Editor’s note: Poorly run government programs prompt many a comment from the audience of The Daily Signal. We’ve got some of those in this roundup. Be sure to write us at [email protected]com.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: The federal civil service system needs to be changed to make it less difficult to terminate employees for cause, as John York writes in his commentary on the Internal Revenue Service (“The IRS Has Rehired Hundreds of Fired Employees. Congress Should Step In”).
Assuming these previously fired or otherwise terminated IRS employees were afforded reasonable due process and let go for legitimate cause, they should not have been rehired.
The questions I have are: Did these employees lie about their prior termination? Did the hiring officials know of the facts and circumstances of the employees’ prior firing?
If the former is the case, then fire these employees again and possibly prosecute them for lying on their application by making a false official statement—a federal felony offense. If the latter is the case, fire the employees again and discipline the hiring officials for stupidity or dereliction, said discipline to include termination for cause if warranted.
But in any event, Congress needs to make long overdue, major changes to the civil service system to allow for prompt termination of employees who deserve to be let go.—Peter Hewett
The IRS is a Gestapo organization. It should be done away with, and soon.—Allen Rogers
Way too much protection. In the real world, fired is fired.—Sue Mastrogany
What is happening is the good people are leaving the IRS and are being replaced by anything that walks off the street. I have given up visiting my local office for questions.
The last time I went, I waited an hour to talk to a representative. And when I asked her a question about the capital gains form, she said she didn’t even know there was one.—Rockne Hughes
— ATR (@taxreformer) August 5, 2018
These people must be removed now. They were dismissed for cause and by my recollection of federal laws, they are not able to be rehired.
Time to disband this antiquated agency and all of its stupid rules and regulations.—Joseph Morgan
Administrative courts should certainly be eliminated. If we are a nation of laws, we deserve to be heard by a judge. And we should not be charged for it either, unless we initiate a frivolous lawsuit.—Kevin Lind
— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) July 23, 2018
Hillary Clinton’s Neglected Security Scandal
Dear Daily Signal: Hillary Clinton is the weakest link that enabled our government to be hacked, which nobody in our government is addressing, as Hans von Spakovsky suggests in his commentary (“The Clinton State Department’s Major Security Breach That Everyone Is Ignoring”).
I am a newly retired government employee. We had to take computer security training annually. In summary: Hillary belongs in jail.—Kathleen C. Splittstoesser
They seem to get away with whatever they want. When is Attorney General Jeff Sessions going to do his job and drain the swamp?—Lori Gallant Pooler
Hans von Spakovsky writes: “Our intelligence agencies have identified the Chinese as responsible for the biggest data breach to ever hit the federal government, the 2015 hack of the Office of Personnel Management that stole the files, including security clearance applications, of 21 million current and former federal employees.”
If our intelligence agencies know this to be true, why do we do business with China?—Deborah A. McCarty Martin
My personnel information and my husband’s were part of the great Chinese OPM hack of 40 million employees in 2015.
The federal government gave us one year of CSID identity theft protection for that. So for sure there are other countries hacking the U.S., not just the Russians.—Ann Hofbauer
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) July 28, 2018
Curbing Runaway Government Agencies
Dear Daily Signal: About John-Michael Seibler’s commentary, “Federal Court Hands Trump a Win, Brings Rogue Agency Under Tighter Control”: So the federal court has to give the OK for a federal agency to have oversight and others checking its power?
That’s pretty scary. And the new directors put in other federal agencies have found billions of dollars that can’t be accounted for.—Susan Paul, Eaton, Ohio
Good. Next up, President Trump needs to work on public schools The Department of Education needs a complete overhaul. This sex-ed stuff is way out of control.—Penny Gammon
There should be no rogue agencies. Period.—Mary Agnes Heasley Bunn
All of those appointed by Obama must be fired. Finally, the courts are looking at these corrupt agencies and taking them down.—Grace Reijer
— sharonskisss (@sharonz6) September 2, 2018
The Push for Popular Vote
Connecticut and others are voting away their state sovereignty for a stupid political point, as Fred Lucas reports (“Electoral College Foes Continue Push to Make Popular Vote Winner President”). We don’t have a “national” election, we have elections in 50 states on the same day.
In presidential elections, people vote for their state electors, so that states select the president. The “popular vote” is a meaningless statistic and it’s high time the media refuted its use.—Bob Wescott, Lawrence, Mass.
California voters who think they should have prevailed in 2016 and would like to eliminate the Electoral College should be informed that the Electoral College gave us Abraham Lincoln in 1860.
Lincoln got less than 40 percent of the popular vote split among four major candidates, but about 60 percent of the electoral vote (180 out of 303).—Dale Jenkins
— Heidi Cady (@hgcady) September 6, 2018
Internet Service Providers and Privacy
Dear Daily Signal: Facebook is not the only one invading our privacy. The general public does not know that internet service providers freely read and share customers’ data.
Imagine this: Your personal, private letters are being freely opened, read, copied, and shared by your post office.
What if you sent a letter to your doctor with personal medical information? Or to your lawyer with legal information? Or to your banker with financial information? And now the post office has copied it to hundreds of other people.
You would not like this abuse of your personal data, right?
Well, this is exactly what the hundreds of analytical companies who work for internet providers are doing with your personal data. If you are an old subscriber to the internet, you were never asked for permission to do this by the providers. It is only recently that, with the exposure of this practice, providers are required to give you the option to opt out. In most cases you cannot opt out, and providers automatically assume you have given them permission.
In the case of Oath (the partner with AT&T, Yahoo, AOL, and Verizon), if you do not agree with their use of your data then “your service will continue to work as it does now, but in the future your service could be impacted.”
AT&T has over 134 analytical companies working for them using your data; you cannot opt out of 20 or more of them. The number of companies varies with my research.
Critical businesses are required legally to guard their data. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, bankers, public officials, and others are in legal jeopardy when their data is read and shared. And who knows how secure these analytical sites are with our data? They may be exposing our data to Russia and China.
This abuse of privacy and free use of customers’ data by internet providers must be stopped. Write the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee or the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.—Pat Ellis
— FedUp (@FedBwr) August 29, 2018
When Illegal Immigrants Import Disease
Dear Daily Signal: About Walter Williams’ column (“Open Borders Bring a Higher Risk of Disease”), I’ve noticed for decades that U.S. residents were experiencing different illnesses, more virulent strains, recurrence of diseases that we had not seen in decades, antibiotic-resistant illnesses, and on and on.
I’m not a brainiac, but certainly figured out that it probably could be contributed to immigrants entering our country who did not have the health standards we enjoy in the USA.
Why hasn’t the media been aware of this until now?—Sherry Conquest
Americans buy beef, pork, and chicken protein from poor Mexican citizens. Mexico’s citizens come to America, partly to get protein. Williams writes about disease from these South American countries.
We buy their protein (yes, some diseased) away from Mexico and nations to the south. Check the USDA import meat charts and don’t forget the million live diseased cattle from Mexico annually.
Yes, it is part of the Immigration problem. Our government needs to stop buying their protein and hold those governments’ feet to the fire to feed their citizens.
Thank you for allowing a citizen his input.—James Stotts, Llano, Texas
— Faith & Freedom (@FaithandFreedom) July 6, 2018
Those Obamacare Premiums
Dear Daily Signal: Doug Badger and Ed Haislmeyer offered a solution to the Obamacare travesty that is a way to try to find common ground (“How Congress Can Reduce Obamacare Premiums“). But what needs to happen is what should have happened 1.5 years ago.
Congress still needs to drop this monstrosity that keeps being fed taxpayers money to try to keep it alive. They need to cut funding and eliminate subsidies that compete with Medicaid.
The free market is the solution, because the health care industry is using Obamacare as an excuse to gouge taxpayers twice. First with taxpayer subsidies and second they look for any excuses to increase rates or to bill policyholders who actually try to use their policies.
Government needs to get out of the insurance business and pass legislation to make insurance competitive by allowing nationwide variable policies available to all citizens. Government needs to quit trying to make a boat anchor float and do what government is supposed to do. Get out of the way.
Congress should be doing what their responsibility is: securing our borders and downsizing bureaucracies to cut the size of the budget deficit and allow for taxpayers to prosper and spread capitalism.
We don’t need more inefficiency, which is a hallmark of government; like cancer, it wants to spread and grow.—Brannen Edwards, Savannah, Ga.
— FreedomLives (@shehar44) June 7, 2018
Planned Parenthood and Sexual Abuse
Dear Daily Signal: It is about time the right went on offense against the leftists, as Rachel del Guidice describes in her story (“56 Lawmakers Ask HHS Probe of Planned Parenthood’s Response to Child Sexual Abuse”). I have had enough of this “ignore them and they’ll go away” attitude.
The left is trying to transform our beloved nation in ways we would despise, so they must be defeated—completely defeated to the point of obscurity.—Randy Leyendecker
Where were these politicians when the “cromnibus” bill was passed funding Planned Parenthood? Must be election year.—Bob Elliott
Hmm. If the report by Live Action had been released earlier, it may have been just the ammunition needed to silence the fifth columnist RINOs of the Judas caucus.—Andrew Curlutu
— CNSNews.com (@cnsnews) August 15, 2018
The Russians and American Energy
Dear Daily Signal: I read Kevin Mooney’s article, “Policies Echoes Soviet Opposition to Reagan’s Missile Defense,” with great interest since I was employed by General Electric as a design engineer in the power generation industry.
With the previous administration’s push for “renewable” energy, I decided to do a few calculations to compare wind turbines and solar panels with fossil fuels and nuclear power generation. You will find my results of interest:
To generate an equivalent amount of power as one nuclear power plant, it would require 500 of the largest windmills in existence. In making the calculations, I considered that the wind would not be at peak 100 percent of the time.
That would be one massive wind farm, considering the huge size of a single wind turbine.
To generate an equivalent amount of power as one coal-fired power plant, it would require a solar panel field (with the most efficient solar panels produced commercially) that would cover the entire area of a city the size of Harrisburg, Pa.
Rather interesting, wouldn’t you say?—Ron K.
Thanks to Kevin Mooney for the great article covering climate change and the Russians.
It’s amazing to me that our country and the globe continue to be fooled by the new climate religion. Carbon dioxide follows temperature, it doesn’t cause it.
Even more interesting is that if Putin was going to push someone into office it would have been Hillary, not Trump.—Marv Langston
Tips for Our Podcast
I have followed The Daily Signal’s podcast for quite a while. I recognize that it needs to appeal to younger and well-educated listeners. These well-educated listeners too frequently are more educated about resisting than about growing and contributing.
I’m 76 and find this effort to appeal to millennials be poorly informed. The whining, sing-song style of narrative in the podcast fits the intended young audience but fails to move listeners where I believe you intend to move them. I sincerely believe that they listen to grow, not to justify their mindsets and behaviors.
The podcasts’ dialogues are heavily laced with “I think,” “I feel,” “I don’t know,” etc. I believe that young people hearing The Daily Signal need to hear references to facts, history, and experience that is likely to challenge the critical thinking skills of listeners.
Episode 282 really left me cold. The focus on persons and age is a negative. The talk about teen-age activist David Hogg was an opportunity to illustrate the need for maturity and to identify hints of David’s growing in maturity.
Maturity is not purely an issue of age. Any indication of growing in maturity needs to be the primary focus if we will escape juvenile name-calling and move to thoughtful dialog.
I speak regularly with millennials who are sensitive to their peers but act as leaders to show their peers that there is a better way to approach big issues. I think The Daily Signal podcast needs more leadership rather than trying to sound and act like those needing leadership.
Thank you for considering this.—Bob Fuller, Bella Vista, Ariz.
If possible I would like to be able to read your podcast information rather than listen to it. Is it possible to have both options available?—Pam Godfrey, Macon, Ga.
Editor’s note: Pam, we hope you’ve noticed that we are running transcript of interviews from the podcast a day or so later.
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) August 24, 2018
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: As a recently retired water quality professional after 41 years, I appreciate Kevin Mooney’s article on the EPA transparency rule (“Court Order for EPA to Ban Pesticide Spotlights Need for ‘Transparency’ Rule“).
This is much needed, especially when we have a myriad of emerging contaminants in the environment that are either poorly understood or the science is lacking.
Transparency will allow the scientific community at large, policymakers, regulators, stakeholders, and citizens the opportunity to evaluate the science research behind these contaminants and weigh the benefits of costly regulations vs. the risk.—Jim Taylor
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that he wants to protect all New Yorkers, as Fred Lucas reports (“How Chief of ICE Responds to Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo on Illegal Immigrants”).
Illegals are not New Yorkers. Cuomo needs to start protecting actual New Yorkers. You know, legal citizens.—Cheryl Detar
Media and politicians who despise Trump—including California rocket scientist Maxine Waters—continuously exhort the term presidential impeachment. They opine and believe that impeachment is a method by which to remove Trump from office.
It’s not. Impeachment is analogous to a probable cause charge, formal accusation and indictment by a grand jury against one who allegedly has transgressed elements of criminal statutes.
Impeachment, like indictment, merely represents the underlying first step in such political or criminal processes.
The threshold required for impeachment of a president, charging high crimes and misdemeanors, is by a majority of the House of Representatives. But removing a president from office must be effectuated by trial in the Senate, with two-thirds of that chamber voting to affirm.
In the meantime, those ignorant of the constitutional process continue with their big I-word as the holistic measure to accomplish their goal of removing Trump from office. House Democrats may impeach him, but without a Senate conviction, the man remains in office.—Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Ind.
Jeremiah Poff and Sarah Sleem helped to compile this column.