Less Government

Join with Less Government

Your Name

Your Email

A Chance for Congress to Kill Some Cronyism

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

They Don’t Even Do These
Deals in the Backroom Anymore

President-elect Donald Trump ran in part against the business-as-usual cronyism that has for decades been rampant in Washington, D.C. His pledge to “Drain the Swamp” resoundingly resonated – and helped propel him to the presidency.

Congress has been a chronic, consistent swamp filler. Now, headed into the Trump presidency, Congress has an opportunity to reverse course and start draining. They absolutely should avail themselves.

The prospective cronyism in question revolves around the West Lake Landfill in Bridgetown, Missouri (located near Saint Louis’ Lambert Airport). A limestone quarry in the 1930s, it during World War II and into the 1960s became a dumping ground for, amongst other things, processed uranium.

Thankfully, a 2015 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study concluded that the site actually poses no health risk. Nevertheless, the Agency had in 1990 declared West Lake a Superfund site designated for cleanup – so a cleanup we will have.

But this is government – and government moves…s l o w l y. The EPA didn’t get around to hiring anyone to do the work until…2015. At which point the speed of the private sector would have kicked in. The cleanup company retained would have had the gig finished by the end of this year. One year – and done. No fuss – no more muss.

Great news, right? Well, not for the Teamsters Union. The Teamsters haven’t unionized the landfill cleanup company – so they had no hand in the job. So they began methodically working to kill the cleanup. Because they are, first and foremost, environmentalists concerned about the Earth. I kid. They want the deal cancelled – and redone involving them. More

Unfortunately, Congress Needs to Pass This Fourth Amendment Reminder

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

A Legislative Refresher Course

Our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment reads as follows: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

As with nigh all the rest of our Constitution, the federal government has long been ignoring the Fourth. Likely the most notorious example is the National Security Administration (NSA)’s bulk data collection. Which is the Feds: “(S)toring the online metadata of millions of internet users for up to a year, regardless of whether or not they are persons of interest to the agency….”

The NSA has been amassing so much data on persons “not…of interest” – that it built a $1.2 billion data center that’s seven times larger than the Pentagon. (If you’re questioning whether the Fourth Amendment’s “papers” protection applies to digital data – imagine hitting “Print.”)

Let me guess what you’re wondering now: How could the NSA possibly be issued this sort of mass, blanket warrant, under the auspices of the Fourth Amendment – if millions of these persons are “not…of interest?” I.e. – totally devoid of any probable cause? A very reasonable question. More

New York Staters Must Be Tired of Big City, Big Government Cronyism

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The State? Yes
The City? Not So Much

The 2016 Presidential election has renewed the ridiculous argument that we should shed the Electoral College and decide the race by the popular vote. Because Republican President-elect Donald Trump decisively won the former – but received approximately two million less votes in the latter.

Leave aside the fact that Trump ran the electoral race, rather than the popular one – because that’s what gets you the presidency. The reason the Electoral College was established is the reason it remains vitally important today – massive cities should not unilaterally determine the fate of the entire nation.

Or a state. To wit: New York. Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the five boroughs of New York City by more than 1.5 million votes. Get that? Nigh the entirety of Clinton’s national popular vote advantage – comes from just this one city. The rest of New York State – Clinton won by a grand total of 1,260 votes. This is the state from which Trump hails – but in which he spent virtually no campaign time because the City-induced outcome was foregone.

Of course, Gotham also overwhelms, swamps and dictates state government. While the rest of New York is the swing-est of swing states – New York City guarantees that radical Leftists run Albany.

To wit: Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo. Who believes in the most ridiculous of government fantasies. And uses any unilateral means necessary to foist them upon New York City – and the beleaguered, reasonable New Yorkers beyond the city’s bounds. More

Will a Republican Senate Stick a Republican President with a Democrat FCC?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Looking Heavenward
for an Explanation

The GOP ain’t called “The Stupid Party” for nothing.

Reports last week indicate that Senate Democrats – the minority Party – had pulled together enough of their Republican majority cohorts to have a lame-duck session vote to give Democrat Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel a brand new term.

A lame-duck session – as in a vote by members whom We the People just said we don’t want voting anymore. To preemptively foist upon incoming Republican President Donald Trump – a Democrat-controlled FCC.

Now that’s stupid.

Here’s how the FCC is populated. There are five voting Commissioners – one of whom also serves as Chairman. Thus the partisan split is 3-2 – with the President’s Party holding the majority. They serve Senate-confirmed terms – which means Commissioner tenures often bridge administrations.

Current Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s term does. So do the terms of both current Republicans – Ajit Pai and Mike O’Reilly. Commissioner Rosenworcel’s term ends this year – in other words, imminently. Thus the Democrat push to renew. More

Exelon: Guilty of Cronyism Across State Lines

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Preventable
Death-by-Government

If there is government – there is nigh always cronyism. The more government spends and does – the more room for cronyism there is. The Feds spend $4 trillion per year, and regulate to the tune of another $2 trillion per annum – which is a LOT of space for cronyism to thrive.

But the Feds absolutely do not hold a monopoly on it. And just as at the federal level – state and local government size matters. The bigger the government – the more likely more cronyism is going to occur.

On the main, the Democrat Party is much fonder than the Republican Party of bigger government. As you examine the nation’s state governments – this is largely borne out. States under Democrat thrall have their governments spending and regulating much more than do Republican-led states. And with that – comes greater cronyism.

A serial state-level beneficiary of that cronyism – is power company Exelon. Who describes themselves thus: “Exelon does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Wherever we are, we work with local employees, customers, government officials and the public to design strategies that leave each community better than we found it.”

A more accurate self-assessment would be “we work with…government officials…to design strategies that (allow us to) leave each community better (off our own selves) than when we found it.”

They are about to do just that in oh-so-Democrat New York: “The unelected (New York Public Service Commission) PSC will unilaterally raise taxes by $8 billion…(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.” More

The Only Climate Change Threat to Companies – Comes from Government

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Consistency – Thy Name is Left

Environmentalists have long been called “watermelons” – green on the outside, red on the in. Red – as in Communist. Earth Day – also happens to be Soviet Communist Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. A coincidence, surely.

Environmentalism has always been about ending capitalism. Exaggeration?

130 Environmental Groups Call For An End To Capitalism

Not so much. But they’re better-than-average messengers of their terrible message, so they are always looking for variations on their theme. Even if consecutive variations – are completely contradictory. Flash back to the 1970s, and you get this:

The 1970’s Global Cooling Compilation – Looks Much Like Today: “A compilation of news articles on the global cooling scare of the 1970’s.”

Flash back forward – and it is suddenly, magically Global Warming. Which – when the planet stopped warming nearly two decades ago – suddenly, magically became Climate Change. All (totally irreconcilable) variations on a theme. It’s the Greatest Scam on Earth.

The ultimate goal remains the same – to end capitalism. And the fuel of capitalism – is oil. Gut the oil industry – and you undermine the entire capitalist system. And they are always looking for new and inventive ways to do it. To wit: More

Puerto Rican Protestors May Have a Point – But They Are Making It Very Badly

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Left (Privately) Says This a Lot

There is an environmental protest underway in borderline-bankrupt Puerto Rico. It involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the bereft Puerto Rican government – and nasty landfills.

As has always been the case, it is only thriving capitalist economies that can afford to care about the environment. Only they have the disposable income available to keep things clean.

Failing states like Puerto Rico? Not so much. A quintessential representative thereof is their landfills – which have been unfettered receptacles for any and every nightmare mess Puerto Ricans produce.

Puerto Rico’s Landfill Governing Authority Says They Do Not Inspect All Landfills on the Island: “(Puerto Rico’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB) only has) eight to 10 inspectors, who are not exclusively dedicated to landfill inspections and sometimes fail to inspect all the landfills on the island.”

Enter the awful EPA. They took time out from turning domestic rivers neon orange – to do an equally bang-up job overseas.

Puerto Rico Is Full Of ‘Open Dumps’ Ripe For Spreading Zika, And EPA’s Ignoring Them: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored numerous reports that most of Puerto Rico’s landfills are out of compliance with federal law, and some could even become breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, according to a new report….(Puerto Rican attorney Hiram Torres) Montalvo’s hard-pressed to find a reason why the EPA, which is generally so eager to regulate every other aspect of life, has done nothing to enforce existing laws for Puerto Rico’s landfills.” More

The Trump Transition: Away from Enormous, Terrible Top-Down Government

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Hopefully It’s Finally on Rollback

We are in the midst of what is referred to as the “transition” – the hand off of power from one president to another. God bless America – these conversions are peaceful. Even when the exchange takes place between presidents of opposing political parties, as is currently underway.

(Here’s hoping the Democrat Barack Obama Administration continues to handle this better than did the Democrat Bill Clinton Administration. On their way out, classy Clinton officials vandalized the White House to the tune of $15,000 in damage – including ripping the “W”s out of the keyboards – in protest of Republican George W. Bush succeeding them.)

The incoming Donald Trump Administration is shaping up to be a policy and procedural sea change – a completely new approach to what DC does and how it does it. Given the half-century-plus of top-down stagnation the city has foisted upon us – this is not a terrible thing.

Unless you are a creature of Washington. Which is much more a state of mind than of geography. Plenty of people – college professors aplenty, for instance – have never stepped foot in our nation’s capitol. But they think and act like lifers.

Trump, from all appearances, is not similarly addled. It’s not that he doesn’t care about how things in DC have always been done. It’s that he sees how anti-productive and stupid most of it is – and he intends to change it. More

In the Proud Tradition of Leftist Domestic Terrorism…

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Unfortunately, the Left Emulates

Water is wet. The Sun rises in the east. And large swaths of the Left engage in heinous acts of violence in the name of politics.

For our purposes here today, we’ll ignore the 94 million or so people Communism has murdered around the world. This is about the domestic Left.

We’ll begin just after the Civil War – with the Democrat Party’s creation of the Ku Klux Klan. A racist outfit that murdered and terrorized blacks and sought to overthrow southern Republican governments.

Let us move forward to the radical 1960s. With the creation of groups like the Black Panther Party and the Weather Underground (ne the Weathermen). Who engaged in murder and mayhem of all sorts.

The Weather Underground liked planting bombs in places like police stations and the Pentagon. Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers ran in the same Chicago political circles as current outgoing Democrat President Barack Obama.

In the modern era, we have an evolving amalgam of violent Leftist entities. Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter have each engaged in…un-peaceful activities. The protests of candidate Donald Trump and now President-elect Trump haven’t been pleasant. More

New York State is Perfecting Governor Andrew Cuomo Cronyism

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Not So Okey Dokey for New Yorkers

Government corruption increases as the size of government increases. The bigger the government’s checkbook and regulatory hammers – the more people will try to bribe politicians to direct where the checks and hammers fall.

This is cronyism. You contribute to politicians – and ask for government beneficial treatment. You want government to reward you – and punish your private sector competitors.

You get breaks from the pernicious laws and regulations imposed by government. Your competitors get laws and regulations that apply to them – but not to you.

And you get checks cut directly to you from government coffers.

All of which brings us to New York state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: “The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.” More