Who is this Devin Nunes, And Why Is He So Sketchy?

Nunes    When it comes to the Republican party, it seems that there is always someone involved who marches to the beat of a different drum.  I cringe every time I hear Representative Nunes’s name in the media.  If you go to the Library of Congress site, or Wikepedia (make sure you verify the information on the site), you can see what his activities are in the House including his activities with respect to his home district.  His core positions in congress are identical to the President’s.

He dismisses global climate change.  He is for the deregulation of several laws related to environmental protections.  He is for major regulation repeal, including the provisions of the clean air act.  He supports wholesale deregulation, especially when it benefits groups such as the fossil fuel industry.    He supports in some fashion the Tax bill which overwhelmingley benefits the wealthy.  He supports Trump’s ban on muslim travel to the US.  He supported the Benghazi investigation and has maintained the position that their was a cover up by Secretary Clinton, even though all parties were eventually cleared of wrong doing.  He supports major changes to Medicare and Social Security including rasing the plan’s rates which negatively affects the growing elderly population.  He voted in favor of the 2013 government shut down which furlowed 800,000 federal workers.  In his district, he has not done a whole lot to represent central California.  With any substance, he has been active in introducing legislation related to water and irregation managemt in the San Joaquin valley.  He is also involved in highway infrastructure within the state including legislation to improve state highway 99.  It is worth pointing out that the Governor of California has played a more significant role.  Incidentaly, most of the legislation that he has been involed in may get the support of the House, but rarely does he and the committees he is associated with garner discussion or even a vote in the Senate.

Representative Nunes is an advocate of undoing any legislation or laws that President Obama passed.  He is very party biased and most of his federal efforts reflect support for the defiant GOP membership.

He has recently garnered attention because of his behavior in the house relative to the Russia investigation.  He is becoming well known for embracing and spreading conspiracy theories.  He has leaked classified information many times during his time in Congress.  He repeatedly runs to the White house to share any information he has garnered relative to the President’s involvement in the Russian meddling in our electoral process.  My sketchy label for him is because he is always very sneaky and continually leaves the democrats on the house Russia investigation out of the loop.  For a guy who says he has recused himself, he sure spends a lot of time being intimately involved.

One reason why I am sharing my thoughts about the Representative, is to point out that for the administration’s claim that they are draining the swamp, they sure support a serpent and revere him as a significant player in the GOP’s efforts to manipulate and hamper the investigation into the President’s involvement with regard to the Russian meddling.

Just look at him, he even presents himself as being shifty.  To me, it is disgusting that he and others have become lap dogs for the President.



In 1970, in response to the number of confusing, often ineffective environmental protection laws enacted by states and communities, President Richard Nixon created the EPA to fix national guidelines and to monitor and enforce them.

The EPA’s basic mission is to protect human health and the environment including matters related to air, water, and land.  The EPA, state, local and tribal agencies work together to ensure compliance with environmental laws passed by Congress, state legislatures and tribal governments.

The EPA has a responsibility to protect Americans from the effects of things like Pesticides, vehicle and industrial emissions, water quality, clean air and global climate change.  These are just a few examples, there are dozens of other environmental issues that the EPA oversees.

A good example of what the EPA has had significant success with is related to the automotive industry.  The carbon emissions of cars in the 60s was finally determined to be extremely unhealthy to humans and the atmosphere.

Since then, the EPA has championed laws and regulations that executed important changes.  Evolving technology has resulted in the automotive industry building cars that are lowering air pollutants and dangerous toxins to levels at least 1,000 times less than 50 years ago.  Interestingly, today there is actually a diesel truck produced by Nissan that is engineered to all but eliminate carbon emissions. These vehicles basically emit water and nitrogen vapors that are effectively pollution free.

As it seems now electric cars are being considered as the best way to eliminate carbon emissions in the future.  Believe it or not the EPA plays a role in protecting Americans from dangerous environmental issues caused by this technology.  Just think about how the electric cars spent batteries are disposed of.

The EPA is not just a bureaucracy that is important to tree huggers and wildlife advocates.

The EPA cannot be as effective as it should be with all of the recent repeal of regulations. I am not saying that all regulations are important enough to warrant protective laws and the contribution of tax payer dollars.

Honestly, I believe that the purpose of the recent mass repeal of many laws is more to appease special interests who scream that in the case of the EPA, many environmental laws handcuff their members from being able to maximize their profits thus reducing jobs.

How and why would the current administration pamper these groups over protecting the American people.  Doesn’t it make sense that most environmental related laws are designed to police the activities of these very business groups.  As an example, decades ago, there were few regulations that prevented industry from dumping contaminated waste into the ground and our waterways.  Although this practice causes serious harm to our environment, there were limited consequences for those that were doing the polluting.  If current regulations are in place to protect the environment and stop these deadly practices, we can’t and shouldn’t have any sympathy for the companies and industries that insist that our laws hamstring their ability to do business.  To me, if your business relies on being able to pollute, then I would find another business.  By the way, I can’t see these groups closing or relocating.  I am pretty sure that they will continue to comply with the law and continue to work with the regulations.  Who are their customers?

It baffles me that the current secretary of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has a record that compromises the role of the very department that he is responsible for.  It also baffles me that matters related to changes in our environmental policies and laws are happening under the radar of public media.  To me this is one of the most important governing bodies in our government.  I am not saying that there isn’t a majority American companies and citizens that take the state of our environment seriously.  These individuals and business leaders voluntarily police themselves and invest in environmental protections.  Unfortunately, a very significant number of American companies and interests don’t.

Just compare our progress to countries that are an environmental disaster such as China. Interestingly, even the largest polluters in this world support efforts to address climate change.  Almost all countries, except the United States and a couple of third world countries that is.  The lack of cooperation and commitment by our country via our government says a lot about how our country is looking out for future generations.

Here is just a couple of the laws that the current administration vows to repeal:

The clean power plan has been repealed by the Trump administration which unravels an Obama era law that provided rules to police the harmful emissions of the energy sector.  The government eliminated the law in part because Pruitt doesn’t believe the science that fossil fuels such as coal contribute to one third of our air pollution.  Among other consequences, this culture will have an adverse effect on global climate change.  The repeal was initiated by President Trump to release the coal industry from sensible regulation.  It is becoming obvious that coal industry is dying, even though the President thinks that eliminating regulations for this and many other groups will increase employment to levels bigger than any time in history (sarc.).

I am glad that a majority of the country’s industries, especially utilities, are and will continue to make changes and produce power from sources such as natural gas and other technologies including wind and solar power.

The Trump administration is revoking a law that gives the EPA broad authority to address violations and enforce laws related to waterways and wetlands.

Pruitt, the head of the EPA is attempting to revoke a rule titled the Effluent Limitations Guidelines which specifically effects pollution restrictions within the coal industry.  This effort is solely a result of special interest lobbying.  He claims that such a change is in the best interests of America.

Donald Trump has signed an executive order that requires agencies to eliminate two regulations for every one regulation that is added to law. The EPA is the largest agency to be effected, and not in a positive way.

If you are interested in the President’s take on accepting responsibility, google the company in South Carolina that his son went broke running and that dad bought from him.  You will read that the property was abandoned with barrels of toxic waste sitting on the back dock.  President Trump and his son wouldn’t except responsibility, even insisting the state clean it up.

I understand that managing regulation is an important core value of the republican party.  I also understand that many matters related to this agency require bi-partisan discussion and compromise.  Let’s try to work together.  At any rate, as Americans, we need to keep an eye on this important branch of our government

Next up: HUD and The Interior.

What will it take for the Tide of the Current ECONOMIC BOOM to Change?

I have been giving some thought to and doing a little digging relative to the current boom of our economy.  I came up with a few questions that give me pause.  At what point will the economy plateau or turn south?  The truth is I don’t really know the answers to most of these questions. Also, please forgive my grammar and punctuation.

Since an increase of corporate earnings is reflective in part by price increases, won’t there inevitably be a rise in inflation thus interest rates?  If the interest rate rises, won’t that cause there to be too much consumer debt especially with large financed purchases such as housing?  What will be the long term effect of the surge in refinancing?

Can the domestic capital and development investment boom continue indefinitely?

What long term effect if any, will  the NYSE’s activity with regard to investment into international markets have on American investment?

With the proposed new tax plan and supposed reduction in deductions, won’t the real net percentage that corporations and other large businesses pay actually increase as opposed to the benefits of deductions and loopholes they enjoy now?  If there is significant tax savings for corporations, won’t companies use a significant amount of the money to pay dividends to their shareholders?  Since the earnings per share wouldn’t be adversely effected, won’t a significant number of businesses move the cash from the reduction of their tax liability offshore or increase their investment in the often lucrative foreign markets?  Who is going to pay the difference in the lost tax income?  Taxpayers?  Will we just throw it into the bucket along with the rest of our rapidly growing deficit?  How can conservatives support that or better yet, why would they?

How can the repeal of tax deductions such as the elimination of the 401k deduction or the repeal of the so unpopular estate tax possibly help the middle class?  There is an example used by some in government who say that the repeal will benefit the working class and their families.  Frequently they refer to the property assets of the multi generational farmer.  Don’t most people that have that much debt free property set up trusts or include their kids on the titles in order to avoid the death tax?  The truth is the estate tax doesn’t effect the mom and pop family business owner who has less than five million in assets.  Isn’t the repeal only meant to benefit the wealthy?

Isn’t the export of jobs more reflective of lower labor costs and almost non existent regulations, not taxes?

Don’t large companies like Amazon realize more significant tax breaks directly from the states and municipalities that attract them to operate within their borders?  Isn’t the decision of many companies on where they call home effected significantly by being able to operate and manufacture in states that don’t have organized labor?

Since the trend of growth in new jobs requires retraining of existing labor forces, wouldn’t there be a significant number of workers who can’t afford to be out of work while they are being retrained?  Won’t those effected end up having to work in jobs with employers such as Walmart or McDonalds that offer a fraction of the pay that they are accustomed to.  Wouldn’t this reduce the number of workers who would otherwise make up the middle class?

Doesn’t the federal labor statistics reflect such employment as growth regardless of the pay.  Also, don’t these statistics not take into consideration those who are no longer looking for jobs and are depending on social programs such as welfare to exist?  Does the national drug epidemic have a significant effect on the pool of sober, responsible labor, especially in areas with a high rate of unemployment?  Doesn’t that mean that there are places in America that have good paying jobs but can’t find qualified people to work?  I  don’t understand why an unemployed coal miner in Virginia doesn’t move his or her family to places like Montana where there are jobs.  Isn’t that the whole plot of the story in the book Grapes of Wrath?

What will be the effect on the economy as a result of the diminishing number of retail brick and mortar companies?  Doesn’t this put states and cities in a major bind trying to collect taxes from sources like online stores in order to close the gap caused by the lost revenue from failed retailers?  What about the impact on jobs?

It has been said that the GDP and number of jobs will grow as the storm and fire ravaged parts of the country are rebuilt.  At some point, won’t this growth tail off especially within the building and supported business sectors as a significant number of the projects are completed?

Aren’t most of these projects being paid for by insurance companies?  Won’t that generally increase insurance rates thus mortgage payments throughout the country?

Some in the current administration and congress are touting the increased number of jobs within industries such as coal, pipeline construction and numerous other industries.  Since the coal industry will no longer be able to provide any significant additional employment and most of the pipeline jobs will disappear when such projects are completed, what effect will this reality have on the confidence of American’s who believe and have been promised that many of these jobs will become available, pay well and provide long term employment?  What will be the effect on the economy?

How will a trade war with countries such as China work?  How can you force them to either buy more from this country or be levied taxes and tariffs that will mostly have a negative effect on American companies?  Isn’t it true that a majority of the products produced in places such as China are imported by companies big and small who basically provide specs and designs and have places like China produce and package them?  Isn’t that what “Made in China” on the labels really means?  I don’t think I have ever seen a Chinese car or authentic Chinese tie or pair of shoes.

Speaking of ties and shoes and totally off the subject, most people don’t know that if you buy a few pallets of basic varietal wines from some producers, they will be happy to slap your label on the bottles and you can call it your own brand.  Imagine where that thought came from.  While I’m at it, most people don’t know that a significant number of Chinese and Teriyaki restaurants in this country are operated by Koreans.  Ok, I’ll get back on track.

Am I off base or doesn’t the logic ring true that foreign manufactures such as Toyota build a significant number of their products in the US mostly because of the better quality, technology and other factors including shipping expenses?  For their foreign customers, isn’t it also cheaper to export them from here rather than export them to here?  By building them here, don’t they attract buyers who see “Made in America” as an important consideration for their purchases?  Wouldn’t it be true that export tariffs wouldn’t make much of a difference in their decision to produce in the US?  Wouldn’t these new expenses simply show up on the window sticker?

I may totally wrong but doesn’t the US owe a ton of money to the Chinese for the bonds they were required to accept in past trade deals?  If so, what if they wanted to collect?

Isn’t there a “put up or shut up” component with regard to investors in the stock market and everywhere else?  If congress and the administration don’t deliver as promised, won’t that change the entire picture of our economy?  If they do, how long will things continue to be rosey?

What happens to our market based economy when important regulations are reinstated in the event that there is a change in the congressional and presidential majority?  Isn’t it true that most Americans have yet to feel the effects of the recent and significant wholesale repeal of regulations including the very important ones related to our environment?

What will happen to our economy when the global markets become infected by the lack of our government’s ability to recognize important rules and traditions?

This includes article one section seven, clause 2 of our constitution titled “from bill to law” which in spirit is designed to force bi-party discussion and compromise supported by thoughtful, meaningful and written contributions based on a knowledgeable interpretation of legislation by our President?

Am I wrong or doesn’t decisions to support or reject specific legislation over dinner, on the golf course, through the advice of extremists and conspiracy theorists or on social media show a deliberate dereliction of these provisions?

I could go on for days.  Some of these questions and comments may be far fetched yet I strongly believe there will have to be a tipping point…at some point.

What do you think?