Boehner’s Suit Not Enough + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 06/26/2014 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“[A] mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 48, 1788

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Boehner’s Suit Not Enough

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced Wednesday he plans to sue Barack Obama because “the president has not faithfully executed the laws.” Boehner said, “What we have seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the Legislative Branch.” He also noted, “On one matter after another during his presidency, President Obama has circumvented the Congress through executive action, creating his own laws and excusing himself from executing statutes he is sworn to enforce – at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the America people to stop him.” While all of those things are painfully true, suing Obama is an empty half-measure. Rather than impeach lawless administration officials – as distinctly proscribed in our Constitution – Boehner sets a precedent of turning to unelected judges to settle these sorts of disputes. The judiciary has been hesitant to intercede in the legislative process and has no power to enforce its rulings, as it is not superior to the executive branch. Besides, Obama would just dismiss a contrary ruling, after it took years to reach one. Congress has real and better options if only the GOP had the spine to use them.

Rebuking ‘Recess’ Appointments

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court yanked Barack Obama’s supposed authority to define a congressional “recess” in order to make political appointments. The case involved the National Labor Relations Board, which Obama filled with three “recess” appointments in January 2012, despite the fact the Senate had not declared itself in recess. The Court ruled unanimously that Congress, not the president, can determine when Congress is on recess. The Senate sessions were indeed pro forma and intended merely to frustrate the president’s plan, but Obama’s default is to do what he wants whenever and however he wants. The Court said that ain’t gonna fly.

IRS’s Bombshell Concession

The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups isn’t the only scandal rocking the federal behemoth. Several years ago, allegations surfaced that agency officials intentionally leaked tax documents belonging to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The Daily Signal explains, “In February 2012, the Human Rights Campaign posted on its web site NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of the marriage group’s major donors, including soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.” In a bombshell concession, the IRS came clean this week, admitting to providing the confidential information. According to the Signal, “[U]nder a consent judgment [Tuesday], the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information.” Curiously absent is the mainstream media. Imagine the uproar if the IRS deliberately released a leftist group’s confidential information. We’re glad truth prevailed, but if $50,000 is the only “punishment” inflicted, justice and accountability have not been served. More…

Lerner’s Reach

Former-IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails may have taken the one-way trip to lost email land, but it doesn’t mean all the evidence is destroyed. In 2012, Lerner threatened to use her position to audit Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and an un-named organization (the specific organization was redacted in the email) because the organization invited Grassley to speak at an event. The email exchange, which was released this week, shows how far Lerner was willing to go. The Federalist’s Sean Davis writes, “In other words: even if Lerner’s laughably ignorant legal assertion was accurate, the audit threatened by Lerner would have to include an audit of Grassley’s personal tax returns. More perplexing, though, is that it took another staffer to explain to Lerner – the head of IRS enforcement of non-profit organizations – how basic tax laws actually work.” Not even a senator was safe from Lerner’s political witch-hunt. More…

The Liberal Climate Plot

Barack Obama took another swat at anthropogenic global warming skeptics during an address to environmentalists Wednesday as he tries (again) to pivot away from the Iraq kerfuffle and the various scandals plaguing his administration. “Folks will tell you climate change is a hoax or a fad or a plot – a liberal plot,” he alleged. “I’m not a doctor … but if a bunch of doctors tell me that tobacco can cause lung cancer, then I’ll say, ‘OK.’ It’s not that hard.” Weren’t a bunch of alarmists prescribing fixes for climate cooling just decades ago? For that matter, weren’t doctors just telling us that fat was bad? Well, not any more. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) once said, “In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” No words are more pertinent today. Those who insists the “science is settled” are seeking to centralize power and control. Conservatives meanwhile believe in individual Liberty – so yes, Mr. Obama, this entire debate is “a liberal plot.” More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Coburn Discovers VA Problems Worse Than Thought

We’ve said it before: If you think the Veterans Affairs health care system is bad, wait until the government gets its hands fully into the health care system with ObamaCare. A study conducted by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) shows how far the VA health system has strayed from its mission. In short, it shows a bureaucracy out of control.

“The Administration and Congress have failed to ensure our nation is living up to the promises we have made to our veterans,” Dr. Coburn said in a press release. “While it is good that Congress feels a sense of urgency we are at this point because Congress has ignored or glossed over too many similar warnings in the past. Our sense of urgency should come from the scope of the problem, not our proximity to an election.”

Among some of the findings, Coburn’s report shows:

  • More than 1,000 veterans died because of VA hospital misconduct over a period of 10 years – not just the 40 vets who languished on the secret waiting list in Phoenix.
  • For its misconduct, the VA paid $845 million over the decade in malpractice and wrongful death claims. About a quarter of that amount went to families whose beloved veterans died because of the VA. “$36 million was used to settle 167 claims in which the words ‘delay in treatment’ were used to describe the alleged malpractice,” the report said.
  • At least one VA doctor sexually abused female patents. A male neurologist gave five women “breast examinations.” It took the VA two years to fire the man, who is now a registered sex offender.
  • Another VA employee sold cocaine and ecstasy to patients who were undergoing treatment for substance abuse. For that act, the 28-year-old in Massachusetts basically got a slap on the wrist: three months at a halfway house, another three months of home confinement, followed by three years of probation.
  • Meanwhile, the VA isn’t running out of money, spending $489 million on “office makeovers” and curtains over four-and-a-half years. In Puerto Rico alone, the VA spent $1.8 million on office furniture. Nationwide, the VA spent $10.7 million on curtains and draperies.

The Government Accountability Office first noted the problem of wait times in May 2000 and the VA needed better information to diagnose the disease, even before the events that propelled the U.S. into a full on war against terror. The situation festered as veterans from the Vietnam War aged and the newest generation of vets returned form the Middle East with IED injuries and PTSD.

In an institution so large, of course people spoke out – about the wait times and about other abuses and shortcomings. According to The New York Times, Dr. Ram Chaturvedi spoke out about “shoddy patient care” at the Dallas VA hospital in 2008. In one instance, a nurse marked the wrong kidney for a procedure, while in another case, the wrong patient was brought to the operating table. Chaturvedi’s boss told him to “let some things slide,” but he continued to complain and he was fired in 2010.

Chaturvedi’s story is one of many where the VA silenced whistleblowers. According to Coburn’s report, Lisa Lee received a suspension of two weeks without pay because she didn’t go along with the wait time procedure at the hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. After the Office of Special Council, a federal organization that protects whistleblowers, caught wind of the story, it began investigating 37 instances where the VA muzzled employees who dared speak.

Meanwhile, VA executives just kept patting themselves on the back. Last year, the bureaucracy gave itself $2.8 million as performance awards” to executives. If you asked the executives, nothing was less than “fully satisfactory,” just like every single one of the executive’s performance ratings from 2010 to 2013. Yet veterans waited and some endured care that would be considered criminal at a veterinary clinic.

In a USA Today op-ed, University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds describes American writer Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy: “In every organization there are two kinds of people: those committed to the mission of the organization, and those committed to the organization itself. While the mission-committed people pursue the mission, the organization-committed people take over the organization. Then the mission-committed people tend to become discouraged and leave. As a result, the strongest priority of most bureaucracies is the welfare of the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats it employs, not whatever the bureaucracy is actually supposed to be doing.”

The problem with the VA is the problem with ObamaCare and any other government monolith: It’s a bureaucracy. This malpractice is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Want to Search a Phone? ‘Get a Warrant’

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a huge victory to privacy rights and Fourth Amendment constitutional protections – and dealt a big blow to the Obama administration’s attempt to trample both – by unanimously ruling that police may not search cell phones without a warrant.

Read the rest here.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894): “There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.”

Columnist George Will: “Mississippi has not elected a Democratic senator since 1982, when it gave a sixth full term to John Stennis, who was first elected to fill a vacancy created by an incumbent’s death in 1947. Which means no Mississippian has become a freshmen Democratic senator since Harry Truman was president. So, the tea party’s low-risk insurrection hardly threatened a Republican Senate seat. [Chris] McDaniel’s defeat, like many the tea party has experienced this primary season, brings that feisty faction face to face with a melancholy fact: Americans’ devotion to frugal government is frequently avowed but rarely inhibiting. If the nation’s trajectory is to be changed, this will not be done as abruptly as tea partyers wish, and will not be done without their continued wholesome agitation. They must take to heart the truth Thomas Jefferson told in 1790 to a congressional candidate. Jefferson said that ‘the ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, that we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time, and eternally press forward for what is yet to get.’”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “Many in the media, including some newspaper editorial pages, refuse to broadcast or print information that challenges and in some cases refutes arguments about global warming, claiming it is ‘settled science.’ It is nothing of the kind, as any open-minded person can see by a simple Google search. This is about government gaining more control over the lives of its citizens. Already they are in our bathrooms, our cars, our light bulbs and so many other areas that have the cumulative effect of encroaching on our freedoms. Government is not the final arbiter of truth, yet the global-warming cultists worship at its shrine.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “Michelle Obama says she wants Americans to elect a woman president ‘as soon as possible.’ Man, so even she’s had enough of President Obama.”

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

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