Washington, D.C. – You've got to read this:
Working together, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have a new definition for navigable waters regulated by the federal government.
They claim authority over anything with a “hydrological connection” to actual waterways. That includes places with only occasional intermittent water, like a ditch, a culvert, a dry desert creek bed, a temporary puddle, a pothole. It's everything, including your kitchen sink.
If eventually it might flow into a river, lake or the ocean, it's covered. They say they will decide on a case-by-case basis whether they want to exercise their authority, so if you get a reprieve for now, it's only temporary.
It's a scary formula for abuse: According to what they claim, they someday might decide that you're using too much soap, or taking too long in the shower.
Also from the headlines: Efforts to legalize marijuana are dangerous.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but it's not enforced. Colorado repealed their state law against pot, and now they're realizing the consequences.
Research clearly shows marijuana causes brain damage. It lowers their IQ for users in their teens and their 20's. And for all ages, it impairs memory and reduces the ability to think. The image of dazed laidback stoners is real, not just some myth.
Yet news media, Hollywood, and well-financed campaigns to legalize drugs rarely mention those impacts. People are given the impression there's no downside to pot. So now one of every eight people in Colorado is a user. After the fact, officials there have decided they should study the impact of legalization.
Advocates say meaningless and misleading things like 'marijuana is natural.' Well, so is tobacco. And one single joint of marijuana has as much carcinogens as a full pack of cigarettes.
Formerly the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's Fifth Congressional District, Istook is a national radio commentator and analyst, and a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
His “Insights” commentary is posted regularly at Istook.com .