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One of the biggest structural problems of the Obama Administration is that the White House has been an ineffective participant in negotiations with Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans have complained about the White House's ineffectual manner in Capitol Hill dealings, and a new round of complaints highlight that the Obama Administration still hasn't learned from its mistakes.
The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to improve veterans' healthcare after they lashed out at each other over their competing bills late last week.
Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, said Sunday they'll have a news conference Monday to talk about a compromise plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.
Linda Vickers fed her horses and was walking back to her house on a secluded Texas ranch when she saw her German shepherds tussling over what looked like a sun-bleached volleyball. When she got close enough to scatter the dogs, her stomach turned: Their toy was a human skull with a shock of red hair, its flesh and lower jaw missing.
What was left of the dead woman lay just yards from Vickers’s front door, obscured by thick stands of oak and mesquite on the 1,000-acre MV Ranch, about 75 miles north of the Mexican border. The victim’s name, home, and intended destination remain mysteries, but two things are certain. She died violently: Her shinbone couldn’t have been fractured naturally in such soft, sandy soil. And she was traversing one of the oil pipeline rights of way that Mexico’s drug cartels have turned into smuggling highways and killing grounds. “Somebody beat her up and left her to die,” says Michael Vickers, Linda’s husband.
The Vickers ranch is crossed by a steel pipe as thick as a man’s calf. It delivers crude oil from a cluster of south Texas oilfields known as the Vicksburg Fault Zone to refineries in the subtropical waterfront city of Corpus Christi. Like thousands of miles of similar pipelines sprawling across the U.S. Southwest, it has been seized upon by traffickers and smugglers as a good way to evade police and the Border Patrol agents who watch the state highways.
These corridors are unmonitored because they stretch across thousands of acres of private property, and law enforcement authorities don’t have the resources to patrol them. This makes them ideal execution sites for errant couriers, business rivals, informers, and unwitting migrants who stray into the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Border Patrol finds an average of one corpse a day in the badlands near the U.S.-Mexico border; in the past 15 years, the toll has reached 5,570, exceeding all U.S. combat deaths for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. While the Border Patrol says it doesn’t break out what proportion of the dead have met their end along the pipeline trails, anecdotal evidence suggests the figure is high. Authorities say beatings, kidnappings, and rapes are rising as pipeline networks expand and new conduits are installed to handle surging oil and gas output from the Eagle Ford, the largest shale oil formation in the U.S.
CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is getting a lot of national attention, as it should. Is the Iowa City DePressed Citizen covering it? Nope. Why? Because it makes Obama and Obamacare look bad, deservedly so. The DePressed Citizen dedicated three pages to national/world stories in today's paper, this being a Saturday and the largest circulation day for them..... And they chose to run a story about a Dallas man being exonerated from a rape conviction. They chose to run a story about a same sex couple getting a divorce in Texas. They ran a story about the hapless John Kerry pleading for a cease-fire deal in Gaza. They ran a pro-Obama story about immigration. They ran an alarmist story about mass extinction, but they CHOSE not to cover the latest developments regarding Obamacare, what is a prominent and national news story right now and has been all week. Rest assured ladies and gentlemen, the Iowa City DePressed Citizen continues to spoon feed you propaganda and not really relevant *stories*, they don't care to give you the REAL news like what's provided to you by the Coralville Courier.
When a DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel released its Obamacare-related decision earlier this week, the Left's self-appointed "wonk" class kicked into damage control overdrive. The three-judge panel ruled that the 'Affordable' Care Act's explicit language proscribed the distribution of subsidies to anyone who did not enroll through state-based marketplaces. The fallout of this decision, if it's upheld down the line, is that consumers in the 36 states served by the federal exchange are ineligible to receive taxpayer-supported tax credits to offset the law's high premiums. This outcome would wreak havoc on the law's sustainability. Obamacare's text couldn't be clearer on this particular point, as even the Fourth Circuit Court, which reached the opposite ultimate conclusion, admitted; the limitation in question appears repeatedly in the legislative language. Many Obamacare supporters have insisted that this was an oversight. A drafting error. A typo. And conservatives raising this point are off their rockers, they sneer. One of the most influential players in this dispute is Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist who is considered by many to be the architect of the law, and who told the New York Times, "I know more about this law than any other economist."
CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: Harkin's argument doesn't fly. Notification can be made to state authority without fear of protest. Harkin is lying to you. Such things happen all the time. Hazardous material gets transported by truck and rail every day through residential areas. High risk sexual predators get settled into neighborhoods without incident. So don't tell me Harkin is truly worried about secrecy, that's just b.s. You're being lied to folks.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is defending secrecy by the Obama administration involving undocumented child immigrants sent to Iowa, saying he fears disclosure of information would lead to anti-immigration protests at the homes of families sheltering the young people.
"These kids need to be protected, housed and kept safe. They don't need to be made public objects," Harkin told Iowa reporters Thursday in a weekly telephone conference call.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he plans to hold a vote on the $10.9 billion House measure extending transportation funding until the spring as early as Wednesday
“We're going to have votes on the Highway Trust Fund before we leave here,” he said at a news conference. “I'd like to do it tomorrow or the next day.”
The Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund, which is used to reimburse states for large infrastructure projects, had been forecasted to run out of money next month, unless Congress approves at least a temporary funding extension.
House Republicans are poised to provide $1.5 billion in emergency funding, which will be offset with spending cuts. That figure is far less than the $3.7 billion Obama has requested in emergency funding. Senate Democrats will unveil a $2.7 billion proposal Wednesday that doesn’t include any policy changes being sought by Republicans, raising the prospect that the standoff won’t be resolved before the August break.
Two anonymous Border Patrol agents reportedly told radio host Dave Hodges that under the pretense of labeling illegal aliens “refugees,” the United Nations is “calling the shots” on America’s border operations and the U.N. is deciding which immigrants to ship to various parts of the U.S.
One of the agents said U.N. personnel are already present at various detention facilities in the American Southwest, according to Hodges, and are working with Homeland Security agents in “gathering MS-13 gangsters, captured from different roundups, patch worked together as a group and then shipped together to various locations on the perimeter of the United States.”
“I objected to admitting MS-13 gangsters into the U.S. and I was told that we have our orders to treat them like anyone else,” the other agent told Hodges.