VA Committee Chairman Calls for Shinseki’s Immediate Resignation

1,700 vets at Phoenix hospital kept on secret wait list
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki / AP

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R., Fla.) called for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki following an inspector general report Wednesday that confirmed allegations of hidden wait times at a Phoenix VA hospital.

The VA Inspector General reported Thursday that more than 1,700 veterans at the Phoenix hospital were kept on unofficial wait lists that hospital leadership used to hide true wait times from officials in Washington. More than 40 veterans allegedly died due to delays in care at the facility.

Pardonable Offenses

Feature: The human face of the War on Drugs
AP

Fourteen of the luckiest people in the United States were gathered in one room Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

TV cameras, reporters, and congressional staffers crowded into a small briefing room in the Rayburn House Office Building, to see the rare sight: 14 former prisoners, all of them drug offenders, who had their sentences commuted by a president of the United States of America.

White House Sued Over Possible Hatch Act Violations

Judicial Watch seeking records on Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina investigations
AP

A watchdog group is suing the Obama administration for records on an investigation into possible Hatch Act violations by former White House staff members Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina.

Wolf ‘Deeply Concerned’ with ‘Nixonian’ Obama DOJ

GOP representative criticizes DOJ’s efforts to pressure law enforcement officials on marijuana
Eric Holder / AP

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said Tuesday he is “deeply concerned” that DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart is being pressured to fall in line with the Obama administration’s political positions, despite conflicts with federal law.

The True Story of the Last Cuban Diplomat to the U.S.

…and why his son is suing the CIA
Cuban soldiers bearing their national flag / AP

As a kid, Sergio Florez remembers a lot of interesting company coming over for dinner in their New York City home. The conversations were peppered with references to international affairs, Fidel Castro, and Cuba.

Florez’s father, Armando, was a former Cuban diplomat to the United States, Belgium, India, and Czechoslovakia who later defected to America and became a vocal critic of the Castro regime.

Nonprofit Challenges Government Definition of a Media Outlet

Cause of Action joined by press outlets in push for broadening of definition
COA

The nonprofit watchdog group Cause of Action is challenging the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision that it is not a member of the media, and asking the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling in favor of the FTC.

Judicial Watch Sues Navy for FOIA Policies

Watchdog had FOIAed Navy’s FOIA request policy
AP

A watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Navy for failing to turn over records on how it processes FOIA requests.

Judicial Watch announced Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit after the Navy failed to respond to its FOIA request for more than three months. Judicial Watch is seeking any policies or directives regarding how the Navy handles FOIA requests.

Former AGs, DEA Officials Oppose Sentencing Reform

Praise current system’s ‘balance’ between congressional action and judicial discretion
A Sacramento, Calif. prison / AP

Nearly 30 former top law enforcement officials and attorneys urged Senate leaders to defeat a bill aimed at reforming drug sentencing laws in a letter released Monday.

Working Hard or Hardly Working at the EPA

EPA inspector general describes numerous ethical failures at agency
EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe testifying in front of the House Oversight Committee / AP

An Environmental Protection Agency employee who spent two to six hours a day perusing pornography websites such as “Sadism is Beautiful” received performance bonuses for his hard work, investigators told Congress Thursday.

Extreme Pornography Agency

EPA official caught with more than 7,000 porn files on government computer
EPA logo

An Environmental Protection Agency official spent up to six hours a day on the taxpayer dime looking at pornography, according to the EPA Inspector General.