Archive for Media Bias

Imbecilic or Immoral?

If Aggie and I are growing increasingly frustrated with the biased coverage against Israel—and we are—the myriad reasons can be summed up in these few words:

Palestine Makes You Dumb

Of all the inane things that have been said about the war between Israel and Hamas, surely one dishonorable mention belongs to comments made over the weekend by Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.

“I think you can always do more,” Mr. Rhodes replied. “The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan.”

How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-style battle—in Fallujah in 2004—some 800 civilians perished and at least 9,000 homes were destroyed. This is not an indictment of U.S. conduct in Fallujah but an acknowledgment of the grim reality of city combat.

Oh, and by the way, American towns and cities were not being rocketed from above or tunneled under from below as the Fallujah campaign was under way.

Oh, and by the way, too, you can’t believe the numbers:

Consider the media obsession with the body count. According to a daily tally in the New York Times, as of July 27 the war in Gaza had claimed 1,023 Palestinian lives as against 46 Israelis. How does the Times keep such an accurate count of Palestinian deaths? A footnote discloses “Palestinian death tallies are provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

OK. So who runs the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza? Hamas does. As for the U.N., it gets its data mainly from two Palestinian agitprop NGOs, one of which, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, offers the remarkably precise statistic that, as of July 27, exactly 82% of deaths in Gaza have been civilians. Curiously, during the 2008-09 Gaza war, the center also reported an 82% civilian casualty rate.

When minutely exact statistics are provided in chaotic circumstances, it suggests the statistics are garbage. When a news organization relies—without clarification—on data provided by a bureaucratic organ of a terrorist organization, there’s something wrong there, too.

To argue the Palestinian side, in this war, is to make the case for barbarism. It is to erase, in the name of humanitarianism, the moral distinctions from which the concept of humanity arises.

Typically, the Obama administration is hedging its bets. The Palestine Effect claims another victim.

As always, I agree with everything Bret Stephens writes—with one exception: the Obama administration in not dumb. Well, they are, as most liberals are when cut loose from reality and sanity. But they are also evil. Knowingly and willfully evil.

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

- Aggie

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Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

- Aggie

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Utopianism Vs. Reality (Alternative Title: The True Cycle Of Violence)

In my view, utopian ideologies (such as pacifism, leftist appeasement, Messianism, etc.) are the most dangerous philosophies that mankind has created, with the possible exception of Communism and its offshoots. Communism itself is a utopian ideology, come to think of it. What these ideologies share is the belief that given the right set of circumstances, peace on earth will come about.

Don’t get me wrong – a small dose of this stuff is just fine. We can all pray for the Messiah to come (or return). We can pitch in and help our neighbors. We can avoid conflict if it is reasonable to do so.

But Reality is ever so much more powerful than Utopianism, especially in the world today.

This is about Israel, but it pertains to the US too:

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France all are rushing to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Their motive — to end civilian suffering and restore stability to the area — is noble. The images of the wounded and dead resulting from the conflict are indeed agonizing. However, these senior statesmen can be most helpful now by doing nothing. To preserve the values they cherish and to send an unequivocal message to terrorist organizations and their state sponsors everywhere, Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is the lesson of previous rounds of fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and terrorist strongholds. In Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012, Israel responded to rocket attacks on its cities with fierce counteroffensives. Fighting against a deeply dug-in enemy that both blended in with the local population and used it as a shield, Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties invariably proved limited. Incensed world opinion generated immense pressure on governments to convene the U.N. Security Council and empower human rights organizations to censure Israel and stop the carnage. These measures succeeded where the terrorists’ rockets failed. Israel was compelled to back down.

And the terrorists, though badly mauled, won. Admittedly, their bar for claiming victory was exceptionally low. While Israel must achieve a clear battlefield success to win, the terrorists merely had to survive. But they did more than survive. Under the protection of cease-fires and, in some cases, international peacekeepers, they vastly expanded their arsenals to include more lethal and longer-range missiles. While reestablishing their rule in the streets, they burrowed beneath them to create a warren of bombproof bunkers and assault tunnels. Such measures enabled Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, to mount devastating attacks at the time of their choosing, confident that the international community would once again prevent Israel from exacting too heavy a price.

So the cycle continued. Allowed to fight for several weeks, at most, Israel was eventually condemned and hamstrung by cease-fires. The terrorists, by contrast, could emerge from their hideouts and begin to replenish and enhance their stockpiles. That is precisely the pattern established in the second Lebanon War and repeated in Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas sustained losses but, rescued and immunized by international diplomacy, they remained in power and became more powerful still. Israel, on the other hand, was forced to defend its right to defend itself. Jihadist organizations no different from the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gained regional legitimacy, while Israel lost it in the world.

The cycle can end, now and decisively. As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week , responsible world leaders can give Israel the time and the leverage it needs to alter Hamas’s calculus. They can let the Israeli army ferret Hamas out of its holes and make it pay a prohibitive cost for its attacks. They can create an outcome in which the organization, even if it remains in Gaza, is defanged and deprived of its heavy arms. Of course, Hamas will resist demilitarization, and more civilians will suffer, but by ending the cycle once and for all thousands of innocent lives will be saved.

Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.

More at the link. Again, it doesn’t exactly make us want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it is the truth.

- Aggie

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Arab EMTs

When the going gets tough, the terrorists scatter like so many cockroaches:

But as pathetically humorous as it is to watch the little Arab rats scurry and hide, it’s nowhere near as pathetically humorous as watching the little Arab rats play-acting:

Hee-hee. Pallywood really ought to sell tickets for these comic shorts. They’re blockbuster.

There are a few among the dead whose deaths I’m sure I regret. A few. But if Hamass fires off missiles and mortars from behind the skirts of Arab grannies, Israel not only can fire back, it must. Chalk up all deaths to Hamass.

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Antisemitism At The Washington Post

- Aggie

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BREAKING: ObamaCare Hurts Economy, Workers

Who could have seen this coming?

[U]nlike Settles’s other experiments, this one hasn’t been great for his business. He put raises and expansion plans on hold as he figured out the cost and logistics of making the changes. To his surprise, his employees have not leaped at the chance to get health insurance. And he is still trying to figure some things out — for example, how to safeguard employee information that must now be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, such as the Social Security numbers of children who are covered under their parents’ health plans.

“We don’t want to be liable for that,” he said. “What if we get hacked?”

In recent weeks, criticism of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate — one of the law’s most controversial components — has intensified, as employers such as Settles complain publicly and even some Obama administration allies acknowledge that the mandate has harmed some workers.

A number of businesses, including Regal Entertainment and SeaWorld, have reduced hours for part-time workers to fewer than 30 a week — the law’s definition of full time — to avoid having to offer them health insurance. Other companies say they are holding back on hiring to avoid the insurance requirement. Seasonal employees and low-wage workers, such as adjunct professors and cafeteria staffers, have been hit especially hard.

You’ll pardon Aggie and me, I hope, for laughing at Democrat stalwarts, “low-wage workers”, as the “law of the land” targets their asses. It’s more than we could have hoped for.

Did I say “law of the land”? Hardly:

“We’ve never thought [the employer mandate] was particularly good policy, and while people have probably screamed too loudly about the effects on employment, there is some of it that’s certainly true, and it’s not worth the price we seem to be paying,” said John Holahan, a fellow at the Urban Institute and a co-author of the recent paper “Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?”

Am I the only one troubled by the concept of an optional mandate? It’s like asking your calculator to divide by zero. And the media pretend to discover these collateral damages as if they weren’t there all along.

See you in November.

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The Unelectable Blackness of Barack Obama

Whoa, wait a minute! How did that title get through? It’s not only offensive, it’s nonsensical. Obama has won every election he ever contested but one (to another black man).

Then how come… The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker?

Before addressing the subject of the title—Walker, his pallor, both—the author spends paragraphs denigrating Milwaukee talk radio host (and occasional guest host for Rush Limbaugh), Mark Belling, for racially insensitive language. But that’s preamble:

In any case, the riff did not keep the state’s governor, Scott Walker, from appearing on the show a few days later. Belling’s treatment of Walker was notably more deferential. “Have you,” he asked, “sat back and thought about what has been accomplished by yourself and the Republican legislature? Has it really sunk in that you’ve transformed a fiscally reckless state into perhaps the most fiscally sound state in the nation? Has it sunk in, I guess is what I’m saying, do you realize what’s been accomplished?” Walker replied that no, his achievement had not sunk in, because he had been “so busy doing it.”

That accomplishment—effectively eliminating collective bargaining for most public employees in the state, facing down the angry protests that followed, surviving a rancorous recall election—has vaulted Walker into the top tier of Republican presidential contenders for 2016. He is the closest person the party has to an early favorite, and not simply because of Chris Christie’s nosedive from grace or because Jeb Bush is still waffling about his intentions. Walker has implemented an impeccably conservative agenda in a state that has gone Democratic in seven straight presidential elections. Unlike Mitt Romney, or, for that matter, John McCain, he is beloved by the conservative base, but he has the mien of a mainstream candidate, not a favorite of the fringe. His boosters, who include numerous greenroom conservatives in Washington and major donors around the country, such as the Koch brothers, see him as the rare Republican who could muster broad national support without yielding a millimeter on doctrine.

That’s Walker, fairly portrayed, I’d have to say. What about his whiteness?

You know what? I don’t care. I thought I had a point when I began the post because I thought the author did. But he lost me with long digressions into Walker’s impeccable upbringing, sinister insinuations of racial hatred in the mean streets of Milwaukee, and more about the radio host, Mark Belling. So, let’s cut our losses. Walker’s whiteness is irrelevant.

Just one thing:

Mark Belling, a Wisconsin native, grew up liberal and supported Jimmy Carter. In the 1980s, though, he took a job in the post-industrial city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, and underwent a conversion. “The entire city was an experiment in American liberalism and it was an absolute disaster,” he said in 2012. “I realized anti-poverty programs, welfare, aid to cities, allegations that … black underachievement is because of racism, I realized that all of those things were wrong.” Meanwhile, watching Ronald Reagan in office, he was struck by the “undeniable renaissance of America.” “I became far better at arguing my point of view and far more satisfied with my political positions once I became a conservative, because I realized I was correct,” Belling said.

Show of hands, please, of all of those who had a similar experience. My hand is up. My Benton Harbor was New York City, but it was every bit “an experiment in American liberalism and it was an absolute disaster”. Whatever else Belling has said, that is inarguable.

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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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It’s Unexpected!™

In an economy that can be described only as bipolar, jobless claims rose more than…wait for it…expected:

U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in May and first-time applications for unemployment benefits increased last week, but that will probably do little to change views that the economy is regaining momentum.

[T]he Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 for the week ended June 7.

With job growth rising solidly in May and manufacturing and services industries expanding strongly, the retail and jobless claims reports probably will not cause too much anxiety.

The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, the fourth straight month of job gains above 200,000. It has recouped all the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession. The unemployment rate held steady at a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent.

Economic growth in the second quarter is expected to top a 3.0 percent annual pace after contracting at a 1.0 percent rate in the January-March period.

Reuters seems awfully blasé about an unexpected jump in unemployment claims. But then, they have jobs. The economy may indeed grow by 3% in the second quarter, but I’ll need to see it before I believe it. I don’t put the contraction last quarter down to the harsh winter. So I’m not buying an Economic Spring any more than I bought an Arab Spring. Not with these job numbers.

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Good Morning, Kabul!

I don’t care how or why he did it, I give credit to President Obama for his secret visit to the troops in Afghanistan yesterday. I only wish he’d do more of it, and not just on Memorial Day weekend, and not only when he’s in hot water with the veterans.

As Commander-in-Chief, he should be more present among the men and women who serve him. So, good for him.

However:

The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.

The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.

The disclosure marked a rare instance in which a CIA officer working overseas had his cover — the secrecy meant to protect his actual identity — pierced by his own government.

Loose lips sink ships, fellas.

Tangential to the rest of the story, but the WaPo goes on to say:

The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.

Really? That’s not how history—WaPo history—remembers it:

On November 15, 2005, journalist Bob Woodward of The Washington Post revealed that “a government official with no axe to grind” leaked to him the identity of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame in mid-June 2003. According to an April 2006 Vanity Fair article (published March 14, 2006), former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee said in an interview “that Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption”, though Bradlee later told the Post that he “[did] not recall making that precise statement” in the interview.[10]

In the September 4, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine, in an article titled “The Man Who Said Too Much”, journalist Michael Isikoff, quoting a “source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities”, reported that Armitage was the “primary” source for Robert Novak’s piece outing Plame. Armitage allegedly mentioned Wilson’s CIA role to Novak in a July 8, 2003 interview after learning about her status from a State Department memo which made no reference to her undercover status.[13] Isikoff also reported that Armitage had also told Bob Woodward of Plame’s identity in June 2003, and that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald investigated Armitage’s role “aggressively”, but did not charge Armitage with a crime because he “found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame’s covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward”.

As so often happens, my ire at President Obama or some other liberal figure veers off into a screed at the ignorant, lying liberal media. Richard Armitage, not Scooter Libby and not Dick Cheney, outed Valerie Plame. And he was never charged, even though he did a very stupid thing, because he outed her inadvertently.

I can understand why the WaPo doesn’t read itself, however. Who wants to subject oneself to lies and propaganda?

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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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