Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category
Sen. Hatch didn’t hesitate in changing the Senate Finance Committee rules after Democrats failed to attend a confirmation vote for Steve Mnuchin to be President Trump’s Treasury Secretary and Rep. Tom Price to be President Trump’s HHS Secretary for a second day in a row.
This morning, Democrat senators didn’t attend the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, where Chairman Barrasso had scheduled a confirmation vote to recommend Scott Pruitt to be the next EPA Administrator.
Democrats are trying to prevent Republicans from putting in place President Trump’s cabinet. Republicans, growing weary of the Democrats’ tactics, have opted to not let the Democrats’ obstructionist tactics prevail. They’re sending the signal that the Democrats’ obstructionism hurts the American people. Republicans are sending the signal that Sen. Schumer’s stunts won’t be tolerated.
Thus far, leaders of The Resistance have insisted that their Democratic puppets dance. Thus far, Democrat senators haven’t resisted these special interest tyrants. It’s just more proof that Democrats don’t represent people. This video is proof aplenty that Democrats exclusively represent special interest groups:
If Democrats keep pulling these stunts, they’ll suffer massive defeats in 2018. Republicans will have a filibuster-proof majority after the 2018 election. If Democrats want to be all obstruction all the time, their participation trophy will be political irrelevance. They will have earned that ‘trophy’.
Technorati: Orrin Hatch, John Barrasso, Scott Pruitt, Steve Mnuchin, Confirmation Hearings, Donald Trump, EPA Administrator, Treasury Secretary, Republicans, Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, The Resistance, Obstructionists, Special Interests, Democrats
DFL State Rep. Rick Hansen is worried that the Trump administration’s review of the EPA’s grants and contracts might prevent some of his pet environmental projects from getting completed. He isn’t sure what’s happening so he’s jumping to conclusions rather than waiting until this Friday, which is when the review is supposed to finish.
According to the article “the MPCA received an email from federal officials saying: ‘EPA staff have been reviewing grants and contract information with the incoming transition team. Pursuant to that review, the agency is continuing to award program grants, state revolving loan fund grants to states and tribes, and we are working to quickly address issues related to other categories of grants. The goal is to complete the grants and contracts review by the close of business on Friday, Jan. 27.'”
Rep. Hansen thinks he knows what the problem is. According to Rep. Hansen, “I think you have a deadly combination of a lack of experience and a sense of ideological superiority, where people’s ideology is driving decisions, versus experience.”
Apparently, Rep. Hansen thinks it’s wise to criticize things that he doesn’t know anything about. That’s a little irrational. Further, it’s apparent that Rep. Hansen is engaging in a little projection. The DFL, like their national brethren, has thought that they’re superior to the GOP. Again, this election, voters didn’t agree with the DFL and the DNC. These voters gave Republicans an even bigger margin in state legislative seats, governorships and the White House while helping Republicans maintain their majorities in the House and Senate.
If Democrats want to kid themselves into thinking that they’re still a national party, that’s their right. It’s also delusional thinking. The EPA isn’t a popular agency. If Democrats want to whine about the Trump administration reviewing their decisions, don’t expect voters to listen to the Democrats’ whining.
Salena Zito’s article turns the spotlight on the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, to highlight why the media got this election badly wrong. Early in the article, Salena wrote about the NY Times, saying “Take The New York Times’ public editor’s laudable call for more diversity in the newsroom. ‘The executive editor, Dean Baquet, is African-American,’ Liz Spayd wrote. ‘The other editors on his masthead are white. The staff with the most diversity? The news assistants, who mostly do administrative jobs and get paid the least.'”
Then she made the important recommendation (I’d argue it’s essential) that reporters “need more people who come from a blue-collar background, who perhaps didn’t go to Brown and can be found in a pew on Sunday on a fairly regular basis.”
Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight the absurdity of E.J. Dionne’s column. He’s totally certain that a Trump administration will be a disaster with a silver lining for Democrats. Last night, on the Kelly File, Nomiki Konst ‘debated’ Marc Thiessen and Guy Benson about whether Democrats were learning the lesson of this election. Konst insisted that it was all drive about the economy.
While there’s no doubt lots of people voted for Donald Trump because they think a billionaire might know a thing or 2 about reviving this pathetic recovery, it’s more than that. Mr. Trump promises to clean up the VA scandal, build a wall on the US-Mexican border, simplify the federal tax system and rein in the out-of-control EPA. In other words, he promised to make their lives better.
Voters didn’t just reject Mrs. Clinton’s message. In battleground state after battleground state, they essentially said ‘are you out of your flipping mind? We’ve suffered through 8 years of this crap and we’re tired of it.’ But I digress.
Benson and Thiessen both talked about how the Democratic Party is incapable of talking to people of faith or blue collar workers. It’s clear that they haven’t learned their lesson because the people who are the 2 ‘finalists’ for DNC chair, Keith Ellison and Thomas Perez, are incapable of connecting with those voters.
Paul Krugman thinks the Trump economic policies will tank. Thomas Friedman thinks that the Obama administration is the best friend Israel has ever had. Other inside-the-Beltway columnists missed the fact that miners and farmers are fed up with the EPA’s regulatory overreach.
It isn’t surprising why some of the biggest punchlines in Mr. Trump’s stump speeches were criticisms of the corrupt media. That was a galvanizing message. It’s what tied the blue collar workers together with the millionaires who built their companies from the ground up.
The journalist who didn’t miss what was happening this election was Salena Zito. This video illustrates why Salena got it right:
This weekend, I spoke with Ed Morrissey. Admittedly, neither of us predicted Trump winning. We both, however, gave Trump a shot at winning going into Election Night. When I told Ed that the common denominator for both of us is that we both listened to Salena Zito, he quickly agreed. We didn’t know that he’d win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin but we knew that Trump’s message resonated with those economically disenfranchised voters.
If newsrooms don’t start sending their reporters out into the real world, if they don’t put a high priority on building a newsroom with cultural diversity, they’ll continue missing the big stories.
Finally, it’s time to thank Salena for her fantastic reporting. If she doesn’t win a slew of awards for her political reporting, it’ll prove that political editors are clueless.
Technorati: Mainstream Media, Agenda Media, Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, New York Times, E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, Elitists, Salena Zito, Guy Benson, Marc Thiessen, Cultural Diversity, Donald Trump, Republicans, Keith Ellison, Thomas Perez, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2016
In Part I of this series, I wrote about the virtues of federalism. Now it’s time to talk about the negative things that happened when the Obama administration ignored the Constitution and the rule of law. Specifically, I’ll quote from Kim Strassel’s article about Scott Pruitt.
Picking up where I left off, let’s rejoin Strassel’s article where she wrote “Under the Clean Air Act, states are allowed to craft their own implementation plans. If the EPA disapproves of a state plan, it is empowered to impose a federal one—one of the most aggressive actions the agency can take against a state, since it is the equivalent of a seizure of authority. In the entirety of the presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the EPA imposed five federal implementation plans on states. By last count, the Obama administration has imposed at least 56.” That’s where Pruitt comes in.
According to Strassel, much “of Mr. Pruitt’s tenure as Oklahoma’s AG was about trying to stuff federal agencies back into their legal boxes. Most of the press either never understood this, or never wanted to. When the media wrote about state lawsuits against ObamaCare or the Clean Power Plan or the Water of the United States rule, the suggestion usually was that this litigation was ideologically motivated, and a naked attempt to do what a Republican Congress could not—tank the president’s agenda.”
The next paragraph, Ms. Strassel wrote this:
The basis of nearly every one of these lawsuits was in fact violations of states’ constitutional and statutory rights— and it is why so many of the cases were successful. It was all a valiant attempt to force the federal government to follow the law. And it has been a singular Pruitt pursuit.
On issues of executive overreach, President Obama had a terrible record in the Supreme Court, at one point losing 13 straight 9-0 decisions. It will take time to tame the EPA. You can’t change the entire Agency culture with the blink of an eye. Here’s the good news:
In announcing his nomination, the president-elect took care to note that Mr. Pruitt was an “expert in constitutional law” and that his job would be to restore the “EPA’s essential mission.”
Which is exactly the reform the EPA needs. The agency doesn’t need a technically trained environmentalist at its head, since it is already bubbling over with green regulations. It doesn’t need a climate warrior, as Congress has never passed a climate law, and so the EPA has no mandate to meddle there. What it needs is a lawyer, one with the knowledge of how to cut the agency back to its proper role—restoring not just an appropriate legal partnership with the states, but also with other federal bodies. One who reminds agency staff that the EPA was not created to oppose growth and development.
Getting the EPA to live within its statutory and constitutional boundaries is a monumental responsibility. If Pruitt accomplishes a culture change before he leaves, he’ll have my vote for the greatest EPA administrator in history.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Regulatory Reform, EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, Restoring Federalism Task Force, Attorney General, Constitution, Republicans, Barack Obama, Executive Overreach, EPA Overreach, SCOTUS, Unanimous Decisions, Democrats, Election 2016
Kim Strassel’s latest column highlights an exciting possibility for the American people. What’s exciting is a nerdy subject but a subject that might teach the average person the virtues of the system that our Founding Fathers gave us.
Ms. Strassel opened her article by writing “Donald Trump had barely finished announcing his pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency before the left started listing its million reasons why Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was the worst nomination in the history of the planet: He’s an untrained anti-environmentalist. He’s a polluter. He’s a fossil-fuel fanatic, a lobbyist-lover, a climate crazy. Mr. Pruitt is not any of those things. Here’s what he in fact is, and the real reason the left is frustrated: He’s a constitutional scholar, a federalist (and a lawyer). And for those reasons he is a sublime choice to knock down the biggest conceit of the Obama era—arrogant, overweening (and illegal) Washington rule.”
Then she wrote something that some of us have known for the entirety of President Obama’s administration:
We’ve lived so many years under the Obama reign that many Americans forget we are a federal republic, composed of 50 states. There isn’t a major statute on the books that doesn’t recognize this reality and acknowledge that the states are partners with—and often superior to—the federal government. That is absolutely the case with major environmental statues, from the Clean Air Act to the Clean Water Act to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Based on the Democrats’ description of Gen. Pruitt, you’d think he’d look like Lucifer himself. Instead, Pruitt looks like this:
If I earned $100 each time that the EPA has overstepped its statutory authority or constitutional boundaries, I’d be Warren Buffett-style rich. Scott Pruitt’s mission is to put the EPA back into its proper box. That’s only possible if Gen. Pruitt applies the principles of federalism to the EPA. That’s the last thing the environmental activists want. They want the EPA’s decisions moved as far away from the people and local control as possible. That’s why they support globalism. It’s the ultimate in unaccountability.
After his first two years in office, [President Obama] never could convince the Congress to pass another signature initiative. His response—and the enduring theme of his presidency—was therefore to ignore Congress and statutes, go around the partnership framework, and give his agencies authority to dictate policy from Washington. The states were demoted from partners to indentured servants. So too were any rival federal agencies that got in the EPA’s way. Example: The EPA’s pre-emptive veto of Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine, in which it usurped Army Corps of Engineers authority.
There’s much to unravel after 8 years of this administration running roughshod against the Constitution and the rule of law. Gen. Pruitt won’t fix it in a week or month or even in a year. Still, he’s the man uniquely qualified to dismantle the Obama administration’s regulatory leviathan.
One of the things that Donald Trump campaigned on was draining the swamp in DC. Lots of people question President-Elect Trump’s ability to do that. Former Minnesota State Sen. Ellen Anderson is the latest person to question Mr. Trump’s ability to drain the swamp. I’d tell Sen. Anderson that it all depends on what you classify as swamp. While researching this post, I found this article that offers a definition for draining the swamp. The article says “At its bottom, drain the swamp is a metaphor: If you drain the swamp, you eliminate the mosquitoes (or snakes and alligators, in other iterations) that breed disease. But, ironically, the original disease the expression referred to was the very thing Trump has built his campaign on: big business. Etymologist Barry Popik has traced drain the swamp back to the socialist movement of the early 20th century. In a 1903 letter to the Daily Northwestern, Winfield R. Gaylord, state organizer of the Social Democratic Party, precursor to Eugene Debs’ Socialist Party of America, wrote: ‘Socialists are not satisfied with killing a few of the mosquitoes which come from the capittalist [sic] swamp; they want to drain the swamp.'”
I’d modify that definition because it omits too many things that are ‘diseased’. What person with a heart thinks that the Veterans Administration isn’t diseased and infected? I triple-dog dare anyone to read this article, then tell me the VA doesn’t need a major overhaul. This article should turn people’s stomachs.
As disgusting as the situation is within the VA, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of draining the swamp in DC. This article highlights some of the corruption within the EPA:
Two EPA employees, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Susan Morris, will be taking EPA back to court to expose its treatment of whistleblowers and the impact on public health and civil rights. Senior former and current officials within EPA will be deposed, such as Ray Spears, former Deputy Chief of Staff to three EPA administrators; Rafael DeLeon, former Director of Civil Rights and Human Resources as well as legal advisor to EPA administrators; and Karen Higginbotham, former Civil Rights Director now a special assistant in the Office of the Administrator. The depositions will cover decades of allegations of corruption at the highest levels of the EPA. Corruption that has, no doubt, placed the public and EPA employees in jeopardy.
The cases, scheduled for trial in the spring will demonstrate how EPA senior officials in key positions used their authority to retaliate against employees who raised prohibited personnel practices and warned of dangers to public health. Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo won a significant jury award in her case against EPA a decade ago that resulted in the passage of the 2002 No FEAR Act by Congress. She returned to the agency after her successful case only to face more retaliation and eventual termination of her career.
Progressives have pushed the notion that only big business is corrupt. That’s BS. The truth is that the government is every bit as corrupt.
Here’s hoping that Trump cleans out the corruption in DC. It’s a tall task but it’s something that needs to be finished.
Democrats should follow Robert Reich’s blueprint to revitalize the Democratic Party. One of the parts of the article that’s interesting reading the part when Reich starts talking about insiders. Specifically, he said “the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren’t going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.”
The Democratic Party has always been the party of party insiders. That’s their identity. It’s their DNA. That being said, Reich has a point in saying “It must harness the energies and idealism of young people across the nation who were drawn to Bernie Sanders’s campaign because of its promise to get big money out of politics; reverse widening inequality; turn the nation’s wildly expensive and baroque healthcare complex into a single-payer system; reverse climate change; end the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people and stop interminable and open-ended warfare.”
If that’s what you think the Democratic Party needs to return to political relevance, then Keith Ellison is the perfect fit for DNC chairman. Part of the Democrats’ problem is that they all sound alike. Here’s what Rep. Tim Ryan, the man who’s opposing Nancy Pelosi, said:
If Donald Trump’s going to defund Planned Parenthood, privatize Medicare, just simply cut taxes for the top 1 percent and throw people off their health care, he’s going to be in a street fight with a kid from the Youngstown area, and that’s how that’s going to work.
Considering the fact that Democrats have presided over the most pathetic economic growth since the Great Depression, it probably isn’t wise to sound like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
Back to Reich’s plan. This video is a lengthy pep talk to the troops:
Reich spend most of his time talking about climate change, bragging about the (supposedly) positive accomplishments of the EPA and advocating a Medicare for all health care plan. How will that connect with the pipefitter working on a pipeline infrastructure project? How will those things tell the electrician that you understand them? This won’t connect with voters. At this point, people don’t trust Washington, DC. They think DC doesn’t understand them, probably because Washington, DC hasn’t understood them for years.
What’s especially delicious is listening to Reich saying that Democrats have to do a better job of listening to the people, then saying “particularly sensitive to widening inequality, particularly sensitive to the corruption that widening inequality generates. When you have huge wealth at the top that is being channeled and used in order to gain influence to get even more wealth.” That isn’t in touch with America.
People don’t think in terms of income inequality. People just wish they had a secure job in a growing economy. Income inequality is an abstract concept. A secure job in a vibrant economy is something people can relate to.
This past Sunday, Chris Wallace’s panel broke things down beautifully why Hillary Clinton lost. One of the eye-popping exchanges came when Chris Wallace asked “You know, George, one of the things that, and we’ve been around too long probably, we shouldn’t tell people that, but one of the things I’m always amused by is at the end of a campaign, the winning campaign, they were all geniuses. The losing campaign, they were all dopes. The winning party, they’re on the course to building a permanent majority in the country. The losing campaign is in tatters. How much of that is actually true?”
Will’s response was “Well, the losing party here is in tatters. The Republican Party is as strong as it’s been since the 1920s and probably more. Broad and deep. Sixty-nine of 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republicans. Twenty-four states, they have the Republican governor and the entire control of the legislature. Only six states have Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures. Thirty-four Republican governors. That means if you’re looking for a deeper bench for presidential candidates for the Democratic Party, you have to start with 16 governors is all they’ve got. Furthermore, one-third of the House caucus of the Democratic Party are from three states, Massachusetts, New York and California.”
Think about that set of statistics in terms of its implications to the Democratic Party and its ability to regain control of the US House of Representatives. A total of 24 states with 185 congressional districts are controlled by Republican governors working with GOP majorities in their legislatures. With Republicans totally controlling the redistricting process in those 24 states, the odds of Democrats regaining control of the US House in the next 3-4 election cycles are slim at best.
Then there’s this:
WILL: They were united by Barack Obama. They were united by an agenda. Chuck said people felt forgotten by — no, I think they felt condescended to. And there’s something about progressivism that just is condescension. We know what your healthcare ought to be, be quiet and take your medicine. We know how much water should come through your shower head. We know what kind of toilets you ought to have. We’re going to change your light bulbs, be quiet and take our direction, and people are tired of it.
LANE: Yes. Well, I — I have to say, I’ll take that as a friendly amendment, George. And I also think, just when we’re talking about factors here, I think environmentalism in a usual way worked against the Democratic Party this year. I did a little back of the envelope coalition about the most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation in this country. There are 25 most dependent, 20 of them Trump carried. He carried Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, which are the three most coal dependent states in terms of electricity generation. That power plan to focus on global warming and stuff that he pushed with a relatively thin legal basis might have provided the small — a part, at least, of the small margin that contributed to his defeat.
Think about what Charles Lane hinted at. He essentially said that the Democrats’ siding with the environmental activist wing of their party finally caught up with them. Trump identified these blue collar voters as swing voters, then courted them, telling them that he’d be their voice in DC. Mr. Trump promised to take on the EPA if elected. He promised to be their champion.
Unlike Mrs. Clinton, he didn’t promise to retrain coal miners who lost their jobs due to her eliminating their jobs in favor of green energy jobs. That’s when Pennsylvania and Ohio knew that they’d have a champion in the White House.
The Democratic Party is so indebted to the environmental activist wing of their party that it’s almost inconceivable that they’ll be a majority party in the House in the foreseeable future.
Technorati: Environmental Activists, Energy Voters, Battleground States, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Coal Miners, California, Massachusetts, New York, House of Representatives, Keith Ellison, Democrats, Election 2016
Let’s be blunt about something. Today’s Marxist progressives don’t have a clue about creating a growing economy. They never have. I’m betting they never will. That’s why I’m not surprised that this post criticizes President Obama’s economic policies. Mockingly, its title asks “Are We Still In the Summer of Recovery?”
Here’s a hint: we never had sustained healthy economic growth during the Obama administration. This administration has slowed the economy with intrusive, weaponized government to the point that the only thing keeping the economy going is quantitative easing. Companies aren’t moving overseas because of bad trade deals. They’re moving because this administration’s regulations are killing jobs. They’re moving because this administration thinks that sky-high minimum wage rates are good for people.
Sky-high wages for entry-level jobs are killing jobs. Here in St. Cloud, staffing cuts at fast food places have slowed order fulfillment to a snail’s pace. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t call these little burger shops fast food places anymore.
But I digress.
Mark Levin puts things in perspective:
The Environmental Protection Agency chased Carrier out of this country — or will. How do we know this? Carrier said so. So, why are none of these mouthpieces talking about the EPA? Why are none of these frauds talking about the EPA? The EPA is destroying ‘the middle class;’ it’s destroying working people in this country; it’s destroying coal miners; it’s destroying oil jobs; it’s destroying trucking jobs. The EPA is destroying our smokestack industries. The EPA is doing more damage to our economy and hardworking men and women in this country than any country in the world! And yet they won’t talk about it. You know why? Because it doesn’t rile people up as much. And you know why else? Because it’s harder to deal with.
I’ve contended for 2-3 years that this is the sleeper issue that Republicans should latch onto. I don’t know why they think that this won’t rile people up. Frankly, it might be that the consultant class thinks that this isn’t a traditional ‘Republican issue’.
If that’s the case, then they’re wrong. Intrusive government, especially the weaponized government that the EPA specializes in, is explosive if it’s explained properly. It doesn’t take a ton of time, either, because it doesn’t take time to tell people that coal regulations kill jobs, hurts the economy and drives up families’ electric bills.
Frankly, I think Republicans are intimidated by President Obama. He’s a cocky, dishonest salesman. There’s only one way to deal with that and that’s to ridicule him for thinking that excessive regulations create incentives to create jobs. This isn’t the time for a civilized debate. It’s time to, first, study the issue, then stand up to the narcissist living in the White House.
Rep. Paul Gosar, (R-AZ), is moving to impeach EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. (Follow this link to read Rep. Gosar’s resolution.) While I don’t think that McCarthy’s offense rises to the level of an impeachable offense, Rep. Gosar’s resolution isn’t without merit.
Rep. Gosar notes that, “on Feb. 4, McCarthy [testified that] the EPA was ‘not expanding jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, we are not eliminating any exemptions or exclusions in this proposal, we are in fact narrowing the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.'” Rep. Gosar then highlights the fact that “the EPA’s website contradicts this, saying that 3.2 percent of additional waters will be found jurisdictional and that ‘until now 60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands all across the country were not protected.'”
McCarthy insists that the two conflicting statements don’t conflict with each other. Further, it’s clear that this administration isn’t interested in “narrowing the jurisdiction” of federal regulators. That statement is ridiculous. When then-Candidate Obama said that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America, he didn’t mean that he’d insist on limiting the scope of government.