Global warming hype, transgender bathrooms and OSHA: Will 2014 be better?

2013 was a busy year. 2014 promises the same. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, January 6, 2014 — Being trapped in Antarctic ice must be terrible, especially for a shipload of global warming scientists who thought the ice was melting because it’s mid-summer in the southern hemisphere.

Still, they’re luckier than we are. We’ve been trapped for decades by exaggerated global warming claims that proved false years ago.

SEE RELATED: The search for global warming is put on ice

All the green energy grants, subsidies and loans cost over $20 billion a year. That’s minor compared to the higher prices consumers pay for electricity, gasoline, cars, appliances, etc., thanks to policies enacted to “save the planet.”

Save the family farm!

While we’ve been distracted by Obamacare, federal bureaucrats are attacking family farms with their favorite weapon: mangled and distorted definitions.

SEE RELATED: Co-ed locker rooms in California schools as restrictions are lifted

For almost 30 years, Congress has told the Occupational Safety and Health Administration it cannot regulate family farms. So now the Department of Labor decrees that on-premises grain storage bins are no longer part of the family farm. Instead, they are a “postharvest grain operation.” So OSHA inspectors are busily issuing fines for small family farms.

“The Wall Street Journal” reports a fine of over $130,000 issued to one Nebraska farm that employs only a single non-family member, because it lacked a written plan to deal with grain dust. That exceeds the $118,300 in fines OSHA levied against Adair Grain, Inc., owners of the plant in West, Texas, where an explosion killed 15 people and destroyed 100 homes.

Over 40 U.S. Senators have written Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to protest. He’s the same Obama appointee who created so many controversies while heading the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

Will OSHA also now claim that they can harass farmers freely, because canning fruit is a “postharvest fruit operation,” that milk is “post-udder” and that putting up a fence is “post holes”?

SEE RELATED: 113th Congress will lose on immigration reform

Beware the Obamacare word games.

The White House and allies now brag that over six-million people have “gained health care coverage due to Obamacare.” That’s not the same as buying coverage with an insurance policy, however. They just hope you’ll confuse the two concepts.

Those actually getting an Obamacare insurance policy, whether via the federal website or a state website, are just over two-million people. That’s far fewer than the 6 to 7-million who lost their former policies that were outlawed by the “Affordable Care Act.” And a significant number of the two-million Obamacare customers will only pay a fraction of the actual cost due to major federal subsidies of their premiums; we don’t have the specific number yet.

What about the other four million of the six million “gaining health care coverage due to Obamacare?” They were added to Medicaid and to the Childrens Health Insurance Program because Obamacare expanded eligibility for those. Those are not insurance. Those are government assistance programs — forms of welfare.

Don’t expect Jay Carney or Kathleen Sebelius to be any more forthcoming with specifics. The important details will need to be assembled by local reporters who compile accounts of people who can no longer see the doctor they need, or who have lost insurance due to Obamacare.

California calls itself the Golden State. It’s setting the gold standard for public officials who disenfrancise the public by thumbing their noses at what voters want.

First, the governor and attorney general refused to appeal when a federal court overturned the voter-passed Proposition 8. Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that in their absence, nobody had the legal right to challenge the ruling by the lower federal court.

In late December, 2013, when citizens presented petitions to force a referendum on an outrageous new “transgender-rights” law, some local offices closed early to avoid accepting the petitions. California’s secretary of state said the petitions therefore were late and signatures would not be counted.

Fortunately, a court rebuked the secretary and has ordered the counting.

That new law allows school children, K-12, to declare their “gender identity” regardless of their actual anatomy and DNA. They then can use whatever bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers they select, overriding privacy concerns of other students. They also can choose whether to play on boys’ or girls’ sports teams. Parents have no input, nor even a right to know what their child is doing.

Backers feel confident they have enough signatures to block the law for now and force a vote in November on whether it will be repealed.

Meantime, the California Supreme Court has admitted an illegal immigrant to practice law in that state, recognizing him as an officer of the court. The Obama Administration technically opposed the action, yet made no effort to deport the individual, who has been in the U.S. illegally for over 20 years.

So if you thought having a same-sex wedding during the Rose Parade was newsworthy, it was just a routine item in California.

We’re only a few days into 2014, but early indications show the same bad trends continue. So far, no signs of anything to reverse the loss of confidence in elected officials. But at least the year won’t be boring.

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Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook spent 25 years in public office, including 14 years in Congress. He was rated one of the top 25 conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then was a Heritage Foundation fellow and a fellow at Harvard's Insitute of Politics, where he led a study group on Propaganda in American Politics Today. 

Now as a radio host and a commentator, Ernest aims to expose Washington's gimmicks--to help you avoid the pitfalls. He brings clarity out of the confusion. 

Native to Texas, Ernest transplanted to Oklahoma after graduating from Baylor University.

Contact Ernest Istook


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