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Happy Thanksgiving

marketterling | 24 November, 2011 13:34

Most people view Thanksgiving as a day off from work, a feast of plenty, a gathering of family, and of course loads of football.  In a land of possibilities these are all good things that represent a celebration and recognition of all of the sacrifices, dreams, beliefs, and hard work that made such a day possible in such an incredible land. 
 
I like to think of the original Thanksgiving as the genesis of the American Experiment.  Today is a day to celebrate the whole idea that free peoples, regardless of background, can gather together and support one another in an effort to coexist as a single society.  The American Experiment represents more than the simple religious freedom that the pilgrims originally sought.  It represents the true freedoms that they ultimately discovered which enable man to create his own path to his own destination regardless of his starting position.
 
The American Experiment hasn’t always worked perfectly.  We’ve had to endure the enslavement and exploitation of various subgroups of our society over the centuries, but those represent failings of man, not the failing of the Experiment itself.  It is a belief in this Experiment, and its original designer, God, which have allowed us to overcome such failures and move forward.
 
There are those that are now attempting to denigrate this celebration by pointing out their belief that the original pilgrims were actually bad people whose sole purpose was to take advantage of those they first encountered.  Whether or not they have the ability to back up such claims with historical facts isn’t relevant.  What these people fail to understand is that it’s not the actions of specific individuals, or even groups that we should be celebrating.  Instead, it should be the celebration of the fact that of all the countries throughout the world and throughout history it is we who have been blessed with the ability to realize such an incredible dream.   Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!

Tea Party Debt Commission

edbell | 20 November, 2011 11:22

Senator Mike Lee addresses Tea Party activists at Debt Commission paneldc

The Tea Party Debt Commission in Washington D.C.

O
n Thursday November 17, the Tea Party Debt Commission (TPDC) presented their budget and testimony at the Hillsdale College Kirby Center.  
Please download Budget from this link.  This momentous budget will do what Congress is incapable of doing; Cut, cap and balance federal spending.  This budget, unlike the miniscule cuts being discussed by the "Super Committee" will balance the budget in fairly short order and keep it balanced – without tax hikes!  Once the budget is released, we will make it available here at OurTP.org to all Americans because this is your budget, created from the suggestions of tea party leaders, activists and fleeced taxpayers who offered their suggestions at hearings around the country and completed the crowd-sourced online survey.

 

These links show the progression of events through the day November 17th.

 

Senator Brown's coffee:
http://youtu.be/UCUUvoSW5-o 

 

Video of Sen. Lee and Rules staffers:
http://www.freedomworks.org/the-tea-party-budget   

Gallery of Photos  from the Debt Commission Events in D.C. 

We can no longer wait for politicians to solve our budget and responsibility deficit, it's up to the people to restore America's greatness and our future

 

Christmas 2011 The Birth of a New American Tradition

tomheisler | 18 November, 2011 13:38

The Christmas holidays are fast approaching.   Everywhere I go to buy gifts I see items with labels indicating they were Made in China, Honduras, Pakistan, etc.  With the American economy in such straights, are we doing ourselves, and the economy, any favors when we purchase these goods?  The people producing these goods are promoting their own economy with very little of the money we hand over staying in America.  As can be seen by the lack of a substantial recovery over the past three years, our politicians are clueless (as much as they would like us to believe the contrary) as to what should be done and tend to inhibit growth, rather than promote it by their actions.

I have come to the conclusion it has to be the American public that pulls us out of this mess.  I know the "Buy American" concept has been around for quite a while.  Maybe, because it was initiated by the automotive industry I always tend to think of large purchases when I hear this slogan.  Well I received an email the other day that changed my perception of “Buy American”.  I hope when you read it you will figuratively hit yourself on the forehead like I did and say: “Duh, part of the answer has been right in front of me the whole time and it is something I can personally do to help.”  We keep hearing that it is the small businesses of America that create the most jobs.   The suggestions incorporated in the text of the email below provide practical suggestions for affordable goods and services you can purchase for loved ones while supporting local entrepreneurs, who at great risk to their family’s quality of life, have gone into business for themselves. 

Please give serious consideration to making your holiday a “Buy American” holiday this year!  Share the idea with your family and friends.  Let’s give this economy a swift kick in the rear and help our neighbors at the same time.  Once you get the satisfaction of doing this for the holidays … live on the edge … continue the tradition year round!!

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.  Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people.  Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut.  How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership?  It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed?  Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down

the Benjamins on a Chinese-made flat-screen?  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants...all offering gift certificates.  And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint?  Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains;  this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom?  Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal.  Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.  They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.  And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house?  When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community.  If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.  Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Will we allow them to prevail?

edbell | 13 November, 2011 10:43

Guest commentary by Vivian Heheman

F
olks, you may think that I am obsessed with the Cain media circus. Well, I am and there is a good reason! I lived through the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice and I saw a black man's character decimated by
the “left-liberal” establishment. David Brock writes in his book The Real Anita Hill, “of special-interest lobby groups, zealous Senate staffers, and a scandal-hungry press corps” which he calls “the Shadow Senate.” Brooks writes, This group, determined among other things to block conservative nominees to the Court, had come to power by “borking” Judge Robert Bork in 1987 and now was trying to “bork” Clarence Thomas too. Frustrated by their inability to bring down Thomas on the merits, its members sniffed for scandal, and hit paydirt with Anita Hill.  You may remember some of the leading characters in this human tragedy.

Who are the conspirators? “A loose coalition,” Brock writes, “of special-interest lobby groups, zealous Senate staffers, and a scandal-hungry press corps” which he calls “the Shadow Senate.” This group, determined among other things to block conservative nominees to the Court, had come to power by “borking” Judge Robert Bork in 1987 and now was trying to “bork” Clarence Thomas too. Frustrated by their inability to bring down Thomas on the merits, its members sniffed for scandal, and hit paydirt with Anita Hill.

National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg broke the story in the press.  Anita Hill would later become what Brock calls “The Woman of the Year.”   She would be “canonized” as the “Rosa Parks of sexual harassment.”

This terrible experience left a wonderful conservative black man devastated (in his words "lynched"). The fact that he came through that terrible pain to become a great Supreme Court Justice is a credit to his character.

An encroaching feminism remains to this day in which “all men are seen as rapists,” so that “it does not matter whether Hill or any other woman who claims sexual harassment actually proves her case." The man, especially a successful black man who had the audacity to leave the Democrat plantation, is automatically guilty.   Incidentally, Susan Hoerchner, a workers compensation judge and feminist activist, was a witness for Hill and proved unreliable. Hoerchner's attorney was Janet Napolitano.

Since then we have seen black and Hispanic conservative men and women nominees by President Bush go through the same ugly liberal-leftist grilling in confirmation hearings.

Now, we have another black man going through the same type of vicious accusations by 4 or 5 white women, none of them seemingly credible.  I am so infuriated that this could happen again to any man. These vicious liberal-leftist are still working their evil. Will we allow them to prevail?

Occupy Denver: The High Price of Ignorance

edbell | 12 November, 2011 11:19

Blogcon11 was invaded yesterday by Occupy Denver.  This is news to no-one, although video is available to everyone.

For those willing to endure the speech and actions of the occupiers, they obviously conflict with themselves.  They say they're the 99%.  They claim they're after the 1%.  In reality, it's obvious they are pawns of the leftist leaders.  Why not try to stir up the best writers on the right.  It only takes one stepping over the line to make all #blogcon11 attendees complicit.  Worth a try, but tactically ignorant, as the bloggers in Denver at this event are among the most media savvy, producing biting commentary and video that shape the narrative. 

The left wants to squash or silence us.  It will take a lot more than some "occupiers" to affect these ardent conservatives.  

It is sad that multiple generations have experienced the far-left's takeover of education.  In affect, void of reference to the founding of our great republic.  Yes, a republic.  What is taught is democracy.  We got to this place by lowering our guard and letting emotions drive the debate and allowing mob rule to replace rule of law.

 In the case of the Occupiers, education may be the answer.  However, their handlers have no interest in truth - only deceptions.

America's future Depends on Staying Connected

edbell | 02 November, 2011 11:29

Whether you're a high school student, parent, or grandparent, how you communicate has changed dramatically over the last couple years.  We are embracing technology to avoid being isolated and uninformed.  Email, texting, tweeting and Facebook are a part of our lives and make the world a very small place.  It's a brave new world and beyond entertainment and friendship, these new networks will play an indispensible role in saving our Republic. 

We grew up in a world where the "truth" was edited by elites to shape our opinon. On the scene citizen reporting is raw and honest, maybe not slick and polished, but much closer to truth.  Also, the news on Twitter is immediate and to the point with links to the longer story.  News is old after two hours and the old media scrambles to catch up.  To be sure, the left hates the transparency of the new media and are working behind the scenes to censor this unfettered freedom. 
Facebook is taking action to stop the successful grassroots organizing done on their platform.   All indications are free speech on Facebook is slowly being curtailed.  Twitter, by contrast places no limitations on political speech, to the benefit of freedom-loving people everywhere. 

Recall
two Labor Day events, one in Michigan and one in Cincinnati.  Mr. Hoffa and VP Biden both used inciteful rhetoric to declare war on conservatives, or should I say SOB's/barbarians aligned with tea party values.  Within minutes, this was known to millions of Americans, thanks to Twitter and alert bloggers. The words and video were unedited and helped people to see the true nature and agenda of Mr. Hoffa and the administration.  Such violent rhetoric, as history has shown, can lead us to dark and dangerous places.  Getting the truth out quickly will motivate activists and shine a light of transparency engaging people of good will to prevent a replay of history's uglier moments.

The Occupy Movement is clearly a creation of the left and each day the foggy agenda of these eclectic gatherings becomes more transparent - destroy capitalism (esp. in the United States) and redistribute wealth.  David Horowitz has spent years building a directory and showing the networks of organizations that constitute the left.  The number of groups has surpassed 1000.  These groups work separately and jointly to acheive their goals.  We have the freedom to do the same.

This is a time that requires responsible citizens to connect with as many like-minded people as possible.  Please don't let Facebook be your only social media connection to the wider world. 
FreedomConnector a social media platform developed by Freedomworks, will help to pinpoint other concerned citizens and events in your communities and across the nation.  This will be a rapidly growing part of our fight to restore limited and Constitutional government.  Also, consider at least following along with some of the interesting people on Twitter, begin to engage, and soon your inner activist will take flight.

The tools of vigilance are at your disposal.  We can make connections and participate in shaping America's future....or leave it to the left.

That Rainy Day is Here. It's time to tackle Social Security and Medicare

edbell | 17 October, 2011 12:26

The federal government is teetering on the brink of disaster, yet most in Congress, and frankly, some fiscally conservative  grassroots acitivists will not consider any serious cuts to the size and scope of so called "entitlements.  An attendee at one of the Tea Party Debt Commission meetings was incensed that the term "entitlement" is used to disparage those on Social Security.  She rightly stated that people have been forced to contribute a large portion of their income each year from their very first paycheck and she believed entitlement was used to denote people like her as a second class citizen, and undeserving of her monthly retirement check.  She has a valid point; people have been sold a product with a specific promise of payment upon retirement and retirees are not to blame for spineless politicians who have kicked the can down the road for many decades.  Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid represent 60 percent of the U.S. budget.  These programs grow based on factors the Congress cannot control, based on the aging demographics of the U.S. population. It can be said that these programs are on auto-pilot.  Social Security grew by 8.5 percent over the last two years and ten thousand folks retire each day - this we cannot ignore one moment longer.

We can talk all day about cutting the EPA, the Department of Education, and half a dozen agencies that are doing far more harm than good through the regulation, socialist ideology, and costs they pass on to our gasping business sector, but this discretionary spending, nor additional cuts to the military,will solve our debt problems today, or in the future.  Don't get me wrong - it is time to eliminate several regulatory agencies with all due haste, but to cut the roughly $9 trillion it will take to eliminate our amassed deficit and reduce our debt over the next ten years, means we must grab that third rail.  Politicians never will, but the American taxpayers know what must be done. They realize it's time to privatize social security for future retirees while protecting benefits for those already collecting checks and reform Medicare so competition and consumer choice bring down the costs.

September 11, 2001, Profiles in Responsibility

edbell | 10 September, 2011 15:29

Ten years ago, the best of humanity was brought forth by the most vile of evil.  I suspect this is God's way of showing his triumph over the darkness that schemes against the better nature of man.  Os Guinness, a Christian Scholar and author said at the time, " that horror and tragedy crack open the human heart and forces the beauty out.  It is in terrible times that people with great goodness inside become most themselves." 

Only battlefield valor might compare to the bravery of the 343 firemen who died on September 11.  As they shouldered their responsibility on those stairs, along with fifty pounds of gear, they probably didn't realize that morning they would imprint American history forever with a heroism that would seem mythical, except we know it to be true.

On September 11, we saw the individual triumph where bureaucracy failed.  Massive federal agencies stumbled, but the city of New York, or should I say her people, exhibited the best of government throughout the tragedy with the greatest success shown in the character of the individuals; police, fire, paramedics and untold thousands who put life on hold to search through the corpse-laden debris.   

The individual was also the victor on United flight 93, as the plane approached Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Todd Beamer and the men on that flight knew their future would end that morning, but these men did what patriots have always done. They formed an ad hoc militia and took responsibility for defending our nation and resisting the grasp of evil.  From the grief of their families arose a victory for the selfless human spirit of sacrifice that lays dormant until history sends out the call.

Ten years pass and citizens trade a bit more freedom for the promise of security.  Vast new federal agencies we're told, will succeed where previous have failed.  September 11 should not only be a day to remember the heroes and to mourn the victims, but also to demand our government honestly acknowledge threats and name our enemies, regardless of the ramifications.  Our responsibility is to ensure we elect leaders who show the same courage and resolve as the heroes of 9/11.

The Federal Government's Attack on Gibson Something to Fret About

edbell | 27 August, 2011 17:12

Bad puns aside, business owners, aka job creators, know the battle to destroy or assume control of private business is being waged on several fronts.  In the eyes of socialists, it is far better to regulate and punish through bureaucracy than to take ownership of private businesses.  Gibson Guitar company is today's case in point.

The Department of Justice, that's right, the same folks behind the fast and furious scandal, forced guitar maker Gibson to idle hundreds of workers for a second time in the last two years, at a cost of over a million dollars in lost productivity, not counting ongoing legal costs.

According to CEO Henry Juszkiewicz,
in an interview with Dana Loesch, the DOJ conducted a raid on Wednesday August 24 with aid of Fish and Wildlife officers, at four Memphis and Nashville guitar factories claiming the rosewood and ebony they obtain from India violates an Indian stature on the degree of finishing that wood must undergo before being exported.  India and Gibson says there is no issue/violation, in fact the product is all FSC certified, and they are operating as required.  In a previous raid (2009), the DOJ seized half a million dollars worth of goods, needed to produce Gibson instruments.  There is a long and tedious set of rules regarding use of wood products, not only for import, but through U.S. organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council and Gibson complies with each and every mandate.  They purchase their materials, as all other U.S guitar makers, yet they are the only one being targeted for this non-violation. 

Mr. Jankewicz says they are still litigating the return of product seized two years ago, while trying to overcome damage from the most recent raid, meet demand, and keep the doors open.  So, why are Holder's heroes stalking this iconic American company in Tennessee?  Astute readers have guessed that Gibson Guitars are built in a non-union shop.  Bingo - target the high profile company as an example to intimidate others.  Lest our liberal musician friends think they are immune from the nanny state, going into certain countries with wood guitars of a certain construction or pianos that have non-grandfathered ivory keys may end in confiscation and fines.    

On a related note, the printing division of our own company is required by many customers to only use paper products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), based in Bonn, Germany, to meet their "green initiatives."  But that's not all.  The FSC badgers large companies to only work with vendors who are also dues paying members of the FSC. Those dues run many thousands of dollars each year.  Enviro-socialists are at the helm of this organization which shows that the government is aided by global fellow travelers in command and control of private business.  We are the world...right.  

This deplorable attempt to destroy Gibson, follows on the heels of the attempt by the
NLRB to prevent Boeing from building the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina.

We are one year away from an opportunity to begin restoration of limited government.  Please become active in 2012 with an organization working toward removal of elected officials who have sanctioned the end of our free market economy.  As citizens of a country that gave us the Constitution and freedoms embodied in the Bill of Rights, we each have a shared responsibility to give our last breath to salvage and restore liberty for the next generation.

Traditional Media Left in the Dust for Perry's Entrance

edbell | 13 August, 2011 21:50

Saturday, August 13, marks the entrance of Texas Governor Rick Perry into the cattle call for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  Although the U.S. economy and currency face a shaky and uncertain future, we take a bit of comfort hearing almost all the candidates for the Republican nomination speaking fervently of cutting spending, expanding free markets and reducing the size of government.  We have no perfect candidate for the White House, but every one of them stands head and shoulders above the current occupant in both financial understanding and I think it's safe to say - character.

Make a mental note; for the first time a major candidate for our country's highest office made his national announcement at a convention of Conservative/Libertarian bloggers and fans of
Redstate while hundreds of thousands used Twitter and Facebook to share the news and exchange views on the newest entrant.  Social networks are already the big winner here today.  The Redstate blog site and gathering helped both South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Senator Marco Rubio attain a national audience and win elected office.     

Today's losers are traditional news outlets, who were required to acknowledge they are barely relevant and no longer shape the opinion of the vast majority of Americans.

The new media is you and every person you email, tweet or friend on Facebook.  The new media means you can know what's happening in every corner of the world, either while it's happening or within moments afterward.  The editors at the New York Times or NBC news no longer get to decide how to spin the story or present what they decide you need to know.  The political ideas of right-minded conservatives are winning because people are finding and comparing these candidates and their ideas.  Online networks and blogs are the antiseptic that may prevent Americans from falling into the abyss of socialist slavery.

It is a brave new world, but Americans have always been a brave people.  We will harness this technology for it's highest purpose - to expose the corrupt and elevate the responsible to positions of trust and authority. 

Changing Terms in the Middle of the Game

edbell | 22 July, 2011 19:15

Our language is undergoing constant revision, some words undergo a natural evolution and others undergo media/political reconstruction .   The   left is  often successful in changing the perception of commonly accepted words to advance their agenda.  This summer, the word "taxes" has     gone  missing. When Democrats appear on the Sunday shows, the word "revenue" will be used in lieu of taxes, supplemented by "closing loopholes" that  benefit millionaires and billionaires.   As we noted in this blog, confiscating every penny of wealth and assets from the wealthiest Americans  makes an insignificant dent in our debt.  We only get to do that once, and keep in mind, a new group of impoverished Americans, the ones who didn't move all their assets offshore, will require government programs to survive.  Fomenting class warfare under the banner of "social justice"  is a growth industry – the President seems thrilled to see this industry prosper.  

 I had planned to highlight a few other words that have experienced a Liberal makeover, but Dr. Grace Vuoto of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal has unveiled the top distortions (July 12, 2011), revised for the modern Liberal lexicon. She explains the groupthink on; tolerance, judgement, choice and freedom, among others.  The liberal view on each of these issues has wrought untold damage on previously free societies.  

Liberals promote unbridled personal behavior to relieve humanity from accountability for their actions, somehow thinking this will provide a carefree, peaceful co-existence.  The paradox is that a world where no one accepts responsibility can have no liberty or peace.  An all powerful police state will intercede to control uncivil behavior and in every instance the citizens of these states are constrained in both body and mind.  The freedom they seek can only exist when people have a moral code to govern behavior.

 

About the Balanced Budget Amendment

edbell | 15 July, 2011 17:24

 The Balanced Budget Amendment is is once again being discussed in both the U.S. House and  Senate and many  officials believe it has a better chance to start on the path toward ratification than  at any previous time in our history.  Obviously, the motivation is due primarily to a complete  inability for the federal government to exercise control of  spending leading to our 14.3 trillion  dollar debt and annual deficits in excess of a trillion dollars.   Many tea party  activists are asking  elected officials to sign on to the Cut, Cap and Balance pledge which is also being promoted by  national grassroots organizers like FreedomWorks.  Amendments to our Constitution are a serious  undertaking.  It can be argued that some previous amendments to our Constitution (direct election of Senators comes to mind) may have weakened our Republic.  Below are some key similarities and differences between the versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment being considered in both the House and Senate.  To read more about the amendment please visit this Heritage site.  

  •  proposed balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution is set to be considered by Congress this July—the first such vote since 1997.
  • Both Democrats and Republicans share blame for the past failures to pass a BBA: the Democrats through denunciation and opposition, the Republicans through neglect.
  • The BBA had been the number one item on the GOP’s Contract with America legislative agenda in 1994, but after a successful 1995 House vote, House GOP leaders refused all entreaties to bring it up again.
  • Many Democrats have long histories of favoring a BBA in principle, only to turn their backs on it later or attempt to gut it by creating major loopholes.
  • It remains to be seen who will support the new, tougher versions of a balanced budget amendment (BBA-plus). Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat its failures.

U.S. Supreme Court Still Condones EPA Regulation

edbell | 06 July, 2011 10:30

July 6, 2011.    The President clearly stated his intention to regulate and bankrupt the coal industry, although many midwestern states are almost completely dependent on coal based electricity.  The EPA is turning this twisted vision into reality and the media has showed scant interest in the extra-constitutional nature of the mandates President Obama is directing through this agency with no Congressional oversight or approval.  We have attempted, in previous commentary to show the damage many states and workers will experience, but this column in the Washington Times shows that even loyal union members will have their ox gored.  According to columnist Steve Milloy,  "These rules are so oppressive that they’ve even frayed the alliance between radical environmentalists and labor. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers forecasts that 50,000 of its members and another 200,000 workers down the supply line will lose their jobs within three years."   The EPA is like an F5 tornado tearing through the U.S. economy, but with a special focus on elimination of coal based energy.   Each new rule rips into industries and destroys more people's lives.   Please, contact your Congressman and tell them to defund the activities of the EPA as part of the debt ceiling negotiations.  

June 24, 2011.  The federal EPA currently has free reign to regulate greenhouse gases, adding billions in costs for America's energy providers which are passed on to you and me directly and in the cost of products and services we purchase.  The energy companies take the blame for passing these costs on to us as bureaucrats move on to their next target. Sadly our U.S. Supreme Court has issued yet another decision that allows the insanity to continue.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently doubled-down in an 8-0 decision (American Electric Power v. Conneticut) on the right of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.  Conneticut was attempting to sue electric provider American Electric Power (AEP) under a common law public nuisance statute for the greenhouse gases they emit which contribute to global warming presenting an ongoing nuisance to the public. Convoluted, you bet.   Conneticut wasn't seeking money. Instead they sought an order requiring the defendants to cap and reduce their GHG emissions. The conservative judges were between a rock and a hard place.  They joined in the decision to protect utiliity companies from an endless stream of state initiated lawsuits. Unfortunately, their decision continues to allow an unaccountable federal EPA to issue mandates that are adding immense financial burdens to energy companies and in most cases forces them to reduce generating capacity.  This is bittersweet, as the federal government stopped the green lobby and armies of tort lawyers from filing suits across the country, yet state sovereignty took another blow as more power was usurped into the federal leviathan.

The notorious case of Massachusetts v. EPA, 2007 first authorized federal (EPA) regulation of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  The wording acknowledges that Carbon Dioxide is: "[N]aturally present in the atmosphere and . . . also emitted by human activities." Be careful where you exhale.  Other cases may still work their way to the Supreme Court that will revisit the specific ability to regulate these gases, but the courts are fickle. Best not to hinge America's future there.

Congress is the only place this can be remedied by clearly stating the legislature never gave the EPA the right to regulate
greenhouse gases GHG's via the Clean Air Act.  This link at FreedomWorks will provide a way to register your views on EPA regulatory plans and ask Congress to stop the "Regulatory Train Wreck."  Volumes of information on every aspect of America's energy needs including research on traditional and alternative sources can be found at heritage.org
 
We should fear climate policy being decided in the courts.  I certainly do. The worst possible situation for America's future energy needs and by extension our national security is unaccountable Government agencies making laws then having the constitutionality of those laws decided by unaccountable federal judges appointed for life. 

NLRB Mounts Three Prong attack on American Corporations

edbell | 14 May, 2011 10:35

 Update May 18, 2011.  The board members at the NLRB enjoy a strong Democrat majority and their goal is to subdue corporations and employers with a three prong approach during the tenure of the Obama administration.  The ability to prevent non-union shops in right to work states is already apparent as recent news stories will attest.  The board members are fierce advocates for card check and they are using lawsuits in Arizona and South Dakota to prevent secret ballot elections in those right to work states.  The NLRB is following the President's playbook using regulatory powers and judicial action to bypass the legislators to enact card check.  The final piece of this trilogy is to allow union leadership to have an involvement in the operations of a business that employees union labor.  A 1981 Supreme Court case (first National Maintenance Corp. vs. NLRB) restricted the role of union negotiations to wages, hours, and working conditions.  But the Heritage Foundation, via a leaked memo shows the board seeks to elevate union officials to equal partners with executives in corporate boardrooms of all unionized firms.  The unthinkable is becoming a daily occurance in this administration.

 May 13, 2011.  Sometimes an issue or principle is so important to the future of our liberty that we must revisit the topic.  As we mentioned in this recent blog,  the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has told Boeing Aircraft that they cannot open the 787 Dreamliner assembly plant which was recently completed near Charleston, South Carolina.  To recap the issue, this facility will supplement the current assembly plant in Washington State.  The difference here is that North Carolina is a "right to work" state and Washington requires that workers become members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM).  Did you notice that many of our blogs relate to mandates on the private sector from all-powerful government agencies?   The NLRB is no longer about labor-management fairness, rather it functions as a tool to benefit the goals of union and Democrat leadership.

A May 13 article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by Art Laffer and Stephen Moore provides this stunning statistic: Between 2000 and 2008, 4.8 million Americans moved from forced union states to right-to-work states—that's one person every minute of every day.   Note that the only time we see the free market at work is when citizens and companies are running away from oppresive government?

The WSJ article equates this government intervention with a Berlin Wall, forcing companies to remain within the border of a given state.  Ohio is one of the 28 union-shop states, but unlike Washington State we also have a state income tax and a large basket of other business regulations.  Ohio is one of the
four worst states for a business to locate or remain.  Businesses will never locate here if the government locks them in like a prison inmate.  That is exactly what the NLRB is doing.  Boeing is still building planes in Washington State, but the President and his strong arm agency are telling them they cannot expand in right to work states.  Yes, Joe Biden this is a big deal.  Atlas has just gone off-the-grid.  Hopefully, Boeing's appeal will see this decision reversed, but if not, we are no better than formerly communist East Germany.  There are good people in South Carolina waiting to begin work at good paying jobs building high tech planes.  President Obama and his union buddies are pitting states and workers against one another and destroying one of our great industries.  As Rush would say, for those in Rio Linda, this is tyranny.

As Ohioans, we can play a role to protect our freedom as workers and business owners by starting the effort to make Ohio a "right to work" state.  This is another critical step in the battle to protect our sovereingty as a state and limit federal mandates. 

EPA Keeps Busy Creating a Third World USA

edbell | 05 May, 2011 12:18

Update: May 28, 2011.  The EPA is a prolific rule maker.  The next round of Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards have been proposed, bumping car prices and causing the inevitable fall off in sales and usually making the cars lighter and less safe for drivers and passengers in an accident.  This announcement was a tag team affair featuring EPA director Lisa Jackson and Department of Transportation head Ray LaHood. 


Update: May 26, 2011.  The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed important legislation, H.R. 910 -- The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011; legislation that would strip the EPA of its ability to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases.  Citizen activism is critical to ensure this bill gets traction in the Senate.  Please visit this Freedomworks site to register your wishes with the Senators who may want to obstruct this legislation.  If you have read the EPA blogs on ourtp.org, it should be apparent that this agency is doing great damage to our economy and our desire for energy independence.  Recall that the EPA is attempting to accomplish all of the goals presented in the Cap and Trade bill through regulation - clearly, end run around Congress. 

Update: May 12, 2011.  The U.S. House voted Wednesday to speed permitting of offshore oil and gas drilling, even as Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, took to the Senate floor to assail their party's assault on Big Oil profits as a demagogic "gimmick."  

The oil companies average 7 cents a gallon in profit for all their work, while the government confiscates between 40 and 60 cents.  Who does the exploration, drilling, processing and delivery?  Who takes the risks, who reaps the benefits?

Update: May 5, 2011.  The Heritage Foundation has provided a
video link that shows the amazing destructive results of the ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  This story dovetails with the blog below. Video and link courtesy of The Morning Bell at The Foundry.

 
We each have our reasons for engaging big government.  My agenda has always been to stop government from telling Americans how to live. Yes, the taxes and spending are critical, but mandates that regulate behavior lead us far from the founders vision of self-government and we have already come a long way.  If you're still curious about which rulemakers will have the most direct intrusion on our enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the trio of Lisa Jackson, Kathleen Sibelius, and regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein are frontrunners for the coveted title of "America's Top Tyrant."  The honorable mention list is also quite long, but today's trio deserve backhanded kudos for their fearless forays into progressive policy.

As predicted, the most powerful of the big government regulators are flexing their muscles.  Kathleen Sibelius controls the CEO's of major pharmaceutical and healthcare companies by withholding purchases by everyone's biggest customer - Medicare, along with Medicaid and the VA.  According to Alicia Mundy at the WSJ, Forest Labs engaged in "marketing violations" and the government would cease doing business until they replace company CEO, Howard Soloman.  This new angle is different than replacing the CEO at General Motors, as tax money was used to bail out GM.  HHS will decide who runs private companies, doing a great deal more harm than fines.   This article in the Wall Street Journal sets the tone for the new Nanny State.   Secretary Sibelius, daughter of former liberal Governor John J. Gilligan, knows how to wield both the carrot and stick to control individual and corporate behavior.  Among these Directors, control is their life's mission.

Secretary Sibelius will be forgiven by the MSM, as they glossed over her recent admission to double-counting the same half-trillion dollars in medicare cuts and funding for several aspects of Obamacare, but unlike our most progressive elected officials, Sibelius and fellow travelers, Jackson and Sunstein remain unaccountable to either Congress or the people.  Ms Sibelius will pick the winners and losers of the healthcare industry and businesses who deal with her agency, which is almost one-sixth of our economy.  

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes out of the gate at warp speed with a zeal for rulemaking that destroys jobs, both urban and rural. Lisa Jackson, the Director of this leviathan is set to control not only greenhouse gases, most notably CO2, but also "particulate matter," or as we like to call it - dust.  Yes, she is currently on the American farm tour gathering information for new rules on dust coming out in July, generated in the process of farming.  We already mentioned in a recent blog that Shell Oil was stopped from drilling after a four billion dollar investment on leased fields in Alaska, but irony rules, noting that Lisa Jackson's undergrad education at Tulane was paid for by Shell Oil.  The EPA is still on a campaign to regulate the amount of CO2, politically renamed "greenhouse gases" against the wishes of business, Congressional GOP members, and every carbon based energy provider in the country.  For those who don't see the real world affect of these Clean Air Act provisions, the Tennessee Valley Authority is being forced to shut down 18 coal fired electricity plants and spend up to $5 billion to comply with EPA mandates.   When the power goes out on a hot day this summer in Kentucky, we'll know where to place the blame. EPA lawsuits win every time, even if the goal is only endless delay. The EPA and Department of the Interior continue to let like-minded judges in the federal appeals courts stall a return to deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  Defending the regulations of this agency requires common sense to take a back seat as this column by Dick Armey will attest.

Lisa Jackson is open about her agenda to establish environmental justice using the sledgehammer of the EPA to not only regulate every breath we take, but she is also candid about educating the next generation of activists.  I strongly urge you to hear Ms. Jackson's agenda in her own words.  She is the second most frightening czar in the administration.  Second, only because we have not introduced Cass Sunstein.

Cass Sunstein is President Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs or OIRA.  In the right hands, this agency can do a great deal of good if the agency simply measures the cost and benefits of the myriad government agencies and policies, then uses this information to reduce and streamline the size and scope of government.   Sounds like our kind of agency, doesn't it.

Sadly, Mr. Sunstein has an agenda that runs far afield from the charter of his office.  His writings, quotes, and agenda are focused on extreme restrictions on most of the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  In brief, he is determined to establish environmental justice, secure legal representation for animals on par with humans, allow courts to issue restrictions on civil liberties, create a second bill of rights allowing more government intrusion into citizen affairs, and Mr. Sunstein is a believer that no American citizen should have the right to gun ownership.   His passion is creating social policy that encourages behavioral modifications in our population.  He is co-author of a bestselling book called "Nudge," which is specifically about using the power of the state to nudge citizens toward desired behaviors by a select group of elite leaders of which he counts himself a member.  The only question is how much of his wish list can be implemented through the powers of his office? It seems that he is perfectly positioned to accomplish many of his goals as gatekeeper for all regulations that flow from our many agencies. 

So, how do we stop this trio from "the fundamental transformation" already underway?  First, we must have our elected legislators drop the pretense of cordiality and admit that these agencies are acting outside the guidelines of the Constitution.  We know this is a battle for the future of our Republic, but the lawmakers must also show real courage and join the fight.  We elected a few who are speaking out, but the majority of both parties are fiddling above the burning hills of Rome.   Let's make sure the House aims the budget cuts at the agencies that have brought our economy to a standstill.  HHS and the EPA would be a fine place to begin.
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