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VA Reform Stalled by Lack of Accountability

by Pete Hegseth     •     RealClearPolitics

POW_veterans affairs_VA scandal_We now know without a doubt what it means when a scandal-ridden government agency pledges accountability for corrupt and underperforming employees: It’s an empty promise.

That’s the conclusion we can draw from the minuscule number of employees fired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) a year after a nationwide patient scheduling scandal was exposed.

The question now is, what will it take to get the VA and the Obama administration to take their responsibilities to veterans seriously? [Read more...]

The ICC Runs Into the World’s Largest Powder House Waving A Torch

ICC 1By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny

Over at the Daily Beast Andrew Novak lays out a persuasive list of reasons why Palestine is “unlikely to see results from an [International Criminal Court] prosecution for many years, if ever.”

“Palestine’s referral to the ICC is fraught with risks,” Novak writes. “The ICC may prosecute all parties to a conflict, and that includes Palestinian crimes as well as Israeli ones. The allegations that Hamas fighters used human shields and fired unstable rockets at civilian areas, if proven, almost certainly constitute war crimes. By contrast, allegations against Israel are much more complex, and largely matters of proportion: for instance, whether the Israeli military provided sufficient warning before attacking residential buildings or caused excessive collateral damage pursuing low-level Hamas fighters. The legality of Israeli settlements is the most complex question of all — and not one that the ICC Prosecutor or judges are well-placed to answer as experts in criminal law. This would be a mess.”

A mess? Business as usual for the ICC then!

Obviously Fatah leadership must have gamed out something approximating these scenarios.

So why proceed?

[Read more...]

Eric Holder’s Legacy

by Gregg Jarrett     •     Fox News

HolderEric Holder is now the former attorney general of the United States. Which invites the question: what will his legacy be as America’s top law enforcement officer?

I suspect history will find our eighty-second attorney general more reviled than revered.

When he looked in the mirror, Holder seemed to see the visage of Bobby Kennedy –a champion of civil rights. His detractors, and there were many, saw someone who more closely resembled John Mitchell, Nixon’s political hatchet man who, as attorney general, did his boss’s bidding, covered it up and went to prison. [Read more...]

Don’t Import Canada’s Ideas on Health Care

by Sally Pipes     •     RealClearPolitics

obamacare-obama-government-inefficientMove aside, maple syrup. Canada has a hot new export — single-payer health care.

The New York State Assembly may soon consider legislation that would switch the Empire State to a Canadian-style single-payer system. Maine has expressed interest in doing the same.

So has Congress. Earlier this year, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced a bill to create government-run insurance programs in every Obamacare exchange.

Our northern neighbor’s admirers should consult its history. Nearly fifty years ago, Canada charged a youthful chief executive with a massive overhaul of its healthcare system — just as the United States has today. Canada now has a half-century of proof that government-dominated healthcare systems force patients to wait interminably long times for subpar treatment. [Read more...]

The International Criminal Court As Weaponized Hobby Horse

Burnside_Julian1By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny

Over in Australia “prominent barrister” Julian Burnside has come up with a plan to break, however briefly, the International Criminal Court’s monomaniacal fixation on Africans…by luring the the aspiring transnational behemoth onto the flailing side of his nation’s domestic policy disputes!

Mr Burnside told Lawyers Weekly it was his personal view that Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison, as well as politicians responsible for the mistreatment of boat people in previous Liberal and Labor governments, are guilty of crimes against humanity.

“I’ve looked at it pretty carefully for quite a long time and I don’t think there is much scope for argument about it.

“The fact that our mistreatment of asylum seekers amounts to a crime against humanity, I think, is fairly clear,” he said.

Mr Burnside said he was preparing a communiqué to the ICC and was hoping that lawyers with international reputations might be prepared to lead the charge.

To be fair to Mr. Burnside, his proposal does nicely dovetail with two of the ICC’s most successful ongoing projects — i.e. ostentatious showboating and no substantive action – and the barrister appears to understand this well:

[Read more...]

Sen. David Perdue: Obama Runs ‘Country Without Congress’

Abuse of executive powers threatens democracy

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Smug-ObamaPresident Barack Obama’s abuse of executive power privileges has essentially frozen Congress out of the government for the past six years, leading to foreign policy disasters across the globe and systemic domestic problems, according to Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), who blasted the White House’s abuse of power during a speech on the Senate floor Monday evening.

Perdue, in his first wide-ranging speech from the Senate floor, blasted what he said is the Obama administration’s unprecedented abuse of the presidency and failure to set America on stable path.

“Unbridled use of executive orders and regulatory mandates has basically allowed this president to run the country without Congress for the past six years,” Perdue said, according to text of his speech. [Read more...]

Watchdog Group Calls for Ethics Investigation of Baldwin

Wisconsin senator accused of cover-up of lack of action in Tomah VA scandal

by CJ Ciaramella     •     Washington Free Beacon

Calls are mounting for the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.) for her alleged cover-up of her office’s handling of a scandal at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin.

The watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) sent a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee on Thursday calling on the committee to investigate two complaints filed against Baldwin this week regarding the Tomah affair.

“It appears that Senator Baldwin attempted to use taxpayer funds to hide information from those very taxpayers,” FACT director Matthew Whitaker said in the letter. “It is this type of behavior that erodes public trust in our public officials, and reflects poorly on the Senate as a whole.” [Read more...]

Iranian Warships Arrive Near Yemen

Comes just days after U.S. announced it would send its own warships

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

 

In this picture taken on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, and released by the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, prepares before leaving Iran’s watersIn this picture taken on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, and released by the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, prepares before leaving Iran’s waters.

A fleet of Iranian warships arrived near the southern coast of Yemen on Wednesday in a move likely to add greater tension in a developing U.S.-Iranian standoff in the region, according Iranian military leaders.

Just days after the United States announced it would send its own warships to Yemen in order to prevent Iran from smuggling weapons to terror forces fighting there, a flotilla of Iranian destroyers docked in the same area.

Iran’s military moves are likely to increase tensions between the two countries as each seeks to bolster opposing sides in the fight currently unfolding in Yemen. [Read more...]

Rick Perry: ‘Outrageous’ Lack of Accountability After Veterans Scandal

Documents show few have been fired in wake of scandal at VA hospitals

by Brent Scher     •     Washington Free Beacon

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, says it is “outrageous” that so few people have been held accountable at the Department of Veterans Affairs after the Obama administration promised action would be taken against those found responsible for manipulating wait times at VA hospitals.

Internal documents obtained by the New York Times show that despite claims by the department that at least 14 people had been fired, only three actually have lost their jobs.

“It is outrageous that the Obama administration has not held people accountable for manipulating wait times in VA hospitals after promising to take action against those implicated in the scandal,” said Perry. [Read more...]

How Iran Outfoxes U.S.

by Aaron David Miller     •     CNN

If I had to describe the U.S.-Iranian relationship in one word it would be “overmatched.”

We’re playing checkers on the Middle East game board and Tehran’s playing three-dimensional chess. Iran has no problem reconciling its bad and contradictory behavior while we twist ourselves into knots over our tough choices, all the while convincing ourselves that America’s policy on the nuclear issue is on the right track.

Iran isn’t 10 feet tall in this region, but by making the nuclear issue the be-all and end-all that is supposed to reduce Iran’s power, the United States is only making Tehran taller. Consider the following: [Read more...]

Happy Earth Day 2015: The Earth is doing just fine, thank you

by Stephen Moore     •     Fox News

Wednesday, April 22 is Earth Day. To hear the experts like Usher and Al Gore tell the story, the planet is in a miserable state. We’re running out of our natural resources, we’re overpopulating the globe and running out of room, the air that we breathe is becoming toxic, the oceans are rising and soon major coastal cities will be underwater, and the Earth is, of course, heating up, except when it is cooling down.

This is perhaps the single greatest misinformation campaign in world history. Virtually none of these claims are even close to the truth — except for the fact that our climate is always changing as it has for hundreds of thousands of years.

[Read more...]

Liberals Raise Money By Lying About the Climate

by John Hinderacker     •     PowerLine

I suppose it was Earth Day that prompted a mass email on climate from the Democratic Party. What is striking about the Democrats’ fundraising pitch is its mendacity. Here it is, in pieces:

I wrote a long post on the falsity of this claim here: “Was 2014 Really the Warmest Year Ever?” The key point is that “on record” means since 1880, i.e., roughly the end of the Little Ice Age. Satellite data, the only transparent and uncorrupted temperature record, indicates that 2014 was either the third or sixth warmest year since 1979 (when satellite data begin), but the differences are negligible. [Read more...]

Federal Agency Abuses

How the Constitution Protects Us From Abuse and Stops the Abusers

By George Landrith

ConstitutionNews reports of federal agencies abusing the rights of Americans and violating the law have become all too common. It is no longer plausible for defenders of big government to argue that these abuses are simply a few isolated incidents. We have witnessed a veritable parade of lawless abuses from all corners of the federal government.

For most of the last six years, the Senate ran interference for the Administration and the national media largely ignored the abuses of their ideological allies. But even in this dangerous and unaccountable age, the Constitution’s genius divides power in such a way as to limit the abuse of power — provided we are smart enough to rely upon the wisdom of the Constitution. [Read more...]

Patent Trolls Don’t Contribute to Innovation – They Impose a Private Tax

by George Landrith     •     Breitbart

Trial lawyers trying to hold parts of the legal system hostage to make money is nothing new. It always happens the same way: a few creative lawyers figure out how to exploit legal loopholes; then abuse those loopholes to enrich themselves at others’ expense until someone stops them. Along the way, they come up with all sorts of creative justifications for what they are doing, claiming it’s actually positive and beneficial. Behind the scenes, they convince or pay off special interests to lobby for delays in changing the law that would close their loopholes and stop the cash flow.

Fortunately, conservative Members of Congress and state legislators can usually be counted on to lead the charge to dismantle the trial lawyers’ schemes. One of the last great examples was the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) 20 years ago, over the objections of the lawyers and a Democratic president’s veto. That law reined in the frivolous securities litigation that was doing nothing but lining lawyers’ pockets. Today, this has been replaced by a new threat. [Read more...]

Obama Hid North Korea Rocket Component Transfer to Iran

By Ari Yashar     •     Israel National News

US intelligence officials revealed that during the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations, North Korea has provided several shipments of advanced missile components to the Islamic regime in violation of UN sanctions – and the US hid the violations from the UN.

The officials, who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said more than two shipments of missile parts since last September have been monitored by the US going from North Korea to Iran.

One official detailed that the components included large diameter engines, which could be used to build a long-range missile system, potentially capable of bearing a nuclear warhead. [Read more...]