Meet the Real Workers Obama Screwed Over – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com

Meet the Real Workers Obama Screwed Over – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com.

Chutzpah overload in full effect: President Obama’s sleazy super-PAC, run by his former White House spokesman Bill Burton, just released an ad accusing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney of causing the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife.

It’s not just a slanderous and false attack. It’s a foolish attempt to camouflage the administration’s massive jobs death toll, politicized pension plundering and Big Labor bailout cronyism. And it will backfire big time because the thousands and thousands of true victims of Obama’s economic wreckage are speaking up and fighting back.

Let’s dispense with the “Romney = murderer” meme first. The warped Priorities USA ad features the claims of one Joe Soptic, a former employee at the Kansas City-based GST Steel plant. The plant went bankrupt years after Bain Capital acquired it. Soptic blames Romney for the loss of his job and health insurance — and for the subsequent death of his wife a “short time after” the plant’s closure.

But Romney stopped working for Bain in 1999. The plant closed in 2001. And Soptic’s wife died in 2006. Oh, and Soptic admitted to CNN on Tuesday afternoon that the family in fact had health insurance at the time of Soptic’s wife’s death. But it’s still all-powerful, time-traveling, omnipresent Darth Romney’s fault.

Obama flack turned super-PAC slime-master Burton shrugged off the facts and doubled down on the campaign’s class-warfare bloviation. “Families and individuals had to find new jobs, new sources of health insurance and a way to make up for the pensions they lost,” he told Politico. “Mitt Romney has had an enduring impact on the lives of thousands of men and women, and for many of them, that impact has been devastating.”

Yet, the Soptic story is the best they could scrape together? Stamp this one “EPIC FAIL.”

While Team Obama promotes fables to indict Romney, the incontrovertible stories of the current administration’s economic malpractice are finally getting out. In 2010, I first reported on how Obama’s UAW bailout threw tens of thousands of nonunion autoworkers under the bus. It’s the ongoing horror story of some 20,000 white-collar workers at Delphi, a leading auto parts company spun off from GM a decade ago.

As Washington rushed to nationalize the U.S. auto industry with $80 billion in taxpayer “rescue” funds and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team and the Treasury Department schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members’ costly pension funds by shafting their nonunion counterparts.

In addition, the nonunion pensioners lost all of their health and life insurance benefits. The abused workers — most from hard-hit northeast Ohio, Michigan and neighboring states — had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers and sales employees at Delphi/GM. Some workers have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish.

“I worked for 34 years at GM/Delphi Corp. When Delphi went bankrupt, we lost everything,” Dana Strickland of Michigan wrote me. “Because I was salaried (middle management), we lost our pension and health insurance. I did not belong to the union, so GM/Delphi could have cared less. I have never felt so betrayed. We never hear this brought to the public’s attention. People need to know how we were screwed, while the Obama administration kissed up to the union.”

“I’m one of the Delphi Salaried Retirees that lost the health care, life insurance and 67 percent of the pension I was promised in retirement after working hard for 40 years,” Charles Stone of Michigan e-mailed. “Words cannot describe the frustration and let down these events have thrust on my family’s lives, and to have GM’s rescue all sugar-coated in the current political environment is like putting lipstick on a pig. … We will continue to fight to right this grievous wrong.”

Tom Rose of Ohio added: “I am one of the 20,000 salaried retirees that lost all of my health care and — in my case — a 40 percent pension cut. So I am now paying increased health care costs with fewer pension dollars and contributing what is left to our lawsuit to correct this injustice. Meanwhile, the politically connected union has their full pension and 90-plus percent of their health care. You have hit upon the key question: How can our own federal government pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens?”

Through two costly years of litigation and investigation, the Delphi workers have exposed how the stacked White House Auto Task Force schemed with union bosses to “cherry pick” (one Obama official’s own words) which financial obligations the new Government Motors company would assume and which they would abandon based on their political expedience. Obama’s own former auto czar Steve Rattner admitted in his recent memoir that “attacking the union’s sacred cow” could “jeopardize” the auto bailout deal.

In June, 20 months after a federal judge first ordered the government to cooperate, the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association broke through the administration’s information stonewall and dislodged 62,000 pages of documents in their lawsuit to right the administration’s wrongs. As The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday, the documents included “internal government emails (that contradicted) sworn testimony, in federal court and before Congress, given by several Obama administration figures. They also indicate that the administration misled lawmakers and the courts … and that administration figures violated federal law.”

Meanwhile, the Delphi workers who got shafted are getting in the faces of the administration and the public with a new web ad produced by conservative advocacy group Let Freedom Ring. They are asking, “Why, Mr. President? Why?” They — and America — deserve answers and justice, not more Bizarro World smears and fantastical bedtime stories.

ORIENT: Obamacare set to annihilate private medicine – Washington Times

 

ORIENT: Obamacare set to annihilate private medicine – Washington Times.

Reforms to benefit the favored at the expense of rest

By Dr. Jane M. Orient

National health care reform is not at all like being fitted for a pair of eyeglasses. The eye doctor patiently tries one lens, then another, each time asking, “Is it better, or worse?” If, when you get the final product, you don’t see better, you always have the option of going back to your old prescription or trying again.

Congress, on the other hand, is prescribing radical, universal (one-size-fits-all) changes. It is quite capable of ignoring a deluge of phone calls, or even thousands of people standing in the streets in opposition, as in the drama leading up to passage of Obamacare. The better-or-worse exercise is occurring behind the scenes — with Big Hospitals, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Unions and other big campaign contributors.

After the plan is fully implemented in 2014, there may be no going back — at least, that’s the reformers’ intention. They would like to annihilate private medicine. The Obama administration is feverishly spending money to set up bureaucracies and bribe states into implementing state exchanges and expanding Medicaid, each step creating more special interests that will resist repeal.

Congress never takes a serious look at the results of its massive, non-consensual experiments, not even when it requires a report, as it did with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act. If there was ever a study to determine how much costs went up, access went down and hassles for patients and doctors multiplied, the results are buried in an archive somewhere. Small physicians’ office labs are gone, and urgent specimens often have to be shipped out of state. Did anything improve? Congress doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

The “outcomes” that will be monitored in Obamacare have nothing to do with improving your child’s treatment or saving your mother’s life. They are all systemwide aggregate measures. How many people got anti-tobacco counseling? How many are enrolled in a plan? Did Ethnic Group A get as many joint replacements as Ethnic Group B? Did expenditures stay within the pre-set bounds? How well did physicians follow the guidelines? Did all the required, formerly confidential patient data get entered into the database?

It is quite likely that some people will benefit. If you hand out the standard eyeglass prescription, some people will see better. The press acolytes of Obamacare will report on them. On those who are running into walls, we will hear not so much.

We’ll hear about the 25-year-olds who get another year on their parents’ insurance, but not about the premium increases paid by all or the children who lose coverage because employers stop offering insurance to all dependents. We’ll hear about the newly insured persons who can go to a “provider” to get a “free” screening. But not about the sick people who get less attention, the increased premiums to pay for the freebies, or the physicians who close their practices owing to the unfunded mandates.

We’ll see reports on what the government forces us to measure, not on the ruins the government ignores. We’ll never see what might have been: the innovation, vitality and efficiency that are the fruits of freedom in medicine. That is why socialism always demands to be universal. It can’t survive if there is competition. Advocates of socialism want us to be fitted with blinders, not better eyeglasses.

National health care reform is like a forced marriage to government — for better or for worse.

For the unfavored, it will be for worse — until death.

Dr. Jane M. Orient practices internal medicine in Tucson, Ariz., and is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (aapsonline.org).

 

Obama’s Assault on U.S. Energy – Tea Party Nation

 

Obama’s Assault on U.S. Energy – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

For the second time in two days, hundreds of millions of people across India have been plunged into darkness when its electrical grids collapsed. This is a warning of what could occur here in America.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” — Barack Obama

In a war one of the first targets are the power plants in order to deny the energy a nation requires to function. Obama declared war on coal during the 2008 campaign and few were paying attention. In 1985 coal accounted for 57 percent of all power generated in the U.S. By 2011, it was down to 42 percent.

A July 28 Daily Caller headline reported that a “Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012.” Based on an analysis of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the article noted that “coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States.”

“A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to the EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 6l coal-fired generators will be retired…the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented.”

“The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next fire years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period.”

For those thinking that all those wind turbines and solar farms will make up the difference, it’s worth noting they provide less than three percent of the nation’s electricity and each must be backed up by a traditional—reliable—power plant.

Virtually of them are located far from urban centers and require lengthy, expensive power lines to feed the grid and yet last week the Interior Department announced it will set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah for solar projects! How many multi-million dollar failed Solyndra’s will it take to stop this rape?

In March 2011 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report noting that the combined energy resources of the nation are the largest on Earth. They eclipse Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada 6th) combined. Not included in the report are America’s shale oil and natural gas deposits.

Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), a ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said at the time that “The Obama administration has made a conscious policy choice to raise energy prices, accomplished in good measure by restricting access to domestic energy supplies.” If a foreign nation was doing this to America, we would be at war with them.

The CRS report noted that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than twenty-eight percent of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were around 262 billion tons. Insofar as the U.S. consumers 1.2 billion tons of coal a year, that represents several centuries of coal use.

And, of course, coal is not the only energy source that has been under attack by the Obama administration. The CRS report estimated there are 163 billion barrels of oil that the U.S. can access, enough to replace oil imports from the Persian Gulf for more than fifty years.

One of the reasons that coal plants are being retired is the emergence of a huge domestic reserve of natural gas estimated to be around 2,047 trillion cubic feet in 2009. That would keep the lights on for a century.

The Obama administration energy policy has been appalling. It invested—and lost—billions in green energy companies and green jobs. Its stimulus package is estimated to have cost $335,000 per job “saved” or created.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been an unmitigated disaster. Before his nomination he said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” And we all know how well that has worked for Europe whose Union is foundering on the brink of collapse. The Environmental Protection Agency is the other blunt instrument of destruction of the nation’s energy providers.

The Obama administration has consistently insisted that “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) had to be reduced to offset global warming, but there is NO global warming and CO2 plays NO role in climate change. When the administration tried to push cap-and-trade legislation through based on this hoax, Obama said that, under the proposal, “energy prices would necessarily skyrocket.” Does that sound like someone trying to crash the economy? Yes, it does.

Between an oil drilling moratorium—twice declared by the courts to be illegal—and the stalling of the Keystone XL pipeline (which would generate thousands of jobs while costing the U.S. taxpayer nothing!), the war on oil was pursued while the administration offered Brazil billions in U.S. taxpayer money in loan guarantees to build their oil production capacity.

Enormous oil reserves in Alaska and offshore are still unavailable to American use. In addition, crude oil production on federal and Indian lands decreased 13 percent from 739 million barrels in fiscal year 2010 to 645 million barrels in fiscal year 2011. Offshore production on federal lands fell by 17 percent in fiscal year 2011 and is down 40 percent compared to ten years ago.

Four more years of an Obama administration would be—just in terms of energy—a disaster for the nation. The President and his minions are weakening a nation that sits atop some of the world’s greatest energy reserves. This must end soon or the consequences are unimaginable.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

 

Florida 1, Eric Holder 0 – Tea Party Nation

Florida 1, Eric Holder 0 – Tea Party Nation.

You knew this news would come out on a weekend so it does not gain any traction, but Eric Holder’s efforts to allow the dead to vote and many to vote early and often have suffered a serious setback.

 From Fox News:

 Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday lauded the Obama administration‘s new announcement that gives the state access to a federal database, but he also called the standoff-ending decision a “significant victory” for Florida.

The Department of Homeland Security reportedly informed Scott this weekend that Florida would have access to the agency’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database.  

The database, known as SAVE, is a list of resident non-citizens maintained by the agency and would help the state to challenge people’s right to vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens.

The Obama administration had for months denied Florida’s request but relented after a judge ruled in the state’s favor in a related voter-purge matter.

“Access to the SAVE database will ensure that non-citizens do not vote in future Florida elections,” the governor said. “I’m appreciative that the federal government is working with us cooperatively… This commitment from the United States Department of Homeland Security marks a significant victory for Florida and for the integrity of our election system.”

Voting rights groups, while acknowledging that non-citizens have no right to vote, have expressed alarm about using such data for a purpose not originally intended — purging voter lists of ineligible people. They also said voter purges less than four months before a presidential election might leave insufficient time to correct mistakes.

  Anyone want to scream every time the media refers to these groups as “voting rights groups.”   

 They are not voting rights groups they are voting fraud enablers. 

 They do not care about voting rights, what they care about is helping the Party of Treason steal elections. 

 Florida has complained about non-citizens on the voting rolls but the Federal Government has not wanted to help.  Finally they are being forced to.

 Good.

 We must be diligent this fall.  The Party of Treason will be rolling out every trick it can to steal this election.

 Our Republic will remain safe, as long as we protect it against those who would destroy it.

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA.

The Obama administration’s loathsome cowboy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, won’t take no for an answer. He’s been smacked down repeatedly by federal courts for imposing a draconian, junk science-based moratorium on the oil and gas industry. Yet, the job-killing zealot and his boss just introduced another ruinous offshore drilling ban two weeks ago.

The White House rationale for the renewed crackdown? Because we said so.

Thomas Pyle of the D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research reports that the Salazar scheme “reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library.” Instead of working to enhance our energy independence and free up abundant natural resources, the Obama administration has worked tirelessly to close off access to nearly 86 billion barrels of oil on America’s Outer Continental Shelf alone.

The latest plan involves the interior secretary’s authority to auction oil and gas leases and to oversee oil and gas research and exploration on the OCS. Pyle explains that the “2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods, and dramatically reduces lease terms.”

The official Obama for America slogan may be “Forward,” but the Salazar-Obama anti-drilling regime leaves America behind. National Ocean Industries Association President Randall B. Luthi told the Oil and Gas Journal (an industry publication): “This deeply disappointing ‘no new access’ plan does not reflect the comprehensive, ‘all of the above’ energy policy touted by the administration, nor does it keep pace with the energy policies of foreign nations that are expanding their offshore access to develop badly needed oil and gas.”

No surprise. Salazar is an unrepentant glutton for punishment — of America’s energy producers. He’s had the unwavering support of President Obama ever since the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, when the administration implemented a radical six-month freeze on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. Republicans must forcefully counter the campaign fables being spun by Team Obama with the truth about these rogue overlords.

When the president’s Chicago flacks boast of their noble commitment to transparency, remember: The overbroad drilling ban was stuffed into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s unaccountable green extremists.

When White House operatives tout their miraculous economics, remind them: The cost of the original Obama-Salazar edict is an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages. The new ban takes both coasts off the table and throws Alaska oil and gas sales into uncertain delay.

When Democrats tout their adherence to sound science, don’t forget: The administration’s own expert panel disavowed Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner‘s claims that they had secured a scientific consensus for the drilling ban. In fact, Salazar and Browner completely perverted the experts’ consensus against the sweeping offshore drilling ban.

When Vice President Joe Biden takes to the stump to tout the “character of his (boss’s) convictions,” make it known: Louisiana federal judge Martin Feldman rebuked the Obama Interior Department for its “determined disregard” for the law.

And the stench deepens. In May, the House Natural Resources Committee released e-mails quoting a senior whistleblower who directly contradicted Salazar’s claim that doctored support for the ban was unintentional. Where is the Interior Department inspector general to look out for taxpayers’ best interests? She’s knee-deep in ethics problems herself.

A federal panel that oversees government watchdogs took up a conflict-of-interest complaint against Interior Department Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall this week. USA Today first reported in May “that Kendall had attended meetings where top Interior officials discussed drafts of a peer-reviewed report on deepwater drilling.” Later, she was enlisted to investigate how White House officials cooked up the scientifically manufactured report that resulted from those very meetings.

Instead of haranguing GOP opponent Mitt Romney with questions about his offshore bank accounts, this search-and-destroy White House should start accounting for its offshore drilling obstructionism. Salazar’s reign has been a shady, secretive and rotten deal for America.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

PYLE: Energy Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public – Washington Times

PYLE: Energy Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public – Washington Times.

Jobs and oil-supply potential are shut down

By Thomas J. Pyle

While the Obama administration was taking a victory lap last week after the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to uphold the president’s signature legislative accomplishment, Obamacare, the Interior Department was using the media black hole to release a much-awaited five-year plan for offshore drilling. That plan reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library. Given the timing, it is clear that the self-described “all of the above” energy president didn’t want the American people to discover that he was denying access to nearly 98 percent of America’s vast energy potential on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of 1953 provided the interior secretary with the authority to administer mineral exploration and development off our nation’s coastlines. At its most basic level, the act empowers the interior secretary – in this case, former U.S. Sen. Kenneth L. Salazar of Colorado – to provide oil and gas leases to the highest-qualified bidder while establishing guidelines for implementing an oil and gas exploration-and-development program for the Outer Continental Shelf. In 1978, in the wake of the oil crisis and spiking gasoline prices, Congress amended the act to require a series of five-year plans that provide a schedule for the sale of oil and gas leases to meet America’s national energy needs.

But since taking office, Mr. Obama and Mr. Salazar have worked to restrict access to our offshore oil and gas resources by canceling lease sales, delaying others and creating an atmosphere of uncertainty about America’s future offshore development that has left job creators looking for other countries’ waters to host their offshore rigs. More than 3 1/2 years into the Obama regime, nearly 86 billion barrels of undiscovered oil on the Outer Continental Shelf remain off-limits to Americans. Alaska alone has about 24 billion barrels of oil in unleased federal waters. The Commonwealth of Virginia – where Mr. Obama has reversed policies that would have allowed offshore development – is home to 130 million barrels of offshore oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But thanks to the president, Virginians will have to wait at least another five years before they can begin creating the jobs that will unlock their offshore resources.

Once you add those restrictions to the vast amount of shale oil that is being blocked, the administration has embargoed nearly 200 years of domestic oil supply. No wonder the administration wanted to slip its plan for the OCS under the radar when the whole country was focused on the health care decision.

But facts are stubborn things, and the Obama administration cannot run forever from its abysmal energy record. In the past three years, the government has collected more than 250 times less revenue from offshore lease sales than it did during the last year of the George W. Bush administration – down from $9.48 billion in 2008 to a paltry $36 million last year. Meanwhile, oil production on federal lands dropped 13 percent last year, and the number of annual leases is down more than 50 percent from the Clinton era.

Under the new Obama plan, those numbers will only get worse. The 2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods and dramatically reduces lease terms. Yet, somehow, we’re supposed to believe that our “all of the above” president is responsible for increased production and reduced oil import.

With oil hovering around $85 a barrel and nationwide gas prices nearly double what they were when Mr. Obama took office, you’d think the administration might implement a sensible plan to promote robust job creation and safe offshore energy development. Instead, what we get is the latest phase in the Obama administration’s war on affordable energy, filed under cover of media darkness while the nation was swallowing its Obamacare medicine.

Thomas J. Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research.

EPA Threatens to Wreck Nation’s Auto Fleet – Tea Party Nation

EPA Threatens to Wreck Nation’s Auto Fleet – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

One can hardly get through the week without learning of yet another absurd new program by the Environmental Protection Agency. The latest is a five percent increase in the amount of ethanol that must be added to the nation’s supply of gasoline.

In 2010, even Al Gore told a business conference in Athens that his previous support for blending ethanol with gasoline as a Senator from Tennessee was a mistake and based on a political decision concerning the support of farmers in his home state. At the time he spoke, corn ethanol subsidies to farmers represented $7.7 billion.

Ethanol was touted as yet another way to offset “greenhouse gas” emissions and prevent “global warming.” In 2010, ethanol production consumed an estimated 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 15 percent of the global corn crop.

The obvious result has been to drive up the cost of all food products that include corn and its derivatives. And there neither was nor is any “global warming”!

Two years later there is still no “global warming”, but the EPA has never been deterred by real science such as the fact that the Earth has been cooling since 1998. E15 is a diabolical mandate that will do widespread damage to autos using it and to the pumping and storage facilities to distribute it. And it is occurring as the market for ethanol is stalling.

It is by any definition, a criminal act by a rogue federal agency.

The Science Committee of the House of Representatives is trying to prevent the implementation of the EPA E15 mandate. This comes after more than 30 years of blending ethanol at a ten percent rate into gasoline; three decades of a blend that actually produces less mileage at the same time the production of ethanol generates the same level of carbon in the atmosphere as burning gasoline without ethanol.

The E115 mandate should trouble anyone with an automobile, motorcycle, outdoor or any equipment that runs on gasoline. Last summer, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WIS) sent the EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, letters from car companies expressing their opposition.

“Ford does not support the introduction of E15 into the marketplace for the legacy fleet…Fuel not approved in the owner’s manual is considered misfueling and any damage resulting from misfueling is not covered by the warranty.” Both Chrysler and Honda sent comparable letters with the latter noting “There appears to be the potential for engine failure.”

E15 will be restricted to autos of the vehicle model year 2001 and later. The Obama administration set a goal “to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years”, but the real question is why would any government even consider doing something that represents millions in damage to automobiles using it?

Additionally, why should Congress continue to provide ethanol subsidies to its producers when the evidence of the passed thirty years use has not only demonstrated that it reduces the mileage that pure gasoline would provide and, more importantly, serves no purpose whatever regarding the non-existent “global warming” that is the sole justification for the blend?

The answer is that the EPA does not care that as many as five million cars in the current fleet could suffer damage and total engine failure which is not covered by their warranties.

The EPA is the Obama administration’s tip of the sword in its war on the use of all fossil fuels for any reason. It has nothing to do with science. It portends to wreak further havoc on drivers and the economy.

What is desperately needed is the complete reform of the EPA before it further threatens the safely, health, and lives of Americans.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

EPA Takes to Air to Watch Cow Pies – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Cattle

Cattle (Photo credit: CameliaTWU (away for a while))

EPA Takes to Air to Watch Cow Pies – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

The Environmental Protection Agency declined to answer questions this week as the Omaha World-Herald sought to clarify whether the agency had the legal authority to conduct overflights of cattle operations to determine if cattle are pooping in streams in the Midwest.

I don’t know much about bovine latrine habits, but I’ve been around enough pastures to know that cattle really aren’t that particular.

It seems to me that they let go pretty much wherever they are, stream or no.

So I think I can say with some authority, that, yes, cattle all around the Midwest are indeed pooping in streams, legally or otherwise.

That’s the kind of rugged individualists that cow herds appear to be now in face of the bullying- pun intended-cowards in the Obama administration. It’s gotten so bad that not content to rough up people, the Obama administration has to go do some environmental cow-tipping. 

What’s supposed to be sport for drunk people, is now official policy.

Wow.      

And I really don’t need to see the pictures to know that cows are standing up for liberty when they poop all over the EPA in this way.  

But bureaucrats, being what they are, the cow-hating crime fighters from DC have now taken to the skies 16 times in Nebraska and Iowa to help identify cattle that aren’t washing their hands prior to returning to work, so to speak.

Next week I hear they are getting hair nets and plastic name tags for the cows.

I found an unattributed quip on the internet over the last few days that perfectly explains the increasing fascination progressives have with fascism: “You can now marry your same-sex first cousin in New York and get an abortion with taxpayer money, but you can’t have a large Pepsi.”

And cows can only poop in designated areas.  

Good luck.

Thank goodness we killed off the numberless buffalo. Imagine all those millions of bison roaming the West with no bathroom attendant.  

According to the Herald, the EPA thinks the flights have legal precedence.

While the EPA would not answer questions on the record, they did release a statement saying:

Courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility) and EPA would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act.

Wait: I thought the whole purpose of the flights was to protect us from B.S., not spread even more of it. I mean if we are actually going to fine people for spreading B.S. we could start in the White House

Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican from Nebraska, who used to serve as agriculture secretary, says that the EPA has overstepped its authority, which it derives from congress.

“They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted,” he said according to the Herald.

Johanns told the CattleNetwork that “[m]y concerns are many” adding that the EPA has “little trust out in the country and people will get fired up” about the overflights.

The Nebraska Senator took to the agriculture airwaves on May 31st to express concern about “small planes circling” local feedlots.

“It’s happening, and I’m trying to find out just what’s involved,” Johanns told AgriTalk radio.

According to the CattleNetwork, the Nebraska congressional delegation has sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson asking “for an explanation of the statutory authority under which EPA is conducting the surveillance, along with the purpose of the flights, their frequency and their use in enforcement actions.”

Good luck.

This is an administration that won’t answer questions as to why it illegally sold guns to Mexican drug cartels.

Expect more cow stuff.

House orders solid base line on border – Washington Times

House orders solid base line on border – Washington Times.

Seeks new measurement for illegal immigration control

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times

 

Former U.S. President George W. Bush in a Bord...

Former U.S. President George W. Bush in a Border Patrol dune buggy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Obama administration scrapped the old definition for measuring border security two years ago, it left the government without any way of measuring how much of the U.S.-Mexico border is under operational control.

On Wednesday, the House pushed back, approving a bill demanding that the Homeland Security Department come up with a good yardstick for measuring border security and produce a concrete plan to get the country closer to that goal.

The bill passed by voice vote and had the support of both Republican and Democratic leaders on homeland security issues, signaling a bipartisan desire for real data on whether the border is secure — a precondition both sides say is necessary before they can talk about legalizing illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

“We just can’t change the rules if we don’t like the results,” said Rep. Candice S. Miller, the Michigan Republican who sponsored Wednesday’s legislation prodding the administration.

Her bill orders Homeland Security to submit a plan within 180 days that would detail how to achieve control of the borders within five years.

Under the Bush administration, the government used a measure called “operational control,” which was defined as areas where the government could adequately detect and respond to illegal crossings.

At last check in 2011, Congress‘ auditors said the administration had just 44 percent of the border with Mexico under operational control, and just 2 percent of the Canadian border met that standard.

Lawmakers said the Obama administration stopped releasing operational control data in 2010. A year ago, Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano announced that her department was working to come up with a new yardstick instead.

In the interim, it has been using apprehensions of illegal immigrants along the border as a measure, but all sides agree that has limitations. For example, nobody knows exactly how many people avoided capture and made it into the U.S., and it doesn’t account for those crossing only to drop off drugs.

A secure Southern border has become a key hurdle for President Obama’s push to legalize the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

The administration argues that it has made dramatic strides in security, but opponents point to the lack of total operational control as evidence that the situation is not resolved.

“Given that the Obama administration has given up reporting the level of operational control on the border, it’s no wonder Congress has to force them to come up with an approved plan to achieve it,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who used to call for legalization but now says it must be put off while the country focuses on border security first.

Neither the Homeland Security Department nor Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the border strategy, replied to requests for comment Wednesday on either the legislation or on progress toward a new measure of security.

But in testimony to the House this month, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said the old measures were part of the earlier strategy for a giant boost in manpower and infrastructure as the Border Patrol tried to build its capabilities.

Now with twice the personnel and armed with drones and other new technology, the Border Patrol says it’s ready to start looking at better measures — which it will call the Border Conditions Index — though what those are is still under development.

“The Border Conditions Index is a tool CBP created in response to requests by Congress for metrics to track and communicate conditions at the border,” Mr. Fisher said in a March letter to Rep. Darrell E. Issa, chairman of the House oversight committee. “In particular, the Border Conditions Index will be a measurement that attempts to combine various statistics and effects.”

He said the index was “currently undergoing peer review” but said it will try to measure the number of people who got away, as a key component.

Ms. Napolitano has also suggested it should measure border violence and the number of people deterred from trying to cross in the first place.

The index is supposed to be ready for use in fiscal year 2013, which begins in four months.

Frustration at the lack of a good measure spans both parties in Congress.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, approved of Wednesday’s bill, saying it was time to ask for a broad security strategy so Congress could see what kind of financial commitment it will take to get control of the borders.

The House bill also would require the administration to run its new Border Conditions Index by specialists at one of the government’s national laboratories to make sure the measures it chooses are acceptable.

Mrs. Miller said she is open to a new yardstick but that the administration needs to be upfront about what it will measure.

“What does a secure border look like to them? Of course I would think that an accountability matrix would use the miles of fence that have been built, all the various technologies, some of the aerial things — UAVs,” she said in an interview. “If that is what they’re going to be utilizing, then they need to explain it to the Congress.”

Armed EPA Agents Visit Asheville Man – Tea Party Nation

Armed EPA Agents Visit Asheville Man – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Sometimes a small incident says volumes about a large government agency. In this case the Environmental Protection Agency.

Around 1.45 PM on May 23, Ashville, North Carolina resident Larry Keller was in the midst of an international call which he had to cut short in order to answer his front door. He found two armed agents of the EPA who were accompanied by an Ashville Police officer.

According to a May 24 news story in the Ashville Tribune, a weekly newspaper to which I am a contributing columnist, the agents had blocked his and his neighbor’s driveways with their cars. They had driven all the way from Raleigh to confront him.

What had he done? The unannounced visit had been occasioned by news that Dr. Al Armendariz, a regional EPA administrator whose 2010 lecture had been videotaped and been released by the office of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on April 25th. In the lecture, Dr. Amendariz had said that the agency’s “general philosophy” was to “crucify” oil and gas producers.

He compared the agency’s “philosophy of enforcement” to the way, as a Wall Street Journal editorial reported, “Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. “They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them, And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. The point is to ‘make examples’ of alleged lawbreakers.”

The case in point had been Range Resources, a driller who had been exonerated of charges of water pollution as the result of fracking. As the Wall Street Journal noted, the reference to executions “raise(d) questions not only about” not only Dr. Arnendariz’s comments “but the EPA’s larger impartiality and judgment.”

Keller, who describes himself as “a bit of a political activist” had emailed the EPA Director of External Affairs, Dr. David Gray, saying “Hello Mr. Gray. Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello?”

That was enough to dispatch two armed agents to his front door. He was told by one agent that “…my choice of words in the email could be interpreted in many ways.” They did not identify themselves, but asked if he had ever been arrested. He responded swiftly that he had not. When he asked for a copy of his email, they refused to provide it because “the case was still under investigation.”

His wife arrived home and the agents did not want a witness so “They left in a big hurry.”

The Ashville Tribune by Catherine Hunter quoted Keller who described their attitude as “accusatory” reporting that he compared “their tactics to those of Nazi Germany SS methods.”

Keller contacted the agent’s supervisor, Michael Hill, and was told that the incident with Dr. Armendariz “had prompted so many emails and calls that authorities in Washington, DC ordered an investigation.”

Keller’s email inquiry to contact Dr. Armendariz was treated as a threat when it clearly was not. Since when is trying to contact an EPA administrator a crime?

“I want the world to know,” said Keller, “the government is reaching into the privacy of our homes and computers. I’ve never been so offended by the power of government in my life.”

Do we really want an EPA that uses such tactics against a citizen who has merely indicated an interest in contacting one of their administrators to comment on what he had said during a lecture?

Do we really want an EPA whose working “philosophy” regarding the oil and gas industry is to “crucify” it in order to regulate it and, as we know, is trying to thwart drilling, as well as to end the coal industry that provides an energy resource that produces one half of all the electricity in the nation?

It is, as noted, just one small incident, but it reflects the way the EPA functions in a presumably free society. Over the years I have read of many incidents in which the EPA has asserted powers to impede the most innocent actions of citizens and it is long past the time when this agency is reined in by Congress.

The only option at this point is to rid the nation of the Obama administration, crack down on the EPA, and rid us of the threat it poses in its efforts to deny entire industries from providing the energy the nation requires and attacks our agricultural and ranching communities for practices that reflect its normal operation.

As they used to advertise horror films, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” An EPA that operates on the basis of intimidating its chosen enemies and that seeks to intimidate citizens inquiring about it, is reason enough to be afraid.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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