Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It’s Time to Dump Veterans Affairs Secretary and Faux-Vet “Battlefield Bob” McDonald for Incompetency and he Needs to Take his Faux-Vet Deputy, “Slow to Combat” Slone Gibson, with Him!

Seems every time VA Secretary “Battlefield Bob” McDonald or his Deputy “Slow to Combat” Slone Gibson open their mouths, they earn Four (4) Pinocchios from the Washington Post Fact Checker and every day there is another article where they are caught doing nothing to fix the VA or fire “bad apples” in the department!  Seems they are not only consummate liars but have gone native becoming part of the VA bureaucracy they were appointed to reform.  The problem is NOT money, it’s ineffective leadership at the top!  It appears “Battlefield Bob” suffers from “Clinton Syndrome” (The psychological disorder rendering the sufferer incapable of being truthful). 

Almost two years on the job and with expedited disciplinary action authorized yet neither have done anything to fix the VA problems and are more interested in protecting the VA workforce than rooting out evil. That’s what you get when you select faux-Vets like "Battlefield Bob" and “Slow to Combat” Slone as VA Leaders. Both are West Pointers that bailed out of uniform the very second they could after the payback time for their free education - without ever even serving in a combat zone let alone hearing a shot fired in angerNeither even bothered to remain in the Reserves as doing so might someday subject them to danger! So much for "Duty - Honor - Country!" and “a Cadet does not lie, cheat nor steal!” Both faux-Vets have demonstrated they possess the requisite detachment to continue the VA’s absolute indifference towards Vets.

It’s time for both of them to Go!  At least GEN Eric Shinseki, “Battlefield Bob’s” predecessor who was fired, was at least a well decorated combat Vet who was seriously wounded in action so had something in common with us real Vets.  The only thing these two clowns now there have demonstrated was their ability to avoid combat under any circumstances.

So what keeps earning “Battlefield Bob” the coveted Four Pinocchios, he keeps lying about how many people he's fired....

Remember on NBC Meet the Press back on 15 Feb 2015, “Battlefield Bob” uttered this lie:  “Nine hundred people have been fired since I became secretary. We’ve got 60 people that we fired who have manipulated wait times.” 

Thankfully, within days the WaPo Fact Checker blew the whistle on “Battlefield Bob” and awarded him the prestigious 4 Pinocchios for wildly inflating his “firing” statistics.  Then in the 6 Aug 2015 article Fact Checking a statement by Jeb Bush that Only Two people had been fired for anything related to the scandal, the Fact Checker found he was absolutely correct when he made the statement although as of 6 Aug that number had risen to THREE!

Back then I posted on this Blog my take on this incident and the actual Washington Post Fact Checker article (if you’re interested) at: 

Now doubling down on his previous lie, “Battlefield Bob” told this whopper on 6 November 2015 during his speech at the National Press Club:  “We have proposed disciplinary action against 300 individuals for manipulating scheduling.” 

During this speech he even had the audacity to bemoan the lack of fact-checking of his assertions by saying: “I just wish that there would be more fact-checking on some of the numbers that are used, because there are a lot of myths out there.”  Obviously, the biggest myth turns out to be “Battlefield Bob” is capable of telling the truth, even under oath!  Maybe “Battlefield Bob” can file for VA benefits as he does suffer from “Clinton Syndrome."

Unfortunately, the Washington Post Fact Checker took “Battlefield Bob” up on his challenge and guess what, he again got his figures on wait-time manipulation disciplinary actions WRONG!

Seems the VA provides weekly updates to the House and Senate veterans affairs committees about proposed and completed employee disciplinary actions taken since June 3, 2014, “on any basis related to patient scheduling, record manipulation, appointment delays, and/or patient deaths."

Seems “Battlefield Bob” says he was citing numbers in the VA’s 29 Oct 2015 which listed 306 disciplinary actions but that number contained 20 probationary employees as well as cooks, food service workers, voucher examiners and transportation supervisors, none of whom had anything to do with what was required to be reported!  Hence, the real number was 27 employees (one was a senior executive) had disciplinary actions proposed against them for patient wait-time manipulation and only three were successfully fired. The Senior Executive which was marked as successfully removed was actually fired for accepting improper gifts and not for “wait-time manipulation.” 

This is the second time this year that the Washington Post Fact Checker has called “Battlefield Bob” out for inaccurately cited the disciplinary actions taken against VA employees for manipulating wait-time data and finding “a disturbing discrepancy” between the figure “Battlefield Bob” cited during the speech and the figure his agency is reporting to Congress.

It’s time for Faux-Vets “Battlefield Bob” McDonald and his Deputy “Slow to Combat” Slone Gibson to “hit the bricks” and hopefully President Obama can find a real Vet who actually cares about his fellow combat Vets to replace him and Fix the VA! 

If you want to see what the Washington Post Fact Checker actually said, here is her entire article.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hillary Clinton Edges Out Bernie Sanders for the Most Absurd Comment about Prisons and the ‘War on Drugs’ While Carly Fiorina and President Obama Lag Far Behind --According to the Washington Post Fact Checker

Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post Fact Checker, checked out the statements from four prominent politicians about drug user incarcerations and ranked them from most outlandish to least egregious characterizing Hillary Clinton’s as Absurd (4 Pinocchios), Bernie Sanders’ as Confused (3 Pinocchios), Carly Fiorina’s as Correct for Federal Prisons (2 Pinocchios), and President Obama’s as Correct for shear numbers but not for proportion (1 Pinocchios).

Here is what each said and how the Fact Checker graded them. 

— Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, remarks at debate, Oct. 13 

“We have a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana.”

The Fact Checker found Hillary’s statement “simply laughable” so her campaign did not even bother to offer a defense.  Hence, Clinton earned Four Pinocchios for her “absurd” suggestion that prisons are overflowing with marijuana convicts. 

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), remarks at Democratic debate, Oct. 1 

“We are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.”


Sanders confuses “arrests” with being sent to jail as most of the arrests do NOT lead to prison.  In the entire federal system just 187 inmates were sentenced for simple drug possession — of which only 75 were jailed for marijuana possession. Almost all drug offenders were convicted of drug trafficking.  Hence, Sanders earned Three Pinocchios for confusing arrests with jail sentences and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s discussion on the subject is described by the Fact Checker as “almost a parody of the issue.” 

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, remarks at the GOP debate, Sept. 16

“Two-thirds of the people in our prisons are there for nonviolent offenses, mostly drug-related.”

Fiorina is on target for federal prisons as more than half of all federal prison inmates were convicted of drug trafficking, often for dealing cocaine, and adding in other nonviolent offenses, such as property and immigration, you get to two-thirds of the federally sentenced offenders.

Fiorina at least can point to data backing up the general thrust of her statement but she still earned Two Pinocchios because her statement, while correct for federal prisons, was off when state prisons are added in. 

      President Obama, remarks at the NAACP Conference, July 14, 2015 

“Over the last few decades, we’ve also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before. And that is the real reason our prison population is so high.”

The problem is the president’s phrase “the real reason.” It makes a difference whether just federal prisoners or state and federal prisoners are counted (he appears to be talking about both) and he makes the connection between drug offenders and rising prison populations too stark reaching back several decades.  His accretion here “is clearly wrong” as the proportion of Federal and State prison inmates who were drug law violators has been pretty nearly flat at 20 percent since 1990 as the number of people in prison on non-drug offenses has risen just as fast as drug law violators so the proportion has held constant.

About 52 percent of the growth in prison populations between 1980 and 2009 came from locking up violent offenders, compared to just 21 percent for drug offenders so locking up violent offenders explains 60 percent of the growth, to just 14 percent for drug offenders.  Any growth has come from admitting more people to prison, not from longer sentences as the president asserted and time served has barely changed in federal prisons, according to Justice Department data.

Obama can point to longer prison terms for more drug offenders, at least in terms of raw numbers, but runs into trouble when he says that’s the “real” reason for the size of the prison population. He earns One Pinocchio.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s Whopper that illegal immigrants pay more in taxes than some corporations Finally Wins Her That Elusive Fourth Pinocchio from the Washington Post Fact Checker

According to Glenn Kessler, the WaPo Fact Checker, when former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton made this remark at a roundtable in North Las Vegas, 5 May 2015, she was once again lying through her teeth: 

“In New York, which I know a little bit about because I represented it for eight years and I live there now, our undocumented workers in New York pay more in taxes than some of the biggest corporations in New York.”

Then again, that is nothing new for the woman whom Liberal columnist William Safire famously labeled a “Congenital Liar” in his now oft quoted column in the ultra-Liberal New York Times.

But, don’t take my word for it, see below to read exactly what Kessler had to say about Hillary’s Bogus claim about how much illegal aliens pay in New York taxes.

After denying her that elusive Fourth Pinocchio for many of her other outlandish statements, here Glenn did the right thing and awarded it.  Over the past year Kessler has fact checked several of Hillary’s statements, or rather misstatements yet he usually only “awards” or “rewards” her with that Three Pinocchios but this time he rightly crowned her “Liar in Chief!”

Saturday, October 17, 2015

If Hillary Clinton Is So “Right” About Gun Control, Why Does She Have to Lie About the Statistics to Make Her Case? Hillary’s Latest Lie Just Earned Her 3 Pinocchios from the Washington Post Fact Checker

According to Glenn Kessler, the WaPo Fact Checker, when former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton made this remark on gun violence at Manchester Community College, NH, on 5 Oct 2015:  “Forty percent of guns are sold at gun shows, online sales,” she was again lying through her teeth. 

Then again, that is nothing new for the woman whom Liberal columnist William Safire famously labeled a “Congenital Liar” in his now oft quoted column in the ultra-Liberal New York Times.

But don’t take my word for it, see below to read exactly what Kessler had to say about Hillary’s Bogus 40% claim and how he took it apart word by word.

Kessler’s bottom line was:  “By any reasonable measure, Clinton’s claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows or over the Internet — and thus evade background checks through a loophole — does not stand up to scrutiny.

What I don’t understand is how come Glenn keeps cheating Hillary out of that coveted Fourth Pinocchio.  Over the past year Kessler has fact checked several of Hillary’s statements, or rather misstatements, yet he never seems to “award” or “reward” her with that Fourth one that could again crown her “Liar in Chief!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Retiring Army Chief of Staff GEN Ray Odierno Suggests Embedding US Troops in Iraqi Combat Formations - Are Some Vietnam War Lessons Learned Applicable to the Present Iraq Situation?

With over four years serving at the highest levels of command in Iraq, it is arguable that GEN Odierno is the World's most savvy expert alive on the subject of fighting in Iraq so it isn't surprising that he spent much of his 12 August final Pentagon press conference reflecting on Iraq.

“I believe that if we find in the next several months we’re not making the progress … we should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers with them, see if that would make a difference,” GEN Odierno said. “That doesn’t mean they would be fighting, but maybe embedding them and moving with them...."  This not something new as in the past GEN Odierno has said that embedding US troops, who have been training and advising the Iraqis since last year, “probably would make them more effective.”

GEN Odierno retired from the Army two days later on 14 August after serving four years as the Army Chief of Staff.  With almost 40 years of service including well over four years in Iraq, more than any other Military General Officer, he might know what he's talking about.  In addition to commanding all forces in Iraq as the Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq (Sep 08 - Sep 10); he had previously served in Iraq as Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq (Dec 06 - Feb 08); Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mar 03 - Apr 04); and during Desert Storm he had been the Executive Officer, Division Artillery, 3rd Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division (Dec 90 - Jun 91).  Hence, he might be on to something when he suggests embedding US Troops in Iraqi combat formations.  This would not be a new concept in that during the Vietnam War we embedded US Advisor in all Republic of Viet Nam (RVN) combat formations and it proved very effective.  Although the US might have technically lost the War, it is indisputable that neither any US Forces nor any of our RVN allies with embedded Advisors were ever defeated on the battlefield.

Now this is a subject I do have a little first hand knowledge about.  As a new Second Lieutenant (2LT) out of OCS but with some prior enlisted service, I was sent to Vietnam and, because I was fortunate enough (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) to have passed the Vietnamese Language Test, I was assigned as an Advisor embedded in an Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) Infantry unit.  During my extended tour I came to admire the fighting spirit and bravery of the ARVN Soldier but their leadership was unimpressive.  Many of the officers lacked initiative which might have been a result of the consequences of failure.  You couldn't fail if you didn't act but what was worse than failing was for their Advisors to go up the "advisory chain" complaining about their inaction to their superiors.  During my extended tour I went from green 2LT to combat seasoned First Lieutenant (1LT) to experienced Captain (CPT) where I was then the Senior US Soldier embedded in the unit.

I can't speak for all US Advisors but I suspect my experience was representative of what many of us found.  Although we did not command the ARVN units, once we had proven our competence, when we spoke our ARVN counterparts accepted our "advice" like they had "heard it from a burning bush."  Embedded US Troops provided the leadership that the ARVN units needed to become an effective fighting force.  Although I've been to Afghanistan, I've never served in Iraq so I don't know if US Advisors would have the same effect on Iraqi combat formations but it would certainly worth a try.  I do know that the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was a battle hardened force with 40+ years of experience fighting on their home turf yet they never won a single battle against a RVN Unit with embedded advisors.  It wasn't until US Combat Forces which included Advisors were withdrawing in 1971-73 that ARVN units started losing engagements.

Operation Lam Son 719, a limited-objective offensive campaign conducted February - March 1971 in the southeastern portion of the Laos by RVN Forces was the first major operation conducted without embedded US Advisors and the results were devastating.  Although both the US and RVN Presidents "spun" the operation as a roaring success and proof "Vietnamization" was working, it had really exposed grave deficiencies in the South Vietnamese military's planning, organization, leadership, motivation, and operational expertise -- expertise that had previously been provided by US Advisors.

So why were we accepted by the ARVN commanders?  Because when we got into some "bad shit," the American Advisor or "cố vấn  Mỹ" could call in a very accurate US Artillery fire mission and adjust fire, could get US Attack Helicopter gun ships on station and on occasions could even get fast movers (Air Force Close Air Support) to wreck havoc on the enemy. We could even get US "Dustoff" Medivac helicopters to come in to hot LZs, something ARVN pilots were reluctant to do.  I found that over time the last thing my counterpart wanted was for anything to happen to me -- which was very comforting.  Although initially accepted for the support we could provide, any Advisor "worth his salt" soon found himself "virtually" in command of the unit.

Embedding US Advisors in Iraqi Combat Units is not without risks and Advisors do have to participate in ground combat by virtue of where they must be physically located in order to be effective and to be credible, an Advisor has to share in the risks which means leading from the front.  Hence, US Advisors are “boots on the ground,” especially Advisors embedded at the company and battalion levels.  You can’t call in or adjust artillery from the rear, you can’t coordinate air support from the rear and you certainly can’t laze a target for a Fast Mover from the rear.  These are task that require the advisor to SEE the target and to see the target you must be out front where the danger is.

Like I said in the beginning, I don’t know if GEN Odierno’s suggestion of embedding US Troops in Iraqi units will work but what I DO know is that what we’re doing now is NOT working so we need a change of tactics ASAP before it’s too late. I also know that embedding Advisors in RVN units worked against one of the most experienced, dedicated and battle hardened enemies we’ve ever faced.  And finally, I know that If conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate, there will come a time when the only viable option remaining to salvage the situation will be a major deployment of US Ground Forces, probably in the range of 75,000 to 100,000 troops, which is something body wants to see happen.  A modest deployment of 7500 to 10,000 Advisors now is certainly worth the gamble.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Senator (D-NV) Harry Reid Becomes a Dual Award Winner Receiving Both the PolitiFact “Pants on Fire” Award and the Coveted Washington Post “Four Pinocchios” for His Bogus Lie That 30 Percent of US Women Rely on Planned Parenthood for Health Care

Although Harry has told some outlandish tall tales on the floor of the Senate where he is protected by law, even if the statements are clearly libelous or even slanderous, but in a 29 July 2015 floor speech he made this statement that even Ripley wouldn’t have believed.

“The Republican bill pretends to be for women’s health, but it would prohibit federal funds to go to an organization that is the health care backbone for American women during their lives. In fact, it is the only health care that a significant number of women get. For about 30 percent of women, that’s their health care.” 

Thankfully, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, a Washington Fact Checker was “on the job” and wrote the below column on 5 August 2015, calling him out on it and pointing out where he again couldn’t or wouldn’t get his “facts” straight.  We all remember when Harry took to the Senate floor to slander Mitt Romney with his totally false Four Pinocchio claim that Romney had not paid his taxes in 10 years.  It seems Harry has no shame and tells whatever lie he wishes, as long as he is protected by saying it from his protected perch on the Senate Floor.  Of course you notice he never utters this nonsense from outside the Senate where he would be subject to a law suite.

The anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress has recently released five covert videos of Planned Parenthood officials describing in graphic detail how they alter their abortion procedures so as to preserve fetal body parts including “whole cadavers” in order to maximize their sales value.  As it is illegal to alter abortion procedures or sell fetal tissues for profit, there is an effort by conservatives in Congress to cutoff Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.  It was in defense of Planned Parenthood funding that Harry made his “Pants on Fire” and “Four Pinocchios” winning false claim that “eliminating their funding would jeopardize health care for 30 percent of women.”

It is a fact that in 2013 Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million in Government funds, mostly from Medicaid reimbursements and grants.  According to the 2013 Census there were 161 million US women with 120.3 million over 20 years old and another 10.3 million 15-to-19 in age.  If 30 percent of them relied on Planned Parenthood for their health care, that would be 36 to 39 million women but according to Planned Parenthood only 2.7 million women and men visit its health centers every year. Hence, even Planned Parenthood says Reid’s statement is bogus.

Planned Parenthood officials do claim that “one in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.” Still using the 2013 Census data, that would be 26 million US women over 15 years old but that “one in five” statistic is highly questionable as it was based on a Planned Parenthood internal poll of dubious methodology.  Opt-in Internet surveys, which do not accurately estimate population values, do not meet anybody’s polling methodology standards.  Also, that was “one in five” at least once over a LIFETIME!

In 2011, there were about 4.6 million women who received Federally funded health care (including contraceptive care, screening for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer screening) but if even 30 percent of all those women went to Planned Parenthood centers, the number would still be a fraction of Reid’s bogus figure. 

The Washington Post was correct in calling out Reid for his bogus claim that 30 percent of women rely on Planned Parenthood for their health care and so he was a well deserving recipient of  the PolitiFact “”Pants on Fire” Award as well as the Washington Post’s coveted Four Pinocchios.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Does Draft Dodging Trump Trump's Presidential Bid with Veterans - It Does with This Vet!

Unfortunately, much of what the Donald says I like but also unfortunately he has completely disqualified himself as Commander-in-Chief material by his disgraceful McCain remarks and the disrespect he has shown for all Vets. As if his reprehensible slur against McCain "Not being a Hero" was not bad enough, he further insulted real Vets when he equated his attending a “Mickey Mouse” military boarding school to being in the real service.  In his biography and in a recent interview with The New York Times, Trump said that his five years at the New York Military Academy provided him with "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military."

As a Military Brat, the first time I moved off a base was when I got Drafted into the Army and I can tell you I learned more about what it meant to be a Soldier in the first 24 hours I was IN the service than I did in the 19 years I was AROUND the service!  For "The Donald" to make such a ridiculous statement just demonstrates how little he really knows about the US Military or what it means to actually be a Soldier rather than simply “playing soldier.”

I don’t speak for all Vets but I’m pretty well connected with the Military and most everyone I know feel the same as I do.  We feel that if “The Donald” had a little more self respect, he would just come clean about his Draft Dodging and confess he was just a coward and did everything short of maiming himself (which he didn’t have the guts to do) to avoid military service and danger rather than spinning yarns Ripley wouldn’t believe about “bone spurs but can’t remember where?”  Hence, using “Guts” to describe Trump would be a gross misnomer.  Bill Clinton is still excoriated as a Draft Dodger, isn’t “The Donald” every bit as worthy of the title?

Active military service was an absolute certainty for any male born between 1941 and 1950 unless he was morally, mentally or medically unfit, or took some overt action to "dodge" the draft.  THAT IS A FACT.  Draft dodging does not necessarily mean “illegal” as the 1968 Webster’s Dictionary defined a “Draft Dodger” simply as “a person who avoids military service.”  Applying for student or occupational deferments, leaving the country, hiring a sympathetic doctor to “discover” a disqualifying ailment or signing up for ROTC without any intentions of participating were all things people did, legally and illegally, to avoid performing their duty.  One thing is certain, when someone like Trump Dodged the Draft, someone less eligible (and usually less educated or affluent) had to take his place.

As someone actually drafted from Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, PA and after graduating from OCS (still carrying a US serial number) went to Vietnam as a 2nd Lieutenant not yet old enough to drink and extending to come home an older and wiser Captain with a CIB, I know a little about how the draft worked.  When I took my physical the Doctor actually pulled my left knee out of the socket from where it had been dislocated playing football.  Although a disqualifying item, when I got to the end of the physical the clerk stamped “waiver” on my physical form and I was inducted that evening.  Hence, I learned that if you didn’t have a disqualifying feature a doctor could see with his own eyes like missing an arm or a leg, you were going to pass the physical.  The only way to “beat it” was to fight induction by hiring a sympathetic doctor to “discover” a disqualifying ailment and then a lawyer – which I suspect is what The Donald did.

I suspect Shakespeare’s St. Crispin's Day Speech delivered by Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt (Act IV Scene iii) best describes “The Donald’s” problem:

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's Day.

If “The Donald” was not fit to serve when his Country needed him during Vietnam, what makes him fit to serve now?  I wonder if he still "holds his manhood cheap?"

To be fair, Vietnam-era Draft Dodging was a bi-partisan character flaw that afflicts politicians at a much higher rate than the rest of the general population and included most of the present Members of Congress that come from that 1941-1950 cohort, the prime draft age during the war.  There are still 27 Senators from that age cohort of which only three (3) saw active military duty and only one sports a Vietnam Service Ribbon.  In the House there are still 99 from that cohort with ten (10) having seen active duty but only four (4) Vietnam Vets.  Then there’s Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) who claimed to be a Vietnam Vet but was really a reservist whose only active duty was a short stint for training.  In his defense, he had seen a HBO rerun of the Oliver Stone movie Platoon.  Now contrast that to Gov Perry’s service.  Commissioned out of Texas A&M ROTC in 1972, he completed pilot training and flew C-130s all over the World until leaving the Air Force after 5 years in 1977as a Captain.

To be completely fair, both Dick Cheney and Joe Biden also did everything short of maiming themselves (neither had the guts) to dodge the draft during Vietnam.  By comparison, those cowards make "W" look like a war hero! (Bush flying antique Air National Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during my CIB-earning tours in Vietnam!).  As long as we’re naming Vietnam era Draft Dodgers, let’s not forget Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney. 

If your Rep or Senator is from the Vietnam generation and you’re curious what he did during that War, check out my Blog article at: