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Bureaucratic Insurgency

Deep-state

There are growing signs that the Deep State is seeking to thwart legal orders from President Trump. This is dangerous.

Oops. He’s doing it again.

oops

Eliminating the department would mean parceling out most of its activities to other federal agencies, a sleight of hand maneuver that might create the appearance of smaller government but would disrupt the ordinary operations of the federal government. 

Regulatory Capture and the Revolving Door

Revolving-Door

Top officials of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have taken jobs in the industry they were regulating.

Torture Report’s Long Shadow

torture-report

What now?

Congress Reaches Budget Deal, Delays Immigration Fight For Another Day

budget-congress-capitol-hundred-dollar-bills

It looks like Congress has averted a budget fight for the second straight year.

Should Lawmaking Be Left to Congress?

regulations-red-tape

Should the Legislature take back legislating from the Executive?

Forest Service Requires Media To Pay Fees To Take Pictures On Government Land

bill-of-rights

Freedom Of The Press, if you can afford to pay the fee.

Army Can’t Track Spending On Program That’s Supposed To Help It Track Spending

us-politics

In a tale that seems it’s right out of Catch-22, the Army apparently cannot track spending on a project that is designed to help it track spending: More than $725 million was spent by the Army on a high-tech network for tracking supplies and expenses that failed to comply with federal financial reporting rules meant […]

D.C. Circuit Grants En Banc Review In Obamacare Funding Case

law-gavel-lights

Back in July, a three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tax subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act could only be applied to policies purchased under exchanges established by an individual state, not to policies purchased via the exchange set up by the Federal Government for the 30-odd […]

Two Federal Appeals Courts Rule Two Different Ways On Obamacare Subsidies

United States Code

Contradictory rulings from two Federal Courts of Appeal show that statutory construction isn’t a simple thing.

Selective Service Notifies Men Born 120 Years Ago To Register For The Draft

uncle-sam-we-want-you1

The Selective Service is cracking down on people who didn’t register for the draft, unfortunately, the people in question were all born nearly 120 years ago and most likely dead: Are you a man born in Pennsylvania between 1893 and 1897? If so, a government agency may have just reminded you to register for the draft. […]

Obama To Name Former Proctor & Gamble Chief To Head V.A.

veterans-administration-health

Nearly a month after Eric Shinseki resigned amid the growing scandal at Veterans Administration hospitals, President Obama will name a replacement today: WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday intends to nominate Robert A. McDonald, a former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs, a White House official said […]

Lois Lerner’s ‘Lost’ Emails And The IRS’s Credibility Problem

Lois Lerner At Hearing

The IRS’s claim that it lost some unknown number of Lois Lerner’s emails doesn’t really add up.

IRS Says It Lost Two Years Worth Of Lois Lerner’s E-Mail

Lois Lerner

All of a sudden, the IRS announced it doesn’t have communications records it once claimed it did have.

Congress Orders Thousands Of Reports It Never Reads

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Bureaucracy at its finest.

IRS Still Running Windows XP Despite Microsoft’s Warnings

intellectual-invention

The Internal Revenue Service missed the deadline to upgrade systems still running Windows XP and will be paying millions of dollars for security patches: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged this week that it missed the April 8 cut-off for Windows XP support, and will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of […]

Employment Numbers Rigged Prior To 2012 Election? The Evidence Doesn’t Show It

unemployment

Was the Jobs Report released one month before Election Day 2012 rigged? Despite a new report, there’s no evidence to suggest that it was.

Report: White House Warned In March About Health Care Website Problems

Healthhcaredotgov

The mounting troubles of the PPACA continue.

The F.D.A.’s Misplaced War On Trans Fats

trans_fats_foods_christian_cable_flickr_creatie_commons

The FDA is declaring war on trans fats. That’s a bad idea on many levels.

FAA Lifts Restrictions On Using Electronics On Airplanes

Airplanes Electronics

Finally, the FAA acts to end a pretty dumb rule.

Obama Administration Knew Of Obamacare Website Problems A Month Before Launch

Healthhcaredotgov

CNN is reporting that the Obama Administration was warned about problems with the website hosting the Federal Obamacare exchange a month before the site went live: Washington (CNN) – The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential […]

Healthcare.gov Security Flaws Could Make Social Security Numbers Publicly Available

Healthcaredotgov Screenshot

Even if it were functioning properly the Federal Health Care Exchange website would still have problems.

Senator Joe Manchin Working On Bill To Delay Obamacare Mandate Due To Website Woes

congress-healthcare

The bad roll out of the Affordable Care Act is starting to lead to calls for delays in enforcement of the law.

Shutdown Leads To Toilet Paper Shortage At Air Force Academy

Present Arms!

Cadets at the Air Force Academy may be facing a problem in the near future: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As the federal shutdown ground into its third day on Thursday, Fort Carson civilian workers voiced their frustrations with a noisy protest at the post’s main gate. Dozens of members of the American Federation of Government […]

Shutdown May Delay Release Of September Jobs Report

us-politics

Ordinarily, Friday morning at 8:30am would see the release of the September Jobs Report. However, with the government shutdown there’s a good chance we won’t see a report at all: The government shutdown that started Tuesday could prevent the Bureau of Labor Statistics from releasing its monthly employment report, which serves as the basis of an economic […]

Park Service Relents On Honor Flight Visits To National Mall

Honor Flight 2

After yesterday’s incident in which World War II veterans visiting the National Mall, with the apparent help of some unnamed individuals, essentially dismantled the barricades separating them from the World War II Memorial, the National Park Service has decided that enforcing vague and confusing shutdown rules was less important than creating what would obviously have […]

The Most Unessential Man in America

us-politics

Air Force lieutenant colonel (designate) Erik Brine is so unessential that it hurts.

Is There Really A “Congressional Exemption” From Obamacare?

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

The news PPACA controversy appears to be based on a complete misunderstanding of one provision of the law.

Government Stupidity Continues with Shutdown Looming

money-piggy-bank

The federal government won’t have money to pay its workers come Tuesday but it’ll spend like a drunken sailor on Monday.

VA Gave Bonuses For Shoddy Claim Processing

veterans-administration-health

The VA created an incentive system that rewarded fast, half-assed claim processing that denied complicated requests.

Military Retirees May Lose Double Dip Retirement

military-civilian-handshake

The Pentagon is considering making military retirees ineligible for civil service pensions.

Tim Geithner DMV Woes

us-politics

The DMV experience sucks just as much if you’re Tim Geithner.

Death and the DMV

virginia-dmv

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Confirmation is the Weakest Aspect of Oversight

Capitol Buidling Dayime2

There really is no reason for Congress to confirm so many posts.

Are There Too Many Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation?

constitution-preamble-gavel

There are over 1,000 Executive Branch positions requiring Senate approval. That seems excessive.

Federal Benefits For Married Employees Won’t Apply To Employees Who Aren’t Married

us-politics

In making an announcement about how it will handle employee benefits in the light of the Supreme Court striking down Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Government stated what I would think is the rather obvious: The Obama administration will not extend federal-worker benefits to domestic partners under the Supreme Court ruling that […]

State Department Spent $630,000 On Facebook “Likes”

us-politics

Apparently, the State Department is really, really concerned about the number of people that “like” it on Facebook: Ostensibly web-savvy State Department employees spent $630,000 to earn more Facebook “likes,” in an effort that struggled to reach its target audience, according to a searing Inspector General’s report from May. Between 2011 and March 2013, the department’s Bureau […]

IRS “Lookout Lists” Also Included Liberal Groups. So, Was It Bipartisan “Targeting?”

IRS Building

A new round of documents from the IRS, that aren’t really new, doesn’t really change the basic narrative on the IRS “targeting” story.

The IRS Can’t Locate It’s Own Receipts

us-politics

Last night on CNN, Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash did a report on the IRS’s latest scandal about overspending on conferences and revealed the rather amusing fact that the IRS cannot locate its own receipts:

AP: Administration Officials Using Secret Email Addresses

email

Several top Administration officials have secret email addresses, the Associated Press reports.

IRS Spent $50 Million On Conferences For Employees

us-politics

Another example of government waste: The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of an inspector general’s report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012. The report by the Treasury Department’s inspector […]

Drug Approval Reciprocity

pharmaceuticals

Shouldn’t medical advances available in Germany be available in the United States and vice-versa?

Canadian Relief For Oklahoma Tornado Victims Stopped At Border

us-politics

When a massive tornado devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma early last week, a group of Canadians took it upon themselves to gather relief supplies for the people in need. Their generous gift, though, has been stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border: A Canadian shipment of relief goods bound for storm-ravaged Oklahoma has been stopped at […]

Douglas Shulman’s 157 Visits To The White House: Less Than Meets The Eye

White Hosue Daytime

Apparently, some people don’t want to let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

The Wetumpka Tea Party and Defining “Potential Political Cases”

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

When does politics become the “primary activity” of a 501(c)4?

Diving Deeper into the TIGTA IRS Audit

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

Inside the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration investigation into the IRS scandal.

Lois Lerner Placed On Administrative Leave

us-politics

Lois Lerner, one of the IRS employees at the center of the political targeting scandal, has been placed on administrative leave: Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt organizations division of the IRS, has been placed on administrative leave, an administration official has confirmed to CBS News. Lerner has come under fire for failing to […]

Getting Rid Of People At The IRS Won’t Be Easy

us-politics

Ezra Klein was out this morning with a column calling for “heads to roll,” as he put it, at the IRS. Josh Marshall agrees with him, and says that it should start with Lois Lerner: Yesterday we noted that Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of the unit overseeing tax exempt groups, would apparently plead the […]

White House Counsel Knew Of IRS Investigation “Weeks Ago”

us-politics

The Wall Street Journal is out today with a report that the White House Counsel’s Office was aware of the Inspector General’s investigation of IRS political targeting several weeks ago: The White House’s chief lawyer learned weeks ago that an audit of the Internal Revenue Service likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups, […]

Criminal Liability Of IRS Workers In Targeting Scandal Unclear

law-scales-justice-flag

We’re already hearing politicians talking about putting the IRS employees accused of targeting conservative organizations out of political bias in jail. However, as Aaron Blake notes, it’s unclear whether they actually broke any laws: In short: We don’t know yet. But it’s also quite possible that nobody will ever be convicted of breaking the law […]

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