Natalie Johnson reports: The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that landowners can appeal to a federal court when the government subjects their property to wetlands
regulations requiring additional permits.
“For more than 40 years, millions of landowners nationwide have had no meaningful way to challenge wrongful application of the federal Clean Water Act to their land.”
The unanimous ruling determined that the Clean Water Act “imposes substantial criminal and civil penalties for discharging any pollutant into waters” covered by federal regulations without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“They have been put at the mercy of the government because land covered by the Act is subject to complete federal control. This victory guarantees the rights of millions of property owners.”
— Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper
The decision could weaken the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.
The Corps is in charge of assessing whether a landowner’s property contains “waters of the United States” or “navigable waters,” which are protected under the Clean Water Act. Read the rest of this entry »
The faculty council at Occidental College is considering instituting a system for students to report microaggressions perpetrated against them by faculty members or other students.
Reason TV visited Occidental’s campus to find out what exactly constitutes a microaggression. One Columbia psychology professor defined the term this way: Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.
After exploring the limitations of a microaggression reporting system, we discussed broader free speech issues with the students in the wake of a month of campus protests that resulted in the resignations of several faculty members and a university president.
Most of the students defended free speech in principle, if not always in practice. This is consistent with a recent Pew Research Center survey, which found that although 95 percent of Americans agree that people should be allowed to publicly criticize government policies, support erodes when the question turns to offensive speech. While a majority of millennials still believe that the government should protect speech offensive to minorities, a whopping 40 percent believe the government should restric such speech. Read the rest of this entry »
Republican Presidential Race 2016
Michael Scherer writes: There are some things you just can’t do in politics, not at the presidential level, anyway.
This is a game like any other, with rules honed over decades by the pros in blue blazers clutching focus-group results: Be likable. Don’t make enemies. Respect the party elders. Avoid funny hats. And never wear white bucks or French cuffs to the Iowa State Fair, a flyover fantasyland of cholesterol and common decency where the life-size butter cow grazes behind glass with the life-size butter Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly.
That’s why Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wore jeans to pose atop the hay bales this year. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina featured pink plaid—Farmer Jane meets Disney princess—and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton dug up a blouse of blue gingham, hoisting her pork chop on a stick like a blue ribbon for authenticity. They all played it well, adhering to the sacred promise that if they pretend to be like everyone else, voters might think they actually are.
Then a buzzing came across the sky. A $7 million Sikorsky helicopter, sent over six states in at least four hops by its billionaire owner, descended in tight circles on the crowd, the name of the Republican front runner for the 2016 presidential nomination emblazoned on the tail. Donald John Trump, at roughly 25% in the national GOP polls, about twice his nearest rival, emerged in Des Moines with his golden mane encased in a big ruby baseball cap, his cuffs flashing diamond links and his shoes shining brighter than bleached teeth. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton’s email troubles began when her private address was exposed by a Romanian hacker. Now the resulting scandal threatens to torpedo her presidential ambitions.
2008 – Hillary Clinton acquires a personal email server for her use in running for president, and has it installed in her Chappaqua, New York home
January 13, 2009 – Internet records show that the domain ‘clintonemail.com’ was created
January 21, 2009 – Clinton is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Obama’s secretary of state
February 1, 2013 – Clinton leaves the State Department
March 20, 2013 – Clinton’s private email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, is made public when a Romanian hacker named ‘Guccifer’ (whose real name is Marcel Lazăr Lehel) hacks into longtime Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL email account and leaks images of his inbox – including emails from Clinton
June 2013 – Hillary’s team shifts control of the email domain to an outside IT contractor in Denver called Platte River Networks, and sends the original server hardware to a data center facility in New Jersey, where it is erased
August 11, 2014 – Following a congressional subpoena and more than a year of delays, the State Department hands over a small number of Clinton’s private emails, 10 in all, to a House committee investigating the 2012 terror attack on a State Department compound in Benghazi, Libya – including some emails from the email@example.com address
November 2014 – The Benghazi committee asks the State Department for a larger batch of Clinton’s emails and receives about 300 that relate to the Libya saga, amounting to 850 printed pages
December 5, 2014 – Clinton’s aides say that in response to a request from the State Department, they have handed over about 55,000 pages of her work-related emails, comprising 30,490 messages
February 13, 2015 – The State Department sends the Benghazi committee another 850 pages of Clinton’s emails, including some from two different accounts on the private ‘clintonemail.com’ server
February 27, 2015 – State Department staffers tell Benghazi committee aides that Clinton had used her private address exclusively during her tenure at the agency, and that they don’t have any of her emails other than those she provided voluntarily
March 4, 2015 – The Associated Press reports that it has traced Clinton’s private email address back to a private server at her Chappaqua, New York home, and that the server was registered under a fake name
March 10, 2015 – In a contentious press conference following a speech at the United Nations, Clinton admits that she deleted more than 30,000 emails that she says were personal in nature, and says she turned over everything work-related to the State Department, while insisting that ‘I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email; there is no classified material’
March 11, 2015 – The Associated Press sues the State Department to force the release of Clinton’s emails and other documents that the agency has failed to turn over following a Freedom Of Information Act request
April 12, 2015 – Clinton launches her second presidential campaign with an online video and begins two months of low-key campaigning marked by a lack of interaction with reporters
May 22, 2015 – The first 300 of Clinton’s emails are made public by the State Department, revealing a close relationship with Blumenthal in the weeks following the Benghazi terror attack; one of them has been retroactively classified by the FBI as ‘secret’ but Clinton insists it was ‘handled appropriately’
May 27, 2015 – A federal judge orders the State Department to begin releasing all of Clinton’s emails in installments every 30 days, setting monthly targets for the agency so the work is completed by January 29, 2016
July 23, 2015 – Charles McCullough, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community tells members of Congress in a letter that a random sampling of 40 Clinton emails turned up four that contained material classified as secret Read the rest of this entry »
Watch what happens if Hillary Clinton falls behind in the polls
Fred Barnes writes: When a CNN poll last week showed Hillary Clinton leading Rand Paul by a single percentage point (48-47) and only three points ahead of Marco Rubio (49-46) and Scott
Walker (49-46), it was mildly shocking. In April, her lead over the three Republican presidential candidates had been in double digits: Paul (58-39), Rubio (55-41), and Walker (59-37).
But wait. If the next CNN survey shows Clinton actuallybehind one or two or three of the GOP candidates, it won’t be just shocking. It will send Democrats into a near-panic over the possibility of losing the White House in 2016, even with their preferred candidate, Clinton, as nominee.
“Stonewalls can work, but not forever and not in the midst of a presidential campaign. A minimal requirement of candidates is that they converse with the press. It looks bad when they don’t. It looks like they’re hiding something.”
Such a poll result isn’t far-fetched as we watch Clinton’s campaign deteriorate. True, head-to-head matchups this early in the presidential cycle are almost never predictive. But in this case, it’s the psychological impact that matters.
That Clinton’s candidacy is in trouble is indisputable. She’s not threatened with losing the Democratic nomination—at least not yet. She has the well-financed Clinton machine and a national network of supporters on which she can rely. The campaigns of her Democratic opponents are small and weak in comparison.
But the rationale for her bid for the presidency, the strategy of her campaign, and the tactics she’s adopted—all have failed to stop her steady decline. The expectation of Clinton’s glide
into the White House in 2016 is gone.
“What is the rationale for her candidacy? President Obama had a big one in 2008. He would reform Washington, end polarization, promote bipartisanship, and bring about change. As a campaign message, it was appealing. As we now know, his real intentions were different.”
In place of a rationale, there’s an assumption that her prominence, her résumé, and the likelihood of her becoming the first woman president would make her a uniquely appealing candidate. They haven’t. She’s a terrible candidate. She has not only failed to attract big crowds. She’s having trouble raising big money from those described by Politico as “rich liberals.”
“But Obama had a rationale for seeking the presidency. Clinton doesn’t.”
The old adage that opposites attract may apply in her marriage. Bill Clinton is charming, has wonderful political instincts, is a compelling speaker, and has a common touch. She lacks all four. Also, Bill is dynamic. She is lifeless as a candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
Coffee Shop Visit Staged from Beginning to End
David Martosko reports from Des Moines, Iowa: Hillary Clinton’s astroturf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa.
Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton.
Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city.
Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.
- Austin Bird sat for coffee on Tuesday morning in the town of LeClaire, Iowa, chatting with Hillary Clinton as photographers snapped pictures
- News reports called him a ‘student’ and her campaign called it an unscripted event
- But Clinton’s Iowa political director Troy Price drove Bird and two other people to the coffee house
- Bird is a hospital government relations official who interned with Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign
- The Iowa Democratic Party, which Price ran until a month ago, tasked him to be Joe Biden’s driver during an October Senate campaign trip in Davenport
The three got the lion’s share of Mrs. Clinton’s time and participated in what breathless news reports described as a ’roundtable’– the first of many in her brief Iowa campaign swing.
Bird himself is a frequent participant in Iowa Democratic Party events. He interned with President Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign, and was tapped to chauffeur Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014 when he visited Davenport. Read the rest of this entry »
“I mean, the election would be a total waste of time if not for that moment when the candidate has to go out on stage and tell all the people who worked so hard for him that he failed and that their shared dream is suddenly gone.”
WASHINGTON—Calling them the only things remotely worthwhile about next month’s elections, the American public confirmed Wednesday that the dozens of bitter concession speeches to be given by losing candidates are the sole aspect of the upcoming midterms they are looking forward to.
“I really don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t look ahead to a bunch of people half-heartedly chanting their candidate’s name to make him feel better.”
“Honestly, all that matters is that I get to watch some defeated politician stiffly read some remarks and offer a totally disingenuous congratulations to the victor,” said Des Moines, IA, resident Lindsey Abbot, one of the millions of American voters whose only consolation on election night will reportedly be finding out who will lose their composure as they apologize for letting down their supporters. Read the rest of this entry »