“The Year of the Washington Power Grab”

That’s how the Wall Street Journal describes 2013.  Here’s an excerpt.

This past year will be remembered for many things, but let 2013 be hailed mainly for this: It was the year that the genius of George Orwell‘s “Animal Farm” became clear in America. Efforts to centralize control in the name of “fairness” have led to a society that is ever more at the mercy of a federal power—one that decides who does and does not succeed. The winners are favored special interests, political cronies and wealthy lobbyists. The losers are everyone else.

Consider: Maryland authorities last week launched an investigation into the shootings of two bald eagles in Montgomery County. It isn’t clear if the federally protected birds were shot on purpose, or if some poor soul mistook them for vultures. No matter. The Maryland Natural Resources Police (there is such a thing) has gone full vice squad—publicizing a hotline number, dangling a reward, and reminding folks that the federal penalty is a fine of $5,000 per eagle and up to a year in prison.

This behavior contrasts with a very different headline, from a month ago. “U.S. to Allow Eagle Deaths—to Aid Wind Power,” read a Dec. 6 Associated Press story about a new federal rule that allows wind companies favored by the Obama administration to avoid the law. These select companies can kill bald and golden eagles, free of prosecution, for 30 years.

There’s more at the link (it may be behind a subscription paywall, in which case, try here).

Last month saw the courts slapping down another attempt at executive branch cronyism.

The … NLRB in 2012 attempted to unilaterally rewrite a provision in the 1935 National Labor Relations Act known as “protected concerted activity.”

. . .

… the Fifth Circuit panel ruled 2-1 that the NLRB had no legal authority for its decision. … Translation from legalese: The labor board broke the law to justify a political power grab in the service of the plaintiffs bar.

Again, more at the link (or, if behind a paywall, try here).

I suspect that the Obama administration will continue to use all the organs of executive government to favor its allies and penalize those who oppose it, or those it regards as threats to its agenda.  As Thomas Jefferson famously warned, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance“.  That’s more than usually the case in these troubled times, when those against whom we must be vigilant are our elected leaders and their appointed bureaucrats and administrators!



  1. I think I saw were over 4000 new regulations were adopted by agencies and enforced as if they were laws in 2013. Congress gave up their law writing duties to the agencies in the late 70's I believe. Since then we have not had representative government.

    And the monster that is our federal government just keeps growing, sucking up more and more resources. Gonna be uber bad when it finally collapses.

  2. Point of order.

    It is a federal crime to shoot bald eagles or vultures and has been for a long time.

    And the Maryland DNR folks are normally called game wardens. There is no excuse to confuse them for any game species and you can't claim it as an accident without malice like a power company.

    Screw a slob posing as a hunter.


  3. LCB is correct, 150+ new EPA regs in THREE days… All the stuff that FAILED in legislation, the administration is now forcing down our throats via regulation…

  4. As an unfortunate resident of the People's Dem. Rep. of Maryland, there is no love lost here for the DNR Police. (And they are police, w/full police powers) they came on a friend's property and accused him of jack-lighting deer, because he normally carried a handgun while driving about his farm, and confiscated 3 pistols. A good lawyer got them back, and ended continuing DNR harrasment over bogus charges. Even won a cash settlement, and did it Pro Bono, just for the fun of sticking it to the state.

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