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]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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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, February 26, 2011

Mr. Harris Goes to Little Rock

By Mike Landry, Contributing Author:  Justin Harris is a nice guy.

A freshman Arkansas state representative, Justin is unassuming, speaks rather quietly, and looks younger than his actual age in his mid-30s. When approached by a constituent or someone else, Justin’s eyes are directly on the individual –you won’t see them darting around the room looking for someone more important to sidle up to.

He cares about people and he’s a genuinely nice guy.

Yet, Nice Guy Justin had his picture on the front page of the Northwest Arkansas Times twice this week, both times as the result of controversy. That’s because he has gone to Little Rock to act on his convictions. Make those Convictions, with a capital C. And he won’t be pushed around because of it.

One would think as a legislative newbie Justin would play it safe and introduce bills about repainting highway welcome centers or placing new historical markers. Stuff like that.

Not Justin. He was barely unpacked in Little Rock when he introduced a bill that would ban illegal immigrants from receiving state funding except in emergencies. How’s that for a first pitch in the AAA league of politics?

The bill made a splash in the House. Proponents burned up phone lines and e-mail channels cajoling, pressuring, and in at least one case, even trying to shame Republican legislators to be co-sponsors. But the bill died in a party line vote in committee.

But not without repercussions to Justin -- he learned Democrats were poking around in his business affairs. He and his wife operate a Christian pre-school in West Fork. Last year, during the election, his opponent attempted to paint the Harrises as skimming off and pocketing big amounts of tuition the state provides for poor students. Of course, the money actually went to things like teachers’ salaries, operating expenses, things like that, but why let the facts get in the way of a juicy scandal story?

As a result of the immigrant bill, pressure increased on Justin. He was approached by a high-powered lobbyist who told him word was going around that there were a dozen children of illegal immigrants in the pre- school. Justin took that as a threat and told the lobbyist in no uncertain terms that by law Justin could not inquire about the legal status of children in his school. One witness to the encounter reported never recalling the lobbyist being dressed down like that.

Justin later learned that Sen. Sue Madison (D-Fayetteville) had been poking around the Department of Human Services to see if Justin’s school had any illegal aliens.

In response, Justin is introducing a bill that would require any state office to make a disclosure when a legislator inquires about the business affairs of another legislator.

Is Justin playing hardball? Not really

Despite the controversies in recent days, he reports discussing possible areas of agreement with Senator Madison on legislation. And, without backing down on his position, he apologized to the lobbyist for the tone he took in their encounter.

After all, Justin Harris went to Little Rock as a man of conviction. But he’s still a nice guy.
Mike Landry is a university business professor, a former minister, journalist, radio talk show host, He is actively involved with Arkansas' Washington County Tea Party and he blogs the Wildcat Creek Review where this article was first posted.
Tags: Mike Landry, Justin Harris, Arkansas State Representative, Arkansas, little Rock To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Former OMB Director Addresses Government Spending, Economy & Jobs

Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH)
Former OMB Director
GOP Weekly Address: In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and former Bush White House Budget Director says, "We've had to relearn the lesson we all know in our hearts: you can't spend your way to prosperity. As American families have tightened their belts over the past couple of years and businesses have had to do more with less, the federal government has taken the opposite path, spending more, growing bigger, and becoming more involved in our economy and our lives. This historic failure to control spending directly affects our economy and the ability to create jobs."

"There is an urgency about this that the American people get even while many in Washington seem to be in denial. We must rise to the challenge and work together to meet our economic and fiscal problems head-on by putting in place pro-growth measures and spending restraint and we must do it now."

Sen. Portman expresses his disappointment that Democrats in Washington still don't seem to understand this. "Having chosen to duck the tough choices for the coming year and beyond, the President and Democrats in Congress are now objecting to any reductions in spending Congress can control in the current budget year. This is despite the fact that this year's $1.6 trillion deficit is at record levels, and over the past two years under Democrat leadership, this type of spending has increased 24 percent, and over 80 percent if you include the Stimulus. Our goal as Republicans is to make sensible reductions in this spending and create a better environment for job growth, not to shutdown the government. Getting our debt and deficits under control is the first step we can take, and the single most important step Washington can take, to get our economy moving and create the jobs we so badly need."

Tags: US Senator, Rob Portman, Ohio, Republican former OMB Director, Address, response, White House, Barack Obama, Congress, Government, deficit, debt, budget spending, economy, jobs, taxes, fiscal commission To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

UNION SUPERPOWER! Featuring "Wisconsin Vern"

Steven Crowder
Steven Crowder addresses unions thuggery in the following video:

Tags: Wisconsin, WI, Teachers, Union, union thuggery, Steven Crowder, comedy, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gov. Scott Walker in his fight with Union Mobs

Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama (TEA Party Express) has launched a new ad being shown next week across Wisconsin supporting Gov. Scott Walker and opposing union mob tactics. "We can't afford to lose this fight - and let Gov. Walker down. Barack Obama's "Organizing for America" is putting everything they've got into their efforts to win this fight in Wisconsin, and we must respond by giving it everything we've got! "

Tags: Governor, Scott Walker, WI, Wisconsin, unions, defeat Obama, union corruption, fleebaggers, Organizing for America, Conservative, Madison, union, union thugs, Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr Meets Up With Ronald Reagan

AR Lt Gov Mark Darr with Bust of Ronald Reagan
Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark A. Darr received the "2011 Arkansas Defending the American Dream Award" at the Americans for Prosperity Arkansas Defending the American Dream Summit in Little Rock on February 24th. He was awarded a bust of Ronald Reagan by AFP Arkansas Director Teresa Oekle.

Mark is a successful small business owner and lifelong resident of Arkansas.  He owns two successful restaurants in Rogers as well as an insurance agency in Little Rock. He has 40 employees and has created over 500 jobs in his career. When Darr first announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Arkansas Lt. Governor the ARRA News Service identified him as a "giant killer" - a "David" against the most liberal democrat past Lt. Governor Bill Halter. After several months former Lt. Gov. Halter announced he would not pursue re-election as Lt. Governor and would instead run for the Democratic nomination for US Senator. Halter lost. However, Mark Darr running on a platform of job creation and government accountability went on to defeat his new Democratic opponent.

He called for an online government checkbook where citizens could see where the government is spending money. When people said this would never happen, Darr would respond that he figured if the the former Lt. Governor could push for the legalization of the Lottery, he could call for more accountability to the public. His efforts has led to a new law being passed by the House and is expected to pass the Senate. Arkansas Governor Beebe has indicated that he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk.

Darr identified that the bill proposed by the legislature does not cover all government expenditures but it is a start to promoting more transparency in government. Everyone agrees that this bill would never have happened if Mark Darr had not been elected and if the number of conservatives in the legislature had not increased.

In receiving the award, Lt. Gov. Darr responded, "I am honored and humbled to receive this award and grateful for the opportunity to speak at this year’s summit. I am thankful every day for the privilege to serve as your Lt. Governor. I will continue to be an advocate for government transparency and fiscal responsibility.”

In other comment Lt. Gov. Darr announced is standing by his campaign promise to promote government transparency and fiscal responsibility by cutting his own budget. “As Lt. Governor, I feel that it is imperative for me to lead by example. That is why I intend to cut 8.8% from our 2011-2012 annual budget, which was proposed by the previous administration. I hope to find additional opportunities to cut wasteful spending. Just as families and businesses across this state are cutting back on spending, we in the government need to do so as well.” He then jokingly announced that on the weekend he would be busing tables at one of his restaurants.

A few of the Twitter related to Mark Darr winning the 2011 Arkansas Defending the American Dream Award.

Lt Gov @ says he will be acting Gov. This weekend and will still be busing tables at his business

@ (Mark Darr) discusses his initiated for Arkansas Online Accountable Checkbook

@ (Mark Darr) receives the AR-AFP Defending the American Dream Award

Lt Gov @ is being presented the Defending the American Dream award - crowd goes nuts

: Mark Darr business man will be working at his business tomorrow & he will be bussing tables.

Mark Darr says as long as I am not part problem I have done my job

Mark Darr announces he cut his budget by 8.8 % way to lead by example

Tags: Arkansas, Lt Governor, Mark Darr, Defending the American Dream Award, Americans for Prosperity, AFP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Barack And a Hard Place - How Much Disdain for Americans Will Obama Show?

Wow, bought gas today for 23 cents per gallon more than priced two days ago. When is the President of the United States going 1) to release oil from our oil reserves to keep prices down and 2) to unleash the American oil industry to DRILL NOW DRILL HERE in the Unites States?  If he does not do these things, he will evidence a disdain and disrespect for the people of the Unites States of America and evidence to the world that he mirrors Giddafi in his disrespect of the people whom he is responsible to protect and preserve.  Below are a reflective cartoon by William Warren and an extract of an article by Rick Manning.

by William Warren: This cartoon is about Oil…and how Obama is dismantling our Domestic Energy Production while the price of Foreign Oil Skyrockets. Completely nonsensical…but then again, this IS Obama, afterall.

By Rick Manning, ALG Director of Communications: $220 a barrel oil? That’s what the headlines on MSN blared, with oil industry predicting that the price for a barrel of oil could top the $200 a barrel mark if exports from Libya and Algeria are cut off due to civil unrest in those countries.

For those who don’t follow the spot market on oil, that is more than double the current price for a barrel of oil, and is likely to lead to gasoline prices doubling from their already near historic highs. . . . [I]t is estimated that sustained oil prices of as low as $150 a barrel could plunge the economy back into recession.

It doesn’t take an Old Testament prophet to predict that when gas prices are running in the $5-$6 a gallon range in 2012, that the standard liberal tactic to attack oil companies will be all the rage on CNN and MSNBC. While the Middle East turmoil may have been unavoidable, the Obama Administration’s mind numbing opposition to allow the development our own domestic national resources is either the height of incompetence or borders on treason for its deliberate impact of weakening the American economy.

Any rational government would immediately open up as many sources as possible to begin producing domestic oil and gas rapidly. Instead, the Administration has declared the Eastern Seaboard off limits for drilling, has moved against proven oil drilling sites in the Arctic Sea, refuses to consider opening Alaska’s ANWR, and is dawdling in re-opening drilling in the Gulf.

Nero had nothing on Obama when it comes to partying while his nation is in crisis. Of course, environmentalists are actively rooting for this economy choking development . . .

So even though the Bakken Oil Field in Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan, Canada looks to rival the Saudi oil fields, environmentalist strangleholds on production of other domestic fields has put the U.S. economy at the mercy of Islamist extremist revolutions in the Middle East.  The only questions that remain are whether the Obama Administration is incompetent or willfully negligent, and whether the American public will finally declare an end to this “green” madness that is directly responsible for what I fear is the final American economic death spiral. [Full Story]

Tags: Domestic Energy, Foreign Oil, Barack Obama, Obama, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Gaddafi, Obama, Oil, OIl Prices, Political Cartoons, Price of Oil, U.S. Oil Production, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is As Little As $4 Billion In Cuts Too Much for Status Quo Senate Democrats?

The New York Times reports today, “House Republicans told Senate Democrats on Wednesday that they would agree to a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown next week only if the measure began instituting House-passed cuts on a pro-rated basis. Officials familiar with talks between representatives of House and Senate leaders said the proposal, still being assembled for a possible vote next week, would call for $4 billion in reductions in exchange for an additional two weeks to allow the House and Senate to negotiate a spending plan to finance the government through Sept. 30.”

Yet even $4 billion ($4,000,000,000) in cuts out of more than $3 trillion ($3,000,000,000,000), or .00103, in the budget is apparently still too much for some Democrats. According to the NYT, “Democratic aides said the short-term proposal was likely to be deemed unacceptable since it simply reflected a staggered version of the $61 billion in cuts approved by the House on Saturday in a proposal Senate Democrats already oppose. . . . ‘This bill would simply be a two-week version of the reckless measure the House passed last weekend,’ said Jon Summers, a spokesman for Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader. ‘It isn’t going to fool anyone.’”

The contrast is stark. Senate Democrats are disparaging House Republicans’ proposal to begin to rein in the out-of-control spending of the last two years, yet their own status quo proposal would simply keep government spending at those same unsustainable levels. As the AP notes today, “The move comes a day after Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that Senate Democrats will try to pass a 30-day measure to keep the government frozen at last year's budget levels. [House Speaker John] Boehner flatly rejected the idea and insisted on immediate cuts. ‘Americans understand we need to stop the spending binge in Washington to create a better environment for job creation,’ Boehner said. ‘So I ask Senator Reid, with all due respect: what are you willing to cut?’”

And if Democrats’ answer is “nothing,” we already know from the CBO that doing nothing will result in a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. Meanwhile, CBS News’ Mark Knoller has a report today pointing out just how much debt the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have piled up in two years. “Just as President Obama signed and sent his annual Economic Report to Congress, the Treasury Department posted numbers that show the national debt has increased $3.5 trillion so far on Mr. Obama's watch. On the day he was inaugurated, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. . . . The posting today shows the debt at $14.128 trillion; that's a $3.5 trillion increase in the 25 months Mr. Obama has occupied the White House. Budget numbers released last week show the national debt will top a $5 trillion increase at the start of Mr. Obama's fourth year in office.” Further, Knoller writes, “In fact, the president's budget last week projects the federal deficit will hit an all-time high this year of $1.645 trillion. That exceeds the total of all the debt run up by the U.S. government from its inception through 1984. The budget projects a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2012 and then deficits in the range of $600 billion and $800 billion through the end of the decade.”

And yet Democrats in the Senate are balking at merely $4 billion in cuts.

Tags: Washington, D.C., politics, Democrats, concurrent resolution, spending cutsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Herman Cain Rallies Arkansas Conservative Activists

Herman Cain speaking at Arkansas Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit:

Below are some of the comments shared about Herman Cain at this event:
Great speech by @! Made some good points about what we can do to grow jobs and get our country back on track!

@ The USA is not going to become the US of Europe on our watch
Herman Cain: "The United States of America is not going to become the United States of Europe! Not on our watch!"
@ When our children are born, we focus on the future but when our grandchildren are born we focus on our nation
Herman Cain: We must be the "DEFENDING FATHERS" of our nation.
Another phenomenal speech by @ at AFP-Arkansas Summit! Tune in:
David Meeks RT @ Herman Cain: Take the capital gains tax to zero. Stop being afraid to encourage entrepreneurs!"
@ Quotes Thomas Jefferson: If people have the right information then they will make the right decision
@ We need to become better informed on our elected officials because STUPID People are running America
@ Americans greatness will help us survive BHO until we can replace him in 2012

@ Make the tax cuts permanent. The capital gains tax rate should be ZERO

Herman Cain: Lower the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
Herman Cain to Obama: "Why weren't you listening to small businessmen two years ago?" 

Tags: Herman Cain, video, Arkansas, AFP, Defending the American Dream To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wisconsin Teacher's Unions Act Like Third Graders

by William Warren: Today’s cartoon focuses on the Wisconsin (and now also Indiana) Democrats and the Teachers Unions…two groups that are acting like selfish, immature third-graders.

Tags: Democrats, Political Cartoons, Senate Democrats Flee State, Teachers Unions Act Like Third Graders, William Warren, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Teachers Unions
To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breaking News: Obama Paves Way For Same-Sex "Marriage"

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships - precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution's)Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

The Justice Department had defended the "act" in court until now. Below is the response by Gary Bauer, a conservative family values advocate and president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

by Gary Bauer: Just hours ago, Attorney General Eric Holder made a stunning announcement: the Obama Justice Department will no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. According to Holder, our imperial president concluded that the law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman was "unconstitutional" and ordered him to stop defending it in at least two cases currently before the federal courts.

Excuse me? The president is the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief justice! It is not up to Barack Obama to determine which laws he likes and which laws he doesn't. It is his responsibility to enforce the law until the nation's highest court decides the law does not pass constitutional analysis.

But the most left-wing president in history sees things very differently -- he's here to fundamentally transform America, by, among other things, redefining marriage. He ignored public opinion and bent the rules to force healthcare "reform" down our throats. Unable to get cap and trade through the Democrat-dominated Senate last year, Obama now wants the EPA to implement it. And he does not hesitate to ignore the courts either.

The Obama Administration was recently cited for contempt by a federal judge for continuing its deep-water drilling ban, despite a previous order striking it down. Rather than abiding by Judge Vinson's ruling against ObamaCare, the administration is asking the judge to "clarify" his ruling, while it orders states to continue implementing his big government health scheme.

Today's news should put to rest the lie that Obama has moved to the center or that he learned anything from the "shellacking" his party took at the polls. As he rallies his union allies in the streets of Wisconsin, Obama is aligning himself with the most radical elements in the culture war who are trying to redefine normalcy.

I have to be honest with you: I'm worried our side has gone back to sleep. Financial support for our political work has dropped significantly since the elections. But the left is energized. Obama suddenly feels free to abandon the law and let the militant homosexual rights movement force same-sex "marriage" on every state in the nation. A liberal Democrat is urging the unions to "get a little bloody" in the streets.

The Tea Party protests have ebbed while the left-wing radicals are fired up. The momentum seems to have shifted back to the left. If we don't mobilize now, 2012 will reverse every gain we made last November.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Defense of Marriage Act, Same sex marriage, Obama Administration, Barrack Obama, Eric Holder To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

2009 Government Report Shows Crude Oil & Gas Prices Didn't Have Soar

The Associated Press reports that oil prices have reached a two-year high. As of our posting, the following article, the price of oil is hovering around $100 a barrel. Meanwhile, the national average for gasoline is nearly $3.20 a gallon. Why? Read the following article
By The Political Commentator, GOPUSA As the Middle East burns, the United States has dug its own hole!
The premise has been discussed ad infinitum in this blog that insanity is relying on your enemies for anything, let alone for critical resources. Whether it is China for money and REE or the Middle East for oil, we have made our bed (with much of the bedding supplied by far-left organizations and their lobbying victims) and we all now have to lie in it.

But you know, it didn't necessarily have to be this way.  This truth is presented in a 2009 report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works titled "CRS: AMERICA'S COMBINED ENERGY RESOURCES LARGEST ON EARTH" (H/T that this report exists to Yid with Lid).

This story was told in a memo released at that time by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The findings were that "America's combined recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth"

The problem was and continues to be that special interest groups have co-opted the government through one of the roots of political evil, money. This has prevented Congress from taking the common sense steps necessary that would have allowed the United States to become energy self-sufficient. If not completely self-sufficient then a hell of a lot more than we are now.  The proof of this fact lies in this one sentence from the report: "America's recoverable resources, Congressional Research Service (CRS) shows, are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined. And that's without including America's absolutely immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits." That's right, greater than those countries combined!

Instead of taking advantage of that fact our government, directed in no small part by far-left special interest groups, has stopped this potential for energy self-sufficiency at every turn. President Obama has even gone so far to place a moratorium on Gulf drilling due to the BP accident. Alaska has been placed off limits, drilling off the U.S. coast is off limits and pollution controls that few other countries even have limits our ability to use coal. Nuclear power? Forget about it. Three Mile Island took care of that although many countries, including France currently use it for a majority of their power needs.

America, we have dug our own hole! You and I didn't do the digging. That was done by politicians whose only goal once in office is to stay in office. These are the people that are beholden to these very special interest groups that have helped to put us in this predicament. Do you know what else? The politicians in Washington will be able to handle $5, $6 or $7 a gallon gas at the pump with the expense accounts that the taxpayers provide. Many of them are wealthy in their own right and will still tell you that they understand your pain. But they don't!

They understand one thing and one thing only. Pandering to deep pockets to stay in office. And that goes double for our President. That's right America! We dug our own hole with more than just a little help from our "friends!"

Tags: Oil, gasoline, prices, government report, high prices To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Special election gives GOP complete control of Louisiana state government

With the takeover in Louisiana, Democrats have only two bastions remaining in the South -- Arkansas and Mississippi. The latter holds its state-level elections later this year.
Louisiana holds its state-level elections in the off-year -- in fact, they will do so this November -- but the state's House and Senate have already both flipped to the Republican Party. The GOP took over the state House thanks to a party-switch. The party took over the state Senate this weekend in a special election.

This victory will not do much to help the GOP with congressional redistricting. The state has to lose a seat, and it will almost certainly have to be a Republican one. But at the state level, redistricting will provide an opportunity to solidify a Republican majority in both chambers. Assuming he gets re-elected, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal could have a much freer hand in his second term, which -- an opportunity few governors receive. [Source]
Tags: Louisiana, state government, GOP, special election, Arkansas, Mississippi To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reid Pushes CR Bill With No Spending Cuts; CBO: Would Increase Deficit Another $200 Billion

Harry Reid: Tuggery Personified
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 23, 2011: Both house of Congress in recess until next Monday, Feb 27th.  But that does not keep the Senate democrats from hreatening a shutdown like union thugs if a CR is not passed without cuts.

The Washington Post reported yesterday, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on Tuesday that he will introduce a measure next week to keep the federal government running for 30 days at current funding levels. The move sets the stage for a showdown with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who late last week announced that House Republicans will oppose any short-term funding measure that does not include additional budget cuts. . . . The short-term resolution would actually keep the government funded at current levels.”

In other words, Democrats are proposing to continue the status quo of massive government spending at a time of record debt and deficits. Two weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office pointed out that if this Democrat plan were continued throughout the fiscal year, it would still increase the deficit by $200 billion. “If appropriations for the rest of this fiscal year are set at the same annualized amounts as those in effect for the first several months and the Congress were to enact no other legislation affecting spending or revenues, CBO expects that the federal government would end fiscal year 2011 with a deficit of nearly $1.5 trillion, around $200 billion more than the $1.3 trillion deficit recorded in 2010.”

Just a few days ago, The Washington Post pointed out the scale of America’s debt problem. “The daunting tower of national, state and local debt in the United States will reach a level this year unmatched just after World War II and already exceeds the size of the entire economy, according to government estimates.” The Post wrote, “The key factor in the rapid drop in government debt, said Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff, was fast economic growth. Spurred by a young labor force, world-leading manufacturers, high personal savings rates, a pent-up demand for consumer goods after years of war and the Depression, and a bout of inflation, the economy grew 57 percent in six years. . . . But today the U.S. economy is in a polar opposite condition. The labor force is aging, U.S. manufacturing often lags behind Asian and European rivals, households are in hock up to their eyeballs, and consumer appetite for goods is tepid. . . . ‘We’re not growing like we were after World War II, so the amount of debt you can bear and the trajectory are much worse,’ Rogoff said.”

And even given all this, Senate Democrats can’t find a single dime of government spending to cut? As House Speaker John Boehner said yesterday, “Senate Democratic leaders are insisting on a status quo that has left us with a mountain of debt and a stalled economy with unemployment near 10 percent.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained why Democrats’ business as usual spending plans are “simply unacceptable”: “The American people spoke loud and clear: stop the Washington spending spree and bring down the debt. Yet Washington Democrats can’t find a single dime of federal spending to cut, insisting on the status quo, even for a short-term spending bill. But keeping bloated spending levels in place and, predictably, proposing even more tax increases, is simply unacceptable. Washington has to stop the spending increases and start shrinking the ruinous federal debt. That’s the key to getting the economy back on track and creating the conditions that will lead to private-sector job growth.”

Tags: US House, US Senate Washington, D.C., Harry Reid, CR, Continuing Resolution, no spending cuts, more debt, deficit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Last Call: Don't Miss The 2012 Arkansas Defending the American Dream Summit

Bill Smith, Editor: Sometimes repetition is the best reminder! While this is the "Last Call" for this event on this site, it is not your last opportunity to attend all or part of this event. Come Join us even if for only a few hours. And if attending, I would love to meet you. For those not attending, I will post on the summit via Twitter, FaceBook and this site.

For readers in other states, there are numerous opportunities to be involved or to attend an AFP - Defending the American Dream events near you. Join us for we are all Americans for Prosperity! For on the ground and online opportunities to be involved with like minded activists visit the National Americans For Prosperity Website.

Register Today!
AFP Arkansas Holding Second Annual Arkansas Defending the American Dream Summit on Feb 24, 2011 in Little Rock Arkansas.

Teresa Oelke, AFP-Arkansas Director: On February 24th join America’s foremost free-market voices, top experts on grassroots mobilization, and Arkansas’ largest gathering of grassroots leaders from across the state in a massive show of force for lower taxes and more limited government.

Today the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests. The result: policies that are threatening to destroy the American Dream – higher taxes and out-of-control government spending, job-killing regulations, and endless red-tape.

The good news to all of this is you CAN do something about it! You can send a powerful message to the politicians, special interests, and the mainstream media by taking part in the 2nd Annual Defending the American Dream Summit - Arkansas.

On February 24, you can join America’s foremost free-market voices, top experts on grassroots mobilization, and Arkansas’ largest gathering of grassroots leaders from across the state in a massive show of force for our shared belief in lower taxes and more limited government.

The Summit will take place on February 24 from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (CT) at:
Robinson Center Exhibition Hall
7 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR 72201

Confirmed Speakers Include:
Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity
Herman Cain, Radio Personality and Fox News Contributor
Dave Elswick, Arkansas Radio Personality
John Fund, Columnist with The Wall Street Journal
French Hill, CEO of Delta Trust & Bank
Chris Horner, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
Erik Telford, RightOnline and Featured Columnist for The Washington Times
Virginia Walden-Ford, Executive Director of D.C. Parents for School Choice
Multiple State and National Legislators

Summit Highlights:
The Latest Arkansas Budget Report
Book signings with Herman Cain and Grover Norquist
Question and Answer Sessions
Network with Leading Activists from Across Arkansas
Meet Dr. Bill Smith, National & Arkansas 2010 AFP Blogger of the Year
Register Today!

Tags: Arkansas, AFP, Americans for Prosperity, Defending the American Dream, Summit, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

$535 Million To Solar Panel Company That Cut Jobs - Some Senate Dems Want to Cut Spending - Sens. Reid and Schumer Say No

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 22, 2011:
The Senate and House are in recess Feb. 28th. When the Senate returns, the chamber is expected to take up a patent reform bill, S. 23, and two more district judge nominees.

Two years ago, President Obama and Democrats in Congress passed the $814 billion stimulus bill with predictions that it would “save or create up to 4 million jobs over the next two years,” in the words of the president, and keep unemployment from exceeding 8%, according to White House economic advisors Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein. As Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell explained last week, “[I]t was predicated on the notion that government spending — spending borrowed money on government programs — was the recipe for a rebound. A plan that said if we ‘invest’ in government, we’ll get out of this mess.”

Among those “investments,” Leader McConnell pointed to “[h]undreds of millions of dollars [loaned] to a solar panel company that was supposed to double its workforce but ended up cutting jobs instead.” ABC 7 in San Francisco reported last November that solar panel maker Solyndra “was the epitome of what the government envisioned to be our green tech future. . . . Confidence was so high that Solyndra got a $535 million stimulus program loan to build a new factory along I-880 in Fremont.”

But, according to ABC 7, “Now there is word it will shut down its older plant down the street -- 40 employees will be laid off and 150 contract workers won't be renewed. . . . Suddenly, the future isn't as bright as it was a year ago and taxpayer money is on the line. Solyndra's shiny new plant cost $733 million -- $535 million came from federal funds. Only $198 million is for private financing, so the government's stake is 73 percent.” And The Oakland Tribune reported , “Solyndra Inc., the high-flying solar panel maker once touted by President Barack Obama as a model for a green energy future, said . . . it has scuttled its factory expansion in Fremont, a move that will stop the company's plans to hire 1,000 workers. Solyndra said it will also close an existing factory in the East Bay. . . . The moves mean that instead of having 2,000 workers in Fremont, Solyndra will cap its work force at 1,000, which is about the current level.”

The Daily Caller notes today, “The Energy Department estimated in a March 20, 2009 press release that the loan guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 1,000 jobs after the [planned new] plant opened. And President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden each personally showcased Solyndra as an example of how stimulus dollars were at work creating jobs, during appearances at the company over the course of the following year. Biden personally announced the closure of Solyndra’s $535 million loan guarantee in a Sept. 9, 2009 speech, delivered via closed-circuit television, on the occasion of the groundbreaking of the plant.”

Further, The Daily Caller reports, “A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. And Solyndra’s auditor declared that ‘the company has suffered recurring losses, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, [that] raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a growing concern’ in a March 2010 amendment to its SEC registration statement.”

This is the kind of project that was financed with government money in the stimulus, all of it borrowed. Despite the stimulus promises, two years later, unemployment is still at 9% and millions of jobs have been lost.

So what did all that borrowed money result in? The Washington Post reported Sunday, “The daunting tower of national, state and local debt in the United States will reach a level this year unmatched just after World War II and already exceeds the size of the entire economy, according to government estimates. But any similarity between 1946 and now ends there. The U.S. debt levels tumbled in the years after World War II, but today they are still climbing and even deep cuts in spending won't completely change that for several years.”

As Leader McConnell said, “Nearly a trillion dollars was added to the debt as a result of this [stimulus] bill in the name of investing in our future. And in the two years since it was signed, we’ve lost millions of jobs. . . . The bottom line here is that two years after the President told us he was investing in our future, here’s what we have to show for it: higher unemployment than they predicted and trillions more in debt. The fact is, dangerously high debt has actually slowed the recovery, making it harder to create private sector jobs.”

Last week, House Speaker Boehner made it clear that the House would not pass a short-term CR at current spending levels – the House needs to see cuts in spending. There seems to be some bipartisan, bicameral agreement on this. Roll Call reported this morning that, “Several moderate Senate Democrats told Roll Call they are considering supporting additional cuts beyond the domestic spending freeze that Reid and Senate Democratic leaders backed last week.” And CNN quoted a Senate Democrat aide saying, "If they send something over with cuts we could probably accept it.”

The only people who refuse to consider ANY spending cuts in the short-term CR are the Senate Democratic Leaders like Sens. Reid and Schumer. With a massive federal deficit and record-setting debt, the idea that we can’t cut one penny worth of federal government spending is indefensible. And the American people know it (as do many Senate Democrats, I suspect).

Today, Speaker John Boehner called on Senate Democratic leaders to take up House legislation that will keep the government running while cutting spending: “The House has passed legislation to keep the government running until October while cutting spending.  If Senator Reid refuses to bring it to a vote, then the House will pass a short-term bill to keep the government running – one that also cuts spending.  Senate Democratic leaders are insisting on a status quo that has left us with a mountain of debt and a stalled economy with unemployment near 10 percent.  That is not a credible position.  Republicans’ goal is to cut spending and reduce the size of government, not to shut it down. Senator Reid and the Democrats who run Washington should stop creating more uncertainty by spreading fears of a government shutdown and start telling the American people what – if anything – they are willing to cut.”

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

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair To Visit Arkansas

JONESBORO, Ark. – House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica will hold a listening session in Jonesboro, Ark. with a cross section of private sector, elected officials, and economic developers, regarding the reauthorization of the Federal Highway Bill. The meeting is at 8:15 pm, Thursday, February 24th at the Cooper Alumni Center on the ASU Campus.
What:              House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Listening Session
When:             Thursday, February 24, 2011 
                           8:15 pm – 10:15 pm
Where:            Cooper Alumni Center, Arkansas State University
Who:               Chairman John Mica (FL-07)
Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01)
Senator Paul Bookout, Jonesboro
Mike Cameron, Cameron Construction
Representative Davy Carter, Cabot
Ron Dowdy, Ronnie Dowdy Inc
Dan Flowers - Director, AHTD
Judge Robert Griffin, Independence County
Senator Missy Irvin, Mountain View
Senator Johnny Key, Mountain Home
Mayor Harold Perrin, Jonesboro
Mayor Dewayne Phelan, Corning

Tags: US House, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, transportation, John Mica, FL-07, Rick Crawford, AR-01, Federal Highway bill, meeting, Jonesboro, Arkansas, private sector, elected officials, economic developers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Using Obama Quotes

by William Warren: Today’s cartoon is about the Wisconsin Union debacle. This toon shows the hypocrisy of Obama and the Left when it comes this Labor Issue as well as “getting the deficit under control” as they always profess to be in favor of.

Tags: Big Labor Bailouts, Cuts to Big Labor, Governor Scott Walker, Barack Obama, Obama Quotes, Political Cartoons, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats, Progressives and Leftists Will Lie if it Suits their Agenda

The truth of the title of this post extends beyond Wisconsin. This process of lying extends to other states including leftest bloggers making up innuendos, half truth and beyond to attack new conservative legislators in Arkansas. Ken Marreno details the situation and ends with the warning "Democrats ought to be very careful here. Because there really are consequences to one’s actions. Believe it."

The Democrats, Progressives and Leftists are escalating not only their rhetoric but they are doing the very actions which they falsely assigned to the TEA Party citizens. They have openly displayed lying and actions to defraud their employers - the taxpayers. But of even greater threat is President Obama evidencing a willingness to abandon his responsibility as President and to shift into his former role as a state community organizer" and to use his storm troopers - Organizing for America - and other federal agencies to interfere in State governance and management of its own employees.  Left unaddressed even by those in the Democratic Party, these actions could well lead to a Federalized dictatorship over all aspects of America life.

We have already observed the patent take over of financial and banking industry and the auto industry. We note the national efforts to totally control the energy industry. A bill presently exists that permits the Federal government to take over the health care industry. We have had legislation and regulation from bathroom fixtures, to televisions, to light fixtures, and more. Actions have been implemented to restrict free speech. Based on these and the presidents comments and the actions can we now expect that the President may believe that he can now interfere in sovereign State governments (especially those which have elected Republican governors)  using union thuggery, Organizing for America and federal government agencies?   Imagine, yesterday was Presidents Day not Dictator Day.

Ken Marrero, Blue Color Muse: I know, I know … such horrible accusations and I’m a bad person for thinking such evil of my political opponents. No doubt I am a frothing at the mouth, racist, Obama hating, wingnut who ought to be ignored at best and vilified at worst. Except it’s true (video below).

While thousands of protesters showed up in Madison, WI, the state capitol, to protest Governor Scott Walker’s proposal that Public Sector Unions contribute their fair share to fix the state’s budget woes, they did so by skipping work. Schools were shut down and students either sent home or told to stay home for days because teachers simply went to Madison instead of showing up for work. There are no vacation requests, no requests for personal days, nothing … the schools were open and ready for educating but the teachers weren’t there.

Now, they are running headlong into a staple of Conservative ideology – being responsible for one’s actions. With all these days gone and no excuses, along with Democratic Senators having fled the state rather than do their jobs, people are beginning to wonder what will happen to them for being absent from work without permission and for no good reason. In the real world, if you don’t show and don’t call into work with a valid excuse (here’s a hint – protests are not a valid excuse) it’s called job abandonment and is cause for firing.

But the Teachers and their Union and supporters have found a novel way around the consequences of their irresponsibility. Individuals claiming to be doctors have been showing up in the crowds and offering Dr’s notes and excused absence slips for anyone who wants one. Despite requiring a medical exam to get one (I know, I just had one myself a couple of weeks back), the doctors appeared to have a steady stream of business. All one needed to do was tell the person writing the excuses what days you needed to be off. You could even specify future days. They write the excuse and move on to the next teacher. [video]

What else should I call this but lying? I know, I know … Democrats don’t lie. It’s evil Republicans and Tea Party people who say they oppose the President’s policies when they really hate him because he’s black. They say they oppose fiscally irresponsible spending but what they really want is to give away their money to people who they choose, the wealthiest Americans, as opposed to expanding Entitlement programs. They claim to be grassroots and personally vested in the notions of Limited Government, Lower Taxes and Individual Responsibility but they are really only in this because the evil Koch brothers and FreedomWorks are paying them to protest. Like I said, Republicans and Tea Party people are the real liars – didn’t Al Franken prove that by saying so?

So what is the explanation from Progressives and Statists and Unions and Teachers for their behavior? I’m curious. If this is not lying, what is it? If it is not lying for personal gain, what is it? If this is not abdicating one’s responsibility for one’s actions by being far less than truthful, what is it? I’m waiting for the explanation … please …

Of course, what the Teachers and Unions are missing in all of this is the medium to long term view – the bigger picture. They are scrambling to cover their backsides in the short term. But the barn door is open, the cows are out and the world knows the truth about what they are willing to do to escape personal responsibility and attempt to feather their nests at the same time. If they will lie now – over this – and do so in such a transparently selfish manner, why expect anyone to ever believe a thing they say tomorrow?

Of course, this only addresses the lies by Teachers and Union members. It does not address the defrauding of Wisconsin taxpayers who might be on the hook paying for hundreds of thousands of dollars of “sick pay” for days missed with the reason lied about. I wonder what the penalties for fraud are in Wisconsin? Can you keep your medical license for doing such things?

Didn’t the President come out in support of these people? I believe he did.

Democrats ought to be very careful here. Because there really are consequences to one’s actions. Believe it.

Tags: Breaking News, Democratic Party, Entitlements, Health Care, Individual Responsibility, Leadership, Liberal, Obama-Nation, Special Interests, Democrats Lie to Protect Themselves, Doctors Defraud Wisconsin Taxpayers, Public Sector Unions, Scott Walker, Teacher's Union, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Budget Fight, MacIver Institute, Doctors Excuse, Union Protest, Wisconsin Protest, Ken Marrero, Blue Color Muse To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

George Washington: Father of Our Country & Gallup Look At All Presidents

Bill Smith, Editor: Yesterday, Presidents Day - More Debt and No Work was addressed. Today we will recall George Washington on his Birthday, Feb 22nd. Unfortunately, our education system has degraded the teaching of history of our country and allowed it to be co-opted by both lazy educators and by progressives. George Washington is relegated to a few lines in a textbook while a current or recent failing president is elevated to paragraphs.

This year's Gallup poll on the "presidents" reveals some interesting insights.  Gallup callers instructed respondents to answer based on memory the question "Who is the greatest president?" This year's top pick as the nation's greatest president was the late Ronald Reagan. Last year's was Clinton. The year before the pick was  Kennedy.  Reagan was indeed a great president but as detailed in the following article he would not accept this claim and ranked George Washington as the greatest president. The recent celebration of Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday has brought the name of Reagan again before the newest generations and many of us recalling Reagan do yearn for those days when America was respected in the World and people felt safe.

Even though Clinton disgraced his office though sexual antics in the White House and is one of two impeached presidents, the Democrat respondent favored Bill Clinton while ignoring the present incumbent of the White House  However,, George Washington only made the top ten two slots above Barack Obama who was selected over the three other presidents carved on Mount Rushmore. It appears that we have a dismal ignorant public in regards to history and that it is easier for people to recall living presidents over dead presidents.

Democrats chose Clinton, Kennedy, Obama, Franklin Roosevelt and Lincoln. Republicans selected Reagan, Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy and George W. Bush. Liberals and Conservatives BOTH agree on Lincoln being in the top 5. That Big monument in Washington does have an impact. And the pointed obelisk called the Washington Monument is just not the same. The Democrats picked Clinton over George Washington and Republicans choose George W. Bush over Theodore Roosevelt. Maybe the GOP still can't forgive Roosevelt for running a third time for president as the Bull Moose candidate. The Republicans joined the Democrats in selecting John Kennedy who did face off the Russians, supported the Republican Civil Rights, called for tax reductions, and like Lincoln died for his country. The death of Kennedy marked not only the end of Camelot but end of the Democrat Party of my Grandparents.

While Barack Obama was not in the Democrats top list, he did receive enough votes by independents and the "commie-spin-off parties" to get him ranked ahead of Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush (expected by the blame Bush crowd) and even Thomas Jefferson.  It takes a historically weak minded public to rank Obama above Tomas Jefferson. Thank goodness, Jimmy Carter, a living progressive Democrat was basically ignored - there is hope that some sanity still exists. 

Follows is a tribute and commentary on George Washington by the Bob Morrison, Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council.

                  George Washington: Father of Our Country
by FRC's resident historian and Senior Fellow Bob Morrison: . . . We are honoring today our first president, the Father of our Country. George Washington has been described as "the gentlest of Christendom's captains." As a military man, he was incredibly brave, facing enemy bullets not once, but many times. But when he put away his sword, he placed a dove of peace--a biblical symbol--atop his beloved Virginia home, Mount Vernon. He was eulogized at his death in 1799 by Gen. Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. The elder Lee called Washington "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington was an inspiration to virtually all the presidents who came after him.

Thomas Jefferson, our third President, said of George Washington:
For his was the singular destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example. . . . These are my opinions of General Washington, which I would vouch at the judgment seat of God, having been formed on an acquaintance of thirty years. . . .I felt on his death, with my countrymen, that 'verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel.'
Abraham Lincoln sought to model his own conduct on that of George Washington. Leaving Springfield by train for Washington, D.C. 150 years ago this month, President-elect Lincoln bade farewell to his Illinois neighbors with these touching words:
I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
So impressed with Washington's conduct, Lincoln made a point of kissing the Bible at this own inauguration -- just as Washington had done in 1789. Washington's reliance on the Bible was fully shared by Lincoln, who called it "the best gift God has ever given to man...But for it we could not know right from wrong."

Through the centuries, some few Americans have sought to pull themselves up by pulling Washington down. This tendency was most exaggerated in the 1920s, when so-called Progressives thought they could "de-bunk" American history by giving it a Marxist slant. But when a book purporting to show that Washington was a failure was published, President Calvin Coolidge was asked what he thought of it. "Silent Cal" wasted few words on the muckraking book. He looked out the window of the White House toward the Washington Monument and drawled: "He's still there."

Ronald Reagan surely admired George Washington. When Ed Meese, Reagan's loyal lieutenant, was informed several years ago that Americans in an online poll had voted Reagan the greatest of all Americans, Mr. Meese was stunned. "He didn't think so," the former Attorney General said, "Ronald Reagan thought George Washington was the greatest American."

Today, let us thank God for the life of George Washington, the Father of our Country.

Tags: George Washington, birthday, February 22, Gallup, poll, presidents poll, Family Research Council, FRC, Bob Morrison, tribute To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Benko: Gold, the States, and Federal Monetary Policy

Tetra Images | Getty Images

by Ralph Benko: Why are so many state legislators beginning to call for issuance of a form of gold money?

The Constitution prohibits states from coining money but allows them make “gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts….” By prohibiting everything except “gold and silver Coin” the Constitution clearly contemplates this as legitimate.

Legislators in a dozen states are looking at legislation about gold or silver-based currency, including, right now, Utah, South Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire. States haven’t issued money for over a hundred years. So … why now? There is disgust by state legislators with the federal government’s promiscuously printing money. This reflects the views of those who wrote and adopted the United States Constitution.

The transcript of the debates in the original Constitutional Convention shows the attitude of the Founders toward paper money was one of disgust. In debate one delegate, Roger Sherman, called for the insertion of an absolute prohibition against states issuing their own paper money.
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Sherman moved to insert after the words 'coin money' the words 'nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts' making these prohibitions absolute…

Mr. Sherman thought this a "favourable" crisis for crushing paper money.
The Founders voted to adopt Sherman’s “crushing” of state-based paper money.

As for the federal government, the original draft of the Constitution included language permitting the federal government to issue unbacked paper money. The Founders objected strongly to this power. The objections were summed up by delegate Oliver Ellsworth:
Mr. Elsesworth thought this a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money. The mischiefs of the various experiments which had been made, were now fresh in the public mind and had excited the disgust of all the respectable part of America. By withholding the power from the new Government, more friends of influence would be gained to it than by almost any thing else. Paper money can in no case be necessary. Give the Government credit, and other resources will offer. The power may do harm, never good.
Those who wrote the Constitution decisively stripped the federal government of the power to issue inconvertible paper money. And stripped it stayed… until, temporarily, during the Civil War. Saving the Union was of transcendent importance. A strong constitutional argument exists for the legitimacy of paper money as an expedient. But it set a bad precedent.

For most of American history dollars were convertible into gold or sometimes silver. It is a 20th century innovation to have inconvertible money. FDR suspended domestic convertibility. And then… Richard Nixon’s 1971 suspension of the convertibility of the dollar into gold put the final nail into the dollar’s coffin. President Nixon announced this as a temporary suspension.

President Nixon made certain promises to America when he suspended convertibility of the dollar. August 15, 1971:
“I have directed Secretary Connally to suspend temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold ….

Now, what is this action--which is very technical--what does it mean for you?

Let me lay to rest the bugaboo of what is called devaluation.

If you want to buy a foreign car or take a trip abroad, market conditions may cause your dollar to buy slightly less. But if you are among the overwhelming majority of Americans who buy American-made products in America, your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today.”(Emphasis supplied.)
Well. The dollar today is worth less than a quarter was worth in 1971.

Ralph Benko
Ralph Benko, Senior Advisor,
American Principles Project
The American people are patient but we are not stupid. We have noticed the steady erosion of the dollar’s buying power, that fact that our dollars are worth 80% less than the day of “the Nixon shock.” We have noted the bankruptcy of the assurances we were given.

Yet Washington has been curiously unresponsive to the suffering brought by its failed promise. Why? Washington has itself been a primary beneficiary of monetary depreciation.

The federal government spent $15 billion from 1789 – 1900. Not $15 billion a year. $15 billion cumulatively. Uncle Sam will spend $10 billion a day in 2011. The federal government spends more every two days than it did altogether for more than America’s first century. Although these sums are not adjusted for inflation they give a correct impression of the magnitude of the change from what our Founders set forth and our early statesmen delivered.

How does Washington get its hands on so much money? Three ways. Taxing us, on which it is maxed out. Borrowing — deficits — to which there is a growing massive resistance. And there is a third and even more pernicious way: printing dollars. Washington prints money – such as Chairman Bernanke’s massive $800B+ “quantitative easing.” Wildly printing money erodes the value of the dollar. It will damage every American’s hard-earned savings.

The power to print money at whim is wrong.

It is toxic to our personal and national wellbeing.

And it is unconstitutional.

So legislators in twelve states are exploring gold-based currency. It is reprehensible for national elites to deride those who are doing so. Whatever objections one might have to the mechanisms being considered the impulse is legitimate and even noble. State legislators are challenging the federal abuse of an unconstitutional power, challenging the issuance of unhinged paper money.

Federal officials should take these state initiatives as a cue. Federal officials have sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Let them take their oath seriously and restore the convertibility of dollars to gold.
Ralph Benko is a member of the bar of the State of New York and is a senior economics advisor to The American Principles Project and was called by the United States Department of the Treasury to testify before the U.S. Gold Commission on the constitutional history of American monetary policy. Benko is the author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World. He is working on a new book, called "A Golden Age: the political consequences of the peace."The article which first appeared in the CNBC Guest Blog was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Ralph Benko

Tags: Commodities, Gold, Taxes, Politics, Government, Federal Budget, U.S., Debt, Economy, Ralph Benko To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Presidents Day - More Debt and No Work

Bill Smith, Ozark Guru: Today is Presidents Day. Unfortunately, I cannot in all honesty praise or approve of all the men whom have been called President of the United States. Yes, all were mere mortals. However, some tried to elevate themselves higher just being a citizen in service to their fellow citizens. Others overstepped the constraints of the Constitution and even good judgment.

Many could be considered average (mediocre). Some were scalawags. Unfortunately, some are not only ranked at the bottom of a comparative performance list for president, they also managed to scrap the bottom of the barrel. These individuals acted openly or deceptively to reduce our Republic's image in the World, have supported or promoted actions that have led to the transfer of America's wealth to other nations or transnational organizations, have subjugated American interests below that of other nations, and have allowed American citizens to be put under the control of foreign governments or an "international" organization occupied with enemies of America. Unfortunately, in less than two years, the incumbent president through his decisions and actions has managed to accomplish more to facilitate the end of Republic via massive transfers of present and future wealth to other countries than all former presidents combined.

While many presidents were confronted by wars, by rumors of wars, by the wrath of nature and by the advances of technology, some unfortunately accepted or promoted accommodations that were not in the best interests of the Republic. Even Lincoln stepped across Constitutional lines in his zeal to preserve the union. Jackson violated citizen rights even when confronted by the Supreme Court. The list is too long for all "accommodations" to be listed.

Unfortunately, since the advent of Television, many presidents have been elevated with the aid of glitz and rhetoric rather than character and principles. The result has in some cases been morally weak presidents followed by scandals that also hurt America's image. The actions of these presidents have contributed to lowering the expected morals and character for future presidents. Also, some of our esteemed presidents have managed to bow metaphysically or even physical to other countries which have lowered the image of the U.S. Presidency globally and the respect for America. The result has been an increase in risks to America and Americans.

Base on aforementioned, it would be good for us to recall why this holiday was established. Before being known as Presidents Day - a day on which even the worst of presidents can be grouped together with those whom served their country well - the third Monday of February was designated as Washington's Birthday (and an excuse to let federal workers off with pay). Actually, Washington was born on Feb 22nd (which is tomorrow). It became commonly known as Presidents Day (not the legal Federal designated name) as a result of commercial advertising and eventually the angst of State workers, banks, schools and others who wanted another day off with pay.

Several states have officially designated the day Presidents Day. As a result, a man who set the bar high for those that followed - a man worthy of remembrance above most presidents - is relegated to being just one of the guys. Tomorrow, we will give tribute to President George Washington on his real birthday. As for today, with our looming federal, state and local debts, we recall that this is another paid holiday for all government and school employees - how nice! More debt and no work!
Dr. Bill Smith is the editor of the ARRA News Service, Conservative Voices, Blogs for Borders and writes for many other sites and blogs. He is a conservative new media activist, a retired military officer, a retired graduate professor and makes his home in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Tags: Bill Smith, Ozark Guru, Presidents Day, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Planned Parenthood, the Parasite

By Chris Slavens: According to the propagandists of the radical left, the GOP launched a “war on women” last week when the House overwhelmingly agreed to yank Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. Democrats are accusing their political rivals of everything from forcing poor women to suffer, to attempting to shut the organization down. Of course, these are hollow lies designed to herd uninformed voters onto the liberal bandwagon, and are—like most Democratic arguments—easily disproved.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, commonly shortened to Planned Parenthood, is a group of eighty-five independent affiliates that provide a variety of services to women, including contraception, STD testing and treatment, and abortions. It’s also an extremely political organization, lobbying against parental consent laws and pharmacists’ refusal clauses (both of which are protected by the Tenth Amendment), and supporting Democratic candidates in elections. Planned Parenthood was a strong supporter of candidate Obama in 2008.

What’s wrong with that? They’re a private organization and can do what they want, right? Er, not exactly. Although Planned Parenthood receives about one-fourth of its funding from private donors, it receives a whopping one-third from the federal government; the organization raked in $363.2 million from the taxpayers in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Federal law prohibits federal funding of abortions (with some exceptions), but Planned Parenthood openly calls for the removal of this reasonable restriction.

To put it bluntly, Planned Parenthood is a leech, a parasitic organization that feeds on Americans’ paychecks. Certainly, some citizens approve of the organization’s activities, and they are free to support it with their own money, but it is unacceptable, even immoral, to force those who do not approve to finance activities that might, in some cases, violate their religious convictions.

Isn’t there something in the First Amendment about that?

Some conservative activists oppose the very existence of Planned Parenthood simply because of the role it plays in providing abortions; it performed nearly 325,000 in 2008 alone. However, that’s not the point. Abortion debate aside, a controversial organization like Planned Parenthood should not receive a full third of its billion-dollar budget from taxpayers. For that matter, it shouldn’t receive any federal funding at all. Period. If Planned Parenthood can’t operate on the same playing field as every other private organization in the U.S. that doesn’t get an enormous check from Uncle Sam every year, then perhaps its activities aren’t quite as popular as its public relations department likes to pretend.

Far from waging a war against women, the Republicans in Congress are battling wasteful spending and defending workers’ right to decide how to spend or invest their earnings. In these difficult economic times, it’s downright absurd to argue that Person A should be forced to pay for Person B’s condoms or morning-after pills, which is exactly what Democrats are doing.

The only fair criticism of the move to defund Planned Parenthood is that it focuses on a lone vampire-like organization and ignores a multitude of others that are feeding at the public trough, as freshman Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) pointed out, following the vote. He would rather defund all organizations that provide abortions, and is not alone; survey respondents consistently indicate that they would prefer the government didn’t pay for abortions, regardless of their personal feelings about the procedure.

Last week’s vote is a tiny step in the right direction, when it comes to reducing the outrageous amount of the public’s money that the federal government doles out to various organizations and causes, but such steps are necessary if this nation is ever to be called “free” again.

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

Tags: Planned Parenthood, GOP, Republicans, Democrats, federal funding, abortion, contraception To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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