October 17, 1997
by: Doug Fiedor
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Some of us think Congress does the budget once every two years. In truth, the administration writes most of the budget. Congress only fools with the figures the administration gives them. The Lords and Ladies of the Hill take the administration's numbers, add or subtract a little pork in their personal areas of interest, and then pronounce the budget completed. They don't even bother to read the whole budget bill before approving it.
Others of us believe that Congress is responsible for all federal legislation. "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States," the first sentence of the first paragraph of our Constitution begins. But, no person in the federal government honors that anymore. Consequently, we no longer really need a full time Congress.
In truth, we almost have a dictatorship. Or, maybe it's a politburo form of government; similar to the one the old Soviet Union had under communism. In effect, there is a main politburo (the president, his cabinet and aids) that loosely oversees a large group of smaller politburos (the federal agencies).
Each of the one hundred and some administrative agencies has its own little unelected politburo. And the politburos of many agencies -- the so-called "independent" agencies -- are actually accountable to no one. In fact, the only person elected by the people in the whole of the administrative process is the president.
Yet, they all write law.
The president writes laws called executive orders. The administrative agencies write laws called rules and regulations. Even the Federal Reserve, a semi- private bank, writes law (rules).
These administrative agencies write a lot of law, too. The fact is that, in total, this unelected federal bureaucracy actually passes many times more laws each year than Congress.
The "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress" clause in the United States Constitution is dead! It no longer has any meaning. These words were totally negated by the actions of the administration and the administrative agencies. Worse, Congress likes it that way because they are no longer accountable for most federal law.
This week, two important political writers labeled the EPA's grab for more power over the people via the new clean air regulations as "mission creep." That has to be the understatement of the year! It's not mission creep when a regulatory agency grabs more power on its own initiative. That dictatorial action is better labeled as tyranny.
By allowing much of its powers and duties to be usurped by the administration, Congress has allowed itself to become impotent. Today, Congress doesn't seem to care what the politburos of the administrative agencies do. And even if Congress did care, short of defunding the agencies, there's not much they could do about it anymore.
For instance, documents show that as part of this global warming scam perpetrated on the American public, the administration is considering a hefty tax on carbon-based fuels such as oil, gas and coal. The administration will say this is to carry out a commitment to dramatically cut carbon dioxide emissions in a treaty the president plans to sign in Kyoto, Japan this December. We say that this is the exact same oppressive scheme proposed by this administration a few years ago. It's just that now they will use the Kyoto agreement as an excuse.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich said last week that the House will vote on a resolution "asking" President Clinton to not raise energy taxes as a result of the Kyoto treaty on global warming. "All of it would be passed on to the consumer, including a tax increase on heating for the Northeast, air conditioning for the South and on driving your car," Newt said in a press interview.
Indeed. And Mr. Speaker: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Lest we forget, the power to tax is one of those enumerated powers delegated to Congress, and Congress alone, by the United States Constitution. The power to tax is not a power given to the administrative branch.
This administration completely ignores the Supreme Court rulings in regulatory law and Congress has abdicated its power. That leaves the problem to us, the ultimate sovereigns of these United States. If we wish to return to a Constitutional form of government, we must first demand that all federal regulatory agencies be abolished. Then we must demand that those in Congress perform their duties exactly as prescribed by the Constitution.
Nevertheless, your tax dollars are used to "improve" all of this land. The National Park Service regularly builds roads and buildings in parks to serve the visiting public. Conversely, the National Park Service regularly uses tax dollars to remove roads and buildings when they happen to exist in places the environmental whacko crowd does not want them to be. All this has been going on for decades. It's all very expensive. But the federal government has a lot of free money to spend.
One preposterous expense caught our eye, though. This expense was for an outhouse. But this is certainly no ordinary outhouse, as we will soon see.
Here in the "foothills of Appalachia," outhouses are not an uncommon sight. In fact, it's not uncommon to see two and even three holers in someone's backyard. They are not used for their original function anymore, of course. But most of the things were built like . . . err . . . well, like an outhouse. They seem to last forever, with very little maintenance required.
Now comes the National Park Service, reinventing something that already works well everywhere off of government land.
The Park Service design, soon to be seen in a park near you, includes a gabled slate roof, cottage-style porches, a cobblestone masonry foundation in the Frank Lloyd Wright style, and custom-mixed epoxy resin paint that is hemlock in color. The paint alone costs $78 a gallon.
These are outhouses, of course, so there is no running water. But unlike the outhouses of old, they're not built over a mere hole in the ground. Nope. These guys include a $13,000 state-of-the-art custom-built composting system. The problem is, the composting systems will only work in warm weather. So, the facilities must be closed when the temperature drops to freezing.
These things are the brainchild of a committee (didn't you guess?) made up of about a dozen Park Service designers, architects and engineers -- yup, government workers, one and all. Therefore, the price to the taxpayer comes out to just about $333,000.00 per outhouse.
"Frankly, that's about what we're paying for toilets," said Dennis Galvin, deputy director of the National Park Service. Then he tried to justify the cost by saying they are meant to last 50 years or longer with little maintenance.
"We could have built it cheaper, but we wanted someone coming up the trail or off the road to encounter a nice restroom facility," said Roger Rector, the Delaware Gap, Pa. park superintendent responsible for ordering the first one.
Maybe. But from the users end, the new design does not work any better than the ones dotting the landscape of Appalachia. The business end is still a hole in the ground. And for the price of one Park Service outhouse, we could build a few hundred of the old-style that would get the job done just as well and also last 50 years. But, then all those National Park Service designers, architects and engineers wouldn't get to play at taxpayer expense.
What was Panetta's excuse for violating the law by using soft money in a campaign? "The president was looking at a Republican Congress trying to implement a contract on America that would impact on Medicare, on education, go after the assault weapons ban, and the president was committed to make sure that that would not happen and that he would be able to be reelected."
So, according to Panetta, they were justified in violating election laws simply because they needed to win the election to advance their socialist cause in the United States. By extension, that would explain why so many Democrats in Congress are doing everything in their power to obstruct a meaningful investigation.
What Panetta didn't say was that a huge chunk of that money came directly from the Chinese Communist government. It was laundered money; illegally gotten and illegally spent. And everyone at the Clinton-Gore Campaign Committee and the DNC knew it.
Now we understand that, after hiding the fact for two years, the FBI finally got around to releasing some of their information concerning the illegal campaign contributions from Red China. This summer, the FBI briefed members of the Thompson Senate Committee, saying that there was conclusive proof of an ongoing conspiracy by the Communist Chinese government to affect American elections.
So, lest we forget exactly what this is all about, let's again take the time to review just a few of the applicable laws blatantly violated by the administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party.
And, while you are reading, keep in mind that Clinton approved putting aside at least one-million dollars in campaign contributions to pay the fines they knew would be forthcoming when they were caught.
It is unlawful for a foreign national to contribute to any political campaign (2 USC 441e). Yet, Al Gore, Ron Brown, Senator Chris Dodd, John Huang, and quite a few others at the Democratic National Committee headquarters knowingly and actively solicited funds from foreign nationals.
It is unlawful to make contributions in the name of another person, (2 USC 441f) or to knowingly accept such a contribution. That would include those fifty-some fictitious contributors whose addresses are all listed as the DNC headquarters, Gore's fund-raiser at the Buddhist Temple, and others.
It is a crime (18 USC 201) for a public official to seek or demand, directly or indirectly, anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of any act. Yeah, this is a real law! But were it ever enforced there would be no more then four or five elected officials left in Washington. All they have to sell is influence.
It is a crime (18 USC 219) for an officer or employee of the United States to act as an agent of a foreign principal. Again, this is a joke law. Clinton and Gore obviously represent China. About one-third of Congress is more worried about Israel than their constituents. And thousands of bureaucrats are actively involved in imposing UN and UNESCO directives on the American public.
"Whoever promises any contact or other benefit as a consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity may be fined, imprisoned, or both" (18 USC 600). That would include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Senator Chris Dodd, and a whole cast of characters in the Commerce Department and the DNC (most of Congress, too!). The popular press is full of violations of this law. Don't look for any arrests, though.
This law would also apply to EPA Politburo Chairwoman Carol Browner. This summer, Browner offered a quid pro quo to many Democrat Reps. and big city mayors. That is, she promised them that if they support her new draconian air quality regulations, the EPA would give a free pass to any non-compliant activities in their districts. Those not supporting the new regulations, evidently, are to have their districts and cities targeted.
It is a crime (18 USC 607) for "any person" to solicit or receive a campaign contribution in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States. That includes Bill, Hillary and Al "dialing for dollars" from the White House as well as the nearly 200 campaign functions held there. Accepting campaign donation checks in the White House is obviously illegal too.
Another interesting law (18 USC 1001) prohibits false statements in connection with any matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency. That would include all the perjury at Congressional hearings as well as the lies told to all federal investigators. Currently, this does not seem to apply to Congressional investigations, though. Many of the people appearing before Congressional committees lie, and nothing is ever done about it.
Another federal law (18 USC 1510) criminalizes interference with a criminal investigation. That would include just about everyone in the White House and quite a few in Congress. In fact, the White House hired (taxpayer paid) lawyers specifically to run interference in the investigation.
"Whoever illegally obtains campaign contributions, or knowingly accepts campaign contributions that are laundered in an attempt to conceal the nature, source, ownership or control of the funds, may be fined, imprisoned, or both" (18 USC 1956). That would include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Huang, Chris Dodd, the leadership at the DNC, and quite a few Clinton appointed ambassadors.
This law, and others, would also apply to the Teamsters and AFL-CIO unions. The Teamsters, especially, was caught laundering money in conjunction with the Clinton and DNC campaign funds. Three of the union perpetrators already admitted their guilt in court and agreed to help prosecutors.
Of course, these are laws imposed on "citizens." Government officials, and their friends, are held to entirely different standards. Those in government know very well that, without "special arrangements," the Department of Justice will not arrest even one public official for any of the above laws. Else, the finger pointing would start, and most of the officials in Washington could ultimately be indicted.
The above is just an outline, a partial list. A full description of all the players, and the laws they violated, would require a very large book. And maybe that's the real problem in Washington: There is so much systemic violation of the law, and it is so pervasive, that no one knows where to start. Consequently, no one is charged with anything lest nearly everyone be charged with something.
As some readers may remember, I mentioned thoughts of writing a book a few weeks ago. Winter is my favorite time to get the bulk of that type of work done.
Everyone writes differently. I have already started the necessary research, and even incorporated some of it in Heads Up articles. Readers saw it as the pieces on those recent Supreme Court opinions that "should" have shut down half of the federal regulatory bureaucracy.
The bad problem is, all of this information will not fit in a publication the size of this newsletter. I would need 25 pages a week to describe just the highlights. The good part is, I now have so much good information that it may also be too much for a book. In other words, I already have more than enough good material to prove my point: Most of the federal regulatory bureaucracy is unconstitutional.
This is all court-winning stuff, too. In fact, a good part of it is directly from recent United States Supreme Court opinions. The problem is that these inconvenient Court orders are ignored by the administration. Therefore, the intent of the book will be to relate this information to as many people as possible so that the administration can not dare continue ignoring these Supreme Court decisions.
That's why I need a couple weeks. I have to decide how best to make the text interesting to my friends and neighbors, yet still useful to the legal-eagles and legislators. Then, I have to get that plan down in outline form. Because, let's face it, if the book is not interesting, people will not want to read it. But if it's not exactly correct legally -- correct enough to use in any federal court in the country -- it will be little more than wishful babble.
So I'm taking this self-imposed task seriously. If written correctly, this could be a very important text. It will certainly not correct all the Constitutional ills we see in our federal government. But if enough people know this information, and some act on it, there would be a noticeable change in the way government operates within a very few years.
We would also like to make a few little changes in Heads Up. First, because of time constraints on this end, we will be sending the newsletter out on Sunday, rather than Friday night. Second, most readers (I'm told) have rather good e-mail software, so we would like to send out the newsletter as a full page -- not cut off at 60 spaces. These changes are, of course, subject to change depending on the feedback we get from readers.
Heads Up will be back in two weeks. . . .