Posts tagged ‘Obama Administration’
URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/rush-limbaugh-trump-wiretap/?
Advertisement – story continues below
On Monday evening, the political world was blown wide open when a bombshell report emerged revealing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had been wiretapped — and, even worse, that his conversations with President Donald Trump may have been recorded as a result.
Of course the liberal media has been quite slow to admit that the revelation proves Trump’s infamous allegations in March that he had been wire tapped at New York City’s Trump Tower weren’t quite as insane and unfounded as they claimed.
Speaking on his show Tuesday, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh explained that he believed this revelation is actually “worse than Watergate,” according to a transcript from RushLimbaugh.com
“This is much worse than Watergate, folks. That was a third-rate burglary that went awry,” Limbaugh said. “Trump was called a liar. He was mocked for tweeting about Trump Tower being wiretapped.”
Limbaugh went on to explain that it appears that former President Barack Obama and former FBI Director James Comey spied on a rival political campaign — possibly in an attempt to sway the election.
“Now we know, ladies and gentlemen, that Obama and James Comey’s FBI wiretapped the head of a political campaign,” Limbaugh said. “This is bigger than Watergate. The phone lines and other aspects of life that were wiretapped and surveilled were that of Paul Manafort, the first campaign manager for Donald Trump.”
We should point out that right now there is no proof that Obama ordered the wiretaps, or that this was done to sway an election. The wiretaps on Manafort preceded his work with the Trump campaign, and actually weren’t in place for much of his time as manager. But that doesn’t change the accuracy of Limbaugh’s essential point.
“What the government’s doing is bigger than Watergate. Nixon never did any of this. He may have dreamed about it, and he may have gotten drunk and talked to people, but he never did this. Nixon never actually used the IRS to penalize enemies, but Obama did. Ever heard of Lois Lerner?” Limbaugh asked.
This wiretapping revelation raises serious questions that need to be answered. Multiple high-level Obama officials, like former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, insisted before Congress that there was no wiretapping (or claimed they weren’t aware of any).
Clearly, that wasn’t the truth.
This is one of the biggest political bombshells to drop in a long time. If Obama was spying on Manafort for political reasons, the ramifications could be extreme. The American people need answers, and they need them now.
H/T PJ Media
URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-gets-key-win-from-8th-circuit/
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a state has the right to defund Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 ruling specifically provided that while plaintiff Medicaid recipients who brought the suit are entitled to care, they cannot dictate that care includes Planned Parenthood facilities.
“The plaintiffs are asserting a right — the absolute right to a particular provider of their choosing — that (the law) does not grant them,” Judge Steven Colloton wrote in the majority opinion.
Several states, including Arkansas, the defendant in the suit, voted to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of undercover videos that allegedly showed executives from the top abortion provider in the country discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
In April, Congress voted and President Donald Trump signed into law legislation guaranteeing states the right to defund Planned Parenthood, overriding an Obama administration Department of Health and Human Services regulation that had gone into effect two days before Trump took office. The regulation mandated that “states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services,” The New York Times reported.
In a statement, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson described the 8th Circuit Court’s ruling as “a substantial legal victory for the right of the state to determine whether Medicaid providers are acting in accordance with best practices, and affirms the prerogative of the state to make reasoned judgments on the Medicaid program.”
The 8th Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.
Planned Parenthood noted that it had won federal suits against other states that sought to defund the organization.
“To date, seven other states (Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) have sought to bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, and all have been blocked by federal courts,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
Louisiana has asked the 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, meaning all of the justices (rather than just three) would preside. The differing rulings between the eighth and other circuit courts make it more likely the Supreme Court will take up the matter.
“This is not over,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America chief medical officer Raegan McDonald-Mosley. “We will do everything in our power to protect our patients’ access to birth control, cancer screenings and other lifesaving care. Extreme politicians are trying to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood — and this is not what Americans want.”
Jerry Cox, the executive director of the Family Council, an Arkansas-based conservative group, told public radio station KUAR, “The videos aside, the question is should the state of Arkansas do business with an organization that aborts babies, when they don’t need to.”
URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-administration-announces-progress-war-regulations/
The long arm of government regulation has grown considerably shorter in the first months of the Trump administration. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said regulatory reform is intended to address “that slow cancer that can come from regulatory burdens that we put on our people.”
Federal agencies have withdrawn 469 regulations that had been proposed by the Obama administration last fall, according to information from the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. That total included 19 regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more, the White House said.
The White House said 391 regulations have been delayed for further evaluation and consideration.
According to the White House, during the final five months of fiscal 2016, the Obama administration put in place rules that imposed $6.8 billion in annual costs on the economy. The White House said rules imposed in the Trump administration’s first five months have imposed no costs.
“It’s really the beginning of a kind of fundamental regulatory reform,” Neomi Rao, head of the office, said Wednesday.
Some Trump administration rules are devoted to killing other rules. For example, the Interior Department plans to reduce the paperwork burden for outdoorsmen, fish restoration programs and Native American tribes, while the Labor Department wants to change the approval process for new apprenticeship programs.
“There is a substantial withdrawal and rollback of proposed regulatory actions,” Rao said. “It is also important to note that what we are doing now is in some ways fulfilling a number of longstanding principles that other presidents have always talked about.”
Trump’s approach to regulations has been cheered by business.
“We just got through eight years of a regulatory onslaught, aimed at curtailing oil and gas production. So we are very supportive of the administration’s efforts to roll back regulation,” said Kathleen Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas drillers in Western states.
Rao noted that while reducing regulations is a major goal of the Trump administration, it cannot be done instantly.
“Deregulation is going to take time,” she said. “It is not something you can just do at the snap of a finger.”
“Agencies want to move quickly to get things done, to fulfill their priorities,” she said, adding that her office would be working with agencies to be sure they follow the law and are “doing things the right way.”
Reported by Bryan Fischer Host of “Focal Point”| Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 12:03 PM
URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/culture/2017/06/epa-sends-man-to-prison-for-protecting-town-from-flooding/
President Trump’s administration is moving forward to implement an executive order that revokes the Obama policy on waters of the United States. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule regulation established by President Obama.
The Obama-era policy gives the federal government authority over a staggering 60% of the water bodies in the United States, including small streams, private ponds, intermittent streams, and even “wetlands” on private property created by seasonal rain.
The president intends to return to a policy consistent with the original Clean Water Act of 1972 and grant authority only to federal authorities over actual navigable waters that affect interstate commerce. Montana Senator Steve Daines put it this way: “Out-of-state D.C. bureaucrats shouldn’t impose regulations that hurt Montana farmers, ranchers and landowners.”
The story below is just one among many that illustrates the importance of getting the boot of the federal government off the necks of ordinary Americans.
Note: I wrote this column in 2008 when I served as the director of the Idaho Values Alliance. I worked with Sen. Mike Crapo’s office to get a pardon request into President Bush’s hands before he left office in January, 2009, but unfortunately the pardon request was not acted upon.
My latest information is that Lynn Moses served his full stretch and was eventually released to a halfway house before returning to his hometown. His eyesight was affected during his incarceration because of the lack of medical attention he received while in federal custody.
Here is the column as it originally read. You might want to duct tape your head before you read this.
August 5, 2008
Lynn Moses is scheduled to be locked up in federal prison on August 6. His crime? Protecting the city of Driggs from flooding.
When Mr. Moses began to develop a subdivision along Teton Creek in 1980, Teton County required him to implement an engineer’s plan to modify the Teton Creek stream bed to prevent the flooding of subdivision property, caused by the buildup of gravel bars and downed trees, during high water flows in the spring.
In fact, the county would not allow him even to record the plat for the subdivision until the modification work had been done, and only allowed the development after requiring the homeowner’s association to maintain the flood control channel year after year.
Teton Creek used to be a flowing stream, but irrigation diversion over 100 years ago dewatered the Creek and left the stream bed dry for all but two months a year at the most. Water only fills the stream bed when irrigators have more water than they can use. (Note: this means there is no “aquatic environment” here, nor any “wetland.”)
Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were invited to a planning meeting with the county and Mr. Moses in 1980, but they soon left the meeting after informing county officials that they had “classified the stream as intermittent and therefore outside their jurisdiction.”
So working on plans developed by an engineer and approved — in fact, required — by the county, Mr. Moses got to work and cleared the channel of gravel bars and downed cottonwood trees to ensure that the channel would serve as a flood control structure.
For years he has walked the entire length of the creek to evaluate conditions and then remove gravel bars, sand, logs and debris as necessary to keep the channel clear and satisfy the subdivision’s obligation to the county.
When Driggs flooded in the spring of 1981 — due to a clogged culvert under a county road — the county approached the Corps a second time, asking for funding and help to replace the culvert with a bridge to prevent future flooding. Once again, the Corps said, Nope, not our problem, not our fault, not our responsibility to fix, we don’t have jurisdiction.
Why? Because, they repeated again, Teton Creek is an intermittent stream and we have no jurisdiction unless there is water in the stream bed at least three months out of the year. Thus twice the federal government pointedly and definitively washed its hands of the whole thing.
Since 1982, all Mr. Moses has done is to provide the necessary maintenance to ensure that the stream bed does not get clogged with gravel, sediment, fallen trees, and other debris so that the stream bed can continue to siphon flood water away from homes and the city of Driggs.
He did his work when the stream bed was dry, of course, and never put anything into the stream bed, only took “pollutants” (sedimentation, sand, gravel, etc.) out.
Tellingly, in 1984, when the Forest Service needed to build a road, they came to this same stretch of Teton Creek and — without any kind of permit — contracted with Mr. Moses to excavate between 5,000 and 6,000 cubic yards of gravel from the bed, all of which was inspected by government officials.
Every four or five years, when new staff would replace the old, and a generation would arise “who knew not Joseph,” Mr. Moses would receive a letter from the Corps of Engineers, insisting that he needed to get a permit from them for his maintenance work. He’d write them back, informing him that, according to the Corps itself, they had no jurisdiction over intermittent streams. That would be that.
He’d hear nothing for another four to five years, after which another staff rotation led to another letter from the Corps and to a similar reply from Mr. Moses. And so it went for over 20 years.
An aggressive Corps staffer tried to convince the U.S. Attorney to prosecute Mr. Moses in 1995, and the U.S. Attorney told him to take a hike since the Corps had no jurisdictional authority to initiate legal action.
According to former state legislator Lee Gagner, the Corps “discussed his process many times with him, but could not show where they had jurisdiction on the seasonal, intermittent stream.” Gagner adds, “[T]o this day they do not have written rules indicating this to be true.”
As far as Gagner knows, the Corps never completed what is called a “Jurisdictional Determination” that their own rules even gave them any authority over this particular intermittent stream. (Jurisdiction is determined on a case-by-case basis with intermittent streams.)
At this point, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emboldened by newly granted bureaucratic authority, jumped in and went right after Mr. Moses, indicting and prosecuting him for violating the Clean Water Act in the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 for doing nothing more than the routine maintenance on the channel he had been doing for 20 years, under requirements imposed by local government.
Presiding federal judge Lynn Winmill, who has a well-deserved reputation for judicial activism, refused to allow Teton County commissioners to testify to the original agreement, nor would he allow the aggressive Corps staffer to testify about the refusal of the U.S. Attorney to prosecute in the mid-90s.
Before the jury was dismissed to enter into deliberations at the conclusion of his trial, Judge Lynn Winmill instructed the jury, believe it or not, to disregard every bit of information from 1980 to 2002, including the Corps’ denial of jurisdiction and the mandate from local government for Mr. Moses to maintain the flood channel.
Instructed by this notoriously activist judge to ignore facts, reason and legal history, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, finding Mr. Moses guilty of “discharging” “pollutants” into one of the “waters of the United States.”
His conviction ignores the fact that no evidence was ever presented in court that Mr. Moses “discharged” anything into the stream bed at all. He only removed sand and gravel bars that were already there and which he was contractually obligated to remove. He was extracting material from the channel, not discharging material into it.
No evidence was presented in court by the EPA that there was any water at all in the stream bed during those years for Mr. Moses to “discharge” anything into. The EPA claims that “fallback” — material from the bank falling back into the stream bed — represents a “discharge,” but it offers no objective criteria for deciding how much “fallback” it takes to cross the magic threshold, meaning the EPA used sheer speculation to assert a violation.
Worse, Mr. Moses was convicted of “pollut(ing) a spawning area for Yellowstone cutthroat trout,” despite the fact that there have been no fish in this stream bed for more than 150 years. Mr. Gagner, who has lived near the flood channel for 18 years, says he has never seen fish in this stream bed. And it’s not even possible for the stream bed to serve as a spawning ground since it only has water two months out of every year in the first place.
Although the director of the EPA in Idaho, Jim Wernitz, asserts that Mr. Moses had damaged “wetlands” associated with the stream, there are no wetlands there! The very word requires that land be, well, wet, but the stream bed is bone dry for at least 10 months out of every year. Wernitz is apparently ignorant of the fact that the Government had previously stipulated that there are no wetlands surrounding the storm channel, nor any “aquatic environment” that could be damaged.
In the plurality opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2006 Rapanos case, Justice Scalia wrote that the Clean Water Act in fact gives the federal government jurisdiction only over “relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water,” and explicitly added, “[T]he ‘waters of the United States’ does not include channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall.”
Embarrassingly for Judge Winmill, this ruling was handed down on the very day Mr. Moses was originally sentenced to prison. Eight months later, the Corps of Engineers revised its own rules in a way that makes it abundantly clear that the federal government has no jurisdiction over an intermittent stream like Teton Creek.
No matter. With other notoriously activist federal judges in the 9th Circuit refusing to overturn lower court convictions on appeal, Mr. Moses has been forced to spend almost $400,000 of his own money in a losing effort to defend himself for protecting the city of Driggs from catastrophic flooding.
Mr. Moses’ wife died unexpectedly of a heart attack a year and a half ago. Friends tell me the stress of their 25-year battle with the federal government and the stress of the guilty verdict contributed to her early death. Mr. Moses, when I spoke with him this morning, agrees that this is a likely possibility.
The death of his wife has left Mr. Moses to raise his 17-year-old daughter by himself, a daughter who will have to fend for herself once her sole surviving parent is tossed behind bars — in another state no less — for the next 18 months.
His daughter, just now entering her senior year in high school, will be deprived of his comfort and counsel right when she needs it the most. Mr. Moses will miss his daughter’s companionship, and miss the joy of her 18th birthday party, her senior prom and her graduation ceremony.
Virtually everything is wrong with this story. It’s an egregious violation of the constitutional limitations on federal power, as federal bureaucrats simply dismissed the fact that Mr. Moses was required by local authorities to do exactly what he was doing.
Bureaucratic government agencies, aided and abetted by activist judges, acted as petty tyrants and incarcerated a man not for doing evil but for doing good. A fine man has been chewed up by the grinding maw of a mindless and inhumane federal government, and will spend the next year and a half of his life behind bars, not for endangering the families in his community, but for protecting them.
His attorney calls the whole thing “a travesty,” which is just about the mildest thing that can be said about this unconscionable miscarriage of justice.
As Elaine Jones said in a letter published by the Idaho Press-Tribune, “A good, honorable widower is leaving his daughter to others to raise, and is going to prison for following the rules, obeying the law and helping his friends stay safe from flooding.”
As George Washington is reputed to have said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Lynn Moses will tell you that the government’s fire cannot just singe you but burn you to a crisp.
Sweet Baby Change
URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/04/13/sweet-baby-change/
Out with Obama’s James Taylor diplomacy and in with Donald Trump America first approach.
Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2017.