Cap and Trade: Inspection for a home mandated
Speaking truth to old-stream media bias.
London's Daily Mail published some stunning photos of an active volcano taken from space.
Have they read the bill? LawHawk thinks not...
They admit not reading the porkfest. They admit that they didn't understand the TARP or that they were protecting bonuses for companies receiving federal funds all while feigning outrage.
So, will they read the latest mess to pass through the halls of Congress - the climate change bill? I doubt it.
In fact, they're racing to get it passed before anyone delves deeply into its provisions and realizes the mess it is about to visit upon the US and global economy.
It's 1,092 pages, but others have already had a chance to read it and the reviews are decidedly opposed to passing this bloated mess.
It's a tax, just as I've been warning. If you don't believe me, would you prefer that Warren Buffett said it instead (and did so yesterday on CNBC).
Even if the goal is to reduce overall pollution, which is a laudable goal, this bill will absolutely disrupt the economies of states that are already reeling from the collapse of the auto industry and which are net energy exporters for the nation - primarily because they are oil and coal producers. Importers of such energy could potentially benefit, although that too is cloudy because all the higher energy costs will be passed on to the end-user - the consumer. The gain to the environment will come not from the cap and trade, but the economic depression resulting from the shuttering of businesses and industries around the nation.
Never mind that all these businesses and industries will attempt to pass the costs on to consumers, but will find that demand will decline because people wont be able to afford the higher costs.
The Congressional Budget Office ignores the costs altogether by engaging in a selective and misleading one-year analysis while ignoring what would have happened to the economy had no law been passed.
Obama tries to point out that Spain has seen green jobs created, but ignores that the Spanish unemployment figures are nearly double our current 9%+ unemployment rate and the jobs simply haven't been made and those that were are not cost effective. It's voodoo economics and the numbers don't make any sense. The Spanish experience is one that we should avoid, and yet the Administration is trying to hype that this is where we should be headed.
What we should keep in mind is that some people will profit from this vaporware scheme, including none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Posted on June 21, 2009
To All My Valued Employees:
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a Back Story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last year's Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.
However, what you don't see is the BACK STORY: I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date.
Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury.
I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had. So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child.
You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… you never realize the Back Story and the sacrifices I've made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.
Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why: I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time.
On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero.. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don't understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I'll fire you. I'll fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about….
Signed, THE BOSSJohn Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM.
Democrat cap-and-trade bill could hike electricity rates 47%: KJCT
"Because the Egyptians were so wise and so powerful their empire lasted for a very long time. Longer than any empire the world has ever known: nearly three thousand years. And they took just as much care of their corpses, when they preserved them from rotting away, in preserving all their ancient traditions over the centuries. Their priests made quite sure that no son did anything his father had not done before him. To them, everything old was sacred."
"Obama has the magic to make words mean almost anything. Numbers are more resistant to his charms." -- Charles Krauthammer
A letter from a woman in Arizona. She writes an open letter to our nation's leadership:
I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:
One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.
Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.
Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.
Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.
Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!
Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.
Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.
Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?
Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.
Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.
Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.
Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.
I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.
From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.
We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.
Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.
It happened last night. There was debate on the floor of the House over some amendments to a spending bill. The amendments were offered by Republicans and concerned funding for ACORN and an investigation into Nancy Pelosi's problems with the CIA.
As I understand the story, the Democrats announced that there would be no more votes that evening, and Republicans started heading home. When enough Republicans were gone the Democrats headed back to the House floor and called for a vote to end debate on all amendments to the spending bill. Republicans scrambled to get back into the House, but it was too late. Democrats saved Pelosi and ACORN with their little chicanery. For now
Today is the day that Barack Obama unveils his plans for one of the most radical growths in government this country has ever seen. Obama's plan will give the government the power to seize companies that are considered "too big to fail" and could jeopardize the financial system. We aren't just talking about banks, folks. We are talking about ANY company.
OK ... I can't let this pass. Over a week ago, when Obama was first promoting his executive compensation limitations, I told you that it would be no time at all before Mr. Government Control was expanding his ideas to companies his administration deemed to be "too big to fail." Thus far Hugo Obama hasn't actually used the "too big to fail" language. Instead we are hearing things about companies who's failure, as the Lost Angeles Times puts it, "jeopardizes the financial system." As determined by who? As determined by Obama's henchmen, of course. Now ... here we are. Just how hard was that one to predict? Why, not hard at all, actually.
This is what our country has come to. Our Founding Fathers are rolling over right now at the thought that our imperial federal government will soon have the power to seize virtually any company that it wants. All we have to do is get some government hack, like our tax-cheat Treasury Secretary, to say that the failure of this company would be bad news for our economy ... and that the government needs to take it over. And Obama gets upset when he hears people refer to him as a Socialist. How sad.
Think all of this over for a second. Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. Welfare Housing. Veteran's Administration hospitals. TSA. Homeland Security. Look at all the enterprises our wonderful Imperial Federal Government operates? Do you really think that the government operates any of these entities more efficiently than the private sector could? And now we are going to sit back while Barack Obama sets up a system where he can seize pretty much any company he wants so long as he can make some argument that the failure of that company would be troublesome.
While we're at it, why not go ahead and create another government agency? You really can't have enough government, can you? Obama's new regulatory body will be called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. An administration official says that the agency will "protect consumers of credit, savings, payment and other consumer financial products and services, and to regulate all providers of such products and services." It will have the authority to write and enforce rules for financial firms. This agency will enforce so-called "fair lending" laws. Yeah ... that will work. Can't wait until we find out what the government seems to think is "fair."
Douglas J. Elliott, an economics fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former investment banker says, "As far as I can tell, the administration doesn't think it's as important to get that structure right as to get the rules right and make sure people are focused on acting the right way."
Acting the right way. Now government will be the one to determine whether or not these businesses are "acting the right way."
Could you have imagined when this last presidential election cycle started that we were going to end up with an administration that would be hell-bent on placing private businesses under government ownership? There were some people around who were warning you about that. They're called talk show hosts.
Elections have consequences
This lady really knows her liberals, she used to be one.
Why Do Liberals Bleed?
By Robin of Berkeley
I've been thinking about learning how to fire a gun, maybe even buying one. Now if you are a lifelong conservative, Red State dweller, and NRA member, you might be thinking, "Big yawn. What's next? She'll be telling us what she had for breakfast?"
So let me try to convey to you the enormousness, the Alice in Wonderland quality of my even posing the question, something I've never, ever considered in my life. No one I know owns a gun. I've never seen a gun (well on a holster of a police officer but I never wanted to get up close and personal with it). I have given lots of good money over the years for gun control. Learning to fire a gun seems as ludicrous as deciding to take up brain surgery.
But, I am rethinking absolutely everything. There is not a single thing that I believed, that I held absolute and holy, that is not up for grabs. My brain is in a tizzy 24/7 and I don't know if up is down, or if east is west.
And the thought about a gun just came to me last week when I was listening to talk radio. A caller related how an armed citizen in the South stopped a take over robbery in a fast food restaurant. A light went on in my head. Suddenly I realized that the Red States may be on to something: the police are strongly supported, the citizens have guns, and, therefore, the gangsters may be a little reluctant to take over the local Burger King.
Contrast that to the Blue States where few liberals own guns, and the police are being emasculated. You may have heard of the horrendous case in Oakland where four cops were killed by a known felon, on a parole violation for child rape. But the powers that be in Oakland sent out the message to the police to make nice and not scare the populace, so the officers never drew their guns when approaching this felon. (Anyone else notice how the Left is slowly but surely disarming the police and military, situation-by-situation?) When I expressed my heartfelt grief to a friend about the deaths of these brave officers, he said, "The man who shot them was a human being too."
(I'd like to say that, as a psychotherapist, I responded in a sophisticated and psychologically crafty manner. No such luck. I almost blew a gasket, turned bright red, and said with barely contained anger, "He lost his claim to be human when he raped a child." To the friend's credit -- and perhaps some fear on his part -- he shut up.)
So what I realized during the talk show is that in places like Berkeley, only the criminals have the power. Not only do they have the power of guns, they are supported by several thousand brainwashed zombies who give the green light to criminals because they are the victims of someone else's "privilege" and "supremacy" and "imperialism." (Although I was a leftist until recently, I was the rare exception: I never excused crime because of the bad guy's race, creed, age, sex, or daddy being a meanie.)
I recall vividly what a Berkeley police officer once told me:
"Berkeley is a city of victims. You try to understand the street people and the criminals and sit down and talk to them and then they hit you on the head and steal your purse. The police come and then you refuse to press charges. The criminals know this and prey on you."
And he's right: almost everyone I know has been a victim of some awful crime, from being in restaurants during takeover robberies (not uncommon here), to being robbed at gunpoint, to being assaulted for no other reason except a thrill for the assailants. A neighbor, who had lived all over the world, once said to me, "Berkeley is the most dangerous place I've ever lived." Her husband was robbed at gunpoint as were almost all her friends. She couldn't wait to get out of here.
I wish I could say I'm an exception to the victim rule. But several years ago I was coming out of a restaurant in a decent area and was mugged. As Gavin de Becker states in his seminal book, The Gift of Fear, (which I, unfortunately, read after the fact), victims generally sense when they're about to be victimized but ignore the signs in order to be nice and not judgmental. This was my situation exactly. I could tell right away that the guy looked sinister. But it was a major street, at high noon, and I didn't want to seem racist, so I turned the corner a few feet to reach my car, and a minute later, had my purse stolen as well as all my feelings of being safe in the world.
I'll spare you (and me) the horrible details, but the incident ended with my having a broken nose and two black eyes, and needing surgery for the nose several days later. People wrote bad checks and stole rental cars in my name for a year afterwards. I developed a fear not only of people, but of the phone and the mail, as every day was another reminder of what happened.
Witness the response of a left wing friend, Judy, when I told her I was mugged. She said, and I quote, "I don't think what you went through was so bad. And anyway he was a victim too." (Maybe it's a good thing I wasn't armed back then.)
So I'm asking myself whether I should become armed, and I'm also wondering why so many "educated" people (I might have just answered my own question) put up with crime infested streets? Why are the biggest protests against the cops? Why are the innocent viewed as guilty, and the guilty innocent? Why is no one up in arms about liberals literally bleeding?
Then it occurred to me: Stockholm Syndrome, the same brainwashing that turned Berkeley resident Patty Hearst into Tania the bank robber. She was tortured, sexually abused, and kept in isolation by the far left group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (kissing cousins of Bill and Bernadine's Weather Underground). Successfully brainwashed, she joined their twisted and sick "army."
In the real Stockholm, the hostages were locked in a vault for days, came to "love" their captors in that perverted way that an abused woman loves her husband, and refused to testify against them in court. One even became engaged to her captor.
SS (good acronym, huh?) is rooted in a basic, primordial instinct for self protection in the wake of extraordinary trauma and terror. To survive, the victim identifies with the captors and merges psychologically with them. But SS takes on a life of its own when victims stop seeing their own humanity and want only to serve the abuser.
Living in places like Berkeley, being force fed propaganda, with police afraid to protect you, your friends unsympathetic, and no one armed, SS can spread like a virus. What starts out as compassion morphs into complicity. Occasionally there may be someone, like me, who snaps out of the trance they've been in for decades. After all, Tania woke up and became Patty Hearst again and, interestingly, married her bodyguard. (I bet that they own a whole lot of weapons.) But she had to leave Berkeley for a leafy, sheltered life elsewhere to do this.
But then again, I never bought into the notion of collective guilt, that groups of people are guilty because of the color of their skin, and individuals are exonerated because of some protected victim status. I'm the rare bird. In Berkeley, most people are so over identified with their ideology, that their logical, questioning minds have flown the coop along with a God-given knowledge, possessed by every 5 year old, of right and wrong.
As a good, loyal liberal, I always expected others to take care of me. If I gave my unqualified loyalty to the system, I could sleep well at night. But now, with victims left bleeding, a dangerously naive government, and sheep like masses, I see the absurdity of my thinking.
I heard a philosopher once say that one of the biggest existential tasks of life is giving up the fantasy of the ultimate rescuer. Liberalism reinforced this fantasy for me, as it does for so many others. Now I see the truth: We come into this world alone, and we will leave it alone. When we live our lives in the back seat of the car expecting Daddy to drive us, we only have a child's view of the world.
On that very dark day in November years ago when I became an object of someone's evil and inhumanity, I glimpsed a truth I never wanted to see: that there really is no protection, not in the way I had always thought, not by other flawed humans. I didn't know what to do with this insight until 1 1/2 years ago when I discovered that there were others out there like me, that there was something called conservatism, and now slowly but surely the pieces are coming together for me, one by one.
As I continue on the path to independence and personal responsibility, perhaps looking to myself for protection is another step on my journey.
A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a psychotherapist marooned in Berkeley.
Senator Byrd sent a letter to Obama telling him that the czars are unconstitutional. He's right.
CBS: Byrd Calls Obama's Czars Dangerous
(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Robert Byrd, the longest serving senator in history, criticized President Obama's appointment of numerous White House advisors, also called "czars," saying the presence of the czars gives the president too much power.
These czars report directly to Mr. Obama and have the power to shape national policy on their subject area. So far, Mr. Obama has recruited czars on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Unlike Cabinet secretaries, they do not have to be approved by Congress.
In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd, a Democrat, said that the czar system "can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances," Politico reported. Byrd added that oversight of federal agencies is the responsibility of officials approved by the Senate.
"As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president," Byrd wrote. "They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."
Byrd has been a longtime critic of policies that concentrate power in the executive branch. He often fought with the Bush Administration and Wednesday's letter shows that he doesn't mind going after a president from his own party.
Well, I see the state-sponsored Main Stream Media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYTimes) has ignored yet another Obama protest.
1,000 Protesters Greet Dear Leader In Green Bay (Video)
Gee, that's odd?
This didn't make many headlines yesterday.
Hundreds showed up to protest Barack Obama in Green Bay where he held a rally to promote his government takeover of health care.
FOX WLUK reported:
One thousand protesters showed up to rally against Obama and nationalized health care.
This is catchy: "The Party of Know"
As the president's motorcade passed by many people booed and offered a thumbs down.
FOX 11 WLUK reported on the protest:
Organizers said about 1,000 people lined the east side of Packerland Drive Thursday morning to protest President Obama's stop in Green Bay. Stretching four blocks long, the protest parked itself along the motorcade route between Austin Straubel Airport and Green Bay Southwest High School.
Most of the protestors were part of a grassroots movement that calls itself "The Party of Know." Jerry Bader, a conservative talk show host on WTAG 1360, helped organize the rally. Most protestors said their purpose Thursday was to let President Obama know just exactly how they feel about a government backed health care system.
"It doesn't work," Dawn Papapetru said. Papapetru said she feels an obligation to speak out. She now lives in Green Bay but was born and raised in Canada, a country that provides universal health care for its citizens.
"I know what the free health system is all about. It's wrong. Taxes will go up, gas will go up and the lines get longer in hospitals," Papapetru said.
President Obama has said he wants to model American health care reform after the Canadian system. The plan is designed to extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans by offering a government backed health insurance option.
"The government has no need to get involved in my health decisions. I don't want a government board telling me when and how and if I'm going to get health care," Peter Soransen, of De Pere, said. Soransen was one of the hundreds of people who showed up hoping to have his voice heard.
Free Republic had this photo from the protest:
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If we would switch from coal to nuclear power, then these kinds of mass transit really would be greener.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier has withstood a rising
Nourished by Andean snowmelt, the glacier constantly grows even as it spawns icebergs the size ofinto a frigid lake, maintaining a nearly perfect equilibrium since measurements began more than a century ago.
"We're not sure why this happens," said Andres Rivera, a glacialist with the Center for Scientific Studies in Valdivia, Chile. "But not all glaciers respond equally to global warming."
Viewed at a safe distance on cruise boats or the wooden observation deck just beyond the glacier's leading edge,'s jagged surface radiates a brilliant white in the strong Patagonian sun. Submerged sections glow deep blue.
And when the wind blows in a cloud cover, the 3-mile-wide (5 kilometer) glacier seems to glow from within as the surrounding mountains and water turn a meditative gray.
Every few years, Perito Moreno expands enough to touch a point of land across Lake Argentina, cutting the nation's largest freshwater lake in half and forming an ice dam as it presses against the shore.
The water on one side of the dam surges against the glacier, up to 200 feet (60 meters) above lake level, until it breaks the ice wall with a thunderous crash, drowning the applause of hundreds of tourists.
"It's like a massive building falling all of the sudden," said park ranger Javier D'Angelo, who experienced the rupture in 2008 and 1998.
The rupture is a reminder that while Perito Moreno appears to be a vast, 19-mile-long (30 kilometer) frozen river, it's a dynamic icescape that moves and cracks unexpectedly.
"The glacier has a lot of life," said Luli Gavina, who leads mini-treks across the glacier's