"Year of Action" – Obama's 'Success' – Regulate More

Editor’s Note – Recently we saw yet another email from the fund raising arm of the DNC touting the Presidents ‘year of action’ and that they need yet more money to help him have another success in 2015.

Looking at his previous six years of action, the country really cannot afford any more ‘action’ by this President, especially with his “uni-pen,” the “pen of unilateral action.”

Give Barack Obama credit for keeping his promise. “This is going to be a year of action,” the president pledged last January. And indeed, with a series of unilateral executive actions in the last few months of the year, he made it so.

Obama’s original promise was entirely understandable. He entered 2013 fresh from a solid re-election victory, determined to score legislative wins on gun control, immigration, spending, and other knotty issues. It all ended in disappointment. As 2014 dawned, Obama promised — to Republicans, threatened — to take a new path. (Read more here.)

In just 2014 alone, as their advertisement proclaims, Obama apparently did achieve great ends, if you ‘drink Kool-Aid’:Dec2014ObamaAdEmail.4

  1. He announced historic action on climate change;
  2. He raised the minimum wage on federal contractors;
  3. He established new rules to ensure equal pay for women;
  4. …and lastly, he took ‘executive action’ on immigration reform.

What they left out of the list of unilateral, unconstitutional acts was a disastrous streak of foreign policy failures and other dubious events like (H/T to the National Journal):

  1. Islamic State: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant;”
  2. “The “Taliban Five” – Obama staged a celebratory event in the Rose Garden in May with the parents of freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl,” only to see an unexpected negative reaction from all corners, including Democrats;
  3. NSA – “Remember that big speech Obama gave in January about reforming the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices” – only to reauthorize the very same;
  4. “Every warm weekend seemingly saw Obama hitting the links, even as the world, at times, felt like it was wobbling a bit between Iraq, Ukraine, the protests in Ferguson, Mo., the spread of Ebola, and other crises.” Worst of all was giving a speech when an American journalist was beheaded in in Syira and then five minutes later he was on the links.
  5. The border – “…the president being photographed playing pool and drinking beer in Colorado just as waves and waves of refugee children from Central America were spilling across the southwestern border:”
  6. CIA Report – Senate Democrats released a report earlier this month concluding that the Central Intelligence Agency had engaged in repeated episodes of torture and had misrepresented its effectiveness, the president pointedly refused to endorse it, or address it publicly in any way. Only Diane Feinstein looks worse here.
  7. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continued to be ‘none-of-the-above’ and a political anchor, reaching new depths of unpopularity, and now you have bigger fines to look forward to in 2015;
  8. Ukraine and Crimea – need we say more about Putin’s laughter at Obama’s expense?
  9. Ebola – could that have been handled any worse when it came to quelling fear and panic – that’s leadership. By the way, where was that Czar, Ron Klain?
  10. Israel and Gaza – John Kerry’s epic ‘fail‘ reached stratospheric proportions;
  11. Supreme Court – Just how many cases will Obama lose concerning his unilateral actions and the fraud that was ObamaCare and its principal architect, Jonathan Gruber, the man they called  ‘Mr. Mandate’ who “sees stupid people;”
  12. The Economy – that ever so slogging ‘success‘ that no one in the real-world seems to feel as good about as Obama unless you are into the NYSE and its rarefied air;
  13. Iran – What can we say about Iran, other than being played for a complete fool? But maybe a new embassy in Tehran will soothe the savage beasts and the Mullahs blind ambitions;
  14. Cuba – Ditto on Iran, and then there is that whole Sony/North Korea thing still unsettled;
  15. Scandals – too numerous to list, and each is still unresolved, from the IRS to Benghazi – maybe 2015 ‘action’ will clear the air?

Of course this list just hits some of the “high” points of the past year but look what else he did this year – 75,000 pages of new regulations, feeling good about making that donation now?

How much “action” from Obama can this country withstand for two more years?

Obama Imposed 75,000 Pages of New Regulations in 2014

Written by Alex Newman – The New American

Just in the last few weeks, the Obama administration has proposed or imposed over 1,200 new regulations on the American people that will add even more to the already crushing $2 trillion per year cost burden of the federal regulatory machine. According to data compiled from the federal government’s Regulations.gov website by the Daily Caller, most of the new regulatory schemes involve energy and the environment — 139 during a mere two-week period in December, to be precise. In all, the Obama administration foisted more than 75,000 pages of regulations on the United States in 2014, costing over $200 billion, on the low end, if new proposed rules are taken into account.

Just one of those “rules” by the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the so-called “coal ash” regulation, is expected to cost as much as $20 billion, estimates suggest. Another oncoming rule, which experts and analysts say is likely to be the most expensive federal regulation in all of U.S. history, could wreak havoc across the nation and crush the economy to the point that economic growth halts completely, experts said. Even Christmas lights, though, are now in the administration’s regulatory crosshairs, along with virtually everything else.

YearofAction2014While the insatiable Obama White House “pen and phone” machine has been spewing costly and draconian regulatory edicts at a fast and furious pace since taking power six years ago, it seems that the Holiday season has featured an even larger than usual number of wild decrees. Late last month, for example, as Americans were occupied with Thanksgiving, the Obama administration emitted what has been widely decried as the most costly single regulation in American history.

The so-called “ozone rule,” which estimates suggest could cost as much as $270 billion per year and put millions of American jobs at risk under the guise of further regulating emissions of the natural gas, was formally put forward the day before Thanksgiving. Lawmakers decried the timing of the massive regulation, suggesting the scheme was released during the holidays so “stupid voters” — as ObamaCare’s architect infamously described the American people — would be distracted with other matters.

Experts also pointed out that the EPA’s own 2007 studies showed no adverse health effects from exposure to even high levels of ozone. Even people suffering from asthma experienced no adverse effects from high levels of ozone, the EPA itself found. More than a few experts have disputed the notion that ozone causes any harm at all — but that has not stopped the EPA from imposing the regulation under the guise of “protecting health.”

“Bringing ozone pollution standards in line with the latest science will clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk,” claimed scandal-plagued EPA boss Gina McCarthy in a statement celebrating the latest proposed decree. “It empowers the American people with updated air quality information to protect our loved ones — because whether we work or play outdoors — we deserve to know the air we breathe is safe.”

Air concentration of ozone gas, which largely occurs naturally, has been plummeting across the United States in recent decades even without the EPA’s “most expensive” regulation in history. According to the American Action Forum, which analyzes the impact of regulations, the ozone standards are so extreme that 100 state and national parks could be in danger of violating them — despite the fact that they have virtually no traffic or manufacturing bases. Ironically, the EPA claims an array of other recent EPA regulations could “help” states satisfy the new federal ozone decrees.BreakThroughYear2014

American industries, meanwhile, warned that the consequences of the “ozone” regulation on the fragile U.S. economy could be devastating. “This new ozone regulation threatens to be the most expensive ever imposed on industry in America and could jeopardize recent progress in manufacturing by placing massive new costs on manufacturers and closing off counties and states to new business by blocking projects at the permitting stage,” explained Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

In an analysis posted on the NAM website, the association included a map showing that, depending on how extreme the final ozone standard was, virtually all of the United States could be out of compliance with the EPA mandates. “With nearly all of the country in nonattainment, U.S. manufacturing growth would come to a standstill; our domestic energy boom could go bust; and existing plants would be required to install additional expensive equipment,” the organization said, citing EPA data.

According to a study released by NAM earlier this year, federal regulations imposed on the United States were costing the American people more than $2 trillion every year by 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. And the cost is growing quickly. In 2014 alone thus far, the Obama administration has imposed regulations that will cost the American people over $200 billion in addition to the pre-existing $2 trillion burden, according to low-end estimates by the American Action Forum. That does not include the cost of numerous “executive” decrees and assumes, contrary to findings presented in the NAM-commissioned study, that the cost of the “ozone” rule will be relatively small.

HR-Jan29-Action-Figure_600Another major regulation imposed by the Obama administration in recent weeks surrounds the so-called “coal ash” rule regulating waste produced by electricity generation. The new scheme, finalized shortly before Christmas, could cost over $20 billion. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), presumably the next chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, blasted the plot as “a continuation of the president’s war on fossil fuels.” Among other concerns, he said the new regulations would “make states and utility companies vulnerable to new regulatory costs and expensive litigation.”

Other costly regulations in the pipeline include the Obama EPA’s radical bid to severely curtail emissions of CO2. The natural gas, which makes up a fraction of one percent of all the “greenhouse” gases present naturally in the atmosphere, is exhaled by humans and is described by scientists as the “gas of life.” Still, the White House and the United Nations continue their outlandish campaign to demonize the essential molecule as “pollution,” even threating to shackle humanity to a draconian global CO2 regime under the guise of stopping “global warming.”

Next year, meanwhile, the Obama administration is plotting to unleash yet another deluge of federal regulations targeting everything from fracking to power plants. State governments, lawmakers, and citizens have been fighting back, but so far, the White House shows no signs of backing off or even slowing down the pace when it comes to devastating decrees to pummel the economy and the American taxpayer. More “climate” decrees are coming, too, with the White House even threatening to impose a UN carbon regime on America without obtaining Senate ratification.

Separately, as The New American reported this month, the Obama administration’s increasingly dangerous and anti-constitutional usurpations of power have been accelerating. Despite White House attempts to dupe the American people by claiming it has imposed fewer “executive orders” than previous presidents, the administration was recently exposed by USA Today concealing most of its unilateral decrees by calling them “presidential memoranda” instead of orders. Obama has issued more than any president in history, doing everything from purporting to change federal law to even attacking the American people’s God-given rights using illegitimate executive edicts.

With the sprawling regulatory leviathan growing perpetually more costly and oppressive, critics say the American people’s elected representatives and the courts must both take action. “Congress should examine how executive agencies are exceeding key authorities granted to them and both narrow the substantive grants that are most subject to abuse and improve administrative procedures on multi-billion dollar regulations,” wrote attorneys Todd Gaziano and Mark Miller with the pro-liberty Pacific Legal Foundation in a recent Forbes column about the need to regulate what constitutes a regulation. “Until then, the courts must police these two areas, particularly in the rulemaking context.”

While Republican lawmakers have become adept at loudly complaining about the administration’s non-stop executive power grabs and regulations on the campaign trail, so far, they have done virtually nothing to stop it. In fact, despite all of the promises to rein in the Obama administration’s “imperial” presidency if elected to Congress, victorious Republicans, who already dominated the House of Representatives, recently passed a massive spending bill fully funding virtually every decree the White House has spewed since coming to power through next September.

In other words, GOP lawmakers, sent to Washington by outraged voters in November to stop Obama, gave up their most powerful tool to restrain the administration for almost a full year — before the new members could be seated, and for no good reason. The solution to the growing regulatory lawlessness, though, remains simple: Congress can and should defund the decrees and the unconstitutional agencies behind them before Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America is complete.


 

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Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at: anewman@thenewamerican.com

EPA's Lisa Jackson Resigns – No More 'Richard Windsor' Emails

Editor’s Note – Yet another Obama Administration Official who routinely subverted the rule-of-law governing official business has resigned, EPA’s Lisa Jackson. She should have been fired, but will she actually go?

The news of the day regarding State Department officials resigning over Benghazi-Gate is that the so-called resigning officials are actually still employed, and will remain so. But here, Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator extraordinaire must remain out of our government. She should be joined by many others, but then again, we are lucky this one is out.

The question now is, will the flood of new regulations remain? Why didn’t the Obama Administration inform Congress as the law mandates on these regulations? Once again, the Obama Administration subverts the law and does what it wants. Is there no real accountability anymore?

Read more hereabout the depth to which she went to subvert and hide their actions.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson resigns over email fraud and subverting the law.

EPA Administrator Jackson announces resignation

By KEVIN FREKING Associated Press – Federal News Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) – EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Obama administration’s chief environmental watchdog, is stepping down after a nearly four years marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation’s economy and people’s health.

Jackson constantly found herself caught between administration pledges to solve thorny environmental problems and steady resistance from Republicans and industrial groups who complained that the agency’s rules destroyed jobs and made it harder for American companies to compete internationally.

The GOP chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, said last year that Jackson would need her own parking spot at the Capitol because he planned to bring her in so frequently for questioning. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for her firing, a stance that had little downside during the GOP primary.

Jackson, 50, the agency’s first black administrator and a chemical engineer, did not point to any particular reason for her departure. Historically, Cabinet members looking to move on will leave at the beginning of a president’s second term.

“I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference,” she said in a statement. Jackson will leave sometime after President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address, typically in late January.

In a separate statement, Obama said Jackson has been “an important part of my team.” He thanked her for serving and praised her “unwavering commitment” to the public’s health.

“Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution,” he said.

Environmental activist groups and other supporters lauded Jackson for the changes she was able to make, but industry representatives said some may have come at an economic cost. Groups also noted that she leaves a large, unfinished agenda.

“There has been no fiercer champion of our health and our environment than Lisa Jackson, and every American is better off today than when she took office nearly four years ago,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But she noted that Jackson’s successor will inherit an unfinished agenda, including the need to issue new health protections against carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on clean air, called Jackson’s tenure a “breath of fresh air” and credited her for setting historic fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, and for finalizing clean air standards.

But Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, said Jackson presided over some of the most expensive environmental rules in EPA history.

“Agency rules have been used as blunt attempts to marginalize coal and other solid fossil fuels and to make motor fuels more costly at the expense of industrial jobs, energy security, and economic recovery,” Segal said. “The record of the agency over the same period in overestimating benefits to major rules has not assisted the public in determining whether these rules have been worth it.”

Other environmental groups, however, praised Jackson’s clean air efforts.

“Notwithstanding the difficult economic and political challenges EPA faced, her agency was directly responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and improving the health of millions throughout the country,” said S. William Becker of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. “She will be sorely missed.”

Larry Schweiger, head of the National Wildlife Federation, cited her climate change work and efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

Environmental groups had high expectations for the Obama administration after eight years of President George W. Bush, a Texas oilman who rebuffed agency scientists and refused act on climate change. Jackson came into office promising a more active EPA.

But she soon learned that changes would not occur as quickly as she had hoped. Jackson watched as a Democratic-led effort to reduce global warming emissions passed the House in 2009 but was then abandoned by the Senate as economic concerns became the priority. The concept behind the bill, referred to as cap-and-trade, would have established a system where power companies bought and sold pollution rights.

“That’s a revolutionary message for our country,” Jackson said at a Paris conference shortly after accepting the job.

Jackson experienced another big setback last year when the administration scrubbed a clean-air regulation aimed at reducing health-threatening smog. Republican lawmakers had been hammering the president over the proposed rule, accusing him of making it harder for companies to create jobs.

She also vowed to better control toxic coal ash after a massive spill in Tennessee, but that regulation has yet to be finalized more than four years after the spill.

Jackson had some victories, too. During her tenure, the administration finalized a new rule doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The requirements will be phased in over 13 years and eventually require all new vehicles to average 54.5 mpg, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.

She shepherded another rule that forces power plants to control mercury and other toxic pollutants for the first time. Previously, the nation’s coal- and oil-fired power plants had been allowed to run without addressing their full environmental and public health costs.

Jackson also helped persuade the administration to table the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought carbon-heavy tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

House Republicans dedicated much of their time this past election year trying to rein in the EPA. They passed a bill seeking to thwart regulation of the coal industry and quash the stricter fuel efficiency standards. In the end, though, the bill made no headway in the Senate. It served mostly as election-year fodder that appeared to have little impact on the presidential race.

___

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report.