Posted by DrJohn on 6 December, 2010 at 9:19 am. 24 comments already!

Once long ago the Colorado River was unimpressive. Over time it eroded the stone through which it coursed and the landscape was forever transformed.

Not long ago, Barack Obama was an unimpressive river. Now he erodes the Constitution as he courses through his Presidency. He promised to “fundamentally transform” this country from a Democratic Republic into something else.

Obama has surrounded himself with a cadre of czars- a shadow government. Cass Sunstein is one of them. Sunstein believes that a population can be “nudged” into doing the “right” thing. Barack Obama and his left wing czars are the arbiters of what’s “right.”

The meaning of “right” is unfolding in front of our eyes.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has drafted a new set of “rules” for the internet that some believe will end internet freedom as we know it. Genachowski has clothed the proposal as one promoting “net neutrality” but as the Washington Times’ editors noted:

Mr. Genachowski’s draft document has over 550 footnotes and is stamped “non-public, for internal use only” to ensure nobody outside the agency sees it until the rules are approved in a scheduled Dec. 21 vote. So much for “openness.”

It’s another one of those “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it” moments that have characterized virtually every piece of Obama legislation.

Genachowski’s scheme does have redistributionist (oh hell, Marxist) tones to it. It allows companies to spend countless millions and then promises to forcibly remove the ability of those companies to recoup their investments.

Given Obama’s penchant for lying and reneging on agreements one would be well served to by extremely cynical about this effort.

Barack Obama promised to end warrantless wiretapping and instead has expanded it. Now we learn that Barack is tracking US citizens through hotel reservations and their credit card usage, all without the benefit of court orders.

The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.

For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, followed up by a order from a judge that the surveillance not be disclosed. Agents can also go the traditional route — going to a judge, proving probable cause and getting a search warrant — which means the target will eventually be notified they were spied on.

It’s becoming so expansive that even the ACLU has found it offensive:

The federal government has repeatedly violated legal limits governing the surveillance of U.S. citizens, according to previously secret internal documents obtained through a court battle by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In releasing 900 pages of documents, U.S. government agencies refused to say how many Americans’ telephone, e-mail or other communications have been intercepted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – or FISA – Amendments Act of 2008, or to discuss any specific abuses, the ACLU said. Most of the documents were heavily redacted.

However, semiannual internal oversight reports by the offices of the attorney general and director of national intelligence identify ongoing breaches of legal requirements that limit when Americans are targeted and minimize the amount of data collected.

That kind of information could come in really handy during are-election campaign.

Just sayin’.

Maniac Ray LaHood is working earnestly to have installed in all US cars devices that would disable the use of cell phones in cars.


The Transportation Department is looking into technology to disable cell phones in vehicles, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“There’s a lot of technology out there that can disable phones and we’re looking at that,” LaHood said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“A number of those people came to our distracted driving meeting here in Washington and that’s one way,” he said.

LaHood seemed to suggest that this technology has a good chance of making its way into cars.

“I think it will be done,” he said.

It would be real interesting to have LaHood testify at a hearing to explain why a someone’s child could not call for help after being trapped in a rollover. Presumably LaHood would expand his prohibition of “distracted driving” by requiring all passengers to be unconscious while being driven, or at least gagged. Or maybe everyone will have to have his or her own car.

No radios.

No CD players.

No distractions.

Mrs. LaHood: “Ray, are you freaking nuts?”

Not even Girl Scouts escape the Obama. It appears that their fundraisers, along with school fundraisers will fall under Federal Regulatory control.

“..the legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers. It wouldn’t apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events. Public health groups pushed for the language on fundraisers, which encourages the secretary of Agriculture to allow them only if they are infrequent.”

“Never” qualifies as “infrequent.”

Doug Ross has a delightful image showing you the role models for this legislation.

And Barack Obama wants to dispense with the nasty business of having Congress control spending. He wants to be able to move money around from account to account without account.

This is what’s known as “burying the lead” in journalism. A Republican House will have the “power of the purse” to put an end to executive branch overreach — for instance, the efforts at the EPA to create carbon caps outside of Congressional authorization, the FCC’s attempts to regulate the Internet, and so on. That power is a key part of the checks and balances in federal government, forcing agencies to account for themselves and their behavior to Congress, and putting limits on executive authority to issue orders for regulation without Congressional approval.

It’s really important that we all pay close attention to Wizard of O. I don’t buy for one second this “signalling” of cooperation from Obama. He is a not Clinton. He is not a pragmatist. He is a zealot. A Marxist zealot.

The man behind the curtain. He’s the one you watch.