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)

Friday, April 29, 2011

How will our kids pay?

Heritage For America Video:

Irresponsible liberals refuse to confront staggering national debt or reform entitlements. Now our kids owe billions to finance the promises we made to ourselves. How will they pay? Email President Obama and demand responsibility

Tags: debt, billions, DCCC, entitlements, reform, liberals, irresponsible, Obama, Heritage, Heritage Action To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fostering Hope for Children

Dr. Bill Smith & Lt.Gov Mark Darr
Attend Ozark TEA Party April 2011
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27).  I was a former foster child placed in protective care with a loving family in the days when foster parents did this solely out of love and for no pay or reimbursement of expenses.  In my case, after a year, two States severed the legal authority of my parents and the same loving family was allowed to adopt me.  Thus, I appreciate the following article by Lt. Gov. Darr and also join in commending the work of "The C.A.L.L. (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime)."

by Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark A. Darr: From time to time in my columns, I plan to highlight organizations and individuals that are working to solve real problems and are making a difference in Arkansas. This week, I want to tell you about an organization that is working to help the children of our state.

Next month, May 2011, is National Foster Care Month. It's an important time to raise awareness of a cause that needs more attention and that is the care of children in need. Through many varied and difficult circumstances, thousands of children across the country and here in Arkansas do not have a family to consistently care for them. They may be living in an abusive situation; they may be the child of incarcerated parents; they may be orphans. The stories would break your heart.

There are more than 3,500 children in the Arkansas State Foster Care System at any given time. Over the course of a year, the total number of children in foster care in our state is between six and seven thousand, and yet there are only about nine hundred fifty foster families available.

The C.A.L.L. (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime) is a faith-based nonprofit organization that works closely with churches and with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to find families to take care of these children. They have developed an approach for helping families looking to foster or adopt children that has gained national attention.

This legislative session, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Resolution 27 to "recognize and commend The C.A.L.L. in Arkansas for its achievements and services to the children of the State of Arkansas in the foster care system."  The C.A.L.L. has developed a grassroots-volunteer model of organization and, in just its first three years, has mobilized over 500 volunteers and established chapters in 20 counties around Arkansas. In that time, more than six hundred families have been recruited by The C.A.L.L. to serve as foster, adoptive, or respite care families. Their goal is to establish a presence in all 75 counties in the state.

The C.A.L.L. hosts monthly informational meetings for people who are interested in learning more about foster care and provides guidance and support at every step of the process to those who choose to follow through. Adoption is also an option through the foster care system. In fact, within the Arkansas foster care system right now, there are over five hundred children waiting to be adopted. Since 2008, more than 50 children in Arkansas have found a "forever" family, having been adopted out of foster care. One hundred thirty additional homes recruited by The C.A.L.L. are now in the process of adopting through foster care.

Societies are judged on how they treat and provide for their children. They are among our most vulnerable citizens yet they are our future. It is a moral imperative that we do everything we can to provide a safe and stable environment for them to grow up in and be cared for. This is why foster care is so important.

Please take time to consider if this is something your family can do. This is something that can make a real difference in a child's life. It can also make a real difference in your life. Discuss it with your spouse and if you have children, talk to them. Consider the physical, emotional, and financial implications of foster care before you make a decision.

Talk to your pastor as well. Perhaps your church would like to get other families involved. If you agree with the late President Kennedy that "here on earth God's work must truly be our own", then I ask you what could be more representative of that than helping out a child in need?

If you would like more information about fostering a child or if you would like to volunteer to help others participate in this process, please visit The C.A.L.L. website or contact the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Tags: Arkansas, Lt. Governor, Mark Darr, foster care, foster parents. fostering children, Arkansas, National Foster Care Month To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Budget Heats Up In The Senate - Gallup: "Americans See Republicans As Better Able To Handle The Budget"

Congress returns from recess on Monday, May 2. National Right To Life is reporting the U.S. House of Representatives will vote Wednesday May 4th on H.R. 3, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." This act would permanently restore the recently abrogated 30-year old Hyde Amendment across all federal government functions, and "replace this leaky patchwork [of loopholes for many tax-funded abortions] with a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion and federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion [except in the cases of rape or incest]." Dr. Bill Smith, Editor's Comment: I was a child having experienced as a child 3 mothers and 2 fathers. My sister with less numbers of parents did not favor any better as a child. Long complex stories. It has been reported that our mother later to have tried to kill me. Although separated as children, my sister and I today both agree that "Thank God, we were not aborted." We agree that the situation under which she became pregnant was not favorable for any person. But we survived and went on to have blessed lives and our own very normal families. In today's, world the child is written off. Thus, I can never support abortion, for inconvenience or even in the case of rape and incest. "Never blame and kill a child simply because the father is a criminal."

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire wrote yesterday, “Two can play this budget game. A day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) put Republicans on the spot by saying he will bring the House Republicans’ budget proposal up for a vote,  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) turned the tables by exercising his legislative prerogative to call for a vote on President Barack Obama’s budget. The two votes amount to legislative brinkmanship by both party leaders. Mr. Reid wants to put Republicans on record supporting legislation authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would eventually transform Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. McConnell, meanwhile, wants to force Democrats to vote on a plan that rolls back Bush-era tax cuts for people who make more than $250,000 and ignores many of the long-term costs driving the deficit.”

As Leader McConnell said yesterday, “Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, noted the stark contrast between the budget that passed the Republican-controlled House and the complete lack of one in the Democrat-run Senate: “Senator Reid has made a serious miscalculation if he believes bringing the House Republican Budget to the Senate will disadvantage Senate Republicans. . . . Instead, he will only draw more attention to the fact that House Republicans have presented an honest, principled budget while the Democrat-led Senate has failed to pass a budget in more than 700 days.”

Interestingly, the latest Gallup poll indicates that the American people are taking notice of Democrats’ irresponsibility when it comes to the budget, compared with Republicans presenting a plan to begin tackling our fiscal crisis. Gallup writes, “On the budget issue, Republicans have a 12-point advantage.” In the survey, 48% of respondents say Republicans in Congress “would do a better job of dealing with” the federal budget, compared to 36% for Democrats.

In his statement yesterday, Leader McConnell emphasized the Republican approach to the budget in light of Democrats ducking their responsibilities. “While Democrats have refused to offer a budget for the second year in a row, failed to protect families from policies that increase the price at the pump, and have yet to offer any serious plan to protect future generations from this administration’s spending spree, Republicans aren’t waiting for the next election to act. . . . House Budget Chairman Ryan presented, and the House passed, a budget to address our most pressing problems head-on at a moment when the President and other Democrat leaders simply refuse to do so themselves. It’s my hope that our friends on the other side recognize this effort for what it is — a serious, good-faith effort to do something good and necessary for the future of our nation and that, for the good of the nation, they’ll join in the effort at some point before it’s too late.”

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

Action Alert: House votes Wednesday on "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

by Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt: National Right To Life is reporting the U.S. House of Representatives will vote Wednesday May 4th on H.R. 3, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." This act would permanently restore the recently abrogated 30-year old Hyde Amendment across all federal government functions, and "replace this leaky patchwork [of loopholes for many tax-funded abortions] with a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion and federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion [except in the cases of rape or incest]."

Since we must never support abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, (to quote a friend, never kill a child simply because her father is a criminal), we must continue to petition Congress to FIX and then PASS this legislation. First, we must demand Congress FIX the bill by removing any loopholes for all abortions period, and second we must PASS this ban on federal funding of abortion with our tax-dollars everywhere permanently.

Why do your tax dollars pay for abortion? Because liberals confuse their so-called "right to kill their children" with an entitlement that Christians must pay the executioner's bill. Can you imagine if we funded marijuana with tax subsidies too? (Oh, wait, they do in Seattle.) I'm sorry, but your "right" to sin against God and neighbor A) is not a right, and B) should never be funded by government theft from us unwilling complicitors. If we fail to act, we are forced to aid and abet their murderous crime.

Well over 90% of abortions kill children merely due to "incovenience" of a pregnancy to the mother and father. As President Obama sadly admitted, if his own daughters someday welcome sex out of wedlock, "if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby," so Obama would support tax-funded abortions, even of his own grandchildren.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) ... did stand firm on at least one pro-life amendment to defund abortion in DC. unfortunately did not defund Planned Parenthood, the nation's #1 abortion provider, who will continue to receive $360 million per year to kill 363,000 innocent children as they did in 2008. Politifact, a fact-checking organization, confirmed the numbers in a Washington Times report: "Planned Parenthood’s annual reports show more than $2 billion in government income between 2003 and 2008. The GAO report could account for the expenditure of only $657 million of that amount, relying on information provided by Planned Parenthood in its own Single Audit Act reports. That leaves a huge question mark over the remaining $1.3 billion." Missing money, fraudulent reporting, billions spent on abortions?

Planned Parenthood does NOT provide mammograms as they claim. We know they helped kill 324,008 innocent children last year, while helping only 2,405 children find homes by adoption, a whopping 96% of their services are abortion-related (see chart below). But make no mistake, Speaker Boehner is under tremendous pressure from Democrats and is already being blamed by the liberal media, when Harry Reid (D-NV) and his Democrats threatened to shut down the government, unless we pay for abortions.

Let's encourage Speaker Boehner to take a stand on H.R. 3. Contact your Congressmen and Senators. . . .

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last month to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America [PPFA], the nation's largest abortion provider, who receives hundreds of millions of your tax-dollars to kill innocent children.  Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) offered an amendment to H.R. 1 that would strip funding from Planned Parenthood, which passed by a 240-185 vote in the House.

The National Right to Life Committee said in a letter to Congress: "PPFA is the nation’s largest abortion provider, reporting 324,008 abortions in 2008. It appears that abortion accounts for roughly one-third of the aggregate income generated by PPFA-affiliated clinics. According to press reports, PPFA has recently mandated that all of its regional affiliates must provide abortions by the end of 2013. Please call the office of your U.S. House member and urge him or her to support the Pence Amendment and all other pro-life amendments to H.R. 1."

According to Jill Stanek of the American Life League, over 96% of Planned Parenthood's services facilitate abortions, compared to adoptions or prenatal care, as shown by this pie chart.-- That means for every one tax dollar given to Planned Parenthood, 96 cents facilitates killing innocent children.

Contact your Congressmen and Senators. -- OR -- We can save you the time.  Select, sign, we will fax all 535 Congressmen and Senators (saving you much time!). We've already delivered 66,000 fax petitions, can you help us reach 100,000?

Tags: National Right To Life, U.S. House, vote, H.R. 3, tax-funded abortions, abortions, stop tax-funded abortions, planned parenthood, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Praying in Jesus Name To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What A Show

A.F. Branco, Comically Incorrect:

Tags: AF Branco, political cartoon, Barack Obama, silliness To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rasmussen: Taxpayers Not Getting Money's Worth from Public Schools

72% Say Taxpayers Not Getting Their Money’s Worth from Public Schools
Rasmussen Reports: Voters overwhelmingly believe that taxpayers are not getting a good return on what they spend on public education, and just one-in-three voters think spending more will make a difference.

Nationally, the United States spends an average of about $9,000 per student per year. A new Rasmussen Reports  survey finds:
  • 11% of voters - taxpayers are getting a good return on that investment
  • 72% of voters - taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth
  • 16% are undecided
Will spending more money for schools and educations programs kae a difference?
  • 34% of voters - student performance will improve
  • 41% of voters - increased spending will not lead to improves student performance
  • 25% aren’t sure
Most Democrats (63%) agree with the majority of Republicans (78%) and voters not affiliated with either party (77%) that taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from the current investment. For complete Rasmussen Reports survey results click here!

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, public schools, funding, taxpayers, failing, not getting money's worth, survey, poll To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Budgets and Debt Concerns in Congress -- Silliness and Ship of Fools in the White House

Congress is still adjourned for Easter recess and senators and representatives are traveling around their states and districts holding town-halls and meeting with people. When they return on May 2 both the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader will be faced with the the House's Budget proposal and the decision over the debt ceiling which is expected to be reached in a little over 17 days potentially on May 16th.

Liberal progressive democrats are claiming, "The Republican party is holding us hostage! Our creditors will abandon us! We'll get a bad rating from Standard & Poor's! Whatever that means." These liberals are pandering and pushing political rhetoric verses facts. Neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party are governing our country. There are elected officials who still represent us in this Republic (or at least they should be) and we have a President governing in the White House who wears the Democrat label but who represents only the left progressives of their party. For that very reason, many perplexed  conservative democrats are faced with a dilemma. For it appears, it is only elected Republicans (and some of them are questionable) are open to reigning in spending and reducing the size of government. However, "our dear leader" seems more interested in the Oprah Show and The View verses our debt crisis. Might be a good reason to start asking why?

The non-partisan nonprofit Citizen's Against Government Waste (CAGW)) offered a more informed view of the debt ceiling crisis. Yesterday, CAGW President Tom Schatz, in an email, said, "The national debt, which more than doubled over the last decade, is projected to double again over the next 10 years. We are sinking into debt at the rate of $2.8 million every minute, or $4.03 billion every day! As [reported] last week, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has downgraded the outlook on America's debt from "stable" to "negative." Why is that so alarming?

Right now, because of America's AAA credit rating, our government is able to borrow at extremely low interest rates to finance our massive debt. But even at these extremely low rates, this year's $438 billion interest payment on the national debt is still the fourth largest item in the federal budget behind Medicare/Medicaid spending, Social Security, and the military. If we lose our AAA rating, the U.S. Treasury is going to have to pay much higher interest rates to borrow, which will swell the annual interest payment on our debt until it's the single largest item in the federal budget. [A]s the Associated Press has reported, we will face staggering tax increases, drastic spending cuts (even in entitlement programs like Social Security), or both! That's why it's so vitally important that we rein in America's record deficit spending NOW!"

While the liberal progressives seek shift the subject, the grassroots made up of concerned conservative people from all parties is  causing the stir over the national debt ceiling.  Progressive wish to blame republicans because that is "the brand" they will be opposing at the ballot box after getting rid of conservative democrats.   They do not wish to acknowledge the grassroots movement, aka TEA Parties,  because this grassroots has large numbers of conservative democrats or former conservative democrats and independents. Today, The Hill reports, "Tea Party activists across the country are upping the pressure on lawmakers over the impending debt-ceiling debate just before members head back to Washington.The Tea Party Express on Thursday called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the GOP leadership in the House to say, "Hell no!" to a debt ceiling increase."  Notice they felt free only to address the Republicans because they know the position of the progressive liberals.

Yesterday, when finally releasing his alleged birth certificate for public review, President Obama used "the time" to complain about "not having time" for "this silliness." Obama has found lots of time for "silliness" in his activities while serving as president. It has been clearly documented by the press that he has time for recreation and perpetual campaigning. After using the word "silliness," Obama flew off to be with see Oprah and to visit "The View." Talk about silliness - it has become perpetual word of the day for the White House.

Yesterday, on a conference call, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters that he would be holding a Senate vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget. Of course, the Democrat-controlled Senate still has not offered or voted on its own budget proposal.

In a statement today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will also vote on the budget President Obama submitted in February at the same time as the vote on the Ryan budget. Leader McConnell said, “I understand that the Majority Leader would like to have a vote on the House-passed Ryan budget and we will. . . . But we’ll have a vote on the President’s budget at the same time. Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”

So will Senate Democrats vote for President Obama’s budget, despite its glaring deficiencies?

Certainly, there are Democrats who have been openly critical of a budget The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called “a remarkably weak and timid document.” At a Senate Budget Committee hearing, chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) said, “I believe history will condemn us all if we don't do substantially more . . . than is in this budget. I believe it fundamentally puts at risk the economic security of the country. And I believe that. I believe the evidence is quite strong that the risks that are being run are unacceptable risks.” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, “What we have is a budget proposal from the President designed to get our attention, but given our fiscal challenges, it does not go far enough. This is not what the country needs or expects.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said, “This budget proposal raises a lot of questions about where the priorities of this administration are.” And Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said, “[I]t is clear from the numbers that this budget alone does not address our deficit concerns.”

As Leader McConnell also noted, “Democrats have refused to offer a budget for the second year in a row, failed to protect families from policies that increase the price at the pump, and have yet to offer any serious plan to protect future generations from this administration’s spending spree . . . .” With these budget votes, Americans will have an opportunity to see who is really committed to tacking our fiscal crisis creating an environment to foster job growth, and who is committed to the unsustainable and unaffordable status quo of massive spending and deficits.

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

David Wilkerson: May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011

David Wilkerson
5/19/1931 - 4/27/2011
by Dr. Bill Smith: In my life, many people have shaped my opinion on issues, but few had an effect on shaping my soul and outlook as a Christian. One of the later individuals was David Wilkerson. David died today and will be missed.

Unlike a lot of people and organizations that send you junk mail or overwhelm you with request for money, I never received from David Wilkerson "junk" or any pressure to give more money. I looked forward with anticipation to his weekly World Challenge newsletter which were his weekly sermons. My wife and I would both read them. I often asked myself how does this guy know me and my needs. He was straightforward, frank, truthful but not condemning. He emphasized God's holiness and righteousness, God's love, and Jesus' relationship with us. While a prophet of our times sharing warnings he never preached fear but shared about liberty and spiritual freedom that comes through following the Lord Jesus Christ. And, his words often brought me to prayer.

Charisma and CBN have reported that David Wilkerson died in a car crash. His wife Gwen, was also involved in the crash and was rushed to the hospital where she is said to be in critical condition. Wilkerson was 79 and would have been 80 in 22  days. Our prayers are with Gwen and their family. They have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Times Square Church posted on its website: "It is with deepest of sadness that we have to inform you of the sudden passing of Reverend David Wilkerson, our founding pastor." Times Square Church in New York City, has more than 8,000 members. He was also founder of World Challenge Ministries.

Wilkerson was an evangelist for 50 years and a pastor for 15 years.  He is best known for his early years of street evangelism and ministry to young drug addicts and gang members in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, he co-authored the book "The Cross and the Switchblade," a true story, which later became a successful Christian movie. The book has been identified as one of the most popular books in evangelical history. With over 50 million copies sold in over thirty languages, it is ranked #32 in Christianity Today's list of "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals. He created Teen Challenge ministry which remains prominent in discussions of drug treatment and social service partnerships between church and government.

In 1971, Wilkerson moved his ministry headquarters to Lindale, Texas, where he founded World Challenge, an organization whose mission is to promote and spread the Gospel throughout the world. In 1986, while walking down 42nd Street in New York City at midnight, Wilkerson identified that that the Holy Spirit called him to return to New York City and to raise up a ministry in Times Square. This resulted in the establishment of Times Square Church, which opened its doors in October 1987.

While we say goodnight to David Wilkerson, I know I will see him again shortly (as the Lord measures time). I know he would like to see you too. Please keep Gwen and their family, staff and close friends in your prayers.

Tags: David Wilkerson, life, death, died, Christian, evangelist, pastor, writer, Teen Challenge,  World Challenge, Times Square church, Cross and the Switchblade To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Update: Found Guilty -- Illegal Alien Guns Down Ozark Native

This post has been rolled forward several times awaiting final justice to occur.
Jesus Sesena-Murrieta

April 27, 2011 Update: Finally, illegal alien Jesus Sesena-Murrieta has been found guilty of murdering 22-year-old Alonzo Foster Jr. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will be paying to incarcerate Sesena-Murrieta for potentially life. The taxpayers have already paid to house and care for him since he was arrested in July, 2008. Unfortuantely, the highest cost was to Alonzo Foster Jr. and his family and friends. This situation was "100% Preventable" and would not have occurred if the Federal Government had done its job of stopping illegal aliens from entering our country. This tragedy occurred in the quiet Ozarks where people know their neighbors. It occurred because of the failure of the Federal Government to protect our borders and because of the actions of Jesus Sesena-Murrieta who should not have been in the Ozarks or the United States.

The following local newspaper reports the final verdict: by Josh Dooley, Baxter Bulletin: Jesus Sesena-Murrieta, 29, faces life in prison after being found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 22-year-old Alonzo Foster Jr., after a bench trial before Circuit Court Judge John Moody that ended late Tuesday afternoon.

In Missouri, second-degree murder carries a 10- to 30-year to life sentence while armed criminal action carries a three-year to life sentence, according to one of Murrieta's Springfield, Mo. based defense attorneys, Adam Woody. Read this entire story in the Wednesday, April 27, 2011 print edition of The Baxter Bulletin.

June 30, 2010 Update: by Ed Burton, Ozark Area Network: A date for a murder trial has been set for a man accused of shooting and killing a former Norfork resident. 30-year-old Jesus Sesena-Murrieta is scheduled for 9AM April 25, [2011] in Laclede County, according to an online court docket entry filed Friday. Sesena-Murrieta is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 22-year-old Alonzo Foster Jr., who was shot and killed on July 20, 2008. Sesena-Murrieta was charged in Ozark County and the case was transferred to Laclede County on a change of venue motion. Witnesses who testified at a September 2008 preliminary hearing in Ozark County said Alicia Sanders, who is the property owner and Sesena-Murrieta’s mother-in-law, told them they were trespassing and asked them to leave. A witness said after they agreed to leave, Sesena-Murrieta pulled out a gun and shot Foster four times. Authorities say Sesena-Murrieta was not living in the country legally, but was working on paperwork to become a legal resident at the time of the crime.

Update Jan 14, 2010: Ky3 TV News: Family wants Ozark County woman charged for helping illegal immigrant/murder suspect.
GAINESVILLE, Mo. -- A year-and-a-half-old murder case in Ozark County took a turn on the courthouse lawn on Thursday. "We just want justice," many signs read. Family and friends of Alonzo Foster Jr. were out in force, picketing. "Our lives are shattered," said Alonzo Foster Sr.

In July 2008, the 22-year-old man whom they called Zo was fatally shot at a picnic on Lick Creek. An illegal immigrant from Mexico, Jesus Sesena-Murrieta, was charged with second-degree murder.

"The woman that was harboring him, she's been held responsible for nothing," said the victim's sister, Jacky Holt-Foster. "We have no peace, no closure." That woman's role in harboring Sesena-Murrieta was the focus of the picket. "If she had not allowed him to stay with her, keeping him on her property, he would not have been there to shoot my son," said Foster. "(Sesena-Murrieta) may have pulled the trigger," Holt-Foster said, "but she gave him the things he needed to do it." When it comes to this woman, it's KY3's policy in this story and all stories to not name parties unless charges have been filed. All the Fosters and their family and friends want is justice for Zo but the sheriff says his hands are tied.

"If there was a law where I could do it, I'd do it," Ozark County Sheriff Raymond Pace said, "I'd have no problem putting them away." The sheriff says this is a federal ordeal. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Springfield office says it is aware of the case.

"(At this time) we're not going to do anything to muddy the water, or jeopardize the state's criminal case," said ICE's Mike Spinella. Spinella went on to say the statute of limitations for a case like this is usually five-years.

"It just seems like your country's letting you down," Foster said. "She's doing whatever she wants, having fun; my son can't do that." "People think in time it fades away. It doesn't," said the victim's sister, Christina Foster.

A trial date has yet to be set for Sesena-Murrieta. Witnesses say Sesena-Murrieta claimed Foster was trespassing with family and friends while picnicking along Lick Creek.

The ICE office and Foster family directed KY3 to Sec. 8 u.s.c. 1324 in regards to any person harboring a known, illegal immigrant. The Fosters also want agents to look at Sec. 18 u.s.c. 922 paragraph d-5 when it comes to Sesena-Murrieta having and using a firearm.
Sept 9, 2009 Update: It has been over a year and Jesus Sesena-Murrieta is still being held on a charge of murder in Ozark County, MO. No record of a trial date in Laclede County, MO was located or identified by sources. Based on conversations with various sources, the case [Case# 08LA-CR01437-01] was officially transferred to Laclede County. Various pre-trial legal correspondence have occurred. But no records were identified. The defendant remains housed in Ozark County Jail because it is cheaper to house him in Ozark County than in Laclede County.

Update October 7, 2008: News-Leader: The case of a Gainesville man accused of killing another man in a trespassing dispute will be tried outside of Ozark County, a judge ruled Monday. Though Jesus Sesena-Murrieta allegedly killed Alonzo Foster Jr. in the county, the case has been transferred to a Laclede County court.

Update August 17, 2008: The Democrat-Gazette - Jesus Sesena-Murrieta, 27, will be bound over for trial in Ozark County Circuit Court on felony charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, Associate Division Circuit Judge John Jacobs ruled at the close of a nearly three hour hearing. Jacobs rejected a defense motion for bail for Sesena-Murrieta, who has been held in the Ozark County jail since the July 20 shooting death of Alonzo M. Foster Jr., 22, of Ash Flat. . . . Sesena-Murrieta is originally from Mexico. Riley testified that an officer with U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Sesena-Murrieta did not have the required documentation proving he was in the United States legally and would be subject to deportation if he is released from jail.

Date of following Post: July 27, 2008: [Story is being rolled forward as updated news is made available]

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: The peace and quite of the Ozarks was broken Sunday when a young Ozark native was gunned down by an illegal alien. A North Central Arkansas Ozark paper, The Baxter Bulletin broke the story today in an article by JoAnne Bratton. The online version identified:
Jesus Sesena-Murrieta, 26, is charged with killing Alonzo Foster Jr., 22, . . . at a creek in Ozark County, Mo. . . . Foster was with about 10 people swimming in Lick Creek near the Mammoth, Mo. area, Sunday afternoon and was getting ready to build a fire to cook hot dogs, family members said. About 4 p.m., the landowner, Alicia Sanders, went down to get them off her property, . . . Her son-in-law, Sesena-Murrieta, was present.

Pace reported an argument began, which led to shoving, and Sesena-Murrieta pulled out a .38-caliber snub-nosed pistol and shot Foster four times, . . . Foster's parents, Alonzo and Sandy Foster, said they heard no fighting and were getting ready to leave when their son was shot.
A much longer printed version identified that:
. . .they had and picnicked at the creek thousands of times and didn't see any no-trespassing signs . . . Authorities said . . . Sesena-Murrieta fled ... after the shooting. His wife convinced him to return and he turned himself in . . . Sesena-Murrieta is from Mexico and is in the United States illegally, . . . [He} was charged with second degree murder and armed criminal action.
Family members of the victim are worried that a bond-reduction hearing could be held and that Sesena-Murrieta will be released and flee back to Mexico. Mexico does not extradite criminals for capital cases unless the death penalty is waived. There has been no mention of ICE being involved or of federal detention charges being filed. As MJ at Blogs For Borders would say, this is a crime was "100% Preventable." If an illegal alien had not been in the heart of the United States, this crime would not have happened, and Alonzo Foster would still be swimming and enjoying more Ozark outings with his friends and family. Others must have know that Sesena-Murrieta was in the U.S illegally. How did he get here and from whom or how did he obtain the handgun which has yet to be recovered? In closing, Our prayers are with Alonzo Foster's family and friends.

Tags: Arkansas, ARRA News Service, Bill Smith, illegal aliens, Mexico, Ozarks, Jesus Sesena-Murrieta, Jesus Murrieta, murder, Alonzo Foster, courts, trial, Ozark County Circuit Court, felony, second-degree murder, armed criminal action, Laclede County, Missouri, ICE, Norfork, Arkansas, Ozarks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Time for More Obama Silliness

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 27, 2011
Today, President Barack Obama took about seven minutes to release his "supposed' "birth certificate or correctly stated "Certificate of Live Birth." He used "the time" to complain about "not having time" for "this silliness" or "carnival bankers." Obama has found lots of time for "silliness" in his activities while serving as president. It has been clearly documented by the press that he has lots of time for recreation and perpetual campaigning.  Addressing the concerns of America because of a constitutional requirement is far from silliness. He could have eliminated this concern long ago.

Unfortunately doubt continues because of his past actions. It is hard to fathom why a President would spend so much money and time preventing American citizens from seeing the certificate. Obama said he would be the most transparent president in history. By not releasing a valid certificate, we see another example of Obama's willingness to waste other people's money to support is own agenda. His other actions to date belie his efforts to claim that he has real concern for America.  While Donald Trump may not become a candidate, he showed that he could force a topic to center stage.

Kay Daly on Fresh Ink summed up the Obama "silliness" as follows. "What I find far more interesting than the documents is the reaction from Dear Leader. Did you catch this press briefing? He was sputtering. He wanted to get back to the important business of this nation and he didn't have time for was quite a rant. And then he got onto Marine One to hop over to Air Force One to appear on Oprah and raise money in Chicago. Cause that is what America needs right now. A fundraiser, a world traveler, someone who knows a good party when he sees it and attends it no matter the distance from home or time away from the office, a heck of a basketball brackets picker, golfer, basketball player and professional vacationer. For four more years, a modern day Nero who fiddles as Rome burns."

The Washington Post reports today, “Republican senators are asking President Obama to drop plans to sign an executive order forcing government contractors to disclose donations to groups participating in political activities, saying the White House shouldn’t use a company’s political history to determine if they’re eligible for government work. A draft proposal on the issue is under review and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that Obama believes taxpayers deserve to know how contractors are spending money they’ve earned from the government. . . . Many Republicans however believe that the move could allow the White House to muzzle political critics. And now they want to know exactly how Obama would go about reviewing a contractor’s political history.”

“Doing so,” The Post reports, “‘could have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of individuals to contribute to the political causes or candidates of their choice,’ according to a letter written by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and signed by 24 other GOP senators. ‘Political activity would obviously be chilled if prospective contractors have to fear that their livelihood could be threatened if the causes they support are disfavored by the Administration.’

“‘No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation or the causes you support before deciding if you are worthy of a government contract,’ the senators write in a letter set for delivery today. ‘And no Americans should have to worry about whether their political activities or support will affect their ability to get or keep a federal contract or their job.’”

Indeed, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote on its ChamberPost blog last week, “The order doesn’t stop with the business itself; it extends to the political spending of the officers and directors as well. In other words, the Obama Administration believes determining one's political leanings is a prerequisite for determining the qualifications of a company to do business with the government.”

Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky summed up well what the White House is doing in his report that broke the news of the proposed executive order last week: “With this proposed Executive Order, the administration is engaging in a back-door maneuver that promotes transparency only in the form of transparent political gamesmanship. It’s an alarming proposal that should raise great concern among members of Congress and the American public.”

As the Chamber of Commerce wrote, “Political litmus tests have no business in determining what companies will most responsibly serve the public interest.”

President Obama, it is time to stop "Your Silliness."

Tags: White House, Executive Order, disclose procedures, free speech, birth certificate, Barack Obama, silliness, debt, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dr. Thomas Sowell on Dr. Walter Williams: Race and Economics

Image Via NBRA
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: I admit that I am fascinated by both Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter E. William. They are great minds of our day and I wish I had had the opportunity to have worked with them or even just have sat at their feet and listened to them.

Regretfully, the democrats have over the decades hijacked the support of of the black community through lies and intimidation and after several generations. Eventually, it became easier to beleive the big lies rather than the truth. And now that control via the democrat party of my grandparents has been totally co-opted by liberals and is on the verge of being totally controlled by progressive socialists. If the black community would stop and listen with their full attention to the voices of Drs. Sowell and Williams, Ken Blackwell, Herman Cain, Star Parker, Dr. Frances Rice, Rep. Allan West, Rep Tim Scott, Michael Williams, Lt Gov Jennifer Carroll and others they would again see the light of liberty and freedom verses the entrapment by fear and hate promoted by the real Uncle Toms serving the interests of the the Democrat Party.

The below article by Dr. Thomas Sowell addresses the work of fellow economists and great thinker Dr. Walter E. Williams who addresses "Race and Economics." It is shared in its entirety for educational purposes because its truth cannot be shortened.

By Thomas Sowell, Real Clear Politics: Walter Williams fans are in for a treat-- and people who are not Walter Williams fans are in for a shock-- when they read his latest book, "Race and Economics." It is a demolition derby on paper, as Professor Williams destroys one after another of the popular fallacies about the role of race in the American economy.

I can still vividly recall the response to one of Walter's earliest writings, back in the 1970s, when he and I were working on the same research project in Washington. Walter wrote a brief article that destroyed the central theme of one of the fashionable books of the time, "The Poor Pay More."

It was true, he agreed, that prices were higher in low-income minority neighborhoods. But he rejected the book's claim that this was due to "exploitation," "racism" and the like.

Having written a doctoral dissertation on this subject, Walter then proceeded to show why there were higher costs of doing business in many low-income neighborhoods, and that these costs were simply passed on to the consumers there.

What I remember especially vividly is that, in reply, someone called Walter "a white racist." Not many people had seen Walter at that time. But it was also a sad sign of how name-calling had replaced thought when it came to race.

The same issue is explored in Chapter 6 of "Race and Economics." The clinching argument is that, despite higher markups in prices in low-income neighborhoods, there is a lower than average rate of return for businesses there-- one of the reasons why businesses tend to avoid such neighborhoods.

My own favorite chapter in "Race and Economics" is Chapter 3, which I think is the most revealing chapter in the book.

That chapter begins, "Some might find it puzzling that during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower and blacks were more active in the labor force than they are today." Moreover, the duration of unemployment among blacks was shorter than among whites between 1890 and 1900, whereas unemployment has become both higher and longer-lasting among blacks than among whites in more recent times.

None of this is explainable by what most people believe or say in the media or in academia. But it is perfectly consistent with the economics of the marketplace and the consequences of political interventions in the marketplace.

"Race and Economics" explains how such interventions impact blacks and other minorities, whether in housing markets, the railroad industry or the licensing of taxicabs-- and irrespective of the intentions behind the government's actions.

Minimum wage laws are classic examples. The last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930. That was also the last year in which there was no federal minimum wage law.

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was in part a result of a series of incidents in which non-union black construction labor enabled various contractors from the South to underbid Northern contractors who used white, unionized construction labor.

The Davis-Bacon Act required that "prevailing wages" be paid on government construction projects-- "prevailing wages" almost always meaning in practice union wages. Since blacks were kept out of construction unions then, and for decades thereafter, many black construction workers lost their jobs.

Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.

In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams' "Race and Economics" to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades. And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.

The factors that cause the most noise in the media are not the ones that have the most impact on minorities. This book will be eye-opening for those who want their eyes opened. But those with the liberal vision of the world are unlikely to read it at all.
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Dr. Walter E. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of  "Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Dicrimination."

Tags: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams: Race and Economics, race, economics To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Defending Marriage

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: As you will recall, Attorney General Eric Holder announced two months ago that the Obama Justice Department would no longer defend normal marriage in our nation's courts. According to Holder, President Obama had determined that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was unconstitutional and discriminatory.

To his credit, Speaker John Boehner said if the administration refused to do its job, then he would defend the law Congress passed. On Monday, April 18th, it was announced that the House Bi-Partisan Legal Advisory Committee had retained the counsel of former Solicitor General Paul Clement, a partner at the law firm King and Spalding, to defend DOMA.

Obama and other liberal Democrats, who are spending billions of dollars each day, were quick to blast Speaker Boehner and House Republicans for wasting so much taxpayer money ($500,000) "to defend discrimination," as Nancy Pelosi put it.  Predictably, the militant homosexual rights movement went on the attack. Various groups promised boycotts of King and Spalding and "educational campaigns" to notify clients, law schools and potential new employees about the firm's involvement in the case. Protests outside of the firm's Atlanta headquarters were planned for this week.

Yesterday, King and Spalding, citing concerns with the contract's vetting procedure, caved in to the pressure from the left and withdrew its representation. To his credit, Paul Clement immediately resigned from King and Spalding and promised to continue the job he started.

This episode is more evidence of the very real culture war over the values that define our society. It also demonstrates once again just how determined the left is to intimidate and silence those who oppose its radical ideology.

Consider this: There are dozens of lawyers at some of America's most prestigious law firms who are volunteering their services to the alleged Jihadists in GITMO. They do that with no danger of a backlash from their employers or the public. In fact, many have received awards and applause from the left for their defense of unpopular clients and causes.

But a firm that dares to defend common sense -- that marriage is the union of one man and one woman -- leads to condemnation and protests. And rather than stand its ground in support of the law and the views of tens of millions of Americans who have voted over and over again in support of normal marriage, the firm retreated. How is it that defending Jihadists attracts accolades while defending normal marriage invites scorn and ridicule?

My friends, be not afraid. I am convinced that the American people are with us. They share our values. It's our politically correct elites who are confused. But these events must cause us to realize what is at stake in political debate today. If we don't fight back, the result is predictable. We must inform friends and family members who aren't paying attention or don't make the connection between elections and the impact on their values.

ACTION ITEM: Please click here to politely, but firmly, share your thoughts with King & Spalding about their refusal to defend normal marriage. You can also call their Atlanta office at 404-572-4600.

Tags: Attorney General, Eric Holder, Justice Department, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Speaker John Boehner, King and Spalding, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gov. Mike Beebe vs. Medicaid Reform

Michael F. Cannon
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: After House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his plan to reform federal Medicaid funding by creating a urgently needed spending cap and reducing states’ ability to shift the cost of their Medicaid programs to other states, Arkansas’ Governor Mike Beebe, along with 16 other governors, sent a letter to congressional leaders to say they “strongly oppose” it.

Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, wrote this column on this issue for Kaiser Health News.

Shortly after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled his plan to convert federal Medicaid funding to a block grant, 17 governors issued a letter to congressional leaders to say they “strongly oppose” it.

Ryan, like most of his Republican comrades, hasn’t always been on the side of fiscal responsibility. He voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, various bailouts, and that unfunded Republican entitlement program, Medicare Part D. On Medicaid reform, however, Ryan has the better side of the argument.

The governors write that block grants “would shift costs and risk to states.” In reality, the matching-grant system these governors seek to preserve is a massive cost-shifting scheme. Block grants would reduce this phenomenon.

For every additional dollar a high-income state spends on its Medicaid program, the federal government sends the state one matching dollar. Low-income states get as much as $4 from Washington for each additional dollar they spend.

Therefore, every time a governor expands his or her state’s Medicaid program, the federal government’s system of matching grants effectively shifts 50 to 80 percent of the expansion’s price tag to taxpayers in other states.

The same is true in reverse. If governors tolerate waste, fraud and abuse, the matching-grant system shifts 50 to 80 percent of the cost to taxpayers in other states.

Today’s system even shifts costs across generations. Matching grants are such a cash cow that states hatch all manner of schemes to “pull down” as much federal money as possible. (One common practice is for states to secure federal dollars by pretending increase their Medicaid outlays, but then recapturing those outlays by taxing providers.) But each time they do so, states add to the federal deficit, which shifts the cost of current consumption to future taxpayers.

What’s really upsetting these governors is that block grants would reduce their ability to shift the cost of their Medicaid programs to other states. Under a block-grant system, Washington would give each state a fixed amount of money that would neither rise nor fall with the amount the state spends. Governors would be free to expand their programs, but they would have to come up with 100 percent of cost of those expansions.

These governors warn that having to choose “between increasing taxes, cutting other state programs, or cutting eligibility, benefits, or provider payments” would put them in an “untenable” position. What they mean is that they want to preserve the open-ended, perennial bailout that Medicaid has always offered. But since there is no more money in Washington for bailouts or anything else, perhaps a second-best option would be to ask the nation’s governors to start taking responsibility for their Medicaid policy choices.

Finally, the governors call for “federal policy that creates cost savings, not cost shifting.” As luck would have it, block grants would do just that, by encouraging states to reduce Medicaid fraud and abuse. Various experts estimate that fraudulent and other improper payments account for an estimated 10 to 40 percent of this $466 billion program.

Economists estimate that Medicaid and similar programs crowd out private coverage at rates as high as 60 percent. That suggests there are millions of people on the Medicaid rolls who could obtain coverage on their own, and that states could reduce the cost of the program by targeting subsidies to the truly needy. Fraud and abuse have become so prevalent in Medicaid largely due to the perverse incentives created by the matching-grant system.

Combating Medicaid fraud and abuse is currently a low-return proposition for state officials. Providers inevitably chafe under the additional paperwork and investigations necessary to police fraud. Currently, if a state inflicts enough of this political pain to eliminate $1 of fraud, it only keeps 20 to 50 cents; the rest goes back to Washington. As a result, governors quite rationally make policing fraud and abuse too low a priority.

Under block grants, states would keep 100 percent of the savings from rooting out fraud and abuse, which would encourage states to spend their Medicaid dollars wisely, reduce the cost of the program, and enable states to do more with fewer resources. The governors’ position is looking more tenable already.It wasn’t their intention, but those 17 governors inadvertently demonstrated why block grants are necessary.
Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Cato Institute, fraud, Medicaid, Michael F. Cannon, Mike Beebe, Paul Ryan, Arkansas, Debt and Deficit, Health Care Reform, Curtis Coleman, The New South Conservative To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ABC Poll: High Gas Prices Causing Americans Pain!

The Obama Administration's Energy Policies Not Only Offer No Relief But Stand In The Way Of Recovery!

The Washington Post reports today, “Soaring gasoline prices are biting into household incomes and nibbling at Americans’ fuel consumption — and support for President Obama, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. About six in 10 respondents said they had cut back on driving because of rising fuel prices, and seven in 10 said that high pump prices are causing financial hardship.”

ABC News adds, “With gas up 26 percent this year to an average $3.88 a gallon, seven in 10 Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll report financial hardship as a result, six in 10 say they've cut back on driving -- and, among those hardest hit, Obama's ratings are suffering. This poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds the president's job approval rating 13 points lower among people who say the price of gas is causing them hardship. Forty-three percent of them approve of the president, vs. 56 percent of those who report no hardship. And among the four in 10 feeling ‘serious’ hardship, just 39 percent approve of Obama's work in office.”

According to ABC, “Political support usually rests heavily on economic performance, and there the sharply rising price of gas is taking its expected toll. Economic pessimism -- the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse -- has doubled this year to 44 percent, and it rises to 54 percent, among those who report serious financial hardship from gas prices.”

Unfortunately, President Obama has given Americans little reason for optimism on gas prices, thanks in part to his energy policies. In an op-ed last week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell addressed many of the troubling actions of the Obama administration on energy issues: “His administration has delayed, revoked, suspended, or canceled many energy development opportunities. No matter how much they say they want lower gas prices, the regulations issued by this administration add up to one thing — a war on American energy production and the jobs that come with it. President Obama has proposed raising energy taxes of up to $90 billion over the next 10 years — most of which would be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher gas and electricity prices. The taxes could also slow down domestic oil production, enough to put up to 165,000 jobs in jeopardy over the next 10 years. The administration has issued only 10 permits for deepwater drilling basic exploration projects in the past 11 months. If that current slow pace continues, offshore energy production will decrease by 13 percent in 2011. And fewer deepwater drilling projects mean fewer jobs and billions of dollars lost in investment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has blocked access to potential offshore resources by refusing to provide permits to explore for oil off the Alaska coast, which holds an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and would create 55,000 jobs per year. . . .That same EPA is imposing through regulation what it couldn’t through legislation, the regulation of carbon emissions—despite Congress expressly voting against giving the EPA any such power. These backdoor regulations could increase the cost of gasoline and electricity by 50 percent and destroy more than a million jobs. And the administration won’t even have a conversation about exploring for oil in a remote, 2,000-acre piece of land in northern Alaska that could bring approximately one million barrels of oil to market per day. . . .

"The problem is that the liberal Democrats in Washington won’t let us use the energy we already have. . . . Republicans have proposed two simple ideas that would provide real relief at the pump. First, we should seriously reform the rules and regulations holding America back from increased domestic energy production. And second, we should block any new regulations that would drive up the costs of energy production. Together, these two steps would unlock our energy resources and promote job growth. Plus, they’re just common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is a rare thing in Washington these days—perhaps rarer than domestic energy.”

Americans for Limited Government responded today, "The late, great Milton Friedman once taught us that '[i]nflation is the result of too many dollars chasing too few goods.' So, there is a supply problem. Just not with oil. There’s too many dollars chasing the same amount of oil. If there is to be any investigation, it should be into the government’s inflationary spending and monetary policies. House Republicans ought to use their majority status to shed light on this growing inflation crisis.

"So, when the American people head to pump in the coming months, with gasoline nearing $4 a gallon nationally, headed to $5, they ought to remember who to really thank for the pain at the pump. It’s not the “speculators,” whoever they may be. It is Fed head Ben Bernanke, and of course, the spender-in-chief, Barack Obama."

Rush Limbaugh responded today: (Comments summarized) Obama wants increased gas prices. There is no green energy solution. It is a fraud. He want to remove oil subsides from oil companies and to give them to GE to promote green energy. The oil companies pay taxes and GE doesn't.

Tags: Washington, D.C. Obama policies, energy policies, slowing oil production, lost jobs, higher gas prices, rising gas prices, attacks on oil companies, green energy, Rush Limbaugh, Americans for Limited government, Mitch McConnell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mandatory Disclosure Would Impose Politics On Federal Procurement Choices

Bill Smith
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: As a former Federal Acquisitions Contracting Officer, the last thing I would wish to know or to consider is information about where and to whom the owners, executives or employees of a business or company donated campaign money.  It is none of my business.   The public does not need others especially elected or appointed politicians and their staff - including the President, knowing this type information and then pressuring contracting officers or their agencies to award contracts to contractors based on politics.

Contracting Officers are to determine contract awards based on price and the contractor's ability to meet the contract's technical specifications. It is presently illegal for members of the White House, Congress or any one in an agency to put political pressure on a Contracting Officer to sway the decision of the award of the contract to a particular contractor or away from a particular contractor.

Of Course, I admit that in the past some honorable contracting officers may have been removed or relocated to other offices or agency because they refused to bend to political or organizational pressure to violate Federal Acquisition Regulations and / or Federal Contract Law. In review of the following article by the Wall Street Journal, one should ask what is the White House doing proposing an Executive Order which in fact codifies that Chicago style corruption to be implemented from the White House and through all levels of Federal Government acquisitions. It is evident that someone is seeking to drag the Administration down a path which will be both destructive to the White House and to the reputation of the Federal Government as a whole.

[Dr. Smith is a retired Air Force Officer and former Contracting Officer who worked at several levels of government acquisitions from the basic construction, utilities, services and supplies needed to support military aircraft, ICBM missiles and Air Force base operations to being the Director of Acquisition of the former $2.2 billion European F-16 Aircraft Co-production program with additional oversight of all DOD contract in plants in four European countries. He Was a former senior DOD Acquisitions Contracts instructor with AFIT and ALMC. After retiring from the military, he was a graduate professor teaching acquisitions and procurement courses. He is a National Contracts Management Assoc. Fellow and a Certified Cost Analyst.]
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial today on the Obama administration’s latest plans to circumvent Congress by implementing parts of the DISCLOSE Act via executive order, which was first uncovered by former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky last week.

The WSJ editors write, “The order would implement parts of last year’s Disclose Act, which failed to pass Congress but was a favorite of Democrats because it would deter political contributions by business after last year’s Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. . . . The draft of the executive order describes the rule’s purpose as a way to ensure the federal contracting system is free from the influence of ‘political activity or political favoritism.’ Hmmm. Last we checked, government contractors were already required to disclose contributions to candidates. The new twist here is the disclosure of donations to independent groups, a category in which conservatives outspent liberals for the first time in the last election cycle.”

“And what do you know,” the editors point out.  “The draft order doesn’t cover federal employee labor unions, the Democratic allies whose free speech rights were recognized alongside corporations in Citizens United. Nor do the disclosure requirements extend to recipients of federal grants, which often run into the millions of dollars. These donees are usually Democrats too.”

Further, they explain, “Mandatory disclosure would impose politics on federal procurement choices as never before. . . . Disclosure may sound nice, but the real point is to put companies on notice that their political contributions will have, well, consequences. When the Disclose Act was before Congress, New York Democrat and co-sponsor Chuck Schumer made clear the bill was designed to ‘embarrass companies’ out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. ‘The deterrent effect should not be underestimated,’ he said.”

As the editors conclude, “The point of all this is to discourage political speech by certain speakers. Citizens United was a landmark victory for liberty because it blew a huge hole in the architecture of campaign finance limits that had increasingly restricted political speech. Having failed to overrule Citizens United in Congress, Democrats now want to do it via executive diktat.”

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had a similar reaction last week, saying, “Democracy is compromised when individuals and small businesses fear reprisal, or expect favor from the federal government as a result of their political associations.  So recent press reports about an unprecedented draft Executive Order raise troubling concerns about an effort to silence or intimidate political adversaries’ speech through the government contracting system. If true, the proposed effort would represent an outrageous and anti-democratic abuse of executive branch authority. No administration should use the federal contracting system for campaign purposes.”

Tags: White House, Executive Order, government procurement, disclose procedures, free speech, contracting officers, Federal Acquisition Regulation, Federal Contract Law, Chicago style corruption, Dr. Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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