Of all of the myriad agencies created and maintained by the Executive Branch, few have proven to be as detrimental to the United States as the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its birth under President Nixon’s executive order in 1970, the mission of the EPA has been to protect human health and the environment. The mission has been mutilated since the start, as the environment (or at least what we are led to believe is the environment) has taken so much precedent that the human health aspect — whether it is the physical, mental, social or economic sort — has been deemed worthless in comparison.
More often than not, it has appeared that the power brokers in Washington use the environment (and therefore the EPA) as a tool, a compelling means by which to exert its brand of total control over economic functions it would otherwise have a difficult time with without such propaganda. Over time, the EPA has touched everything from the food we eat (from over-the-top dust regulations to clean water rules that strip property rights) to the energy we use (telling oil and gas companies where, how and when to extract much-needed resources, creating a dependency on foreign sources) to the air we breathe (instituting utterly insane emissions standards for things as simple as portable fuel tanks). All of those rules and thousands more add to the cost of doing business and therefore the cost of living. The actual negative impact on the American consumer is in the hundreds of billions per year as we end up paying for these regulations at the market, fuel pump, and department store.
"The Fed spoke and financial markets rallied," began the Associated Press report on how the stock market responded after the policy-making panel of the Federal Reserve Board issued a statement Tuesday, saying the federal funds rate (the interest banks charge other banks for borrowed money) would be held to 0 to 1/4 percent through the middle of 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average surged more than 429 points, just one day after its biggest decline since 2008.
But the Fed's influence over the volatile stock market is of short duration and its ability to bolster a sagging economy is illusory. The Federal Open Market Committee's promise of low interest rates was accompanied by an assessment of current market conditions that look anything but promising. "Indicators suggest a deterioration in overall labor market conditions in recent months, and the unemployment rate has moved up. Household spending has flattened out, investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector remains depressed," the committee reported. On the plus side, "business investment in equipment and software continues to expand."
The sight of the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, lying in a hospital bed in a courtroom cage reminds me of the saying, “how the mighty have fallen.” It could also be said of the United States, “How the mightiest, richest, most advanced capitalist nation in the history of the world has fallen into a bumbling, dysfunctional confused, debt-ridden state run by the most corrupt government in its history.” In the case of Mubarak, it was the Egyptian people who brought the dictator down. In the case of the United States, it was the American people, who put their trust and faith in the hands of anti-constitutional politicians, who brought America down. To put it bluntly: treason is the reason.
For 30 years Mubarak was America’s best friend in the Middle East. He was the recipient of valuable U.S. military aid, and he maintained Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel to the letter. For Israel, Egypt meant stability on its southern border. But for the Egyptian people it meant an authoritarian regime with little political freedom. Mubarak was not like Saddam Hussein of Iraq — he didn’t commit the kind of atrocities against his own people that Saddam was known for. Nor were Mubarak’s sons the kind of pathological sadists that Saddam’s were.
Jackie Onassis, the widow of President John F. Kennedy, believed Vice President Lyndon Johnson and a “cabal of Texas tycoons” plotted and carried out the assassination of her philandering husband, London’s Daily Mail reports.
Citing soon-to-be-released audio recordings, the Mail reports that “the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.”
She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald — long claimed to have been a lone assassin — merely part of a much larger conspiracy.
Historian and Kennedy braintruster Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. recorded the tapes, the Mail reports, just after two bullets were delivered into Kennedy’s back and head on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, as the President’s convertible limousine rolled by.
A group of atheist soldiers has been cleared by the U.S. Army to hold a rock concert at Ft. Bragg next spring, the Associated Press has reported. Organizers of Rock Beyond Belief had planned the event for this year at the North Carolina Army base, “but they canceled after saying Bragg leadership was not providing the same support it gave to an evangelical Christian concert last fall,” reported the AP.
The godless event is slated for March 31, 2012, at Ft. Bragg’s main parade field — the same venue that held a 2010 Rock the Fort Christian event featuring Franklin Graham. The Freedom From Religion Foundation protested that event, claiming that it was exactly the type of thing the First Amendment was designed to forbid.
This time, however, opponents of faith in God are cheering the copy-cat concert sponsored by the group of atheist clubs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the first to announce his three nominees to the “Super Committee” created by the recent debt ceiling increase, and all three fit the mold of big-spending liberals: Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the latter of whom will also serve as co-chairman of the committee. Reid observed of his picks:
In this year’s summer of discontent, as the nation faced a possible government shutdown in the battle over the debt ceiling, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty was assuring voters he could handle such a crisis when his turn came. As a former Governor of Minnesota, he has, as they say, been there, done that.
“I shut down a government and won,” Pawlenty said in one TV ad. Another says, “Minnesota government shut down. Why? Because Tim Pawlenty would not accept Democrats’ massive tax and spending demands. Result? Pawlenty won.” At the time, however, the Governor did not sound so triumphant. When the partial shutdown ended after nine days in July of 2005, Pawlenty cautioned against boasting by either side. “Given what the state’s been through, anybody who tries to spin this as a partisan victory should be ashamed of himself or herself,” he said at a press conference. The budget standoff ended when Pawlenty and the Democrats agreed to a 75-cent increase in the cigarette tax, an increase Pawlenty had proposed near the end of the regular session of the Legislature. It was revived during the special session as a way to help pay for public health programs. Pawlenty wouldn’t call it a tax hike, though.
Representative Thaddeus “Thad” McCotter of Livonia, Michigan, entered the presidential race in July 2011, and styles himself as a conservative, telling the Detroit NBC-TV affiliate, “I’m a Russell Kirk conservative. I’m a Ronald Reagan conservative.” But McCotter earned an anemic average of only 53 percent during his nine years as a Congressman on The New American’s “Freedom Index,” far lower than the other two Congressmen running for President, Ron Paul (100 percent) and Michele Bachmann (81 percent).
The 45-year-old, five-term Michigan Congressman is basing his candidacy on what he calls his “five core principles.” Those principles are: “1. Our liberty is from God not the government, 2. Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil, 3. Our security is from strength not surrender, 4. Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector, 5. Our truths are self-evident not relative.”
“I’m Ron Paul, I’m a Congressman from Texas serving in my tenth term. I am the champion of the Constitution.”
— Ron Paul (R-Texas), self introduction in the CNN presidential debate, June 5, 2007
The statement above was not mere braggadocio; Representative Ron Paul has the most consistent record in Washington of defending the constitutional limits of government of any person in Congress. Over nearly three decades, Representative Paul has never voted for a tax increase, an unbalanced budget, a debt limit increase, federal gun restrictions, foreign aid, bailouts of private institutions, or unconstitutional spending of any kind.
He consistently earns a perfect 100-percent rating on The New American’s “Freedom Index,” and has stood alone in defending the U.S. Constitution in so many 434-1 votes in the House of Representatives that he earned the nickname “Dr. No.” He is also a Duke University Medical School graduate and obstetrician who’s delivered 4,000 babies.