Hat Tip to Instapundit.
Michelle Muccio has a better idea for stimulating the economy than Congress.
Watch and I'll bet you'll agree too.
US, UK to bolster NATO defenses in eastern Europe
18 minutes ago
Interesting how a story about a liberal pundit’s investigations into the sexuality of coworkers and political rivals primarily draws the attention of conservative bloggers. And gay bloggers seem more interested in the story than do the organizations ostensibly representing our peers.
The more we learn about Bill Moyers, the more we see how much his political affiliation defined his life. He would do anything to destroy a rival politician, even root around to see if that man had gay staffers, seeking to use those staffers’ sexuality against their Republican employer.
Was It Something He Said?
by Andrew Stuttaford
Europe's last serving Thatcherite, Czech president Vaclav Klaus, made a speech to the EU's sham parliament on Thursday. It was a fine speech, in fact, so fine that it enraged the thugs, scolds, crooks, and placemen who make up so much of the world's least impressive deliberative body.
Daniel Hannan MEP reported what happened (or, even more pointedly, what didn't happen) here:When anti-federalist MEPs held up placards calling for a referendum during a plenary session of the European Parliament, the big parties reacted with excruciating pomposity and hyperbole. Martin Shulz, the Socialist leader, said that our behaviour made him think of Adolf Hitler. Graham Watson, the Liberal leader, said that it "recalled the behaviour of the Communists in the Russian Diet [sic] and the National Socialists in the German Reichstag ". Several MEPs were issued with fines, on grounds that they had disgraced the assembly in the presence of a national leader (the Portuguese Prime Minister, José Socrates).
So, what action was taken against those Euro-integrationist MEPs who jeered, heckled and interrupted Václav Klaus yesterday? Their offence, surely, was the greater, Mr Klaus being a head of state. In insulting him, they insulted the Czech population. Have they been likened to Nazis? Will they be disciplined or fined?
I think we can all guess the answer...
The full text of Klaus's subtle and challenging speech (in which he shows himself by no means opposed to some forms of European integration) can be found here, but this, in particular, is well worth noting:The present decision making system of the European Union is different from a classic parliamentary democracy, tested and proven by history. In a normal parliamentary system, part of the MPs support the government and part support the opposition. In the European parliament, this arrangement has been missing. Here, only one single alternative is being promoted and those who dare thinking about a different option are labelled as enemies of the European integration. Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives and therefore also no parliamentary opposition. It was through this experience that we learned the bitter lesson that with no opposition, there is no freedom. That is why political alternatives must exist.
And not only that. The relationship between a citizen of one or another member state and a representative of the Union is not a standard relationship between a voter and a politician, representing him or her. There is also a great distance (not only in a geographical sense) between citizens and Union representatives, which is much greater than it is the case inside the member countries. This distance is often described as the democratic deficit, the loss of democratic accountability, the decision making of the unelected – but selected – ones, as bureaucratisation of decision making etc. The proposals to change the current state of affairs – included in the rejected European Constitution or in the not much different Lisbon Treaty – would make this defect even worse.
Since there is no European demos – and no European nation – this defect cannot be solved by strengthening the role of the European parliament either.
No wonder those clowns were angry.
A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.
The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.
Jerry, it is instructive to note that in the UK, the powers the executive gets via delegation from the legislature are called "Henry VIII Powers," after the monarch who strong-armed Parliament into starting off this practice. I suspect it is one of those practices the Founding Fathers found so abhorrent that they saw no need to prohibit it in the Constitution, as no self-respecting American legislature would do it. Unfortunately, now when we need it spelled out constitutionally it is exactly the time when such an amendment would have no chance of success, so useful does Congress find the practice.
One of the most important things to note about the new Obama forclosure plan is that we know it won't work as advertised. As John Berlau points out here, people who have their loans modified to help them out actually redefault for the most part. The latest figures indicate that 36% redefault after just three months, and by eight months it's almost 60%. There is no evidence to suggest that this new mortgage restructuring plan will be any more successful. In that respect, Obama is doing just what he said he wouldn't do, throwing good money after bad. Moreover, by delaying the "clean break" that foreclosure actually represents, the plan actually subsidizes harm with taxpayer money. For those who will redefault, that is a bad thing.
By:A A Creighton H.C.R.A No.A50
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: "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";and
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and
WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and
WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and
WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government," and the Ninth Amendment states that "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and
WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States;
now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
So Much for Transparency [Jonah Goldberg]
From the Politico:
In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.
Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.
The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.
They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.
A Politico review of Federal Register issuances since Obama took office found three executive orders, one presidential memorandum, one presidential notice, and one proclamation that went unannounced by the White House.
Re: So Much for Transparency by my husband as posted at The Corner
It looks like that regulatory review is all about reducing the power of Cass Sunstein's OIRA. CEI's crack investigative team summarizes as follows:
It appears that Obama is rescinding Bush 43's EOs 13258 (drafted by John Graham) and 13422 (drafted by Susan Dudley) in order to revert to Clinton's EO 12866 (drafted by Sally Katzen). The differences are very subtle, but include the following:
a. 13258 and 13422 applied OIRA review to guidance documents as well as rules.
b. 13258 and 13422 required agencies preparing draft rules and guidance docs to "identify in writing the specific market failure (such as externalities, market power, lack of information) or other specific problem that [the rule or guidance] intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of public institutions) that warrant new agency action, as well as assess the significance of that problem, to enable assessment of whether any new regulation is warranted." Whereas EO 12866 requires agencies to "identify the problem that it intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency action) as well as assess the significance of that problem. . . . examine whether existing regulations (or other law) have created, or contributed to, the problem that a new regulation is intended to correct and whether those regulations (or other law) should be modified to achieve the intended goal of regulation more effectively. . . . [and] identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public."
c. 13258 and 13422 require the establishment of a Regulatory Policy Office in each agency to pre-clear proposed rules and guidance docs before they get sent to OIRA.
The biggest change is that guidance docs will no longer go through the OIRA review process.