Two of those cities are in my home state of Wisconsin! That makes me happy! Ask your local leaders in your city to join the divestment, and kick Big Oil to the curb in the gutter where they belong! : )
Two of those cities are in my home state of Wisconsin! That makes me happy! Ask your local leaders in your city to join the divestment, and kick Big Oil to the curb in the gutter where they belong! : )
2012, Alternative Government, American, analysts, anti-corruption, branches, carbon-free, Cheri Honkala, citizens, climate change, Doctor, dysfunctional, Earth Day, Economy, ending wars, experts, Federal Government, first, Foreign Affairs, Global Warming, government, Green New Deal, Green Party, Green Shadow Cabinet, Jill Stein, Majority, nuclear-free, people, people power, President, Shadow Cabinet, U.S. Politics, Vice President, Washington D.C.
Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the 2012 Green Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees, marked the beginning of Earth Week by announcing a new Green Shadow Cabinet that will serve as an independent voice in U.S. politics, putting the needs of people and protection of the planet ahead of profits for big corporations. The Cabinet will operate in the tradition of shadow cabinets in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, responding to actions of the government in office, and demonstrating that another government is possible.
The Green Shadow Cabinet, which is viewable at www.GreenShadowCabinet.US, includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and more, and will provide an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C.. It is organized into six federal branches: Democracy, Economy, Ecology, Foreign Affairs, General Welfare, and Justice. Topics include the economy, environment and climate change, health and general welfare, democratization, rights of workers, wages and labor, community power, closing military bases, ending wars for resources and restoring the rule of law. Among the top priorities will be advocating for full employment through a Green New Deal and confronting climate change and the ecological crisis through a program of creating a carbon-free and nuclear free energy economy.
In honor of the launch of the Green Shadow Cabinet, members have issued public statements for Earth Week. These are available for republication at http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements
Jill Stein said, “We are announcing this alternative government on Earth Day to emphasize the importance of confronting the climate crisis and also to show how it is interrelated with the economy, energy and the quality of life for all people. We will be urging policies that have the support of the American people. We’ve brought together leading analysts, experts and spokespeople on all the critical issues faced by the country and will provide a place where concerned citizens and journalists can come for independent and popular perspectives on the issues of the day.”
1913, American, Americans, banks, Beppe Grillo, bonds, Debt, debt spiral, earth, Education, Elite, Elitists, failure, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve System, global, Global Dominance, inflation, Interest, Italy, mega-banks, middle class, monopoly, national debt, planet, politicians, Poor, private, scam, scheme, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, treasury, U.S, U.S Treasury, U.S. debt, U.S. Economy, U.S. Government, United States, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Treasury security, Washington D.C., Wealthiest
During fiscal year 2012, $359,796,008,919.49 that had been forcibly extracted from American taxpayers was transferred into other hands. Most of it ended up in the pockets of the global elite. So what did the American people get in return for that 359 billion dollars? Nothing at all. No roads were built, no schools were constructed, no teachers were paid and none of it went to national defense. It was simply interest that was owed on the national debt, and most of it just made the ultra-wealthy even wealthier. But this is exactly what the Federal Reserve system was designed to do when it was created back in 1913. It was designed to get the U.S. government trapped in an endless spiral of debt that would systematically drain the wealth of the American people and transfer it to the ultra-wealthy and the international bankers.
When most people think of a “wealth redistribution scheme”, they think of a government raising taxes in order to give money to poor people. But the Federal Reserve system works in reverse. Money is taken from all of us and it is redistributed to the global elite. That is why a federal income tax was instituted the exact same year that the Federal Reserve was. Money is extracted from all of us through taxation, and then it is transferred from the federal government to the ultra-wealthy through debt payments.
So what role does the Federal Reserve system play in all of this?
Many critics of the Fed focus on how much money the Fed makes each year, but that is a mistake. The truth is that the Fed returns the vast majority of the money that it makes to the U.S. Treasury. The Fed is not a money making machine itself. Rather, it is a system that enables others to make hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
I think that it is easiest to think of the Fed as a “middle man” between the U.S. government and the global elite. It was designed by the international bankers for the benefit of the international bankers. The entire goal of the Federal Reserve system is to make the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.
The Fed is a privately-owned banking cartel that has a monopoly over money creation in the United States. Nobody else, including the U.S. government, can print money. So those that claim that “the U.S. government can print money” are just dead wrong.
When the U.S. government wants to spend more money than it has, it asks the Fed to make some more money. The Fed then creates money out of thin air that did not previously exist. Normally this money is not even printed up. It is just entered into a computer.
In return for the new money, the U.S. government gives the Federal Reserve some U.S. Treasury bonds. In essence, U.S. Treasury bonds are promises to pay back money. But the U.S. government always agrees to pay back more money than it receives. So a larger amount of debt is created than the amount of new money that is created.
When the Federal Reserve receives those U.S. Treasury bonds, most of the time they take them and auction them off to interested buyers. This is how they get into the hands of the ultra-wealthy and the international bankers.
So how is the U.S. government ever supposed to pay back all that debt if the amount of new debt being created is always larger than the amount of new money that is being created?
Well, the theory is that the money will be able circulate through the U.S. economy really fast and that the federal government will be able to tax it enough times and at a high enough rate to be able to pay off the debt plus the interest.
But that never seems to work out, does it?
Instead, the federal government always finds that it can’t fund government activities and pay off the debt at the same time, so they always come back to borrow more. That is why it is called a debt spiral.
So the debt just keeps getting larger and larger. Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.
And as the debt keeps getting larger and larger, so does the money supply. And that is why we have such a problem with inflation. Since the Federal Reserve was first created, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 96 percent of its value.
But the global elite are not just doing this in the United States. They have established similar systems in almost every nation on earth.
So every year, gigantic mountains of money are transferred from taxpayers all over the globe into their pockets.
And that is the primary reason why they have so much money.
It has been estimated that the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the planet.
And that is just the money that we know about.
Are you starting to understand why people are so upset about this stuff?
Fortunately, people all over the world are starting to wake up to this massive wealth redistribution scheme.
The creation of money should belong to the people – not to the global elite.
“Whom does the money belong to? Who does its ownership belong to? To the State fine…then to us, we are the State. You know that the State doesn’t exist, it is only a legal entity. WE are the state, then the money is ours…fine. Then let me know one thing. If the money belongs to us…Why…do they lend it to us??”
Doesn’t that make sense?
If the currency of a nation belongs to the people of a nation, then why do we let the elite create our money out of thin air and lend it back to us?
Why do we continue to use a debt-based currency system that is making the global elite far wealthier at the expense of all the rest of us?
For much more on how the Federal Reserve works, please see my previous article entitled “10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve“.
Please share this article with as many people as you can. I have tried to simplify things as much as possible in this article so that even people that have been through the dumbed-down public education system in the United States should be able to understand it.
So what do you think about the Federal Reserve?
Are you angry that hundreds of billions of dollars are being transferred from U.S. taxpayers to the global elite every single year?
Are you disgusted that money that is created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve is being used to bankrupt our nation and enslave future generations of Americans to trillions of dollars of debt?
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has a law degree and an LLM from the University of Florida Law School. He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now spends his time researching and writing and trying to wake the American people up. You can follow his work on The Economic Collapse blog, End of the American Dream and The Truth Wins.
2013, America, American, Americans, Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Big Oil, Carcinogenic, chemicals, citizens, Congress, cover-up, Deadly, deception, Dirty Fossil Fuels, earth, Economy, environment, EPA, failure, Finite Energy Source, fossil fuels, greed, Illinois, Iron Ore, Minerals, Mining, mining operations, natural gas, oil, Open Pit Mining Bill, Open-pit mining, Republicans, Scott Walker, tourism, U.S., U.S.A., unhappy, United States, United States of America, Voters, Wisconsin
Article To Note:
American, Americans, Capital Economics, Employment-to-population ratio, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve System, Obama Administration, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paul Ashworth, United States
The mainstream media is absolutely giddy that the U.S. unemployment rate has hit a “four-year low” of 7.7 percent. But is unemployment in the United States actually going down? After all, you would think that it should be. The Obama administration has “borrowed” more than 6 trillion dollars from future generations of Americans, interest rates have been pushed to all-time lows, and the Federal Reserve has been wildly printing more money in a desperate attempt to “stimulate” the economy. So have those efforts been successful? Well, according to the mainstream media, the U.S. unemployment rate is falling steadily. Headlines all over the nation boldly declared that “236,000 jobs” were added to the economy in February, but what they didn’t tell you was that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 296,000. And that is how they are getting the unemployment rate to go down – by pretending that huge numbers of unemployed Americans don’t want jobs. Sadly, as you will see below, the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that have a job is just 0.1% higher than it was exactly three years ago. And we have not even come close to getting back to where we were before the last economic crisis. For example, more than 146 million Americans were employed back in 2007. But today, only 142.2 million Americans have a job even though our population has grown steadily since then. So where in the world is this “economic recovery” that they keep talking about?
At this point, the “unemployment rate” has become so meaningless that it really isn’t even worth paying much attention to. If you really want to know what the employment picture looks like in the United States, you need to look at the employment-population ratio.
As Wikipedia tells us, many economists consider the employment-population ratio to be far superior to other measurements of employment…
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development defines the employment rateas the employment-to-population ratio. The employment-population ratio is many American economist’s favorite gauge of the American jobs picture. According to Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics, “The employment population ratio is the best measure of labor market conditions.” This is a statistical ratiothat measures the proportion of the country’s working-age population (ages 15 to 64 in most OECD countries) that is employed. This includes people that have stopped looking for work.
A chart of the employment-population ratio in the United States over the past several years is posted below…
As you can see, the percentage of Americans with a job fell from about 63 percent to below 59 percent during the last economic crisis. Since that time, it has not risen back above 59 percent. This is the first time in the post-World War II era that we have not seen the employment rate bounce back following a recession. At this point, the employment-population ratio has been below 59 percent for 42 months in a row.
Yes, we should be thankful that things have stabilized, but as you can see there has been no recovery. The percentage of Americans with a job is essentially exactly where it was three years ago. Despite the trillions of dollars that the U.S. government has borrowed, and despite the reckless money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing, the employment situation in the U.S. has not turned around.
Data for the employment-population ratio from the beginning of 2008is posted below…
So is there anyone out there that still wants to insist that the employment picture in the United States is getting significantly better?
Anyone that wants to claim that “unemployment is going down” should at least wait until the unemployment-population ratio gets back up to 59 percent. Otherwise they just look foolish.
Yes, the Dow is at an all-time high right now. But a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts.
Most Americans understand that the Dow has been pumped up with all of the funny money that the Fed has been printing. Most Americans understand that the stock market really does not accurately reflect the health of the U.S. economy as a whole.
Just consider these numbers…
-The number of homeless people sleeping in homeless shelters in New York City has increased by 19 percent over the past year.
-The number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to 47 million while Barack Obama has been in the White House.
-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
-Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years.
No, the truth is that everything is most definitely not fine.
If everything is fine, then why did the Federal Reserve inject another 100 billion dollars into foreign banks during the last full week of February?
The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve are desperately trying to prop up the entire global economy. Unfortunately, the global financial system has been built on a foundation of sand and the tide is coming in.
Back in 2008, a derivatives crisis was one of the primary causes of the worst financial panic since the Great Depression.
So did we learn our lesson?
No, the boys on Wall Street are back at it again as a recent article by Jim Armitage described…
Historically, stock markets, being driven by humans, have tended to have a similar length memory of catastrophes, before making the same dumb mistakes again.
But it hasn’t even been five years since derivatives (on that occasion based on daft mortgages) blew up the world, and yet these exotic creatures have already returned. With a vengeance.
Research from Thomson Reuters declared that banks were creating more derivatives known as asset-backed securities than at any time since before the Lehman Brothers crash. Of those, 22 percent were made up of – and forgive me the alphabet soup here – CDOs and CLOs. The very type of derivatives that exploded last time. At this stage last year, only 6 percent fell into those categories.
In other words, banks are creating more of the riskiest types of the riskiest products.
At some point, we will have another derivatives crisis even worse than the last one.
When that happens, financial markets all over the globe will crash, economic activity will grind to a standstill and unemployment will go skyrocketing once again.
But as you saw above, we have never even come close to recovering from the last crisis.
So you can believe the mind-numbing propaganda that the mainstream media is trying to feed you if you want. Unfortunately, the reality of the matter is that we have not recovered from the last major economic crisis, and another one is rapidly approaching.
I hope that you are getting ready.
Submit to pressure from peers and you move down to their level.
Speak up for your own beliefs and you invite them up to your level.
If you move with the crowd, you’ll get no further than the crowd.
When 40 million people believe in a dumb idea, it’s still a dumb idea.
Simply swimming with the tide leaves you nowhere.
So if you believe in something that’s good, honest and bright, stand up for it.
Maybe your peers will get smart and drift your way.
America, American, angry, approved, Bad River tribe, Big Business, bill sponsor, bill sponsor Tom Tiffany, bill. Senator Vinehout, Capitol, citizens, Conservation, Creeks, debate, deception, Democrats, Dems, DNR, environment, environmental protection, environmental protections, EPA, extinction, federal regulations, GOP, GOP Senator Dale Schultz, habitat, heavy, Human Rights, ignorant, Koch Brothers, Lakes, Lawsuits, lies, Loss, Madison, members, Midwest Advocates, Mike Wiggins, mine bill, mining bill, mining corporation, mining runoff, open pit, opposition, own, PBS, poisoning, polluted, Puppet, reactions, Republicans, Rivers, Scott Walker, Sellout, Senator Jauch, Senator Tom Tiffany, shame, species, Streams, Toxic, tribe, U.S., U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, United States, unsafe mining, Voters, War, wetlands, WI, Wisconsin, writes, wrote
Anger in America’s Dairyland!
Wisconsin’s state senate approved an open pit mine bill with a one vote margin yesterday: 17-16. The bill will next be taken up by the state assembly where a GOP majority will pass it. It then travels to Scott Walker’s desk for his signature and it is widely predicted to land in court to face lawsuits.
Though the legislative process is ugly, the protest process is not. Visiting tribe members and citizens filled the rotunda with drumming, beauty, song, and solidarity:
Below are the comments I shared online that resonated the most with fellow netizens:
WI Senate is still debating the WI mine bill. The routine goes like this: Amendments are put up [17 in all], the GOP tables them and all the Dems can do is offer up more amendments because they are 1 vote short of what they need. So why do it? They are educating you about the bill. They’ve let us know that the WI GOP mine bill will mandate filling in of wetlands. They’re letting us know that the bill will land in court immediately, for one reason, because the Army Corp of Engineers is being ignored and they will have great difficulty syncing federal regulations with this bill written by a mining corporation. And there is more and more and more information to share….
A farmer from Sen.Vinehout’s district compared the mine deal to myth of Jacob and Esau – Wisconsin selling its birthright for a bowl of pottage
The fact of the matter is that this legislature set the stage for the way this bill was dealt with for the next year. The company intent can be summed up in 5 words: give us what we want. They have been served well. The public has not. – Sen Jauch on the mine bill, speaking on the WI Senate flr. just now
The floor discussion concluded with a hollow statement from the mine bill’s main sponsor, Senator Tom Tiffany. He said that he was very offended that somebody during the debate said that he is not an environmentalist to which individuals in the senate gallery laughed and groaned. Seemingly offering up his environmentalist credentials, Tiffany spoke of upgrading the boat motors he uses in his tourism business near Rhinelander and of how modern environmental protections have cleaned up toxins from rivers. He repeated the name of his business so often that online commenters wondered if it was an advertising ploy. He said we can have both a clean environment and jobs because we have “advanced technology” but he didn’t offer up more information on what wonder technology can protect pristine marshlands from sulfuric acid or why it is that Wisconsin would have to operate under stripped down regulations to use that technology.
Somewhere in his statement he said there is a miner on the flag of Wisconsin but I apparently blocked it out (I suppose that was too much). I learned that from somebody later.
After the bill was passed, there were loud calls from the gallery. This tweet from @occupyphoenix describes the scene:
Police mass in gallery sections expecting reactions to Mining Bill passing 17-16 and shouts of “Shame”, “This is War” yelled out #wimine
The yelling from the gallery was heard via Wisconsin Eye’s broadcast and more than one of my facebook friends said it felt very good to hear those voices coming through their computer speakers.
Midwest Advocates released a statement which included these words from Mike Wiggins of the Bad River tribe: ‘Although this has been a long and difficult two years, it is the equivalent of the blink of an eye for our people. We aren’t going anywhere and we have a long history of defending our way of life.’
PR Watch has information on the over $15 million dollars that cleared a path for the mining bill and more..
I thank each of the Democratic Party Senators from Wisconsin, GOP Senator Dale Schultz, the citizens both online and in the Capitol for their opposition to Wisconsin’s new open pit mining bill. Special thanks also to the bloggers, the ardent environmentalists, the faceboookers and tweeters and the journalists who all did their respective jobs to the best of their abilities.
America, American, CIA, citizens, Crooked, crooked politics, DEA, Dennis Egan, DNR, EPA, Ex-mayor, FBI, FDA, greed, justice, Lawful, liar, liars, Mayor, Minnesota, MN, politicians, politics, power, Red Wing, Served, Shrew, Taming of the Shrew, thieves, U.S., U.S. Government, U.S. Government Agencies, U.S.A., United States, United States of America, unlawful, USDA
Email to Egan:
My blog I posted after writing to you on February 6th regarding
your mayoral job and your second job with the Sand Fracking Industry
was a big hit! Apparently, Red Wing, MN residents as well as online
readers from around the area and far away, did not like your suggestion
that you could be mayor AND Executive Director of the Minnesota Industrial
Sand Council! Your conflict of interest has made you look like nothing
more than a dumb-ass, typical greedy politician/corporate whore, who
deserved a giant boot in the ass out of office! I’m sure you will make
tons of money with Sand Fracking, while it lasts, but SE Minnesota is
a new hotbed of anti-Fracking sentiment among a majority of the residents.
It has already spread into neighboring Wisconsin.
Good luck lining your pockets with money at the expense of human health and
environmental safety! Your thanks will come when our earth is so toxic that
not even the likes of you, who helped cause environmental catastrophe and
massive species extinction to include humans, will be able to escape the
poisonous consequences of your greed-laden actions!
Talk about selling your soul & that of your city’s soul down the road for money = $greed$!!
Remember this post that I wrote back on February 6, 2013:
It seems that between Red Wing’s news coverage, and the potential for things to go “viral” including a email address directly to the party in question, one Dennis Egan:
Facing a recall effort and an inquiry, Egan chose to stay in his role as lobbyist.
Two weeks after Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan insisted that he could ethically work a second job as a frac sand lobbyist, the mayor will step down in the face of a recall effort and a City Council investigation of his business relationship with the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.
“I think it is the right decision,” Red Wing Council Member Peggy Rehder said Saturday. “I just think it is unfortunate that it took this long.”
Egan said he could have continued as mayor based on the city’s attorney legal interpretation, but will resign by April 1 because his job as the sand council’s executive director had become a distraction to the city and his family.
“I believe that a mayor must live to a higher standard than just avoiding conflicts of interest,’’ he said. “If a mayor’s activities serve as a distraction or roadblock for the city, the public is not well-served.’’
Rehder said parameters for a special election to replace Egan, the city’s former Chamber of Commerce president, will be discussed at Monday’s City Council meeting. The council will drop its initiative to have an independent, private firm investigate the full nature of Egan’s business dealings with the frac sand industry, she added. The proposed inquiry was to collect details of when Egan started consulting for mining companies, how much money he was making and what his contract said.
Without knowing any of those details, Red Wing City Attorney Jay Squires had advised the council that he could not see a legal conflict in violation of state statute.
A contentious hearing
But City Council President Lisa Bayley called the dual employment a “pretty massive inherent conflict.” Bayley told Egan at a showdown City Council meeting on Feb. 11 that she resented the fact that he wouldn’t resign at the request of fellow council members.
Egan, who gets paid $9,800 a year as the city’s mayor, has earned a living for years as a professional lobbyist and political consultant. He told the City Council it was unfair for members to ask that he choose between abandoning a client or quitting as mayor. If frac sand matters came up at City Hall, he would recuse himself, he said.
But Kent Laugen, a Red Wing resident and local attorney, said the mayor’s argument was “superficial and inadequate.” There’s no way he could reconcile his city duties against his loyalty to sand companies, Laugen said. He predicted there will be pressure for the mayor to resign immediately, not weeks from now.
The political tension that Egan said he could avoid came to life at the State Capitol last week at a crowded public hearing before a joint Senate and House committee considering frac sand legislation. Rehder testified on behalf of Red Wing that the state should adopt a moratorium on new frac sand developments until a comprehensive environmental review can be conducted. Egan wasn’t there, but the sand council testified in direct opposition.
In the wake of that hearing, Rehder said Saturday: “And he [Egan] still says he has no conflict?”
Red Wing resident Dale Hanson had vowed to carry out a petition drive for a recall vote. “I am grateful that [Egan] will resign,” he said Saturday. But he said he believes that the city should go ahead with its investigation “to ensure that if there was corruption, ethics violations, or other vital issues that we have an accurate sense of how much damage may have been done.”
Red Wing is in the heart of frac sand territory. The rush to mine the ancient quartz started about four years ago with a national oil and gas boom using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing. The spherical, crush-resistant pebbles are vital ingredients in the drilling process.
A debate will start this week at the Legislature over a proposed statewide environmental review of the industry and the possible formation of a regional frac sand board for uniformity in regulation.
"Fast and Furious", "Richard Windsor", "sue and settle", "war on coal", "Windsorgate", 1970, accounts, action, activists, Activities, administrator, Administrator Jackson, agency, agenda, agendas, alias, Allies, America, American, Americans, analyst, answers, arm, arming, Attorney General, avoid, beneficiaries, beneficiary, blackout, bogus, boss, cartel, cartels, caught, CEI, cement plants, chairman, cheaters, cheating, chemical firms, Christopher Horner, Competitive Enterprise Institute, comply, conceal, concealment, Concerns, Congress, congressional, congressional oversight, contempt, controversial, controversy, corruption, Court, court order, cover-up, created, criminal, criminal prosecutions, critics, Daily Caller, dealings, demands, Department of Energy, deserve, destruction, disgrace, Documents, dodge, DOE, DOJ, dollars, drug, Drugs, E.P.A., Earthjustice, Economy, email, email accounts, emails, environment, environmental, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Eric Holder, estimates, evade, evidence, ex, exposed, exposure, extremist, fake, federal, federal courts, federal law, Forbes, formal, fraud, Freedom of Information Act, GAO, GOP, greed, green, groups, headlines, House Science Committee, identities, incriminating, industries, investigation, Jobs, justice, Larry Bell, law, law-enforcement, lawless, lawmakers, laws, lawsuit, letter, letters, lies, Lisa Jackson, lives, mandatory, mass media, media, media coordinator, Mexican, millions, mining operations, money, name, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nicole Ciandella, nightmare, non-disclosure, NRDC, Obama, Obama Administration, Obama Justice Department, obey, Officials, organization, oversight, Policy, policymakers, power, power plants, PR, President, propaganda, prosecution, Public, public relations, questions, radical, record, record-keeping, Records, refineries, refusal, refuse, regulations, reign, release, reports, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Republicans, request, requirements, research, researcher, resignation, restrictions, Richard Nixon, ripoff, rogue, scandals, scheme, schemes, scrutiny, secret, secret email accounts, secret emails, sectors, Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Senior Fellow, settle, settlements, shady, studies, study, success, successful, sue, suspicion, suspicious, tax, Tax Dollars, taxpayer-funded, taxpayers, terror, The New American, the Sierra Club, timely, top, transparency, trust, truth, U.S., U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, unacceptable, Unconstitutional, unconstitutional executive order, United States, unlawful, violating, violations, Washington Examiner, watchdog
The Environmental Protection Agency and its disgraced former boss Lisa Jackson are under fire from lawmakers and activists for, among other reasons, having recently been exposed violating federal law by using bogus identities and e-mail accounts to coordinate propaganda and policy with media allies, “green” groups, and policymakers to advance the Obama administration’s radical “environmental” agenda. Other EPA corruption is also still in the headlines, too, with the agency being criticized for ripping off U.S. taxpayers and foisting more unconstitutional regulations on the economy by working with extremist pseudo-environmental groups using a controversial scheme dubbed “sue and settle.”
The most recent major scandal, which began unraveling late last year after a federal court ruling, involves former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who conveniently announced her resignation in late December. The self-styled “most progressive EPA chief in history” was caught, apparently in violation of federal law, using the fake name “Richard Windsor” and a bogus e-mail account to conspire with allies in the establishment media and friendly policymakers. The shady dealings were part of an effort to promote Jackson and the Obama administration’s wildly unconstitutional policies without being exposed to public scrutiny.
The pseudonym and fake e-mail account scandal, already being called “Windsorgate,” was essentially aimed at skirting federal record-keeping laws barring the use of fake names in official government dealings, according to analysts. The other purpose of the unlawful scheme, first uncovered by a researcher at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was to conceal the lawless EPA boss’s activities from mandatory public and congressional oversight. After a Freedom of Information Act request and a successful lawsuit by CEI, however, the whole plot is slowly coming to light.
Unsurprisingly, the EPA — created in 1970 by an unconstitutional “executive order” issued by then-President Richard Nixon — is still trying to hide as much of the incriminating evidence as possible using bogus justifications. Among other concerns, the agency has been redacting — blacking out — massive segments of the documents it was forced to release under court order. It flat out refused to release hundreds more.
Indeed, CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner told the Washington Examiner his organization estimates that about 85 percent of the “Richard Windsor” e-mails released last week were redacted. The concealment of the information was “justified,” according to the EPA, under the FOIA’s exemption for documents dealing with a “deliberative process” used in formulating policy — possibly including the lawless policies surrounding the administration’s so-called “war on coal.”
Now, however, lawmakers and watchdog groups are starting to ask serious questions and demand answers. “For the sake of transparency, and of easing the road ahead for the next EPA administrator, we hope the EPA starts providing some answers,”noted CEI media coordinator Nicole Ciandella in a statement published by the Daily Caller, pointing out that the agency continues to stonewall all efforts to get to the truth. Other officials are publicly hammering the EPA as well.
Aside from the CEI, members of Congress are also trying to find out just what was going on at the EPA. Last month, for example, Republicans on the House Science Committee sent yet another letter to Jackson demanding that she hand over the documents — the third official request from the committee lawmakers since November of last year, when the scandal was first becoming a major public concern and a PR nightmare for the agency.
“The use of a false identity raises serious questions about whether the EPA has adequately preserved related records. Despite these legitimate concerns, the EPA has thus far refused to comply with the Committee’s request,” states the January 23 letter signed by six congressmen, adding that continued refusal to comply was “unacceptable” and could result in formal action to force the agency to obey.
The House committee’s letter continued, demanding answers. “As we mentioned in our previous letter, the public trusts that its government will operate in an open and transparent manner,” the lawmakers wrote. “EPA regulations have a significant impact on the everyday lives of Americans, and the agency should implement them in a manner that respects the public’s trust.”
The committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), has also been vocal in demanding answers, but so far, few have been forthcoming. “The American public deserves to know whether Administrator Jackson’s secret email accounts were appropriately maintained by the agency according to requirements by federal law. If they have nothing to hide, why not comply with our request?” Rep. Smith wondered. “EPA’s refusal only adds to suspicion that Administrator Jackson’s secret email accounts were intended to evade transparency and circumvent congressional oversight.”
In the Senate, lawmakers are speaking out, too. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), for example, said he thought the EPA alias scandal was the real reason for Jackson’s well-timed resignation in late December. “I think this e-mail issue clearly spurred Lisa Jackson’s resignation,” Sen. Vitter was quoted as saying. “But it’s much broader than her. It’s about a culture of hiding an extreme agenda from Americans because it can’t be sustained in public debate.”
Some critics of the administration are even calling for a proper law-enforcement investigation and potential criminal prosecutions, saying it was obvious that federal law had been violated. However, with Attorney General Eric Holder already facing criminal contempt of Congress charges for covering up the Obama Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” scheme arming certain Mexican drug cartels, the chances of justice being served, at this point at least, appear slim. Holder, in fact, is currently abusing his position as DOJ boss to avoid prosecution himself.
Meanwhile, despite repeatedly promising to run the “most transparent” and “open” administration in history, this is not the first time President Obama’s top officials have been caught trying to unlawfully avoid federal record-keeping laws. As The New American reported in August, scandals swirling around the Department of Energy, for example, are strikingly similar. Top officials there were exposed using private e-mail accounts for official business — again in an apparent effort to unlawfully conceal their shady dealings from the public and Congress.
Another EPA scandal back in the headlines this week is the so-called “sue and settle” scam, used by various agencies and especially the EPA, to rip off taxpayers, provide public money to extremist groups, and implement unconstitutional regulations by fiat. Essentially, the process works like this: A radical green group sues the EPA in court demanding that the agency do something — pass more unconstitutional, economy-destroying regulations, for example. Then, the agency agrees to “settle,” taking the lawless actions that were already being sought by the administration while offering huge taxpayer-funded “settlements” to the organization that sued.
Millions of tax dollars have been funneled to extremist “green” groups using this tactic in recent decades, according to a 2011 official report by the GAO cited by Forbes energy and environment analyst Larry Bell. Among the largest beneficiaries of the scam — aside from the administration in its efforts to foist more lawlessness and pain on the American people — were organizations such as Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce studied the issue and concluded in a report that the “sue and settle” scam was responsible for many of the EPA’s “most controversial, economically significant regulations that have plagued the business community for the past few years.” The study found that among the regulations imposed on the American people using the strategy were restrictions on power plants, refineries, mining operations, cement plants, chemical firms, and numerous other industries and sectors, Bellreported.
Members of Congress have been meekly trying to rein in the out-of-control EPA for years. However, with each successive administration, the rogue, unconstitutional entity continues to usurp more and more power — destroying countless jobs and lives in the process. Critics of the agency, however, say it is time for lawmakers to abolish the EPA altogether. Not only is there no constitutional authority for such an agency, its lawless reign of terror is contributing to the destruction of the already-battered American economy — all with virtually no real benefits to the environment.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
– E. B. White, American author.