Obama Launches ‘War On Coal’ In Ill-Fated Energy Initiative

President Barack Obama delivered a much-anticipated speech at Georgetown University Tuesday, pledging to use executive orders to implement Federal regulations on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide after being stonewalled by a Democrat-controlled Congress during his first term.

Calling climate change the “threat of our time,” the President settled the controversy over the existence of human-generated global warming and ended any debate about its relative significance by admonishing:

The question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science, of chemistry and physics — millions of measurements have put all that to rest. Ninety-seven per cent of scientists — including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data — have put that to rest. They have acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity has contributed to it.

As an American; as a president; as a father, I am here to say, “We need to act.” Our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind.

Ahead of Obama’s climate change speech, Harvard Environmental Center Director and White House “climate adviser” Daniel P. Schrag told The New York Times that, for the Obama Administration, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

“Everybody is waiting for action,” Schrag said. “The one thing the President really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

Why is Obama doing this? In his stillborn, scandal-plagued second term, there is hardly much current political capital the President can tap for even a benign policy initiative. And taking decisive action against the coal industry — in the form of penalties for power plants that generate electricity through the burning of coal — is about as benign an initiative as instituting a state religion.

“When Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, Obama could not get climate control legislation passed. That explains why he is now seeking to go around Congress to enact anti-coal regulations by fiat,” writes Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, who goes on to argue that nothing Obama could have planned will galvanize his political opponents — as well as make opponents of regular Americans affected by the higher energy prices his policies will yield — than living out an Al Gore-type executive fantasy of implementing regressive, punitive energy goals:

The reason even Democrats balked on climate change regulations in the first term (it stalled in the Senate) is because it is economically debilitating, especially in energy producing states; politically unpopular in red states and among the vast majority of all conservatives nationwide; and useless (so long as China, India, etc. don’t follow suit it does virtually nothing for the planet as a whole — even if one buys the global warming hysteria)…

…Conservatives are once again bonded together in common cause against a president bizarrely antagonistic toward domestic energy production and low energy prices. The gubernatorial campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, in a dog fight with Democrat Terry McAuliffe, let loose on the Democrats’ plans, citing the energy resources in Virginia that directly or indirectly contribute to nearly 20,000 jobs and $2.5 billion toward the state economy. Now, there’s an issue that may turn out his base and get independents riled up.

Whether Obama’s executive actions on coal regulations can be mitigated by a saner President in the future, he’s already arming Republicans with everything they need to make mincemeat of their Democratic opponents in local and State elections.

Dems Play Race Card From SCOTUS Ruling; NSA Scandal Throws Pelosi Off Game; Rubio Comes Full Circle On Amnesty; Nobody Corrupts Like The IRS — Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-25-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Fallout Predictable Over SCOTUS’ Voter Rights Act Ruling

Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby V. Holder case struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The Internet went nuts, with ignorant Twitter users firing off lamentations about the end of voting equality in America. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder gave them great fodder. Read More… 

No More Sunshine And Butterflies: NSA Fallout Broadsides Lib Lawmakers

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has had a pretty fail-safe formula for her “preaching to the choir” speaking engagements over the past few years: Praise Obama, demonize conservatives and talk about rainbows, butterflies, abortion and homosexuality. Read More… 

Gang Of Eight Conversion Has Rubio’s Star Falling Among Conservatives

A new poll from the Rasmussen Report shows Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has lost much of the good will he’d cultivated among conservatives since his election during the Tea Party’s 2010 midterm surge. Blame the Gang of Eight. Read More… 

IRS Handed Out Tax Dollars To Friends

House investigators reveal in a recent report that one businessman’s friendship with an IRS official allowed him to accrue $500 million in taxpayer-funded Federal contracts. Read More… 

Fallout Predictable Over SCOTUS’ Voter Rights Act Ruling

Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby V. Holder case struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965.

The Internet went nuts, with ignorant Twitter users firing off lamentations about the end of voting equality in America. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder gave them great fodder. Here’s Obama:

I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today… Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.

Like Chicago?

Here’s Holder:

Let me be very clear: we will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action – using every legal tool that remains available to us – against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling by hindering eligible citizens’ full and free exercise of the franchise…

…As the President has made clear, Congress needs to act to make sure every American has equal access to the polls.

Here’s Nancy Pelosi:

This decision weakens the cause of voting rights in our time, disregards the challenges of discrimination still facing our country, and undermines our nation’s ongoing effort to protect the promise of equality in our laws.

Not quite. The court simply ruled that Section 4 of the VRA has outlived whatever usefulness it had four decades ago in subjecting States with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to Federal oversight in the drawing of Congressional voting districts.

In effect, the court said, “The law worked. States more or less discriminate at about the same rate now when they draw their maps. Let the VRA States draw their maps the same way the rest of the Nation does — without having to beseech the Federal government for approval.”

Chief Justice John Roberts noted the culturally inculcated belief that the Deep South is a hotbed of institutional racism isn’t recognizable in an examination of the facts of the post-civil rights era.

“If Congress had started from scratch in 2006, it plainly could not have enacted the present coverage formula. It would have been irrational for Congress to distinguish between states in such a fundamental way based on 40-year-old data, when today’s statistics tell an entirely different story.”

The Court didn’t strike down the entire VRA, and racial discrimination against would-be voters remains as illegal as before. Racist liberal politicians know this, but are all too happy to trot out the race card once again in their ongoing, condescending effort to hypnotize minorities into voting blue.

Gang Of Eight Conversion Has Rubio’s Star Falling Among Conservatives

A new poll from the Rasmussen Report shows Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has lost much of the good will he’d cultivated among conservatives since his election during the Tea Party’s 2010 midterm surge.

The poll finds Rubio slipping among his base, with his approval rating among conservatives standing at 58 percent — a drop of 10 percentage points since May, and 15 points since February.

Blame the Gang of Eight. Rubio’s involvement in the push for a bipartisan agreement to effect immigration reform, and especially the inclusion of President Barack Obama’s sine qua non condition to allow amnesty and a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens, has incensed the majority of Rubio’s conservative base.

He also hasn’t helped himself by flip-flopping on his election-year stance, when he famously slammed the immigration plan put forward by his present-day colleague in the Gang of Eight, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). “‘Earned path to citizenship’ is basically code for amnesty,” Rubio had said back then. “It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so.”

Enjoy a walk down memory lane with this helpful graphic produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform:

Marco Rubio_amnesty_timeline_2-15-2013

Benghazi Subpoenas; Obama’s Climate War; Kerry’s Replacement; The Elusive Snowden; Pork Bullets Send Martyrs To Hell — Monday Morning News Roundup 6-24-2013

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

  • House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who’s investigating last year’s terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, has subpoenaed four State Department officials, saying the department was stalling on efforts to interview them. Source: Washington Times…
  • President Barack Obama is launching fresh battles over climate change with plans to curb emissions using executive powers that sidestep Congress — including controversial rules to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. Source: The Hill…
  • Democratic U.S. Representative Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez face off today in a special election to determine a successor to John Kerry, who left the Senate to lead the Obama Administration’s cabinet as Secretary of State. The race appears to be Markey’s to lose. Source: Reuters…
  • Russia’s foreign minister has said the surveillance whistle-blower Edward Snowden never crossed the border into the country, deepening the mystery over his suspected flight from Hong Kong. Source: The Guardian…
  • An Idaho ammunition manufacturer has developed “Jihawg,” a new line of pork-laced bullets they hope will fight against Islamic terrorists — and keep them from going to heaven. “With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack.” Source: CBS Seattle…

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

What Recovery? 7 Of 10 Americans Live Paycheck To Paycheck

Savings rates among American families have remained stagnant over the duration of America’s supposed recovery from the 2008 recession, and most people live paycheck to paycheck, with virtually no cash on hand to see them through an emergency.

That’s the not-so-surprising news arising from Monday’s analysis of a recent survey by Bankrate.

The survey found that 71 percent of Americans don’t have enough money in savings to weather a six-month emergency’s worth of living expenses, 50 percent have no more than three months’ worth of savings, and 27 percent have no savings at all.

Senior Financial Analyst Greg McBride said there’s a strange dichotomy separating Americans’ relative optimism concerning their net worth, job security and progress toward retirement from the reality of chronic paycheck-to-paycheck living:

Just one in five Americans feels their overall financial situation is worse now than one year ago… [But]Americans continue to express discomfort with their level of savings.

And it’s no wonder, looking at the lack of progress Americans have made in establishing an adequate savings cushion. Just 24 percent of Americans have enough savings to cover six months’ worth of expenses — comparatively unchanged since 2011 and 2012. At the other end of the spectrum are the 27 percent of Americans that have no emergency savings whatsoever, further highlighting how little progress Americans have made in moving the needle on emergency savings.

Aside from exaggerated proclamations from President Barack Obama that the U.S. is on a strong track toward a full economic “recovery,” part of the reason for sluggish savings can be attributed to some families’ focus, during the post-recession years, of getting out of the red before even thinking about getting into the black. Many are still whittling away at debts, according to financial planner Richard T. Fight, and others are simply still in paycheck-to-paycheck mode after blowing through their savings when the recession claimed their jobs or forced them into an unexpected retirement.

“Three months’ worth of expenses is hard to think about when you’ve been trying to find work for so long,” he told Bankrate. “People who [are] unemployed or underemployed are just trying to get by.”

It’s worth noting, also, that the survey doesn’t clarify whether it considers government-backed income replacement funds like SNAP cards, subsidized student loans and Pell grants, unemployment and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) as income in its survey methodology.

SCOTUS Punts On Affirmative Action; Clarence Thomas Calls Practice ‘A Nonstarter’

The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to hand down a landmark decision Monday, one that would determine the fate of affirmative action in America.

Instead, it took no action and remanded the case back to a lower court, opining that a university’s admissions practices weren’t properly vetted by the lower court and that, in reconsidering the case, the lower court should examine the process correctly — instead of “deferring to the University’s good faith,” as Chief Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

The decision doesn’t have the effect of endorsing or repealing affirmative action, but it does suggest the Supreme Court is stocked with justices who, if a merits case appeared before them, would favor ending the 48-year-old practice.

In his opinion Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas went beyond that hypothetical, letting it be known that he clearly believes there’s no place in America for institutionalized racial favoritism. He revisited his minority opinion of the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the court upheld another university’s affirmative action admissions practices:

I write separately to explain that I would overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306 (2003), and hold that a State’s use of race in higher education admissions decisions is categorically prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause…Attaining diversity for its own sake is a nonstarter. As even Grutter recognized, the pursuit of diversity as an end is nothing more than impermissible “racial balancing.” … Rather, diversity can only be the means by which the University obtains educational benefits; it cannot be an end pursued for its own sake. Therefore, the educational benefits allegedly produced by diversity must rise to the level of a compelling state interest in order for the program to survive strict scrutiny.

…It is also noteworthy that, in our desegregation cases, we rejected arguments that are virtually identical to those advanced by the University today. The University asserts, for instance, that the diversity obtained through its discriminatory admissions program prepares its students to become leaders in a diverse society… The segregationists likewise defended segregation on the ground that it provided more leadership opportunities for blacks.

Monday’s case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involved a white woman who was denied admission to the university and sued on the grounds of racial discrimination, arguing that other less-qualified minority students had been admitted ahead of her, thanks to affirmative action.

Instead of delivering a seismic ruling that favored either the plaintiff or the university, the Supreme Court essentially interjected the court system into future affirmative action policies at universities by asserting that schools must apply “strict scrutiny” in justifying the role racial background is to play in the admissions process. As Amy Howe explained the ruling Monday on SCOTUS blog:

The Court in Fisher took pains to make clear exactly what this means:  courts can no longer simply rubber-stamp a university’s determination that it needs to use affirmative action to have a diverse student body.  Instead, courts themselves will need to confirm that the use of race is “necessary” — that is, that there is no other realistic alternative that does not use race that would also create a diverse student body.  Because the lower court had not done so, the Court sent the case back for it to determine whether the university could make this showing.

Chicagoland Mayor Ditches Bloomberg Gun Grabbers; Rangle Wrangles The GOP; Snowden Pardon Petition Hits Target; Jim Carrey’s Krazy Gun Control Tweets — Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-24-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

 

Chicagoland Mayor Ditches Bloomberg’s Gun Control; Embraces Concealed Carry

A Chicagoland mayor is embracing concealed carry in a very personal way, revealing he’s parting ways with Mayors Against Illegal Guns after learning the group’s agenda goes far beyond its implied purpose of taking guns out of criminals’ hands. Read More… 

 

Dem Lawmaker: GOP Can Save Itself By Being More Democrat

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has set about on an odd mission: saving the Republican Party by urging members of the GOP to support Democrat legislative proposals. Wait, what? Read More… 

 

White House Website Petition To Pardon Edward Snowden Surpasses Threshold For Presidential Response

A petition begun June 9 at President Barack Obama’s “We The People” White House petition website calling for the pardon of Edward Snowden has crossed the 100,000-signature threshold needed in order to elicit an official response. But in Snowden’s case, the Administration wouldn’t be breaking precedent if it’s met with silence. Read More…

 

Jim Carrey Shoots Off His Mouth About Gun Violence

Comedian Jim Carrey caused a firestorm in March when he released the anti-gun video “Cold Dead Hand.” Now, the loudmouthed actor is once again making headlines for spouting off about gun violence. Read More… 

White House Website Petition To Pardon Edward Snowden Surpasses Threshold For Presidential Response

A petition begun June 9 at President Barack Obama’s “We The People” White House petition website calling for the pardon of Edward Snowden has crossed the 100,000-signature threshold needed in order to elicit an official response.

As of Monday afternoon, the petition had exceeded 113,000 signatures. It calls Snowden a “national hero” and commends him for shining a light on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) furtive spying programs he observed as a former contractor:

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Pardon Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

We The People has been active since Obama launched the site in 2011 as a high-profile effort to demonstrate his Administration’s commitment to transparency and accessibility. But scandals involving the National Security Agency, The Associates Press and the Internal Revenue Service have damaged whatever goodwill the President may have created with the American public in his bid to appear trustworthy. And in order to open or sign a petition, users must create an account at whitehouse.gov that links them to the site.

In Snowden’s case, the Administration wouldn’t be breaking precedent if there’s no response, despite the petition for his pardon meeting requirements Obama himself help put in place. Successful petitions for the President to intervene amid ongoing investigations of other criminal suspects like Chris Williams, who allegedly violated the law by growing medical marijuana, have been met with silence.

Chicagoland Mayor Ditches Bloomberg’s Gun Control; Embraces Concealed Carry

A Chicagoland mayor is embracing concealed carry in a very personal way, revealing he’s parting ways with an influential gun-control group after learning the group’s agenda goes far beyond its implied purpose of taking guns out of criminals’ hands.

Larry Morrissey, mayor of Rockford, Ill., a Chicago suburb, announced at a town hall forum Saturday he had dropped out of Mayors For Illegal Guns, the gun-control group begun by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, after realizing the group is more interested in infringing on Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights than in making sure that criminals don’t “illegally” get their hands on firearms.

“The reason why I joined the group in the first place was because I took the name for what it said – ‘against illegal guns,’” Morrissey said. “As the original mission swayed, that’s when I decided it was no longer in line with my beliefs.”

Morrissey, who won election in 2005 as a political independent, said he’s received death threats since taking office, and had so far availed himself of extra protection offered by the Rockford Police Department in order to keep himself and his family safe.

But he believes citizens should have the power to keep themselves safe, regardless of whether they have the luxury of a police detail. He told the a crowd of more than 200 that he intends to apply for an Illinois conceal carry permit — an announcement that garnered him a roar of applause.

“Any doubt that I might have had in my opinions about concealed carry when I first came into office changed quickly as I became an elected official and became very familiar with the types of crimes we’re dealing with,” he said. “The focus should not be against law-abiding citizens… I don’t want to put my family’s life at risk or my own life at risk if I can otherwise protect myself.”

H/T: Rockford Register Star