Saturday, October 19, 2013
(CNSNews.com) –The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have plans to spend up to $18 million over the next five years to develop “reliable” climate change predictions for the next few decades.
Via: CNS News
Via: CNS News
Two Republican House members have sent a letter to the EPA questioning new rules being formulated that would give the EPA sweeping authority over streams and wetlands on private property.
The EPA is justifying the rules by saying it's part of its mandate to enforce the Clean Water Act. But Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah), both ranking members of the Science and Technology Committee, doubt the EPA's science in justifying the and want the agency to slow down and get other opinions.
In a letter to the agency on Friday, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah) alleged that it is trying to initiate a "sweeping reinterpretation" of its jurisdiction in a potential new rule.The to expand the EPA's oversight would give it "unprecedented control over private property across the nation," they asserted.
Via: American ThinkerIn September, the EPA began the process of asserting that it can regulate streams, estuaries and other small bodies of water under authority granted by the Clean Water Act. The agency said that the new rule is necessary to clear up confusion caused by two recent .The EPA said making sure that regulations protecting clean water apply to those smaller waters ends up protecting larger lakes and rivers downstream.
On Thursday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said lawmakers in Congress who do not oppose the fundamental transformation of America need to be primaried.
“Public employees have a private interest in taking more and more of the taxpayer-generated revenue for themselves. In other words, public employees have a private interest in diverting public funds from public services to their wages and pensions. In this sense, the increasing numbers of public employees and their increasing wages and benefits threaten to hollow out public services in our country.”
– Roger Berkowitz, Executive Director, Hannah Arendt Center
The above quote explains quite well the intrinsic conflict of interest that accrues to public-sector unions. This conflict of interest is the primary distinction between public-sector unions and private-sector unions. It is the reason that private-sector unions can muster strong arguments for their continued relevance in society, whereas the very legitimacy of public-sector unions is questionable.
And lest anyone suggest that calls for reform — if not the abolition — of public-sector unions emanates solely from the “extreme right wing,” consider the provenance of the above quote. The highly regarded, intellectually elite Hannah Arendt Center boasts perhaps the most impeccable nonpartisan, anti-ideological credentials of any comparable institution in the world. It is named after famous political philosopher Hannah Arendt, the author of numerous books, the most famous being “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”
The reason Democrats don’t support public-sector union reform is obvious. There is no special interest in America that donates more money to the Democratic Party than public-sector unions. The data in the table below make this clear. If you go to the source of this data, OpenSecrets.org, you will see that the vast majority of the $535 million contributed to Democrats between 2000 and 2010 came from public-sector unions, whose membership in absolute numbers now exceeds that of private-sector unions.
In California, where public-sector union spending on state and local campaigns and lobbying exceeds $500 million per two-year cycle, the same percentages apply.
The stopgap bill to fund the government was only supposed to end the partial shutdown for a few months, no strings attached -- right?
Despite the bill being tiny by Washington standards -- just 35 pages -- lawmakers still managed to tuck in billions of dollars in additional spending.
Already, one item has earned some degree of notoriety. Appropriators included a line increasing the budget for an Ohio River dam project from $775 million to $2.9 billion.
Costs for the project, approved in 1998, have soared above the original price tag. Supporters of the Olmsted Locks and Dam funding argue the additional money is necessary to reduce bottlenecking at the crossing of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who along with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., supported the item, told Fox News that all barge traffic would be suspended if the dam wasn't funded.
She said the funding was included in the budget bill because it is the only spending bill moving. The House had earlier approved funding for the dam, though at a lower level.
But there are projects all over the country that could have made a similar case. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., earlier this week called the inclusion "disgraceful," saying many lawmakers didn't realize the bill contained additional spending like this until late in the process.
Government watchdogs argued that if lawmakers wanted to pursue this spending, they should have done so in the long-term appropriations bill or another more appropriate piece of legislation.
The language in the bill itself didn't exactly announce that the dam project was getting extra money, either.
The provision said: "SEC. 123. Section 3(a)(6) of Public Law 100-676 is amended by striking both occurrences of '$775,000,000' and inserting in lieu thereof, '$2,918,000,000'."
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Via: California Political Review