Archive for Journalism

IRS: Remember Those Lies We Told You About Lois Lerner’s Emails?

We lied:

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group which has been investigating the IRS scandal, has learned that Lois Lerner’s supposedly missing emails may still exist within a federal government back-up system.

After months of administration officials insisting that two years worth of Lerner’s emails were irretrievable following a computer crash, a Department of Justice attorney admitted to Judicial Watch Friday that the federal government backs up all their computer records in case of catastrophe.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified just a few months ago that Lerner’s emails were lost, while the IRS claimed it had gone to “unprecedented efforts” to retrieve the emails.

The news of the “lost” emails was met with wide mockery and disbelief in the press, with many suspecting that some back-up of the records must exist.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, told Fox News that the Department of Justice now claims it would be “too hard” to retrieve Lerner’s emails from the back-up system.

Fitton was irate over the administration’s deception: “Everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, missing e-mails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration–it’s all been a pack of malarkey.”

“There’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing e-mails,” said Fitton. “It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, to the American people and to Congress. It is really outrageous.”

It ain’t the crime, but the cover-up. This is Watergate forty years on. If it’s too much to ask for Woodward and Bernstein, can we at least have Holmes (Katie) and Watson (Emma), Lucy and Ethel, or Potsie and Ralph investigate? Memo to media: this kind of crime is precisely why you exist. Do your job.

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St. Louis, Meet Salt Lake

Cop shoots unarmed teen. Teen dies. Dog bites man:

A day after Salt Lake City police shot and killed a man whose family claim he was unarmed, questions about the shooting remain unanswered.

South Salt Lake police are investigating the shooting because it occurred within the city, but near the border with Salt Lake City. Officers have not yet said whether they recovered a weapon at the scene.

“They’re here to protect and serve. More like shoot and kill,” said Jerrail Taylor, Dillon Taylor’s older brother. “Anybody in this house or anybody on the streets, if we kill someone, we’re doing 25 years to life in prison. I’d like this cop to lose his job and do the same amount of time like a regular human being.”

Dillon Taylor, 20, who is from Salt Lake, was exiting 7-Eleven with his brother and cousin, Adam Thayne, around 7 p.m. on Monday, when Salt Lake City police arrived, responding to a report of a man waving a gun in the area.

The officers ordered the men to the ground. Two of them complied, but Dillon, who police say matched the suspect’s description, did not go down.

“It came in as a 911 call that there was a man with a gun,” said South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Darrin Sweeten. “He was verbally challenged and ultimately was shot.”

This account left out one small detail:

Untitled

The chief also addressed speculation about the ethnicity of the officer who shot Taylor, saying the officer is not white. Taylor’s brother, Jerrail Taylor, raised issues last week about racial profiling. He said his brother was Hispanic.

I agree that the ethnicity of the policeman is irrelevant. In Salt Lake as it is in St. Louis.

The story also leaves out any mention of riots, looting, Molotov cocktails, “provocateurs”, etc. in Salt Lake. What terrible reporting.

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RIP James Foley, Rot in Hell ISLAMIC State

We offer our condolences to the family of James Foley, New Hampshire’s own:

When war reporter James Foley wasn’t writing for GlobalPost or recording video for AFP or appearing on the PBS “NewsHour,” he occasionally shared stories on his own blog, aptly titled “A World of Troubles.”

For a subtitle, he chose the famous Carl von Clausewitz sentence “War is fought by human beings.”

And that is exactly what Foley sought to show with his reporting: humanity amid the horror of war.

Foley was abducted while on a reporting trip in northern Syria in November 2012. He was never heard from again.

A video published Tuesday by the extremist group ISIS showed Foley being beheaded. It is not known when or where the video was recorded.

For Foley’s family and friends, the recording was the answer they hoped they’d never hear to their questions about his disappearance.

“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people,” his mother, Diane, said Tuesday night,

She called him “an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person.”

Foley was the oldest child of Diane and John Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire. He had four siblings.

Someone doing what he did would have known that something like what happened to him was a real possibility. But I still salute him for trying. I wouldn’t do it, but if he saw himself as a reporter, and he didn’t put a wife or children through the agony of what happened, I won’t take anything away from his sacrifice.

What I did not need was his death to tell me how subhuman the ISLAMIC State is. They have made it abundantly clear. They make fellow Islamic savages, Boko Haram, look like the Marylebone Cricket Club. In fact, Foley’s death isn’t even the most grisly death of a reporter (though it’s a close second). Daniel Pearl’s live-from-Kabul decapitation will never be, uh, topped, by the mere fact that Khalid Sheik Muhammad (or whoever) acted just after Pearl proudly and fearlessly admitted to being a Jew.

ISIS may be the baddest mofos on the planet right now (they think they are), but they are hardly unique:

As Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria butcher thousands of “infidels” and carry off their women and children into slavery, many in the West are inclined to see this as an unique outcrop of Islamic fundamentalism. Yet after overrunning a Bosnian town on 11th July 1995, Bosnian Serb – ostensibly Christian – forces, cold-bloodedly massacred 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica. Hutu genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, Khmer Rouge mass-murder of Cambodian city-dwellers, Nazi genocide of Jews, Gypsies and the disabled…. the list of savagery is as long as it is profoundly depressing.

The Serbs may have been “ostensibly Christian”, and their victims were certainly Muslim, but was the massacre religiously motivated? Better put, was the primacy of one religion over the other the reason for the slaughter? It is so overwhelmingly among the ISLAMIC Staters and their ilk, but I don’t think Bosnia was a religious war. I am aware of no Serbs shouting “God is great!” as they committed their unspeakable atrocities.

Finally, people will do savage things if their leaders tell them it is acceptable to do so, particularly if they have given their selves to the group self. The Rwandan genocide was switched on by a series of radio broadcasts by a small group of leaders to a population who, by that instruction, were turned into savage murderers of former friends and neighbours who were in the out-group. The soldiers of the Soviet army committed mass rape as they invaded Germany in 1945 because senior commanders had advocated it. Islamic State fighters are slaughtering unarmed Christians and Yazidis because their leaders have told them that this is the right thing to do.

True, but only to a point. I believe that in all these cases the beasts would have behaved bestially or without exhortation.

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Silver Lining Watch

Good news out of Ferguson, MO!

MSNBC anchors Chris Hayes and Craig Melvin were pelted with rocks during the network’s live coverage of the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The scene here, just honestly 15 minutes ago, was calm, but it is the case now here and has been the last eight nights that as soon that things can go from just quiet and calm to incredibly tense and contested. And as you can tell people are angry,” Hayes observed

Gosh, Chris, how do you suppose that happened?

HOWARD KURTZ: Some are doing a good job. Some grandstanding in my view. I was surprised to CNN’s Jake Tapper say the police shouldn’t be out there in riot gear because there was no threat. And part of the polarization and this does get into a racially divisive case that reminds us all too much of the Trayvon tragedy. You have MSNBC kind of acting as the Michael Brown Defense Network led by Al Sharpton who speaks with families, speaks at rallies, comments on his show.

Anything else?

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC: I think it’s one thing to say there is no racial undertone here but then in practice, it’s almost like an apartheid state. When you look at the school board not a single African-American on the school board yet the community is 70% African-American. You have three black police officers on a force of 53. You talk about ladders of opportunity, young people feel there are none. The schools, many are failing. The state is embroiled in controversy about a transfer program. And so while he says it, he’s probably listening to his constituents.

There is a great article in the New Republic recently where they polled white folks in St. Louis and how people talk about what’s happening in the community. It’s on the people themselves for destroying their community and all the coded language. So there are clear issues here. I don’t know if he’s trying to do a P.R. move or what, clearly black folks in this community feel the long and terrible history here.

Another can of gasoline to throw on the fire?

On MSNBC this afternoon, network contributor Michael Eric Dyson said President Obama’s refusal to wade into the Ferguson situation is a “low point” for his presidency. Dyson said Obama “failed” black people and the nation for trying to come up with an excuse to “not speak about race.”

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: I think he has far more latitude than he’s exercised so far. He’s got the bully pulpit. Be a bully in the pulpit but don’t bully black people. Yesterday was a low moment in the Obama presidency because he distracted attention away from the facts of the case. A white police officer armed to the teeth with a gun has killed an unarmed black youth. The president turned this into a referendum, if you will, on internal machinations of black criminality and the politics of black respectability as opposed to the facts at hand. He was a poor teacher yesterday and he’s such a brilliant and insightful man, but he failed us not only as black people but he failed the nation.

He failed to deal with the particular instances not only of Michael Brown — he doesn’t have to deal with Michael Brown. The president said, I don’t want to put my thumb on it too much to weigh the scales of justice. Don’t even talk about Michael Brown. Talk about what led to Michael Brown. Tell us as a nation what happens when festering rage in a community then begins to ignite and then begins to consume not only that community but the people around the nation who are empathetic. So I think the president has a lot more latitude. Does he have opposition? Yes. But when he opens his mouth on Iraq, he’s opposed. When he opens his mouth on the environment, he’s opposed. When he opens hi mouth on gay marriage, he’s opposed. He’s oppose every step. Don’t use this as an excuse to not speak about race.

If anyone actually watched the poxy station I’d throw rocks at MSNBC, too, the patronizing bastards. This is about as close to shouting fire in a crowded theater as a “news” station can get.

PS: This can’t help.

Funeral arrangements have been set for Michael Brown, the 18-year-old man killed by police in Ferguson last weekend.

According to his attorney, Benjamin Crump, the funeral has been set for Monday, August 25, 2014 at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church at 10 a.m.

Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy and Rev. Michael Jones will officiate.

Sharpton never knew and never even heard of Michael Brown until his death. Sharpton may prove one wrong, but one would be forgiven for thinking that inviting an MSNBC host and notorious race hustler (Tawana Brawley, Freddie’s Fashion Mart, etc.) to eulogize in this incendiary situation is a political stunt.

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Darwin Award Nominees

Don’t try this at home, boys and girls:

Hamas sources in Gaza report that a dud IDF missile exploded on Wednesday, killing five including an Italian journalist, after Hamas terrorists clumsily tried to dismantle the missile.

Hamas emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra stated that in addition to the five dead, there are several more who are seriously wounded.

“A number of explosives experts were killed while dismantling a missile in Beit Lahiya. Among them was a foreign journalist,” Hamas Interior Ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Buzam told AFP.

The Italian government shortly thereafter named the dead journalist as Simone Camilli.

“Simone Camilli’s death is a tragedy for his family and for the country. Once more a reporter pays the price for a war that has lasted too many years,” said Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini.

Not exactly, Ms. Lollobrigida, there was no war. In this case, a reporter (sadly) got what was coming to him for trusting Hamass. The death toll itself should bring their “expertise” into question.

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“Palestinian ‘Work Accident’” Hits ISIS

Not:

Story of ISIS Bombing Instructor Blowing Up Class Is Just a Rewrite from February (UPDATED)
by Evan McMurry | 12:49 pm, August 11th, 2014 NOPE
18

UPDATE 2:52 p.m.: Belfast Telegraph has since deleted the story.

Not hard to see why: A suicide bombing teacher blowing up his own class, and thus taking out a whole pocket of future suicide bombers, carries with it an inherent sense of ironic justice. It also did so back in February, when the incident actually occurred. The Telegraph article, which has today’s date, appears to describe an incident covered by the New York Times on February 10. The incidents occurred in the same location, with the same sequence of events, and the same body count.

Today’s article:

An Isis commander at a terrorist training camp north of Baghdad accidentally detonated a belt packed with explosives during a demonstration in front of a group militants on Monday, killing himself and 21 nearby trainees.

The Times article from February:

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

I don’t blame the Belfast Telegraph. “Palestinian ‘Work Accidents’” are so common, they have their own entry in the Urban Dictionary. We have at least 20 posts on the subject in our own archives. No reason to believe ISIS can’t be just as inept as Hamass.

Elder of Ziyon expressed his concern a few months ago:

I count 20 Palestinian Arabs killed by “work accidents” and rockets that have fallen short in 2014.

Perhaps one of the international organizations that the PLO had joined will be able to give advice on workplace safety for terrorists.

Find another line of work, perhaps.

Like farming:

Well, something!

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Bulldog of the Press?

Or turtle?

International press in Gaza has hardly reported on how Hamas operates in this round of fighting and photos or video of Hamas fighters from recent weeks are rare, the reason for which became apparent this week as several journalists reported being threatened and even expelled from Gaza for reporting the terrorist organization uses civilian sites to attack Israel.

Reporters from Italy and the US corroborated the IDF’s explanation for explosions near Shifa Hospital and by a playground in Shati on Tuesday, that it was a result of rockets misfired by Gazan terrorists.

However, one altered his report and another waited to leave Gaza because he feared retribution from Hamas.

Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted a photo on Tuesday as he went through the Erez crossing into Israel.

Barbati then he tweeted the following in Italian and English: “Out of Gaza far from Hamas retaliation: Misfired rocket killed children [yesterday] in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”

He followed that tweet with another: “@IDFSpokesperson said truth in communique released yesterday about Shati camp massacre. It was not Israel behind it.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent based in Egypt Tamer El-Ghobashy tweeted a photo of rubble with the explanation: “An outside wall on the campus of Gaza’s main hospital was hit by a strike. Low level damage suggest Hamas misfire.”

Soon after, El-Ghobashy deleted the tweet, similar to his Wall Street Journal colleague Nick Casey, who tweeted a photo of a Hamas official using Shifa hospital for media appearances last week and then deleted it.

El-Ghobashy then replaced the same tweet with the same photo and the text: “The outer wall of Gaza City’s main hospital was struck. Unclear what the origin of the projectile is.”

The French newspaper Liberation published an article last week detailing how Hamas interrogated French-Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abu Dagga and threatened to throw him out of Gaza – all in Shifa hospital. The article was later removed at Abu Dagga’s request.

Pro-Palestinian activists and journalists, including Fadi Arouri from Al-Ayyam, reported on Wednesday that RT (formerly Russia Today) correspondent Harry Fear was told to leave Gaza after he tweeted about Hamas rockets being fired into Israel from near his hotel.

In another tweet from last week, Fear called Al-Wafa hospital “the hospital with human shields.”

Reporters Without Borders confirmed to Liberation that many journalists reported being threatened by Hamas, though the organization’s website criticizes Israel.

Love that “THOUGH”. Hamass is threatening to kneecap anyone with a steno pad, but RSF blames Israel. Dinks. Megadinks.

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Abraham, Martin, and John…and Barack

Has anybody here seen my old friend Barack?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?

President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn’t invited.

Tuesday, the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

Wednesday morning, when he met with big donors for the House Majority PAC at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown San Francisco, they weren’t even told what room or floor he was on.

“We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature,” said Christi Parsons, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “Denying access to him in that setting undermines the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. It’s of special concern as these events and the donors they attract become more influential in the political process.”

Despite constant complaints from the press corps and promises from White House officials, access to the president continues to be limited. The constantly repeated line that they’re running the “most transparent administration in history” tends to prompt snickers. Halfway through Obama’s West Coast swing, it’s tipping toward outrage.

Okay, tough guys, what are you going to do about it?

Parsons said the WHCA has asked the White House to reconsider its position regarding access, but has not yet filed a formal complaint.

Pussies.

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Practicing Journalism w/o a License

Sharyl Attkisson lost her job at CBS for questioning the Obama administration. At all.

Now she is reduced to the lowest form of life, a phylum that looks upon pond scum and banana slugs with the greenish tinge of envy: bloggress.

According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS reports having “lost” former IRS manager Lois Lerner’s emails to and from other IRS employees sent between January of 2009 and April of 2011 due to a ‘computer crash.’

In light of the disclosure, these are some of the logical requests that should be made of the IRS:

Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.

Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.

Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.

Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?

Please provide documentation reflecting any security analyses done to assess the impact of the crash and lost materials. If such analyses were not performed, why not?

Please provide documentation showing the steps taken to recover the material, and the names of all technicians who attempted the recovery.

Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.

Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.

I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.

You can take the girl out of journalism, but you can’t take the journalist out of the girl. If Andrea Mitchell weren’t so high on hydrogen peroxide fumes and David Gregory weren’t so intoxicated with himself, they might think to ask even one of these questions.

Nah.

You can see why Attkisson had to get out of the business: she has an unspellable name and too many scruples. Welcome to the Lower Depths, sweetie. You’ll find it’s not so bad when you get used to the swamp gas.

PS: But then, you come from the network of Dan Rather, so you probably already are.

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Made You Look!

CNN’s obsession with the missing plane long ago became the stuff of farce, ridicule, parody.

Ratings bonanza!

The 850 square kilometers scanned off the coast of western Australia in the hunt for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane are not the “final resting place of MH370,” the agency leading the search said Thursday.

The search area is where four acoustic pings originally thought to be from the black boxes of the Boeing 777 were heard in early April.

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgment, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370,” a statement from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said.

Authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders but instead came from some other man-made source unrelated to the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, according to Michael Dean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering.

I don’t watch CNN, but I understand from those who are paid to do so that it has obsessed on this subject like Michelle Obama on curly kale. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that CNN itself dispatched some junior producer to the South Pacific with a triangle from a high school band. He’s floating in a dinghy, surrounded by sharks, pinging the triangle every eight seconds. Well, now he’s stopped, back on dry land, applying makeup to Wolf Blitzer’s brow.

I guess I should declare that I am not making fun of such a tragic loss of life. Real people, not that different from me, lost people they loved very dearly. But is CNN’s comical coverage any more respectful?

“Now clearly we were hoping that the pings would narrow that broad area down to a narrow one, but that has not been the case, and now we have to unfortunately go the long road,” he told CNN.

You just take your time, says CNN. We’ve got hours of programming to fill.

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While Obama Putted

[NB: Hat Tip to Keith Koffler's invaluable White House Dossier for most of these links.]

This was how the VA scandal broke:

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments.

That was on April 23, on CNN.

Dr. Foote explains himself in the New York Times today a day and a month later:

MY decision to become a whistle-blower after 24 years as a physician in a Veterans Affairs hospital was, at first, an easy one. I knew about patients who were dying while waiting for appointments on the V.A.’s secret schedules, and I couldn’t stay silent.

But there was no response to the two letters I sent to the Veterans Affairs inspector general, one in late October 2013 and one in early February. Going public would damage an institution I gave more than two decades of my life to, trying to make a better place for veterans to get their care. But I had to be able to sleep at night.

Any scandal that befalls the V.A. necessarily lands on the party that is in the White House. As this is an election year, we can expect that there will be significant pushback to delay and limit the discovery of negative information — which is why I expect my suggestions to be vehemently opposed by the White House and the V.A.’s upper management.

I am worried about the patients whose care is entrusted to the V.A., and I am skeptical about our chances of creating real, long-lasting reform — but I hope that this time we will. It is easy, especially on Memorial Day weekend, to pay lip service to the need to “support our troops” and our veterans. But it is much harder to actually do it.

Dr. Foote has little faith in President Obama’s leadership, a pretty cynical point of view when the president was described as “madder than hell”. But if we look at the intervening 31 days since the story broke, we may see the reason for the good doctor’s skepticism.

Obama was in Asia when the story broke (You remember, he told Malaysia that the US has “work to do” on human rights.) He returned to the White House on the evening of April 29th.

There was a lot of business to catch up on, as one might expect, but that’s what weekends are for—to work through the backlog of the nation’s business.

Eventually:

From the pool report:

POTUS motorcade departed WH at about 11:40 am and arrived at Fort Belvoir, Va. at 12:06 p.m., at which point motorcade pulled off from pool van. Pool did not see president.

Per White House, POTUS is playing golf with Marvin Nicholson, Joe Paulsen and Michael Brush.

Doubtless strategizing how to fix the VA. But he got busy the next week.

Fundraising:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, May 7, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 6, 2014, 9:53 PM
10:00 am ET || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
11:05 am ET || Departs White House
12:35 pm CT || Arrives Arkansas
2:50 pm CT || Delivers a statement
3:35 pm CT || Departs Arkansas
5:00 pm PT || Arrives Los Angeles
6:55 pm PT || Delivers remarks and answers questions at a joint fundraiser for House and Senate Democrats; private residency, Los Angeles
8:10 pm PT || Attends USC Shoah Foundation dinner; Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles

The Shoah dinner as a cover for a fundraising junket—well played, sir!

And he wasn’t done yet!

Obama Schedule || Thursday, May 8, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 7, 2014, 8:26 PM
9:30 am || Participates in a DNC fundraiser; The Beverly Hilton
11:10 am || Departs Los Angeles
11:50 am || Arrives San Diego
1:15 pm || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser for congressional Democrats; private residence
2:30 pm || Departs San Diego
3:50 pm || Arrives San Jose
4:15 pm || Participates in a DNC fundraiser; private residence
6:30 pm || Speaks at a DNC fundraiser; Fairmont San Jose

A few more days pass—and it’s the weekend!

It’s the usual Saturday golf. President Obama and three White House aides – usual type players – arrived at the Joint Andrews course shortly after noon.

It’s the president’s 12th time out this year and the 169th round of his presidential golfing career.

Okay, he’s golfed enough, and fundraised enough—surely he’s over jet lag—it must be time to address the nation’s veterans.

But it’s not:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, May 14, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 13, 2014, 10:26 PM
10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:20 pm || With the first lady, departs the White House
2:30 pm || Arrives New York City
3:25 pm || Delivers remarks on infrastructure; Tarrytown, NY
5:00 pm || Attends a DNC fundraiser; InterContinental Hotel, New York City

It’s been three week, sir: surely time to display that legendary Obama temper and kick some ass, no?

Not exactly:

Rob Nabors, a White House deputy chief of staff, will work with the VA temporarily to help assess its practices and develop recommendations on how veterans’ hospitals can increase access to timely care, the White House announced Wednesday.

“While we get to the bottom of what happened in Phoenix, it’s clear the VA needs to do more to ensure quality care for our veterans. I’m grateful that Rob, one of my most trusted advisors, has agreed to work with Secretary Shinseki to help the team at this important moment.”

Maybe he hides his anger:

TAPPER How on earth, can the president still have full confidence in him. People died.

McDONOUGH You heard what Gen. Shinseki had to say about this. He’s mad as Hell about this. Nobody’s more mad than the president.

Grateful, angry, what’s the difference? Either way, he got his man:

Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I thank Dr. Petzel for his four decades of service to Veterans.

“Four decades” should have been a clue: it turns out the guy retired, a couple of weeks early.

That done, it was back to the golf course:

A reporter got stuck in less than stellar surroundings Saturday. As President Obama golfed at the fancy Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., an exclusive course that has hosted four President’s cups, the reporter was put in a maintenance shed.

On the way to the shed, Houston Chronicle‘s Kevin Diaz first waited in the equipment shack cafeteria (whatever that means). Later, he was sent to a” maintenance shed” to wait out the President’s golf game.

As he noted in his White House Pool Report, “POTUS motorcade departed at 4:45 from the gated, lakefront campus of Robert Trent Jones’ signature golf course, which looked like a nice place to play golf, at least from the maintenance shed where pool spent the day.”

If the designated reporter is meek enough to sit on his ass in a maintenance shed, that’s probably where he belongs. What a useless lot the Washington press corps is.

FINALLY! Four weeks since the story broke:

Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate. Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency.

And dummy lists, Mr. President? Have they been “one of the causes of [your] presidency”? Military “folks” died waiting for access to your “issue”.

What are you going to do about it?

President Obama headed out unusually early this morning for his customary Saturday round of golf, motorcading to the course at Joint Base Andrews.

From the pool reports:

The president left the White House in his motorcade at 9:25 am. He is wearing a well-tailored pair of khaki pants, a white polo shirt, a navy blue windbreaker and no hat.

At least, that’s how it looked from the maintenance shed.

In the month-plus since the story broke, Obama has “retired” one bureaucrat, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Democrat Party, and golfed four times. Perhaps that explains Dr. Foote’s jaundiced view of affairs expressed above.

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PUMA (Paper Unity My Ass) II

A white woman who’s got the job all sewn up suddenly finds herself out on her ass, replaced by a black man.

Nah, could never happen:

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson was suddenly fired on Wednesday, less than three years after taking over the top editorial position at the newspaper.

In an article posted on its web site, the Times said Abramson has been “dismissed” and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper.

The first female executive editor at the Times is being replaced by the first African-American to fill the post. Baquet, 57, was Abramson’s hand-picked deputy during her term in office.

“I’ve loved my run at The Times,”Abramson, 60, said in a statement released by the paper. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”

Sulzberger told the employees that Abramson was leaving due to “an issue with management in the newsroom,” adding that there were no editorial issues during her tenure that caused the move. Abramson was not in the newsroom during the announcement, Politico reports.

“I chose to appoint a new leader for our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom,” Sulzberger said, according to the Politico report. “This is not about any disagreement between the newsroom and the business side.”

The Times’ article on the dismissal states “people in the company briefed on the situation described serious tension in [Abramson's] relationship with Mr. Sulzberger, who had been hearing concerns from employees that she was polarizing and mercurial. They had disagreements even before she was appointed executive editor, and she had also had clashes with Mr. Baquet.”

Who said Ms. Abramson was “likable enough”.

Except when she wasn’t:

The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta reported in a blog post that Abramson, the first female to serve as executive editor for the prestigious newspaper, was let go because she demanded “equal pay” to male personnel, a point immediately denied by The Times.

“Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs,” Auletta writes.

“‘She confronted the top brass,’ one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy,’ a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect,” he continued.

Auletta notes that Sulzberger feels the financially-strapped Times needs to be less extravagant with its salaries and that Keller had spent many more years at the paper than Abramson, which would also explain the pension disparity.

He concludes that, whether Abramson was “right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy. A third associate told me, ‘She found out that a former deputy managing editor’ — a man— ‘made more money than she did’ while she was managing editor. ‘She had a lawyer make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities, which set them off.’”

Nothing makes working women all warm and fuzzy like being told they’re pushy. (Especially if they’re Jewish, as I suppose Ms. Abramson to be.)

Me, I think this is what got her canned:

Abramson made waves in January when she said in an interview with Al Jazeera that President Obama was operating “the most secretive White House” she has ever covered.

“I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term,” she said in the interview.

Talk about waving a red flag at a bull! That’s like a Nigerian schoolgirl walking up to a pack of Boko Haram and saying “The sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs (a and b) equals the area of the square on the hypotenuse (c)…asshole!”

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