Michelle Malkin

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Updated: 24 min 33 sec ago

Welcome to the bureaucratic Magic Kingdom: Looks like some ‘wait times’ are more acceptable than others

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 14:21

**Written by Doug Powers

The Obama administration has had it with long lines and mismanagement at the TSA, and the decision has been made that it’s time for a different person to mismanage the long lines:

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However, addressing the wait times at the VA still doesn’t seem to be a high priority:

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom, veterans:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said Monday that the VA should not use wait times as a measure of success, comparing waits for VA health care to the hours people wait for rides at Disney theme parks.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Monday. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
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McDonald took office in July 2014 after his predecessor was forced out amid a scandal over chronically long wait times at VA health care sites and reports that as many as 40 patients died while awaiting care at the Phoenix VA hospital. Similar problems were discovered at VA health sites nationwide, along with a widespread practice among VA employees of creating secret lists to cover up the long wait times and receive VA bonuses.

Imagine the entire U.S. health care system run by these people, as Bernie Sanders and others would love to see happen. Fittingly, Disney can supply the unicorns.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Of course: IRS commish ‘regrettably’ unable to attend misconduct hearing

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 11:13

**Written by Doug Powers

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Happy to help elevate President Obama’s promise of “historic transparency” to new heights, John Koskinen is eager to won’t answer any and all questions at a congressional hearing that could culminate in his impeachment as IRS commissioner:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will not appear Tuesday at a “misconduct” hearing at which Republicans will lay out a case to impeach him for allegedly failing to comply with a congressional subpoena, the IRS told POLITICO.

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee summoned the tax chief to answer accusations from the House Oversight panel that he failed to preserve documents Congress requested for its probe of the IRS tea party scandal. They also say Koskinen didn’t tell the full truth about erased backup tapes containing copies of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner.

Some Republicans even suspect the IRS intentionally destroyed documents as part of a cover-up.

Koskinen would like to be there but he’s attending a bonfire in Lois Lerner’s backyard:

“[W]hile I must regrettably decline your invitation, I remain willing to appear before the committee in the future,” Koskinen wrote in a May 23 letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The word “regrettably” in there wouldn’t survive an honesty audit.

So I guess the only remaining question to ponder is this: If you get impeached but aren’t there to hear it, does it make a sound?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

His contrails will go on: DiCaprio takes private jet from France to NYC to accept environmental award (Open thread)

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 11:06

**Written by Doug Powers

Another Sunday, another open thread, brought to you today by Scott’s Weed & Feed, Happyscraper and Gulfstream G650, the preferred private jet of rich, planet-saving liberal environmentalists everywhere.

A few things to get the ball rolling…

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Here’s another example of the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from our wealthy progressive betters who are working hard to regulate the emissions coming from our lawn mowers and barbecue grills:

Leo DiCaprio picked up an environmental award in NYC this week — but hypocritically expanded his carbon footprint by 8,000 miles when he obtained the honor, by taking a private jet from Cannes, then flying straight back to France on another jet for a model-packed fund-raiser a night later.

DiCaprio was at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and was spotted there partying at club Gotha on Monday with model Georgia Fowler, then jetted back to New York for the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, where he was honored by the clean-water advocacy group and Robert De Niro.

Just 24 hours later, DiCaprio reappeared back in France for amfAR’s glitzy Cinema Against AIDS gala, where he gave a speech.
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But a source close to DiCaprio explained that the star did not charter his own flights, but merely “hitched a ride with someone already flying back [and] to Cannes. Hitching a ride was the only way he could make it in time for both events.”

Most of the MSM and fellow climate change alarmists are too busy doing this to call out the hypocrisy:

And of course DiCaprio’s eco-crusading pal John Kerry just set the record for the most miles traveled by a U.S. secretary of state. The air smells cleaner already!

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This just in from the “move along, nothing to see here” department:

A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group’s annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.

The Ploughshares Fund’s mission is to “build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles,” one that dovetails with President Barack Obama’s arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president’s top foreign policy aides.

NPR’s response was pure gold:

“It is common practice for foundations to fund media coverage of underreported stories,” Ploughshares spokeswoman Jennifer Abrahamson said. Funding “does not influence the editorial content of their coverage in any way, nor would we want it to.”

Yeah, who would ever assume that?

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Depending on which poll you choose to believe, either Trump or Clinton is in the lead nationally:

New NBC/WSJ poll: Clinton leads Trump nationally by three points. #Decision2016 pic.twitter.com/TZGMBoqjTF

— Meet the Press (@meetthepress) May 22, 2016

Donald Trump takes 2 point lead over Hillary Clinton in new national poll https://t.co/DBkDsgpLq5

— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) May 22, 2016

As for Bernie and Hillary, they talked over their differences last night:

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President Obama has “degraded and destroyed” the “JV team” to such a great extent that it’s necessary to have an ISIS de-radicalization program in… Minnesota.

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The latest dispatch from the Cuckoo’s Nest:

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I’m not linking to the story but if you want to simulate the experience of reading it, just go spend ten minutes trying to break a cinder block with your head.

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What did we ever do before we had the assistance of the Captain Obvious collective at the Michelle Obama-inspired ChooseMyPlate.gov?

Base grocery lists on meals you want to make. Lists help you buy only items you need. https://t.co/dbbfgiRgyo #MyPlateMyWins

— ChooseMyPlate.gov (@MyPlate) May 17, 2016

Also, tying your shoes will greatly decrease your chance of tripping, and for a great mid-day pick-me-up, remember to turn that frown upside-down!

Have a good Sunday all!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Your tax dollars at war (against you): Behold Planned Parenthood’s election year ‘army’

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 06:45

**Written by Doug Powers

This might actually be funny — IF our taxes weren’t funding them, and their “war” wasn’t against the most innocent among us:

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“Army”? Not exactly Patton’s Seventh, is it?

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**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

NBC News finds irony in NRA holding convention in ‘city plagued by gun violence’ (a detail goes unreported)

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 21:57

**Written by Doug Powers

The annual NRA convention is in Louisville, Kentucky, and NBC News just couldn’t wait to tie that to a different story:

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Aside from another occasion to appreciate the party of “science” using the opportunity to warn the public about self-aware angry guns that rise up and commit “violence” on their own, something went completely unmentioned in NBC News’ story: Which party’s been in charge of the “city plagued by gun violence” for a long time:

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That’s probably just another coincidence to the MSM, just like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, etc. How guns know to be more “violent” in cities that have been under Dem purview for decades is anybody’s guess.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Federal judge excoriates DOJ lawyers for acting like their boss down the street

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 22:33

**Written by Doug Powers

The federal judge who put at least a temporary kibosh on the president’s Executive Amnesty push has apparently had enough of Obama’s Justice Department lawyers trying to sell him on its constitutionality as if it were a promise about being able to keep his health insurance plan if he likes it:

In a 28-page order, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the classes are required for the U.S. Department of Justice attorneys who wish to practice in the 26 states that are suing over the immigration policy. The order also told the government to provide Hanen a list of the immigrants who benefited prematurely from the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) policy.

Hanen said his sanctions stem from the administration’s attorneys purposely misleading his court about when the government would begin accepting applications for the program, and how many immigrants were mistakenly awarded work permits before the program was slated to start.
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“The Government knowingly acted contrary to its representations to this Court on over 100,000 occasions,” Hanen wrote. “This Court finds that the misrepresentations detailed above: (1) were false; (2) were made in bad faith; and (3) misled both the Court and the Plaintiff States.”

Hanen also wrote that “such conduct is certainly not worthy of any department whose name includes the word ‘justice.'”

This judge’s next face-to-face dealing with members of the Obama administration will be either after the Supreme Court rules on the Executive Amnesty stay or during his seemingly inevitable deep-and-hard tax audit.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Mayor of debt-ridden city with record number of shootings has priorities

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 08:19

**Written by Doug Powers

Chicago really has its problems:

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But never fear, because Mayor Rahm Emanuel is ON IT:

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Well that should fix the Windy City! Rahm obviously learned the art of distraction from his former boss.

If Emanuel wants to craft a bathroom ordinance more of us could support it should have something to do with never having to be alone in one with Rahm Emanuel:

“I’m sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn’t gonna vote for the president’s budget,” Massa said. “Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? … It’s ridiculous.”

Rahm’s also given direction to city workers:

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It’s worth noting though that Emanuel doesn’t have any problem when it comes to traveling to Cuba.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Legacy assist: Bergdahl trial delayed until after Obama’s out of office

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 21:35

**Written by Doug Powers

In January, a date for the court-martial of Bowe Bergdahl was set for less than three months from now:

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) — A court-martial has been scheduled for early August in the case of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

Bergdahl’s defense attorney confirmed the August 8 scheduling on Thursday.

Berghdahl is facing desertion-related charges for walking away from an outpost in Afghanistan. The incident happened in 2009, and the soldier ended up being held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Fast forward to this week: Bergdahl’s trial won’t be held until after the president who released five Taliban commanders and feted his parents in a Rose Garden announcement has left office. Maybe it’s not as much a trial delay as a last-minute legacy kick-save:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will not face court martial until next year, the judge presiding over his case announced Tuesday.

Judge Jeffrey Nance announced during a status conference at Ft. Bragg that Bergdahl, who is facing charges for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, would face court martial on Feb. 6, 2017.

This would mean Bergdahl, 30, will be court-martialed under a new commander-in-chief — likely either Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton or presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

It’s certainly convenient for those who might have found Bergdahl being court-martialed while they were still at the White House to be a little awkward:

Hillary might have liked the Bergdahl trial to be before the election, because she might have been able to get another book plug out of it:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

TSA’s Union Power Grab: Thousands Slowing Down Airports

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 09:35

TSA’s Union Power Grab: Thousands Slowing Down Airports
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2016

When it comes to public employee unions, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

All you travelers stuck in mile-long TSA security lines are pawns. Convenient political pawns. Big Labor bosses want more power and more money. Stranded travelers are just the latest victims in this age-old game of D.C. extortion.

Union leaders want you to think the fault lies with a stingy Congress unwilling to fork over enough money to fill screener shortages. White House spokesman Josh Earnest poured more partisan fuel on the fire last week by blaming the nationwide slowdowns on “the inability of Republicans in Congress to govern the country.”

What a load of flying horse hockey.

The 15-year-old Transportation Security Administration now has a massive annual budget of nearly $7.6 billion and a workforce of nearly 60,000. They had enough tax dollars to waste on an idiotic $1.4 million iPad app that randomly points left or right; $3 million on more than 200 useless explosive detection “puffer” machines that didn’t detect explosives reliably; and unknown gobs in awards and automatic bonuses to senior TSA managers at a time when the agency was repeatedly failing internal tests of its ability to stop weapons, bombs and terror threats.

Yet, last week, with airlines, airports and customers all raising holy hell, Congress scraped together $34 million more to pay TSA screeners overtime and fund nearly 800 more screeners to address the summer travel crush.

It’s still not enough of course. It’s never enough. Since last fall, the TSA workforce (unionized under the Obama administration) has staged protests at major airports (including Dallas-Fort Worth, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta) organized by the American Federation of Government Employees, which is demanding full collective bargaining rights under federal labor law, along with hefty pay increases.

Obstruction is priority number one.

The agitators whine that TSA workers are not “respected” enough as a profession. “Morale for TSA Officers is at an all-time low,” AFGE TSA Council President Hydrick Thomas complained in a recent statement. “We work very hard under some of the most stressful and dangerous conditions, but are treated like second-class employees as compared to the rest of the federal workforce. We just want equal treatment.”

Perhaps if TSA officials weren’t letting 95 percent of mock explosives and firearms through during audits and inspections, or if they weren’t gratuitously groping grandmas and breast-feeding moms and wounded veterans, or recklessly handing out TSA Precheck status “like candy” as one whistleblower put it last year, or dumping 3,000 pieces of luggage in parking lots as a result of software “glitches,” as happened last week at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, or employing unknown numbers of criminals, or rewarding serial failures, we wouldn’t all be snickering at their Rodney “I don’t get no respect!” Dangerfield comedy routine.

Expanding TSA workers’ collective bargaining rights is about expanding union bosses’ authority to dictate every last detail of employment — from pay and officer assignments to schedules and uniforms. The reason full bargaining rights under Title V of U.S. labor law have not been extended to TSA agents is to protect the agency’s flexibility and discretion in the interest of national security. Yep, remember that? You know, the very reason the TSA was created in the first place?

If you think the current lapses in TSA hiring practices are bad, just wait until you have a system dominated by union negotiators who are allergic to merit pay and committed to protecting every last incompetent member to the death.

TSA union leaders hungry for new members and fattened coffers don’t care about your security. This is all about control and money. Multiply 55,000 by $50/month in mandatory union dues and — voila! — they’ll have $33 million a year to shower on politicians who’ll do their bidding.

Is there anything the flying public can do to put a stop to this cynical exercise of Big Labor muscle?

Let me remind you of Government Shutdown Theater in 2013, when Washington held America’s monuments and national parks hostage. Remember? Fed-up taxpayers finally revolted and broke down the Barry-cades blocking them from access to the public spaces they subsidize.

I’m not advocating breaking through those long lines in grand acts of civil disobedience (not just yet, anyway). But it is long past time for sick and tired, beleaguered and molested, robbed and overtaxed travelers to demand respect of their own and call out this selfish, security-undermining Big Labor power grab.

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