The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Monday, September 19
Stash house yields 52 immigrants, 5 smugglers
Border patrol agents raided a small home in Edinburg, Tex., where they found 52 illegal aliens and five other aliens who were also smugglers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The apprehended aliens were from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Edinburg is located near the Rio Grande River near the extreme southern tip of Texas.
Improbable crime rate study
The Brennan Center for Justice predicted this year’s crime rates in the nation’s 30 largest cities will remain at or near the same record-setting low rates from last year. The study, though, was an exercise in false logic. Among its claims was that murder will increase nationwide by 13.1% with nearly half of it attributable to Chicago where 234 of the nation’s total 496 murders will be committed. Predicting a murder rate is an absurdity because the calculus doesn’t account for the difference between a victim who is slain and a victim who survives a gunshot. The determinant factor, of course, is the shooter’s marksmanship.
Volkswagen settlement is another scandal
The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness asked a federal judge in Northern California to reject an agreement that ends a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen for selling vehicles that evaded U.S. emission standards. CEI, a libertarian think tank, accused lawyers of breaching their duty to represent class members by negotiating a settlement that provides no benefits, but could nonetheless result in payment of legal fees in excess of $330 million.
Reminder: Federal workplace is politics-free zone
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel reminded federal workers about the Hatch Act’s prohibition of partisan political activity in the workplace. OSC retold several cases to drive home an “instructive” point: A Colorado postal worker displayed a “Make America Great Again” sign behind a post office desk, a Federal Aviation Administration worker displayed a Hillary Clinton bobblehead doll at work, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection employee posted a derogatory picture of Hillary Clinton in a public area.
Australia filed CPAP complaint against New Zealand
ResMed Ltd., a manufacturer of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) sleep therapy devices in New South Wales, Australia, filed a complaint with U.S. trade law authorities that accuses a New Zealand rival of stealing its patents. The U.S. International Trade Commission started an investigation. ResMed accused Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd., of Auckland, N.Z., of violating the 1930 Tariff Act by importing sleep assistance devices that infringe patent rights.
DHS inspector: 858 slid from deportation to citizenship
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General reported that 858 persons from Middle East and Southeast Asia countries were granted U.S. citizenship while they were awaiting deportation. An OIG investigation revealed the errors resulted from an incomplete or inconsistent transfer of old fingerprint records to digital format. “Currently, about 148,000 fingerprint records of aliens from special interest countries who had final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives have yet to be digitized,” the OIG said.
Health care provider fined $30 million
North American Health Care Inc., a health care provider headquartered in Dana Point, Calif., will pay $30 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it submitted bills to Medicare for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services, the Department of Justice said. The company, which operates 30 nursing care facilities in California and several other western states, will pay $28.5 million, its CEO will pay $1 million, and a senior vice president who created the billing scheme will pay $500,000.
EEOC wins $277,500 judgement for diabetic worker
A diabetic cashier at a Dollar General store who grabbed a bottle of orange juice to raise her blood sugar and prevent a hypoglycemic attack was awarded $277,565 by a federal jury that saw her firing as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dollar General argued the cashier was fired because she consumed the juice before paying for it, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which brought the lawsuit argued that the retail chain violated the law’s requirement to accommodate the needs of disabled employees.
Pregnancy-related diabetes linked to depression
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered a link between depression and gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that is manifested by high blood sugar levels and occurs only during pregnancy. According to the researchers, women who reported feeling depressed during the first two trimesters of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes. And, women who developed gestational diabetes were more likely to report postpartum depression six weeks after giving birth.
Think tank says job recovery is exaggerated
A report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a think tank funded largely by labor unions and liberal foundations such as those funded by George Soros and Barbra Streisand, claims that Obama administration boasts of job growth are overstated. Rather than celebrating a 4.9% national unemployment rate, CEPR claims that the labor market is only two-thirds recovered from the Great Recession. A key report finding is that for every 100 people who are counted as unemployed, there are 74 more who say they want a job but are not counted as jobless.
Judge orders partisan FEC to do its job
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that the Federal Election Commission’s partisan votes to dismiss complaints lodged against two pro-Republican political action committees were “contrary to law.” The D.C. judge gave the FEC 30 days to reconsider the complaints that were submitted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The FEC, deadlocking on familiar 3-3 partisan votes, dismissed CREW’s complaints because it was unable to muster four affirmative votes to open an inquiry of political spending by American Action Network and Americans for Job Security. The four-vote requirement is dictated by federal law.
Multinationals owe $700 billion to U.S.
A chartbook compiled by the Economic Policy Institute shows that U.S. corporate profits are near record highs while revenue from corporate taxes is near record lows; and, that claims by the nation’s biggest corporations that they are damaged by a 35% tax rate “simply isn’t true.” The report highlights loopholes in the U.S. tax code, including one that allows corporations to defer taxation on profits held outside the country. “This has encouraged corporations to stockpile $2.4 trillion in profits in foreign subsidiaries—money on which they currently owe $700 billion in taxes,” the report said.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and other national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.