Call on Speaker Pelosi to Hold Up-Or-Down Vote on Stopping All the Job-Killing Tax Hikes Before Congress Adjourns

House Republican Leader John Boehner Could the White House and Democratic leaders be more out-of-touch with the American people? Today, President Obama called the recently-released GOP Pledge to America, which is focused on creating jobs and cutting spending, “irresponsible.” If the president truly believes that cutting spending and creating jobs is “irresponsible,” it certainly explains why under his watch the national debt has topped $13.4 trillion while 14.9 million unemployed Americans continue asking ‘Where are the jobs?’

Equally out-of-touch, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is set to adjourn Congress without acting on bipartisan legislation to stop the job-killing tax hikes on American families and small businesses.  This morning, The Washington Post reported on the Democrats’ decision to punt on stopping the coming tax hikes before November’s election.

A recent NPR report underscores the harm Democrats’ failure to stop the looming tax hikes will have on jobs and the economy:
“Craig Dunaway, president of the Midwestern sandwich chain Penn Station East Coast Subs, isn’t sure what Congress will do about the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.

“But he knows what he’s not going to do — hire anyone. … ‘Right now, I will not grow because of the uncertainty,’ Dunaway says. ‘Personally, I will not open any more restaurants until I understand the ramifications of either increasing tax rates or keeping them the same, or what the ramifications will be to my business as a small-business owner on health care’ …

“Many business owners complain that the delay comes at a time when many states are in deep financial distress and are contemplating tax holes of their own. All that only prolongs the uncertainty about their bottom line, leaving them unsure whether to invest or hire.”

Americans are demanding a return to fiscal sanity and a clear focus on jobs. Today, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) again called on Speaker Pelosi to hold an open and fair debate – and an up-or-down vote – on legislation to stop the looming tax hikes before Congress adjourns this week:
“If Democratic leaders leave town without stopping all the tax hikes, they are turning their backs on the American people. Adjourning the Congress at the end of this week without a vote to stop all the tax hikes will be a vote to raise taxes on the American people and destroy jobs. The ‘stimulus’ has failed, and more than two million Americans have lost their jobs since it was enacted. The economic uncertainty facing entrepreneurs and employers is crippling small business job creation, and it’s long past time for this Congress to act to help get the economy back on track.”

LISTENING, WORKING TOGETHER AND OFFERING BETTER SOLUTIONS Republicans have come together in support of the Pledge to America, and have called on Democrats to immediately pass it, including two key provisions needed to create jobs now – cutting non-security government spending back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels and stopping all the looming tax hikes on American families and small businesses. In an appearance on Fox News Sunday yesterday, Leader Boehner said adjourning Congress without removing the uncertainty over tax hikes that is preventing small businesses from creating jobs is one of the “most irresponsible” things the Democratic-controlled Congress can do. Republicans will continue to stand with the American people and work to help create jobs by cutting spending and stopping the tax hikes.

Tags: GOP, focus, create jobs, cut 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. - Sept 27, 2010 - Another Political Show Vote By Dems Risks Putting U.S. At "Competitive Disadvantage"

The Senate will resume consideration of S. 3816, Democrats’ bill to raise taxes on certain American companies, in other words a competitive disadvantage bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as scheduled a live quorum call at & PM, which asks the presence of all senators. Democrats want to force debate on their bill.

On Tuesday at 11:30 AM the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3816. Reid has also filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 3801, the Fiscal Year 2011 State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which is expected to be the vehicle for a Continuing Resolution to fund the government past the end of the 2010 fiscal year on Thursday.

After wasting time last week on playing politics, Senate Democrats now finally appear interested in discussing issues related to the economy. But unfortunately, they’ve decided to prioritize another political exercise instead of seriously doing something to foster economic growth.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Senate will consider a bill this week aimed at discouraging U.S. businesses from outsourcing jobs overseas, a plan that Democrats describe as an effort to fight unemployment but which Republicans deride as a pre-election political maneuver. Democrats admit they don’t have enough votes to defeat a possible attempt by Republicans to block the bill. But they hope that bringing the issue to the Senate floor will underscore their concern about unemployment, now at 9.6%.”

Democrats’ admission that they don’t have 60 votes for this bill is just one of several factors indicating that this is once again an unserious exercise. Certainly, Democrats haven’t been reading the Constitution very closely this Congress, but this latest bill, S.3816, presents a bit of a problem for them. The bill originated in the Senate, but it “rais[es] revenue,” in other words, raises taxes, and the Constitution states that “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” So, if Democrats really wanted to pass this bill, they’d have used a House-passed bill as a vehicle for this language.

Another problem pointing to Democrats’ unserious approach is that of timing. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Roll Call last week that Democrats were eying adjourning by the end of this week to go home and campaign. But before Congress leaves, it must pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government until Congress reconvenes, because Democrats have failed once again to complete work on appropriations bill before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already filed for cloture to move to a continuing resolution this week. But if cloture is invoked on Democrats’ “outsourcing bill,” that will leave no time to also take up the CR if the Senate is to leave by Friday. So Democrats either expect to lose the cloture vote tomorrow or plan to spend little to no time on the bill.

And that’s without even getting into the substance of the Democrat bill, which some Democrat senators are already criticizing. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Sen. Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, expressed concern last week that the bill would damage the competitiveness of U.S. companies, said Congress Daily, a Capitol Hill publication. ‘I think it puts the United States at a competitive disadvantage,’ Mr. Baucus said. ‘That’s why I’m concerned.’” The WSJ also notes, “The Business Roundtable, a trade group representing chief executives of big U.S. companies, sent a letter to senators on Friday urging them to vote against the anti-outsourcing bill, saying it would harm the economic recovery and result in job losses.” Recall that the Business Roundtable was a close ally of Democrats and the Obama administration in passing their unpopular health care bill. Yet even they think Democrats’ competitive disadvantage bill is a bad idea.

The Wall Street Journal’s editors have little patience for this poorly conceived legislation. “Democrats may be dodging a vote on the Bush-era tax cuts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to raise taxes before November. Witness this week’s showdown in Congress over increasing the tax on the profits of American companies with foreign subsidiaries to punish firms that relocate plants overseas. How much more harm can this crowd do before it’s run out of town? Like so many others, this tax increase is being promoted by President Obama, who declared last week that ‘for years, our tax code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries. I want to change that.’ Democrats around the country are making this issue their number one campaign theme, since they can’t run on health care, stimulus or anything else they’ve passed into law.” The editorial continues, “We’re all for increasing jobs in the U.S., but the President’s plan reveals how out of touch Democrats are with the real world of tax competition. The U.S. already has one of the most punitive corporate tax regimes in the world and this tax increase would make that competitive disadvantage much worse, accelerating the very outsourcing of jobs that Mr. Obama says he wants to reverse.”

The WSJ editors conclude, “The lesson here is that tax rates matter in a world of global competition and the U.S. tax regime is hurting American companies and workers. Mr. Obama would add to the damage. His election-eve campaign to raise taxes on American companies making money overseas may not be his most dangerous economic idea, but it is right up there.”

What Senate Democrats, encouraged by President Obama, have here is another political show vote, designed almost exclusively for themselves to campaign on, and not with an eye to actually addressing serious economic problems or even having a serious debate in Congress. It’s long past time for Democrats to stop playing political games and do some real legislating on something that would help all Americans, including job creators: preventing massive tax increases in January.

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

Arkansas AFP Activists Scaring the Bejesus Out of Barack Obama

Bill Smith,  Editor: For the second time in six weeks President Obama has taken aim at Americans for Prosperity (AFP). This time at fundraiser in Connecticut for Senate Candidate Richard Blumenthal:
President Barack Obama: "Right now, all across the country, special interests are planning and running millions of dollars of attack ads against Democratic candidates. Millions of dollars. And, the groups are benign-sounding: Americans for Prosperity. Who's against that? [Laughter] Or Committee for Truth in Politics. Or Americans for Apple Pie. Moms for Motherhood. I made those last two up. [Laughter]"
His prior verbal attack on AFP was made in Austin Texas. Unfortunately, after the first attack on AFP, President Obama did not accept my invitation:
Bill Smith: "Mr. President, I invite you to join me at the AFP Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C. on August 27 and 28. If by chance you are too busy to come and listen, then just peek out your White House window on August 28 (8/28) to see millions of people gathering from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington monument to all the surrounding areas to honor America and the principles of our forefathers that most Americans hold dear."
Now, President Obama and his left wing allies are back to accusing AFP and its 1.2 million grassroots activists of being a "foreign-controlled corporation" or a front for "big banks" or "big oil". Why, because AFP reveals the special interest behind Obama's agenda and has a network of activists who are working to combat that agenda. Below is the video Response from AFP:

In the video, there are two photos included in the video which represent the over 30,000 AFP Activist in Arkansas. It certainly appears that Arkansas AFP actvists are scaring the bejesus out of President Barack Obama. One of the pictures is from the AFP RightOnline conference in Las Vegas. Right there in the front row cheering on the speakers are several people from the Faulkner County (Arkansas) Tea Party. Mr. Obama these people are AFP. They are voters with lots of friends, family and neighbors!

Another scene in the video is an audience of over 700 people who gathered at 8 am on a Wednesday morning in the Ozark Mountains in Baxter County, Arkansas to kick off the AFP November is Coming rally. Many of these fine people are members of the local Ozark TEA Party. This event was held on a school / work day during the week, otherwise thousands would have been present. At their last TEA party weekend event, over 3200 people attended. Mr. Obama these people are not foreign corporations, big banks or oil company minions or even lobbyists. And unlike the words in your speech, they are straight talking and do not prevaricate. Mr. Obama, these people are AFP and they vote and have lots of friends, family and neighbors!

Mr. President, across the United States, there are multitudes of people who took offense at your words. They are all good people - good citizens - great Americans - who have been or are Democrats, Republicans, independents, and former-"non-involved" individuals. Mr. Obama, millions of other Americans across the nation have been awakened or are being awakened by you, your administration and your elitist agenda to grasp more power to the executive branch and to expand big government. They are all Americans "for prosperity" even if they they are not members of the AFP organization! Many may not have known about AFP. Even with your spurious comments, I am sure AFP appreciates your making millions of others aware of AFP. And, these millions vote!

AFP had 1.2 million grassroots activists before Mr. Obama's latest political campaign speech. He seems to prefer the partisan campaign trail even though he is already the occupant of the White House. It is one thing to use the "bully pulpit" of the presidency for principled ideals, it is quite another to use the benefits of the Office of the President to campaign for individuals, to raise funds for a his political party, and to actually attempt to smear others. What has Mr. Obama said about the criminal actions of ACORN and numerous other left leaning organizations?

Thank you, Mr. President for your dripping satire which fuels and inspires the growing conservative movement across America. Thank you, for again reminding us why we need to stay vigilant, to be informed and aware of the encroachment of big government, to knock on doors, to make phone calls, to VOTE, to support AFP and a myriad of other organizations and candidates. We almost can't await for your next Saturday Night Live style rant about Americans For Prosperity.

Finally, Mr Obama, it should be obvious to you that I am not big oil, a bank or a foreign controlled corporation. After all, don't you already control big oil, the banks, the auto industry and much more? I am but one person, a native born American Ohio buckeye of Irish descent with ancestors who fought to free the slaves and to preserve the Union. I had two fathers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, in the battles for the Pacific islands in WWII, and in Korea. I am a husband, father, grandfather, a retired 22 year Air Force veteran having served on three continents, and a retired professor. I am AFP and I vote! And as a blogger, I sharing with a "few" thousand people who then share with several more thousand more people.

But, it is not about me or the previously mentioned patriots who stand transparent and limited government, free markets, liberty and individual freedom It is about you - President Obama and your progressive elitist agenda. Unfortunately to us "lesser" Americans, you do not govern, speak, or advocate for the "prosperity of" America.
Related Article: Barack Obama Gives Seal of Disapproval to Americans For Prosperity

Tags: Americans for Prosperity, AFP, Barack Obama, RightOnline, November is Coming, prosperity, America, Arkansas, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Would Obama Step Forward And Renounce Lucifer?

William J. Murray, Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition: OBAMA , ALINSKY AND LUCIFER - President Obama has praised Saul Alinsky and in particular his book, Rules for Radicals. Although Alinksy claimed to be an atheist, he dedicated Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, calling him the "first radical."

It is not a far-fetched question to ask why the President of the United States would endorse a book dedicated to Lucifer. (NOTE: this is the same book Hillary Clinton wrote her thesis on in college, giving it much praise.) Because of Barack Obama's admiration of Saul Alinsky we would never expect him to criticize the Rules for Radicals, but would Obama at least step forward and renounce Lucifer?

That was the question asked by my good friend Jerry Corsi at the Taking America Back conference in Miami, at which both of us spoke last week. His off-the-cuff remark, asking if Obama would denounce Lucifer, has literally driven the far left insane. Alan Colmes has written a vicious op-ed attacking Corsi, and the Huffington Post has gone over the edge in attacking the idea, as has Media Matters. Why? Because about one in five voters already think Obama is a Muslim, and the majority of voters are not sure that he is a Christian. Most Americans don't know that Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals to Satan, and with Obama's endorsement of that statement public, it can only do further damage to the average American's image of him as a non-Christian.

Tags: Barack Obama, religion, Saul Alinsky, Lucifer, Satan, Devil, Rules for Radicals, Religious Freedom Coalition, William J. Murray To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Republican House Caucus Makes "A Pledge to America"

In the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) discusses “A Pledge to America,” a new governing agenda built by listening to the American people and focused on addressing their top priorities – including creating jobs, cutting spending, and changing the way Congress works.
“Hi, I’m Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California.

This week Republicans made a Pledge to America.

Our new governing agenda answers the question so many Americans are asking: will we leave to our children a stronger, healthier, more prosperous country than our parents left us?  As we stand here before you, the future of our country hangs in the balance.  Across this great nation, mothers and fathers wonder if their children will find the same opportunities for success that existed just a generation ago.

Can you blame them? As a result of the economically disastrous policies of the current administration, millions of Americans are out of work today, and our children will be saddled with a deficit and debt that is -- by every definition -- out of control.

We have more people depending on food stamps to feed their families than at any point in history. The economy is so dire that one in six Americans has to rely on government assistance for financial support. One in six. The land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity.

Americans across the country are outraged, and so are we. Just as John Hancock boldly signed his name to the Declaration of Independence so that even Britain’s King George could read it, I want to say this slowly so there is no room for misinterpretation…

Our government has failed us. From the billion-dollar bailouts to the ‘stimulus’ package that failed to stimulate to the government takeover of health care, you cried “STOP!”…but the Democratic Majority in Washington has refused to listen.

I am speaking to you on behalf of Republicans to tell you that we’ve been listening, and we’ve heard you.  We heard you loud and clear, and we assure you that there is nothing more inspiring than the common voice of the common man.

When you said you wanted a prosperous, competitive economy, we heard you.

When you said you wanted a more accountable government, we heard you.

When you said you didn’t want a government takeover of health care, we heard you. We know that you want a government dedicated to working for the people, and that’s why we’ve written this Pledge to America. This pledge isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives – it’s about you.

“This pledge focuses largely on three things:
  • a plan to create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive;
  • a plan to cut wasteful Washington spending and reduce the size of government;
  • a plan to reform Congress and restore trust in government.
The new agenda embodies Americans’ rejection of the notion that we can simply tax, borrow and spend our way to prosperity. It offers a new way forward that hasn’t been tried in Washington – an approach focused on cutting spending – which is sadly a new idea for a Congress accustomed to always accelerating it.

To put Americans back to work, our agenda seeks to eliminate uncertainty for the private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs who create jobs.

And it commits to immediate action to change the way Congress works, recognizing that the current structure is rigged to minimize public scrutiny and facilitate unnecessary spending.

This pledge is a governing agenda that could be implemented right now if the powers-that-be in Washington would allow it. We are calling on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to implement these proposals before Congress adjourns for the fall.

We go forward now with optimism and a firm belief that we live in a land of great promise and great possibilities… a land where – until recently, our tomorrows have held more promise than our yesterdays.

We are not ready to concede the fight for the prosperity of our country. We refuse to believe that the same American dream that shone so brightly for our parents has dimmed for our children. We must reverse our current course of action and reject the job-killing policies of the Democratic Majority. We will take back our country and restore our right to a better future. This is our pledge to America.
[John Boehner (R-OH): Video & Script]

America is more than a country.

America is an idea -- an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government's powers are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any man or woman can -- given economic, political, and religious liberty -- advance themselves, their families, and the common good.

America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny.

Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.

These first principles were proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, enshrined in the Constitution, and have endured through hard sacrifice and commitment by generations of Americans.

In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent.

An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down long-standing laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people.

An arrogant and out-of-touch ruling class of a few makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.

Rising joblessness, crushing debt, and a polarizing political environment are fraying the bonds among our people and blurring our sense of national purpose.

Like free peoples of the past, our citizens refuse to accommodate a government that believes it can replace the will of the people with its own. The American people are speaking out, demanding that we realign our country's compass with its founding principles and apply those principles to solve our common problems for the common good.

The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people cannot be overstated.

With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America.

We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored -- particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity.

We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.
We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings.

We pledge to uphold the purpose and promise of a better America, knowing that to whom much is given, much is expected and that the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind.

We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America.
H/T eGOPNews for the following links:
NYT: Republicans Offer Their Agenda for Midterm Elections
Wash Times: GOP makes a 'Pledge' to voters
WaPo: House Republicans make a conservative 'Pledge to America'
WaPo: GOP wants to impose hiring freeze on non-security federal workforce
American Spectator: Those Underpaid Government Workers
Hill: Eyeing control of the House, GOP rolls out its new agenda
Human Events: Gingrich Applauds GOP’s ‘Pledge to America’
Human Events: Tea Party Impacts GOP ‘Pledge To America’
Politico: Some candidates tepid on 'Pledge'
Rush Limbaugh: Nothing Crazy in the GOP Pledge
American Spectator: No Regulation Without Representation

Tags: Republican, House Caucus, Pledge, A Pledge to America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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