"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Four Scandals in Obama's EPA-- Add Them to the the List of Obama's Abuses of Power


"Look, I told folks that voting was the best revenge. What did you all think I meant by that? It meant I'm going to use my executive powers to attack and punish conservatives. How else could you interpret this?"

It's amazing how many scandals are shooting out of the Obama Administration (oops.. can I say "shooting out of the administration" without getting red-flagged, audited, or being attacked by the EPA or its hard-Left environmentalist allies?). It's what would've been happening four years ago if the press had been doing their job.

Now Hot Air reports on four more scandals, these coming out of Obama's EPA. Hope and change!

From Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:

1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was already just an unethically created e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson. 
HotAir’s covered this story several times, but it really escalated to a point I don’t think I would have even concocted for a fictional account of government stupidity for fear it might feel like a reach. But government stupidity, undaunted by such a challenge and unbound by the limits of my imagination indeed awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” award, among other professional recognitions, to a dude who does not exist and was created merely to unethically circumvent FOIA requests.  
[...]  
2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups. 
According to research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose fellow Chris Horner uncovered “Richard Windsor:”
Specifically, CEI asserts that the EPA is waiving FOIA fees for what it describes as left-wing groups – like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and EarthJustice – while it “systematically denies waivers for groups on the right,” according to CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner. 
Horner said his research shows that from January 2012 to Spring 2013 the fees for “green” groups were waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, the EPA effectively or expressly denied his request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA instances over this same time period. Horner’s appeals of the EPA decisions to deny his fee waivers were rejected. 
Further review, Horner said, established that “green” groups proved successful in getting their fees waived 92 percent of the time.
As Gabe notes, the EPA is kindly “considering” an investigation into this matter. Most transparent administration evah. More pressure, please, Congress!  
3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.  
Aww, yeah:
In a huge Environmental Protection Agency warehouse in Landover, enterprising workers made sure that they had all the comforts of home. They created personal rec rooms with televisions, radios, chairs and couches. On the walls were photos, calendars and pinups. For entertainment, they had books, magazines and videos. If they got hungry, they could grab something from a refrigerator and pop it into a microwave. 
The crown jewel of their hideaway — which stored EPA office furnishings — was a 30-by-45-foot athletic center, cobbled together from “surplus” EPA gym equipment and decked out with a music system provided via “other agency inventory items,” according to a recently released inspector general’s report. 
All of it was carefully hidden from security cameras by partitions and piles of boxes set up by the workers, employees of Apex Logistics, the contractor that ran the warehouse until the EPA severed ties after learning of the situation last month.
4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups. No bigs. 
For your NOM-IRS analogy, this one’s perfect:
According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”  
The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.
I actually did a post on #4 back in late March.

As Prof. Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit wrote in USA Today, the common theme in the Obama administration ifs the abuse of power.

From Reynolds:

The NSA spying scandal goes deep, and the Obama administration's only upside is that the furor over its poking into Americans' private business on a wholesale basis will distract people from the furor over the use of the IRS and other federal agencies to target political enemies -- and even donors to Republican causes -- and the furor over the Benghazi screwup and subsequent lies (scapegoated filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail), the furor over the "Fast And Furious" gunrunning scandal that left literally scores of Mexicans dead, the scandal over the DOJ's poking into phone records of journalists (and their parents), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' shakedown of companies she regulates for "donations" to pay for ObamaCare implementation that Congress has refused to fund, the Pigford scandal where the Treasury Department's "Judgment Fund" appears to have been raided for political purposes -- well, it's getting to where you need a scorecard to keep up. 
But, in fact, there's a common theme in all of these scandals: Abuse of power. And, what's more, that abuse-of-power theme is what makes the NSA snooping story bigger than it otherwise would be. It all comes down to trust. [...] As for abuse, well, is it plausible to believe that a government that would abuse the powers of the IRS to attack political enemies, go after journalists who publish unflattering material or scapegoat a filmmaker in the hopes of providing political cover to an election-season claim that al-Qaeda was finished would have any qualms about misusing the massive power of government-run snooping and Big Data? What we've seen here is a pattern of abuse. There's little reason to think that pattern will change, absent a change of administration -- and, quite possibly, not even then. Sooner or later, power granted tends to become power abused. Then there's the risk that information gathered might leak, of course, as recent events demonstrate.  
[...]  
As for abuse, well, is it plausible to believe that a government that would abuse the powers of the IRS to attack political enemies, go after journalists who publish unflattering material or scapegoat a filmmaker in the hopes of providing political cover to an election-season claim that al-Qaeda was finished would have any qualms about misusing the massive power of government-run snooping and Big Data? What we've seen here is a pattern of abuse. There's little reason to think that pattern will change, absent a change of administration -- and, quite possibly, not even then. Sooner or later, power granted tends to become power abused. Then there's the risk that information gathered might leak, of course, as recent events demonstrate.

Of course when you elect a petty little grievance mongerer who enriches himself by the suffering of others-- I mean, a community organizer-- this is pretty much what you can expect.

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