Tag Archives: States Rights

TX Gov. Perry gives Fed’s education program the boot!

U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” program, is a $5 billion competitive fund that awards grants to states to improve education quality. The program was created as part of the economic stimulus and is part of Democratic President Barack Obama’s efforts to overhaul the nation’s educational system.

“Texas won’t compete for up to $700 million in federal stimulus money for education because the program “smacks of a federal takeover of our public schools,” Republican Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday.

Gov. Perry, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott and representatives of teachers’ unions said taking the money would “force the state to adopt national education and testing standards and result in Texas losing its autonomy in educating children.”

“Here in Texas, we don’t have broad consensus on every issue facing our school system,” Perry said. “We do agree we’d rather work those differences out in Texas with solutions that work for Texans instead of accepting a top down mandate from some distant bureaucrats.”

The Texas Department of Education is performing well. It has improved standardized test scores and reduced the dropout rate. Texas has also been recognized as one of four states that has significantly improved math scores. While “Race to the Top” doesn’t give the federal government control of the education system it does give it leverage as it pushes for education reform.

“Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents’ participation in their children’s education,” Gov. Perry said. “If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached.”

“I wholeheartedly support the governor’s decision,” Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott said. “This one-time grant program would result in mandates for districts that would last for decades.”

“Texas has been working to implement research-based education reforms for years, culminating with great solutions for Texas children, and we should qualify for Race to the Top funding based on what we have already accomplished,” Rep. Rob Eissler, Public Education Committee chairman, said. “Instead, Texas will be penalized in its Race to the Top application for not complying with the federal government’s concepts about what is best for the children of Texas. In short, the two things I worry about in education are fads and feds, and this combines both.”

From the Governor’s website:

“Developing Texas’ workforce is imperative to maintaining our position as a national leader in job creation and our future prosperity. Texas was recently praised in Education Week magazine for its adoption of college- and career-ready standards, and for holding schools accountable for ensuring students are college-ready. Additionally, the governor recently announced a $160 million initiative to expand the number and scope of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies, an initiative he established in 2005, as well as fund STEM scholarships. Building on successful initiatives like T-STEM academies helps ensure future generations of Texans have the educational foundation necessary to compete and excel in the increasingly competitive global economy.”

America, this how all states should be run – with local consensus, with local resources and by the its’ citizens. Hooray for Gov. Perry and his team. This is an example of real leadership by a governor and independence by its’ citizens. This is the reason that Texas remains a solvent and independent state. This is despite the fact that overall taxes are reasonable and there is no individual state income tax. How many Governor’s are turning down federal money these days regardless of the length of the strings? Maybe instead of trying to have America emulate California and New York, we would choose to model ourselves after Texas!

Wake up America, socialistic nanny states don’t work! History is littered with them. Stand up for America, Stand up for freedom, Stand up for your state!

Restore the Republic, Reject Socialism!

“Education should be left to the states and should not be a top-down but a bottom-up process. Texas has an open, collaborative process including public hearings and input. The Lone Star State has invested considerable time and millions of dollars into curriculum development and has set some rigorous standards to which we are committed. This is another federal government bait and switch, and states that buy in will end up footing the bill.”
-Peggy Venable, Texas director, Americans for Prosperity

“While TAB believes that maintaining a strong and competitive workforce through education is a high priority for the state, we support the governor’s decision to keep decisions about our public education system at the state level. Gov. Perry is right to be concerned about mandates coming from the federal government that are tied to this relatively small amount of funding, which will commit the state to increased costs in the future.”
-Bill Hammond, president and CEO, Texas Association of Business
http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/14146/

For more go to:

Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Council of Governors

He’s at it again! The President has signed another executive order, this time creating a Council of Governors  to provide input on “homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our Nation today and in the future.”  The President will select 10 Governors to serve on the council and help with the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”. This executive order also is an attack on Posse Comitatus, a 1878 law bans military involvement in domestic police actions.

This is just another action designed  to continue to merge state and federal power. It also opens the door for more military involvement in domestic affairs and has sparked concern that the groundwork is being laid for a “national civilian security force”. Others fear that this is a step in undermining the 10th Amendment by eliminating more of the independent authority and the sovereignty of the States. 

See the White House Press Release below.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

January 11, 2010

President Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Council of Governors

Executive Order will Strengthen Further Partnership Between the Federal and State and Local Governments to Better Protect Our Nation

The President today signed an Executive Order(see below) establishing a Council of Governors to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards. When appointed, the Council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

The bipartisan Council will be composed of ten State Governors who will be selected by the President to serve two year terms. In selecting the Governors to the Council, the White House will solicit input from Governors and Governors’ associations. Once chosen, the Council will have no more than five members from the same party and represent the Nation as a whole.

Federal members of the Council include the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, the U.S. Northern Command Commander, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Secretary of Defense will designate an Executive Director for the Council.

The Council of Governors will provide an invaluable Senior Administration forum for exchanging views with State and local officials on strengthening our National resilience and the homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our Nation today and in the future.

The formation of the Council of Governors was required by the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act which stated, “The President shall establish a bipartisan Council of Governors to advise the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.” (NDAA FY2008, Sec 1822)

See the Executive Order here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/2010executive_order.pdf

Maybe this isn’t what it looks like but it does not look good or necessary… unless they are expecting some sort of problem. Either way Americans need to speak out against the ongoing assault on states’ rights and a rapidly expanding national government that is gobbling up all the power it can get its’ hands on.

Wake up America! We are running out of time. Let’s take our country back.

Restore the Republic, Reject Socialism!

“Our best protection against bigger government in Washington is better government in the states” – Dwight David Eisenhower

 

The answer to Health Care Reform – Nullification!

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. The Tenth Amendment restates the Constitution’s principle of Federalism.  

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” 

What is nullification and why is it important? 

Nullification is a right guaranteed to the states through the constitution. Originally written by Thomas Jefferson in 1798, nullification is the process by which a state can void a federal law within its’ own borders. Simply put if the federal government passes laws that it does not have the authority to pass the states have a right to void them.

Jefferson worried that there was no protection for the states if the federal government overstepped its Constitutional Authority. Jefferson believed that because the states formed the federal government and ratified the Constitution, that they had the power to decide if laws passed by the federal government were Constitutional.

The only power given to the federal government is found in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, all other powers belong to the states. Jefferson believed that the states had the right to tell Washington no, if the laws they were imposing were unfair to their citizens.  

How nullification works:

If the federal government passes a law that is unconstitutional a state legislature writes a resolution, passes it, then sends it to the be signed by the governor telling the federal government that the law does not exist in that state This is well within the states duties and rights.

Currently, as many as twenty five states are considering nullification tactics against a wide variety of proposed federal laws such as Real ID, gun control and health care reform. This is the answer for turning back the final health care bill that is ultimately coming. 

So here is how to DEMAND nullification: 

  • Call all of your state level representatives and tell them you want the health care reform bill nullified.
  • Send letters to all state representatives urging them to talk to your governor
  • Spread the word, tell everyone you know who is against this bill to do the same. 

Here is a sample letter, which I found on notintexas.org which I have modified: 

To  Representative: 

You are my representative in the (Your State Government) and I am asking you to represent me in the attack of the federal government against my personal liberties. I am asking you to stand up to for freedom and express to the United States Government that when they overstep Constitutional authority, (Your State) will not fall victim to their tyranny. The growth of the federal government and the slow method at which they have been taking our freedom is spinning out of control.  

As a citizen of (Your State), I want you to know that I am afraid of the steps the federal government is taking to compromise my freedom. I am also worried about the steps the federal government is taking to bypass the Constitution that was designed to protect me. I am signing this petition to ask you to protect me from the federal government. Sign a resolution of nullification for all legislation passed by the United States Government starting as soon as the resolution is signed. Write a resolution that states that any bill passed will not become law in (Your State) without the (Your State) Government passing the law. The resolution must also say that the (Your State) Government is not to change any meetings and must adhere to the State Constitution’s meeting schedule. Under the powers of the Tenth Amendment, (Your State) reserves the right to accept and reject all federal legislation.  

I am asking that if necessary a Special Session called by (Your Governor). I am asking you as my representative to request one be called. I am also asking you to have the resolution ready to be entered into both houses with the same language to smooth out this process as quickly as possible. This is necessary to ensure my freedoms and yours, so act with haste.  

Sincerely, 

Your Name 

I do not know if every state Constitution has provisions for nullification but many do. We need to use this Constitutional right to protect our freedom and liberty. Educate yourself on the protections that your state provides and take whatever action is needed to fight back against unconstitutional actions by the federal government. This is a call for a peaceful and legal response to unfair actions by the federal government.

Wake up America! The Constitution provides tools for us to control the federal government should it become out of control. Now is the time to use them. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for nullification. 

Restore the Republic, Wield your Constitutional Rights, Reject Intrusive Federal Government!

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry

The 10th Amendment, a tool to control the federal government!

A quick primer on the 10th Amendment…… 

Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people.
The United States Constitution

Ever heard of the 10th Amendment? It was put in the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers to protect us from a run away federal government. The Constitution clearly and deliberately delegates the authority that is allocated to the federal government. Everything else falls to either state or local government and allows the will of the citizens to be the deciding factor in many aspects of the law. The idea being that local and state governments would be better able to determine community needs than the federal government.

Why were the founding fathers so intent on delineating state and federal government? Probably because many of them or their families had left Europe to escape oppressive governments or monarchies that thought they knew what was best for everyone on all issues from religion to taxes. By limiting the scope of the federal government they were creating a union of sovereign states that allowed for unique differences based on the desires of each states’ population.

“The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.” James Madison, The Federalist

Continuous over reaching by the federal government for the last twenty years is causing a backlash at the state level. The current administration and their agenda have only accelerated this trend. The movement for state sovereignty has gained momentum because the balance of power has tilted too far and for too long in the direction of the federal government. These bills are not political statements of independence. They are a rejection of the increasing cost of unfunded mandates being placed upon the states by the federal government. Currently, there are at least 30 states with bills before their state legislatures. As out of control federal spending increases, the odds are that some of these sovereignty bills will pass next year increases as well.

Earlier this year, just in time for April 15th and the Tax Day Tea Parties that had been announced, the Department of Homeland Security released a report that detailed the department’s concerns about increased security threats from “right wing extremists”. One of the ideologies warned about in the report was … states’ rights. 

We also saw a backlash against our citizens during the Congressional summer break as members held town halls on the healthcare reform issues in their home states. Washington is not listening and the people are growing frustrated with the federal government. A recent Rasmussen poll shows 71% of Americans are angry with the federal government. 

This lack of respect is fueling activities at the state level for citizens and state legislators to review their options with regard to the 10th Amendment. States which still have healthier or more stable economies and reasonable state budgets are concerned by Washington’s directives. They do not want to be driven toward bankruptcy by the federal government which seems to have latched on to the California model of how to run a state. 

Contrary to rumors and media innuendo, most supporters of states’ rights are not interested in secession or avoiding their tax obligations but rather restoring the appropriate balance (as defined by the Constitution) between states and the federal government. Make no mistake those in power at the federal level are not in favor of reducing the size and scope of Washington’s authority. As this movement gains momentum expect increased friction and fighting over this important issue.

More things to consider as this story continues to unfold…..

“Right wing extremists” and tea parties are not the problem – radical legislators and activist judges are a bigger threat. This is a threat that the founding fathers anticipated, so they provided no Constitutional power for Congress to override state laws. Also if they really intended to give Congress the authority to act in the interest of the “general welfare,” why would Article I, Section 8, have been included ? Keep in mind, it also did not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over the states.

The Tenth Amendment was written after the Constitutional was ratified. It was added to reinforce that the states remained individual and unique sovereignties and as such, were empowered in areas that the Constitution did not delegate to the federal government. Therefore, any federal attempt to legislate beyond the Constitutional limits of Congress’ authority is a usurpation of state sovereignty making it illegal.

As the Administration and the Congress continue to assert their radical agenda of more   bailouts, health care reform and expanded social programs, state governments are wondering where the money will come from. If they don’t comply they can lose federal funding. If they do comply, they are faced with unfunded obligations as many of these programs come with long strings that keep the programs in place long after the money runs out. Reasserting a state’s sovereignty maybe the only way to take a stand against these unfunded, mandated programs. 

Wake up America! Use the Constitution and the protection it offers from an overbearing federal government.

 Restore the Republic, Reject Federal Mandates! Contact your legislators and tell them that you support the 10th Amendment and reject federal mandates.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

Gov. Perry calls for U.S. Governors to defend States’ Rights

On December 23rd, Governor Rick Perry of Texas communicated to other state governors the position of his state on the health care reform being slammed through Congress and announced his plans to address it; he wrote:

“Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is joining with several other state attorneys general to place this deal under proper scrutiny, to determine if such an exclusion is unconstitutional. His office, along with mine, will continue to explore all options available to us as we attempt to minimize the damages that can be caused to Texans by this ill-advised piece of legislation.” …

“As the chief executive officers of our individual sovereign states, we must stand up to this unprecedented intrusion in to our lives and the rights of our citizens. We must demonstrate resolve in the face of this infringement.” …

“This health care bill and its’ unfunded mandates are unhealthy to taxpayers, our economy and our democracy. I urge you to support the efforts of these attorneys general and ask your own to join it, and to work with me in ongoing efforts to assert the constitutional rights of states, s guaranteed under the 10th Amendment, to turn back the “one-size-fits-all” health care bill being forced through Congress. Together we can forge a powerful effort to ensure real health care reform without having the states left holding the budgetary bag for Congress yet again.”

In September, in a separate letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Perry had written:

“Instead of government mandates and more deficit spending, successful health care reforms can be achieved only by providing states the flexibility to develop state-specific solutions. I urge you to support our right, as a state, to further explore these approaches, rather than forcing us to implement federal mandates that promise financial hardships for the states and little in the way of benefits for our economy and all of our constituents.”

Not surprisingly this request fell on deaf ears. So now the issue for Texas and other states is the constitutionality of a compromise in the pending federal health care legislation exempting the state of Nebraska, to gain Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote, from increased Medicaid costs resulting from the bill’s passage. There are also other “bribery for support deals” which resulted in exemptions or funding for other states. These “bribery for support” deals will ultimately result in Texas and most other states paying even more to effectively subsidize expanded Medicaid. Meanwhile, Nebraska and the other selected states, that received special considerations on issues like rural health care and Medicare Advantage, in exchange for their votes, get a free ride. Not only should this be unconstitutional, it should be criminal! It is unbelievable that in America legislators are bribing each other with our money.

In Texas alone, this health care bill will drive up costs by $21 billion over the next 10 years and add an estimated 2 million more people the state’s Medicaid rolls. The governor also emphasized that this bill will impose unprecedented intrusion in to the lives and the rights of citizens by mandating that every American purchase health care coverage or face penalties.

To view the governor’s letter in its’ entirety, please visit: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/GovernorsHealthCare200912230261.pdf

This letter should serve as a call to action for all opposed to this bill. Use this as a template to send a message to your state’s Governor and Attorney General. Ask them to stand up for the 10th Amendment and your rights as a citizen of your state.

There are areas of health care that need reform and if the administration were serious about real reform they would break the reform down into smaller more focused pieces of legislation. There are significant opportunities such as tort reform, a clean up of Medicare fraud and allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines to name a few.

Wake up America! We must stop the passage of health care reform in its’ current form. It is a Trojan horse. It creates the foundation required to socialize medicine. Socialized medicine creates greater government control and is an infringement on your rights. Make your voice heard before it’s too late.

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

The Sky is Falling!

In 1943, as a comment on the war Walt Disney produced a cartoon version of the classic Chicken Little.  In this version of the tale, Foxy Loxy is a cunning villain who uses a number of psychological tactics to drive a farm full of animals into a cave to be eaten. Slightly disturbing and quite political it was a not so subtle message about manipulation of the facts and emotions to gain compliance.  The stimulus package, healthcare reform, climate change …. The sky is falling and if we don’t take action right away…. look familar? Watch the video – yeah it’s a cartoon but what a powerful message…..

A Special Thanks to Rosie O’Connor for pointing me to this cartoon in response to my post of  “Make Mine Freedom”.

Amazingly when you consider these two 1940’s cartoons, what we face today is nothing new to our great country. Except the difference this time is; there are many people in our government that want to “fundamentally transform America”. Is that what you want? That is the question that you must ask yourself. If not, what are you doing about it? Many people are still walking around in a fog telling themselves that this can’t happen in America. Well it can and it is! This Congress and Administration are spending us into national bankruptcy by creating  false crisis after false crisis. The stimulus has not fixed the economy, the climate is not changing due to man and healthcare may need some reform but does not require a complete overhaul. Yet we are being told; Run to the cave! Do you ever wonder why we suddenly need to do everything in such a hurry? Do you wonder what your country will look like if we enact the proposed climate change regulation and suddenly live in the land of carbon credits? (Look at Europe if you want to see how well that works).

America, wake up! This is bait and switch at its’ best. You voted for Hope and Change; not ropes and chains. You have been suckered. Instead of running like a flock of scared chickens to the false safety of the government cave, ask questions and demand answers! Time is running out to stop this dangerous government expansion. Ask yourself these questions:

Nine months into this administration did you expect:

The federal government to be in control of both the mortgage and the banking industries? That 19 of America ‘s largest banks would be forced to undergo stress tests by the federal government which would determine if they were insufficiently capitalized, so they must be supervised by the government?

The federal government would be the largest shareholder in two US automakers: GM, and Chrysler? That the government would kick out the CEO’s of these companies and appoint hand-picked executives with zero experience in the auto industry and that executive compensation would be determined, not by a Board of Directors, but by the government?

That Barack Obama would appoint over 30 Czars, without congressional approval, accountable only to him, not to the voters and these Czars would have control over a wide range of US policy decisions? That there would be a Stimulus Accountability Czar, a Regulatory Czar, an Urban Czar, a Compensation Czar, an Iran Czar, an Auto Industry Czar, a Cyber Security Czar, an Energy Czar, a Bank Bailout Czar, and more than a dozen other government bureaucrats with unchecked regulatory powers over US domestic and foreign policy?

The federal deficit would be $915 billion in the first six months of the Obama presidency – with a projected annual deficit of $1.75 trillion – triple the $454.8 billion in 2008.  Congress would pass Obama’s $3.53 trillion federal budget for fiscal 2010… That the projected deficit over the next ten years would be greater than $10 trillion?

The federal government would seek powers to seize key companies whose failures could jeopardize the financial system? That a new regulatory agency would be proposed by Obama to control loans, credit cards, mortgage-backed securities, and other financial products offered to the public?

The Obama Justice Department would order FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high-value detainees captured on the battlefield and held at US military detention facilities in Afghanistan? That Obama would order the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility with no plan for the disposition of the 200-plus individuals held there? That several of the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo would be sent to live in freedom in Bermuda at the expense of the US government?

President Obama would to use the FCC to try to dismantle conservative talk radio through the imposition of a new “Fairness Doctrine”? That he wants to curtail the First Amendment rights of those who may disagree with his policies via internet blogs, cable news networks, or advocacy ads? That most major network television and most newspapers will only sing his phrases like state-run media in communist countries?

States rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment would be under attack and the federal government would be attempting to gain sweeping new powers through regulation over policies currently under the province of local and state governments or voted on by the people? That Obama plans to control energy production, the environment, health care, education and the wealth of every US citizen?

The President to fly around the world apologizing for America and negotiate with thug dictators or madmen?

The president, the courts, and the federal government are ignoring the US Constitution and have seized powers which the founders of our country fought to restrict?

Not to mention: An additional 3,000,000 lost jobs and unemployment of 9.8%; 2,000,000 foreclosed homes this year and more people on food stamps then ever before.

Enough is enough! Is this the Change you want? Is this how our America ends? I say, Oh, Hell No! It is time to stand up and fight back. We can solve our problems through American ingenuity and the free market. You can’t spend your way to fiscal health. We must rely on American values, our national pride, our spirit of patriotism and our faith in our fellow citizens. America – it is time to restore our values and the American Dream.

Restore the Republic, The Sky is not Falling! Don’t run for safety to the Government Cave, Find your Safety in your Community with your Fellow Americans.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken 

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom”. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry

 

Quick Hits…..More “Bright Ideas” and other government idiocracy

“If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P. J. O’Rourke   

President Obama announces new light bulb standards…

“I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and businesses,” the president said, standing alongside Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the White House. 

Obama said the new efficiency standards he was announcing for lamps would result in substantial savings between 2012 and 2042, saving consumers up to 4 billion annually, conserving enough energy to power every U.S. home for 10 months, reducing emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 cars a year, and eliminating the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants. 

The president also said he was speeding the delivery of $346 million in economic stimulus money to help improve energy efficiency in new and existing commercial buildings. 

The White House is working to keep energy in the spotlight even as Congress takes a break this week for the July 4 holiday. Obama has spent the past few days pressuring the Senate to follow the House while also seeking to show that the administration is making quick, clear progress on energy reform without legislation. 

Still, in an interview with a small group of reporters, Obama energy adviser Carol Browner said: “I am confident that comprehensive energy legislation will pass the Senate.” But she repeatedly refused to say exactly when the White House expected the Senate to pass the measure, and she wouldn’t speculate on whether Obama would have legislation sent to his desk by year’s end. 

The administration already had released new standards on commercial refrigeration. Lamps were next. (Source: Fox News)

Now that the President got the ball rolling, NJ has jumped on the band wagon with “Project Porch Light”. Free light bulbs for everyone….. Read more at:

http://www.projectporchlight.com/

This apparently is a “huge national issue” – light bulb efficiency, good thing we have that out of the way, now maybe we can focus on; job creation, fixing the economy, improving national defense, border security and reducing the national debt.

It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities; it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.” – Tony Blair 

Barney Frank wants to spend the repaid TARP money again instead of returning the money to the Treasury to pay down public debt…

On June 27th, Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA, introduced new legislation to divert repaid TARP funds to new Democrat supported housing initiatives. His new bill is called TARP for Main Street Act of 2009.  According to the original bill recovered funds “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.” However, Barney wants to spend it again right away and ignore the requirements of the bill. This is becoming typical behavior for the Democrats these days.

The proposed bill breaks down as follows; take $1 billion and use it to create a trust fund for low-income rental housing which Frank has wanted for a long time.  (This unfunded measure was part of last year’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)  Another $1.5 billion would be used to set up a “neighborhood stabilization” fund.  Critics have charged that these measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups such as ACORN. The thought of any more of our money ending up in the hand of those crooks is unthinkable!

The bill also includes $2 billion to subsidize individuals with delinquent mortgages and another $2 billion to “stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure.”

“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” – Will Rogers

Even worse, despite the near economic meltdown that was triggered by the mortgage defaults last year, Rep. Frank and N.Y. Rep. Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie recommending that they lower lending standards for condo buyers. Wasn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

After blaming the current crisis on a lack of appropriate regulation and lax lending standards which resulted in bad loans that should not have been approved, Rep. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to provide more aggressive (lower) lending standards again. These lower standards would specifically apply to condo developments with a high percentage of unsold units or high delinquency rates.

These guys are unbelievable! If we don’t get them out of office, their policies will destroy our economy. Of course, since social reengineering and redistribution of wealth are on their agenda that might just be part of the plan. Do you really want to live in a socialist, possibly even a fascist country? Think about it!

To read more go to:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Barney-Frank–49649362.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124580784452945093.html 

Gov. Schwarzenegger considers temporarily closing state parks to save money during California budget crisis… Feds threaten to seize parks if the plan is approved 

“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
P. J. O’Rourke  

Scrambling to find ways to reduce operating costs Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed closing 220 state parks to save $143 million. The California Legislature is considering the move to reduce the $26 billion budget deficit.

However, six parks on the list are on land that was formerly federal property and as a result the federal government could seize the land if the parks are closed. The Governor was recently warned that this was a possibility by National Park Service Regional Director Jonathan Jarvis. Schwarzenegger was also informed that the closures could result in the loss of other federal funding of the California Parks budget. 

While I have virtually no sympathy for California and the mess they find themselves in, I can’t help but be annoyed at the federal government’s position on this. It seems that no matter what Schwarzenegger tries to do to save money the Feds step in to tell him why he can’t do it. Remember when he tried to renegotiate state contracts with SEIU? That was  immediately shot down by the White House with funding cut threats. It makes you wonder if they really want California to solve their problems without Federal intervention. This type of interference is exactly the reason there needs to be separation between state and federal government. If state governments only took federal funding for things that are directly related to federal projects such as infrastructure and defense; they would be able to operate under the states’ rights provisions in the Constitution. Instead, the long strings attached to federal funds reduce the sovereignty states’ rights would otherwise provide. 

The six parks are; Angel Island, a former federal military and immigration facility; the top of Mount Diablo,  once a Navy microwave relay station; Point Sur State Park in coastal Big Sur; and three beaches Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey, Point Mugu State Park near Malibu, and Border Fields along the Mexican border. All prime California real estate; some is even beach front – Hmmm …. Maybe, this is just an opportunity for a federal land grab! 

After all, the way the administration is growing the size of the federal government; it might outgrow D.C. before we know it. Since so many of the crazies in charge are from the Golden State (Pelosi, Waxman, Feinstein and Boxer to name a few), maybe the real plan is to force the state into bankruptcy, buy it with taxpayer money, nationalize it and set up D.C. West. I mean think about it, the House and the Senate could just meet via video conference (D.C. East and West); each representative could travel to the closest site resulting in huge travel savings. How green would that be?  – (Plus Pelosi wouldn’t have to keep bugging the military for use of a jet) 

Best jobs ever… all play; no work, no worries 

(Karen Matthews, Associated Press, N.Y.) Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that’s what they want to do.

Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.

The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.

Because the teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 or more, the city Department of Education estimates the practice costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules.

“It is extremely difficult to fire a tenured teacher because of the protections afforded to them in their contract,” spokeswoman Ann Forte said.

City officials said that they make teachers report to a rubber room instead of sending they home because the union contract requires that they be allowed to continue in their jobs in some fashion while their cases are being heard. The contract does not permit them to be given other work.

Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that this practice also goes on in California…

The Los Angeles district, the nation’s second-largest school system with 620,000 students, behind New York’s 1.1 million, said it has 178 teachers and other staff members who are being “housed” while they wait for misconduct charges to be resolved. To read the full story, go to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_re_us/us_rubber_rooms

My guess is that L.A.’s 178 “special cases” are costing them about $25 million. You would think that if these people are going to get paid they should have to perform some productive work. Does anyone believe that there is nothing productive that they could be doing, if the contract was ammended? So why isn’t someone correcting this? I am sure if anyone tried to step in and fix the contract, the administration would step in to stop it. These days, the best jobs are union jobs. At least it seems, they are the only ones the government is interested in protecting. 

“Let’s reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools – and use it on the teachers.”


P. J. O’Rourke