By law, each April and October, federal agencies are required to release an accounting of proposed regulations that will have an economically significant impact. That didn´t happen in 2012. Instead, the Obama administration didn´t release its 2012 regulatory agenda until on the Friday before Christmas. "The fact that this snuck in after the election, during the holiday season when people were otherwise occupied with their families, is not surprising," said John Malcolm, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation´s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Since the Dec. 21 release, legal experts and analysts have been pouring through
One of the best kept secrets of the big government crowd is that the law Congress writes is taken as little more than a guideline by the invisible gnomes in the bowels of DC who promulgate the rules and regulations that actually put the law into effect. That, as the saying goes, is where the rubber really meets the road. And the product of that process receives precious little review to determine whether it accurately reflects either the spirit or the letter of the law.
So if you’re a big government acolyte, and want to “make a difference”, forget elected office, journalism or assorted advocacy, become civil servant rules and regulations gnome.
In a weird confluence of the nation’s two most pressing issues — Obamacare and our insane immigration laws — this week we found out that the tens of thousands of “navigators” hired by the government to enroll people in Obamacare will include convicted felons. Despite some “navigators” having already been exposed as having arrest warrants against them, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has no plans to screen out the criminals. (But rest assured: If your identity is stolen as a result of trying to sign up for Obamacare, no one will be more upset about it than
A pair of college students in Washington state are facing disciplinary action, including possible expulsion, for using a handgun to prevent an intruder from entering their university-owned apartment. According to MyFoxSpokane.com, a discipline board at Gonzaga University in Spokane voted Friday to move forward with sanctions against Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh. The men will learn what their future at the school will hold at a later date. Fagan and McIntosh were at the off-campus apartment on the night of October 24 when they heard a knock at the door. Fagan answered the door and found himself face-to-face with John
Twenty years ago, New York’s long nightmare ended with a Giuliani victory over Mayor Dinkins. Now the nightmare returns as former Dinkins staffer and terrorist supporter Bill de Blasio will begin wrecking the city where Dinkins and his Democratic predecessors left off. Bill de Blasio vowed to undo Giuliani’s reforms and turn back the clock on fighting crime and terrorism. Giuliani’s victory was a wake-up call to Democrats that one of the more dangerous cities in the country had rejected their liberal soft-on-crime policies that had made it unlivable. Bill de Blasio’s victory tells them that soft-on-crime is popular again.
It´s exactly what critics of the Common Core school curriculum warned about: Partisan political statements masquerading as English lessons finding their way into elementary school classrooms. Teaching materials aligned with the controversial national educational standards ask fifth-graders to edit such sentences as “(The president) makes sure the laws of the country are fair,” “The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation” and “the commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.” The sentences, which appear in worksheets published by New Jersey-based Pearson Education, are presented not only for their substance, but also to
When Stephen Hawking decided to boycott Israel earlier this year based on the opinions of academics like Noam Chomsky I was astonished. How can it be that one of the smartest people in the world can hold such a dumb view? It turns out that this is quite common. As I began to teach at Queens College (City University of New York), I have seen firsthand how this can be. It has often been said that there is no cure for stupid, while ignorance is easily treated through education. What happens when educators willfully steer their ships in an ignorant
Apparently bands now have to be the same race as the music they’re playing. That’s going to be a problem. So no more white rappers or black classical musicians are allowed. Finally we’re achieving Martin Luther King’s dream of a society firmly divided into segregated racial castes with everything in the cultural fridge labeled either “black” or “white”.Well someone’s dream anyway. Maybe Louis Farrakhan’s. Shokazoba’s cancellation from the Hampshire Halloween event Friday night at Hampshire College, after one band member said they were criticized of being “too white” to play Afrobeat music, is reverberating on social media.
Ötzi the Iceman has at least 19 living male relatives in the Austrian Tirol, according to a genetic study into the origins of the people who now inhabit the region. Scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University analyzed DNA samples taken from 3,700 blood donors in the Tyrol region of Austria. During their study, they discovered that 19 individuals share a particular genetic mutation with the 5,300-year-old mummy, whose full genome was published last year. “These men and the Iceman had the same ancestors,” Walther Parson, the forensic scientist who carried out the study, told the Austrian
In the current fight over the government shutdown, Republicans are simply representing the views of the American people. Americans didn’t ask for Obamacare, they don’t want it, but now their insurance premiums are going through the roof, their doctors aren’t accepting it, and their employers are moving them into part-time work — or firing them — to avoid the law’s mandates. Contrary to Obama’s promises, it turns out: You can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your insurance — you can’t even keep your job. In other words, it’s a typical government program, but this one wrecks your health care.
In other news, Pravda will no longer print any letters that say Putin sucks. The Warmist myth is collapsing. The latest data have thoroughly undermined it. But that just means the Party has to circle its wagons even tighter. Regular readers of The Times’ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare. Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based
Sometimes environmentalists get a bit confused and they can be forgiven for that. It can’t be easy living in perpetual ignorance while shivering every time the volcano god rumbles and Al Gore forewarns another warm winter unless a few virginal carbon credits are sacrificed. Mr Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, accused Conservatives of attempting to “destroy” the UK’s renewables industry. The Daily Telegraph last month disclosed that officials in Mr Davey’s energy department have attempted to block a report commissioned by Mr Paterson on the impact of wind farms on the countryside.
There’s been another mass shooting by a crazy person, and liberals still refuse to consider institutionalizing the dangerous mentally ill. The man who shot up the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Aaron Alexis, heard voices speaking to him through the walls. He thought people were following him. He believed microwave ovens were sending vibrations through his body. There are also reports that Alexis believed the Obamacare exchanges were ready to go. Anyone see any bright red flags of paranoid schizophrenia? (Either that, or Obama’s NSA is way better than we thought!) But Alexis couldn’t be institutionalized because the left has
Last week at more than 200 colleges and high schools across the nation, students came together to arrange memorials on campus featuring thousands of flags representing each victim of Islamic terrorism on that date. Who could find that gesture offensive? Five student protesters at Middlebury College in Vermont, brainwashed by multiculturalist nonsense, that’s who. [Snip] There had never before been a problem until Ben Kinney, president of the campus conservative club, caught five vandals last week in the act of ripping up the flags and bagging them like trash. They refused to stop and told him they were “confiscating” the
JERUSALEM -- Israel´s prime minister has criticized the international community´s nuclear deal with Iran as a "historic mistake." Speaking to his Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself. That is a reference to possible military action against Iran. Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, although Tehran denies that. Netanyahu said the deal would not adequately stop Iran, while also giving it relief from sanctions. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world
The sounds of Christmas in the Obama White House mean James Taylor, Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole. “The kids tease me that they know it’s Christmas when I pull out my playlist,” First Lady Michelle Obama tells Ladies’ Home Journal. The holiday tunes are accompanied by hot chocolate and a fire in the Yellow Oval room as President Obama and his family decorate their tree. “Christmas has always been a special time in my household,” Michelle Obama says in the December/January issue. “Growing up, we lived in a little-bitty apartment, but my mom put her heart and soul into decorating that house.”
Though the Obama administration said that individuals making under $45,960 would get Obamacare subsidies, low-income young people in most of America´s big cities who relied on that promise are discovering they will be ineligible for them. According to a CNN report, though young people are now required to purchase insurance under Obamacare or pay a fine, "many low-income younger Americans won´t get any subsidy at all" because, as the Obama administration claims, the "cost of insurance is lower than the government initially expected." In April, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "told a
“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran’s nuclear program” announced a jubilant Barack Obama after the news of the just-signed Geneva six-month interim agreement with Iran. But the American goal for the accord was that the Iranians not “advance their program” of building a uranium nuclear bomb (and perhaps a plutonium bomb too); the apparent deal exactly permits such advancement, plus sanctions relief to Tehran worth about $9 billion. This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid. An overeager Western government, blind to
Bankrupt and hemorrhaging population, the city of Detroit is banking on greener pastures to lead its rebirth. A private company is snapping up 150 acres on the Motor City´s East End -- property where more than 1,000 homes once formed a gritty neighborhood -- and turning it into what is being billed as the world´s largest urban farm. Hantz Woodlands plans to start by planting trees, but hopes to raise crops and even livestock in the future, right in the midst of the once-proud city. “We are interested with moving into different types of agriculture,” Mike Score, president of Hantz,
America has long had two embassies in Italy: One for the country, the other for the Holy See. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why soon there will be only one. Citing security concerns without naming a specific threat, the U.S. State Department is planning to shutter its embassy to the Holy See inside the lush Villa Domiziana overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill in central Rome. The embassy, which has been in operation since 1984 when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II signed an accord, will essentially be swallowed up by the larger, more influential U.S. embassy to Italy.
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
The Obamacare rollout remains a debacle, but now enough time has passed that smart people are beginning to dissect what went wrong. So far, the best take I´ve seen comes from Internet pioneer Clay Shirky, who notes that the politicians weren´t listening to the people doing the actual work. I was talking about this to my Administrative Law class not long ago. I had told them that there are few real secrets in D.C. because everyone sleeps with everyone else. A student then asked why both the administration and the GOP seemed to have been blindsided by the Obamacare website problems. "I guess nobody was sleeping with the techies,"
"I cannot tell a lie." That´s the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation´s first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father´s cherry tree, he didn´t say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word ´is´ is." George Washington told the truth even if it got him in trouble. The moral of the story -- Washington was a great leader because he would not lie, and all presidents should be as honest as our founding father. Well, guess what? That story about
The Elders, an organization of elder statesmen, peace activists and human rights advocates that includes former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, welcomed the interim agreement reached in Geneva between the P5+1 groups and Iran early Sunday. “We are all aware of the risks involved,” said Jimmy Carter. “But I am convinced that, after 35 years of animosity and distrust, there is an historic opportunity to rebuild relations with the government and people of Iran on solid foundations of mutual respect.” Kofi Annan, the chairman of the Elders and former secretary-general of the UN, said he hoped the deal would be "swiftly followed up
When Lyndon B. Johnson became president, he brought with him a new first lady. Lady Bird Johnson’s passion was beautification. It was dismissed by some as a silly project, just planting daffodils by the side of the road. But it was more. Lady Bird was one of the first environmentalists, one with access to the legislative resources of the powerful Johnson White House. She gathered experts and brought the issue of conservation to the nation’s attention. Her work led to the passage of 50 bills protecting national parks and removing billboards and junkyards from the highways. Her work was more
Normally, I don´t traffic much in gossip, but the case of Valerie Jarrett is different. She may well be the most powerful woman in America, and almost certainly is the most powerful member of the Obama administration. The adjective "shadowy" definitely applies to this woman who enjoys her power through her relationship to the President, having never been confirmed by Senate hearings. Her title as "Senior Adviser" to the President barely scratches the surface of her real power. President Obama has time for his 150+ rounds of golf, his extensive television watching, and his expertise on March Madness bracketology because ValJar,