Farmers are up in arms around the country over a proposal by the EPA to extend the federal government’s control over water.
Since 1972, the federal government has had control over “navigable waters” in the nation. That was later expanded to include wetlands near such rivers.
Now the feds want to expand the definition to include such things and ditches, farm ponds and places that only have water as runoff during heavy rain.
It’s another crazy plan by the federal government to extend its reach even further into our economy and daily lives. Bureaucratic regulations are now swamping many industries, especially those that produce energy and power needed to fuel our economy.
The move to extend the power of the federal government into farm ditches is another example of this overreach. But the nation’s agricultural interests would have a better argument against the proposed rule if it weren’t already so tied at the hip with the feds. Through a slew of federal programs, the nation’s largest corporate agriculture companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars in the form of subsidies. The American Midwest is awash in federal money going to large farm interests.
They may have one hand out trying to block this new water rule, but at the same time they have the other hand out asking for cash. Not a pretty picture for the American taxpayer no matter how you slice it.
President Obama has had a bad week in U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Last week, the nation’s top court ruled the president had violated the Constitution in bypassing Congress to make “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Also last week, the court shot down a liberal law in Massachusetts that created a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics that prohibited protestors from getting too close to women going into the clinics. The issue was one of free speech, and although the ruling was somewhat vague, it was a blow to liberal political interests.
Then this week, the President lost part of his ObamaCare mandate when the court ruled the government could not force private companies to offer contraceptive coverage in their health care plans.
This isn’t the first time the court has ruled against the President’s political agenda. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the court is the only stopgap between keeping the nation from evolving into an Imperial Presidency where the chief executive can both make and enforce, or not enforce, the law.
In recent years under President Obama, Congress has not defended its role as the makers of law in the nation and has ceded that role to the White House.
That’s a dangerous precedent because all presidents from all political persuasions want more power. Republican or Democrat, presidents want control. Democrat FDR overreached during his tenure and at one point, tried to stack the Supreme Court with those who would give him more power. During the Watergate era, there was a real fear that Republican President Nixon might make a mad grab for more power.
When Congress fails to do its job, only the Supreme Court is left to defend the nation’s freedoms from Presidential abuse.
Obama has clearly overstepped his bounds, over and over and over. It’s good to see the high court taking him to the woodshed for a whipp’in.
With thousands of children being sent from Central America over the U.S. border, the illegal immigration issue is again back in the news.
President Obama said Monday that he will take administrative action on the issue and blamed Congress (Republicans) for not moving forward with a comprehensive immigration bill.
There’s a lot of blame to go around in this issue and Republicans certainly carry their share. Republicans who talk about immigration reform often get blasted by their own supporters who are virulent anti-immigration.
But the President also has problems with his own liberal supporters in his moves. He has said he would send the children being sent across the boarder back home. That has a lot of liberal advocacy groups up in arms.
Despite the heated rhetoric on both sides of this debate, it’s not a simple black-and-white issue. Much of the problem in our illegal immigration is federal policies that don’t allow for realistic legal immigration to happen.
I’m not sure we will ever see any kind of “comprehensive” immigration legislation passed in Congress simply because it would have to deal with the sticky issue of what to do with millions of undocumented people already living here. If they’re given amnesty, conservatives will howl. On the other hand, we can’t just round them up and ship them somewhere else.
It’s a bad problem and there are no quick and easy answers.
Mike Buffington is co-publisher of Mainstreet Newspapers, Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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