Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No biggie it's only a about a quarter of the investment.

Washington ups GM bailout loss estimate to $11.2B

Apparently, the cost of the US Treasury's bailout of General Motors is still being calculated. A new report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which oversees the TARP initiative, found that the US government has lost more money on its investment than previously believed.

The report shows that the Treasury actually lost about $11.2 billion in selling the automaker's stock, up from the roughly $10.3 billion that was previously estimated. Auditors found that the department wrote off an "administrative claim" tied to the bailout worth $826 million, which increased the cost, according to The Detroit Free Press.

At one point, the US Treasury owned 60.8 percent of GM stock, or about 912 million shares. It slowly sold the stake over the course of years, and GM even bought some of the shares back. The government finally divested itself of all of GM in December 2013. Towards the end of the sale, the Treasury predicted it would lose about $9.7 billion on the $49.5 billion investment, but apparently that estimate has proven to be optimistic.

The left's totalitarian impulse. Who needs a legislature of the people when you have such enlightened rulers

Posted By Michael Bastasch 

Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is not waiting for the state legislature to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, but instead has issued an executive order to implement a cap-and-trade program, eliminate coal power and fund green energy projects.
“This is the right time to act, the right place to act and we are the right people to act,” Inslee said. “We will engage the right people, consider the right options, ask the right questions and come to the right answers — answers that work for Washington.”
Inlsee argues that more action is needed if the state is to meet climate goals passed by the legislature in 2008. Those goals call for the state to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by certain amounts by 2020.
The governor’s office is now imposing a cap-and-trade system to lower carbon dioxide emissions in order to meet state goals. Inslee has created a “Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force” to design the state’s carbon trading system. The task force held it’s first meeting on Tuesday and will give its final recommendations to the governor in November.
“In Washington and across the nation, we’ve already begun to see the harm caused by climate change,” said Rod Brown, a member of the Cascadia Law Group and co-chair of the task force. “By acting now, we can protect Washingtonians while at the same time offering all of us the economic opportunities we see emerging in the clean energy economy.”
The executive order also requires state regulators to work with utilities to ban coal as a source of electricity in the state. Inslee has also ordered the creation of a “clean fuel standard” to reduce emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles.
And, of course, no climate plan would be complete without a program to fund green energy projects across the state. Inslee wants state regulators to work with Washington State University and others to create green energy programs and initiatives aimed at increasing solar power — despite the state’s reputation for cloudy days.
Matt Dempsey, spokesman for Secure Our Fuels, said in a statement: “By now it should be absolutely clear that an LCFS is the desired goal for Governor Inslee and his administration. This policy is bad news for working families, consumers and businesses in Washington State who will have to pay higher prices for energy and transportation if the Governor has his way.”
Washington will become the second West Coast state to implement a cap-and-trade system, following in the footsteps of California. The Golden State has both a cap-and-trade system as well as a low-carbon fuel standard, both of which are raising costs for households and businesses.
“You’re going to be seeing higher energy prices throughout the Pacific Coast,” said Daniel Simmons, director of regulatory and state affairs at the Institute for Energy Research (IER).
“California’s electricity prices are higher than all of its neighbors, yet they keep going down this path,” Simmons added.
But Inslee’s executive order should come as no surprise. Last October, Inslee signed an agreement with California Gov. Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and the environment minister of British Columbia to push forward with climate regulations even if the U.S. as a whole failed to do so.
“California isn’t waiting for the rest of the world before it takes action on climate change,” Brown said last October. “Today, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are all joining together to reduce greenhouse gases.”
Kitzhaber moved in February to use his executive authority to create an Oregon low-carbon fuel standard that would lower emissions from vehicles such as cars and trucks.
The West Coast already suffers from retail electricity prices and gasoline prices that are higher than the national average. California has seen huge price increases in electricity rates after the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant and cap-and-trade — retail rates for February 2014 were 16.18 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 15.68 cents per kilowatt hour a year ago.
Electricity prices in California were significantly higher than the national average of 11.88 cents per kilowatt hour in February 2014.
Washington, on the other hand, has electricity prices below the national average. The state actually had the “lowest residential electricity prices in the nation and the lowest combined electricity price across all sectors,” according to the Energy Information Administration. Most of its power comes from hydroelectric power — about 70 percent in 2010 to be precise.
While Washington does not produce much oil or coal, it’s the primary oil refining state in the Pacific Northwest and a place where mountain state coal mines look to export their products abroad. A low-carbon fuel standard in the state could hurt refining operations and increase prices at the pump.

Another unicorn dies


Despite President Barack Obama and Democrat's bold promise that Obamacare would lower the typical American family's health insurance premiums by $2,500, a devastating new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that just 8% of Americans report lower health care costs because of Obamacare.

Worse for Democrats, 47% of Americans say their health insurance costs have gone up because of the president's signature legislative achievement. 
As Breitbart News reported on Sunday, the "Where is my $2,500?" question stands to upend vulnerable Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. While President Barack Obama's Politifact "Lie of the Year"--"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan"--directly affected 5,000,000 Americans whose policies were canceled due to Obamacare, Obama's $2,500 promise stands to enrage tens of millions more whose wallets have yet to see the $2,500 in savings Obama promised them.
Nervous Democrats have already blasted Obama for putting them in a weak position heading into the Nov. 4 midterm elections. Last month a Democratic member of Congress told the New York Times Obama is now "poisonous" to Democrats. And top Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said, "I'm worried this could be a disaster."
Democrats have already felt the sting of the "Where's my $2,500?" question. At a Minnesota town hall, one voter asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) where his family's $2,500 in savings went. 
"I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2,500 per family. What happened?" asked the constituent.
The Minnesota Democrats stared at one another silently before bursting into laughter.
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that after four years of Obamacare, just 38%support Obama's signature legislative achievement.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll finds President Barack Obama hitting his lowest-ever approval rating of just 41%. 

Another example of why the mainstream media is not credible

Only CBS Covers Benghazi Emails Suggesting White House Cover-Up, NBC and ABC Ignore

Dissecting liberalism.

Why Liberals Don’t Care About Consequences

No amount of evidence will convince liberals that they were wrong. Evidence abounds, to be sure: Appeasement invites aggression. Handouts increase dependency. Coddling terror-states like Iran elicits megalomania. Big government stifles the economy. They don’t care. Really.
John Kerry romanced Basher Assad and Vanity Fair published a fawning profile of the Assad family, while the Obama administration secretly courted Iran. As a result we have in Syria the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the Arab world in modern times. Algeria racked up more casualties during the independence war of 1954-1962 and the civil war of 1991-2002, to be sure, but the casualties are coming faster in Syria and the displacement of immiserated civilians is greater. Do you hear liberals wringing their hands and asking, “Where did we go wrong?” They don’t, and they won’t. Ditto the disaster in Libya, which is turning into a Petri dish for terrorists post-Qaddafi. It doesn’t matter. Being in love with yourself means never having to say you’re sorry.

Warming without humans

Scientists probe Earth's last warm phase

Scientists now have a fuller picture of what happened at the poles during the last warm phase on Earth.
Known as the Eemian, this time period extended from roughly 129,000 years ago to about 116,000 years before present.
The poles were known to have been a few degrees warmer than they are today.
But by pulling together more than 40 ice core and marine sediment records, researchers, led by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), have obtained the most comprehensive assessment yet.
It confirms that the Antarctic emerged from Ice Age conditions first. The Northern Hemisphere followed.
"Interglacial conditions, warm conditions, were in place earlier in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere," explained Dr Emilie Capron from BAS.
"Eventually, the Northern Hemisphere catches up and then both poles are warmer than they are today.
"It's something we knew looking at a few records, but now we have more records showing exactly the same pattern," she told BBC News.
The data synthesis has been completed as part of the Past4Future project, an EU-funded initiative that seeks clues about what will happen to the Earth's climate in the decades ahead from an understanding of its past behaviour.
Scientists will now use the information to test their computer models.
If their simulations can reproduce the variation in temperatures across the land and ocean surfaces during the Eemian there will be greater confidence in the models as they look forward in time.
This has already been done for one model, "and its simulations are on the right track," confirms Dr Capron.
For her analysis, the BAS researcher combined five ice cores and 39 marine sediment records.
These can be used to infer past temperatures.
By studying the ratio of light to heavy molecules of water in the layers of the ice cores, for example, it is possible to gauge the likely precipitation conditions, and therefore the prevailing temperatures, during the ancient snowfalls on Antarctica and Greenland which formed them.
And something similar can be done using the mud layers of marine sediments.
These contain the skeletons of microscopic organisms called foraminifera, and the chemistry of their hard parts is heavily influenced by the temperature of the surface waters in which they swam.
"But having the temperatures is not enough," explained Dr Capron.
"If you are going to compare the climate from one place to another, you need a common chronology for all the different records. And this was the great challenge in this study - to try to transfer all the palaeoclimatic records on to just one time chronology, because we are working beyond the time where we can use radiocarbon dating."
One way to line up these types of records is to look for distinctive markers such as ash layers from major volcanic eruptions.
One set of marine sediment records that came too late to be included in the study is the newly-retrieved cores that were drilled from the Baltic Sea at the end of last year.
Under the International Ocean Discovery Program, scientists took cores from seven locations that trace the history of the Baltic Sea back in time from the present, all the way to, and through, the Eemian.
Preliminary study of these cores reveals extremely fine layers that should throw up fascinating new insights on the climate history of the region.
"The sediments of the Baltic basin provide a link between the continental and marine records," Dr Thomas Andren, the program's co-chief scientist, reported here at the EGU meeting.
"The Baltic is complicated because it reflects both the inputs of freshwater precipitation over land and also the inflow of marine water. These new cores will allow us to pull apart these signals, to see the climate history of the Baltic in unprecedented detail."
Emilie Capron's work, which has been submitted for publication in a science journal, was also conducted under the UK iGlass programme.

Democrat-industrial complex

Gov. Cuomo Criticized for Seeking Tech Advice From Google's Eric Schmidt

Looking for advice on how to spend $2 billion for schoolhouse technology, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo turned to one of the men who built Google into a global colossus.
Now critics are asking whether it’s appropriate for Eric Schmidt, the tech company’s executive chairman, to be recommending projects that his company could well benefit from.
“It’s a flat-out conflict,” said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog. “Google is getting its top people into places they can throw around some influence.”
Cuomo announced earlier this month that Schmidt would be the only tech expert on a three-person advisory panel -- the Smart Schools Commission -- charged with helping the governor’s administration spend the cash to be raised through a bond issue on the November ballot. Other members of the panel include are education expert Geoffrey Canada and Constance Evelyn, the schools superintendent in the upstate New York community of Auburn.
When the governor made his announcement, he said money from the referendum would, among other things, be “used for enhanced education technology in schools, with eligible projects including the purchase of classroom technology for use by students and teachers, as well as infrastructure improvements to bring high-speed broadband to schools and communities in their school district.”
Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing insisted, though, that Schmidt’s role would not give Google a leg up. Wing told ABC News that Cuomo sought out Schmidt – not the other way around – and that the executive is going to be far removed from government decisions that could benefit Google or harm the company’s competitors.
“New Yorkers are lucky that Eric Schmidt is volunteering his time to serve on the Smart Schools Commission, which will provide broad recommendations to help create 21st century classrooms in our schools,” Wing said. “The commission he is on is purely advisory and will not be recommending specific products. Instead school purchases will be determined by guidelines set by an independent panel, individual needs of school districts and a procurement process specifically designed to ensure taxpayer dollars go to the best bid. Any representations to the contrary are simply wrong.”
Any programs or initiatives suggested by the panel would have to be approved by a three-person board led by the state’s education commissioner. And any spending would have to go through the normal procurement process. State advisory panels have, however, been controversial in the past and their members are subject to many of New York’s rules governing conflicts of interest.
Simpson, and others currently questioning Schmidt’s appointment, said the Google leader will be able to play an unparalleled role in setting spending priorities in educational technology, an area that has been identified as a key growth sector for the ubiquitous internet company.
“If the governor were sincere about having technologists advise him, he would have gone to some highly respected academic technologists or even some other technologists” from other companies, Simpson said.
E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, told ABC News he doesn't know how an observer would conclude there's no conflict here. Schmidt "is a vendor. It's pretty clear to be there's a conflict. This is an incredible blind spot on the governor's part," McMahon said.
Wing stressed that all voices will be heard in the Smart Schools process even though Schmidt is the only tech expert or executive on the panel.
Contacted by ABC News, Google declined to comment and referred questions back to the governor’s office.
Schmidt, who has been with Google since 2001, was CEO of the company as it grew from start-up to behemoth. Schmidt, 59, has a doctorate in computer science from UC Berkeley, has advised President Obama and is a member of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

The greedy, voracious government taking more out of your pocket for their pet projects and improving roads is not one of them.

White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition

By ,

With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this summer, the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.

The proposal, contained in a four-year, $302 billion White House transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling.
Though some older segments of the network — notably the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes and Interstate 95 in Maryland and Virginia — are toll roads, most of the 46,876-mile system has been toll-free.
“We believe that this is an area where the states have to make their own decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We want to open the aperture, if you will, to allow more states to choose to make broader use of tolling, to have that option available.”
The question of how to pay to repair roadways and transit systems built in the heady era of post-World War II expansion is demanding center stage this spring, with projections that traditional funding can no longer meet the need.
That source, the Highway Trust Fund, relies on the 18.4-cent federal gas tax, which has eroded steadily as vehicles have become more energy efficient.
“The proposal comes at the crucial moment for transportation in the last several years,” Foxx said. “As soon as August, the Highway Trust Fund could run dry. States are already canceling or delaying projects because of the uncertainty.”
While providing tolling as an option to states, the White House proposal relies on funding from a series of corporate tax reforms, most of them one-time revenue streams that would provide a four-year bridge to close the trust-fund deficit and permit $150 billion more in spending than the gas tax will bring in.
The corporate tax reform proposal has gotten a lukewarm reception even from Democrats in Congress, and Foxx emphasized that the administration is open to any counterproposal that wins bipartisan support.
With the trust fund about to run into the red and the current federal highway bill set to expire Sept. 30, Congress cannot — as its members often note — keep “kicking the can down the road.”
Even a temporary extension of the current bill would require them to authorize a transfer of money from the general fund.
Details of the president’s proposal, which he first outlined almost two months ago, were welcomed as a sign of growing momentum toward a resolution, even by those who couldn’t fully embrace his plan.
“While we may not agree with all aspects of the administration’s proposal, we look forward to the continuing dialogue with Congress and the administration on charting America’s transportation future,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said the bill helped “advance the discussion” but said a federal gas tax increase should be used to fund it.
“The gas tax remains the most tested and logical way of meeting our critical investment needs,” O’Sullivan said.
“For too long, Congress’s duct-tape approach has made our roads and bridges unsafe, destabilized the construction industry and slowed our economy.”
The federal tax last was raised in 1993 and has not been adjusted for inflation.
Another advocacy group, the nonprofit Transportation for America, spelled out its concerns Tuesday in a report, “The looming financial disaster for transportation.”
The report provided a state-by-state accounting of the percentage of transportation funding that came from Washington. In most cases, it amounted to about half, though some states were far more dependent on federal dollars. (Federal funds accounted for 52 percent of the District’s funding, 49 percent of Maryland’s and almost 59 percent of Virginia’s.)
It also broke down the funding that would be lost by each major metropolitan area without federal revenue, pegging the Washington region’s loss at $424 million.
“Congress has an opportunity to not only save the transportation program, but to recommit to investing in the repairs and improvements our communities and businesses need,” said James Corless, the group’s director.
Corless predicted that most Americans would accept tax increases to fund transportation.
“When people understand where the dollars are being spent, the direct impact to their lives, they support paying their fair share,” he said.
Foxx said the highway trust fund would face a $63 billion shortfall over the next four years.
“What our proposal would do is [use] pro-growth business tax reform to backfill in the highway trust fund,” Foxx said. “We would put that $63 billion back in place to stabilize the highway trust fund, and then the additional $90 billion would be spent on new programs.”
He said the $302 billion bottom line for the proposal would be reached “through a combination of existing taxes that go to the highway trust fund that would equate to $152 billion on their own, and then $150 billion in transitional revenues from pro-growth tax reform.”
The proposal emphasizes a fix-it-first approach that would give funding priority to existing roads, bridges and transit systems rather than expanding their network.
It would expand reforms intended to streamline environmental reviews and project delivery that were begun in the current federal highway bill.
It also would expand popular loan-guarantee programs that have been used by state and local governments to fund projects. The White House plan would almost double funding — from $12.3 billion to $22.3 billion — for transit systems and intercity passenger rail.
In addition, the plan would increase the fine an automaker could face for a safety violation from the current $35 million to $300 million.
Though that proposal is not new, it takes on greater significance amid the debate over General Motors’s delayed recall of 2 million cars with faulty ignition switches that are alleged to have led to at least 13 deaths.

Obama's wealth redistribution to himself

Obama-Biden vacation tab reaches $40 million --- $2.9 million alone for two Obama 2014 golf outings

The travel costs for vacations taken by the first family and the Bidens have reached over $40 million with the Air Force's revelation that two golf outings by President Obama this year cost $2.9 million, according to the taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The group said that the Air Force provided documents and records that put the price of the first family's trip to Key Largo, Fla., in March at $885,683 just for flying Air Force One. The travel costs to golf in Palm Springs, Calif., in February, where the president also met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, was $2,066,594, said the Air Force documents, according to Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch has been filing repeated Freedom of Information Act requests for travel costs and the Air Force has provided many documents during the administration.
So far, Judicial Watch said that it has tabulated vacation travel costs, mostly just Air Force jet time, at over $40 million. Far more money is spent on accommodations, communications, rooms and cars for staff, security and U.S. Secret Service protection, Navy and Coast Guard ships offshore and the prepositioning of cars and helicopters, but those costs are not usually revealed.
“It is clear that the Obamas continually abuse the perks of the president’s office at taxpayer expense,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement to Secrets. “And it is particularly interesting that Obama has chosen to take not one but two luxury vacations back-to-back while inveighing against ‘income equality.’ President Obama’s waste of the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans on unnecessary luxury travel is an abuse of office.”
Editor's note: Judicial Watch is representing the Washington Examiner in the newspaper's federal lawsuit seeking access to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records under FOIA.
Below is the full release provided by Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch Obtains Records Revealing Obama’s 2014 Palm Springs and Key Largo Golf Outings Cost Taxpayers $2,952,278 for Flight Expenses Alone
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today, it has obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing that President Obama’s February 2014 Palm Springs, California, and March 2014 Key Largo, Florida, golf outings cost the taxpayers $2,952,278 for flight expenses alone.
According to the Department of Air Force documents, the flights to and from, Palm Springs for the February 17 – 20, 2014 trip totaled 9.8 hours at $210,877 an hour, which comes to a total of $2,066,594.60 in flight expenses. The records came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of request filed on February 18, 2014.
Also according to the Department of Air Force documents, the total cost for flights to and from Key Largo, Florida for the March 7 - 9 trip totaled 4.2 hours at $210,877, which comes to a total of $885,683.40 for flight in expenses. The records came in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request filed on March 10, 2014.
Though the administration billed the President’s Day weekend trip to California as an effort to highlight the state’s severe water drought, the White House official schedule showed the president spent just four hours at three drought-related events on the afternoon of Friday, February 14. He then spent much of the next three days playing golf at some of Coachella Valley, California’s, most exclusive golf courses, which, according to Fox News, “consume roughly 17 percent of all water there, and one quarter of the water pumped out of the region’s at-risk groundwater aquifer.” Each course uses nearly 1 million gallons of water a day.
During March 7 – 9, the First Family spent Spring Break at Key Largo, Florida’s, exclusive Ocean Reef Club, where members must have a minimum net worth of $35 million to join. According to its website, “the Club boasts two championship 18-hole courses, a rarity in the Florida Keys … a salon and spa, more than a dozen restaurants, a 175-slip marina, a private airport, and so much more.” The costly Spring Break vacation took place on the heels of Obama’s State of the Union Address in which he focused on income inequality.
According to records obtained by Judicial Watch, through FOIA requests and subsequent lawsuits, the Obamas and Bidens have spent more than $40 million taxpayer dollars on trips since 2009, beginning with the Obamas' much-publicized New York City "date night" in 2009 up through the president's most recent Palm Springs and Key Largo golf outings. The most lavish expenditure so far on record was for the Obamas’ 2013 Africa trip and Honolulu vacation, which cost taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone. The single largest expense for accommodations was for Michelle Obama's side-trip to Dublin, Ireland, during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, when she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1500 square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The total cost to taxpayers for the Obamas' Ireland trip was $7,921,638.66.

Contempt of Congress comes naturally to these self righteous thugs

Posted By Caroline May 

Outgoing Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius is now refusing to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, a Senate aide told The Daily Caller Tuesday.
Sebelius had originally been set to testify before the subcommittee about the department’s 2015 $70 billion budget request on April 2.
According to another aide, however, several weeks after confirming the hearing date, she requested a date switch with the National Institutes of Health budget hearing on May 7. The committee accommodated her request.
Now, after announcing her resignation on April 11, she is refusing to testify according to the two aides, even though she is still the sitting secretary — remaining at the post until her successor, OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is confirmed.
“It appears that Sec. Sebelius has unilaterally decided that she is no longer accountable to Congress,” the first aide said.
The other aide explained that HHS has not given the committee any reason for her refusal and that Sebelius has not suggested anyone to testify in her place.
That same aide noted subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin planned to call Sebelius Tuesday about the hearing.
The last time Sebelius appeared in front of a committee was April 10, before news of her resignation broke. She testified before the Senate Finance Committee about the HHS budget.
When asked about Sebelius’ refusal to testify, an HHS spokeswoman responded that the department is in communication with the committee.
“Nothing is confirmed at this time, but we intend to find a mutually agreeable arrangement,” she said in a statement to TheDC.

It would appear that even Democrats are tired of being victims.


Women and senior citizens are making up an ever-increasing portion of concealed carry courses in Chicago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, instructor Brian Kossof said that when concealed carry courses first started in Chicago, "men dominated the classes," which is what he expected. Now, he said, more women are coming "with a female friend or [accompanying] their boyfriends or husbands." Also, seniors are attending "on their own or with a family member (typically a son or a daughter)."
Kossof stated that over time, he began to see women and seniors occupy a growing portion of these classes, and "a majority of the women and seniors in [his] classes have never held a firearm before."
Currently, twelve percent of concealed carry applicants in Illinois are women, and there is an anticipation that the number will increase. Nationwide, the percentage of women who own guns has gone from 12 percent (2005) to 36 percent (2012).

If these regulations are important why are they postponed? Because everything is political for this regime of control freaks.


New documents released this week raise serious questions about whether the EPA delayed publication of new environmental rules in order to help Democrats running for re-election in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.

Worse, the new documents also contradict sworn testimony given before a Senate committee by Obama's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Gina McCarthy, insisting the EPA had published the rules in a timely manner.
Even though the agency had announced the rules two months previously, the EPA waited until November 8 to submit its New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) rules for power plants--rules that will send electric costs soaring, eliminate thousands of jobs, and close coal-fueled power plants across the country. Because of the late submission, the Federal Register didn't publish the rules until January 8. 
According to Politico, "The delay means that the soonest congressional Republicans can force a vote on repealing the rule is January 2015." This would be months after the issue could have posed a problem for Democrats seeking re-election in November of this year.
In a letter sent to the EPA, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) charges that the dilatory publication of the rule was motivated by politics.
"Based on the sequence of events," Inhofe says in the letter, "it appears that the delay in the proposal's publication may have been motivated by a desire to lessen the impact of the President's harmful environmental policies on this year's mid-term elections. If EPA had kept the timetable mandated by the President, it would have been obligated to finalize the new rule about six weeks before the 2014 elections. Now, because of EPA's delay, the proposal will not need to be finalized until well after this election cycle."
Inhofe promised to launch an investigation "to determine whether the timing of the proposed NSPS rule's publication... was in any way motivated by electoral politics."
Last year, in testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA chief McCarthy tried to belie fears that her office was engaged in political maneuvering, saying that her office did its due diligence to make sure the rules were published in a timely manner.
"Senator, I will assure you that as soon as that proposal was released, we had submitted it to the Federal Register office,” McCarthy told the Senators on January 16. "The delay was solely the backup in the Federal Register office, and we frequently asked when it was going to come out and how quickly, because it was available on our web page. We wanted to start the formal public process."
But the new documents seem to contradict McCarthy, showing that the rules weren't submitted for 66 days, weeks after McCarthy claimed her office had submitted the rules.
Even though the rules were announced and dissected back in September, the delay in its official publication is important because the publication date starts a time clock for public comments and time limits set on environmental rule changes.
The publication date pushed these time periods to end long after the election, conveniently delaying the deleterious effects of the rules until after Election Day.

Remember Obama's civilian army? Well, here it is. Government control by armed government agents (too well armed).

Utah lawmaker moves to disarm BLM, IRS, says ‘They’re not paramilitary units’

Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, concerned about the armed agents that surrounded Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s property, is mulling a measure to cut funding for any “paramilitary units” that work for the Bureau of Land Management, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal regulatory agencies.
“There are lots of people who are really concerned when the BLM shows up with its own SWAT team,” he said, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “They’re regulatory agencies. They’re not paramilitary units, and I think that concerns a lot of us.”

His mulled amendment to an appropriations bill comes in context of recent BLM actions against Mr. Bundy: The federal agents armed themselves and surrounded his property, tasered his son, closed down road access to the ranch and even shot a couple of his prize bulls. The reasons? Mr. Bundy hadn’t paid his grazing fees to the federal government, but rather fought the matter in court.
Militia from all over the nation came to the ranch to support Mr. Bundy in his standoff with the BLM — and for that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid labeled them “domestic terrorists,” various media reported.
The BLM finally backed off and left — but not before a shocked nation expressed outrage at the government’s armed stance against a man who, at the root, was guilty of not paying a bill.
Mr. Stewart said it’s high time the government end its practice of arming its own special units for various agencies, like the BLM and the IRS.

“They should do what anyone else would do,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Call the local sheriff, who has the capability to intervene in situations like that.”
The Interior Department, for its part, said the BLM and National Park Service had armed agents at Mr. Bundy’s ranch to guarantee the safety of the public and of their workers.

To the left the ends justify the means because they're goals are righteous. Do you think this employee will be prosecuted with Holder as AG?

FEC lawyer used government job to campaign for Obama, investigation shows

An employee at the Federal Election Commission, the nonpartisan federal agency that oversees campaigns, has resigned after admitting to campaigning for President Obama in 2012, in violation of federal laws.
The employee, a lawyer whose name wasn’t divulged, solicited campaign donations for Mr. Obama and other political campaigns, and even took part in a web broadcast from an FEC facility where the employee criticized the GOP and Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Those moves violate the Hatch Act, the 1939 federal law sharply restricting federal government employees’ campaign activity. The Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations, announced the steps — though a spokesman said they couldn’t give out any more details.
Since the FEC is supposed to be the government’s elections watchdog, its employees are subject to strict rules prohibiting campaign involvement.
FEC spokeswoman Judith Ingram said they placed the employee on administrative leave once the allegations were made, and that the employee has agreed to resign — but she said the case shouldn’t tarnish the rest of the agency.
“The commission is not aware of any information suggesting that these activities were anything other than the isolated acts of a single employee,” she said.
In addition to resigning, the FEC employee agreed not to pursue work in the federal government for two years.
It’s the latest instance of one of the government’s nonpartisan watchdogs admitting to electioneering on behalf of Mr. Obama.
Earlier this month, the Office of Special Counsel said it was pursuing cases against three IRS employees and offices suspected of illegal political activity in favor of the president and fellow Democrats. The agency said it was “commonplace” in the IRS’s Dallas office for employees to have pro-Obama stickers and buttons, and said in another case an IRS employee who worked on the agency’s customer-help line chanted Mr. Obama’s name in urging a taxpayer to support the president.
The political activity isn’t limited only to Democrats. On Tuesday, the Office of Special Counsel also announced another federal employee, a civilian working for the Air Force, has agreed to take a 30-day suspension for pro-Republican and anti-Obama activities while on duty.
“The employee sent numerous partisan political e-mails using a government account to a list of as many as 60 federal employees,” the investigators said in a statement. “The employee sent each e-mail while on duty in the months leading up to the 2012 election. The employee admitted knowing about the Hatch Act’s restrictions, and even after receiving warnings from his supervisors, persisted in sending more e-mails. All of the e-mails were in opposition to then-candidate President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.”
That employee, whose name also wasn’t divulged, agreed to take a 40-day suspension as punishment.
The two new cases “are examples of how government agencies can work together to ensure partisan politics stay out of the federal workplace,” Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said in a statement.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Obama and crew united in deception

Benghazi emails suggest White House aide involved in prepping Rice for ‘video’ explanation

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances -- where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.
More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
The Rhodes email, with the subject line: "RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," was sent to a dozen members of the administration's inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.
In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere.
The email lists the following two goals, among others:
"To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."
"To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."
The email goes on to state that the U.S. government rejected the message of the Internet video. "We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence," the email stated.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.
"The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president's policies," he said.
The Rhodes email was not part of the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May -- after Republicans refused to move forward with the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the so-called "talking points" emails were made public.
The email is also significant because in congressional testimony in early April, former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told lawmakers it was Rice, in her Sunday show appearances, who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morell said the video was not part of the CIA analysis.
"My reaction was two-fold," Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee, regarding her appearances. "One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that's not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to."
Incidentally, three leading Republicans on Monday night sent letters to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees asking them to compel the administration to explain who briefed Rice in advance of the Sunday talk shows and whether State Department or White House personnel were involved.
"How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on September 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a causal factor," said the letter, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; and John McCain, of Arizona.
The Sept. 14 Rhodes email does not indicate whether there was a "prep call" for Rice, as it suggests. If the call went ahead, it does not indicate who briefed her.
National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan played down the Rhodes email, telling Fox News in a statement: "There were protests taking place across the region in reaction to an offensive internet video, so that’s what these points addressed. There were known protests in Cairo, Sanaa, Khartoum, and Tunis as well as early reports of similar protests in Benghazi, which contributed to questions of how the attack began…. These documents only serve to reinforce what we have long been saying: that in the days after September 11, 2012, we were concerned by unrest occurring across the region and that we provided our best assessment of what was happening at the time.”
The statement did not address Fox News’ specific questions asking whether White House personnel, particularly Rhodes, briefed Rice before the Sunday shows, and what intelligence Rhodes relied on when he referred to the video.

The newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012 a Fox News report -- titled "US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm" -- was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration. This included going to then-deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough; then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; Morell; and Rhodes, among others, but the comments were redacted, citing "personal privacy information."