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John Stewart

Shutdown and Political Responsibility

Then, let’s look at the childish temper tantrum displayed by the the Administration with respect to the barriers placed around the World War II Monument.

First, some salient facts need to be reviewed.  The WWII Monument is a facility that is open to the public 7 days a week, 24 hours per day with no required on-site presence of government employee to control admission.  Yes, there are government expenses incurred for trash collection and lawn care.  So, under the “shutdown” those to not get accomplished.

However, let’s look close at the news reports concerning the barricades places to deter WWII Veterans from visiting the Monument.  According to news reports, on Day 1 of the “shutdown”, simple action of stringing plastic tape was done.  That proved useless and Day 2 resulted in substantial barricade fences being brought in to deter access to the open-air Monument.

Someone had to incur expense to lease/rent/install the barricades.  After all, if the government was “shutdown” and employees furloughed, who provided the labor to acquire and install the barricades?

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John Stewart

PROPOSITION 1, THE 2014 WATER BOND: Another failure in the making?

Proposition 1 provides over $4 billion in funding for Sustainable Water Solutions efforts.  These funds would help ensure clean, safe drinking water is available to communities facing potential water shortages. Bond funds would restore watersheds throughout the state to help replenish groundwater levels, protect fish and wildlife, and improve water quality in California’s rivers, lakes and streams. The bond would also fund sustainable local water supplies, including water reuse and storm water capture. 

While these are important investments, which would help combat drought, protect natural areas, promote social equity, and reduce climate change impacts; one has to question the viability of these projects given previous history of failed infrastructure projects funded in previous water bond.

Proposition 1 devotes $2.7 billion (almost one-third of its total) as potential funding of several surface storage projects, including two large dams in the Central Valley. Thus, the bond threatens to take California in the wrong direction to meet its water needs in sound, financially responsible and environmentally beneficial ways. 

While the altruistic project appear to "benefit" the state, the price tag is steep - $7.5 BILLION.  This debt, on top of continued funding crisis in the state, begs the question of "Why spend more?"

Previous water bonds have promised clean, safe drinking water.  Previous water bonds have promised to protect fish and wildlife and improve the water quality of California's rivers, lakes and streams.

And now, Proposition 1 seeks to build on failed projects and promises of the past.

Join me and vote NO on Proposition 1...

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John Stewart

Help Oppose Massive New National Monument Designations

This administration has misapplied the Antiquities Act and by a stroke of a pen circumvented Congress in management of public lands. During the speech the president said, “I will use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.”

4x4Wire.com believes that responsible monument designations should include public input and cooperation, along with adherence to the 1906 act, which states, “the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

While the act gives the president the authority to make designations “in his discretion,” local stakeholders and those most familiar with the land are valuable resources who should not be overlooked. This administration and all future administrations should work with congress, affected user groups and local and state elected officials before any designations of public lands as national monuments. Americans are a diverse group of citizens who have different, yet compatible, ways of enjoying the great outdoors. 4x4Wire.com believes that there is room on our public lands for those who enjoy motorized recreation.

4x4Wire.com advocates for responsible motorized recreation and believes that the disposition of public lands should include the voices of all users.

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John Stewart

Shutdown? or Meltdown?

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In normal times, the President cannot change the laws passed by Congress. The President can go back to Congress and request an Amendment to the law as passed.

So, what has happened, the President has taken it upon himself to make unilateral changes to the ACA (ObamaCare) without consulting Congress.

So, the GOP controlled House sent forward a bill seeking a delay in one mandate of the ACA. The Democrats (and President) have rejected that proposal. That “delay” mirrors previous “delays” (unilateral changes) to the ACA previously enacted by the President.

The kicker, the issue is about DELAYING the individual mandate within the ACA. Coincidently, the President has already delayed aspects of the very same ACA -- without advice and consent of Congress.

Yup, the Democrats (and President) have achieved the shutdown of government because they were not going to negotiate an implementation delay in accordance with established process. And yet, the President has already made unilateral changes to the very same law OUTSIDE established process.

The arrogance of the President and the Democrat leadership have set the stage for the next recession.

Keep in mind, this is a lead up to the real fight with the pending debt ceiling. With a debt in the $16 trillion range and climbing, there is a real danger to the long-term stability of the United States of America.

I applaud the Republican party for their stand on ObamaCare and the projected excessive government debt it will create. And, for their stance to restrain uncontrolled government growth.

The continued growth of government is unsustainable. The continued growth of government regulation is unsustainable.
All ready, agencies are issuing public land closure orders that will further limit public access to public lands. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security are exempt from the shutdown.

So, we have federal museums being closed. We have national parks being closed. We have hunting and fishing opportunities being placed off limits.

Wade through the media hype and this is not that big of a calamity. More than three-quarters of the government is still on the job; as are the House of Representatives and Senators.

Cut spending. Cut government regulation.


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John Stewart

ANWR - 32 years and counting

The 95th United States Congress was in session from January 3, 1977 to January 3, 1979, during the first two years of the administration of President Jimmy Carter.  At that time, energy and reliance on foreign oil was a contested topic.  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska was a central focal point in the political debate.

As we sit on the brink of seating the 111th Congress, almost 32 years later, energy and reliance on foreign oil is still a contested topic.  And, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska is still central focal point in the political debate.

With the continued push to eliminate extraction activities from public lands, one wonders if there is a serious effort to address energy and reliance on foreign oil?

The push is for a "greening" of energy.  And yet, potential sites for alternative energy production on public lands are being removed from consideration with a desire to protect vast areas from "development".

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