We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, March 2. 2017
Mount Etna is erupting and it looks spectacular
90-year-old does 24 pull-ups for his birthday and makes us all feel bad about ourselves
Via Insty, Why Your Kids Should Be Lifting Weights
I wish I had started when young
Polar Bears Are a Pest – Time to End Their ‘Threatened’ Status
Let's get rid of these dangerous nuisances that eat Eskimos and cute seals
Huge Shake Up At World's Largest Hedge Fund: Ray Dalio Steps Down As Co-CEO
The Battle of Milo
Christians Urged To Pray On Climate Change
I will pray for a warmer climate anytime
Time Magazine's "Religion" Section: This Lent, I'm Acknowledging My Privilege As a White Heterosexual Christian Male
Victory for Free Speech at California University
GOP wants to eliminate shadowy DOJ slush fund bankrolling leftist groups
That can't be legal
Williamson: Enough with the ‘Presidential’
Perhaps the term is relevant because Trump acted so wild and crazy at times
Krauthammer on Obamacare:
MSM: MIRROR, MIRROR, WHO’S THE MOST MISERABLE. . .
THE NEW REPUBLIC FINALLY LOSES ITS MIND
Media left and right give Trump's speech thumbs up
Trump speech leaves Democrats befuddled, in ruins, with question marks
Democrats Depressed, Disoriented, Demoralized, Devastated and Discredited in the Wake of Trump’s Triumph
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"Trump acted so wild and crazy at times"
Perhaps but it misses the point. I see something very different. Most politicians have developed the skill of saying thright things and doing the wrong things. Telling us lies to our face and behind the facade doing things against our will and against our best interest that they dare not let us know about. Obama was good at this. We are beginning to discover the nefarious and even anti-American acts he committed while in office but he was slick and never acted wild and crazy. Trump on the other hand spent his entire life dealing with subterfuge and people who were opposed to his work and has built up a tough no nonsense shell. He is blunt, honest, unafraid and undeterred. In politics this is kinda wild and crazy. We are more accustomed with our leaders telling us what we want to hear while they screw us over royally behind the curtains.
I think that what we hear when Trump speaks is what you get when someone speaks unscripted for hours a day. Hillary's handlers worked hard to keep her from speaking except at friendly venues and only while scripted. That is why she never called in to news shows and talk shows. Except for carefully scripted appearances she was invisible, MIA. This may well be a very smart idea especially if the candidate doesn't really have any heart felt positions or knowledge. After all in politics usually one gaff defines you forever. So which do we want? A slick politicians who rarely speaks his mind and only reads off a script or a politicians who is honest and unafraid to speak extemporaneously?
"A slick politicians who rarely speaks his mind and only reads off a script or a politician who is honest and unafraid to speak extemporaneously?"
Judging by this last election cycle, I'd say folks who are honest in their dealings with others would prefer a politician that's honest and above-board, while others would prefer a slick pol who's telling them what they want to hear even if he's robbing them blind.
Thus, Trump's appeal to me a long, long time ago. Early in the campaign. When nobody knew what would happen.
After hearing him speak a few times, I appreciated the 'real' language and not the perfectly crafted sound bites and speeches. I knew he was not lying to me, because, as Judge Judy would tell you, when the stories match - even days, months or years later - you know it is the truth.
Any other politician, Republican included, now sounds like a liar and a shyster to me. Trump has changed how I listen to politicians for the rest of my life.
Re: GOP wants to eliminate shadowy DOJ slush fund bankrolling leftist groups
It's not just the DoJ, it's all of them. The EPA is probably the worst abuser of the cy pres con game, funding groups who sue the EPA to "force" the EPA to do the things they want to do but don't have a mandate for - a court injunction bypasses a lot of that silly notice-and-comment and due process nonsense in the Administrative Procedures Act not to mention legislative intent. It's long past time for Congress and the Court to put an end to this sort of bureaucratic coup d'etat.
Between broad and vague mandates from Congress that allow the executive-branch agencies to write laws rules and regulations as they see fit and "deference" from the Court as to how the agencies' own in-house judicial process works to interpret the laws rules and regulations, adding a separate source of funds for these agencies makes them truly independent of the statutory government. Is it any wonder so many agencies in the last few years have started getting their own SWAT team enforcement arms? The bureaucrats are now a government unto themselves. They write the rules, they enforce the rules, they judge the rules without any sort of oversight or accountability.
this is among the most important proposed legislation of our generation. a bill that strips away the independent authority of the administrative agencies to make law where congress has not already acted. it has passed the House already.
it bitchslaps Chevron USA Inc. v. NRDC specifically, although not by name.
H.R.5 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017
SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act”.
SEC. 202. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF STATUTORY AND REGULATORY INTERPRETATIONS.
Section 706 of title 5, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended—
(1) in subsection (a) (as designated by section 107 of this Act)—
(A) by striking “decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and”; and
(B) by inserting after “of the terms of an agency action” the following “and decide de novo all relevant questions of law, including the interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions, and rules made by agencies. If the reviewing court determines that a statutory or regulatory provision relevant to its decision contains a gap or ambiguity, the court shall not interpret that gap or ambiguity as an implicit delegation to the agency of legislative rule making authority and shall not rely on such gap or ambiguity as a justification either for interpreting agency authority expansively or for deferring to the agency’s interpretation on the question of law. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this subsection shall apply in any action for judicial review of agency action authorized under any provision of law. No law may exempt any such civil action from the application of this section except by specific reference to this section”; and ...
another bill, which has already passed the House, is H.R. 26, which requires an up-down vote on administrative rules with an estimated cost over $100 million
Vic, you're probably a lawyer and know what that word salad under (B) in the quote means. I hope it means the courts can no longer make stuff up out of thin air, or as the lawyers say, find new provisions in the law.
it works like this: congress enacts a law, call it the Act. then sets up an Agency to administer the Act. the Agency makes laws to interpret and enforce the Act, but where the Agency has to make decisions on what the Act means (because the Act doesn't fill in all the details), federal courts will almost always defer to what the Agency says the Act means because of that Chevron case.
this is why the EPA, the FCC and every other administrative agency keeps expanding, because there's no effective way to file a lawsuit that says the Agency is going beyond the scope of the Act or challenge what the Agency says the Act means.
HR5 and HR 26 will fix that.
While I would say that the agency interpretation of an authorizing statute should be persuasive, I don't think it should be as definitive as Chevron grants, particularly the reasonableness standard. That leaves open the ambiguity of whether it means that the interpretation is a reasonable interpretation of the words of the statute, or if it means that the regulatory regime resultant is reasonably in accord with the statute's intent. Under the second basis, you get things like the EPA declaring that CO2 is a pollutant, but not subject to the limits set forth in the Clean Air Act.
HR 5 actually uses the language of Chevron in stating that administrative agencies aren't entitled to a definitive interpretation on what the rules say and that courts always must defer. it overrules the case, basically.
My probably poorly stated point is that while Chevron may have pushed the scale too far to the side of executive (and independent, but that's another question entirely) agencies, I think this may take things to another extreme, where everybody who claims the income tax is illegal because the Secretary of the Treasury's left shoe was untied when he signed the message to taxpayers on page 3 of the instruction booklet can claim a hearing for de novo review of the entire tax code.
The ultimate cure for this is for Congress to stop delegating so much rule-making authority to the agencies, and instead pass legislation that is both detailed and complete.
right now anyone can challenge the tax code or the tax rules or any part of either for any reason you can think of, sane or not because that's a constitutional right. I could file a complaint for lack of shoe-tying and the clerk will file it, it will be on the federal docket, but unless there's a real issue and not a made up one, the challenge won't last long and the merits will never come up. legitimate issues are heard. administrative and judicial courts dispose of lunatics every day.
Require that regulations be submitted and passed by both houses of congress and signed into law by the president.
HR 26 requires a congressional up-down vote for rules that have an estimated cost over $100 million. if you blurred the distinction between rules and statutes, congress and the courts would be unmanageable.
But what would be the problem with Congress having to pass an "Omnibus Regulatory Register Act" every 90 days or so to enact new provisions in the Federal Register?
Get rid of shenanigans like being able to claim "Nothing in this bill says that insurance will have to pay for abortions" before passage, and then having your own executive staff write rules that require just that after the fact.
say the bill had 2,000 regulations. it would get hung up for years while amendments changing language or deleting provisions get debated. and since there's no line-item veto, a bill with 2,000 topics is bound to get vetoed.
Exactly. You have hit upon the best argument for this. It would force them to write better regulation and to get more agreement and input in the writing of them. It might also force them to write fewer as well as better regulations. I think it is a win/win.
One thing this may not address is the left's use of collusive litigation between activists and the agency. Here is the process.
1. Agency colludes with activists on litigation that will be filed.
2. Activists sue agency, claiming that law X requires agency to do Y, even if, for example, there is nothing in the law about Y but it is arguably within the scope of the law and the agency's discretion. (E.g. declaring CO2 a "pollutant" or including "transgenders" within the scope of Title IX, even though there is nothing in those laws about that.)
3. Agency rolls over and doesn't defend against the litigation, or "settles" and enters into consent judgment with activists that the agency will do as activists want.
4. Judgment becomes binding law against agency. Agency says it "must" do something because of judgment even though it is not in the law.
5. Court awards activists attorney's fees and costs which must be paid by the agency (that is, by you and me the taxpayers). This gives money to the activists to fund the next round of litigation against the agency.
6. Repeat as desired.
Ironically, however, Trump could now play the same game. He could have groups friendly to his positions sue the agency to invalidate rules, etc. that are claimed to be in violation of the statute. The agency rolls over and the regulations are nullified.
RE: Time Magazine's "Religion" Section: This Lent, I'm Acknowledging My Privilege As a White Heterosexual Christian Male
St. Paul used his privileges as a Roman citizen in his missionary journeys.
"Christians Urged To Pray On Climate Change"
Christianity is about the relationship of Man to God, not Man to Earth.
While we should endeavour of course to respect God's Creation as much as practically possible, it is not a pretext to become Earth-Worshippers.
we are appointed by God as the stewards of His creation.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
-- Genesis 2:15, Orange Catholic Bible
there are many other passages like this. this is why I'm a member of Ducks Unlimited.
That prayer thing can be tricky:
"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit."
-- James 5:16-18
Re the linked article to the New Republic via Powerline -
The line "...overt obsession with white supremacy" occurs. I have to wonder if TNR is familiar with the meaning of the word "overt." Also "obsession," or "white supremacy." I concede that it does seem to know the meaning of "with."
Polar Bears Are a Pest – Time to End Their ‘Threatened’ Status
Here is a short youtube by the Canadain Broadcast Corporation that unbiasly examines this issue. It is very interesting. Both sides are examined but most would concur with the viewpoint of this story after watching it. http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/The+National/Environment/ID/2505129180/