On December 2, the headline on businessweek.com read: “Boehner Leads Drive to Take Away Obama Power to Issue Rules.” Seems the Speaker of the House wants to preserve to Congress the right to sign off on any rule promulgated by an executive branch agency that would cost more than $100 million to the businesses to be regulated.
The Speaker’s effort to restrain the runaway executive branch is a far cry from the tone he struck in his victory speech on election night last year as his party won a powerful majority of seats in the lower house. In that jubilant address, Boehner said, “While our new majority will serve as your voice in the people’s House, we must remember it is the president who sets the agenda for our government....”
For a man who prides himself on his devotion to the Constitution, the foregoing assessment of the power of the President is woefully ignorant and absolutely constitutionally unsound.
Were the Speaker of the House to spend a bit of time himself reading the document he insisted be read at the opening of the 112th Congress, perhaps he would understand that the “agenda” for the federal government (all three branches) is established by way of the enumerated powers set out in the Constitution. The authority granted to each branch is specifically set forth in the various articles of the Constitution (particularly Articles I-III), and they are few and well-defined.
The Democratic Party in Washington is an empty shell that has been filled by a radical leftist entity called the Shadow Party. For all practical purposes, it is the Socialist Party of America pretending to be the Democratic Party. The Shadow Party could have easily been conceived as a new radical leftist third political party, but by filling the shell of the Democratic Party it can take advantage of all the power that the Democrats have in Congress.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, "Free To Choose." Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to choose' has become 'free to die.'" He was referring to a GOP presidential debate in which Rep. Ron Paul was asked what should be done if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Paul correctly, but politically incorrectly, replied, "That's what freedom is all about — taking your own risks." CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed his question further, asking whether "society should just let him die." The crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of "Yeah!", which led Krugman to conclude that "American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions." Professor Krugman is absolutely right; our nation is faced with a conflict of moral visions. Let's look at it.
If a person without health insurance finds himself in need of costly medical care, let's investigate just how might that care be provided.
The City of New York Department of Education allows different sorts of groups to use school facilities for after-school activities. But is God allowed in any of those activities? Is God allowed at all on the campuses of New York City schools?
The Bronx Household of Faith outgrew its meeting places in private homes. It applied, in 1994, for the right to meet in Public School 15 in the Bronx for Sunday services. This started a long legal battle with the city, which just ended when the Supreme Court declined to review lower court decisions that had upheld the city of New York’s ban on the evangelical congregation using the school.
Ten years ago, it seemed the organization would win its fight. In a case in the Medford, New York School System, the Good News Club had won the right to use space in public school for after-hours activities even though prayer, Bible lessons, and scripture reading were included in those activities.
The Bronx Household of Faith could also take some heart from the fact that it was not the only religious organization that had been using school facilities. An estimated 60 churches in 2009 were using school facilities, and that number was growing. The city estimates that in the last school year 160 congregations used schools to meet. This is not free:
Donald Trump told Bret Baier on Fox News’ "Special Report” last Friday that he might still run for President this election cycle. "If I endorse somebody, I’m with that person," he said. "But if somebody else gets in who I think is somebody that I don’t think is appropriate for the job, [who] I don’t think would [do] well and would maybe not be a good president, and if the economy continues to be bad, I would run as an independent, yes."
Conservative radio talk-show host Glenn Beck eviscerated presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's phony conservative credentials in a December 6 interview, forcing a flagrant Gingrich flip-flop on subsidies and revealing Gingrich's support of an individual healthcare mandate, limits on carbon emissions, and ties to Freddie Mac during the housing bubble..
Beck led off the tough-but-cordial interview with a clip of Gingrich claiming that the federal government's regulation of healthcare was acceptable. "I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican," Gingrich said in the footage, "on health, where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lead and that regulatory leading is okay."
Beck responded in a civil but firm tone that "Regulation and the government scares the crap out of me, and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives. And Theodore Roosevelt was the guy who started the Progressive Party. "
It only went downhill from there for Gingrich, who came out for federal healthcare and OSHA-style regulations. Gingrich had tacked on the following conservative, market-oriented sound-byte to the end of his on-air reply justifying why federal intervention in healthcare is necessary: "I’m against government trying to pick winners and losers."
UPDATE: The House passed the REINS Act by 241-184 at 5:30 PM on December 7.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to enjoy significant success in Iowa polls. In fact, according to the latest NBC/Marist Iowa poll, Dr. Paul is currently the only candidate who can beat Obama. Meanwhile, another Iowa poll shows he has significant favorability among the other candidates.
An Iowa poll published by the Des Moines Register shows Paul in second place with 18 percent of support, behind Newt Gingrich at 25 percent, but ahead of Mitt Romney at 16 percent. That same poll shows that Paul is considered highly favorable by registered Iowa voters.
Ron Paul’s presidential campaign website notes, “Paul’s Iowa support has grown in the last three Des Moines Register polls from 7 percent in June to 12 percent in October to 18 percent presently. Paul is also among those whose support did not wane over the period the poll was taken.”
When Brandon Burgess, CEO of ION Television, named the producers of the upcoming Republican presidential debate being cosponsored by Newsmax, in Iowa on December 27, he was ebullient in his praise: “ION, Newsmax and Mr. Trump are committed to host a serious presidential forum which will include some of the most reputable journalists and media people in the country.” The debate will be produced by veterans of CNN, CBS, and NBC News.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy was no less enthusiastic: “With Donald Trump and the top-notch media and production team led by Eason Jordan [who was president of CNN's news gathering for 23 years] we have organized, we expect that the Newsmax ION 2012 Presidential Debate will have the largest audience of any Republican primary debate to date.”
Those named to the production team reflect Ruddy’s long-standing and friendly relationship with the mainstream media, which goes all the way back to when Ruddy started Newsmax with money and significant help from Richard Mellon Scaife, heir to the Mellon banking interests and one of the 250 wealthiest individuals in the world. Scaife owns and publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which has been criticized for its overt bias in favor of Democratic political officeholders in Pittsburgh. Scaife was known for ignoring campaign finance rules, donating nearly $1 million to President Nixon’s reelection campaign in 1972 but escaping without ever being charged. He also endorsed Hillary Clinton in her run for the Democrat party’s nomination in 2008.
House Republicans, accelerating efforts to combat the frenetic influx of federal regulations that continue to flood the U.S. economy, passed the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) Friday, which would require all federal agencies to audit proposed rules more thoroughly before they are enacted, and make sure procedures for rulemaking follow proper steps. Federal courts would be more involved in the process, and regulators would be forced to examine potential costs and benefits of alternatives.
Opponents of the legislation claim it will emasculate environmental improvements, workplace safety, and the safety of children’s toys.
The 253-167 vote will move the regulation bill to the Democrat-led Senate, where analysts believe it is likely to be smothered. The White House vowed a veto before the vote took place, claiming the legislation would obstruct the federal government’s regulatory authority with unprecedented hurdles.
OMB Watch, a liberal advocacy group that monitors federal regulations and strives to make public the secretive actions of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), blasted the bill in a press release. The organization’s president, Katherine McFate, stated, "Today, the House voted to bulldoze a half century of rulemaking procedures with the deliberately mislabeled Regulatory Accountability Act."