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Odds and Ends (From South Florida)

twainWelcome to this month’s odds and ends. It has been an interesting month in politics.

The first item for your review involves administrative agencies. Before becoming the Chief Justice, John Roberts wrote the following majority opinion in the D.C. Circuit regarding a case involving a federal agency,

“Learned Hand once remarked that agencies tend to ‘fall into grooves, … and when they get into grooves, then God save you to get them out.’”

I think that this quote is an accurate description of our administrative agencies. A couple of weeks ago, we had the issue in Nevada involving the Bureau of Land Management and a Nevada rancher. The situation had escalated into a potentially dangerous situation that if the local sheriff had not negotiated a temporary settlement, there might have been blood shed.

Another example is Lois Lerner formerly of the IRS. In Ms. Lerner’s case, Congress has been asking about her role in the IRS’ investigation of tea-party organizations and the rejection of their application regarding tax status. As of this writing, Ms. Lerner has refused to answer any specific questions regarding the IRS’ investigation of tea party groups. Congress is considering a vote to hold her in criminal contempt.

In both cases there seems to be an interesting thread, which is an administrative agency that is acting without accountability. This notion that an agency is above any idea of oversight or accountability is spread to all levels of a government agency from the top level to the middle level to the bottom level. From the top level, we have government officials who believe that Congress will not call them into account for their actions. On the middle level and bottom level, we have government workers who cannot be held accountable because they are protected by their unions against any possibility of dismissal. It is very hard for a government worker to get fired.

A second item for your review involves Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. Earlier this month, Sen. Reid of Nevada took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to criticize the role of “special interest money” in the politics. The Senator railed against the Koch brothers and their money. You would think that the Koch brothers gave the most money in the past election cycles if one were to listen to Sen. Reid. Would you believe that they were number 59. Who was the top 10 in federal campaign donations? Unions. A listing is found here.

Finally, speaking of elections, as we head to the summer of 2014, the primaries and the Congressional elections are literary around the corner. The Presidential guessing game is also beginning to warm up. Recently, there has been talk that former Florida governor Jeb Bush might run for President. This has caused some consternation for some among conservatives. My response is “Who Cares?” The Republican nominee will be one who articulates a vision for this country, not buzzwords or empty slogans. This vision needs to resonate with the voter. If he or she loses, there is no one to blame but themselves.

Anyways, that is all for now. Until the next time.

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