The Ins and Outs of Obama care

Recently, with the horror of insurance loss and inability to replace it using the website, two recurring themes keep coming up: there are too many uninsured using the emergency room, increasing costs for insured when they are sick or injured, or; Obama care is an effort to rebalance the bargaining power on costs between the insurance company and the insured. Both claims are Insidious and one is invidious as well.

The claim that Obama care will save insured costs of funding the uninsured is insidious [attempt to mislead, beguile or deceive] at best. It’s true that the uninsured being treated in emergency rooms at little or no cost to them increases cost to insurance companies and patients( through increased insurance fees and out-of-pocket payments for co-payments for deductibles). But, upon reflection, how is this different from the increased costs and higher deductibles charged for a policy bought through Obama care? Obviously, it’s NOT different. Well, under Obama care, those who are now uninsured will be called “insured.” Still, most, if not all, of these costs will continue to be paid out of the pockets of those Obama care insured who are ineligible for any subsidy(the costs for these which will ALSO come out of the taxpayer and the non-subsidized Obama care insured). In other words, it’s all semantics. The present “uninsured” will now be called “insured,” but, at little to no costs to them, and the full cost being borne by others.

In reality, this is nothing but a bald effort to rationalize the fact that, taxpayers (or those not destitute) will still be footing the entire extra costs plus income taxes for this care for others while still being able to claim such a plan is more beneficial to those presently (pre-Obama care) doing the exact same thing. What this red-herring wishes to distract you from is the increases of costs for medical care/treatment, and the increases of taxes to pay for the increased bureaucracy to handle these changes, AND the costs of any subsidies paid to those now among the ranks of “uninsured.” Not really such a bargain, is it?

On the other hand, the attacks on the motives and business practices of insurance companies (pre-Obama care) are both insidious AND invidious [create ill will, envy, and resentment]. Let’s think about that. So far, multiple claims (from multiple sources) have been made that these insurance companies have wrongfully set their insurance premiums way too high for the coverage provided AND, that Obama Care will give BETTER coverage at LOWER cost. Really? What I haven’t noticed is any effort, or even bluff, that their claims are based on actual information. It’s readily available for those with the knowledge and incentive to research actuary tables (taking into account risks of it happening and based on population the percent of their insured who are even likely to incur the disease or injury. With this in mind, taking into account the costs paid to insurance companies for their premiums and the costs of payouts by the insurance companies, one could determine whether the insurance companies’ profit margin is really as unconscionable as claimed. Naturally, people will differ on their interpretation of the same numbers, but, at least they tried to substantiate their claim with concrete facts, which can be reviewed and considered by the general public. But, no effort to substantiate at all. Likewise, with the website down, there is NO way to substantiate or rebut the better coverage at lower cost claim. Gee, who is responsible and in control of the factor preventing any rebuttal or substantiation? Right, the same folks making the claim.

In my opinion, what Obama care is really is an effort to initiate communism through control of the insurance without revolution or use of the Red Army. unlike SOCIALISM (which is the alleged permissive use of all goods, income, and products of their labor by those who own, earn or produce these items for the use and enjoyment by others who cannot or will not be able to produce, earn, or buy these things), COMMUNISM is the ownership and control of property, goods, profits, etc. for use solely as the Government sees fit. Under Obama care, one CANNOT buy an insurance policy with the coverage cost and deductibles they would like, the GOVERNMENT will determine what they WILL buy and how much they will pay for it. INcreased cost,INsidious and INvidious claims, IN (versus) UNinsured, INcreased bureaucracy – too many “INS.” OUT with Obama care and this deceptive rhetoric!

Too many False Choices – Amend or Repeal Obama care

On multiple occasions recently, “Guests” on news programs make arguments about why Obama care is a necessary law that must be immediately enforced and  kept entirely intact.  Why, because it is the “law of the land.”  Also, it contains so many good things like, keeping children on the parents’ policy for many years, birth control coverage, pre-existing conditions coverage, and many other mandatory inclusions.  These inclusions are deemed necessary in insurance policies to be considered “sufficient” insurance policy coverage. Besides, anybody who loses their present insurance policy due to Obama care coverage requirements can shop for better policies possibly at lower costs. Sounds pretty good, right?   At face value with no other options, they certainly do.  But, are there TRULY NO other options for this list of goodies?  Let’s look.

The initial “law-of-the-land argument is the easiest to rebuff.  Requirements of laws already on the books must be followed, as written, so long as they are unchanged or otherwise found to be unlawful by the courts. They CAN (and many have been already) be modified or repealed. Otherwise, there would still be slavery/voting restrictions by race or sex/abortion-birth-control prohibition/ or complete prohibition of the use/possession and manufacture of alcohol beverages in effect today.  Therefore being a law of the land does NOT make it sacrosanct.

What about all the “good” things one can obtain through this law?  For some, I’m sure there are many clause coverage requirements to make this law attractive for them.  But, the same coverage requirements are either unnecessary, unwanted, or anathema for other folks.  So, for them, not so good, but adds costs for them anyway.  Speaking of costs, while everyone is supposed to save money in comparison to what their former policy cost, not everyone will.  Let’s face it, if this insurance was so attractive and well priced for everyone, there would be no need to force all to be covered.  Everyone would want to be covered. What’s my proposed cure?  mend the law to allow folks to choose which coverage they want.  For those who wish to delete coverage, let the insured do so, at a price deduction equivalent to the annual average fair-market cost for those covered.

Delete ALL waivers to this law so Everyone is equally covered by this coverage as sole option.  Then, let’s see how long this law lasts in its present state.  Lastly, repeal the entire law and draft a new one in small portions so the coverage and prices can be tested and approved by the citizens.  Then, try to compile a new one.

 

Wait! WHO was Responsible for the Obama care roll-out Fiasco?

Today, on Greta Van Susteren’s show, she had on a former HHS official to discuss the problems with getting Obama care started.  When asked whether any HHS higher ranking officials should be disciplined, he said “No.”  OK, when asked why, he stated that it was the Republicans who caused it.  In response to Greta’s disbelieving “Huh?”, he indicated the Republicans were responsible for starving the Obama care project for funds.  The Democrats asked for more funds and were refused.

First problem, he never indicated which democrat requested more funds or who he asked, and (and this is MOST important) what substantiation was given for the reasons given for the additional fund requirement.  Nor did he indicate which bill proposed the fund increase, who sponsored the bill, or when it was put to a vote or conference. If none, then there is no basis to allege funds were actually requested formally and improperly denied. Oh, it’s the old: ”give vague hints you have information which will reflect badly on your opponent; but NEVER indicate specifically what, when, where or how the information was obtained” Trick.  Well, it does allow making indirect allegations without needing to prove ANY of your claims.

 

While it’s not really important what this speaker did for HHS while there, it’s obvious he was not working in the contracting section.  Government contracts are regulated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR -48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) et seq.  These regulations, with some exceptions discussed later, require the contracting agency to draw up a request for bids (RfB)indicating what the winning contractor is required to do, so they can estimate how much they need to bid for the contract and still make sufficient profit.  For instance, build a web site which is expected to handle Between an estimated X or Z number of simultaneous hits over an extended period of time – continuing to accept queries and process response information over a yet to be determined period.  . This website must allow individual searches of plans, costs, and alternative options, etc.  It also must be able to acquire identity  information(names, addresses, Social Security Acct. Numbers, birth dates, etc., in a secure manner which will ensure the info obtained can be forwarded Solely to the secure collection address, with minimum possibility of fishing, hacking or other fraudulent practices allowing access to or redirection of this info to unauthorized recipients.  This system will be planned and drawn up for submission by H  date.  The completed system must be on-line and fully functional by Y date.  These RfB’s (again with exceptions) are to be PUBLICLY announced sufficiently in advance of the requirement date to allow for the rather long and drawn out process. Then comes the bidding deadline period; the bid review period, the determination of the winner and the announcement of bid award.  As you can see, this action should not have been initiated only a short period before roll-out.

The exceptions to the public bidding requirement boil down to sole-source or directed contract awards.  The first comes about when you receive only one or two bids.  IF the agency can document that they accurately drew up the RfB and forwarded it to as many local contracting announcement sources (i.e., Govt. contracting bulletin websites, local newspaper, all of the contractors which had already performed similar projects in a fully satisfactory manner in the past, etc.  If so, and they get those few bids mentioned, then the award will go to the lowest bidder, unless the agency can fully document that one or more of the bids was insufficient to indicate appropriate performance.   obviously under manned estimations – too low bid, to be possible by the standards of practice for the skills/materials allotted in their bid for proper function necessary for timely completion.   If only one bid and the bidding contractor has sufficient contracting history to show the ability and expertise to fully perform as described in their bid, award as a sole source.    If a valid emergency can be documented and a specific contractor has a history with the agency that the contractor will be able to respond to the emergency protecting life, Govt property or to continue an important mission, it can be done by directed award.

I know this was long and tedious, but I tried to give a flavor of how much time, effort, AND documentation is needed to properly complete the Govt. contracting process. In other words, it should be very easy to determine who, what, when, why, and how this contract was awarded and how close to the contract’s requirements and the winning contractor’s bid actually exist.  Also WHY it was started so late AND, whether this abject failure to perform was caused by changes in the contract’s original orders by the agency’s designated Contract Officer (CO) or were just poor performance.  If the former, it is SOLELY the agency’s fault.  If the latter, it is a breach of contact.  ALL funds on the contract due and owing to the contractor should be frozen and put into escrow to determine whether any owed funds remain to be paid after the final fix (presumably by ANOTHER contractor) are completed and the costs totaled up.

Once and for all, you DON’T have to be born in the US to be President

With the issue of the President’s, Sen. Cruz’s, and, now, Former Governor Schwarzenegger’s birthplace, this claim that one must be born in the US to be eligible keeps being repeated with the only cite as “the Constitution.”  BUNK!

The ONLY constitutional statement concerning this official’s birthplace my research uncovered, was

Article , II Section 5, which states:  “No person except a natural born Citizen, (OR) a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President: neither shall any person  be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States (CAPS in the original – like German, they capitalized all nouns- emphasis of OR added).”  While one COULD be born in the US and be eligible, it is NOT the ONLY option.

It seems that everyone who repeats this (location-of-birth) claim is merely mirroring statements that others made without first researching. INMHO, that should not the way to report facts in the news casts, panels, or other televised statements.

As for the portion   concerning the “at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, if taken literally and so enforced, it would mean NO ONE born after 1787(in the US or not) could be President.  They can’t have been and still be alive. NO Court Supreme or other) will accede to such literal interpretation.   It has been proposed this clause was added to ensure no foreign influence could get into the US government authorities, including those foreign nationals who were in the US to fight or assist the US in the war of Independence with Britain (para. 1473, page 564, Vol. 3, “The Founder’s Constitution”, edited by P. Kurland and A. Lerner, 1987).

CR, Debt-level Raise, Spending Control, Obama Care – Is there ANY Compromise?

Oh no!  Once again we approach end of fiscal year budget; Obama Care funding issues;  and the question of raising the debt-level (since it’s already been overcome). The  Administration and liberals want new higher debt-level amounts without any spending cuts, and a new budget for the new fiscal-year (failing that a Continuing Resolution  will do).

The Conservatives want spending cuts to balance the new budget spending( and higher debt level) in return.  Suffice it to say they strongly disagree on Obama Care.  What to Do?

But Wait!  For a limited time (we only have days before the financial crisis), and the small cost of a stamp or telephone call; and your time for an e-mail, we have the answer to your problem.  No one likes Obama Care but the administration thinks of it as it legacy .To pass a new CR or debt limit with out spending restrictions just passes the problem until the CR ends. The President will veto ANY legislation which fully defunds Obama Care.

How can we satisfy the need for more/less spending and the continuation of Obama Care?  Simple.  The Congress agrees to fund a new CR and debt limit if AND ONLY IF the Administration agrees to the cancellation of ALL Obama Care  waivers granted to date; AND cede the right to issue ANY new waivers without the consent of Congress.  This continues Obama care and its funding.  BUT, everyone in the country will be under the same rules, obligations, taxes and penalties (including Congress, the President, Friends/enemies of the Administration and their organizations, etc.).  Equal Protection, right?  The Congressional consent allows the waiver/ repealing of those portions of the law which are obviously against public policy.  For instance the tax increase on any technical medical apparatus – or any other provisions which are found to adversely affect most, if not all of the citizenry.

Call, write, or e-mail or political representative and tell them this is the only deal you will support.  Act Now!

Government Requirements for Voter ID are not Racist or Unconstitutional

 

The Department of Justice (DOJ)’s recent legal action against Texas over its recent voter ID law brings that issue again to the fore  Once again we hear allegations that requiring any voter ID (with ANY contingent documentation required) is unconstitutional as voter suppression AND racist because it affects so many minorities.  In Texas, the Hispanics are often cited, but other age and race membership is cited there and other parts of the US.

The Constitution Never states that, to vote in EITHER state or Federal elections, one must be a US citizen.  But, in any mention of voter protections (sex, race, economic situation), it DOES single out “CITIZENS” for the Constitutional protection discussed.   For instance, the XV or 15th Amendment states¨ “The rights of  CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (emphasis added).”

“What’s a citizen”, you ask?  While not defined in the 15th amendment, the 14th Amendment states:  “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are CITIZENS of the United States and of the State wherein they reside (emphasis added).”  This Amendment goes on to indicate that no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of CITIZENS of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.  As the US  citizen definition is  separated by semi-colons from any persons’ right to the other Constitutional protections, one may assume that CITIZENS of the US were NOT in the same category as “any person.” by the drafters.

The 19th Amendment states:  “The right of any CITIZEN to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State on account of sex (emphasis added).”

The 24th Amendment states: “The right of CITIZENS of the United States to vote in any primary or election for the President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax (emphasis added).”

See any mention of a RESIDENTS or VISITORS of the United States having any voter protection?  I didn’t.  Of course, one could always argue that, since there is no specific requirement of citizenship to vote, ANYONE in the United States during an election could vote.  But, such argument would only lead to the nonsensical loop that, because the Constitution DOES specifically limit its voters’ rights to “citizen of the US”, States and the Federal Government MAY limit the right of non-citizens to vote because of sex, race, payment of pol taxes, etc.  (i.e. NON-CITIZENS were not specifically mentioned in the Constitution protecting such rights – just life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and due process).

Lastly, the 26th Amendment states:  “The right of CITIZENS of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older , to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age (emphasis added).”

 

The DOJ, in its info paper indicating a summary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which it indicates it intends to enforce, states (quoting from the Act):  (under the Congressional Purpose and Findings heading)…”Purpose-(the purpose of this Act is to ensure the right of ALL CITIZENS to vote, including the right to register to vote and cast meaningful votes, is preserved and protected as guaranteed by the Constitution (emphasis added).”

Under Section (4) D of the Evidence of continued discrimination includes– (t)he litigation pursued by the (DOJ) since 1982 to enforce sections 4(e), 4(f)(4( (SIC)  and 203 of such Act to ensure all language minority CITIZENS have full access to the political process (emphasis added).”

Under sub-subparagraph of the same heading:  “The record compiled by Congress demonstrates that, without the continuation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 protections, racial and language minority CITIZENS will be deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote ,or will have their votes diluted, undermining  the significant gains made by minorities in the last 40 years (emphasis added).”

OK, we should now understand that ALL  people physically in the United States have the right to life, liberty and the other Constitutionally protected rights, no matter what their race, sex, and citizenship may be.  Likewise, BOTH the Constitution and Congress recognize the right to vote in Federal elections is SOLELY reserved for CITIZENS of the United States (by birth or naturalization.)

The Supreme Court, in its decision in certiorari reversal of the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit of its finding against Alabama’s voter ID law, in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, Et AL (570 U.S.___2013), June 25, 2013),  states:  (discussing the Voting Rights Act of 1965) “Section 2 Of the Act which bans any standard, practice, or procedure that results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any CITIZEN…to vote on account of race, or color (cite omitted) applies nationwide,(and) is permanent…(emphasis added).).”

 

So, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court and the Constitution ALL reserve the right to unhindered voting to those who are CITIZENS (born or naturalized) of the United States.  Whether such limitation would affect more of those noncitizens of any race, nationality, sex, religious group, etc. is irrelevant.  THEY NEVER had the right to vote, so, if more are affected, it just means more NON-CITIZENS tried to vote without a voter ID. Of course, any ID requirement which, on its face indicates that IDs are unavailable for those US CITIZENS of any particular race, religion, sex or nationality WOULD be unconstitutional.  Therefore, the requirement of a voter ID to confirm eligibility to vote through US CITIZENSHIP status IS Constitutional.  Since the U.S. citizenship requirement applies to ANYONE who wants to vote, it is NOT a discriminatory requirement

My State, Georgia, has the perfect remedy to avoid any Constitutional taint.   If you want either a driver’s license or State issued ID eligible for voter recognition, you must bring proof of name, Social Security number, address,  and, of course CITIZEN SHIP.  This applies to EVERYBODY.  Although I and my wife have been registered to vote, lived at our present address, and licensed to drive in Georgia, since 1992, to obtain our new license/IDs, we had to bring all of this documentary evidence  (I my birth certificate, my wife her naturalization certificate) BEFORE the state issued the license/ID.

Blaming the Gun exonerates the User from ALL Responsibility

Yesterday, the recent murder of an Australian while jogging,  by others, FOR FUN was discussed in one of the news segments.  The host opined that the President was derelict in not coming out publically to decry such violence.  One panelist agreed, and the other said (paraphrasing), “No, he has more important things to do right know.  Besides, he is of the opinion (and she indicated she agreed with it) that the only reason gun violence occurs is because society not only manufactures guns, but allows people town/ use them – the ONLY solution is to get rid of ALL the guns or forbid any personal ownership.”  I disagree with BOTH theories.

In the legal field, this is known as the “but-for” theory.  That is, but for the fact that you were flying the crashed plane, or driving into an intersection when the accident happened- it would not have occurred.  But for the fact that you leaned on that rock/flew the plane or drove the vehicle which fell and killed, injured or did damage –you are liable.  This theory has been rejected as the GROSS oversimplification it truly was.  Granted, if you weren’t driving/flying at THAT time (or leaning on the rock when it fell), the deaths or injuries might not have happened.  Of course, this completely ignores mechanical problems, road condition, unexpected storms or temperature drops, stop signs/ traffic lights which might have been missing, intervening health conditions, erosion/landslide which caused you to push on the rock to avoid injury, etc.  So, because some inanimate object handled or controlled by a human creates havoc, it is NOT absolute that the blame solely lies with the human –BUT, some or ALL blame MAY be the human’s.  It takes further investigation to find out how and why it happened.  Likewise, it is ridiculous to try to blame the machine.  Without the human voluntarily operating it, it cannot do anything.

Now, to the gun issue.  True, if guns didn’t exist, no one could be shot.  Likewise, if humans didn’t operate it, except for rare mechanical safety failure, it wouldn’t fire.  BUT, because an instrument operated by a human causes death, it should be completely removed from EVERYONE’S possession?  What about surgical instruments, medicines, or any other element that is deadly?  Well, none of these examples involve the voluntary action/intent to injure or kill firing a gun does.  Again, true.  But, what about drunk or insane drivers who think it’s fun or necessary for some reason to drive on crowded sidewalks?  What about knives, rocks, bats, axes, (well you get the picture) used by someone deliberately to kill .Must ALL of these items be deleted from existence or possession thereof be forbidden because SOME people misuse them?

Not so simple anymore, is it?   To go to the ultimate extreme, because ONLY people can manufacture or utilize these items, should we get rid of ALL the people?  Instead, let’s look at the motive/circumstances involved in any shooting.  Firing a weapon without cause (i.e. self-defense/defense of others [including home invasions], or insanity) should be grounds for sentence multiplication/including death.  Look ONLY at why the weapon was fired (and, at whom) and punish accordingly.  DON’T blame the existence of guns.

Oh, There IS Racism ALL Right !

Remember the Treyvon Martin case/trial?  Remember the overwhelming press coverage, both televised and in newsprint?  Remember Al Sharpton and Rev. Jackson coming out constantly (both on and in the news, as well as demonstration)? Yes, even the President came out on the side of Treyvon (and AGAINST George Zimmerman), even before (much less during or after the trial) with ALL clearly indicating Zimmerman MUST be guilty of BOTH murder and RACIST animus.  Apparently, in their minds, obviously, EVERYONE MUST agree that, with two different races involved, it HAD to be a RACIST act.  The hullaballoo after the verdict did not go away, it just become more vocal.  So, if two different races are involved in anything, be it a crime (with or without violence involved), or a simple disagreement over inane things or over opinions on any subject, it MUST be racist.  Right?

Really?, What does that mean then, when the SAME two races as involved in the Treyvon Martin case are involved in  a shooting death, but the races of the shooter and killer were reversed?  Obviously, if one were truly using logic and critical thinking (in a NON-RACIST manner) in coming to their SOLELY racist animus (and, therefore guilty of BOTH murder and a hate crime) conclusion), then, one must come to the same conclusion when the SAME races are involved. Apparently, that is NOT true.

In March, in Atlanta, a mother was out walking with her baby in a stroller.  Two males approached her and demanded money from the woman.  She indicated that she had none.  One of the males then took a gun and put it to the baby’s head, saying, “if you don’t give up your money, I’ll shoot the baby.”  The mother again claimed she had no money.  The gunman shot the baby dead.  Mother was White and the baby, apparently, was of mixed races.  This was in March (jury selection is now ongoing).  WHAT have you seen in the newspapers?  How about the television news shows?

Heard any comments from Al Sharpton or Reverend Jackson?  Anything from the President?  If not, one could clearly (remember the theorem that, if anything involves two different races it’s GOT to be racist animus) determine there was BLACK racism.    Whites and Blacks were involved in the death.  The Black was the shooter and the victim was of mixed-race (with White involved).  So the Black MUST have committed a hate crime in shooting the baby.

Likewise, there must be a racist animus to Al Sharpton’s, Rev. Jackson’s, AND the President’s comments and support for the Black victim in the Treyvon Martin /George Zimmerman situation. The facts (races, shooting death) are the same, so it seems ONLY racism is involved in their lack of any racial comments.  If so, then the President, Al Sharpton, and Rev. Jackson are either BLACK racists, OR just trying to split the American community on race lines, with greater support for the Black side.

DO I REALLY think both actions in the baby/Treyvon Martin’s case were caused SOLELY on the basis of the race of the victim?  NO, of course not. While there may have been some racism involved in the meeting in the two cases (i.e., the perpetrator would NOT have approached the other if they thought both were of the same race) neither SHOOTING may have been race based.  In the Atlanta baby case, the main motive was an armed robbery with the shooting created by the shooter’s efforts to threaten the mother by threatening the baby.  Whether it was intentional or accidental, I don’t know, any more than ANY of us (by law, excluding the Florida jury) know whether Treyvon was shot with racist intent or by accident.

Let’s stop using race difference as a motive for anything until racism is proven AT the trial, NOT before.

 

Once Again, the Govt asks us, What Difference does it Make?

Today the thousands of violations committed by NSA with regard to searching and seizing private information was the main topic on the news.  I was outraged at the senator’s statement that, since only 1% of all of the violations were deliberate, and all were self-reported, there is no REAL threat to privacy or misuse of the improperly gained information – So, since they may protect the country’s interests; Don’t worry about it.  Amazing!

As to the first part, does this mean that, if only 1% of the improper police misuse of the national/federal criminal data base to check up on someone’s records just because they’re interested (i.e., movie stars, politicians, past or present lovers, etc. ,it’s okay and should be completely ignored? What if, to embarrass or harass the subject they also release the information to others who have no right to it?  Or, the police raid and break into a home (either with or without warrant) wrongly, with shooting or violence, causing injury or death to people or their pets.  Should his also just be ignored, so long as they are self-reported (and inadvertent)?  Granted, these are the extremes, but all involve the same problem – mistakes (BY GOVERNMENT employees) which were to the detriment of the citizens involved. All are equally violations of law and regulation and must be controlled and corrected whether or not it was deliberate.

Worse, all of these examples happened.  In Atlanta, a grandmother was shot and killed because she was using a weapon to threaten these masked (they were wearing SWAT masks) hooligans breaking into her home.  They never tried to indicate a warrant by knocking on her door.  Turns out, there was NONE (for THAT address, anyway).  In another incident, again, in an effort to serve a warrant forcibly, the residents’ dogs were killed when the intrusion happened and the dogs took exception.  OOPs, another mistake.  But, these are only a couple and were self-reported, so, let’s pretend they never happened.  Right?

 

Three things bother me about this attitude by our government officials:  They were not isolated incidents and they were NOT ALL mistakes (i.e., concerning the NSA info gathering, the IRS deliberately targeting one group merely for political preference; and the DOJ gun -running scheme. Furthermore, they were NOT self-reported until the Snowden leaks made the officials nervous that their actions might be exposed. Why not? Ever wonder why complete reports on ALL of them have not been released to the oversight committees?  In my mind, such secrecy within  the government agencies indicates either not all of the incidents have been reported, or, alternatively, the evidence will show more than 1% of them were deliberate misuse of the positions and authority for personal reasons.  Under these circumstances, since we know something WAS done in violation of law or regulation; since they aren’t being voluntarily “self-reported”, ALL relevant incidents, whether or not inadvertent must be investigated.

May not, Can not, and Will not, DON”T have the same meaning

Recently we’ve had a spate of Administration improprieties discovered :  IRS, NSA. DOJ.  Also we hear the standard “I didn’t know or have any involvement”  responses by the agency heads.  We also received a unanimous “our employees MAY not do the alleged act” or, “Our employees,  CAN not (usually based on the lack of   either technical ability (NSA) , or the lack of legal authority (ALL of them) to take these alleged actions.In theory, that’s wonderful.  However, these limitations on ability and authority are entirely irrelevant to these issues.  That is, there is ample evidence that these actions were taken.  We may not know specifically how, who, or why, but the alleged actions happened.

For NSA, while Snowden may not have the legal authority, he certainly had both ability AND intent to not only access and copy the so-called protected info, he also had the ability and, intent by his own statements to pass this info on to unauthorized people. While their info collection maybe of great advantage to the US, that should NOT substantiate the need to allow these acts to go with NO oversight.

For IRS, there is e-mail/oral statement evidence that, not only were certain political groups subject to outrageous info requests to prevent them from getting a tax exempt status, but, that the employees were directed to take these actions by superiors.  Likewise, while the IRS obviously needs to gain info in their performance of assigned duties, that doesn’t give them the right or NEED to access or distribute information gained to those who will further the supervisor’s political agenda.

 

If it IS being done, how can any defense of “such actions would be illegal or difficult;” really a defense?