idiot gets shotBy Peter Galuszka

Two initiatives — one on the state and the other on the federal level– show just how untenable the politics of confrontation has become. It is forcing the executive side to take charge at the expense of the legislative.

Democrats Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Atty. Gen. Mark Herring are exploring ways to have the governor take emergency authority to continue operating the state of no budget is passed by June 30. Herring has brought in a constitutional ringer from the University of Virginia to help out.

Meanwhile, on Monday, President Barack Obama will unveil new rules to stem carbon dioxide pollution at electricity power plants. This will most likely involve some kind of cap and trade system that actually has worked for a couple decades for preventing emissions that contribute to acid rain.

Obama is late in promulgating the rules because King Coal and its well-paid lobbyists and members of Congress want to blunt the impact on coal-fired electricity plants that provide about 40 percent of the electricity in this country. They and the annoyingly boring global change naysayers have rendered Congress useless in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time. Result? Gridlock.

So, Obama is taking executive power through existing law, namely air pollution laws that date back to Republican Richard M. Nixon.

It’s a shame that there can’t be intelligent discussion about either issue. In Virginia’s case, the stubborn resistance by conservative Republicans in the House of Delegates to expanding Medicaid has deadlocked action on passing a $96 billion two year budget.

Turns out that the fiscal situation is even more dire because of a $350 million shortfall this year in revenue which is the result of many wealthy Virginians taking advantage of capital gains tax law changes that made it better to ditch stocks last year as they did. The shortfall will only snowball if nothing is done. Localities and state employees will be severely impacted.

Hence McAuliffe is seeking out a Constitutionally-acceptable way to keep the government going regardless of what hard-liners like House Speaker Bill Howell do.

So, there you have it: rule but executive fiat. To be sure, in Virginia’s case, there are possible ways to get out of the mess, namely Republican Sen. Emmet Hanger’s compromise plan on Medicaid. But when it comes to global warming, forget it. The power of the Koch Brothers and the fossil fuel industry is simply too great. No matter what practically every climate scientist in the world says, we are having to answer to the deniers.

Hang on. June will be a lively month.

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19 responses to “Why Executive Fiats Are Needed”

  1. I wonder what Peter’s stance on executive fiats would be if Ken Cuccinelli were issuing them in Virginia and Sarah Palin were issuing them in Washington. My guess is that he’d be caterwauling about the Right’s dismantling of democracy.

    Democracy sure is frustrating when you don’t get your way. As long as the “other side” consists of morons and dogmatists and deniers, who can blame liberals and Democrats for wanting to short-circuit the democratic process? As we all know, Libs and Dems have a monopoly on brains, truth and justice. Here’s an idea. They could save a whole lot of trouble if they didn’t allow the idiots and deniers to vote in the first place!

  2. I particularly love this statement: “It’s a shame that there can’t be intelligent discussion about either issue.”

    Peter blames the skepticism of global warming “deniers” on the machinations of Big Coal and the Koch Brothers without ever addressing the substantive points raised by the skeptics — as in, oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that global temperatures have not risen for 17 years and none of the models predicting catastrophic global warming reflect reality. In PeterWorld, it’s the skeptics who refuse to have an intelligent discussion!!!

    In other words, “having an intelligent discussion” means, “Shut up and just admit you’re wrong and we’re right.”

    Oh, that’s probably unfair. Having an intelligent discussion means, “Please shut up and just admit you’re wrong and we’re right.”

  3. larryg Avatar

    re: global temperatures- please understand that multi-year variations are not the same as the longer term trend.

    when Peter says “intelligent” – he’s saying – don’t be willfully ignorant to the longer term trend by only focusing on the shorter term variations – and pretending the longer term context does not exist or is made up data created by a world-wide conspiracy.

    the short term variations can be a decade or longer but if you look at the longer term trend – how can you not acknowledge that? How do you “intelligently” deny the longer term trend?

  4. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Congratulations! You have a remarkably accurate understanding of my arguments.
    You, however, do not seem to agree with them.

    1. larryg Avatar

      by the way – I totally disagree with the “fiat” idea… it’s bad policy. and it begets worse policy in the future when the other side gets their turn …

      but let’s also be honest that the power of the POTUS and Gov is not unlimited – and it can be reined in … consider the explicit law to deny the POTUS to “administratively” move prisoners from Gitmo to the US prisons.

      that kind of option is always available to rein in the POTUS/GOV – if you have agreement to do that.

      if one side is blocking any/all compromises – then the other side will resort to fiat… and folks might want to hear what A. E. Dick Howard, the guy who actually helped update the Virginia Constitution, has to say about the powers of the Virginia Governor.

      Of course, it appears that McAuliffe actually has more on his mind about governance than messing with folks who sell supplements.. although he’s pretty new to the office.. so he may end up just as corrupt-looking.


    2. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

      No it doesn’t.

      1. larryg Avatar

        I keep asking – did we screw up by believing the ozone hole stuff. Did we spent all that money changing over from CFCs for nothing?

        were the Ozone Holes the beginning of a worldwide conspiracy among scientists to defraud the unsuspecting and now they know better?

        fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?

        1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

          Yeah, man…they really suckered us all with lead paint dangers, acid rain and ozone depletion. Those greedy scientists are pulling the wool over our eyes to grab thousands of dollars in grants. Thankfully our plucky extraction leaders and their meager billions are looking out for our best interests.

          1. larryg Avatar

            next thing you know – they’ll be trying to convince us that nitrogen and phosphorous are “pollutants”.

            these guys have no shame..

  5. billsblots Avatar

    That’s interesting, because at Chrysler Headquarters in Detroit the question has been “Are Fiat Executives Needed”?

  6. billsblots Avatar

    The earth is 4,500,000,000 years old, yet magically it is the year 1805 that is pointed to as The Norm by the Warmers. ANY deviation from 1805 is absolute proof that man’s activities are warming the planet. Why did the Warmers choose 1805? Because the earth was coming out of the Mini Ice Age and indeed needed to warm up.

    As Dr. Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, recently testified before the U.S. Senate, “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof, it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”

    That doesn’t dissuade the Warmers, merely angers them because if the truth becomes understood then the Billions of Dollars of taxpayer funded studies at countless universities would be discontinued, and people would lose their grants and jobs. We wouldn’t want that.

    Warming has never been based on observable fact, but on computer models that make alarming projections. Of course, computer models are written to produce the desired outcome of the model writer. As Dr. Moore further explained to the Senate, he has studied 102 Global Warming models since the 80’s, and all 102 significantly overstated the trajectory of Warming and its effects on the planet. Again, let’s not let facts get in the way of hysteria, which is great for justifying government grants and media-whoring.

    Fact is, the earth has been much, much warmer, and horribly colder than it is now. “Iceberg Earth”, a condition when both poles grow ice to the equator, would largely end human life. Even a duplication of the last Ice Age would reduce the human population by billions and have a much, much more hideous and detrimental impact on the human race than another warming. Imagine the northern hemisphere’s greatest, most populous cities being ground to bits by 3,000 – 5,000 feet continents of ice – Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, London, Boston, NYC, Philly, Chicago, every city south to Atlanta ground to bits. Where would all the people go, how would you feed the survivors when there is little arable land left, and that with a remarkably short growing season?

    The earth and all its plant and animal inhabitants would be much better off with a good global warming. Imagine double cropping the rich, black dirt farm lands of central Michigan, producing enough high protein soy and white beans in one year to feed billions.

    If mankind could, and it can’t, alter the climate it should get started on warming the earth right away before the next inevitable Ice Age sends the few humans into brutal survival mode.

    1. larryg Avatar

      can you provide a similar analysis of the ozone hole issue?

      exactly what do we do with global warming or ozone holes when we see things that we think have changed and we think if they have changed it may mean trouble…

      what do you do?

      did you need absolutely irrefutable proof to take action on the Ozone holes?

      why? why not?

      were there Ozone hole “skeptics”? what happened ?

      how come the “skeptics” seem to have their tongue tied on the Ozone Hole history?

  7. larryg Avatar

    Thinking about the issue of global warming, also known as climate change, do you think this is a serious problem facing this country, or not a serious problem?
    Monday, June 2, 1:14 PM

    All Respondents

    **NET Serious problem** 69%
    Serious problem, VERY 57
    Serious problem, NOT VERY 12
    Not a serious problem 29
    No opinion 2

    now look at Republicans:

    **NET Serious problem** 49%
    Serious problem, VERY 33
    Serious problem, NOT VERY 16
    Not a serious problem 49
    No opinion 1

    so my question to fellow bloggers here – where do you sit on this poll?

    if you take out the GOP from this Poll – the “serious problem” goes to about 80%

    so .. are people like Jim Bacon in the 20% who say GW is not a problem?

    Independents – by the way – clock in at about 70%

    so 3/4 of the nation – that is not GOP – believes that GW is real and a serious problem.

    and the GOP and Conservatives?

    well. they don’t believe the data, they accuse the scientists of cooking the books, they think Obama is trying to destroy our economy, and .. they are opposed to any inventories that would show how much of our infrastructure would be affected by rising oceans ( regardless of cause).

    I call this the revenge of the Luddites… it’s the Flat Earth Society – all over again.

    3/4 of Americans think GW is a real serious issue and Conservatives?

  8. DJRippert Avatar

    I have to agree with Jim that the advantages of politicians ruling by fiat are seen most clearly by those who agree with the dictatorial decisions made that way. Of course, we have a thick layer of judiciary smeared over all aspects of American life so that which is decided by executive fiat may well end up being overturned by judicial fiat.

    While I believe that human created CO2 is negatively affecting the atmosphere I have no faith that Obama or any of the other global warming alarmists have any idea what to do about it. Worse yet, I have no faith that the few ideas they do seem to kick around have been considered in context of their impact on the economy. Worst of all, I have seen the Obama Administration lie over and over again to get their way or to avoid accountability.

    For those reasons, I am willing to oppose any material changes to US regulations or laws concerned with global warming until the next administration takes office in Washington. Regardless of whether the next administration is Republican or Democratic I find it hard to believe that any administration will be as willing to lie and distort as the Obama Administration has been willing to do.

    When we elect inexperienced people to the highest office in the land bad results occur. Hillary and Bill Clinton were quite right when the referred to Barack Obama as “the amateur”. Let’s not let “the amateur” do any more damage which will undoubtedly have to be redone or undone once the negative consequences are understood. We can wait another 2.5 years for a “pro”.

    Larry’s arguments ring hollow. If you ask most Americans whether losing 20 pounds would make them more healthy and allow them to live longer most would say, “yes”. If you asked them whether good health was one of the most important personal issues in their lives, they would say, “yes”. If you ask them whether they are willing to give up fried foods and get up at 5:00 am every day to exercise they will say, “hell no”.

    Asking whether global warming is important is a very incomplete question. Asking how much people will be willing to lower their standards of living to combat global warming would be on the right path.

    In a similar vein, nobody said that the world had to remake its economic structure to fix the ozone holes. Replacing CFCs is a far cry from reducing excess human caused CO2.

    Enter the Obama Administration with new CO2 reduction rules. What will happen once these rules are implemented? Well, nobody knows. One easily possible outcome would see resurgent US manufacturing start moving offshore again – perhaps in search of countries which don’t follow our lead. Will the EPA produce a believable economic impact statement for these new rules? Or will Mark Warner join Barack Obama and the other Democrats in saying, “If you like your weather you can keep your weather.”?

    Never follow the path suggested by proven liars.

    1. larryg Avatar

      I don’ think it’s just Obama who is concerned about GW or wants to do something about it though – no more than the POTUS during the Ozone Holes was a solo participant.

      no matter how you roll it – the skeptics and “antis” today seem to have no words for what happened with the Ozone holes and how that compares to GW.

      there’s a good reason they won’t comment about it I suspect.

      my view. don’t blame others. use your own brain. It’s a pretty flimsy excuse to say you do believe the world is threatened but you don’t want to even try to do anything about it? What the?

      what has happened to the 25% these days?

      I’d be curious to know how the 25% felt about the Ozone Holes.. how certain we were about the damage, why we did take action rather than blame politicians and Scientists and make excuses for not taking ANY action because we were “not sure” or needed “absolute proof” before we would act.

      it’s downright loony ..

      I’m reading that 40% of people now believe in creationism.. even as 75% believe we do have GW. you can bet the 25% of skeptics probably has a high number of creationists in their ranks also.

      this – in the age of the internet of things where knowledge and information are readily available at the finger tips – but no amount of knowledge and information can apparently persuade some. It’s like we’ve been transported back to the flat earth society in medieval times..

      Oh.. and these are some of the same folks who think that mankind puts too much nitrogen and phosphorous into rivers – because scientists and the government tell us it’s so… they have no clue that the “cure” will work but they “believe” but replace nitrogen in the water with carbon dioxide in the air – and – all bets are off…

      good lord.

    2. larryg Avatar

      Here’s the problem:

      This is how science and scientific modelling works.

      there are no precise answers.

      not with hurricanes, tsunamis, ozone holes or global warming.

      there are dozens of models. no one really knows with any great certainty what forces accelerate and what forces stay static and not a single one of the models – whether it was about Sandy – or the Ozone holes was dead on 100% accurate.

      None of the models had anything what-so-ever to do with the POTUS.

      It basically boils down to – do you thing all the scientific players in the game that find some agreement on some things are correct – correct enough – for instance to evacuate entire cities – and in the process to seriously damage the local economies in doing that especially if it turns out they are wrong and the hurricane hits 50 miles away with twice the predicted force or 30 miles away with almost no damage?

      what do you believe?

      If scientists say an asteroid is headed for the earth – would the same GW skeptics leap up and say it’s a scam .. a worldwide conspiracy to get more grant money to study asteroids.

      If you think this sounds loony – you are right.

      but that seems to be where we are now days.

      Once upon a time – the world’s scientists said there were holes in the atmosphere and that if we did not act – they would expand and bad stuff would happen – and the answer – with no assurance of success short term or long term was to make tremendous changes that would cause economic damage – stop using CFCs and switch over to something else.

      to be sure – there WERE some skeptics – but at the end of the day -enough people believed the scientists and we did make changes.

      my question is – what is different now than then?

      what changed?

  9. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Jim actually scotus said co2 cld be a pollutant under prrvious law

    1. larryg Avatar

      more than that – SCOTUS is saying that the clean air act – as written – gives the EPA the power to determine what is a pollutant or not and how to regulate it – using cost-benefit analyses of it’s own and others provided by industry and the public (i.e. an extensive public comment and participation process).

      but none of this matters to the deniers.

      It’s Obama’s fault. It’s the EPA’s fault. It’s the SCOTUS fault. It’s the scientists fault and most of all it’s the “leftists” fault.

      by the way – this is pretty much the SAME process that was used in determining regulations for acid rain and for dealing with the Ozone holes.

      what has changed ?

      How did we go from a world-wide scientific consensus about ozone holes to a massive global conspiracy about GW?

      Recent polls put the number of “skeptics” at about 25% of the population, even lower than the number who believes in creationism.

      How is it that 25% of the voters get to decide what we will do or not do about what 75% perceive as a serious problem?

      this has become the Modus operandi of the right these days – gridlock the country and Congress if you can’t win on even a super-majority vote.

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