A Big Mac False Alarm – More Super Sized Lies via Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock admitted something that cast more doubt onto his lauded documentary entitled “Super Size Me” to which an excellent documentary response already noted the secrecy behind Spurlocks health records, “Fat Head.” Here are a couple article’s noting Phelim McAleer’s article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “A Big Mac Attack, or a False Alarm?,” which Dennis Prager reads from:

  • Morgan Spurlock’s Alcoholism Confession Casts Doubt on His ‘Super Size Me’ Health Claims (BREITBART)
  • Super-Size My Doubts About Morgan Spurlock’s Snide Documentary About McDonald’s (AMERICAN THINKER)

Robert Mueller’s Appointment Is Unconstitutional

(Via MARK LEVIN) The appointment of Robert Mueller violates the constitution, which means every subpoena, indictment, and plea bargain should be null and void. On his radio show, Levin said every person under a subpoena, or indictment, or has a case against them via Muller should walk into their respective Federal Court Building and make this case before a Federal Judge. While Mark said he is the first to promote this… he is not in fact the first.

  • H/T to Northwestern Law School Professor Steven Calabresi, who raised many of these points, and more, with me and a few other friends and colleagues over the weekend, in a well-researched opinion he shared with us. He deserves great credit.

BUT LEVIN wasn’t the first to promote this idea. Lionel is working from a previous article — mind you, Lionel is a conspiracy guy, so is ZERO-HEDGE, but the issue is one of settled Constitutional law in 1988:

Here is LIONEL’s description of the above:

Lionel reviews noted jurist Steven Calabresi’s thesis that Robert Mueller’s investigation has crossed the legal line, explaining that it’s unconstitutional under Morrison vs Olson. Mr. Mueller’s investigation has crossed a constitutional line, for reasons the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in the 1988 case Morrison v. Olson. That case is best known for Justice Antonin Scalia’s powerful lone dissent arguing that the post-Watergate independent counsel statute was unconstitutional. But Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s opinion for the court, while upholding the statute, set forth limits that the Mueller investigation has exceeded.

At issue is the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which provides that “principal officers” must be appointed by the president with the Senate’s consent. Rehnquist wrote that independent counsel Alexia Morrison qualified as an “inferior officer,” not subject to the appointment process, because her office was “limited in jurisdiction” to “certain federal officials suspected of certain serious federal crimes.”

Mr. Mueller, in contrast, is investigating a large number of people and has already charged defendants with many different kinds of crimes, including – as in Mr. Manafort’s case – ones unrelated to any collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s too much power for an inferior officer to have. Only a principal officer, such as a U.S. attorney, can behave the way Mr. Mueller is behaving. Mr. Mueller is much more powerful today than any of the 96 U.S. attorneys. He is behaving like a principal officer.

Here is ZERO HEDGE excerpting the WALL STREET JOURNAL article:

Judge T.S. Ellis has expressed skepticism about the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “What we don’t want in this country is… anyone with unfettered power,” Judge Ellis, who is to preside over the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, told prosecutor Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben May 4. “So it’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me that the special prosecutor has unlimited powers.”

Judge Ellis is right to be skeptical. Mr. Mueller’s investigation has crossed a constitutional line, for reasons the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in the 1988 case Morrison v. Olson. That case is best known for Justice Antonin Scalia’s powerful lone dissent arguing that the post-Watergate independent counsel statute was unconstitutional. But Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s opinion for the court, while upholding the statute, set forth limits that the Mueller investigation has exceeded.

At issue is the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which provides that “principal officers” must be appointed by the president with the Senate’s consent. Rehnquist wrote that independent counsel Alexia Morrison qualified as an “inferior officer,” not subject to the appointment process, because her office was “limited in jurisdiction” to “certain federal officials suspected of certain serious federal crimes.”

Mr. Mueller, in contrast, is investigating a large number of people and has already charged defendants with many different kinds of crimes, including – as in Mr. Manafort’s case – ones unrelated to any collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s too much power for an inferior officer to have. Only a principal officer, such as a U.S. attorney, can behave the way Mr. Mueller is behaving. Mr. Mueller is much more powerful today than any of the 96 U.S. attorneys. He is behaving like a principal officer.

Rehnquist’s majority opinion has never been overturned. In Edmund v. U.S. and in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Oversight Board, the justices said that an officer cannot be inferior unless he has a boss – as Mr. Mueller does in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed him. But that’s not a sufficient condition. As a principal officer, Mr. Rosenstein could legally have brought all the indictments Mr. Mueller has. But he may not delegate that authority to Mr. Mueller, any more than President Trump could delegate his veto power to Mr. Rosenstein.

An FBI Mole In Trump Campaign Undermines Timeline

The article is at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and is entitled, “About That FBI ‘Source’ – Did the bureau engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign?” But it is behind a “pay wall.” I did track it down… this is YUGE NEWS! Why? Because it is Obama that is in charge of the FBI and there would have been a mole inserted into the Trump campaign BEFOREbefore — the official FBI timeline that we have all seen testimony of and have read about.

This is scary.

Full Strassel text with thanks to REAL CLEAR POLITICS:

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it agreed to brief House Intelligence Committee members about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair—the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors—have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?

And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn’t being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.

We also know that among the Justice Department’s stated reasons for not complying with the Nunes subpoena was its worry that to do so might damage international relationships. This suggests the “source” may be overseas, have ties to foreign intelligence, or both. That’s notable, given the highly suspicious role foreigners have played in this escapade. It was an Australian diplomat who reported the Papadopoulos conversation. Dossier author Christopher Steele is British, used to work for MI6, and retains ties to that spy agency as well as to a network of former spooks. It was a former British diplomat who tipped off Sen. John McCain to the dossier. How this “top secret” source fits into this puzzle could matter deeply.

I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it. But what is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.

The Best is the Enemy of the Better (Repealing Obamacare)

 ~I want Full Repeal, NO replacement, free markets! ~

The above is a statement from a FB friend… and is the main thrust of this post.

Dennis Prager quickly mentions a Kimberly Strassel article via the WALL STREET JOURNAL. in this short clip Prager also prefaces Trump’s horrible statement about McCain’s being captured with what McCain said about half of America. And principle is thrown to the wayside in people like this not voting to repeal in part Obama-care.

Here is the article:

…What do Rand Paul, Susan Collins and John McCain have in common? Very little.

The press corps is busy quizzing the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader on their plans for tax reform. The question is why they aren’t chasing after the three people who actually hold all the power.

If the past eight months have proved anything, it is that all the 24/7 news coverage of Donald Trump’s antics, all the millions of words devoted to Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s plans, have been a complete waste of space and time. In the end, control of the entire policy agenda in Washington comes down to three senators. Three senators whom most Americans have never had a chance to vote for or against. Three senators who comprise 8% of their party conference. Arizona’s John McCain, Maine’s Susan Collins and Kentucky’s Rand Paul. Forget Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. Meet the Never-Trump Triumvirate.

At least the House Freedom Caucus scuttles GOP legislation based on shared principles. Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have also led revolts against bills, again based on shared criticisms. But what do the Arizona maverick, the Maine moderate and the Kentucky libertarian have in common? Very little.

Well, very little save motivations that go beyond policy. And that is the crucial point that is missing from the endless analyses of the McCain-Collins-Paul defections on health care. The media has treated the trio’s excuses for killing their party’s top priority as legit, despite the obvious holes in their objections over policy and process. What in fact binds the three is their crafting of identities based primarily on opposition to their party or Mr. Trump. This matters, because it bodes very ill for tax reform in the Senate. Overcoming policy objections is one thing. Overcoming egos is another.

Mr. McCain, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has decided his final legacy will be a return to the contrarian “straight talk” persona of old, which wins him liberal media plaudits. The Arizonan has never gotten over losing the presidency, and it clearly irks him that Mr. Trump succeeded where he failed. His personal disdain for the president is obvious, and his implausible excuses for opposing the Graham-Cassidy health-care reform are proof that this is personal.

Ms. Collins is reportedly days awa y from deciding whether she’ll ditch the Senate gig and run for governor. That potential campaign has guided her every move for at least a year now—perhaps her entire career—and was clearly among her reasons last summer to abandon her party’s nominee and publicly excoriate Mr. Trump. It is a basic precept in Washington that Sen. Collins votes in whatever way best serves Sen. Collins. Right now that means being Never Trump.

Mr. Paul worked hard during his first Senate campaign to reassure Kentuckians that he was not his father, and it turns out that’s very true. Because even Ron Paul was to be found with his party’s House majority on issues that truly mattered, and largely saved his defections for the lost causes that produced 434-1 votes. Sen. Paul’s standards for “conservative” policy are as varying as the wind, and lately they blow toward whatever position can earn him the title of purest man in Washington.

The press was fixated this week on Mr. McConnell’s bad week, which is an easy piece to write. But it ignores the obvious reality that the Triumvirate seems to have never had any intention of letting its party succeed. After all, a senator who intended to stand firm on “regular order,” as Mr. McCain said, would have informed his colleagues of that demand at the beginning, rather than allow his colleagues to set up for another vote and then dramatically tank it (again) at the last minute. A senator who voted for “skinny” ObamaCare repeal in the summer on the grounds that anything was “better than no repeal,” in the words of Mr. Paul, would not suddenly engineer an unreachable set of demands for his vote on an even better repeal.

The Senate has no lack of lime-lighters. Nor is it low on Trump critics. Think Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and Arizona’s Jeff Flake. The difference is that the clear majority of the critics aren’t allowing ambition or disdain get in the way of votes for better policy.

But this raises the question of whether the White House understands that the Triumvirate is also the prize on tax reform. Mr. Trump took a shot at Mr. McConnell this week, but the president needs to shift his focus to those who hold the actual power. Those dinner invites to Chuck and Nancy would be better reserved for Ms. Collins. Its internal conversations need to focus on what forms of flattery or policy or misery might appeal to the political motivations of Messrs. McCain and Paul, and get them on side.

Because the Triumvirate made very clear during the health-care debate how it operates. Pretending it won’t do it again is to ignore reality.

I had one gent tell me that all the repeals (or bills changing Obama-care) were keeping up to 90% of the bill. But what was proffered would have killed the rest of the ACA. Here is a helpful visual of what the Republicans proposed:

I found this end to an article at THE FEDERALIST helpful… the part about “incrementalism.” Something the right doesn’t get:

….Donald Trump, who promised throughout his campaign to overturn Obamacare, could immediately put a deadline on the unconstitutional subsidy payments that the Obama administration concocted to keep the bill from imploding. Yes, liberals will continue to claim that conservatives are “sabotaging” the law, but there is no moral, policy, or political reason for the GOP to continue the illegal pay-off of insurance companies.  No matter how many welfare dollars Congress ends up pouring into fabricated markets or how much price-fixing they engage in, the “exchanges” are unsustainable. Why would conservatives want to take ownership of those failures?

As the Senate stands now, it’s improbable that Republicans will ever be able to cobble together a bill that will placate both the Susan Collins-John McCain wing and the Mike Lee-Rand Paul wing — in fact, I doubt Collins would vote for a single-payer bill if too many Republicans supported it. Even with more conservatives, I’m highly skeptical that repeal will ever pass. Yet it is not out of the question that help is on the way. Perhaps the GOP’s positioning on health-care reform will lead to midterm disaster. But we’ve heard this one before — sometimes right before a GOP wave election. Fact is, the 2018 Senate map is still not favorable to Dems.

Liberals like to argue that allowing Obamacare to fail would bring a single-payer closer to reality. Well, it is just as likely that prolonging Obamacare’s lifespan would help single-payer, as the next Democratic administration will surely continue to expand the reach of the law. (Unlike the GOP, Democrats don’t shy away from incrementalism.) If Republicans truly believe Obamacare has harmed America, there is no upside in fake bipartisanship. Not for the GOP. And not for the America people.

Why I Prefer Baseball – By Daniel Henninger

The WALL STREET JOURNAL hurts itself closing article this good and important to the current dialogue surrounding this topic. Here is Daniel’s article:

We’ve arrived at a moment when some choices have to be made. After a lifetime watching America’s three main professional sports—baseball, football and basketball—I’ve decided I prefer baseball.

Starting Tuesday, I’ll exclusively devote what’s left of my sports-viewing budget to the Major League Baseball playoffs. And not just in the hope that my hometown Cleveland Indians will overcome last year’s heartbreaking loss for the ages to the Chicago Cubs.

Set to one side that the reason most Americans can sing the words to their national anthem is that for generations, every American attending a professional baseball game has stood to look at the flag while someone sings “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Many Americans think the last words of the national anthem are “Play ball!”

Baseball is about baseball. The NFL and NBA seem to be about more things than I can process—some of them political, some of them personal.

Baseball has an informal code of on-field conduct, which has held for a hundred years. The NFL doesn’t seem to have an enforceable code of anything.

Last Sunday, after the New York Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught a touchdown pass, Mr. Beckham got down in the end zone and imitated a dog urinating on a fire hydrant, which the opposing Philadelphia Eagles (who won) took as mockery of their team.

From Babe Ruth 90 years ago to Aaron Judge now, when you hit a home run, you run around the bases and into the dugout. That’s it. No end-zone antics that suggest the sport itself takes a back seat to a personality.

After the Yankees’ Mr. Judge hit his 50th home run this week, a record for a rookie, his teammates had to force him out of the dugout to wave to the cheering crowd.

For some years, the parsons of the sports press have pushed the idea that demonstrations of high-level athletic skill, the result of uncountable hours of practice, were morally insufficient. Athletes, the parsons intoned, had to “give back” by dedicating their status to solving the nation’s endlessly unresolved issues of race, gender and—the inevitable guilt trip they laid on pro athletes—income inequality.

And so last September, Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback, reduced the parsonage’s moralistic hectoring of professional athletes to its absurd end by deciding that the pregame national anthem was the place to raise the issue of inner-city policing.

Only the innocent could feign shock that eventually Donald Trump, in his capacity as president of the United States, would go after the kneeling players about the same way you’d hear from a guy sitting in the high seats at a New York Jets game, who by the third quarter is on fumes: “Get that son of a bitch off the field!”

Stepping down to the Trumpian moment, LeBron James tweeted, “U bum!”

Sportswriters sometimes use the phrase “lunch bucket” about a player who is mainly interested in doing his job well without drawing attention to himself. Other than someone like Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, you don’t see too many stars in the NFL or NBA described as lunch-bucket guys anymore.

Most future stars of basketball and football are identified while they’re in high school. They often play in special leagues and receive constant visits from coaches at Division I universities.

Once inside the university, these players live and practice in gold-plated facilities. They play on national TV and are talked about nonstop by analysts and the political commentators at ESPN. They get famous young. (Though let it be said, 90% of the non-sports NFL and NBA news was made by maybe 10% of the players, until now.)

The road up in baseball is different. Promising teenagers go from high school into baseball’s minor leagues. They play for teams in places like Delmarva, Clinton and Greenville. They travel by bus and play before crowds not much bigger than what they had in Little League. They rise from A ball to AA (say, the Trenton Thunder) then AAA teams, which are in places most people have heard of, like Toledo, Fresno or El Paso.

Years spent competing and surviving against other skilled players teaches them they have to learn to be a member of a team before anyone calls them a star.

Some might say baseball isn’t political because so many players are from Latin America. But maybe the Latin players are mostly bemused at what the U.S. considers social problems, compared with escaping from Cuba across shark-infested waters or getting out of a dirt-road slum in Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic.

There is an expression in sports: Don’t leave it in the locker room. It means you are supposed to save your best performance for the game. With baseball, that’s still what you get.

We live in a highly polarized country. If people want their sport and its performers to be an affirmation of their politics, feel free. I don’t.

Over-Simplifying the “Business” of Trump’s Presidency

Here is the article Dennis Prager is reading from, and it is by Edwin Williamson via the WALL STREET JOURNAL (saved at Free Republic). Mind you, I wasn’t going to upload this audio, but after reading the article over at THE BLAZE,  I figured this myopic view that deconstructs things in a simplified manner may need a counterweight. At any rate, this whole “what Trump should do with his businesses” is more complicated than the media will allow for [both sides of the isle]. People like Ralph Nader are “already” calling for impeachment:

The media are full of warnings by self-appointed ethics watchdogs about President-electDonald Trump’s potential conflicts of interests. That Mr. Trump’s vast, complicated business empire presents a piñata of targets is undisputed. For his part, Mr. Trump has promised to hold a news conference on Dec. 15 to discuss his plans to leave his business operation “in total” so that he can “fully focus on running the country.”

Concerns stem from the fact that the Trump business empire extends to the far reaches of the globe, including to countries that may present tough policy decisions for President Trump. In both Turkey and the Philippines, the local Trump partner has close ties to a problematic government. Businesses in which Mr. Trump has an interest, such as Trump National Doral golf complex in Miami and an office building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York, have substantial borrowings from entities that will be regulated by the Trump administration or that are owned by potentially rival states, such as China.

The watchdogs fear that third parties, again including foreign state-owned entities, will lavish favorable deals on the Trump businesses, including staying at Trump hotels or entering into new partnerships, in the hope of currying favor with a Trump administration.

While no one outside the Trump family appears to know the details of the Trump businesses, a few key facts are known. They are complicated and based on two illiquid assets—real estate and the Trump name. Although the basic federal conflict-of-interest ban specifically exempts the president, some have proposed measures designed to avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest, generally based on the federal rules.

This newspaper editorialized on the subject, suggesting that Mr. Trump “liquidate his stake in the company” through a plan similar to one endorsed by Richard Painter and Norman Eisen, ethics lawyers for George W. Bush and President Obama, respectively. They have called on Mr. Trump to divest all of his holdings in the Trump Organization through an initial public offering or a leveraged buyout. Yet divestiture is unrealistic for many reasons. Besides their complexity and the time required to see them through, an IPO or buyout would generate other ethical issues.

An IPO would have to be cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission. By the time Mr. Trump becomes president, there will be three SEC vacancies, and in the time required to organize and implement an IPO, the other two commissioners’ terms would expire. Mr. Trump would thus be appointing all five members of the agency regulating his IPO. Similarly, a leveraged buyout would require lending by Trump-regulated banks.

But the biggest problem with divestiture is that the value of Trump businesses is significantly dependent on, and inextricably tied to, the Trump name. Even if a buyer could be found who would pay what the Trump family considers the name to be worth, the buyer would certainly insist on perpetual, exclusive use of the Trump name. This would require that all users of the name—including Mr. Trump’s first wife, his minor son Barron and present and future grandchildren—relinquish their rights to the name.

In recent tweets on the subject, Mr. Trump has said he would turn over the running of his businesses to his children, and that “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.” The watchdogs want him to go further by establishing a “firewall” between himself and those running the Trump businesses, i.e., his children.

Clearly, this is unrealistic and would constantly generate allegations of unauthorized communications, shifting the focus from real conflicts of interests to whether the firewall has been breached. This would likely lead to demands for the installation of an intrusive “corporate monitor,” typically a $1,000-1,500 an hour ($2 million a year) ex-federal prosecutor.

[….]

Appearances of conflicts will be impossible to avoid. Almost any decision Mr. Trump makes as president will have an effect—good or bad—on his business interests. There is nothing that he can do to prevent those who believe that staying in his hotels or otherwise doing business with the Trump Organization will improve their relationships with the U.S.

There has been much talk about the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which provides that “no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust . . . shall without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

The problem is that no court or the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has considered the clause in a context that is helpful in discerning how it will apply to the Trump businesses. So, we do not know what the clause means in the Trump context—other than that paying a market price to stay at a Trump hotel is not a violation….

Kimberley Strassel Discusses Trump’s “Federalist Revival”

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL discusses the fight for Federalism and how Scott Pruitt will help in this endeavor:

Donald Trump had barely finished announcing his pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency before the left started listing its million reasons why Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was the worst nomination in the history of the planet: He’s an untrained anti-environmentalist. He’s a polluter. He’s a fossil-fuel fanatic, a lobbyist-lover, a climate crazy.

Mr. Pruitt is not any of those things. Here’s what he in fact is, and the real reason the left is frustrated: He’s a constitutional scholar, a federalist (and a lawyer). And for those reasons he is a sublime choice to knock down the biggest conceit of the Obama era—arrogant, overweening (and illegal) Washington rule.

We’ve lived so many years under the Obama reign that many Americans forget we are a federal republic, composed of 50 states. There isn’t a major statute on the books that doesn’t recognize this reality and acknowledge that the states are partners with—and often superior to—the federal government. That is absolutely the case with major environmental statues, from the Clean Air Act to the Clean Water Act to the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Congress specifically understood in crafting each of these laws that one-size-fits all solutions were detrimental to the environment. Federal bodies like the Environmental Protection Agency traditionally and properly existed to set minimum standards, provide technical support, and engage in occasional enforcement. States, with their unique knowledge of local problems, economies and concerns, were free to innovate their own solutions.

But President Obama never held much with laws, because he failed at making them. After his first two years in office, he never could convince the Congress to pass another signature initiative. His response—and the enduring theme of his presidency—was therefore to ignore Congress and statutes, go around the partnership framework, and give his agencies authority to dictate policy from Washington. The states were demoted from partners to indentured servants. So too were any rival federal agencies that got in the EPA’s way. Example: The EPA’s pre-emptive veto of Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine, in which it usurped Army Corps of Engineers authority.

One revealing illustration from EPA world. Under the Clean Air Act, states are allowed to craft their own implementation plans. If the EPA disapproves of a state plan, it is empowered to impose a federal one—one of the most aggressive actions the agency can take against a state, since it is the equivalent of a seizure of authority. In the entirety of the presidencies of George H.W. Bush,Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the EPA imposed five federal implementation plans on states. By last count, the Obama administration has imposed at least 56.

Much of Mr. Pruitt’s tenure as Oklahoma’s AG was about trying to stuff federal agencies back into their legal boxes. Most of the press either never understood this, or never wanted to. When the media wrote about state lawsuits against ObamaCare or the Clean Power Plan or the Water of the United States rule, the suggestion usually was that this litigation was ideologically motivated, and a naked attempt to do what a Republican Congress could not—tank the president’s agenda.

The basis of nearly every one of these lawsuits was in fact violations of states’ constitutional and statutory rights—and it is why so many of the cases were successful. It was all a valiant attempt to force the federal government to follow the law. And it has been a singular Pruitt pursuit.

[….]

It doesn’t need a climate warrior, as Congress has never passed a climate law, and so the EPA has no mandate to meddle there. What it needs is a lawyer, one with the knowledge of how to cut the agency back to its proper role—restoring not just an appropriate legal partnership with the states, but also with other federal bodies. One who reminds agency staff that the EPA was not created to oppose growth and development.

If Mr. Pruitt does this successfully, and on the way crushes the current president’s legacy, Mr. Obama will have only himself to blame. His abuse of federal power helped elect a new generation of state attorneys general and Washington Republicans passionately devoted to a states’ rights agenda. They’ll be advising Mr. Trump not just on environmental policy, but on health care, labor policy, entitlement reform. Say hello to the federalist revival.

 

 

 

 

Kimberley Strassell Interviewed by Dennis Prager

Info on the above audio:

In a wonderful interview with Kiberley Strassel, Dennis Prager asks away on some VERY important issues that we conservatives should be knowledgeable on. Namely how the Professional Left is using government to suppress political opposition to their view of life. The subject was so interesting I bought her book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech

There is a lot to listen to here, all of it is worthwhile… so settle in.

  • Her columns at The Wall Street Journal can be found here
  • You can also see her on Fox talking about her book, here
  • Follow her on Twitter.

“Broken Windows” Policy In Foreign Policy

Is there a middle ground between the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush Administration and the passive and hesitant foreign policy of the Obama Administration? Yes, and New York City is a model. How so? Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explains how the NYPD’s “broken windows” policy–swiftly and forcefully punishing even petty crimes–can be applied by the United States on a global scale.

White-House Spies on Republicans and Israel (via the NSA)

Here is a part of the Wall Street Journal article Dan Bongino was referencing:

President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.

But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

…read more…

Some Recent Ben Carson “Media Attacks” Scrutinized (UPDATED)

(The Above Cartoonist’s FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/60781325403/)

A Tweet about the Wall Street Journal’s story targeting Ben Carson as a liar, via Twitchy:

Ben Carson’s FaceBook incluides the Yale paper’s incident from that time:

On Saturday a reporter with the Wall Street Journal published a story that my account of being the victim of a hoax at Yale where students were led to believe the exams they had just taken were destroyed and we needed to retake the exam was false. The reporter claimed that no evidence existed to back up my story. Even went so far as to say the class didn’t exist.

Well here is the student newspaper account of the incident that occurred on January 14, 1970.

Will an apology be coming. I doubt it.

Take note how Hugh Hewitt [via Breitbart] responds to Rachel Maddow’s contention of the ROTC offering/not-offering Carson a “Westpoint ‘Free-Ride'” (Fuller video here):

I am not a fan of Carson being in the top office in our country, but these recent attacks are weak!

…Hewitt said the conservative media should “not engage in knifing our candidates” and should instead call on the mainstream press to cover Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton more aggressively.

“You folks in the Manhattan, D.C. beltway media elite do not care to dive deep into the narratives of Democrats,” Hewitt said to Scarborough, who is a former Republican congressman.

[….]

Several parts of Carson’s autobiography, harrowing in detail, have recently fallen under scrutiny after news outlets have been unable to independently corroborate them with people from Carson’s past.

Last week, after Politico said Carson’s campaign admitted that something in his book wasn’t correct, Carson and his conservative allies fought back by saying the story was incorrect, prompting Politico to reshape the story.

(Washington Examiner)

Political Correctness Devastates UCLA ~ Who Killed the Liberal Arts?

What in the world happened to the liberal arts? A degree in the humanities used to transmit the knowledge and wisdom imbued in the works of great Western artists, writers, musicians and thinkers like Shakespeare and Mozart. But today, that same degree stresses Western racism, sexism, imperialism, and other ills and sins that reinforce a sense of victimhood and narcissism. So, what happened? Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute explains.

UCLA now is about as worthwhile as a local community college. You no longer go to these institutions to learn about great ideas, but now must listen to the static of EVERYTHING being made equally great by the magic wand of the left. Dennis Prager read from — and commented on — Heather Mac Donald’s Wall Street Journal article about UCLA nixing classical studies as mandatory for English lit majors. Here is some of that article as read above:

The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity
When Shakespeare lost out to ‘rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class’ at UCLA, something vital was harmed.

Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton—the cornerstones of English literature. Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the “Empire,” UCLA junked these individual author requirements. It replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.

In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton or Shakespeare, but the department was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.”

Such defenestrations have happened elsewhere, and long before 2011. But the UCLA coup was particularly significant because the school’s English department was one of the last champions of the historically informed study of great literature, uncorrupted by an ideological overlay. Precisely for that reason, it was the most popular English major in the country, enrolling a whopping 1,400 undergraduates.

The UCLA coup represents the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics. Sitting atop an entire civilization of aesthetic wonders, the contemporary academic wants only to study oppression, preferably his or her own, defined reductively according to gonads and melanin.

Course catalogs today babble monotonously of group identity. UCLA’s undergraduates can take courses in Women of Color in the U.S.; Women and Gender in the Caribbean; Chicana Feminism; Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures; and Feminist and Queer Theory.

[….]

Compare the humanists’ hunger for learning with the resentment of a Columbia University undergraduate, who had been required by the school’s core curriculum to study Mozart. She happens to be black, but her views are widely shared, to borrow a phrase, “across gender, sexuality, race and class.”

“Why did I have to listen in music humanities to this Mozart?” she groused in a discussion of the curriculum reported by David Denby in “Great Books,” his 1997 account of re-enrolling in Columbia’s core curriculum. “My problem with the core is that it upholds the premises of white supremacy and racism. It’s a racist core. Who is this Mozart, this Haydn, these superior white men? There are no women, no people of color.” These are not the idiosyncratic thoughts of one disgruntled student; they represent the dominant ideology in the humanities today.

W.E.B. Du Bois would have been stunned to learn how narrow is the contemporary multiculturalist’s self-definition and sphere of interest. Du Bois, living during America’s darkest period of hate, nevertheless heartbreakingly affirmed in 1903 his intellectual and spiritual affinity with all of Western civilization: “I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas. . . . I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension.”

It is no wonder, then, that we have been hearing of late that the humanities are in crisis. A recent Harvard report from a committee co-chaired by the school’s premier postcolonial studies theorist, Homi Bhabha, lamented that 57% of incoming Harvard students who initially declare interest in a humanities major eventually change concentrations. Why may that be? Imagine an intending lit major who is assigned something by Professor Bhabha: “If the problematic ‘closure’ of textuality questions the totalization of national culture. . . .” How soon before that student concludes that a psychology major is more up his alley?

No, the only true justification for the humanities is that they provide the thing that Faust sold his soul for: knowledge. It is knowledge of a particular kind, concerning what men have done and created over the ages.

…read more…