Tuesday, October 25, 2016


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clean cookstoves

The U.S. government has spent over $300 million on “efficient cook stoves” for developing nations and the federal employee behind the costly initiative just got a prestigious award that’s supposed to honor those “whose work makes our country better, healthier and stronger.”

It’s not clear how American taxpayer-funded stoves operating in a poor African village makes the U.S. better, healthier and stronger. What we do know for certain is that Uncle Sam has been a major contributor to a United Nations project, called Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, that aims to improve the lives of those living in the poorest areas of the world by reducing the health risks of indoor smoke from cooking meals over open fires and crude stoves.

Exposure to indoor smoke from cooking is the world’s fourth worst health risk, the U.S. government asserts, citing the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that it kills 4.3 million people annually. In all, 500 million lives in 100 million impoverished households will benefit from the multi-million-dollar clean stove program, according to the U.S. government. The hardest hit areas include sub Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, Guatemala and India. Stoves will “save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions,” the Clean Cookstoves website states.

It’s a noble cause, but how does the U.S. and its residents benefit from this? The federal employee who just received an award for his role in the initiative works at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His name is Jacob Moss and he’s being recognized for his “commitment and innovation in helping to create and lead an initiative to enable homes in developing nations to adopt cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels to improve and save lives.” This month he won the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies), known as the Oscars of government service.

Winners represent the many federal employees whose work makes our country better, healthier and stronger. “The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals highlight excellence in our federal workforce and inspire other talented and dedicated individuals to go into public service,” according to the awardwebsite. It goes on to say that the awards align with the founder’s “vision of a dynamic and innovative federal workforce that meets the needs of the American people.” This brings up a valid question; how are the needs of the American people met by providing third-world countries with stoves?

Moss is getting the honor because he was a central architect in the program to enable homes in developing nations to adopt cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels to improve health and save lives, according to the EPA. “Jacob truly embodies the spirit of commitment and service that this award honors,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. “He has dedicated his professional life to eliminating the risks of toxic smoke from indoor cookstoves – one of the deadliest threats facing billions of people across the developing world.” Nearly 500 nominations were submitted this year and winners were chosen by a committee of leaders in government, academia, media and the private sector.

In 2010 Judicial Watch reported on a similar U.S.-funded program to replace “inefficient cook stoves” that were supposedly contributing to climate change and deforestation in developing countries. The Hillary Clinton State Department was responsible for that project, which received at least $50 million from American taxpayers and was formally announced at a Clinton Global Initiative Conference in New York. The allocation was justified with claims that smoke from “primitive stoves” was a leading environmental cause of death and disease and a huge contributor to global warming.

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Enough is enough, when it comes to Barack Obama’s unconstitutional behavior.

That’s what the South Dakota Republican Party is saying.

In a resolution passed by the party on Saturday, 191 to 176, they recommended that the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington begin impeachment proceedings.

The resolution listed a number of ways Obama violated his oath of office, including the release of Bowe Bergdahl–the captive U.S. soldier now on trial for desertion–whose return was predicated on Obama releasing five dangerous Taliban terrorists.

They also cite Obama’s lies about on ObamaCare, namely his statement that people could keep their existing insurance if they liked it, and a slew of new EPA regulations that have taken on the coal industry without the input or approval of Congress

It ends with the clincher: “Therefore, be it resolved that the South Dakota Republican Party calls on our U.S. Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.”

Even though Barack Obama has only two years left of his final term in office–and the fight to replace him is already underway, both on the Republican side of the aisle and the Democratic one–it’s clear that his wheelings and dealings have continued to leave a bad taste in the mouth of many Republicans.

The resolution was sponsored by Allen Unruh of Sioux Falls, who ardently believes that Obama should be held responsible for all of his circumventing of the Constitution over the last six years.

Describing his anger towards Obama’s unconstitutional dealings, Unruh said, “I’ve got a thick book on impeachable offenses of the president” and that South Dakota ought to “send a symbolic message that liberty shall be the law of the land.”

Much as Unruh said, the resolution is completely symbolic–Congress has no requirement to even consider the South Dakota Republican Party’s resolution–but it remains to be seen if the fight to remove Obama right at the end of his presidency will continue to gain steam.

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Ronald Reagan’s famous quote about the most terrifying line in the English language being: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” has taken on new meaning in Colorado–where a federal environmental cleanup crew from the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally destroyed an entire river.

While cleaning up an abandoned mine in southern Colorado, EPA agents accidentally caused wastewater to spill out directly into the Animas River. An estimated 1 to 3 million gallons of heavily polluted water from the mine flowed out, altogether.

The tremendous influx of wastewater soon turned the Animas River a bright neon orange–with one local even claiming that the river looked like it “was turned into carrot juice.”

The waste has continued to move downstream, dyeing more than 80 miles of scenic riverscape an unnatural color–all the way into New Mexico, where the Animas River ends.

According to the EPA, the spill occurred when its team was using heavy equipment to excavate the Gold King Mine, which has been suspended. Instead of entering the mine and pumping out the contaminated water, which was carrying “metals pollution” of iron, zinc, and copper from the abandoned mine, the team accidentally caused it to flow into the Animas River.

It’s unknown, at this time, what kind of threats the polluted river has for aquatic life or for the people who depend on water from the Animas River. The EPA is continuing to test the water quality to learn more–but one thing’s for sure; if you need an environmental cleanup, there’s a chance that entrusting it to federal agents might just make the whole thing a lot worse.

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Despite hysterical alarmist claims of man-made global warming and climate change, the data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the US in a steady cooling trend.

NOAA typically releases data only after “adjusting” it, with the adjustments nearly always making the warming trend seem more pronounced. Previously they have been caught manipulating data from as far back as the 1930s to make it seem hotter in modern times.

The raw data, though, is available on NOAA’s website – and it paints a starkly different picture from the public narrative.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts, curator of the popular climate site Watts Up With That, compiled the raw data from NOAA’s US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) and graphed it. The trend is undeniable: The US has been cooling for the last ten years.

The USCRN data comes from a series of over 140 temperature stations scattered throughout the US. These stations are NOAA’s premier data collection method, with a mission of collecting data that doesn’t “need” adjustment to provide accurate information. According to NOAA boss Tom Karl:

“These stations were designed with climate science in mind. Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards and are calibrated on an annual basis.”

In other words, the USCRN is the star in NOAA’s lineup, even though the agency never mentions the raw data from the network in their regular reports on the climate.

Despite the obvious and gaping holes in the climate change narrative, the true believers are still charging full speed ahead. The latest public figure to throw his hat into the ring on behalf of climate hysteria is Pope Francis, who issued an encyclical today calling for global action to end climate change.

The irony of the Pope coming down on the side of climate alarmism is particularly delicious, since the climate change pushers have long denied that their fervor resembles organized religion. Many on the left proudly proclaim that environmentalism is incompatible with religion, and now religion has officially joined them.

So here we are again, with more evidence that the “settled science” is in fact bogus science. That doesn’t seem to bother President Obama, who said on May 20th that global warming is a clear security threat to the United States, and on Tuesday promised a series of executive actions to promote “green” energy in an effort to combat climate change.

Like the rest of the climate alarmist crowd, the President refuses to learn the lessons of past failures like Solyndra, and insists we must continue to tilt at the global warming windmill – even though the government’s own data says the warming isn’t happening.

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Thousands of coal miners and coal-fired power plant workers who have lost their jobs due to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations since President Barack Obama took office can go on welfare – and to take advantage of $35 million in set aside “Power+Plan” welfare grants for the industry.

According to the Obama administration, the Commerce Department’s Power+Plan grants program will help “communities and workers successfully adapt to changes in the coal industry and power sector.”

Making no mention of easing the mostly arbitrary EPA regulations to staunch the bleeding of jobs in the coal industry, President Obama is asking Congress to raise the budget for Power+Plan grants to $55 million. The president believes the increased funding will “diversify” local economies across Appalachia so they become less reliant on coal jobs.

Speaking for the Department of Labor, Secretary Thomas Perez said:

“Recent changes in the energy economy have had a profound impact on Appalachian families and communities that have been sustained by the coal industry for generations”…and that “we have a moral imperative to work together to ensure we all succeed.”

Kentucky and West Virginia have been two of the hardest hit states when it comes to federal regulations on coal. EPA regulations are forcing power companies to delay coal-fired power plant repairs and maintenance… cancel plans to build new power plants… and force fully operational coal-fired power plants to close.

Some jobs have also been lost due to competition from natural gas. Kentucky lost 644 power plant jobs from 2008 to 2013 – a 37 percent drop in the workforce – and 5,188 coalmining jobs during that time – a 31 percent reduction in the state’s coal workforce.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said:

“Kentucky’s coal miners, their families and those working in coal-related jobs continue to suffer under this Administration’s War on Coal and its burdensome regulations, the result of which has been the loss of thousands of high-wage jobs in a region facing serious economic challenges.”

Until January, when Republicans took over control of the Senate following the 2014 elections, not much attention was paid to the Kentucky Republican. Since then, McConnell has only been able to secure $7.5 million from the Labor Department retrain coal workers who lost their jobs.

“This funding will help … provide essential reemployment services – including for emerging information technology jobs – to approximately 700 Kentuckians who have lost jobs or businesses as a result of the decline in the coal industry,” McConnell said.

The picture at the national level is bleak as well.

Coalmines and coal-fired power plants cut 43,386 jobs nationally during Obama’s first term in the White House according to the center-right American Action Forum think tank.

According to some estimates, EPA regulations under consideration to lower carbon dioxide emissions (a greenhouse gas that humans expel when breathing and that plants need to survive) will eliminate another 80,000 jobs in coal-related industries by 2030 and as many as 300,000 jobs from the U.S. economy as a whole.

The new EPA regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions will be finalized in the next couple months once the White House Office of Management and Budget finishes their “review”. After that, without a single vote in Congress, the new EPA regulations will become law.

Republican lawmakers and pro-coal blue state congressmen have crafted a bill to stop the pending power plan rules from becoming law and raise the bar for future EPA efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Speaking on behalf of supporters, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said:

“The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act enables us to fight back against the assault on coal, and the broader threat to affordable, reliable energy nationwide.”

“I am proud to lead the charge against the ‘Clean Power Plan’s’ sweeping regulations and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to move this very important legislation forward.”

Even if the bill passes both houses of Congress, it is unlikely President Obama will sign it and even more unlikely that supporters in Congress can muster enough votes to override a presidential veto.

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President Barack Obama announced his plan today to designate nearly all of Alaska’s 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as permanent untouchable wilderness lands.

That means there will be no oil drilling, timber harvests, fracking operations, mining, road building, development or any other human activity that would damage the area’s otherwise natural and pristine appearance.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior announced the release of its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the refuge. Quoting the statement:

“The release of the CCP and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the refuge, which recommends additional protections”. . .”President Obama announced he will make an official recommendation to Congress to designate core areas of the refuge – including its Coastal Plain – as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands.”

In a piece by Ron Arnold writing for The Daily Signal, “Alaska’s U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and at-large Rep. Don Young, all Republicans, vowed at a press conference to fight Obama’s offshore decision…”.

Rep. Young is quoted as saying, “It’s becoming undeniably clear that this administration does not view Alaska as a sovereign state, but rather an eco-theme park for the most extreme environmentalist allies of the president and his party.”

Most disturbing is the role that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin may have played in the decision.

Former Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay now a staff writer with The Washington Free Beacon reported that:

“Russian money for anti-oil and gas campaigns had been laundered through a Bermuda investment house, bank, and shell corporation and the California-based Sea Change Foundation.

“The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011. . .”

More evidence.

In July 2014, the U.S Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report called The Chain of Environmental Command – an in-depth environmental collusion report detailing how a “Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”

The report revealed that three Russian energy investment firms funded a company called Wakefield Quinn, a Bermuda law firm that laundered the funds through a front corporation called Klein, Ltd. Klein in turn passed it on to Sea Change, which distributed the funds to anti-oil-and-gas green groups based in the U.S.

Now that President Obama has walled off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas exploration at the behest of environmental groups that make their budgets with Russian money, Putin is asserting vast claims to oil and gas reserves for Russia in the Arctic.

That’s an astonishing return on the investment that Russia has made in eco-organizations that may not have America’s best interests at heart – something that might change when President Obama leaves office in 2017.

Until then, when the cats away, the Russian bear will play.

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An epidemic of federal employees watching pornography on government computers during work hours has gotten so out of control that legislation has been introduced in Congress to contain the embarrassing crisis.

Porn has for years been part of the job at some government agencies and in fact a number of federal audits have long documented the enraging details of how our tax dollars are being wasted. Judicial Watch has also reported on this for years, especially the porn crisis at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency charged with policing the nation’s financial industry. While the economy crumbled, the SEC was preoccupied with pornography. In fact, high-ranking managers at the agency regularly spent work hours gawking at pornography web sites on their government computers while the country’s financial system collapsed.

We’re talking dozens of SEC employees, including senior officers with lucrative six-figure salaries viewing explicit images on their agency computers during work hours. One senior attorney at the SEC headquarters in Washington D.C. spent up to eight hours a day accessing internet porn. When his government computer ran out of file space, he downloaded pornographic images on compact discs and stored them in boxes in his office. One agency accountant tried to access porn websites 16,000 times in one month and got busted with hundreds of pornographic images on her computer hard drive. Another SEC accountant used his government computer to upload his own sexually explicit videos onto various porn websites that he frequented during business hours.

Other agencies have also been embroiled in porn scandals evidently making legislation necessary. Among them is the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has been exposed by its inspector general for having employees spend significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography on government computers without ever getting caught. This workday porn surfing costs American taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to the agency watchdog, yet the NSF keeps receiving monstrous allocations from Congress every year. I 2014 the scandal-plagued agency tried to persuade Congress to approve an $83 million increase to its already excessive $7.2 billion annual budget.

This disgraceful government pornography epidemic might once and for all come under control thanks to a law (Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act) introduced recently by a North Carolina Congressman, Mark Meadows. The measure would stop federal employees from accessing, watching or sharing pornography on government-issued computers and devices. How pathetic that this problem has been so pervasive in our taxpayer-funded agencies that a law must be passed to stop it. Why can’t these agencies police themselves and put an end to this shameful issue?

Congressman Meadows says in a statement that the inspiration for the bill came from yet another agency embroiled in a porn scandal, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recent EPA Inspector General reports have uncovered multiple cases of employees working hard at watching porn. “One EPA employee was viewing as much as 6 hours of pornography a day in his office,” Meadows said. “The same federal employee was found to have downloaded as many as 7,000 pornographic files onto his government computer.” Another inspector general report, provided by the congressman on his website, details an employee who pleaded guilty to using his EPA email account to access an internet site with child pornography.

The congressman, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, says most agencies have rules banning porn yet it continues to take place. “There is absolutely no excuse for federal employees to be viewing and downloading pornographic materials on the taxpayers’ dime,” he said, adding that “it’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites.” Seldom mentioned is the cybersecurity threat created by accessing porn websites because the files are often ridden with viruses and malware, the congressman further points out.



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