ARRA News Service
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Romney Wins Nevada Republican Caucus

Pix by Bill Smith: Romney Wins Nevada
This article has been updated as new results were reported and candidates took to the podium.:
Mitt Romney took the stage and directly focused on President Barack Obama and the needs for America in a positive way. He said, "Mr. president, America has had enough of your kind of help." Said, the President should be "apologizing to the American people." Winning the 2012 election is "more than defeating this president. It is about saving the soul of America. And restoring the founding principles that made America great."

Newt Gingrich said he "Will go to Tampa." For 22 minutes, Newt Gingrich was negative and even called Romney a liar. He focused on Romney not Obama. Gingrich in his early comments tried to again link Romney to George Soros based on comments by Soros about Romney and not based on any actual relationship. Gingrich then blamed the republican establishment for closing ranks and not supporting him. In answer to a question, Gingrich said that he doesn't believe he can win by being positive - he said he has to go negative because of Romney. He also said everything is based on the amount spent. He also said Romney also won because of the Mormon vote. Interesting since only 10% of the voters in Nevada are Mormon. What happened to Reagan's eleventh commandment?
Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Nevada Republican caucuses. The victory was declared early by the press based on polling and early returns showing Romney with significant leads. As of 9:15 pm CST, Romney 42%, Gingrich 25% Raul 20% and Santorum 13%. Nevada will award its 28 delegates in proportion to the caucus vote totals. Any candidate with at least 3.57% of the total number of ballots cast would receive delegates. As of 9:15 am CST with 71% reporting: Romney 48%, Gingrich 23% Raul 19% and Santorum 11%.

What is next! Feb 7: Minnesota and Colorado and a non-binding primary in Missouri (Missouri later has a binding caucuses).
Feb 11: Maine caucuses end.
Feb 28: Michigan and Arizona primary.

Tags: Nevada, Republican candidates, caucuses, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Fewer Americans Working Today (Than A Decade Ago)

Fewer total Americans work today than they did in 2001 and in 2009:
America’s overall labor force rate continues to fall, down to 63.7 percent in January, 2012:

Explaining Obama’s Fake Job Numbers - Conservative Byte shared Rush Limbaugh explanation on the job numbers:
Don’t ask me about seasonal adjustment. I’ve been trying to figure this out all morning, and I can’t. But the raw numbers, 130 million jobs in December, 128 million jobs in January, give or take a couple hundred thousand either side. But when the seasonal adjustments take place, there is a gain of 200, whatever they’re reporting, 33,000 jobs. Now, what’s happening is the labor force is shrinking. There are fewer jobs. Even the Drive-Bys, so excited, they can’t wait to report the good news, but even they are reporting that the labor force participation rate, number of jobs out there, is continuing to dwindle, and most of the jobs being created are low wage.

But none of that’s gonna matter. None of it’s gonna matter. I don’t want to be an “I told you so,” but way back last year, even recently toward the end of last year, this being an election year, I predicted. But you knew. You knew what was gonna happen when this year started. You knew that the statistics are that no president has ever been reelected when the unemployment rate’s over 8%. So guess what it’s gonna be by the time we get to Election Day? It’s just that simple.

I’m trying to get to the bottom of this, this seasonal adjustment business. Stick with me on this, folks. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “What is seasonal adjustment? Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment change from month to month. Over the course of a year, the size of the labor force, the levels of employment and unemployment, and other measures of labor market activity undergo fluctuations due to seasonal events including changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Because these seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each year, their influence on statistical trends can be eliminated by seasonally adjusting the statistics from month to month.”

So seasonal adjustment includes adjustment for the size of the labor force. I didn’t know that. Seasonal adjustment is not just what the guess is about the number of jobs from month to month. It also includes adjustment for the size of the labor force. And that’s how they’re able to play games with the labor force participation rate. So that might account for a big chunk of the difference here. One-point-two million — and this is their number — from December to January, 1.2 million people left the workforce, just left it. That’s the labor force participation rate, and they left. That’s half the number, or half the difference right there. If you take the number 132.9 jobs in December, 130.4 million in January, that’s 2.5 million fewer jobs, 1.2 million, about half of that that they just threw out in a seasonal adjustment of people that left the workforce.

I don’t know how they get the 1.2 million. They say it’s statistical. But what they did is reduce the overall number of jobs possible by 1.2 million. So fewer jobs is gonna bring down the unemployment rate because… If the labor force were what it is, or what it was when Obama was inaugurated 2009, the unemployment rate would be close to 10%. It’s only 8.3 because they have used seasonal adjustment to just say that last month, 1.2 million people gone from the workforce. No jobs anymore.

So the Bureau of Labor Statistics looks at the loss of 2.5 million jobs, and they say, “Well, we think 1.2 million have just decided to give up looking for work so we won’t count half of them, just to make things more accurate.” And even with that major cheat, that still leaves more than a million-and-a-half lost jobs unaccounted for. Fewer people looking for jobs brings down the jobless rate. In this case, not more people finding jobs brings down the jobless rate. Fewer people looking for jobs is what’s bringing the unemployment rate down. There isn’t job creation going on. Not to the tune the regime wants you to believe it. It just isn’t happening.

Tags: American jobs, unemployment, job numbers, BLS, charts, opinion, Rush Limbaugh To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Taxes in Jesus Name

by A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Barack Obama, taxing Christians, Christian Church Catholics, Tony Branco, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gallup: More States Move to GOP in 2011

by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup Politcs: Democrats have lost their solid political party affiliation advantage in 18 states since 2008, while Republicans have gained a solid advantage in 6 states. A total of 17 states were either solidly Republican or leaning Republican in their residents' party affiliation in 2011, up from 10 in 2010 and 5 in 2008. Meanwhile, 19 states including the District of Columbia showed a solid or leaning Democratic orientation, down from 23 in 2010 and 36 in 2008. The remaining 15 states were relatively balanced politically, with neither party having a clear advantage. . . . [Read More]

Tags: Gallup, States, GOP, Leaning Republican, leaning democrat To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Army Gives General the Boot

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council (FRC): Lieutenant General William Boykin has stared cowards in the face before, and he won't hesitate to do so now. Not even when the same Army he served is trying to take away the freedom he fought to protect. Boykin, an outspoken Christian and Delta Force hero, had been looking forward to speaking at the West Point Prayer Breakfast since the Academy invited him. In the days leading up to the event, the General Boykin settled on a topic: the importance of leaders seeking God. But it was a speech he never got to deliver. The Academy withdrew the invitation when a handful of atheist and Muslim cadets complained about Boykin's beliefs. The message to this elite, three-star warrior was obvious: you and your faith aren't welcome.

In an op-ed defending Boykin, FRC's Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski explain that "As a private citizen retired from the Army, General Boykin has cast America 's war against radical Islamic terrorists as fighting Satan... Evidently it's not politically correct to suggest that blowing up children is the devil's work." And while the Academy was desperate to distance itself from Boykin's faith, it hasn't budged from comments made by his Muslim detractors. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) not only called Boykin an "Islamaphobe" but compared his views to the KKK's. "It was an ecumenical presentation," Boykin said about his speech. "It had nothing to do with Islam." But even he sees the writing on the wall. "People of fa ith and conservative Americans are losing our voice to a very well-organized and very well-funded group of passionate people--those being the atheists and Muslims. They want to change the nature of our culture--and they're succeeding."

Unfortunately, this is part of the long shadow cast on religious freedom by the Obama administration. In three years, the White House has created an environment where hostility toward orthodox Christianity is not only tolerated, but encouraged. Franklin Graham was a target. So was I. We were all disinvited from military events for the same reason: because we live and embrace our faith. By censoring these leaders, the military is depriving young soldiers of the wisdom of a highly decorated veteran. General Boykin could have helped these cadets as they wrestle with how to integrate their beliefs with military service. Instead, the Academy is suggesting to these young soldiers that living out their faith proudly is a barrier to advancement.

Is that what our country wants--a nation of one-dimensional warriors with no moral compass? Of course not. That's why this march to obliterate faith is as dangerous as it is offensive. General Boykin survived being shot by a .50-caliber gun, and he will survive this. What concerns him, and what should concern all of us, is not whether Christianity will endure -- but whether our freedom to practice it will. Without it, what would these cadets be fighting for?
J. Ken Blackwell and Kenneth Klukowski are also contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. Recommend reading their complete Huffington Post Op-Ed: Delta Force Hero Can't Speak at West Point Because of His Christian Beliefs.

Tags: Lieutenant General William Boykin, West Point,cadets, prayer breakfast, U.S. Army, Christian, prayer, freedom of religion, Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, FRC, op-ed, Ken Blackwell, Ken Klukowski To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Real Unemployed Rate

Real unemployed rate rises to 11.01 percent,
underemployed to 17.6 percent

Obama is potentially thinking:
"Bill, Why do you always rain on my parade?"
Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on the continued decline of the civilian labor force participation rate that dramatically alters the unemployment outlook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

"Once again, the civilian labor force participation rate has declined, from 64 percent to 63.7 percent in a single month.  Since January 2009, it has declined from 65.7 percent, resulting in approximately 4.7 million people no longer being counted towards the unemployment rate.  If they were included, the real rate of unemployed working age adults would be 11.01 percent, and the underemployed would be 17.6 percent.

"Overall, that includes the 12.7 million people that BLS says are actually unemployed, and then 4.7 million who have given up looking for work, plus another 10.5 million who can't find full-time work.  All together, there's 28 million working age adults who simply cannot find work in the Obama economy.

"It is hard to separate the continued obfuscation of this harsh reality by the government from the fact that we are now in an election year."

Attachment: "Obama's Lost Labor Force" by ALG President Bill Wilson, Jan. 6, 2012.

Tags: Unemployment, unemployment rate, reality, Obama administration, Bill Wilson, Americans For Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Congressman Launches Online ‘Keystone XL Pipeline Jobs’ Survey

Asks how the President’s decision has impacted Arkansans
Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement asking Arkansans to share their views on President Obama’s decision to kill thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs:

"The President says he wants to get Americans back to work, but it’s hard to take him seriously when he recently killed thousands of new Keystone XL pipeline jobs. Little Rock’s own Welspun Tubular has already laid off 60 employees because of the President’s delays, but even more paychecks are in jeopardy That’s why I’ve launched a page on my website – – where people can tell me how the President’s decision is impacting them."

Tags: Representative, Tim Griffin, XL Pipeline, survey To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Admin Approved Canadian Oil Pipeline In 2009; Sen. Landrieu (D-LA): "Why Aren’t They Approving This [Keystone]?"

This morning the House approved (248-168) H.R. 658,the Conference Report on the FAA Reauthorization bill. The House also passed (235-177) H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act. This is one of the bills Republicans wish passed to fix the broken budget process. The bill would end the practice of setting budget baselines for discretionary spending that are equal to the prior year's budget plus inflation. The Hill already has comments and positions on this bill.  Unfortunately, this bill like all previous Republican backed spending control bills will have a tough time being either voted on or considered by the US Senate controlled by big spending Democrats.

The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday to consider the conference report on the FAA Reauthorization bill, H.R. 658.  Yesterday, the Senate voted 96-3 to pass S. 2083, the STOCK Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain.

Prior to passage, the Senate voted on several amendments to the bill. By a vote of 48-51, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have prevented future Solyndra situations where executive branch appointees have positions giving them oversight, rule-making or loan-making abilities over industries where they have a financial interest. However, the Senate adopted an amendment from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) by a vote of 58-41 that extends stock disclosure requirements to the executive branch.

National Journal reports today, “Despite environmental opposition, the Obama administration has approved a controversial oil-sands pipeline. No, not the Keystone XL pipeline that Washington has been fighting over for months. More than two years ago, on Aug. 20, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton approved a 1,000-mile pipeline that has the capacity to send 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada’s oil sands to Wisconsin. That pipeline is owned by the Canadian company Enbridge and began operating in October 2010. Sound familiar? The Keystone XL pipeline, as proposed by another Canadian company, TransCanada, would send up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day 1,700 miles from Hardisty, Alberta — the same town where the Enbridge pipeline known as the Alberta Clipper originates — to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast.”  Makes one wonder where the voice of the liberal environmentalist were hiding when the decision was made. Obviously, the administration had to placate its democrat's union base in Wisconsin.  Change was already in the wind and Wisconsin still moved to the right in 2010.

After National Journal looked into the Clipper pipeline that was approved in 2009, they asked several senators about it. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said, “It speaks to the fact that the Keystone XL debate has been infused with presidential politics, partisan politics, and has not had enough to do with the discussion of how do we truly become energy self-reliant.” He added, “I think there is a legitimate argument that it’s in the national interest to build the pipeline.” Well, Mr. Democrat Senator, the partisan politics was really all on your political side of the table. Does Udall truly speaks for Colorado? Or, is he is just a liberal progressive mouth piece for Big Government like the ones depicted in the movie "Atlas Shrugged-Part One"? Not to ruin the movie, but the people of Colorado get "sc----" by the federal Government.

National Journal writes, “‘The same administration approved that one?’ said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who also didn’t know that the Obama administration had backed the Enbridge project. ‘Then why aren’t they approving this one? I don’t know.’” Looks like another Senate Democrat who is being easily ignored (run over) by her fellow democrats. Could the reason be that she now represents a State which has become Republican.

According to the NJ story, “Lobbyists and other experts following the Keystone debate argue, however, that most of the environmental opposition to Keystone is not really about Nebraska; in fact, numerous pipelines already cross all parts of the state, including environmentally sensitive areas. Environmentalists are primarily concerned about the effect that producing oil from the carbon-rich tar sands could have on climate change and how the pipeline project fits with America’s commitment to clean energy. . . .  [P]roponents of Keystone say that politics has turned what is normally a routine approval process on its head. ‘A lot of folks in the industry have been amused by the fact that the Clipper project went through without much fanfare but that Keystone XL has generated an “all hands on deck from liberal Hollywood” moment,’ said Stephen Brown, a top lobbyist for the refiner Tesoro. ‘I think the disconnect just underscores how the Keystone pipeline has been hijacked by the politics of the time rather than decided on the merits of the project itself.’”

Interestingly, National Journal points out, “The State Department said at the time that the Clipper pipeline would increase ‘the diversity of available supplies among the United States’ worldwide crude-oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil-producing countries and regions.’ On the economic benefits, the State Department said that approval of the pipeline would send ‘a positive economic signal, in a difficult economic period, about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States’ energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.’ These are the same arguments that proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, led by congressional Republicans, cite as reason to approve that project without delay.”

The Keystone XL pipeline is supported by job creators, labor unions, Democrats, and editorial pages across the country, and yet President Obama rejected it. USA Today called it “is the most craven sort of election-year politics” and declared, “The biggest loser in this game of political football is the national interest.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the day Obama rejected the pipeline, “His decision to block the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, thousands of jobs, and increased energy security is stunning.  His decision shows a fundamental disconnect with job creation in this country, and sadly, that his focus is on appealing to his liberal environmental base rather than taking steps that can lead to thousands of jobs and energy security for our nation.”

Tags: INSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

From the Man Who Brought You Cash For Clunkers

... We Now Have Clunkers For Cash

A.F. Branco:

Tags: A.F. Branco, political cartoon, cash for clunkers, clunkers for Cash, Barack Obama, Volt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

U.S. Senate To Votes on STOCK Act - Will the Executive Branch Be Held To Same Standards As Congress?

Update 5:05 pm: US Senate passed the STOCK Act (97-3).
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 2, 2012:
Yesterday, The House passed the following bills:
  • H.R. 1173 (267-159): Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, a bill to repeal the CLASS Act, Obamacare’s long-term care entitlement. The passage was bipartisan with 28 Democrats joining the Republicans in passing the bill. The bill was sent to the Senate where it is expected that the Democratic Senate leadership will delay or seek to kill the bill.
  • H.R. 3835(309-117): To extend the pay limitation for Members of Congress and Federal employees with 72 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in support of this bill.
  • By voice vote H.RES.147: Limits cost of living adjustments for legislative branch employees.
  • HR 3567 (395-27): Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011 which prohibit welfare funds to be used in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores.
The Senate resumed consideration of S. 2083, the STOCK Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain. Votes on as many as 20 amendments to the bill are scheduled this afternoon.

Earlier this week, Roll Call reported, “Republican leaders pushed to expand a proposed insider trading ban for Members of Congress to top executive branch officials . . . . ‘The president is calling on Congress to live up to a standard that he isn’t requiring of his own employees,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor. At a news conference, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also pushed the Senate to add the executive branch to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. ‘The bill does not adequately cover those connected with the federal government in the executive branch that are in positions with access and are privy to information that could be used to personally benefit those individuals,’ the Virginia Republican said.”

Leader McConnell continued his push today, saying in a floor speech, “I mean, I think a lot of people out there want to know why a venture capitalist who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the President only to end up overseeing the administration’s green energy loan program shouldn’t be held to the same high standard as others?
Shouldn’t the President’s chief of staff be held to the same standard as a legislative director to a freshman Senator? Let’s be honest: people are equally, if not more concerned, about the kind of cronyism they keep reading about over at the White House and within the executive branch agencies, like DOE, that it controls. There’s no question Congress should be held to a high standard. But if we’re going to pass new standards here, the same standards should apply to the White House and to the executive agencies that spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars at the President’s direction.”

To that end, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced amendments to apply these standards to the administration. He spoke with Sean Hannity yesterday about them, saying, “The Solyndra deal, where they gave $500 million to one of the richest men in our country - Mr. [George] Kaiser is the 20th richest man in our country - and he got a taxpayer funded loan. You’ve got to wonder why millionaires and billionaires should be getting taxpayer funded loans. But it’s worse than that, the guy that approved the loan, his wife works for a law firm that represents Solyndra.” He added, “[T]he interesting thing is, is many career people in the Department of Energy – who are probably career, good civil servants trying to protect the taxpayer’s money – were arguing against this loan. But low and behold the key guy arguing in favor, his wife works for the law firm that represents Solyndra. Boy if that’s not insider trading, I don’t know what is.”

As Leader McConnell said, “[T]hat leads to a larger point, which is this: as long as the White House and the agencies it controls continue to play favorites, this economy will never fully recover and the playing field won’t ever be level. As long as Washington has this much say over the direction of the economy, people won’t ever feel like they’re getting a fair shake. So yes, let’s hold Congress to a high standard. But the White House must be held to the same one.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., House, Senate, STOCK Act, CLASS Act, Obama care, pay limitation, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Do You Remember January 3, 2007 - Five Years On?

This message has been making the rounds of the Internet. While the original author is unknown, the timeline and the facts are accurate and easily verified.

This is just a history lesson. I am sending it to all regardless of party. It is history and nothing can change it. All Americans should pass this on to everyone in their database. Both parties need to cut expenses, both parties have some blame, but this is truly what happened and Americans need to wake up and take our country back in 2012!!

The day the Democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009, it was January 3rd 2007, the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, the start of the 110th Congress. The Democratic Party gained a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault," think about this:

January 3rd, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:
  • The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
  • The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
  • The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
  • George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!
Remember that day...
January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?

THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney) for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5% GDP and 4.6% this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!

(BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 times to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy). Barney blocked it and called it a "Chicken Little Philosophy" (and the sky did fall!)

And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA

And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?
OBAMA and the Democrat Congress, especially BARNEY!!!!

So when someone tries to blame Bush...

Bush may have been in the car but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving the economy into the ditch.

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011.

In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases. Bush should have vetoed every bill that came in front of his desk!

For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is, "I inherited a deficit that I voted for,
And then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th, 2009."

"The problems we face today exist because the people who WORK for a living are outnumbered by those who VOTE for a living."

Hat Tip 1389 Blog: There is no way this will be widely publicized unless each of us passes it on.  Please email, tweet, post on Facebook or on your own blog!

Tags: Great Recession, 2008 elections, 2012 elections, George Bush, the economy, government spending, Obama, Barack, Obama, deficit, debt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gallup Predicts Obama Is Defeated In 2012 Election

Hat Tip Beltway Confidential - Gallup released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers yesterday, and the results should have 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue very worried. If President Obama carries only those states where he had a net positive approval rating in 2011 (e.g. Michigan where he is up 48 percent to 44 percent), Obama would lose the 2012 election to the Republican nominee 323 electoral votes to 215.

Gallup adds: Overall, Obama averaged 44% job approval in his third year in office, down from 47% in his second year. His approval rating declined from 2010 to 2011 in most states, with Wyoming, Connecticut, and Maine showing a marginal increase, and Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, and Georgia showing declines of less than a full percentage point. The greatest declines were in Hawaii, South Dakota, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

Tags: Gallup, election 2012, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

DoD Unveils Major Force Reductions

"To die for one's country is not as glorious as the living seek to make it, but it does prevent having to suffer disappointment in one's country's failures to honor its commitments to those who have served." ~ Dr. Bill Smith, Major, USAF-Retired

Sec. Leon Panetta & Gen. Martin Dempsey
The below article is shared with additional comments and highlights to educate readers about planned reductions for the U.S. Military. Most of the information is "public" and was provided by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Reductions will affect the military's capability to react to threats, to carry out needed operations, and to protect the USA from attacks by foreign powers, foreign organizations, and radicalized foreign people who seek to harm our Nation and thus you. These planned changes will significantly affect military readiness and capability and military personnel, military retirees, disabled veterans and their family members. The very people who are currently placed at risk and those who in the past have sacrificed so much will see their pay and benefits, or retirements and benefits placed at economic risk in the near future.

Please recall that the funding of Defense is one of few constitutionally approved functions of the Federal Government. The concept of mandating "across the board" cuts in all government agencies is not the appropriate method for decision making.  This method avoids addressing the constitutionality of an agency or department and its fulfillment of its stated responsibilities. This method to budgeting is a tool of Big Government and is used to retain wasteful and unconstitutional programs and agencies. Eliminating programs, departments and agencies would in fact aid in providing the needed funding to preserve National defense capability. In the below article, the highlights, brackets and comments have been added.

by Philip Ewing: The Defense Department could cut some 80,000 Soldiers and 20,000 Marines over the coming years as part of massive force and spending reductions announced Thursday at the Pentagon, which could also include reductions in pay and benefits for troops.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey gave reporters a "preview" of the fiscal 2013 defense budget that will be sent to Congress next month, the first to reflect the bite of $487 billion in reduced budget growth over the next 10 years.

In addition to the troop reductions, the budget would cut six Air Force fighter squadrons, leaving 54, and retire 130 of its cargo aircraft. It would decommission seven Navy cruisers, two amphibious ships and delay many of the service's planned programs, including its planned new ballistic missile submarine. It would delay, but leave mostly intact, the F-35 Lightning II fighter program, which forms the backbone of future aviation in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

The budget would likely reduce the size of the U.S. strategic arsenal, but would keep the longstanding three legs of the nuclear triad: Navy ballistic missile submarines and Air Force bombers and land-based missiles.

Among other things, the Pentagon is also asking Congress to authorize a Base Realignment and Closure process to consolidate the footprint that will be left empty by tomorrow's smaller force.

And for the troops that remain, Panetta hinted that DoD must tackle its burgeoning personnel costs in the next few years. Troops can expect full pay raises in 2013 and 2014, he said, but "We will achieve some cost savings by providing more limited pay raises beginning in 2015. This will give troops and their families fair notice and lead time before these proposed changes take effect." [In other words, if you don't like it, get out of the military. Fair enough. But for those being release form service in the near future, where are the jobs.]

Panetta also said that troop health care and retirement are two huge issues that Washington can no longer avoid. The budget recommends "increases in health care fees, co-pays and deductibles for retirees," he said, "but let me be clear that even after these increases, the cost borne by military retirees will remain below levels in most comparable private sector plans." [Note, there can be no comparison. Military members were paid less, and for many years, military retirees were denied by the Federal Government access access to certain jobs in industry and in other countries and "regular commissioned officers were required to forfeit their military retirement to be employed by the Federal government. Although these situations have been addressed and changed, those who retired in former years lost access to income. Consider that Vietnam Era Veterans were paid very low pay (equivalent to WWII / Korean War levels and were thus promised free healthcare at retirement if they stayed in the military. Those who lived to retirement received lower retirements because of lower pay scales than those retired in later years. However, DOD changed their benefits and these military retirees were required to pay a potion of their heath care and were denied access to on-base medical services if they lived outside of certain distance of a military base.   Now the DOD seeks for these identified retirees to have to pay even more without having ever provided them reasonable incomes in the past for risking their lives.]

As for retirement, Panetta said DoD will ask Congress to establish a "commission with the authority to conduct a comprehensive review of military retirement" -- with the understanding that current troops will be protected with a grandfather clause that keeps their existing benefits. [This claim of grandfathering has been said before but has proven to be a ruse; reference prior comment on retiree healthcare. Closing bases removes access to base services, including commissary, exchanges and medical services.]

. . . "Make no mistake, the savings we are proposing will impact all 50 states and many districts across America," Panetta said. "This will be a test of whether reducing the deficit is about talk or action. My hope is that when members understand the sacrifice involved in reducing the defense budget by half a trillion dollars, it will convince Congress to avoid sequestration, a further round of cuts that would inflict severe damage to our national defense for generations."

For now, Panetta and Dempsey's announcement fills in the blanks left by President Obama's announcement earlier in January that the U.S. would pursue a new defense strategy focused on the Western Pacific and no longer plan to fight two major simultaneous wars. They tried to emphasize the areas the budget protects or expands, despite its headline-grabbing reductions.

. . . the budget protects Special Operations Forces; keeps 11 Navy aircraft carriers and 10 air wings; protects unmanned surveillance aircraft; funds the Air Force's new bomber; and will improve future Navy submarines' ability to carry cruise missiles.

But there were some unanswered questions. The Army's reduction in end strength, for example, reflects eight combat brigades, but DoD's presentation Thursday hinted there could be more changes in the works -- "the future organizing construct of the Army is under review."

And although the Pentagon once again reaffirmed its commitment to the F-35, the largest defense program in history at more than $300 billion, it wasn't clear what its new delays would mean. The Air Force's and Marine Corps' fleets are quickly wearing out, and both services have been counting on new F-35s to take the place of their older, long-serving aircraft.

Some of the specifics, including the Pentagon's latest estimates for how much its new vision will cost, will appear in its official budget submission on Feb. 13. . . . [Read More]

Consider contacting the DOD and your elected officials to let them know how you feel about the proposed 2013 Defense Budget.

Tags: Leon Panetta, Martin Dempsey, DOD, force reductions, reducing the military, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Down The Toilet

by William Warren:

Tags: William Warren, political cartoon, Barack Obama, another bankruptcy, down the toilet, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Executive Branch Should Be Accountable Under The STOCK Act

Update 10:00 pm: The House passed (267-159) H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, a bill to repeal the CLASS Act, Obamacare’s long-term care entitlement. The passage was bipartisan with 28 Democrats joining the Republicans in passing the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 1, 2012:
Behind closed doors the House and Senate leaders reconciled their differences in a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on long-term funding and structural aspects to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Laat Week, both had passed slightly different bills Extending the FAA. Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI) said, "This legislation will, at long last, provide stable funding and policy direction for the FAA’s safety programs, airport development grants, and operations for fiscal years 2012 through 2015."

The agreement provides approximately $13.4 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, $38.3 billion for FAA Operations, $672 million for Research, Engineering & Development, and $10.9 billion for FAA’s Facilities & Equipment account. The agreement funds of safety programs, NextGen air traffic control modernization, and FAA operations through FY 2015. It provide for stimulating private sector job creation in the unmanned aircraft systems industry (UAS) and established timelines for FAA action on the safe integration of UASs into the national airspace system. Other interesting provisions included major labor reforms of the National Mediation Board (NMB); limits efforts by the Obama Administration to over-regulate the lithium battery industry; stops the most "egregious subsidies" in the Essential Air Service (EAS) program (remember the John Murtha airport); enacts passenger protections to assure airline passengers are treated fairly when traveling; and provides for or requires improved management processes for facilities, environmental reviews, flight path approvals, and other operational issues. The agreement needs to be voted on by the full House and Senate before the current short-term funding extension expires on February 17.

Today, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011, a two-page bill that would repeal the fiscal disaster known as the CLASS Act, Obamacare’s new long-term care entitlement. This entitlement was previously "suspended" by the Obama administration because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could not certify that the entitlement was fiscally sustainable. The provision must be repealed because the Congressional Research Service says the courts could force her to implement the new entitlement even though it would expand the the deficit. It's is questionable that Senate Democrats even care and if the bill passes the House, they may block or kill the bill. Fiscal responsibility and sustainability is not a strong suit for Senate Leader Harry Reid.

The Senate resumed debating S. 2083, the STOCK Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain. Many amendments are pending to the bill and roll call votes on amendments are likely today. The STOCK Act is designed to prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain. Nobody thinks Congress should be above scrutiny, but neither should the administration.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the problem: “As you know, we’re now on the STOCK Act. [T]he majority leader has indicated it’s open for amendment. And we certainly hope that the provisions of the bill will equally apply to the executive branch as they do to the Congress. I think that’s extremely important. Most of our members believe that, if there is any insider trading going on in the government, most likely that would be in the executive branch. And we want to make sure that this new law applies equally to both.”

To address this issue, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced three amendments to the bill yesterday. One of his amendments seeks to put an end to the revolving door that allows big money contributors to enter the administration and preside over policy that affects their bottom line. If this legislation passes it will ensure that nobody has to worry whether Administration advisers have a financial interest in the companies receiving taxpayer money.

In support of his amendments, Sen. Paul argued, “Currently there are some large donors that have been giving to this Administration who have profited enormously and disproportionately. This will allow this bill to apply to the Administration, and I don’t believe people who are multimillionaires and billionaires should use the apparatus of government as was used in the loans that were given to Solyndra by someone who is profiting off of their relationship and ties to the President, profiting off of people who used to work for these companies now, who are now employed in the administration and using these connections to get taxpayer money to go to private individuals.”

And speaking of Solynda, today, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) released a new national TV spot focused on the Obama Administration's green energy policies, and its handling of the Solyndra scandal.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, Us Senate, FAA Extension Bill, reconciliation, CLASS Act, Stock Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama: We Need Jobs Not Insider Deals - View New Ad: "Every Level"

New TV ad critiques Obama’s failed energy policy in $500,000 buy on national cable.

WASHINGTON – Today, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) released a new national TV spot focused on the Obama Administration's green energy policies, and its handling of the Solyndra scandal.

The ad, which will air on national cable for one week in a $500,000 buy, is the second Solyndra-themed ad by Crossroads GPS this year. "Every Level" focuses on the politically infused process that led to billions in government loans being handed out to Obama campaign backers, hundreds of millions of which have already gone straight down the drain as with Solyndra. View it and share it!.

Solyndra, a now bankrupt solar energy firm, squandered more than $500 million of taxpayer money in Department of Energy grants – a green energy program the Washington Post says was "infused with politics at every level." President Obama has previously hailed the company as an example of his economic vision, and doubled down on the policies that funded the failed company in his State of the Union speech last week.

Crossroads GPS also released a memo by its president and CEO Steven Law, explaining the spot. In the memo, Law says:
“President Obama views his Solyndra economy as a success – so much so that he advocated doubling down on it in his State of the Union speech. He … simply ignores the sweetheart deals, influence-peddling, incompetence and obsession with photo-ops that define his personally designed economy. … Advocates on the center-right need to engage that debate in both moral and economic terms, showing that Obama’s Washington is an unfair place, and less of Obama’s invasive, free-spending and chronically politicized government is the solution. America has always been the land where “know-how” was the universal pathway to success, prosperity and widespread growth. President Obama’s Solyndra economy would replace that quintessential American model with a government-centered system in which ‘know-who’ automatically trumps ‘know-how.’”
The first Crossroads GPS spot, "Typical," ran nationwide in December in a similar buy. The ad contended that instead of following through on his promise to change Washington, Obama's green energy policy emulates the worst of Washington's typical behavior.
Crossroads GPS is a policy and grassroots advocacy organization that is committed to educating, equipping and mobilizing millions of American citizens to take action on the critical economic and legislative issues that will shape our nation’s future.

Tags: Crossroads Grassroots, Policy Strategies, video, Crossroads GPS, ads, Every Level, Obama administration, Barack Obama, Solyndra, green energy policy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Morally Challenged Secretary Sebelius Scraps Conscience Exception for Health Plans

"To be morally challenged, one has to have been born. Obviously the same can be said for a moral person. However, the moral person is not seeking the death of the "unborn" or the "elderly." ~ Dr. Bill Smith

Bill Smith, Editor, : While the following shared article is rather long, there was no way I could in good conscious crop it. Why, because the article addresses those claiming to be social conservatives and to those who should be social conservatives based on their faith. Also, it applies to those seeking to be "moral beings."

Is it critical to ask what has brought our Nation to the point that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius could even consider, let alone proceed with "scraping the conscience exception for health plans"? The Obama administration has again proceeded brazenly without apparent fear of retribution by the public at large or even by those who are morally offended by Sebelius' action.

The article's author addresses his first-hand view of the conflict within the Catholic Church which has aided the Obama administration's open challenge to the moral conscious of the church without fearing that such action could result in negative consequence from Catholic voters in November. If this article awakens people, it will have served a very good purpose, but that will not stop the questionable actions of the Obama administration.

Protestants on the other side of the church isle have the same problem within their ranks. In fact their less restrictive hierarchy, many even aid in their ignoring and / or failing to vote their moral conscious. Numerous Protestants like numerous Catholics have surrendered or subjugated their moral conscious to a man-created, and often perverted, social consciousness. Whenever one considers promoting death in the womb or in the hospital bed, or the re-engineering of marriage and the traditional family, or changing social structure to avoid alleged inconveniences "of life," they have lost their way to the liberal progressive agenda.  That agenda then continues to expand to devour other individual beliefs and values like liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, pride, love of country, etc.

Within the Christian churches of America, thankfully there are those who have continually stood based on moral conscious based in Truth. Unfortunately, there are large numbers of "influential morally challenged people" who have gained access to power via the ballot box. These individuals do not permit themselves to be intellectually confronted by the morals of the church in any way that would stop them in their pursuit of social justice up to and including supporting death and harm to others. Consider these morally challenged individuals: Nancy Pelosi (Catholic), Kathleen Sebelius (Catholic) Harry Reid (Mormon), Chuck Schumer (Reformed Judaism), Hillary Clinton (Methodist), Barack Obama (Christianity/ Former Church of Christ), Joe Biden (Roman Catholicism). Tell me again, why are these people making decisions and taking actions  that affect us and attack our moral conscious? 

by Streiff (Diary), RedState : As the implementation of Obamacare rolls into high gear, we’ve been given insight into how it will be implemented in general. On January 20, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would not exempt health plans provided by non-profit religious employers from the requirement to provide “contraceptive services.”
… Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception. Women will not have to forego these services because of expensive co-pays or deductibles, or because an insurance plan doesn’t include contraceptive services.
The category of “all FDA-approved forms of contraception” includes the abortifacients, like the “morning after pill.” At the same time I couldn’t help but note that the group of health plans provided by “non-profit religious employers” who do not support contraception winnows the field down rather quickly to those provided by either the Catholic Church or one of its social service or medical subsidiaries.

The best is yet to come.

By way of full disclosure, I’m Roman Catholic. I’m a convert who became Catholic with eyes wide open rather than a “cradle Catholic” who was born into the religion. As such I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the antics of many of our Church leadership. I write it off to equal parts cognitive dissonance and a pathological desire to be popular.

The Democrat party has been anti-Catholic in its political positions since George McGovern ran for president yet the priesthood and heirarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in America tend to hail from Democrat constituencies. So on the one hand the Magesterium is teaching very traditional social values while on the other it is embracing without even a hint of credulity every lefty scheme that comes down the pike.

For instance, in 1983, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops declared nuclear weapons to be immoral and weren’t terribly fond of deterrence either. By 1988 they had decided SDI was destabilizing as was the US linking a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan to future arms treaties. When communist terrorists were trying to create a people’s paradise in El Salvador, many of our bishops ignored what was happening to personal liberty under the Sandinistas in Nicaragua as they stumbled over themselves to create the “sanctuary movement”.

Without putting too fine a point on it but there was no daylight between the position of the Magesterium and that of the Kremlin on these issues.

Not that they are all commies or anything. But there were MOVEMENTS out there that had freakin Pete Seeger singing protest songs and James Earl Jones and Ed Asner at their rallies. How could you not be in favor of these things?

Similar stampedes took place on global warming and immigration.

This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in. When given the choice between seeming to endorse a religious conservative for office and seeming to endorse a heterodox leftist there is no limit to the contortions a large share of our bishops won’t put themselves through to help the lefty. To wit: by the black letter of the Catechism of the Catholic Church supporting abortion is forbidden. If a public figure does so this failure is compounded by “scandal”, that is, an action that could cause others to question their faith. The fact that there are very few bishops in the nation who have taken steps to discipline pro-abort advocates and politicians especially when they proclaim themselves to be devout.

The second strain is the want to be liked. For most of American history, Catholics were THE OTHER. It was a foreign religion practiced by all manner of foreigners who either couldn’t speak English (Italians, Poles, etc.) or who could barely speak it (the Irish, it goes without saying). What other religion still has amendments to state constitutions directly aimed at its religious schools?

Just when things were going well with JFK (another devout Catholic) in the White House, he gets killed and the whole counter culture begins. If there was anything less cool in the 1960s than being in ROTC it was being a Catholic who believed in monogamy and abstinence until marriage not to mention avowing any religion that did not use mind altering drugs. Being cool is still important and despite his views on abortion Obama, that epitome of coolness, was invited to give a commencement address at a Catholic university.

This mindset was most egregiously on display during the 2008 election. The Catholic heirarchy — and I have to digress here for a moment to emphasize that we have many traditional bishops in this country who have fought the good fight for decades — wanted to catch the Hope-and-Change wave and had a problem: Barrack Obama loves him some abortion. Not just plain vanilla abortion. He is in favor of partial birth aboriton. He is in favor of killing a kid who happens to survive the abortion procedure.

Demonstrating again a contortionist skill that would gain them employment at any county fair in the country the bishops issued a document called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”
As first blush it looks like a strong statement in favor of life which would not have helped Obama, or any other elected Democrat for that matter, until one reads deeper.
34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.
In other words if you feel like the opposition to the war in Iraq or midnight basketball or furthering the ends of labor unions or any other pet peeve are “morally grave reasons” you can vote for the pro-abort. And they got what they wanted: American Catholics gave a majority of their votes to Obama.

Then came Obamacare which gave the bishops a real taste of what happens when you create a moral equivalence between universal health care and abortion. You get them both.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was heartbroken and gobsmacked, or gobsmacked and heartbroken, when they got the bad news about the elimination of an exemption for religious conscience in health plans.
President Obama telephoned Archbishop Dolan on Friday morning to tell him of the decision, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The pair had discussed the issue during a November meeting, during which the archbishop “got the message that they could work together,” said the spokeswoman, Sister Mary Ann Walsh.

The issue was likely to form the “backdrop to future relations,” she said. “It’s too big to ignore… the elephant is tramping around in the sanctuary.”

An administration official on Tuesday confirmed the call was made on Friday and reiterated comments made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the administration is committed to its partnerships with faith-based groups.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.), a Catholic who supports abortion rights and access to contraception, said she thought the White House had handled the decision “very well” by being open to listening to religious leaders. “Contraception is about preventing unintended pregnancy,” she said. “I think that they did what they needed to do.”
So up until November Archbishop Dolan was being led to believe that he and the Obama Administration could work together and there would be a conscience exemption in the health care reform regulations and then he gets a call telling him that he’s been played for a chump.

It is really difficult to understate the cultural significance of this decision. If Congress doesn’t intervene and we end up with a pro-abort in the White House, which seems virtually certain regardless of how Obama fares in November, it is hard to see how this precedent will not be applied first to euthanasia, which seems to be the next big thing, and then to abortion. If left as it is, it really marks the end of independent churches in the United States.

The decision even managed to concern the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne, another of the “smells and bells” Catholics on the left, or Catholycs as my friend Tom Crowe terms them, whose collective ass gets tired when confronted with the whole issue of morality.
One of Barack Obama’s great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health care law.

His administration mishandled this decision not once but twice. In the process, Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus and strengthened the hand of those inside the Church who had originally sought to derail the health care law.
. . .

Tags: Morally Challenged, federal healthcare, Obamacare, Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, abortifacients, conscience exception, scrapped, Magesterium, Catholic, Protestant, Church, Christians, faith, US Constitution, freedom of religion, Big Government, violating personal conscious To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Romney Wins Florida GOP Primary

Mitt Romney has won the Florida Republican preferential primary and claimed all of the Florida's delegates to the Republican National Convention. With 99.2% of the precincts reporting, the results were Romney 46.4%, Gingrich 31.9%, Santorum 13.4%, Paul 7.0% and Other 1.3%.

In his victory speech in Tampa, Romney focused on President Obama and his record on the economy. Romney said, "Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. Mr. President, you were elected to lead. You chose to follow. Now it's time for you to get out of the way."

Romney also focus on the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa in August. He said, "Democrats may believe that the primary campaign would leave Republicans divided and weak. A competitive primary does not divide us. It prepares us. And when we gather here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America."

Newt Gingrich identified that he intended to compete in all future races. "It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate. We are going to contest every place and we are going to win."

While Romney did not discount Rick Santorum and Ron Paul in future debates and contest, it was evident that Gingrich has done so. But proclaiming something does not make it so. While both Romney and Gingrich spend millions on ads, Santorum and Paul did not waste their money with Florida being a winner take all delegates state. Both came shared their messaging and then focused on the next state to vote, Nevada.

Santorum responded to Gingrich's claim and said that he is the conservative alternative to Romney because he has less "personal baggage" than Gingrich. As for Ron Paul, he held a rally which sounded more like a victory celebration and detailed his consistent message of limited government and less intrusion on both American lives and into "foreign entanglements." Paul said voters should "Send only people to the White House who know and read the Constitution and enforce the Constitution."

Tags: Mitt Romney, Republican primary, Florida, election 2012, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's "All The Above Energy" . . .

. . . EXCEPT FOR for the Keystone XL Pipeline, permits for oil, shale, and coal on Federal land and and in coastal or waters. Oh, and no dams, nuclear plants, coal fired plants. Oh and  . . . 
by A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: A.F. Branco, political cartoon, Barack Obama, energy policy, All the above, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Presidential Reminder

President Obama Once Pledged To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, D.C., 2/23/09)

REALITY: ‘CBO Projects A $1.1 Trillion Federal Budget Deficit’ For 2012

“CBO projects a $1.1 trillion federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 if current laws remain unchanged.” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 To 2022,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/31/12)

“If the CBO estimate is correct, it would mean that the United States recorded a deficit of more than $1 trillion for every year of Obama’s first term. The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.3 trillion in 2011. The largest deficit recorded before that was $458 billion in 2008.” (“CBO Projects $1.08T Deficit, Higher Unemployment,” The Hill, 1/31/12)

Tags: President Obama, deficit, broken promises, CBO, trillion dollar, Federal Deficit, 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

CBO Predicts 4th Straight Trillion Dollar Deficit! Obama is Missing The Message: "It's the Economy Stupid!"

American People To Obama:
It's The Economy Stupid!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan. 31, 2011:
Yesterday, the Senate voted 93-2 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2083., The Stock Act. Today, they will begin consideration of that bill which would prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain. It’s important to note, though, that the STOCK Act does not apply to officials in the executive branch. Czars, the President, VP, and others are free to wheel and deal.

This evening in the US House, a vote is expected on the HR 1173 - CLASS program repeal (created in President Obama's Health Care Reform).

Despite warnings from economists and calls for fiscal sanity from Americans, Washington has continued its irresponsible, misguided and wasteful spending.
  • This morning, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the fiscal 2012 budget deficit would reach $1.08 trillion and the jobless rate will increase to 8.9% by the end of 2012 and 9.2% by the end of 2013.
  • This is simply further evidence that failing to get spending and debt under control will lead to dire consequences, including higher taxes, higher costs of living, slower economic growth, and fewer jobs.
  • It's time for government to adjust to the current economic realities and tighten its belt just like families across the country have had to do.
Congress: Average approval for mid-December to late January was 13.2% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 82.4%. President Obama prefers the focus there than on his failing policies.

This morning, Sen. Mitch McConnell noted President Obama’s continued disinterest in discussing his record and his willingness to change the subject to Congress. “The more folks are talking about Congress,” he said, “the less they’re talking about the President’s own dismal economic record. And, frankly, for a President who has presided over a 43% increase in the national debt in just three years and the stain of the first-ever downgrade of America’s credit rating, I can understand why he’d want to change the subject. I can see why he’d rather be talking about Congress, or the Super Bowl, or the weather, or anything other than his own failed economic policies. But the problems we face are too grave and too urgent. And every day that the President spends trying to change the topic instead of changing the direction of our economy is another day he’s failing the people who elected him.

As already identified, today brought even more news it’s obvious that President Obama would prefer not to discuss. The Hill reports, “The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the budget deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012. CBO also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013. . . . If the CBO estimate is correct, it would mean that the United States recorded a deficit of more than $1 trillion for every year of Obama’s first term. The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.3 trillion in 2011. The largest deficit recorded before that was $458 billion in 2008.”

Meanwhile the AP reports, “A private research group says that consumer confidence retreated in January after two straight months of big gains. The Conference Board is reporting Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 61.1, down from a revised 64.8 in December. Economists had expected a reading of 68. . . . A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy, a level the index hasn't approached since December 2007 when the recession began.”

And according to The Wall Street Journal, “U.S. home prices fell again in November, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller indexes, which reported Tuesday that the majority of metropolitan markets posted declines. The U.S. housing market has remained sluggish despite lower prices and interest rates . . . .”

Yet given all these facts, Democrats continue to claim “we are in great shape.” That’s precisely what Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said last week at a press conference of Democrat Senate leaders. And in a recent weekly address, President Obama said, “[T]he most important thing we need to do is get more Americans back to work. . . . We’re heading in the right direction.”

As Leader McConnell said today, “The President can pretend he just showed up. He can try to convince people, as he tried to do this past weekend, that the economy is moving in the right direction. But he’s not fooling anybody. Americans know that we’re living in an economy that’s being weighed down and held back by legislation he passed with the help of big Democrat majorities in Congress. Americans know that we’re living in the Obama economy now.  And they’re tired of a President who spends his time blaming others for an economy that he put in place. . . ."

In addition, the president seems more than willing to ignore the following stats which rate his performance:
  • According to the Economist, 40% of adults believe the economy is the top issue facing the country. 78% of adults say it is a “very” important issue to them.
  • According to Gallup, 69% of Americans are dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.
Well Mr. President and members of Congress, let's remind you again as we did three and a half years ago: "It's the Economy Stupid!"

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, Stock Act, US house, CLASS, the economy, CBO report, trillion dollars deficit, Barack Obama, excuses, It's the Economy Stupid To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Porker of the Month: Sen. Kent Conrad

By CAGW President Tom Schatz: Today, in commemoration/lamentation of the 1,000th day since the United States Senate Budget Committee last performed its most significant task, which is to pass a budget resolution, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) as the January 2012 "Porker of the Month". The last time the Senate approved a budget was April 29, 2009. The House has voted in favor of two budget resolutions during the past two years.

Today marks an important milestone in fiscal ineptitude and mindless brinksmanship. When the Senate last passed a budget, the national debt was an already appalling $11.15 trillion. In 2011, House Republicans drafted and passed a budget plan that would dramatically reduce America’s deficit and debt. The only Senate actions on budget resolutions last year were to vote 97-0 against President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget and 40-57 against House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (D-Wis.) Roadmap for America’s Future.

Since April 2009, the budget deficit has exceeded $1 trillion for three straight years, and the national debt has climbed by more than $4 trillion to $15.27 trillion. Chairman Conrad’s bewildering reputation as a budget hawk makes his legislative catatonia all the more frustrating.

Sen. Kent Conrad
The lack of activity by Chairman Conrad has not gone unnoticed. In June 2011, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) introduced the “Just Do Your Job” Act, which would prohibit further transfer of funds to the House or Senate Budget Committees and the corresponding Office of the Majority Leader if that body of Congress failed to approve a budget resolution for FY 2012. As Rep. Buerkle pointed out at the time, “Even the Libyan government, in the middle of a civil war, passed a budget on June 15, 2011.”

However, Chairman Conrad and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have made it clear that their decision to not enact a budget resolution is conscious, unified, and partisan. In a May 23, 2011 article in The Washington Examiner, Majority Leader Reid said, “There’s no need to have a Democratic budget, in my opinion. It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.” The Examiner article also noted Chairman Conrad’s intent to “defer” work on the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget indefinitely.

Consequently, for being the "Kim Kardashian of the Senate budget entourage" and cashing a hefty paycheck for doing nothing in the last 1,000 days, CAGW names Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad its January 2011 Porker of the Month.
CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

Tags: CAGW, Kent Conrad, porker, porker of the month, January 2012, no budget, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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