Showing posts with label Daily Signal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daily Signal. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

San Francisco Elementary School Creates ‘Gender-Neutral’ Bathrooms

Elementary School Creates ‘Gender-Neutral’ Bathrooms
Miraloma Elementary School decided to transform two single-stall facilities that had been divided by gender in the classroom into two gender-neutral facilities. Now, any student can use either bathroom.  
School officials defended the decision.
“There’s an impression that we will have all types of students in the restrooms using the bathroom at the same time, and that’s just simply not the case,” Miraloma Elementary’s principal Sam Bass told NBC.
“You want to make sure every kid feels safe and secure and happy,” Miraloma Elementary PTA president Ellen Shatz told NBC. “So I would hope this is the wave of the future.”
Gedalia Braverman, the parent of a “gender non-conforming” student, told the network, “I think it invites the child, it invites the person into the space, as opposed to putting them into a moment of confusion or anxiety.”
NBC’s report adds that the decision to provide gender-neutral bathrooms for students has “been supported locally,” but has “divided parents and officials at many schools across the country.”
The Daily Signal previously reported that students at a Missouri high school recently walked out of class in protest over the school’s decision to allow a transgendered student to use facilities designated for female students.

307,000 Veterans May Have Died While Waiting for VA benefits. The VA Status Quo Must Change.

307,000 Veterans May Have Died While Waiting for benefits.
Remember the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal in April, 2014 that exposed veterans had died as a result of waiting for healthcare?
Veterans were placed on fake wait lists and were signed up for ghost clinics and records were manipulated.
Deceit had become the norm in order to make the VA look better in an attempt to not draw attention to the dysfunctional leadership failures running rampant through the bureaucracy.
The result: veterans suffered, veterans died.
Nearly a year and a half later what has changed? Nothing.
CNN has reported that the Veterans Affairs Inspector General has found that roughly 800,000 records and applications were delayed in the VA system for healthcare enrollment.
Of those delayed, 307,000 veterans may have died while waiting on an answer from the VA on their application for benefits.
These aren’t veterans waiting on healthcare appointments who are already in the system, but veterans merely trying to accomplish the first step, applying for VA healthcare.
The investigation additionally discovered that a veteran who died in 1988 still had an unprocessed application in the system 26 years later.
Another veteran had applied for VA healthcare enrollment in 1998 had a “pending” status on his record 14 years later.
The Inspector General also found that due to improper management and marking of unprocessed applications, Veteran Affairs employees had likely deleted over 10,000 applications in the past five years.
The report additionally noted that in 2010, employees concealed veterans’ applications in their desks so they didn’t have to process them at that time.
In standard VA practice, the employees were not recommended to be disciplined for their actions.
Recently Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald voiced his concern that politics were setting the VA up for failure.
His attempt to shift blame is unacceptable as the VA’s top leader.
Enough with the excuses, veterans deserve better than that.
They deserve the quality and timely healthcare they earned, but sadly are not getting.
It’s time for results, not continual empty rhetoric.
The agency has an annual budget of roughly $160 billion. In 2014 congress gave the VA an additional $16.3 billion to provide veterans with more choice when it came to their healthcare.
The VA manipulated the intentions behind the choice program, making the option virtually impossible for veterans to use. Again, the VA chose to put the agency ahead of veterans well-being.
The VA has evolved into a massive bureaucracy that facilitates an unethical culture that refuses to accept change.
Its leadership climate fosters zero accountability within the department.
A year and a half after the scandal broke, the VA continues to resist reform that will produce effective results.
Enough is enough. The status quo is unacceptable. The VA needs accountably, choice and access for private care options, and a cultural shift that puts veterans first.
VA reform must become a priority now. Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices and put country before self.
They deserve a VA that serves them, not the other way around.
Because as it stands now, the disgusting reality is that our nation’s finest are left to fight for the benefits they’ve earned – some dying without receiving any of them at all.

Friday, August 28, 2015

This Government Jobs Program Is Ineffective, Ridden With Crime

Government Jobs Program Is Ineffective, Ridden With Crime
A job training program for disadvantaged youth—sounds like a good thing. Except maybe when it is plagued by violent crime and doesn’t boost participants’ wages or help them secure full-time jobs.
Each year, Congress spends in excess of $1.65 billion on Job Corps, even though Department of Labor researchfound years ago that Job Corps does not provide the skills and training necessary to substantially raise the wages of participants.
Criminal Misconduct
The Washington Post has reported on the extent of violence within Job Corps. This summer at a Miami Job Corps center, 17-year-old Jose Santos Amaya-Guardado was lured to a prepared gravesite by 20-year-old Kaheem Arbelo and three other students.
After being hacked to death with a machete, Arbelo and his accomplices placed Amaya-Guardado in the grave and set his body on fire.
In St. Louis, a 20-year-old student shot his Job Corps roommate in the chest. Last year in Oregon, a male security guard pleaded guilty for raping a female student.
Reports of assaults, sex abuse and drug abuse occurred at the McKinney, Texas Job Corps center.
As official policy, Job Corps is supposed to have zero tolerance for violence and illegal drugs. However, a Department of Labor Inspector General report found otherwise.
An audit, released in February, found Job Corps centers frequently failed to report and investigate serious misconduct like assaults and drug abuse that require mandatory expulsion from the program. Further, violent transgressions were often downgraded to avoid holding the perpetrators accountable.
Over the course of two fiscal years, the Inspector General found that over 35,000 serious misconduct incidents occurred at Job Corps centers.
Of these, almost 9,000 (26 percent) incidents were not properly investigated and 5,300 (15 percent) incidents were not investigated within the required timeframe. Since 2009, the Inspector General has consistently found that Job Corps administrators failed to appropriately follow disciplinary policy to address student misconduct.
Ineffective Job Training
Federal job-training programs have a long history of failure. Job Corps is no different. A scientifically rigorous impact evaluation of Job Corps found:
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were less likely to earn a high school diploma (7.5 percent versus 5.3 percent)
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corps participants were no more likely to attend or complete college
  • Four years after participating in the evaluation, the average weekly earnings of Job Corps participants was just $22 more than the average weekly earnings of the control group
  • Employed Job Corps participants earned $0.22 more in hourly wages compared to employed control group members.
When it does succeed, the cost is enormous. The Inspector General estimates that each Job Corps participant who is successfully placed into any job costs taxpayers $76,574.
Job Corps fails any reasonable cost-benefit analysis test.
While the idea of Job Corps helping disadvantaged youth learn new job skills to move up the economic ladder may sound nice, the reality doesn’t live up to the promise.
Good intentions are not enough, results matter. Job Corps is not producing a worthwhile return. Moreover, in many cases Job Corps students are subjected to harmful and dangerous environments. Given our $18 trillion and growing debt, Congress should put this wasteful program on the chopping block.
Via: Daily SIgnal
Continue Reading.....

Friday, August 21, 2015

Why Progressives Are Wrong to Revere Margaret Sanger

Progressives Are Wrong to Revere Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger is a saint in the feminist church. She is a charter member of the progressive hall of fame. Liberals revere this woman who preached “race improvement” and denounced what she called “human weeds”.
Hillary Clinton glows that she is “in awe of” Sanger. She said so in 2009 upon receiving Planned Parenthood’s “highest honor” that year: its coveted Margaret Sanger Award.
Likewise effusive was Nancy Pelosi when she proudly accepted the award in 2014.
Speaking to Planned Parenthood a year earlier, President Barack Obama, hailed the organization founded by this racial eugenicist committed to creating a “race of thoroughbreds” and purging America’s “race of degenerates.”
“Thank you, Planned Parenthood,” and “God bless you,” said Obama to a giddy crowd of ecstatic women. The president commended Planned Parenthood’s “extraordinary” and “remarkable work,” and told the women they do a “great, great job.”
The love by liberals for Planned Parenthood and its founder seems to know no bounds. A professor, blogging at the New York Times, has argued for placing Margaret’s mug on the $20 bill.
And alas, even the Smithsonian, America’s museum, boasts a handsome bust of Sanger in its stately National Portrait Gallery.
Margaret is there enshrined in the Smithsonian’s vaunted “Struggle for Justice” exhibit.
This brings me to my reason for writing here today: a group of angry African-American pastors are demanding the removal of Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian.
“Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers. Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild.”
The pastors quote an infamous December 1939 letter from Sanger to Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Eugenics Society, where, in the context of discussing the Negro Project, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
The succinct, powerful statement from the pastors adds: “Despite these well-documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!”
Amen to that.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Companies That Have Donated to Planned Parenthood

The Daily Signal obtained the 2013-2014 annual report for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England—an affiliate of the national organization that operates in Connecticut and Rhode Island—which lists companies who have contributed to the organization.
Planned Parenthood is in the midst of a controversy following the release of seven videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing senior executives of the organization discussing the sale of fetal organs at affiliates of the nation’s largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.
Profiting from the sale of fetal organs is a federal felony in the United States.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England lists the following corporations as having donated to them in fiscal year 2014:
PACESETTER ($10,000 – 24,999)
Goldman Sachs Gives
Pfizer Foundation
GROUNDBREAKER ($5,000 – 9,999)
General Electric United Way Giving Campaign
Pfizer Foundation
Pfizer United Way Campaign
LEADER ($2,500 – 4,999)
Aetna Foundation
Agniel Commodities, LLC
Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman, LLP
Chace Ruttenberg & Freedman, LLP
GE Foundation
Goodcopy Printing & Graphics
McKesson Medical Surgical
Don and Helene Hirschfeld Truist, Inc.
General Electric Co.
Women’s Health USA
Working Assets
ADVOCATE ($1,000 – 2,499)
Bank of America United Way Campaign
Bristol-Myers Squibb Employee Giving Program
Coach Matching Gift Program
The Daily Signal reached out to each company to ask about the donation. The Tug Hollow Corporation and High End Landscape LLC could not be reached for comment.
A representative for UPS said an “internal review” didn’t show Planned Parenthood as an organization that had received a grant from them.
A spokeswoman for Chace Ruttenberg & Freedman, LLP denied that the firm had donated to Planned Parenthood.
According to a representative for Agniel Commodities, LLC, “the ownership” of the company holds a “favorable” view of the work of Planned Parenthood.
A spokesman for Goodcopy told The Daily Signal that the company contributes to all the non-profits that they have as clients and that Planned Parenthood “does a good service” to the community.
Asked if he would continue his relationship with Planned Parenthood, he said, “I don’t get involved in politics.”
Working Assets and HMSDesign did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment, but both highlight their donations to Planned Parenthood on their websites.

Monday, August 17, 2015

If Planned Parenthood Loses Government Funding, Here’s a Map of Health Clinics That Could Take Its Place

Two leading pro-life organizations released a map today intended to showcase the thousands of community health care clinics that could step in for Planned Parenthood if it were to lose federal funding.
The map adds to a heated conversation about whether stripping Planned Parenthood of its $500 million annual taxpayer dollars would hurt women’s health care in America, or if women would be better off without it.
Alliance Defending Freedom and Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, identified the different Planned Parenthood locations and community health care clinics across America.
The two groups argue there are plenty of health centers — that also can receive federal funding — to absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients should the organization be defunded by Congress.
“What these graphics put into pictures is what the data has been telling us for a long time,” Casey Mattox, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom who focuses on pro-life issues, told The Daily Signal. “Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America.”

“Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America,” @CaseyMattoxADF.
According to data collected by the two groups, there are currently 13,540 clinics providing comprehensive health care for women, versus 665 Planned Parenthood locations.
Community health centers primarily exist to provide comprehensive care tomillions of uninsured, working poor and jobless Americans.
If Planned Parenthood’s federal funding “went away tomorrow,” Mattox argues, the money “would be better used by community health centers and other places around the country that can provide a fuller range of services to women without the ethical challenges that Planned Parenthood presents.”
The effort to defund Planned Parenthood comes after the Center for Medical Progress, a group that opposes abortion, released a series of damaging videos.
The videos show high-ranking Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted babies and changing abortion procedures to harvest these organs.
The issues raise a host of legal questions and have sparked both state and federal investigations.
Some healthcare experts warn that lawmakers should be careful in punishing Planned Parenthood. These supporters argue community health clinics can’t fulfill the services that Planned Parenthood provides.
“The notion that you could literally overnight defund providers serving a couple million people and think that health centers—even if they’re right nearby, which is not always the case—could just magically absorb patients, I think shows an astounding naivety in healthcare,” says Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University.
“You can map all you want and the fact of the matter is health centers are not magicians and health care doesn’t work this way.”

Saturday, August 15, 2015

As John Kerry Celebrates Embassy Opening, Cuban Dissidents Are Barred From Attending

U.S. marines raise the American flag at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba while Secretary of State John Kerry watches. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Newscom)

The American flag was raised next to the U.S. embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years Friday, but Cuban dissidents who have influenced U.S.-Cuban relations for decades were barred from the event.
Secretary of State John Kerry justified the exclusion by telling Telemundo the symbolic opening was a “government-to-government moment, with very limited space.”
The State Department conceded the ceremony was not limited to government officials, extending invitations to select private individuals.
Notably, James Williams, president of the prominent anti-embargo lobbying group Engage Cuba, and Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the trade association American Society of Travel Agents, were both invited to the flag-raising ceremony.
“It truly shows the administration’s priorities when there’s space at the flag-raising ceremony for business interests and anti-embargo lobbyists, yet there’s no space for Cuban dissidents. Who in fact are we really supporting with this new policy?” said Ana Quintana, an analyst specializing in Latin America policy at The Heritage Foundation.
Kerry said he would meet with dissidents during a reception at the chief of mission’s residence following the embassy ceremony, after it was demanded he explain how normalized relations will improve human rights standards.
“I look forward to meeting whoever I meet and listening to them and having, you know, whatever views come at me,” Kerry said.
John Suarez, the international secretary at the Cuban Democratic Directorate, said under President Barack Obama’s diplomatic policies with Cuba, human rights have “deteriorated.”
Since Obama announced the U.S.’s plan to normalize relations with Havana in December, Suarez said violence against activists has escalated, nearly 4,000 politically motivated arrests have occurred as a result of dissident demonstrations, and “Cubans continue to be killed for trying to leave the island.”
“The current U.S. policy on Cuba will strengthen and legitimize the dictatorship and is undercutting Cuban democracies,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is the son of Cuban exiles, called the State Department’s decision to exclude dissidents in the ceremony a “slap in the face” and said it marked the event as “little more than a propaganda rally for the Castro regime.”
Kerry highlighted opponents’ concerns during the ceremony, calling for a “genuine democracy” in Cuba that includes free elections, freedom of religion and speech, and human rights improvements.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona joined Kerry’s delegation in Havana, splitting from the majority in his party to laud the embassy opening.
“The United States will be able to do much more to protect and serve U.S. citizens in Cuba and encourage a better future for the Cuban people with an American flag flying over our embassy in Havana,” he said in a statement.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Obamacare Could be Heading to the Supreme Court (Again)

Obamacare Could be Heading to the Supreme Court (Again)
This past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, over the vigorous dissent of four judges on that court, denied rehearing en banc (legalese for an entire court rather than just a panel of three judges) in the case of Sissel v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Sissel is a case against Obamacare led by the Pacific Legal Foundation, arguing that Obamacare is invalid because it violated the Origination Clause.
Now, the challengers have ninety days to file a writ of certiorari (an appeal) before the U.S. Supreme Court.
This important case deals with the Origination Clause of the Constitution— which reads:
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
The Founders included this clause primarily to balance out the unique powers the Senate wields, and to ensure that the power of drawing revenue from the people by taxing them would be initiated by the branch that was closest to them (remember, at that time the Senate was elected by state legislatures, not by popular vote) and whose members would have to stand for re-election every two years.
In the first major Obamacare decision, NFIB v. Sibelius, the Court upheld the law as a tax—something that surprised many people.
But if it’s a tax, shouldn’t the bill have originated in the House?
As it happens, Obamacare “originated” in the House in only a very formalistic sense.
H.R. 3590, the bill that became Obamacare, was originally titled “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009” and had nothing to do with health care.
But to secure passage of Obamacare, the Senate decided to take this bill, which had passed the House, and gut it entirely, replacing the entire text of that bill with the Obamacare title and text and keeping only the bill number.
After it passed the Senate, the House then approved the new Senate-drafted bill through a reconciliation bill.
The House made no changes to the text, which, because of the Senate’s obscure procedural rules, meant that when the bill went back to the Senate, it was not subject to a filibuster.
This was significant because, in the interim, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., had died and been replaced by Scott Brown, R-Mass., thereby depriving the Democrats of the 60 votes they would need to defeat an otherwise inevitable Republican filibuster.
And thus was Obamacare born.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Under Obamacare, Uninsured Rate Fell to Lowest Level in 50 Years. Why There’s More to That Number.

Uninsured Rate Fell to Lowest Level in 50 Years
Nearly two years after Obamacare’s implementation, a new survey found that the number of uninsured Americans decreased to less than 10 percent of the population in the first three months of 2015, which is the lowest level in the survey’s 50-year history. 
However, experts say the change could be mostly attributed to the Obama administration’s expansion of Medicaid.
According to the survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people who were uninsured declined from 36 million in 2014 to 29 million in the first three months of 2015. Among adults between the ages of 18 and 64, the percentage of those who were uninsured dropped from 16.3 percent in 2014 to 13 percent in 2015’s first quarter.
The changes to the rate of uninsured come nearly two years after Obamacare’s implementation, which went into effect October 2013.
While the drop speaks to the mission of the health care law, Ed Haislmaier, a health policy expert, pointed to outside factors that affect the decrease in the number of uninsured Americans.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation, said that though it’s likely the Obama administration was likely “in the ballpark” for the changes in the number of uninsured, the survey had limitations.
Primarily, the government relied on answers from 26,121 respondents as opposed to an actual count, such as the number of people enrolled in health coverage, data that can be provided by health insurance companies.
“They’re trying to say how many people didn’t have coverage and extrapolate from that,” Haislmaier said.
Most notably, though, the survey failed to address an increase to the Medicaid rolls, which stemmed from Medicaid expansion created under Obamacare.
According to Haislmaier, Medicaid enrollment from January 2014 to March 2015 went from approximately 60.9 million to 71 million.

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