Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

They Paroled a Serial Killer — And Then Let Him Slide

Yep, it really happened. In Pennsylvania. They paroled a violent felon — a guy who drew down on cops with a sawn-off shotgun — who immediately began violating the conditions of his parole. And they didn’t finally bring him in until after he’d blazed a trail of bloodshed.

Byron Allen was on parole. He’d been out a year, and nothing – not the troubling sexual behavior he first displayed in prison, which had caused officials to treat him as a sexual predator, nor the porn obsession and erratic behavior witnessed by parole staff shortly after his release, nor the consecutive positive results for cocaine around May and June, nor the skipped required treatments – made parole supervisors deem this man a threat.

Then he came up hot on a piss test for the same drug he was on when he attacked cops in 2002, PCP, “angel dust.”

[But] agency supervisors did what they had done for months in the face of Allen’s increasingly troubling behavior: They let him walk free. …police now say he was also on a one-man spree of murder and sexual assault.

When they turned him loose after that, he almost killed a Kensington, PA, woman. It wasn’t for lack of effort.

Philadelphia police have charged him with four sexual assaults between April and October – the last one, the 23-year-old Kensington woman, only two days after he was found with PCP in his system at the parole office in Northwest Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, police say, he’d lure woman who worked as prostitutes, then slit their throats, beat them with bricks or choke them unconscious. In most cases, he’d sexually assault them.

Three suspected murders, four assaults.

Why didn’t his parole officer revoke him? He wanted to, but couldn’t get approval from supervisors.

…the officer could not spur his supervisors to action.

This fits with what parole agents have been telling me for a few years: In the state’s effort to decrease swelled prison populations – and reduce recidivism rates – it’s harder to lock up some people who really should be off the streets.

 The unstirrable supervisors

Leo Dunn, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole… couldn’t comment. Neither could the supervisors who kept Allen on the street. Dunn called the case a “tragic situation” and said that board has launched an internal investigation to “ensure no policies were violated.”

Sure, at least three women are murdered and four more raped, but it’s all okay if all the policy tick-boxes had ticks in ’em.

Some of the same people were involved in this that paroled Rafael Jones,  a name that still makes Philly blue shirts see red.

Like back in 2012, when Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. was killed by Rafael Jones, a parolee who’d been released ten days earlier. I wrote how parole officials had failed to fit Jones with an electronic monitoring device or lock him up after failing a drug test. Hearings were held, three officials were fired (one of whom now has her job back). Reforms were put in place.

One of the people that turned Jones loose to kill Walker was back on the job to let Allen loose to kill at least three.

But naturally, there’s a bleeding-heart judge at the center of it all, whose very being thrums with sympathy for murderers like Allen and Jones, and who cares about their victims … something less than any measurable amount

Former Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner, who now serves as the city’s Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice, says that move toward treatment and rehab nationwide reflects recognition that for too long we have been locking up people for longer than necessary. Excessive incarceration is not only expensive, he notes. It destroys families and communities.

Yeah, unlike, say, the murders that he prefers, as a matter of public policy.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Self-Absorbed Moms and Negligent Nannies

She’s pretty, and people have been filling her head with praise all her life. Result, narcissistic tendencies.

This story has it all: a victim that’s going to recover, thank God; a perp who was apparently careless, not evil; and an enabler — the newborn victim’s mom, first entry in the Mom Of The Year® stakes for 2017 — who’s so self-absorbed that 1), her kids are being raised by nannies; and, 2) she’s seeking therapy for herself for the trauma caused by her kid’s fractured skull.  The C-List celeb-obsessed New York Daily News:

[Actress Eva] Martino — daughter of Susan Sarandon and Franco Amurri — shared details on a horrific incident that occurred just weeks after she gave birth to her son Major James in October.

The “Happily Eva After” actress said that a few nights before Thanksgiving, a night nurse accidentally fell asleep while holding her son and dropped him on his head, where the baby suffered a fractured skull.

Ah, the N3 (Nameless Night Nanny), the costumed and caparisoned villain of many an upper-class child abuse story. Now if this was, say, a poor family in Queens where the babysitting aunt dropped the kid accidentally while Mom was working the night shift as a nurse’s aide in a charity hospital, the Forces of Good Government™ would be going all-out to take the kids and place them with some knuckle-dragging foster family, where the abuse and neglect would at least be by selected and trained professionals.

But because it was a rich actress’s kid, the goo-goos™ are just asking for autographs, and the celebrity suckups in the media nodding and typing as Mom Of The Year® whinges about how awful her kid’s skull fracture was — for her. 

“Let me tell you — the guilt I bore in the days and weeks after this accident was more intense and more damaging than anything I would wish upon my worst enemy. I had all those same thoughts and more,” she revealed.

“I chose not to share [FOR] fear of judgement … The internet can be a peculiar place, where some people forget about humanity and go for the jugular.

That would be us, apparently. Jugular, tally-ho!

“I know that this news might reach many, and of those many there will always be the people who say that this accident was my fault. That if it had been me in there holding him instead of a night nurse, that this never would have happened.”

Well, that’s arguable, but it’s a counterfactual. Fact is, the nanny that she can’t bring herself to call a “nanny” (because no fiction is more grimly gripped by the 1% than that they’re “middle class”), dropped the kid and the kid got hurt. It happened, learn from it. If you can.

“That I deserve this for allowing my child to be in the care of somebody other than me.”

Notice that it’s all about her, not the child? That is a case of Olympic Level narcissism right there. If your kid gets damn near killed by the person you hired to take care of him, that’s a tragedy; but if you (and your publicist?) spin it so it’s all about you, that’s a tragedy and a person of some questionable character exploiting it. Is it really all about you, Mother Of The Year®?

Martino announced that while baby Major is “healing well” with no signs of brain damage, she is seeking help for emotional distress following the scare.

All about her. Sheesh. “The kid’s OK, let’s keep talking about me me me me me!”

Lord love a duck.

We wonder how the nanny feels — awful, we’d bet. And with that sentence, we bet we’ve had more of a care for her distress than Mom Of The Year® here.

“If you read my post about choosing Homebirth, you know that I have an (irrational) phobia of hospitals. To be in one for two days under such circumstances was nearly unbearable for me, not to mention how scary and emotional those days were for the entirety of our family,” she wrote.

OK, so she’s in emotional distwess, and going to the hospital with her baby was “nearly unbearable.” Any thing else about you, lady?

Martino said she plans to seek therapy for possible postpartum depression.

Of course. via Eva Amurri Martino on son’s broken skull: ‘The guilt is damaging’ – NY Daily News.

Lord love a duck.

Hey, at least the kid’s OK. Sometimes, the children of neglectful or self-absorbed parents turn out just fine, so he’s got a shot, poor little guy.

On the other hand, sometimes they become actors.

Mabus Strikes his Colors on Ratings

Mabus joins the ranks of those, like HMS Java in the foreground here, who tangled with the US Navy and lost.

It was a stinging defeat for the cruelest, most bitter enemy the American Navy has ever faced.

Ray Mabus’s decision to eliminate Navy enlisted ratings, which was approved by a slew of yes-man admirals including current CNO Adm. John Richardson and Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke, and a slew of yes-man master chiefs including current MCPON Steven Giordano and his predecessor MCPON Mike Stevens, has been quietly reversed in a Christmas Week memo. Mabus’s signature was absent, with the loss of face for the Secretary’s defeat accruing to his camp follower, Richardson.

The Navy Times noted that it was all Mabus’s initiative, originally, to eliminate what he saw as an obstacle to social engineering. Imagine what greater heights the social imbroglio might have reached in the anticipated Clinton administration, where Mabus imagined himself SecDef; but, alas for the prospect of mandatory gender transitions, it was not to be.

[T]he decision was made by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, whom multiple sources described as eager to announce the new policy before his impending departure after more than seven years atop the the sea service. Mabus, the first to broadcast this new policy Sept. 29, was motivated by a fervent desire to promote gender neutrality across the Navy and the Marine Corps, which he also oversees. He was presented with four options for removing the word “man” from nearly two dozen job titles — what the Navy calls ratings — and opted for the most extreme option.

Mabus, sources said, was determined to put ratings reform in motion — and on the record — before he leaves office. Gender integration, while Obama’s directive, has become a hallmark of Mabus’ tenure as Navy secretary. And he’s upset plenty of people along the way, notably within the Marine Corps, which has reluctantly opened its ground combat units to women and modified many of its job titles as well, though not to the extent that the Navy has.

The idea was always top-down, and never popular in the ranks:

When the order came down to provide feedback about possible gender-neutral ratings changes, most sailors were cynical, the [unnamed to prevent retaliation by Stevens, Giordano, et. al.] command master chief said. Many, wondered why the Navy was prioritizing the issue. “No one,” he added, “not a single sailor — across paygrade and gender lines — I spoke with saw the need to change the names of ratings based on gender neutrality.”

It was really unpopular in the ranks, and Mabus, a career politician who never has been popular in the ranks himself, did his politico’s Brave Sir Robin emulation and bugged out, leaving career naval politician Adm. Richardson holding the bag:

“I underestimated how fiercely loyal people were to their rating, I’ve gotten a fair amount of feedback on that,” Richardson said … Dec. 6 at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.

” … So we kind of [underestimated] the loyalty with which people affiliated themselves with that rating tribe. So as we go forward, we’ll learn.”

The rapid cancellation of the centuries-old tradition generated an overwhelmingly negative response from sailors.

With the Trump defense team including actual, not political, leadership in DOD and the Service Secretary positions, Richardson put his name on a backpedal; Mabus realizes that saving Richardson’s career is one way to save some of his social justice warrior legacy in the Pentagon — apart from gutless, gunless ships named for his fellow politicians.

But, as we said in the lede to this post, Richardson has backpedaled on Mabus’s behalf. Sure, he’s doing it to avoid being relieved in January, but a good decision made for a bad reason can still be a good decision. As a wise old man once told us, “The most important thing a bad decision means is that you now need to make a new decision.”

Effective immediately, enlisted sailors will officially regain their ratings, the traditional job titles that have inspired a deep cultural loyalty and that have defined enlisted career tracks for generations, Navy officials said.

The extraordinarily rare move comes after a fierce backlash from the fleet….

Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, called it a “course correction” and acknowledged the overwhelmingly negative reaction from the fleet was a key factor in the decision.

Well, that and the likelihood that the incoming SecNav would want the ass-kissing Richardson’s resignation on his desk, along with that of the even-more-ass-kissing Giordano (Stevens has already retired, although they could recall him for keelhauling or something). Never underestimate the power of career fear on those who rise high via suckuppery.

The reversal did not surprise many sailors, though many believed it would come after a new Navy secretary takes over early in 2017.

Now if they could just stop paying a half a billion for the million dollars’ worth of scrap aluminum that is a Littoral Combat Ship, we’d be getting somewhere. 

The Exsanguinated Frogman Affair

Strange doings in Thailand.

A diver found with his throat slashed and tied to a post in the middle of the sea near a seedy Thai beach resort may be Russian, police said Monday.

The body, in a full wetsuit and flippers, was found on Friday tethered to a mooring post dozens of metres out to sea off Koh Larn — an island near the sleazy, crime-ridden beach town of Pattaya.

Shades of “Buster” Crabbe, who was found in a similar state after trying to reconnoiter the hull and propulsion of the Soviet warship Ordzhonikidze during the Cold War.

The macabre case has baffled detectives who say they are unable to ascertain how he died.

Wait, didn’t they just say his throat was cut?

“The initial autopsy found his throat was slashed… but the forensic doctor said it could have happened by suicide or by someone cutting him,” Pattaya police colonel Apichai Krobpetch told AFP.

Suicide? And he was lashed to a buoy?

“We believe he could be Russian… there are witnesses who said they heard him earlier speaking Russian,” he said, adding they were seeking consular help to identify the man.

Well, if he was a Russian organized crime figure, the Russian cops should have prints and a file. None of those guys has no criminal history.

Koh Larn is a short boat ride from Pattaya — a town located a few hours south of Bangkok and notorious for its go-go bars and links with organised crime.

The town is popular with Russian holidaymakers, who are met with Russian-speaking staff in some hotels and menus and street signs written in their language.

Hey, Putin may miss the USSR, but in the USSR they’d never trust ordinary Russians to go to the fleshpots of Pattaya. For fear they won’t come back.

Which, come to think of it, is what happened to this mystery frog, Russian or not — wherever he came from, he won’t be coming back.

Thieves Will Steal Anything. But a Whole City Street?

Yes, a couple of Philadelphia cons did indeed make off with one block of a city street in 1984. The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the tale of the miscreants who made off with Mifflin Street

Truckers and policemen drove by and nodded, assuming that the guys digging up grey-stoned Mifflin Street with a front-end loader were municipal workers.

A nearby shop owner thought the same. But as he watched them work, he developed an uneasy feeling, and then couldn’t shake a troubling thought: Why were these men being so cautious with the stones, yet so reckless with the earth below them?

So he walked over and asked.

Joseph Monkiewicz, an excavator from Montgomery County, told the shop owner that he and his employees were tearing up the old surface so they could lay down a new one.

The shop owner surveyed the damage and returned to his office, suspicious and puzzled.

Seriously, who steals a street?

Monkiewicz, who was no stranger to handcuffs, did. With the help of an associate named Propper, who had even more, and more serious, priors, but who beat this rap in court. Read the Whole Thing™. If you get paywalled out, the attached .pdf is from the paper’s story from 1984.

Dec-10-1984-frontand3.pdf

The current story is part of a series of entertaining dives into the paper’s morgue that run from time to time.

Morale in the National Security Agencies Still Stinks

Who’s who in DHS. Click to embiggen.

Turns out that, apart from Treasury, all the least happy Fed agencies are the ones with national security responsibilities, with DHS (home of perennial morale cellar-dwellers ICE and CBP) the lowest of the low.

You would think that Feds would be the happiest people in the country: few of them work as hard or as long as their private-sector counterparts, almost all of them are paid more and have vastly greater benefits, and they’ve turned out to have more job security than the hereditary peers in the House of Lords. Nobody is ever held to account for anything, in Fed World. But the kind of people who seek security or law enforcement jobs include not just Payroll Patriots, but True Believers, and the True Believers have been crushed for years by organizations focused on the social justice war, and bedamned to the actual mission.

The Washington Examiner has the results of the survey, and some quotes about how things are looking up from clueless boob (and lame-duck DHS supremo) Jeh Johnson.  From the bottom up, the departments are DHS, Veterans’ Affairs (no surprise there), Army, Treasury, Air Force, Joint Services, Navy, and then the rest of the bureaucracy, with NASA at the top and happiest. (Why not? With the retirement of the shuttle, they’re a pretty pure bureaucracy who have outsourced launching astronauts so they can revel in the paper shuffling).

Take it away, Jeh:

“While we are disappointed with the Department of Homeland Security’s overall 2016 ranking … I am pleased that our employee engagement score increased 2.7 points,” Johnson said. “This is in contrast to an overall 1.3-point increase government-wide, and it is the second largest single-year increase of any large agency.

“This is also the first increase in the department’s survey score since 2010,” he added.

The VA was the second-worst place to work, and its 2016 score was 56.7, more than 10 points higher than DHS’s score.

 

Back in September, Jeh responded to a government survey that also put his guys dead last:

“I have said many times that, this year, morale will improve,” Johnson said then.

Well, it’s certainly possible. Sending Jeh Johnson to the showers is probably a good place to start.

This isn’t the by-agency morale survey, but a by-Department survey by a non-profit of unknown provenance and purpose. (For non-USians, Agencies and Bureaus are smaller entities, which report to Departments; a Department is led by a cabinet Secretary who is appointed by the President and confirmed by vote of the Senate).

When the government-sponsored by-agency morale survey is out, DHS’s ICE is a 10-1 favorite for the three-hundred-and-last-th position again.

In 1918, the US Declared War. On Squirrels.

The BEST Squirrel is the Dead Squirrel — 1918 propaganda points.

War just doesn’t get any more unconventional than this. This bizarre and one-sided battle has just been profiled at some length in Pajamas Media. It did tie in to the WWI war effort, by arguing that the bushy-tailed rats devastated farm production and threatened the economy and war effort. The attack on several species of California ground squirrels, in what was then a predominantly rural, agrarian state in a similarly rural, agrarian country, produced its own propaganda:

Here’s a taste of the article.

For practical application, a poison barley recipe was included.

“Kill the Squirrel” cartoons, essentially propaganda, were also created depicting squirrels as German soldiers wearing spiked helmets and iron crosses. The father squirrel wore a upturned mustache, much like Kaiser Wilhelm’s. The Four-Minute-Men, volunteers who delivered four-minute speeches to garner support for the war efforts, had talking points designed to convince ranchers and farmers to kill the “little ally of Kaiser.” They included:

  • The BEST squirrel is the dead squirrel.
  • The Hotel California board bill for ground squirrels in 1917 […] was $30,000,000—yet unpaid.
  • The squirrel does not recognize daylight saving. He uses it all.
  • He preys on our crops in countless hordes. He fills the ranks of the killed in true military fashion.
  • Why hesitate? We can get ‘em. How? Poison ‘em, gas ‘em, drown em’, shoot ‘em, trap ‘em, submarine ‘em.
  • Are you not willing then to give your whole-hearted support to this state-wide movement to KILL THE SQUIRREL?

By the end of Squirrel Week, children had handed in over 104,509 tails, marking the effort as a huge success.

You Californians probably didn’t know this about your squirrel-cidal ancestors. A propaganda flyer also  instructed readers on squirrel characteristics and behavior, and advised them to stop killing natural squirrel predators, such as snakes and raptors, in order to enlist Nature’s red fang and claw in the Squirrelcaust.

We do recommend you Read The Whole Thing™. The propaganda is reminiscent of some of the mobilizations or campaigns of totalitarian nations, such as Nazi Germany or Red China.

Little Crappy Stories of Little Crappy Ships

130802-N-YU572-023The Littoral Combat Ship, the strange bifurcated class of toothless surface combatants-minus-combat-capabilities, continues to produce headlines. The lame-duck Social Justice Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, paid little attention to sailors, apart from undermining them, and less to ships, apart from giving them names that would assure he continued to be the Georgetown lion of his dreams. And he leaves the incoming DOD and Departent of the Navy with a large, weak, defenseless problem that’s going to build to dozens of worthless ships, if it’s not sharply stopped.

Item: LCS Has Zero Chance of Completing a 30-Day Mission

And that’s not a combat mission, for which even the ships’ coin-operated spokesmen are starting to admit the ships are completely unsuited. That’s just steaming somewhere for 15 days and coming back, maintaining combat readiness, without breaking down.

The current fleet of eight ships “have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission, the Navy’s requirement, without a critical failure of one or more seaframe subsystems essential for wartime operations,” Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test And Evaluation.

Ish Kabibble, that’s not sounding too good.

“The miracle of the LCS didn’t happen,” said Paul Francis of the Government Accountability Office. “We are 26 ships into the contract and we still don’t know if it can do its job.”

Originally scheduled to begin service in 2008 at a cost of $220 million per ship, its cost has doubled to $478 million each. And although ships have been commissioned and deployed, they are yet to be equipped with the systems that would allow them to perform their primary missions, and won’t be until 2020.

This is what happens when your front office Schedules a Revolution® and waits back for the boffins to deliver. The entire program has yet to produce a single ship that can defend itself from, well, anything. These things can go into harm’s way — if each one is provided with escorts to tackle the anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missions that the LCS can’t do.

twice-as-defenseless-as-oneOn the bright side, they do have smaller crews than previous ships, so even though more are destined to go down with all hands, there are fewer “all hands” to go down with each one of ’em.

Is the best answer to pull the plug and stop throwing more money after the sunk costs on what would become, were the balloon to go up, sunk ships?

Francis [the GAO guy — Ed.] said that while Congress also failed to exercise proper oversight on the program while it was spinning out of control, it still has a chance to inject some discipline into the next phase of the program by not approving a “block buy” of future ships.

“You are going to be rushed again, you are going to be asked to put in upfront approval of something where the design isn’t done, we don’t have independent cost estimates, and the risks are not well understood,” Francis said. “You’ll be told ‘it’s a block buy, we’re getting great prices, and the industrial base really needs this.'”

Francis recommended Congress not approve a block buy and instead demand that the Navy have a design competition in which it can downselect from two alternatives, and he further recommended hard questions be asked about whether continuing the program is worth the estimated $14 billion cost. Lockheed Martin and Austal USA are each building separate classes of the ship.

Congress has been all about sending cash to the districts where these turkeys are built. But seriously, the yards could be building Burkes or, hell, even Fletchers and we’d at least have ships with working propulsion, radars and guns. One of these against a Fletcher, who wins?

Item: Mabus’s Navy Pencil-Whipped Shock Trials

The Navy’s determination to keep beating this dead horse across the finish line has caused some, shall we say, honor violations. It seems, according to testimony in Congress, that the shock trials, under which explosions are set off near a ship to see if it can survive the sort of near-miss one expects in warfare, were, there is no other word, frauduent.That’s true of both subclasses of LCS. Maritime Executive:

[T]he shock trials for the Independence and Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships were conducted at “reduced severity” due to concerns about the possibility of damage.

“The Navy argued that the reduced severity approach was necessary because they lacked specific test data and a general understanding of how the non-Grade A systems . . . would respond to shock.”

Even these squib tests were cut short on the Freedom-class vessel trial, for fear that even at one-third power, the blast would overwhelm the ship’s fragile systems.

[T]he Navy was concerned shocking the ship at the increased level of that trial would significantly damage substantial amounts of non-hardened equipment, as well as damage, potentially significantly, the limited amount of hardened equipment, thereby necessitating costly and lengthy repairs.

Navy officials including VADM Thomas Rowden, Commander of Naval Surface Forces, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley (one of Mabus’s Social Justice Warriors), argued that the ships shouldn’t be tested like combat vessels, and shouldn’t be delayed by the testing other ships undergo, because the Navy needs them urgently for showing the flag, not for combat.

They further argued that the new ships’ frequent dead-in-the-water propulsion casualties were “routine,” and should just be accepted.

Rowden and Stackley also provided a detailed account of the two vessel classes’ recent propulsion casualties. They reported that two of five occurred due to operator error: the first involved improper setup of a lube oil service system on the USS Fort Worth’scombining gear; the second was attributed to a poor fix for a “routine failure” of an attached seawater pump’s mechanical seal, which allowed saltwater to enter one of the diesel main engines on the USS Freedom. 

Of the remaining three, one failure was due to saltwater contamination of a steering hydraulic system; one to improper shaft alignment; and one to a software control issue affecting a new model of high speed clutch.

McCain Calls out Navy Witnesses for False Information

VADM Rowland and Social Justice Deputy Secretary Stackly also got taken to the woodshed by Senate Armed Services Committee éminence grise, John McCain (R-AZ). McCain, a retired naval officer himself, made it clear that the Navy’s beloved all-but-unarmed LCSes were only a symptom of a deeper problem, the more serious problem being the Navy’s dishonesty with the public, Congress, and perhaps, itself.

John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services committee and a longtime skeptic of the Littoral Combat Ship program, criticized the Navy for allegedly providing incorrect information regarding the prospects of the LCS and its mission packages. He called on the service to prevent future overruns and shortfalls in its acquisition programs.

“The reason I’m frustrated and other members [of the committee] are is that we can only make decisions based on the information we get. If that information is incorrect or false . . . then how can we function effectively for the people we represent?” McCain said. “I hope that our witnesses understand that we have to bring this to a halt. And fooling around on the fringes has proven to be unsuccessful.”

Neither Stackley nor Rowland responded directly to McCain’s charge of dishonesty, merely reciting boilerplate defenses of the embattled ships.

Pentangle Blew $125 Billion (a Year)

burning-wasting-moneyAfter nearly eight years of being fully occupied in throwing hosannas and rose petals in the path of all that is officialdom, some event has occured that has stirred the dormant investigative reporting beast at the Washington Post into wakefulness, if not yet motion. (Over-under on that event? We’ll take 20 Jan 17 in the pool, thanks). First discovery by this newly enlightened outpost of the IVth Estate? The Pentagon wastes boatloads of money. Actually, the Pentagon figured that out itself, and then did its best to cover it up:

Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper.

So the plan was killed. The Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings. A 77-page summary report that had been made public was removed from a Pentagon website.

The “plan” that was killed was a plan to save money by eliminating fat and duplication among the DOD’s over one million back-behind-rear-echelon paper pushers. They suck up almost a quarter of every defense dollar.

2300-1-pentagon1113

The guy who first ordered, then buried the study? The same Robert O. Work whose fingers seem to be on everything screwed up, except for the personal smiting that Ray Mabus has delivered unto the sea services. Work’s heart was initially in the right place, but after the study was underway, he got a new boss not interested in saving money:

Money toilet paperWork acknowledged that the push to improve business operations lost steam after then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was replaced by Ashton B. Carter in February 2015. Carter has emphasized other goals, such as strengthening the Pentagon’s partnerships with high-tech firms.

Work’s message to Congressional budget-cutters? Suck it up, Buttercup.

“We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization,” Work said. “We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that.”

The part that killed the report for Work was a clever chart that the makers produced, which showed what the DC bloat costs the United States in combat power.

He singled out a page in the report. Titled “Warfighter Currency,” it showed how saving $125 billion could be redirected to boost combat power. The money could cover the operational costs for 50 Army brigades, or 3,000 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force, or 10 aircraft-carrier strike groups for the Navy.

“This is what scares me,” he said, according to the two people present. Work explained he was worried Congress might see it as an invitation to strip $125 billion from the defense budget and spend it somewhere else.

The team working on the project started with an estimate of just how fat the Pentagon’s fat tail was. But when they started adding up positions and dollars, they realized the real numbers were half again as high as their highest, wildest estimates.

2300-2-pentagon1113The article is one revelation after another. (The average low-level Pentagon bureaucrat costs over $200k a year, for instance; 192,000 overpaid bureaucrats manage real estate for DOD). Read The Whole Thing™.

And there’s the matter that the Washington Post knew about this in 2015, but didn’t think it was worth writing about until their party lost an election.

Update

The title of this post has been corrected. It originally said <i>million</i>, and didn’t note it was <i>every year.</i> -Ed.

Leave the Lying to the Trained Professionals!

COPSLIE plate

You won’t believe who’s all bent out of shape because cops told a lie.

In Santa Maria, California, the police chief issued a false press release that two petty criminals had been arrested and handed over to ICE. And the press duly reported it. Why did the cops lie? So they had time to nab the two small-time hoods before another gang, MS-13, carried out a plan to murder them.

While the mild deception worked perfectly, and nobody got whacked, the media are outwaged. The news director of KSBY-TV, one Kendra Martinez, was “deeply troubled”:

[W]e are concerned this type of deception can erode the basic trust of our residents and viewers.

Heh, heh, the TV news gal says “basic trust.” Bwahahahahaaaa!

We’re sure that her outwage has nothing to do with the fact a double murder is much, much better for ratings, when you’re an “it bleeds, it leads” outfit like KSBY-TV.

She wasn’t alone. A professor at a journalism school executed a Grandmaster Level concern troll:

…it could raise questions about the department’s future credibility. However, he said the public is unlikely to appreciate the importance of that issue, particularly when the police said it was matter of life and death.

Anybody seen any credibility or trust survey numbers of police relative to journalists lately? Not that professor, apparently.

Let’s hear from the editor of Santa Maria’s one hanging-on-by-its-fingernails newspaper, Marga Cooley:

They used a public system paid for with public dollars to present false information to the public.

“‘What is NPR?’ Journalism for $2000, Alex!”

Of course, newspapers too sell more papers, increase their ABC circulation, and can charge their advertisers more money, when they have murders to report. Peace and harmony is great for society, but it blows for journalists.

It wasn’t just the lives of the two small time crooks, José Melendez and his other brother José Melendez (seriously. They do have different middle names), that the cops were trying to save, but the integrity of a long-running and complex gang operation, Operation Matador, which subsequently bagged 17 members of MS-13 and related gangs for 10 murders and conspiracies to whack 8 more people (including, presumably, los hermanos Melendez). After the operation was completed, and the accused murders and miscellaneous malefactors were safely dossing down in durance vile, the cops then admitted their ruse — and set off a media tantrum of purest distilled outwage. 

It really blew us away that, of all the people to get upset about the cops telling a little white lie, it would be the same media who celebrate Walter Duranty, Herbert Matthews, Janet Cooke Stephen Glass, Mike Barnicle, Jayson Blair… need we go on? You can tell they’re lyin’, ’cause their lips are moving.

Suddenly they’re very concerned that the police might bruise their credibility. Well, they would know what bruised credibility looks like, wouldn’t they? Strict neutrality between the police and MS-13 may be what a journalist calls righteous these days, but it’s unlikely to bring the trust back.