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, November 05, 2011

Blocked by OccupyDC Protesters

Eliza Vielma: The Occupy DC protesters blocked EVERY door of the
convention center so no one could get out (a clear fire code violation).
This was one blogger, Bill Smith, trying to open the doors.
They kept pushing it back so he couldn't leave.
Bill Smith: Eliza Vielma of AFP Texas took the above photo of me trying to convince OccupyDC protesters to allow several of us to leave the Washington Convention Center (D.C.) via a side entrance. Note that all the doors were blocked by the bodies of protesters. The cameraman with the long hair was also taking pictures but at this point in time, still do not know if he was a friendly or not.

Tags: Washington, D.C, AFP Defending the American Dream, Washington Convention Center, D.C., OccupyDC, protesters, doors, photo, Eliza Vielma, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

An Open Letter to Washington, D.C.'s Mayor Vincent C. Gray

November 5, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 316
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Mayor Gray,

Yesterday and today, Americans For Prosperity, held its annual Defending the American Dream Summit, in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Convention Center. I have been to Washington, D.C. on many occasions in 65 years especially during my 22 years in the military. In the past, I have enjoyed my visits and felt safe. However, on this trip, I must ask what is going on in your city with services to protect individuals including obviously myself?

Having served in the defense of my country, I value the exercise of free speech and all other God given rights of individuals as long as they do not infringe on my rights including my right not to be "falsely imprisoned" by others. Last night, outside of your convention center, there was a group calling itself OccupyDC. They were physically and verbally protesting across the street from our meeting. Initially, they acted civilly; but later members of their group choose to invade our proceeding. Then later a majority of their numbers  choose to physically restrain our freedom to come and to go from the convention center.

While not relevant to my expectations for actions by you or your agencies, it is interesting that event attendees paid for travel, hotel accommodations and for the actual event at the Convention Center thus aiding your economy. We were lawfully advocating for the rights and liberties for all individuals including those assembled across the street. If the protesters had not been co-opted by the agenda of others, we could have shared our agreement with them regarding the massive Federal bailouts of big banks, Wall-Street, and certain corporations. We could have agreed on stopping federal programs that are driving  jobs overseas and thus denying these jobs to Americans.  We could have agreed  on stopping the government programs and agendas that are driving up the cost of education and forcing massive debt on students.  Unfortunately, the OccupyDC members missed a great opportunity when they flagrantly flaunted their words against large numbers of community leaders including many grandparents from across the nation who attended this event to discuss actions to advance the prosperity of future generations including the young protesters.

Returning your area of responsibility, several of the "OccupyDC" individuals invaded our functions and disrupted our events inside of the Washington Convention Center. Then they blocked traffic outside of the convention center and finally aggressively and physically restrained the free movement of people wishing to leave the Convention Center.

Sources revealed that 911 was called several times.  The people who called allegedly were told by the 911 operators that the problem was not theirs to handle or some similar responses and there were even hang-ups on some calls. As Mayor, you are responsible for the protection of people living in and visiting your city. I am asking you to review the 9-11 calls regarding this situations at and surrounding the Washington Convention Center last night. It seems appropriate for you to determine for future safety the appropriateness or lack thereof of any responses by the 9-11 operators.  I would be glad to publish your findings and response.

A major concern is that when I and others tried to depart the Washington Convention Center, the "OccupyDC" members physically blocked the outside of the exit doors with their bodies and would not us depart the Convention Center. At the recommendation of convention internal security, I and several others, including three women from Virginia, went to another set of exit doors on another side of the convention center. Many others were doing likewise. However, these exits were also by the protesters. While police were present in patrol cars on our side of the building, unlike the police on the front doors, none of these police would assist us.

I asked protesters repeatedly to be allowed to leave and even tried to explain to the protesters that they had crossed the line of falsely imprisoning us (as defined at the end of this letter). They continued to block our exits with their bodies and refused to allow us to leave even after the Convention Security insisted that they remove themselves from the doors to allow us to leave. The protesters repeatedly refused.

Most disappointingly, the Washington, D.C. police were outside of the building in their cars observing our situation but they would not assist us. When people sought to leave via doors in another wing of the convention center across the court yard from our doors, the ranks of OccupyDC became confused for a couple minutes as they several rushed to block the other exit doors with their bodies and they mistakenly left one of our doors unblocked. I slipped out with three ladies before they blocked these doors again. Other than shouting, the protesters did not physically assault us.

It was extremely disappointing that your city appeared unprepared. While some police officers were overloaded with responsibility, others on the scene remained in their cars and would not aid us. Maybe there was a good reason they did not but to us - sure would like to know what it was. 

For other readers of this letter and for you review, I have identified below the legal definition of false imprisonment.

In closing, as with any responsible city, the buck stops with the Mayor. Therefore as the Mayor, I would appreciate your review of the 911 responses and the non-response of certain on-site police to assist us. I would be remiss in not thanking those police who did their job at the main entrance or the convention center.

Dr. Bill Smith (Arkansas)
Editor, ARRA News Service

According to US Legal:
"False imprisonment" is the unlawful restraint of a person without consent or legal justification. False imprisonment can be committed by words, acts, or by both[i]. The common law tort of false imprisonment is defined as an unlawful restraint of an individual’s personal liberty or freedom of movement[ii]. In order to constitute the wrong it is not necessary that the individual be actually confined or assaulted[iii].

It is to be noted that, there is no necessity in a false imprisonment case to prove that a person used physical violence or laid hands on another person. It is sufficient to show that at any time or place the person in any manner deprived another person of his/her liberty without sufficient legal authority[iv]. . . .

The principal element of damages in an action for false imprisonment is the loss of freedom. Sometimes, a court also takes into account the fear and nervousness suffered as a result of the detention[x]. The tort of false imprisonment involves an unlawful restraint on freedom of movement or personal liberty. Therefore, two essential elements to constitute false imprisonment are[xi]:
  • Detention or restraint against a person’s will
  • Unlawfulness of the detention or restraint.
. . . All persons who personally participate or cause an unlawful detention are held to be liable. Similarly, persons other than those who actually cause an imprisonment may be held jointly liable with others, as instigators or participants. . . .

[i] Dietz v. Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., 754 N.E.2d 958 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).
[ii] Pechulis v. City of Chicago, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11856 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 1997).
[iii] Whitman v. Atchison, T. & S. F. R. Co., 85 Kan. 150 (Kan. 1911).
[iv] Pechulis v. City of Chicago, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11856 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 1997). . . .
[x] Pitts v. State, 51 Ill. Ct. Cl. 29 (Ill. Ct. Cl. 1999).
[xi] Ette v. Linn-Mar Cmty. Sch. Dist., 656 N.W.2d 62 (Iowa 2002). . . .

Tags: Americans for Prosperity, occupy dc, occupydc, Occupy Wall Street, false imprisonment, Washington, D.C. protesters, Vincent Gray To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's Green Giveaway

President Obama spent $535 million of taxpayer stimulus money to prop up Solyndra, a solar panel company run by his political campaign contributors. Even though Department of Energy and White House staffers warned that the company's business model would never work, the loan was rushed out the door anyway. Now that Solyndra has gone belly up, taxpayers are left holding the bill. Learn more at

Yesterday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted 14-9 along party lines to authorize subpoenas of top White House officials. GOP lawmakers say the subpoenas are necessary because the White House has denied or delayed requests for thousands of documents related to Solyndra. Today, in a sign of arrogance and opposition to the "People's House," the White House rejected the subpoenas.

Watch Americans For Prosperity TV ad demanding real answers from the White House and sign the petition here: Video / Ad

Tags: Barack Obama, Obama administration, Solyndra, green giveaway, video, Americans For Prosperity To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, November 04, 2011

“Occupy DC” Efforts To Protest AFP Defending the American Dream Summit

Bill Smith: Tonight found myself in the midst of protesting #OccupyDC while attending AFP's Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center. For the most part, was not concerned with the smelly crazies except for their blocking the exits with their bodies when we wished to leave. The Washington, D.C. police were in their cars but not assisting us. Due to some confusion for the #OccupyDC with people leaving by another wing, several rushed to block the other doors with their bodies and mistakenly left a door open. I slipped out with three ladies before they blocked these doors again. Other than shouting, the protesters did not physically assault us. However, a person with a camera taking pictures was intrusive into my and others' personal space. In fact, he was the roughest looking person in the crowd and I am not sure if he was part of their protest.  Tomorrow we begin again with more protests expected.

For insight into the activities of the #OccupyDC activities outside the Convention Center, Robert Stacy McCain has the following story -
#OWS Protesters Attempt to Storm AFP Defending the American Dream Summit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - “Occupy DC” protesters just attempted to force their way into the Washington Convention Center where the Americans for Prosperity Foundation is holding its Ronald Reagan tribute dinner for the “Defending the American Dream Summit.” I was in the middle of the scrum of smelly hippies when they stormed the doors and have multiple photos and video which I’m uploading now.
UPDATE: Smelly hippies chant “We are the 99%” while attempting to force their way into the building:
#OWS Protesters Attempt to Storm AFP Defending the American Dream Summit

UPDATE II: A couple of AFP supporters who were attending the dinner and had stepped outside to watch the protesters marching, got caught in the mob when the protesters rushed the doors:
. . . [Full Story with more photos and videos] A final quote from McCain's article: "A Republican consultant (who shall not be named) said: “I’ve never seen so many losers in my life.” Truly, it was LoserFest 2011."

Tags: Occupy DC, protesters, AFP, Defending the American Dream, Robert Stacy McCain, videos, pictures To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democracy Verse A Republic

A.F. "Tony" Bronco:

Tags: Libya, Democracy, Republic, United States, Al Qaeda, democracy, Hillary Clinton, Libyan missiles missing, Libyan rebels, Missing missiles in Libya, Obama incompetence, Republic, A.F. Branco, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Union Boss Wants More Violence

Occupy Oakland
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Just when you think you've seen the worst from the  crowd (think Oakland), along comes Leo Gerard. Gerard was on the Ed Schultz radio show this week offering his advice to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Consider this excerpt:
GERARD: You're damn right Wall Street occupiers speak for us. They do in Pittsburgh, they do in Chicago, they do in Oakland, they do in San Francisco, they do all across the country. And I think what we need is, we need more militancy.

SCHULTZ: What does that mean, more militancy?

GERARD: I think we've got to start a resistance movement. If Wall Street occupation doesn't get the message, I think we've got to start blocking bridges and doing that kind of stuff. …We oughta be doing more than occupying parks. We oughta start occupying bridges. We oughta start occupying the banks' places themselves.
What is going on in Zuccotti Park is too timid for Gerard. Maybe he would prefer to see more cities going up in flames like Oakland. Normally you could dismiss such rantings from an overzealous supporter. But Gerard is not your average left-wing agitator -- he is president of the United Steelworkers union! In other words, he has the muscle to back up his threats.

Meanwhile, speaking in Florida last night, Sarah Palin ripped into the Occupy Wall Street movement with one of the best lines I have heard so far. Palin said, "They say 'Wall Street fat cats got a bailout so now I want one too.' And the correct answer is no one is entitled to a bailout. …The American dream, our foundation, is about work ethic and empowerment, not entitlement."

Palin is right. These so-called "occupiers" have a long list of demands from free housing to debt forgiveness. They want big government to bail them out with your hard-earned tax dollars!

And while they claim to be protesting joblessness, they're not interested in jobs. One conservative group went to the Occupy DC event in Washington and set up a "job booth," featuring dozens of job openings culled from the local papers all paying $40,000 or more. The reaction of the occupiers to these jobs was like a vampire to sunlight. Many indignantly refused to work for defense contractors and financial firms. Not one applied for a single job.
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: OWS, Occupy Oakland, Union Boss, violence, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

White House Reject Subpoena - Vote Pending on FCC's Overreach To Control of Internet

Today in Washington, D.C - Nov. 4, 2011:
Senate will reconvene on Monday. Vote is scheduled on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 764, the bipartisan, House-passed bill to repeal a requirement that government contractors have 3% of their payments withheld for taxes.

Next week, as the deadline approaches for Congress to disapprove of the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, the Senate is expected to consider a resolution of disapproval, S. J. Res. 6.

Yesterday, Democrats failed to get 60 votes for their $60 billion infrastructure stimulus bill, which included $10 billion for an infrastructure bank and a tax hike on job creators and is opposed by jobs groups. The bill, S. 1769, attracted bipartisan opposition in a 51-49 vote. Following that vote, Democrats voted down a Republican alternative, S. 1786, which was paid for with unspent federal funds and included the REINS Act and other regulatory rollbacks to help employers. The bill failed 47-53. The Senate then voted 96-0 to confirm Scott Skavdahl to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Wyoming.

The White House has considered itself above the rule of law and accountable to the constitutional oversight of Congress.  In response a subpoena to secure information on the Solyndra scandal, the White House refused compliance. CNN Reports, "The White House counsel refused Friday to comply with a subpoena as issued by a House panel regarding the failed solar energy company Solyndra, saying that the initiative 'was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation.'"

The Washington Post writes today, “The Senate shot down another piece of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill Thursday, as a stalemated Congress goes through the motions of attempting legislation to spur economic growth largely as a mechanism to allow each party to blame the other for the failure to act. The chamber failed to advance a measure to spend $50 billion on highway, rail, transit and airport improvements and another $10 billion as seed money for an infrastructure bank designed to spark private investment in construction.”

Politico reported yesterday, “The widely anticipated defeat of the Democrats’ Rebuild America Jobs Act, which would have provided $60 billion for transportation infrastructure projects, marked the third blow to President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda. His sweeping $447 billion jobs package was blocked by all Republicans and two Democrats last month, while a smaller piece of that legislation — $35 billion to pay the salaries of teachers, cops and firefighters — suffered the same fate.

Democrats’ latest stimulus bill was more of the same government spending that has failed to improve the economy paired with a job-killing tax hike. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained earlier this week, “There is no denying the fact that the policies of the past two and a half years have made a bad situation worse. For two and a half years, Democrats dominated this town. They got everything they wanted.  And what happened? Unemployment has hovered above eight percent for 32 months. The so-called misery index is the worst it’s been in more than 25 years. Consumer confidence is at levels last seen during the height of the financial crisis. But if there’s one number that really stands out, it’s this: 1.5 million. That’s the number of fewer jobs we now have in this country since the day that President Obama signed his signature ‘jobs bill’ into law. . . . And what Republicans have been saying is that if we truly want to help improve the situation we’re in, if we really want to turn this ship around, then we need to learn from our mistakes and take a different approach. We know what policies haven’t worked. What sense does it make to try those same policies again? None.”

Those facts were only reinforced by today’s jobs report. CNBC writes, “The U.S. jobs market remained stuck in neutral during October, with the economy creating just 80,000 new jobs as the stubbornly high unemployment rate nudged lower. Amid few expectations that the employment picture has improved, government numbers Friday confirmed the obvious: The unemployment rate is stuck at 9.0 percent where it likely will be for many months to come. . . . The so-called real unemployment rate, which counts discouraged and underemployed workers, dropped to 16.2 percent from 16.5 percent. That's the same rate as in August. They were tepid gains, though, for a jobs market that remains a far cry from indicating growth.”

Next week, Senate Democrats will have the opportunity to take ‘yes’ for an answer, and support a bipartisan jobs bill. Instead of advancing the same stimulus spending bills designed for political messaging that attract bipartisan opposition, on Monday, the Senate will vote on a bill to help job creators that has bipartisan support. The bill, which would eliminate a burdensome requirement that government contractors have 3% of their payments withheld for taxes, passed the House with over 400 votes, and has support from President Obama. The bill is being sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). Will Democrats vote for it or decide again that politics is more important?

Tags: Washington, D.C., Us Senate Us House, subpoena, FCC, Internet, jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

One Year Later, Obama Still Isn’t Listening

Phil Kerpen, National Review Online: One of the largest landslide elections in the history of the United States took place one year ago today. Free-market Republicans, riding a wave of public anger at bailouts, stimulus, and big-government programs, swept into power, capturing 63 seats and control of the U.S. House of Representatives, not to mention six U.S. Senate seats and over 675 state-legislative seats all over the country — with control of 21 state legislative chambers shifting to GOP hands. It was a truly historic landslide that the American people rightly expected would put an end to the Obama agenda that had been fundamentally transforming America before our eyes. Politicians and pundits alike looked on in awe. But one man was unconvinced: Barack Obama.

The day after the election, Obama held a press conference to spin the meaning of the historic landslide. He explained: “I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.”

Obama’s message: He would push forward undaunted, stretching the limits of federal power into every aspect of our private and commercial lives. Only now, having lost Congress, he would do so by sidestepping Congress and stretching executive authority beyond all limits. Ironically, Obama had been a frequent critic of Bush’s abuses of executive power on the 2008 campaign trail. Consider, from that same day-after press conference, how Obama answered a question about what would happen to cap-and-trade, his signature plan to bankrupt the coal industry and make energy prices skyrocket. This was the day after dozens of House Democrats had been defeated largely because of their support for the bill, which died without even being considered in the Senate. Obama said: “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”
Indeed, the EPA has moved forward with a multifaceted regulatory onslaught to accomplish the ends of cap-and-trade by different means. While some of that onslaught has slowed down to dissipate the political consequences of such economically painful policies, several regulations are poised to move forward imminently with devastating effects on energy prices and American competitiveness.

Many other alphabet-soup federal bureaucracies have gotten into the act as well, with the union agenda notoriously moving forward at the NLRB and the FCC poised — unless the Senate can step in and stop them — to begin regulating broadband Internet access later this month for the first time in a decade.

Worst of all, Obama spent much of the past week not using the anniversary of his electoral shellacking to reflect on what the American people actually want, but to push even farther in the direction of larger, more intrusive government.

He announced that he would move forward on the bailout-and-stimulus policies of his failed jobs bill despite the fact that it was rejected even by the Democrat-controlled Senate — and even though the U.S. Constitution is crystal clear that Congress possesses the power of the purse.

His latest mortgage bailout — not dissimilar from the one that inspired the Rick Santelli rant and sparked the tea-party movement — will cost taxpayers at least $600 million and punish bond-market investors. His latest student-loan bailout will provide minimal, largely symbolic relief as an apparent reward to the Occupy Wall Street protest crowd — also at taxpayer expense. Both do violence to our Constitution and to democratic principles.

Obama says: “We can no longer wait for Congress to do its job. So where Congress won’t act, I will.” Obama’s strategy is premised on the assertion that the American people want more government programs, more bailouts, and more stimulus spending — the opposite of what the historic 2010 landslide actually indicated. But stopping Obama’s reckless big-government schemes is precisely what the American people elected this current Congress to do.

It is Obama who insists on disregarding the will of the American people — and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution — in his effort to keep shoving the country hard to the left. If he persists, 2012 may be an even bigger landslide than 2010 was.
Phil Kerpen is vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity and author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Ignoring You and Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America — and How to Stop Him.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, AFP, VP, Democracy Denied To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Cut Spending Now Rally this Saturday!

Tim Phillips, President, Americans for Prosperity: Join Mark Levin, Andrew Breitbart, and Carly Fiorina at the DC convention center this Saturday, November 5th for Americans for Prosperity's Cut Spending Now Rally!

For decades, Washington D.C. has continued to borrow and spend at a pace that is not sustainable. The federal government is borrowing nearly 40 cents of every dollar we spend and the US debt is now the same size as our entire economy.

You and I understand that our families could not survive borrowing at the same rate, but Washington continues to use the same budgeting gimmicks and accounting tricks to hide our financial crisis.

REGISTER TODAY for this FREE event! *Registration is required for this event and will close at 9pm Friday, 11/4.

We cannot continue to spend at this rate. Now is the time for Washington to tighten their belts and make the same tough choices that American families and businesses have made for decades. We must fight to ensure Washington puts America first and Cuts Spending Now!

We hope you will join us in this fight, and we will see you in DC this Saturday! And don't forget to register today!

P.S. If you cannot make it to the event, please click here and sign our "Cut Spending Now!" petition.

Tags: Cut The Spending Rally, Washington, D.C., DC convention center, Saturday, November 5th, Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, Mark Levin, Andrew Breitbart, Carly Fiorina To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Forgotten15 Jobs Bills

Vidio by GOPLabs Productions:

The U.S. House has passed 15 Jobs Bills which are being being ignored (forgotten) by Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Below is a list of these bills which would reduce regulations, free access to markets and reduce tax burdens that keep employers from hiring. The Federal Government has interfered in private business for too long and the present administration is strangling job creation, product development, access to needed resources, and access to markets and in the end analysis strangling the economy as a whole. Here is the list again so you can research the bills.
H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act
H.J.Res. 37, a Resolution of disapproval regarding the FCC's regulation of the Internet and broadband industry practices
H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
H.R. 1315, Consumer Financial Protection & Soundness Improvement Act
H.R. 2587, Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act
H.R. 2401, Transparency In Regulatory Analysis Of Impacts On The Nation
H.R. 2681, Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
H.R. 2250, EPA Regulatory Relief Act
H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
H.R. 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
H.R. 1229, Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act
H.R. 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act
H.R. 1938, North American-Made Energy Security Act:

Tags: US House, Job bills, jobs, employment, blocked by Democrats, Senate, Harry Reid To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

99% Sign of the Times

A.F. "Tony" Branco:
Occupy Oakland Joins Public Unions for General Strikes, Sanctioned by City -  November 2, 2011 - In a move rife with irony, the Occupy Oakland movement has teamed up with local unions to participate in a general strike on Wednesday.  Not content to just complain about corporate greed, global warming or animal cruelty, the Occupiers have decided to expand their message to include school closures, reform to union benefits and cuts in social programs.  Members from teacher’s and nurses unions as well as other unions gathered to meet the Occupy protesters in front of Oakland’s City Hall Wednesday morning.  The city government of Oakland has graciously allowed its unionized employees to use personal days or sick time to join the strike.  Organizers plan to end the day’s activities at the Port of Oakland, where they hope to “halt the flow of capital” coming into the port.  The International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union say they are not able to sanction a strike, but support the movement against “corporate greed that is wrecking America”. (...)

Gary Bauer - OWS Out Of Control: The Occupy Wall Street movement, which Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and so many Democrats have embraced, is out of control and needs to be shut down. Responsible Democrats have warned that it is full of radicals and extremists, many of whom believe in violence to achieve their goals. The scenes from Oakland, California, prove it. The public is catching on. A recent poll found that a plurality of Americans now disapproves of the movement.

If the media were interested in exposing sexual harassment, they would leave Herman Cain alone, hop in a cab and spend a few hours investigating OWS. There have been numerous reports of sexual assaults and rapes at OWS camps from coast-to-coast. In one case the victim was 14 years old.

Ironically, for a movement based on fighting income inequality and fighting for jobs, the OWS crowd (just like Obama) is now costing jobs, in part because (just like Obama) it doesn't understand how jobs are created in the first place.

Here's a hint: Jobs aren't created by people who sit around whining all day about how much other people owe them! They are created by men and women who work hard every day trying to provide a product or service for other people. For the all the talk about inequality, the OWS movement is really a very selfish group that seems to think society owes them something.

Marc Epstein, who owns a successful deli in Boston, recently invested $4 million to open the Milk Street Café near Zuccotti Park. But thanks to Occupy Wall Street, Epstein has been forced to lay off workers for the first time in 30 years. And on the "Left Coast," the Occupy Oakland mob decided it would be a really good idea to shut down the Port of Oakland, which supports 50,000 local jobs.

Now the extremists in the Occupy Wall Street movement are diversifying. We have repeatedly exposed the anti-Semitism that infects the movement. But last weekend Occupy Vancouver protestors disrupted a mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral.

According to, this attack on the cathedral could be a response to Frank Schaeffer's call for the Occupy movement to target evangelical and Catholic churches. In a recent blog post, Schaeffer wrote, "The source of the empowering of the top 1 percent super wealthy and the economic rape of rest of us is the religion of Evangelical fundamentalism."

My friends, I have warned for years about the intolerance of the left. The fight for faith, family and freedom is reaching a fevered pitch in America. Whatever issues may divide conservatives in the coming weeks and months, they pale in comparison to the issues that unite us. Never forget that.

Tags: Occupy Wall Street, OWS, OWS protesters, Port of Oakland, Tea Parties, A.F. Branco, political cartoon, Occupy Oakland, Gary Bauer To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Senate Addresses Obama Stimulus; House Considers White House Subpoena

Updated 6 PM: The Washington Post reports: "A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted 14-9 along party lines to authorize subpoenas of top White House officials. GOP lawmakers say the subpoenas are necessary because the White House has denied or delayed requests for thousands of documents related to Solyndra. The Fremont, Calif., company received a $528 million federal loan before filing for bankruptcy protection and laying off 1,100 workers." Info is that the Subpoenas include Chief of Staff William Daley and Vice President Biden Chief of Staff Bruce Reed.

The Hill reports: Senate Republicans on Thursday voted in unison to block a piece of President Obama's jobs package. The GOP senators were joined by one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) in rejecting a procedural motion on legislation that would spend $60 billion on transportation infrastructure programs. The vote was 51-49."
Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 3, 2011:
The Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1769, Democrats’ $60 billion infrastructure stimulus bill, and the motion to proceed to S. 1786, the Republican alternative.

The Democrat bill includes $10 billion for an infrastructure bank and a tax hike on job creators and is opposed by jobs groups, while the GOP bill is paid for with unspent federal funds and includes the REINS Act and other regulatory rollbacks to help employers.

At 3 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Democrat stimulus (S. 1769). If cloture is not invoked, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Republican alternative, offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (S. 1786).Later in the day, the Senate is expected to take up two district judge nominees.

Today, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is considering issuing a subpoena to the White House for documents related to Solyndra Inc.

This afternoon, the Senate will vote on Democrats’ latest stimulus bill and a Republican alternative that rolls back red tape and regulations to help job creators. Instead of dueling votes, the Senate could be considering bipartisan jobs legislation that’s been passed by the House, but once again Democrats chose the partisan route that results in nothing passing.

In a floor speech this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained this week’s Democrat stimulus bill: “First, according to the CBO, the Democrats’ proposal will do little for the economy and putting people back to work in the short-term because the money will be spent gradually. According to the CBO, less than one tenth of the funds in the Democrat proposal will be spent next year. And roughly 40 percent won’t be spent until after 2015. This hardly matches the President’s calls for doing something ‘right away.’ Second, it costs another $57 billion we don’t have. Third, they want to pay for this temporary spending bill with a permanent tax hike on job creators. And fourth, they already know that Republicans and yes, some Democrats, don’t think we should be taxing job creators, particularly at a time when 14 million Americans are looking for a job — and that we’ll vote against any proposal that does so.”

“In other words,” Leader McConnell said, “the Democrats have deliberately designed this bill to fail. So the truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges. And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that. The people of Kentucky deserve better than that.

What’s truly absurd is Democrat senators are well aware of this and admit it when asked. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said at a press conference yesterday, “Every Democrat knows it's not going to pass.” On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was asked by Mika Brzezinski, “Does it have a shot at passing?” McCaskill responded, “No.” Earlier this week, Politico reported that Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) “expressed frustration that Senate Democratic leaders continue to bring pieces of the president’s plan forward even though they know full well the proposals will fail.” And The Hill reported, “Democratic operatives are quick to note that they never expected to pass the jobs bills through the Senate, adding that the multiple roll calls will put Republicans on the defensive and force them to explain on the 2012 campaign trail why they voted no on measures that poll well with voters.”

Even Democrat leaders don’t seem to bother obfuscating what’s going on. According to Politico, “Asked about the concerns from the center of the Democratic Caucus over political tactics, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said dismissively: ‘A political strategy in the Senate? Where did you come up with that?’”

But even looking at the policy Democrats are advancing, their latest stimulus still falls short. Jobs groups “strongly” oppose the bill, in part for its tax increase. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes in a letter, “The Chamber strongly opposes the job killing tax hikes on small businesses—the drivers of job creation and economic growth in America—provided in the [stimulus bill].” The Chamber goes on to call the bill “a charade,” concluding, “Simply put, this bill is nothing more than a tax increase masquerading as the answer to America's transportation infrastructure investment challenges.” A coalition of jobs groups representing 1.8 million businesses, including The Chamber, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the National Association of Manufacturers, write that “the Senate legislation would pay for this new stimulus spending bill by raising tax rates on hundreds of thousands of business owners” which they call “a job killing punitive tax hike.” They also note that “the Obama Administration's own data demonstrates that 4 out of 5 of the taxpayers who will face this surtax are business owners . . . .” And the Associated General Contractors write that the Democrat bill “includes a permanent increase in the income tax on individuals, many of whom are undoubtedly small business owners.”

As Leader McConnell said, “[T]he American people can decide which approach they prefer: our proposal, which doesn’t add to the deficit, doesn’t raise taxes, empowers the states to make decisions on the local level, and is designed to gain bipartisan support. Or the Democrats’ top-down approach, which perpetuates uncertainty, raises taxes on businesses at a time when we should be giving them more reasons to hire not less, and which was designed in coordination with the White House political team to fail. These are the two approaches on display in the Senate today. The choice should be obvious.

Tags: Washington, D.C., Us Senate, Us House, stimulus bill, jobs bill, REINS Act, White House, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arab Spring / Islamist Fall - Building Houses Upon Sand

Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author and Bob Morrison: Reuters’ Paul Chapman has filed a report from Tunis. There have been elections there, less than one year after an uprising ousted dictator Zine al Abidine Ben Ali. The former Tunisian strongman is said to be enjoying his retirement in Saudi Arabia. There, Ben Ali doubtless has seen news coverage of the bloody end of his neighboring desert despot, Muammar Gaddafi. Ben Ali is probably offering prayers of thanks that he got out of Dodge in time.

Election returns from Tunis show that the Ennahda party is the big winner. Ennahda won 90 of 217 seats in the country’s new legislative assembly. It’s not an outright majority, but it may prove sufficient for the Islamist party to form coalitions and rule the country.

Everyone from the White House and the State Department to the prestige press has hailed the “Arab Spring.” This regional uprising began when a street vendor set himself afire last December to protest the grinding oppression of the Ben Ali regime. The man, Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, despaired of getting justice. Ben Ali’s police had seized the young father’s little stock of fruits and vegetables. Said to be a college graduate and reduced to selling his pitiful wares on the street, the poor man could not pay off the thug cops of a thuggish regime. Our hearts must indeed break for Boazizi. And for millions of his fellow Arabs condemned to live under such despicable governments.

The Scriptures tell us that the ruler does not bear the sword for nothing, but to be a terror to evildoers. In vast swaths of the Arab world, however, the ruler is the evildoer. Most of those countries—each of which has a vote in the UN General Assembly—are ruled by the most adventurous and brutal of colonels or tribal chieftains.

The dictators of Syria and Yemen are taking note, no doubt, of the unenviable fate of Gaddafi. Dictator chic is suddenly out of fashion—and out of Vogue. That famous journal of the hip and cool has “disappeared” a puff piece they did recently on the First Couple of Syria.

The King and Queen of the Supermarket Tabloids, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, had traveled to Damascus for a goodwill visit back in 2009. Angelina is an ambassador of sorts for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. No problem with that. And it was certainly a good thing to highlight the plight of Iraqi refugee fleeing from Iraq’s Islamist rulers. Thousands of Assyrian Christians have been driven from their homes in a land where they have lived a precarious existence the days of the Apostles.

But Brangelina made the gross error of consorting with Syria’s bloody Bashar al-Assad and his most photogenic wife, Asma al-Assad. Vogue’s writers had profiled the fun couple of the Middle East in gushing terms:

[They] described Asma al-Assad as “glamorous, young, and very chic–the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” and said of her husband that he is “a precise man who takes photographs and talks lovingly about his first computer.”) At the time, [Vogue editor Chris] Knutsen stood by Buck’s story and Vogue‘s decision to publish it, saying “We felt that a personal interview with Syria’s first lady would hold strong interest for our readers…The piece was not meant in any way to be a referendum on the al-Assad regime. It was a profile of the first lady.”

Okay, Bashar and Asma are not exactly Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, but they are still young. Bashar holds the office of “president” of Syria only because his late father, Hafez al-Assad, didn’t blanch at shooting down 20,000 anti-government protesters in the city of Hama in 1982. Poppa Hafez leveled their town—including Sunni Mosques--and reportedly paved a road over their bodies. Perhaps Brangelina even rode over that highway while they were in Syria goodwill hunting.

It would be wonderful to get rid of the Assad clan. They have been cats’ paws for Tehran and fully complicit in the murders of Lebanon’s elected leaders. They have aided Hezbollah as that overtly terrorist outfit targets Israel’s northern border towns.

Still, after the Arab Spring has come this Islamist Fall. The Muslim Brotherhood [MB] is almost universally described in the liberal press as “moderate.” Well, when compared with Saddam, Gaddafi, and the Assads, they surely are moderate.

Still, the idea that MB-dominated governments voted in by purple fingers will give any regard to human rights is questionable. They openly avow their objective is to institute Sharia law wherever they rule. This brand of religious totalitarianism affords only one option to minority Christians, the few remaining Jews, or Baha’i believers: Submission. Wherever MB holds sway, Christians are reduced to the status of dhimmis—not exactly slaves, but certainly not citizens. Think of a fiddler on the roof.

This is what the Arab Spring is yielding during this Islamist Fall. It is a profound misunderstanding of democracy to think that merely by staging elections and showing off purple fingers of voters we can bring on a new order in Muslim lands. Edmund Burke said it well: “Men of intemperate minds cannot be free; their passions forge their fetters.”

Intemperate minds are what we see at work in the Arab Middle East. Opinion surveys throughout the region confirm that, by overwhelming majorities, the “voters” for these sham democracies believe that those who convert from Islam must be put to death. As long as this grim reality exists, there will be no democracy in the region.

Facile comparisons to occupied Germany and Japan after World War II break down upon examination. It is precisely because we had demanded unconditional surrender of those warlike nations and occupied them with irresistible armed might that we were able to dictate the terms of their re-entry to the community of civilized states.

We should be proud of what we accomplished in Japan and Germany, both of which nations are mainstays today of the world economy and, with some salient exceptions (e.g. Germany’s persecution of homeschoolers) models of democratic legitimacy. We de-militarized and de-Nazified these vanquished regimes. We forced changes in their constitutions and in their educational systems. We shaped their economies.

We attempted no such changes in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in any of the other countries in the forever turbulent Mideast. That is why, tragically, any claims of hope and change in this region—especially when based on American dollars—are fatally flawed. We are building our houses upon sand.

J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. This article was provided by Ken Blackwell to the editor.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, Arab Spring, Islamist Fall, Muslim Brotherhood, MB To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Jobs Groups ‘Strongly’ Oppose Dem Bill

Democrats Want To ‘Commemorate’ ‘National Entrepreneurship Month’ By Raising Taxes On Entrepreneurs

President Obama’s ‘National Entrepreneurship Month’

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2011 as National Entrepreneurship Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities.” (“Presidential Proclamation -- National Entrepreneurship Month, 2011,” The White House, 11/1/11)

Dem Bill ‘Would Significantly Impair… Small Businesses And Entrepreneurs’

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: “The Chamber strongly opposes the job killing tax hikes on small businesses — the drivers of job creation and economic growth in America—provided in the ‘Rebuild America Jobs Act.’” (“Letter On S.1769, The ‘Rebuild America Jobs Act,’” U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, 11/1/11)
  • “The ‘Rebuild America Jobs Act’ is a charade because it would do little to address these and other transportation infrastructure challenges.” Ibid
  • “…a burdensome and onerous tax increase on Americas small businesses, entrepreneurs and other job creators… it would significantly impair the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs and grow the U.S. economy.” Ibid
  • “Simply put, this bill is nothing more than a tax increase masquerading as the answer to America’s transportation infrastructure investment challenges.” Ibid

‘4 Out Of 5 Of The Taxpayers Who Will Face This Surtax Are Business Owners’

“…the Senate legislation would pay for this new stimulus spending bill by raising tax rates on hundreds of thousands of business owners, a job killing tax hike…”
(The Tax Relief Coalition Management Committee Letter, 11/2/11)
  • “…the Obama Administration’s own data demonstrates that 4 out of 5 of the taxpayers who will face this surtax are business owners…” Ibid
  • “…the burden of the proposed tax increases would fall disproportionately on the income of America’s small and mid-sized businesses…” Ibid
  • “…the proposal before the Senate is a job killing punitive tax hike that moves our tax code in the exact opposite direction from where we should be going if we want to see job creation and economic growth.” Ibid

“The Tax Relief Coalition (TRC), an organization of more than 1,000 trade associations, corporations and advocacy groups…” Ibid
  • “TRC members represent 1.8 million businesses of all sizes, from every state and from every industry sector – businesses that invest in our economy and create jobs.” Ibid
    US Chamber Of Commerce
    National Federation Of Independent Businesses
    National Association Of Manufacturers
    National Association Of Wholesaler-Distributors
    Associated General Contractors
    International Foodservice Distributors Association

‘Falls Short’ ‘Does Not Include Any Of The Reforms Needed’

ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS: “…it falls short of our desire for multiyear funding certainty.” (The Associated General Contractors Of America, Letter, 11/2/11)
  • “It also includes a permanent increase in the income tax on individuals, many of whom are undoubtedly small business owners.” Ibid
  • “It does not extend the Highway Trust Fund spending authority and it does not include any of the reforms needed to enhance the delivery of transportation improvements that our country needs…” Ibid
  • “…could potentially sideline a great bipartisan opportunity to improve and reauthorize the country’s transportation programs.” Ibid

Tags: Jobs, groups Democrats, bill, Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs, National Entrepreneurship Month, Barack Obama, taxpayers, business owners To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Oh, The Stain on Cain

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Herman Cain, media bias, media malpractice, media manipulation, Obama incompetence, witch-hunt, A.F. Branco political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Doctors Claim Courts Have No Obamacare Line-Item Veto

Doctors tell SCOTUS – Obamacare harms patients and is unconstitutional in its entirety

by Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: On August 12th, 2011 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the mandate to purchase health insurance included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) is unconstitutional.  But unlike Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that threw out the entire ACA based on the fact that there was no provision for the mandate to be severed from the rest of the law, the 11th Circuit did not find the rest of the law unconstitutional.

In a curious opinion, the 11th Circuit found that, “The individual mandate, however, can be severed from the remainder of the Act’s myriad reforms. The presumption of severability is rooted in notions of judicial restraint and respect for the separation of powers in our constitutional system. The Act’s other provisions remain legally operative after the mandate’s excision, and the high burden needed under Supreme Court precedent to rebut the presumption of severability has not been met.”

Claiming that “judicial line item vetoes are unconstitutional,” the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court on October 25, 2011 in which “physicians inform the Justices why the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should be overturned in its entirety.”
“For the reasons set forth below, Amici believe that the Eleventh Circuit correctly held that Section 1501, the individual mandate to purchase government-controlled health ‘insurance,’ is unconstitutional, but incorrectly severed Section 1501 from the remainder of ACA,” argues AAPS.
The brief continues, “[a]mici believe that ACA undermines, in fundamental and dangerous ways, the practice of medicine and harms patients.”
The Eleventh Circuit erred in allowing for the severability of the Act, states AAPS. “Severance of the individual mandate represents judicial activism at its zenith. It allows the Courts to have a judicial line-item veto and to determine the content of a law after it has been enacted.”
The brief correctly argues that “Our country’s founders and other historically prominent leaders recognized that neither the courts nor the president should be allowed to deconstruct a statute.”
President and former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Taft stated that the President “has no power to veto part of the bill and allow the rest to become a law.” George Washington wrote, “from the nature of the Constitution, I must approve all the parts of a Bill, or reject it in toto.” Senator Robert Byrd lectured his colleagues that ceding the Senate’s power to control the content of a statute is analogous to actions taken by the Roman Senate which ultimately led to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
The Supreme Court has not yet announced its decision to accept the case, but given the widely desperate rulings from various federal courts since the ACA’s enactment, the Court’s review is considered to be inevitable.

Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, AAPS, ACA, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Judge Roger Vinson, Obamacare, PPACA, SCOTUS, Constitution, Constitutional Crisis, Government, Business, 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!

House Republicans Roll Out The Jobs Through Growth Act

Republican Study Committee: House conservative Republicans that devised Cut, Cap, and Balance rolled out its jobs plan today. We call it the Jobs Through Growth Act because the jobs this county needs will come from growing the economy, not the government.

Here’s the short summary:
-       It makes the tax code simpler, flatter, and fairer.
-       It cuts through red tape.
-       It tears down barriers to energy production and helps lower the price of gas.

A Simpler, Flatter, Fairer Tax Code
  • Modeled on the Taxpayer Choice Act of 2007, people can stay with the current income tax code or scrap it and switch to a system with just two rates (the lowest in 80 years), generous deductions for families, and no marriage penalty.
  • To keep jobs from moving overseas, the bill cuts the corporate tax rate to 25%, targets loopholes for elimination, and encourages companies to bring money made overseas back into the U.S. economy.
  • It helps small businesses, family farms, investors, and other job creators by eliminating the Death Tax, the AMT, and the investment tax on inflation>.
Cutting Through Red Tape
  • The bill calls a timeout on new regulations that create significant economic costs until the job market bounces back.
  • Small businesses will get relief from current regulations with the ability to opt out of red tape imposed since the beginning of the recession. Additionally, the benchmark for exemption from many rules will also increase from 50 to 200 employees.
  • Federal bureaucrats will be required to consider a proposed rule’s impact on small businesses and get Congressional approval for “major” regulations.
American Energy Production
  • The bill gives Americans better access to their energy resources by curtailing frivolous litigation and unlocking areas for exploration both on and offshore.
  • It reduces red tape, mandates, and prohibitions that artificially increase the price of gasoline.
  • It green lights the Keystone pipeline and gives a one-year extension to OCS leases affected by the White House’s drilling moratorium.

Tags: jobs, job growth, job growth act, RSC, US House, Republican Study Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Admit Their Partisan Stimulus Bills Are Designed To Fail

Today in Washington, D.C. -  Nov. 2, 2011:
The Senate is  considerating the motion to proceed to S. 1769, Democrats’ $60 billion infrastructure stimulus bill, which includes a tax hike.

Last night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the motion to proceed to Democrats’ infrastructure stimulus bill, setting up a cloture vote for Thursday, unless an agreement is reached to hold it earlier.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 69-30 to pass H.R. 2112, the $182 billion bill combining the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills.

Prior to passage, the Senate rejected 4 amendments to the bill: The Senate voted 13-85 against an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut funding to the Rural Development Agency and 41-57 against another Coburn amendment to eliminate funding for the Small Community Air Service Development Program. Senators rejected an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to divert funding from beautification projects to instead repair highway bridges by a vote of 38-60. Also rejected by a vote of 44-54 was an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to prohibit funds being used by the EPA to ban certain asthma inhalers.

In addition, the Senate rejected by a vote of 39-60 a motion from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to recommit the bill to committee to reduce funding to last year’s spending levels.

The House of Representatives passed  (396-9) a bill Tuesday reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto and encourages the display of the motto in public buildings.

The U.S. House passed two bills to loosen Securities and Exchange Commission rules.  It passed (421-1) a bill to increase the registration exemption for smaller securities offerings for SEC registrationfrom $5 million to $50 million.  They then voted (420- 2) for a proposal that would increase to 2,000 from 500 the shareholder threshold for closely held banks.

Senate Democrats are moving forward with yet another stimulus bill this week, this time a $60 billion infrastructure stimulus (including $10 billion for an infrastructure bank), despite the fact they know there are bipartisan concerns about the bill and that they know it can’t pass.

According to The Hill today, “Obama will try to ramp up pressure on Republicans by visiting Washington’s Key Bridge on Wednesday, one of many bridges around the country eligible for funding if the infrastructure bill passes. . . . Democratic operatives are quick to note that they never expected to pass the jobs bills through the Senate, adding that the multiple roll calls will put Republicans on the defensive and force them to explain on the 2012 campaign trail why they voted no on measures that poll well with voters.”

So it appears Democrats are finally admitting what was obvious all along: these stimulus bills that couple ever more spending with job-killing tax hikes are designed to fail in order to score political points, not create jobs. In fact, Politico pointed out last week, “[Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has pushed the president’s agenda when it has had no chance of passing. Reid has pressed for passage of the president’s $447 billion jobs bill and individual pieces of it, even when some of his own rank-and-file Senate Democrats, like [Nebraska Sen. Ben] Nelson, have stood in opposition.” And today Politico notes that Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) “expressed frustration that Senate Democratic leaders continue to bring pieces of the president’s plan forward even though they know full well the proposals will fail.”

Meanwhile, the White House has been awfully candid about how this pattern is all part of a campaign strategy. The Hill reported, “David Axelrod… released a campaign memo on Tuesday signaling that Obama would make his American Jobs Act a major component of his reelection strategy, pummeling Republicans who obstruct his attempts to revive the economy.” Vice President Joe Biden simply came out and admitted, “People say we’re campaigning. We sure as heck are campaigning.”

Bob Woodward, no Republican partisan, recently explained to Chris Matthews that “Barack Obama wants to win so badly, as I understand it, everything in the White House is driven by the election.” Other journalists have noted this, too, with CNN’s Kate Bolduan observing, “The reality in Congress is this bill has virtually no chance of passing and Democrats know that.” And Carl Bernstein said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “[F]irst of all, Obama knew that bill couldn’t pass when he formulated it.” Politico acknowledged last month, “Winning in Congress was never really part of the plan. President Barack Obama didn’t do much to bring along lawmakers on his jobs bill — and it showed . . . . [T]he relentless focus on the American Jobs Act wasn’t about racking up a legislative win. It was always about laying the foundation for . . . 2012 . . . .”

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said today, “We know the President’s strategy. His so-called jobs bill has one purpose: to divide us. Just this morning, I read a story that quoted some Democrat operative almost bragging about the fact that they don’t expect any of the legislation the President’s been out there talking about on his bus tour to pass. They openly admit these bills are designed to fail. It’s not exactly a state secret that Republicans — and yes, some Democrats — don’t think we should be raising taxes right now on the very people we’re counting on to create the jobs we need to get us out of a jobs crisis. And yet the one thing that every single proposal Democrats bring to the floor has in common is that it does just that. So the Democrats’ plan is to keep putting bills on the floor they know ahead of time we’ll vote against, instead of trying to solve the problem.  And they don’t even hide it. The President’s top strategist actually issued a memo a few weeks ago saying the President would use this legislation not as a way to help people but as a way to pummel Republicans.

“What we’re witnessing in Washington right now is two very different styles of governance: a Republican majority in the House that believes we should actually do something about the problems we face, and which has put together and actually passed bipartisan legislation that would help address those problems. And a Democratic Majority in the Senate that’s teamed up with the White House on a strategy of doing nothing — all for the sake of trying to score political points and spread the blame for an economy that their own policies have cemented into place as they look ahead to an election that’s more than a year away.”

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Dirty Energy

by William Warren:

Tags: Dirty Energy, Green Energy, Political Cartoons, Stimulus, William Warren, Wind Energy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Branco: An Inconvenient Occupant

A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: anti-capitalism, Occupy DC, Occupy Wall Street, Wall Street Protesters, Wall Street protests, A.F. Branco, politically incorrect, cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Taxing the Wealthy to Cover Future Deficits Won’t Work

Rob Bluey, The Scribe:
Democrats on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction last week floated a proposal that includes massive tax increases on wealthy Americans. While their plan would also include some cuts to entitlement programs, the tax-code changes make up a significant portion, according to press reports.
The Los Angeles Times reported: “Revenue would be raised mostly by bumping up the high-end tax bracket and limiting deductions for upper-income earners, those familiar with the talks said.”

This isn’t exactly a surprise. President Obama and his liberal allies in Congress are waging a war against successful Americans. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at Heritage last week about the divisive nature of Obama’s scheme.

The so-called Super Committee, of course, could be an opportunity for Congress to reform the tax code. Writing in the Washington Times last week, Heritage’s J.D. Foster observed:
But if tax reform is part of a deficit-reduction exercise because the language of tax reform has been co-opted to disguise a tax hike, then both the hike and the reform should and likely will fail. Be very clear — tax reform is revenue neutral as traditionally scored. If a tax proposal is shown to raise revenue, then it’s not tax reform, it’s just another big-government tax hike.
As for that proposal floated by Democrats this week, it’s simply not a viable solution. This chart from Heritage’s 2001 Budget Chart Book reveals that Congress would need to increase tax rates on wealthy Americans to mathematically impossible levels to close future deficits.

Tags: budget chart book, Chart of the Week, debt, deficit reduction, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Paul Ryan, President Obama, super committee, tax increase, tax reform, Rob Bluey, Scribe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Attending College Does Not Mean You Get A Job

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: As a retired professor, I call your attention to the following article. But first, some comments and opinions. For many years, colleges and universities have morphed into institutions of self-sustainment focused on the economic well being of the administration. As such, they have supported expanding "soft" degrees programs. Often they are led by people lacking substance in the actual disciples for which they have oversight.

Professors teaching courses in higher education previously known as "hard" verses "soft" degree programs have for many years wearied under the constant marketing by the administration of "soft" degrees lacking in meaningful content or which do not offer graduates access to meaningful work upon completion of their degree.

Even noted colleges and universities have even succumbed to becoming degree mills for the sake of growth and sustaining the associated cost of facilities and capital expenditures, top-heavy high-cost bloated administrations, and expanded campus program not related to academics. At the same time, their effort has been supported by the cry from within an affluent society and eventually by academia that everyone should go to college when only about 20% of future jobs will require a college degree.

A college degree in the former classical liberal sense will indeed improve people lives but not necessary their economic welfare or access to jobs. Although good thinking and reasoning has its advantages especially for entrepreneurs. Except for a limited number of colleges and universities, the former classical liberal education has been abandoned for progressive education focused things like saving snails and sun worshiping. Universities are often more interested in "butts in the seats" to pay the bills. Often, the study of great literature, language, fine art, exceptional communication skills, non-agenda philosophy have been abandoned and replaced by the faculty or department or administrations agendas.

Concluding my rant, there is both a major benefit and a major economic cost to "everyone being expected to go to college." The benefit is that colleges become "holding pens" of those who would have entered the workforce. The result delaying the inevitability of more people being immediately unemployed. However, as noted with "Occupy Wall Street", students and/or graduates now believe they are entitled both to a job but also to having their school bills paid by others. Were they lied to - maybe.

Note that "bogus" education programs not leading to gainful employment also lead student debt. American taxpayers who bear the underlying cost of education through taxes may be forced by the government to forgive debt underwritten by government backed student loans. No wonder the OWS students facing no jobs and large debts would rather "party on dude."

Those attending or already "passed out" of the educational system may need rehab. Sports neanderthals and geeks who can invent things will be paid more than them. Rich kids will inherent and provid menial jobs for them. The hard degree students will relocate and have meaningful jobs. Instead, most graduates will return to the fold to struggle and to hopefully work with those who did not attend college but have our years job seniority on them.

Please, read the following article by Dr. Alex Tabarrok who states, "College has been oversold. It has been oversold to students who end up dropping out or graduating with degrees that don't help them very much in the job market. It also has been oversold to the taxpayers, who foot the bill for subsidies that do nothing to encourage innovation and economic growth." He is indeed correct.

The below article is not abridged. For educational purposes, it is provided in full. If you wish to leave a comment for Dr. Tabarrok, please do so at the referenced link.
College Has Been Oversold
by Dr. Alex Tabarrok: Education is the key to the future: You've heard it a million times, and it's not wrong. Educated people have higher wages and lower unemployment rates, and better educated countries grow faster and innovate more than other countries.

But going to college is not enough. You also have to study the right subjects. And American students are not studying the fields with the greatest economic potential.

Over the past 25 years the total number of students in college has increased by about 50%. But the number of students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (the so-called STEM fields) has been flat.

Moreover, many of today's STEM graduates are foreign-born and taking their knowledge and skills back to their native countries. Consider computer technology. In 2009 the U.S. graduated 37,994 students with bachelor's degrees in computer and information science. This is not bad, but we graduated more students with computer science degrees 25 years ago.

The story is the same in other technology fields. The United States graduated 5,036 chemical engineers in 2009, no more than we did 25 years ago. In mathematics and statistics there were 15,496 graduates in 2009, slightly more than the 15,009 graduates of 1985.

Few fields have changed as much in recent years as microbiology, but in 2009 we graduated just 2,480 students with bachelor's degrees in microbiology — about the same number as 25 years ago. Who will solve the problem of antibiotic resistance?

If students aren't studying science, technology, engineering and math, what are they studying? In 2009 the U.S. graduated 89,140 students in the visual and performing arts, more than in computer science, math and chemical engineering combined and more than double the number of visual and performing arts graduates in 1985.

The story is the same in psychology, which graduates about 95,000 students a year, more than double the number of 25 years ago and far in excess of the number of available jobs.

Perhaps most oddly, despite the decline in the number of news media jobs, especially in the print media, the number of students in communication and journalism also has nearly doubled since 1985.

There is nothing wrong with the arts, psychology and journalism, but graduates in these fields have lower wages and are less likely to find work in their fields than graduates in science and math.

As a result, more than half of all humanities graduates end up in jobs that don't require college degrees. Baggage porters and bellhops don't need college degrees, but in 2008 17.4% of them had at least a bachelor's degree and 45% had some college education. Mail carriers don't need a college education, but in 2008 14% had at least a bachelor's degree and 61% had some college education.

Not surprisingly, these graduates don't get much of a financial "bonus" from college. A college graduate in the humanities who finds a job requiring a college degree had median annual earnings in 2009 of $21,000. For those who ended up in jobs not requiring a college degree, the median was just $14,000.

Moreover, arts, psychology and journalism graduates are less likely to create the kinds of innovations that drive economic growth. Economic growth is not a magic totem to which all else must bow, but it is one of the main reasons we subsidize higher education.

The potential wage gains for college graduates go to the graduates — that's reason enough for students to pursue a college education. We add subsidies to the mix, however, because we believe education has positive spillover benefits that flow to society. One of the biggest of these benefits is the increase in innovation that highly educated workers bring to the economy.

As a result, an argument can be made for subsidizing students in fields with potentially large spillovers, such as microbiology, chemical engineering, nuclear physics and computer science. There is little justification for subsidizing majors in the visual arts, psychology and journalism.

College has been oversold. It has been oversold to students who end up dropping out or graduating with degrees that don't help them very much in the job market. It also has been oversold to the taxpayers, who foot the bill for subsidies that do nothing to encourage innovation and economic growth.
Dr. Tabarrok, research director for the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., holds the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His book, "Launching the Innovation Renaissance," was recently published by TED books.

Tags: college, university, students, debt, jobs, no jobs, soft degrees, technology, hard degrees, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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