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Davis-Oliver Act Sets Out To Enforce U.S. Immigration Laws

(from FNC)

Via Billy

Immigration impacts virtually every challenge and threat America and Americans confront each day.
Failures of the immigration system have cost thousands of Americans and others present in the United States their lives.

The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, identified those failure of the interior enforcement program, as being at heart of the ability of terrorists, and not only the 19 hijackers who carried out the terror attacks of 9/11 but other terrorists, as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.

Members of pernicious transnational gangs from around the world, and not just Latin America, have easily entered the United States and set up shop in towns and cities across the United States peddling narcotics and perpetrating violent crimes.

Failures of the immigration system have not only surpassed the wages of American and lawful immigrants but have also cost millions of American workers their very jobs.

 More @ Front Page
I’m all about legal immigration.  This Republic was built on and by immigrants.  Certainly there were illegals one hundred years ago, not passing through Ellis Island (or the equivalent).  But times, technology, and populations have changed.  As have the immigrants, themselves.
There was a time folks strove to come to America to live the American Dream.  Many still do.
But, there are those who hold to their non-American cultural, criminal or religious traditions.
We need to keep them out.
How we do that, and at what cost is the question.
The Manchester bomber was a British citizen, born in Manchester of Libyan immigrants.
‘They’ are playing the long game, people!

Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!

 

With A Stroke Of A Pen…

(from Chris Farrell’s On Watch, in part)

 It’s time for some extreme transparency. 

You’ve heard President Trump talk about extreme vetting for persons seeking to the enter the US from terror hot-spots – well, we need to aggressively exercise a similar technique when it comes to government records that you are owed through the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.

Judicial Watch files more FOIA requests and litigates more FOIA cases than any other organization in the country.  Much of the Washington corruption you have heard about in the news started with investigative work by Judicial Watch.  Cases like “Fast & Furious,” the political weaponization of the IRS, the effort to cover-up Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s reckless criminality concerning her outlaw email server, and many other cases.

The FOIA law allows for agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of government to make “discretionary disclosures.”  In plain English, that means President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can release whatever they want – whenever they wish to do so.  It’s up to them.  They can exercise their discretion to release records that are of broad general and news media interest concerning important public policy issues and/or the operations of the federal government.  These discretionary disclosures take nothing more than a stroke of the pen.

Ironically, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions is currently making the exact same legal arguments as the Obama administration – and using all the double-talk and excuses from the Obama era, too.  The Justice Department remains in full cover-up mode for anything that would be embarrassing or illegal for the Obama administration.  That’s frustrating and disappointing, but you need to remember that the rank-and-file staff attorneys at Justice Department headquarters are largely Leftists that continue to support the Obama agenda.  President Trump appears to have a tough road ahead.  BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Discretionary disclosures!  Extreme transparency!  With the stroke of a pen, President Trump and his cabinet secretaries can order the release of all government records concerning any number of important issues and lingering questions.

Here’s just a small sample of some of the cases Judicial Watch is investigating and litigating that could be released in full for the public and news media to examine:

  • FBI 302s – or investigative reports of interviews of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett during criminal investigation of Rod Blagojevich trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
  • The entire FBI’s investigative file of Secretary Clinton’s email practices.
  • Records about the tarmac meeting between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch at the Phoenix airport.
  • Draft indictments of Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared by Whitewater Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr.
  • Records about the Intelligence Community’s decision not to conduct a damage assessment of Secretary Clinton’s criminal email practices.
  • Records of notes, updates, or reports in the Office of the Secretary of State about Benghazi.

If you’re looking for some accountability for what’s happened in this country for the past eight years there’s a starting point.  But, there’s much, much more.

It’s time for extreme transparency.  Let’s get past the cover-ups and double-talk from the past eight years.  Your employees owe you records and answers. President Trump can provide them with the stroke of a pen.

I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch 

Or not.

And what about the current administration’s transparency and accountability?

So much for draining the swamp!

Leftist Media Pushes Trump To Nominate Anti-Gun Liberal For FBI Chief

Quelle Surprise!

(from Gun Owners of America, in part)

Dear Guffaw, 

For four months, the Leftist media has worked to stampede the Trump administration into jettisoning conservative principles and moving to the Left.

Thus far, the White House has been good on guns. 

Trump signed a resolution repealing the Social Security Gun Ban.  He signaled that he will sign concealed carry legislation.

Trump’s Supreme Court pick is a lot better than we would have gotten from Hillary Clinton.

And yet the Left keeps trying.

The most recent media “siren song” is a call for Trump to nominate a “moderate” to head the FBI.

From the standpoint of Trump’s self-interest, a liberal nominee would spend the next three and a half years providing fodder for the Left’s campaign to impeach and incarcerate Trump.

But a Leftist nominee will do a lot of damage to the Second Amendment too. 

Currently on the table is the question of whether an unpaid parking ticket will make you a “fugitive from justice” and strip you of your gun rights. 

The FBI will also decide whether to back up the NICS system and create a de facto national gun registry.

And, if the president orders the FBI to remove the names of 257,000 law-abiding veterans from its NICS gun ban list, there is the question of whether the FBI will comply with that order.

All of which brings us to an anti-gun liberal,  former Connecticut Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman.

Make no mistake:  Despite what MSNBC thinks, Lieberman is no moderate.  True, he staged a revolt against ultra-Left Connecticut Democrats when they tried to nominate someone else for his Senate seat.

Lieberman’s record on guns is abysmal.  He voted against legislation to allow law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights in parks, on trains, or in the District of Columbia. 

He supports so-called “gun free zones,” which turn innocent civilians into sitting ducks. 

Lieberman supported legislation to ban all private firearms sales in the country, and he cast one of the deciding votes against concealed carry reciprocity. 

His voting record earned him an “F” rating with Gun Owners of America.

In short, Lieberman hates guns as much as the craziest gun hater in the Senate.  And, as FBI director, he would have an enormous influence over gun policy.

Lieberman’s ascendancy falls on the heels of equally dangerous suggestions. 

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who, as you know accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes on behalf of his wife’s state Senate campaign in Virginia — and, in exchange, dropped charges against Clinton’s home-brew server.

And, lest we forget, the spotlight briefly shined on the potential nomination of Merrick Garland (Obama’s Supreme Court pick), who, as you remember, voted to overturn Heller and declare that the Second Amendment was nothing but a “militia right.”

Why are all of these crazy Leftists suddenly gaining favor with Republican politicos?

Supposedly, they are pushing for a nominee who would gain quick support from Chuck Schumer and would be expedited through the Senate.

But trust us:  No one who would be acceptable to Schumer would be any friend of the Second Amendment.  And any Schumer candidate would spend the next three years working to destroy the Trump administration — and Republicans’ House and Senate reelection prospects.

ACTION:  Click here to contact President Trump.  Urge him to reject Joe Lieberman, Andrew McCabe, Merrick Garland or any other anti-gun candidate as a prospect for the new FBI director.

Sincerely,

Tim Macy
Chairman


While I’m not directly supporting the GOA, they did send me this email with a link to contact the President regarding concerns for the yet-to-be named FBI director.

I’d suggest you do the same, if the issue so moves you.

I have done so!

ISIS And US Progressives – What’s The Difference?

(From Bayou Renaissance Man, in part)
Vox points out:

As he says:  “What, precisely, is the difference? There is no difference. It’s just vandalizing history of which one does not approve.”

Methinks he has a point.

Peter

How DOES One Pay It Forward?

When one is broke?

I have been so fortunate in this life.  Not in the money/riches sense, but in the helpful friends and family sense.

These most recent trials involving my roommate’s surgery (and subsequent loss of income), coupled with my own health issues (heart, rash, suspected clot) AND repair of the shower leaking through the ceiling (with an insurance deductible, and the insurance company promising they would pay for a hotel room – they didn’t(!)  They said the hotel wouldn’t take it (!?)

I’ve a Sister stepped up without my even asking, with the deductible.  That was eaten by the plumber and the hotel.  And other friends have come forward to make certain I would have a positive bank balance(!)

The insurance company said, as the hotel refused their method of payment, that we could subtract the hotel charges from the deductible.  Making today’s visit from the adjuster forty-one dollars and change!

We actually have that.

Will wonders never cease?

But, back to the question.  I’ve been told by my generous friends that there is no balance sheet, and, when I am able, to pay it forward.

I’m on permanent disability, and have no savings left, nor credit!  Exactly HOW am I supposed to pay it forward?

And, I have some other payments due shortly with which my friends traditionally assist.

(As an aside, I certainly do not feel worthy of such help, or friends.  How they made such determinations is beyond me.)

To all of you (and you know who you are) I have undying gratitude and thanks for all the help you have given me over the years.

I just don’t know why I deserve such help, or how to pay it forward?

“To SELL, Of Course!”

(from TFB, in part)

They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  No where does this seem to be more true than in the firearms industry.  Poorly thought of add-ons, holsters, ammunition design, etc.

I remember Col. Cooper being asked (with regard to the latest variant of some pistol, which certainly was not necessary), “Jeff, what’s it for?  To sell, of course!” was his reply.

I’m certain you can think of many others, as well as selections of the ‘good’ variety that didn’t get marketed properly and went away.

Such is the nature of business…

I’m NOT A Lawyer

I don’t play one on television, or the Internet.

Nor does Peter (Bayou Renaissance Man)

REGARDLESS

He has something of importance to pass on to us.  Most of us know all or parts of this, but we really need to internalize it.

Lest we make a fatal mistake.

Never let a knife-wielding attacker get within range! In general, if you have to use violence to defend yourself, you may have to justify that in court.  If you use potentially or actually lethal force, the chances of having to justify it in court go up exponentially. One of your primary defenses will be how you were trained, what you learned during your education process, and how your defensive mindset was formed.  As part of that, it helps to document your training through class notes (taking them yourself if necessary), video clips of the instructor (often found on YouTube), recordings, etc.  You can also introduce as evidence material from others that reinforces and supports your defensive mindset. I’d like to show you one such piece of material this morning, particularly because Antifa, the progressive far-left-wing movement behind much of the anti-Trump and anti-conservative unrest of recent months, was advertising credit-card-sized concealed knives on its Web site.  These things may be tiny, relatively speaking, but they can do an awful lot of damage – potentially disabling damage, if not inflicting permanent injury such as the loss of an eye or a severed nerve – in the hands of someone who knows how to use one.  The odds are increasing that people like us may run into one of these demonstrations – so it behooves us to be prepared to counter such violence, in defense of ourselves and our loved ones. Here’s what even a very small knife can do to a human being.  I recommend watching the video in full-screen mode.

Remember that video.  Bookmark it and/or save a copy for future reference.  Remember Antifa’s attempts to sell knives of similar size to its members, and their open discussion about the need to arm and train themselves.  Remember it if you run into them while about your lawful business . . . and keep them out of knife range, by whatever means may be necessary (and, of course, legal – that goes without saying).  If you ever have to justify that decision and/or your actions, play back that video in court, point out Antifa’s discussions and its efforts to sell knives to its members, and make it clear that you considered yourself in imminent danger of suffering similar injuries unless you stopped them.  It’s a compelling argument.

Peter

AMEN, Peter, amen…

REMEMBER your Tueller Drill people!

On Mother’s Day

Long-time readers of my humble blog might notice I don’t usually make mention of the above ‘Hallmark holiday’.

Because reasons.

First, my real Mother, the woman who bore me, passed away when I was in the Second Grade, directly because of her addictive personality.  She was ill my entire life with emphysema.  I barely knew her – certainly not enough to bond, or to have fond memories.

My Father loved her immensely.  Her death about killed him.

Subsequently, he met, dated and married the woman who became my stepmother.  She obviously wanted to be with him, but soon after the marriage, it became apparent she had no patience to raise yet another child.  She already had two grown of her own.  And deeply resented my Father’s traveling for business, and being absent because of his addiction to sports – watching, officiating, refereeing, umpiring, baseball, softball, basketball, football and hockey.

And, not to put to fine a point on it – she took her resentment out on me.

So, my relationship with my mothers was lacking at best.  Certainly it colored my future relationships with other women.

But, I am learning.

My ex-wife receives a bouquet of roses every Mother’s Day.  And has for the past twenty-two years.  Not because I wish to rekindle the relationship (we remain friends), but because our daughter Molly is unable to get them for her.

It’s the least I can do.

To all of you who had good moms out there, Good For You!

I wish I had…

Finally, Someone Who Enforces The Rules 

(I’m generally a rule follower – unless, of course, they are silly, or put me in danger.  I DO like order, and dislike those who endanger those close to me – whether or not it’s through self-centeredness or malice. – Guffaw)

We’re staying at an undisclosed location, while the powers-that-be are repairing the shower leak in the townhouse.   Or at least beginning the process.  (The ceiling beneath the leak has been excised, and is being dried.  We await the plumbers and subsequent reconstruction.  No contractors present today!)

All guests herein are required to sign a form that this is a non-smoking campus.

Penalties attached.

My roommate is extremely asthmatic, and is sensitive to tobacco smoke.

So, this is a positive development.

On Day One here, she smelled smoke in the hall directly outside our room. On Day Two, it happened again, more intensely.  We notified the front desk.

The second day, it did negatively affect her breathing. It was definitely stronger.

And pissed us off.  We contacted the front desk.

Subsequently, we heard a loud discussion outside our room. Upon opening the door, we observed the general manager in confrontation with the tenants directly across the hall.

They were ‘young people’ (under 40).

At length, the manager called us and advised they had been charged an additional $250.  As both a penalty, and to clean the room.

And they were evicted from the hotel! 

I understand the mechanism of addiction.  And also understand one must make amends for one’s mistakes.  This is a step in the right direction.

PS – I’m NOT against smoking.  It’s a quasi-legal activity, using a legal substance.  And, I don’t like smokers being treated as third-class citizens.

But, follow the rules to which you agreed, people!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…