Friday, December 16, 2016
Leftists fume as Republicans in Congress prepare to gut Obama regulations
Fumes from the Boston Globe below:
Twenty years ago, Newt Gingrich and allies pushing the self-styled Contract with America created an obscure but potent legislative weapon to help Republicans combat what they deemed to be out-of-control regulatory overreach in Washington.
But like some kind of mystical, regulation-slaying sword, this tool comes to life only when the political stars align in just the right way, with single-party control on Capitol Hill and the White House, at just the right time.
Donald Trump, when he rolls down Pennsylvania Avenue at his inauguration, will usher in that time.
Republicans are readying an onslaught under what’s known asthe Congressional Review Act to cast aside a raft of Obama administration edicts, including rules designed to make it harder for US corporations to avoid taxes; environmental rules aimed at curbing earth-warming emissions; and sweeping changes to overtime regulations that were set to guarantee extra pay for an estimated 4 million Americans.
Congress put Gingrich’s creation to work just once before, in 2001, to dispatch a workplace safety rule governing ergonomics, issued in the waning months of the Clinton administration.
This time Republicans are thinking much, much bigger.
“We plan to robustly use the Congressional Review Act to reverse the midnight regulations of Barack Obama,” said Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, who is a leader of the Senate effort. “His legacy lost. The American people said ‘No, we don’t want that. We want to change direction.’ ”
While Barrasso and other Republicans say the tool allows them to rescind “last minute” regulations pushed by the Obama administration, the Byzantine way that time is defined in the act means they will most likely be able to take aim at regulations put in place as far back as late May.
Gingrich, now a close Trump adviser, is thrilled his creation will get some use.
“We’ve gone through a period where unelected bureaucrats have arrogated a level of dictatorial power that can ruin lives, close companies, and totally disrupt local governments with no recourse,” Gingrich said in a brief interview. “And to reassert the elected officials is, I think, a good thing.”
The Congressional Review Act in some ways encapsulates the absurdities of Washington. The law provides a fast-track process for lawmakers to overturn agency rules they dislike, rules that often took years for the executive branch agencies to write, review, and approve. Under terms of the act, each chamber passes a “resolution of disapproval,” the president signs it, and — poof! — the regulations exist no more.
But, as a practical matter, for this to actually happen requires a particular set of circumstances: Both chambers of a new Congress need to be controlled by the same party; a newly elected president must be of the same party; and everyone agrees that rules issued by the previous White House occupant, from the opposite party, need to be tossed.
And, under time limits in the act, they have a period of just a few months in the new Congress to get it all done.
The morning after Trump’s victory, Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy team at the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank, said he got “a million phone calls from Hill people about possible regs” that Congress could use Congressional Review Act to repeal.
Senate Democrats can’t rely on their typical go-to counteroffensive,the filibuster. A key reason this regulatory repeal tool is so potent is that it requires just a simple majority — 51 votes — in the Senate, not the 60-vote super majority most legislation requires.
If Congress uses it to successfully overturn a regulation, the agency is barred from ever again issuing rules that closely match what lawmakers rejected — unless Congress passes new legislation permitting the agency to do so.
The Iran/Boeing deal and flexible Leftist principles
As reported by Reuters, "IranAir said it signed a deal on Sunday to buy 80 passenger planes from U.S. aircraft maker Boeing (BA.N), state news agency IRNA reported, in the biggest U.S.-Iran deal since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The agency quoted Farhad Parvaresh, the chairman of Iran's flag carrier, as saying that the 10-year deal included 50 Boeing 737 aircraft and 30 777 planes.
Boeing said in June it had signed a tentative agreement to sell 100 jets to IranAir after Iranian statements about the deal. IRNA said that Fletcher Barkdull, a Boeing regional director, was in Tehran for the signing ceremony. The agency quoted Barkdull as saying that the deal was worth $16.6 billion and had been approved by the U.S. government.
In November, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill intending to block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, that would bar the U.S. Treasury from issuing licenses that U.S. banks would need to finance sales of commercial aircraft.
Congressional Republicans are making efforts to counter last year's nuclear accord between Iran, the United States and other world powers, that eased sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The Boeing deal would help modernize and expand the Iran's aging fleet, kept going by smuggled or improvised parts after decades of sanctions."
I have no issue with the free market and any means by which we advance the sale of American products, made by American workers...but Iran?
Well, needless to say, this is yet another example of Obama crony capitalism where he and John Kerry have been acting as the chamber of commerce for Iran. Boeing just signed a deal in blood with the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism in the world - something to be proud of?
So, the sanctions were working against Iran, but thanks to Barack Obama not only are they having an economic restoration, they're getting a commercial aviation upgrade. Could it be that Obama's Iranian agreement is so important that he would clear the path for business deals and development...maybe Obama and Kerry will be receiving some financial gain?
But this is not the real hypocrisy. This is the Iran that executes gays and lesbians. This is the Iran that stones women to death, and hangs them by a construction crane. This is the Iran that just recently held U.S. citizens hostage, and got a big bank roll for their release. This is the Iran that took U.S. Sailors captive placing them on their knees at gun point. This is the Iran that has been harassing our U.S. Navy warships in the international waters of the Persian Gulf. This is the Iran that supports Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis who recently fired missiles from Yemen at a U.S. Navy destroyer. This is the Iran that produced the lethal explosive force penetrator improvised explosive device (IED) that was responsible for nearly 20 percent of casualties and deaths of our U.S. troops.
This is the Iran with whom Boeing, supported by the Obama administration, signed a deal...how disrespectful to our men and women in uniform, who've lost life and limbs thanks to the Iranians. But, have you heard a peep from the liberal progressive media? Nope, crickets. They're more concerned about the false news story of Russian influence in our election.
Consider how the left, all of these entertainers, and even the NCAA moved their championships from the state of North Carolina because they passed a law saying a person must use the bathroom facilities corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.
Yet Iran kills gays and lesbians - hear anything from the liberal progressive media? Or sadly, you better not be a Christian who'd ask to not participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony by providing services due on the grounds of your religious beliefs.
Yet in Iran they stone women - hear anything from the liberal progressive media? Heck, in Iran, Christians have to worship underground - we shared that story with you - and Muslims who convert to Christianity face death because of the crime of apostasy. This is the Iran with whom Boeing signed a deal.
The point I take issue with are these revolving situational ethics of the left that only apply when it's something they want...or a group they accept. Could it be that the progressive socialist left embraces the Islamist ayatollahs and terrorists of Iran, rather than simple Christian business men and women?
Why? First of all, ask yourself, why would Vladimir Putin, who has had greater advances of his agenda under Obama's flexibility and Hillary Clinton's "reset button," want Trump to win? And ask yourself, why does Obama push for greater economic involvement with Iran? I say, the latter is what our intelligence agencies should be investigating...then again, that makes sense and is reasonable. And it's actually shining light on the hypocrisy of the left.
Sadly, the progressive socialist left in America fails to realize that they have little or no credibility. The liberal progressive "intellectual elites" of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco fail to realize why they lost the election, and it's nothing to do with Russia. It has everything to do with the failure of their centralized government planning and their hypocrisy which is clearly evident.
The left, with their champions such as Obama and Clinton, are the epitome of corruption, cronyism, and elitism, all repudiated along with high unemployment, greater debt, and increased healthcare insurance premiums.
But what's most disturbing when you consider the hypocrisy of the left is this issue with Iran and Boeing. How can any Boeing executive look into the eyes of our men and women and their families, who've had their lives changed forever because of Iran, since 1979?
Think about the 234 loved ones who will forever be missed since they were killed by Hezbollah, supported by Iran, in the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983. Think about the Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops and weapons that will fly on those planes Boeing will provide...some would say if not Boeing, then it would be Airbus. I say, let their conscience suffer, considering the horrific islamic terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice France.
Tomato Growers Lose Millions Thanks to Bungling Regulators
Last week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government could not be held financially responsible for issuing erroneous warnings about the source of an outbreak of foodborne illness that caused the loss of millions of dollars of tomatoes.
The warnings, issued by the FDA in 2008, turned out to be wildly inaccurate and deeply damaging.
The first, issued on June 3, warned consumers in New Mexico and Texas not to consume several types of raw tomatoes because they may be tainted with salmonella, a bacteria that can sicken and kill those who consume it. A few days later, on June 8, the FDA expanded the warning to include similar types of tomatoes across the country.
Soon after, on June 13, the FDA held a press conference that strongly inferred Florida tomatoes might be to blame. ("I'm not wanting to put the focus on Florida specifically, but...") But on July 17, the agency reversed course.
"After a lengthy investigation, the FDA has determined that fresh tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the current outbreak," reads an agency press release, which concluded instead that consumers "should avoid eating raw jalapeño and raw serrano peppers."
At the time of the first warning, on June 3, the FDA documented several dozen cases of foodborne illness it wrongly claimed were caused from eating tomatoes. By the time the agency admitted its error on July 17, the FDA acknowledged more than 1,200 such cases had occurred. By that time, the salmonella cases had mushroomed into "the largest foodborne outbreak in the United States in more than a decade."
Clearly, the FDA warning hadn't helped consumers, who continued to buy and be sickened by contaminated hot peppers. And it didn't help consumers who stopped buying perfectly good tomatoes at the agency's urging, or who threw away tomatoes they'd already purchased.
But if the FDA's misplaced warning was unhelpful at best and harmful at worst to consumers, it was downright devastating to tomato growers and handlers. The agency's warnings had spread like wildfire. For example, the New Mexico Restaurant warned its members against using tomatoes. Newspapers around the country warned consumers to avoid eating tomatoes. Demand for tomatoes plummeted by up to 40 percent in the wake of the warning, and prices fell by half. The industry lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Congress held hearings in the wake of the FDA's retraction of its tomato warning. "Shipments ground to a halt," Anthony DiMare, whose family's company suffered enormous losses, told Congress. "Tomatoes were left in the fields, in the packinghouses and on trucks that were turned away by our customers."
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Posted by JR at 1:32 AM