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EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler On EPA’s New “Waters of the United States” Rule

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Andrew Wheeler joined me this morning to discuss EPA’s long awaited new rule on what constitutes “Waters of the United States”:

Audio:

12-11hhs-wheeler

Transcript:

HH: So pleased to welcome onto the program the acting administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler. I always say before I talk about the EPA my son works at EPA, and I like to tell everyone that until this summer, I spent 30 years doing law work on EPA-related matters, especially about what we’re about to talk about – the Waters Of The United States. And I want to do this subject, because for 30 years, I’ve been breaking my pick on the Waters Of The United States. And Acting Administrator Wheeler, welcome. It’s great to have you on.

AW: Thank you, Hugh. It’s great to be on your show. Good morning.

HH: Good morning. When do you expect to have a hearing on your nomination by the President to be the permanent administrator?

AW: Well, hopefully someone in January. The President has said that he’ll send up my paperwork to the Senate as soon as they reconvene. And Senator Barrasso has said that he’ll take up consideration of my nomination. I think he has to have a two week notice for the minority, so sometime in January.

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Senator Tom Cotton On The Dimming Prospects For The Prison “Reform”/”Jailbreak” Bill And The Shutdown Over Border Security Funding

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Senator Tom Cotton joined me this morning to discuss botht eh prison “reform”/”jailbreak” bill and the looming partial government shutdown over border security funding:

Audio:

12-11hhs-cotton

Transcript:

HH: Joined now by United States Senator Tom Cotton. Merry Christmas, Senator Cotton. Good to talk to you. You guys are going to be spending most of it in D.C., I think.

TC: Merry Christmas to you, Hugh, and to all your listeners. It is the most wonderful time of the year in most places, but not in Washington, D.C. where little good happens in lame duck legislatures.

HH: I agree with you. Let me ask you first about one quick personnel question. David Urban is on the list of, and it’s a very good list of people to become the chief of staff for the President. He’s a West Point grad, a 101st Airborne…do you think that military experience helps you in that job of chief of staff?

TC: Well, I know Dave Urban very well, and I think that he would excel in any position in which he serves this country as he did in the military. I do think military experience helps not just in a position like chief of staff in the White House, but really any government position or any position in business, Hugh. I mean, even as young lieutenants or sergeants, especially in times of combat, you have to make dozens or hundreds of decisions per hour that mean the difference between life and death for yourself and your troops, and the civilians on the battlefield. Also, it helps you when it comes to having an orderly and structured planning process and execution, and ensuring that everyone is sticking to the plan or adjusting the plan in face of new circumstances as needed. I just think it’s exceptional preparation for almost anything in life.

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The Crisis In The Administrative State and The American Ideal

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I had to have a discussion with the preacher I heard yesterday.  In a sermon on the peace of Christmas he rightly chose to talk about “letting go” – that efforts to control our lives when there is so much that cannot be controlled robs us of peace.  But then he started to stray and talked about power as the antithesis of service.  You see, power is not antithetical to service; power properly understood is a means of service – that is both the Christian and the American ideal.  It is the misuse and abuse of power that is antithetical to service, but not power itself.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Europe at this very moment.  This headline is most telling, “EU figures rule out concessions as May postpones Brexit vote.”  Like a child that simply wants to make the decision, not let its parent make the decision, the EU throws a tantrum when the UK has made its desires absolutely transparent.  That is an abuse of power.  The EU was created and given power to serve the European states, not lord over then as unelected masters.  The Yellow Vest Protests are another example.  Remaking entire economies is not a necessity in response to climate change.  Trying to control climate, even given the apparent reality of an anthropogenic contribution to the changing climate, is kind of like trying to contain jello with rubber bands.  Talk about something we need to let go of!!!  Maybe we just need to deal with the changing climate, you know like mankind has done throughout history, rather than try to prevent the change.  It is amazing that the average joe-on-the-street in France can figure that out while the bureaucrats seem to be having real trouble with the concept.  Again, we see an accumulation and use of power for its own sake rather than in service.

The administrative state collapsed in the Soviet Union under its own weight – all that was really necessary in the West was to apply a small amount of pressure in the right place and let nature take its course.  The same thing seems to be happening in Europe right now.  I pray that here in the US we can accomplish its eradication without the spectacular crash, but only time will tell.  What is clear is that power exercised in other than service, is self-defeating.   As it says in the Declaration of Independence, “just powers from the consent of the governed….”  This idea, this law of human behavior – that power exists to serve not to be served – is the beating, living heart of Christianity. 

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Secretary of State Pompeo On the U.N. and Israel, Russia and the PRC

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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined me this morning:

Audio:

12-10hhs-pompeo

Transcript:

HH: Joined now by the United State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Merry Christmas, Mr. Secretary. Thank you for joining me this morning.

MP: Good morning, Hugh. Merry Christmas to you as well, sir.

HH: I want to say first of all, last week when you were in Europe, one of your predecessors at the CIA passed away. We heard a lot about President George Herbert Walker Bush as Vice President and as President. But what did you know of H.W. as it was reflected at Langley where you led?

MP: Boy, it was, he is widely revered there. You know, my first encounter was I was a soldier that served. I patrolled the very wall, the border that he brought down when I was a young soldier back in the late 1980s. He was my commander-in-chief. And then I had the chance to get to know him a little bit when I was the CIA director. He was most generous with his time and his thoughts about how to make that institution instructive, powerful and useful to the president of the United States, and to make it work well on behalf of the American people. He was a gentleman. He was generous. And I always enjoyed my conversations with him.

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