More Obama Administration Steamrolling Of Congress: EPA To Act On ‘Climate Change’

Really, who needs Congress anymore?

Certainly not the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, which is busy game-planning end runs around Congress on education, wireless infrastructure, immigration and now climate change.

Gina McCarthy, whom President Barack Obama nominated to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in March, told an audience of academics at the University of Colorado Wednesday that the President’s June 25 climate change speech at Georgetown University represented a watershed moment of Presidential will to do something about global warming – with or without Congress’ help.

“Essentially, he said that it is time to act. And he said he wasn’t going to wait for Congress, but that he had administrative authorities and that it was time to start utilizing those more effectively and in a more concerted way,” said McCarthy.

What does that mean? McCarthy wasn’t specific – no surprise there – but she indicated Obama is likely to use his very pliable EPA to look for ways to implement innovative (and costly) carbon swaps, regulations and energy standards at the Federal level, while borrowing green-initiative ideas from cities – like Boulder – that have adopted them.

“[We will] start paying attention to what’s going on in states and cities like Colorado and Boulder, and to start learning what you have already learned and to start getting the federal government to take the responsibility that it must take to face the challenge of climate change,” she said.

“…We’re going to do this this year, next year, the following year, until people understand these are not scary things to do, these are actions we can all do, they’re actions that benefit everybody, that will grow the economy, and they’re actions that will protect the health and safety of individuals.”

The President’s Climate Action Plan Fact Sheet lists some of the visionary ideas Obama plans to channel through the administrative power of the EPA, without any Congressional oversight – even those “policies” (a.k.a. “laws”) that effectively raise fees and taxes while instituting punitive fines.

Taken straight from the White House Fact Sheet, Obama’s plan:

•Directs EPA to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholder to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants;

•Makes up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies;

•Directs DOI to permit enough renewables project—like wind and solar – on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes; designates the first-ever hydropower project for priority permitting; and sets a new goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables on federally assisted housing by 2020; while maintaining the commitment to deploy renewables on military installations;

•Expands the President’s Better Building Challenge, focusing on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020;

•Sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 – more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector – through efficiency standards set over the course of the Administration for appliances and federal buildings;

•Commits to partnering with industry and stakeholders to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to save families money at the pump and further reduce reliance on foreign oil and fuel consumption post-2018; and

•Leverages new opportunities to reduce pollution of highly-potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons; directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy; and commits to protect our forests and critical landscapes.

In keeping with Obama’s pattern, verbs like “establish,” “expand” and “leverage” have more transparent meanings: “regulate,” “borrow/subsidize” and “tax.” Look for the EPA – not Congress – to expedite Obama’s fallacious, myopic “green” revolution.

Organizing For Action Sponsors Climate Change Rally In Washington, D.C.; No One Shows Up

Organizing For Action, the community organizing nonprofit that morphed from a campaign vehicle for President Barack Obama into a “non-partisan” Obama agenda pusher, scheduled and promoted a rally this week to galvanize support for the President’s ambitious plan to regulate “climate change” out of existence.

The event’s Aug. 13 start time came and went — and not a single living soul showed up at the Georgetown Waterfront to bolster Obama’s climate change agenda.

The embarrassment compelled Organizing For Action to remove the event invitation (note the URL) from its website, but FOX News’ Phil Kerpen tweeted a screen grab:

 

kerpen tweet

 

Political blogger Moe Lane correctly zeroed in on Organizing For Action’s modus operandi, noting that, for Obama, policy itself doesn’t matter — but finding a policy talking point that galvanizes low-information voters does.

[I]t should surprise nobody — including the, ah, enthusiasts over at OfA, bless their hearts — that global warming doesn’t have nearly the same bite to it that the Left desperately wants it to. The polling is consistent: global warming — or climate change, or whatever the latest buzzword is/will be — is at the bottom of any list of things that people worry about, or prioritize. It is thus unsurprising that an admittedly unpleasant sudden rain shower would stop people in Georgetown from attending: after all, OfA doesn’t really want to talk about global warming at all. It’s just that the two things that they should be talking about — the economy, and health care — are also two things that OfA does not dare talk about, largely because President Barack Obama clearly has no idea how to go about repairing the damage that he’s caused to either.

The takeaway? If the Obama Administration and its backers strike out on a community-organizing effort that, like climate change, fails to captivate anybody, the fix is simple: just redact and refocus.

New York Pays Landlords Above Market Rate To Shelter The Homeless – And Paying Tenants Get Forced Out

An investigative piece Monday by Cindy Rodriguez, the Urban Policy reporter for National Public Radio affiliate WNYC, brought the public’s attention to the city’s practice of paying private landlords in low-income areas more money to shelter homeless people in near-derelict apartments than the landlords can get on the free market.

Guess what happens? Without the city having to lift a finger, the landlords follow the artificially-inflated new “market” price the government pays, and – through both attrition and outright eviction – lock out paying renters in order to house the homeless. The new homeless tenants effectively become wards of the State.

For the last year, the number of people in New York City’s shelter system has hovered around a record 50,000 overall. Nearly half are children. The numbers of people in shelters have shot up since 2011, when state- and city-funded programs designed to help people move into permanent housing were eliminated.

So the demand for shelter is high – creating the curious phenomenon of the city paying private landlords such high prices for lousy housing that it’s in the landlords’ interest to push out market-rate tenants like Melvina McMillan. The city rate in its deals with these landlords is typically about $3,000 a month. A portion of that goes to pay for security and caseworkers; at 60 Clarkson Avenue, an organization called CAMBA is providing the latter. McMillan, upset by the arrangement, said it was good for everyone – except the people living at the building.

And these are truly lousy buildings to begin with. McMillan’s building has 215 housing code violations, including roach infestation, leaks and mold. Fights in common areas are frequent.

The city pays an average of $3,000 a month to secure a unit. McMillan pays $700 a month.

Since 2011, there’s been a 66 percent increase in the number of apartments the city leases for the homeless. A court order forces the city to offer shelter to all who seek it, and, because the number of homeless people is highly liquid, it falls back on snapping up apartments instead of spending the money all at once to secure a less temporary method of compliance, such as subsidizing the building or expanding shelters.

The obvious absurdity of local government tinkering with the housing market is manifest when one considers that the paying tenants in these apartments – already at or near the very bottom of the economic ladder in New York City – don’t have a lot of options if they’re tossed out of their homes to make way for a city-subsidized homeless replacement. So where does that leave them?

That’s right: homeless.

“If [McMillan] ends up on the street,” writes Rodriguez, “she’d become part of the city’s homeless population – eligible to be placed in an apartment like the one she lives in now, at a cost to taxpayers of $3,000 a month.”

Watch John McCain Talk Up Immigration Reform And Gun Control At Tucson Q&A

Senator John “Gang of Eight” McCain (R-Ariz.) took questions from Tucson residents Tuesday at a town hall meeting during this month’s Congressional recess.

Talking up immigration reform (we know where he stands on that), McCain also pledged to support “better” gun control and possible bailouts for homeowners with underwater mortgages. Overall, he sounded a lot more like Chris Christie than a conservative war hero.

Here’s a video synopsis from KGUN-9 in Tucson.

 

The Clinton Foundation Seeks Immortality; Rubio Wants To Hit The Switch; Kerry Pestered By Internet; Dead Journalist Was Investigating CIA Leader; Sequestration Fluff – Wednesday Morning News Roundup 8-14-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • Worried that the Clinton Foundation’s operating revenues depend too heavily on the family’s nonstop fund-raising, the three Clintons are embarking on a drive to raise an endowment of as much as $250 million, with events already scheduled in the Hamptons and London. Source: The New York Times…

 

 

  • In an appearance on a Tallahassee morning show, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) explained that President Barack Obama will be tempted to enact his own immigration reform measures by executive order if Congress does not pass an immigration bill. An Obama executive order would legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants, he said. Source: The Daily Caller… 

 

 

  • Speaking to State Department personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “this little thing called the Internet … makes it much harder to govern.” He also said that “ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators.” Source: CNS News… 

 

 

  • This week Elise Jordan, wife of famed journalist Michael Hastings, who recently died under suspicious circumstances, corroborated this reporter’s sources that CIA Director, John Brennan was Hastings next exposé project. Source: San Diego 6…

 

 

  • When sequestration was about to kick in, the Obama administration began a nearly across-the-board campaign to discuss the devastating impact the automatic cuts would have on agency operations. At the center of these warnings stood employee furloughs: mandatory unpaid leave to help each department meet the lower budget caps that took effect March 1. But most major departments have reduced furlough days, or eliminated them altogether. Source: Government Executive…

 

 

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Poll: Almost Nobody Believes Obama’s Promise To Reform NSA; Patriot Act

President Barack Obama unveiled a series of self-policing policies last Friday, in an effort to regain the confidence of Americans shellshocked by ongoing revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other Federal agencies are engaged in the secret, warrantless and comprehensive surveillance of nearly every aspect of citizens’ digital lives.

Among the President’s promises was a proposed revision to the now-infamous Patriot Act Section 215, which allows the FBI to secretly monitor the records and activities of U.S. citizens in conjunction with a terror investigation – even if the subject isn’t suspected of criminal activity.

Obama also pledged to appoint a civil liberties monitor who would serve as a legal advocate for “John Doe” citizens whenever Federal law enforcement agencies approach the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain a secret search warrant. To date, law enforcement has breezed through the FISC warrant-obtaining process without facing any opposition from an opposing entity that acts in the interest of the people who are to be spied on.

In addition, the President promised to create an appointed body of independent watchdogs to review intelligence and communications data-gathering policies. The panel would consist of outside tech experts who presumably understand, from a technological feasibility point of view, the potential weak points in assuring citizens’ privacy as the NSA and related agencies go on with their spy business. NSA head James Clapper, the man who lied to Congress about the extent of the agency’s surveillance on ordinary Americans, would head up that panel.

So it comes as no surprise that a Rasmussen poll taken over the weekend reveals that nearly everyone in the U.S.A. thinks it’s a bunch of B.S. Only 11 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed said they believe the President’s ideas will have the positive effect of curbing the scope of the Feds’ secret surveillance practices. Not only that, but 30 percent of those polled said they believe the government will actually ramp up its citizens spying activities, regardless of Obama’s promises. Another 49 percent said the President’s plans won’t change anything.

[M]ost voters still don’t trust the government to protect their constitutional rights,” observed poll analysts. “Very few expect the program to cut back on monitoring the phone calls of innocent Americans.”

Check out the summary of the poll’s results at Rasmussen.

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

 

Hillary To The Rescue: Clinton To Kick Off Series Of Speeches To Bolster Trust In Government

Back in June, President Barack Obama made his own bully attempt to shore up Americans’ growing skepticism of the Federal government by telling a San Jose audience “we’re going to have some problems here” if people won’t trust him, Congress and the court system to uphold the Constitution. His heavy-handed wordplay went over like a lead dirigible.

Now Hillary Clinton is preparing to put her own spin on the President’s “trust us” message.

In a move expected to revive her public profile as the 2016 Presidential campaign season gets underway, Clinton will launch a speech blitz over the “next few months,” with the first – an address on the “balance and transparency necessary in our national security policies” – set to take place next month in Philadelphia.

Clinton unveiled her speech tour at a Monday address before the American Bar Association in San Francisco. She used the bulk of her 45 minutes behind the mic to lambast the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down portions of the Voting Rights Act that had unequally leashed some States’ ability to draw their own voting districts without Federal babysitting.

Cribbing a page from President Obama’s playbook of class warfare, Clinton said race-based voter discrimination is very much alive and well in 2013.

“In the weeks since the ruling we have seen an unseemly rush by previously covered jurisdictions that will make it harder for our fellow Americans to vote,” she said. “Unless we act now, citizens will be disenfranchised and victimized by the law instead of served by it….[A]nyone who says that racial discrimination is not a problem in American elections must not be paying attention.”

Breitbart wryly notes that Clinton isn’t exactly a confidence-inspiring torch bearer for Americans demanding their voyeuristic government to put down the binoculars:

According to Philip Rucker, White House correspondent for The Washington Post, Hillary planned to emphasize restoring faith in government – an ironic theme, considering that she was a member of the current administration presiding over the rapid decline in faith in government.

No word on whether this round of addresses will remunerate Hillary at her customary rate of $200,000 a pop.

Who’s Really The Clown? Left Freakout Over Silly Rodeo Stunt Shows Misplaced Priorities

The clown’s been banned from the Missouri State Fair for life. All clowns who succeed him will have to first go through sensitivity training. The President of the Missouri Cowboy Rodeo Association, which sponsors the State Fair rodeo, resigned under pressure (he’s still a school superintendent by day). Democratic State legislators are even urging an investigation to determine whether the State should pull its financial support of the, you know, State Fair.

All because of this? (Watch the video if you want – but honestly, the whole thing is such a non-event that you’re likely to come away even more unimpressed by the hoopla than you already are. At about the 2:20 mark, the announcer obviously pokes a little common, showman-like fun at the President’s likeness, and life goes on.)

 

Of course, liberals cried ‘racism’ and blamed the Tea Party for infiltrating the Nation’s fraternity of rodeo clowns.

Where were sensitive conservatives back in 1994, when this kind of cruelty was being perpetrated against President George H.W. Bush? The Washington Examiner tracked down the account of a reporter who witnessed that grievous event:

The big white gate flew open. The bull came out bucking. The rider flopped from side to side and the bullfighters held back, letting the bull make his moves until the rider dropped off. Licciardello crouched in a heavily padded barrel, a human target should the bull decide to charge. Hawkins waited near the barrel, holding his big inner tube. A dummy with a George Bush mask stood beside the clown, propped up by a broomstick.

T.J. Hawkins rolled out the big inner tube, and the bull lowered his head, shot forward and launched into the tube, sending it bounding down the center of the arena. The crowd cheered. Then the bull saw the George Bush dummy. He tore into it, sending the rubber mask flying halfway across the sand as he turned toward the fence, sending cowboys scrambling up the fence rails, hooking one with his horn and tossing him off the fence.

Lighten up, Left. This Nation is a big and diverse place, and every citizen is covered by the 1st Amendment. No one yelled “fire” in this public place, and no one tested the boundaries of obscenity. The whole absurd reaction to this homespun, innocent little slice of community theater has a stifling, choking quality for those who believe in free speech and free assembly – and that’s the one and only thing that’s remotely ominous about this whole clownish ordeal.

Here’s How Much You’ll Pay Not To Enroll In Obamacare

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released the penalty schedule for people who choose to remain uninsured once Obamacare takes effect, revealing a punitive fee schedule that starts with a relatively low dollar amount in 2014 and increases dramatically by the third full year of implementation.

If you’re a single adult who makes less than $10,000 a year, expect to pay $95 for opting out of health care coverage in 2014. If you make more than that and you’re single, you’ll pay one percent of your annual income above the $10,000 filing threshold (the filing threshold bumps up to $20,000 for families.)

In other words, a single person earning $40,000 a year will have to pay a $300 penalty to opt out of coverage. A family with a household income of $40,000 would be penalized $200 in 2014.

In 2015, the number ramps up to a flat $325 – or 2 percent of annual income (whichever is greater). For 2016 and beyond, the penalty will be the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of annual income.

Those numbers are for single adults. Uninsured children are penalized at half the adult rate.

The penalties have an annual maximum. They can’t exceed the National average premium that people will be paying to receive the so-called “bronze” (i.e., cheapest) coverage plan offered by State-run insurance exchanges. The catch is that even the bronze level of coverage is expected to grow more expensive, with annual premiums forecast to reach $5,000 for individual plans by 2016.

There are exemptions from the penalties. But unless you’re an illegal alien, an American Indian or earn so little that you don’t have to file a tax return, you’re likely out of luck.

Unless, that is, you live in one of the States with a Republican Governor who’s pledged not to expand the Medicaid program as the Affordable Care Act prescribes. Ironically, poor people in the holdout States will be exempt.

Sebelius Pledges Feds Will Always Be There For The States; The Climate Change Gestapo; Alternative Media Gets Foot In White House Door; Bono Preaches Free Enterprise Over Handouts; Obamacare’s Slow Roll – Tuesday Morning News Roundup 8-13-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke to assembled State legislators in Atlanta Monday, noting fear among states that Congress will not hold to its original promises on Medicaid financing. Obamacare proposes that federal taxpayers will cover expansion costs in fiscal 2014, 2015 and 2016, with the federal share eventually dropping to 90 percent, leaving 10 percent to each participating state. The expansion is intended to supplant existing federal and state payments to hospitals that treat the uninsured. Sebelius assured lawmakers that “this is not a bait-and-switch,” and she noted that several states that plan to accept Medicaid expansion have required in law that they withdraw from the program if a future Congress ever reneges on the 90-10 cost split. Source: CBS Atlanta…

 

  • Buried in a lengthy Washington Post article about President Obama’s environmental policy is an illuminating anecdote about just how debatable the administration views climate change — namely, not at all. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell took the unusual step of suggesting that no one working for her should challenge the idea that human activity is driving recent warming. “I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior,” said Jewel. Source: Washington Examiner… 

 

  • New York Times reporter Peter Baker tweeted some news yesterday that signals the shift in influence from old media organizations to new media entities: “WH briefing room chgs: Real Clear Politics, Yahoo News to get seats. Sharing seats: MediaNews, Daily Beast, SiriusXM, Sky News, FT, Guardian.” The addition of RCP to the White House briefing room is seen by many media observers as a shift in relevance and importance for new media companies. Source: Breitbart… 

 

  • While speaking at Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Event, U2 frontman Bono admitted that capitalism trumps aid in the long run. “Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure. Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development. Source: Independent Journal…

 

  • According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the Obama administration had missed as many as one-third of the deadlines, specified by law, under the Affordable Care Act. The latest piece of the puzzle to stall out until 2015 is a provision that sets caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs. Source: Forbes…

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