Our #1 story discusses the controversy over Obama’s “recess” appointments. #2 brings up a point that you may not have thought of. #3 is a ten photo essay capturing the sense of the Occupy Movement. #4 has a video of Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to a reporter asking her if O was throwing her and the rest of congress under the bus. #5 is an update on the Wisconsin recall of Scott Walker. #6 talks about a new religion in the UK while #7 points out why we can be optimistic about the future.
1. Obama’s “Recess Appointments” a Sign of Weakness
President Obama’s executive power-grab this week — making four “recess” appointments when the Senate isn’t in recess — is a mark not of his strength, but of his relative weakness. He is asserting an authority he does not possess through the Constitution because he has precious little authority left to assert.
He had it and he lost it, and he can’t figure out how to get it back — so he’s just going to take it.
“When Congress refuses to act, and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” Obama said Wednesday as he trumpeted his installation of Richard Cordray as head of his new consumer-activism bureau.
This is rhetoric designed to thrill liberals and Democrats, who (like all partisans and ideologues) love what they take to be the “good fight,” and don’t particularly care how it’s waged. That’s true even if they spent eight years screaming about supposed unconstitutional actions on the part of the Bush administration, every one of which had a far firmer foundation in constitutional law than Obama’s unprecedented action this week….
Unconstitutional and illegal (Cordray’s job calls for a Senate Confirmation in the law itself).
2. Are Obama’s Recess Appointees Tax Evaders?
Sharon Block and Richard Griffin - President Obama's Democratic likely illegal recess appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - may not have paid their federal taxes in recent years. Either one or both of them may be subjects of criminal investigations. There is even the possibility that one or both of them have substantial conflicts of interest that will prevent them from serving honestly.
Odds are neither Block nor Griffin is guilty of any of these things, but the U.S. Senate has no way of knowing for sure because both of them failed to fill out the required paperwork for their confirmation hearings before Congress, according to Lachlan Markay, a reporter for the Heritage Foundation's Scribe.
One of the key sources of information for that paperwork is the full FBI background check that is conducted on all presidential nominees in preparation for the Senate confirmation process.
"Neither Griffin nor Block had even submitted the required paperwork to the committee,"
Markay said, quoting Senate Health Education, Labor and Pension Committee sources.
"That paperwork includes a background check, 'which addresses whether taxes are paid and if the nominee is facing any pending civil or criminal investigations,' according to the committee. 'This also ensures that there are no conflicts-of-interest before being confirmed for the position….'”
It is apparent that Obama doesn’t think he is subject to the rule of law.
3. John Hawkins Captures the Occupy Wall Street Movement in 10 Pictures
Which photo do you think best captures the spirit of the movement (for me #10 is hard to top).
4. Pelosi asked if Obama is throwing Congress Under the Bus
To mark the one year anniversary of the GOP takeover of the U.S. House, Democratic leaders held a press briefing on jobs and the economy.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answered a reporter's question about the Obama 2012 Re-Election campaign’s efforts to criticize congress, something that would essential throw congress ‘under the bus’ and put Obama at odds with.
Let me see if I have the right. Obama who has been president for 3 years plans to run against the Washington establishment when in fact he personifies the Washington establishment. How stupid do the Democrats think the voters are?
5. Update on Walker Recall Effort
A judge ruled Thursday that the state Government Accountability Board needs to take more aggressive action to vet recall signatures that are expected to be submitted in two weeks against Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican office holders.
The ruling by Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis came in a case filed Dec. 15 by Walker's campaign committee and Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state Republican Party, asking Davis to order the accountability board to seek out and eliminate duplicate and fictitious signatures and illegible addresses in recall petitions.
Davis, who refused to enter injunctions in the case, based his decision on his interpretation of state law, more than on equal protection arguments brought up by the Republicans. He also said that the board must take "reasonable" efforts to eliminate such signatures.
Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the board, said after the hearing that his organization would have to discuss the decision to see what it needed to change in procedures already in place.
In court, Kennedy testified that entering signatures into a database to look for duplicates could take eight extra weeks for his staff, and could cost $94,000 for software and outside help.
Steven M. Biskupic, attorney for the Republicans, argued that not catching invalid signatures violated the constitutional rights to equal protection of people who chose not to sign recall petitions.
He also cited a media report that one man claimed he'd signed recall petitions 80 times, and submitted a petition from last summer's attempt to recall Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), in which the accountability board allowed a "Bugs Bunny" signature to be counted. Kennedy said the signature was counted because Holperin didn't follow the proper procedures for challenging it.
In issuing his ruling, Davis said, "Counting the signature of Bugs Bunny is something only lawyers could try to make seem OK."
It’s about time something like this happened. I especially like the judge’s comment about the Bugs Bunny signature. The financial argument doesn’t hold weight since the cost of a recall election would be far more than the $94,000 it would cost to check to see if there should be such an election.
6. A New Religion
Can the gospel of file sharing really be recognized as a religion? In Sweden it can.
In the midst of a worldwide debate about Internet piracy, Swedish authorities have granted official religious status to the Church of Kopimism, which claims it considers CTRL+C and CTRL+V (shortcuts for copy and paste) to be sacred symbols, and that information is holy and copying is a sacrament.
The Church was founded by philosophy student Isak Gerson, who is also the self-appointed spiritual leader of the movement.
In a statement on the church's website, he says its religious roots stem back to 2010 and that it formalized a community of file sharers that already has been "well spread" for a long time.
"The community of kopimi requires no formal membership," he writes. "You just have to feel a calling to worship what is the holiest of the holiest, information and copy."
(For those who are unaware, kopimi is pronounced "copy me.")
According to the Church of Kopimism website, church services consist of "kopyactings," whereby the "kopimists" share information with each other through copying and remixing.
Bertil Kallner of Sweden's Financial and Administrative Services told the Swedish newspaper Gagens Nyheter that a religious community could "basically be anything."…
Looking at this, it appears you could be members of this church and the act of reading this blog is a religious activity.
7. As AGW Dies: Bullish on the Future
Let me give you some reasons why I'm so bullish.
1. THE SHALE GAS MIRACLE. I know I keep banging on about it but it cannot be stressed enough. It's called the Shale Gas miracle because it's so ruddy miraculous. What the world economy needs more than anything right now is cheap, abundant, accessible energy. Shale gas is it. I'd go so far as to say that it's our single best hope of averting a new Great Depression. One of the key tenets of the green religion is that in order to preserve "scarce resources" for "future generations" we must reduce our consumption of fossil fuels (by, inter alia, artificially raising their prices) and forcing ourselves to use more expensive, inefficient renewables. The arrival of shale gas makes this argument much less persuasive. Hardcore greens may not see it, for their commitment to renewables is theological rather than practical. But everyone else will, and that's what counts.
2. THE COLLAPSE OF RENEWABLES. Renewable energy – "pretend energy", "faux energy" or "alternative-to-energy", as it ought more properly to be known – is an economic, environmental and socio-political disaster. It ruins economies, destroys jobs, kills wildlife, uglifies the countryside. Some of us have been saying this for a very long time but for the message to get through to Joe Average you need something a bit more spectacular than a few snarky blog posts. Thankfully God – who hates renewables at least as much as he loathes Mother Gaia, but probably not quite as much as he despises Al Gore, is bored rigid by the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt or is perpetually gobsmacked by George Monbiot – has come to our rescue. First He created the Solyndra disaster; then the BrightSource disaster; now, in His wisdom, it has been His pleasure to smite FirstSolar. Perhaps one shouldn't gloat. No doubt it is a bad, sad thing when companies go under taking billions of taxpayer dollars with them. But that, in a way, is the point. The money our governments have poured into the renewable Ponzi scheme has been squandered – and seen to be squandered – on such an epic scale that even the most purblind, state-addicted, left-leaning voter can have failed to notice that something isn't quite right here; that maybe next time it might be an idea to let the market pick energy winners rather than leave it to government, which patently hasn't a clue.
3. WE'RE ON THE LYING LIARS' CASE. As we saw in Climategate and Climategate 2.0 the Warmist establishment – and that's everyone from the climate "scientists" at the CRU to the IPCC to the Royal Society to the EPA to the entire Obama administration – is so slippery and devious it makes Wormtongue look purer than Sir Galahad. But these days they're so discredited that their bluster, appeals to authority and outright lies just don't seem to work any more. Take this brilliant analysis by Tim Worstall of some unutterable hogwash produced by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). They're lying. He shows they're lying. Thank you Tim!
One day I was visiting my granddaughter. We came back to the house and she pointed out the “pretend owl” they had in their garden. Even a three year olds know what pretend is. Why don’t liberals?