7:04 AM, Dec 1, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently solicited quotes from contractors to recruit minors ages sixteen and seventeen to purchase "regulated tobacco products" on the Internet. The purchase attempts must be made from a facility located in Virginia and shipped to a P.O. Box provided by the FDA for purposes of this probe. The FDA is careful to note that the contractor must "debrief minors on the dangers of tobacco use" and that the minors "[agree] NOT to attempt to purchase tobacco products" outside of the FDA investigation.
All minors recruited as part of this program must have written approval from their parents or legal guardians. Once the contractor has obtained immunity for the jurisdiction in which the purchase is to be made, the minor is to make the purchase over the Internet under the supervision of the contractor. Generally, a debit card or prepaid credit card designated for the project is to be used to establish the date, amount and location of the purchase. Although the identities of the minors are to be kept confidential, the documents warn that "[i]n the event of possible enforcement or judicial action, however, the minor’s identity may be revealed, and the minor may need to provide a declaration and/or give oral testimony in a hearing."
Minors participating the program are to be debriefed at the end of each day of participation in the program. At minimum in each debriefing session the teens are to be reminded that:
• All tobacco products are harmful.
• No tobacco product is safe.
• It is illegal under federal law for retailers to sell tobacco products to minors, and illegal under some state laws for minors to purchase or possess tobacco products.
• Neither the Contractor nor FDA/CTP approve of minors purchasing or using tobacco products.
• The minor has received special authorization to attempt to purchase tobacco products solely for regulatory purposes as part of a contract.FDA-SOL-1138245
• The minor has been instructed not to attempt to purchase tobacco products, except as part of this contract and under the direct supervision of the Contractor.
• The minor agrees NOT to attempt to purchase tobacco products, except as part of this contract and under the direct supervision of the Contractor.
Contractors are to attempt single purchases at no more than twenty-five different online tobacco vendors. The FDA anticipates that 80 percent of purchases attempted in this effort will be successful, although the agency concedes this is just an estimate.
Often government agencies conduct investigations of online businesses or other sites (and even individuals) using adults posing as minors. The FDA did not respond to an email inquiry why this particular investigation requires the involvement of actual minors. However, the documents accompanying the solicitation state that "[m]inors are an integral part of conducting purchases of regulated tobacco products to ensure compliance" with applicable laws and related FDA regulations. In 2012, the FDA used minors while conducting inspections of retail tobacco establishments.
1:08 PM, May 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the more intriguing aspects of the VA health care scandal is the way the paperwork was creatively done to make it appear that the system was operating as it was meant to.
In theory . . .12:00 AM, Apr 12, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Employers’ requests for the limited number of H1-B visas that allow foreign skilled workers to work and live here has wildly exceeded the supply. After all, the visas allow employers to hire foreigners, rather than bid up wage rates to attract American citizens, or incur the cost of training Americans to do the job. And the visas are free.
12:00 AM, Dec 14, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Free traders are ecstatic. Negotiators at the 9th World Trade Organization ministerial conference in Bali cheered, hugged, and wept at what they see as the successful culmination of their recent round of talks. “A giant step for businesses large and small,” enthused the CEO of UPS.
But they opt to cut school workers' hours instead. 10:53 AM, Oct 25, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Obamacare is costing one Indiana school district $6 million, WTHI reports:
"In the past, we've told you about the new federal healthcare law and how small business and local governments have been hit," said the anchor. "The next area affected by the law could be education."
11:00 AM, Oct 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden offered returning federal workers handshakes, hugs, and kisses -- and muffins, too -- this morning at the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Via the pool report:
10:00 AM, Oct 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The federal government is shutdown. That means only federal government employees that are deemed "essential" are going in to work.
We're led to believe it's a bare bones operation (Michelle Obama won't be tweeting, the National Park Service website is down, etc.). But in reality it appears the number of folks working is higher than half the federal employees. Or, in raw numbers, about 1,350,000 "essential" federal government employees are still working. And that does not include the 589,000 postal employees, who are working, too.
"No one knows what they do, what it means, how much they benefit us."3:32 PM, Apr 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama praised federal workers in remarks today, calling them an "invisible face." Her remarks were delivered at the Department of Interior.
"I ... know that the work that you do isn’t easy, especially right now during these times. I know that budget cuts mean that you all are juggling even more responsibilities with fewer resources. And I know that many of you are stretched thinner than ever before," said the first lady.
1:51 PM, Mar 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bill Kristol, with Mara Liasson and Charles Lane, on Fox News Sunday's "Panel Plus":
"They still have nothing to do."8:02 AM, Oct 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids filed this report on the stimulus-receiving battery company, LG Chem:
1:01 PM, May 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking in Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden admitted that auto workers lost jobs because of actions taken by the Obama administration:
12:53 PM, May 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden didn't seem too worried about the auto workers who lost pensions and benefits because of the restructuring that the auto bailout required: