Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Waxman vs. The Koch Brothers

The Koch Brothers, major oil executives based in Kansas, have piped a great deal of support to conservative causes and Republican candidates. They also sought to increase their influence in the Libertarian Cato Institute, yet were rebuffed at the last minute. Recently, the mainstream media focused on the Koch Brothers' growing interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Times, along with other newspapers in the Tribune Co. family. Like many current newspaper organs, their market share is declining. Yet barely a month ago, protesters outside the LA Times voiced their virulent opposition to the Koch Brothers acquisition of the paper.

Another more established foe of the Koch Brothers, Congressman Henry Waxman, has unloaded on the Koch Brothers before. During an early 2012 hearing on the Keystone Pipeline, the Congressman shared with the House Energy Committee his frequent requests by letter to have the Koch Brothers appear before them and explain their financial interest in the Keystone Pipeline. Summarily rebuffed by the acting chairman Ed Whitefield (R-Kentucky), Waxman and the chairman had a brief exchange.

"The Koch Brothers have nothing to do with this project," Whitefield countered.

Waxman digressed, offended that he was not permitted to share his full concern about the matter. When Whitfield moved for a ten minute recess, Waxman countered: "Are you going to call the Koch brothers?" Whitfield assertively retorted about the billions of dollars wasted on green tech companies like Solyndra, one for which the LA representative weakly apologized: "I'm sorry Solyndra happened."

These snide asides are hardly sincere, considering that liberal elements in Washington, including aggressive progressives like Congressman Henry Waxman, have long played up corporate entities, including oil refiners, as the "Bad Guys" which "Big Government" must beat down for the good of all. To this day, PBS journalist Bill Moyers looks for and links up conspiracy theories about Republicans, conservatives, reforms, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and (that's right), the Koch Brothers.

In a town hall meeting in January 2013, Waxman once again took a swipe at the Koch Brothers, claiming that they were pulling the strings to move the Republican Party advance a pro-oil executive, anti-environment agenda.

With all the shame and blame to defame the Koch Brothers, one has to wonder to what extent the Congressman for the West Side and South Bay Beach cities will go to pin all the problems of the world on two oil executives.

Is it the Koch Brothers' fault that to this day, there is no "Subway to the Sea" which will permit residents in East Los Angeles-Boyle Heights area to commute to West Los Angeles and find more work without spending time and energy commuting down Wilshire at a snail's pace or jumping from one Metro train to the other?

Is it the Koch Brothers' fault that Obamacare, the health insurance mandate pressured and promoted by Henry Waxman, has turned into a nightmare of frightfully ironic proportions, in which health care premiums have increased substantially, along with declining access to quality physicians, including the underreported yet unprecedented revelation that there will not be enough doctors to service patients who are added to health insurance rolls? And there is the matter of the tax, which Obamacare supposedly wasn't.

Is it the Koch Brothers' fault that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars which Congressman Henry Waxman voted to authorize, are homeless stateside with no adequate placement for treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration into the community? Waxman has represented the West Los Angeles region for nearly four decades, with political acumen which sponsored his rise to chairman sub-committees in the 1990's, followed by his sudden turn in the national media spotlight as chairman of the House Oversight and Governor Reform Committee. During his brief yet dramatic and controversial tenure investigating waste and fraud from the Bush Administration, not once did he investigate the poor and dilapidated conditions of the Brentwood VA, nor did he inquire into the disgraceful neglect of Los Angeles County veterans, of which tens of thousands remain homeless. His political skill reached new heights with his usurpation of the Energy Committee Chairmanship two years later, and still nothing was done for LA area veterans.

Is it the Koch Brothers' fault that after forty years in Washington, the Congressman's chief interests, health and energy, have not received  substantial expansion or support? The Clean Water Act remains unamended, in spite of two rulings from the Supreme Court striking down its overreaching provisions or criticizing its draconian sanctions and byzantine appellate remedies.

For all his protests and incriminations toward the Koch Brothers, Congressman Henry Waxman has more to explain regarding his own record of missed opportunities, mistakes, and misplaced priorities.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Waxman, Gun Control, and Santa Monica City College

Never allowing a crisis to go to waste, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica/South Bay) has demanded expanded gun control following the Santa Monica City College massacre, which killed six people and wounded many others. His disdain for the Second Amendment is not new, since he declared:

"If someone is so fearful that, that they're going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, makes me very nervous that these people have these weapons at all!"
The same Supreme Court which upheld ObamaCare also interpreted the Second Amendment for individuals to possess firearms. Following their ruling, Washington D.C. rescinded its hand-gun ban, with a declining murder rate to follow.
Gun control advocates like Waxman refuse to recognize that human reason alone cannot account for, let alone prevent, the evils in the world. An assault weapons ban under the Brady Bill, sponsored by US Senator Dianne Feinstein, hardly did a fine job of preventing gun crimes. Under the Obama Administration, Department of Justice Officials have been running guns to drug cartels instead of enforcing gun laws and prosecuting gun crimes. The failed Toomey-Manchin background check expansion would have created onerous regulations for law-abiding users, yet would not prevent criminals (or the criminally insane) from obtaining a gun. Such was the case at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Aurora, Colorado in 2012.

Armed security and greater discretion for mental health evaluations on college campuses (plus a renunciation of nanny-state measures, like banning toy guns) will foster safety and security in our communities.

Will Waxman Impeach Obama?

Congressman Henry Waxman joined Congress in 1974, an acolyte of the liberal caucus in California, a pal of UCLA fellow-grad Howard Berman, and part of the massive wave of Democrats who filled Washington following the watershed Watergate scandal. After nearly forty years in office, it appears that Congressman Henry Waxman has become part of the same crony-corruption which he and his Democratic colleagues had entered to combat. Refusing to stand up to corporate interests, his hearing into smoking, climate change, and health care have furthered the interests of moneyed interests, while the truly "special interest" of the voters remains of little interest to Waxman. Just ask the tens of thousands of homeless veterans still waiting for a home at the Brentwood VA, or the tens of thousands who are enduring rising health care premiums, in spite of the ObamaCare promise to lower costs, increase access, and do both without raising taxes.

Of particular note to see how Waxman went from "outsider" to "insider", one should refer to a little-known townhall meeting in West Los Angeles. In December 2007, then-Oversight Committee Chairman Congressman Henry Waxman attended a town hall meeting sponsored by left-leaning interests in West Los Angeles. In a matter of minutes, the members of the audience excoriated Waxman for refusing to sponsor or endorse articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush. He refused to support articles of impeachment, and he candidly admitted voting for bills which he does not read.

(See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wei_hJdwkxY for more information)

For the record, the oft-repeated, now retired cliche: "Bush lied. People died" has been decisively discredited. Shortly after the Wikileak cables were leaked, diplomatic communiques indicated that the Hussein regime did have extensive chemical weapons supplies and capabilities, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is using against his own people today.

Today, President Obama is facing a growing backlash for increasing abuses of federal power. In Operation Fast and Furious, federal officials sold guns to illegal purchasers along the Southwestern border in order to track down Mexican drug cartels. Those guns were involved in numerous crimes, including deaths of federal agents. One September 11, 2012, armed terrorists attack the United States Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in which four state department officials, including the US Ambassador, were killed. The administration's talking points on the attack changed frequently, suggesting that an unplanned demonstration exploded into violence outside of the consulate. Democrats and Republicans decry a lying "cover-up". National media outlets have confirmed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups with the name "TEA Party" or patriot, or any institution hostile to Big Government".

Republican President Richard Nixon faced impeachment for obstruction of justice and IRS abuse, and even his fellow Republicans pressured Nixon to resign. The first African-American who was popularly elected, Republican Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, was one of the first US Senators to talk with Nixon and nix his resistance to staying in office.

Democratic President Clinton faced impeachment because he lied under oath to a grand jury. Most people get house arrest and a huge fine, to say the least, when they lie under oath about anything. Despite the upheaval in the last days of 1998, and the protracted trial in the US Senate the following year, Democrats voted along party lies to preserve their President, in spite of his perversions, both public and private.

It’s 2013, and President Obama faces a score of scandals, a veritable school for any executive, current or forthcoming, of the damages which follow when claiming that disturbing trends in one's administration have come to light only through press reports. President Obama's incompetence in mitigating these incoming compromises of national security and federal integrity should be enough to move any Congressman, Democrat or Republican, to investigate or at least initiative articles of impeachment against President Obama and his executive deputies. Apart from current Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-La Jolla), very few House Reps are leading the fight to take on the ongoing outrageous overreaches of the Obama Administration. Where is Henry Waxman, the “Eliot Ness of the House of Representatives”, who went after the Bush Administration for waste and fraud during the War in Iraq? Where is the Congressman who claimed that lead in toys and steroid abuse in baseball posed a major threat to our youth? Where is the man who “apologized” for the green tech subsidies like Solyndra, all of which subsidized Obama supporters at the expense of taxpayers? Aside from defending himself from any connections to those failed companies, Congressman Henry Waxman has said nothing.

Waxman went to Congress following the immoral and unethical ravages of the Nixon Administration. Yet Congressman Waxman refuses to demonstrate his solidarity with the people whom he represents, and he will not sponsor articles of impeachment against President Obama for his high crimes and misdemeanors. Will he “show some spine” this time, or will he merely toe the lie as a mouthpiece of an administration whose corruption, cronyism, and moral capitulation rival previous presidencies?