Genius in action, Congress edition

May 3, 2010

Yet more proof that no one was paying attention when Congress wrote the recent health-care reform bill: according to a memo obtained by The Daily Caller, the Congressional Research Service believes Congress may have set itself, as well as state and local governments, up for huge fines.

A just-released memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) raises fresh constitutional concerns about a provision in President Obama’s health-care law that could impose tens of millions of dollars in fines on Congress, state and local governments.

As reported by The Daily Caller, Congress could be fined up to $50 million annually by its own health-care law if low-level aides apply for government subsidies to help pay their health-care costs.

The new memo from Congress’s research arm states that state and local governments would be on the hook for such fines as well – but argues those fines may be unconstitutional under Supreme Court precedents on federalism.

It’s comforting to know we’re lead by such careful, thoughtful, responsible men and women.

RELATED: An earlier example of high craftsmanship that went into ObamaCare.


A screw-up of colossal proportions, part two

November 11, 2009

In an earlier post, regarding the efforts of Major Hasan to contact al Qaeda prior to his rampage at Ft. Hood, I wrote:

It’s time for subpoenas to start flying. If this report is true, or if Intelligence passed on the information and the Army did nothing, then heads should roll and careers be ended.

We now know the answer – nobody told the Army:

The Pentagon said it was never notified by U.S. intelligence agencies that they had intercepted emails between the alleged Fort Hood shooter and an extremist imam until after last week’s bloody assaults, raising new questions about whether the government could have helped prevent the attack.

A top defense official said federal investigators didn’t tell the Pentagon they were looking into months of contacts between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki. The imam knew three of the Sept. 11 hijackers and hailed Maj. Hasan as a “hero” after the shooting last week at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead.

“Based on what we know now, neither the United States Army nor any other organization within the Department of Defense knew of Maj. Hasan’s contacts with any Muslim extremists,” the official said.

Just to emphasize the mind-blowing incompetence this required, Ed at Hot Air reminds us that al-Awlaki was named several times in the 9-11 commission report as being an important contact for the 9-11 hijackers. We know also that he was the imam at a Virginia mosque attended by both Major Hasan and two of the 9-11 hijackers. And yet no one on the interagency task force that had learned of Hasan’s contacts with al-Awlaki thought there was a problem:

A person familiar with the matter said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was told about the intercepted emails several months ago. But members of terror task forces aren’t allowed to share such information with their agencies, unless they get permission from the FBI, which leads the task forces.

In this case, the Pentagon worker, an employee from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, helped make the assessment that Maj. Hasan wasn’t a threat, and the FBI’s “procedures for sharing the information were never used,” said the person familiar with the matter.

Emphasis added. Excuse me while I go beat my head against the nearest brick wall.

UPDATE: Oh, looky here! Even more connections between Major Hasan and “people” being tracked by the FBI:

A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had “more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI” than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon.

Apparently the only thing Hasan didn’t do was wrap himself in flashing Christmas lights and skip through a park shouting “I’m a jihadi! I’m a jihadi!” How many clues did these schmucks need?

(via Hot Air)