Tuesday, June 28, 2011

EPA rules questioned by Congress; UK Telegraph exposes climate change proclamations; Flint, MI Economic Recovery funds wasted; Log-rolling decried by Republican; Military worried about announced departure from Afghanistan; NJ Democrats approve public workers to pay more for benefits; Most agriculture monies go to richest 10% of farmers; EPA law skirted on wolves and lizards; Did BO illegally film campaign ad in White House?; The Prosser/Bradley assault; Connecticut unions refuse deal, will now have 7500 employees laid off

The NYT writes: U.S. EPA warned of the potential dire consequences of legislation being fast-tracked through the House that would give states final say on rules concerning water, wetlands and mountaintop-removal mining.  Proponents argue the bill would shore up what they see as the erosion of state authority under the Clean Water Act and restore a state-federal partnership on enforcement of the law.
At its core, the bill would prevent EPA from reversing or overruling previously issued approval of state water quality limits, permitting authority, or permits to dredge and fill waterways or wetlands.
The UK Telegraph writes about climate change: The media under-reports climate change. Oh yes. That will explain, for example, the recent widely reported story Decline Of Oceans Worse Than Previously Thought – given unquestioning coverage everywhere from the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times and Time magazine to the BBC. Yet as research from Ben Pile at Climate Resistance shows, most of these experts offering their supposed expert views on the imminence of pelagic climate doom were in fact just an ad hoc group of activists from heavily politicized organizations like Greenpeace and Pew Environment Group.
Jo Nova has estimated that the amount spent by government agencies, left-leaning charitable foundations and big business promoting “global warming” is approximately 3,500 times more than the amount spent funding climate change scepticism.   http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100093577/the-science-is-settled-us-liberals-really-are-the-dumbest-creatures-on-the-planet/
National Review reports: The Obama administration announced [in 2009] that the Flint, Michigan Mass Transportation Authority was among the transit agencies awarded a share of $100 million in Economic Recovery Act funds for pursuing environmental technologies to lessen America’s dependence on oil and create green jobs. The MTA will use the funds to replace two diesel buses with advanced all-electric Zero-Emissions GTB-40 buses from Fisher Coachworks.
And fast forward to today where it’s been revealed that Fisher Coachworks went out of business and won’t be repaying $1.6 million in loans from the Flint MTA. It looks like Team Obama sent $2.2 million to Flint’s MTA, and the Flint MTA kicked in $400,000 of its own.  http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/270356/another-failure-obamas-mythical-green-jobs-greg-pollowitz
The Washington Examiner opines: Political logs roll when lawmakers push through a bill that benefits their constituencies but is financed by all taxpayers -- it's a game of "you vote for my dams and bridges, and I'll vote for your housing projects and hospitals."
But Big Green practically foams at the mouth because Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. simply doesn't tolerate logrolling. I asked him how his opponents react to that. Typically, he responded with the why as well as the what: "Gone are the days of thousand-page bills being written in the dead of night, behind closed doors in Speaker Pelosi's office. Pushing through Christmas tree omnibus bills is the practice of the failed Democrat majority."
Well, what does he do, then? "Instead, Republicans will consider each piece of legislation based on their individual merits and contribution to the American economy and job creation." So far, no logs have dared to roll anywhere near Doc Hastings.
The Washington Post opines: The entire military leadership believes the president’s decision is a mistake, and especially the decision to withdraw the remainder of the surge forces by September 2012. They will soldier on and do their best, but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, put it, in characteristic understatement, they believe the decision will increase the risk to the troops and increase the chance that the mission will not succeed. It bears repeating that the deadline imposed by the president has nothing to do with military or strategic calculation. It has everything to do with an electoral calculation. President Obama wants those troops out two months before Americans go to the voting booth. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/military-leaders-know-obamas-decision-is-a-disaster/2011/03/04/AGgtdahH_blog.html
WTVR reports: New Jersey's Democratic-led Legislature gave final approval on Thursday to a plan that would force public workers to pay more for benefits -- a signature issue for Republican Governor Chris Christie.
The bill, which was bitterly opposed by public-sector unions, would raise the retirement age and increase employee contributions to their pension and healthcare plans, reducing the state's burden by potentially tens of billions of dollars.

"We are putting the people first and daring to touch the third rail of politics in order to bring reform to an unsustainable system," Christie said in a statement. [SEIU and the NEA must be busy doing something else, for they aren't making the same scene as they did in Wisconsin.] http://www.wtvr.com/sns-rt-us-newjersey-pensiotre75n0fe-20110624,0,7424021.story
The NY Post writes: The US Department of Agriculture no longer serves as a lifeline to millions of struggling homestead farmers. In stead, it is a vast, self-perpetuating postmodern bureaucracy with an amorphous budget of some $130 billion -- a sum far greater than the nation's net farm income this year. In fact, the more the Agriculture Department has pontificated about family farmers, the more they've vanished -- comprising now only about 1 percent of the American population.
Net farm income is expected in 2011 to reach its highest levels in more than three decades, as a rapidly growing and food-short world increasingly looks to the United States to provide it everything from soybeans and wheat to beef and fruit. Yet the department this year will give a record $20 billion in various crop "supports" to the nation's wealthiest farmers -- with the richest 10 percent receiving over 70 percent.If farmers on their own are making handsome profits, why, with a $1.6 trillion annual federal deficit, is the USDA borrowing unprecedented amounts to subsidize them?
McClatchy DC reports: But in recent months, the [EPA] law has taken an unprecedented hit from Congress. Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, successfully used a budget bill signed into law by the president to return to the states of Idaho and Montana the ability to manage their wolf populations.
They were particularly alarmed by one of the first evidences of fallout: an amendment filed earlier this month by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who wants to halt the proposed listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard in New Mexico. He joins House Republicans, who've already filed legislation to stop the potential listing of the lizard and the lesser prairie chicken.
Cornyn, who has joined Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., in saying that the proposed listings could shut down oil and gas production in parts of west Texas and eastern New Mexico, called the lizard a "scaly political pawn." Its listing would "score points with radical environmentalists," he warned earlier this month.
Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/06/26/116489/gop-lawmakers-take-aim-at-endangered.html#ixzz1QTRumHT9
Real Clear Politics reveals: NRO's Jim Geraghty raises the question of whether Barack Obama filmed a video for his reelection campaign in the White House, which may possibly be a violation of federal election laws.
In the video, President Obama promotes a "Dinner With Barack" raffle. To participate in the contest you need to donate at least $5 to the president's re-election campaign and your name will be raffled off to enjoy a dinner with the President, airfare and accommodations included. In a new web video, Obama announced Vice President Joe Biden will also be attending the dinner.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/06/27/dinner_with_obama_now_includes_joe_biden.html

Human Events writes regarding the Prosser/Bradley event: The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism produced a report that portrayed this as Prosser assaulting Bradley.  Liberal blogs across the nation went wild, and began speculating about how quickly Prosser could be impeached and removed from office.
Then the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel got involved, and found so many contradictory sources that the WCIJ was forced to completely re-write its original piece.  The Journal-Sentinel’s new sources claim that Bradley attacked Prosser, whose hands made contact with her neck area when he raised them to defend himself.  Her assault was reportedly provoked by Prosser’s assertion that he had “lost all confidence” in the leadership of Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.  These sources relate that when Bradley started howling about her neck, one of the other justices calmly stated, “You were not choked.”
If the Judicial Commission does investigate, and concludes that Bradley is the one who initiated the physical encounter, it will be fun watching the leftists who howled for Prosser’s impeachment twist themselves into pretzels and claim this was all just a silly misunderstanding… especially considering that Governor Scott Walker would appoint the replacements for either or both judges, if they were removed from the Court.  http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44487
Business Insider reports: Connecticut's public sector unions rejected a deal late Friday to cut $1.6 billion from the state's budget, opening the door for thousands of layoffs of state employees — and upsetting a delicate budget balance.
The results of the union vote came as a surprise rebuke to state and union leaders, who had negotiated a concessions package that would not result in any layoffs for four years in return for a two-year wage freeze. Now Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy says the state will begin laying off over 7,500 employees.
Malloy said Friday he would under no circumstances renegotiate with the unions, saying the state will send out layoff notices to affected workers immediately.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/connecticut-unions-reject-concessions-thousands-of-public-sector-layoffs-likely-2011-6#ixzz1QZThCqK5