Thursday News: Warehousing children


ROBESON FACILITY WITH REVOKED LICENSE GETS $3.9 MILLION TO DETAIN MIGRANT CHILDREN: Within 45 days of the facility opening its doors, state officials gave its operator, New Horizon Group Home LLC, hours to shut them again, saying conditions presented “an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare” of the boys housed there. Yet barely one year later, the federal government awarded New Horizon a $3.9 million grant to house up to 72 children – migrant kids navigating the Trump administration's border policy alone. The federal Administration for Children and Families, which oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement, awarded the grant to New Horizon despite the fact that the company has gone months without a required state license to house any children. And if the state’s prior action against the facility holds up to an ongoing legal challenge, the group home operator will have gotten at least some of that federal grant money despite being prevented from housing any children for the next four years.

REPUBLICAN GROUPS SPENDING BIG FOR DAN BISHOP IN NC09: Two national Republican groups are pumping nearly $4 million into Dan Bishop’s 9th District congressional campaign, dramatically ramping up GOP spending and offsetting Democrat Dan McCready’s early fundraising edge. The National Republican Congressional Committee launched new TV and radio ads Wednesday. Politico reported the group has reserved $2.6 million in air time through the Sept. 10 special election. And the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC tied to Republican House leadership, spent $1.2 million on ad reservations on Bishop’s behalf. Spokesman Calvin Moore called it the “initial part of our investment.” They’re the latest outside groups to get involved in the North Carolina race. Three others already have spent $845,000 on ads with less than six weeks to go before the election. And one of the three, the anti-tax Club for Growth, announced Wednesday it will spend another $412,000 in August.

MONSANTO SUBPOENAS LAB CORP TESTING DATA IN ITS DEFENSE OF ROUND-UP: Agribusiness giant Monsanto wants test results from medical-testing giant Laboratory Corporation of America from one of the plaintiffs in a Missouri class-action suit against it. Monsanto has faced a number of class-action suits, and one $2 billion verdict in California, over claims that its widely used herbicide, Roundup, has been linked to cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Burrell Lamb et al vs. Monsanto Co. is a class-action suit in the Missouri Circuit Court for the 21st Judicial Circuit with more than 50 plaintiffs, including at least one estate of a now-dead plaintiff, scheduled to go before a judge in September. Monsanto’s subpoena in Alamance County Superior Court asks for all of LabCorp’s records of Lamb’s tests, including results, bills, correspondence, and even specimens and tissue samples.

BIDEN TAKES A BEATING DURING DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: Former vice president Joe Biden, attempting to regain his footing by adopting a more aggressive and combative posture during a Democratic presidential debate here Wednesday night, faced relentless attacks on his decades-long Senate record on race and criminal justice, immigration and health care, and his commitment to women’s rights. The exchange showcased many of the deep divides within the party that are taking on greater urgency as the candidates strive to make gains before the field narrows. Standing between Sens. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) and Cory Booker (N.J.), Biden swiveled back and forth as his record on and commitment to issues of race were questioned in increasingly pointed ways. Later, Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) teamed up to criticize his positions on working women and abortion. “Everybody’s talking about how terrible I am on all these issues,” Biden said at one point. “Barack Obama knew exactly who I was. He chose me and he said it was the best decision he made.”

TRUMP ORDERS NAVY TO PUNISH PROSECUTORS WHO TRIED SEAL CHIEF FOR MURDER: Mr. Trump angrily lashed out at the Navy for awarding commendations to prosecutors in the murder trial of Edward Gallagher, a former special operations chief, and he publicly instructed Pentagon officials to strip them of the medals. His announcement was a remarkable rebuke by a president of his own Navy leadership. “The Prosecutors who lost the case against SEAL Eddie Gallagher (who I released from solitary confinement so he could fight his case properly), were ridiculously given a Navy Achievement Medal,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Not only did they lose the case, they had difficulty with respect to information that may have been obtained from opposing lawyers and for giving immunity in a totally incompetent fashion.” Chief Gallagher was turned in by members of his own SEAL platoon, who accused him of stabbing a captured and wounded teenage fighter repeatedly in the neck with a custom hunting knife in 2017. He was also charged with obstruction of justice for threatening to kill the SEALs who reported him.



Revoking honors

There was a Congressional proposal to make this type of revocation tougher for DOD officials.

It's time to talk about that again, especially in light of this being used as a political punishment by the Office of the President.

"As part of the annual defense authorization bill debate, House Armed Services Committee lawmakers last week approved new rules that would allow military valor awards to be rescinded only if later evidence shows the honor was given improperly, or if the service member is later convicted of a serious violent felony.

"We're talking about hijacking an airplane, rape, murder and so on," said amendment sponsor Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. "Then the valor award can be revoked."

Hunter, who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, argued the change is needed because defense officials can — and do — rescind valor awards for unrelated infractions later in troops' military careers. He called that unfair and absurd."