IRS – Entrenchment of the Left in Gov, the Rule-of-Law Sacrificed

By Scott W. Winchell, SUA Editor

With the revelations of the lost Lois Lerner emails in the growing IRS Scandal, and the obvious political ideology she infused into her work, it is important to reflect on the general make-up of the body that are largely the employees in federal government in ideological terms. It is not just Lois Lerner.

It’s also people like her former agency’s newest boss, John Koskinen; yes he who donated over $85,000 to liberal candidates over many years now, including Obama twice, at least.

You could see it in IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s arrogance as well as he testified. Allen West summed it up well in his recent article entitled “Koskinen illustrates primary job qualification for Obama administration: arrogance”:Koskinen Arrogance

The real issue is not the IRS scandal in and of itself, or actually any isolated scandal – because there are too many to count at this point. The issue is the abject arrogance of officialdom exhibited by the Obama administration as aided by the complicit liberal progressive media — and the über-partisan ignorance of the progressive socialist acolytes.

Computer crashes?  Meet the others at the IRS whose computers crashed. Beyond Lois Lerner, and as we reported yesterday, Nikole Flax, there was Michelle Eldridge, IRS national media relations chief, Agent Kimberly Kitchens, Agent Nancy Heagney, Agent Julie Chen, and Supervisory Agent, Tyler Chumny. (Read here from the Daily Caller on these characters.) More supporters of Obama, especially Kitchens as far as we know.

The newest revelation is that the EPA also lost emails; crucial to current litigation.

Why did the EPA release this news now? Because a day earlier, the National Archivist testified that the IRS has broken the law by not reporting lost documents as required. The EPA lost critical emails in a contentious case in Alaska over mining.

“They did not follow the law,” said David Ferriero, the U.S. Archivist who stopped short of saying the tax-collecting agency “broke” the law, saying “I am not a lawyer” in testimony last week. (Read more here at Politico)

Move over, IRS — now the EPA is having its own problems with missing emails. The environmental agency is having trouble locating emails belonging to a former agency employee and pulling information from his crashed hard drive, House members revealed Wednesday while questioning Administrator Gina McCarthy at a hearing on complaints of mismanagement.

“What is it with bureaucrats and public employees … the hard drives crash?” asked Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.). (Read more here.)

Here is an excerpt from The Hill on the EPA revelation:

“We have tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.

Emails provided by the committee show that EPA told congressional investigators about the hard drive crash months ago. But McCarthy said she only told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the problem Tuesday.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

The NARA enforces the Federal Records Act, which governs federal agencies’ responsibilities to maintain records.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said EPA probably violated the Federal Records Act by not backing up North’s emails.

“It looks like the Federal Records Act has been violated by the EPA,” Meadows said. Did he preserve his emails? That is required by the Federal Records Act.”

“We may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept,” McCarthy admitted.

These are just a few points that demonstrate that the leftists in government are unconcerned with the laws until exposed.

They are hired during Democratically controlled administrations largely, or appointed to head agencies that are growing in liberal dominance in those agencies. Then, if not appointed, once employed, they move up in the system, become decision makers, then determine who gets hired in the future. All to crteate a permanent liberal bias in our federal government.

It has always been the feeling of many that the make-up of federal employees was left-leaning, but in recent years, it is becoming evident that they are now in full control. We reported on a couple of examples in the recent past, especially concerning the hiring of Lawyers. The DHS recently hired a bevy of uber-leftists, and the DoJ is festooned with them.

Lois Lerner and Senator Grassley of Iowa
Lois Lerner and Senator Grassley of Iowa

Let us not forget also, when former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson created a fake name to use on a personal email account, a practice prohibited by law, to be used for official EPA business.

Richard Windsor never existed at the EPA, but the agency awarded the fictional staffer’s email account certificates proving he had mastered all of the agency’s technology training — including declaring him a “scholar of ethical behavior,” according to documents disclosed late last week.

Windsor.Richard@epa.gov was the controversial email alias used by former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned earlier this year amid questions about whether epa-using-instant-messages-avoid-s/?page=all”>her agency was complying with open-records laws.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Energy and Environment The new records — the latest in a series that EPA critics have pried loose under open-records requests — suggests Ms. Jackson used the alias even more widely than known, including taking required agency computer training under the fake identity.

Then another revelation emerges. A revelation of epic proportion where Lois Lerner’s ideology is exposed completely.

An email is released, where Lerner, in a knee-jerk reaction, desires to investigate a Senator for the right, Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Why, because an inadvertent, and mistakenly sent email invites Grassley to an event he never even attended because his wife was invited as well and the group offered to offset her expenses if they attended.

Investigators in Congress discovered new emails from Lois Lerner Wednesday revealing the former IRS Exempt Organizations director’s attempt to audit GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2012 over an email mixup.

We hope that Congressmen like SC-R Trey Gowdy prevail for us, here at the IRS, and in the upcoming Benghazi Select Committee Hearings
We hope that Congressmen like SC-R Trey Gowdy prevail for us, here at the IRS, and in the upcoming Benghazi Select Committee Hearings

According to the Associated Press, Lerner mistakenly received an email invitation to an event in December of that year meant for Grassley, who presumably received Lerner’s.

The invitation from the organizer reportedly included an offer to pay for the attendance of Grassley’s wife, should the two be interested in coming. Upon reading Grassley’s invitation mistakenly sent to Lerner, the IRS official accused of unjustifiably targeting conservative tea party organizations’ tax exempt status forwarded the email to another IRS employee, and inquired about a possible audit of the Iowa senator.

Lerner speculated it could be inappropriate for the organizer to pay for Grassley’s wife to attend. The second IRS official dismissed Lerner’s suggestion, and said an audit would be a premature action.

Of all the people at the IRS at the time, why was Lois Lerner chosen to head the Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division of the IRS? Because there was a liberal bias already present. Remember, Lois Lerner worked for the Federal Elections Commission prior and displayed a clear pentient for attacking Republicans and ignoring Democrat Party shenanigans.

Before Lois Lerner was embroiled in the IRS scandal, she was involved in a questionable pattern of law enforcement at the Federal Election Commission that mirrors the discrimination recently exposed at the nation’s tax-collection agency.

One of Lerner’s former colleagues tells National Review Online that her political ideology was evident during her tenure at the FEC, where, he says, she routinely subjected groups seeking to expand the influence of money in politics — including, in her view, conservatives and Republicans — to the sort of heightened scrutiny we now know they came under at the IRS.

General counsel’s reports composed during Lerner’s tenure at the FEC confirm Engle’s recollections of a woman predisposed to back Republicans against the wall while giving Democrats a pass. Though Noble, then the FEC’s general counsel, is listed as the author of the reports, sources familiar with the commission say that given Lerner’s position, she would have played an integral role shaping their conclusions.(Read the rest at National Review)

It is clear to us at SUA that this is what comes from cult-of-personality trumping sane, logical, and sustaining politicians, people that are ‘Americans First’ politicians. The ideological entrenchment is here to stay unless America collectively overcomes this tide. This is what we get when we toss rule-of-law to the curb and elect personalities, those who thrive on the cult-of-personality.

Heck, there is now a $1 Million bounty for her emails. We may never find them, unless more investigation is done. Our bet lies with civil litigation underway now from those aggrieved through the discovery process. People like Catherine Engelbrecht and many others deserve “redress of the grievances.”

The House Ways and Means Committee under Chairman Dave Camp has referred Lois Lerner to the DoJ for criminal investigation, but we see little hope that Eric Holder will do anything there. It is time for a Independent Counsel or Special Prosecutor.

'Rule of Rulers' – Coburn: 2013, Most Unproductive, Damaging

Editor’s Note – The author of the following article in the Wall Street Journal, Tom Coburn, is a Republican Senator from Oklahoma and is most famous for his annual “Waste Book.” Along with his focus on government waste, fraud, and abuse, he highlights other major negative issues that happened in 2013 here.

SUA agrees with Coburn that 2013 is perhaps not only the least productive year in government in recent memory, but we add that it may also be the most damaging to America since 1913, the year of the Income Tax, the Federal Reserve, and changing the method for choosing Senators by popular vote. (Amendments 16 and 17)

Of these, it is the opinion of SUA that besides the Obama administration’s ‘rule of rulers’ tactics that circumvent the Constitution and Congress, and the ObamaCare lies and fraud, the next worse issue was the complete failure of Congress and its abysmal approval rating in 2013. However, it is disingenuous of the media to constantly group all in Congress as a monolithic bloc upon which the low approval rating is discussed or polled. Why?, because Congress has been reduced to a one man show – the Harry Reid Show.

Harry Reid wields his "Iron Fist" control over America's legislative needs. The "Rule of Rulers"!
Harry Reid wields his “Iron Fist” control over America’s legislative needs. The “Rule of Rulers”!

No matter your political stripe, Harry Reid surpasses Obama in singularly ruling America with an iron fist. If a more scientific poll were performed, one conducted on each house of Congress separately, and by the individual in both, the picture would be stark. The left can talk about the Tea Party Caucus as if it were an alien being, and blame the Republicans for everything because of them, but the actual troll at the bridge has been, and continues to be, Harry Reid.

Painting all of Congress with a broad brush is a favorite talking point of Obama, and his willing minions do not care that he includes his supporters in his invective words. They will say and do anything for their ideological goals and control freak nature – all at the peril of “We the People” and our Republic. By lumping them as one, they achieve success with their misconception, misinformation, and demagogic tactics to confuse you the American citizen into believing their tripe.

Please read on and comment below:

Tom Coburn: The Year Washington Fled Reality

‘Message discipline’ can win elections but is not a healthy way to run a country.

By Tom Coburn –WSJ Online

The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic.

While the Senate debates the bipartisan budget plan, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime deficit hawk, outlines his annual “Wastebook,” which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
While the Senate debates the bipartisan budget plan, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a longtime deficit hawk, outlines his annual “Wastebook,” which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In both the executive branch and Congress, Americans witnessed an unwinding of the country’s founding principles and of their government’s most basic responsibilities.

The rule of law gave way to the rule of rulers. And the rule of reality—in which politicians are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts, as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan liked to say—gave way to some politicians’ belief that they were entitled to both their own opinions and their own facts. It’s no wonder the institutions of government barely function.

On health care, President Obama oversaw a disastrous and, sadly, dishonest launch of his signature achievement. The president gave an exception to employers, but not to individuals, without any legal basis, and made other adjustments according to his whim. Even more troubling was his message over the past three years that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. We now know that the administration was aware that these claims were false, yet Mr. Obama continued to make them, repeatedly.

In 2014, millions of Americans will likely discover that the president’s claim that the average family will save $2,500 on health insurance was equally disconnected from reality.

The president apologized in part for his statements, but his actions reveal the extent to which he has conformed to, rather than challenged, the political culture that as a presidential candidate he vowed to reform.

The culture that Mr. Obama campaigned against, the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and “message discipline”—never straying from using the same slogans and talking points—can create reality, regardless of the facts. Message discipline works if the goal is to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal. But saying that something is true doesn’t make it so. When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict. In a republic, deception is destructive. Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no consent. And without consent we invite paralysis, if not chaos.

Taking unilateral, extralegal action—like delaying the employer mandate for a year when Mr. Obama realized the trouble it would cause for businesses—is part of a pattern for this administration. Immigration and border-security laws that might displease certain constituencies if enforced? Ignore the laws. Unhappy that a deep-water drilling moratorium was struck down in court? Reimpose it anyway. Internal Revenue Service agents using the power of the state to harass political enemies? Deny and then stonewall. Unhappy with the pace of Senate confirmations for nominees? Ignore the Constitution and appoint people anyway and claim that the Senate is not in session.

The Obama administration hardly has a monopoly on contributing to Washington’s dysfunction. Congress more than earned its 6% national approval rating, a historic low.

Congress’s most significant action this year was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to undo 200 years of precedent that requires a supermajority to change Senate rules. To speed the approval of executive appointments and judicial nominations, Sen. Reid resorted to raw political power, forcing a vote (52-48) that allows the Senate majority to change the rules whenever it wants. In a republic, if majorities can change laws or rules however they please, you’re on the road to life with no rules and no laws.

The supermajority safeguard that prevented senators from destroying the institution in which they serve is now largely gone. Gone also are members of the majority who understood the need to protect minority rights. There are no more Robert Byrds to quote Cicero, who said, “In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.”

Instead, we have a majority leader who has appointed himself a Rules Committee of one. Referring to the right of the minority to offer changes to bills under consideration, Mr. Reid said: “The amendment days are over.” Like President Obama, Mr. Reid is great at message discipline but weak on the rule of law and reality. His narrative about Republican obstruction of appointees is a diversion from his own war against minority rights. Even before his wrecking of the supermajority tradition, Mr. Reid had already used Senate rules to cut off debate and prevent the minority from offering amendments 78 times—more than all other Senate majority leaders combined.

On the budget, Democrats and Republicans alike are celebrating the avoidance of another nihilistic government shutdown as a great victory. The choice to not commit mass political suicide may be a step toward sanity, but it isn’t reform. Solving the problem—fixing entitlements, reforming the tax code and consolidating the government’s $200 billion in duplicative spending—would be reform. Yet as my annual Wastebook report showed, even in this year of budget-sequestration anguish, the federal government still managed to fund the study of romance novels, provide military benefits to the Fort Hood shooter and even help the State Department buy itself Facebook FB +0.97% fans.

If Congress wants to get serious, and be taken seriously, it can start by doing its job. It can debate and pass individual appropriations bills—a task that Congress has not completed in eight years. And perhaps Congress can cut some of the stupidity in government spending. The House deserves some credit for trying—it passed four appropriations bills—but the Senate deserves none. Mr. Reid did not pass a single appropriations bill in 2013, thus shielding vulnerable members of his party from having to make tough votes.

How the nation’s leaders perform in Washington is a reflection of the country, and culture, they represent. Moral relativism and postmodern disregard of truth has been promoted by academia for decades; sometimes it seems that the best students of that thinking can be found in Washington. We live in a time when laws and rules are defined however the holders of power decree, and “messaging” is paramount, regardless how far the message is from reality.

The coming year presents an opportunity to Americans who hope for better. Despite Washington’s dysfunction, “We the People” still call the shots and can demand a course correction. In 2014, here’s a message worth considering: If you don’t like the rulers you have, you don’t have to keep them.

Mr. Coburn, a Republican, is a senator from Oklahoma.

"We Don't Need Badges" – We Do What We Want!

Editor’s Note – A law is a law – you don’t get to change it unless Congress says you can, that is called balance of power, separation of powers. Of course, the Obama administration cares little about that, so he just changes enforcement and implementation as he sees fit. What OATH! Faithfully execute…blah, “we don’t need badges”!

Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015

By Avik Roy, Forbes

First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.

According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the Obama administration had missed as many as one-third of the deadlines, specified by law, under the Affordable Care Act. Here are the details on the latest one.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) speaks as Assistant Attorney General of Justice Department's civil rights division Thomas Perez (R) listens during a personnel announcement March 18, 2013 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Perez has succeeded Hilda Solis as the U.S. Secretary of Labor. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) speaks as Assistant Attorney General of Justice Department’s civil rights division Thomas Perez (R) listens during a personnel announcement March 18, 2013 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Perez has succeeded Hilda Solis as the U.S. Secretary of Labor. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Obamacare contains a blizzard of mandates and regulations that will make health insurance more costly. One of the most significant is its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs, such as co-pays and deductibles. Section 2707(b) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by Obamacare, requires that “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for the any participant or beneficiary.” Annual limits on cost-sharing are specified by Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act; in addition, starting in 2014, deductibles are limited to $2,000 per year for individual plans, and $4,000 per year for family plans.

Out-of-pocket caps drive premiums upward

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you ban lifetime limits, and mandate lower deductibles, and cap out-of-pocket costs, premiums have to go up to reflect these changes. And unlike a lot of the “rate shock” problems we’ve been discussing, these limits apply not only to individually-purchased health insurance, but also to employer-sponsored coverage. (Self-insured employers are exempted.)

These mandates have already had drastic effects on a number of colleges and universities, which offer inexpensive, defined-cap plans to their healthy, youthful students. Premiums at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., for example, rose from $245 per student in 2011-2012 to between $2,507 in 2012-2013. The University of Puget Sound paid $165 per student in 2011-2012; their rates rose to between $1,500 and $2,000 for 2012-2013. Other schools have been forced to drop coverage because they could no longer afford it.

According to the law, the limits on out-of-pocket costs for 2014 were $6,350 for individual policies and $12,700 for family ones. But in February, the Department of Labor published a little-noticed rule delaying the cap until 2015. The delay was described yesterday by Robert Pear in the New York Times.

Delay needed to align ‘separate computer systems’

Notes Pear, “Under the [one-year delay], many group health plans will be able to maintain separate out-of-pocket limits for benefits in 2014. As a result, a consumer may be required to pay $6,350 for doctors’ services and hospital care, and an additional $6,350 for prescription drugs under a plan administered by a pharmacy benefit manager.”

The reason for the delay? “Federal officials said that many insurers and employers needed more time to comply because they used separate companies to help administer major medical coverage and drug benefits, with separate limits on out-of-pocket costs. In many cases, the companies have separate computer systems that cannot communicate with one another.”

The best part in Pear’s story is when a “senior administration official” said that “we had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers…They asked for more time to comply.” Exactly how is it in consumers’ interests to pay far more for health insurance than they do already?

It’s not. Unless you have a serious, chronic condition, in which case you may benefit from the fact that law forces healthy people to subsidize your care. To progressives, this is the holy grail. But for economically rational individuals, it’s yet another reason to drop out of the insurance market altogether. For economically rational businesses, it’s a reason to self-insure, in order to get out from under these costly mandates.

Patient groups upset

While insurers and premium-payers will be happy with the delay—whose legal justification is dubious once again—there are groups that grumbled. Specifically, groups representing those with chronic diseases, and the pharmaceutical companies whose costly drugs they will use. “The American Cancer Society shares the concern” about the delay, says Pear, “and noted that some new cancer drugs cost $100,000 a year or more.” But a big part of the reason those drugs cost so much is because manufacturers know that government-run insurers will pay up.

“The promise of out-of-pocket limits was one of the main reasons we supported health reform,” says Theodore M. Thompson of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society . “We have wonderful new drugs, the biologics, to treat rheumatoid arthritis,” said Patience H. White of the Arthritis Foundation. “But they are extremely expensive.”

The progressive solution to expensive problems? More subsidies. But subsidies don’t reduce the underlying cost of care. They only excuse the high prices that manufacturers and service providers already charge.

It’s one of the many aspects of Obamacare that should be repealed, if we are to combat the rate shock that the health law imposes on tens of millions of Americans. But that will require Republicans to come up with a smarter strategy than shutting down the government.

See Video and More here.

Blackhole date for news, Fri. Dec. 23 – Obama's "signing statement"

Editor’s Note – The signing statement below was generated by Barack Obama and his staff at the White House and released two days before Christmas. Possibly the one day, more than any other, that anyone could release objectionable or dilatory information so no one would notice, especially the main stream media outlets. Fridays are normally the day to do such things, and this year, that Friday was the beginning of the Christmas holiday.

How convenient, especially when you consider just how ridiculous the arguments are as displayed in that ‘signing statement’. By signing the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012” he effectively turned the entirety of the bill into law, but since it did not agree with his ideology and campaign promises, he attached the statement listed below.

In the statement, he repeatedly raises Constitutional issues that he and his staff feel impedes upon his ability to do his job, and that there are clear issues impinging on the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches.

Again, selective enforcement, this from the “most transparent administration, and fourth best Presidency ever”.

This is demonstrative of every facet of his administration – trot the Constitution out when it serves your purpose, stomp all over it when it does not. If we do a mere surface examination of the past three years he has been in office, its clear that there is a very large disdain for the Constitution except when needed for political means.

If he were so concerned about the ability to do his job, and the separation of powers, why does his DoJ sue states, decide not to sue criminals, and run crazy schemes like Fast & Furious that is still stone-walling Congress. All this and more while his party has yet to pass a budget in the Senate; for over 1,000 days? It is totally disingenuous!

There goes that left-handed signing statement pen - my way!

This bill was passed, under horrible political wrangling, all to keep the government working, but only as he sees fit – ‘rule-of-law’ has no meaning anymore, and this administration and his party just say: “We don’t need no stinking badges!” Everything these people do stretches credulity to its breaking point, and at every juncture, no matter the issue, its politics first, second, third…and its everyone else’s fault!

Statement by the President on H.R. 2055

AJC Blog

By Jamie Durpee

Before President Obama left for Hawaii to join his family on a Christmas vacation, he signed into law a package of budget bills for the current fiscal year – but he also let Congress know that a few provisions would not be observed by his administration.

These are called “signing statements” and have a times been rather controversial – mainly depending on which party is in control of the White House.

In other words, if it is your President, the signing statement is okay – if the other party controls the White House, then signing statements are usually bad.

This latest Obama signing statement has to do with Guantanamo detainees, the deployment of U.S. military forces overseas, restrictions on diplomatic work, the assignemnts of executive branch officials and restrictions on the use of money at the Library of Congress and in other agencies.

Put on your legal hat and sift through this signing statement:

Today I have signed into law H.R. 2055, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012.” This bill provides the funding necessary for the smooth operation of our Nation’s Government.

I have previously announced that it is the policy of my Administration, and in the interests of promoting transparency in Government, to indicate when a bill presented for Presidential signature includes provisions that are subject to well-founded constitutional objections. The Department of Justice has advised that a small number of provisions of H.R. 2055 raise constitutional concerns.

In this bill, the Congress has once again included provisions that would bar the use of appropriated funds for transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States (section 8119 of Division A), as well as transfers to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met (section 8120 of Division A). These provisions are similar to others found in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. My Administration has repeatedly communicated my objections to these provisions, including my view that they could, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. In approving this bill, I reiterate the objections my Administration has raised regarding these provisions, my intent to interpret and apply them in a manner that avoids constitutional conflicts, and the promise that my Administration will continue to work towards their repeal.

The Congress has also included certain provisions in this bill that could interfere with my constitutional authorities in the areas of foreign relations and national security. Section 113 of Division H requires the Secretary of Defense to notify the Appropriations Committees of both Houses of Congress 30 days in advance of “any proposed military exercise involving United States personnel” that is anticipated to involve expenditures of more than $100,000 on construction. Language in Division I, title I, under the headings International Organizations, Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities, disallows the expenditure of funds “for any United Nations peacekeeping mission that will involve United States Armed Forces under the command or operational control of a foreign national,” unless my military advisers have advised that such an involvement is in the national interest, and unless I have made the same recommendation to the Congress. In approving this bill, I reiterate the understanding, which I have communicated to the Congress, that I will apply these provisions in a manner consistent with my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief.

Certain provisions in Division I, including sections 7013, 7025, 7029, 7033, 7043, 7046, 7049, 7059, 7062, and 7071, restrict or require particular diplomatic communications, negotiations, or interactions with foreign governments or international organizations. Others, including sections 7031, 7037, and 7086, hinder my ability to receive diplomatic representatives of foreign governments. Finally, section 7041 requires the disclosure to the Congress of information regarding ongoing diplomatic negotiations. I have advised the Congress that I will not treat these provisions as limiting my constitutional authorities in the area of foreign relations.

Moreover, several provisions in this bill, including section 627 of Division C and section 512 of Division D, could prevent me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibilities, by denying me the assistance of senior advisers and by obstructing my supervision of executive branch officials in the execution of their statutory responsibilities. I have informed the Congress that I will interpret these provisions consistent with my constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Additional provisions in this bill, including section 8013 of Division A and section 218 of Division F, purport to restrict the use of funds to advance certain legislative positions. I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.

Numerous provisions of this bill purport to condition the authority of executive branch officials to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These are constitutionally impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement in the execution of the laws. Although my Administration will notify the relevant committees before taking the specified actions, and will accord the recommendations of such committees appropriate and serious consideration, our spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees. In particular, section 1302 of Division G conditions the authority of the Librarian of Congress to transfer funds between sections of the Library upon the approval of the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I have advised the Congress of my understanding that this provision does not apply to funds for the Copyright Office, which performs an executive function in administering the copyright laws.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,

December 23, 2011.

Picking winners and losers – Not the purview of the Federal Government

Editor’s Note – The business of the people does not include investing your tax dollars into venture capital incubation companies. But when it comes to the ‘Green Agenda’, this administration is using the Van Jones play book for the sake of jobs, at least that is what they are saying. Jobs is one thing but going green is not the solution to our dependence on fossil fuels, foreign or domestic, and never will be. Our energy demand far out strips any solar or wind output, especially in economic terms. The government is chartered with performing policy that adheres to the law, and cozy crony capitalism is anathema to the law, and this activity is following the “Rule-of-Men” not the “Rule-of-Law” our foundations are set upon. Our voices need to be heard that the private sector is our economic machine, not the government picking and choosing winners and the EPA and White House simply throw sand in the gears for others.

59% Oppose Government Loan Help for Alternative Energy Company Like Solyndra

Rasmussen

The questionable financial dealings of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra and its ties to the Obama administration are drawing little public attention so far, but most voters agree government help is not the best way to develop alternative energy sources.

Solyndra - A case for the FBI, a case for the American Tax Payer

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Likely U.S. Voters think free market competition is more likely than government subsidies and regulation to help the United States develop alternative sources of energy. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% believe government subsidies and regulations are the better way to go. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But then 71% of voters say private sector companies and investors are better than government officials when it comes to determining the long-term benefits and potential of new technologies.  Sixty-four percent (64%) think it’s likely that if a private company which cannot find investors gets funding from the government, that money will be wasted.

If private investors aren’t willing to put money into a company, only 17% of voters think the federal government should provide loan guarantees or loans to help keep such a company in business. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say the government should not provide money for an alternative energy company after private investors refuse to invest in it. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.

Solyndra received $535 million loan guarantees from the federal government after private investors refused to invest further. The company had strong political ties to the president including major campaign contributions.  A plurality (47%) of voters agrees that when business owners support a winning politician, they get special treatment when applying for government loan guarantees. Twenty-nine percent (29%) do not believe that to be true, while another 23% are not sure.

While most voters oppose government funding help for “alternative energy” companies that can’t attract private investment, they’ve evenly divided when asked specifically about “companies that want to develop solar or wind power.” Forty percent (40%) say the government should provide funding for solar and wind power companies if investors will not invest in them, while an identical 40% oppose such government funding. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 24-25, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Just 39% of voters say they have followed recent news reports about Solyndra, with 19% who are following Very Closely.

Voters consistently express more confidence in the private sector than in government to solve the nation’s energy problems.  Most recently, in June, 72% of Americans said the United States is not doing enough to develop alternative sources of energy, but 65% felt private companies were more likely to solve the nation’s energy problems than a government research program.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 59% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties think free market competition is more likely than government subsidies and regulations to help the United States develop alternative sources of energy. Just 34% of Democrats agree. A plurality (41%) of voters in the president’s party have more confidence in government subsidies and regulations.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats and a plurality (44%) of unaffiliated voters believe the government should provide funding to companies that want to develop solar or wind power even if private investors will not invest in them. Sixty-three percent (63%) of GOP voters oppose such funding.

Given a case like Solyndra, though, 57% of unaffiliateds agree with 78% of Republicans that the government should not provide loans or loan guarantees to help keep the company in business if private investors refuse to get involved. Democrats agree by a much narrower 43% to 26% margin.

Nearly half (49%) of Political Class voters think the government should help an alternative energy company in a situation like Solyndra’s.  Seventy percent (70%) of Mainstream voters disagree. But 53% of those in the Mainstream believe that when business owners support a winning politician, they get special treatment when applying for loan guarantees. Fifty-four percent (54%) of the Political Class think that’s not true.

The loan guarantees for Solyndra which are now unlikely to ever be repaid came from the $787-billion stimulus plan approved in early 2009 by the Congress, and voters have remained lukewarm on that package ever since the president first proposed it.

Most voters continue to believe strongly as they have for years that government and big business work together against the interests of consumers and investors.

Voters remain strongly supportive of a free market economy over one controlled by the government and still think small businesses are hurt more than big businesses when the government does get involved.