EPA Get’s Cut to the Bone

House appropriators advance spending bill that would slash the EPA’s funding

from: Erika Johnsen at HotAir:

Ah, such a tease! I can’t say I have much faith that, the way things stand right now, this bill will get any traction, but it’s beautiful to think about nonetheless.

In May a House committee has managed to advance a 2013 spending bill that would impose deep cuts and restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency.

The bill cuts EPA by $1.4 billion, about 17 percent, compared to current funding. The GOP points out that this brings the EPA below fiscal 1998 funding.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who hails from coal country, said he is especially proud of the measure, which was advanced from subcommittee to the full spending panel on a voice vote.

“This represents the strong concerns of this Congress over the EPA’s unprecedented effort

Lisa Jackson, Head Thug

to drive certain industries to extinction with a cocktail of burdensome regulations, questionable guidance policies, and arbitrary enforcement measures — all designed to shut down the permitting process for energy exploration and production,” he said.

It contains a number of environmental riders, including one to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases using New Source Performance Standards and one stopping EPA from expanding its ability to regulate “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.

The bill contains several riders, including one that would stop the EPA from using the New Source Performance Standards to regulate greenhouse gases and another that would prevent them from expanding their authority to regulate “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act (case in point: That one was their excuse for crucifying — woops, I meant persecuting — an Idaho couple in the egregious case of Sackett v. EPA).

I’ve made no secret of my unadulterated disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency — while I think there can be such a thing as effective government environmental regulation, the EPA is a wildly intrusive, power-tripping, practically unbridled band of overzealous environmentalist crusaders who are often conveniently disallowed from considering the costs of their policies because they ostensibly have only the “public’s best interest in mind”. Their frivolous litigation, crippling sanctions, and uncertainty-inducing agenda are some of the more significant obstacles our economy faces.

I dare not even consider the possibility that the EPA could someday be eliminated, but the thought of at least watching them take any kind of a hit that could rein in some of their wanton regulatory ways, instead of being allowed to metastasize even more, pleases me to no end. (Especially since, you know, we’ve been operating at above trillion-dollar deficits and a lot of stuff has just got to go.)

Politico and certain Democrats have labeled Republicans’ various efforts to put the brakes on some of the EPA’s forthcoming rules and regulations as an “attack”.

This is just the latest round of Republican attacks that has forced the White House to hold back on new environmental regulations, lawmakers say — at least for now.

“They have slowed down some of that stuff, but it’s only until after the election,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said. “After that, it’s going to be scary.” …

“The unrelenting attacks by the Republicans on environmental protection, I think, have caused people in the administration to be careful to pick their fights,” said California Rep. Henry (nostrilitis) Waxman, the top Democrat hack on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

You’re darn straight it’s an attack — I should hope that Republicans keep on engaging in a full-frontal assault on the out-of-control independent agency that manages to kill jobs and opportunities like its their sole purpose in life.

Terabit Internet

If you want ultra-fast wireless internet, just get light to do the twist.

The wireless and fibre-optic links that make up the internet use electromagnetic waves to carry data as a series of pulses at a specific frequency. It is possible to increase the amount of data transmitted at a given frequency by twisting light beams in different ways. Each beam has a different angular momentum and acts as an independent channel in a larger, composite, beam.

Now Jian Wang, Alan Willner and colleagues at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have used the twisting technique to transmit over a terabit of data per second. By comparison home WiFi routers typically run at around 50 megabits per second.

Because there are many ways to twist light, the team was able to combine beams with eight different types of twist, each carrying its own independent sequence of pulses.

Willner says the technique could be used between satellites in space, or over shorter distances on Earth. “It’s another dimension by which you can transmit data.”

Right now, it works only in free-space as current fibre-optic technology distorts twisted light.

Attribution: New Scientist

I Should’ve taken the Blue Pill

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Remember this? (video below) I do. I also recall how Sarah Palin was savaged by the lefties for daring to speak the truth regarding the implmentation of “Death Panels” with the inactment of Obamacare.

Well folks, welcome to real life. Those of you non-believers will just have to wait for the truth of this monstrosity to be fully revealed. At this minute new regulations are being crafted by unelected beaurocrats. You read that correctly. The law is in place but the rules & regulations are still being written. In other words, no one, including those who originated the law, have any idea what it will morph into. That’s what Bella (I want to suck your wallet) Pelosi meant by, ” You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it”.

That regulatory burden will fall on people like Czar Cass (Philip Dru, Administrator) Sunstein. Beck doesn’t call him the “Most dangerous man in America” for nothing. If he could, he would mandate how many beats your heart can make per day.

Now that the Supremes have brushed aside the pesky, majority of the American population, things will begin to implement more rapidly, although, will not be evident until after the election.

If you are over 50 with a medical condition beyond that of a common cold, be prepared to have your medical care limited. If your north of seventy, and not independently wealthy, good luck.

If you are a travel agent, I would suggest you consider getting in on the ground floor of a burdgeoning new industry, medical tourism.

Hurricane season will be arriving a bit late this year. It will begin on November 7th.

More Benefits of the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British-born terrorists after al-Qaeda lured dozens of would-be bombers abroad to train for possible attacks on the UK, the head of MI5 warned.

Jonathan Evans said the terror network has taken advantage of the unstable region, in the wake of last year’s revolutions, to spread its influence and create new bases for attacks.

British would-be jihadis are known to be receiving training in the likes of Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has already happened in the Yemen and Somalia.

And they could return to attack the UK in what is a “new and worrying development”, he said.

Mr Evans, the Director General of MI5, warned of the emerging threats in a rare speech, his first in almost two years.

In his talk, he:

“Revealed that the intelligence services and police are preparing for a potential threat from extremists and even lone wolf terrorists should the Eurozone collapse.”

 “Warned State-sponsored and criminal cyber attacks risked “real world damage” including one British company which has suffered estimated losses of £800m ($1.2 billion) after being hacked.”

“Suggested a potential return to State-sponsored terrorism by Iran.”

“Said it would be “extraordinary and self-defeating” if the Government’s proposed new email and phone snooping powers did not go ahead.”

“Popular revolts across Arab nations were last year welcomed around the world and resulted in, among others, the end of Hosni Mubarak’s reign in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya.”

 Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, described events at the time as “incredibly exciting”.

But in the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Annual Defense and Security Lecture in London on the 24th, Mr Evans warned a new terror threat has emerged from an “Arab world in radical transition”.

He said while the events offered long term hope there was a “more immediate problem” as al-Qaeda has returned to its native home.

“Today parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaeda.

“This is the completion of a cycle – al-Qaeda first moved to Afghanistan in the 1990s due to pressure in their Arab countries of origin. They moved on to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban.”

“And now some are heading home to the Arab world again. And a small number of British would be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen.

“Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse as events unfold.”

Attribution: Tom Whitehead, UK Telegraph

Zimmerman Passed Lie Detector, Twice

A newly-released investigative report has found that George Zimmerman passed two lie detector tests given to him on the night Trayvon Martin was shot dead, backing up his version of the events.

An hour-long interrogation video released this week captured Zimmerman as he described the events leading up to the moment when Trayvon Martin was shot with a single bullet to the chest.

As he spoke, his voice levels were being measured with a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), and was found to be telling the truth.

However, the results of such tests are usually not admissible in court.

Sanford detective Chris Serino said Zimmerman verbally confronted the unarmed 17-year-old before the physical brawl that ended when Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.

Zimmerman claimed he was acting in self-defence when he shot the teen, who was returning to his father’s girlfriend’s house from a 7-Eleven store.

The two got into a fistfight and the 28-year-old Zimmerman maintains that Martin attacked him and was beating him up before he fatally shot him.

He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Serino wrote in his report that Zimmerman and witnesses said the defendant who was in his car avoided Martin when he first saw him because, as he told investigators, ‘was afraid of Martin.’

Serino also said that later in the encounter, Zimmerman got out of his SUV and followed Martin.

“His actions are inconsistent of those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject”, Serino wrote.

Based on his investigation, Serino recommended a charge of manslaughter to the state attorney.

Today, it emerged that Serino, the lead detective in the case, has been reassigned to the patrol division at his request.

A Sanford Police Department statement said Serino made the reassignment decision ‘of his own volition.’ He will begin his new assignment in July. He did not have a listed number.

In video released last week by his attorney, Zimmerman told investigators his side of the story about the shooting.

He told them he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it, and shot the teenager once in the chest.

After firing, Zimmerman said he thought he missed, because Martin didn’t immediately fall over.

Zimmerman said Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm.

The tape shows two butterfly bandages on the back of Zimmerman’s head and another on his nose. There are red marks on the front of his head.

“It felt like my head was going to explode”, he says in the video.

Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense, under Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law.

Martin’s parents have said Zimmerman was the aggressor. They said Martin was walking back from a convenience store through the gated community in Sanford when Zimmerman spotted the black teenager and started following him. They claim their son was racially profiled.

He remains in jail awaiting a second bond hearing scheduled for Friday.

Attribution: Mail Online

Somethings Eating at Me

While millions of people wonder if their money is safe in a bank, one woman was faced with her money disappearing altogether.

The culprit? Hordes of hungry termites.

The Taiwanese woman’s safe might well have been blast and fire proof, but it could not protect her money from the insects.

The tiny creatures somehow got into her safe and munched their way through $51,000.00 in cash.

She had spent eight years saving the money so she could study abroad.

She turned to Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau to help her exchange her bundles of damaged notes for new ones after she found the piles of cash she stored in her safe had been eaten by the termites.

However, forensic experts only managed to piece together a quarter of the notes from the piles of shredded paper.

 The woman, identified only by her surname Chen, who graduated from a Taipei university last year, was originally going to spend the money to study aboard, according to the Chinese-language Apple Daily.

It took her eight years of hard work to come up with the money which she stored at a safe in her house. This April, Chen found that termites had eaten most of the piles of cash in the safe.

She later sought out the Investigation Bureau for help after a bank refused to honor the bills.

They were sent to the bureau’s forensic unit for further examination. They will be honored based on the number of bills the experts succeed in restoring.

The bureau urged people to put their money in banks to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

Attribution: Daily Mail, China Post

So Pathetic, It’s Laughable

by: Derek Hunter

There’s desperation. Then there’s the Obama-Biden re-election campaign’s fundraising operation.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George Costanza, because he’s cheap and didn’t want to buy co-workers anything for Christmas, gave everyone a card saying a gift had been made in their name to the “Human Fund”? The Human Fund didn’t exist. George made it up because he was just that cheap.

But those “I gave your gift to someone else” charitable donations do exist. I get a few of them every year from people who shouldn’t be giving me gifts in the first place. It never occurred to me to check and see if the charity actually exists.

I’ve worked at a few non-profits, organizations whose existence is based upon the donations of others. I was in policy and thankfully never had to ask anyone for a donation, but I was in the room a lot when those asks happened. I could never, ever do it, but I’m thankful people who can are out there.

So I’m not unfamiliar with the concept of asking for donations. But those donations are never requested of people without jobs or who don’t have the money to donate. The potential donors knew what was coming precisely because they could afford it.

That’s what makes the latest tactic from the Obama-Biden re-election campaign so weird.

The “Obama event registry” is something new in politics – an ask that couples who are getting married forego gifts and money to help the president. And it’s not just limited to weddings. They want birthday and anniversary money, too.

The whole text of the “ask” would be a hilarious parody post if shameless reality hadn’t beaten The Onion to it. Here it is:

Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up? Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.

Setting up and sharing your registry page is easy—so get started today.

 Take a second and reread that. I’ll wait.

Can you believe a President of the United States, or even a candidate for dog catcher, would think that is a good idea?

“Hey young couples just starting out, instead of creating a nest egg, saving for a down-payment for a house or simply paying for your wedding and reception, give your money to the President!” It’s the audacity of self-importance.

This tactlessness got me thinking – what other sorts of “asks” could the Obama 2012 team come up with?

“Do you have a terminal disease? That’s a tragedy, just as President Obama not winning a second term would be a tragedy. So as you get your affairs in order don’t forget to add the campaign to your last will and testament. Your family can have your furniture; we just want your cash. If you can survive long enough to sell the furniture, that’d be peachy. Cash is king, you know.

The campaign probably will find a more subtle way to make that ask. But a slogan is needed for this latest shamelessness:

“Help me fight corporate greed by giving me your kid’s birthday money!”

“Honeymoons are for suckers!”

“Since we’re all in the same boat, why not make it the Titanic?”

“President Obama already screwed your kid’s future, so why not let him screw their present too?”

“You can keep the money from your second marriage. Obama needs your cash now!”

“Seriously, if the concept of this appeals to you at all you should just send in all your money because you’ll probably just end up spending it all on meth.”

Jokes aside, this ploy just shows the desperation of the Obama campaign. The cash squeeze has begun. There are only so many vapid movie stars they can lure to their $40,000-per-plate dinners. New cash cows must be found to milk.

Mitt Romney is now raising more money than President Obama. That’s not just a sign of his failure on the economy, it’s an indication his former big donors have lost faith in his ability to govern effectively. One can hide incompetence only so long.

That the campaign would think this would work and not be a public-relations disaster shows how out of touch it is. Or how much staffers have bought into the Obama “cult of personality.”

Whatever the case, there’s no reason to think this venture won’t be as big a disaster as the president’s term has been for the economy. But if you want to balance things out, my birthday was Friday. In lieu of contributing to President Obama’s campaign, send cash to me. Thanks in advance.