Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA3)
Representative Mike Kelly, speaking on the House floor today, managed something very rare in the history of the institution – he got a standing ovation. Applause is usually forbidden in the house, but Kelly‘s blistering attack on regulatory red tape and Washington’s culture of control was apparently so powerful that several of his fellow house members couldn’t resist showing their support, clapping, standing up and shouting, “USA! USA! USA!”
This just when I was losing hope about Pennsylvania, especially the state capitol, Philadelphia. But one of the new Congressmen that "we" sent to Washington in 2010 has rocked the House, and we are finally seeing movement to rid ourselves of the plague of regulatory abuse that is helping to kill our economy.
Hooray for Mike Kelly!!! May you inspire many others in those marbled halls to finally begin doing the right thing!
You've got to pass it to see what's in it!
We talked about the blatant Land Grab provision in the so-called Surface Transportation Bill back on April 5
. This federal land grab has nothing to do with highways or "surface transportation". But Congress is still throwing together huge "potpourri bills" -- they just throw in anything anybody wants to hide whether or not it's at all related to the advertised purpose of the bill. They don't expect anyone to actually read these behemoths or to be capable of understanding the overreach involved in each hidden piece.Well, another surprise for us is hidden in this mess. It turns out that Section 31406 mandates all vehicle manufacturers, beginning with the 2015 model year, install "black box" tracking and recording devices in every vehicle manufactured. These devices will store in a "secure" manner so as to prevent "unauthorized access" (this means by you, the owner) to the data which shall include gps tracking information, speed and all operational details for a "reasonable period". The provisions allow law enforcement to access the data in the event of an accident, citation, or other emergency -- or by warrant or if given permission by the owner of the vehicle. Surprise! You just lost more of your privacy and liberty.And this, too, has nothing at all to do with highway transportation funding and authorizations. It's just something some minor tyrants in the Senate wanted to "stick into" the highway appropriations bill, hoping no one notices. Isn't it time we demand that these bills full of potpourri and pork be simplified? Why don't we all demand "one issue to a bill"? Why don't we demand simple, understandable bills? If the Senate wants to track and monitor all citizens, why don't they come right out and put that in a bill -- transparent and openly debated?As long as we sheeple meekly allow this behavior, the petty, cowardly tyrants in Congress will continue to hide their little easter egg suprises in huge obtusely structured and worded bills trying to pull the wool over our eyes. I'm sick and tired of this! Aren't you?By the way, this is the very same bill that includes another section giving power to the Internal Revenue Service to revoke U.S. Passports if they have an issue with the individual. What's that got to do with highway appropriations? But it has everything to do with another power grab by a growing federal bureaucracy.The bill is now expected to pass easily in the House. Yep! It will, unless we sheeple wake up and demand otherwise.Bill Cochrane
Natural Gas Fracking
The Triangle J Council of Governments hosted a workshop for local elected officials, managers, and local commission members entitled: Hydraulic Fracturing: Practical Considerations and First-Hand Experience. The workshop was held at the Lee County Farm Bureau Auditorium in Sanford, NC, at 1:30 PM on March 29, 2012.
This video covers the 2h:52m workshop, including the Q&A session.
Speakers include: Kirby Bowers, Executive Director, Triangle J Council of Governments; Ryke Longest, Duke University School of Law; Jim Hassinger, Executive Director, Southwest Pennsylvania Regional Commission; Rod Ruddock, Chairman, Indiana County Board of Commissioners, Byron Stauffer, Economic Development Director, Indiana County; and Richard Whisnant, UNC School of Government
The workshop gave an excellent overview of the fracking process, the issues and concerns related to the industy, the status of NC laws and regulations related to fracking, and the truth behind many of the myths, rumors, and misinformation that abound.
Those of us serving on the Moore County Land Use Steering Committee were asked to attend this workshop. I am very glad that I did! I highly recommend it to everyone.
This industry stands to bring more prosperity and good fortune to many of the residents of Moore County. Are there problems? Yes! Are there concerns? Yes! Can it be done both economically and safely for our people, our environment and our common benefit? Yes! It will require REASONABLE balanced regulations - yes! It will require that we work with those who have a single-minded fear of change, of possible accidents, of harm to the environment. It will require that we listen to those who resist change and wish to preserve the county in some kind of imagined "pristine" state. We must listen to these and we must respect and heed their fears and their ideals as long as they are also reasonable. But we must stand against obstructionists and take advantage ot this wonderful opportunity that Creation has given us.
You are going to read a great deal about this issue in the media. You're going to hear a great deal about it in local politics. You need to be informed and not simply accept hype and sound-bytes. Please, when you have the time, sit down and listen. You will be glad that you did.
Unsustainable species of hog?
You may think this story is some kind of early April Fools prank, but it isn't. This is factually true and verifiable through documents, videos and websites. The state of Michigan seriously intends to unleash a mass murder spree of pigs of the wrong color
beginning April 1.
The food and sustainability police are trying to break loose across the country to impose strict controls on what the Big Government bureaucrats consider "unsustainable" or outside of their defined regulatory permissions -- tailored, of course, to benefit their best crony allies and contributors.
This example is the latest assault on the family farm, independent small farmers, food choice, and unwanted competition. You can read it and chalk it all up to a dispute over the freedom to raise alternative species (which seems to be alright if you are a major agricultural conglomerate who decides to introduce new genetically-engineered species). But if you are a small independent farmer who decides to raise "heritage" species and to introduce unwanted competition to the conglomerates who partner with the regulators, then not so fast! You're a felon!
Those who have learned to connect the dots will recognize this as part of a much bigger picture. But even those who simply treasure freedom, limited government, personal choice, or perhaps, preservation of heritage species of traditional farm crops and livestock should be outraged by this regulatory overreach. If it's not stopped now, this lust for power and control will only spread.
Read the accounts on Natural News
and The Blaze
Here's the latest update on the Sackett's case
. The Supreme Court has ruled that they can challenge the EPA in court, and the Supreme Court sent a message to Congress that there are serious overreach issues with the Clean Water Act which is being abused by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hooray for common sense! Unfortunately, the ruling still leaves these unfortunate victims facing more legal costs and stressful battles against an out of control regulatory agency. However, it is + one for the good guys and - one for the bad guys.
Read about it: Supreme Court Sides with Idaho Property Owners Over the EPA
EPA Wetlands - Beware!
I first told you about the Sacketts
back in September of last year. The EPA continued to bully and intimidate these hapless landowners, and the courts continued to support the EPA's tyranny.
But the case has now been heard by the Supreme Court, and we are very hopeful that the Supreme Court will put a stop to this nonsense.
The video below gives an update of the case.
Furthermore, Senator Rand Paul has introduced legislation that would change the definition of lands falling under Federal jurisdiction to protect citizens and property owners from the types of abuse experienced by the Sacketts. I urge you to call our NC senators and tell them to support Senator Rand Paul's bill, S-2122
. A clear explanation of Senate Bill 2122 can be read here
I'm going to give you two examples today. Of course, if you haven't already learned of these absurdities by now, then I have to ask, "Where have you been?" But nevermind....The first one involves our mad morons at the Environmental Protection Agency. You know.... The ones who are trying their best to take us back to the good ole horse and buggy days. (But they would insist on horses somehow bred to have a smaller "carbon footprint"!) What have the idiots at the EPA done this time?Why, the EPA is fining gasoline refineries and producers for not using a biofuel additive mixture which does not even exist!
First, they passed a regulation requiring that a set percentage of certain "biofuels" -- which did not exist -- must be mixed with gasoline produced at refineries. Then, when the "biofuels" were not added -- because they don't exist -- the producers are being fined! Great gig if you can get it, right?! Wish in one hand, EPA, and want in the other, and see which one fills up first.... Oh. Yeah. You're the all-powerful ruling class. If your wishes don't work, you want fines and more power. I see. No, you simply can't make this stuff up! And it doesn't matter that gasoline prices are hurting the nation and our economy more now than ever before, let's fine 'em more and kick those prices on up there! Remember: "Under my Administration, energy prices will necessarily skyrocket."
-- Barack Hussein Obama, June, 2009
Golly gee! Is there anyone left alive who doesn't realize how incredibly insane government has become these days? In my younger days, I used to enjoy the humorous lunacy of Mad Magazine. It's still around, by the way.... But no lunacy they might write could ever match the unbelievable madness coming out of our federal and state governments. As they say, "You just can't make this stuff up!"
You see, the glorious wonderful "Occupy" crowd has spawned a rat explosion in Washington D.C. due to their "modern" (read that decadent, filthy, unsanitary personal hygiene and living standards) and their "concern for the environment" (read that unsanitary, garbage-laden, trashy, primitive conditions in their "camps"). So, now Washington D.C. has a rat infestation problem. So, what's the solution? Well, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010, the pest control -- excuse me, they are now called wildlife management services providers in the politically correct newspeak of the Beloved Leader and his benevolent Administration -- ok, the wildlife management services providers cannot harm the pests -- no
, another mistake, please strike that...I mean protected species.... -- no the wildlife management services providers cannot harm the protected species in relocating them to new and better homes. This is no joke.No the wildlife management services providers must live-trap the protected species -- no tape or glues allowed! -- and be sure to capture them in families so as not to separate any protected rodent from his/her family (not sure how you tell easily which rats are in a family, but I suppose that's irrelevant). Once a family of protected species have been taken into protective custody, they must be relocated to suitable habitat at least 25 miles from the original location. In this case, that means the good folks of Washington D.C. will be relocating their rat problem -- oh golly, I mean protected species -- to the good folks in Virginia.Suffice it to say, the good Virginians aren't too pleased with hosting Occupy Washington's pest problem -- darn it, protected species. They're complaining. But to no avail! No! Congress has spoken, and the Benevolent Administration is diligently ensuring that the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 is enforced. Next, there's talk about a squirrel problem in Washington D.C. caused by the squirrels acting like rats and over-multiplying from all the "food" made available by the Occupy "protestors". So, I suppose our good friends in Virginia will also get the opportunity to provide homes for D.C.'s excess squirrels, too. Oh joy!You just can't make this stuff up!Now, this piece is already long enough, and I've only covered two small examples. Yes, our federal and state governments have gone insane. The world is upside-down. The inmates are in charge of the asylum. We have stepped through a looking glass, and I'm not certain we can find our way back. We'll see in 2012....."It's a very strange world that we live in, Master Jack." -- Four Jacks and a Jill, 1967Bill Cochrane
My second example involves the feckless asinine dolts we elected to Congress. Egads! When are we going to begin electing people with some part of a real brain to represent us? (That's a rhetorical question. I don't have that much faith anymore in a large part of the American electorate.) Yes, our elected representatives passed the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 during the waning hours of Nancy and Harry's heyday right before the 2010 elections. Ah, yes! The gift these despicable despots gave to the country is on full display now in Washington D.C. and Virginia!
So what was Pepsi's sin as defined by EEOC bureaucrats and their liberal cheerleaders? Pepsi had administered the same pre-employment screening to all job applicants regardless of their race, color, or creed. Specifically, Pepsi used criminal background checks to screen job seekers -- something it presumably did to measure the content of every job applicant's character. Applicants with arrest records (though not necessarily convictions) were disqualified, and Pepsi also turned away applicants convicted of minor offenses.
The trouble was is that the background checks were, according to the EEOC, disqualifying higher numbers of blacks than whites because - well - more blacks applying to Pepsi had higher numbers of arrests! Or as the Associated Press noted in an article: the EEOC said Pepsi's discriminatory background checks "can limit job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites."
In a statement, the EEOC was practically gloating over Pepsi's settlement:
"The EEOC's investigation revealed that more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment. Under Pepsi's former policy, job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense.
Pepsi's former policy also denied employment to applicants from employment who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses. The use of arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when it is not relevant for the job, because it can limit the employment opportunities of applicants or workers based on their race or ethnicity."
Pepsi, after being dragged through the EEOC's rabbit hole, agreed to make amends with new hiring policies more sensitive to minorities. Even so, Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco told the AP that Pepsi's old hiring policy had been neutral, and that the EEOC had in fact not found any intentional discrimination.
"We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and we have been widely recognized for our efforts for decades," he was quoted as saying. To be sure, Pepsi will still look at job seekers criminal histories, but a more "individualized approach" will now be taken -- one that considers criminal histories within the context of the job being sought.
As part of the settlement, the more than 300 black applicants who were turned down for employment will get suitable job offers and split up most of the $3.1 million. Pepsi also "will provide the EEOC with regular reports on its hiring practices and offer anti-discrimination training to its hiring personnel and managers," according to the AP.
Pamela Devata, a Chicago employment lawyer, told the wire service that the EEOC has stepped up complaints about background checks over the past year. "The EEOC has taken a very aggressive enforcement posture on the use of criminal background and criminal history," she was quoted as saying.
Under the Obama administration, the EEOC's Pepsi shakedown is apparently nothing new. The AP noted that the settlement, which was announced on Wednesday, "is part of a national government crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics."
Alice-in-Wonderland indeed! Or perhaps the better term is Obama-in-Wonderland.
Pepsi Beverages Co. has agreed to a $3.1 million settlement to end federal charges of racial discrimination over its hiring practices - but this wasn't the sort of discrimination that once existed in the Jim Crow South. Pepsi was guilty of racial discrimination as defined by government bullies at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Increasingly, the EEOC has used the battering ram of discrimination, as the EEOC loosely defines it, to promote "diversity" at all costs. And no matter if this means sacrificing the concept of meritocracy (critical to free-markets and democracy) for the sake of their ideological agenda.
How can I go around Congress again?
Independent truckers have begun to realize that the real agenda is to force them out of the marketplace and protect big, unionized trucking companies through government regulations. New regulations really aren't about protecting the environment, safety, consumer protections or any of the other shell excuses that the government is using. They are about the increasing partnership of big corporations, big banks, unions, and the government. It's called fascism, which is simply a phase of implementing full socialism.
And that's what new regulations such as those the EPA is trying to force through around Congress are really meant to accomplish. Hooray that the independent truckers have caught on to the real game and are now actively fighting it. If we had all been fighting earlier and fighting stronger longer, we might not have come to the mess the country now faces.
Read: EPA Headed for a "Smack Down" by Independent CA Truckers
Senators Dodd & Frank
The CFPB has no oversight of its activities. By the provisions of the
Dodd-Frank bill, neither the current nor any future Congress may affect the budget nor alter the policies of the CFPB. The Administration is authorized to appoint the Head of the CFPB upon a vacancy; however, neither the Administration nor the Congress may remove, impeach, or recall the agency's Director.Not only is Congress (including future Congresses) and the Administration (including future Administrations) supposedly powerless to oversee or affect the CFPB and its rules, regulations, and budget, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is, by the terms of the Dodd-Frank act, immune from the Judiciary. No party -- not any branch or department of the Federal Government, not the Federal Reserve itself, not any State government,, nor any U.S. citizen, business, nor organization may sue the CFPB in any court.Now, how's that for an all powerful rogue organization totally outside the Federal Government and U.S. Constitution? Thank you Messieurs Dodd and Frank! Damn you Congress for passing such a monstrosity!So, now that you understand how un-Constitutional and extra-Constitutional this heinous creation of a lop-sided Congress really is, how surprised are you that this would-be dictator of a president has un-Constitutionally named the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's new Director?Bill Cochrane_______________________________________
Today Barack Obama threw a temper tantrum and declared war on the United States Constitution.
How did he do that?
He made four recess appointments. The Constitution allows the President to make an appointment if Congress is in a recess.
The problem? Congress is not in recess
From the Washington Times
:Defying Congress, President Obama used his recess appointment powers Wednesday to name a head for the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to the National Labor Relations Board — moves Republican senators said amounted to a constitutional power grab.The president acted just a day after the Senate held a session, breaking with at least three different precedents that said the Senate must be in recess for at least three days for a recess appointment. Mr. Obama himself was part of two of those precedents, both during his own time in the Senate and again in 2010 when one of his administration’s top constitutional lawyers made the three-day argument to the Supreme Court.Mr. Obama tapped Richard Cordray to head the CFPB and named three others to the labor board — all of which had been stymied by congressional Republicans who said Mr. Obama is accruing too much power to himself through those two agencies.In strikingly sharp language, Republicans said the Senate considers itself still in session for purposes of blocking recess appointments, and the move threatened to become a declaration of war against Congress. “Although the Senate is not in recess, President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.GOP House Speaker John A. Boehner called the move “an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department.”
Great, the GOP has issued statements. The GOP is angry and to show their anger, they are going to issue statements to say how angry they are.
Obama made the moves he made because he does not fear the GOP. He knows the Republican leadership will sputter, then complain, and in the end, do nothing.
How about a little courage and action from the GOP? Senators could start by suing Obama to stop the appointments. The GOP in the Senate could start filibustering EVERYTHING bill that comes up until Obama backs down. The House can refuse to pass any bills until Obama backs down.
Given the lack of courage the GOP leadership displayed in 2011, we should not hold our breath for any courage in 2012.
Barack Obama certainly is not worried about the Republicans.Judson Phillips, TPN
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in July, 2010, within the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill. The new agency is more than an un-Constitutional creation -- it is fully an extra-Constitutional agency, that is, fully outside of the Constitutional government. If you will recall, the Dodd-Frank bill placed the new agency within the Federal Reserve. It's budget was established to be a set percentage of the overall Federal Reserve's own budget. The Federal Reserve sets its own budget; therefore, the CFPB budget is outside of the Federal Government Budget. Congress nor the Administration have any control over the CFPB budget. Since it is a defined percentage, the Federal Reserve itself does not exercise any control over the CFPB budget.