Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are Republicans Finding Their Manhood?

It would seem so. And at least one of the early moves toward taking the momentum away from the expansionist federal monstrosity is being led by a woman. Lisa Murkowski, Republican Senator from Alaska, has introduced a resolution of disapproval to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's determination that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare.

This would be a major step toward slapping down the bureaucratic circumvention of the independent powers of Congress and the executive branch. The Messiah, tutored by the Goracle, decided it was time to stop any moves which would endanger their march toward economic meltdown by empowering the EPA to do by indirection that which the law had previously denied them directly. By declaring carbon-dioxide to be a dangerous emission, the federal bureaucracy would be able to force restrictions on industry and production without having to go to Congress for authorization. In other words, it's the fast-track to cap and trade legislation. Congress would be forced to find a scheme to finance a reduction of greenhouse gases that Obama and Gore both believe are the cause of global warming, or climate-change, or whatever they're calling it this week. That whole theory is blowing up in their faces, and any impediment to enforcement of carbon trade-off legislation endangers their underlying plan--to gain government control of every facet of our lives and to tax American businesses into oblivion.

In proposing this resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, Murkowski is taking an angry shot across the statist bow. And she understands "strike while the iron is hot." In the wake of the Massachusetts victory and the revolt of the Tea Party movement, even blue dog Democrats, already feeling shaky, are positively trembling about their futures. As a result, Murkoswki's resolution is co-sponsored by Democrats Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben "Cornhusker Kickback" Nelson, and Mary "Lousiana Purchase" Landrieu. And Murkowski knows that if she can bring along her party and seven additional Democrats on a resolution, she's home free because under Senate rules, a CRA resolution of disapproval only requires a majority vote and cannot be filibustered.

Murkowski faces formidable opposition, led by my junior Senator, Her Majesty Doctor Professor Queen-of-the-Hill Don't Call Me Ma'am Senator Barbara Boxer. Says Babs: "Imagine if in the 1980s the Senate had overturned the health finding that nicotine in cigarettes causes lung cancer. How many more people would have died already? Imagine if a senator got the votes to come to the floor to overturn the finding that lead in paint damages children's brain development? How many children and families would have suffered? Imagine if the senator had come down to the floor and said, you know, I don't think black lung disease is in any way connected to coal dust. Imagine!"

Well, Ma'am, would you listen to a Senator who said that all your examples are "settled science" which can't even come close to being said about your crazed ideas about carbon dioxide and global warming? How would you feel if a Senator came down to the floor and said "we believe that chocolate is killing children at a horrendous pace, so we want production taxed, limited and ultimately eliminated, and if you'll just give us another fifty to seventy-five years, we'll have bought enough junk scientists to prove it?" (Theoretically, the latter Senator would also produce a hockey-stick graph to demonstrate how the increased use of chocolate in the last decade has caused a huge spike in the death rate of chocolate-eating children).

It's all "for the children" isn't it, Ma'am? So anything goes. Well, maybe not. More germane, Murkowski joins many of us in wanting legislation which cleans up the air that we, and our children, breathe. Even we troglodyte conservatives see the good in preventing further despoliation of our air, land and waters. Murkowski merely sees the underlying statist scheme and the immense damage it would produce, and says that what the Democrats are proposing won't work, is based on highly-disputed science, would be costly beyond imagination, produce wealth for carbon-traders like Al Gore while crippling major American business and industries for no good reason, and set a precedent for bureaucratic decision-makers to reach conclusions in which they have a vested interest.

With the approval of the Obama administration, and the past docility of the Congress, the EPA is working toward making itself the sole power controlling a major portion of the economy. By declaring carbon dioxide a dangerous emission, the EPA can control heavy industry, energy producers, the automobile industry, the construction industry, and myriad small businesses. And it does all that without public agreement or the necessity of Congressional votes.

Before passage of the Clean Air Act, Congress had reserved to itself the power to determine what is, and what is not, a poisonous emission. If EPA was allowed to regulate anything, it had to get that power from Congress first. The new power to make that determination came from Congress's failure to put that reservation into the Clean Air Act, and a terrible decision from the U. S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v EPA which held that without specific language regarding regulation of the list of dangerous emissions authorized by Congress, EPA's power to do so was inferred from the text of the Act.

Boxer's argument is that if we waited for Congress to make the determination, it could take years. Yes, Ma'am, it might. It's called democracy, and it's messy and time-consuming. But prior to the new-think from the Progressive era, we did not tolerate government by bureaucracy. Speed and efficiency are no substitute for public debate, Congressional action, and the will of the people. The Clean Air Act is simply another example of Congress unconstitutionally delegating its power to legislate to a regulation-crazy bureaucracy. Murkowski proposed to halt that ongoing process. The correction is actually quite easy. Amend the Act so that Congress takes back its rightful power of determining what the EPA can and cannot do in the area of "greenhouse gases." Murkowski's resolution is a first step in accomplishing that. Nevertheless, Her Majesty the High and Mighty Senator Boxer calls the action "unprecedented." I wonder where she got that word?

25 comments:

USArtguy said...

Republicans are getting their manhood back and it's wearing a skirt... Sarah Palin, Lisa Murkowski, Ann Coulter, etc...

"without specific language regarding regulation... authorized by Congress, __________ (fill in the blank) power to do so was inferred from ..."

Unfortunately this has become the Standard Operating Procedure for every government agency from the very Congress itself to the IRS to the local dogcatcher. It sums up Obama's whole "the constitution is too limiting" argument. Rather than taking the position the founding fathers intended which was 'if it's not in the constitution, don't assume you have the authority to do it', any agency whose rules have the "force of law" is going to take the attitude of 'what can we get away with next, in the name of helping the children, the spotted owl, the old timber and on and on'.

StanH said...

Great article Lawhawk! It would appear that the women on the right are indeed the ones bringing the fight to the left…I wonder if that’s by design? No, silly me - - that’s far to creative for the right, or the geldings at the RNC.

I read an article the other day that touched on the nexus of “carbon offsets” and used the business pejorative “rent seekers” to define this group of business titans that brought us this scam. The man that took the lead was “Ken Lay of ENRON” fame, along with GE, BP, and several other mega companies in the mid-nineties. They recognized the prevailing winds in Washington and seized the initiative. GE eventually purchased the enterprise, and what is their connection with Barry, TARP, and Surplus?

The point is Cap-n-Tax will not hit the titans, they’re positioned to profit off of the little guy, small corporations. The hoax that is climate change needs to be killed.

LawHawkSF said...

USArtGuy: Good for the women, and shame on the men. Excellent assessment of the Obama philosophy of government. Even "implied powers" were severely limited by the Supreme Court through the New Deal (striking down the National Recovery Act (among others) which was the heart of the FDR socialized government scheme. It took the Warren Court to kick-start the "living Consitution" line of legal thought, and government control has been expanding in spite of the Constitution ever since.

The worst part is that no matter how bad an act creating a new bureaucracy is, the regulations that go with it will be even worse. The IRS regs are so voluminous and incapable of coherent interpretation that nobody, including the Court, is really able to tell the taxpayer what they mean the same way twice.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: After the Massachusetts rebellion, we have an opportunity to take a strong punch in the face of the global warming junk science. And Murkowski's resolution is an excellent first step. But it's only a first step. We have to kill this phony climate change monster before it devours us.

I realize that you already know this, but Al Gore will benefit hugely by this carbon trade-off "creative accounting" scheme. The brokers will make millions, or even billions from this gigantic scam. And the scheme doesn't even pretend to solve the problem, it just shifts responsibility, though the ultimate effect would be to cripple energy-intensive industries and soak the taxpayer.

AndrewPrice said...

I think what Murkowski is going is great -- though I would point out that she's just the latest in a suddenly very long line of Republicans who are taking the fight to Obama.

Keep in mind that they've had party-line votes on almost everything Obama has proposed (which is the only reason they've been able to kill his entire agenda other than the stimulus). You've got others like Mike Pence, DeMint, Grassley, Bachmann, (newly-elected Brown, Christy and McDonnell), and a dozen more. Hundreds of speeches, campaign cash contributions, and votes -- all in strict opposition to everything Obama has done. You even had the Republican attorneys general of 19 states blasting the Cornhusker deal, causing that to become a national embarrasment for Nelson and the Democrats.

The party is by no means surrendering or ineffective, and those who would argue that they haven't fought effectively just don't want to pay attention.

patti said...

every day, as i read headlines and stories about the left, one thought keeps popping into my head: It's On!

that It's On! in a skirt, makes me happy. nothing the left hates more than a woman with a brain.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Isn't that the truth! For all their talk about "equality" what they really want are women to do as they're told by their "superiors" (with the exception of a few at the top -- like Pelosi).

They treat other minorities the same. For example, I think it's amazing that they use gender/racist/homosexual slurs against the right, even though they claim that those are inappropriate.

Tam said...

I suppose those on the left would like Murkowski to "act like a lady"?

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I had that very thought! LOL!

ArmChairGeneral said...

Amen to Sarah!

Can't we find the IRS unconstitutional under 'no taxation without representation' and declare that they are stealing since this 'transparent' government is as transparent as an opaque opal.

Writer X said...

I'm also interested in reading Michelle Bachmann's bill on healthcare. Has anyone read that yet? I think she was supposed to introduce it this week.

Let's hope Boxer's days are over. Her schtick has become so tired and predictable.

Great news about Murkowski. She's impressive.

LawHawkSF said...

Patti and WriterX: Our Republican women are turning out to be Amazons, and I couldn't be happier. Now maybe the guys will man up and do their jobs, too.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: As a side note, isn't the leftwing financial editor at The New York Times, Krugman, a former adviser to Ken Lay at Enron? For a guy who loves to slam big business, he seems to have a very checkered past.

LawHawkSF said...

Tam: Perfectly said. Kudos.

LawHawkSF said...

ACG: Unfortunately, the 16th Amendment charges Congress with implementing the Amendment with appropriate legislation. As long as there is an income tax, there will be an IRS. That doesn't mean we can't push Congress to make the IRS more responsive to the public will. And it doesn't mean that we couldn't pass a flat tax (along with what I consider to be a necessary national sales tax if the flat tax is going to work). With a flat tax, there would no longer be a necessity for a few thousand pages of regulations that nobody reads and nobody can understand except for IRS lawyers and tax lawyers. And I'm not sure even they understand them.

I'm not advocating for the flat tax, by the way, but it's a very logical proposal, and anything that simplifies the IRS regulations and cuts their need for a huge federal payroll is a good thing in my book.

LawHawkSF said...

I again apologize for being so late in responding to your comments. My "morning meeting" went on for over seven hours, with only short breaks, and I'm just now getting back to my office to reply.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: "She's a lady--woah, woah, woah, she's a lady." Bachmann should use that in her next campaign. Eat that, Snarlin' Arlen.

Writer X said...

LawHawk, you had to put that Tom Jones song in my head, didn't you! ;-) Actually, Arlen should try thinking like a lady; it might help his poll numbers.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: Oh, and I forgot about Babs Boxer. Six months ago, I wouldn't have thought she could be beaten. Now, I'm not so sure. The momentum is with the Republicans, and Boxer's lead is within the margin of error over two of the three candidates.

Here's an interesting factoid which proves that Massachusetts and the resulting momentum are so important. Californians still support some form of Obamacare by 49% to 48%. But those who strongly support it are at 25%, while those who strongly oppose it are at 39%. There's the battleground, and we need to keep the momentum going.

Still, California is not Massachusetts. The leading Republican candidate, Carly Fiorina, is a RINO who is hard to distinguish from Boxer. Her two opponents are Chuck DeVore, a hard-right conservative and Tom Campbell (my personal favorite), a strong traditional conservative who came to the race last week. One of the two latter candidates is going to have to find Scott Brown's formula for fund-raising to approach the amount of money Fiorina can put into her campaign personally along with funds from her very rich friends in Silicon Valley.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: If Arlen can't start thinking like a lady, at least he could start acting like a normal human being. Unlikely in either case.

Sorry, I've had that Tom Jones song in my head ever since Arlen Spectacle insulted Bachmann. It was probably an overshare, but I couldn't help myself.

HamiltonsGhost said...

HamiltonsGhost: My wife used to have a framed needle-point piece hanging on the wall in the dining room. It said: "Behind every successful man there stands a woman--who couldn't be more surprised." Much has changed over the years, and much to my surprise, I am very pleased that women are stepping up to the plate, and preparing to hit home runs. Good on them.

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: The gals are making us look bad, and for some odd reason, I'm truly enjoying it. I'll have to ask a shrink if I'm suffering from "male-centric guilt syndrome." Strong women have always been part of my life, from my mom, to my wife, to my daughters and to my business associates. So little of this comes as a complete surprise to me, though I wish they had asserted themselves sooner. Still, as I've said so many times on the site, "I'll take what I can get," and add "whenever I can get it."

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I'm glad you caught my excitement in addressing my comment to myself. Obviously it should have been addressed to you. But, since you caught it, no harm, no foul. Also, I don't generally stutter. LOL

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: Between thee and me, I didn't catch it. I'm chalking it up to an entire day spent at a meeting where I was a minor third-party representative who couldn't leave the room. I've been a little crazed ever since. Nevertheless, thanks for the comment and the shout-out. If I had caught it, I would have simply thought you were doing some introspection and accidentally wrote to yourself. Funny comment either way.

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