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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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, January 19, 2013

White House Thuggery Continues - This Time Seeks to Use SEC

Obama bypasses Congress, attempts to force companies to reveal political donations through SEC
By Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller: The Obama administration is attempting to bypass Congress and force publicly-traded companies to reveal their political donations through regulation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance has begun the steps necessary to create a regulation that would in many ways mirror the DISCLOSE Act — a bill Senate Democrats have failed to pass through Congress.

Created in reaction to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that said corporations and unions could not have limits placed on their political expenditures, the Senate bill would require political organizations to publicly name their donors and the amounts they give.

The SEC regulation would do the reverse — force companies to disclose the political groups they support — and have a similar effect.

“The Division [of Corporate Finance] is considering whether to recommend that the Commission issue a proposed rule to require that public companies provide disclosure to shareholders regarding the use of corporate resources for political activities,” reads the proposal, as reported to the president’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Reacting to news that the SEC is considering adopting a similar regulation without Congress, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned the action as a “direct assault” on the First Amendment.

“Sen. McConnell believes that in this country, there are few rights more sacred than those protected by our First Amendment,” the spokesman told The Daily Caller in a statement. “This action would be a direct assault on those rights, which is one of the chief reasons Congress has defeated similar proposals multiple times.”

McConnell has been the most outspoken Republican to condemn the Obama administration’s efforts to reveal the names of donors who give to political groups, declaring that the president is attempting to “silence [his] critics.”

“This administration claims that the goal of this bill is transparency, but the enthusiasm with which it has embraced the thuggish tactics of the left suggest that its true goal is to silence critics,” McConnell said at a speech in June of 2012.

In another speech that very same June Friday, McConnell cited a comment made by top Obama adviser David Axelrod just days earlier. “When we win, we will use whatever tools out there, including a constitutional amendment, to turn this back,” Axelrod said, referring to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. “I understand the free speech argument, but when the Koch brothers can spend $400 million, more than the McCain campaign and the Republican Party spent last time, that’s very concerning.”

“This, my friends, is all you need to know about this administration’s view of free speech,” McConnell would fire back. “The courts have said that Congress doesn’t have the authority to muzzle political speech. So the president himself will seek to go around it by attempting to change the First Amendment.”

All the chatter about amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United would eventually escape Obama’s lips — or fingers in this case — as well.

In August, Obama participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” question-and-answer discussion in which he announced that he would consider amending the Constitution “to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it.)”

Later that week, McConnell fired back again, this time in an exclusive interview with TheDC.

“It’s an act of genuine radicalism,” McConnell said. “We haven’t amended the First Amendment in 235 years. The First Amendment is the core of not only freedom of religion, freedom to petition the government, and the rest, but most important, freedom of speech.”

As to the SEC’s chances of actually forcing the DISCLOSE Act through regulation, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that the SEC’s Republican commissioners are committed to seeing the proposal blocked.

“That should not be one of our priorities,” said SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, according to Bloomberg. “That is just a political wish-list item. I think I speak for myself and I can speak for [Republican] Commissioner [Troy] Paredes. We have no interest in pursuing that.”

Tags: White House, Barack Obama, SEC, Security And Exchange Commission, regulation, violation of 1st Amendment, political contributions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rep. James Lankford: Democrats' Budget Failures

WASHINGTON, DC - Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) calls on President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to join the House in confronting government's spending problem and passing a budget. The Democratic-run Senate has not passed a budget in 1,361 days, despite being legally required to do so annually. The White House has already announced that, for the fourth time in five years, it will be late in submitting a budget to Congress.

House GOP leaders announced earlier today that the House will consider legislation next week to raise the debt ceiling for three months, and require both the House and Senate to pass a budget or lawmakers’ pay will be withheld. 

NOTE: Rep. Lankford is chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, January 19, 2013. The audio is available here, and video here. and A full transcript follows:
Hello, I’m Congressman James Lankford from the great state of Oklahoma.

“Tomorrow, President Obama will be sworn in for a second term. Though we disagree on many areas of policy, I join my fellow Americans in pledging to pray for the President, his family and our nation in the days ahead.

“During the last four years, our nation has faced difficult economic times. Millions of Americans are still out of work and the cost of groceries, gas and healthcare continues to rise. In the long history of our nation, we have never increased spending and federal debt faster than we have in this period.

“In the book of Proverbs it says a wise man leaves an inheritance for his children's children; unfortunately Washington is consuming our children's inheritance. Americans get it: federal overspending is now actually dragging our economy down rather than lifting our families up.

“It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to work together to create a plan to get our nation and our families back on track. Every family and every business has a budget, our nation should have a budget as well.

“In fact, every year, the president is required by law to submit a budget proposal to Congress by February 4th. But the Obama administration has already informed Congress that for the fourth time in five years it will be late submitting a budget to your representatives. Unfortunately, the president has already missed more budget deadlines than any of his predecessors.

“The House and Senate are also required by law to submit a budget each year…not surprisingly by April 15th, Tax Day. But the Democratic-run Senate hasn’t approved such a resolution for almost four years, 1,361 days to be exact. This is not the result of Washington gridlock. Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would be 'foolish' for his party in the Senate to produce a budget. We disagree. With more than 16 trillion dollars in debt, we believe it is foolish not to have a budget.

“In the House, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, we will again meet our legal obligation to pass a budget on time. Our budget will moderate spending, pay our bills and keep the government running. Most importantly, it will be a plan to slowly but surely walks our nation out of debt, deficit and decline. On your behalf, we will insist that the Democrats who run the rest of Washington do the same.

“This debate is often argued in numbers and figures, but it’s really about families like yours that bear the burden of a slow economy. Constant uncertainty and ever changing government rules chase our jobs and opportunities overseas. When day to day life costs more and jobs pay less, we don't solve the problem by delaying our federal spending decisions, raising taxes or refusing to tackle our nation's most pressing economic challenges. You deserve better.

“With the swearing in of a new Congress and the inauguration of President Obama, this is an opportunity for a fresh start.

“But because government debt really does affect all of us, Republicans will not simply provide a blank check for uncontrolled spending, irrational borrowing and constant nickel and dime tax increases. We should cut Washington's budget, not your family’s budget.

“The issues we face today are not impossible obstacles, they are merely the challenges of our time. We have the guidance of great leaders of the past who have faced tougher challenges than this with grace and dignity like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King once said, ‘Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?’

“That is a good word for all of us and a clarion call that should ring in our ears on his birthday weekend. Regardless of our differences, we all have the same dreams of a better future for our kids and grandkids. I pray my children will grow up with your children in a nation where they can enjoy the shade of God's blessings and the freedom that has uniquely been the United States America.”

Tags: weekly House Republican address, Rep. James Lankford, Democrats' Budget Failures To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

When Government Can't Be Trusted?

An expose on how environmentalists in some government agencies mislead the public through faulty science and purge (fire) scientists who (do their job) challenge the facts and the green agenda.
“When Government Can’t be Trusted”: An expose on how some government agencies are misleading the public and purging scientists who don't go along with an increasingly radical green agenda. Eight government scientists were recently fired or reassigned after voicing concerns to their superiors about faulty environmental science used for policy decisions. Which begs the question, "Are some government agencies manipulating science to advance political agendas?"

The Department of Interior has been hijacked by a culture of environmentalism. They are engaged in an aggressive crusade to obstruct and undermine the use of natural resources, restrict human access to public lands, and increase its influence over private property. Decisions made by the agency are presumed to be based on sound scientific analysis, but often times policy is driving the science, rather than science driving environmental policy. This has led to harmful decisions and a violation of the public trust. Read More.

Summary: Under the present administration, at least in the Department of Interior, one can keep their job for being deceptive, lying, and supporting a liberal progressive or environmental agenda, but those who tell the truth and do their jobs responsibly are fired or reassigned.  How can we trust a government agency that operates in this manner? -- We can't!

Tags: department of Interior, DOI, culture of environmentalism, harmful decisions, violation of public trust, bad science, firing truth tellers, scientists, government scientists, fired, reassigned, voicing concerns, faulty environmental science, policy decisions, radical green agenda, Rural America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today: Gun Appreciation Day 2013


Tags: Gun Appreciation Day, 2013 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Obama's 2nd Amendment Remedy

President Obama, what an extremist! While hiding behind children, Mr. Obama promotes gun control signs 23 executive orders seeking to limit gun ownership, and asks (demands) that Congress pass gun control laws stripping American citizens of their "will not be infringed" gun rights.

As Mr. Obama is a self avoid constitutional expert, it seems more that reasonable that he withdraw one of his previous executive orders "hiding his own academic and work records." Americans deserve to examine his prior academic and work experience records as he is pushing a view of the Constitution that is diametrically opposite of our founders the majority of our former presidents, and the majority of the American people. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Obama's, 2nd Amendment remedy, kids, executive orders To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

RSC Chairmen Comment On Controlling Washington Spending

Washington, D.C. – Current and former Chairmen of the Republican Study Committee Reps. Scalise, Jordan, Price, and Hensarling, today issued the following statement on the path to a balanced budget and controlled Washington spending.
“Preserving the American Dream for future generations is dependent on controlling Washington spending and ending Washington budget gimmicks. Out of control Washington spending is killing American jobs, while placing an unbearable mountain of debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. The old way of doing things has to end. It is time to put American families first by moving the federal government towards a budget that balances in the next ten years.

“The first step to halting Washington’s spending addiction is passing a budget that cuts spending. The House has passed such a budget, and will again. For the past four years, the United States Senate has refused to pass a budget at all, failing the American people in the process. That practice has to end this year.

“Next week, we will vote for a bill requiring that the Senate pass a budget, or the Senators’ own salary will be withheld. It’s simple: The American people expect Washington to pass a budget and live by it. No budget, no pay. That will represent the first step to put us on a path to a balanced federal budget in the next 10 years.

“Unless we quickly address the skyrocketing national debt, America will continue to follow Greece down the path towards insolvency. In order to allow time for the Senate to act, next week's bill will extend the debt limit for three months. This is a necessary first step as we work to halt the decline of America and puts the focus where it belongs: on the Senate who has failed to do their jobs to pass a budget for more than three years.”
As part of agreement, the House will work to put the country on the path to a balanced budget in 10 years. House leadership also agreed to stand by the $974 billion discretionary number that is part of the sequestration process.

Tags: Washington Spending, balanced budget, RSC, Republican Study Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

New Poll: Majority Of Americans Disagree With President On Spending

More Americans Trust Oprah Than Government with Their Money
Public Notice today released the results of a national survey on federal spending, the debt and the recent fiscal cliff deal. The survey was conducted by The Tarrance Group via telephone and 25% via cellphone from Jan. 13 – Jan. 16. , 2013, among N=805 registered “likely” voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/– 3.5%.

The results show that the vast majority of Americans (74 percent) believe the federal government spends too much, and the same percentage (74) disagree with President Obama’s statement that “We don’t have spending problem.” In fact, 79 percent of those surveyed say that overspending is a bigger problem for our economy than generating new revenue, while spending and deficits were tied with jobs (29 percent) as their top concern.

Soaring debt and deficits, along with more than three years without a budget, also seemed to have eroded trust in the government’s ability to manage money. By a margin of more than two-to-one (52 percent), Americans would prefer Oprah Winfrey to handle their budget than Washington (22 percent). And a majority (56 percent) say it is extremely or very important that President Obama call for specific spending cuts in his upcoming Inaugural address.

Key Findings:
  • Spending and the federal deficit are tied with jobs and the economy as the top concern on people’s minds (29 percent). The next top concern is education at 11 percent.
  • 74 percent disagree and 22 percent agree with President Obama’s statement that “We don’t have a spending problem.” In fact, 56 percent say it is extremely or very important that President Obama call for specific spending cuts in his upcoming Inaugural address.
  • Voters also distrust the government’s ability to handle money. A majority (52 percent) would trust Oprah Winfrey over the federal government (22 percent) to set and manage their family’s budget.
  • Pessimism remains high among voters, as 57 percent say things in the country are on the wrong track. Just 37 percent say things are moving in the right direction. On the economy specifically, just 27% say it is getting better. A plurality (39 percent) believe the economy is getting worse, and one third (33 percent) say it is staying the same.
Click here to read the full polling memo.

Tags: Americans, disagree on spending, Barack Obama, federal spending, Public Notice To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

No Budget, No Debt Ceiling Hike

Phil Kerpen
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama inserted a speech into the Congressional Record decrying the increase in the debt ceiling that President Bush was asking for. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t actually deliver the speech, because it would have been a real stem-winder.

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Obama now says that was a political speech and a political vote. Now he wants Republicans to simply walk the plank and give him the same no-strings-attached debt ceiling hike that he gleefully denied to President Bush. But nobody wants to vote to authorize additional federal debt – not even the people who voted for all the spending that caused the debt. Every spending program has a political constituency that cheers for it. Debt? Not so much.

The severe political aversion to voting for a debt ceiling hike is not new. For years, the House avoided the political pain of debt ceiling votes under an innovation developed in 1979 by Dick Gephardt. “Every time it came up I had to go to every member and seek their vote,” Gephardt told The Atlantic in an interview during the 2011 debt ceiling debate. “It was painful and difficult and, I thought, unnecessary. I'd say to members, ‘Did you vote for the appropriations bill? The defense bill? The highway bill?’ They'd all say yes. And I'd say, ‘Well, then you gotta pay the bill.’”

Gephardt asked the parliamentarian to devise a mechanism that would deem automatic House passage – without a vote – of a bill raising the debt ceiling upon passage of a concurrent budget resolution. The rationale was that the real decisions on taxes, spending, and borrowing were made in the context of the budget, and therefore the debt ceiling should accommodate the agreed upon level of borrowing.

But there was a serious flaw with this procedure – passage of a budget resolution, which did not carry the force of law – triggered automatic passage of a House bill to raise the debt ceiling, which was then typically approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president. The budget could then be broken, increased, waived, or otherwise disregarded. In effect, the increase in the debt ceiling was tied into passage of a budget that may or may not have resembled the actual levels of taxes and spending that Congress would enact through separate legislation.

Now that the Gephardt Rule is gone, Senate Democrats don’t even bothering passing a budget at all. This is likely to be their fourth year in a row without one, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray has already suggested.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee has suggested using the debt ceiling to force Democrats into the budget process. “I think it should be a firm principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan on how the new borrowed money will be spent,” Sessions recently told Byron York of the Washington Examiner.

If House leadership follows his lead, they can make an eminently reasonable case for the Senate to finally pass a budget as a precondition to any debt ceiling deal, enforced with an automatic reversion of the debt ceiling to its prior level if the Senate fails to pass a budget on time. The principle of requiring a budget before authorizing additional debt could then be incorporated into a reformed federal budget process to avoid future debt ceiling brinksmanship.

House Republicans could even consider offering to restore the Gephardt Rule in exchange for passage of process reforms that would make the budget legally binding, require a two-thirds supermajority to exceed budgeted spending levels, and use a sequester mechanism to keep overall appropriations in line with the budget. The idea would be to force Congress to set priorities and make tradeoffs in the context of a meaningful constraint – with the debt ceiling attached as leverage to force the House and Senate to come to agreement.

With a functioning budget process and intense political pressure from the American people – many of whom are now rallying with renewed energy around a demand for a balanced budget in the next decade – we could finally have a serious debate about how to get federal spending under control.
© Copyright 2012 Phil Kerpen. He is the president of American Commitment where he first shared this article; a contributing author for the ARRA News Service and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, Barack Obama, no budget, debt ceiling hike, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Obama's America

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: As I watched the evening news and thought more about Barack Obama's press conference yesterday, I began thinking about how Obama's reaction to the Sandy Hook shootings reflected the "fundamental transformation" of America that he is desperately trying to achieve. The way the debate over the future of Second Amendment rights is unfolding fits a pattern that Obama has followed repeatedly over the last four years.

When the Obama Administration began, it used the economic meltdown as an excuse to massively expand the government. Remember Rahm Emanuel's infamous quip, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste"? He added, "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before." That's how we ended up with an $800 billion stimulus bill that dramatically expanded the budgets of every bloated bureaucracy.

Now a despicable crime in Newtown, where children were brutally murdered, is being used by the left as the latest "opportunity to do things that you could not do before" -- namely act on the left's long-term goal of disarming the law-abiding public. But liberals are often uninterested in disarming criminals. As a state senator, Barack Obama opposed tougher penalties for gun crimes committed in schools!

Demonizing Disagreement
Then there is the false claim by Obama that he is seeking "a national conversation." How many times have we heard that in the past four years? A conversation or dialogue insinuates that reasonable people will discuss a problem and look for solutions.

But Obama and his leftist allies immediately attempt to demonize and marginalize anyone who holds conservative views. In the early years of the administration, if you were against Obama's big spending initiatives you were accused of wanting to kick elderly nursing home patients out onto the streets or forcing children with disabilities to fend for themselves.

When it comes to guns, where is the "national conversation?" In his remarks yesterday, Obama said that members of Congress are going to have to decide "what's more important -- doing whatever it takes to get an A grade from the gun lobby" or "giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?"

In President Obama's mind, that is evidently a fair description of how pro-Second Amendment congressmen and women think. With little kids on stage, Obama essentially said, "If you don't agree with me, the only thing that could possibly be motivating you is fear of the gun lobby."

Playing On Emotions
Obama also uses emotionalism to establish an impossible goal. This is done so that even if liberals win the debate, it's not over. They will come back for more.

During the Obamacare debate, liberals declared that no one should have to go without healthcare because they can't afford it. Like a lot of the liberal agenda, it may sound good, but it is impractical. When Obamacare fails, liberals won't admit they were wrong and repeal it. They will simply demand more -- more spending, higher taxes and even bigger government. By the way, they already are.

What does CBS anchor Bob Schieffer have to add to the "national conversation" on guns? He suggested that defeating the NRA now is somehow akin to defeating the Nazis.

According to Schieffer, "unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we're not the country that we once were."

It would be nearly impossible to guarantee something like Newtown will never happen again. To do so would require a police state, and that would guarantee that we would never be America again!

No Respect For Rule Of Law
Lastly, I have been struck by the left's regular hostility to the Constitution and the procedures it establishes. Do you remember Nancy Pelosi's dismissive reaction when she was asked the constitutional justification for Obamacare's individual mandate? She had no answer. Her only response was to feign outrage by asking, "Are you serious?" In other words, "How dare you question me!"

Last month, a Georgetown law professor suggested that we just dump the Constitution -- "with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions" -- in order to "try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage." At least he is honest.

More recently, CNN's pompous Piers Morgan mocked a conservative guest and his "little book." That "little book" happened to be a copy of the Constitution.

Let me state a truth that I think most of us know, but that a lot of Americans who aren't paying as much attention don't realize or appreciate: If the left could wave a magic wand -- Obama, liberal judges, professors -- it would repeal the Second Amendment, and no one would be allowed to carry a firearm except for government officials.

Liberals can't do that, but they are unwilling to do the appropriate thing, which would be to state publicly that they don't think Second Amendment is a good idea and they want to repeal it. Fundamentally, they don't respect the rule of law. If they did, they would have to admit that the Constitution matters.

The Solution
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, elections have consequences. Yes, we face tremendous challenges on a host of fronts. But we cannot govern unless we first win elections. That's why I formed Campaign for Working Families -- to help elect men and women who will fight for our values. I am not giving up, my friends. We have some good opportunities in 2014!
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Barack Obama, Obama's America, Demonizing Disagreement, Playing On Emotions, No Respect For Rule Of Law To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Two "Natural State" Legislators Introduces Pro-Gun Bills

On Monday, January 14, the Arkansas General Assembly convened its 2013 legislative session.  This ear for the first time in 136 years, Republicans are now in the majority and have the leadership in both legislative bodies.  Unlike, the anti-gun proposal of President Obama and VP Biden, Arkansas legislative conservative members understand that it is not right to have restrictions on guns in places where people are like "fish in a barrel" and where a deranged or premeditated killer can literally fulfill their intent "to shoot people like fish in a barrel."

Two pro-gun bills have already been introduced into the Arkansas State legislature!

Senate Bill 71, introduced by state Senator Bryan King (R-5), known as the Church Protection Act, would remove the absolute prohibition on Right-to-Carry permit holders carrying a concealed firearm into a church. The second, House Bill 1035, introduced by state Representative Denny Altes (R-76), seeks to allow staff members of a university, college or community college to carry a concealed firearm on campus if the staff member has a valid Right-to-Carry permit.

Please contact your state Senator and Representative and urge them to support SB 71 and HB 1035.

And encourage your state lawmakers to work with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) on additional legislation that would protect our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and hunting heritage!

The NRA has stated that it is committed to enacting several pro-gun reforms this year across the nation. Its legislative agenda this year includes, but is not limited to, passing a Fraudulent Firearms Purchase Prevention law, enacting several Right-to-Carry reforms, and protecting your inherent right to self-defense during a declared state of emergency.

However, the NRA should also be advocating on several other issues including "open carry" and the "castle doctrine" in every state.

Tags: Arkansas, pro-gun laws, SB71, H.B 1035, churches, college campus, NRA, GOA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Gun Control For Dummies

Bill Smith: With "gun control" criminals always win. What we will have will be like a bunch of seal hunters with clubs and guns walking into  hundreds of thousands unarmed baby seals.  While liberals love seals, they don't seem to have much real concern for human lives!  It is all talk while promoting more danger and risk  for unarmed and un-protected humans. Our founders understood this when they advocated for and the citizens demanded the Bill of Rights which includes the second amendment.

Below is an editorial cartoon by William Warren:

Tags: gun control, political cartoon, William Warren, human life, baby seals, criminals win To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama's Giveaway to the Communists

by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: The China problem is not just that China is raking in trillions of dollars because of Obama’s spending and borrowing binges, and it’s not just that government policies encourage well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs to move overseas. An even bigger problem is that the Obama Administration is about to give Communist China some of our most precious and up-to-date military technology.

This particular chicanery started when the Obama Administration foolishly tried to use taxpayers’ money to force green energy to replace fossil fuels. But green energy can’t compete in the free market because it’s so much more expensive to produce.

Obama gave a half-billion U.S. tax dollars to Solyndra to subsidize making solar panels, yet the company promptly went bankrupt. Then Obama awarded a grant of $250 million of Stimulus money to a firm called A123 to make batteries for electric cars, which also went bankrupt and now is trying to pay off its investors by auctioning the company.

The high bidder at $256 million in a December auction was the Wanxiang Group, which has close ties to Communist China’s government. Its chief executive is one of the wealthiest men in China, a prominent figure in the Chinese Communist Party.
This sale is dangerous to U.S. security because it involves the transfer of advanced battery technology using lithium iron phosphate, which produces longer-life, lighter-weight, higher-power and more stable batteries that can operate in both very low and very high temperatures. In China’s hands, the new A123 technology will threaten U.S. electrical power and communications grids.

China is eager for this acquisition because of its potential use in space weapons, anti-satellite missiles, lasers, and counterspace systems. Retired navy Vice Admiral Barry Costello, former commander of the Navy’s Third Fleet, says the sale of A123 will give a big boost to China’s military expansion and warfare capability in space, cyber warfare, and unmanned vehicles, all of which rely on battery power.

One option considered is to sell only the commercial technology to Wanxiang and sell its U.S. defense contracts to a U.S. firm, Navitas Systems. But pretending that A123′s advanced technology can be sold to China only for business purposes is a pipe dream.

A123 employs more than 100 scientists and engineers working on sensitive materials that are part of what is scheduled to be sold to Wanxiang. If China gets access to A123′s commercial applications, it will be easy for China to reverse-engineer the military applications.

If Wanxiang owns A123′s intellectual property and highly skilled technicians, that means controlling today’s battery technology plus a ten-year leap in development. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) warn that the deal could give Wanxiang “access to these defense contracts and technology used by multiple branches of the U.S. military.”

This giant and valuable gift would give Communist China cutting-edge military-grade technology and control of the future supply chain. China would be able to use all this technology to continue its rapid buildup of a military to achieve dominance in the Pacific.

The U.S. military has made a big investment in A123′s technology, which the Army’s chief of technology acquisition has called the “technology of the decade.” To develop it, the Air Force spent $4 million, the Navy spent $700,000, and the Army spent $21.8 million.

This technology is critical to many U.S. military operations, proprietary applications for underwater vehicles, shipboard advanced systems, unmanned ground and air systems, and portable power in satellites, combat vehicles, and precision munitions. It is valuable to support soldiers in unfriendly ground conditions and excessive heat, and can lighten their heavy loads.

More than two dozen members of Congress have spoken out to oppose the sale of A123. Letters have been sent to the Secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security urging consideration of the “potential harmful consequences, including any threats to domestic security, innovation leadership, and job creation.”

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in his year-end report to Congress, accused China of flouting World Trade Organization rules and misusing the complaint procedure to retaliate against other countries. Kirk’s report also accused China of violating WTO rules by forcing other firms to give their trade secrets to China.

Especially since U.S. taxpayers funded the development of these assets, it is contrary to common sense to transfer this cutting-edge battery technology to China and disadvantage U.S. national security. Whether we will allow Wanxiang to buy A123 with its new battery technology is now under review by CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.).

Tell your Members of Congress to stop this giveaway of U.S. technology to Communist China.

Further Reading: United States Shouldn’t Hand Over Battery Technology to China, By Duncan Hunter and Ike Skelton, Jan. 14, 2013

Tags: President Obama, giveaway, to Communist, China, A123′s intellectual property To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Congress Will Not Support Attempts To Strip American's 2nd Amendment Rights

Obama shouldn’t pressure doctors to ask their patients for information on their guns

Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement after President Obama’s gun control press conference.

“President Obama should place his personal anti-gun agenda on the side and work with both parties in Congress to address mental health issues and ensure the safety of our children by promoting American values that respect the sanctity of life and encourage strong families," Scalise said. “Any attempt by President Obama to take away the gun rights of law-abiding Americans will be met with strong bipartisan opposition in Congress. President Obama has no business interjecting himself in the doctor-patient relationship by pressuring medical professionals to ask their patients what kind of guns they own in their homes. President Obama's latest executive orders give new meaning to the term 'house call.'

Tags: Congress, 2nd Amendment rights, RSC, Steve Scalise, supporting gun rights To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Powell Speaks Out

Colin Powell - The Retired General & Former Sec of State under GW Bush is out of the closet as a  Progressive Liberal.
by A.F. "Tony" Branco.

Tags: Colin Powell, not a Republican, RINO, pro-Obama, anti-Republican, anti-gun, Pro-Obamacare, Pro-amnesty, progressive liberal  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Displaces the Jews

Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author:  President Obama’s Religious Freedom Day Proclamation displaces the Jews. He describes America as a nation of “Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers.” This may be politically correct, but it is historically inaccurate. In terms of numbers, the Jews in America have always exceeded the Muslims. In terms of their influence on American ideals, Jews have been foundational from the start.

Jews have lived among us from the time they first arrived on these shores. A small Jewish community came to New Amsterdam ( New York ) in 1654, then under Dutch rule. There has never been a time in American life as an independent nation when Jews have not been a part of our people.

President Obama’s single-minded determination to place Muslims ahead of Jews is having a deleterious effect on our foreign policy, too. He supports the so-called Two-State Solution for Arab-Israeli peace in the Mideast . This idea would ban Jews from Judea and Samaria , the heart of the historic Jewish homeland. The Palestinians make no secret of their demand for a region on the West Bank of the Jordan River that would be free of Jews. In Europe , this was called a Judenrein.

Yet, President Barack Obama continues to tax us to fund the notoriously corrupt “Palestinian Authority,” an offshoot of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). These PLO operatives danced in the streets when the World Trade Center towers collapsed on 9/11.

Mr. Obama also gives billions of our tax dollars to Mohamed Morsi, who was installed as president of Egypt . Morsi seeks the release of the Blind Sheikh, Abdel Rahman, a convicted terrorist who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for his role in the first attack on the World Trade Center . That 1993 strike left seven Americans dead.

When President Obama went to Egypt in 2009, he lauded the Muslim role in American history. He boasted that Rep. Keith Ellison had taken the oath of office on Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Koran.

The president conveniently neglected to mention why it was that Mr. Jefferson had a copy of the Koran. As a U.S. American diplomat in Paris in the 1780s, Jefferson appealed to an Arab envoy to stop seizing American ships and demanding ransom for their enslaved merchant sailors. The Arab diplomat told Jefferson it was the will of Allah, as expressed in the Koran, that “infidels” (Christians and Jews) should be kidnapped and put to forced labor. Incredulous, Jefferson bought a copy of the Koran to see if that could possibly be true. He was astonished to learn that it was true.

For the next twenty years, Thomas Jefferson resolved to use force and not to pay kidnappers. Some of Jefferson ’s colleagues favored paying them off. They thought it would be cheaper.

Jefferson believed our national independence and honor were at stake. And by 1800, paying ransom was no longer cheap. Fully one-fifth of the U.S. budget was going to pay off the Barbary Pirates of North Africa.

When Jefferson became president in 1801, he put an end to paying tribute and offering ransom. He fought a short, sharp, successful war against the Barbary Pirates, even sending the U.S. Marines “to the shores of Tripoli .”

Jefferson , along with Benjamin Franklin, identified strongly with the Jews’ fight for freedom. Both Franklin and Jefferson proposed making Moses leading the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt the official seal of the United States .

It is all this history that President Obama ignores when he displaces the Jews, when he mischaracterizes our country. He is trying to “fundamentally transform” America . It is a dangerous course.

We should welcome any step toward genuine religious freedom in Muslim majority lands. No one wants to fight a Holy War against the world’s Muslims. But we should not delude ourselves. There is not today a single Muslim majority land where religious freedom exists. There is not one where the rights of religious minorities have been protected—as they have been in America .

For President Obama to displace the Jews in his description of our country risks losing the very religious freedom we celebrate. He may be leading us all back into “Egyptian” bondage. What a terrible precedent on Religious Freedom Day.
Ken Blackwell is a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law and was a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and co-authored The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies Executive Vice President and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: President Obama, Displaces the Jews, Religious proclamation, Muslim, Holy War, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Don’t Borrow More Without Spending Less

NOTE: Over the past three decades, in fact, U.S. presidents and lawmakers from both parties have routinely used the debt-limit debate to reform government spending. So, President Obama may not want to cut spending as part of the upcoming debt-limit debate, but history shows that deficit-reduction measures tied to debt-ceiling increases are about as standard in Washington as the Cherry Blossom Festival. And, with the federal debt now at a mind-numbing $16.4 trillion, it’s a debate the president will have whether he wants to or not.

Don’t Borrow More Without Spending Less
Sen. Mitch McConnell
By Mitch McConnell National Review Online : With the government’s credit card maxed out once again, President Obama took to the microphones on Monday to insist that the last thing we should do as part of a debt-limit agreement is to . . . cut spending. What the president refuses to acknowledge is that the only reason we’ve reached our spending limit in the first place is because Washington has a spending problem, and that’s why any sensible debt-limit increase must involve cuts to Washington spending.

This doesn’t just make perfect sense; it’s also exactly how past presidents and Congresses have viewed previous debt-limit debates — as a perfect opportunity to reform the habits that are causing the debt. Over the past three decades, in fact, U.S. presidents and lawmakers from both parties have routinely used the debt-limit debate to reform government spending. In 1985, with the debt at $1.8 trillion, Congress passed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which found cuts to offset that year’s $200 billion deficit and set yearly deficit targets going forward. Since then, Congress has linked debt-limit increases to spending cuts six more times, including in 2011, when this president agreed to $2.1 trillion in cuts as part of the Budget Control Act.

So President Obama may not want to cut spending as part of the upcoming debt-limit debate, but history shows that deficit-reduction measures tied to debt-ceiling increases are about as standard in Washington as the Cherry Blossom Festival. And with the federal debt now at a mind-numbing $16.4 trillion, it’s a debate the president will have whether he wants to or not.

For too long, the president and his congressional allies have been content to impose their legislative will through hurried, last-minute deals that keep public scrutiny and tough votes to a minimum. As a result, our fiscal problems remain unaddressed, and the prospect of a European-style economic calamity here in the U.S. becomes likelier every day. This is why Republicans have insisted that any request to raise the federal debt limit be accompanied by serious reforms — because it’s the only way we’ll solve the problem.

According to the budget charts that members of both parties see on a daily basis, federal revenue remains flat in the years ahead, even after the president’s long-sought tax hike on “the rich” and the expiration of the payroll-tax holiday. Federal spending, meanwhile, breaks away like a fighter jet. The bottom line: Any debate about revenue is an irrelevant distraction from the debate we need to have about spending, since no reasonable level of taxation could solve Washington’s spending problem.

Sadly, the obstacles to meaningful reform aren’t political, they’re ideological. A recent Battleground Poll found that three out of four voters support across-the-board cuts to government spending. Yet Washington Democrats — under pressure from their favored interest groups — continue to adhere to an outdated ideology that says every penny of revenue that Washington ever got its hands on is sacrosanct. This is why Democrats have spent four years ducking their responsibility to pass budgets and appropriations bills, and it’s also why the president and his allies are now working overtime not to solve our debt crisis but on finding new and increasingly bizarre ways to avoid dealing with it.

This is madness. Democrats may believe the November election validated their do-nothing strategy of the past four years, but the American people are finally catching on to the fact that many of those they elected to lead our nation are busy running from their responsibilities instead — and that they seem to be blindly following a president who has turned avoiding responsibility into an art form. The good news is that many of the solutions to our fiscal problems are not that difficult to achieve. We know what reforms we need to make, and we know how to make them. But we will only succeed once those in the avoidance camp admit that tax hikes aren’t the answer.

The president and his allies need to get serious about spending, and the debt-limit debate is the perfect time for it. In the coming weeks, both sides could quickly agree on many reforms that the public would support. Some — like requiring wealthy retirees to pay more for Medicare, or changing how federal benefits are adjusted for inflation — are ideas President Obama has already endorsed. Rather than having another conversation about these things, he should show the kind of leadership the moment calls for and simply sign these and other reforms into law.

The road to success is in sight, and the American people shouldn’t have to wait another day for us to walk it.

What is needed is some political courage, and the willingness of our often reluctant president to lead.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the U.S. Senate Republican leader.

Tags: Mitch McConnell, Op-ed, National Review Online, President Obama, Democrats, Federal Debt, Federal Borrowing, Federal Spending To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

600 Memorials for 55 Million Babies

Dianne Edmondson, Republican National Coalition for Life: Next Tuesday, January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion on demand, pro-life advocates across America are being urged to memorialize the 55 million pre-born babies who have been aborted since that ruling 40 years ago on that date.

When people want to express their sorrow for tragic deaths, they often bring symbols of their grief to the sites of the deaths, including candles, flowers and messages. When children are killed, those symbols often include stuffed animals and balloons, such as for the recent school massacre in Newtown. Pro-lifers can help commemorate the 55 million pre-born babies who were aborted before they could even take a breath.

RNC for Life is urging those who value the sanctity of life to remember those innocent babes by placing flowers, balloons and stuffed animals at the approximately 600 abortion facilities across America next Tuesday. We also encourage you to pray silently in front of the abortion facility after placing your memorial.

You don’t have to spend much time at the abortuary and you don’t have to spend much money on the symbols you place there. But these memorials – hopefully 600+ of them – will send a message to all who see them: Some of the 55 million innocents were killed HERE and we grieve for them.

We hope that these spontaneous memorials will be placed at every abortuary, accompanied by sweet reminders of unborn children and even messages to those innocent babies. We are confident that, in seeing these hundreds of memorials with thousands of participants, America will come to realize the magnitude of the horror that abortion is and has been for four decades. A flyer suitable to distribute is available here [pdf] which will give you specific suggestions.

Please forward this to everyone you know who believes in the sanctity of Life. We must not let this infamous anniversary go by without memorializing these babes who have been murdered in the womb at the rate of about 3300 EVERY DAY!

Tags: Roe v. Wade, anniversary, abortions, pro-life, RNC, RNC for Life To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

There's Much Too Little Money In Politics

Ralph Benko
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: The left is going after big money in politics now in a big way. Actually, it is trying to delegitimize the funding by free market heroes such as Charles and David Koch while sanitizing its own. One of the problems with the left critique, however, is that there isn’t too much money, big or otherwise, in politics. There’s too little. Follow along.

“There is a Tide in the Affairs of Men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life. Is bound in shallows and in miseries,” says Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

There also is a Tide in the affairs of Women and tens of millions of homemakers (including this one), men and women both. That Tide is the leading laundry detergent. Last year, Proctor and Gamble, the world’s leading household products company, launched a new version of Tide: Tide Pods. P&G backed the product introduction with $150 million. And therein lies a political lesson.

Washington is awash with, perhaps besieged by, policy advocates. And there is a persistent urban legend, or at least a Forlorn Hope, that a great idea somehow will by itself change the course of Western Civilization … or at least politics. That’s nonsense. It takes a huge effort, backed by a lot of money, to change the course of the mighty river that is the federal government.

P&G’s practices can help dispel the myth. P&G grossed $82 billion last year. Just to put that in perspective, P&G’s gross revenue puts it ahead of (using 2010 figures) 14 of the states of the United States, nosed out of 37th place by Nebraska but comfortably ahead of 38th place Colorado.

P&G, which cannot rest on its laurels, reportedly spends about $2 billion a year in research and development. Several years ago it decided to create a new version of Tide, an iconic brand that itself yields P&G over $3 billion a year in revenues. Introducing a variant of even such a iconic product was no trivial matter.

P&G committed to spending $150 million in promoting the product launch. That was on top of what Yahoo! Finance reports involved hundreds of millions of dollars in product development costs. $150 million would fund a whole lot of policy advocacy or political campaigns. And that was spent for one variation on one product.

Pan to Washington, DC. The federal government is, in effect, a megacorporation. Progressives like to think that corporations are bad and the megacorporation that is the federal government is good. This left-wing Creed empirically speaking is mystifying if one but makes a cost/benefit analysis of most government services. That said, a creed, by definition, is not empirically based.

Uncle Sam, as of 2012, projected $3.6 trillion a year of spending momentum. The federal government has the aggregate force of more than 40 Proctor and Gambles. A presidential campaign can, in some respects, be likened to the government’s political R&D program.

By extrapolating P&G’s R&D budget, a presidential campaign appropriately would cost around $80 billion, arguably four times that. And yet, the last presidential election involved, by the Center for Responsive Politics measure, only $6 billion. To put that further in perspective, that’s less than … $20 per American spent on average. (Admittedly, Republican superconsultants badly misspend their share. The left spends its treasure far more intelligently.) $6 billion represents around two tenths of one percent of the federal government’s expenditures. P&G, which spends at least 20 times that rate for R&D, presumably would laugh ruefully at the paltriness of it.

If anything, America spends far too little, rather than too much, on politics and policy. That isn’t stopping the left, as Mother Jones just reports, from attempting to reinterpret the First Amendment out of all recognizable meaning by to get the “big money out of politics.”

Mother Jones, January 9, 2013, Revealed: The Massive new Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics
“It was the kind of meeting that conspiratorial conservative bloggers dream about.
“A month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House. … [T]he meeting was invite-only and off-the-record. Despite all the Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed conservative movement.

“At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: getting big money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation. The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues….”
The plan revealed by Mother Jones is fiendishly brilliant. Cripple by pretext the First Amendment rights of citizens such as Charles and David Koch, and Sheldon Adelson, from meaningfully supporting their ideals in the public square; expand the voter pool by enfranchising voters who likely will disproportionately support the Progressive agenda; and dynamite the greatest process obstacle to the adoption of the Full Monty Progressive Agenda. This strategy is worthy of a criminal genius of the stature of Lex Luthor.

The stakes couldn’t be higher nor the left’s tactics more sophisticated. “Sure, politics ain’t bean-bag. ‘Tis a man’s game, an’ women, childer, cripples an’ prohybitionists ‘d do well to keep out iv it.” So said columnist Peter Dunne’s fictional Mr. Dooley in 1895. Update this sentiment with the recognition that the women playing the game of political hardball at the most senior level — strategists like Ilyse Hogue and Becky Bond — now are the MVPs. But the core insight remains true: politics ain’t bean-bag.

The control over trillions of dollars, the fortunes of millions of souls, the very course of history, is at stake. Men like Charles and David Koch were among the first on the right to grasp the implications of this. They also show rare discernment of the fact that Newton’s Second Law of motion applies to policy and politics as well as it does to physics:
If a force generates a motion, a double force will generate double the motion, a triple force triple the motion, whether that force be impressed altogether and at once, or gradually and successively. And this motion (being always directed the same way with the generating force), if the body moved before, is added to or subtracted from the former motion, according as they directly conspire with or are directly contrary to each other; or obliquely joined, when they are oblique, so as to produce a new motion compounded from the determination of both.” (Motte’s 1729 translation of Newton.)
Meaning: money matters. The left, of course, is being disingenuous about taking money out of politics. It, understandably, wishes to blunt the forces of the right while remaining unconstrained in injecting its own force vectors on the prize: control of almost $4 trillion in government spending. The left routinely outspends the right. The conservative movement’s flagship Heritage Foundation reports an annual budget of $82 million. The Progressive battleship National Education Association has an annual budget of around $370 million … and the NEA is only one of many, many heavily funded entities that give muscle to the Progressive movement.

One can’t redirect a multi-trillion dollar entity with nothing but good ideas, eloquence, and gallantry. Those who wish to see their ideals reflected in government policy have a constitutional right … and a civic duty … to underwrite, generously, the advocates, institutions, and candidates of their choice. The left seeks the funding advantage. If it seizes it, whether by cunning or by virtue of more, and more generous, donors, the left will shape the future of America very much to its own vision. And the right will have nobody but itself to blame. Only a modest handful of substantial donors truly have risen to the cause of human dignity. Will others?

No matter how hard the left tries to paint it black the money fielded for advocacy of free markets and defense of constitutional liberties such as the free exercise of religion certainly is as legitimate as the money projected by the left in its Massive new Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics. Arguably, it is even more legitimate. There is not too much money in politics. There is too little.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author.

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

Teachers Get a Lessen in Liberty

Tony Perkins, FRC Washington Update: Teachers have enough to worry about these days without adding religious intolerance to the mix. But unfortunately for Joelle Silver and Walter Tutka, administrators seem more concerned about their personal beliefs than their professional success. Silver, who is just 29, has been part of the science department in New York's Cheektowaga District for seven years. As advisor for the school's Bible Study Club, she kept a prayer request box in her office and kept Scripture post-it notes on her desk. Last fall, a student complained to secular activists that Miss Silver decorated her classroom with quotes from President Ronald Reagan and I Corinthians. At one point, the student said, she even referenced Adam and Eve in a discussion about the human rib cage.

At the prompting of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, school officials sent Silver an eight-page letter warning her that teachers' "rights to free speech and expression are not as broad as if you were simply a private citizen." Cheektowaga ordered Silver to tear down her posters and remove "even the small personal sticky notes" that she kept on her desk with encouraging Bible verses. To her credit, Silver didn't budge. "As a Christian and as an American, I believe it's incredibly important to fight to protect the rights that people have died to give me."

And fight she will. The young teacher announced last week that she's suing district officials for violating her First Amendment rights. Silver's attorney, Robert Muise, told Fox News that Cheektowaga is treating religious material like a "disease that has to be eradicated." "They essentially want her to cease being a Christian once she enters school property," Muise said. That's what should offend people--not quotes from the 40th President. When I was a Member of the Louisiana legislature, I authored a law called the American History Preservation Act that protects the reading and posting of a whole range of documents--from the national anthem to presidential speeches. If more states were willing to introduce measures like Louisiana's, religious liberty would be protected in classrooms like Joelle Silver's.

Meanwhile, in neighboring New Jersey, the censorship continues. Today, the city of Phillipsburg is outraged over the decision to fire a substitute teacher for giving a student his Bible. The middle schooler was late to class, and Walter Tutka told him, "Remember son, the first shall be last and the last shall be first." Days later, when the boy asked, Walter said the quote was from the Bible. That intrigued the student, who sought Tutka out over lunch and asked him more about it. Walter took out his Bible in the cafeteria and showed him the verse. When the boy said he didn't have a Bible, Tutka asked him if he'd like to have his. "The student said yes," a friend told Fox News.

And because of it, Walter is out of a job. The school board accused him of breaking two rules: distributing religious literature on school grounds and not practicing neutrality on faith. Eight people spoke on Tutka's behalf in yesterday's board meeting, but members were adamant about sanitizing schools of any mention of Christianity. If Tutka decides to sue, he'd have a fairly strong case. After all, he was answering a student's question--not proselytizing--and the conversation wasn't during instructional time. What's more, Tutka was providing literature of academic value (which the courts have recognized the Bible to be). Not too long ago, the Bible was America's only curriculum--and now educators treat it as if it were, to borrow Muise's description, "some kind of pornography."

Well, it's time to get something straight. There's no fine print in the U.S. Constitution excluding certain people from the First Amendment--not teachers, not businessmen, not even politicians. America will start understanding that fact as more Christians find their voice and stand their ground. In the meantime, you can encourage teachers, pastors, and leaders to start pushing back by introducing legislation similar to my 1997 law that would make it illegal to censor content like this. For a copy of the measure, click here.

Tags: teachers, Joelle Silver,  Walter Tutkaattack, attacked, religion, religious liberty, freedom, liberty, compassion, concern, Tony Perkins, FRC, Famly Research council To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Biden Proposals Include Framework for Gun Registry & Confiscation

Gun Owners of America

Biden Proposals Include Framework for Gun Registry and Confiscation

Up to 50-80% of all guns in circulation could be covered

Press reports now make it clear what Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control package will look like. Biden wants to impose:

* A Feinstein-like semi-auto ban which, according to experts who have done the counting, could ban up to 50% of all long guns currently in circulation and up to 80% of all handguns. Incidentally, if you wanted to keep the AR-15 you currently have, you would have to have a 6-month FBI background check, be fingerprinted, and get a machine gun-type license.

* The framework for national gun registration and confiscation by requiring every gun transaction to have a Brady Check.

* Supposed “toughening” of anti-gun trafficking measures, but without doing anything about the man responsible for allowing more gun trafficking than any other American -- Attorney General Eric Holder (with his Fast and Furious program).

Let us backtrack and explain a couple of things: Increasingly ATF is going into gun dealers and xeroxing all of the 4473’s. This is illegal under McClure-Volkmer, but, in case you hadn’t noticed, Obama is increasingly ignoring the law when it inconveniences him.

Thus, if every gun transaction in America must have a Brady Check, every gun in America could presumably be fed into a national registration system by ATF by simply copying the 4473’s.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -– a man who gives you a pretty good idea of where gun control is going -– said, on the front page of the New York Times, that “confiscation” of firearms is an option. Obviously, having a registration list makes such a task much easier.

But what about so-called large-capacity magazines? Well, Republicans like Georgia’s Phil Gingrey have talked about the possibility of banning them. However, there are many problems with this.

First of all, millions of gun owners own these magazines for defensive purposes. To take away a homeowner’s right to choose these devices will simply make honest citizens less safe -- especially, when they are facing multiple attackers.

Moreover, police have sometimes had to fire 20-30 rounds to finally stop just one drug-crazed individual from shooting. This just underscores why, quite often, good guys will need more than just six-shooters.

Second, there are tens of millions of high-capacity magazines in circulation. What are you going to do about them?

Third, changing magazines (or switching guns) is not a big deal for people like Adam Lanza.

Fourth -- and perhaps most important –- this is a game the anti-gun zealots have played before: They threaten to kill the Second Amendment, and then negotiate their way back to “merely” eviscerating it.

Or put another way, they threaten to shoot us in the head to get us to agree to cutting off our fingers.

The only way that America’s gun owners are going to have peace over the next decade is to stop ALL gun control -– as we did after Columbine –- and then defeat compromising legislators running for reelection in 2014.

ACTION: Click here to contact your Senators and Congressmen. Demand that they oppose ALL gun control -- including magazine limitations and universal background (registration) checks -- being proposed by the Biden commission.

Tags: Joe Biden, proposal, gun registration, gun confiscation, 2nd amendment, GOA, Gun Owners of America, contact, representative, congressman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

US Economic Freedom Drops for 5th Straight Year

The Heritage Foundation partners with The Wall Street Journal every year to publish the Index of Economic Freedom. The 2013 Index shows five consecutive years of continued decline in economic freedom in the U.S. The only other advanced economy to have as poor a performance is Ireland. The reason for this decline is excessive government spending, high corporate taxes, regulatory overload, and an erosion in the rule of law. It's important to note that the Index score lags behind current policy developments, so the 2013 tax increases are likely to drop the US out of the top ten freest countries next year.

2013 Index of Economic Freedom Trends
The graphic depicts the effect of increased economic freedom on a variety of measures of well-being. It's clearly in a country's best interest to adopt policies that increase their score to the greatest extent possible, which is why the negative U.S. trend is so disturbing.

The Next Fiscal Challenge is the Debt Ceiling
Treasury Secretary Geithner reported that the debt ceiling was reached on Dec. 31, but he is taking extraordinary measures to keep the government funded until mid-February. President Obama has called for an increase to the debt limit despite condemning such a move as a "failure of leadership" in 2006. According to fiscal policy expert J.D. Foster the federal government is not at risk of defaulting because it has enough money to pay the interest on the debt. The Morning Bell explains that the threat of default is a scare tactic, and conservatives should use the debt ceiling debate to force additional spending cuts.

Understanding American Liberty
The director of Heritage's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, Jennifer Marshall, discusses the role of liberty in American society in a very eloquent essay. Read it online here.

Hurricane Sandy Relief Package - Part Two
On January 4 Congress passed a $9.7 billion relief package to assist the victims of storm damage resulting from Hurricane Sandy. President Obama asked for $60.4 billion for the relief package, so the balance of his request is being voted on today. Ericka Anderson explains in her blog post how Congress may try to conceal $33 billion in unrelated pork-barrel spending in the bill. The @Heritage Twitter account started the #EndTheSpend hashtag to raise awareness.

Federal Head Start Program Continues to Fail
The Hurricane Sandy relief package earmarks $100 million for an unrelated federal program called Head Start, which spends $8 billion per year to prepare toddlers from low-income families for kindergarten. According to the federal government's own assessments, the program spent $180 billion over 48 years, but provided "little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants." The performance of fourth graders has been so bad that "access to Head Start failed to have an effect for 69 out of 71 outcomes!" Read Rachel Sheffield's summary of Head Start's official performance report. Education policy expert Lindsey Burke analyzes the failures and offers alternatives in her Issue Brief.

Calendar of Upcoming Events*
Educational Policy Conference January 24-26 - St. Louis, MO
March for Life January 25th - Washington, DC
National Review Institute Summit January 25-27 - Washington, DC
CPAC March 14-16 - Washington, DC
*For more events please visit a more comprehensive calendar on

Tags: U.S. Economic Freedom, drops, Heritage Founddation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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