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Obama administration Tag

While presented as a means to protect drinking water and "hold[ing] polluters accountable," the Obama administration's latest EPA rule, Waters of the United States, is rather more far-reaching than many conservatives like. According to the document (full text embedded below), the rule itself is not intended as regulatory (that probably comes later), but is instead "a definitional rule that clarifies the scope of the 'waters of the United States' . . . ."  Essentially, almost all fresh water, including that in "water-filled depressions," is now under the federal government's purview and subject to government oversight and regulation. Politico reports:
On its face, the Waters of the United States rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. But opponents condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch. . . . "This rule will provide the clarity and certainty businesses and industry need about which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, and it will ensure polluters who knowingly threaten our waters can be held accountable,” Obama said in a statement after the EPA released a final version of the regulation. “My administration has made historic commitments to clean water, from restoring iconic watersheds like the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes to preserving more than a thousand miles of rivers and other waters for future generations. With today’s rule, we take another step towards protecting the waters that belong to all of us.”
Obama's emphasis is on safety and clean water; the rule, however, greatly expands the definition of what waters "belong to us all," including that on privately-owned property.

A protest at a Phoenix mosque was held late Friday afternoon in response to two Phoenix residents driving to Texas last month looking to engage in violence because of a "Draw Mohammed" contest that was going on there:
Police officers lined barricades separating protesters and counter-protesters who gathered outside a Phoenix mosque Friday evening in response to a planned "freedom of speech" demonstration where attendees were encouraged to bring weapons and "draw Mohammed," an act offensive to many Muslims. Police presence increased by 6:30 p.m. to physically separate the two sides outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. About 20 cars and 15 motorcycles traveled from a protester meeting point at a nearby park to the mosque around 6 p.m., where people from the two sides used megaphones to yell at each other and were at times nose-to-nose. A large group of counter protesters held signs reading "Love not Hate," as others waved American flags and one man ripped the Quran in half.
The protest went off without any acts of violence. There were no fights and no riots. One area where even supporters of the protesters split was in the decision of some to carry firearms. Arizona is an open carry state, and some of the protesters were openly carrying firearms, including rifles that would naturally be mistakenly referred to "assault weapons" or "automatic weapons."

We already know that there's a lot the White House isn't telling us when it comes to the nuclear scam deal "framework" it claims to have worked out with the Iranians. Yesterday, Professor Jacobson explained that after the "framework" was announced, it became almost immediately apparent that the US, Europe, and Iran were not on the same page about how the deal was supposed to work. Then, David Gerstman penned a great takedown of the Administration's claims that the protocols in the framework (yes, the same framework we can't explain with any consistency) strengthen those in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Even Dick Cheney has chimed in, saying what we're all thinking: I think [Obama's] actions are constituted in my mind those of the worst president we’ve ever had. Yesterday, Senator John McCain talked with radio host Hugh Hewitt about the non-deal---and the White House is not happy about it. During the interview, McCain laid it all bare when he said that, with regards to the framework, "John Kerry is delusional.”

The Obama administration has a habit of releasing new regulations at the beginning of holiday weekends and the 4th of July is no exception. While most Americans are planning outings with family and friends for picnics and fireworks, 1,300 pages of new Obamacare regulations were released. Larry O'Connor of Truth Revolt reported:
Holiday Document Dump: 1,300 Pages Of Obamacare Regs On July 4th Eve The Department of Health and Human Services released nearly 1,300 pages of new regulations related to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at 4:15 Thursday, just as the nation was beginning their Independence Day holiday weekend. The regulations deal with payment rates to doctors and hospitals. How doctors get paid by HHS through the new, overreaching Obamacare guidelines has been an item of concern for the American Medical Association, a key supporter of the health care law.
Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner also noted the timing:

A freedom of information request revealed several incidents of major ethical breaches at the Department of Treasury, involving the solicitation of prostitutes using a government resources as well conflict of interest concerns. This is the latest in a string of embarrassments and scandals for the Obama...

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