Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More Lies About The Department of Veterans Affairs Firing Wrong-Doers But This Time It's President Obama Doing the Lying!

The "Old Colonel" has Blogged before about faux-Vets VA Secretary Bob McDonald and his Deputy Slone Gibson probably being the least effective leadership Duo in the VA’s storied history but now they got President Obama lying for them too.  They have done NOTHING to fix VA problems or fire “bad apples” in the department!  They are not only consummate liars but have gone native becoming part of the VA bureaucracy they were appointed to reform.  They are more interested in protecting the VA workforce than rooting out evil. That’s what you get when you select faux-Vets like Bob & Slone to lead the VA. Both bailed out of uniform the very second they could after the payback time for their free education - without ever even serving a second 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!  That's how they got their nicknames "Battlefield Bob" and "Slow-to-Combat Slone."
Both faux-Vets have demonstrated they possess the requisite detachment to continue the VA’s absolute indifference towards Vets. The problem is NOT money, it’s ineffective leadership at the top!  In addition to voting for the VA Reform Bill, if you want to really do something to support Vets, urge the President to FIRE Bob & Slone immediately!
 Fact Checker
‘Whole bunch’ of facts don’t support Obama’s claim that many VA bosses were fired over scandal
By Michelle Ye Hee Lee 12 October 2016

“I don’t want to, in any way, pretend that we are where we need to be but we have, in fact, fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these facilities.”
— President Obama, town hall aired on CNN, Sept. 28, 2016

The Obama administration seems set on misleading the public about the number of people held accountable for the wait-time scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Robert McDonald has twice received Four Pinocchio rulings for claims about how many people his agency fired or proposed disciplinary action against.

Obama was responding to a question from the widow of Army veteran Barry Coates, who advocated for changes at the VA before he died of colon cancer. Coates had waited about a year for a colonoscopy at a VA hospital — and by the time he got one, doctors found that he had Stage 4 cancer and was terminally ill. The family later sued the VA over a misdiagnosis of hemorrhoids and reached a settlement.

“We heard a lot of promises about reform and accountability but still, nothing’s changed. … When are we going to actually start holding these contracted doctors and the VA employees accountable?” she asked. Was Obama’s answer correct?

The Facts

The VA scandal unfolded in 2014 after whistleblowers alleged that employees at the Phoenix VA hospital manipulated patient wait-time data, leading to delays in access to health care and contributing to patient deaths. The VA Office of Inspector General later confirmed the allegations and found a systemic, years-long problem. Two years later, patients are still unable to get timely appointments with specialists at the Phoenix VA.

Congress passed the bipartisan Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 in response. The legislation, referred to as the “Choice Act,” allowed more veterans to seek private care outside the VA system, and authorized McDonald to expedite disciplinary actions for senior executive service employees.

It was notoriously difficult to fire senior executives at the VA — which terminated executives at one-fourth the firing rate for all federal agencies from 2008 to 2013 — and the goal was to allow the VA chief to replace bad actors quickly, especially ones connected to the wait-time scandal.

The White House referred us to VA spokeswoman Victoria Glynn, who said the South Carolina VA medical center has “made significant and sustained improvement in the gastrointestinal department” where Coates had tried to get a colonoscopy. There is more staffing, better data tracking and improved communication within the medical center, Glynn said. During the investigation of the department’s procedures, the chief of gastroenterology resigned, a chief of staff retired and the chief of nursing was reprimanded, Glynn said.

The VA has terminated more than 4,095 employees since July 29, 2014, when McDonald was confirmed, Glynn said. But that does not capture people in charge of the facilities or people fired because of the wait-time problems.

We asked specifically about senior executives fired under the Choice Act firing authority. The VA provided these actions, current as of Oct. 3:

Three employees removed.
• One 15-day suspension.
• One proposed removal that was reversed.
• Three employees retired or resigned with disciplinary process pending.
• Five employees resigned in lieu of an adverse action or before their disciplinary actions took place.
• Two employees were demoted, but their demotions were reversed by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

That means three senior executives, who fit Obama’s description of being “in charge” of the facilities, were fired after McDonald became secretary. Glynn said the Choice Act firing authority is not the only method for holding people accountable, so we asked how many people were removed with authority other than the Choice Act. We did not receive a response.

The department provides regular updates to the House and Senate VA committees about proposed and completed employee disciplinary actions taken against senior executives under the Choice Act, and “adverse employment actions initiated since June 3, 2014, on any basis related to patient scheduling, record manipulation, appointment delays, and/or patient deaths.”

As of Sept. 22, the data available at the time of the CNN town hall, the VA had proposed 12 senior executive service employees to be removed or demoted under the Choice Act firing authority. Five were successfully removed. Only one removal, of former Phoenix VA director Sharon Helman, was marked as “a case involving patient wait time.” The VA attempted to discipline Helman for wait-time issues, but she ultimately was fired over failing to report thousands of dollars worth of gifts from a lobbyist.

Among non-senior executives, six employees were successfully removed in relation to patient wait times: an associate director, a chief of health administration service, a chief of staff, a medical support assistant, a nursing supervisor and a chief of medical service. That means five of the six fired non-senior employees were in some type of leadership or supervising roles.

The Pinocchio Test

No matter how many times administration officials try to spin this, the facts just don’t support them. Twice, we awarded Four Pinocchios to McDonald for exaggerating the number of people fired over their actions relating to wait times. This time, Obama said “we have, in fact, fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these [VA] facilities.”

In response to the VA scandal, Congress gave the department’s chief authority to expedite disciplinary actions for senior executives (those “in charge”), especially relating to the wait-time problem. Since Obama signed the bill into law in August 2014, the VA proposed removals or demotions of 12 to 15 senior executives under the new authority. Three to five senior executives were successfully removed. Only one senior executive’s removal was marked as “a case involving patient wait time,” but her actual firing was because of an unrelated ethics violation over accepting gifts. Five non-senior employees in leadership roles at VA medical centers were successfully removed relating to patient wait times.

Although Obama said he didn’t want to “pretend that we are where we need to be,” he did just that. The VA removed one to six people “in charge” for patient wait-time problems in the past two years. That’s nowhere near “a whole bunch.”

Four Pinocchios

Monday, September 12, 2016

Remind Me Again, Who Has the "Deplorable" Supporters?

If it’s a contest about who has the most despicable supporter, I would like to nominate Seddique Mir Mateen, father of Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter who killed 49 people in at the Pulse nightclub in June.  He attended Hillary Clinton’s 9 August Florida rally and the Clinton folks placed him strategically directly behind her because his middle eastern appearance fit their narrative of inclusive immigration.  Given Seddique's “politics,” I suspect he would fit into Hillary’s “deplorable bucket” along with a majority of her other “supporters.”

Monday, August 1, 2016

Washington Post Finally Criticises Hillary Clinton for Lying About Top Secrets Disclosed in Her Emails on Her Home-brew Server!

In a rare Washington Post Fact Checker, the paper actually printed something critical of the paper’s political darling, Hillary Clinton.  Seems even Glenn Kessler couldn’t quite some of the blatant lies Hillary was attempting to spin on Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday on 31 July 16.

Here is what the WaPo said but you will notice they buried it on their website without posting it on their homepage although they did post a Trump Fact Checker on the homepage.  So much for WaPo fair and balanced reposting.

Here is what Glenn had to say about Hillary:

Clinton’s claim that the FBI director said her email answers were ‘truthful’

By Glenn Kessler, 31 July 2016

“Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.”

—Hillary Clinton, interview on “Fox News Sunday,” July 31, 2016

Clinton made these remarks after “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace played a video of her saying: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials. I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time. I had not sent classified material nor received anything marked classified.”

As Wallace put it, “After a long investigation, FBI Director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.”

After Clinton denied that, Wallace played another video of an exchange between Comey and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi:

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails either sent or received. Was that true?

 COMEY: That’s not true.

 GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” Was that true?

 COMEY: There was classified material emailed.

So what’s going on here?

The Facts

Clinton is cherry-picking statements by Comey to preserve her narrative about the unusual setup of a private email server. This allows her to skate past the more disturbing findings of the FBI investigation.

For instance, when Clinton asserts “my answers were truthful,” a campaign aide said she is referring to this statement by Comey to Congress: “We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”

But that’s not the whole story. When House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked whether Clinton had lied to the American public, Comey dodged: “That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI.”

At another point, Comey told Congress: “I really don’t want to get in the business of trying to parse and judge her public statements. And so I think I’ve tried to avoid doing that sitting here. … What matters to me is what did she say to the FBI. That’s obviously first and foremost for us.”

Comey was also asked whether Clinton broke the law: “In connection with her use of the email server? My judgment is that she did not,” Comey said.

As for retroactive classification of emails, Comey did say many emails were retroactively classified. But he also said that some emails were classified at the time — and Clinton and her aides should have been aware of that.

Here’s how Comey put it in his lengthy statement when he announced the completion of the investigation: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Comey said “seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters.”

He added: “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.” He noted that “even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

In her response to Wallace, Clinton at one point appeared to deflect responsibility to her aides: “I relied on and had every reason to rely on the judgments of the professionals with whom I worked. And so, in retrospect, maybe some people are saying, well, among those 300 people, they made the wrong call.”

Testifying before Congress, Comey said it was possible Clinton was not “technically sophisticated” enough to understand what the classified markings meant. But he said a government official should be attentive to such a marking.

The Pinocchio Test

As we have seen repeatedly in Clinton’s explanations of the email controversy, she relies on excessively technical and legalistic answers to explain her actions. While Comey did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, that is not the same as saying she told the truth to the American public — which was the point of Wallace’s question. Comey has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.

And although Comey did say many emails were retroactively classified, he also said that there were some emails that were already classified that should not have been sent on an unclassified, private server. That’s the uncomfortable truth that Clinton has trouble admitting.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Can't Teach an Old Dog Like Hillary Clinton New Tricks so She's Just Up to Her Old Ones!

Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, was the chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings in 1973-74 when 27-year-old Hillary Rodham was on the committee staff and he was the one who terminated her in August 74.  When ask about her work, Zeifman stated “she was a liar….  She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Not only should President Obama NOT apologize for the US Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan, he should vigorously defend President Truman’s decision and point out why in retrospect it was also in the best interest of the Japanese people.

When I was stationed in Japan I had several opportunities to travel to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have visited both the Peace Memorial Museum and the Peace Park several times.  Hence, I have seen the effects of the Atomic Bomb and it just reinforced my deeply held belief that President Truman made the correct decision when he had the Bombs dropped. 

Both my father and mother served overseas during the War as did several of my uncles and anyone born after the War who had a father, grandfather or great-grandfather who fought in World War II should thank God every single day that President Truman had the guts use the Atomic Bombs on Japan or there is a good chance you wouldn’t be alive to be reading this.  While terrible, those bombs probably saved almost a million American lives and, by the estimate of the Japanese Imperial General Staff, at least 20 millions Japanese lives.

Remember, US Army and Marine Corps forces had just secured Okinawa at a cost of over 20,000 dead (12,520 KIA) and over 55,000 wounded, by far the bloodiest battle of the Pacific, and a third of the island’s civilian population was killed with some estimates as high as 300,000 – and at the time the Japanese didn’t even consider Okinawa part of their “home islands.”  Factored in to President Truman’s decision was the Secretary of the Army’s estimate of allied causalities of a “home island” invasion of up to 4 million casualties including as many as 800,000 killed.  On 18 July 1945 President Truman had met with his Joint Chiefs and decided to order 766,000 troops to prepare to invade Kyūshū beginning 1 November of that year.  This prompted the War Department to order 500,000 Purple Heart medals, a stock pile still being used today.

The Japanese planned an all-out defense of Kyūshū with Four veteran divisions withdrawn from China to strengthen the forces already in Japan and 45 new divisions recently activated. In all, there were 2.3 million Japanese Army troops prepared to defend the home islands, backed by a civilian militia of 28 million men and women. Casualty predictions varied widely, but were extremely high. As I said before, even the Japanese Imperial General Staff estimated 20 million Japanese deaths.

Compare that 20 million to the best estimates of the total causalities from both bombs of about 130,000 killed the first day and as many as 250,000 total dead over time and you can see why it was the RIGHT decision.

And anyone still not convinced that President Truman was right to drop the bombs, I would invite you to listen to Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s Jewel Voice Radio Broadcast of Noon 15 August 1945 (Japan Standard Time) where he announced to the Japanese people the unconditional surrender of the Japan Thus ending World War II. The only reason for the surrender the Emperor stated in his speech was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Here is the text of the Jewel Voice Radio Broadcast of 15 August 1945 in its entirety:
After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.
We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.
To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors and which lies close to Our heart.
Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.
But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.
The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day.
The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude.
The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.
Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with you, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.
Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.
Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.
Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution – so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.
(Hirohito's signature and Privy Seal)
August 14, 1945

Sunday, February 28, 2016



Again this year I truly appreciate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members picking Spotlight as their best motion picture of the year, but in the ONLY category that really countsMONEY MADE – it appears the American and International audiences made a different decisions.  When it comes to picking movies, I always "trust the mob" so here is how the movie going and paying public ranked this year’s movies as of 28 February 2016.

Avenger: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
Star Wars
Jurassic World
Inside Out
Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation
The Hunger Games: Part 2

and this is who the Academy members nominated in the Best Picture category:

The Martian
The Revenant
Mad Max: Fury Road
Bridge of Spies
The Big Short  

Notice NONE of the eight nominated pictures is among the eight top money maker of the past year although the Top Earning nominee, The Martian did come in at #9 with a Worldwide take of $624.0 or about 44 percent of the take of the year’s top grossing movie: Avenger: Age of Ultron.  That means Avenger made nearly 23 times as much at the box office as the “best” picture - Spotlight.  I suspect the producers of Spotlight would gladly trade their Oscar for the extra $1.344 Billion Avenger earned.

Although it is obvious that Avenger: Age of Ultron with almost a $1.406 Billion (with a “B”) earned Worldwide and $459 Million earned Domestically was this year's Best Picture, the winner had to come from the nominees selected by their Hollywood elite peers but the Academy members didn’t even agree with “the Domestic mob” rankings as reflected by how they spent their money.  The top grossing nominee, The Martian, earned over ten times as much as the winning picture: Spotlight.  Does that make any sense?  How good can a movie be if only a very few people want to see it?

Again, this year it was no contest ….and the WINNER is, bank statement Please (drum roll), the hands down winner by a country mile is (sorry Spotlight):
Avenger: Age of Ultron!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Second Look at GEN David Petraeus' Transgressions May Result in Loss of a Star

Seems General David Petraeus’ past is finally catching up with him.  Way back in November 2012 I wrote an article in this Blog ( pointing out that GEN Petraeus committed his offenses while he was still on active duty and how his punishment was inconsistent with how the Army had handled a partially similar but significantly less serious case involving another highly decorated four star General.  Although the mishandling of classified materials was very serious and for which GEN Petraeus received his Federal conviction, he was also guilty of Article 134 of the UCMJ, Adultery, which was definitely detrimental to the good order and discipline of the Military.

In other Blog articles I have already pointed out the inconsistencies in how GEN Petraeus’ mishandling of classified material was handled with a Federal prosecution while the Democrat presumed nominee Hillary Clinton has been coddled and so far let slide for doing far worse so I won’t address that miscarriage of justice here but for light reading on the subject I would invite you to read my previous Blog article at:

Although rarely taken to Court Martial, violation of Article 134, Adultery, normally results in a significant punishment which is what happened to the another highly decorated Army 4-Star General that had an “inappropriate relationship” that some might loosely describe as an “extramarital affair.”  Although that General had been separated from his wife for over a year at the time, was in the process of finalizing a divorce, the lady was an unmarried civilian who he later married and he had made no attempt to hid the relationship, he was relieved of his command, demoted to 3-Star Lieutenant General and unceremoniously retired from the Army.

He was GEN Kevin P. Byrnes, at the time the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Commanding General, and on 8 Aug 2005, he was relieved of his command for his relationship with an unmarried civilian with no connection to either the military or even the federal government.  The General had been separated from his wife since May 2004 and coincidentally their divorce was finalized on the same day he was relieved of his command – 8 Aug 2005.

The General was a popular and highly regarded leader credited with ushering in systemic changes in Army doctrine and training.  A decorated Vietnam War veteran, he had commanded the 1st Cavalry Division and the multinational troops in Bosnia, and had been the Director of the Army Staff.   He was set to retire that November after 36 years of unblemished service beginning when he was 19 years old so his punishment was “light” and he was allowed to retire at the reduced rank of Lieutenant General or 3-Star rank.

Also, with his blatant act of indiscipline GEN Petraeus brought discredit on the entire Officer Corps and made enforcement of Military Law more difficult for all leaders  The first thing every young officer learns is he or she is “always on parade.” That is their conduct is always being watched and the higher one rises, the more this is true. By the time an officer reaches field grade (major), they are constantly under scrutiny and every transgression sets a new standard of conduct, higher or lower, for their subordinates.  Petraeus’ conduct was disgraceful and besmirch the honor of every Military officer so should not go unpunished.

While we’re at it, let’s not forget Broadwell. I don’t know what the final disposition of her case was but, as a reserve officer she was equally at fault.  Not only did she commit adultery but she also mishandled classified material.  I hope this “nut case” was not only cashiered out of the Army Reserve but criminally prosecuted.