Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Pruitt. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned from office early last week. He has long been a target of the left for his dismantling of EPA overreach and putting it back into its assigned constitutional box. Like Sarah Palin, he endured a raft of ethics complaints over the last 18 months. Unlike Palin, most of the complaints against him appeared to have some validity as it seems he liked living the high life perhaps a bit more than he should have, making him vulnerable to what should have been expected attacks by outraged greens (redundant term). Pruitt was hated for being effective. His replacement will be effective too, as reining in the EPA is at the heart of Trump energy policies. This resignation is both unfortunate and self-inflicted, as he was one of the Good Guys on the Trump Team. https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/06/29/scott-pruitt-is-rolling-back-one-of-the-epas-most-expansive-powers/
- AOC. The newest and shiniest face of the new democrat party is self-professed socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year old young woman, self-professed socialist who defeated a 20-year democrat incumbent in a democrat primary in the Bronx last week. He didn’t bother to campaign. She did and ended up with the majority of what few democrats decided to get out of bed and vote in that election. She got a full makeover, complete with expensive, finely applied makeup, Evita hairdo, and campaign posters. The incumbent was a guy who was second or third in line for House Speaker should democrats regain the majority. AOC is getting the O’Bama treatment. Everything about her background is fraudulent. She is not a working girl. She grew up in one of the wealthier NYC suburbs. Her socialist pronunciations are precisely what you would expect from any freshman at Columbia or Rutgers, neither of which she attended. Democrats are holding her up as the Next Big Thing. Watch this one closely. https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/06/29/fact-check-girl-from-the-bronx-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-grew-up-in-one-of-richest-u-s-counties/
- Awan. One of the (many) brewing scandals the democrats are dealing with are the actions of the Awan brothers, Pakistani IT specialists for House democrats who apparently gained access to a large number of congressional democrat e-mail and computer accounts, allowing them to set up a blackmail ring and pass the information along to Pakistani intelligence. Former DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman flew top cover for the group, probably to keep dirty laundry from getting aired in public. The lead Awan brother copped a plea with the Justice Department last week that led to little more than a wrist slap. Either the intelligence investigation is ongoing or the Deep State democrats still infesting Justice are in play. At this point, I can’t tell which. The plea bargain sure does look suspicious. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/02/awan-memo-server-vanished/
- Fund. One of the great secondary effects of Trump pulling out of the Paris climate agreement was that the US also pulled out from contributing to a green slush fund called the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It totals $7.2 billion from a variety of international government contributors. It is the seed money of what was supposed to be a fund over $100 billion to parcel out to third world politicians and UN rent-seekers to “mitigate” climate change impacts due to CO2 emissions. Countries emitting CO2 over the prescribed Paris limits were supposed to contribute to the fund. None of the worst offenders, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc. did. OTOH, the US, Germany and Japan did contribute, putting up nearly half of the current $7.2 billion. The money was supposed to have been spent in CO2 emissions mitigation projects. But due to the massive amount of CO2 being emitted daily and the miniscule amount of slush fund spending available, the actual impact is so small as to be almost impossible to measure, in this case a mere 0.0015 degrees C. Essentially the climate equivalent of the medieval Christian argument about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But that money does purchase a lot of influence, graft, and corruption, all of which makes the decision to turn off US contributions yet another Trump win. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/04/the-green-spent-by-the-green-climate-fund/
- Ban. CS Lewis observed in 1948
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
This defines various bans, most things environmental, tobacco Nazis, and all the do-gooders that hound us from time to time. Latest example comes from Seattle, whose entrenched democrats in local government decided to ban all plastic straws and plastic utensils because environment. The ban will reach out and touch 5,000 food service providers in Seattle. Nothing like making sure we are all one with Gaia. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/02/seattle-bans-plastic-straws-utensils-becoming-first-major-us-city-to-do-so.html
- Reservations. Ever since Ada Deer, a native separatist appointed by Bill Clinton to Interior created 224 new tribes in Alaska by defining each village in Bush Alaska as a separate tribe, native separatists have been trying to create a reservation system here in Alaska. Usually, it is fought by Republican governors and supported by democrat governors. Same cycle works with presidents, with democrat presidents celebrating, enabling, and doing their level best to encourage this back-door way around 1971’s ANSCA which extinguished all tribal rights in Alaska (except for two reservations), and set up the native corporation system as a better approach to self-governance. The O’Bama Interior Department come up with the ability of tribes to put native lands into federal trust, essentially creating defacto reservations without a change of law. And a few tribes started the process, usually choosing land inside cities for future casino locations. Nothing could be more toxic or corrosive to the body politic up here. Last week, the Trump Interior Department announced a hold on the process until they could do an analysis of what is going on and its impact. Governor Walker and his race-baiting LtGov Byron Mallott stood aside, choosing not to fight this in federal court by withdrawing from a state lawsuit a year or so ago. https://mustreadalaska.com/interior-dept-withdraws-opinion-on-alaska-native-land-into-trust/
- Opinions. Several good opinions out of the SCOTUS at the end of its term this year. Most of the important ones were 5 – 4 opinions with Justice Kennedy voting with the conservatives. The level of leftist hysteria is an indication of the inordinate power we have allowed the SCOTUS to aggregate over the years and how hard they will fight to ensure the courts retain that power.
- Trump Travel ban should have been a slam dunk. It ended up being a 5 – 4 opinion, with the liberals voting as a block against it. Opinions by Breyer was mostly incomprehensible and those of the other three were political in nature.
- The SCOTUS tossed a California law that required faith-based family health clinics to advise their clients about abortion on free speech grounds. This opinion was also 5 – 4.
- The court dealt a fundraising blow to public employee unions and their democrat party recipients giving union members the right not to join these unions in states without right to work laws. This also applies to the federal unionized workforce.
- FOSTA. The Electronic Freedom Foundation along with a couple other groups filed a suit in federal court asking it to find the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 unconstitutional. President Trump signed the act last year. The suit is joined by an individual advocate for sex workers, a massage therapist, and the Internet Archive as unconstitutional violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. The law was passed ostensibly as a vehicle to fight sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the broad language creates a new federal criminal offense by those who advocate for and provide resources to adult, consensual sex workers. FOSTA creates a new federal crime by adding a new section to the Mann Act, which makes it a crime to own, manage or operate an online service with the intent to “promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.” New penalty for that is 10 years in Club Fed. If you work with 5 or more people in this business, the crime goes to 25 years. The previous Mann Act made it illegal to physically transport someone across state lines for the purposes of prostitution. Previous language on sex trafficking required specific knowledge of the act. That has been expanded to “participation in a venture” which federal prosecutors can wield like they currently do the lying to investigators laws to entrap anyone they target. Great. Expanding federal power at the expense of state powers. To make matters worse, FOSTA does not define assisting, supporting, facilitate, promoting, contributing or define what level of awareness the participant must have in sex trafficking. It also undermined legal protections intermediaries had under Section 230 and opened the door for any civil litigant. As a result, many online platforms have censored their businesses. Craigslist shut down its personals section two days after FOSTA was passed. A service called VerifyHim removed many tools used to protect sex workers from potentially abusive clients. Essentially, FOSTA aims lawfare at anything that deals in sex, apparently with the thought that the lawyers will do to this industry what the Clintons set up their trial lawyer supporters to do to tobacco. As usual, the road to a very hot place is paved with good (and in this case), not so good intentions. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/06/eff-sues-invalidate-fosta-unconstitutional-internet-censorship-law
- SF. While Venezuela careens toward maximum socialism (the death squads are now operational and have been for a while), some US cities on the coasts are doing their level best to follow them down the economic rat hole. San Francisco, once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Dirty Harry, cable cars, and Silicon Valley, is most recently known for 20# bags of human waste dumped on street corners. Not only is it so expensive to purchase homes that none of the people with incomes below the level of filthy rich are able to do so, but because of the homeless, drug user, illegal and derelict problem, the city has been turned into one of the largest open-air toilets in the nation. Good job, libs. And they want to bring this sort of “advancement” to all of us. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-human-waste-feces-homeless-Reddit-13044317.php
More later –