TEA Party Group Supports Bill to provide "Clean Audited Financial Statements" for Federal Government
Akron, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, came out today in support of the Renacci-Carney "Federal Financial Statement Transparency Act of 2014". The bill would require that the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) provide Congress, and the public, with "Clean Audited Financial Statements" of the Federal Government's assets and liabilities without interference from the Treasury Department or any other part of the Executive Branch. The bill has been introduced in the US House by Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Renacci and Delaware Democratic Congressman John Carney. The bill fixes a major transparency issue caused by the fact that the United States Federal Government is currently the only government entity in the nation that is not required to produce "Clean Audited Financial Statements" or follow the rules created by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) which all state and local governments must follow.
In supporting the bill Zawistowski said, "No business would ever attempt to address their financial situation without the critical accounting information provided by "Clean Audited Financial Statements". Yet the largest business in the world, the US Government is doing just that. We can not make good decisions in Congress without knowing both sides of the ledger. How much debt do we really owe? What are our other liabilities? What assets do we the American people hold through our federal government? How much are those oil assets worth that are under federal lands? How much land do we own and what is that worth? Could we reduce our debt by selling some of our land? Without this bill, it is impossible to make those kinds of decisions. This is a non-partisan issue. We all need to know where we stand financially, in our personal lives, in our businesses and yes in our government. This bill is critical to our being able to make intelligent decisions concerning our financial future."
Zawistowski concluded by saying, "We ask all citizens to contact their Congressman and Senators and ask them to support this bill and to get this bill passed. It is incredibly disturbing to citizens, who give so much of their hard earned money to the government, to learn that no one actually knows what the assests and the liabilities of the United States are at a time when we are constantly debating issues like debt and spending. It is the law in this nation that no one can sell securities without having clean audited financial statements, yet the US Government is selling securities through the Treasury Department, in violation of the law, because it can not produce clean audited financial statements. This must be rectified. The TEA Party Movement will be actively engaged in supporting passage of the "Federal Financial Statement Transparancy Act of 2014."
TEA Party Defeat of Eric Cantor in VASends Message on Immigration to Everyone in Washington
Akron, OH - Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and the Ohio Citizens PAC, said tonight that the defeat of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by TEA Party candidate David Brat in Virginia sends a message about Immigration Reform to everyone in Washington. Zawistowski said, "First, I must congratulate my friend and colleague Larry Nordvig, Executive Director of the Richmond Tea Party, for a tremendous victory. The Richmond TEA Party is one of the strongest in the nation and I am confident that they will do the hard work to take David Brat to Congress in November. Second, this win is a message for everyone in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats, that Americans are not interested in amnesty for illegal immigrants and we are outraged by a President that will not defend our borders and is actually encouraging tens of thousands of poor children to leave their parents to advance his flawed political agenda. We do not want people coming to our country illegally and taking jobs from Americans - particularly jobs from hard hit American minorities. Stop playing politics with our national security. Close the borders and fix the front door so that those who want to legally immigrate to America can do so in an orderly and timely fashion. We don't give a damn about rich Republicans who want cheap illegal labor and we don't give a damn about Democrats who want to buy votes of immigrants with our tax dollars."
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.
“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once arguedthat the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.
Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.
“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”
He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work. They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.
Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.
It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. “The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone”, Binney said, “and it’s said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks.”
The lack of official oversight is one of Binney’s key concerns, particularly of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is held out by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillance scheme's constitutionality.
“The Fisa court has only the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.”
A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank, though there’s evidence that even the nations the US isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immune from being spied on. It’s why encryption is today so essential to transmit information safely.
Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a “totalitarian mentality” that was the "greatest threat" to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century. Despite this remarkable power, Binney still mocked the NSA’s failures, including missing this year’s Russian intervention in Ukraine and the Islamic State’s take-over of Iraq.
The era of mass surveillance has gone from the fringes of public debate to the mainstream, where it belongs. The Pew Research Centre released a report this month, Digital Life in 2025, that predictedworsening state control and censorship, reduced public trust, and increased commercialisation of every aspect of web culture.
It’s not just internet experts warning about the internet’s colonisation by state and corporate power. One of Europe’s leading web creators, Lena Thiele, presented her stunning series Netwars in London on the threat of cyber warfare. She showed how easy it is for governments and corporations to capture our personal information without us even realising.
Thiele said that the US budget for cyber security was US$67 billion in 2013 and will double by 2016. Much of this money is wasted and doesn't protect online infrastructure. This fact doesn’t worry the multinationals making a killing from the gross exaggeration of fear that permeates the public domain.
Wikileaks understands this reality better than most. Founder Julian Assange and investigative editor Sarah Harrison both remain in legal limbo. I spent time with Assange in his current home at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last week, where he continues to work, release leaks, and fight various legal battles. He hopes to resolve his predicament soon.
At the Centre for Investigative Journalism conference, Harrison stressed the importance of journalists who work with technologists to best report the NSA stories. “It’s no accident”, she said, “that some of the best stories on the NSA are in Germany, where there’s technical assistance from people like Jacob Appelbaum.”
A core Wikileaks belief, she stressed, is releasing all documents in their entirety, something the group criticised the news site The Intercept for not doing on a recent story. “The full archive should always be published”, Harrison said.
With 8m documents on its website after years of leaking, the importance of publishing and maintaining source documents for the media, general public and court cases can’t be under-estimated. “I see Wikileaks as a library”, Assange said. “We’re the librarians who can’t say no.”
With evidence that there could be a second NSA leaker, the time for more aggressive reporting is now. As Binney said: “I call people who are covering up NSA crimes traitors”.
What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?
Joseph Bast And
May 26, 2014 7:13 p.m. ET
Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the "crippling consequences" of climate change. "Ninety-seven percent of the world's scientists," he added, "tell us this is urgent."
Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous." Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities."
Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.
One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.
Ms. Oreskes's definition of consensus covered "man-made" but left out "dangerous"—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren't substantiated in the papers.
Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in "Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union" by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master's thesis adviser Peter Doran. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed "97 percent of climate scientists agree" that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.
The survey's questions don't reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer "yes" to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.
The "97 percent" figure in the Zimmerman/Doran survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise and said they published more than half of their recent peer-reviewed papers on climate change. Seventy-nine scientists—of the 3,146 who responded to the survey—does not a consensus make.
In 2010, William R. Love Anderegg, then a student at Stanford University, used Google Scholar to identify the views of the most prolific writers on climate change. His findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Mr. Love Anderegg found that 97% to 98% of the 200 most prolific writers on climate change believe "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming." There was no mention of how dangerous this climate change might be; and, of course, 200 researchers out of the thousands who have contributed to the climate science debate is not evidence of consensus.
In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.
Mr. Cook's work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found "only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse" the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.
Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch —most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.
Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.
Finally, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—which claims to speak for more than 2,500 scientists—is probably the most frequently cited source for the consensus. Its latest reportclaims that "human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems." Yet relatively few have either written on or reviewed research having to do with the key question: How much of the temperature increase and other climate changes observed in the 20th century was caused by man-made greenhouse-gas emissions? The IPCC lists only 41 authors and editors of the relevant chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report addressing "anthropogenic and natural radiactive forcing."
Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by thePetition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by farthe most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."
We could go on, but the larger point is plain. There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.
Mr. Bast is president of the Heartland Institute. Dr. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced on June 6 the Justice Department will use taxpayer funds to “enroll approximately 100 lawyers and paralegals as AmeriCorps members to provide legal services” to “young people who must appear in immigration proceedings.” This will be accomplished through Justice Department grants to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. Holder is calling it a “strategic partnership” that will establish a “justice AmeriCorps.”
There is one big problem with Holder’s plan to fund legal representation for illegal aliens: It violates federal law. Federal immigration law (8 U.S.C. §1229a) lays out the rules governing removal proceedings in the immigration courts, which are administrative courts run by the Justice Department, not Article III federal courts. Under Section 1229a(b)(4)(A), aliens have the “privilege of being represented, at no expense to the government, by counsel of the alien’s choosing.” Thus, there is no question illegal aliens can be represented by lawyers in immigration removal proceedings, but it also is clear representation cannot be at the expense of the government.
Holder’s press release cites no legal authority for this move other than a supposed “direction” from Congress to the Executive Office of Immigration Review “to better serve vulnerable populations such as children and improve court efficiency through pilot efforts aimed at improving legal representation.” Where this “direction” came from is not explained. In any event, any such “direction” from Congress cannot overcome a direct, statutory prohibition on providing legal representation at the expense of the government.
Holder claims that with this program, “we reaffirm our allegiance to the values that have always shaped our pursuit of justice.” But the value that has primarily “shaped our pursuit of justice” is allegiance to the rule of law. As explained in a previous Heritage paper and by John Fund and me in our new book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department,” the attorney general and the president have shown no qualms about bending, breaking or ignoring laws passed by Congress when it suits their purposes.
Not only has Congress not authorized the use of federal funds by the Justice Department to provide legal representation to illegal aliens in removal proceedings, it has absolutely banned it. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Attorney General Eric Holder. Whether you are a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative, everyone should fear having an attorney general who establishes the precedent that prior laws passed by our elected representatives and signed into law by a popularly elected president can be wiped out by one person in a new administration deciding the Department of Justice will ignore or even violate the law.
Next Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Maplewood 7:00 PM
IRS Claims of Lost Lois Lerner Emails Not Credible
Kent, OH - Tom Zawistowski, Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party and Past President of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, said tonight that he does not accept the administration’s claims that two years of emails by Lois Lerner are lost. Zawistowski, who was one of the first to stand up to the IRS Targeting in 2012 said, "I have been a CEO of a technology company for 26 years, and I know from first hand experience that there is no way that a server crash at the IRS caused all of Lois Lerner's emails to disappear from the face of the earth. Even if the IRS mail server crashed, copies of her emails would be on the servers at the White House, the Justice Department, the FEC and other agencies with whom she corresponded. Those agencies can easily produce what Congress has the legal right to see, and they should be forced to produce them immediately."
Zawistowski continued, "Like so many other coverups by this administration, their excuses are just not credible. The Obama Administration has been stonewalling during this entire investigation, as they have with Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the VA scandal, and everything else. The lawlessness of this administration knows no bounds. They are now apparently so desperate to conceal their illegal activities that they are simply hiding the evidence, or perhaps even destroying the evidence, to keep Congress and the American people from getting to the truth about the illegal activities of Ms. Lerner and others in the Administration. I can assure them that we will not stop demanding answers until those responsible for persecuting American citizens for their political beliefs are brought to justice."
The TEA Party is not a political party but a grassroots cultural movement. The movement is educating American citizens about the Constitution and the uniquely American form of self-governance that has made our country so successful. Through this education, the movement is attempting to re-define what it means to be an American citizen, by encouraging individuals to vote, to run for office and to attend government meetings in their area so that they can participate in their self-governance. The acronym TEA stands for Totally Engaged Americans.
When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data. In several posts headed “Data tampering at USHCN/GISS”, Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on “fabricated” data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.
When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous “hockey stick” graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years. Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology.
Posted By James Simpson On June 4, 2014 @ 2:08 am In AIM Column | 17 Comments
This weekend the Obama administration announced a trade for the release of Army Specialist Bowe Bergdahl, offering in exchange the five most deadly Taliban terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. This was an illegal act. The president is required by law to inform Congress 30 days before making such a decision. He did not do so, and the White House admitted it. Obama claims a signing statement made at the time this law was passed gave him a right to ignore aspects of it when he saw fit.
Similarly, on Monday the administration violated the law by announcing stringent carbon dioxide emission targets for power plants that will effectively kill the coal industry. The new regulation calls for a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 2030. Congress failed to pass so-called “cap and trade” legislation that would enable such a move, so Obama is using the regulatory authority he claims the EPA already has to regulate carbon. But the president cannot just ignore the will of Congress. To do so assumes that Congress is irrelevant. Apparently this is what President Obama believes.
President Obama’s Organizing for America website brags that the new EPA regulations are “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.” Most media outlets are echoing Obama, heralding the new EPA rule, while downplaying or ignoring the calamitous effects it will have on the economy. CBS called it “groundbreaking.” The Christian Science Monitor calls it “bold, signature, and controversial.” CNN called it “the boldest step yet,” characterizing prior U.S. positions as “hypocritical.”
ABC News cited a new poll claiming that 70 percent of Americans think something should be done about global warming. This, of course, follows numerous polls that indicate just the opposite. A Gallup poll published in The Washington Post last year indicated that most people do not consider global warming a serious threat. An ABC poll found only 18 percent ranked global warming as their highest priority. Sixty-eight percent of respondents ranked the economy as the number one priority. A Pew poll found only 42 percent believed global warming to be caused primarily by human activity.
Media outlets dismissed concerns over the rule’s impact on the economy, but it will have devastating effects. Called the “Obamacare for climate change,” the EPA rule claims huge savings down the road, but, as President Obama put it, this “will require tough choices along the way.” Tough indeed. It will raise energy costs nationwide at a time when our economy struggles to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. A recent study projects the damages:
Average annual $51 billion reduction to U.S. Gross Domestic Product through 2030
An average 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs every year through 2030
U.S. consumers will pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030
Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030
And just as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claims Obamacare’s unstated but overt goal is to destroy the private healthcare market, this new EPA rule is ultimately designed to destroy the coal industry.
Some states have already vowed to fight against these regulations. Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) said, “Indiana will oppose these regulations using every means available.” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) promised to “fight these regulations every step of the way.” Many other U.S senators and representatives have expressed similar sentiments. West Virginia and Wyoming are considering legislation to block the regulations. As Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) noted, “The costs are real, the benefits are theoretical.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class.”
Facing tough reelection campaigns in coal states, many Democratic politicians have also broken ranks to voice their opposition. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) called the new rules “disastrous.” Democratic West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tenannt stated, “I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs…” Running against incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes promised, “I will fiercely oppose the President’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority.”
Lawsuits and legislation may ultimately prevent this regulation from going forward; however, state and local governments have a simpler and more effective tool at their fingertips: “coordination.” Coordination is a little-known feature embedded in numerous environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, the Endangered Species Act and other laws.
Coordination requires the EPA and all other federal agencies to consider all effects of environmental regulations. These effects include:
ecological (such as the effects on natural resources and on the components, structures, and functioning of affected ecosystems), aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social, or health, whether direct, indirect, or cumulative. Effects may also include those resulting from actions which may have both beneficial and detrimental effects, even if on balance the agency believes that the effect will be beneficial. (emphasis added).
The federal agency must prepare an “environmental impact” statement that includes impacts on the human environment. This refers specifically to all those aspects listed above. According to the law, “‘Human environment’ shall be interpreted comprehensively to include the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment.” The agency is only exempt if the proposed regulation has “no significant impact.”
Since these new carbon regulations will have a devastating effect on multiple aspects of the human environment, the EPA cannot unilaterally apply them as proposed. The EPA must negotiate with state and local governments—they only have to ask. Not only will conventional energy sources be gravely weakened, but our nation will be set on a course to use more and more solar, wind and other exotic power generation. These are three to four times more expensive than traditional energy, and will send residential electricity rates through the roof. If you recall, candidate Obama promised this very thing back in 2008, saying that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Obama added, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can—it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Solar and wind facilities require huge amounts of space to generate even tiny amounts of electricity. For example, the Ivanpah solar farm in southern California provides 1.1 percent of California’s residential energy needs, but requires five square miles of ground. And every bit of those five square miles is filled with moving, tilting mirrors that follow the sun. High maintenance costs are assured. A solar farm scaled up to serve all California homes—never mind industry—would require 500 square miles, an area almost half the size of Rhode Island.
Both solar and wind are deadly to the environment. For environmental purposes, the Ivanpah land essentially becomes a five square mile parking lot. Focusing the sun’s rays on a single point as this facility does raises the temperature near the central tower as high as 1,000 degrees F, incinerating any birds that fly through. The Bundy Ranch showdown came about because multiple solar energy farms are planned for Clark County, Nevada, and land surrounding the ranch property is intended for “mitigation,” i.e., to replace habitat for the endangered desert tortoise destroyed by solar facilities.
Modern wind turbines slaughter more birds than Perdue. At California’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, one of the first major wind generation facilities constructed in the U.S., the Audubon Society estimates that 4,700 birds die annually, including 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels. According to Smithsonian.com, nationwide, wind turbines kill between 140,000 and 328,000 birds every year.
Solar and wind energy projects cannot survive on their own, requiring massive, unsustainable government subsidies to make them economically viable. Across the United States, 15,000 wind turbines already stand abandoned, and throughout Europe wind and solar energy are being reconsidered as problems mount and governments abandon the subsidies. In Spain, one study found that renewable energy jobs cost about 571,000 Euros, or more than $776,000 each. At the same time, for each renewable energy job generated, the economy lost 2.2 jobs elsewhere. Wind generation has failed in Denmark, Spain, Greece, Portugal and elsewhere. Stephan Kohler, Germany’s energy chief says that conventional power plants will be necessary until at least 2050 and calls Germany’s Renewable Energy Act “pure insanity.”
Fleecing the Taxpayers
While Obama, the Democrats and some Republicans have raised the specter of catastrophic global warming, the real “green” they seek is greenbacks. Even a cursory look into the backers of “green energy” projects reveals a who’s who of the Democratic Left. Everyone from Al Gore, to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama and their many friends, associates and supporters have all lined up to cash in on “green” energy. The idea is to use government subsidies to make the investments viable. As long as subsidies persist, the companies make money. But this can’t last forever. Government subsidies must eventually end, as they are doing now in Europe and already did at many locations in the U.S. But by the time this happens, investors have long since cashed out, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The EPA rule, however, envisions an entirely new paradigm. Instead of subsidizing these green energy firms, the Obama administration intends to simply destroy the competition.
Refuting Democratic suggestions that progressive groups were also swept up in the IRS probe of the tax status of Tea Party organizations, the Treasury Department's inspector general has revealed that just six progressive groups were targeted compared to 292 conservative groups.
In a letter to congressional Democrats, the inspector general also said that 100 percent of Tea Party groups seeking special tax status were put under IRS review, while only 30 percent of the progressive groups felt the same pressure.
The Wednesday letter to the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee punched a huge hole in Democratic claims that progressive groups were targeted as much as the Tea Party groups from May 2010-May 2012, the height of the Tea Party movement.
The letter from the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed that there just weren't many progressive groups who even sought special tax exempt status. A total of 20 sought it, and six were probed. All 292 Tea Party groups, meanwhile, were part of the IRS witchhunt.
"At this point, the evidence shows us that conservative groups were not only flagged, but targeted and abused by the IRS," said Sarah Swinehart spokeswoman for the Ways and Means Committee.
"As we gather the facts, we will follow them wherever they lead us. Chairman [Rep. David] Camp encourages all groups, regardless of political affiliation, that feel they may have been targeted to come forward and share their story."
Democrats had noticed that the word "progressives" was on the so-called Be On The Lookout, or BOLO, list. But the Treasury IG suggested that the list wasn't used.
The operative paragraph from the IG letter:
"Based on the information you flagged regarding the existence of a 'Progressives' entry on BOLO lists, TIGTA performed additional research which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 having the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential political cases. We also determined that 14 tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 using the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were not referred for added scrutiny as potential political cases. In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words 'progress' or "progressive" in their names were processed as potential political cases. In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit."
By Pete Hegseth, CEO, Concerned Veterans for America
May 29, 2014
For the past five weeks, America has heard testimony from courageous whistleblowers, seen media exposés, and now has proof from the acting Inspector General's (IG) report -- all of it pointing to one central and unfortunate truth: the Department of Veterans Affairs is a dysfunctional, corrupt, and severely mismanaged department that is failing America’s veterans.
The Twitter-sphere has aptly dubbed it the #VAscandal. But at this point, it’s no longer a scandal—it’s a national disgrace of the highest order. The release of Wednesday's preliminary IG report on the Phoenix VA confirms our worst fears and deepest held beliefs—that delayed medical care and manipulating records is “systemic throughout” VA.
According to the report, Phoenix VA officially stated that veterans were waiting 24 days on average for care at their facility but they were actually waiting 115 days. The names of 1,700 waiting veterans at the Phoenix VA simply vanished, as if they never existed. Moreover, the IG has expanded the investigation to 42 VA facilities, not just the previously reported 26—underscoring an even more poignant hashtag: #NotJustPhoenix. The IG report goes on for pages upon pages with similar outrageous findings.
Bottom line: VA lied. Veterans died. And now it’s time for heads to roll and Congress to step up.
Just one week ago, the push for greater accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was gaining steam. With more facts emerging, and before this IG report, the House of Representatives passed the VA Management Accountability Act (H.R. 4031) as a first step toward reform at the dysfunctional department.
But now that good start is being jeopardized by a lack of action in the Senate, owing to a cynical political game on the part of the Obama administration and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. A cynical game that, in light of today’s findings, should have every red-blooded American up in arms.
When it’s impossible to enact even the simplest and most straightforward of administrative reforms, such as the VA Management Accountability Act represents, it’s clear something is deeply wrong.
Which is why veterans, their families and taxpayers who care about government accountability should take up the cause and contact Harry Reid and Bernie Sanders. Demand that the Senate give the VA Management Accountability Act (sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio) and up-or-down vote. Demand that senators go on record as either being for the bureaucrats or for our veterans.
Let’s not allow Senator Sanders, Senator Reid and the Obama administration to get away with burying this scandal. It’s time to send a clear message: veterans are the ones who are “mad as hell” and we will accept nothing less than action.
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