Daily Digest

Jul. 14, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. It is an avowed and essential object of the American Union.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 41, 1788

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

No ‘Blank Check’

School officials in Lynn, Massachusetts, say illegal aliens are posing as children in order to enroll in public high schools. “Some of them have had gray hair and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation,” said Jamie Cerulli, the Lynn mayor’s chief of staff. Hey, at least they’re trying to learn English. It’s not clear how many are succeeding, but as long as so many illegals are allowed to remain here, more will come. Meanwhile, in Congress, Republicans have virtually rejected Barack Obama’s request for what they’re calling a “blank check” to deal with the crisis. Obama seeks $3.7 billion in additional funding, but he’s allowed a crisis to fester – and had a hand in creating it – in order to exploit the crisis for spending priorities. Does anyone think this president is going to deport Democrats' future constituents?

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Suit to Focus on ObamaCare

House Speaker John Boehner released the draft House resolution outlining the terms for his lawsuit against Barack Obama. Ironically, the focus of the suit will be on just one area: Obama’s “failure … to act in a manner consistent with that official’s duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including a failure to implement) any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In other words, Republicans are going to sue Obama for not properly enacting ObamaCare. In a sense, nothing could be more appropriate, since Democrats so frequently crow about it being the “law of the land” as they seek to silence opposition. Boehner could have chosen the hot topic of immigration, but left that one off the list. The strategy seems to be to keep it narrow to increase its chances of success – because the price of failure could be high. More…

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ObamaCare Ruling Soon

Halbig v. Burwell is a lawsuit against ObamaCare currently pending before the DC Circuit Court, with a ruling expected any day. Some think the ruling could undo ObamaCare. The case centers on the language of the law permitting subsidies for insurance buyers. As written, the law allows for subsidies for those who purchase insurance on the state exchanges but not on the federal exchange. And yet the latter buyers are receiving subsidies anyway. Only 16 states established their own exchanges. As for the constitutional scholar in the White House, his former Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, says he “wouldn’t bet the family farm” on the administration winning the case. For now, all eyes remain on the DC Circuit. More…

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Holder Decries ‘Racial Animus’

Attorney General Eric Holder says he and Barack Obama have endured “a racial animus” from some of their political opponents. “There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.” Holder and Obama are masters at conflating policy opposition with this imagined “racial animus.” It’s dishonest and it should be beneath the dignity of their respective offices.

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ISIL Seizes Nuclear Material

Remember ISIL, the jihadi group slowly taking over Iraq? Reuters reports on a new development: “Insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to ‘stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad.’” Iraq’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim warned that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.” He added, “These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts.” ISIL is committed to attacking Western targets, which makes it particularly alarming that they’re apparently still seeking WMD that supposedly didn’t exist in Iraq. More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

VA: Lack of Care at a High Cost

The Somers testify about their son Daniel

As if the situation at the Department of Veterans Affairs wasn’t bad enough, heartbreaking congressional testimony was heard about the runaround some of our veterans suffering from mental health issues received from the agency. Those who testified were the surviving parents of military members who committed suicide. One couple recounted how their son “suffered from post-traumatic stress so severe he wore a towel around his head that he said helped keep out the voices, the light and the sound.” Others documented the troubles their children had with securing appointments and prescriptions, and the lack of follow-up care.

In each of these cases, the victims went to the VA for assistance but got no help. One mother testified to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs that she “promised my son at his funeral” that she would do something to help correct this issue. Congress has complied to some extent, as Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced a bill named after a suicide victim, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. It would require better coordination between the National Guard and VA, where several of the victims fell through the system’s cracks as they were shuffled between their respective facilities.

But there’s more incompetence at the VA, as it’s been learned that thousands of employees are misclassified under the General Schedule (GS) classification system, sometimes by two levels or more. This means they are being overpaid for the work they’re doing, and since as many as 13,000 VA employees may be affected, the annual overage runs into the tens of millions of dollars.

Some employees have been receiving additional pay and benefits beyond their true pay scale for over a decade. Warnings from overseers who are supposed to catch these discrepancies were unheeded and whistleblowers were persecuted by management. “Do I follow the law, or do I follow [management] guidance?” asked one worried job classifier. An effort to straighten out this mess was halted by senior VA officials worried about employee reaction, with the union joining in on the request later by complaining the classifiers aren’t a neutral party. Worse, even when employees' classification is corrected, they are still paid at the higher level, though they may have issues with promotions or retirement pay.

Sadly, this longstanding issue is nowhere close to being resolved. In fact, dozens of new misclassified openings are advertised each month. In May, 284 such openings were advertised, with an additional potential cost to taxpayers of $3.3 million. More than ironically, the savings from properly classifying these administrative jobs could have allowed for hiring five neurosurgeons, 10 psychiatrists … and five suicide prevention case managers.

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Homeschoolers Contend With Common Core

Families who homeschool face an uphill road in many ways. Teaching children at home requires dedication, research and money. In fact, it’s often a more expensive alternative than sending kids to public school, not least because one parent usually foregoes paid work. More subtly, homeschoolers all too often become pariahs for bucking the system. Yet as homeschooling continues growing in popularity, there is another major roadblock ahead.

Read the rest here.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation – from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.”

Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo: “The warm pool of water in the North Pacific (the same driver for last winter) and the warm tropical Pacific waters moving west to the central Pacific is a classic scenario for a very cold winter in the central and eastern U.S. … This has scary potential consequences because of the regulations imposed by the EPA this year. … With the projected closure of 60 gigawatts (GW) of coal plant capacity, virtually the entire U.S. is rapidly reaching the brink of significantly higher prices for electricity and being unable to meet either the summer or winter peak demand for power. … In a major cold outbreak, the grid may fail and large areas may be in the dark during extreme cold. … Even without blackouts, energy bills will continue to rise higher, perhaps much higher than 2013/14. … Yes, one little pen and an EPA run amuck can have far reaching effects. The irony: It is a real threat in the foreseeable future, not one envisioned by failing climate models, 100 years away.”

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Columnist Peggy Noonan: “There is every sign [Barack Obama] let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be ‘comprehensive,’ meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term. The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “Scientists predicted that global warming could lead to lopsided German victories at soccer.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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