September 12, 1997
by: Doug Fiedor
Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html
The scandals of the Clinton, Clinton & Gore team darned near got bumped from the news for a few days, what with the recap of the recap of the recap of the recap of the car wreck in Paris. Senator Fred Thompson knows how to get the press' attention, though: Lead off with a friend of Bill and Hillary.
Former Democratic National Committee honcho Donald Fowler was the principal guest of honor at the Senate hearings this week. And, in respect of the First Couple, he took the Hillary -- can't recall, can't remember, have no recollection of that event.
Also this week, we're seeing Al Gore's head come down out of the ozone long enough to realize that perhaps there really is "controlling legal authority" on those eighty-some illegal telephone calls he made to campaign contributors from the White House. The authority is called campaign laws, there is controlling opinion, and he intentionally broke a few of those laws. Even Janet Reno isn't able to ignore the dialing for dollars evidence anymore, as much as she tries.
Will the Thompson Committee subpoena Al Gore to the hot seat to answer for these obvious misdeeds? Nope. In fact, it doesn't even look like the Committee will subpoena Senator Christopher Dodd, who was Donald Fowler's campaign finance partner in crime at the DNC. It seems there's a gentleman's agreement in the Senate to not publicly badger one of their own.
Nevertheless, for all practical purposes, Gore is caught. That Congress is afraid to do anything about it at the moment is another story entirely. The evidence is available to anyone who wants it.
Rumor has it, Hillary is already tossing out names for the new VP. One report is that she threw a major fit when told she could not have Teddy Kennedy. Kennedy, of course, could never be ratified. So, as the rumor has it, Senator Jay Rockefeller is at the head of the list. Terrible to worse, in other words. . . .
Recent information paints a rather complete picture of a very corrupt administration controlling a support staff of political bottom feeders. It appears that they would do most anything for money. For instance, they do not want American citizens to use encryption software, yet they gave very powerful encryption to communist China. Then, the administration gave communist China and Russia a perfect seaport base with which to spy on, and smuggle goods into, the United States. Of course, the communists in China "contributed," in a round about way, quite a lot of money to the Clinton campaign fund and the DNC.
Then there's the large cast of shady characters repeatedly invited into the White House, the White House's illegal computer system, the changing of regulations to benefit campaign contributors, lying under oath in depositions, etc., etc. The list gets longer every week.
The money laundering is what's going to be the downfall of this administration, though. The Chinese didn't know what they were doing. They were much to amateurish and obvious in the way they routed their payments for services rendered.
The Clinton, Clinton & Gore team thought they pulled a fast one by getting the Senate to limit the hearing life of the Thompson Committee. Because of the time limit, they thought they could use a combination of subterfuge, obfuscation and procrastination to run the clock out. Then they thought that if they could publicly discredit and destroy Rep. Dan Burton before he got started, they would be home free. However, their plan did not seem to work.
Dan Burton evidently took the administration's abuse in stride and came out stronger. Thompson put his foot down and started issuing subpoenas. Now Rep. Burton and Senator Thompson are comparing notes. In other words, the administration is in trouble. The Burton Committee is ready to roll, and it has no time constraint. There's a good chance that the time limitation on the Thompson Committee will be extended, too.
Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr is wandering around doing something, somewhere, too. Maybe. At the very least, he can be expected to catch a few of those political bottom feeders and maybe two or three people of notoriety.
Even so, all this seems unnecessary. The evidence is obvious. In an honest world, twenty or thirty of the Clinton and DNC money laundering team would have already been arrested and indicted. And if Congress really meant business, we would be watching impeachment hearings now, rather than committee hearings.
Congress let us down again. This time it was by allowing the EPA's new set of draconian air quality regulations to pass into law.
This would really be funny if it wasn't so destructive to the American economy. Think about it, the Clinton administration actually wants to regulate two of the most natural things on earth: dirt and carbon-dioxide. Dirt, as in what the outer layer of earth is covered with, is going to take some real effort to control. Carbon-dioxide (CO2), however, is probably impossible to regulate.
The hubris of the EPA is amazing. Scientists are not even sure where most of the CO2 comes from. Plants make some carbon-dioxide (usually at night) as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Then, plants use more CO2 during the day to grow. The earth itself stores vast quantities of carbon-dioxide underground. And, of course, it's a necessary component of the air we breath. All animals expel carbon-dioxide as a natural part of the respiratory process.
If we cut down all forests and pave over all lawns, we may cut down the CO2 levels some. The problem is, plants also produce the oxygen we breath. Also, if the earth gives out with a good burp, as in a volcanic eruption, it would probably return more CO2 to the atmosphere than we could ever remove.
And while we are on the subject of volcanoes . . . how does the EPA expect to stop them from belching thousands of tons of fine particle material into the air? There are 1,500 active volcanoes in the world. Under the new regulations, if Mt. St. Helens (in the State of Washington) erupted again for an hour, every area of the country would be out of compliance for months.
Now they're trying to say that an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere "could" (maybe) shut down the North Atlantic's major currents, which "might" send Western Europe into a deep freeze. Of course, they cannot say for certain exactly how much the atmospheric CO2 level will need to be reduced, or even if there will be any consequences whatsoever if the CO2 is not reduced. Nevertheless, the world's nations will meet in December in Kyoto, Japan to discuss the "problem."
In other words, they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. But they are going to talk anyway. And, they plan to pass more rules to control human activity.
Regulating dirt (fine particles and dust) is just as silly. Not only will they be regulating our barbecues and fireplaces out of existence, EPA will be adversely affecting our food supply.
Anyone studying this situation for a moment may realize which American industry has most to lose by the federal government regulating dirt: Farmers. Yeah, out there in the country, where it's peaceful and the air is clean, will not be in compliance with the EPA's new regulations. Vehicles kick up dust when used on dirt roads. The dust caused by plowing and harvesting is now verboten too.
Who sponsored all the "science" resulting in these silly new regulations? You did. Well, your tax dollars paid for it, anyway. In one study, the National Institutes of Health gave a grant to Harvard University to study the link between levels of airborne particulate matter and death rates. The raw data, however, is secret. All we citizens get to see is their statistical analysis -- which, incidentally, was paid for by a grant from the EPA.
Yup, that's right. The federal government is going to slap severe regulations on dirt and air, but we cannot check their so-called "data" for accuracy. Congress placed an amendment in the new EPA appropriations bill that will make data from new studies available to citizens. But we cannot examine the data they say supports this current round of foolishness.
Their so called "analysis" keeps changing, anyway. Early on, EPA said that the new regulations would save 40,000 lives annually. Then it was 20,000, then 15,000, and now it's 10,150. Go figure!
Clinton's Council on Economic Advisors originally estimated that the new regulations will cost Americans $60-Billion annually -- about $1,000 per family each year. This week, Reason and George Mason University's Center for the Study of Public Choice placed the costs much higher.
And, because the amount of disposable income a family has available is directly applicable to their quality of life -- and hence, health -- the economists made another very interesting observation: The new air quality regulations may actually cause an additional 52,000 deaths per year; which is even more deaths than caused by automobile accidents.
Wednesday's "Washington Times" Inside the Beltway column by John McCaslin required a double take when we related it to our frequent flyer friends (and a commercial airline pilot). Of course, when we first told them about it, we added a little twist to spice it up some. . . .
Part of McCaslin's column reads:
"For those who really want to assist in making a difference, here is your opportunity," reads the Federal Aviation Administration memo to employees.
Attached was a job opening for coordinator of the "Welfare-to-Work Program," somebody needed to monitor the progress of eight welfare recipients soon to be employed by the FAA.
"In support of President Clinton's initiative calling for the federal government to employ welfare recipients, [the administrator for research and acquisition] has committed to hiring a total of eight employees (four of which will be located at Headquarters and four at the Technical Center) by the end of FY 98," the memo discloses.
One FAA official tells Inside the Beltway he's not sure what tasks the welfare-to-work hires will perform. "We'll just hire them first and then we'll see."
So, we thought, it appears that Clinton's welfare to work program may require even more taxpayer money than if the welfare recipients did not work. Apparently at least some of them will be trained to be federal bureaucrats. On top of that, FAA is going to hire an experienced bureaucrat to watch them.
And as for the little twist we added? Remember the reports a few months ago of all those aircraft flight controller positions that were expected to be opening? Well, here come some trainees.
Al Gore conveniently overlooks the "controlling legal authority" for campaign finance laws he chooses to disregard. Bill Clinton and his cast of federal bureaucrats have a similar problem with other laws. Gore's misdeeds do not personally affect the rights of most American citizens. On the other hand, Bill Clinton's intentional disregard for controlling legal authority adversely impacts on the rights and liberties of most Americans.
The actions of the federal regulatory agencies affect every American citizen in many ways. Federal regulations usurp personal rights as well as State's rights. And economists report that federal regulations alone cost many American families somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 a year in increased prices, fees and whatnot.
Even the wishful thinking legal-eagles advising Al Gore will have to admit that one branch of government 'is' still the Constitutional "controlling legal authority" in the United States: The Supreme Court. Therefore, we are in the process of researching the Court's controlling legal opinion concerning the federal government's ongoing quest to regulate everything in our lives from womb to tomb.
What we have already found is that the Tenth Amendment lives! And, as we suspected, many of the laws, rules and regulations promulgated in Washington are contrary to the United States Constitution -- this, by decree of the United States Supreme Court.
Congress, and especially the administrative branch, have decided to disregard Supreme Court opinion they do not wish to obey; notably when it pertains to regulatory law. We, on the other hand, unilaterally decided that the American people have a right to know exactly how the Clinton administration intentionally disregards this supposed "law of the land." The complete text, with background material, will appear in a book next year (anyone know a good literary agent?). However, we will also continue to discuss these points in Heads Up during the coming year.
Right now, let's only consider federal demands forced upon the States -- nuisance laws and regulations pertaining to things like mandating seat belts, drinking age, air quality control, wetlands, medical treatment, marijuana, education, gun laws, etc.
For instance, in New York vs. U.S. (91-543, 1992), Congress ordered that States not conforming to their federal plan must "take title" to all low-level radioactive waste material generated within their state and make arrangements for disposal. The argument between governments is not important. The Supreme Court's opinion, on the other hand, is very informative.
The Court said that it didn't matter that members of State government initially agreed with parts of the federal plan. What matters is that the federal plan departs from the Constitutional separation of powers:
"Also rejected is the sited state respondents' argument that the Act cannot be ruled an unconstitutional infringement of New York sovereignty because officials of that State lent their support, and consented, to the Act's passage. A departure from the Constitution's plan for the intergovernmental allocation of authority cannot be ratified by the 'consent' of state officials, since the Constitution protects state sovereignty for the benefit of individuals, not States or their governments, and since the officials' interests may not coincide with the Constitution's allocation. Nor does New York's prior support estop it from asserting the Act's unconstitutionality."
Then, the Court goes on to say that Congress may not compel States to regulate. And, the Court is actually rather clear in it's meaning in this opinion:
"We have always understood that even where Congress has the authority under the Constitution to pass laws requiring or prohibiting certain acts, it lacks the power directly to compel the States to require or prohibit those acts. . . . The allocation of power contained in the Commerce Clause, for example, authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce directly; it does not authorize Congress to regulate state governments' regulation of interstate commerce."
And, carrying that thought on a little further, the Court said that, even if State officials agree with the will of Congress (or the regulatory agencies), when it is not a Constitutional function of the federal government it is not legal:
"Where Congress exceeds its authority relative to the States, therefore, the departure from the constitutional plan cannot be ratified by the 'consent' of state officials. An analogy to the separation of powers among the Branches of the Federal Government clarifies this point. The Constitution's division of power among the three Branches is violated where one Branch invades the territory of another, whether or not the encroached-upon Branch approves the encroachment. . . . The constitutional authority of Congress cannot be expanded by the 'consent' of the governmental unit whose domain is thereby narrowed, whether that unit is the Executive Branch or the States."
Or, to put it more succinctly: "State officials thus cannot consent to the enlargement of the powers of Congress beyond those enumerated in the Constitution."
How then may States be forced to enforce seat belt laws, speed limits, education regulations and all those federal environmental rules and regulations? The fact is, States cannot be forced to enforce these federal government laws. As an example, we saw that recently when some States allowed marijuana for medical use. The federal government complained a little, but there was not much they could do about it.
In the New York opinion, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Tenth Amendment for the other two branches of the federal government. But no one listened:
"States are not mere political subdivisions of the United States. State governments are neither regional offices nor administrative agencies of the Federal Government. The positions occupied by state officials appear nowhere on the Federal Government's most detailed organizational chart. The Constitution instead 'leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty,' (The Federalist No. 39), reserved explicitly to the States by the Tenth Amendment." . . .
"Whatever the outer limits of that sovereignty may be, one thing is clear: The Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program."
Still today, the federal government does, of course, compel States to enact and administer many regulatory programs. However, as we see, that is a direct violation of our United States Constitution by officials in both the federal and the State governments.
Then came the Lopez opinion (93-1260, 1995), which concerned the carrying of a gun near a school zone. The federal government tried to say that it may regulate the gun because it was once in "interstate commerce." The Supreme Court, however, did not agree:
"To uphold the Government's contention that [the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990] is justified because firearms possession in a local school zone does indeed substantially affect interstate commerce would require this Court to pile inference upon inference in a manner that would bid fair to convert congressional Commerce Clause authority to a general police power of the sort held only by the States."
An object is not in interstate commerce when it is in the hands of the owner, within a State. And, if the object is not in interstate commerce, it may not be regulated by the federal government. Furthermore:
"Admittedly, some of our prior cases have taken long steps down that road, giving great deference to congressional action. The broad language in these opinions has suggested the possibility of additional expansion, but we decline here to proceed any further. To do so would require us to conclude that the Constitution's enumeration of powers does not presuppose something not enumerated (Gibbons v. Ogden), and that there never will be a distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local (Jones & Laughlin Steel). This we are unwilling to do."
This Court opinion becomes very interesting when we consider all of the federal laws, rules and regulations concerning automobiles, education, medical supplies, and now even toilets. As the Court says, these are State issues, not federal.
The Printz opinion (95-1478, 1997) concerns the federal government's mandate that county sheriffs perform background checks to screen purchasers of handguns (the Brady Bill).
Unfortunately, this is a very narrow opinion due to the way it was presented to the Court. Still, it is a very important opinion because it shows the Court's impatience with Congress' continued usurpation of States' rights. Herein, the Supreme Court clearly orders that the federal government may not compel State officials to enforce federal regulations. Again, the Court was very clear and concise in its opinion:
"The Constitution's structure reveals a principle that controls these cases: the system of 'dual sovereignty.' Although the States surrendered many of their powers to the new Federal Government, they retained a residuary and inviolable sovereignty that is reflected throughout the Constitution's text." . . .
"Finally, and most conclusively in these cases, the Court's jurisprudence makes clear that the Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program."
In Printz, the Supreme Court went beyond the case a little and even mentioned federal regulatory programs that are tied to grants and federal funds. And, while the Court did not exactly forbid these schemes by program name, it did clearly say that they do not conform to Constitutional tradition:
"Even assuming they represent assertion of the very same congressional power challenged here, they are of such recent vintage that they are no more probative [proof -- ed.] than the statute before us of a constitutional tradition that lends meaning to the text. Their persuasive force is far outweighed by almost two centuries of apparent congressional avoidance of the practice."
And there it is folks. Just from a small part of three Supreme Court opinions we have nearly squelched half of the federal regulatory programs.
From "New York" we learned that the federal government may not compel States to enact and regulate federal programs that are not within those enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution. And, even if consent for the federal program is ratified by State officials, it is still unconstitutional because it would act to increase the powers of the federal government and diminish those of the States.
(Perhaps we could discuss the new Heritage River program here, but there is not space.)
Then from "Lopez" we learned that the federal government may not regulate objects when they are no longer in interstate commerce. That type of police power belongs strictly to the States.
And in "Printz" we learned that the federal government may not compel State officials to enforce a federal regulatory program. Furthermore, even if the State is enticed into a federal program with money from federal grants or funds, it is still a violation of the Constitution.
This information is important to State legislators throughout the country. For, to violate these United States Supreme Court opinions is equivalent to a direct violation of the United States Constitution -- and hence, their oath of office.
Tell them so.