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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)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Don’t Hold Military Paychecks Hostage to Hikes in Domestic Spending

President Obama, who favors increasing both defense and non-defense spending, has said he plans to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which increases only defense spending.  He is big on Continuing Resolutions giving every Government more money. The below article details why Obama's "Sword of Damocles," aka "Pen and Phone" veto would cause a partial shutdown of the Department of Defense and compromise the livelihoods of those who serve in our military.

by Justin T. Johnson: On Monday, President Obama made a rare visit to the Pentagon to meet with his military advisers and discuss the strategy (or lack thereof) for defeating ISIS. In a news conference afterward, he revealed nothing new about the fight against ISIS. He did, however, offer a brief peek at the impending fight over the defense budget.

That battle, between congressional Republicans and the White House, will come to the fore as Oct. 1—the start of the new fiscal year—draws closer. The president has proposed breaking federal spending caps on both defense and non-defense programs. Republicans in Congress responded by proposing increases for defense alone.

The administration then threatened a veto of any bill that increases defense spending without corresponding increases in non-defense spending. Even Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has publicly and repeatedly supported the president’s veto strategy, which would deny funding for his own department.

Which brings us to Monday’s press conference. Although the president planned to give a prepared statement without taking any questions, a reporter asked if he would veto the defense bills. Mr. Obama’s response was telling:

“Our men and women are going to get paid. And if you’ll note that I’ve now been president for six and a half years, and we’ve had some wrangling with Congress in the past. Our service members haven’t missed a paycheck.”

The president went on to give an artful non-answer about the importance of the long-term and investing in things like education and research. And while the president’s commitment to the troops is good and right, a veto of either the defense authorization bill or the defense appropriations bill could affect the troops quite negatively.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will likely reach the president’s desk in a month or so. This is a policy and budget bill that addresses a wide variety of defense issues, including pay and benefits for service members. The NDAA could provide up to a 2.3 percent pay raise for the troops as well as a variety of bonuses and retention sweeteners for certain military specialties. This bill will also include hundreds of other provisions addressing everything from military retirement to healthcare to acquisition reform.

If the president does veto the NDAA, it could forestall the pay raise that troops receive as well as curtail numerous other important programs and benefits for the men and women in uniform.

The president has also vowed to veto the defense appropriations bill—currently placed on hold by Senate Democrats. The appropriations bill is what actually provides the money to execute the policies established in the NDAA. And this is where President Obama’s promise that service members will get their paychecks becomes shaky.

Under law, if no new appropriations bill (or temporary appropriation like a continuing resolution) is signed into law by Oct. 1, the Defense Department would go into a partial shutdown. Military forces would be expected to continue to work and protect our nation, but they would receive no paychecks until a defense appropriations bill is signed into law.

So if President Obama vetoes the defense appropriations bill, there is a very real chance that service members could miss a paycheck. Any service members who worked during a shutdown would be entitled to back pay, but they wouldn’t receive that pay until the president signed a new defense appropriations bill.

The bottom line? A veto of either defense bill would put the paychecks of service members at risk. If the president wants to ensure that our men and women in uniform can pay their bills on time, he should not threaten to veto bills that ensure they get paid on time. The defense budget should not be used as political leverage to increase non-defense spending.
Justin T. Johnson is the senior analyst for defense budgeting policy in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security and Foreign Policy. Prior to joining The Heritage Foundation, Johnson spent over a decade working on defense and foreign policy issues on Capitol Hill.

Tags: Department of Defense, appropriation bill, Military, military paychecks, hostage, domestic spending, President Obama, threatens veto, Continuing Resolution, funding increase for all government, Justin Johnson, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Guess Who Else Nullifies?

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Citizens have more power than they exercise. But folks in government aren’t exactly falling all over each other in the rush to help citizens participate and realize their potential.

Take juries. There are few more awesome responsibilities than sitting on a jury. And one of the things you can do, as a juror, is to refuse to follow the law or the judge, instead making your decision contrary to the immediate, official directive. Disapprove of a bureaucracy’s “legal” prosecution of an individual or group? Judge the law as well as the facts. Acquit.

Glenn Reynolds, writing in USA Today, shows that this practice has a long, honorable history in our country — he not unreasonably mentions how northern abolitionists fought the Fugitive Slave Act — and, if you, the juror, push it, “there’s nothing anyone can do about it…

Of course, prosecutors have essentially the same power, since they’re under no obligation to bring charges against even an obviously guilty defendant. But while the power of juries to let guilty people go free in the name of justice is treated as suspect and called “jury nullification,” the power of prosecutors to do the exact same thing is called “prosecutorial discretion,” and is treated not as a bug, but as a feature in our justice system.Reynolds concisely makes the case that jury nullification is, itself, a designed feature of our American constitutional tradition, and not nearly so buggy as “prosecutorial discretion.”

Why? Its tendency is to liberate us from usurping government action.

Prosecutors’ “discretion” (on the other hand) gives folks in government more power over our lives. And ruins many.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Nullification, jury, jury nullification, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump vs Media and . . .

. . . the Washington D.C. establishment.
Editorial Cartoon By AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Trump Chair, Donald Trump, main stream media, D.C. establishment, Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Islamic Alliances Past and Future Part 1

by John C. Velisek, Contributing Author: The Muslim religion has been described by its adherents as the way to live and prosper in Gods word. Alliances have been made with the Islamic religion through the centuries to various ends, alliances that Muslims and apologists will tell you never happened because of the purity of the religion they follow. Apologists state that it is a religion of peace, and that “jihad” is just the constant struggle of living the life that they profess. We can start in the last century to look at just what the Islamic principles are, and with whom they formed alliances, from then to now, and where they have taken the “religion of peace

Hitler was known to favor the Muslim culture, and was quite taken with a religion that believed in spreading the faith by violently subjugating the world to the one faith. Hitler was said to have been impressed by Arab claims that stated that the world would have been subjugated in the 8th century AD if the Muslims have been able to win the battle of Tours. Hitler assumed that German Superiority would have won out, and that the world would ultimately become a world in which Islamic Germans could have ruled, having dispatched of the Islamists themselves. There were commonalities between the Germans and Jews, as expressed to Khalid al-Hud al-Gargani, the special envoy to Hitler from Saudi Arabia ibn Suad, the ruler at that time. Both possessed a deep visceral hatred of the Jews, including the ousting of the Jews from Palestine.

At the time, most of the Middle East was under European power, something which tried to hold back Muslim imperialism. It was Hitlers contention, that although he viewed the Arabs as an inferior Semitic Race, they could be used by the Reich to gain control of the Middle East. The Mufti Hal Amin al-husseini was granted “honorary Aryan Status” because of his collaboration with Hitlers Third Reich. There were other collaborations undertaken by the Arab-Nazi alliance. Such as the overthrow of the British abd al-Ilah regime in Iraq that installed a pro Axis government and the Arab revolt in Palestine from 1936-1939. At the time of the coup, Hitler issued “The Furher Directive 30” claiming that the Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle east was an ally against England.

Another complicating factor was the aspirations of the Jews to a homeland of their own. This only caused the Arab-Nazi collaboration to intensify due the both having a deep hatred of the Jews. The Reich hoped to use the Arab Freedom movement to tie down English forces in the Middle East.

The ability to lump all Arabs together into a single group is a lesson in futility. There are many different Arab groups, from Nationalists to fundamentalists. Many are Marxists, some are liberals in the Arab sense of the word. There were Arabs who looked at Nazism as racist, even though both groups planned for the Jewish culture to be wiped out. Even so, Syria gave Hitler the name of Abu Ali, and Egypt called Hitler Muhammad Haidar .

The Mufti, after the Kristalnacht pogrom of 1938, wrote to the Nazi leaders, Ribbentrop, Himmler and Hitler to prevent the emigration of Eastern European Jews to Palestine. It was at this time that the policy of Nazi Germany was to send the German Jews to Palestine. With the pleadings of the Mufti still on their minds, this is when the Germans decided on curtailing sending German Jews to Palestine, and the mass extermination of Jews began. It was also at this time that Hitler promised to send Wehrmacht across the Caucasus to liberate the Arabs from English rule.

After the war, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-hisseini escaped to Cairo, and proceeded to use Hitlers program of genocide to the Arab world.After the war, The mufti became mentor to Yasser Arafat, believed to be his nephew, and Gen, Tufah Khariallah, the future father in law of Saddam Hissein.

In November 1943, upon learning of the “Final Solution” implemented by the Nazis, the Mufti proclaimed “ It is the duty of every Mohammadan and Arab to drive all Jews from Arab Countries.Germany has very clearly recognized a difinitve solution for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that the Jews represent.

The Mufti was also responsible for a pogrom in Iraq known as the Farhud leading to the deaths of Jews. The Farhud was reportedly carried out by a group called the Futuwwa youth group, a group of youth modeled on the Hitler youth groups and commanded by Saib Shawkatm the Iraqi minister of education.

The Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-husseini help the Nazis recruit soldiers from Muslim Waffen SS Units in the Balkans. A division of 10,000 Muslim volunteers was raised, to be called the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division HANDSCHAR, the curved knife, or handschar was the emblem for the division.

There were other collaborators. Hassan al-Bannam the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 shared common interests with the Nazi anti Jewish policies and actively worked to bring such policies to fruition.

Today, after all the decades of failures, the Islamic world for the most part, still adhere to the same socialist tendencies. In 2008, in Cologne, an anti-Islamization conference was broken up by German authorities. The counter demonstration accused those at the meeting of being Nazis and racists. The rights of those who do not accede to the radical takeover of Europe have a right to be heard. Those in leaderships positions of both the German administration and such persons in the Muslim community all say they want to live peacefully with the German citizenry. And yet, Sheikh Qaradawi have openly stated to intention of the Arab world to Islamize Europe, and bend it to sharia law. The mosques in Germany have been used to foment jihad and the governments of Europe either do not understand it must be stopped. Germany has since suffered through stoning, the denial of freedom of speech, honor killings, and institutional discrimination. The stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to infiltrate the governments of Europe, and use our laws against us to cause the collapse of western ways of thinking. This is beginning to be seen in America as well.

Islam also has ties to communism deeply held within its policies. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a group of farmers, peasants and bourgeoisie found the Waisi movement in Tartarstan. This movement founded by Bahawetdin Waisey ws a religious and political movement that promoted disobedience to law in order to follow the Quran and sharia law. Despite going underground after Waiseys arrest, increased in size after the first Russian Revolution of 1905-07, and in 1917 was part of the Red Army during the Russian civil war. Disbanded in the 1930’s, the sect was largely wiped out during the Great Purge.

Islamic Marxism has been tied to the 1979 Iranian revolution, with Islamic Marxists believing that the needs of society can be met through Islam. Although not holding the tenets of socialism on materialism and the Marxist views of religion, groups like the Peoples Mujahadeen of Iran are considered in the socialist sphere.

The difference between socialism and Islam in almost all cases is the fact that where Socialism givers all right, production and abilities to the state, making the state the final arbiter in all aspect of like. Islam uses religion. Both communism and Islam have the same definition of peace. Both define peace as a lack of disagreement or opposition. Only when all conform, then, and only then, can peace be achieved. Another factor in the similarities is that both will use propaganda and lies to further the cause. The concepts of Taqiyya and Hudna are Islamic concepts that justify the lies told to those that are non Islamic. Lies, propaganda, and broken treaties, of which Hudna is one aspect are all permissible if it leads to the furthering of the Islamic religion.
This article is Part 1 of 3 Part Series addressing Islamic Alliances Past and Future. Next: the Islamic revolutions to come, and Islamic environmentalism.   See Part 2 and Part 3
John C. Velisek, retired Navy, is a California conservative activist writing articles for various publication and is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. You can follow John's work on @sjspecialist on Twitter and One Patriots Opinion on Facebook. He first shared this article on the Intellectual Conservative.

Tags: John C. Velisek, Islamic Alliances, past and future, Islam, Germany To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Gallup: Obama Gets Low Marks for His Handling of Iran

Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug, 14, 2015:
Bill Smith, Editor: Congress in on their August recess. During the recess, senators and PRepresentaive will travel throughout their states to meet with constituents. The Senate will reconvene for legislative business on Tuesday, September 8th and consider H. J. Res. 61, the Resolution of Disapproval of the Iran Agreement.

U.S. Social Security Act was signed into law 80 Years ago on August 14, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Please read, "Social Security: An Unhappy 80th Birthday."
The American people oppose this deal with Iran and they oppose Obama's appeasement of Iran. A new Gallup poll measuring Obama's performance on several issues finds he gets his worst approval rating -- just 33% -- for his handling of Iran. Gallup reports that “Only one in three Americans approve of President Barack Obama's handling of the situation in Iran -- his lowest rating of eight issues measured in a new Gallup survey . . . . These data are from an Aug. 5-9 Gallup poll, conducted as Congress debates the Iran nuclear deal, which has challenged the usual Democratic allegiances the president has on the hill. As recently as February, Americans gave Iran the lowest favorable rating of 22 countries, and a strong majority felt Iran's development of nuclear weapons posed a "critical" threat to the U.S.”

A 55% majority disapproves of President Obama’s handling of Iran in the Gallup survey and, notably, 58% of Independents say they disapprove as well

Gary Bauer, a contributing author and President of Campaign for Working Families noted today that Kerry Is Clueless!

Secretary of State John Kerry is the man who negotiated the nuclear deal with the ayatollah's representatives from the Islamic Republic of Iran. It would be reassuring to know that our negotiators are sophisticated and understand the dangers confronting the free world.

Critics of the deal have been deeply concerned from the beginning about the extent of the concessions Kerry made to appease the Iranians. An interview Kerry recently did with The Atlantic explains a lot.

When pressed to address the ayatollah's repeated calls to destroy Israel, Kerry was dismissive, saying:"I don't know the answer to that. I haven't seen anything that says to me -- they've got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. . . . So I don't want to get locked into that debate. I think it's a waste of time here."
Where was John Kerry during the last Gaza war? What does he think those rockets are for? What does he think the "terror tunnels" are for? Has Secretary Kerry read the ayatollah's latest "how to" book? It's a book about destroying Israel.

Kerry's naive utterances are all too reminiscent of those made by western diplomats who negotiated with another dictator who also threatened to "wipe out" the Jews. Hitler's signature on the Munich agreement did not guarantee peace. That "scrap of paper," as Hitler later referred to it, proved to be worthless.

There is too much at stake to repeat the worst mistakes of the past. The world's leading state sponsor of terrorism cannot be trusted with the world's most dangerous weapons, and this deal does not prevent the tyrants in Tehran from getting them.

To the surprise of many, at least one left-wing member of the Congressional Black Caucus agrees. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) yesterday announced his opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal. In an op-ed, Rep. Hastings wrote:"After careful review, I have decided that I cannot support this deal. The goal of the recently concluded negotiations was to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. . . . in the end, the [deal] allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions."News Reports:
It’s unlikely that Americans skeptical of the Iran deal appreciate the president’s outrageous characterizations of critics of the deal

The Washington Post editors took the White House to task for its rhetoric earlier this week. Writing that “it’s generally better to treat policy disagreements in good faith,” The Post editors pointed out, “That has not been the spirit in which Mr. Obama and his team have met his Iran-deal critics. The president has countered them with certitude and ad hominem attacks, the combined import of which is that there are no alternatives to his policy, that support for the deal is an obvious call and that nearly anyone who suggests otherwise is motivated by politics or ideology. Mr. Obama’s rhetoric reached its low point when he observed that the deal’s opponents value war over diplomacy and that Iranian extremists were “making common cause with the Republican caucus.”

They further wrote, “[B]y not sticking to the merits of the deal, Mr. Obama implies a lack of confidence in them. The contrast is striking between the president’s tone today and his 2008 speech accepting the Democratic nomination: Looking ahead to debating his GOP opponent, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), he pledged that ‘what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and each other’s patriotism.’”

But the public isn’t enamored of the Iran deal on the merits either. Just a week after the deal was announced, Pew Research Center found, “More Americans disapprove than approve of the deal struck last week by the U.S., Iran and five other nations to limit Iran’s nuclear program: Among the 79% of Americans who have heard about the agreement, just 38% approve, while 48% disapprove . . . .

“There is widespread skepticism about aspects of the agreement, particularly the Iranian leadership’s commitment to the terms of the deal: Most of those familiar with the agreement say they have not too much (35%) or no confidence at all (38%) that Iran’s leaders will uphold their side of the agreement. And while there is greater confidence in the U.S. and international agencies’ ability to monitor Iran’s compliance, 54% are not too (33%) or not at all (21%) confident, while a smaller share (45%) express at least a fair amount of confidence in their ability.”

A week later, CNN wrote, “A majority of Americans want Congress to reject the recently-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran . . . . Overall, 52% say Congress should reject the deal, 44% say it should be approved.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked this week about his thoughts on the Iran deal. The Aspen Times noted, “On the Iran agreement, McConnell said his position gives him the option to bring up a resolution of approval or disapproval for Senate debate. ‘I’m obviously going to bring up the latter.'"

“McConnell claimed the proposed deal with Iran is flawed in numerous ways. The major flaw is it will disrupt stability in an already unstable part of the world. ‘He wanted to transform the Middle East. He has, he has,’ McConnell said. ‘The Saudis went to Moscow talking to the Russians about buying arms. I never thought I’d see that. . . . So our friends are skittish. Our enemies are emboldened,’ McConnell said. . . .

“McConnell said sanctions should have been used longer to secure a better bargaining position with the Iranians. ‘The president wants to set this up as either this (agreement) or war. Nobody’s advocating that,’ McConnell said. ‘If we spent the last two years trying to ratchet up the sanctions rather than negotiate them away we’d be in a lot better shape in my view,’ he added.”

Tags: Iran Nuke Deal, President Obama, low marks, poll numbers, Gallup Poll, Pew Research, Social Security To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Social Security: An Unhappy 80th Birthday

Update 5:00 PM via Profile America — Preserving Social Security is a continuing concern in an increasingly aging America. The demographic profile was different on this date in 1935, when the program was signed into law by President Roosevelt. The program aimed to provide security to retired workers over 65, most of whom had no pension, and life expectancy at birth was just 58 years for men and 62 for women. The first monthly check under the system was for $22.54, issued in January 1940. Now, there are 39 million retired workers receiving Social Security benefits averaging about $1,300 a month. Current life expectancy at birth is roughly 77 years for males and over 81 years for females, with the longest lifespans projected for native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Profile America is in its 19th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
by Dr. John C. Goodman: We have promised more than we expect to take in: Looking indefinitely into the future, Social Security has a $28.5 trillion unfunded liability, according to the latest Trustees report. When combined with Medicare, the unfunded liability is $72 trillionmore than four times the size of our entire economy.

All of our elderly entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Disability) have a negative cash flow which will only get worse through time.

Elderly entitlements are crowding out every other type of spending: Currently, we are using about one in every seven general revenue dollars to cover these deficits. By 2020, we will need more than one in five. By 2030, we will need about one in three.

The average 60-year-old couple can expect Social Security benefits worth $1.2 million. With Medicare included, the average retiree is an "entitlement millionaire."  However, that requires collecting from future taxpayers at rates that will be from two to three times their current level by mid-century.

Singapore, with its forced saving program, has the most successful social security system in the world: one in six households there is a millionaire household. And that's real wealth – not wealth based on a promise to collect future taxes.

Compared to most private pensions, Social Security is incredibly complicated. Americans are losing $10.6 billion a year by failing to make the right choices in claiming benefits.

Toward the end of the last century, more than 30 countries fully or partially privatized their social security programs. Recently, however, numerous countries have seized private pension funds, including individual private accounts. At least 11 countries have halted or reversed their social security privatization efforts.
Article provided to the ARRA News Service by PRNewswire (Dallas, Aug 13, 2015) -- Dr. John C. Goodman, an author, health economist, and Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute is considered the "Father of Health Savings Accounts" and serves as president of the Goodman Institute, a think tank that focuses on the areas of health care, taxes and entitlement reform. Goodman served as the founder and president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) for 31 years, and regularly appears on television and radio news programs. Currently Goodman is working with members of Congress on an alternative to ObamaCare. U.S. Social Security Act was signed August 14, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Tags: Unhappy 80th Birthday, Social Security, Dr. John Goodman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Green on Black Crime . . .

. . . EPA power plan from Obama will hit the black community hardest.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Green on Black Crimes, EPA, hits, black community To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Experts Present Six Reasons Congress Should Reject Iran Nuclear Deal

Dr. Raymond Tanter & Dr. Ivan Sheehan
by Drs. Ivan Sascha Sheehan &  Raymond Tanter: The regime in Iran is not a permanent fixture of the Middle East landscape; the false dichotomy of war and negotiation is useful rhetoric but it makes for bad policy, argue Prof. Ivan Sheehan and Emeritus Prof. Raymond Tanter.

"History suggests that cosmetic diplomacy with dishonest partners is a recipe for proliferation not peace," the professors wrote in on Wednesday.

"The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 requires robust congressional oversight of the agreement prior to implementation and affords legislators an unusual opportunity to critique the deal and raise issues that may undermine effective implementation," they wrote.

"The emerging bipartisan opposition to the porous deal centers on six primary concerns:

1. Nuclear Breakout: The preliminary nuclear agreement maintains and legitimizes Iran's nuclear infrastructure, with some caps for the next 10 to 15 years. But it allows the regime to build an industrialized nuclear program with few limitations in about a decade. Under the agreement the time to nuclear breakout is neither reduced nor is the goal of a nuclear weapons free Iran realized.

2. Managed Access: The agreement fails to provide unfettered – anytime, anywhere – access to suspect nuclear sites, including military installations. Managed access might work in declared sites but not in secret ones. In fact, two years of negotiations yielded not a single specific arrangement to inspect sites that have already been sought by the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA.

3. Research & Development: Neither is the regime prevented from research and development on advanced centrifuges. The managed nature of access that is granted undermines the very purpose of the inspections in the first place. This is like allowing professional athletes with a record of cheating to control the circumstances that govern their testing for controlled substances.

4. Sanctions Relief: The enormous infusion of currency that will arrive with the lifting of sanctions will boost Tehran’s support of terror proxies and embolden them to expand their violent arc of influence.

5. Weapons and Missiles: The existing agreement provides weapons and missile trade relief in five and eight years respectively, concessions that will consolidate the regime’s influence in the broader Middle East.

6. Past Activities: Finally, the regime has not been pressed to account for its past nuclear activities. Verification of future agreements becomes ever more challenging when no credible baseline for weaponization thresholds crossed exists."

The professors pointed out that policymakers concerned by these – and myriad other issues – can use the oversight period to direct questions at White House officials and insist on credible explanations. Questions that they said must be raised and addressed include:
  • "In light of Tehran’s record of cheating, how will world powers account for the need to verify Iran’s continued compliance? And since incremental cheating to test the resolve of the powers is more likely than a full-scale race for the bomb, how will the major powers guard against such sneakout?
  • Will Washington push back on Tehran’s activities in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the region?
  • Because ballistic missiles are most relevant against populations rather than armies, how will the U.S. address Tehran’s ballistic missile capabilities once an agreement is in place and what will this mean for key U.S. allies?
  • Because Iran has used scarce funds despite falling oil prices and sanctions, how will the White House prevent Tehran from diverting funds to regional proxies and terrorist groups after sanctions are lessened?
  • Will U.S. officials speak out on behalf of Iranian dissidents – thousands of whom are detained in Iraq at Camp Liberty – and provide for their protection in light of the extraordinary intelligence they have provided on the nuclear front?
  • When will the American diplomats finally condemn Tehran’s egregious human rights violations?"
They added that as the U.S. Congress digs into the agreement, they should keep in mind that:
  • "The regime is not a permanent fixture of the Middle East landscape. The false dichotomy of war and negotiation is useful rhetoric but it makes for bad policy.
  • History suggests that cosmetic diplomacy with dishonest partners is a recipe for proliferation not peace.
  • Appeasement and concessions are not the ingredients for a sustainable peace. They only embolden authoritarian leaders and create a more hostile climate."
"Legislators must also not allow the White House to dictate the terms of the public deliberation on the nuclear issue by separating the nuclear accord from simultaneous discussions of the regime’s human rights record, sponsorship of global of terror, and the destabilizing influence Tehran continues to play regionally," they added.
Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is director of the graduate programs in Negotiation and Conflict Management and Global Affairs and Human Security in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Emeritus Prof. Dr. Raymond Tanter is a former Member of the White House National Security Council staff and Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to arms control talks in the Reagan-Bush administration. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) contributed this article to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Dr. Raymond Tanter, Dr. Ivan Sheehan, Six Reasons, Congress, should reject, Iran Nuclear Deal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hillary Stills Wants “The Village” To Raise Our Kids

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Twenty years ago, First Lady Hillary Clinton uttered perhaps her most memorable and politically-revealing declaration, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Borrowed from an ancient African proverb, “It Takes A Village” quickly became her mantra, frequently repeated on talk shows and speeches throughout her husband’s presidential campaign. A book by that title was published in 1996, and while Mrs. Clinton claimed to have written it by herself “in longhand,” it was ghost-written by Barbara Feinman, who was none too pleased that she received practically no acknowledgment for having done all of the heavy lifting.

Clinton’s assertion that “it takes a village” has been the subject of conservative derision and outrage pretty much ever since. Bob Dole summed up the reaction of conservatives when he addressed the 1996 Republican Convention: “… with all due respect, I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child.”

Clinton doubled down on her contention when she unsuccessfully ran for president in 2007 and tripled down this year in her presidential campaign launch speech, saying, “It takes an inclusive society. What I once called “a village” that has a place for everyone.”

My local newspaper today includes an article about “Operation Backpack.” Now in its third year, the York County Sheriff’s Foundation program provides backpacks and school supplies to county schools who pass them on to families “in need.” It is one of literally dozens of similar programs in the area.

School supplies and backpacks are now one more thing that parents are no longer expected to provide for their children.

I am more baffled every day by the change in our culture. There was a time, not long ago, when we expected parents to take care of their children and be responsible for meeting their needs. Today, it apparently does take “A Village” to care for many of our children. Parents (single mothers) are no longer asked to feed their children, with SNAP, WIC, free school breakfasts and lunches provided by the leaders of The Village, year-around. They don’t have to buy Christmas presents thanks to the many generous gift programs. There are clothing drives and free entertainment and camps and cultural opportunities. Housing is free under Section 8. Minority children are usually offered free college educations, regardless of merit, and enjoy hiring preferences. Ours has become a culture of entitlement for anyone who is deemed “needy” by the leaders of The Village, and those who acquire the title are considered courageous and honorable – held in high esteem by the liberal media and the undiscerning.

A single mother who is hooked into today’s benefit programs has practically no responsibility for raising her children. She can spend the family’s cash benefits entirely on her own entertainment, since everything her children could possibly need or want is provided by The Village.

In Hillary Clinton’s world-view, this arrangement works perfectly. Parents can’t be trusted, so The Village must raise the child according to the directions of its leaders. The child learns to depend on The Village and the system is perpetuated, generation after generation. The leaders of The Village are permanently empowered.

I have a soft spot for disadvantaged kids, and I know that many of them aren’t blessed with parents who are able to give them what they need. Been there. The Village can be a life saver. Unfortunately, it’s the leaders of The Village and their self-centered ambitions that worry me. Forgive me if my family chooses to take full responsibility for raising our children, providing for them on our own, and teaching them to be independently responsible for the welfare of our future generations.
Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and between playing in bands including his family band Caution! Blind Driver, he seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

Tags: Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, Hillary Clinton. the village, to raise our kids To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

(Un)Intended System Failure

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The system worked. The problem? The system doesn’t work.

Last year’s successful term limits ballot initiative in Grand Rapids pitted two pro-limits ladies with scant political experience against a united big business/big labor opposition campaign, sporting Dr. Glenn Barkan, professor emeritus of political science at Aquinas College, as treasurer.

Just before Election Day, Professor Barkan’s group stuffed mailboxes with advertisements warning residents: “Don’t let your vote be shredded.” The mailings seemed odd in two more respects: (1) there was no mention of “term limits,” and (2) according to campaign finance reports, the professor’s committee didn’t have enough money for mass mailings.

Then, after the election, the committee filed reports acknowledging big money raised and spent prior to the election.

“It just seemed odd that they could do all the mass mailings with little money,” said term limits advocate Bonnie Burke. “We ran a totally above-board campaign and they have these seasoned people and they weren’t sticking to the rules.”

Michigan’s Bureau of Elections concluded the professor’s committee “deprived voters from knowing the source and amount of more than half of the contributions it received. . . .” The group was fined $7,500.

The system worked! Reporting led to a violation, which led to a complaint, which led to an investigation, which led to the imposition of a fine.

But to what point?

As my colleague at Liberty Initiative Fund, Scott Tillman, who filed the complaint, explains, “Campaign finance laws do not stop connected insiders from gaming the system and hiding donations. Big money can ignore the laws and pay the fines if they get caught.”

Even worse, Tillman warned, “Campaign finance laws intimidate and discourage outsiders and grassroots activists from becoming active in politics.”

Is either result unintended?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, (Un)Intended System Failure, politics, term limits, Grand Rapids, MI, campaign finance laws, discourage, grassroots activists  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Politics: The Serious Case For A Trump Presidency . . . Rough Edges And All

Image by Mark Taylor via Flicker & CainTV 
by Herman Cain:: From one who knows him.

I knew I was cutting against the grain and going against conventional political wisdom when, on Tuesday, I offered my presidential Pick Six of the candidates I like best in this race – and Donald Trump was at the top of the list. After a media week of pointless conflicts with Megyn Kelly, of complaining about debate questions, and of generally giving his critics everything they thought they needed to write off his candidacy – how could I still think he would be a good president?

It’s a fair question that deserves a thoughtful response.

First of all, I wouldn’t say I’ve “endorsed” Trump per se. There are several candidates I think would make good presidents on my Pick Six list, and he’s one of them. But it still makes sense that you would want to know why he’s one of them.

It’s not just because he’s “a fighter”, because all of the people on my list are fighters for the right things. They just have different styles and they all fight differently.

It’s not because he’s “not politically correct,” although that’s true and it’s a good thing. But it doesn’t make you come across as presidential to a lot of people. And it’s not just because he’s “tapping into people’s anger.” That doesn’t do you much good once you’ve been sworn in and you need to govern effectively.

My reason for remaining favorable toward a Trump presidency is this: I know the guy, and I know how he operates, and his track record as a decision-maker and executive leader in business, combined with his policy proposals, convinces me that if he were president, he would mostly have the right priorities and would be effective at achieving them.

Some of you are asking: What policy proposals? I know Trump’s campaign hasn’t been very focused on this yet, but his 2011 book - Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again – reveals how he would attack the right priorities for this nation.

You may not know about this book because the media have been too busy combing through footage of his reality shows in search of offensive things he might have said. I read his book, and here are some of the things he proposed back then, when he was thinking about running for president and I actually was running for president:
  • Exploiting America’s energy resources by removing the restrictions against drilling here and exporting our oil abroad. This, he correctly argued, would not only bring down gas prices but would completely re-set our strategic position vis-à-vis other oil producing countries, in our favor.
  • Start treating China as our enemy, and stop making deals with them in which we so easily roll over and compromise our best interests. Trump has harsh words for the Chinese, and yet he deals with them all the time and they respect him. He recognizes that the Chinese do not have our best interests at heart and expects them to seek ways to screw us. But he expects the leaders of our country to be just as tough in dealing with them, and Obama and company are obviously not.

  • On taxes, Trump proposes a five-step plan in place of the current tax code. I do not necessarily agree with all of it, but I agree with the basic concept. He would eliminate both the death tax and the corporate tax, lower the tax on capital gains and dividends, and institute a 15 percent tax for outsourcing jobs and a 20 percent tax for importing goods. I’m not so sure about those last two, because Trump of all people should know that companies outsource labor or import goods because they’re trying to keep their costs down – and the government doesn’t need to be in the business of punishing that. But the first three are spot on. They would serve as a massive boost for business and job growth, and that’s what America needs more than anything.
  • Streamline the government, attack Medicare fraud and stop letting OPEC and China rip us off – all of which would impact the deficit. Trump points out in the 2011 book that the government every day takes in $6 billion and spends $10 billion. The political class shrugs its shoulders and says there is no way to stop that. They know they could stop it, but they’re afraid of the criticism they would get if they actually did it. Doesn’t this sound like a situation in which we could use a president who doesn’t mind being criticized?
  • Rebuild the military so we are in a stronger strategic position, and then take advantage of that position! Here is an interesting passage from the book: “Like everyone else, I’m glad Qaddafi is gone. But if we had been smart and negotiating shrewdly, we would have taken 50 percent of Libya’s oil for twenty-five years before we spent mountains of America’s money. Once again, Obama has proven to be a horrible negotiator and an expert at missing opportunities for America. And guess who gets much of that oil from Libya – that’s right, it’s China, not the U.S.” How can you disagree with Trump’s assessment of the deals Obama makes around the globe when we see the crap sandwich he brought home from the Iran nuclear talks? Believe me, Trump knows how to negotiate, and unlike Obama, he’s not afraid to walk away from the table rather than accept a bad deal.
  • Making welfare a true safety net for people who temporarily find themselves down on their luck, not, as he says, a hammock for people who just don’t want to work or want the taxpayers to subsidize their drug habits. How can anyone disagree with this?
  • Repealing ObamaCare. I realize this is no different than what every other Republican proposes (and properly so), but Trump explains extraordinarily well how it's driving up health care costs, destroying jobs and driving up the national debt. I understand that Trump made some comments to the effect that single-payer health care “worked well” in Canada, and I didn’t like that comment any more than you did. But I’ve read his actual proposal for health care in America, and if it was implemented, it would be excellent.
So what about his contributions to Hillary Clinton? What about his tendency to personally attack his critics and call people stupid? Aren’t those cause for concern?

Of course. My perfect candidate would offer exceptional leadership experience, propose nothing but the right policies and never say or do anything that causes controversy. And he would have nothing in his background that anyone could point to as a failure, flip-flop or contradiction.

Trump is not that candidate. But who is? Everyone has some sort of problem. Trump’s problems get more attention because the media are so interested in bluster and controversy, and he provides plenty of it. I think he would be better off if he didn’t relish these confrontations so much with people who attack him.

But I can no more change the way Donald Trump is than I can change the number of hours in a day. He’s been this way his whole life and it’s worked pretty well for him. He would be an unusual president, and he would give the hypersensitive among us way too much to wring their hands about. His style is not my style, but Trump is Trump.

But on the whole, I think he would do the right things and would do them pretty well. He certainly has the skill and the experience, and he obviously has the tenacity. That’s why I think he still belongs in the top tier of contenders, regardless of how many people don’t like his style.

Style doesn’t get the job done. I believe that Trump, rough edges and all, would.
Herman Cain is a conservative radio host of CainTV, a 2012 GOP presidential primary candidate with over 40 years of experience in the private sector as an analyst for Coca-Cola, an executive at Pillsbury, a regional Vice President for Burger King, and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Cain served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a supervisory mathematician for the Dept. of the Navy.

Tags: Herman Cain, conservative commentator, CainTV, politics, serious case for, Donald Trump, presidency To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

EPA Leadership Should Face Criminal Charges

"When a cow passes gas, the EPA declares war, but when the
EPA "accidentally" dumps 3 million  gallons of toxic sludge into a
U.S. river,  the agency seems to think an apology will suffice. . . .
It seems the  one thing the EPA spews faster than regulations
& toxic sludge is rhetoric."   Allyne Caan ~ Who Will Protect
 Against the Protectors? (Patriot Post)
by Newt Gingrich: For environmental regulators, victories take the form of fines or jail time for the sinners, whose efforts to produce what humans find useful are insufficiently tempered by reverence for “the environment”– an imagined perfection of the world before humans. Those regulators must be tormented this week by the knowledge that in their zeal to defend nature they have turned a Colorado river “an opaque orange color reminiscent of boxed mac and cheese.”

Inspecting a closed-down gold mine in Colorado, an EPA team accidentally spilled 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into the Animas River. Now the orange plume extends more than 100 miles downriver and the agency is warning people to stay away.

“The magnitude of it, you can’t even describe it,” New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez told a television station in her state, which is downstream of the spill. “It’s like when I flew over the fires, your mind sees something it’s not ready or adjusted to see.”

A normal disaster of this scale would surely result in criminal charges against anybody else. The EPA (and other regulators like the Fish and Wildlife Service) routinely bring criminal charges against individuals or businesses who dump pollutants into the environment or engage in activities that cause harm to wildlife.

The EPA brought at least 91 criminal prosecutions last year, most for violations with far less impact than the Colorado spill. For instance, when an Ohio man removed 82 garbage bags of insulation containing asbestos from an old factory he was dismantling, he did the removal without properly notifying the local environmental services and “there was not on site a person trained in the provisions of the federal asbestos regulations,” according to the Department of Justice.

It probably won’t surprise you that the EPA did not take the matter lightly. “The Defendant oversaw the illegal removal of large quantities of asbestos-containing materials, which were ultimately dumped in three residential areas in Toledo,” said the Special Agent in Charge of U.S. EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Ohio. “This case should serve notice that U.S. EPA and its partner agencies are prepared to prosecute those who ‘cut corners’ by avoiding the costs of handling or disposing of asbestos properly.”

The man was sentenced to one year in prison.

Several years ago, the Fish and Wildlife Service charged oil companies with crimes under the Migratory Bird Act after a small number of birds were found in wastewater reserve pits in North Dakota. None of the birds were endangered, and the charges were so absurd that the judge threw out the case.

Of course, the EPA brings even more serious charges in cases of real environmental disasters (and appropriately so). British Petroleum executives were charged criminally and settled for billions of dollars after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

So who will the EPA be charging with crimes for the disaster it caused in Colorado? And from whose budget (and whose salaries) will the cost of cleanup be paid?

If the agency has its way, no one will held responsible, and the taxpayers will pay the bill for this “tragedy.” (When regulators make a mistake, of course, it’s a tragedy. When citizens do, it’s an outrage.)

Congress should hold hearings to establish who was responsible for the spill, and should pass legislation giving the administrator the authority to fire them. Then the Justice Department should bring charges. And Congress should insist the EPA find funding for the cleanup within its own budget. Holding the agency financially accountable for its own disaster would go a long way toward reining in a bureaucracy that is out of control.
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, leadership, criminal charges, polluting, Colorado River To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Congress Must Demand Better On Iran Nuke Deal | Hillary's Email Scandal | Obamacare Consequences - A Trainwreck!

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
Not Any More!  Hillary's server less emails deleted by
Hillary or her staff has been surrendered to FBI
Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug 13, 2015
Bill Smith, Editor: Congress is not in session but on their August Recess which according to their printed schedule is they are "working in their districts. Wonder want that really means. Working to raise money, secure votes or listening to their constituents. Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns and issues with them. As for me, so far the only opportunity has been a high price invite to a fund raiser with my Representative and another fund raiser to meet and greet with one of my Senators. Maybe Donald Trump is right in his approach of previously donating to large sums of money to members of Congress and other so that he has access. Unfortunately, the majority of voters don't even come close to what their Congressman/woman earns for less time on the job. Hopefully, some readers have representative and Senators who wish to hear from you even in non-election years. More on a recommended action item below.

Gary Bauer, a contributing author and President of Campaign for Working Families noted today: "Congress Must Demand Better" with regard to Iran Nuke Deal.

"In making their case, President Obama and his allies have repeatedly insisted that Congress should not dare to reject this deal because no better deal is possible and America would "lose credibility" if the deal is voted down. Again, the American people don't agree and, ultimately, the Congress answers to us, not the president.

"But, once again, the administration is distorting the facts. Congress has routinely demanded changes to treaties and international agreements or it has rejected them. Consider this excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column:

"Congress has flatly rejected international agreements signed by the executive branch at least 130 times in U.S. history. Twenty-two treaties were voted down. According to 1987 and 2001 Congressional Research Service reports, the Senate has permanently blocked at least 108 other treaties by refusing to vote on them. Moreover, . . . more than 200 treaties agreed by the executive branch were subsequently modified with Senate-required changes before receiving Senate consent and finally entering into force.""In fact, the Senate rejected several treaties with the Soviet Union until stronger measures to detect and combat Soviet cheating were adopted. "These renegotiations succeeded despite the fact that the Soviet Union, with its nuclear-armed missiles pointed at U.S. cities, had far more leverage than Iran does now," the Journal column notes.

"Previous presidents respected our system of divided government and the prerogatives of the co-equal branch of government to weigh in. Previous Congresses had the courage to defend their authority and demand needed changes to treaties and international agreements.

"Congress can, has and must now demand a better deal!"

ACTION ITEM: Call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121 and tell them to oppose the Iranian Nuclear deal. Tell them that their vote on this issue will determine your vote next November.

Speaker's Office - Hillary's Email Scandal: For months, Speaker Boehner and Chairman Gowdy have had one message for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Surrender your email server to a neutral third party.

And for months, she chose to withhold evidence, prolong the Benghazi Committee's investigation, and offer flat-out false claims. But the Speaker has remained resolute, and together, with the work of Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee, they've kept the heat on Hillary. And it's working.

Just yesterday, after the inspector general for the intelligence community uncovered multiple Clinton emails that contained information classified as "Top Secret," the former Secretary of State finally saw the writing on the wall, and agreed to surrender the server to the FBI.

Of course, none of this would have come to pass without the steady collection of facts from the Benghazi Committee, and they will continue their investigative work until they get to the bottom about what happened in the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya, where four Americans lost their lives. The families of the fallen, and the entire American public, deserve the truth.

Obamacare "Train Wreck" Consequences
In a report titled, “Kentuckians, Get Ready For Health Insurance Rate Hikes,” WFPL News in Louisville writes, “The Kentucky Department of Insurance recently approved insurers’ requests for rate hikes. And all but one of the 13 insurers selling individual and small-group plans in the state are raising rates.

“The approved increases, which are averages among the plans each insurer offers in Kentucky, are nearly identical to insurance company requests made to the state’s Department of Insurance in June. Most are between 5 and 15 percent.

“The highest increase, by far, comes from the carrier designed to provide the most affordable plans. The Kentucky Health Co-Operative, a nonprofit governed by its members, will see a 25.1 percent rate increase for individual plans this year. Last year, the co-op implemented a 20 percent rate hike.

The co-op was part of a government push to increase competition among insurers. Funded by a federal loan made available through the Affordable Care Act, its massive back-to-back rate increases suggest things aren’t working as planned. . . . A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services said the co-op had lost $50.4 million by the end of 2014.

WFPL notes, “State insurance regulators approved all but two of the increases requested by insurers. Among the highest is CareSource KY, which will raise rates nearly 12 percent for individual plans it offers both on and off Kynect, the state’s insurance marketplace. Golden Rule Insurance Company was granted the 11.5 percent increase it requested for plans it sells outside Kynect. . . .

“Regulators slightly reduced the increase requested by Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, granting a 12.2 percent hike for its individual plans. And the state is permitting Louisville-based Humana to raise rates for its small-group plans by 7.77 percent.”

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark explained some of the reasons for the rate hikes to WFPL: “Clark said the fluctuations are in part the result of the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to issue policies regardless of a person’s health status or history. . . . [T]he 2016 rates were based on 15 months of data, which gave carriers a better perspective on what usage had been and what they could anticipate going forward. . . . Clark said there was a lot of demand for knee and hip replacements, and prescriptions for diabetes and hypertension within the first few months of open enrollment. That new demand also contributed to an increase in premiums.”

So once again, the reality of Obamacare is showing just how deceptive and unrealistic the claims made by Democrats and the Obama administration about their unpopular health care law were. That it’s happening in Kentucky, which Democrats have been particularly eager to point to as an Obamacare “success” is telling.

Recall that President Obama claimed that “my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions - families, businesses, and the federal government.” And that he predicted his plan would “cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

During debate in the Senate over Obamacare, one of the law’s principal authors, then-Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), objected when Leader McConnell argued that the plan would raise costs, “Mr. President, the Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.” Recall that U.S. Senator Max Baucus was one of the so called geniuses who perpetrated the ObamaCare disaster on Americawoke up and declared, "I see a huge train wreck coming down" the tracks. Where is 'Mad Max"now? He is the current Ambassador to China, the country mocking and hacking the U.S. Government and American businesses.

But of course the experiences of Obamacare have validated what simple common sense dictated from the beginning: when insurance companies are mandated to cover everyone, prohibited from charging different rates based on usage, and are paying for more claims from more people, costs are obviously going to increase. Thus the years of higher premiums and rising costs to governments and employers.

The Aspen Times writes today about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell being asked by the Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson about Obamacare: “‘Let me just make sure you know how I feel about this,’ [McConnell] told Isaacson. ‘I think it was the single-worst piece of legislation that’s been passed in the last half century.’ Rates, co-payments and deductibles have all gone up, he said. Mergers and acquisitions are occurring among insurance companies and hospitals as a result of the government ‘running all of America’s health care.’”

Tags: Gary Bauer, Congress, demand better, Iran Nuke Deal, Obamacare, consequences, Max Baucus, Montana, big train wreck, Obamacare, skyrocketing cost, free stuff, America, editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Hillary Clinton, email server To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Bureaucratic Misconduct

Bob McDowell
Bob McDowell, Contributing Author: Previously on June 18, there was a story, buried in the ‘Business Section’, in the daily paper here in Tulsa that bore the headline "Judge raps delay on energy lease". It carried the by-line of Matthew Brown of the Associated Press. A sub-headline read "The area is held sacred by some Indian tribes". It also sported a three column wide by two inch high picture of a tank-car ‘unit train’ of BNSF (Birkshire Hathaway) "begin the ascent into Glacier National Park as they travel towards the Pacific Coast near Chester, Montana, in 2013"

What the picture of an oil tank car had to do with the story was beyond me, since the caption went on to state the "A federal judge is pressing U.S. officials to explain why it’s taken three decades to decide on a proposal to drill for natural gas outside Glacier National Park".

The second paragraph of the story addressed the meat of the issue, "A frustrated U.S. District Judge Richard Leon called the delay ‘troubling’ and a ‘nightmare’ during a recent court hearing. He ordered the Interior and Agriculture departments to report back to him with any other example of where they have ‘dragged their feet’ for so long."

Further on, the article detailed that the case was over a 6,200 acre oil and gas lease in Northwest Montana issued to a company of Baton Rouge, LA, which had been in suspension since the 1990s. The company had sued in 2013 to overturn the suspension so that they could begin drilling operations. The story relates that leaders of the Blackfoot tribe have asked Interior to cancel the leases which had been issued in 1982. Also, the Forest Service asked for the lease to be suspended in 1996 for a "historic preservation survey" which was finished in 2012.

Since the land in question is NOT on tribal reservation land but reportedly ‘considered to be sacred by them’ it begs the question: why they would have any standing to prevent the lease development? The beginning of operations would, of course, bring financial benefits to the area, as well as to the whole USA if natural gas is found. All this delay has resulted in enormous added cost to the plaintiff, and other existing lease holders still waiting. And, in the meantime, whatever gas production that could have been found has not been available for the benefit of ALL US citizens with increased production volume leading potentially to prices for home owners.

This is another example of the misconduct on the part of officials of the Departments of Energy and Interior in dealing with energy and companies. It must be noted that the added costs to them are ultimately paid by all of us in higher utility rates. This is especially true now that the Obama Administration through the EPA has mandated a major reduction in coal fired generating plants and conversion of others to natural gas. Gas is much more subject to variations in price during each year with the result fluctuating variable electric costs to all of us. Also, natural gas' heating value is much less per the cost, Thus its use for heating is more expensive.

Those misguided individuals who are pushing to convert from coal to gas for electric generation, and other industrial uses, will probably be long gone to whatever ‘reward’ awaits them by the time the gas is depleted, as it will be. So, it becomes a question of just what, and from whom, are their rewards of the here and now.

It appears to me that the present administration has an agenda, and it is to bring the US economy to its knees in order to bring about their ultimate goal of termination of the Constitutional Republic we have enjoyed for 239 years and implementation of a socialist dictatorship.

The solution to this last issue could well lie in the closing of the Departments of Energy, EPA, Interior, and Education. We have sixteen months to an election to place the right person in office who could lead in attaining that solution.
Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. is a retired Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative activist and member of the Oklahoma Republican Assembly.

Tags: Bob McDowell, bureaucratic misconduct, EPA, Montana, approval for, drilling for, natural gas, Department of Energy, DOE,    To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama Can't Be Trusted, Kerry's Admission, Bad Day For Hillary

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama Can't Be Trusted - In making the case for his nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Obama has frequently claimed that the inspections regime is the most intrusive ever, and if Tehran is caught cheating sanctions will be "snapped back."

There are serious deficiencies with both the inspections regime and the ability to reimpose sanctions. But the biggest fault with the deal is Obama's lack of will.

U.S. intelligence agencies discovered some time ago that the Russians are cheating on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Members of Congress are demanding a response, but the Obama White House is blocking the release of the intelligence report -- essentially giving Russia a pass.

Russia is reportedly responsible for a massive cyberattack on the Pentagon. And the White House does nothing. Obama is responsible for enforcing treaty violations and defending our country. Yet he does nothing.

How can we trust this president to enforce any deal against Iran's cheating when the deal is such a critical part of his legacy? We can't.

Kerry's Admission - According to Secretary of State John Kerry, we shouldn't expect the administration to stop Iran's cheating either.

Kerry said yesterday that if Iran violates the terms of the arms embargo included in the nuclear deal, sanctions will not be reimposed. That is a stunning admission.

According to Reuters, Kerry said, "The arms embargo is not tied to [sanctions] snapback. It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So [Iran is] not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it."

Wait a minute. Remember the American hostages languishing in Iranian jails?

We were told that they could not be part of this deal because it only involved the nuclear issue and nothing else. But the arms embargo was included and Kerry is admitting it is a separate issue. So the administration caved on Iranian demands over weapons and gave up on our citizens.

It gets worse. Kerry seemingly attempted to shift the burden for enforcing the weapons embargo to the United Nations. "There is a specific U.N. resolution outside of [the Iranian nuclear] agreement that prohibits [Iran] from sending weapons to Hezbollah. There is a separate and specific U.N. resolution that prohibits them from sending weapons to the Shia militia in Iraq."

Yet as Reuters acknowledges, and as Kerry surely knows, "Tehran has consistently violated the U.N. arms embargo and missile sanctions. Since 2010, those breaches have been documented by the U.N. panel of experts on Iran."

Members of Congress who vote for this disastrous deal will do so knowing in advance that this administration will not stop Iran's cheating on the weapons embargo. The next time Hamas and Hezbollah attack Israel with weapons made or purchased by Iran, those senators and representatives will have blood on their hands.

Bad Day For Hillary - News broke late last night that Hillary Clinton has agreed to surrender her private email server to the FBI. In addition, her attorney, David Kendall, will also hand over a thumb drive that contains copies of the emails she had on the server.

It was also revealed yesterday that at least two of Hillary's emails contained information deemed to be "Top Secret." Mr. Kendall's thumb drive contains this information as well.

For months Hillary has refused to give up her server. In March, she said that it contained "personal communications from my husband and me . . . and the server will remain private."

David Kendall refused a request from Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, for a third-party review of the server because "no emails . . . for the time period January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013 reside on the server or on any back-up systems associated with the server."

Evidently, the FBI isn't willing to trust Mrs. Clinton's or her attorney's assurances that nothing relevant remains on the server.

Call me cynical, but I remain skeptical that these latest developments will amount to much. They should, but the FBI and the Justice Department are the most politicized we have ever seen.

But. . . if this case goes forward, and if Hillary actually lands in as much legal trouble as she should be in, it will probably be due to powerful political opponents in the White House trying to make sure someone more to their liking succeeds them.

Speaking of which, Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders now leads Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire for the first time. According to a poll by Franklin Pierce University, Sanders leads Clinton 44% to 37%. Only 35% of likely primary voters said they were "excited" about Clinton's candidacy.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, President Obama, can't be trusted, blocks report to Congress,  Russia, Cheating, Secretary of State, John Kerry, admission, bad day for Hillary, Hillary Clinton  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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