The Department of Veterans Affairs has linked the recent deaths of at least 19 vets diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011 to appointment backlogs and delays at VA hospitals and clinics and resulting hindrances in care….
That this is something entirely correctible from within the VA is corroborated by the VA’s continued coverup of responsibility. The VA so far has refused to identify those responsible for these veterans’ deaths or for the delay-caused or exacerbated injuries of many other vets, and the VA has refused to discipline or fire anyone—anyone at all—regarding this…problem, according to Congressman Jeff Miller (R, FL), House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman. Miller also said
President Barack Obama in his SOTU speech offered a new “investment” plan for all those workers who don’t have access to a company sponsored 401(k). His MyRA (My Retirement Account. How cute.) would be available to anyone who has a job. Sort of like traditional and Roth IRAs.
With those other IRAs, the owner can choose from a plethora of investment vehicles: stocks; mutual funds; bonds; even Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds. And a bunch of other items, as well, but you get the idea. The choice of investment, the choice of risk level, every choice of interest to an investor or a retirement saver, is that of the IRA owner.
It turns out that most members of Congress do not pay their interns a dime for their efforts. There’s some validity to this; those interns get a potful of practical political experience and some resume material.
What makes this interesting, though, is that nearly every one of the Congressional Democrats who demand a minimum wage be paid—and who demand the current minimum wage be raised to $10/hr or more—are included in those who don’t pay their interns anything.
Employment Policies Institute found that 96% of House and Senate sponsors of the minimum wage bill do not pay their interns. That includes lead bill sponsors, like Senator Tom Harkin (D, IA), according to the study.
I have a new pamphlet out, A Conservative’s Thoughts on Rights and Duties, their Duality, and some Implications; a link to the Kindle version of it (the only version, currently) has been added to the sidebar at right.
I touched on rights and duties and their duality in my book A Conservative’s Manifesto, but only tangentially to a larger discussion of Conservative principles. However, an understanding of individual rights and individual duties, especially their nature as individual endowments rather than as attributes of groups of men or as grants from some men acting in a “government’s” name, forms a critical part of Conservative thought. Now, with us Americans broadly divided on what our rights and duties really are, or even whether the government should have them instead of us, is the time to expand on that peripheral discussion and to address the matter directly.
Used to be, veterans could apply for disability via letter, even a hand written note. Further, when that note arrived, coverage began for the applicant, should his application be accepted, including backdated payments to cover the period between receipt of the application and its acceptance. Not anymore.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says the many ways that requests for disability compensation arrive actually hamper its ability to administer benefits, and they contribute to a claims backlog that has about 400,000 veterans waiting more than 125 days for a decision. At times, workers spend so much time trying to figuring out what’s being claimed and trading letters with applicants that it’s slowing down decisions for everyone.
Gerald Auten and Geoffrey Gee wrote about “Income Mobility in the United States: New Evidence from Income Tax Data.” It’s an extensive paper; I’m abstracting a couple of points in this post [emphasis added].
More than half of taxpayers…moved to a different income quintile over this period [1996-2005]. About half…of those in the bottom income quintile in 1996 moved to a higher income group by 2005.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) blew up the Senate filibuster with his manufactured claim of Republican obstructionism and with his Senate rules-breaking move to eliminate it (for now only regarding Presidential nominees) with a (Democrat only) majority vote.
Yet Republican-led (note that: not the Republican satrapy, as Reid views his Senate to be for Democrats) House passed 200 jobs- and economy-related bills in 2013 and some dozen that were passed with 250 or more votes—i.e., with considerable Democrat (that would be bipartisan, for those Progressives following along at home) voting support.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV), during his Democrats’ attempt to ram through, unilaterally, another enormous extension of Federal unemployment insurance payments (in the middle of a quickening, according to those same Democrats, economic recovery) had this to say about one political party or another:
The DoJ and the Department of Education have sent out another of their Dear Colleague letters, this time concerning the disparate impact of punishing minority students in our public schools. Investor’s Business Dailysummarized the letter,
Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan Wednesday issued “recommendations” urging schools to find ways to avoid suspending or expelling students who act out. …
The two Cabinet members argued that suspensions deny minority students time in the classroom….