American Elephants


So What Do You Think Of Your Government? by The Elephant's Child

350px-State-dining-room-polk-cabinetI have been fascinated with the animus directed at the Environmental Protection Agency. I’ve long thought of them as a rogue agency, interested only in their power grab, and their environmental efforts as mostly futile and misdirected. Their enormous fines and riding roughshod over businesses and private citizens, trampling the law and ruining lives suggested to me that the agency should be abolished.  But it appears that large numbers of Americans agree with me. I didn’t expect that.

That got me thinking about other governmental departments. So I looked up the Cabinet, and what are referred to as “Cabinet Rank” officials who are not part of the Cabinet. I looked them up in Wikipedia. You have to scroll down for the list, but you should see the picture of James K. Polk and his cabinet in 1946— all five of them. Lincoln had seven, and in September 2009, Obama had 21. But scroll down to the Cabinet. It’s hard to attribute the correct agencies belonging to each cabinet office.

Which federal agencies do you admire and trust? Or the reverse, which do you believe are incompetent and failing to do what they should? The IRS? The VA? Interior? Agriculture? Education? If Monica Crowley is correct, Obama exercises incredibly tight control, and nothing goes forward in his administration without his approval.

Just a thought experiment.

PolkADDENDUM: [The picture is of of James K. Polk and his cabinet in 1846, The first cabinet to be photographed.] From left to right, front row. John Y, Mason, Attorney General; William L. Marcy, Secretary of War; President Polk; Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury; Back Row Cave Johnson, Postmaster General; George Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy. Secretary of State James Buchanan is absent. Polk was 49, He served 1845-1849. He pledged to reestablish the independent Treasury System, Reduce tariffs, Acquire some or all of Oregon Country, and acquire California and New Mexico. Accomplished all. He was a Democrat.

 



Bald Eagles Win: You Don’t Get to Chop Up Our National Bird! by The Elephant's Child

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When the federal government got all excited about cheap, clean, renewable energy by harnessing the wind, the gullible talked a lot about “natural,” and “free.” They looked for sites where there seemed to be the most continuous wind, which often turned out to be mountain passes which were also natural flyways for raptors and migratory birds.

Quite a few things were wrong with their plans. The mountain passes and flyways were not located anywhere near to power plants, and hooking up the energy was expensive. Eagles were listed as a protected species. The Obama administration was more interested in wind energy than in a bunch of birds, so they crafted a rule to give wind farms a legal path to “accidentally kill” eagles, as long as they agree to a number of mitigation and monitoring requirements to ensure that the population of eagles remained stable. The Bald Eagle is our national bird, hero of patriotic films and videos, and you don’t get to just chop them up.

dead_white-tailed_eagle-5001-e1416108699316Bird advocacy groups argued that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lacked the resources or know-how to ensure that permits actually benefit the nation’s official bird, and its golden cousins. The American Bird Conservancy issued the following press release yesterday in response to a U.S. District Court ruling.

(Washington, D.C., August 12, 2015) The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose has ruled that the Department of the Interior violated federal laws when it created a final regulation allowing wind energy and some other companies to obtain 30-year permits to kill protected Bald and Golden Eagles without prosecution by the federal government.

(Washington, D.C., August 12, 2015) The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose has ruled that the Department of the Interior violated federal laws when it created a final regulation allowing wind energy and some other companies to obtain 30-year permits to kill protected Bald and Golden Eagles without prosecution by the federal government.

I’d love to see the court costs for the efforts of the Obama administration to avoid complying with the law. Obama really doesn’t want to be bothered with laws and Constitutions, but go ahead and do it anyway, and just try to stop me. That ancient bit about “to the best of my Ability. preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America,” is so inconvenient.




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