Obama EPA's Rules 38 Times Longer Than Bible; Netanyahu Blasts Church's Israel Divestment

Sunday, 29 Jun 2014 02:25 PM

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama EPA's Rules Are 38 Times Longer Than the Bible
2. Poll: Americans Oppose Increased Immigration
3. Netanyahu Blasts Church for Israel Divestment
4. Concierge Medicine on the Rise
5. Republicans Most Frequent Guests on Sunday News Shows
 

1. Obama EPA's Rules Are 38 Times Longer Than the Bible

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency "has proposed and promulgated numerous regulations" regarding pollution control, a report from the Congressional Research Service observes.

How numerous?

The EPA has issued 2,827 new final regulations, taking up 24,915 pages in the Federal Register, totaling an estimated 24,915,000 words, according to an analysis by CNS News.

The Gutenberg Bible, published in two volumes in 1455, contains 1,282 pages and 646,128 words.

So the new EPA regulations issued by the Obama administration contain about 19 times as many pages and 38 times as many words as the Bible.

The EPA regulations also have 22 times as many words as the entire seven-book Harry Potter series, and 5,484 times as many words as the U.S. Constitution, CNS News calculated.

The regulations cover greenhouse gases, air quality, emissions, hazardous substances, and other topics.

CNS pointed out that in addition to final rules, the Federal Register publishes proposed rules, notices, interim rules, corrections, and drafts of final rules. The analysis considers only final rules from the EPA, which include the likes of "Revised Steam Electric Effluent Limitations Guidelines."

Critics of the EPA "have reacted strongly" to the deluge of new regulations, the Congressional Research Service noted. "Many, both within Congress and outside of it, have accused the agency of reaching beyond the authority given it by Congress and ignoring or underestimating the costs and economic impacts of proposed and promulgated rules."

The CRS report acknowledged that "environmental groups and other supporters of the agency disagree that EPA has overreached.”

"In several cases, environmental advocates would like the regulatory actions to be stronger."

But the report also noted that The Wall Street Journal has charged that the EPA "has turned a regulatory fire hose on U.S. business."

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called the EPA's actions "a series of one-sided, politically charged regulations that are intended to take the place of legislation that cannot achieve a consensus in Congress."

Editor's Note:



2. Poll: Americans Oppose Increased Immigration

Political pundits attributed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning defeat in the GOP primary largely to his support for increasing the number of skilled foreign nationals who can immigrate to the United States.

A new Gallup poll confirms the pundits' conclusion that Americans are opposed to increased immigration — less than a quarter of those surveyed favor it.

Respondents were asked: "In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?"

Overall, nearly twice as many adult Americans think it should be decreased as those who favor an increase — 41 percent want it decreased and 22 percent want it increased, while 33 percent say it should remain at present levels and 4 percent have no opinion.

That means 74 percent — 41 plus 33 — oppose increased immigration.

Already there are more than 40 million foreign-born people in the United States, comprising 13 percent of the population, according to the Brookings Institution.

Republicans are most opposed to increased immigration. Fifty percent want it decreased, compared to 32 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents.

Just 14 percent of Republicans favor increased immigration, as do 27 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents.

Americans with a college education are more likely to favor increased immigration than those without one. Thirty percent of college graduates — up from 11 percent in 2000 — and 30 percent of those with a postgraduate degree now favor increased immigration, although 34 percent of college graduates and 28 percent of postgraduates want to see it decreased.

Among those with a high school degree or less, 47 percent favor decreased immigration and just 19 percent favor an increase.

"Support for increasing immigration has grown significantly more among Americans with college degrees — those more likely to be tuned in to the discussion about the need for importing highly skilled workers — than it has among those with less formal education," Gallup observed.

Yet despite the resistance to increasing immigration, most Americans still view immigration in positive terms.

In the poll, 63 percent of respondents — including 55 percent of Republicans — said that immigration on the whole is a good thing for the country, and just 33 percent said it is a bad thing.

"Immigration is central to who Americans are as a people, and what the United States represents, and by and large Americans view immigration as positive for the country," Gallup concludes.

"But deciding how many new immigrants to welcome each year can be controversial, particularly when unemployment is high, and seeming competition for good jobs already fierce.

"Reducing immigration remains the far more popular choice, as former Majority Leader Eric Cantor might attest."

Editor's Note:



3. Netanyahu Blasts Church for Israel Divestment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the American Presbyterian Church for voting to divest from three companies that do business with Israeli West Bank security forces.

Speaking to journalists from around the world at the inaugural Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem on June 22, Netanyahu said the vote was misguided, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

"The only place [in the Middle East] where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, protection of gays, of Christians and all other faiths is Israel," he said.

He suggested that American Presbyterian leaders "take a plane, come here and let's arrange a bus tour in the region. Let them go to Libya, Lebanon, Iraq."

But the bus will need armored plates, he suggested. And the visitors should not say they are Christians. Then they should compare what they see to Israel, the "only beacon of freedom" in the region.

The 1.8 million-member church's leaders voted by a slim margin — 310 to 303 —on June 20 to divest the church from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions. Those firms sell products or services to the Israeli security forces that the church said are used to destroy homes and construct and monitor Israeli checkpoints and settlements.

The church will sell about $21 million worth of stock in the three companies.

Church officials stressed that they were not aligning themselves with the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which campaigns for a complete boycott of all Israeli goods, the Forward reported.

But in an opinion piece in the Forward published on Wednesday, Jane Eisner writes: "When Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn't about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism."

At the media summit, Netanyahu also said "it is the height of folly to allow one of the Islamist camps to have nuclear weapons," referring to Iran. "It will change history."

Editor's Note:



4. Concierge Medicine on the Rise

American doctors are increasingly turning to concierge medicine, where a patient pays a primary-care physician an up-front retainer and in some cases additional fees in exchange for special attention and enhanced care.

The American Academy of Private Physicians estimates that there are now some 4,400 concierge physicians, up 30 percent from last year.

And a recent survey cited by The Wall Street Journal disclosed that about 7 percent to 10 percent of physicians plan to transition to cash-only practices in the next one to three years.

"With doctors already spending 22 percent of their time on nonclinical paperwork, they will find more government intrusion under Obamacare regulations taking even more time away from patient care," according to the Journal article by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a physician and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

More Americans are likely to opt for concierge medicine as they experience more difficulty finding a doctor willing to treat them. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the nation faces a shortage of more than 91,000 physicians by 2020.

Already, about one-third of primary-care physicians and a fourth of specialists have completely closed their practices to Medicaid patients, and more than half of physicians have limited Medicare patients' access to their practices, or are planning to.

Many of these doctors refuse patients due to inadequate payments from Medicaid and Medicare.

"At the same time," Dr. Atlas noted, "Obamacare is squeezing out the middle class from affordable private insurance that correlates with far better disease outcomes than government insurance.

"Unless Obamacare is drastically altered, America's healthcare will become even more divided, with rising inequality. Only the lower and middle classes in America will suffer the full consequences of Obamacare."

Editor's Note:



5. Republicans Most Frequent Guests on Sunday News Shows

The legislators who have appeared most often on Sunday news shows so far this year are all Republican — led by Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan.

Rogers, chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has appeared 14 times, including twice on NBC's "Meet the Press," three times on CBS' "Face the Nation," three times on ABC's "This Week," three times on CNN's "State of the Union," and three times on "Fox News Sunday." He is leaving office in January.

The second most frequent guest has been Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas. The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security appeared 11 times, including four times on "This Week" and four times on "Fox News Sunday," according to Roll Call.

He is followed by Sen. Rand Paul of Texas (nine appearances), Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois (eight), Sen. John McCain of Arizona (seven), Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (six), and Rep. Peter King of New York (six).

The most frequent guest among Democrats has been Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois. The Senate majority whip, who is up for re-election this year, has appeared six times.

Among other notables, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has appeared three times, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid three times, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just once.

In 2013, the most frequent Sunday news show guest was . . . Mike Rogers again. He appeared 26 times, most often on "Face the Nation" (seven times).

McCain was right behind him with 25 appearances, followed by Durbin (20) and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (20).

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, appeared 16 times. None of those appearances were on "Fox News Sunday."

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