From Hot Air, an update from Andrew Breitbart on the developing Pigford story, which is a sordid tale of fraud and scandal. This story has been investigated chiefly by Lee Stranahan, a liberal Huffington Post contributor who hasn’t been afraid to find the truth, or timid about posting his findings at BigJournalism and BigGovernment. Here’s Andrew with the latest.
We all know what a green screen is. It’s that solid-color screen actors stand in front of while being filmed, in order that a scene may be digitally added behind them later. James Cameron uses them quite a bit in his films. But there’s another “green screen” that’s just as ubiquitous in Hollywood.
For example, we’ve discussed here before James Cameron’s environmental hypocrisy; a “green screen” covering his lavish lifestyle. It’s something altogether common in the “movement.”
For today’s episode, we’re talking about so-called environmental “superhero” Robert Redford. Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer recently released a new short film about Redford’s particular green hypocrisy. Watch this, then click below the fold for more details:
Thoughts: Well, I’ve read the whole thing. This really does hinge on what powers the Supreme Court is willing to grant Congress over the individual. I’m hoping the Supreme Court trims Congress’ wings who in turn should trim the Executive Branches’ wings regarding all their legislation by regulation.
Yesterday’s post on the American Left’s role in leading regime change in the Middle East began as some research into the union role in toppling the government of Tunisia and to confirm a suspicion that there may be a link to the uprisings in Egypt. After all, aren’t we supposed to believe that all “peoples’ uprisings” are spontaneous and, you know, organic?
A Reagan appointed federal district judge in Florida has ruled key portions of Obamacare, namely the individual mandate, unconstitutional. Because Congress expressly did not put a severability clause in the legislation, the judge has ruled the whole law unconstitutional.
The left is, naturally, shocked and appalled that the judge did not let the rest of Obamacare stand as a judge in Virginia did. They are calling today’s judge “an extreme activist.”
Let’s clear this up: activism is when a judge changes a law in a way he wants, even if Congress did not intend it or when a judge imposes his own policy prescriptions into a law or the constitution.
What we are seeing here today is something extremely rare — a humble judge. Instead of trying to salvage a law with no severability clause, he followed long held precedent.
Congress typically puts severability clauses in legislation so that if one part of the law is unconstitutional the other parts stand. Congress chose not to in this case. Instead of the judge deciding whether or not Obamacare could or should stand on its own, the judge has decided he is not a legislature. Consequently, he’s thrown the whole thing out instead of letting his own policy prescriptions stand in the law to hold it up.
If that is activism, give me more of it.
Ultimately we should not get too excited. In reality, there is only one person’s opinion on this matter that counts — the opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
I’m going to be honest. I never liked the Republican Pledge to America. It wasn’t much of a governing document and completely lacked the sort of boldness needed to give a new Republican Congress a real mandate to fix the massive problems facing the nation. But the argument at the time was one of deliverables. House Republicans wanted to promise less and deliver more. Or so they said.
One of their key pledges was to shed a mere $100 billion “in the first year alone” to return non-security discretionary spending to the FY 2008 levels. Unfortunately (or conveniently), they did not specify whether they were talking about fiscal year 2011 or 2012 as the first year. This distinction is relevant because the Democrats failed to complete the spending bills for the current fiscal year (2011), and passed a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government operating until March, leaving decisions to still be made for fiscal year 2011. House Leaders are saying that because the fiscal year is already four months in that the $100 billion should be construed as “an annualized” or “prorated” figure and only half should be done now. (The distinction about the number of months into the fiscal year is also not particularly meaningful—just because the money has been appropriated to the agencies doesn’t mean that it can’t be rescinded.)
Thankfully 89 members of the conservative Republican Study Committee are arguing that the “first year” means exactly that—the first year—and that “the first step in restoring the trust of the American people…is, simply, to do what we said we would do during the campaign.” The RSC wants the full $100 billion in cuts to be included on the final continuing resolution that completes the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process. House Leaders are balking, forcing the 89 Congressmen to write their leadership in protest.
Is there some room for interpretation as to what was intended by the “first year”? Sure. But more importantly, why are House Leaders nickel and diming the American taxpayer when we’re facing a $1.5 trillion budget deficit? Given the fiscal straits that we’re in as a country, why not demand that the $100 billion (as promised) is a down payment in FY 2011 and demand even more in FY 2012? That would be leadership.
Long-time readers of RedState are familiar with Michael Williams, of course: he was of the candidates for replacing Senator Hutchison, back when she looked ready to vacate her Senate seat. Now that she’s retiring, Michael is officially running for Senate. We talked last week:
Michael was until quite recently a Texas Railroad Commissioner, which (as Texas Railroad Commissioners soon learn to explain, over and over and over again) has nothing to do with Texas railroads; it actually oversees Texas energy policy, which is why it’s an elected position. His Senate campaign site is here.
As I noted earlier, if we reach the debt ceiling, the United States does not automatically default on its loans. The issue, however, is priority of payment. We will bring in more each month in tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury than we will need to pay out to our lenders.
It requires Tim Geithner (why is he still on the job anyway?) to prioritize and pay our debt obligations first. But there is no law requiring him to do so. Senator Pat Toomey is proposing legislation that would require Geithner pay our debt obligations before all other obligations if we hit the debt ceiling.
The full impact of an actual default is unclear, but Treasury, and independent experts have warned that it would among other consequences, cause an enormous loss of wealth among U.S. citizens. Under the circumstances, one would think that the government’s top priority would be ensuring that citizens owed money by the Treasury would take precedence over, say, foreign governments. But that wouldn’t be the case if Toomey and some House Republicans, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), get their way.
The Treasury Department likewise is crying foul, saying it would still amount to default — only it wouldn’t. And we know it wouldn’t based on simple math. Revenue will continue being greater than expenditures to pay interest and principal on our debt obligations.
But the left is pushing back and using the Chinese boogeyman in their playbook. Here, though, is the ultimate point — we would not be in the mess we are in, but for Obama kowtowing to China to begin with.
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca and Elliott Abrams, former senior national security adviser to George W. Bush and assistant secretary of state for Ronald Reagan to discus the unrest in Egypt.