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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. All 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 accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Support for Military Voters: Ohio Buckeyes Verses the Obama Machine

by Dr. Bill Smith: As a 22 year veteran, Major, USAF-Retired and a former enlisted SSgt, I join others in speaking out for my fellow comrades in arms who are prevented from publicly speaking for themselves. It is really unfathomable that our present Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama, would act to disenfranchise Ohio military voters through his Campaign, the Democratic National Committee lead by Florida's Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, and the Ohio DNC.
Image these words:
"I will send you into harms way to die; BUT I will not allow you extra time to vote before you deploy."

And Obama's liberal campaign slogan could well be:
Okay For Vets To Die But No More Time For them To Vote!

Military voting
Some Background: Mike Flynn at Brietbart scooped the new with the following report:
On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state's law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."

Currently, Ohio allows the public to vote early in-person up until the Friday before the election. Members of the military are given three extra days to do so. While the Democrats may see this as "arbitrary" and having "no discernible rational basis," I think it is entirely reasonable given the demands on servicemen and women's time and their obligations to their sworn duty.

The National Defense Committee reports: [f]or each of the last three years, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program has reported to the President and the Congress that the number one reason for military voter disenfranchisement is inadequate time to successfully vote.

I think it's unconscionable that we as a nation wouldn't make it as easy as possible for members of the military to vote. They arguably have more right to vote than the rest of us, since it is their service and sacrifice that ensures we have the right to vote in the first place.

If anyone proposes legislation to combat voter fraud, Democrats will loudly scream that the proposal could "disenfranchise" some voter, somewhere. We must ensure, they argue, that voting is easy and accessible to every single voter. Every voter, that is, except the men and women of our military.

Make no mistake, the Democrat lawsuit is intended to disenfranchise some unknown number of military voters.
The Commander-in Chief is supposed to look out for the military under his command. But to do so, one has to have empathy for them verses an arrogant disregard. Our military men and women are willing to serve, to die for their country. Yes they are even willing to do something that some presidents may not be willing to do - "To preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies foreign and domestic."

After all why would a president or his spouse respect anyone in the service, when they 1) were unwilling or maybe even ineligible to serve in the military, 2) but are predisposed in their beliefs that as commander-in-chief  the will embrace reducing the size and national defense capability of the military, reducing already limited military benefits, increasing the costs of living for military and or retirees, and even take negative actions which reduce our economy to the point that jobs are even unavailable for veterans being discharged from the shrinking military. 

And now, President Obama, Commander-in Chief, takes action through his political campaign to attack the number of early voting days allowed for active duty military by the state of Ohio. Note: elections, constitutionally, belong under the control of the States not under the Federal government but based on past experience one could well be confused and believe otherwise.  Obviously, the DNC and President Obama appear more than willing to seek to control elections. 

First, as a native born "buckeye" that was also stationed in Ohio, I commend the legislature of Ohio for granting military voters this extra time. The willingness of Ohio and their county election officials to go the extra mile to aid their active duty military residents in being able to vote in person verses by absentee ballot evidences their respect and willingness to honor those who are willing to be placed in "harms way" and to pay the ultimate sacrifice for them and our country.

It is despicable that the Ohio Democratic Party would allow itself to be drawn into this lawsuit.  As Ohioans, they should be supporting the will of their state to assure that active duty military have more time to vote in person. No one has been disenfranchised!  Their action evidences a willingness to bow to Mr. Obama. A very sad situation for Ohio. Will Ohio democrat leaders support the roll out Black Panther thugs to threaten people at the polls on Election Day?  Are they opposing voter registration fraud?

Navyman Norm, an Ohio resident and veteran, shared his thoughts today.
Obama makes a big deal of coming to Ohio to court votes, then he turns right around and tries to SCREW our Military by not letting them vote early as AUTHORIZED by Ohio law? ...

As parents of an active duty Navyman, we are NOT going to let these despicable COWARDS in the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama campaign get away with this crap!!!

Contact your fellow veterans in the VFW, American Legion, AmVets, Rolling Thunder and GET THE WORD OUT: "Obama, Sherrod Brown and Betty Sutton do NOT want Ohioans serving in the Armed Forces to be able to vote in time!!!"

WE do not need another reason to vote for Mitt Romney, Jim Renacci and Josh Mandel, but the Democratic Party and Obama just gave us one!
From the "Navyman Norm's words, it is evident that the Ohio Democrats and the Obama political machine are reaping opposition. to their actions.

Joe Newby on The Examiner, also reported on this deplorable situation and added these interesting points:
A May Gallup poll indicated that 58 percent of veterans prefer Mitt Romney, compared to 34 percent who support Barack Obama, and a Military Times poll found that 44.3 percent of service members do not approve of Obama's job performance.

Almost 39 percent of those polled considered themselves conservative, while 37 percent called themselves moderate. Only 6.72 percent identified themselves as liberal, and 1.39 percent said they were "very liberal."
The Editor for The New Media Journal added this comment on the actions by President Obama and his political machine:
"And if they are successful in Ohio, you can bet they will bring suit on every other swing state. You must ask yourself two questions: Does bringing a lawsuit to disenfranchise the military benefit anyone but a political opportunist? And, do you really want someone in the office of the President that would treat those he commands with such disrespect?"
President Obama often likes to quote former President Lincoln. Historically, active duty military were disenfranchised and not allowed to vote until Congress approved their voting during the Lincoln's first term. The first presidential race that the military voted in was the presidential election of 1864. Abraham Lincoln was not polling well against his opponent General George B. McClellan who saw the war as a failure and was part of the Democrat's "Peace Wing."  The press and even Lincoln himself expected that he would lose re-election. However, when the voting was over, 78 percent of the Union soldiers voted for Lincoln and carried the day for Abraham Lincoln.

Barack Obama is no Abraham Lincoln! Lincoln sought unity and  the end to slavery.  Obama seeks division and promotes class warfare.  And that may be one reason he is so arrogantly willing to have his minions openly oppose even the military voting law established by Ohioans. A law which does not allow military to vote "after the election" but does allows them "3 extra days in the early voting" verses being forced to opt for absentee ballots just because they are not sure what their military commanders and President Obama has planned for them on Election Day.

For their actions in challenging the will of Ohio citizens in support of the military, may the Obama campaign and the DNC's efforts suffer the fate of others who have tried to eat a real "Ohio Buckeye."

Tags: Ohio, Ohio Buckeyes, Buckeyes, military early voting, early voting, Obama campaign, DNC,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Young Americans Hit by July 12.7% Jobless Rate

Millennial Unemployment Rate is 12.7 Percent in July
Generation Opportunity encourages young Americans to call the White House and demand an end to policies that stifle job creation, hiring, and opportunity
by Generation Opportunity : Washington, DC – (8/3/12) – Generation Opportunity, one of the largest grassroots organizations connecting with Millennials through advanced social media outreach and traditional, boots-on-the-ground organizing, announces non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) 18-29 unemployment rate data for July:
  • The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds specifically for July 2012 is 12.7 percent (NSA). Additional notes: the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for July 2012 is 22.3 percent (NSA)the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for July 2012 is 14.0 percent (NSA); and the youth unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women for July 2012 is 12.6 percent (NSA).
  • The declining labor participation rate has created an additional 1.715 million young adults that are not counted as "unemployed" by the U.S. Department of Labor (BLS) because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
  • If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.7 percent (NSA).
Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the US Department of Labor and former Chief of Staff of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), issued the following statement in response to the July 2012 jobs numbers:

“Today’s unemployment number is another indicator of the far greater, more fundamentally devastating, and still under-reported story impacting young Americans. For nearly three and half years, young Americans have experienced historically high unemployment levels – levels that are among the highest since the end of World War II – that tell the story of millions of delayed dreams and careers of the next greatest generation.

"Instead of aggressively embracing policies that liberate businesses to create more jobs, the President and his appointees have pursued an agenda that suffocates economic opportunity under the weight of more spending, higher debt, more regulations, and higher taxes. For young Americans, the message from their government is clear – we are not responsible if our destructive policy decisions eliminate your plans for full-time, meaningful jobs in a career path of your choice. Even worse, elected officials in Washington are proving themselves to be coldly distant from the human costs of unemployment, the personal stresses and frustrations that come from the uncertainty surrounding unemployment.

“Millennials deserve better from their government, especially in light of what they have already contributed to this country. They are the generation that witnessed the 9/11 terror attacks on US soil, bravely responded to fight two wars overseas, selflessly helped rebuild New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities after Hurricane Katrina, and offered their personal support to those most impacted by the economic collapse. Yet, each day they awake to an economic reality, which includes record high unemployment and limited opportunities. Their message to all candidates is clear – we want to get on with our lives and realize our dreams. However, if the solutions you offer equal less jobs and more debt for our country, you will fail to win our enthusiasm and our vote.”

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:
  • 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
    • 44% delay buying a home;
    • 28% delay saving for retirement;
    • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
    • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
    • 23% delay starting a family;
    • 18% delay getting married.
  • Just 31% of 18 – 29 year-olds approve of President Obama's handling of youth unemployment.
Generation Opportunity is encouraging its Facebook fans, as well as its thousands of grassroots supporters across the nation, to call the White House today at (202) 456-1414 and demand that the policies of the last three and a half years, which have stifled job creation, be reversed in favor of policies that free up Americans to create jobs, to hire, and to restore the American tradition of access to opportunity for all.
Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Tags: young Americans, jobs, jobless rate, unemployment, Obama's policies, Generation Opportunity To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Three Ways President Obama is Sabotaging Job Growth

by Sondra Clark, Heritage Foundation: Obama administration policies are sabotaging job growth.

Today, the Labor Department released its July jobs report and yet again, the numbers are dismal. Unemployment rose to 8.3 percent and 12.8 million of Americans are out of work, of which 5.2 million have been out of work for at least half a year.

While it is good news that 195,000 jobs were added in July, unfortunately it is not enough to keep up with the jobs needed to pull the economy out of its withering growth rate.

In the past few years, Obama Administration policy has perpetually chosen the path to discourage job growth and slow the economy. Here are three of those policies:
  • Obamacare -  By requiring companies with 50 or more employees to  provide healthcare, Obamacare will de-incentivize companies from growing and hiring new employees.  Research shows, “the cost to an employer of hiring a full-time worker increases to at least $10.03 per hour and for those with family health coverage, it is at least $13.75 an hour” this could lead to employers reevaluating new hires due to the additional fixed cost of providing government mandated healthcare coverage.
  • Failed Stimulus Package - As part of President Obama’s Stimulus Package, unemployment benefits are extended up to an additional 20 weeks. Although the government distributes the unemployment checks, it is the former employer who must  pay the taxes on those unemployment benefits. How do you control this? The New York Times answered by saying “By making as few hires as possible”.
  • Increased Environmental Protection Agency Regulation - The EPA has begun to place more stringent regulations on sulfur dioxide emissions that will cut down coal production and close production plant which employ thousands of workers and contributes to $1.3 billion dollars of Texas’s state economy. The impact in Texas is a small example of what is to come if Obama continues to place stringent regulations on coal manufactures.

Tags: President Obama, Sabotaging Job Growth, obamacare, failed stimulus, EPA, Evironmental Protection Agency, jobs, unemployment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Political Zaniness: Congress in Recess? Absent Yes - Recess No

Toon 4 Mo.s Ago via Asian Conservatives:
Same Congress - Same Problems
Today in Washington, D.C. - August 3, 2012:
Both the House (led by Republicans) and Senate (led by Democrats), held short pro-forma sessions this morning. The Senate and House will a series hold pro-forma sessions until the Senate reconvenes on Monday, September 10th.  This is the "so called" August recess! However the Congress is not officially in recess.  For those interested in political zaniness, below are some excerpts from an excellent article by  Chan Pergram, FoxNews explains "when a congressional recess is not a recess":
That's the state of affairs in Washington after the House of Representatives defeated what is usually a routine "adjournment resolution" for August on Thursday. The resolution would allow lawmakers to escape the Capitol and head to their districts to campaign and attend the political conventions.

The bottom line: Congress is technically NOT on August recess.

On Thursday, the Senate voted to adjourn by unanimous consent. But the House did not, voting 265-150. . . .

Why is this important? Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution says "Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days...."

So that eliminates the ability of the House and Senate to disappear for five weeks until September 10.  That means they have to meet - at least in a pro forma session - every three days from now through September.

Pro forma" is Latin meaning "as if." So, the House and Senate may meet "as if" all members are here. But don't expect any legislative business.

This doesn't entail much. The House and Senate simply gavel in and gavel out after the opening prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and some clerical business.But you can expect a lot of carping. . . .

[With the House still officially in session] Mike Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), [said] "House Leaders made it clear earlier this week that we will bring the House back at any time if Senate Democrats act to stop the looming tax hikes or replace the devastating defense sequester with other spending cuts. On both issues, the House has acted - so House Democratic Leaders should direct their complaints and comments to Senate Democrats, and President Obama."

... There is also an operational hurdle to clear. Since the House didn't agree to adjourn, the Senate will have to meet at three-day intervals, too. But there's a problem. The Senate chamber is scheduled to have its carpet replaced this month.

The Senate will meet for the first of its 11 pro forma sessions in August and September in the chamber on Friday. But after that, the rest will be moved to room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. This is a large room where big events like confirmations for cabinet secretaries and Supreme Court justices unfold. The Constitution doesn't require the House or Senate to meet in any particular place. . .

Of course, none of this zaniness should surprise anyone. Shakespeare may have written about the Ides of March. But in politics, there is nothing stranger than the "Ides of August." Most in Washington plan to go on vacation in August and anticipate a quiet month. But they shouldn't. Scores of seminal events which shape the body politic seem to hit in August. Sometimes they alter the political landscape.
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objected to a request from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on repealing Obamacare.

Also yesterday, Reid failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414) by a vote of 52-46. Following that, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to change the offsets to the Burma Sanctions and African Growth and Opportunity Act by a vote of 40-58, and then passed the bill by unanimous consent.

Later, the Senate voted "55-41 to confirm Gershwin A. Drain to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Yesterday, as mentioned previously, the House did NOT pass S. Con. Res. 56 (150-265 ) - "Providing for a conditional adjournment or recess of the Senate and an adjournment of the House of Representatives."

However, the House did pass by voting Con. Res. 127 (414-0) — "Expressing the sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve and advance the multistakeholder governance model under which the Internet has thrived" and H.R. 6233 (223-197) — "To make supplemental agricultural disaster assistance available for fiscal year 2012 with the costs of such assistance offset by changes to certain conservation programs, and for other purposes."

The House also passed by Voice Vote the following bill:

H.R. 5986 — "To amend the African Growth and Opportunity Act to extend the third-country fabric program and to add South Sudan to the list of countries eligible for designation under that Act, to make technical corrections to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States relating to the textile and apparel rules of origin for the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, to approve the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, and for other purposes."
S. 3510 — "To prevent harm to the national security or endangering the military officers and civilian employees to whom internet publication of certain information applies, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1402 — "To authorize the Architect of the Capitol to establish battery recharging stations for privately owned vehicles in parking areas under the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives at no net cost to the Federal Government." 
S. 739 — "To authorize the Architect of the Capitol to establish battery recharging stations for privately owned vehicles in parking areas under the jurisdiction of the Senate at no net cost to the Federal Government."

Roll Call reported last night, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this evening rejected a plan offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to set up a vote on repealing the 2010 health care law before the end of September. ‘Our Republican friends are hopelessly stuck in the past,’ Reid said before objecting to a GOP unanimous consent request. ‘They continue to want to fight battles that are already over.’”

This now marks the third time since the Supreme Court ruling that Reid has blocked an attempt from Leader McConnell to get a vote on repealing Obamacare. Reid blocked amendments to a bill earlier in July after McConnell filed a repeal amendment, blocked amendments again to a bill this week, and then rejected a consent request McConnell made last night to bring up the House-passed Obamacare repeal bill.

Leader McConnell said last night, “Earlier this week, the Majority Leader and a number of his colleagues took to the floor to defend the President’s health care law and to tout provisions they believe to be popular with the public. What they didn’t do was allow for a vote on the entirety of the bill, which proves to be even more of a disaster with each passing day, and which a majority of Americans continue to oppose. Put another way, Senate Democrats spent nearly an entire day talking about parts of Obamacare that poll well, but refused to spend 15 minutes being caught on camera voting to uphold the entire law. What are they afraid of? Why won’t they allow a vote?”

Just this week, we learned (from The New York Timesno less) that President Obama’s unpopular health care law is likely to exacerbate a doctor shortage and that job creators are already struggling with the fees and mandates in the law.

Yet Senate Democrats continue to block a Senate vote on Obamacare. Are they proud of this 2,700 page legislation or not?

Tags: Us Senate, US House, recess To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama’s Olympics

by William Warren:

Tags: Obama's Olympics, Obama, You Didn't Do That, Michael Phelps, political cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

What Happened to Another Obama's Recovery Summer?

Two Years After Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Crowed That America Is ‘On The Road To Recovery,’ The Economy Continues To Sputter
SEC. TIM GEITHNER: “Welcome to the recovery … a review of recent data on the American economy shows that we are on a path back to growth … on the road to recovery” (Sec. Geithner, “Welcome To The Recovery,” The New York Times, 8/3/10)

RECENT DATA: ‘Economy Weak’
BEA: “Real gross domestic product … increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012…” (“Table 8. Real Gross Domestic Product: Percent Change From Quarter One Year Ago,” Bureau Of Economic Analysis, 7/27/12)
  • “Economy weak in second quarter … The U.S. economy has never been so sluggish this long into a recovery.” (USA Today, 7/27/12)

  • “The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling…” (AP, 7/27/12)
Recent Months: Job Creation ‘Paltry,’ ‘Americans Joining Disability Now Outpacing Americans Finding Jobs,’ ‘Factory Sector Shrank,’ ‘Exports Dropped’
Current Unemployment Rate 8.2%. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/6/12)
“Americans joining disability now outpacing Americans finding jobs.” (“Americans Joining Disability Now Outpacing Americans Finding Jobs,” The Weekly Standard, 7/17/12)
“The U.S. factory sector shrank in July for the second straight month, and gauges of future activity suggest weakness will continue into the fall.” (“Factories Lose Steam As Global Fears Rise,” Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)

“Exports dropped for a second consecutive month, while a gauge of factory employment—until now a bright spot—fell sharply to 52 from 56.6. That shows that while firms are still hiring, they are worried about whether they will actually need workers.” (“Factories Lose Steam As Global Fears Rise,” Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)

‘More Young Adults Living With Parents’
“More of today’s twenty-and-thirty-somethings are living with their parents than in generations before them. … About 17 percent of the adults between the ages of 20 to 34 lived with their parents in 1980, compared with 24 percent during the Great Recession period…” (“STUDY: More Young Adults Living With Parents,” National Journal, 8/1/12)

Tags: Obama, recovery summer, exports, youth living at home, no jobs, unemployment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

ObamaCare "Intended" Consequences

As Democrats Block The Effort To Repeal ObamaCare,
Job Creators Struggle With The Law’s Consequences

‘Excessive Costs And Regulatory Burdens That Threaten Their Very Business’
For Virginia restaurateur “cost of the penalty could put him out of business.” “John Motta, who owns 10 Dunkin' Donuts in New Hampshire and 10 in Virginia, said he offers workers a choice of two insurance plans and pays half the premiums. He is weighing whether to drop coverage but said the cost of the penalty could put him out of business in Virginia, where his stores are struggling.” (“Small Firms See Pain In Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)

National Restaurant Association: “Restaurant owners are looking for solutions that will allow them to provide better health care coverage options for their team members, but they cannot be saddled with excessive costs and regulatory burdens that threaten their very business.” (National Restaurant Association, Press Release, 6/28/12)

Small Businesswoman: ‘ObamaCare Is Making Me Think About Cutting Jobs’
“Randall Tabor, who owns two Quiznos sandwich restaurants in Virginia Beach, Va., once aspired to triple the number of outlets he owns. But after the federal health-care overhaul passed in 2010, Mr. Tabor says, he shelved those plans. The law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance to employees by 2014 or pay a penalty. Mr. Tabor, who employs 36 people at his two Quiznos shops and another restaurant, wants to stay small so he doesn't trigger the requirement. … ‘I don't have the profit margin to pay for it,’ says Mr. Tabor...” (“Small Firms See Pain In Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)

“A Texas pizza restaurant owner has shelved her plans to open a new location because she does not yet know how ObamaCare will impact her business. ‘I want to grow and hire more people, but ObamaCare is making me think about cutting jobs instead,’ Judy Nichols, a Papa John's pizza restaurant owner said.” (“Texas Pizza Restaurant Owner Not Expanding Or Hiring Because Of Obamacare,” Examiner.Com, 7/30/12)

‘Law Will Add Between $10,000 And $30,000 In Added Annual Costs’ To Restaurant Franchises
“McDonald's Corp. Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen told analysts last week that the law will add between $10,000 and $30,000 in added annual costs to each of the 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S., 89% of which are franchisee-owned.” (“Small Firms See Pain in Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)

Tags: Obamacare, consequences, Excessive Costs, Regulatory Burdens, Cutting Jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Iran Calls For Death Of Israel — Again

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again called for the annihilation of Israel this week. In a Ramadan speech to ambassadors from Islamic countries, he said a “horrible Zionist current” has been managing world affairs for 400 years. Reciting a long list of anti-Semitic slurs, Ahmadinejad accused “Zionists” of controlling the world’s media and financial systems.

The speech was delivered ahead of “Qods Day” (“Jerusalem Day”), an annual Iranian, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel event started in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, which this year falls on August 17th. “Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problem,” Ahmadinejad said. “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.”

Ahmadinejad was merely repeating the anti-Israel, Jew-hating rhetoric for which he has become infamous. But his remarks are a helpful reminder of what a nuclear-armed Iran’s first priority would be.
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: Iran, Israel, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Gary Bauer, INSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tea Party Cruz-in

AF "Tony" Branco:
Read More: Texas GOP Chooses Tea Party-Backed Cruz for Senate

Tags: Ted Cruz, Texas, TEA Party, primary victory, political cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

WSJ: "Small Firms See Pain in Health Law"

Harry Reid is a picture of insanity.
But don't focus on this guy or you
will miss what is really important.
Reid is an Obama distraction toy.
Harry, show us your medical records!
Today in Washington, D.C. - August 2, 2012:
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today and began consideration of S. 3326, the Burma Sanctions and African Growth and Opportunity Act bill.

This morning, following his move to prevent all amendments to the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the bill by a vote of 52-46. The Senate then rejected an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to change the offsets to S. 3326 by a vote of 40-58. Following the vote, the Senate agreed to pass the bill by unanimous consent.

The Senate then took up the nomination of Gershwin A. Drain to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. A vote on his nomination is scheduled for 1:50 PM.

The House reconvened at 9:00 AM and received a message from the Senate that they had passed H.R. 1369, H.R. 3276, H.R. 3412, H.R. 3501, H.R. 3772, H.R. 1560, S. 1409, and S.J. Res. 49. The Senate agreed to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1905. The bills now go to the president for signature. The above is mentioned to evidence that Congress does get things done even if the process is slow and hopefully deliberate.

Yesterday, the House passed the following bills:
H.R. 4365 (414-6) — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to make clear that accounts in the Thrift Savings Fund are subject to certain Federal tax levies."
H.R. 8 (256-171) — "To extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and for other purposes."

By voice vote:
H.R. 1171 — "To reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act."
H.R. 1550 — "To establish programs in the Department of Justice and in the Department of Homeland Security to help States that have high rates of homicide and other violent crime, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1950 — "To enact title 54, United States Code, "National Park System", as positive law."
H.R. 2446 — "To clarify the treatment of homeowner warranties under current law, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3120 — "To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require accreditation of certain educational institutions for purposes of a nonimmigrant student visa, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3158 — "To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule with respect to certain farms."
H.R. 3187 — "To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes Foundation."
H.R. 3706 — "To create the Office of Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3796 — "To reauthorize certain programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006."
H.R. 4073 — "To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County, Colorado, originally granted to the Mt. Manitou Park and Incline Railway Company pursuant to the Act of March 3, 1875."
H.R. 4104 — "To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
H.R. 4273 — "To clarify that compliance with an emergency order under section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act may not be considered a violation of any Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4362 — "To provide effective criminal prosecutions for certain identity thefts, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5797 — "To amend title 46, United States Code, with respect to Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6029 — "To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for increased penalties for foreign and economic espionage, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6062 — "To reauthorize the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program through fiscal year 2017."
H.R. 6063 — "To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to child pornography and child exploitation offenses."
H.R. 897 — "To provide authority and sanction for the granting and issuance of programs for residential and commuter toll, user fee and fare discounts by States, municipalities, other localities, and all related agencies and departments, and for other purposes."
S. 270 — "To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal land to Deschutes County, Oregon."
S. 271 — "To require the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a property conveyance with the city of Wallowa, Oregon, and for other purposes."
S. 300 — "To prevent abuse of Government charge cards."
S. 3363 — "To provide for the use of National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center Commemorative Coin surcharges, and for other purposes."

Yesterday, ARRA News reported on the bipartisan sponsorship of a bill introduced in the House "To Help Lower Medicare Costs By Keeping Seniors Healthy." "Recognizing the need for innovative and cost-effective solutions to deal with the growing cost of Medicare, U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tim Griffin (R-AR), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), today introduced legislation that experts say could save Medicare billions by helping American seniors get and stay healthy."

In a must-read op-ed today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell makes the case for another Senate vote on repealing Obamacare following June’s Supreme Court decision, noting that Democrats have now blocked such a vote three separate times.

McConnell writes, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s hairsplitting decision to uphold Obamacare, Republicans in Congress have redoubled our efforts to get this monstrosity off the books. If the court won’t do it, we must. The rationale for such a vote is obvious. When Obamacare first passed, no one knew what its full impact would be. Even Nancy Pelosi famously said we’d have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

“Now that we’ve had some time to study its consequences, Democrats should stand up and be counted. Does it get a passing or a failing grade? That’s all Republicans are calling for. Senate Democrats refuse. Just this week, Senate Democrats decided to spend an entire day talking about parts of Obamacare that poll well, but they refused to spend 15 minutes being caught on camera voting to uphold the entire law.

“It marked the third time since the court’s decision that Senate Democrats have blocked a repeal vote, even as the Republican-led House of Representatives has already passed a bill declaring its support for repeal. As Majority Leader Harry Reid recently put it, Democrats ‘do what [they] can to protect the President.’”

He notes, “This week, we learned Obamacare will also exacerbate a shortage of doctors nationwide. One would think lawmakers would welcome a chance to reevaluate their original votes in light of reports like this. Sadly, the Democrats who worked so hard to pass Obamacare are now afraid to reaffirm — or repudiate it — with a vote.”

Today, The Wall Street Journal adds another reason for repeal. The WSJ reports, “Randall Tabor, who owns two Quiznos sandwich restaurants in Virginia Beach, Va., once aspired to triple the number of outlets he owns. But after the federal health-care overhaul passed in 2010, Mr. Tabor says, he shelved those plans. The law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance to employees by 2014 or pay a penalty. Mr. Tabor, who employs 36 people at his two Quiznos shops and another restaurant, wants to stay small so he doesn't trigger the requirement.”

The Journal explains, “Restaurants and retailers face some of the toughest changes now that the Supreme Court has kept the [health care] overhaul in place. These industries historically are among the least likely to provide insurance to workers. Many franchisees of big chains hover around the threshold at which they will be required to start insuring workers or pay the penalty. With high turnover and a large percentage of part-time and seasonal workers, restaurant and retail operators must juggle several variables in figuring out whether they will cross the threshold. McDonald's Corp. Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen told analysts last week that the law will add between $10,000 and $30,000 in added annual costs to each of the 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S., 89% of which are franchisee-owned.”

The consequences of Obamacare for small business owners and their employees are apparent: “‘I don't have the profit margin to pay for it,’ says Mr. Tabor, who doesn't offer health benefits to his Quiznos workers. Some restaurant owners who offer limited health-benefit plans say they will drop them and pay penalties rather than provide the more expensive insurance required under the law. . . . John Motta, who owns 10 Dunkin' Donuts in New Hampshire and 10 in Virginia, said he offers workers a choice of two insurance plans and pays half the premiums. He is weighing whether to drop coverage but said the cost of the penalty could put him out of business in Virginia, where his stores are struggling. Other franchisees are looking at ways to avoid the requirement by cutting workers' schedules so they work fewer than 30 hours a week—the law's definition of a part-time worker—since only full-time workers are counted toward the insurance coverage requirement.”

As Leader McConnell writes, “[Democrats are] simply too afraid to cross the president, and they’re afraid to show the voters who sent them here that they continue to support this terrible law despite everything we’ve learned about it. All Senate Republicans are asking for is a chance to show the American people how we feel about this law now that we’ve had a chance to look at its effects. What could possibly be wrong with that? Pass or fail? It’s a vote the American people want. It’s a vote they deserve.”

Tags: Harry Reid, democrats, block vote, WSJ, Small Businesses, feel pain, Obamacare, US House, US Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Bill Introduced To Help Lower Medicare Costs By Keeping Seniors Healthy

Innovative Program Uses Cost-effective Solutions to Keep Seniors Healthy and Preserve Medicare
Washington, D.C. – Recognizing the need for innovative and cost-effective solutions to deal with the growing cost of Medicare, U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tim Griffin (R-AR), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), today introduced legislation that experts say could save Medicare billions by helping American seniors get and stay healthy.

In an effort to bring down health care costs, U.S. employers are increasingly turning to workplace wellness programs that reward employees who engage in healthy behaviors. The Medicare “Better Health Rewards” program would give Medicare beneficiaries a chance to participate in a similar and 100% voluntary wellness program.

Using such health indicators as diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status, participating providers and doctors would use information gathered during annual wellness visits to provide patients with achievable health goals, a roadmap to reach those goals, and incentives to stay motivated. Funding for the “Better Health Rewards” Program is generated as participating seniors get healthy and use less healthcare services. Beneficiaries who meet certain benchmarks for improving their health indicators will be eligible for a “Better Health Reward” of up to $200 after the second year and $400 after the third year.

“We all understand the unsustainable path Medicare is currently on, and the urgent need for innovative new ways to strengthen and fortify this essential program,” said Rep. Paulsen. “The Better Health Rewards Program is a cost-effective plan to reduce Medicare costs by rewarding participants who work to improve their health. By focusing on leading health indicators such as blood pressure and cholesterol, and providing patients with the tools they need to get and stay healthy, we can help American seniors live longer healthier lives and strengthen Medicare.”

“Health care spending is the fastest growing area of the federal budget,” said Rep. Kind. “This is a commonsense bill that focuses not only on an innovative way to get these costs under control and strengthen Medicare in the long-run but also gives our seniors an incentive to pursue a healthier lifestyle. It’s a win-win in my book.”

“Medicare spending is unsustainable and failure to reform and save this critical program threatens the health and retirement security of our seniors,” said Rep. Griffin. “The Better Health Rewards program rewards seniors for choosing healthier lifestyles in order to avoid the type of preventable, chronic conditions that contribute to three quarters of our nation’s health care spending. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of this innovative, patient-centered and bipartisan legislation.”

"The Better Health Rewards Program has the potential to be a tremendous success for Medicare and the American people, providing seniors and others with health care security,” said Rep. Fudge. “Its Incentive program will help citizens become invested in their own health and cultivate healthy habits. In terms of our economy these programs cut costs, and yield actual services, not high premiums. I am proud to co-sponsor legislation that will ensure older Americans reap the rewards of better health at a lower cost.”

Tags: bi-partisan bill, Medicare, lower costs, sniors healthy, Health Rewards Program, U.S. Representatives, Erik Paulsen, R-MN, Ron Kind, D-WI, Tim Griffin, R-AR, Marcia Fudge, D-OH To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Chick-Fil-A Day

AF "Tony" Branco:

Tags: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, private business, Chick-fila-a, protestors, free advertising, gay marriage, political cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Freedom of Speech - Tastes Delicious!

Related articles:
Bottom Line Guy: Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy
NRO: The Chicken Inquisition

Tags: Chick-fil-a, tastes delicious, freedom of speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems Boasting Of Obamacare Mandates

Today in Washington, D.C. - August 1, 2012:
The House convened today. Yesterday, the voted on the following bills, HR 3803 failed to pass (220 - 154) two-thirds required — DC Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Democrats Prevent House Passage of Late-Term Abortion Ban House Democrats objected to a bill that would stop the policy of unlimited abortions for any reason throughout the entirety of pregnancy in the nation’s capital. The bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. needed a two-thirds vote but enough Democrats voted against the measure to prevent it from going to the Senate. The bill received a supportive vote of 220 to 154 with Republicans voting 203 to 6 for the bill and Democrats voting 148 to 17 against it. Read More

The House passed HR 828 (263 - 114)— Federal Employee Tax Accountability  and S 679 (261 - 116) — Removing Senate confirmation process for certain federal appointments.

The House Passed by voice vote HR 1627 — Honoring American veterans (Agreed to Senate Amendment to previously passed bill) and HR 3641 — Pinnacles National Park Act.

All other bills pending before the house were not considered or failed to have a quorum present to vote on the bills.

The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of S. 3414, the cybersecurity bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) continued to act like a dictator of the Senate and filled the amendment tree (thus blocking any amendments by the either fellow democrats or the republican Senators) and filed cloture on the bill to cut off debate. If no agreement is reached on considering the cybersecurity bill, a cloture vote would be scheduled tomorrow.

Also possible this week is a vote on the nomination of Carol Galante to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Politico reports, “The Obama administration’s requirement that nearly all insurance plans provide contraceptives without a co-pay begins Wednesday, giving Democrats a new talking point about the benefits of the [health care] law and Republicans a new hook to repeal the whole thing. On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Democrats talked up the law’s benefits for women’s health with a bigger sales blitz than they’ve used for the health care law in a long time — including floor speeches by top Senate Democrats and a news conference with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. . . . Senate Republicans, who once railed that the contraceptives requirement violated the religious freedoms of Catholics who oppose them, instead used the new rule to try once again to repeal the entire law.

“On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered an amendment to repeal the law to a cybersecurity bill under debate in the Senate this week. ‘Given the fact that our friends on the other side are going to focus on that bill this particular week, it might be a good idea to have a vote on it,’ McConnell said. It didn’t get very far, though. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the effort ‘ridiculous,’ indicating Republicans aren’t likely to get a vote on it.”

In other words, Democrats want to boast about the new Obamacare mandates, including those that violate religious liberties by forcing religious institutions to purchase health plans that include contraceptive coverage, but they aren’t willing to vote to defend these mandates. If Democrats are so proud of Obamacare and the new government mandates that begin this week, why won’t they vote again to uphold them?

Tags: Washington D.C., Democrats, Obamacare mandates, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rationing Begins: States Cutting Medicaid Drug Benefits

Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News: Illinois Medicaid recipients have been limited to four prescription drugs as the state becomes the latest to cap how many medicines it will cover in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

Doctors fear the state's cost-cutting move could backfire on patients, who have to get state permission to go beyond the limit.

"We understand the state is trying to get its Medicaid budget under control," says Dr. William Werner, president of the Illinois State Medical Society. "But our concern is it not be a hardship for patients and a hassle for doctors in the execution."

Sixteen states impose a monthly limit on the number of drugs Medicaid recipients can receive and seven states have either enacted such caps or tightened them in the past two years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KHN is a program of the foundation). The limits vary across the country. Mississippi has a limit of two brand-name drugs. In Arkansas adults are limited to up six drugs a month.

Since June, Alabama has had the nation’s stingiest Medicaid drug benefit after limiting adults to one brand-name drug. HIV and psychiatric drugs were excluded. On Aug. 1 the state will relax the limit to its previous level — four brand-name drugs — after the restriction saved more money than expected and the state received money as part of a settlement with a pharmaceutical company.

Jarod Speer, a family doctor in Childersburg, Ala., welcomed the state’s decision. He said the one brand-name drug limit put his patients at risk. "This is going to remove a lot of the obstacles we were facing," he says. "Most patients can be managed with generics and three or four brand-name drugs."

While most drugs have a generic equivalent, his patients with asthma and other lung diseases faced limited options without access to brands, says Speer, who practices about 30 miles east of Birmingham.

Alabama Medicaid officials were happy to rescind the one drug limit, which affected 14,000 people, but defended its need.

"At the end of the day, we have to provide care, but we have to have a balanced budget," says Alabama State Health Officer Donald Williamson, who acknowledged reports that some patients with chronic diseases were having trouble finding generic replacements.

Other states with Medicaid drug limits are Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Kaiser Health News authorized the free use of the articles content. The title of this posting is not their title.; If you share the content of the article, link back to the original article.

Tags: healthcare, rationing, states cutting medicate, drug benefits, Kaiser Health News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sequestering "Hiding" Layoff Notices For The Loss of Over One Million Jobs

The Obama Administration Is Trying To Hide Jobs Impact Of Defense Cuts

Obama Admin ‘Slapped’ Businesses, Call Layoff Notices ‘Inappropriate’
“The Obama administration slapped at defense contractors on Monday, saying threats to issue layoff notices before the election because of pending Pentagon cuts is ‘inappropriate.’” (“Obama Administration Pushes Back At Defense Layoff Threats,” The Hill, 7/30/12)
UNIVERSITY STUDY: Over 1 Million Jobs ‘Would Be Lost Due To DOD Budget Cuts’
University Study: ‘[T]otal of 1,090,359 jobs … would be lost due to DOD budget cuts’ “The estimated decrease in federal spending with the implementation of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (spending for FY 2012 and FY 2013) will reduce DOD spending by a total of $56.7 billion… A total of 1,090,359 jobs with a total labor income of $46.5 billion would be lost due to DOD budget cuts in FY 2012-FY 2013.”  (“Sequestration Puts 2.14 Million Total Jobs At Risk,” George Mason University, P.1, 7/17/12)
SEN. LEVIN (D-MI): ‘Severely Damaging If Sequestration Occurs’
“‘I sure as hell hope that sequestration doesn’t happen,’ Panetta told a joint House panel focused on veterans issues. ‘It would be, as I’ve said, time and time again, a disaster in terms of the Defense Department, as far as our budget is concerned and as far as our ability to respond to the threats that are out there.’” (“3 GOP Senators To Tour Presidential Battleground States Warning About Defense Cuts,” The Washington Post, 7/25/12)
  • SEC. PANETTA: “I think you all recognize that sequester would be entirely unacceptable, and I really urge both sides to work together to try to find the kind of comprehensive solution that would de-trigger sequester and try to do this way ahead of this potential disaster that we confront.” (U.S. Senate, Appropriations Committee, Hearing, 6/13/12)
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): ‘[I]t would be severely damaging if sequestration occurs.’ “The specter of sequestration is such that businesses, local governments who have to plan are going to assume that the current law, which requires sequestration, is going to kick in. And unless there's some clear indicator in time -- and that means, to me, in the fall -- that there will be some way to avoid sequestration, I think you're going to see some decisions made in businesses and in local governments which will weaken the economy. … it would be severely damaging if sequestration occurs.” (Sen. Levin, Bloomberg Government Defense Conference, 6/22/12)

Tags: Obama Administration, DOD, DOD Budget Cuts, DOD Contractors, DOD employees, USAF, Army, Navy, Marine, lost jobs, government employees, Sequestration, sequestering, hiding, layoff notices, Leon Penetta To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Senate Dems Oppose Vote on Repeal of Obamacare & Bloated Farm Bill in House

Today in Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2012
Today the House will convene at 2PM for legislative business. Votes are postponed until 6:30 PM.
Bill to be considered under suspension of the rules:
HR 828— Federal Employee Tax Accountability
S 679 — Removing Senate confirmation process for certain federal appointments
HR 4365 — Amending the Thrift Savings Fund
S 300 — Government Charge card Abuse Prevention Act
HR 1627 — Honoring American veterans
HR 4073 — Railroad right-of-way in Colorado
HR 4606 — Right-of-way permits for natural gas pipeline in Alaska
HR 3641 — Pinnacles National Park Act
HR 3706 — Creation of the office of Chief Financial Officer of the Virgin Islands
S 270, S 271 — Land conveyance in Oregon
HR 3803 — DC Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
HR 1950 — National Park System
HR 3120 — Student Visa Reform Act
HR 6029 — Penalties for foreign and economic espionage
HR 6063 — Child Protection Act
HR 4362 — STOP Identity Theft Act
HR 3796 — Authorizing appropriations for child protection programs through 2017
HR 6062 — Grant program reauthorization
HR 1550 — Law enforcement recruitment and retention

During the remainder of the week, the House will convene at noon Wednesday and Thursday and at 9 AM on Friday for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.
Other Bills pending in the House:
Under suspension of the rules:
H Con Res 127 — Sense of Congress to preserve Internet governance
HR 4273 — Resolving grid reliability and environmental conflicts
HR 897 — Commuter and residential toll fairness
HR 5797 — Freedom to fish in Mille Lacs Lake, Minn.
HR 3158 — Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act
HR 1171 — Debris in marine areas
HR 2446 — Home warranty clarification
HR 2139 — Lions Clubs commemorative coin
HR 3187 — March of Dimes commemorative coin
HR 4104 — Pro Football Hall of Fame commemorative coin
S 3363 — Commemorative coin surcharges for the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center
Subject to a rule:
Draft — Farm bill extension
HR 8 — Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act
HR 6169 — creating jobs through a simpler tax code

The extension of the Farm Bill has become a "Sacred cow" for many representatives and senators. The pressure on them is great when they have large agriculture regions in their districts or large populations centers dependent on food stamps. Farming in America is more than very important and the government rightly in the past has assisted with crop insurance assistance because of the varying aspects of natural calamities and the weather which are beyond the control of the farmers.

However, the Farm Bill has become the sacred cow of politicians because the Farm Bill in the past has become the burden bearer for numerous other programs which would rightly suffer major reductions if these programs had to stand on their own and the Farm bill was a true "farms only" bill. One example is the corrupted and wasteful "food stamps" program. Another has been the government telling private farmers what and when they could grow crops. Then there is the massive farm subsidies which has become a method for government regulators to control farmers. The Farm Bill has become a double edged sword, a system of of both control and assist certain farmers and a system to protect elected politicians with votes in districts where they can rally constituents dependent on the food stamp programs or garner support by farmers or investors in corporate farms who relying on subsidy checks to turn a profit in their farming operations.

Public Notice, an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy, summarized the situation as follows:  "An economic recovery will only come when our leaders in Washington start to budget and spend responsibly. This goes for all areas of the federal government, no matter how large or small. The farm bill is no exception."
  • The farm bill has outgrown its original purpose, becoming a vehicle to subsidize large corporations at taxpayers’ expense.
    • For example, last year, one large corporation received a subsidy of $2.2 million thanks to the farm bill.
  • While our debt burden has increased 48 percent since 2009, farm incomes are surging.
    • In fact, compared to others, farmers have done well in recent years. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that “farm household incomes have surged ahead of average U.S. household incomes” in the last decade, and that “rising commodity prices and land values have pushed farm incomes to record levels.” In 2012, it’s not exactly hard times down on the farm.
  • It all comes down to priorities. As Americans all over the country struggle to make ends meet, can we afford to continue spending billions subsidizing large companies? 
This is a classic example of how a program intended to protect and sustain the nation’s food supply has been distorted by Washington into a political game.
  • The farm bill has become a vehicle to allow those with access to Washington’s power structure to get ahead and now encourages many in agribusiness to play a game, instead of focusing on creating value.
  • Huge spending in the bill allows large and small businesses, farmers and ranchers, and others to game the system for financial gain at the expense of taxpayers.
  • This system encourages greed and deceit by the players — and we, the taxpayers, are the losers.
The Senate reconvened resumed consideration of S. 3414, the cybersecurity bill.  Votes on amendments to the cybersecurity bill are possible today. Also possible is a vote on the nomination of Carol Galante to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Yesterday, as Senate Democrats tried to break precedent by advancing an appeals court nominee late in an election year, Republicans blocked the move by denying cloture on the nominee, making sure the Senate continued the precedents used by Democrats in 2004 and 2008.

Politico writes this morning, “Democrats are trying to talk up the benefits of ‘Obamacare’ for women’s health Tuesday — but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is still trying to force a vote to repeal it. On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell asked [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid if the Republicans would have a chance to offer a repeal amendment to the cybersecurity bill — just as Reid was finishing a passionate floor speech about how the law would be a big step forward for women and recalling his wife’s own battle with breast cancer. Reid called the request ‘ridiculous,’ and asked the Senate floor reporter to ‘note the smile on my face.’ ‘I guess the answer is no,’ McConnell said — but insisted he’ll keep trying.”  Video of exchange:

So Senate Democrats are spending the day talking about Obamacare and how it affects women, trying to promote the unpopular legislation, but they won’t take a vote on it. If Reid doesn’t want to mix health care with the cybersecurity bill, he has an odd way of showing it, since Democrat senators spoke on the floor for over an hour outing new Obamacare regulations that begin tomorrow.

The Senate Democrat majority has repeatedly blocked amendments that would repeal their unpopular health care law.

Meanwhile, the news about how bad this law is keeps coming. Just yesterday The New York Times headlined a story, “Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law.” The Times reported, “The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. . . . Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor. . . . Moreover, across the country, fewer than half of primary care clinicians were accepting new Medicaid patients as of 2008, making it hard for the poor to find care even when they are eligible for Medicaid. The expansion of Medicaid accounts for more than one-third of the overall growth in coverage in President Obama’s health care law. Providers say they are bracing for the surge of the newly insured into an already strained system.”

As Sen. McConnell explained this morning, Democrats “are going to spend the week lauding the advantages as they see it of an immensely unpopular bill that was passed a couple years ago on a straight party-line vote: Obamacare. Yet in a week in which apparently they are going to laud the various provision of it, they're not willing to have a vote in support of it. So I gather that's a vote we will not have. I will request the opportunity to do that again . . . .”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, farm bill, cybersecurity bill, politics, news, debt, government spending, repeal of Obamacare, voteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama: Hang On! My Plan is Working Vs. Milton Friedman: Cut Government Spending

A.F. "Tony" Branco:
Re-calling Milton Friedman on the 100th anniversary of Friedman's birth.
The man who saved capitalism, Stephen Moore: Wall Street Journal
Milton Friedman's Centenary, Thomas Sowel1, Real Clear Politics
Happy 1ooth Birthday, Milton Friedman! — Nick Gillespie, Reason
Celebrating Milton Friedman, Andrew J. Coulson, CATO Institute

Tags: President Obama, Barack Obama, recovery summer, my plan is working,  drowning in debt, A.F. Branco, political cartoon, articles, remembering, Milton Friedman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gallup Poll - And #StoptheTaxHike

Don Seymore: Side-by-Side: POTUS’ Plan to Destroy 710,000 Jobs v. GOP Plan to #StoptheTaxHike
A new Gallup survey asked Americans to rank their top priorities for the next president – number one was “creating good jobs” (a reflection of President Obama’s failed policies). Raising taxes, the number one priority of Democrats in Washington, ranked dead last.
The House is listening, and will vote this week to stop the largest tax hike in history – which threatens more than 700,000 jobs – and to lay the groundwork for a simpler, pro-growth tax code that helps bring home some of the jobs that have gone overseas. Click here for a look at each of the bills.

Above is a graphic showing the House plan side-by-side with President Obama’s and Senate Democrats’ plans to raise taxes and tank the economy. The chart shows where each plan stands when it comes to:
  • PROTECTING 710,000 JOBS: Nonpartisan analysis by Ernst and Young found the Democrats’ small business tax hike will destroy more than 700,000 American jobs and lead to lower wages (for those lucky enough to have a job in the Obama economy). The House plan stops this tax hike.
  • EMPOWERING SMALL BUSINESSES: The Democrats’ tax hikes hit more than half of all small business income, according to the president’s own jobs council. By removing this threat, the House plan will help small businesses grow, invest, and create new private-sector jobs.
  • BIPARTISAN SUPPORT: President Obama may think his economic plan “worked,” but after 41 months of unemployment above 8 percent, leading Democrats – including former President Clinton – agree with Republicans on stopping the president’s tax hikes. One top Democrat told The Hill today, “We shouldn’t be raising taxes right now, with the economy where it is.”
  • HELPING KEEP JOBS IN AMERICA: The House plan stops the tax hikes and gives Congress time to craft a fairer, simpler tax code that will help keep jobs in America and bring home some of the jobs that have gone overseas.
By the end of the week, Speaker John Boehner says “the House – and only the House – will have acted to address the tax hikes that threaten our economy, and the defense cuts that threaten our security.” These are in addition to the more than 30 House-passed jobs bills awaiting a vote by Senate Democrats.

Learn more about how Republicans are working to remove government barriers to private-sector job growth at

Tags: #StopTheTaxHike, stop, tax hikes, jobs, economy, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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  • 5/10/15 - 5/17/15
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  • 8/30/15 - 9/6/15
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  • 9/20/15 - 9/27/15
  • 9/27/15 - 10/4/15
  • 10/4/15 - 10/11/15
  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
  • 11/1/15 - 11/8/15
  • 11/8/15 - 11/15/15
  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
  • 2/7/16 - 2/14/16
  • 2/14/16 - 2/21/16
  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
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  • 4/10/16 - 4/17/16
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  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
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  • 5/8/16 - 5/15/16
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  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
  • 5/29/16 - 6/5/16
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  • 6/12/16 - 6/19/16
  • 6/19/16 - 6/26/16
  • 6/26/16 - 7/3/16
  • 7/3/16 - 7/10/16
  • 7/10/16 - 7/17/16
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  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
  • 11/6/16 - 11/13/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
  • 2/5/17 - 2/12/17
  • 2/12/17 - 2/19/17
  • 2/19/17 - 2/26/17
  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
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  • 3/26/17 - 4/2/17
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  • 5/7/17 - 5/14/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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  • 6/25/17 - 7/2/17
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  • 9/17/17 - 9/24/17
  • 9/24/17 - 10/1/17
  • 10/1/17 - 10/8/17
  • 10/8/17 - 10/15/17
  • 10/15/17 - 10/22/17