Durbin asks Obama to appoint carp czar or maye crap czar

Durbin asks Obama to appoint carp czar

June 25, 2010 8:17 PM | 18 Comments | UPDATED STORY

As concerns mount about the presence of Asian carp near Lake Michigan, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today urged President Obama to appoint a carp czar to oversee efforts to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

“We need to have one person who coordinates the efforts of the federal, state and local agencies that are doing everything they can to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan,” Durbin said during a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium. “We believe it’s absolutely essential.”

Durbin was responding to the discovery of a bighead carp, a variety of Asian carp, during routine sampling this week in Lake Calumet, just six miles from Lake Michigan. Standing beside environmental advocates who have championed closing Chicago-area locks as a way to prevent carp from entering Lake Michigan, Durbin called the finding a possible “game changer” and said “we have to take it very seriously.”

Durbin said scientists will try to determine where the carp came from, whether it was likely dumped there or whether it reached the lake by swimming up the Chicago water system. That’s a critical question as biologists try to figure out how many Asian carp may be lurking below the water’s surface.

Durbin said he plans to introduce a bill next week that will ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look at “hydrologic separation” between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, a potentially massive engineering feat that would require severing the 100-year-old, man-made shipping corridors that now link the two waterways. Durbin expects the Army Corps to deliver its report within 18 months.

“This isn’t just a matter of the Asian carp, but any other invasive species that would find its way up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers into our Great Lakes ecosystem,” Durbin said.

Joel Hood

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

 Glenn Beck reviews FDR’s agencies created under the New Deal and then lists the agencies created under Obama. He preludes this by referring to how FDR and Obama both talked about how they were for the small business owner, when in fact, they actually only cared/care about big business and big government.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l42aCY1BBeI

“The Only Thing The Oil Spill And 9/11 Have In Common Is Nothing“

“The Only Thing The Oil Spill And 9/11 Have In Common Is Nothing

June 16th, 2010 Posted By Erik Wong.

obama

New York Post:

President Obama doesn’t like the fact that the Gulf oil spill reminds people of Hurricane Katrina, since the public response to that catastrophe hastened the decline of his predecessor’s standing. He’d prefer that the American people be reminded of something else — something that rallied people around their president.

And so he told Politico over the weekend that the oil spill has “echoes of 9/11.”

Americans thought differently about “our vulnerabilities” after the events of 9/11, Obama said, and the oil spill is “going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, one of the most bizarre things ever said by any president.

It is worth considering the meaning of this profoundly wrongheaded analogy tonight when the president delivers his first Oval Office address — his latest attempt to minimize the political damage the oil spill is wreaking on his reputation.

The first thing that needs to be said is this: The only thing the oil spill and 9/11 have in common is nothing.

Yes, 9/11 was very important and so is the spill. But many terrible things happen, are important — and are unalike. The Haiti earthquake of 2009 and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 were both important, but they had nothing whatever to do with each other. Nor did the tsunami of 2004 and the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Just as in those cases, what’s most notable about 9/11 and the oil spill is how essentially dif ferent they are. One was a brilliantly conceived and diabolical act of war; the other a horrific accident that was the last thing anybody wanted to happen. One was designed to decapitate the US government and deliver a mortal blow to the world’s financial system; the other wasn’t designed at all.

One was purposeful destruction intended to harm. The other is a purposeless catastrophe that was in no way intentional at all but will do great harm. One was an attack on the United States. The other was an accident.

So what on earth could the president have been thinking?

The first possibility is that there is some kind of perverse wish being expressed in these words. They have a wistful quality, as though the president wished he had a different crisis, a more popular crisis, on his hands.

Of course the fact that 9/11 would prove to be a net political benefit for George W. Bush was not the result of happenstance. It was due to the way he responded.

After a few days of discomfiting uncertainty, Bush found his voice and his purpose, delivering a series of powerful speeches that suggested a seriousness of purpose in regard to his presidential responsibilities that no one had actually expected of him.

Whatever happened afterward to shake that perspective on him in the minds of so many, the fact was that Bush had to meet the moment to secure the political advantage.

Obama has had no such moment in relation to the oil spill, because he couldn’t have. BP didn’t mean to do it and has been laboring desperately to fix what got broken. It is liable for what it did, it does not deny its own culpability, and it may itself be capsized as a result.

What the deployment of the 9/11 analogy suggests is that Obama would like to treat BP as though it were al Qaeda, at least rhetorically — a villain for him to confront on behalf of the wounded American people.

That may seem politically shrewd to Obama and his team, but it will have parlous consequences. The analogy muddies and obfuscates.

By comparing an unwanted disaster to a conscious act of war, Obama is adding an improper moral dimension to the effort to clean up the Gulf — a moral reckoning that will make it harder rather than easier to focus on the task of actually plugging the damn hole.

By likening the murder of 3,000 people and the efforts to take out the US government to a series of mistakes that added up to a catastrophe, Obama has defined evil down in a fashion that does immense violence to good sense, good taste and good leadership.

Stuck on stupid: Obama’s czar fetish

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

Stuck on stupid: Obama’s czar fetish

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 15, 2010 11:25 PM

In his widely-panned, bloodless Oval Office address Tuesday night (did I call this last month or what!?), President Obama tapped his Navy Secretary Ray Mabus as the new oil spill recovery czar. Doesn’t he have enough to do leading the Navy? More to the point, as my latest column below points out, don’t we have enough czars and bureaucrats tripping over each other for Gulf headlines and photo-ops already?

Meanwhile, Mark Knoller reports that Obama is scheduled to finally meet with BP execs tomorrow at 10:15am…for a whopping 20 minutes. Where is the ass-kicking czar?

The speech was a dud, but never fear, Organzing for America is here to exploit the crisis with spam solicitations and a snazzy new green Obama hardhat graphic (soon to be the new oil recover czar’s logo, too?)!

***

Stuck on stupid: Obama’s czar fetish
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

Here is the Obama Disaster Management Theory: In times of crisis, you can never have enough unelected, unvetted political appointees hanging around. Nearly two months after the BP oil spill, the White House will now name an oil-spill-restoration point person to oversee recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Too many czars have already spoiled this administration’s credibility. Might as well pile on another.

The new oil-spill czar is not to be mistaken for the old oil-spill czar, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who was officially designated the “National Incident Commander of the Unified Command for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico” on April 30. Allen was appointed by Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano ten days after the disaster, which Napolitano claimed the administration had been on top of since, um, “Day One.”

Fifty-six days later, President Obama has deemed the leadership skills of Allen, Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, environmental czar Carol Browner, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and the rest of his self-declared “all hands on deck” crew insufficient. The new disaster czar also comes on top of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling,” created by executive order on May 22 and “tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.”

As I’ve noted before regarding Obama’s czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It’s fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making. While past administrations going back to the Nixon era have designated such “superaides,” none has exploited and extended the concept as widely as Obama has (we’re up to the 40th appointed czar, by Washington-based watchdog group Judicial Watch’s count).

It’s government by proxy and government by press release all rolled into one.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the latest commissar will have the power to oversee government efforts “to increase the health and the vitality of the species there, the wildlife and the natural beauty that we all know is the Gulf of Mexico.” This will make the power-grabbing environmental lobby happy. And the new czar appointment will feed the photo-op-hungry news cycle. But instead of rushing to move “past the cleanup and response phase of this disaster,” shouldn’t this czar-crazy regime concentrate on the immediate mitigation tasks at hand?

Folks in the Gulf don’t need any more Romanov-style apparatchiks or blue-ribbon crony panels to show them the way toward relief. Florida public officials and foreign shippers say the protectionist Jones Act is preventing vessels from abroad from providing clean-up aid. And Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (R) has exposed White House obstructionism and delays in approving the construction of barrier walls to stop the oil spread. After waiting weeks for approval, Jindal received a green light from the White House to put up just five barrier islands — a minuscule amount of his plan. Tired of waiting for approval of the rest of his plan, Jindal this week ordered the National Guard to circumvent the Beltway foot-dragging and start building the walls immediately.

Executive leadership doesn’t need to be outsourced when the executive in office knows how to lead. While Obama squawks, Jindal acts. While Washington appoints more gasbags, the National Guard is dropping sandbags.

The president’s czar fetish is his crisis crutch — a desperate public-relations habit that he can’t break. What 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs is a visit from retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, the Hurricane Katrina military relief coordinator who offered timeless and timely advice for the disaster-stricken: Don’t get stuck on stupid.

Ax the hacks, Obama

Ax the hacks, Obama

June 9th, 2010

By Kirsten Powers, NY Post

 Rahm needs to go

The flap over the job offers to Joe Sestak in Pennsylva nia and Andrew Romanoff in Colorado shows that it’s time to move electoral politics out of the White House. Rahm Emanuel, this means you.

President Obama’s first step should be to shutter the Office of Political Affairs. Then he should jettison the various political henchmen — starting with Rahm — who’ve infested the West Wing and put them on the Democratic National Committee, where they belong.

Since President Ronald Reagan created it, the Office of Political Affairs has become a taxpayer-funded campaign office that has helped administrations of all stripes consolidate their power.

Its current head, Patrick Gaspard, has used his perch to try to push Gov. Paterson from running this fall (Paterson later forced himself out), to push Doug Wilder to support Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race (Deeds would up losing the general) — and to persuade GOP state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava to endorse the Democrat after she lost her primary in the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District (which helped keep the seat in Democratic hands).

Your taxpayer dollars at work.

Read More:

Next Up on Obama Chopping Block: Free Speech SCOTUS PICK CENSORSHIP ADVOCATE promoting an “illegitimate attempt to use ‘censorship to control thought.'”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Next Up on Obama Chopping Block: Free Speech
SCOTUS PICK CENSORSHIP ADVOCATE promoting an “illegitimate attempt to use ‘censorship to control thought.'” Fascism in action. Watch him choke on his words. Fascinating to witness free countries fall under the spell of a would-be dictator. If your blood doesn’t run cold after viewing this video and reading this post, you’re already dead.
Obama at Hampton University – Hey don’t pay attention to the info on iphones and blogs.mov

This convergence of evil is no accident. Last week I reported: Obama Puts the Web Under Fed Control. A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to regulate the Internet. So last week the Obama Administration chose to “reclassify” the Internet so that it can regulate the Web anyway.

Now this. Any Senator who votes to confirm this freak is an enemy of the people.

Chief Justice Roberts: Kagan Asked Court to ‘Embrace Theory of First Amendment That Would Allow Censorship Not Only of Radio and Television Broadcasts, But Pamphlets and Posters’ (CNSNews.com) – Solicitor General Elena Kagan, nominated Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, told that court in September that Congress could constitutionally prohibit corporations from engaging in political speech such as publishing pamphlets that advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.

Kagan’s argument that the government could prohibit political speech by corporations was rejected by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in that case, and in a scathing concurrence Chief Justice John Roberts took direct aim at Kagan’s argument that the government could ban political pamphlets.

“The Government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern,” wrote Roberts. “Its theory, if accepted, would empower the Government to prohibit newspapers from running editorials or opinion pieces supporting or opposing candidates for office, so long as the newspapers were owned by corporations—as the major ones are. First Amendment rights could be confined to individuals, subverting the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy.”
 
Justice Kennedy described the law Kagan had defended as an illegitimate attempt to use “censorship to control thought.”
 
“When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought,” Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”
 
In March 2009, six months before Kagan told the court that the government could bar corporations from publishing political pamphlets, her deputy solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, had gone further, telling the court the Constitution authorized Congress to prohibit corporations from publishing full-length books that included passages advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.

Obama’s Big Government Problem

Obama’s Big Government Problem

Posted By Rich Trzupek On May 7, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 1 Comment

Listening to an Obama speech is like chowing down on a box of assorted chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. The president’s commencement speech at the University of Michigan [1] last Saturday was a classic case in point. To paraphrase an orator whose reputation for greatness did not involve the use of either speechwriters or teleprompters: never in the course of American politics has a president used so many words to say so little. For example, on the one hand, Obama deplores the nature of debate in the nation today:

“You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone’s views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. Throwing around phrases like “socialist” and “Soviet-style takeover;” “fascist” and “right-wing nut” may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, or our political opponents, to authoritarian, and even murderous regimes.”

On the other hand, there’s really nothing to worry about, for that’s the way it’s always been:

“In fact, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Since the days of our founding, American politics has never been a particularly nice business – and it’s always been a little less gentle during times of great change. A newspaper of the opposing party once editorialized that if Thomas Jefferson were elected, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.” Not subtle.”

The president is also happy to acknowledge that too much government is obviously a bad thing:

“The democracy designed by Jefferson and the other founders was never intended to solve every problem with a new law or a new program. Having thrown off the tyranny of the British Empire, the first Americans were understandably skeptical of government. Ever since, we have held fast to the belief that government doesn’t have all the answers, and we have cherished and fiercely defended our individual freedom. That is a strand of our nation’s DNA.”

Which, of course, is why we need more government:

“But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. One of my favorite signs from the health care debate was one that read “Keep Government Out Of My Medicare,” which is essentially like saying “Keep Government Out Of My Government-Run Health Care.” For when our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it conveniently ignores the fact in our democracy, government is us. We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.”

It’s pretty much all like that. It always is when Barack Obama hits the teleprompter. If you only listened to his words, you’d have a hard time figuring out what exactly this president stands for. Fortunately, we have the benefit of observing his actions, so America has a pretty good idea where his real sympathies lie. The mainstream media touted the Michigan commencement speech as a blast back at the “anti-government” crowd [2] and, with a small correction, that’s what it was. Despite the bromides, the president was clearly firing back at what should correctly be called the “small government” sentiment in America that is embodied by the tea-party movement. (“Anti-government” is a phrase that properly describes anarchists, not patriotic Americans protesting more bureaucracy, more spending, more debt and less self-determination).

Nobody outside of crazed militia types says, or thinks, that “government is bad.” Rather, millions of Americans believe that government is inefficient, expensive and stifling and should therefore be used as a means toward accomplishing an end only when absolutely necessary. “Absolutely necessary” can be defined as some of the examples that Obama cited: police officers, highway safety and the laws and regulations designed to prevent workplace injuries and promote environmental responsibility. There’s a role for government in all of these cases that no private entity could fulfill, but it should be self-apparent that we all pay a price when we employ government to do so.

Having police protect us requires a justice system and, the government being what it is, that justice system is necessarily bloated, inefficient and burdened by mountains of contradictory rules. We deal with OSHA and the EPA, because most of us realize that somebody has to do what some private companies won’t: ensure that both employees and the environment are protected. But again, we pay a price. OSHA may help prevent injuries, but it’s also enormously powerful and too often petty. The EPA has done a stellar job of cleaning up America, but the massive bureaucratic structure it created while doing so now intrudes in the operation of private enterprise in stifling ways that have little or nothing to do with environmental protection. It’s always that way. Once the nose of the bureaucratic camel pushes through the tent, you’ve got yet another dromedary for a roommate, and the basic problem is that there’s not much room left in the tent that used to be our private lives for more camels.

The crux of Obama’s defense of big government is that, in a democracy, the “government is us.” No doubt the president really believes that, because his entire working life [3] has been spent working for the government, in academia or as an advocate for people trying to get more out of government. His “real world” experience, as those of us who work in the private sector understand it, is zero. Accordingly it’s no surprise when Obama doesn’t understand that for the majority of us in the private sector – who pay for the ever-expanding public sector, by the by – the government isn’t “us” at all. The government isn’t the people we actually elected, as the president styled it, the government is rather the army of nameless bureaucrats to whom the people we elected have bequeathed, and continue to bequeath, enormous power over our lives.

The liberal myth says that conservatives and libertarians trust the private sector and don’t trust the public sector. That’s not the case. The truth of the matter is that we don’t trust anybody. But, when it comes to excess in the private sector, at least we have a chance of winning. If some company rips off a consumer, the consumer can go to the Better Business Bureau, complain to the Attorney General, call the local media watchdog, or employ a vast number of other means to settle the score. If a consumer thinks that a particular corporation’s product is inferior, there’s a host of other companies willing to fill the need. But, when it comes to government excess, people don’t have any hope of leveling the playing field unless they’re very rich or very lucky. There is no protection from our protectors. Anyone who has been victimized by an over-zealous IRS agent, EPA official, OSHA inspector or any other member of the bloated, blustering bureaucracy that runs more and more of our lives knows exactly how stifling big government is.

So yes Mr. President, we understand that we need some government in our lives. The problem, as we see it, is that we have so much damned government that it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

Sarah Palin: Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism

Sarah Palin: Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism

Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism
 Thu at 7:28pm
In the wake of the recent financial meltdown, Americans know that we need reform. Not only have many individuals learned lessons about personal responsibility through this, but we’ve been able to engage in a discussion about government’s appropriate role.

The current debate over financial reform demonstrates what happens when political leaders react to a crisis with a raft of new regulations. First off, the people involved in writing government regulations are often lobbyists from the very industry that the new laws are supposed to regulate, and that’s been the case here. It should surprise no one that financial lobbyists are flocking to DC this week. Of course, the big players who can afford lobbyists work the regulations in their favor, while their smaller competitors are left out in the cold. The result here are regulations that institutionalize the “too big to fail” mentality.

Moreover, the financial reform bill gives regulators the power to pick winners and losers, institutionalizing their ability to decide “which firms to rescue or close, and which creditors to reward and how.” Does anyone doubt that firms with the most lobbyists and the biggest campaign donations will be the ones who get seats in the lifeboat? The president is trying to convince us that he’s taking on the Wall Street “fat cats,” but firms like Goldman Sachs are happy with federal regulation because, as one of their lobbyists recently stated, “We partner with regulators.”

They seem to have a nice relationship with the White House too. Goldman showered nearly a million dollars in campaign contributions on candidate Obama. In fact, J.P. Freire notes that President Obama received about seven times more money from Goldman than President Bush received from Enron. Of course, it’s not just the donations; it’s the revolving door. You’ll find the name Goldman Sachs on many an Obama administration résumé, including Rahm Emanuel’s and Tim Geithner’s chiefs of staff.

We need to be on our guard against such crony capitalism. We fought against distortion of the market in Alaska when we confronted “Big Oil,” or more specifically some of the players in the industry and in political office, who were taking the 49th state for a ride. My administration challenged lax rules that seemed to allow corruption, and we even challenged the largest corporation in the world at the time for not abiding by provisions in contracts it held with the state. When it came time to craft a plan for a natural gas pipeline, we insisted on transparency and a level playing field to ensure fair competition. Our reforms helped reduce politicians’ ability to play favorites and helped clean up corruption. We set up stricter oversight offices and ushered through a bi-partisan ethics reform bill. Far from being against necessary reform, I embrace it.

Commonsense conservatives acknowledge the need for financial reform and believe that government can play an appropriate role in leveling the playing field and protecting “the dynamism of American capitalism without neglecting the government’s responsibility to protect the American public.” We’re listening closely to the reform discussion in Washington, and we know that government should not burden the market with unnecessary bureaucracy and distorted incentives, nor make a dangerous “too-big-to-fail” mentality the law of the land.

– Sarah Palin