ARRA News Service
News 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 site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
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, January 29, 2011

ICYMI: Update On The Progressive Movement

Bill Smith's Editorial Opinion:  Setting aside the political cartoons about the SOTU. The best cartoon of the extended week comes from the Townhall cartoon stable. It is Glenn Foden's cartoon satirically giving us an "Update on the Progressive Movement": Keith Olbermann's firing by MSNBC - the walking dead channel. Even with Olbermann leaving MSNBC, Foden rightly reflects that MSNBC which claims to be "a leader in breaking news, video and original journalism" is in fact a useless ignored "crap" house.

Tags: Glenn Foden, political cartoon MSNBC, Keith Obermann, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Newly Elected U.S. Senator Ron Johnson Delivers Weekly GOP Address

"I Hope The President And His Allies In Congress Accept A Simple Truth: Big Government Is Blocking Job Creation, Not Helping It. The Sooner Washington Ends Its Dependence On More Spending, The Sooner Our Economy Will See Real Growth.’ - Sen Ron Johnson (R-WI)

In the Weekly Republican Address, newly elected Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson,  a business owner of a plastics manufacturing firm in Wisconsin, introduces himself and addresses the the Government is blocking job creation:

"For those of you who don't know me, this is the first elective office I have ever sought or held. The reason I ran is simple and straightforward. We are bankrupting America, and I thought it was time for citizen legislators to come to Washington to help those individuals already here that are seriously facing that reality."

He explains, "I hope the President and his allies in Congress accept a simple truth: big government is blocking job creation, not helping it. The sooner Washington ends its dependence on more spending, the sooner our economy will see real growth. I bring the perspective of someone who's been creating jobs, meeting a payroll, balancing a budget, and living under the rules, regulations, and taxes that politicians here in Washington impose on the rest of us. I know firsthand the incentives and disincentives, the intended and unintended consequences of government intrusion into our lives. Unfortunately, when it comes to creating jobs, government is rarely helpful. Government tends to make it harder and more expensive to create jobs. We need to make job creation easier and cheaper."

Sen. Johnson says, "History proves that governments do not know how to efficiently allocate capital. Millions of private individuals, acting independently within the free market system, do it best. We need to encourage and incentivize entrepreneurs, not tax and regulate them out of business. We've also heard the President talk about controlling spending and the deficit. If he's serious about it, he should present a serious plan. If he does, I feel confident Republicans will be willing to help him get it passed."

Tags: Senator, Ron Johnson, Wisconsin, US Senator, Republican, GOP, weekly address, video, big government, regulations, lost jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas House Commentary - Jan 29, 2011: Spending Cuts, Healthcare Reform, and Abortion Issues.

Justin Harris
By Rep. Justin Harris: The halls of the Arkansas State Capitol were buzzing with conversation of spending cuts, healthcare reform, and abortion issues.

The House convened and passed House Bill 1063, the $36 million spending bill that Joint Budget Committee amended last week to remove judicial pay raises totaling $475,000. The full House and Senate approved the General Appropriation Act.

Significantly, the vote to freeze salaries opened a valuable window for House Legislators to begin discussing spending cuts and examining every dollar appropriated by state government.  I expect budget issues to remain at the forefront of our legislative agenda as each party works together to contain state spending and advance Arkansas economically.

The House passed a measure by Rep. Kathy Webb of Little Rock on Wednesday, which would allow individuals to choose to be notified by e-mail rather than regular mail when it is time to renew their vehicle registration.  This could potentially save our state $97,000 annually.

Speaking of saving state money, the full House passed my bill on Tuesday which requires sex offenders to verify their registration at local law enforcement agencies, potentially saving our state over $70,000 in postage annually. House Bill 1007 now heads to the Senate.

The Nick Bacon Remembrance Act, named for the late Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Nick Bacon, was approved by the House. The Act would allow honorably discharged veterans to have their veteran’s status listed on their Arkansas driver’s license.  It was a great privilege to have Nick Bacon’s family as our guests as the bill passed the House.

Midweek, the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee voted 12-7 to prevent House Bill 1053, the Healthcare Freedom Act, from reaching the House floor for a full debate and vote. The bill, sponsored by Rep. David Meeks, R-Conway, aimed to prevent the individual mandate in the healthcare law from forcing Arkansans to purchase health insurance. Five Republicans and two Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the Healthcare Freedom Act. Individual liberty and freedom of choice take precedent over federally-imposed mandates, and I applaud those committee members who took a principled stand to represent conservative Arkansas values.

What to watch for:
  • A Senate Bill aimed at preventing taxpayer dollars from funding abortions as projected in the federal healthcare overhaul is now headed to the Arkansas House. Republican Senator Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers sponsored the legislation, which I fully intend to support as it reaches the House floor.
  • My bill, HB1008, that would not allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition. We do not allow students from other states to receive the tuition break.  Currently, California is being sued for allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants but not for other students from other states.
As your Representative, I am honored to serve you in the Arkansas House.
Justin Harris is Arkansas State Representative (R-District 87). Although he directly represents Crawford and Southern Washington Counties, he also represents all Arkansans with his public stands for limited, transparent and responsible government. He is both a fiscal and social conservative and is the owner of Growing God's Kingdom preschool in West Fork, Arkansas.

Tags: Justin Harris, Arkansas, legislature, State Representative, Arkansas House, tax funded, abortions, spending cuts, health care reform, West Fork To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, January 28, 2011

American Mom Jailed For Falsely Claiming Residency in School District

Debbie Pelley
by Debbie Pelley, Guest Contributor: Compare in the story linked below about an American Mom was convicted and jailed for falsely claiming residency in a school district versus the way illegal aliens are treated for falsely claiming residence in our country. And how many false claims and lies do illegal aliens have to tell in order to stay in our country? This is the type of discrimination and breakdown of law that occurs when laws are applied to some and not applied to others. Note also in the article below how important the money is to this school district and how much it costs to educate children. Yet in Arkansas our Governor does not even want to determine the cost of illegal aliens to the taxpayers. Yes, we do educate illegal aliens as ordered by a Court decision; but if they were not drawn to Arkansas for other benefits, then taxpayers would not have to bear this extra burden. We might even be able to take away all the tax on groceries for American citizens with the money we save.

Hispanic Enrollment Has Increased 124.7% from 2000 to 2010
Enrollment of Hispanic students in Arkansas in K-12 have increased from 18,620 students to 41,839 student in the last ten years, from 2000 to 2010, a 124.7% increase. Our total enrollment has increased by only 4.42%. Total enrollment in our schools in 2000 was 448,246 and in 2010 it is 468,066 or an increase of 19,820 students in ten years or 4.42%.  If we had not had an increase in Hispanic students, we would have a lower enrollment now than ten years ago. These figures were calculated is from the Department of Education website.

At least 2/3 to 3/4 of these students either illegal or are anchor babies who have illegal parents. I think it takes at least five years to become legalized so very few of them could have become legal in the last ten years. The per pupil spending in 2007 was $8,348 so that would be about $194 million. If you use the $9,150 figure that is most often used for low scoring students in Seth Blomeley's article, "Money spent on students Parsed" April 24, 2008, then that amount would come to about $212,453,850 and the per pupil spending has gone up since 2007. This amount does not include Pre-K programs for Hispanics.
Ohio Mom Jailed for Lying About Kids' School Residency
How far would you go to get your children into a better public school? The best intentions of one Ohio woman landed her in jail. In a highly unusual case, Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single mother who lived in Akron public housing, was convicted of lying about her residency in order to send her two daughters to a highly ranked school. Her sentence, which inflamed emotions in the community, was 10 days in jail, according to reports, and is due to end this week.

"It's overwhelming. I'm exhausted," she told ABC News. "I did this for them, so there it is. I did this for them."

Four years ago, Williams-Bolar, 40, sent her girls, now 12 and 16, to the Copley-Fairlawn school district that was outside her Akron district of residence, reports said. Her father lives in the Copley-Fairlawn district, and she said she lived with him part-time after her home was burglarized and she wanted her children safe. "When my home got broken into, I felt it was my duty to do something else," . . . [Full Story]

Tags: Arkansas, illegal aliens, students, education To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Rising Poll Numbers Just Hot Air

by William Warren: Looking at Obama’s change in rhetoric and corresponding rise in poll numbers.

What is a green job?

by Kevin Mooney: That question has a special relevance here in the early part of 2011 now that Team Obama has altered its environmental strategy.

When he campaigned in 2008, President Obama said he would create 5 million new green collar jobs. Even if you do not accept the premise of man-made global warming, it is necessary for the U.S. to transition away from traditional energy sources and embrace new, clean energy technology that create new employment opportunities, Obama declared in his first State of the Union address.

"I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change, Obama said.  "But here's the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future — because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.  And America must be that nation." . . . [Full Story]

Tags: Center-Right Rhetoric, Obama, Obama Poll Numbers, Political Cartoons, William Warren, green jobs 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. - Jan 28, 2011: The Truth About Premiums Under Obamacare: They're Going Up

The Senate will reconvene on Monday, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’d like to take up the FAA reauthorization bill. Yesterday, an attempt by some Democrats to use the nuclear option to do away with the filibuster using only 51 votes died quietly when Reid agreed he would not make such a move.

Also yesterday, the Senate voted down 3 proposals from liberal Democrats to weaken the filibuster. A proposal from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to gradually reduce the votes required to invoke cloture was defeated by an overwhelming 12-84 vote. Also defeated was a package of rules changes pushed by liberals and championed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) by a vote of 44-51. And an attempt by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to require “talking filibusters” was defeated by a vote of 46-49. All three would have needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

However, the Senate did adopt modest rules adjustments, voting 92-4 to adopt a resolution offered by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to eliminate secret holds, and 81-15 to adopt a resolution offered by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) to allow a forced reading of an amendment to be skipped only if it has been publicly available for 72 hours. (A longer delay than most forced readings would afford.)

According to a Politico report today, “The Obama administration is firing back at one of the major attacks Republicans have leveled at the health reform law: that it will make insurance premiums rise. The report, to be released by HHS later today, argues that individuals and families purchasing coverage through the exchanges in 2014 will save 14-20% over what coverage would cost them if the law had never been enacted. The report points to ‘preliminary evidence’ that provisions of the Affordable Care Act already in place will contribute to rate increases in 2011 that are lower than in previous years.”

Unfortunately, none of this matches the reality of President Obama’s unpopular health care law. In fact, the “preliminary evidence,” to borrow a phrase, points to “huge” premium hikes across the country. At the beginning of the month, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. . . . San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.”

A week later, The Wall Street Journal reported, “California isn’t the only state seeing premiums continue to rise. . . . In Vermont, MVP Health Care is raising premiums for some Catamount products by about 21%.” KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa, reported earlier this month, “Wellmark [Blue Cross Blue Shield] is planning a 10.8% rate hike for individual policy holders. Close to 46,000 Iowa policyholders under age 65 will see an increase in their base premium rate of 10.8%, effective April 1, 2011, if approved. Another 3,000 basic and standard policyholders will receive an increase of 11.3%. Approximately 2,500 Blue Transitions policyholders will receive an increase of 15%. The company raised rates by 18% in May of 2010.”

Last month, The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington, reported “In October, [Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike] Kreidler accepted rate hikes of 16.4% for Regence Blueshield, 15.4% for Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon and 23.7% for Asuris Northwest Health, according to Stephanie Marquis, a spokeswoman for Kreidler.” And last fall The Hartford Courant reported, “Health insurers are asking for immediate rate hikes of more than 20% in Connecticut for some plans, citing rising medical costs and federal health reform laws as reasons.”

In the Weekly Republican Address last week, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said, “A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans still want this [health care] law repealed. And the reasons are clear. Ask yourself – are you better off or worse off now that the healthcare law has been on the books for almost a year? Has the cost of your own health insurance gone down? Remember the President promised that the law would significantly reduce your costs.” And yet the reality is Americans are seeing “huge rate increases,” because of “expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.” This law needs to be repealed and replaced.

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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The More You Know About YOUR State Government

Bill Smith, Editor: The following was send as a Note by Arkansas State Rep David Meeks to his friends and fellow conservative supporters on FaceBook. It is worth reading by others. Although it focuses on actions in the Arkansas Legislature, its content is relevant to readers outside of Arkansas as it deals with actions to address Nationalized Health Care, aka ObamaCare. Concerned Arkansans appreciate the actions by other states especially by state executives whom have taken action to challenge the unconstitutional aspects of Obamacare.

David Meeks

by Rep. David Meeks: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce." - James Madison

After talking with other Representatives in the Public Health Committee, HB 1053 has very little if any chance of passing out of that committee unless the Supreme Court rules on the challenge to Obamacare before the session has ended.

I can't go into full details because some of the discussions are done with the understanding that it is in private, but there are some that voted against it because they feel that mandating Arkansans to purchase health insurance is within the bounds of the government.

Other Representatives were concerned about a possible lawsuit. They were willing to wait and see what the Supreme Court does before doing anything. This is the scary part. We have Representatives who agree with the bill on principle, but are unwilling to stand up for the people of Arkansas for either fear of what the Federal Government may do or how the courts may rule.

Why is this important? It affects more then just this bill. It also affects education as many of these same lawmakers are afraid of making important decisions for fear of being pulled back into court (ala Lakeview).

There is also pressure being put on lawmakers by the Governor's office on certain bills. Mine was one of them, but to what extent it played in how a lawmaker voted, I don't know. The people who spoke against my bill were either government or special interest.

YOUR calls and emails was one of the reasons that two Democrats voted in favor of the bill. This is why it is important for you to stay engaged and informed.

Be patient, there are plans to bring up many more "controversial" bills surrounding health care, immigration, and other issues that YOU said were important.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support, your encouragement, and your prayers. "Be not weary in well doing..."

Here to Serve,

Tags: Arkansas, Representative, David Meeks, federal healthcare, Obamacare, mandated spending, FaceBook Note To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Illinois Appellate Court Action May Keep Rahm Emanuel Off Chicago Ballot

Update Jan 27, 2011 - 6:12 PM: The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel meets the residency requirements to run for Chicago mayor, overturning a lower court ruling and re-installing him as the race's frontrunner. "This is a situation in which, not only did the candidate testify that his intent was not to abandon his Chicago residence, his acts fully support and confirm that intent," the court wrote in the ruling. [More Info]

Original Post  Jan. 24, 2011 - 4:03 PM: An Illinois Appeals Court has ruled 2-1 that Rahm Emanuel's name can't appear on the ballot for Chicago mayor. Reason: Emanuel didn't live in the city in the year before the election. The appeals court issued a 25 page ruling that overturned the already biased Chicago Board of Elections who determined that the former White House chief of staff eligible to run for mayor of the city because Rahm called Chicago his home. Rahm is indeed a prior known associate of the political mob that has ruled Chicago and helped to elect Obama as president. Word is rumored that his former CORN associates were ready to stuff the ballot boxes.

Well, Rahm has not given up and is basically telling the court to euphemistically to shove it and saying that he will prevail and be on the ballot. Emanuel's response, "I have no doubt that we will in the end prevail at this effort. This is just one turn in the road. The people of the city of Chicago deserve the right to make the decision on who they want to be their next mayor." He added, "My attorneys are going to ask for a stay [of the appellate court's decision] there so I can get my name printed on the ballot as well."

Some are arguing that if Emanuel does not get a stay, there is no legal basis to prevent him from running as a write-in candidate. Ken Menzel, a legal counsel with the Illinois State Board of Elections said, "We don't have a challenge process for write-in candidates in Illinois. You can't prevent a person from being a write-in candidate." James Allen, speaking for the Chicago Board of Elections, said that Emanuel would have until Feb. 15 to file a write-in bid for the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral primary election.

Illinois Compiled Statutes 65 ILCS 5 Illinois Municipal Code. Section 3.1-10-5 that was addressed by the Appellate court governs eligibility to hold public office, not eligibility to be on a ballot. But this leaves us with the question, If Emmanuel is a write-in candidate and actually wins will the court over-ride the peoples vote and prevent him from being mayor of Chicago? It also begs the question, is Chicago politics still so corrupt as to elect Emanuel? And, if elected, doesn't Chicago truly deserve him?

Since Rahm is famous for his quote "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," we expect he will find some way to turn this situation into an opportunity for himself. Rahm is not without his fans fundinghis campaign even from out side of Chicago. The Political Fix is reporting that "Bob Clark, head of Clayco Inc. construction in Overland, Mo . . . donated $50,000 to Rahm Emanuel's campaign for mayor of Chicago. . . . Emanuel collected five-and-six figure checks from the elite of Hollywood and the Miracle Mile. . . . Shahid Khan, the Champaign, Ill. car parts entrepreneur who tried to buy the Rams, donated $100,000. Film legend Steven Spielberg gave $75,000. (Emanuel's brother, Ari, is a prominent agent in the entertainment industry.) . . .

Tags: Chicago, Illinois, Rahm Emanuel, election, mayor, Mayor of Chicago, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Holocaust - Never Again . . .

Student Project: The Holocaust
Three Million People Died At Auschwitz-Birkenau
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Sixty-six years ago today, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps, was liberated by the Soviet Army. More than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered there. In 2005, the United Nations designated January 27th as "International Holocaust Memorial Day" to honor the victims of the Holocaust and to inspire the nations of the world to make sure such genocide never happens again.

Speaking before the Knesset yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an indictment against the "world community" for failing to condemn repeated calls for a new Holocaust. Here are excerpts of his remarks:
"I think one thing is clear: the fact that global anti-Semitism is renewing and expanding is obvious. If anyone thought that anti-Semitism stopped after World War II and the Holocaust, it is now evident that it was only a hiatus. …

"There is an ayatollah regime … and it knowingly and openly calls for the elimination of at least another six million Jews, and yet nobody says a word. Here and there they mention it, but where is the fury, the rage, the international uprising that should have come from the advanced international community against clear statements calling for the destruction of the same people? It doesn't exist. …

"There are many good-hearted people and countries around the world. They feel in their hearts what I think, but that's not enough. Facing a regime which calls for our destruction and which is arming itself with weapons of mass destruction, a stronger mobilization of countries should have emerged. …

"It is not only a threat against us, because it always begins with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. The hatred of Jews kindles an overall fire, and I expect that on this day, when I applaud the world for marking the most heinous crime in world history and the history of our people which was perpetrated against our people -- I hope others will also learn the lesson. We already have."
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Israeli, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Holocaust 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. - Jan 27, 2011: CBO: Deficit To Hit $1.5 Trillion This Year

This afternoon, the Senate resumed debate on the rules resolutions; depending on how much debate time is used, this afternoon or evening there will be up to 5 roll call votes on rules resolutions. Several offered by Democrats concerning the filibuster are expected to fail to get the necessary votes to be adopted.

Yesterday Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) introduced S. 194, as a companion bill to H.R. 359, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Ok.) and was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill is to eliminate taxpayer funding of the Presidential Election Campaign fund, which according to the CBO would save taxpayers $617 million over the next 10 years. Certainly, with the country staring at a $1.5 trillion deficit, it’s only a small first step, but it’s precisely the kind of thing the federal government doesn’t need to be spending money on. McConnell explained, “The American people have spoken and the verdict is clear. They’d rather reduce the deficit than pay for attack ads and robo-calls. In a time of exploding deficits and record debt the last thing the American people want right now is to provide what amounts to welfare for politicians.”

The New York Times reported on Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) On Neugebauers investigation regarding legal fees expended by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in defense of the officials who led those organizations prior to, and during the subprime mortgage mess. Today, Neugebauer released a statement: "Over $160 million of the taxpayer’s money was spent for securities-related lawsuits and indemnification agreements for Freddie and Fannie executives. . . . Are the conservators looking out for the taxpayers? Do they have the right tools and structure to do so? My intent is to investigate other activities occurring within Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that diminish the taxpayers’ potential recovery and minimize capital infusion. This drain on the American taxpayer must be plugged as quickly as possible.

“The aggregate number amounts the taxpayer has expended thus far are . . .
Total Amount of Legal Expenses Post Conservatorship for Freddie and Fannie: $410.7 million. Total Legal Fees for Securities-related Lawsuits and Indemnification Agreements for Freddie and Fannie: $162.4 million."

Byron York reported this morning on the upshot of negotiations about Senate rules: “The filibuster was untouched; nothing has been done to it. ‘Literally nothing,’ says a Republican Hill source. . . . [C]ooler heads prevailed among Democrats, and filibuster ‘reform’ is dead -- for now and for the foreseeable future.”

The New York Times reports today, “The government’s budget deficit will soar to nearly $1.5 trillion this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, an anticipated but politically galvanizing calculation that further intensified the partisan battle over the nation’s fiscal future. . . . The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009 and $1.3 trillion in 2010.” The Wall Street Journal adds, “At that size, the deficit—up from $1.29 trillion in 2010—would be roughly $60 billion more than the White House projected last summer, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. . . . As a percentage of the nation's economic output, the 9.8% deficit would be the second-largest since World War II, behind only the 10% level in 2009.”

The Washington Post notes, “Lawmakers scrambled Wednesday to respond to the darkening budget picture, with Republicans pressing their call for sharp and immediate cuts in domestic spending. Twenty-one Senate Republicans, meanwhile, unveiled a plan to amend the U.S. Constitution to require balanced budgets, a top priority of the tea party movement. Democrats resisted both initiatives, arguing that amending the Constitution, a lengthy process that requires a vote in all 50 state legislatures, would do little to address the current problem.”

The Times
writes, “The shift into full battle mode on Capitol Hill came a day after President Obama, aiming to modulate the Republican demands for cuts, called in his State of the Union speech for a partial five-year freeze in domestic spending by the federal government — a more gradual imposition of fiscal discipline, while still increasing some spending in education, research and other areas. Republicans quickly rejected that idea as insufficient. ‘Last night, the president spoke about our dangerous debt and his commitment to bringing it down,’ Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said at a news conference. ‘But actions speak louder than words. He, unfortunately, recommitted to spending more money we don’t have.’”

Indeed, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie yesterday, “I did find [President Obama’s] suggestion on spending reductions completely inadequate.” He suggested, “We need to get back the 2008 level; that's a significant whack out of our annual discretionary spending. . . . “That is a significant reduction.”

Leader McConnell also previously  addressed the overall debt problem saying, “[I]f we’re going to make any real progress in the areas of spending, debt, and reining in government, the President will have to acknowledge that the policies of the past two years are not only largely to blame for the situation we find ourselves in, but that unless we do something to reverse their ill-effects, the road to recovery and prosperity will be a bumpy one.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, CPO, deficit, spending, stop spending, Presidential Election Campaign fund, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Helicopter Rides for Arkansas' Privileged Politicians

Bill Smith, Editor: Can we all get a state funded ride to work? Of course not! I can understand liberal Democrats presuming on the taxpayers and whimpering for rides at government expense. U.S Rep. Nancy Pelosi set a great example for them. But, I must admit that I cannot understand Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker doing so as he lives in Conway which is fairly close to Little Rock especially when compared to the rest of the legislature. I tried to reach Baker for comment but the Arkansas Senate had already recessed for the weekend. They like long weekends. I recall that Baker ran for the US Senate as a conservative seeking fiscal responsibility and reduced spending. Appears some alignment is needed n his positions and actions. Hint: actions speak loader than words.

I was able to reach Arkansas State Sen. Kim Hendren (R-Gravette), a former Republican candidate for the US Senate. It is always enjoyable to visit with Hendren who likes to shares what is going on at the legislature and of course his position on issues. He shared that he and his wife "came down the night before the snow storm because we understand planning for the Arkansas weather." Hendren, a successful conservative businessman says all members of the legislature should be "careful about spending government money" and should "exercise good judgment."

Suggest letting your Senator or Representative know that they should forget any future state funded helicopter rides to get to work on time. They are more than welcome to pay their own money for private charter rides.

Teresa Oelke, Arkansas Director, AFP shares in vdeo response to government misuse of funds using the Arkansas State Police helicopter to fly certain "special" legislative members to the Arkansas capitol in Little Rock, AR for the opening of the legislature. The "special" people were Sen. Steve Harrelson (D-Texarkana), Sen. Gilbert Baker (R-Conway), Sen. Sue Madison (D-Madison) and Sen. Stephanie Flowers (R-Pine Bluff).

With Arkansas income declining in 70 of 75 counties, Arkansans expect their state government to spend their dollars wisely. That's just common sense.

Tags: Arkansas, Government spending, Arkansas Legislature, Fiscal Responsibility, AFP, AFP-Arkansas, Teresa Oelke, State Police, helicopter ride, government spending, democrats, Steve Harrelson, Texarkana, Sue Madison, Madison, Stephanie Flowers, Pine Bluff, republican, Gilbert Baker, Conway To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Governor Beebe Now Admits He Misspoke - Illegal Aliens Do Get Benefits!

Bill Smith, Editor: One thing that irks me more than anything else is when bureaucrats call a senior saints or concerned citizens liars. The below article is by Debbie Pelley, one of Arkansas shining jewels of integrity who stands for principles and who  humbly kneels in prayer for her fellow Arkansans. She is a Godly senior saint and faithful conservative voice who takes time to research, investigate and footnote her findings or positions. In today's article, she addresses Arkansas Governor Beebe and his previous denial that illegal aliens received benefits in Arkansas.  Now it appears the Governor is trying to use Washington, D.C. doublespeak and "walk back" his prior comments.

What Does Beebe Mean When He Said He Misspoke?  And What Will Beebe Do Now That He Knows The Law Is Not Being Followed?

Debbie Pelley
by Debbie Pelley: For years now Governor Beebe has proclaimed that illegal immigrants do not get benefits in Arkansas. Beebe was adamant about this proclamation as late as July, 2010, in this bullet point from an email from his office.
  • In Arkansas, illegal immigrants are prevented – by law and regulation – from receiving welfare, food stamps, free medical care provided by the State and heating assistance. Legal status is verified before benefits are extended. Any attempt to defraud the system to gain benefits is a criminal offense.
NOW Governor Beebe admits he misspoke!. According to an article in The Democrat Gazette, January 23, 2011, "During the campaign last fall, Gov. Mike Beebe told voters the state tracks how much it spends to provide services to people who are in the country illegally...Beebe's office has since said that the governor misspoke." 1

Governor Beebe not only made this statement that illegal immigrants don't get benefits in Arkansas during the campaign but stood on this premise through two ballot initiatives on immigration in 2008 and 2010. Beebe is quoted as saying in 2008 (and a similar statement in 2010), "All of the major provisions it [ballot initiative] proposes are already covered by federal or state laws, and this ballot title will create bigger government and cost Arkansans money." Now Beebe admits the legal status was not even verified so he is also admitting state and federal laws were not even followed. It is hard to imagine the bureaucratic costs would be more than benefits being given to illegal immigrants. And until real figures are compared, how could Beebe possibly know? And since when did Democrats want smaller government and less bureaucracy? 2

One of the major requirements of the illegal alien proposed ballot initiatives was that the departments must verify the legality of people receiving benefits. Therefore, Beebe's opposition was entirely bogus now that he admits legal status was not even considered. It is strange that people all over Arkansas knew illegal aliens were getting benefits; but Beebe, the Governor of the state, did not know.

So what does Governor Beebe mean when he admits he misspoke? Is Beebe saying he lied? Or is he saying that other people lied to him? Surely he would not have been this adamant about a hot issue that is so important to so many people without having some type of records or reports indicating the departments do keep records. Were documents falsified? Did someone in Beebe's office give him false information?  Did the Department heads give him false information? The Departments seemed to readily admit they don't keep records. Don't we need to know where the false information came from?

What will Governor Beebe do now that he does know the truth – that legal status is not even verified in state departments before extending benefits? Will Governor Beebe apologize to Secure Arkansas, and all those citizens that labored hundreds of hours to get the required signatures to make the departments keep records and prevent illegal aliens from getting benefits that are illegal?

As leader of the Democratic Party, Governor Beebe's statement that illegal aliens weren't getting benefits was in essence the stand of the Democratic Party.  I don't know of any Democratic leader that refuted his statement, so an entire party was in essence giving false information. Neither do I know of anyone in the media that refuted this information, NOT UNTIL NOW. If these false statements by Beebe had not been proclaimed and carried across the state by the media, there is a very good chance the Secure Arkansas petitions would have been successful

And what is Governor Beebe, as a former Attorney General, going to do about it now that he knows the truth. Is Beebe going to uphold the law and regulations that even his office points out in the bullet point above: " Illegal immigrants are prevented – by law and regulation – from receiving welfare, food stamps, free medical care provided by the State and heating assistance. Legal status is verified before benefits are extended."

Is Beebe now going to make sure that legal status is verified before benefits are extended? In an AP article by DeMillo, Beebe is quoted as saying: "I do believe that if something is the law you follow it. If you don't like the law, you try to change it in the way this country was set up and designed to change the law." Will Beebe live up to his own words? Secure Arkansas was trying to change the law, and their efforts were thwarted by Beebe, our Governor, with false information. 3

In a nationwide survey in 2009, "83% Say Proof of Citizenship Should be Required to Get Government Health Aid" Now we learn, "The Department of Health does not require proof of citizenship as a prerequisite of its 12 programs." Only 4 of the 12  programs are required by the federal government for illegal aliens according to the Democrat Gazette article.  Will Beebe represent his constituents and now implement measures to make sure illegal aliens don't receive benefits in those other 8 Health Department programs? 4

In a telephone conversation with Matt DeCample, Governor Beebe's spokesman told me personally last summer at least five or six times that I was lying or was a liar when I told him all the people in the different state offices were telling me how illegal aliens ARE receiving benefits.  Now that several departments have admitted in the Democrat Gazette article January 23 that they do not even check the legal status of those receiving benefits, will I, myself, get an apology from Matt DeCample? I am joking of course; I don't need an apology because I have already been vindicated, but I do think the media owes it to Arkansans to get answers to these other questions.

As for as the information provided in the 2007 studies of the cost of illegal immigration in Arkansas, the cited figures in that study have to be false too since the Departments have now admitted they don't even verify the legal status before extending benefits. This information about departments not keeping records should have been probed by the media in 2007 since in at least two newspaper articles there are indications the heads of departments were just estimating at that time. For example, "Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Joe Bates testified that of the 945,000 people the state Health Department served in 2006, about 32,700, or 3.5 percent, may have been undocumented Hispanics, based on statewide population statistics." 5

And as for as the Winthrop Rockefeller study about the benefits of illegal aliens in our state that is mentioned in every newspaper article to counter any complaints about illegal aliens, that study is bogus too considering it is based on estimation from a biased viewpoint.  That study is the ONLY one ever mentioned by the media when there are probably a hundred studies that say the opposite.

For a real intellectual fact filled study that gives documented data as to the costs of legal and illegal immigrants, see this study," The Fiscal Impact of Immigration, An Analysis of the Costs to 15 Federal Departments and Agencies" by Edwin S. Rubenstein at the link in footnote 6. The bottom line of this report is that U.S. taxpayers are giving more than $9,000 a year in cash or benefits to each immigrant, a third of whom are illegal aliens.
1. "State not tracking benefits for aliens
2. "AP News Analysis: Beebe parses words on illegal immigration" by Andrew Demillo, May 31, 2008
3. Ibid
4. Rasmussen Reports: "83% Say Proof of Citizenship Should be Required to Get Government Health Aid", 2009
5. Lawmakers hear of costs, benefits of immigration, Wednesday, Sept 19, 2007 by John Lyon Arkansas News Bureau
6. "The Fiscal Impact of Immigration, An Analysis of the Costs to 15 Federal Departments and Agencies" by Edwin S. Rubenstein

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, benefits, illegal aliens, Debbie Pelley To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oldest Living Medal of Honor Recipient Barney Hajiro Joins His Comrades In Eternity

Bill Smith, Retired Military Veteran: Sometimes we need to set aside current issues and to remember our heroes. Today we salute the passing of Medal of Honor recipient Barney Hajiro.

Private Barney F. Hajiro,
US Army (1941-1945)
Photo via Wikipedia
Last Friday, our nation's oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, Barney F. Hajiro died Friday at Maunalani Hospital in Honolulu. He was 94.

Hajiro (September 16, 1916 – January 21, 2011) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Hajiro was born in Hawaii, the eldest of nine children born to Japanese immigrant parents[1] who had moved from Hiroshima to Maui during World War I. Two of his siblings died in infancy. The family was poor, and Hajiro left school to work, first in the sugarcane fields of Maui and later as a stevedore in Honolulu. Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and performed menial labor as part of an engineering battalion.

In March 1943, he volunteered to join the newly-formed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed of Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) like himself. The unit was sent to Europe and in May 1944 fought the Germans in Italy, north of Rome. From there the 442nd was redeployed to France, and on October 19, 1944 was fighting near Bruyères and Biffontaine in the eastern part of that country. Over the next ten days, Hajiro, a private in Company I, repeatedly distinguished himself in battle. He exposed himself to enemy fire while assisting an allied attack on October 19, and three days later he and a comrade ambushed an 18-man enemy patrol. On October 29, during the rescue of the so-called "Lost Battalion", which had been surrounded by German forces in the Vosges Mountains, he single-handedly destroyed two German machine gun emplacements before being wounded. Shot in the shoulder and wrist, Hajiro's left arm was partially paralyzed. He was able to rejoin the 442nd in Monte Carlo, but was barred from further combat duty. He was then sent back to the United States to recover.

Hajiro had been awarded three Distinguished Service Crosses by the Army while serving with a rifle company in the 442 Regimental Combat Team during World War II in Europe.

One of those awards was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. For his actions during October 1944, Hajiro received the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, before being discharged. In 1948, he was awarded the Military Medal by the British government for his part in rescuing the Lost Battalion. Forty-six years after the war, a 1990s review of service records for Asian Americans who had received the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II led to Hajiro's award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 2000, he was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-one other Asian Americans also received the medal during the ceremony, all but six of them posthumously. Four years later, in 2004, the French awarded Hajiro the Légion d'honneur.[2]

The facts are that during one of the 442nd's fiercest campaigns in dense forests of France's Vosges Mountains to free the towns of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, Hajiro on Oct. 29, 1944, led a charge on "Suicide Hill" drawing fire and single-handedly destroying two machine gun nests and killing two enemy snipers before being wounded by a third machine gun. The effort by the nisei soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team's I and K companies to rescue Texas 36th Division's "Lost Battalion" is considered to be one of the key battles in U.S. Army history.

During the battle, an enemy bullet had penetrated Hajiro's left wrist and severed a nerve. Another bullet had entered his shoulder. His left cheek also was scarred by an enemy bullet. Several days earlier Hajiro, while acting as a sentry near Bruyeres, helped allied troops by attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle, killing or wounding two enemy snipers.

On Oct. 22, he and fellow soldier took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the rest as prisoners. Edward Yamasaki, president of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team's I Company chapter, in his book -- "And Then There Were Eight" -- noted that I Company started the battle with 140 riflemen. "Then there only eight soldiers standing at the end."

The local Honolulu press is reporting that Hajiro was the eldest of nine children and left the 8th grade at Puunene on Maui to work in the sugar-cane fields for 10 cents an hour, 10 hours a day. Because he had to leave school to help support his family, Hajiro, an aspiring track star, was never able to pursue his dream to compete in high school and college. He is survived by a son, Glenn; wife, Esther, and one grandson.

While many have saluted the Medal of Honor that he wore, today we salute Private Barney F. Hajiro . May God grant our fellow patriot peace and comfort as he is reunited with his comrades who have gone before him.

Hajiro with MOH in 2006
Photo via Wikipedia
Hajiro's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Private Barney F. Hajiro distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 19, 22, and October 29, 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France. Private Hajiro, while acting as a sentry on top of an embankment on October 19, 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres, France, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers. On October 22, 1944, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed, enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the remainder as prisoners. On October 29, 1944, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France, Private Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill referred to as "Suicide Hill" by running forward approximately 100 yards under fire. He then advanced ahead of his comrades about 10 yards, drawing fire and spotting camouflaged machine gun nests. He fearlessly met fire with fire and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers. As a result of Private Hajiro's heroic actions, the attack was successful. Private Hajiro's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.

Tags: Medal of Honor, MOH, Barney Hajiro, WWII, Dies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Greatest Moments in Liberal History - Part 1

PolitiZoid explores some of Liberal's greatest contributions to American society. It's a comedy. Video:

Tags: PolitiZoid, comedy, liberals, agenda 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. - Jan 26, 2011: On Obama's Spending Freeze: "Completely Inadequate"; "A Near Triviality"; "A Perpetual Eating Binge"

The Senate began consideration of S. Con. Res. 14, a resolution recognizing the victims of the Tucson shootings and, a vote on the resolution is expected around 2 PM.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) held a press conference today to announce they have introduced legislation to save the successful, bipartisan D.C. school choice program, which has helped thousands of disadvantaged students gain access to a quality education. The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act would renew the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which the Obama Administration is phasing out despite strong evidence of success.

President Obama’s State of the Union (SOTU) address last night included some positive bipartisan notes on things like trade agreements and lowering the corporate tax rate, but unfortunately he failed to show leadership on one of the most critical issues facing our country: the massive and still-increasing debt and deficit.

Senator Jim DeMint, chair of the Senate Conservatives Fund responded to the SOTU:
The President used his State of the Union Address last night to disguise his liberal agenda in free-market, conservative rhetoric. Yet the specific policies he promoted are part of a deliberate strategy to grow the government at the expense of our personal freedoms and jobs. For all of the talk in the media about how the President is moving to the center, he asked Congress last night to increase the role of the federal government in almost every area of our lives.

Rather than acknowledging the failure of his stimulus program to create jobs, the President claimed it saved our economy. Even worse, he called for more stimulus spending to "win the future". Winning the future requires less government and more freedom, not the other way around.

Our Constitution is not indifferent toward liberal and conservative policies. It enumerates the very limited powers of the federal government and reserves everything else for the states.
  • Instead of calling for more federal intervention in our schools, the President should have called for reforms to allow states to opt-out of the ineffective and burdensome No Child Left Behind law.
  • Instead of calling for more federal intervention in our nation's highway system, he should have called on Congress to devolve these decisions to the states, which can build their own roads and bridges.
  • Instead of calling for a freeze in spending, the President should have called for a dramatic cut in spending to limit the size of government and balance the budget.
In nearly every area, the President is pushing America in the wrong direction. Unless Americans see through the rhetoric and stop his policies, we will lose our future. It's that simple.
Charles Krauthammer put it well analyzing the speech on Fox News: “The major issue is in November, the rejection of his agenda over the first two years and the insistence on the shrinking of government. He did not even address the issue of deficit reduction until three quarters of an hour into the speech. and when he did, he offered what is a near triviality.” The Washington Post editors were also unimpressed. “He disappointed,” they write today. “The president promised to freeze discretionary spending - exempting, that is, defense, veterans affairs, homeland security, Medicare and Social Security - for five years. Given that he'd already promised a three-year freeze, this was more incremental than earthshaking and, as he acknowledged, in any case affects only 12 percent of the federal budget.” And CNN’s David Gergen didn’t mince words, saying, “I thought the failure of the speech came on the deficits. … It wasn't serious -- It wasn't a serious effort to come to grips with what is a towering problem.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” this morning, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell told Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie that President Obama’s plans to control spending simply weren’t enough. “I did find his suggestion on spending reductions completely inadequate,” he said. “What he’s talking about is freezing at a historically record-high spending rate that we’ve had the last two years. . . . We need to get back the 2008 level; that's a significant whack out of our annual discretionary spending. . . . That is a significant reduction.”

Gabriela Schneider, Sunlight Foundation noted the were disappointed in President Obama’s apparent flip-flop on earmark transparency. "In just one year, the president went from a reasonable call for earmark transparency to an outright veto threat, despite the House and Senate crafting the bi-partisan 2010 Earmark Transparency Act. Such a veto threat will likely cause earmarks to proliferate through a different, underground procedure — what Sunlight calls “nearmarks.” Earmark disclosure is a better solution than an outright ban because it creates accountability for the process, and maintains congressional prerogatives, while giving the public access to review earmark requests online in a single, centralized searchable website."

If nothing is done, America’s fiscal future looks grim, as new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office make clear today. Roll Call reports, “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its fiscal outlook for January, projecting a record $1.5 trillion deficit this year and another $12 trillion over the coming decade if current tax and spending policies are extended.” And Politico adds, “For the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30, CBO is projecting a deficit of $1.48 trillion, or $414 billion more than it assumed last August. And in fiscal 2012—for which President Barack Obama will submit his budget next month—CBO’s baseline now assumes a deficit of $1.1 trillion compared to $665 billion last summer.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to  the CBO's report: "Earlier this month, the Obama Administration asked Congress to raise the debt limit. Republicans responded by saying the American people won’t tolerate such an increase unless it's accompanied by major spending cuts and spending reforms. Instead of committing last night to those spending cuts and reforms, the president called for more ‘stimulus’ spending. It’s clear the president and his team haven’t gotten the message the American people sent in November: we can’t spend and borrow our way to prosperity. To boost private-sector job creation and help the economy grow, we need to cut spending and enact serious budget reforms to ensure we keep cutting spending.”

As Senater Leader McConnell said yesterday, “I’m all for the President changing his tune, but unless he has a time machine he can’t change his record. And if we’re going to make any real progress in the areas of spending, debt, and reining in government, the President will have to acknowledge that the policies of the past two years are not only largely to blame for the situation we find ourselves in, but that unless we do something to reverse their ill-effects, the road to recovery and prosperity will be a bumpy one.”

From the grassroots heartland of America, Curtis Coleman on The New South Conservative responded, "The $1.5 trillion deficit is the biggest budget gap in history and joins the deficits in years 2009 and 2010 as the largest share of the economy since World War II. According to the CBO report, “debt held by the public” will reach a staggering 76.7 percent of GDP by 2021. When this new deficit is added to the current debt, America’s interest payments alone will approach $500 billion per year, or approximately $10 billion per week. In view of these staggering deficits, President Obama’s proposal to “freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years” is . . . like [A Perpetual Eating Binge] saying, “I’m going to eat five cheeseburgers, three bowls of ice cream and two pieces of chocolate cake today, then I’m going on a diet and I promise I won’t ever eat more than that in any day during the next five years.”

Tags: President Obama, Barack Obama, spending, stop spending, investment, stimulus, STOU, State of Union Address OMB, deficit, national debt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Civility for Political Dummies

William Warren: Today’s toon talks about how the Democrats keep calling for civility… including the ludicrous gesture to have them and the Republicans sit next to each other at the next SOTU speech. [By the way, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she will not sit next to Majority Leader Eric Cantor.]

Tags: Civility for Dummies, Democrats, Hate Speech, Political Cartoons, Political Rhetoric, Racist Tea-Baggers, Republicans, State of the Union, 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. - Jan 25, 2011: Obama Is Perpetually Stuck On Stimulus

Around 8:45 pm the Senate and House members will gather for the State of the Union address. At 9 PM, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has still not announced his legislative agenda. A resolution concerning the shootings in Tucson is expected to be offered today by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Today with other GOP leaders, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the number one priorities of the American people are cutting government spending and creating new jobs, and that Washington’s spending binge must be stopped in order to spur private-sector job creation. Boehner also noted that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver tonight’s Republican Address to the Nation which can be seen live on Speaker Boehner's FaceBook Page following the State of the Union.

Previewing President Obama’s State of the Union address in a speech on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The President has talked about the need to cut spending and reduce the debt. Yet over the past two years, his policies have added more than $3 trillion to the national debt, much of it through a Stimulus that promised to keep unemployment, now hovering just below double digits, from rising above 8 percent. And now we hear that he plans to stick with the same failed approach of economic growth through even more government spending with a call for 'investments’ in education, infrastructure, research, and renewable energy. We’ve seen before what Democrats in Washington mean by investments. In promoting the failed Stimulus, the President referred to that too as an investment in our nation’s future. Fourteen times alone during his signing statement, he referred to the Stimulus bill’s ‘investments.’ We all know how that turned out.

Indeed, consider the areas where President Obama is expected to call for “investment” in during tonight’s speech. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Obama will call for increased ‘investment’ in areas he believes are necessary to keep the nation competitive internationally, such as education, infrastructure, scientific research and renewable energy.”

In the $814 billion stimulus bill that Obama called an “investment,” education “investments” included $336,000 to collect plants in Ohio for a database and $219,000 to study “the sex patterns of college women” at Syracuse University.

The stimulus bill also featured infrastructure “investment” such as $1 million for a “facelift” for The Sunset Strip in Hollywood and $50,000 to fix cracks in the city tennis court in Bozeman, Montana. Even Democrat Montana Gov. Brian Schwetizer criticized the tennis court “investment,” saying, “What they violated was that rule of common sense.”

In terms of “investment” in scientific research, the stimulus bill included $300,000 for “mapping radioactive rabbit feces” and another $325,000 to study “the mating decisions” of female cactus bugs.

And when it came to renewable energy “investment,” a stimulus loan of $535 million was given to Fremont, California, solar panel maker Solyndra, which then shortly announced that it had “scuttled its factory expansion in Fremont, a move that [would] stop the company's plans to hire 1,000 workers,” and would “eliminate 155 to 175 jobs in Fremont.”

by William Warren
As Leader McConnell said, “This is what happens when the government decides to pick winners and losers without considering what the marketplace really wants: competitors are left out in the cold, employees get a false sense of security, and taxpayers are left holding the bag. Unfortunately, the President doesn’t seem to have learned this lesson yet. But taxpayers now know that when Democrats talk about investments, they should grab their wallets.

In an excellent column today, National Review’s Rich Lowry points out, “Going back at least 20 years, ‘investment’ has been what Democrats say when they want to spend. In his 1993 State of the Union address, Pres. Bill Clinton used the word about two dozen times, right before a liberal bender that ended the Democrats’ 40-year grip on the House. Obama isn’t changing his economic philosophy. He’s not even dressing it up with a new word. It’s the same old spending, although presumably not quite as reckless as the first bout. His administration is perpetually stuck on stimulus.

Tags: President Obama, Barack Obama, spending, investment, stimulus, STOU, State of Union Address To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Vote For Big Government and Kill Arkansas Health Care Freedom Act

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Today, the Arkansas House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor voted to "not pass" Arkansas House Bill 1053. This Bill if it had been enacted into law would have protected Arkansans from being legally "required" to purchase health insurance; in other words, being forced by the Federal and State government to buy a product - health insurance. As previously reported, this bill was co-sponsored by two republicans: Arkansas State Representatives David Meeks and Denny Altes.

This vote in Committee was about killing or advancing to the Arkansas House floor for debate a bill that provided some aspects of limited protection of people's rights to make their own decisions regarding buying healthcare insurance. The democrats that controlled this committee feared that public debate and vote on the floor. The vote was 12-7 to "not pass" the bill out of committee. The vote split down party line with all democrats, except three, voted NO and supporting big government. Two democrats voted Yes and the Chair refused to vote.

This vote is a clear indication of the importance of getting "real" conservatives elected to the Arkansas State House and Senate. It is important for Arkansans to stop trusting in electing democrats who claim to be "Democrat Conservatives." We need to ignore the few morsels tossed on the floor for public consumption. No more "damned morsels." We need people elected who allow us to both earn and keep our own "bread." Arkansas government is "too big" and it continues to prey on its citizens by continued expansion while finding itself entangled and controlled by Washington elites.

The political party that is elected to control local and state government in Arkansas matters! The members of a political party that are in the majority sets the agenda, control the numbers and members assigned to committees, the chairs of the committees, the committees to which bills are sent, and the general influence on the outcome of the votes. Independents and 3rd Parties have little if any voice. The vote below is a clear delineation that while the majority of the other States in the Union oppose Obamacare, Arkansas democrats love or are resigned to accepting this big government progressive program.

As an aside, it is very duplicitous that a majority Arkansas democratic politicians will vote to support progressive policies like Obamacare and other Washington's controls or interference in Arkansas education, health and human services, land and resource rights, and even now mandating how we spend our own money. And, yet these same democratic politicians hide behind the curtain of private conversation and proceed to "demean" President Obama and others in Washington. While the other-hand, the majority of the representatives in the Arkansas Republican Party remain focused on the defeat or roll-back of big government and progressive socialism that is strangling Arkansans.

The vote today in the Arkansas House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor was just another example of Plantation Politics being played out in Arkansas. While conservatives look toward 2012 in hopes of further gains in the number of elected officials, I both encourage and commend all to continue to hold our Arkansas elected officials publicly accountable.

Below is a list of members on the committee and their votes on Arkansas House Bill 1053:
Tyler, Linda S. (D-45) - Chair Abstained From Voting
Allen, Fred (D-33) - Member NO
Gaskill, Billy (D-78) - Member NO
Hall, Clark (D-13) - Member NO
Hyde, Barry (D-40) - Member NO
Leding, Greg (D-92) - Member NO
Lovell, Buddy (D-56) - Member NO
Pennartz, Tracy (D-65) - Member NO
Perry, Mark (D-44) - Member NO
Smith, Garry L. (D-7) - Member NO
Wagner, Charolette (D-77) - Member NO
Wilkins, Butch (D-74) - Member NO
Word, James L. (D-16) - Member NO
Woods, Jon (R-93) - Vice Chair YES
King, Bryan B. (R-91) - Member YES
Lampkin, Sheilla E. (D-10) - Member YES
Lea, Andrea (R-68) - Member YES
Malone, Stephanie (R-64) - Member YES
Mayberry, Andy (R-27) - Member YES
Wardlaw, Jeff (D-8) - Member YES

Tags: Arkansas, US House, House Committee on Public Health, House Bill 1053, obamacare, vote, democrats, plantation politics, Bill Smith, Ozark Guru To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Arkansas Budget Alternative: 2011-2013 Biennium

Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Foundation: Funding for core Arkansas government functions—education, corrections and transportation—could occur at slightly increased rates while other operations are frozen at current levels, providing $31 million in savings to cut state income, capital gains and grocery tax rates.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has called on tax cut proponents to identify spending cuts.(1) Spending cuts are not required to cut income and capital tax rates. The 2012 budget alternative would increase state spending for core functions while freezing other operations, allocating savings for tax rate cuts.

Increase Core Functions
Gov. Beebe’s executive recommendation for FY 2012 includes increases of 2.9% for the Public School Fund and 2.2% for the Department of Correction.  The State Highway Commission is vested with the power to administer the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD).

Spending increases could occur under the budget alternative, though smaller percentage increases would provide additional savings for tax rate cuts.(2) The budget alternative includes increases of 2.4% for the Public School Fund and 1.2% for Corrections, and would generate $12.4 million for tax rate cuts.

Freeze Other Operations
The budget alternative would save $18.6 million by freezing Gov. Beebe’s proposed increases for the following departments and programs: Department of Education (2.0%), State Library (3.1%), Department of Career Education (9.7%), Human Services (0.6%), Department of Arkansas Heritage (0.3%), Department of Agriculture (1.2%), Department of Labor (2.7%), Department of Economic Development (0.4%), Department of Community Correction (6.1%), and Miscellaneous Agencies (14.1%).

Funding for the School for the Blind, School for the Deaf and Rehabilitation Services would increase under the budget alternative.

Conclusion: Apply Savings to Tax Cuts
Gov. Beebe has proposed a half-cent reduction in the grocery tax from 2.0 to 1.5%.  Enacting his modest proposal ($15,500,000) would still allow state capital gains and income tax rates to be reduced by applying savings ($15,500,000) from the alternative budget. The budget alternative would provide $31 million in tax relief, double the amount proposed in the executive recommendation.
(1) The Policy Foundation has identified $74 million in savings from increased efficiencies, not spending cuts. These include restructuring educational service cooperatives into one unit, restructuring K-12 administration functions into 134 units, expanding privatization initiatives, and restructuring state retirement systems into one system.
(2) Policy Foundation memo, “Three Budget Alternatives: 2011-2013 Biennium” (December 2010)

Tags: Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Network, Arkansas, State Budget, budget alternatives, 2011-2013 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Health Care Freedom Act - Protecting Arkansans From Obamacare

Rep. David Meeks (R-AR-46-Conway) has cosponsored Arkansas House Bill 1053, a bill that aims to ban the requirement of government healthcare for Arkansans. Tomorrow, the bill will be before the members of the PUBLIC HEALTH, WELFARE AND LABOR COMMITTEE - ARKANSAS HOUSE on Tuesday, January 25, Room 130 at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Meeks and Denny Altes (R-AR-63-Fort Smith).

In addition to comments in the above video, Rep. Meeks explained that the bill does not require a repeal of Obamacare, nor does it obligate Arkansas’s Attorney General or Governor to join in current lawsuits against Obamacare.

However if this legislation passes, which would protect Arkansans from being legally required to purchase health insurance, and is signed into law and should the State find itself in a lawsuit with the federal government or a third party, the State’s Attorney General would be legally required to defend the State’s law. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has refused to join the lawsuit against Obamacare’s insurance mandate, calling the legal action by 26 other states “frivolous.”

Rep. Meeks said should the State be sued because of its adoption of this legislation, The Goldwater Institute of Phoenix, AZ has indicated it would defend the State’s law pro bono. Meeks also said if the health insurance mandate portion of Obamacare is allowed to stand, Arkansas may be burdened with as much as $100 million per year in additional Medicaid costs.

Tags: Arkansas, US House, Arkansas House Bill 1053, obamacare, David Meeks, Denny Altes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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