Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lugar's Loss and Schizophrenic Inside the Beltway Politics

Senator Richard Lugar's loss revealed something those who benefit from the inside the beltway politics don't want to admit. These folks from established Republicans, Democrats and media outlets all want to blame the Tea Party as some insidious hand of the devil keeping thedecorum that has been so prevalent in the US Senate from every showing its so polite and respectful head again. Chaos will reign or so we are led to believe because of Lugar's defeat.

 Now there are a few who almost understood what Lugar's loss really meant and why it happened. However even these folks want to blame it on is age, being out of touch with his constituents, not living in the state for decades and still fail to identify the key reason for Lugar's defeat.

So why was Lugar defeated?

Simply it was his behaviors and the ability for the voters of Indiana to connect those behaviors to what he said and what they believed his behaviors should be as a US Senator representing the State of Indiana.  This goes beyond being out of touch because I have not read anything by the media specific to any of these behaviors.

This is a prime example of what voters are supposed to do - hold their elected officials accountable for their (elected officials) behaviors, actions. 

In other words, the game is over or politics as you (Senator Lugar) practiced it is over.

The citizens of Indiana did exercised their responsibility by saying your (Lugar) actions are not what we want nor believe are necessary to get us out of mess of which some of which is your responsibility. The voters held Lugar accountable and they have done in every election since he first secured the US Senate seat. 

Funny, how continued re-election is viewed by Lugar and his supporters as being approval for his behaviors and how the voters held him accountable through those re-elections. Now Lugar's loss is blamed upon the Tea Party. Lugar's loss was not due to the the Tea Party. If there is blame to be cast, then:
  • Blame the Internet and the access to information that in the past was not as easily accessible
  • Blame the educational system for actually developing critical thinking skills allowing people to sort through the mush of media hype and find the truth
  • Blame the leadership of the President as he promised a lot that was never delivered
But do not blame the citizens for acting upon their Constitutional rights to hold their elected officials responsible and accountable for their behaviors. .

Lugar said he believed that the President's nominees for the Supreme Court should be approved, given a yes vote without reservation and even after hearing testimony that may question the nominee's judicial perspective relative to how to apply the law and the role of the law..  According to the US Constitution Article II Section II paragraph 2, the Senate provides "consent" specific to the President's Supreme Court nominations. This does not mean an automatic stamp of approval.

Lugar's approval of Ruth Bader Ginsberg (a Clinton nominee) revealed a US Supreme Court Associate Justice who does not believe that the US Constitution is the best one in the world as per her comments in an interview with the Egyptian television network. He also voted for otherSupreme Court nominees who appeared to be more judicial activists.

Then there is his behavior regarding spending and bailouts. Granted he crafted a treaty, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative, regarding nuclear proliferation with another Senator, but from my reading of the Constitution, his focus should be on domestic issues first not foreign ones. Additionally, the actual results from this treaty may be skeptical at best according to several more knowledgeable sources such as Rich Kelly from the Cato Institute.

The reason those who profit from inside the beltway politics including the media are schizophrenic is because the average, Internet access citizen and voter, can hear two completely different messages from these elected officials along with media pundits. First voters are told to be active and involved in American politics from the local to national levels.  Actually the Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already) is a prime example of this type of citizenship activism. Our country, if history is correct and has not been changed by US textbook writers, was founded on "taxation without representation."

Then in a second breath are told they do not know what they are doing. Through the various media channels by the inside the beltway politicians and the majority of those in the mainstream media, individuals who are active and involved are labeled with a plethora of negative connotations including their race bias, their religious bias, their economic bias, their ethics and beliefs bias not to mention their lack of intelligence. One begins to believe these politicians and media types are actually offended or insulted that anyone (registered voters) would disbelieve them (elected politicians and media pundits) and their veracity.

Actually listening to Lugar's concession speech, one may be lead to believe he thinks the voters are stupid. These are the same voters who elected now Republican nominee, Richard Mourdock, as State of Indiana Treasurer not once, but two times.

How many times have we heard since Lugar's loss that this defeat is another blow to bi-partisanship? Or now nothing will get done, there will be gridlock?  Excuse me, the Senate has not approved a budget for over 1,000 days and will not bring theproposed House Budget to a vote. Yes the Senate did vote down O'bama's budget several days ago (99 to 0), but the mainstream news networks ignored thisembarrassment to the President.

From my perspective, the gridlock was already present prior to Lugar's loss and will continue to be there until elected officials recognize they must do what they are hired to do under the US Constitution they swear to uphold and protect.  This idea of consensus has to be given the deep six and begin with collaboration so that the respective values of both sides are at least acknowledged. Collaboration does not mean values are compromised where consensus usually means giving up core values.  Actually Margaret Thatcher had the best observation about consensus:

"Consensus is the absence of leadership."

Who said "Elections have consequences?" Those are very true words for both sides of the aisle and maybe even more for the mainstream media. Personally I prefer the words of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto:

"I am afraid we have awoken a sleeping giant."

P.S. The American public, the voters, are the sleeping giant for those who may not understand these prophetic words.

Tags:
Lugar's loss, Lugar's defeat, inside the beltway politics, nunn-lugar cooperative, Tea Party 
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Obama's Soros-Controlled Energy Council

By Ken Blackwell, ARRA News Service: When politicians want to look busy while avoiding tough decisions during an election year, what do they do? They form commissions and councils.

And when President Barack Obama saw Americans struggling with higher gasoline and home energy prices, did he encourage more domestic oil exploration, off-shore drilling, or coal production, while lowering taxes on energy? Of course not. After all, with political observers expecting a close presidential race this year, Obama needs the financial and institutional support far-left environmental groups. The result has been the President anointing certain energy sources - such as wind and natural gas - as energies of the future, while implementing regulatory hurdles for more dependable fuels like oil and coal.

Over the last decade, natural gas has exploded as an important energy source in the United States, accounting for almost one quarter of all energy consumed. Natural gas has boosted economic activity in states like Ohio, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, and until recently has done so largely without the benefit of preferential treatment from the federal government.

But to expedite this natural gas boom, President Obama just recently decided to form an interagency natural gas council run by Cecilia Munoz, a former community organizer with La Raza and White House bureaucrat with deep-ties to George Soros, the billionaire investor who made his fortune in currency trading throughout the world while bankrolling liberal political efforts. Munoz formerly lead the Open Society Institute and the Center for Community Change, two organizations which are directly connected to Soros, MoveOn.org, ACORN, and other fringe groups with a long record of opposing the development of America's oil and coal resources.

If having a new council run by the far left was not enough, President Obama continues to support major Democratic donors such as Soros by picking winners and losers in the energy through risky subsidies, through a bill known as the NAT GAS Act. This legislation attempts to artificially encourage a transition to more natural gas usage, by offering tax credits for natural gas vehicles, fueling stations, and storage facilities. As we all saw with the collapse of inefficient companies like Solyndra, when private investors are not willing to fund a new project, politically connected firms try to force taxpayers to fund their schemes.

But if natural gas is an already cheap and abundant source of energy, why would we subsidize it?

The answer may be found with the Soros Management Fund, which is Soros' investment vehicle, owns more than $90 million of shares in a Vancouver, British Columbia company which produces the same natural gas-powered engines which the act would encourage the use of. Soros has personally donated $5,000 to the act's co-sponsor Rep. Nita Lowey of New York and his family donated $121,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, while the lead sponsor of the act, Senator Robert Mendez of New Jersey, was chairman. This is in addition to the countless (and often untraceable) millions of dollars Soros pours into Democratic campaigns through the activities of his non-profit organizations and political committees.

Natural gas is a valuable and commonly used fuel. But it is not a silver bullet to our nation's massive energy conundrum. And just like wind, solar, and nuclear, it should be left to succeed or fail based on private market forces. Government should not have the legal authority to hand your hard-earned dollars over to a private industry, just because a handful of politicians think they have the right to make decisions about what energy consumers use.

We have seen the costly errors of government manipulating energy markets, and Obama must not allow wealthy activists to profit at the expense of taxpayers. Conservatives should oppose the NAT GAS Act and other measures that give one specific fuel a distinct marketplace advantage over others.
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J. Ken Blackwell is a member the board of directors of, both, the Club for Growth and
the National Taxpayers Union. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.


Tags: Ken Blackwell, Barack Obama, George Soros, Controlled Energy Council, NAT GAS Act, Soros Management Fund, Cecilia Munoz, community organizer, La Raza To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Obama’s Gas-Powered War on Coal

Phil Kerpen
by Phil Kerpen: With the increasingly likelihood that Obama’s health care law will be struck down in court or repealed next Congress, the administration has been working hard to cement another dubious legacy: the destruction of the coal industry.

Obama’s war on coal is stirring a lot of anger in parts of the country like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that have long relied on coal as an engine of prosperity. But little of that anger has been directed at the biggest funder of the War on Coal: the natural gas industry, which stands to reap big rewards from the destruction of coal-fired power plants — given the regulatory barriers to nuclear power and the lack of any other real, commercially viable alternatives.

The lynchpin of the War on Coal is the so-called Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (UMACT) rule. The rule was a product of Sierra Club litigation and requires expensive control technology retrofits at coal-fired power plants, raising electricity prices nearly 20 percent.

The cost, according to EPA’s own low-ball estimate, is $10 billion per year. A more realistic analysis from National Economic Research Associates found compliance costs of $21 billion per year, with 183,000 lost jobs per year.

It’s all pain and no gain; except for the natural gas industry, which stands to reap enormous rewards from the forced conversion of coal-fired power plants to natural gas. That’s probably why between 2007 and 2010, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon donated more than $25 million to the Sierra Club for its “Beyond Coal” campaign, which included the lawsuit resulting in the UMACT rule.

A more recent EPA rule following on the heels of UMACT is explicit in forcing power-plant fuel switching from coal to natural gas. It’s the Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), the latest installment in the Obama administration’s effort to act as if cap-and-trade had passed by transforming the 1970 Clean Air Act into a global warming law. (This is despite the fact that in 1970 Al Gore hadn’t even invented the Internet yet, let alone global warming.)

Under the proposed NSPS, coal-fired power plants are instructed that in order to comply with the new emissions standard of 1000 tons of CO2 per megawatt of power generated, they must convert to natural gas. Not nuclear. Not even wind and solar that Obama claims to love. Natural gas.

The rule supposedly applies only to new plants and plants undergoing major modification, but the latter means that it operates as a one-two punch with UMACT to destroy coal-fired electricity: UMACT requires major modifications to control mercury emissions, which triggers carbon dioxide regulations, which forces fuel-switching to natural gas. The costs of mass forced-retirement of coal plants would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars — and electricity rates would “necessarily skyrocket,” as Obama promised on the campaign trail four years ago.

The NSPS, like the UMACT, was a product of natural gas-funded Sierra Club litigation. The natural gas industry is also attacking coal through the so-called American Lung Association (ALA), an advocacy outfit also known for accepting millions of dollars from the EPA while promoting EPA regulations.

The manipulative campaign shows a red baby carriage, in front of a coal plant with a coughing sound and a heartfelt plea for Congress “not to water down the Clean Air Act,” which is a deceptive way of telling Congress to just look the other way and let the natural gas industry, the green groups, and the EPA destroy coal — without any authorization from the people’s elected representatives in Congress.

The Senate will soon have an opportunity to stop Obama’s War on Coal when it votes on Senator Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) S.J. Res. 37, which would overturn the UMACT rule. If our elected officials are interested in doing their job, they will vote yes on the Inhofe Resolution and reject anti-coal cronyism that will cost the American people dearly.
--------------
Phil Kerpen is the president of American Commitment where he first shared this article; a columnist on Fox News Opinion, and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him. He is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, Barack Obama, natural gas,Gas-Powered War on Coal, war on coal, Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, UMACT, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Evangelicals Will Rally for Romney

Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski: Elections are about choices, and 2012’s pivotal election showcases two very different visions for America’s future. Governor Mitt Romney is quickly consolidating the Republican base to enthusiastically support him this November. His speech this weekend at Liberty University illustrates these efforts, providing an opportunity to underscore Romney’s embrace of American exceptionalism in both his public and private life.

Liberty University is the perfect venue for Governor Romney to make his case. With over 50,000 students, it’s America’s largest Evangelical school. Founded by Jerry Falwell, it’s affiliated with the largest Evangelical denomination in America, the 16 million members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Liberty University wisely offered Romney a platform to speak to social conservatives.

Romney wisely accepted, showing both support for cultural issues, and also his desire to have a large and diverse political movement behind him to unseat one of the most radical big government presidents in America’s history. Some seek to make an issue of the fact that Romney is a Mormon—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). But those attacks will deservedly fail in a choice between Romney and Obama.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that in America you have the legal right to be theologically wrong. This protection for diversity of belief includes matters large and small, covering not only Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Catholics, and others, but also 422 Protestant denominations. While there are very significant theological differences between LDS and Evangelical doctrine, none of them are significant for national policymaking.

That’s because most voters only focus on religious beliefs insofar as they inform policy decisions. On those issues, there is little difference, for instance, between the faith teachings of Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons. All are pro-life, upholding the dignity of human life. All fully support marriage between a man and woman. All embrace the value of religious faith and practice, and pursue religious liberty.

Moreover, in an age where some seek to drive a wedge between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, members of the LDS church understand that family issues are economic issues. They understand that children raised by a father and mother in a low-conflict marriage are more likely to graduate high school, graduate college, stay out of jail, secure a good-paying job, and eventually have successful marriages of their own. That’s one reason why the LDS church places such a premium on the hard work of child rearing, as seen in Ann Romney’s noble choice to work at home, investing in their family in a 24−7 job whose only paycheck is a dividend of love and satisfaction, and whose employee-of-the-month awards are photographs of a woman laughing and smiling with her children.

Contrast this pro-faith, pro-family picture with President Obama’s radical agenda. It’s more than his war on people of faith (especially Catholics) or his fringe views on abortion. In President Obama’s worldview, government usurps the place of family. Big Brother becomes Big Father who brings home the bacon through government entitlements covering everything from housing, to education, to food (stamps), to government-run healthcare. You need have faith in government alone, as the collective state becomes the god in whom you trust and from whom you receive your daily bread. And they replace the family unit with the state, undermining the foundational unit of civilization.

This attempt to—as President Obama puts it—“fundamentally transform the United States of America” must be stopped. And there is cause for hope, as the North Carolinians this week reaffirmed marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their state constitution. This is a fresh reminder that despite the pontifications of urban and coastal elites that supporters of traditional marriage are on the wrong side of history, countless millions of Americans embrace marriage as a sacred institution that government can only recognize, not redefine. This marriage victory in a state that is not only a swing state, but also the location of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, bodes well for Romney’s support for marriage helping him carry North Carolina and with it the White House.

(It also shows Obama to be on the horns of a dilemma. Whom will he alienate? His far-left base, or swing voters in swing states like North Carolina? Or will he refuse to “man up” and alienate both sides by failing to take a stand one way or the other?)

Both the LDS church in general—and the Romneys in particular—not only understand these truths of the family as the essential foundation for American prosperity, they embrace them. And the LDS focus on self-reliance at the family level, of responsibly stewarding financial resources and planning for a rainy day, is naturally opposed to big-government programs to redistribute wealth and centralize decisionmaking.

Surveying the differences between both candidates and considering what’s at stake (i.e., America’s future), we believe conservatives will flock to Romney. In a matchup between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, it’s an easy choice for conservatives like both of us to fully endorse Governor Romney in this year’s election.
----------------------
Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski are on faculty at Liberty University and the authors of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America. Both are Contributors to the ARRA News Service. Their political endorsement was in their personal capacities.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Ken Klukowski, Evangelicals, Rally for Romney, Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, 2012 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

French Leftovers

Toon by A.F. "Tony" Branco
Bill Smith, Editor: Francois Hollande, the Socialist and Radical Left Party candidate has been elected as the new President of France replacing the more conservative Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande will become the first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand stepped down in May 1995. Hollande served as the First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008 and as special adviser to the President Mitterrand before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government's spokesman.

Most Americans forget or are unaware that France is a nuclear power. Sarkozy and Hallande will meet at the Elysee Palace next Tuesday for the traditional handover of power, They will then have a private meeting where Sarkozy hands over the codes to France's nuclear deterrent.

American can expect that left minded President Barack Obama to be back slapping France's President Francois Hollande in short order. While Obama is considered by some to be a "stealth socialist," Hollande is an open socialist. 

Tags: French Leftovers, France, new president, socialist, Francois Hollande, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama's Career Crossroad & Dad's Duck Wisdom

Bill Smith, Editor: The political cartoon (below) by Tony Branco is insightful. We all make decisions that give us or fail to give us the ability and the tools needed to accomplish tasks, to deal with issues and problems and to process and show everyday common courtesy and respect for others (including the American taxpayers). The cartoon also raises some other subtle questions. Regardless of Obama's past choices, he did make it to the White House meaning he convinced enough people to elect him based on two predominate qualifications - 1) he would be the first ever elected black president, and 2) he was not an old disabled Vietnam veteran (albeit, moderate republican). Unfortunately, we are all confronted by the consequences of both his past choices and his inabilities. Substance is the issue! We understand his dysfunctional up bringing. But, based on lack of performance, we deserve to see his college transcripts and list of courses and the names of his professors / instructors for those courses?

As for the use of the word Communist in the cartoon, I do not know if Obama is or would be a communist if it was in vogue in the USA today. To me, his actions and those of his appointed officials have proven far worse. We do know that the American people have been forced further in debt than ever before, and that debt is held largely by a communist government. We also note that under this president, the existing communist governments and other little tin horn dictators / despots do not fear or respect the United States as in the past. We did note President Obama bowed to more foreign heads of state than all prior Presidents combined. We do know that in his three plus years, his leadership or lack thereof has racked up record debt, record unemployment, record numbers of people giving up on work, record destruction of the energy industry, and the record takeover of private healthcare.

We do know he likes to play golf right before viewing the killing of a foreign terrorist (or at least the postured re-run of the event). We note his taking the personal credit for the killing the individual while abhorring Gitmo and the interrogation of foreign terrorists who have killed Americans.

in conclusion, I recall the words of my dear departed dad who adopted and raised me. I sure wouldn't dispute my Dad's wisdom or logic: "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, and craps all over the place like a duck, it is a damn duck."

by A.F. "Tony" Branco

Tags: President Obama, choices, career crossroads, political cartoon, A.F. Branco, ARRA News Service, Bill Smith, Duck Wisdom To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Babyboomers The Force To Be in 2012 Election


Are you a Baby Boomer? 

Do you like what is happening in this country? 

Would you like to return to the times when:
  • Children respected adults?
  • Neighbors knew each other and looked out for each other?
  • Lawyers did not advertise on TV?
  • The medicine cabinet contained for the most part over the counter remedies?
  • Doctors made house calls?
  • Students graduated high school and could actually read?
  • Employees gave 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay?
  • Younger people held doors for older citizens?
  • Hats were removed during the national anthem?
  • Gasoline was under $1.00 a gallon?
Of course, gasoline returning to under a $1.00,  lawyers not advertising or doctors making house calls are probably unreasonable 21st century expectations. Nor was that time perfect, but for many there were far more good times than bad ones.

Do you believe you are being ignored by those seeking elected office 
especially at the national level?

Baby Boomers, all 72 million or 79 million strong depending upon what statistician you believe, are the REAL force to be reckoned with in the 2012 election.These voters will either make or break the successful candidates from local to national elections because of three factors:

Numbers - The share size of the Baby Boomers is in itself a force not to be ignored. This size transcends race, gender, ethnicity and religious upbringing. In 2008 election, in all education categories, those 45 and older comprised the greatest percentage of voting rates. And in the 2012 election it is all about the numbers as it is every election.

Beliefs - Politicians are good at talking, but like many sales people they stink at listening.  Instead they hire people to give them the advice they want to hear. Those people are called pollsters or consultants.  Remember, figures do not lie, but liars figure.

Listen to the Baby Boomers.  Many are  unhappy, are scared not because of Medicare being cutting, but because of where they see this country is going -- away from what they believed to be good and true when they were growing up.

America they believed was a proud country; a beacon of light to the rest of the world; a place where millions of immigrants longed to live, legally I might add. Now Lady Liberty for these individuals has appeared to turn her face away, to hold her head down in shame with the beacon barely shining through the foggy nights.

Her political leadership appears to listen to other countries, to apologize for the greatness and the freedom that allowed America to be the best place in the entire world to live.

In the movie, The 13th Warrior (one of my favorite movies of all time), the hero Antonio Banderas portrays an Arab who must make a quest with some Northmen (Vikings).  He does not speak their language. Night after night he listens to the campfire talk.  Finally, he responds in the Norse language and is immediately questioned as to how he learned their language. His answer is very short "I listened!"

No one is listening to the Baby Boomers as the candidates continue to fight for the 2012 election.  Their focus is on special voting blocks or groups who numerically comprise only a minority of the total registered voters but who have the loudest voices.

Baby Boomers listen to what they hear and more importantly to what they believe to be true.
 
Many speak softly and more importantly they carry big sticks - the voting ballot. 

Behaviors - Older citizens register and they vote.  Look who works the elections.  These folks do not listen to polls and stay home just because they are tired. Even bad weather will not keep these citizens from exercising their Constitutional right to vote because their beliefs are rooted in a different time and it is those beliefs that drive their behaviors.

Currently it is estimated each day another 10,000 Baby Boomers retire.  By the time the Fall 2012 election is held, that could easily mean another 1,300,000 will now have the time to go to the polls and vote.

The question remains who is speaking to them? Who is listening to their real concerns? 

Research also suggests as people age they become more conservative, more reflective of how things were. Nostalgia takes over for some. For those who listen, we can hear their stories of:
  • Walking down crime less streets
  • Respecting the rights of others as long as their own rights were respected
  • Living in a country where the rule of law was first and foremost
  • Working hard to make a living for their families
  • Learning to speak English because that was part of being an American, a citizen of the USA
In life, we cannot go back to what was was. However, we can still hold true to those core values, beliefs and behaviors that make us who we are. And in life, it is what we value that directs our buying behaviors. For buying is buying, be it a bag of groceries, a car or one candidate over another. 



Tags: 2012 election, baby boomers, right to vote, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Israel’s Gathering Storm

Bob Morrison and Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors: Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, briefed Christian supporters of the Jewish state this morning. He told a hushed audience crowded into his Embassy’s Jerusalem Auditorium of a recent visit by U.S. intelligence specialists. They had asked Dr. Oren the historian to compare Israel’s situation today with other critical periods in the nation’s past. Without hesitation, he answered: In the best case scenario, it’s May, 1967. In the worst case, it’s May, 1948.

May Day! May Day! That’s the international distress signal. In May, 1967, Israel had to prepare to attack Egypt, Jordan, and Syria before these neighboring states could “drive the Jews into the sea,” as Egypt’s left-leaning dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser was then exhorting Arabs to do. Nasser kicked out UN truce supervisors from the Sinai desert and he closed off the Gulf of Aqaba to sea traffic, thus blockading Israel’s southern port of Eilat. Israel responded to these acts of war with a lightning strike against all her enemies. Israel’s spectacular victory in the Six-Day War unified Jerusalem, captured the Golan Heights from Syria, and brought the West Bank regions of Judea and Samaria under Israeli rule for the first time since the days of the Bible.

That’s the best case for Israel. Still pretty scary. The worst case, as the Ambassador described, it would be May, 1948. That’s when the UN-ordered partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states occurred. And seven Arab states—Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia sent troops to exterminate the Jews. They all immediately declared their intention of wiping out the infant Jewish state. That’s when President Harry S. Truman defied his Sec. of State, George C. Marshall, and recognized Israel just 11 minutes after she declared her independence. It was that Independence Day that the Christians had come to the Israeli Embassy to celebrate. The Jews fought with the fierce determination not to allow Arabs to effect a final solution to Jewish settlement in the Mideast. Arabs were exhorted by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj-Amin al-Husseini. This militant Muslim had spent most of World War II in Berlin, urging his fellow Muslims to support Hitler’s genocidal plans for the Jews of Europe.

So much for history. The Ambassador then provided a brisk tour d‘horizon of Israel’s borders right now. Suffice it to say, this is not Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. For thirty years, Israel has relied on peace on her southern border with Egypt. No more. Whoever wins Egypt’s presidential election—and there have already been dozens killed in the run-up to the vote—he is unlikely to reaffirm the Camp David accords from 1978. Israel’s military recently disrupted a sophisticated terror incursion from Egypt. There are 10,000 rockets in Gaza, now controlled by the avowedly terrorist Hamas group. In Southern Lebanon, controlled by Hezbollah, there are an estimated 50,000 rockets. Syria is unraveling before our eyes. No one will miss the Assad regime in Damascus, but we do worry about the largest stash of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the world—which Assad controls. Might Assad’s WMD fall into the hands of Hamas? Hezbollah? Who does the opposition to Assad link to? They are employing suicide bombings, which suggests they may not hanker for Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. And then we have Iran. Which supplies Hezbollah. Which supplies Hamas. Which is now the Number One terror apparatus active throughout the region and the world.

Despite this truly terrifying listing of lethal threats from bloodthirsty enemies, Ambassador Oren’s presentation was brisk, unemotional, business-like. He feared not. He paid tribute to the resilience, strength, and faith of the Jewish people. And he lauded “the greatest alliance in history—that between the American people and the people of Israel. It’s little wonder that U.S. Secretary of State Al Haig referred to Israel as “the largest U.S. aircraft carrier in the world.” If the United States had to use Israel’s territory to launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, we know what the answer would be.

It does not seem that this administration will strike Iran. It prefers “talks,” as if endless efforts at talks with the militant mullahs of Tehran have not brought Israel, Western Europe and the U.S. itself to the current perilous point! Why don’t we limit our talks to this one question: Will you or will you not stop your nuclear projects today?

Of course, the Iranians won’t stop. Why should they? Day by day, the storm clouds gather. Day by day, this administration and the pacifists of the European Union dither. It is most unfortunate that the only American President to win the Nobel Peace Prize whose policies actually brought peace through strength was Theodore Roosevelt. It was TR who said: Walk softly but carry a Big Stick. If the United States won’t use its Big Stick, then Israel should.
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J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, Israel, gathering storm, Iran, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service.!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Hablo Cinco de Mayo

ARRA News Service (Dr. Bill Smith) -
Pix Via Corona
We are not celebrate Cinco de Mayo in our household today. Reason - we are Americans, first, last and forever and my Oath was to the United States of America and not to either Mexico or the sales at the local U.S. shopping malls.

Cinco de Mayo wasn't even related Mexico's Independence Day which is celebrated by Mexico on September 16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. So, what is the big deal in the USA. We liked the French support in our Revolutionary War, we liked buying the Louisiana Purchase from them, and American forces bled and died twice helping France in WWI and WWII. In fact, we like them up and until Gen. Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle kicked American bases out of France in 1966.

The Mexican – American War, also known as the Mexican War, or the U.S.– Mexican War, was an armed conflict (war) between the USA and Mexico from 1846 to 1848. American forces quickly occupied New Mexico and California, then invaded parts of Northeastern Mexico and Northwest Mexico; meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron conducted a blockade, and took control of several garrisons on the Pacific coast further south in Baja California. After Mexico would still not agree to the cession of its northern territories, another American army waltzed into and captured Mexico City, and the war ended in victory of the U.S. Although in our victory, we more than generous and paid Mexico $18 million dollars and forgave their debt. A big mistake was not keeping Baja.

So, again! Why are American stores and even schools (a day early) celebrating Cinco de Mayo? If we are going to celebrate another day, maybe it should on March 2, when Texas celebrates its Texas Independence Day. On March 2, 1836, The Republic of Texas defeated Mexico!

And since we are NOT going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I am going to celebrate not celebrating with one of my favorite American beers - a Corona. Just a minute - Yes - I know, I know, but the beer was made in "North" America :)

Tags: Cinco de Mayo, Corona, USA, Mexico, France To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bad News: Hiring Slowed; Workers Leave "Labor Force In Droves"

Toon by A.F. Branco
CNN Money sums up today’s Labor Department report for April: “Hiring slowed in April and workers dropped out of the labor force in droves -- not a good sign for the job market going forward.”

According to The New York Times, “The United States had another month of disappointing job growth in April. The nation’s employers produced a net gain of 115,000 positions, after adding 154,000 in March, the Labor Department said Friday. April’s job growth was less than economists had been predicting. . . . The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1 percent in April, from 8.2 percent, but that was not because more unemployed workers found jobs; it was because workers dropped out of the labor force. The share of working-age Americans who are in the labor force, meaning they are either working or actively looking for a job, is now at its lowest level since 1981 — when far fewer women were doing paid work. The share of men taking part in the labor force fell to 70 percent, the lowest number since the Labor Department began collecting these data in 1948.”

And The Huffington Post even admits, “Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.1 Percent As People Give Up On Looking For Work,” adds, “Unemployment fell to 8.1 percent in April, the lowest since January 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. But the decline was mainly due to 342,000 people leaving the labor force, meaning the BLS had stopped counting them as unemployed. The number of employed people in the nation actually fell by 169,000. . . . About 12.5 million people are still unemployed, and a record 88.4 million people are considered ‘not in the labor force,’ according to the BLS. The labor-force participation rate -- the percentage of the work-age population either working or looking for work -- dropped to 63.6 percent, the lowest since December 1981. ‘It's hard to see the good news here,’ David Semmens, senior U.S. economist at Standard Chartered, wrote in a research note.”

Recall that when President Obama and Democrats in Congress passed the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill over three years ago, their economic advisors claimed that unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. And Vice President Joe Biden famously boasted that the stimulus would “create 3.5 million jobs … literally drop-kicks us out of this recession,” in only 18 months.

Politico’s Mike Allen reports that President Obama will be speaking to high school students in Arlington, Virginia today. There’s not a lot of good economic news for them, though. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “So today, the President will bring his latest poll-tested message to . . . students . . . . And I’m sure he’ll give a very rousing speech, full of straw men and villains who stand in the way of their dreams.  I’m sure he’ll also express his strong support for things that all of us agree on. But what he won’t talk about is the extent to which the decisions he’s made are limiting their opportunities in the years ahead.”

Tags: economy, labor, employment unemployment, no jobs, jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service..

Obama moving U.S. Backward Not Forward

American Crossroads: Four years of Obama moving America backward is enough.


Tags: Obama, Barack Obama, President, Election 2012, News, forward, backward, economy, unemployment, debt, health care, Obamacare, American Crossroads, ad To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

America at Risk: Military Went to War in Iraq With Unarmored SUVs


by Rob Bluey, Heritage Investigates: Rebuilding Iraq during the raging insurgency was no easy task. It required ingenuity, courage and innovative ways to get the job done—sometimes with equipment that offered little protection from the car bombs and rocket attacks launched by America’s enemies.

For veterans of the Iraq war like Col. Kerry Kachejian, it was a life-changing experience to work on the unprecedented reconstruction project. As an Army Reserve engineer, Kachejian was tasked with restoring some of the most basic services for the Iraqi people as well as building schools, hospitals and police stations.

He did this work with a sport-utility vehicle, an automobile that lacked armored protection and was more suited for America’s highways than Iraq’s dangerous streets.

“The closest unit was organized, staffed, equipped, and deployed so quickly there was no spare military equipment for it,” Kachejian recalled in an interview with The Heritage Foundation. “We in the reconstruction side were precluded from buying anything. We could only lease. So finding a contractor that would lease us a combat vehicle in combat, we were striking out everywhere.”

Without armored fighting vehicles that could stand up to ambushes and attacks, Kachejian recalled how the SUVs were modified—ripping off the tailgate to make room for a gunner and hanging personal body armor out the window to stop or slow down a AK-47 round.

“Without armor, when you’re moving down an Iraqi road in a sport-utility vehicle, the one thing you have is speed,” Kachejian said. “So we would drive as fast as we could, sometimes 80 to 110 miles per hour. It was somewhat like a ‘Mad Max’ movie, rolling down the road in a sport-utility vehicle.”

Kachejian told his harrowing story in a book called “SUVs Suck In Combat.” It chronicles some of the war stories that Americans never heard about the readiness challenges facing our military. The Heritage Foundation chose to profile him as part of a three-part video series that will run during Protect America Month, which showcases why we must commit to protecting the United States in an increasingly dangerous world.

With budget cuts looming as a result of Washington’s misguided approach to defense, America faces an alarming national security risk, according to Heritage’s James Carafano.

“America’s military went into Iraq unprepared for the aftermath that followed because we had underinvested in defense for almost a decade,” Carafano said. “We took a peace dividend after the Cold War that cut too deep—compromised readiness and underinvested in the equipment and training our men and women in uniform needed.”

President Bill Clinton’s actions led to a situation similar to what played out in the Carter years and now could be repeated under President Obama.

The worst step the nation could take is repeat that mistake again.

“When you come out of war,” Kachejian said, “there’s always a risk because of potential budget cuts that you’ll cut too far. You don’t want to cut so drastically that we wind up with a situation that we would up with after Vietnam, where much of the Army had money to go out and do physical fitness training, to wash their trucks and paint rocks. … We’ve got to have a ready and relevant military.”

This is the first video of a three-part series on the risks of budget cuts to America’s military. It was produced and directed by Will Lamborn. Brandon Stewart and Alison Meyer assisted with production.

Tags: Army, Bill Clinton, cold war, combat vehicle, Jimmy Carter, National Security, Peace Dividend, Protect America, Protect America Month, SUVs, Video, Vietnam, Rob Bluey, Heritage Investigates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!