Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Old man continues to sell his soul

BULLY BOY PRESS &   CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

USED UP AND EMPTY NUT SACK BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, COMING OFF HIS LATEST FAILED ALBUM, WILL NOW WHORE WHATEVER'S LEFT OF HIS NAME BY PROPPING UP FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O AT A STEVEN SPIELBERG EVENT FOR 'HUMANITY.'

REACHED FOR COMMENT, THE TOADY SPRINGSTEEN EXPLAINED, "NO ONE BOUGHT MY ALBUM HIGH HOPES -- FOUR MONTHS LATER, IT STILL HASN'T GONE GOLD.  I USED TO SELL MILLIONS IN A SINGLE MONTH.  I WON'T BE 65 UNTIL SEPTEMBER SO UNTIL SOCIAL SECURITY KICKS IN, I NEED TO MAKE SOME BREAD.  SO I SPREAD.  AND SAY, 'HEY POLITICIANS, WANT TO BOSS THE BOSS AROUND?  I'LL TAKE IT UP THE ASS FROM ANY DEMOCRAT.  I USED TO HAVE STANDARDS AND BE OUTSIDE THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM BUT THESE DAYS I SPREAD LIKE JIFFY."



FROM THE TCI WIRE:

Sarah Jessica Parker waited too long to have her chin wart removed, it had already killed any shot at a big screen career by the '00s.  The wart was repugnant on the big screen but she was attached to it.  Maybe it contained her brain?

What else could explain her garbage today guest hosting The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC?   There she described the former propagandist for the New York Times, Dexter Filkins, as "one of the best war correspondents of his generation."

Dexter Filkins -- Falluja Filkins -- won an award for his awful piece of 'reporting' on the US attack on Falluja -- eye witness 'reporting' that missed the use of White Phosphorus and other weapons in a story published November 21, 2004 -- a story of events on November 15, 2004 that is published November 21, 2004.  Was Dexy using The Pony Express to get his copy to the paper?

No.

But the US military vets copy very slowly.  And Dexy doesn't do anything the commanders didn't approve of.

After all, as Molly Bingham publicly revealed, when Dexy was bragging about an interview he'd set up with a resistance leader in Iraq, he got a unpleasant look from a US military officer and that was that.  From her "Home from Iraq" (Courier-Journal):

The intimidation to not work on this story was evident. Dexter Filkins, who writes for The New York Times, related a conversation he had in Iraq with an American military commander just before we left. Dexter and the commander had gotten quite friendly, meeting up sporadically for a beer and a chat. Towards the end of one of their conversations, Dexter declined an invitation for the next day by explaining that he'd lined up a meeting with a "resistance guy." The commander's face went stony cold and he said, "We have a position on that." For Dexter the message was clear. He cancelled the appointment. And, again, this is not meant as any criticism of the military; they have a war to win, and dominating the "message," or the news is an integral part of that war. The military has a name for it, "information operations," and the aim is to achieve information superiority in the same way they would seek to achieve air superiority. If you look closely, you will notice there is very little, maybe even no direct reporting on the resistance in Iraq. We do, however, as journalists report what the Americans say about the resistance. Is this really anything more than stenography?


Dexy was in Falluja during the assault and never reported the US military used White Phosphorous.  November 2005, Robert Burns (AP) would report, "Pentagon officials say white phosphorous was used as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Fallujah last November, but deny an Italian television news report that it was used against civilians."  The BBC noted, "The US had earlier said the substance - which can cause burning of the flesh - had been used only for illumination.  BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract its denial is a public relations disaster for the US."  But Sarah Jessica Parker didn't ask about that.  Mainly because she's too stupid and too busy giggling about "David" (Dexter boss) and what he told her to talk about.


Dexter's a reporter worth praising?

To Sarah Jessica Parker it is.  As she stumbled and fumbled for words on live radio today, it was obvious she should sticky to her tacky ready-to-wear line.  "To-to-to"?

She offered one air-head question after another, making it clear (a) she'd done no research and (b) that, for Sarah Jess, the latest issue of Vogue is 'heavy' reading.

Typical 'question' from Sarah Jess, "And do you think that-that this is a disposition that you sort of st-stumbled upon in some way, that this-this character that is . . . needed and-and maybe even this photographer that you met up with, is this something that's-that's-that is in some ways the criteria for-for-for a person who does your work or do you -- can you acquire -- is it like learning to like . . ."  She's nowhere near the end of that question but we'll cut her off there.

Falluja Dexy didn't just cover up for a massacre ("It's fun," he said at one point in the interview), he also lacked any professionalism or ethics as he slept with everything he could in Baghdad -- everything -- and destroyed his marriage and then tried to attack a female colleague for calling out the toxic work environment he had created.

Sarah Jess didn't ask about that.  Doesn't know about it.  But she'll be subbing tomorrow as well so heads up on that and you can turn it into a drinking game by doing a shot every time she says "Wow."  Warning, if it's anything like today, you'll need several bottles of tequila.  "Wow."

Here the Propagandist and the Hacktress 'discuss' Falluja:

Dexter Filkins:  And I can say when I was embedded with the Marines before they went into Falluja which was --  turned out to be the biggest battle of the Iraq War, uhm, yeah, I knew that was coming [going into Falluja], uh, uhm, I guess a day before hand they gave us the briefing and said, 'Here's what we're going to do, we're going in tomorrow night.'  Uh-uhm, I- you know, if we were to write that, then that was -- that would basically tip off 

Sarah Jess: Right.

Dexter Filkins: -- the-the bad guys and-and then get a lot of people killed.  And so  that's not something -- that's something that you're going to say  Okay, look, we're making a judgment here that we're not in the business of getting people killed so, uhm, we'll withhold something.  But it's rare.

For the record, the killed in Falluja?  That tended to be Iraqis and, yes, Dexter Filkins is in the business of getting people killed.

Judith Miller's bad reporting, at worst, helped get the US military into Iraq.  Dexy Filkins propaganda kept the US military there for years and years.  And he'd lie in print, then come back to the US, do a campus speaking tour and tell people about how badly things were actually going, then go back to Iraq, file some more lies, and then come back offer some more Pianissimo-voiced confessions. At least Judith Miller believed the crap she wrote.

Falluja Filthy Filkins did other audio at the end of March.  March 31st, Sasha Weiss hosted the discussion between Dexy and War Hawk George Packer about "fiction, poetry, and memoir writing about the Iraq war by the veterans of that conflict."  Somehow that translated to Packer wanting to talk "Iraqi humor" which he characterized as "a lot of them had to do with dismemberment -- the sexual dismemberment -- of hated figures in the old regime."

They do make time to enjoy Phil Klay's writing which turns war into sex -- something that says a great about Klay and about the two pigs Packer and Dexy but it's something that Weiss doesn't wish to explore or follow up on.


19 minutes into the 24 minute podcast, Sasha Weiss states, "Let's talk about women for a minute.  It hasn't really come up."

Sasha wasn't lying.  They spend about a minute on the topic. One minute and nine seconds.

The bulk of that minute is used by George Packer as he offers insulting statements about women that I'm not going to transcribe.  He was born a pig, he'll die a pig and, when that day comes, few will miss him.

He does manage to note one woman, after blathering on about women and combat, Kayla Williams [Kayla Williams has authored Love My Rifle More than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army  and her just released Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War] "but basically this is a male genre."

Sexist men to love to say that.

It's their excuse for not noting women.

Just off the top of my head, I'd note Jessica Goodell's Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq, that women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories in Laura Browder and Sascha Pfaefing's When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans, Lisa Bowden and Shannon Cain edited Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq, there's veteran Miyoko Hikiji's All I Could Be: The Story of a Woman Warrior in Iraq, Heidi Squier Kraft's Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital, Shoshna Johnson's I'm Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen -- My Journey Home, Jane Blair's Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq, retired Colonel Kimberly Olson's Iraq and Back: Inside the War to Win the Peace, Melia Meichelbock's In the Company of Soldiers, and Janis Karpinski's One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story.

Now since they made time to discuss a book that hadn't even been published by someone who wasn't in the military and that they don't believe was in Iraq during the Iraq War, it's fascinating that they only had one minute and nine seconds to discuss women veterans sharing their stories and that the entire discussion was about how Packer didn't believe women in Iraq saw combat and ended with a brief mention of Kayla Williams and the declaration that "this is a male genre."

Packer's a pig, Dexy's a pig.  Both pigs were enabled by women.  At least Sasha didn't repeat "Wow!" over and over or giggle repeatedly the way 49-year-old would-be-but-failed-sex-kitten Sarah Jess did.

Along with being pigs, Packer and Dexy are both War Hawks which is why their supposed discussion of books by veterans ignored Camilo Mejia's Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Sergeant Camilo Mejia, Joshua Key's The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq, Aiden Delgado's The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq, and Kevin Benderman's Letters from Fort Lewis Brig: A Matter of Conscience.




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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DNC Chair breaks it down

BULLY BOY PRESS &   CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS SEEKING ELECTION THIS YEAR ARE BEGINNING TO GRASP JUST HOW MUCH DAMAGE FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O IS TO THEIR CHANCES.

REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, D.N.C. CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ STATED, "DOES MY HAIR LOOK OILY?  IT DOES, DOESN'T IT?  IT ALWAYS DOES?  I DON'T KNOW WHY THAT IS?  OBAMA?  YEAH, WE'RE ALL STARTING TO ENVY BARACK OBAMA SR. AND HOW EASY IT WAS FOR HIM TO WALK AWAY.  IF ONLY, YOU KNOW?  WHY DOES MY HAIR ALWAYS LOOK GREASY?"


FROM THE TCI WIRE:


Despite OpEd News, today was a notable day for journalism as the Pulitzer Prizes were announced.  Journalism is supposed to serve the public, to inform the public.  This is required in a democracy because the people determine the government and they need to hold their officials accountable.  So the big prize is "PUBLIC SERVICE" and the award there went to the Washington Post and the Guardian US for their coverage of the illegal spying.  NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden issued a statement via the Freedom of the Press Foundation:



I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year's reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.
This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.


Ed Snowden is an American citizen and whistle-blower who had been employed by the CIA and by the NSA before leaving government employment for the more lucrative world of contracting.  At the time he blew the whistle, he was working for Booz Allen Hamilton doing NSA work.  As he notes in his statement, many reporters at both outlets reported on the very important story.    Glenn Greenwald (Guardian) had the first scoop on Snowden's revelations that the US government was spying on American citizens, keeping the data on every phone call made in the United States (and in Europe as well) while also spying on internet use via PRISM and Tempora.

The other winners in the field of journalism were:

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING - The Boston Globe Staff
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING - Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C.
EXPLANATORY REPORTING - Eli Saslow of The Washington Post
LOCAL REPORTING - Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times
NATIONAL REPORTING - David Philipps of The Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO
INTERNATIONAL REPORTING - Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters
FEATURE WRITING - No award
COMMENTARY - Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press
CRITICISM - Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer
EDITORIAL WRITING - The Editorial Staff of The Oregonian, Portland
EDITORIAL CARTOONING - Kevin Siers of The Charlotte Observer
BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY - Tyler Hicks of The New York Times
FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY - Josh Haner of The New York Times


On the award to the Colorado Springs Gazette's David Philipps, Greg Avery (Denver Business Journal) notes:

An investigation into veterans being discharged from the military without benefits after relatively minor offenses won the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper and reporter Dave Philipps a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
[. . .]

Philipps’ three-day series, called “Other Than Honorable,” looked into how soliders’ discharge status after they returned home from overseas tours of duty left them struggling. The stories were published May 19-21, 2013.


The Pulitzers also honor the world of publishing -- fiction and non-fiction -- and the arts.  The winners in the Books, Drama and Music field:



FICTION - "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

DRAMA - "The Flick" by Annie Baker
HISTORY - "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832" by Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton)
BIOGRAPHY - "Margaret Fuller: A New American Life" by Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
POETRY - "3 Sections" by Vijay Seshadri (Graywolf Press)
GENERAL NONFICTION - "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation" by Dan Fagin (Bantam Books)
MUSIC - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (Taiga Press/Theodore Front Musical Literature)


Norman Solomon used to do the P.U.-litzer awards each year with Jeff Cohen until recently.  In the Age of Barack, there's just too much whoring for two people nail down.  However, Norman does have a piece entitled "Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent" (Huffington Post).


There's one more award for today.  The Quil Lawrence Award.

You can reference the following  "Iraq snapshot" from March 2010.  March 7, 2010, Iraqis voted in parliamentary elections.  The next morning, Quil was on NPR's Morning Edition where he explained to Steve Inskeep, "He seems to have done very well. I'm talking to people all over Baghdad, as well as hearing reports from friends in the south, but it's probably not possible for him to form a government without a couple of allies."

Votes hadn't even been counting but Quil was selling victory for Nouri.  It would take days to count the votes the first time (and Nouri's loss would lead to Nouri demanding a recount -- which he'd also lose).  But with no votes counted, Quil was whoring for Nouri.

The Quil Lawrence Award recognizes an individual posing as a reporter in order to whore.

The Quil Lawrence Award this years goes to Jane Arraf who has surpassed her Saddam Hussein-era whoring while she was Baghdad Bureau Chief for CNN.  April 11, 2003, the New York Times published Eason Jordan's "The News We Kept To Ourselves." Other who worked for CNN during the Hussein-era have offered their own examples. Jane never has.

But she's outdone herself.  Yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor published an 'analysis'/'report' by Jane which was pure whoring.  As we noted at Third yesterday:

She takes the sewer that is The Christian Science Monitor deeper into the filth by writing, "In Anbar Province in the west, protests by Sunnis over marginalization and mistreatment flared into violence as what started as a peaceful protest movement became radicalized."
No, they did not flare into violence.
It takes a cheap and tacky whore to turn a year's worth of peaceful protest into violence.
Human Rights Watch has noted, "Government security forces had withdrawn from Anbar province after provoking a tribal uprising when they raided a Sunni protest camp in Ramadi on December 30, killing 17 people."
Jane also overlooks the April 23rd massacre of the sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).


It's actually worse than that -- it usually is with Jane.

She's not just being stupid, she's lying.  Check her Twitter feed.  She knows better than anyone what happened in Hawija.  There was a push to portray it as though Friday April 19, 2013, poor innocent security forces were attacked by protesters.  No, they weren't.  The attack took place near empty houses, not at the protest site.  More importantly, there was a blackout on the fact that prior to that, the protesters were attacked by the security forces -- one was killed.   Jane Tweeted about it -- she never used it in any reporting and she acts as though it didn't take place. But it exists:





Protestor killed in clashes with army in Huwaijah near Kirkuk. Army says it was defending position. Witnesses say soldiers opened fire





How do you Tweet it and then forget it, never write about it, never report on it?

How indeed.

Maybe it's just a coincidence that Nouri comes off better in her Christian Science Monitor article if she pins the blame for the violence on the protesters?

And it's also just a coincidence that she also offers 'analysis' that is wrong but helps Nouri:

A surprise move by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to withdraw from the political process is expected to benefit Maliki. It allows him to go after large numbers of votes from poor, dispossessed Shiites hoping for more jobs and better services.
Maliki might be aided, too, by political disarray among the Kurds. The absence of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who has been undergoing medical treatment, has led to a leadership struggle for his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the three main Kurdish parties. Almost six months after provincial elections, the main Kurdish parties have not been able to agree on their own regional government.


A) Moqtada.  The cleric and movement leader's followers will not be voting for Nouri.  We went into the whys of that in the February 18th snapshot.  You can refer to that.  Since then, Moqtada has twice called for Nouri not to seek a third term (the last time was last week).  In addition, Moqtada's now-ended 'retirement' never meant that candidates from the Sadr bloc weren't going to run.  When Moqtada made the announcement, the Sadr bloc immediately had to decide whether they would field candidates or not and they decided they would.

Jane's just a nasty, dirty liar.  And what's the Christian Science Monitor?  It prints that lie that Moqtada's out of politics when even Dan Murphy has reported for the Monitor that Moqtada got back in?

B) The Kurds.

Jalal Talabani is the head of the PUK.  But he's not in Iraq, is he?

He's in Germany.  He's been there since his stroke.  December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

Jane may not tell you about that but the PUK can.  They can tell you about the screaming Nouri did at Jalal, about the threats he made to Jalal and about how, as soon as Nouri left Jalal's office, Jalal had his stroke.




The Iraq Times and Kitabat are both reporting that insiders are saying the collapse Monday night followed a verbal altercation with Nouri al-Maliki. According to an unnamed source or unnamed sources with Talabani's office, Nouri arrived last Monday evening at Talabani's office and as the political crisis was discussed, Jalal called for Nouri to lower the rhetoric (as he has done publicly) but he was referring to what Nouri was stating to him at that moment. This call to lower the rhetoric was met by a "violent explosion" from Nouri who called into question whether Jalal was able to be impartial or neutral. Nouri is said to have brought up the effort last spring to seek a no-confidence vote on Nouri in Parliament. Jalal is said to have remained civil, asked that Nouri consider the options for resolving the crisis, Nouri was shown out and as soon as he was out of the office, Jalal complained of ill health.



Even setting aside all that, what do Kurds want?





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"The unlovable"
"THIS JUST IN! NOT POPULAR AT ALL!"

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The unlovable

BULLY BOY PRESS &   CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


OBAMACARE IS AS UNPOPULAR AS ITS NAMESAKE FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O.

54% OF AMERICANS DISAPPROVE OF OBAMACARE IN THE LATEST POLL WITH ONLY 43% APPROVING.

HOW SAD BUT TELLING THAT THE ONLY 'ACCOMPLISHMENT' THE VACATIONING PRESIDENT WILL HAVE TO HIS NAME WHEN HE LEAVES THE WHITE HOUSE IN JANUARY 2017 IS ALSO THE MOST HATED POLICY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS.

REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O INSISTED HE WAS ALREADY PREPARING FOR HIS POST-WHITE HOUSE LIFE AND HE ASKED THESE TWO REPORTERS, "YOU THINK I COULD GET SOME OF THIS FURNITURE OUT OF HERE IF I PULLED A TRUCK AROUND BACK?"


FROM THE TCI WIRE:


Let's start with some wisdom from Noam Chomsky.











  • I mean, suppose it was true that Iran is helping insurgents in Iraq. I mean, wasn’t the United States helping insurgents when the Russians..




    1. ... invaded Afghanistan? Did we think there was anything wrong with that?



    From wisdom, let's move to confusion: the status of Iraq's president.  
    December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.
    This week, Rudaw noted the rumors that Jalal might "soon return to Kurdistan" and quoted his son Qubad stating Jalal was "willing to return."  Dropping back to the April 3rd snapshot:


    Here are all three photos:





    Jalal may not be able to fulfill his duties as president but he's clearly the new reverse Streisand.  For years (up until Funny Lady), Barbra hated to be filmed from an angle that emphasized the right side of her face.

    For some reason, Jalal refuses to show the left side of his face.

    That's true in the photos above, true in all of the photos released so far including back in May of 2013 when  Jalal was posed for his first series of photos (below is one example).

    jalal

    What's wrong with Jalal's right hand?  And why does the Talabani family keep releasing still photos instead of video?  Can Jalal speak?  What range of motion is he capable of?

    Like all the previous photo releases, the latest ones don't answer those questions.

    The only advance evident in the latest photos is that Jalal can now smile and show teeth.  That's not sarcasm.  Whether he can do a full smile or not is unknown.  He may only be able to manipulate the right side of his mouth.  Clearly, his recovery has not been the 'progress' that the Talabani family has repeatedly announced.




    Rudaw noted this week:

    Since December 2012 when Talabani was rushed to Germany after a serious stroke, the PUK has only released some photos of the ailing leader. But there have been no videos to show the extent to which Talabani -- who is also Iraq’s president – is able to move or talk. The pictures alone have not been enough for the public to gauge the degree of the ailing leader’s recuperation.
    Latif Rasheed, who is the husband of Talabani’s sister-in-law and appeared in the president’s latest photos, said those pictures were taken last Newroz.
    [. . .]
    Rasheed also added that, “In the future videos and photos of Talabani will be released.” But he did not say when that would be, nor did he give any other details.
    However, a source close to the Talabani family denied speculations both of his imminent return or that videos of him would be released anytime soon. “No videos of Talabani will be released,” the source said.


    Why no videos?

    What is clear is that Jalal should have been relieved his duties.

    He's not done is job since December 2012.

    APA reported Thursday on the rumors that Jalal was dead -- rumors which include he's dead and has been dead and that the Talabani family plans to announce the death immediately after the elections are held.





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    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Jay Newton-Small can't help loving that man

    BULLY BOY PRESS &   CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    TIME MAGAZINE'S JAY NEWTON-SMALL JUST GOT A NEW VIBRATOR, A REALLY BIG ONE, AND HE'S DUBBED IT "EL TORO."

    TAKING IT FOR A TEST RUN, HE CHURNED OUT SOME FAN FICTION ON HIS WET DREAM BARRY O.

    "AFTER SIX YEARS," NEWTON-SMALL TYPED WITH ONE HAND WHILE HE WORKED "EL TORO" IN AND OUT WITH THE OTHER, "OBAMA DRAWS COMPARISONS LIKE NO OTHER PRESIDENT."

    POSSIBLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT HE'S GOT NO REAL CORE AND NO SPINE, THAT HE IS TO POLITICS WHAT MADONNA IS TO MUSIC:  POPULAR BUT NOTHING OF LASTING VALUE?

    WHO KNOWS HOW JAY'S SLASH FICTION WILL END BUT A WORD OF CAUTION.

    TYPING WITH JUST ONE HAND CAN LEAD TO TYPOS AND "OSAMA" AND "OBAMA" HAVE ONLY ONE LETTER DIFFERENCE SO BE CAREFUL -- ONE LETTER COULD SPELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAPPY ORGASM OR PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT.

    AND CONGRATULATIONS, JAY, ON "EL TORO,' MAY YOUR RELATIONSHIP LAST AS LONG AS THE DURACELL BATTERIES REQUIRED BUT NOT INCLUDED.




    FROM THE TCI WIRE:



    Kenneth Pollack offered an idiotic analysis last week.  I'm used to whorish American 'analysts' who pin all the blame on the government of Iran and ignore what the US government is done so this wasn't all that surprising:

    Iran wields considerable influence in Iraq, unquestionably more than any other foreign country and far more than the United States.  It was Iran that ultimately engineered Nuri al-Maliki’s re-election as prime minister in 2010 by strong-arming the Sadrists to back him.  It was the Iranians who preserved his rule in 2012 by convincing Jalal Talabani to refuse demands to call for a vote of no-confidence—a vote that Maliki seemed likely to lose. 

    Pollack is with Brookings and to their credit and his credit they at least pay attention to Iraq but I'm just not able to stomach the whoring.

    Iran's government probably was involved in the decision and certainly the First Lady of Iraq makes pilgrimages to Iran all the time.  However, as Americans, we should be holding our own government accountable.

    And Pollack doesn't have any desire to do that.  The US government was all over Talabani to prevent the vote against Nouri from taking place.  They pressured him with face-to-face visits, they pressured with phone pleas (including from Vice President Joe Biden).  We covered all of this in real time.  It's nearly two years later and Pollack won't cover it but will point out that Iran supposedly pressured Talabani (I don't doubt that they did but I don't know that they did -- I do from State Dept friends that the US government pressured Talabani -- the same way I know that the State Dept asked for net censorship and got it and we'll probably be writing about that here in a few days).

    The no-confidence vote was an attempt to oust Nouri.

    Why?

    Because the US government demanded Nouri get a second term as prime minister even those his State of Law lost the 2010 parliamentary elections to Ayad Allawi.  How did they do that?

    They brokered an extra-constitutional contract (The Erbil Agreement).  The US told the leaders of the political blocs that Nouri had refused to step down for 8 months following the 2010 election and he could go for 8 months more.  As Nouri refused to step down, the government was at a standstill (this is the political stalemate) and the US flattered the egos of the leaders telling them they were the bigger persons and that they could do what was right for Iraq and sign this legally binding contract and let the country move forward.
    Now that was playing to their egos and flattering them.  That didn't get to sign over a second term to Nouri. To get that, their had to be quid pro quo.  So, for example, to get the Kurds on board, it was written into the contract that Article 140 of the Constitution (which would resolve who gets Kirkuk -- the KRG or the central government out of Baghdad).

    All of these various promises were written into The Erbil Agreement and Nouri put his binding signature to it like every political bloc leader.  Nouri used the contract to get his second term.  He immediately then said it couldn't be implemented immediately.

    He stalled on delivering his end of the promises.  That was November 2010.  By the summer of 2011, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, the Kurds and Iraqiya were publicly calling for Nouri to implement the rest of the contact -- the part of it where he kept his promises to them.

    At this point, Nouri's spokesperson starts the contract wasn't legal.

    As Nouri continued to refuse to implement his end of the contract, pleas were made for the US government to help -- this contract was sold with the backing of the White House ("the full backing," Talabani was told). The pleas fell on deaf ears.  As the contract was still not implemented at the start of 2012, the Constitutional measure of a no-confidence vote was raised.  By April, Moqtada had signed onto the notion.  He repeatedly stated in public that Nouri could end the move towards a vote at any point by implementing The Erbil Agreement.

    They began gathering signatures and got enough.  The signatures then go to the President (Jalal) who forwards them onto the Parliament.

    Under intense pressure from the US government -- and, Pollack says, from the Iranian government -- Jalal invented these 'powers' where he was supposed to vet signatures.  He wasn't.  Nor was he supposed to say, "You did sign it?  Okay, would you sign it now?  Are you really, really sure?"  He trashed the signatures.

    Then he ran to Germany, pretending he had a serious medical problem.

    As we were noting last week, call it karma, call it the universe, whatever, it has a way of slapping back.

    Jalal had elective knee surgery.  But he lied that he had a life threatening medical problem and had to leave for Germany to be treated.  He lied because the fallout from his unconstitutional actions was huge.

    But Jalal's in Germany now, has been for about 16 months now.  And he really has had a life threatening problem.  So maybe he shouldn't have lied in May of 2012 because the universe made his lying true.


    Pollack, if he got honest, probably could do a good analysis.  The crap he offered last week wasn't a good analysis. It included this garbage:


    In addition, Muqtada al-Sadr’s bizarre and unexpected decision to disband his political party and withdraw from politics has further benefitted Maliki.  Many former Sadrists are expected to sign on to Maliki’s SoL coalition. 

    Is Pollack that stupid or he is that much of a whore?

    I have no idea but I read those lies and just want to scream.  We already covered this b.s. spin that Moqtada's followers were going to flock to Nouri.  It's xenophobic and pretends that Shi'ites will support any Shi'ite.  From the February 18th snapshot and we're using "--------" to note the beginning and the ending of the excerpt:

    ----------------------------------------------------
    Moqtada al-Sadr was strong armed into supporting Nouri -- strong armed by the Iranian government.  His followers never supported Nouri.

    More than that, they clearly rejected him.

    Does no one remember what happened in 2010?

    For one thing, immediately after the elections Moqtada threw it to his supporters 'who he should back?'

    Have we all forgotten that?

    From the April 7, 2010 snapshot:


    That interview took place Monday and while there is no coalition-sharing government/arrangement as yet from the March 7th elections, Friday and Saturday, another round of elections were held -- this to determine whom the Sadr bloc should back. Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc won 40 seats in the Parliament. Kadhim Ajrash and Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) report that Ibrahim al-Jaafari "won 24 percent of the 428,000 ballots cast in the internal referendum, ahead of al-Sadr's second cousin, Jafar Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, who obtained 23 percent, Sadrist spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi said today in the southern city of Najaf." Al Jazeera notes that Nouri al-Maliki received 10% of the vote and Ayad Allawi 9%. The US military invaded Iraq in March 2003 (and still hasn't left). Following the invasion, Ayad Allawi became Iraq's first prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari became the second and Nouri al-Maliki became the third. It's a little more complicated.
    Nouri wasn't wanted, Nouri wasn't chosen. Following the December 2005 elections, coalition building took place and the choice for prime minister was al-Jaafari. But the US government refused to allow him to continue as prime minister. The Bush administration was adamant that he would not continue and faulted him for, among other things, delays in the privatization of Iraq's oil. Though the US had no Parliamentary vote, they got their way and Nouri became the prime minister. al-Jaafari had won the vote with the backing of al-Sadr's bloc, just as he won the vote that took place this weekend. The vote can be seen as (a) a show of support for al-Jaafari whom Sadarists have long supported and (b) a message to the US government. 




    Stop lying that Nouri benefits from Moqtada dropping out.  He doesn't.


    The Sadr bloc can't stand Nouri -- that's been obvious in Parliament for the last four years.

    Moqtada's supporters can't stand Nouri either.  They remember his attacks on them in 2008 in Basra and Sadr City.  Moqtada is seen as supporting the poor, Nouri's done nothing for the poor.   BRussells Tribune carries an Al-Monitor article from last week by Amal Sakr which opens:


    The head of the Model Iraqi Women Organization, Athraa Hassani, provided Al-Monitor with this information, quoting World Bank officials who discussed these statistics during a meeting in Turkey with a number of members of civil society organizations seeking to find a solution to the poverty crisis in Iraq.
    Hassani questions the accuracy of the poverty rates announced by the Iraqi government, affirming that these rates are continuously increasing because of a rise in daily violence and spike in unemployment rates in addition to a weakening of the Iraqi economy.

    Based on the World Bank’s figures, this would mean that out of Iraq’s 34.7 million citizens, more than 9.5 million individuals are living below the poverty line.



    Nothing has happened since 2010 to increase Nouri's standing among Sadr supporters.  In fact, since 2010, the efforts Moqtada and Ayad Allawi have worked on have probably resulted in greater support for Allawi which has let Nouri fall even lower.  Probably.

    But what is known is that Sadr supporters did not support Nouri in 2010.  They didn't support when the March 2010 voting took place and they did not support a month later in the poll Moqtada carried out.


    ------------------------------------------------------

    There is nothing to indicate that Moqtada's followers would support Nouri -- there is ample evidence to demonstrate that they won't.

    Equally true, Moqtada's not retired.  We pointed that out weeks ago when he returned to Iraq.  Prior to his return, we pointed out that his 'retirement' didn't really mean anything.  It didn't mean he couldn't be prime minister, it didn't mean anything.  And that was before he came back to Iraq.  And repeatedly denounced Nouri (which, again, means his followers will not be supporting Nouri).

    Joel Wing (Musings On Iraq) offers an analysis which includes:

    In March and April the Sadr movement continued to criticize Prime Minister Maliki. From March 10 to 12 Sadrists held rallies in Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Basra, Kirkuk, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Babil, Wasit, and Diyala against the premier for his remarks belittling Moqtada al-Sadr. There were also reports of attacks upon Dawa offices, which were played down by both parties so that the election didn’t get sidetracked by violence. March 23, Sadr’s Ahrar List said it opposed Maliki serving a third term, stating that other parties and the Iraqi people wanted change. It went on to say that Maliki had failed to secure the country or to provide political stability. Continuing with that line on April 3 Sadr gave a speech calling Maliki a dictator who was leading the country towards one party rule by banning his opponents. Sadr was joined by parliamentarian Jawad Shahlya from Ahrar and independent lawmaker Saban al-Saadi, both of which had been barred from running in this year’s vote. Sadr went on to accuse the prime minister of attempting to marginalize Sunnis by launching military operations in Anbar. Sadr finished by calling on Maliki to step aside so someone else could try running the country. Finally, on April 5 Shahlya claimed Maliki was attempting to pass a law that would give him broad powers that would lead to the declaration of a state of emergency and the dissolution of the parliament.





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    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Corruption You Knew Was Coming

    BULLY BOY PRESS &   CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    THE 2012 SQUEAKER THAT WAS THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (51.1% FOR THE DAHLI BAMA, 47.2%  FOR MITT ROMNEY) TOOK PLACE WITH LOTS OF PATS TO BARRY O'S TUSHIE FROM THE MEDIA.

    NOW IT TURNS OUT "CORRUPTION YOU KNEW WAS COMING" HAD HELP FROM THE I.R.S.  THE INDEPENDENT OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ANNOUNCED TWO EMPLOYEES  HAVE VIOLATED THE LAW -- THE HATCH ACT -- AND AN I.R.S. CENTER IN DALLAS, TEXAS APPEARS TO HAVE.

    THE HATCH ACT BASICALLY PREVENTS ELECTIONEERING ON THE PART OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.  YET THE I.R.S. IN DALLAS APPEARS TO HAVE FEATURED EMPLOYEES AND EQUIPMENT PLASTERED WITH BARRY O. BUMPER STICKERS, T-SHIRTS, WHAT HAVE YOU.

    THE TWO EMPLOYEES?

    ONE WORKED A CALL CENTER AND CHANTED A RE-ELECTION CHANT FOR BARRY O TO ALL INCOMING CALLS.  NO PUNISHMENT HAS YET BEEN HANDED DOWN FOR THIS.

    THE OTHER EMPLOYEE?  SHE HAD BEEN WARNED ABOUT HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS AND THEN WAS CAUGHT IN A RECORDING WITH A CUSTOMER TRASHING REPUBLICANS AND PRAISING DEMOCRATS.  

    SHE GOT A 14 DAY SUSPENSION.

    LIKE THAT'S GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT.

    WHY WASN'T SHE FIRED?

    SHE VIOLATED FEDERAL LAW?

    WHY WASN'T SHE FIRED?

    OH, THAT'S RIGHT, THE CORRUPT WHITE HOUSE PREFERS FOR EVERYTHING:



    S. 2170, the "Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012," which modifies penalties under the Hatch Act to provide for a range of possible disciplinary actions in addition to removal for Federal employees; provides explicitly that various provisions of the Hatch Act that are applicable to State and local governments are in the same way applicable to the District of Columbia; and applies the prohibition against State and local employees being candidates for elective office only to employees whose salary is paid completely by Federal loans or grants;




    FROM THE TCI WIRE:




    US House Rep Jeff Miller:  I had hoped that during this hearing, we would be discussing the concrete changes VA had made -- changes that would show beyond a doubt that VA had placed the care our veterans receive first and that VA's commitment to holding any employee who did not completely embody a commitment to excellence through actions appropriate to the employee's failure accountable. Instead, today we are faced with even with more questions and ever mounting evidence that despite the myriad of patient safety incidents that have occurred at VA medical facilities in recent memory, the status quo is still firmly entrenched at VA.  On Monday -- shortly before this public hearing --  VA provided evidence that a total of twenty-three veterans have died due to delays in care at VA medical facilities.  Even with this latest disclosure as to where the deaths occurred, our Committee still don't know when they may have happened beyond VA's stated "most likely between 2010 and 2012."  These particular deaths resulted primarily from delays in gastrointestinal care.  Information on other preventable deaths due to consult delays remains unavailable.   Outside of the VA's consult review, this committee has reviewed at least eighteen preventable deaths that occurred because of mismanagement, improper infection control practices and a whole host -- a whole host --  of other maladies plaguing the VA health care system nationwide.  Yet, the department's stonewall has only grown higher and non-responsive. There is no excuse for these incidents to have ever occurred.  Congress has met every resource request that VA has made and I guarantee that if the department would have approached this committee at any time to tell us that help was needed to ensure that veterans received the care they required, every possible action would have been taken to ensure that VA could adequately care for our veterans.  This is the third full committee hearing that I have held on patient safety  and I am going to save our VA witnesses a little bit of time this morning by telling them what I don't want to hear.  I don't want to hear the rote repetition of  -- and I quote --  "the department is committed to providing the highest quality care, which our veterans have earned and that they deserve.  When incidents occur, we identify, mitigate, and prevent additional risks.  Prompt reviews prevent similar events in the future and hold those persons accountable."  Another thing I don’t want to hear is -- and, again, I quote from numerous VA statements, including a recent press statement --  "while any adverse incident for a veteran within our care is one too many," preventable deaths represent a small fraction of the veterans who seek care from VA every year.  What our veterans have truly "earned and deserve" is not more platitudes and, yes, one adverse incident is indeed one too many.  Look, we all recognize that no medical system is infallible no matter how high the quality standards might be.  But I think we all also recognize that the VA health care system is unique because it has a unique, special obligation not only to its patients -- the men and women who honorably serve our nation in uniform -- but also to  the hard-working taxpayers of the United States of America.

    Miller is the Committee Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  He was speaking at today's hearing on VA accountability.  And about mid-way into the hearing, it got very personal for one member of Congress who teared up during her round of questioning.

    US House Rep Jackie Walorski:  I sit here as a freshman lawmaker, so frustrated that there's a bureaucracy that's out of control and if this happened in the civilian world, where negligence was proven time and time again, we would be in the street with signs saying 'shut them down.'  It's an outrage, is what it is. This is an outrage.  And so, I just join the rest of my colleagues here.  This isn't a partisan issue.  This is an American disaster that we have sat here and witnessed -- for me, probably 16 months.  And if I could change your circumstance, I would. I would do it in a heartbeat.  [Sharp intake of breath.] 

    Barry Coates: Thank you.

    US House Rep Jackie Walorski:  My dad -- [Voice breaking] My dad . . . was a veteran . . . that died of colon cancer.  [Sniffling] This is so personal to me. And as a Committee, I can tell you right now what the VA's going to say when they sit here. They're going to say what the Chairman read in his opening remarks.  They're going to give us long dramatic answers and nothing is going to change unless we in this Congress -- on the House and the Senate side -- decide to stand up and take on one of the biggest issues in this nation -- which is this negligence toward taking care of the people who fight for freedom, fought for liberty and allow us to sit and serve in a place called the US Congress. 


    "Teared up" is not mocking Walorski.  And the ". . ." indicates lengthy pauses where she attempted to fight back tears.  I've cried at many of the VA hearings myself, I would not mock anyone for sincerely caring.  I also agree with her remarks about the frustration issue.  I've written of that myself, of how we've been going to these VA hearings since 2006 and nothing gets done.  The VA always has an excuse and the problems today are the same problems the Committees were exploring in 2006.

    I was glad for her honest reaction during her time -- it was good to hear a member of the Committee express their frustration.   US House Rep Michael Michaud is the Ranking Member of the Committee. He wasn't at the hearing but this is from Michaud's prepared written remarks, "All too often, members of this Committee hear the same issues raised again and again in reports by agencies such as the Government Accountability Office and the VA’s Office of Inspector General. Findings such as inadequate training, improper oversight, lack of guidance, no accountability, and failing to follow proper procedures already in place, are too common."  Michaud was not present so US House Rep Corrine Brown was acting Ranking Member.



    Ranking Member Corrine Brown:  [I]t is unfortunate that we must continually call these hearings to make sure that our nation’s veterans are receiving the care for which they have already paid dearly for on the battlefields and in service to protect the freedoms we all hold most dear.  I find it disturbing that just 2 days before this hearing, the VA has releases findings that its healthcare personnel are not fully trained in the importance of timely consults when treating a veteran. The dictionary defines a consult as the act of seeking information or advice from someone with expertise in a particular area. The system the VA set up to make these consults easier obviously broke down and it is possible that at least 5 veterans died in Florida because the right information was not shared with the right health professionals. I am concerned that in the 5 years after the colonoscopy debacle at the Miami VA, nothing has changed. To refresh your memory, in 2009, staff members at a number of VA facilities noticed improper reprocessing of endoscopes contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions. The VA properly ordered all facilities to Step-Up and get retrained on the procedures.  We want employees to feel free to report questionable issue and procedures without fear of retribution for trying to save lives.


    It was a rare moment of coherence for Brown.  And she actually stood with veterans . . . while reading from her prepared remarks.

    Then she wanted to insist, at the end of the first panel, that the VA is not broken: "I don't feel like it's broken, I feel like we need to do what we need to do to fix it."  Which would imply a break.

    Hey lady, you lady.  Corrine Brown quickly got lost in her Charlene impression as she declared she'd been to "those areas in Florida or Tampa" -- yes, Florida is in Tampa, don't expect logic from Corrine Brown -- "I've been too, or Jacksonville or Gainseville or Lake City.  I mean, I've been to California . . ."

    and anywhere I could run
    I took the hand of a preacher man 
    and we made love in the sun

    Poor, Corrine Brown, she's "been to paradise but I've never been to me."

    Well, for a few moments she wasn't the biggest joke on the Committee.  We're being real kind and not quoting Loony Corrine Brown telling a man with stage-four cancer that she's got a friend that the hospital released and told him he was as good as dead but, somehow, maybe one of her magic wigs, he's still alive today.  If the story's true, Brown really needs to learn to edit herself and grasp that cancer patients don't need lectures or your hopium.  Loony Corrine Brown.  We're going to need two straight jackets -- one for her wig.


    The first panel appearing before the Committee was veteran Barry Coates, The American Legion's Daniel Dellinger (with Edward Lilly).  The second panel was the VA's Dr. Thomas Lynch and Dr. Carolyn Clancy.   The third panel was the Government Accountability Office's Debra Draper, the VA's Assistant Inspector General Dr. John Daigh.


    Chair Miller explained, "Mr. Coates waited for almost a year and would have waited even longer had he not actively, persistently insisted on receiving the colonoscopy that he and his doctors knew he needed.  That same colonoscopy revealed that Mr. Coates had stage four colon cancer that had metastasized to his lungs and his liver.  Maybe that is why VA does not want to define accountability in terms of employees who have been fired."  Coates wondered what service members must be thinking as they hear of the VA's 'treatment' of veterans.  He suspected that they wondered if they and their families would suffer similarly when they went from service member to veteran?


    Barry Coates:  So something needs to be done and someone needs to be held accountable for it and I understand from other sources that no one's been held accountable for it. And I think someone should be held accountable for it whether it be a director of the [William Jennings Bryan] Dorn VA hospital, whether it be the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs or even the President of the United States. 

    Coates would declare that the VA "handed me a death sentence and ruined my quality of life."


    Chair Jeff Miller:  Mr. Coates, in the more or less year that it took for you to receive a colonoscopy through the Department of Veterans Affairs, did anybody at any time ever tell you that you could be authorized to receive the procedure that you needed done through a private provider in the community enabling you to get a diagnosis sooner 

    Barry Coates:  No, sir.  I never was advised during that time period.  During that time period, I seen, from January of 2011, when I first complained about it, till the day of my colonoscopy which was December the 9th of 2011, I've seen four different doctors that was in the VA system.  One was Rock Hill Clinic Outpatient Dr. Verma -- she was my outpatient clinic doctor I had in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  I moved to the location I live now.  I transferred.  It takes roughly anywhere from four to six months to get transferred to a different location for outpatient care which would have been the Florence clinic.  Upon that, I'd seen Dr. Verma on January, March and I think in May of that same year.  Each time, my problem got worse and she made notes in her comments because I got -- retrieved -- copies of those from the VA and she made note of those "may need colonoscopy" -- never set a consult up for it.  Upon getting transferred to the Florence Clinic in June of 2011, if I remember correctly, Dr. Neumann was my doctor there. And being a new patient, he did a full exam, looked over my information from Dr. Verma prior to treating me and he kind of got upset because she didn't have me on certain prescriptions because of taking pills for pain will cause certain problems and that I should have been on something already from that, from being on those for quite a few years. But he immediately set me up on a consult with a GI surgeon which I didn't never get to an appointment with her until probably either around the eighth month or maybe the ninth month if I remember correctly, Dr. Kim.  And upon seeing her, I seen her twice.  She delayed it another two or three months.  And I went back to her again, around the tenth month.  We didn't have a good communication ability between each other because she kind of made me mad from my first appointment because of things that she could have done then that would have resulted earlier and set a consult up for a colonoscopy if she would have done a couple of other procedures other than a physical exam.  I learned that she could have done a CT exam or a CT scan [. . .] exam which would have found the tumor which was only 5 inches in the area -- in the lower rectum area.  After that appointment with her on the 10th, she set me up for a consult for a colonoscopy to be done -- which I received the appointment in the mail two weeks later and it was actually scheduled for April of the following year -- we're talking six more months out -- and I'd already been in pain for eight months already and suffering because of this.  But I didn't let that stand in front of me, so I called the department that scheduled that appointment and they told me that that's the normal time -- usually around six months -- before you could get a colonoscopy.  There was nothing that she could have done to get it earlier, that only way you could get it done earlier was to request your physician to write the chief GI surgeon or either the gastrologist to get it done sooner.  Or you could call each day to see if anyone dropped off from the appointment schedule.  And I asked her could she write my name down and call me if someone dropped off?  She said she couldn't do that. She called me the next morning at 9:30 and asked me if I could come to an appointment around 2:30 that day which I did.  And that's when I was set up for the colonoscopy to be done at the Fort Jackson military hospital on December the 9th.  So from January to December the 9th was a whole year.

    We're going to stop here a second.  'She' can't do that and she did.  She really can't -- we'll go into that in a second.  But she said she couldn't and most likely said that because she didn't want to make a promise she couldn't keep.  She probably receives several calls a week (if not a day) like Coates' call.

    It's not possible.

    At the time Coates spoke to the woman, he was one person needing a procedure for which there was scheduling required.

    Along with Barry Coates, 'she' was facing others wanting to get in sooner.  Let's pretend for just one minute that this was just five people.  'She' doesn't have time to call them and let them know.

    I'm not being sarcastic.  'She' has other duties.

    But this can be set up automatically and should be.  The VA, for any scheduled procedure, should have an automated system where people waiting for a procedure and willing to take a spot that opens before their own are automatically called and hear, "Hello, veteran.  Tomorrow at 2:00 pm [or whatever time] we now have a cancellation for [whatever procedure].  We will be filling it on a first call first serve basis.  If you are interested in that time slot, please contact us."

    Now that alone's going to add a lot of work to 'she' (because it's going to be more than five people calling and she'll have to explain over and over to all but one that the slot is now filled) but it can be done and it can be automated.  Can be and should be. (And if you automated the outgoing call and also automated the first-come-first serve aspect, 'she' wouldn't have to do any additional calls on this.)

    Automation also means 'she' doesn't have 140 post-its on her desk that she has to keep track of regarding 'call me if there's a last minute opening.'

    The VA needs to automate the system immediately.  These are things that can and should be done and that the VA Secretary should have already started implementing.


    US House Rep Julia Brownley: [. . .] Have you had any formal apology from the VA?

    Barry Coates:  None. 

    "Before I walked up here, I apologized to Mr. Coates," the VA's Lynch wanted to insist.  Yes, yes, you did.  At a Congressional hearing, after Barry Coates had testified -- and testified that no one in the VA had apologized to him, after Coates was done testifying and right before Lynch was about to, he rushed to get in a quick and perfunctory -- we all saw it -- 'apology.'  And to make clear just how insincere it was, Lynch wanted to make his first statement to the Committee, before he started reading from his prepared remarks, "Before I walked up here, I apologized to Mr. Coates."  Give him a gold star -- for insincerity. Coates had stated he did not receive an institutional disclosure (Chair Miller had specifically asked) and to make the 'apology' even more insincere, Lynch wanted to immediately rush into "if he did not receive an institutional disclosure" -- it's not if.  It's testimony to the Committee.


    Chair Jeff Miller:  Your recent national consulate delayed review revealed two deaths in Arizona but Committee investigation shows that it appears that it could be much worse than you know.  Or, if you do know that it's worse than what the Committee was told?  So I want to tell you about some information that we have received here in the Committee as it relates to Phoenix.  I've been made aware of internal e-mails from within the VA that suggest that Phoenix VA may have been using an unofficial electronic waiting list where veterans were placed on that unofficial list until an appointment became available.  These lists were supposedly designed to give the appearance that veterans were only waiting for appointments for 24, 25 days or less and they potentially contained thousands of names. In cross-referencing the two lists, it appears there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care. Were you made aware of any of these unofficial lists in any part of your lookback? 

    Dr. Thomas Lynch: Mr. Chairman, I was not.  And Mr. Chairman, I would say that I have tried to work with your Committee, I have visited with your staff.  I was in Atlanta.  I was in Columbia.  I was in Augusta when you made those visits.  I have tried to share the information that we have gained as we are obtaining it.  I know it's not perfect information, sir, but I know that there's a desire on your part to know that information as we obtain it. I am more than willing to meet with your staffers and take their information so that I can use it, sir. If I don't have that information, I can't act on it.

    Chair Jeff Miller: So your people had two lists and they even kept it from your knowledge so my question is: Does that make you even internally question the validity of the information being utilized in your lookback or review?

    Dr. Thomas Lynch:  At the moment, sir, it does not.  But I am open. I am happy to meet with your staffers. I'm happy to look at the data so that we can understand it and see what the issues and the problems are.

    Chair Jeff Miller: I want to provide you with a request for a preservation order for all potential evidence at Phoenix.  And I would also ask the Inspector General for health care, Mr. Day, to look into this issue as soon as possible.  I will be putting a letter to you as quickly -- but I want to make this as an official request, on the record, and we are ready to assist by providing our input and any assistance that Dr. Day may need as he goes through.  It's been mentioned a couple of times in here about Dorn being awarded a little over a million dollars -- one-million-point-two or some number like that -- to help in the backlog of fee base colonoscopy.  The money was provided in September of 2011.  I have still not been able to get a solid answer where that money went.  So I hope you'll be able to provide some insight this afternoon.

    Dr. Thomas Lynch:  Mr. Chairman, I know that that information has passed through VHA.  I took the opportunity to listen to the Deputy Secretary's hearing the other day.  I know he has committed to increasing the communication with Congress and with this Committee and I support his efforts and will do what I can to get you the information that you need, sir.

    Chair Jeff Miller: So, again, another piece of information the Committee awaits.  I specifically asked for a complete accounting of those dollars when I was at Dorn earlier this year.  On the 22nd of February,  in a Health Committee hearing, Dr. [US House Rep Dan] Benishek asked Dr. [Robert] Petzel to provide a list of circumstances surrounding the removal of six SES employees over the last two years.  Dr. Petzel promised at that hearing that he would provide that information at the end of that week -- this is February 26th.  It's been six weeks since the Committee asked for the information.  We have not received it.  This information was referenced in a Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity that was chaired by Mr. Florez.  And, by the way, Mr. Florez is absent today because he is at the memorial for Fort Hood in Texas.  And the Committee staff has made numerous requests  I would also note that in your -- this statistic was also noted in your written statement for this hearing.  So why is VA keeping this information from the Committee when it was an entirely reasonable request?

    Dr. Thomas Lynch: Sir, I wish I had an answer for you that you would find acceptable.  I can only repeat that I support the Deputy Secretary's efforts to get you the information in a timely fashion.

    Chair Jeff Miller: You know, I have a bill right now, Dr. Lynch, that gives the Secretary additional flexibility to fire SES employees out of the 320,000 employees at the Dept of Veterans Affairs we're only talking about 450 individuals.  The Secretary is pushing back, saying that he has the tools and that he has, in fact, taken the necessary steps.  And we're talking about six people.  And we've been waiting months now to get that information.  And I just -- as the Chairman and the Subcommittee Chairmen and the Ranking Members just sit here wondering why in the world it takes so long?


    We could continue but we don't have the space.  Visit the House Veterans Affairs Committee's VA Accountability Watch for more examples.   On veterans issues, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's Nick McCormick has a column at Defense One where he advocates for the Suicide Prevention for American Veterans:

    The same day we placed American flags on the Mall, we welcomed the introduction of the Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. The bill was introduced by the first Iraq war veteran to serve in the Senate, John Walsh of Montana. In announcing the legislation and the need for new action, Sen. Walsh shared how this issue has personally affected him, including how one of the soldiers he commanded in the Montana National Guard died by suicide when the unit returned home from Iraq.
    Sen. Walsh’s bill would extend VA health care for some veterans from 5 to 15 years, review wrongful discharges, and ensure greater collaboration between VA and DoD to ensure a seamless transition of care for our men and women in uniform.

    Now, the House needs to introduce a similar bill and more senators from both parties need to support this bill. The biggest request veterans and the American public need to demand from Congress is this: for once, please do not let the stale election-year politics of old stand in the way of enacting necessary reforms that will save lives.   



    Yesterday's snapshot covered Secretary of State John Kerry's appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.  Wally reported on it in "Learn the Constitution, John Kerry,"  Ruth in "Rand Paul's security concerns re: Benghazi," Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BOTOX KERRY TALKS MONEY!" and Cedric's "John Kerry knows nothing about money" joint-post noted one aspect and Ava covered the hearing in "John Kerry gets prissy and rude before the Senate (Ava)." (Ava will be back at Trina's site tonight to report on today's House Veterans Affair Committee and tonight Ruth will continue to cover Senator Rand Paul's exchange with Kerry.)



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