Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Obama as Public Scold

Well, our President, on occasion of the long-delayed release of his 'long form' birth certificate, in a fit of pique called a press conference to deliver the Nation a scolding for being distracted by the absence of said document.

Our Lecturer-in-Chief was bemused by the lack of attention paid to his Budget Proposal; the Public preferring instead to dwell on his birthplace!

Of course, the President was wrong on that point:  his budget proposal was reported, and was roundly criticized and dismissed as not serious.

The best part of the press conference was its length:  short.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Your 'modern administrative state' in action

EPA Ruling Kills Shell’s Plans to Drill Offshore Alaska

Here is a perfect example of the Progressive's "modern administrative state" in action (and how it can run amok):
A ruling by the Environmental Appeals Board of the EPA has scuttled Shell Oil Company’s plan to drill its initial exploratory test in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This is at least the second time drilling has been deferred or delayed due to environmental concerns. But this time, the reason proffered by EPA seems to be “Because we can.”

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.
Progressive ideology maintains the Nation would be better off if the details of legislation is left to 'expert administrators' rather than Congress. And Congress, over most of the last century, has obliged by writing laws that basically ceded legislative powers to agencies of the executive branch. These powers—which have the same force as laws passed by Congress—take the form of 'agency rulemaking'.

As is all-too-often the case, Congress, when drafting the Clean Air Act, granted considerable leeway to the EPA administrator in determining what constituted a pollutant and what regulations to promulgate.

Typical is this language from U.S.C. TITLE 42, CHAPTER 85, SUBCHAPTER I, Part A, § 7411. Standards of performance for new stationary sources:

(b) List of categories of stationary sources; standards of performance; information on pollution control techniques; sources owned or operated by United States; particular systems; revised standards
(A) The Administrator shall, within 90 days after December 31, 1970, publish (and from time to time thereafter shall revise) a list of categories of stationary sources. He shall include a category of sources in such list if in his judgment it causes, or contributes significantly to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.
(B) Within one year after the inclusion of a category of stationary sources in a list under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall publish proposed regulations, establishing Federal standards of performance for new sources within such category. The Administrator shall afford interested persons an opportunity for written comment on such proposed regulations. After considering such comments, he shall promulgate, within one year after such publication, such standards with such modifications as he deems appropriate.

This example is typical not only for the law establishing the EPA but also the FCC which recently forged ahead—Congressional objections notwithstanding—with a rulemaking,  under the heading "Net Neutrality", regulating the Internet.

It is incumbent on all citizens to engage with their senators and representative, reminding them to scrutinize the laws they are drafting before passing them to the Executive. Failing that will result in Congress' significance declining to the point where we will be permanently in the grip of unelected, unaccountable administrators.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The pathetic Left

'Koch brothers' confusion results in death threat for Iowa company

A case of mistaken identity has entangled a small family-owned Des Moines company in union protests and led to a death threat.

Angry callers are mistaking Koch Brothers, a Des Moines office supply firm, with the brothers who own Koch Industries, the global energy conglomerate. Billionaires Charles and David Koch have fought Wisconsin unions, financed the tea party and opposed climate change rules.
This shows just how pathetic the political Left is in this country. The Left was quick to blame conservatives for every act of violence that has occurred recently, but, invariably, the perpetrator has had leftist leanings or was a complete nut case.

Does anyone really care what Greenpeace says?

Apple named 'least green' tech company

Apple has come bottom of the most comprehensive green league table of technology companies because of its heavy reliance on "dirty data" centres.

The list, which is compiled by Greenpeace and released in San Francisco on Thursday, shows that the company relies heavily on highly polluting coal power at the sites that house its banks of servers.
Oh, my.  Apple builds a data center in Maiden, NC.  The power to Maiden is supplied by Duke Energy.  Duke Energy employs coal-fired power plants.  So, this makes Apple's data centers 'dirty'.

I am not a fan of Apple products, but this is a bit far fetched.  Does anyone care what Greenpeace says anymore?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pax Americana

Pentagon's second thoughts on Iraq withdrawal

Is this so surprising?
Reluctant to say it publicly, officials fear a final pullout in December could create a security vacuum, offering an opportunity for power grabs by antagonists in an unresolved and simmering Arab-Kurd dispute, a weakened but still active al-Qaida or even an adventurous neighbor such as Iran.

The U.S. wants to keep perhaps several thousand troops in Iraq, not to engage in combat but to guard against an unraveling of a still-fragile peace.
If we pull out, there definitely would be a power vacuum left behind. Someone needs to stand for liberty. And, there is no other power on Earth that has the moral standing and resources to take this on except for us.
Ancient Rome did the same. And, it worked until they rotted from the inside out—a lesson for today's Progressives to take heed to.

Yet another rogue government: the UN

UN, French fire on Gbagbo residence in Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – United Nations and French helicopters fired rockets on strongman Laurent Gbagbo's residence on Sunday in an assault the U.N. said was to retaliate for attacks by his forces on U.N. headquarters and civilians.
Yeah, right. I don't trust anything coming out of the UN.
Residents from nearby neighborhoods reported seeing two U.N. Mi-24 attack helicopters and a French helicopter open fire on the residence, where Gbagbo is holed up in a bunker.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Hope restored

Wis. corrects vote count, gives incumbent big lead

After all the discouraging news from Wisconsin, there is new hope that justice does exist in the world:
WAUKESHA, Wis. — A conservative incumbent surged to a commanding lead in Wisconsin's hotly contested Supreme Court election Thursday, after a predominantly GOP county's clerk announced she had incorrectly entered vote totals in the race seen as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive union rights law.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said more than 14,000 votes weren't reported to The Associated Press on Tuesday due to "human error."

"This is not a case of extra votes or extra ballots being found," Nickolaus said. "This is human error, which I apologize for."
The last comment is significant; it being the favorite tactic of the Progressives in overturning the will of the people.


Whoa: Prosser Gains 7,381 Votes After Computer Error Is Fixed

The reports of the election results are a bit confusing.
After Tuesday night’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a computer error in heavily Republican Waukesha County failed to send election results for the entire City of Brookfield to the Associated Press.
The AP is not the final arbitrator of elections. The only concern should be that the correct tally is established and posted with the election officials. Everything else amounts to a sideshow.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A quotable quote

On 'Net Neutrality:
It's really not such a difficult concept to apprehend: When governments acquire regulatory authority over media and communications they are that much closer to being able to control the content and distribution of those media and communications, however benign the rationale for their regulatory authority may seem.

--Patrick Maines in Media & Communications Policy