Category Archives: Phonies and Assclowns

The Fix is In on “Dishonest John” Walsh

vote for felonsAccording to the Billings, Montana, Gazettepolitical appointees at the Department of Defense have taken control of the investigation in the War College paper of appointed Senator John Walsh. The bulk of the thesis, including all of its conclusions, previously appeared in other publications under other bylines; not to put too fine a point on it, “Dishonest John” Walsh’s submission, for which he was granted a Master of Science in Strategic Studies degree, was fundamentally not his work. But Dishonest John is an important political ally for the Administration and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. So Hagel has stepped in and seized control of the investigation, apparently intending to prevent any consequences for Dishonest John. From here on out, the “investigation” will be stage-managed by DOD political appointees.

A U.S. Army War College official says the Department of Defense has taken the unusual step of overseeing a plagiarism investigation against Sen. John Walsh of Montana. The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, college began the investigation after a New York Times story showed Walsh used others’ work without attribution in a 2007 research paper required for a master’s degree.

Knowing that this has been taken away from biased, shifty military officers and given to selfless public servants whose mortgage payments and kids’ tuitions depend on staying in the good graces of the politician under investigation and his cronies certainly ought to boost your confidence in the integrity of the investigation. The War College has, in recent years, revoked six degrees for plagiarism. The DOD never stepped in to protect a plagiarist before. Gee, what’s different about Dishonest John? Hat tip, the Chronicle of Higher Education (of all things).

Breaking: Scruff Face Wins

When he was clean-shaven, and had a career (>30 years ago)

When he was clean-shaven, and had a career (30 years ago).

We didn’t see this coming…

Although verdicts in such cases are customarily unanimous, both sides agreed to a split verdict. The verdict of 8 to 2 was reached after more than a week of deliberations. Jurors awarded Mr. Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for what was termed the author’s unjust enrichment.

via Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Case –

We hope he enjoys the money.

Does he think his reputation was worth it? Because that’s taken a bigger Streisand Effect hit from the suit than it did from the story in American Sniper — and both of those clobberin’s are bigger than the belt he took (or didn’t) to the jaw.

TSA Mongs Reach Deeper in Your Pocket

tsa-security-theaterFor the billions wasted on the Transportation Security Theater Agency (the direct cost of the failed agency is approaching $10B a year), and the complete lack of performance of the agency (the number of terrorists caught and/or terror plots thwarted by TSA is holding at 0), the agency is doing what government agencies do: grabbing more money. Directly from travelers.

A security fee that the government charges airline passengers more than doubled on Monday, from $2.50 to $5.60.

Lawmakers last year approved an increase in the fee, which is tacked onto the cost of airplane tickets, as part of a budget agreement.

Additionally, passengers will be charged twice if they have a layover for a connecting flight….

“Due to new @TSA fee hike, travelers will pay a billion dollars more per year in added taxes/fees thanks to U.S. [government],” Airlines for American President Nick Calio tweeted recently.

via TSA fee on plane tickets more than doubles | TheHill.

There is no limit to the greed of these payroll patriots. And there’s no accountability for their failures. The director who built a multimillion-dollar Xanadu office? No consequences. The hundreds, if not thousands, of TSA agents who steal from travelers? No consequences (in the worst case, they are quietly fired with a neutral reference). The abuses of Behavioral Detection Officer quackery? No consequences. Mismanagement at every level? No consequences.

No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Bums do Artist’s Homework for him… how many are Fake Vets?

Willie Baronet is…

…aware he could be getting scammed or funding bad habits.


18th Airborne Ranger

Gee, ya think? This sign claims membership in a unit that doesn’t exist “18th Airborne Rangers.” Maybe in Airsoft World? There is an “18th Airborne Corps” but it’s a congeries of ash-and-trash support elements at Fort Bragg, and if anybody really was injured like that (“broke neck”) in the service, he would have copious VA benefits. (not that those are without problems, but a 100% service disabled vet need not end up in the streets, ever. Therefore, most of the “vet” bums are fakers, mentally ill, serious substance abusers or some combination of these things).

But Willie is the very picture of a modern major artist. He won’t pass no judgment on nobody, no way, nohow.

“I don’t think it’s up to me to pass judgment on somebody for how they make their living and what they do with the money they get,” Baronet said. “It’s fine if people decide that they don’t want to give money. It’s fine if I don’t want to give money. But if I do give money, I don’t give it with strings attached.”

via Artist’s massive homeless sign collection ‘makes some people uncomfortable’ – Yahoo News.

Of course, he’s an  “artist” without a picture to his name, just a collection of bums’ signs; he’s riding high on an MFA, which makes one wonder why anyone expects anything but crap from that kind of credentialed, establishment artist. But this guy does take it a step further, by getting actual bums to make his crap for him. Jackson Pollock, wherever he is, must be dripping with envy.

Willie Baronet does claims an unusual, personal connection to the bums:

They’re me, I’m them, and this is all really just about human beings connecting and resisting putting somebody in a box because of their circumstances.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together — er. Ahem. No singing in this blog.

Well, since they’re generally bat guano crazy, and Willie is a guy whose career is buying bogus begging billboards from beggars, maybe they really are the same thing.


Exit question: how close did the bum who made this sign ever get to that Asian country?

It’s never just One Thing with Stolen Valor turds

gregory schaffer phony SEALThis New Jersey brownstain was outed as a phony SEAL back in the 2011, but the FBI dismissed the idea of charging or prosecuting him then. Stolen valor, they sniffed, is a victimless crime. Except as we, and everybody else in the community knows, the character deficiencies that lead to some nerdy perv playing Action Guy Dress Up like this, are invariably comorbid with other character flaws and other criminal behavior.

Since Stolen Valor is, pace the FBI, “a victimless crime,” maybe the Bureau should wake up to the fact that it is the veritable lodestone pointing to other crimes, which always have real, human, victims.

In the case of scrawny self-proclaimed “SEAL officer” Gregory Schaffer, the victims were female and underage. In addition to multiple rapes, he also has been indicted for making kiddie porn with some of his victims. Short-Eyes Schaffer told 15- and 16-year-old girls that the employment contracts they’d signed with him obligated them to sexual servitude — and swore them to lifelong secrecy about it. The New York Post, after Monday’s testimony:

Gregory Schaffer, 35, offered the now-18-year-old woman a lingerie shop job in March 2012 and had her sign a flurry of documents.

Schaffer then told the victim that she’d just signed a contract that compelled her to perform a variety of sex acts, prosecutors said at his Brooklyn federal court trial.

“He told me I just signed a document agreeing to do those things with him,” she testified Monday. “I was shocked.”

Schaffer even claimed that he could sue her if she failed to follow the fine print and that she also had unwittingly signed a confidentiality agreement that barred her from discussing the arrangement.

“He said he could sue me for breach of contract and sue my great-grandmother,” she testified, referring to her legal guardian at the time.

Crying and frightened, the woman agreed to have sex with Schaffer. “I was upset,” she recalled of the encounter in a grimy Jersey City office. “I was disgusted.”

The woman testified that she feared for her family and believed that Schaffer could take her to court for not having sex with him.

Prosecutors said his plot developed after he answered her innocent Craigslist ad seeking summer employment in the retail field.

The criminal behavior wasn’t isolated to the shrugged-off Stolen Valor or the sexual peccadilloes, either. Among the facts that came out about Schaffer, when he was finally, belatedly busted:

Agents described Schaffer as a transient with a prison record for theft and several lawsuits against him.

Schaffer’s attorney, Michelle Gelernt, is using the “bitch had it coming, and probably liked it,” defense, claiming that her client’s serial rapes of high-school kids were “consensual,” because “they answered his emails.” That’s part of why the girl was being rational when she believed that the court system might have conspired with Schaffer against her — Gelernt, a court officer, has been glad to do so. The other part, later.

The Post, again, after Tuesday’s testimony:

The prosecutors’ table looked more like a sex toy sample sale Tuesday at the trial of a New Jersey man charged with convincing a Brooklyn teen that she was legally bound to have sex with him.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors said Gregory Schaffer offered the girl, whom was 15 at the time, a nonexistent retail job and then told her that she had unwittingly signed a “sex contract” that compelled her to romp with him.

Scared that he was going to sue her and her family for breach of contract, the underage girl complied with his sick demands in March 2012, prosecutors said.

A swarm of agents raided Schaffer’s Jersey City “office” after the incident and found a trove of sex toys including a penis pump, a sex swing, prosthetic genitalia and lubricant, prosecutors said.

via Filthy toy and video trove revealed in ‘teen sex contract’ trial | New York Post.

And now we get to another reason why it’s reasonable for 15- and 16-year-old rape victims to think the New York court system is likely to make common cause against them, with their rapists:

Judge Allyne Ross barred the jury from viewing handcuffs and restraints that were allegedly found at the office because the items were deemed too inflammatory.

Lord love a duck. That makes perfect sense: can’t show the juror’s the perv’s perv tools, lest they form an opinion he’s a perv or something, whilst he’s on trial for being a perv. That’s the other part of why the girl was rational in fearing the courts were against her: at least this court, and this judge, are.

Fortunately, Schaffer’s SEAL imposture, one of the tools he used to bed these kids, is going to be heading upriver for a while.

Hat tip, Jonn at This Ain’t Hell, who’s been on Schaffer like ugly on an ape for years now.

Assclown of the Ides: phony Ranger Bob Bateman

Gun-ban extremist and self-aggrandizing Army desk jockey Bob Bateman is still popular with his press enablers, but in his latest screed he claims to be “a US Army Airborne Infantry Ranger.”

I am coming home. I need to be there and be part of the solution. Moms Demand Action is getting some traction, but they can use the lean-in of a few U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Rangers

via That’s It. I Am Coming Home. – Esquire.

What set off Bateman’s latest tantrum is the shooting of two Las Vegas police officers, Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, by a couple of nut jobs. Bateman represents the guy and his wife as “typical Tea Partiers” but it turns out that the man of the couple, Jerad Miller, was a career criminal, a convicted felon with a convictions for property, violent and drug crimes dating back to 2000 and continuing essentially nonstop from then on.

Jerad Miller apparently murdered the two cops so that he and his wife, Amanda, could take their guns. Within minutes, he was confronted by Joseph Wilcox, a legal concealed carrier. Unfortunately Wilcox was unaware Amanda was behind him, and she shot him in the head, killing him.

Bateman by his own admission hasn’t been an infantry officer for decades. Like Vietnam phony Joseph Ellis, he found himself a niche teaching at West Point. After that, he moved on to a desk job, and does not appear ever to have returned to troop duty, despite posing for “war tourist” pictures downrange.

He does not have a CIB, fact. He has not served his country as an infantryman in combat, fact. Although these facts are all contrary to the impression this phony tries to give.

And he was never a member of a Ranger Battalion or the Ranger Regiment. Fact. Bateman has a Ranger Tab, a routine ticket-punch for combat arms officers, and went to jump school on the same basis. He does not appear to have been assigned to an airborne unit — ever.

This is a Ranger Tab. Just about everybody gets this, if they’re a combat arms officer or Infantry or SOF NCO. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of them, have been awarded. True, not everyone gets it, but most who try do. It’s a personal award that is worn on the left shoulder above the unit patch and below any higher precedence “tabs”. You get it by not quitting at a two month school that uses patrolling as a vehicle to teach low-level (squad and platoon) leadership. Bateman has this, and the five-jump-chump “novice” parachute badge. Fact.



This is a Ranger Scroll. This is only worn on the left shoulder whilst one is in a Ranger Unit (in this case, the 3rd Battalion; there are scrolls for the battalions, for the Regiment, and for the Ranger training brigade). It’s only worn on the right shoulder if one sees combat with that unit.



Bob Bateman is not entitled to wear a Ranger Scroll on either shoulder, and never has been. Fact. Yet he represents himself as a member of this unit — an Airborne Ranger. Fact.

This Ain’t Hell calls him, and this made us laugh, “The least infantry man in the whole world.” Well, that’s hyperbole, not fact: we’ll grant that he’s more infantry than Bradley Manning, but only just.

Ultimate fact: Bob Bateman is a phony, stealing the valor of better men than himself to try to enlist them in his extremist jihad on the Constitution.

Ironically, Bateman’s childish gun policy prescriptions would not have disarmed Miller, who was already supposed to be disarmed by current law, but they would have disarmed Robert Wilcox.

If you want to make a more positive impact on the world than phony Ranger Bob Bateman, Wilcox’s family is having a hard time paying his funeral expenses. The Las Vegas Review-Journal article at that link has accounts and addresses where those of you who are of better character than the Millers, or Bateman, can donate. There is also a GoFundMe site, 100% of which, minus GoFundMe fees, is pledged to the Wilcox family.

(Assclown of the Ides is an occasional feature that appears on the 15th of the month, or if the 15th falls on a Sunday, early the next week. The winner is invariably a person who has made false claims of service, or who has misrepresented his service as something other that what it really was).

The Terrorist vs the Widow and Kids

Omar Khadr is, nominally, Canadian. The committed al-Qaeda terrorist would tell you, if he were not using his nominal Canadian nationality as a shield to escape consequences for his own criminality, that he’s really a citizen of the worldwide ummah and a global Caliphate that doesn’t exist yet. But it will as soon as he and his fellow terrorists just murder, enslave, and intimidate those who are not on board with this experiment in social organization.

Khadr was, on January 20, 2009, where he belonged: in prison after killing and wounding American Special Operations soldiers after a feigned surrender. Omar pled guilty — with pride — to five specifications of war crimes. Canadian columnist Ezra Levant has a description of Khadr’s capture, in a longer piece on Khadr’s condition and connections excerpted from his book:

Omar Khadr, treated by SF medic (r.), kept asking in English how many infidels he had killed, and begging to be shot so he could be a martyr.

Omar Khadr, treated by SF medic (r.), kept asking in English how many infidels he had killed, and begging to be shot so he could be a martyr. That’s not how we roll.

While Khadr cursed the soldiers with his fading breaths and demanded they make a martyr of him so he could collect his promised reward in the afterlife for dying while murdering a Christian, they acted, instead, only and utterly humanely. At the time, they had no way of knowing that Khadr was a high-value capture, a young man who inherited the networks of his crime family, networks extending all the way to al-Qaeda’s most senior figures. They wouldn’t have known he was a Canadian citizen. This teenager lying in the middle of an Afghan wasteland certainly wouldn’t have looked the part. Complying with his request — to shoot him right there and then, moments after he had blown up Christopher Speer, after he had fought these soldiers so relentlessly in a firefight lasting hours — could have been a very powerful temptation. It must have seemed impossible that anyone would even care. Even just to let him die, to suffocate on his own blood, right there in the Afghan mud, would have been a simple thing to do. It might not even have taken very long for him to succumb to his serious injuries, including two bullets in his thorax.

Instead, U.S. medics rushed to save Omar Khadr’s life, providing him critical medical care right there in the field. “We had two medics that day and he killed the first one,” Sgt. Layne Morris, who lost his eye when Khadr’s al-Qaeda cell attacked him and his fellow troops, told Global News in 2005. “The second one saved his life. He would have bled to death from his injuries in a short amount of time.”

While we reccomend you Read the Whole Thing™ at Canada’s National Post, we actually recommend you Read The Whole Thing™, Levant’s book, The Enemy Within.

Layne Morris. He has a glass eye now and looks better -- but he still can't see with it.

Layne Morris. He has a glass eye now and looks better — but he still can’t see with it. He and Speer’s surviors (and other men Khadr wounded) are suing the now-wealthy terrorist.

Layne Morris was a Special Forces soldier; Khadr’s breach of the laws and usages of war left him retired on disability. The man Khadr killed, Chris Speer, was a member of a JSOC element, and left behind a widow and two young children. Khadr himself was raised in an atmosphere of Islamic terrorism: his heroes the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, with which his father and brothers proudly claimed to align. It was his murderous Mohammedan faith that brought him to Afghanistan, it was his murderous Mohammedan faith that taught him to kill, and it was his murderous Mohammedan faith that initially demanded that the soldiers administer a coup de grâce so that he could complete his murderous Mohammedan martyrdom.

They refused, saving his life, and into custody he went.

What happened on January 20, 2009 that elevated the interests of this curious specimen over the interests of the United States, not to mention the interests of Speer’s survivors? We leave that as an exercise for the reader.

No sooner does Levant, a scourge and target of Canada’s home-grown Islamic terror lobby, lay down the cudgel, than American columnist Michelle Malkin takes it up. Her position is in support of the bereaved victims of Khadr’s perfidy, Tabitha, Taryn and Tanner Speer:

Behold Canada and America. One country supports the efforts of a U.S. special forces soldier’s widow to hold accountable the jihadist who killed her husband and the father of her two young children. The other country helped free that jihadist from Guantanamo Bay in a shady deal that appeased his far-left allies.

Guess which side President Obama’s on.

The widow is Tabitha Speer. Her children are Taryn and Tanner. Their husband and father was an American hero: Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, a 28-year-old medic with the U.S. Special Forces. As I reported in my syndicated column 11 years ago, Speer died in Afghanistan during an ambush by al-Qaida operatives. The remorseless Islamic zealot who lobbed the fatal grenade that killed Speer in 2002: 15-year-old Omar Khadr.

The conservative Canadian government lent its public support to the Speer family and to Morris on the eve of Memorial Day weekend: “Our government supports the efforts of Tabitha Speer and fellow soldiers to receive compensation for their horrible loss.” Good for them.

How about America’s leaders? AWOL. The reason Khadr is in Canada, in case you didn’t know, is that Obama freed Khadr from Gitmo after intense lobbying from the “compassionate” social justice crowd. He was repatriated to Canada just weeks before America’s November 2012 election. Leading the pressure campaign on Obama: the Center for Constitutional Rights, which also crusaded for the release of former Gitmo jihadist Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a primary suspect in the Benghazi consulate attacks.

…[W]hat does it say when the Canadian government shows more compassion for the fatherless children of a U.S. soldier than their own government? A search for the Speer children on the White House website yielded:

“No results.”

We’d advise you to Read The Whole Thing™. Set free with a stroke of the pen and home in Canada, Omar Khadr is back in the comforting embrace of his terrorist family and a variety of Islamic and left-wing extremists. His family, who have apparently been on welfare as it is practiced in Toronto, have somehow become millionaires, and the Speer family and Layne have a lawsuit that even the tort-bar-unfriendly among us might see as having the potential to deliver justice.

Since the United States officials charged with that responsibility have lain down on the job, we American SF and SOF vets are thankful to PM Steven Harper and Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney for standing up for us. (Of course, Canadians have a diversity of opinions on the issue. Opposition leaders Mulcair of the NDP and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals support Khadr).

Personnel = Policy: anti-gun extremist bans mag exports

Kenneth_B_Handleman_150_1An extremely anti-gun Senior Executive Service member is behind a recent announcement that the State Department has unilaterally banned the export of high-capacity firearm magazines. First, the announcement:

ADMINISTRATION TO LIMIT EXPORTED MAGAZINE CAPACITY . . . NSSF learned last week that the U.S. State Department has made a “policy decision” to limit the export of ammunition magazines of more than 30 rounds capacity solely to government, law enforcement and military end users. The policy has yet to be posted to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) website. NSSF will provide updates on this policy development as more information becomes available.

via NSSF Bullet Points | Archive.

What this means is that any US-made magazines are completely banned from export, like F-14 parts and nuclear weapons manufacturing technology — unless they’re going to a “government,” like the jihad groups the Administration supports in Libya and Syria.

So who’s behind this? Meet Kenneth Handleman.

Handleman, before becoming a professional payroll patriot, was the anti-gun point man for probably the most extremely anti-gun man to ever serve in the US Congress, Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio. Metzenbaum is long-dead and forgotten now, but in his time he was a lion of gun restrictions. He bitched about the Clinton gun ban, not because he was against it, but because it didn’t go far enough: David Codrea quotes him in an excerpt from a column: “until you ban them all, you might as well ban none.” But, it “will be a major step in achieving the objective that we have in mind.” (The links on Codrea’s blog have died as the Examiner moved the full column to here). 

Since Metzenbaum was openly in favor of a “ban them all” approach, how does that differ from the approach of more modern bansters like Sarah Brady, who say they want “common-sense gun laws”? Well, at Public Citizen’s (the Ralph Nader tort-lawyers’ group) adoring obit of Metzenbaum, bad cess to him, she says Metzenbaum’s “ban them all” approach exemplified common sense: “He worked harder than anyone in the fight for common sense gun laws in this country.” So now you know what they mean when they say “common sense gun laws”: “ban them all.” 

Like most Senators, Metzenbaum was a millionaire many times over, thanks to his manipulative skills as a politician. The Washington Post actually described him as a “self-made millionaire,” but he was a career politician; his vast wealth came from doing airport land and parking deals when he was a state legislator with power over the airports. He also acquired a chain of newspapers which, as you might expect, unfailingly supported him.

Metzenbaum was a real piece of work. He disliked the military, and opposed war except in the interests of a certain foreign power: he organized anti-draft rallies before June 22, 1941, and rallies for joining the war afterward, but after Pearl Harbor he dodged the draft himself on a bogus F4 for, we are not making this up, nearsightedness. (Any idea how many pairs of glasses were issued to the 12 million GIs in World War II? One less than would have been if Metzenbaum had not shirked his duty).

He hated Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, and sneeered that fighter ace and astronaut John Glenn “had never held a job.” Heh. Glenn, who was mildly anti-gun, defeated him in that election. He came to the Senate later, as an appointee when Nixon snagged an Ohio senator for a cabinet post.

Like Metzenbaum’s, Handleman’s bio reflects no uniformed service.

Metzenbaum believed in, among other things, the idea that the 2nd Amendment applied only to the military, not to individuals; and sponsored every piece of anti-gun legislation during his term. He bemoaned the “error” that kept handguns off the NFA in 1934. (How would you like to wait a year for the ATF’s glacial bureaucracy to get around to reviewing the one-page form they hit you with a $200 tax to submit, just so you could buy each individual handgun? That’s where we’d be). And he periodically tried to ban handguns, outright, and didn’t see any Constitutional impediment to doing so. Most of Metzenbaum’s career, Democrats had a strong grip on both houses of Congress, and only the historical fact that Democrat elected officials then were not all anti-gun, like they are now, prevented such a ban from reaching the President’s desk. (In those days, many Republicans were just as anti-gun as the worst of the Democrats).

And Handleman was Metzenbaum’s guy on domestic (including gun) policy, and the guy who wrote much of that legislation, so he is, if anything, more extreme than his former boss, who had to tack to the center due to worry about getting elected by the deer- and upland-hunting union workers of Ohio. (Both Ohio Senators today are enormously less anti-gun than Metzenbaum was, and neither makes a practice of insulting veterans).

This guy Handleman has been underachieving in a variety of DOD posts for decades before shifting to State recently, and when the President in 2011 asked his bureaucratic underlings for anti-gun regulatory and executive actions that could undermine American gun rights and gun manufacturers, Handleman, who is now the tsar of export controls, had a whole list of things. So we haven’t seen the end of this man’s retrograde activity.

He remains a cancer inside the government, eating away at Americans’ rights every day, but we can start to disinfect the State Department by shining a light on him.

Even More VA stuff

Never Mind the Dead Guys, My Politician Might Get Bruised!

Geoff Dyer, a committed Obama partisan who sees the outrage over Bengazi as “contrived,” frets that the worst possible thing about VA having killed 100+ vets because of internal corruption is this:

[T]he Obama administration could be facing a genuine scandal about its treatment of military veterans that has the potential to attract broad political condemnation of its competence.

If the evidence of mismanagement continues to accumulate, the Obama administration will find itself not in another partisan knife-fight, but under fire from both parties in a Congress where the uniformed military is venerated.

Of course, Dyer still throws the if: if the allegations that patients died while waiting for phantom appointments are proved…

Geoff, old boy, that domino has already fallen. More than a hundred times over.

The idea that both parties in Congress venerate the military is kind of amusing, in a black-humor sort of way. Both parties in the Congress loudly proclaim their veneration of the military, but watch what they do, not what they say. He does quote generally anti-military Senators like Vietnam phony Dick Blumenthal and the resolutely subnominal Patty Murray, who explained that Osama bin Laden’s popularity in the Islamic world flowed from the way he empowered women by building day-care centers. But even these two specimens know, in an election year, they have to pay lip service to health care for veterans.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

He does admit, perhaps unintentionally, that his boy’s focus is not on fixing the problems but on containing the scandal. As he puts it, Baghdad Rob Nabors, “has been dispatched to the VA to help manage the fallout.”

VA, where the only doctors on the ball are the spin doctors.

Jay Carney in an Anagram of Denali

Carney, who always comes across like the jejeune adolescent who is mistakenly convinced he knows more than his teacher, was saying this even as Petzel was walking the plank last week:

You’re saying there’s a suggestion that something terrible happened in Phoenix, and that’s under investigation; all we know is its a suggestion.

As we’ve mentioned before, the portfolio of a press officer is always bullshit.

Of course, Washington is the Mother Lode of bullshit. The day before he underbussed Petzel (probably with a hard nudge from Bagdad Rob, the non-vet now really running the VA), he was saying nobody’s job was on the line, in front of a Senate Committee:

Shinseki gave no hint that Petzel was on the way out during the hearing, when he was asked if he would “change [his] management team” in response to the scandal. In fact, he said ousters would be premature.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself or ahead of the [inspector general] here. I want to see the results, I want to see the results of the audit. And, if changes are required, I’ll take those actions.”

And we should trust him to do this, why? The best guide to future behavior is past behavior. And this whole scandal is a product of Shinseki’s past behavior.

Dueling Op-Eds at McPaper

Gannett papers, like USA Today (McPaper, for the news reader a few fries short of a Happy Meal) often run pro- and con- op-eds on the same subject. The entire Gannett organization has a low regard for service members and veterans, so neither their pro- nor anti-VA arguments last week really took the staggering agency to task. First, from the 15th, the pro-VA position.

Here’s an attempt to look concerned, while stonewalling.

We take any allegations about patient care or employee misconduct very seriously, and I am personally saddened by any adverse consequence that a veteran might experience while in, or as a result of, our care.

If allegations regarding misconduct and patient care are true, they are completely unacceptable — to veterans, to Secretary Shinseki, to me and to our dedicated employees. And if allegations of misconduct are substantiated by the independent Office of Inspector General, we will take prompt and appropriate action. Veterans deserve nothing less.

Of course, misconduct and (crappy, a word he left out) patient care are true, which is why he had to take the time to write, or at least sign, this silly op-ed, making all kinds of verbal protestations about how concerned he is and how seriously he takes the “allegations.”

The author, or alleged author, of this piece (which was almost certainly written by a PR flack, judging from its lack of substance): Undersecretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel, who would be under the bus the next day.

So if that was the pro-VA spin, what was the Gannet editorialists’ contrary position? Pretty weak tea: “Shinseki has a lot to explain.”

For VA leaders — including Shinseki, who has been on the job since 2009 — these problems should come as no shock. In April 2010, an internal VA inquiry found systematic “gaming strategies” at regional clinics to hide delays. The report cited about two dozen gaming techniques, some involving falsifying records.

There is no evidence of effective follow-up.

Bipartisan concern over Shinseki’s leadership is increasing, and one major veterans group has called for his ouster. Firing at this point might be premature, but the VA chief has a lot to explain.

What? “Firing at this point” would be about two years overdue, but still welcome. To Hell with Shinseki. Let him do his explaining at the unemployment office.

Spin-doc McDonough: Never mind the vets, what about my suffering?

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough went on CBS’s Face The Nation Sunday (warning, autoplay video, and because it’s CBS, it’s annoying, crappy autoplay video) to tell them who the real victim of the VA’s pervasive mis-, mal-, and non-feasance was. Him. McDonough compared the criticism he’d received from the President to the suffering and deaths of the abandoned vets. Obama, he said,  “is madder than hell.”

Not, we note, mad enough to fire anybody, so the hell thing is pathetic, childlike hyperbole, trying to cover for a weak, disengaged, indecisive man. How can you have hell without fire? If you’re a bit of a cold fish, perhaps. “Nobody is more outraged about this problem right now,” McDonough simpered. Not bloody likely; he and his gentle and weak President have no idea. A large number of us are outraged enough that we wanted Shinseki in John the Baptist mode (i.e., head on a platter) two weeks ago. The difference is, we’re the veterans, not a constituency that has a voice in this administration, or one to which the VA listens. Q.E.D.

But McDonough seems really upset that the President has spoken to him harshly; he comes across as a whipped puppy, begging the question, “Would you want to have Barack Obama mad at you?” Perish the thought! Why, he might even tweet his displeasure, which has been his response to the rise of Boko Haram and continued Russian pursuit of Russian interests at odds with American interests.

The country’s in the very best of hands. No matter what the problem is, these guys can make a hash — and a hashtag — of it.

McDonough suggested people shouldn’t criticize the administration on VA, because Obama has given the agency more money. Of course that money has all been squandered in bonuses for cheating managers and Washington do-nothings, as Shinseki slumbers untended in a corner office. It’s not a money shortage, it’s a leadership shortage.

But now, McDonough whines, the President is paying attention to the VA, and criticizing him, poor baby: “I’ve got the scars to prove it.”

He said what? 

McDonough is a career political horse-holder, knob-polisher, and fluffer, whose knees have worn depressions underneath many impressive Washington desks. He now serves the irresolute cipher who sits at the Resolute Desk, but he has never served a day in the military. Hell, he’s never held a job in the Dreaded Private Sector, or any place where “accountability” is not just a shibboleth you throw out to a baying pack of reporters, as a substitute for having any.

“I’ve got the scars to prove it.” Bullshit. You would be hard pressed to find someone who knows less about scars, or has less respect and regard for the people that wear them.

But hey, he has a Master’s degree from Georgetown, so we peasants should probably tug our forelocks and stop judging him.

WaPo’s Milbank: Shinseki Must Go

Indeed, that’s the headline: “VA Secretary Eric Shinseki needs to go,” and the second line: “[H]is maddeningly passive response to the scandal roiling his agency suggests that the best way Shinseki can serve now is to step aside.”

Dana Milbank is no friend of the military or veterans. So why is he concerned? And he’s definitely concerned: he spends most of the column recounting various things that a potted plant in Shinseki’s office would have known, but that The Man Himself mumbled ignorance of in recent hearings. Milbank’s concern turns out to be the same as Dyer’s: not any interest in the health or survival of veterans, but concern that this latest scandal of ineptitude may reflect on the One he worships as a devotee worships his deity: fear of splashback on President Obama.

Well, fortunately for Obama-worshipers like Milbank, this VA scandal is the only possible thing where his president sits frozen at the tiller, trying to deflect an iceberg with soaring rhetoric, right? This hasn’t happened on, say, Ukraine. Or South Asia. Benghazi. The Mexican border. Fast & Furious.

Poly-Ticks: How extreme is the PRM on Guns?

People's Republic of MassachusettsThe PRM, of course, is the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, where about 200 murders are committed every year, almost all of them by felony gangbangers (the current celebrity murder indictment involves Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, who moonlighted as a made guy in the Latin Kings).

But denial of the actual crime problem runs deep (or maybe that’s “runs derp”), as generation after generation of well-meaning liberals increasingly blames noncriminal gunowner, or even, irrationally, the guns themselves.

This produces some events that are peculiar when taken by themselves and more peculiar when examined collectively.

The Gun Turn-In in Low-Crime Communities

Several leafy Boston suburbs, like Melrose, Wakefield and Arlington, which don’t experience murders much but see them on the news, have concluded that it’s obviously time for the Final Solution to the Gun Problem™; the evil objects will be turned in, and destroyed, lest they get into the wrong hands, like a sport shooter or collector, or other mere citizen.

Melrose’s town authorities emitted the following communiqué:

Melrose is a very safe community, and oftentimes one would not think that Melrose and other suburban communities that enjoy relative safety would need to offer a buyback program to its citizens, but the fact is Melrose is home to a number of guns — unused, often unregistered, forgotten — that may potentially be stolen or accidentally discharged.

via Melrose Gun Buy Back Program Saturday, May 10 – Police & Fire – Melrose, MA Patch.

County Sheriff Peter Koutoujuan (whose position is political, and who is a profoundly anti-gun individual) emitted the following:

On average, more than 34,000 people are accidentally shot or commit suicide using a firearm each year. I believe that providing residents with a safe way to dispose of firearms they no longer want can help reduce these numbers. These buybacks also encourage dialogue among those involved about ways to make our communities safer.

Yes, because firearms cause suicide. Because of the guns in our gun room, we kill ourselves 137 times a day. We’re getting tired of finding ourselves dead, actually.

The Melrose Police Chief, whose position isn’t as political but is equally anti-gun, says:

The Melrose Police Department is always happy to team up with the Middlesex Sheriff’s office to make our community safer and provide services to citizens. I encourage everyone to participate.

They’re even offering an amnesty, so that if you bring your unwanted firearm, loose grenade, or radioactively-hot murder weapon to the police in a clear plastic bag for disposal, they won’t throw you in jail for a year for violating the state pistol permit law, and call it an easy collar, as they usually would do.

Hey, you even get a gift card at an anti-gun local merchant! And may your chains rest lightly on your shoulders.

ITEM: Only the Police can be trusted with guns!

Framingham PDWe’ve covered the Framingham, Massachusetts, Police Department before. Unlike expensive Melrose and Wakefield, Framingham does have a lot of Section 8 and public housing and the drug and gang activity that welfare brings. But they also have some… curious… ideas about firearms training. They teach the 1950s approach of keeping your finger on the trigger at all times, which 60 years of experience has taught us is a fairly bad idea with a DA revolver, and a monumentally crappy idea with a modern pistol or carbine. Nonetheless, their SOP is to conduct raids with M4s with weapon on Semi and fingers on trigger.

This rather predictably resulted in a citizen (not a suspect), septuagenarian Eurie Stamps, being shot in the back of the head at contact range by an out-of-shape Framingham cop, Paul Duncan, who tripped and fired reflexively, blowing a significant portion of a Stamps’s cranium across the room. That rather predictably resulted in no discipline for the cop, who’s still out there raiding.

So, knowing what we do of the low personnel and training standards of the Framingham PD, we were not shocked to read this:

A Framingham family was awakened Thursday by police breaking down their front door and forcing everyone to the ground at gunpoint after they conducted a drug raid at the wrong house.

Framingham and State Police were conducting a multi-jurisdictional drug investigation when the mistake occurred around 6 a.m. Thursday.

“They had me down on the hallway upstairs, my daughter was coming out of the shower, she didn’t have [any] clothes on, they make her get down, my kids are on the floor,” said Michelle McClain, whose apartment was raided.

She has five kids between four and 18 years old. Some, she says, have behavioral problems, making it hard for them to understand what happened.

“They were asking me ‘why are they here, why are they doing this, what did we do?'”, said McClain.

After police acknowledged their mistake they proceeded to raid the next door apartment and make an arrest.

We were a little surprised that they didn’t shoot anybody. Town Manager Bob Halpin later apologized, tersely and with little grace: “We acknowledge the mistake, we feel remorse and we offered an apology,” he snapped at a TV reporter. That is more of an apology than they gave this time.

But they didn’t fix the door they busted in and the family of six is now homeless. Well played, Framingham’s Finest. 

(Update: We’re told by a former insider that Framingham did, begrudgingly, change their raid policy to weapons on safe in 2012, as part of the fallout long after Duncan blew the head off Eurie Stamps. They also removed 6 of their fattest cops from the SWAT team, including the shooter, Paul Duncan — not for the shooting, but because he didn’t pass fitness standards. But they only did these things because the town’s insurer insisted. At the time, Herschel Smith said, “This resolution to the incident is obscene in the superlative degree,” and we find it impossible to beat that sentence either as a matter of judgment or English language communication. Although we do disagree with his comments on safeties in police raids, but not his incisive point on trigger discipline.

Then, in 2013, the police chief disbanded the SWAT team on his way out the door, once it became public that team leaders had received no relevant training from anywhere. But now, in 2014, they’re back in the kinetic raid business, still without training. This will certainly end well! – Eds).

But we do start to see why Massachusetts cops tend to think citizens can’t be trusted with guns. Psychologists call it “projection.”

So what does it take for a cop to get in trouble?

We know from the case of Duncan shooting Stamps that a mere negligent homicide doesn’t rise to the level of even paid time off for a bad cop, but in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, what does? Looks like the answer may be, DUI while carrying a privately owned weapon (without having sufficient political connections).

According to Massachusetts State Police, Trooper Dale Jenkins was off-duty around 1 a.m. Saturday when he crashed on Route 114 in North Andover.

The passenger, who was not identified, was taken to a Boston hospital, where he remains.
Jenkins was also carrying a handgun at the time, according to police. State Police say the gun was not his department-issued service weapon.

He has been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

Jenkins’ license to carry firearms was also suspended.

In addition to immediately being relieved of duty, State Police will hold an administrative hearing next week to determine Jenkins’ duty status for as long as the charges are pending.
In a statement, State Police noted that the thoughts of Colonel Timothy P. Alben, superintendent of the State Police, along with the rest of the department, “are first and foremost with the passenger in the car who was seriously injured.”

The reason that we mention “(without having sufficient political connections)” up there is this: Alben, a political appointee, was silent, as was the Massachusetts State Police institutionally, in 2011 when then-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray totaled a loaner State Police cruiser at triple-digit speeds in the wee hours of the morning after a night spent in undisclosed fleshpots. Instead of an investigation, Alben led a cover-up of that one. Murray, who has below-average intelligence and attainments, left office under a cloud, escaping indictment in a corruption case that sent a long-time fundraiser to prison and cost Murray an $80k fine, of which $70k was paid out of the funds illegally raised. Murray is now the extremely well-remunerated head of the Worcester, MA Chamber of Commerce, in conformance with the Massachusetts Law of Clout: “Mess up and move up”. And from Worcester, he’s using the Chamber not to support local businesses, but to prop up the Governor, his former boss, in a campaign to raise gas taxes on the people who, unlike him, drive their own cars and pay for their own gas.

Exercise for the reader: fill yourself with booze and coke, crash a car at 108 MPH, and see what kind of professional courtesy you get from the oathbreakers at the Mass State Police.

ITEM: Words Fail

Squirt GunOn April 29, in Arlington, the police responded to a “gun in school” call. This image represents what they recovered, although it might not be the exact “weapon”. The little squirts at Arlington high school have taken up a game called “Assassination.” This sounds alarmingly bloodthirsty by modern standards, where “murder ball” is banished from the inclusive, non-competitive, and strictly cooperative school gym. But, wait: the way you commit a “assassination” is to sneak up on your friend and squirt him with a squirt gun. This ensures that he will try to reciprocate on you, later.

Ah, that would be the Cycle of Violence™. A new development since the invention of the gun, except for the Vikings, the Corsicans, the Ancient Greeks, Albanians, North Africans, and we can’t forget the clan warfare of the Scots and Irish. It’s almost as if something other than firearms produces violent behavior. 

What could that mysterious Factor X be? Naaah, it’s gotta be the guns.

You, or we, might think this “assassination game” falls into the catch-all of youthful hijinks, as the days grow longer and the kids begin thawing out and anticipating the end of the school year. That would just prove that we are hopeless dinosaurs, somehow still walking and overdue for our Cretaceous/Tertiary Extinction Event (but a nonviolent, cooperative one, they would insist).

No, today’s educators with their intellectually lightweight Ed.D’s (“No math! No foreign language! No real dissertation!”) know much better than we K/T-Extinction-dodgers.

Alarmed by this spread of deadly dihydrogen monoxide, and doubly alarmed by the kids’ use of something called a “gun,” even if it is made of bright translucent plastic and filled with water, the school principal appealed for calm:

“A squirt gun can be mistaken for a real gun with deadly consequences. We strongly recommend against playing a game that may be both disruptive and dangerous.”

Lord love a duck. Those that can, do. Those that can’t do, teach. Those that can’t teach — well, principals have to come from somewhere, and you wouldn’t want to waste anyone able and productive in that job. Fortunately, Arlington didn’t.