Patterico's Pontifications


Friday Amusement, Part II

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I love JD’s Friday Amusement post. It’s the end of the week, time for a relaxing weekend and what better way to start to unwind than with something absurd? Or hilariously absurd. Preferably both.

With that, I wanted to post another Friday amusement…

Guess who may be considering a run for governor of California??


That’s right. People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive George Clooney!

According to the Mirror, Clooney, a friend of President Obama’s and an advocate for a range of high-profile issues, was being courted by the commander-in-chief to make a run for California’s highest office, likely in 2018.

Clooney is supposedly considering a career shift to politics partly due to his recent engagement toAmal Alamuddin, a British human rights lawyer, according to the Mirror.

The truthfulness of the rumors is questionable, but if Clooney were to run and win, he would follow in the footsteps of actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who traded the silver screen for Sacramento.

Now, for those of you rolling your eyes and disparaging him even before you hit the keyboard, given our current crackerjack politicians’ stranglehold on the state, Clooney would, at the least, be a sight for sore eyes. Glam up Sacramento, too. Further, given our desperate state of affairs, anything that might bring relief to the state would be a good thing. And that just might be a pretty face.

What? You doubt me?

Look again.


Keep in mind, with 51% of California’s population female, there is a very good chance Clooney would be elected on his charm and good looks, alone. Why ruin things by bringing his politics into it?

A Unique Incentive

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), fed up with the IRS claims of missing emails, is taking unique steps to solve the issue: he is proposing a bounty bill for their recovery:

It seems that each time the IRS has evidence that will either prove with certainty its guilt or innocence, the evidence disappears which both common sense and the law indicate the evidence such as emails must have proved the IRS’s impropriety if not outright crimes. It is time the IRS either comes clean, or has a special prosecutor to clean it up. This bill should help in the interim.

And what is in the proposed bill?

The Identify and Recover Sent E-mails (IRS) Act (H.R. 4958) would award any individual or group who can recover Lois Lerner’s lost emails $1,000,000 and award $500,000 for information regarding the destruction of the emails that can be used for prosecution of the individuals involved. These rewards would come from the unobligated balances from the IRS fiscal year 2014 budget. Additionally, this legislation would cut salaries at the IRS by 20 percent, until the emails are recovered.


Putting Americans First…Not So Much

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:14 am

[guest post by Dana]

We now come to find out that President Obama is tired of waiting for Congress to act on illegal immigration, so he is discussing ways to speed it up with Homeland Security’s Jeh Johnson.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest discussed it further on MSNBC:

“[W]e’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress,” he explained. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.”

Earnest added that, although Obama was exploring executive action, it was “not a substitute for robust Congressional action” on immigration reform.

“That’s why we’re trying to focus on getting that done,” he concluded.

And in another Why Can’t Those Republicans Roll Over And Die Already briefing, Earnest inferred blamed obstructionist Republicans for poor border security resulting in the surge of illegal immigrant crossings:

If we really wanted to solve this problem, one good way to do it is for those Republicans to get on board … and support common sense immigration reform.

Because enforcing the laws already on the books is not being on board with securing our borders and thus fulfilling the mandate our government is charged with. But of course, securing the borders isn’t what this is about.

And, to again evidence how inactive the Republicans are regarding illegal immigration and its consequences, the Democrats killed two bills that would have required companies to verify the legal status of people before they hire them, as well as another one that would stop the government from giving child tax credits to illegal immigrants.

Led by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who claimed the hiring of illegal immigrants is causing a decrease in the wages of American workers and driving higher costs, the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.), was rebuffed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). It would appear that Durbin wants to put illegal immigrants before Americans:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued that this e-verify provision was in the Senate’s broad immigration bill that passed a year ago, and said Democrats aren’t looking to negotiate passage of sections of that bill.

“We are not going to take that bill apart piece by piece, as the senator from Alabama suggests,” Durbin said. “I object.”

Sessions said if the e-verify program can be accepted by Democrats in the larger bill, they should be able to approve it quickly this week.

“[I]f it’s so good, why don’t we bring it up and pass it now?” Sessions asked. “Why do we have to pass along with it a bill that will double the number of guest workers in the country, and would increase immigration?”

Sessions then tried to pass the Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation Act, which would change the law to ensure illegal immigrants cannot receive child tax credit benefits. But Durbin objected again, and seemed to indicate he believes these benefits should flow to non-citizens.

“I want to make sure that working families with small children have the helping hand of our tax code,” he said. “I want to stop any fraud in any program in our tax code, but I don’t believe this bill is a balanced approach to solving the problem, and I object.”

That left a stunned Sessions to note that the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General has said $4.2 billion in child tax credits were given to illegal immigrants.

“I am flabbergasted, amazed that we would sit by and $4 billion in child tax credit payments to go out that are not justified,” he said.

Welcome to America, we’re always here to serve you…first!


The EPA: Missing Emails And Polluting The Environment

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:22 am

[guest post by Dana]

The Environmental Protection Agency is in the news this week, and none of it’s good, as usual. Unfortunately, it also involves missing emails.

On the heels of the IRS being the focus of a House Oversight Committee investigation, this investigation by the Committee involves the EPA and whether a biologist, or anyone else at the agency, colluded with environmentalists to ensure a negative assessment of a mining proposal in Alaska.

The environmental assessment concluded that the Pebble Mine project could significantly harm the sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. As a result, in February, the agency essentially froze the permitting process for the mine as it reviews options for the area.

Critical emails from the biologist have gone missing. However, the agency came just short of blaming it on a computer crash.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told the Republican-led committee that the agency cannot access some e-mails belonging to a biologist who worked on a controversial mining project assessment. It is a hard drive problem, but McCarthy was careful to not call it a “hard drive crash” or destroyed hard drive.

“I don’t believe this is a missing hard drive issue,” McCarthy told the panel, “There is a challenge getting access to the data on it… I’m still hoping we recover all those e-mails.”

“I heard similar testimony yesterday,” replied Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, dryly referring to the committee’s Tuesday hearing about a critical crashed hard drive at the IRS.

Meadows asked her if the agency broke federal laws on record-keeping and if the biologist’s emails were preserved, and she said the EPA has notified the National Archives and Records Administration about the hard-drive issue.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who surely must be ready to blow a gasket over the excuse of missing emails, demanded the subpoenaed documents be turned over.

“I am telling you, the time to comply is now,” Issa told her. “If it is not complied with … this committee will consider and vote on contempt. I hope that over the next few days our folks and your folks can resolve this with all the emails.”

The Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado is facing a troubling issue of a disgusting sort, and it became necessary to address it with all staff:

Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.

In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.

Confounded by what to make of this occurrence, EPA management “consulted” with workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, who said that hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk. He added the behavior was “very dangerous” and the individuals responsible would “probably escalate” their actions.

“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals,” Cantor wrote. He asked for any employees with knowledge of the poop bandit or bandits to notify their supervisor.

The irony of poop in the hallways of the Environmental Protection Agency speaks for itself, however, while the EPA has a reputation of corruption, as well as “unusual” activity within the agency, this is a new low.

Contractors built secret man caves in an EPA warehouse, an employee pretended to work for the CIA to get unlimited vacations and one worker even spent most of his time on the clock looking at pornography.

Our government at work.


Illegal Children Will Get Sent Back, Obama Lies

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Ed Morrissey applauds Obama’s statement, apparently not recognizing how dishonest it is:

After a few weeks of a flood of minors entering the US illegally via smugglers and cartels, Barack Obama finally offered an unequivocal and strong statement that the effort will ultimately be futile. The signals from Washington DC on executive actions to end deportations and grant minors quasi-legal status set off a chain reaction that ended up having tens of thousands of children make their way through dangerous means to cross the southern border. This morning, Obama told George Stephanopoulos that all of these children will get sent back…

“Oh,” said Obama, “our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. That is our direct message to families in Central America. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”

Just one small problem. That’s a lie. ABC News recently reported:

At the moment, there is a backlog of more than 300,000 unaccompanied minor cases awaiting a decision on deportation due to a shortage of immigration judges and courts. It takes approximately 3-5 years to adjudicate each case.

During testimony today in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Tom Homan, the Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations with ICE testified about the reality of the backlog problem.
“I can say that every unaccompanied child and every family unit member are served with NTAs (Notice to Appear in immigration court) and … there’s a lack of immigration judges and some of these hearings take years.”

In fact, while 26,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended entering the United States illegally last year, only 1800 minors were sent back to their home countries.

“87% of those are still here in proceedings … Because we have no final orders,” Homan said.

And the problem has gotten worse. To date, more than 54,000 children have been apprehended just this year — a 99% increase from last year.

Kids don’t get sent back to their native countries. They get sent to their relatives in the U.S., or just released onto the streets. Ed Morrissey says, I think naively:

Now that this crisis has begun to impede on the White House’s efforts to get immigration reform back on track, the administration has started to treat it like a crisis. A new detention center has opened in New Mexico with the mission to fast-track deportations for the flood of refugees. It also spells the end of the so-called “catch and release” policy.

I seriously doubt that. I told you about this new detention center a few days ago. It has 700 beds. Check the numbers from that ABC report again. We’ve had over 54,000 new illegal children cross the border in less than half a year — thanks to Obama’s unilateral decisions and irresponsible rhetoric.

I understand why Obama would want to lie to us about this, but let’s not get taken in, please. He’s not doing anything serious — and the American people need to understand that.

P.S. What are the consequences of this flood of illegal immigrants? Here’s one: disease. in West Texas reports:

A major concern about housing those unaccompanied immigrant children crossing our border: the spread of disease. It’s an issue they’re trying to tackle in Artesia, New Mexico, just a couple of hours away from here.

Health risks are certainly one of the main concerns of officials and residents in Artesia, where hundreds of undocumented women and children where brought this week. NewsWest 9 investigated to see what those health risks are and what the state and shelters are doing to prevent them.

In the 29 federal resettlement shelters, nearly 60,000 vaccine doses have been distributed to the unaccompanied minors who made the trek from Central America to the United States. The spokeswoman for the Department of State and Health Services says, per request, they sent 2,000 vaccines to an international childrens shelter in South Texas.

“In this particular incident, we were able to get them vaccined quicker than their normal method of ordering through Vaccines for Children,” Spokeswoman for the Department of State and Health Services, Christine Mann, said.

Well, that’s nice. I guess that means that the illegal children are being vaccinated more quickly than legal children. Does that mean that it will take longer for some children who are citizens to be vaccinated? I don’t see how it couldn’t. Vaccines, like any other resource, are scarce.

I support greater levels of legal immigration from Mexico and Central American countries, so that we can say with a straight face that people who want to do it the right way, can. Part of that process screens for criminal records and disease. By contrast, when illegals stream across the border en masse and receive a pat on the head and a notice to appear, there is no telling what diseases they bring with them.

But just keep telling yourselves that any opposition to open borders is racist, limousine liberals. After all, it probably won’t be your kids who end up getting TB as a result.

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