The Wall Street Journal editors unload today on President Obama and his EPA for the costly power grab on power plant emissions the agency announced yesterday. They write, “Rarely do American Presidents display the raw willfulness that President Obama did Monday in rolling out his plan to reorganize the economy in the name of climate change. Without a vote in Congress or even much public debate, Mr. Obama is using his last 18 months to dictate U.S. energy choices for the next 20 or 30 years. This abuse of power is regulation without representation.
“The so-called Clean Power Plan commands states to cut carbon emissions by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. This final mandate is 9% steeper than the draft the Environmental Protection Agency issued in June 2014. The damage to growth, consumer incomes and U.S. competitiveness will be immense—assuming the rule isn’t tossed by the courts or rescinded by the next Administration.”
The WSJ editors explain, “[T]he point is to bull-rush states into making permanent changes to their energy systems. The investments and lead times in new power plants and transmission lines on this scale are generational. Yet state compliance plans are due in September 2016, and most of the carbon reductions must be complete by 2022.
“The White House and EPA know they are distorting the law beyond recognition and that this rule will be litigated for years. But they figure that if they can intimidate the states into enacting as much change as fast as possible, a legal defeat won’t matter because the outcome will be a fait accompli. . . .
“The High Court has rebuked the agency twice in the last two years for exceeding its statutory powers. ‘When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate a significant portion of the American economy, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism,’ the Court warned last year. ‘We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast economic and political significance.’
“Congress did no such thing with the Clean Power Plan, which is a new world balanced on a fragment of the Clear Air Act called Section 111(d). This passage runs a couple hundred words and was added to the law in 1977, well before the global warming stampede.”
The Journal editors add, “Meantime, states can help the resistance by refusing to participate. The Clean Air Act is a creature of cooperative federalism, and Governors have no obligation to craft a compliance plan. The feds will try to enforce a fallback, but they can’t commandeer the states, and they lack the money, personnel and bandwidth to overcome a broad boycott. . . . The states have good reason to avoid collaborating in a scheme that will result in higher prices for consumers and business as the EPA mandates are passed down the energy chain. The plan also endangers electric reliability, and the strains to the grid could lead to brownouts or worse.”
The Wall Street Journal editors sum up the situation well: “This plan is essentially a tax on the livelihood of every American, which makes it all the more extraordinary that it is essentially one man’s order. Mr. Obama’s argument is that climate change is too important to abide by relics like the rule of law or self-government. It is an important test of the American political system to prove that he is wrong.”
Of course it is! Where else is a woman going to go for an abortion except to the largest abortion provider in the country?
“I don’t think you realize how many women that Planned Parenthood is their go-to resource,” McCaskill replied. “I’m not saying that they are the only ones that should. I’m saying, investigate them, make sure they haven’t broken the law, don’t give them tax money for abortions — but don’t cut off the very way we avoid abortion in this country.”
McCaskill was dis-invited to speak at her daughter’s High school commencement last spring due to her stances on abortion and stem cell research.
The Hill reports, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is fast-tracking a bill to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, after senators huddled in his office Tuesday to work out the details of a bill.
“Speaking on the Senate floor, the Republican leader started the process, known as Rule 14, which allows the bill to skip over being sent to a committee and go directly to the Senate floor for a vote. ‘The horrendous videos of senior executives from Planned Parenthood discussing in callous tones and shocking detail their role in a national scandal requires a congressional response,’ the Republican leader said in a statement. ‘This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are actually spent on women’s health — not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant.’
“McConnell is expected to finish the fast-track process Wednesday. . . . The Republican leader told reporters earlier Tuesday that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) would be leading a working group of senators, which also included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to come up with a new bill. The group huddled in McConnell’s office Tuesday afternoon.”
Earlier this afternoon, Leader McConnell joined Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Lankford (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) at a press conference to introduce the legislation, S. 1881.
All are cosponsors of the bill, as are Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).
At the press conference, Leader McConnell said, “By now we’ve all seen those Planned Parenthood videos that absolutely shock the conscience. I want to thank Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Rand Paul, Senator James Lankford, and others you see behind me for leading the effort to put together legislation we’ll vote on next week to address the issue.
“But before I turn it over to Senator Ernst, I want to make the point that I’m sure others will make repeatedly, this bill would ensure tax payer dollars for women’s health are spent on women’s health. This will ensure tax payer dollars that are supposed to be spent on women’s health are in fact spent on women’s health. It would ensure we’re funding that and not subsidizing some scandal-plagued organization.”
Sen. Ernst said, “The recent footage depicting Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs . . . of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and vile. The American people—Republicans and Democrats alike—are horrified by the utter lack of compassion shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. In fact, now, Hillary Clinton is calling is calling these Planned Parenthood images, ‘disturbing,’ and I agree.”
And several Democrat senators have also said they find the videos troubling, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
Politico adds, “The Senate GOP bill would strip the roughly $540 million in funding that Planned Parenthood is scheduled to receive and steer it toward other women’s health programs, a bid to undermine Democratic complaints about the measure. ‘Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services,’ said a statement from Senate Republicans on the new legislation.”
And the AP notes, “The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. . . .
“The positioning came as an anti-abortion group released a third covertly recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research and showing stark close-ups of what it said was fetal tissue in a Planned Parenthood lab.”
As Sen. Tim Scott said, “To me, this is not a political issue, it is not a partisan issue, it’s not even if whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice. This is an issue about our humanity. . . . Without any question, I think the right thing for us to do is to defund Planned Parenthood and to make sure that we see that every single dollar goes to provide women’s health services.”
Is it just us or does it seem that whenever there is any kind of national or state controversy brewing, Senator McCaskill always jumps on the bandwagon to gain publicity for herself? Senator of McCaskill has been full aware of the shenanigans going on Jefferson City. Now she finds her voice?
She was an intern in the Missouri capital 41 years ago. “I am bitterly disappointed that the climate has not changed significantly since 1974,’’ the senator said, recalling her own experiences with off-color jokes and unsolicited sexual comments. And McCaskill remembers the self-doubt of what she should do. “I wanted to be an intern, and I wanted to learn,” she told reporters in a Tuesday conference call. “I was afraid if I told the university they’d decide they didn’t want to do the intern program anymore. So I just tried to handle it myself.” Read more…
CNN writes, “A majority of Americans want Congress to reject the recently-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, even as President Barack Obama’s approval rating continues to stand in net-positive territory for the second month in a row, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. . . . [O]n the President’s biggest accomplishment since  — the nuclear agreement reached between the U.S., its allies and Iran — most say they would like to see Congress reject it. Overall, 52% say Congress should reject the deal, 44% say it should be approved.
“Some opposition to the deal may be fueled by skepticism. A CNN/ORC poll in late June, conducted as the deal was being worked out, found that nearly two-thirds of adults thought it was unlikely the negotiations would result in an agreement that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”
That’s hardly surprising given Iran’s long record of hostile and deceptive behavior, let alone the angry statements that come from leaders in Tehran.
A Reuters report indicates that the Saudis and other countries in the Middle East continue to see this behavior up close. “Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday accused Iran of making threats against Riyadh’s ally, Bahrain, which he said showed that the Islamic republic was harboring hostile designs against its Middle Eastern neighbors.
“Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had raised the issue with her. He said the comments showed that Tehran was intervening in its neighbors’ internal affairs. ‘It does not represent the desire of a state for good neighborly relations but that of a state which has aspirations in the region and which carried out hostile act like this,’ he added.
“Jubeir did not clarify who made the comments or when, but he said they could be linked to the terms of the agreement with world powers on its nuclear program or to setbacks suffered by Iran’s Houthi allies in Yemen and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria. ‘I don’t know, but we reject their comments and reject the hostility they show towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the region,’ he said.
“Bahrain on Saturday said it had foiled an arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with ties to Iran and recalled its ambassador to Tehran for consultations after what it said were repeated hostile Iranian statements.”
Meanwhile, the AP reports, “Iran wants its own officials to take soil samples at a site where it is alleged to have experimented with ways to detonate a nuclear weapon, and the U.N. agency probing the suspicions may agree provided it is allowed to monitor the process, two officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.
“The investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency is part of the overarching nuclear deal reached earlier this month between Iran and six world powers. Iran denies any such work but has agreed to give the IAEA access to the Parchin military complex.
“Several U.S. senators cited Obama administration officials last week as saying Iran could conduct its own soil sampling at Parchin. . . .
“David Albright, whose Institute for Science and International Security is often consulted by the U.S. government on proliferation issues, said the IAEA ‘could instruct Iran in where and how to take the sample, as they would an inspector. They could try to keep a close watch on how Iran follows the instructions.’
“At the same time, ‘the IAEA could not exclude Iran tampering with the sample in some way,’ he said.
“Iran has refused to give IAEA experts access to people, documents and sites allegedly linked to the suspected weapons work for nearly a decade. But in its quest for the end to nuclear-related sanctions, it agreed earlier this month to work with the agency, and IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has said he expects to be able to deliver a report by December. . . .
“U.S. lawmakers skeptical of the deal see the matter of whether the U.N. agency will receive full cooperation from Iran as a core issue. Congress began a 60-day review of the accord last week.
“The suspected explosives testing at Parchin, south of Tehran, is only one of 11 alleged cases of nuclear weapons-related work listed by the IAEA, based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence and its own research.
“Tehran insists Parchin is a conventional military area with no link to nuclear tests. In recent years, it has carried out major construction and paving at the site where the alleged experiments took place, while refusing dozens of IAEA requests for a visit.”
Little wonder, then, that Americans are skeptical of Iran living up to an agreement and aren’t persuaded on the deal the Obama administration has made.
Senator Claire McCaskill, who once said she “wouldn’t want to be alone in an elevator” with Hillary Clinton, is now obviously full in with Clinton after this tweet. Claire gets a threefer with this quote. One, she gets to take a shot at The Donald. Two, she gets to take a dig at the hapless Todd Akin. And three, she gets to play Hillary’s attack dog.