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, May 21, 2011

I'm An American

I'm An American
By Allyson Smith:
I've yet to be born into this world
but I'm still an American and it's true
that I'm an American just like you.

I sleep off and on through the night and day.
I toss and turn, roll and play.
My heart is beating through and through
because I'm an American just like you.

Equal rights is the song that I hear
with each passing day through the year.
Equal rights are lost and forlorn
when it comes to those who are yet to be born.
Although I've not spoken my first word
our rights are seldom seen or heard.

When you vote for abortion you're legalizing murder.
Well free all of the murderers because they took a life!
Yes I'm an American and it's true
that I'm an American just like you.

For now I live in my Momma's womb.
You started in the womb at one time too
and I'm an American just like you!

If you could choose to live or die, you wouldn't stay quiet.
We'd hear the cries of, "I've got my rights!"
As the tears fall my hearts been torn
when they say, "you're not a citizen until you're born."

Many babies are conceived to die
because with abortion they don't have any rights.
I wish that my Momma was PRO-LIFE.
The above poem is by Allyson Smith. She submitted this poem to the ARRA News Service Editor with her permission to use the poem. Allyson is a pro-life advocate, writes poems, is married, is a mother of two and hails from Arkansas.

Tags: I'm An American, abortion, pro-life, Allyson Smith, poem, Arkansas, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama Speech On Israel Generates Growing Backlash

Maps of World
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: After a White House meeting that ran nearly two hours longer than planned, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made joint statements just a few hours ago from the Oval Office. Obama went first, looking uncomfortable and sounding as if he was in "damage control" mode. Prime Minister Netanyahu responded and, quite frankly, looked and sounded presidential. He directly rejected Obama's demands.

He reminded Obama that a peace based on an illusion would crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality. He directly rejected Obama's call for Israel to return to the 1967 lines. "Israel cannot go back…because the lines are indefensible," Netanyahu said. He told Obama that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government headed by Hamas and reminded Obama that Hamas condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden.

On the question of Palestinian refugees, Netanyahu pointedly told Obama that the refugee issue will not be settled within the land of Israel. In other words, Israel will not agree to demographic suicide. "That's not going to happen," he told Obama.

In closing, Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded Obama of the history of Israel and the Jewish people. (He was wise to do so since the president's knowledge of history sometimes appears to go no further than the day of his own election.) He told Obama that through all the dark times, including the Holocaust, the Jewish people never lost "our dream" of reestablishing a state in their ancient homeland.

He told Obama, "We don't have a margin of error." Translation: You won't push us into concessions with our enemies that could jeopardize our very existence.

This was an amazing moment. Of the two men sitting next to each other in the Oval Office today, only one understands the dangerous world we live in, and knows that weakness emboldens evil and makes war and defeat more likely. That man is not the president of the United States.

The outrage is growing as analysts in Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem continue to pour over every word of Obama's speech on the Middle East. Obama reneged on a key pledge made by the United States to Israel in 2004. As a result, he has undermined the value of our word in international relations with potentially terrible consequences for the future. He has demoralized the Israeli people and emboldened our mutual enemies.

In a 2004 letter, President George Bush outlined the U.S. position. Noting that large Israeli communities exist beyond the 1967 boundaries, Bush wrote, "…it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome" of peace talks would be a complete return to previous armistice lines. His letter was an attempt to reassure Israel that we would not pressure it to return to borders that are virtually impossible to defend.

Bush's letter was endorsed by a bi-partisan resolution in the House of Representatives by a vote of 407-9. (Only one Republican voted "No" on this reasonable position -- Rep. Ron Paul.)

One day later the resolution passed the Senate 95-3. One of those 95 "Yes" votes was then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Because of this presidential commitment, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was willing to take the risk of forcing 9,000 Israelis living in Gaza to leave their homes. Gaza promptly fell under the control of Hamas.

Obama's speech essentially ripped up the commitment made by Bush and Congress. It puts in jeopardy over 350,000 Israelis who live in well-established communities on the "wrong" side of the border to which Obama now demands Israel retreat.

The "Obama border" would shrink Israel to a width of 8 miles in some areas. In Israel such a border is referred to as the "Auschwitz" border because it would increase the chances that the country would be overrun by its enemies, resulting in a second Holocaust.

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heard the speech yesterday, he was described as livid. He should be. His office issued a statement saying that in his meeting with Obama today, the prime minister expected "to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004." But at this point what is a commitment from Obama worth? Next to nothing!

Last week thousands of Palestinian extremists threw themselves against the borders of Israel from all sides attempting to drown the tiny nation with a tidal wave of people dedicated to its destruction. Yesterday, Obama joined that mob attempting to erase the legitimate borders of our staunch ally.

If Obama succeeds, the most holy sites of Judaism and Christianity would be in the blood-soaked hands of Hamas, Hezbollah and the allies of Syria and Iran. Every pastor and rabbi should speak up and rally their congregations against this betrayal. Congress should immediately reaffirm the 2004 resolutions.
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Israel, Barack Obama, Prime Minister, Netanyahu To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reaction to Obama's New Policy for Israel

Photo Via Wikipedia
Former New York Ed Koch: Israel is facing its “most dangerous and critical period,” and warned he may cross party lines in 2012 and vote against Pres. Obama. Koch said, “This is the most dangerous and critical period that Israel has ever faced and regrettably it does not have the support of the president of the United States.”

Oliver North: Obama's Mideast Tack 'Deadly Mistake'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Showing no progress toward peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat alongside President Barack Obama on Friday and declared that Israel would not withdraw to 1967 borders to help make way for an adjacent Palestinian state.

Local Reader Comments: "Israel Embassy, 3514 International Drive N.W., Washington D.C. Phone # 202-364-5500. I will be writing (snail mail) a letter apologizing to Israel and letting them know that Obama does not represent me. There may be others who would like to do the same".

President Obama assaulted Israel yesterday, demanding the Jewish people forfeit all the land they earned when attacked by armies of Muslim terrorists in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmit (by email): "I say if we're turning back the calendar, Israel should reclaim the original Bible boundaries God gave Moses and Joshua beginning around 1500 B.C.: all land West of the Jordan river."

Move America Forward (by email): "Yesterday President Obama gave a speech to push his foreign policy goals on multiple fronts with his usual style of highflying rhetoric, but once again undermined one of our key allies. Obama infuriated us when he undercut Israel in one part of the address where he called on Israel to base negotiations with the Palestinians on the 1967 borders.  Why is the Obama vision that only our friends and allies have to do all of the giving?"

An open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "We stand with your right to secure Israel’s borders without giving away additional land to your openly avowed enemies who do not recognize your right to exist. We recognize that former “land for peace” agreements such as the Gaza withdrawal that ravaged thousands of families from their homes, only served to increase terrorist attacks . . .
Tim Wildmon, American Family Association
Governor Mike Huckabee
James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Family Talk
General William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Kingdom Warriors
Bill McCartney, Chairman, Promise Keepers
Judge Roy Moore, Foundation for Moral Law
Jimmy Draper, President Emeritus, LifeWay Christian Resources
Rev. Rob Schenck, National Clergy Council
Dick & Rich Bott, Bott Radio Network
Jane Hansen–Hoyt, Aglow International
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Caucus for America
Bishop Earl W. Jackson, STAND AMERICA
Pastor Paul Blair, Reclaiming America for Christ
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition
Rick Joyner, MorningStar Ministries & The OAK Initiative
Mike & Mickey Gottfried, Team Focus
David & Janet Porter, Faith2Action
Aaron Fruh, Knollwood Church
Don Finto/Tod McDowel, Caleb Company
Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)
Dr. Robert Stearns, Eagle’s Wings
Mathew D. Staver, Dean and Professor of Law, Director of Liberty Center for Law and Policy
William J. Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition
Raleigh B. Washington, President, Promise Keepers
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Vision America
Christie Glesener, Shofar International
Sue Alt, PeaceMakers International
Don Feder, Syndicated Columnist
Bart Peacher, Friends of Israel
Toward Jerusalem, Council II North America
Bill Federer, American Minute
Paul Keith & Wanda Davis, White Dove Ministries
Che Ahn, Harvest International Ministry
Mike & Pat Reed, Revision Ministries
Rey & Annie Dempsey, Kingdom Life Ministries
Hannele Pardain, Christian Friends of Israel-USA
Mark DeVito, Cornerstone Church
Dick Leggatt, Derek Prince Ministries-USA
Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, The Pray in Jesus Name Project
Phillip L. Jauregui, Judicial Action Group
Bruce Johnson, Reedy Creek Baptist Church
Dan & Kay Newberry, Destiny Network Alliance
Les Lawrence, Elisha Vision Ministry
Debra Minotti, Ebenezer Emergency Fund USA
David Kubal, Intercessors for America
James Robison, LIFE Outreach International
Phil Burress, Citizens for Community Values
Chuck D. Pierce, Glory of Zion International
Mike Bickle, International House of Prayer, Kansas City

Tags: Barack Obama comments, responses, Israel, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Arkansas Attorney General Plotting Another “Fayetteville Finger?”


Is Attorney General Dustin McDaniel plotting another “Fayetteville Finger?”

"Finger's" McDaniels
Little Rock, Ark. – Democrat Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is hiding legislative redistricting maps from the people of Arkansas and spawning public distrust with an arrogant disregard for transparency in the reapportionment process.
The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) today calls on Democrats Mike Beebe and Dustin McDaniel to open up the legislative redistricting process to the people of Arkansas and release their maps before the Board of Apportionment’s first public hearing Tuesday in Jonesboro.

“Arkansans deserve an open, fair and transparent public hearing, and Democrat Attorney General McDaniel appears to care little for the public’s right to know,” RPA Communications Director Katherine Vasilos said. “Chairman Will Bond and the Democratic Party of Arkansas should answer their own party’s cry for transparency and demand the maps to be released. What are they hiding from the people of Arkansas?”

Jason Tolbert of The Tolbert Report reported Wednesday that after submitting two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Attorney General’s office to release redistricting maps, the Attorney General refused, claiming an exemption under the FOIA.

Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin is the only member of the Board of Apportionment to release maps for public comment.

“Democrat Dustin McDaniel needs to stop giving Arkansans the cold-shoulder and start releasing his maps,” Vasilos said. “The people of Arkansas cannot afford another Democrat-led, partisan redistricting proposal, like the ‘Fayetteville Finger.’”

In April, the RPA called on the three-member Board of Apportionment to follow certain guidelines when conducting the reapportionment process. The guidelines are as follows and the RPA is prepared to take action if they are not met:

  1. Districts should respect the concept of “one man, one vote,” with a low variance of one percent.
  2. Geographical boundaries should make sense and avoid gerrymanders like the “Fayetteville Finger.”
  3. The process should be conducted in a fair, non-partisan manner.
  4. The process should be open and transparent for all Arkansans.

“…the Attorney General’s office has denied not one but two FOI requests that I have made to their office regarding the state legislative redistricting process…My first request was a follow up on a story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in which the AG’s office said that they had been working on some maps for this process. I requested copies of these proposed map drafts.” (Jason Tolbert, The Tolbert Report, 5/18/11)

“Democratic Party of Arkansas spokesman Candace Martin called on Republican Chairman Doyle Webb to demand more transparency and less partisanship from Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin, pointing to Martin’s continual attempts to make political gains through legislative redistricting.” (Democratic Party of Arkansas, Press Release, 4/15/11)

Tags: Arkansas, Ask A Democrat, democrats, Democratic Party of Arkansas, DPA, Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, State redistricting, elections, Republican Party of Arkansas, RPA, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Is Not Speaking for America - Wants Israel to Return to 1967 Border

Cartoon by A.F. Branco
By Fred Lucas, CNS News: President Barack Obama called for Israel to give up land to the Palestinians, redrawing the country’s borders to where they were prior to the 1967 Six Day War. This would require Israel to potentially give up the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, or at least major portions of those lands.

“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” said Obama in a major speech at the U.S. State Department on Thursday. “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. . . . Israel’s borders today are set based upon its victory in the Six Day War against Egypt, Syria and Jordan, which occurred in June 1967. As a result of that war, Israel expanded its borders to include the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. . . .

Knesset members on the political Right called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject the Obama proposal.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Likud Party member Danny Dannon said, “Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel's destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister. All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.” . . . [Full Story]

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

Vote Today in US Senate On Obama's Radical Judicial Nominee

Update 1:30 pm - Goodwin Liu Nomination FAILS 52-43. Republican Sen. Hatch (UT) voting Present. Three Republicans and one Democrat Senators did not vote {have not determined if they were out of town or just skipped the vote). No Democrats voted No. RINO Republican Sen. Murkowski (AK) votes no.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 42-57 against the motion to proceed to S. 953, the Republican bill to increase domestic energy production. The motion needed 60 votes for approval.

The Senate has resumed consideration of the nomination of Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. And at 2 PM, the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Liu nomination. It is critical for Republicans to stop this nomination. If cloture is invoked, the Senate democrats will move quickly to vote on this nominee who has openly attacked Conservative judges. Fox News noted earlier this week, “Liu has been the most controversial of President Obama’s judicial selections, aside from his picks for the Supreme Court.”

And The Wall Street Journal reports today, “More than either of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, Mr. Liu has emerged as the flashpoint of ideological warfare over the federal bench. Democrats describe Mr. Liu, a Rhodes Scholar and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a brilliant legal mind with a particular expertise in education law. Republicans offer the opposite image, portraying Mr. Liu as a threat to ‘the American tradition of neutral judges and limited, constitutional government,’ as Sens. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) said in a press release. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) ‘strongly opposes the nomination and will have more to say in a speech on the floor’ Thursday, his spokesman said.”

In a must-read editorial, the WSJ explains why Liu is such a troubling nominee. “Before his own nomination to the bench, Professor Liu led the opposition to Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Of the now-Chief Justice, Mr. Liu wrote that regardless of Mr. Roberts’s qualifications, ‘a Supreme Court nominee must be evaluated on more than legal intellect.’ On Mr. Alito, he was nastier: ‘Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse,’ Mr. Liu said in written testimony. Charming stuff. . . . Professor Liu blasted Justice Alito because ‘[h]e approaches law in a formalistic, mechanical way abstracted from human experience.’ Such stodgy fealty to the law isn’t Mr. Liu’s idea of good judging. In a 2008 Stanford Law Review article, Mr. Liu wrote that judges should ‘determine, at the moment of decision, whether our collective values on a given issue have converged to a degree that they can be persuasively crystallized and credibly absorbed into legal doctrine.’ That broad legal discretion has led the professor to find a constitutional right to welfare and gay marriage, and to read the 14th Amendment as providing a right to health insurance and child care. On using international law as a precedent in U.S. courts, Mr. Liu has said ‘The resistance to this practice is difficult for me to grasp, since the United States can hardly claim to have a monopoly on wise solutions to common legal problems faced by constitutional democracies around the world.’”

As The Journal editorial notes, “We dislike judicial filibusters, but Democrats can hardly protest because Republicans are imitating the practice they pioneered when George W. Bush was President.” Indeed, The Washington Post writes today, “[Ranking Judiciary Committee Republican Chuck] Grassley blamed Senate Democrats for their filibusters early last decade, which came after Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) led an effort to consider more than just legal qualifications and instead also probe a nominee’s legal and political ideology. ‘Both political parties are going by the Schumer standard now,’ Grassley said.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a member of the Judiciary Committee, summarized the reasons to oppose Goodwin Liu’s nomination in a speech on the floor. “It is . . . about a concern or rising out of a systemic, broad-based interpretive approach, one that I believe doesn’t give due regard to the rule of law, to the notion that we are a nation that lives under the law, that our laws consist of words, that words have defined finite meaning, and that in order for our laws to work properly, that meaning needs to be respected and it needs to be interpreted in and of itself and held as an independent good by the judiciary on a consistent basis. Professor Liu’s appalling treatment of Justice Alito leaves great doubt in my mind as to whether he possesses the requisite judgment to serve as a life-tenured judge, and I have come to the conclusion that Professor Liu’s extreme judicial philosophy is simply incompatible with the proper role of a judge in our constitutional republic. For these reasons, as well as those articulated by many of my colleagues, I’m compelled to oppose this nomination.”

Tags: Washington, DC, US Senate, judicial nominee, Berkeley, law professor, Goodwin Liu To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Newt's Trouble - Latent Rino Virus

By A.F. Branco:  
To get rid of the New Gigrich's latent "RINO" virus, he is advised by the Doctor: "Lay off Ryan; drink some TEA; it [his small RINO horn] should fall off in a few days."

Bill Smith, Editor:  I recall when Newt was the Speaker of the House. After the initial Contract With America, I was not thereafter much impressed with his actions.

Neither were his Republican colleagues who eventually wanted him out as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Newt was considered dictatorial, self-centered and unfortunately, busy with sexual affairs while in office. After killing the Republican Revolution, instead of continuing to serve GA as their Representative, Newt resigned both as Speaker and as a representative. After leaving the US House, he wrote a lot of historical fiction. Then with what appears to have been the guidance of his present wife and her church, Newt has a complete moral makeover while he becoming a vocal provocateur of new ideas at American Solutions.

Last week he jumped in as a GOP Candidate for president via an announcement on twitter. Then this week he temporarily jumps off the conservative track to attack Paul Ryan. We then learn that he once supported with Nancy Pelosi the individual healthcare mandate. Newt recants by saying he has a slip of the tongue with regard to Ryan.

As with any candidate, the opposition goes digging and the press goes digging and now Political finds that Gingrich had the following large debt at Tiffany. Newt can spend his money any way he wishes, but his past marital affairs, poor leadership, and big spending based on debt open the doors for criticism no matter what "big" ideas he has to offer. And now, his use of "no comment" will not help any with the "rino virus" so aptly illustrated in the above cartoon.

Newt who has spoken at various large events but has not to my knowledge been the major speaker at a TEA Party. If someone knows of one of one, let me know. Also, at several large events where Newt spoke and I was present, I can't recall him ever stopping by to chat one-on-one with the conservative new media bloggers. Yes, people would run him down but unlike other speakers, he didn't hangout with the new media.

If Newt makes it through the presidential campaign process and becomes the nominee running against Barack Obama, I and others will of course support him. But, we would be a whole lot more comfortable if Newt would stop pontificating transformational ideas and remember we do not want the arrogance, attitudes, and actions of the present occupant of the White House to continue with the next president. We don't need a "know it all."  We need a trustworthy president grounded in the Constitution who is not afraid to mingle with "the People." We want our freedoms and liberties restored in all aspects of our lives. We want a president that protects our borders from daily invasion and our Country from our enemies. We want the size of government reduced by abolishing departments and agencies. We want respect given and received.

There are lots of expectations which have been created because of the present administration. Unfortunately, Newt is not presently registering well on "The People's Meter."
Politico: “Newt Gingrich, a fiscal conservative? Not when it comes to Tiffany’s. In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress for two decades, retired in 1999. But his wife, Callista Gingrich, was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007, according to public records. She listed a “revolving charge account” at Tiffany and Company in the liability section of her personal financial disclosure form for two consecutive years and indicated that it was her spouse’s debt. The liability was reported in the range of $250,001 to $500,000.When asked by POLITICO whether Gingrich has settled this debt, and why he owed between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars to a jeweler, Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, declined to comment. ‘No comment,’ he said in an email.”

Tags: candidate, Newt Gingrich, AF Branco, political cartoon, Bill Smith, commentary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Linking the Debt Limit Hike To Spending Cuts Is Good Economics

Dr. John B. Taylor
By Dr. John B. Taylor, Economics One Blog: For months now top economic officials in Washington have been arguing that the Congress should vote to increase the debt limit without any reductions in the growth of spending—in other words a “clean debt limit hike.” Just last Thursday Ben Bernanke compared linking the debt limit and spending reductions to playing a game of chicken with U.S. credit worthiness, adding “I think using the debt limit as a bargaining chip is quite risky.” CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have been saying much the same thing.

But these arguments do not take account of important economic advantages of linking the debt limit to spending reductions. Such a link is good economics in theory and in practice. It is essential to a credible return to sound fiscal policy and an end to the ongoing debt explosion.

Here’s why. In the current political and economic environment—where more people than ever in the United States and around the world are aware of, and paying attention to, the country’s debt problem—the decision about the debt limit will be precedent-setting. They also know that government spending has increased rapidly in recent years, rising from 18.2 percent of GDP in 2000 to over 24 percent now. If Washington does not change the budget game now, people will sensibly reason, it will never change the game. If politicians just increase the debt limit now when spending has been growing so rapidly compared to revenues without correcting that rapid growth of spending, then they will be expected to do so in the future. In contrast if they tie any increase in the debt limit to a halt in the explosion of spending, then people will be more likely to expect them to control spending in the future. Linking the debt limit vote with spending establishes a precedent and valuable credibility.

Another way to think about this approach is to contrast it with the debt failsafe mechanism that President Obama has proposed. Under the debt failsafe plan, if spending grows too rapidly in the future (after 2015) relative to forecast, and the debt thereby rises more than budgeted for, then there would be an automatic reduction in spending. In other words, debt increases and spending reductions are linked in future. But if there is no link in the present, as in a case of a clean debt limit increase, how can one expect one to be followed in the future? How can today’s politicians expect future politicians to adhere to such a policy if they can’t do so today? This is a common problem in economics, called the time inconsistency problem, covered from principles courses to Ph.D. courses.

The principle of linking the debt increase and spending reductions—put forth in a recent speech to the New York Economics Club by Speaker John Boehner—is therefore an important goal which is worth trying to achieve. True, it may run some risks as the deadline is approached, but those risks are far smaller than the risks caused by the debt explosion which is likely if the Boehner link is severed.
Dr. John B. Taylor is Professor of Economics at Stanford University, USA, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. An expert on monetary policy, in a 1993 paper he proposed the Taylor rule, which provides a guide to central banks on how to determine interest rates. He has been active in public policy, serving as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the first term of the George W. Bush Administration. He was a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the George H. W. Bush administration and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers during the Ford Administration. [Bio info via Wikipedia]

Tags: John B. Taylor, debt limit, spending cuts, good economic, federal government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama’s Most Controversial Judicial Nominee

Progressive Reasoning
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on President Obama nominee for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Obama's nominees have proven that indeed elections have consequences and one of those consequences is his repeated nominations of individuals as judges who seek not to follow the Constitution but who seek to reshape America by "adapting" to "evolving norms" our established laws, our Constitutional rights and freedoms, and contract laws based in "common law"verse the standards which provide protection for Americans.

Berkeley Professor Goodwin Liu Says The Constitution Is ‘Indeterminate,’ And ‘Requires Adaptation’ To ‘Evolving Norms’
LIU: ‘I Stand By My Writings’
GOODWIN LIU: “As in all things, Senator, I think I stand by my writings.” (Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 4/16/10)

Liu believes Obama's election gave liberals “the opportunity to actually get our ideas and the progressive vision of the Constitution and of law and policy into practice.” “‘This is just a tremendous opportunity for us,’ says University of California Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu… ‘now we have the opportunity to actually get our ideas and the progressive vision of the Constitution and of law and policy into practice,’ Liu says.” ("Balance of Power Swings to Liberal Legal Group," NPR, 1/3/09)

GOODWIN LIU:"Mr. Liu opined that words like ‘free enterprise,' 'private ownership of property,' and 'limited government' are ‘code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.’” (“Berkeley’s Judge,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/17/10)

LIU: Constitution Is ‘Indeterminate,’ And ‘Requires Adaptation’ To ‘Evolving Norms’
GOODWIN LIU: ‘Requires adaptation.’ “Interpreting the Constitution, we argue, requires adaptation of its broad principles to the conditions and challenges faced by successive generations. The question that properly guides interpretation is not how the Constitution would have been applied at the Founding but rather how it should be applied today in order to sustain its vitality in light of the changing needs, conditions, and understandings of our society.” (Goodwin Liu, Pamela Karlan, Chistopher Schroeder, "Keeping Faith With The Constitution," P.2, American Constitution Society, 2009)

· ‘Evolving norms.’ “[H]ow do people come at their judgments? Well, I think they can - in our system, they’ve come at it through a variety of ways that over time represents the gradual accretion of precedent, of principal, lessons learned from experience, and an awareness of the evolving norms and social understandings of our country.” ("Prof. Goodwin Liu Interviewed At White Oak," The Brennan Center For Justice, 5/5/09)

· ‘Indeterminate.’ “In short, the Constitution in several places embodies principles and ideas whose meaning was indeterminate even among the document’s contemporaries.” (Goodwin Liu, Pamela Karlan, Chistopher Schroeder, "Keeping Faith With The Constitution," P.38, American Constitution Society, 2009)

LIU: Can’t ‘Grasp’ ‘Resistance’ To ‘Foreign Authority In American Constitutional Law’
GOODWIN LIU: “[t]he use of foreign authority in American constitutional law is a judicial practice that has been very controversial in recent years…The resistance to this practice is difficult for me to grasp, since the United States can hardly claim to have a monopoly on wise solutions to common legal problems faced by constitutional democracies around the world.” (Goodwin Liu, Developments in U.S. Education Law and Policy, 2 DAITO L. REV. 18, 27 (2006))

‘The Most Controversial Judicial Nominee’
“Liu, as you’ll recall, is arguably the most controversial judicial nominee made so far by President Barack Obama...” (“At Long Last, Vote On Goodwin Liu Draws Near,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/17/11)

· “Liu has been the most controversial of President Obama's judicial selections, aside from his picks for the Supreme Court.” (“Reid Sets Showdown For Controversial Obama Nominee,” Fox News, 5/17/11)

· “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is forcing a vote on the controversial nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals” (“Stage Set For Senate Showdown On Liu Nomination,” National Journal, 5/18/11)

Tags: Barack Obama, judicial nominee, Berkley, Goodwin Liu To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Vote Tomorrow On Obama's "Most Controversial" Judicial Nominee: Goodwin Liu

Today in Washington, D.C. -  May 18, 2011:
Yesterday, Democrats failed to get the 60 votes they needed to move ahead with their bill to raise taxes on American energy companies, S. 940. They failed by a vote of 52-48. Also yesterday the Senate voted 71-28 to confirm Susan L. Carney to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Senate began consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 953, the Republican bill to increase domestic energy production. It needed 60 votes for cloture but was voted down (42-57). The bill would have expand offshore oil drilling and jobs for America by requiring the Obama administration to speed up decisions on drilling permits. That's all, the Obama administration would have had to stop stalling and to stop limiting Americans access to jobs and oil.  But liberal democrats held strong in their continued willingness to back the Obama efforts to limit Americans to resources and to place us at the mercy of the price gouging by the Middle East and the funding of countries supporting terrorist against America and Americans world-wide.

In addition, five Republican Senators Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Lee (UT), Richard Shelby (AL), Olympia Snowe (ME) and David Vitter (LA) opposed the bill.  Although it has been indicated that some of them believed the bill did not go far enough, answers are needed from each of these Senators. Also, Virgina's two democrat senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner voted against the bill because it did not provide Virginia with royalties from the sale of leases off the Virginia coast. Don't know if this would be called an earmark or a defense of States rights. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) was for drilling off Virginia's cost to expand jobs and help to establish energy independence.

It seems that with a little more work on the GOP bill that this bill could pass, will be watching for future actions by the Senate Republican leadership.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on one of President Obama’s most controversial judicial nominees, liberal  Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu, who has been nominated for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A cloture vote on the Liu nomination is expected tomorrow. Reid’s move sets up a cloture vote on Liu’s nomination tomorrow in the Senate. The Wall Street Journal’s Ashby Jones calls Liu “arguably the most controversial judicial nominee made so far by President Barack Obama” and the AP noted last year he’s “an unabashed liberal legal scholar who, if confirmed, could become a force on the federal Appeals Court for decades.”

In an editorial last year, The Wall Street Journal deemed him “Berkeley's Judge” and wrote, “the 39-year-old Berkeley law school professor is a prototype for those who believe the Constitution should be read to reflect what he has called the ‘evolving norms and social understandings of our country.’” The WSJ editorial pointed out, “Speaking of the nomination of now Chief Justice John Roberts, Mr. Liu opined that words like ‘“free enterprise,” “private ownership of property,” and “limited government”’ are ‘code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.’”

Ed Whalen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has written extensively about the problems with Liu’s approach to the law. Writing for National Review Online last year, Whalen pointed out, “Liu's freewheeling constitutional approach yields a plethora of extreme left-wing results, including his support for the invention of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

Whalen also wrote, “Perhaps most striking . . . is his law-review article ‘Rethinking Constitutional Welfare Rights,’ which argues that judges . . . may legitimately invent constitutional rights to a broad range of social ‘welfare’ goods, including education, shelter, subsistence, and health care.” Whalen points to Liu writing, “The problem for courts is to determine, at the moment of decision, whether our collective values on a given issue have converged to a degree that they can be persuasively crystallized and credibly absorbed into legal doctrine. This difficult task requires keen attention to the trajectory of social norms reflected in public policies, institutions, and practices, as well as predictive judgment as to how a judicial decision may help forge or frustrate a social consensus.” Whalen explained, “[T]he vast discretionary judicial role that Liu urges -- one that reduces Congress and the state legislatures to quasi-administrative bodies -- fundamentally misunderstands (to restate Liu's test of judicial philosophy) ‘the role of the courts in a constitutional democracy.’” Indeed, in Liu’s explanation, he says courts need to “determine” “our collective values on a given issue” and whether they’re at a point where they can be written into the law.

As The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky and Deborah O’Malley write today, “In his writings, Liu has shown a disturbing judicial philosophy that fits neatly within the activist mold Obama wants nominees to fill. Liu ‘envisions the judiciary … as a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning.’ Judges are not supposed to be interpreters of ‘social meaning’ who base their decisions on the latest cultural meanderings of academia. They are supposed to be interpreters of the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress. But it is this kind of nebulous culturally situated interpretation that allows judges to ignore the plain and ordinary meaning of the law and to replace it with what they personally think is the ‘best’ outcome based upon their own highly subjective, biased, and often radical interpretation of ‘social meaning.’”

At Liu’s hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, Sen. Jeff Sessions summed up Liu’s views of the law: “They represent, I think, the very vanguard of what I would call intellectual judicial activism, a theory of interpretation of our Constitution and laws that empowers a judge to expand government and to find rights there that often have never been found before.”

Given Professor Liu’s writings and his view of the Constitution, it’s easy to see why he is such a controversial nominee and why senators voting on cloture on his nomination tomorrow will need to consider his record very carefully.

Tags: Washington, DC, US Senate, oil drilling, Obama judicial nominee: Goodwin Liu" To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Secret to Victory: Feed The Opportunity, Starve The Problem

Image via Wikipedia
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: There is a secret to Victory. It is hidden in plain sight. It is contained, in full, in one sentence of Peter Drucker’s breakthrough book The Effective Executive: "In every area of effectiveness within an organization, one feeds the opportunities and starves the problem" (p. 98. Emphasis original.)

Part of why the Dow hovers at 12,000, up from around 900 when Ronald Reagan began to wrest the presidency from the hapless Jimmy Carter, is that a lot of executives got Drucker’s message. This insight radically transforms business culture. Many companies that followed the advice to feed the opportunity, starve the problem enjoyed explosive growth.

The same insight can bring about explosive growth for a presidential candidate. For a party. For America.

Forty-five years later, however, Washington still hasn’t gotten the memo. None of the candidates (nor any member of the Congressional leadership) are showing how they will feed the opportunities and starve the problem.

The Problem: A titanic federal deficit. It fixates the party, and the candidates, in much the same way that a certain great white whale obsessed Captain Ahab, dooming him and almost his entire crew. The federal government surely is overdue to be cured of its gigantism. But the way to get there is by starving the problem—shrinking the deficit down to flounder size — not by courting a fatal confrontation.

Of equal importance, the way to get there is by feeding the opportunities. There is a wistful, almost cargo-cultish, sense in the GOP that … by invoking certain ritual formulas prosperity will return. It takes more than incantations.

Prof. Gingrich, the latest entrant into the fray, has called his plan, aptly if solipsistically, The Gingrich Jobs and Prosperity Plan. Professor Gingrich? We get that this is the Gingrich plan, shrewdly designed to get you a great job, president, and, come what may, prosperity. Gentle reminder? We mere voters want an American Jobs and Prosperity Plan.

There are a few gold nuggets in your plan but more deficiencies. It reads like a pastiche of ideas that poll well (especially in the Base). It goes vague on critical specifics. What you plan to do and how you plan to do it? "[R]eturning to the Reagan-era monetary policies?" Perhaps Paul Volcker is too advanced in age to wish to resume his duties? Perhaps 20% interest rates are not appetizing to us mere voters? Both Reagan and Kemp preferred the gold standard. Why flinch?

Former CEO Herman Cain contradicts himself. He’s for the gold standard… after the national debt is paid off. Godfather? The national debt hasn’t been paid off since … 1790. The data show that restoring a strong and stable dollar through gold convertibility is the surest, simplest, recipe for economic growth and deficit reduction.

Governor Pawlenty? What’s up with this horrifying prescription of "a basket of commodities." This confuses a bank with hardware store. "Here, Ms. Bank Teller, is some cash. Fill up this bag with a sheet of tin, a few grains of gold, a gram of silver, some plywood, a pork belly and some palladium." This is a euphemism for "I will trust the Federal Reserve to manage the dollar with reference to the producer price index." Governor, sir? Trusting the Fed to manage our money for us — rather than the tried and true gold standard - is political, and policy, suicide.

Once upon a time James Carville famously pistol-whipped his candidate, Bill Clinton, who had strayed into the policy weeds, by posting a sign at campaign headquarters: "It’s the Economy, Stupid." Pay attention. Republicans enter this cycle on probation. Why? In each of the three Republican administrations since Reagan economic growth averaged in the pathetic 2% range. No prosperity there. No votes, either.

Reagan stood for across-the-board marginal tax rate cuts and a strong dollar policy. These were existential — no pastiche — and extremely controversial. He also stood for traditional values and a strong, although not belligerent, America. The critics were unmerciful. He was ridiculed by the political elites — from within his own party ("Voodoo Economics!"), by the opposing party ("Amiable Dunce!"), all amplified by the elite media.

Reagan did not flinch. He used the controversy to unseat an incumbent and used the prosperity wrought by his policies to get himself re-elected in a landslide.

A real candidate will take a strong and clear stand and will valiantly court controversy. There is a simple prescription that updates and completes the Reagan-Kemp agenda. A prosperity narrative with an authentic prescription, while championing traditional values with valor, can get any of the contenders the nomination … and the White House.

There are a lot of ways to restore economic growth from the 2% range of the past decade to a vibrant 3% or even 4%. Growth of that magnitude will set the stage for massively larger revenue and smart, popular, spending cuts: the end of the warfare/welfare state.

The surest prescription is to restore gold convertibility. Washington always is the last to get the word. Pay attention. The gold standard has achieved mainstream respectability. It no longer is a haven for social dystopians. Respected figures are arguing the case for gold—in the mainstream media, no less. Lewis E. Lehrman, Sean Fieler, Steve Forbes, Jeffrey Bell, James Grant, William Kristol, Dr. Judy Shelton, John Tamny (the editor here and at, with some of whom this writer is professionally associated. Many others — even, from the humanitarian Left, Mike Kinsley—respect gold as well.

Residual aversion to the gold standard tags you as not merely cautious but clueless. Tea Party Patriots stand for three things: fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutional integrity. The gold standard hits a bullseye on all three. The Iowa Tea Party actively is rallying around the gold standard. Many other tea party leaders embrace it. Political implications? Helllooo!

There are plenty of other elements for economic growth ripe for the plucking. Tax reform (lower rates!). Regulatory reform (bye bye Sarbox!). Energy policy (North America is the Saudi Arabia of shale oil). NetWorking [i.e., Telecommuting] : Pick up a cool quarter trillion!

Equally important are social values issues, especially traditional marriage. Marriage represents a principled position and a supercharged vote getter. Traditional marriage has won 31 out of … let’s see … 31 referenda. When Candidate McCain’s manager refused to let McCain campaign on it he went down to defeat in California—while straight marriage won.

Forty-five years later the GOP is badly overdue to get The Memo: "In every area of effectiveness within an organization, one feeds the opportunities and starves the problem." Time to wake up, Candidates. Trade in your harpoons for a whale-muzzle, get back to authentic, high octane, prescriptions for growth (and welcome the ridicule of the elites), real championship of traditional values, and constitutional first principles.

Do these things and Victory will be yours. You may go on to a greatness rivaling Reagan’s.
If you do not? Then call me Ishmael. For I alone am escaped to tell the tale.
Ralph Benko is a senior economics advisor to The American Principles Project and 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." This article which first appeared in the Forbes was submitted by contributing author Ralph Benko to the editor of the ARRA News Service for reprint.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Federal Government, federal deficit, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutional integrity, Ronald Reagan, Tax reform, Regulatory reform, Energy policy, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obams Drillin' For Votes - Not Oil

A.F. Branco:

Obama: "I can see 2012 From My House."

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

Senate Votes: Tonight On Dems' "Laughable" Oil Company Tax Hike

Update: The Senate rejected S.940 (52-48). Three Democrats – Sens. Mark Begich (AK), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Ben Nelson (NE),joined nearly all but two Republican in voting against the measure. The two Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voted with the Democrats.
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 17, 2011:
The Senate reconvened today and quickly confirmed ( 71-28) Susan L. Carney to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Then in the began consideration of S. 940, the Democrat bill to raise taxes on American energy companies. ; Around 6:15 PM, the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to S. 940, which will require 60 votes.

Tomorrow, the Senate will take up the Republican bill to increase domestic energy production, S. 953, with a vote on the motion to proceed to the bill scheduled for 2:30 PM.

As The Hill reports today, the Senate is scheduled to vote tonight on Democrats’ bill (S. 940) to raise taxes on American energy producers, which many Democrats admit will do nothing to lower the high gas prices Americans are struggling with each day.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a member of Democrat Senate leadership, admitted to CNN’s Dana Bash, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared yesterday, “[T]his is a question of fairness and a question of priorities. Certainly a question of economics. But it is not a question of gas prices.” At a Senate Finance Committee hearing last week, Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That’s not the issue.  I don’t see that as an issue at all.”

And during floor speeches where they criticized their own party’s proposal last week, Democrat senators from energy producing states also emphasized the bill will do nothing to lower gas prices. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said, “[I]t will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.” She also added, “It will actually hurt job production in the United States.” And Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) called the bill “a gimmick,” explaining, “It won't decrease prices at the pump.”

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained just how detached from reality Senate Democrats’ response to high gas prices has been. “Instead of actually doing something about high gas prices,” Leader McConnell said, “our Democratic friends staged what one of my Republicans colleagues accurately described as a dog and pony show. They rounded up what they believed were a few unsympathetic villains who they could blame for high gas prices, hoping nobody would notice they don’t have a plan of their own to deal with them. That’s been their strategy from the beginning. Blame this crisis on somebody else — and then see if they can’t raise taxes while they’re at it. They’ve been so shameless, in fact, that they haven’t even pretended they’re doing anything to lower gas prices, readily admitting the bill we’ll vote on today won’t lower gas prices by a penny.”

In contrast to Democrats, Leader McConnell said, “Well, I would submit that for most Americans high gas prices is, in fact, the issue.” Which is why Republicans introduced The Offshore Production & Safety Act Of 2011 (S.953), which is scheduled for a vote tomorrow.

The Hill reports, “Under a unanimous consent agreement, Senate leadership also agreed to hold a vote Wednesday on a Republican offshore drilling bill that mirrors legislation passed by House Republicans in recent weeks. The bill, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia coast; would set a timeline for review of pending offshore permit applications; and would extend leases in the Gulf for one year, among other things.”

Leader McConnell described the GOP plan this morning: “Our bill would return American offshore production to where it was before this administration locked it up, require federal bureaucrats to process permits -- to make a decision one way or the other -- rather than sitting on them. And it would improve offshore safety. Our plan not only acknowledges the importance of increasing domestic production — it does something about it, while ensuring environmental safety.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell backed the GOP plan in a statement today, saying, “I urge the Congress to pass this bill with strong bipartisan support, and I encourage Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner to back this measure, which will be a great benefit to the Commonwealth and the nation. Virginia has a vision to become the energy capital of the East Coast, but we cannot achieve that goal, nor can we help foster energy independence and national security if we are reticent to set the prudent and needed policies that can impact the future of our nation and the livelihood of every American.”

As Leader McConnell concluded today, “If President Obama and his party are really serious about lowering gas prices, making us less dependent on foreign oil, and creating the thousands of jobs that American exploration is proven to produce, they would embrace our plan and stop pretending to care about a crisis they have done so much to create and, their latest public relations efforts notwithstanding, continue to ignore.”

No wonder Sen. Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat, said of her party’s bill, “You ask me can I vote for a bill like this. No. Not only can I not vote for it, it’s laughable.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., U.S. Senate, energy tax, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, May 16, 2011

"A Bad Sign" From the Land of Fruits and Nuts

Paul Jacob
by Paul Jacob: Common Sense:  Centerville, Virginia, man made news when he agreed to his wife's demand that he stand at a busy intersection wearing a sign emblazoned "I Cheated: This is My Punishment." His merciful wife ended the punishment after just a couple hours.

In recent years, a few judges have sporadically sought to shame criminals in similar fashion. Back in 2007, several people convicted of shoplifting opted to avoid a longer jail sentence by donning a sign outside the store they had ripped off, which read, "I Am a Thief, I Stole from Wal-Mart." But Wal-Mart soon opted out of such spectacle.

Now, the California State Senate has passed new legislation to force folks to wear similar signs. But not for committing any crime.

Unless petitioning one's government is now criminal.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier's Senate Bill 448 seeks to harass and belittle the citizens who circulate petitions by making each wear a sign "on his or her chest" that reads "PAID SIGNATURE GATHERER" or "VOLUNTEER SIGNATURE GATHERER." The sign would also inform the public which county the petitioner is registered to vote in, or must say, "NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE." The lettering must be in at least 30-point type.

Sen. DeSaulnier calls this "transparency." But transparency isn't necessary for all petitioning, apparently: SB 448 doesn't require those collecting signatures to put a state legislator on the ballot to wear such a sign.

It applies only to those who dare use the citizen initiative.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

Tags: a bad sign, Paul Jacob, Common Sense, California, State Senate, citizen, petition To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

NLRB to Boeing: Shut up!

National Labor Relations BoardBy Bill Wilson: Every American should be afraid when their government tells them to keep their mouths shut. This is especially true when the subject relates to a matter of national public policy.

On Monday, Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), seemed to forget about the right to free speech when he essentially told Boeing, and all other commentators, to shut it.

In 2009, Boeing made a rational business decision regarding the placement of one of its new production facilities. It decided to open a new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. The NLRB claims that Boeing decided to locate the new facility in South Carolina as retaliation for past union strikes in Boeing’s Washington State locations. This ignores the fact that in the meantime Boeing has added over 2,000 employees to its Washington State locations.

The unions are unhappy with the Obama administration for several reasons. As a result, the administration needs to find ways to keep them happy. While unions spent tens of millions of dollars to get Obama elected, only a few union wishes have been realized. Since political opposition makes the passage of high-profile legislation like the so-called Employee Free Choice Act impossible, the administration has resorted to below-the-radar ways to appease its union supporters. Enter the NLRB.

The administration has stacked the NLRB with union operatives. The president used the recess appointment process to place Craig Becker, the former associate general counsel for the SEIU and AFL-CIO, on the board. With Mr. Becker in office, the board has embarked on an activist stint with the app

Having seen that the NLRB’s case against Boeing is weak and that the board’s position is being destroyed in analysis by anyone who has taken a serious look at the matter, Mr. Solomon, in a rather snippy letter to Boeing general counsel Michael Luttig, complained about the press coverage, saying, “We hope all interested parties respect the legal process, rather than trying to litigate this case in the media and public arena.” In other words, “keep your mouth shut.” The hypocrisy here is hard to miss given the board’s propensity to issue press releases anytime doing so will further its positions. This is case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Boeing and all other commentators have a First Amendment right to speak freely, and all should continue to exercise that right. The fact that a high-ranking government official is telling a company and the rest of the public to shut up should send chills down everyone’s back. This type of attempted prior restraint is unacceptable in all but the most extreme circumstances, i.e., falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded building.

Since Mr. Solomon is an attorney, he could do well to take a refresher course on First Amendment law. Perhaps a continuing legal education class on the issue would be helpful for him.

In the meantime, he and all other similarly situated officials should take a step back and remember that preserving our constitutional rights is more important than saving the NLRB’s board members from suffering embarrassment as their position is taken apart by public inspection.
Bill Wilson is President of Americans for Limited Government, a non-profit dedicated to smaller government.You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG. This column was originally published at The Daily Caller.

Tags: AFL-CIO, Boeing, National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, Obama Administration, SEIU, Bill Wilson, ALG To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Ready for Blastoff

AF Branco:

Tags: AF Branco, political cartoon, debt ceiling, spending cuts, federal governement To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Even More Democrat Skepticism Of Dems' Tax Hike On Energy Producers

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 16, 2011:
No Senate votes are scheduled for today. On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to take up the nomination of Susan L. Carney to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has suggested the Senate could move to S. 940 this week. S. 940 is Democrats’ bill to raise taxes on American energy companies.

Washington Post: The House Armed Services Committee has endorsed the Obama administration’s proposal to raise out-of-pocket costs for working-age retirees in the military health plan known as Tricare, the first increase in 16 years.  Retired service members who are still eligible to work would pay $520 a year for family coverage starting Oct. 1, up from $460. Premiums for individual plans would rise to $260 from $230.

Another key Senate Democrat has thrown cold water on Democrat leaders’ plans to raise taxes on American energy producers. According to The Hill, “Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) predicted Friday that a Democratic plan to strip billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies will fail in the Senate next week.  . . . Democratic leaders are planning a test vote on their plan to end incentives for Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips that are worth an estimated $21 billion over 10 years. But Bingaman said the plan – which would steer the savings into deficit reduction – does not have enough votes. ‘I don’t believe it does, and I think the Republicans will come up with some alternative they are going to offer that does not have the votes either,’ he told C-SPAN.”

Not only that, Bingaman isn’t even sure he’d vote for the bill, saying, “Frankly I haven’t decided how to vote. . . .”

Sen. Bingaman’s statement comes on the heels of Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) calling the bill “laughable” and “a gimmick.” Speaking on the Senate floor last week, Landrieu said, “This will not reduce gasoline prices. So why are we doing it? Will it create jobs? No. It will actually hurt job production in the United States.”

In fact, several leading Democrats, including even a sponsor of the bill, have acknowledged that it simply will do nothing to reduce gas prices. At a Finance Committee hearing last week, Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That’s not the issue.  I don’t see that as an issue at all.” Mary Landrieu said, “It will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.” As did Mark Begich: “It won't decrease prices at the pump.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a member of Democrat Senate leadership, admitted, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices.” And even Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), one of the sponsors of the bill asserted, “Nobody has made the claim that this bill is about reducing gas prices.”

On CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed Democrats’ political proposal and pointed out the serious consequences it could have: “The Senate Democrats, you're right, do want to raise taxes on what they call the big five oil companies which of course will raise the price of gas at the pump, send jobs overseas and make us get even more oil from Hugo Chavez. That’s just a political stunt that Mary Landrieu, Democratic senator from Louisiana, called laughable.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, energy tax, oil company, TRICARE, fees, military retirees To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

An Ozark View: The Boys From Hope and Hope For Arkansas

By Dr. Bill Smith / the Ozark Guru:  I did not post a commentary on Saturday night or on Sunday regarding Mike Huckabee's decision not to run for President in 2012. Figured the lame street news and other bloggers had the announcement well covered. If you are one of the few who missed Huckabee's announcement, Gateway Pundit has the video.

As we (Ozark and Mrs. Guru) often do, we watched The Huckabee Show to hear Mike's decision. We enjoy Mike's take on many things but have noted that many of his liberal guests and some of the guest musicians to be worthy of the remote's mute button - our version of voting them off the show. Now, after a day of reflection, here are a few comments related on "Boys from Hope" and Arkansas.

At present, we do NOT know if Huckabee may make the 2012 GOP Ticket as VP or what has or will happen to the HUCKPAC money that been collected. Hopefully, the funds will be used to help other conservative candidates? Certainly found it interesting that Donald Trump provided Huckabee some "video love' at the end of “The Huckabee Show.” Wonder how much that cost?

Of interest to me is his dream of living in Florida. Everyone is entitled to dream. However, in all the years of campaigning throughout Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, a "boy from Hope," who became an Arkansas preacher, Arkansas Lt. Governor, Governor and won overwhelmingly as Arkansas' "favorite son" vote for the GOP Presidential nomination, never mentioned to his fellow Arkansan voters that his dream was to live somewhere else.

Gov. Huckabee & Dr. Bill Smith
We have met Mike Huckabee at campaign and Republican events. We moved 17 years ago from Florida to the Arkansas Ozarks not for a million dollar home but for the wonderful million dollar Ozark views already created by God. Mike, repeatedly at events and in speeches locally, said how much he loved Arkansas and even loved the Ozark Mountains, rivers, and lakes and wished he could live in our area. Maybe he said the same thing to the voters in the Delta where he duck hunted. Was he just schmoozing us for our votes and support?

Maybe, after traveling the U.S. campaigning and experiencing national success, he realized his money could be better sheltered in Florida than in Arkansas. Unfortunately, Mike as Arkansas Governor did not work to make Arkansas an income tax free state like Florida or our neighboring states of Texas and Tennessee. Maybe he didn't have a dream yet. Let's permit him to speak later on his dream.

Pix Via The Clinton Foundation Website
After experiencing the National lime light, the two "Boys from Hope," Arkansas, appear to agree that they are never going "back to Hope" except for maybe some more commercials. And now, they have both skedaddled out of Arkansas.

Former President Clinton who had been the former Arkansas Attorney General, the former Arkansas Governor for 12 years, and an Arkansas licensed attorney before being disbarred, moved "up north" to New York City. He opened his primary office in Harlem for the William J. Clinton Foundation with headquarters in Boston, MA. Not sure that was Bill's big dream, but of course his wife, Hillary, wanted to move to New York to be a U.S. Senator since she had "no hope" either in Arkansas or in her former home state of Illinois where Barack Obama was the "chosen one."

Clinton Presidential Library
Former President Bill Clinton does return to Arkansas to squeeze nickels out of people, to toss out a few fearful endorsements (ask former Sen. Lincoln), to hug as many women as possible, and to visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The library is often identified as "The Big House Trailer." It overlooks the Arkansas River in Little Rock and it is the probably the least presidential looking library. No, you will not see the famous "blue dress." Also the rumored numbers of affairs and sexual encounters in Little Rock have nothing to do with the street named after him. Little Rock has lots of great attractions and if you are in the Little Rock, it is worth a visit to the Clinton Presidential Library just to see the replica of the White House Oval Office.

Enough on noted first boy from Hope, back to second one - Huckabee: After losing the 2010 Presidential bid, Huckabee went to work for Fox News and has his own TV show and shares his fantastic voice on radio (both are great moves on his part). However, last December, he and his wife surprised there fellow Arkansans by declaring their dream was to live someplace other than Arkansas.

While Mike Huckabee still has a home and family in Arkansas, he has changed his primary residency to the Florida. He now resides in Walton County, Florida where they are building a three story home estimated value $3.3 million. Hey, there are no income taxes in Florida as in Arkansas. Also, no more having to be the former Arkansas preacher, he can enjoy the good life somewhere other than Arkansas.

Mike Share's His Dream
Specifically, why did he move to Florida? He has told us in his own words, "Growing up as I did in Hope, AR, it was a dream to do something like this. Living here is a dream. Our first place as young marrieds was a $40-a-month duplex, which was probably overpriced. And since I am in Manhattan weekly, it is slightly easier to get there from here with the new airport. Now if we could just get non-stop flights to New York, it would make my wife very happy. . .

We have friends who wanted to have a place here for some time. They found two lots and they bought one and we bought one. . . . It’s less likely to be crowded and there is a great attitude among people here. In South Florida, all of New York and Connecticut relocates there. But South Walton is all Southeastern Conference. I can order grits and people know what I’m talking about. Not to mention, the most beautiful beaches in all of America,” he said. “It’s an incredible, magnificent area with the best restaurants that are on par with those in Manhattan, but you don’t have to hijack a Brinks truck to pay for the meal.”

So unlike Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, avoids the Brinks trucks and settles in Florida for his dream home and lower taxes. I am happy that Mike and Janet Huckabee have found their dream home even if it is in Florida. I am definitely happy that Bill and Hillary are no longer in Arkansas. However, if Bill Clinton, now a New Yorker, moved to Huckabee's Florida neighborhood, we can just image the interesting discussions that the two "Boys from Hope," Arkansas, could share about the good old days in Hope when they did not have "two nickels to rub together."

Now, it is time for Arkansans to forget the clichés from these "Boys from Hope" and to stay focused on restoring our individual rights and our property rights, limiting government interference in our lives, and setting free the economic engine of prosperity so that all Arkansas will have less dependence on government and on others. We must increase the "real" opportunities for our citizens and restore the freedoms and liberty for all Arkansans.

True, we will have to replace elected officials and bureaucrats who still fail to grasp the desire of Arkansans to be free of plantation politics, big government spending and control, enslavement to entitlements, and denial of opportunities via legislation and regulations.  Hope for Arkansas is now! The transformation process has begun. Our State Motto rings true! We are restoring "Regnat Populus" - "The People Rule."

Tags: Ozark, Ozarks, Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, Bill Clinton, Hope, editorial, Ozark Guru, Bill Smith. Regnat Populus, The People Rule To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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