Archive for Media Bias

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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Who You Callin’ Gray Lady?

Here in Bloodthirstan, we always like to make popcorn when we watch a fight. But how about the rest of youse? Chips? Something healthier like almonds? And if you want my recipe for guacamole you need but ask:

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. felt he had no choice but to hit back at Jill Abramson late Saturday after being attacked in the media for sexist motives in dismissing his executive editor.

Sulzberger sacked Abramson after concluding that her managing editor, Dean Baquet, would have quit otherwise and that this would have been devastating to the paper, says a Times executive with knowledge of the situation. Instead, Sulzberger elevated Baquet to be the paper’s first African-American editor.

The final straw was Sulzberger’s conclusion that Abramson had misled him by not informing Baquet that she planned to bring in another journalist, the Guardian’s Janine Gibson, and give her the same title of managing editor, the executive said. That was viewed as a sign of disrespect to her deputy. Baquet complained to Sulzberger about being blindsided shortly before Abramson’s dismissal.

Sulzberger said he had “heard repeatedly from her newsroom colleagues, women and men, about a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues. I discussed these issues with Jill herself several times and warned her that, unless they were addressed, she risked losing the trust of both masthead and newsroom. She acknowledged that there were issues and agreed to try to overcome them. We all wanted her to succeed. It became clear, however, that the gap was too big to bridge and ultimately I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.”

Sulzberger has taken a PR beating as the media have embraced the theme that Abramson was paid less by a paper whose liberal editorial page has championed equal pay for women. He has also drawn criticism for objecting to Abramson’s brusque management style, with critics saying male editors would not be denounced as overly aggressive or pushy, and for the way that she was abruptly shown the door.

But the executive with knowledge of the situation said that Sulzberger was open to a more amicable parting, with Abramson staying on for a period of time, only to learn that she wanted to be publicly fired and wage a publicity war against her ouster. In management’s view, Abramson is responsible for leaking confidential salary information—not just about herself but others–and her friends in the media are promoting her narrative.

In the statement, Sulzberger also said: “Equal pay for women is an important issue in our country – one that The New York Times often covers. But it doesn’t help to advance the goal of pay equality to cite the case of a female executive whose compensation was not in fact unequal.”

Is that double-negative (or is it triple) part of the Times stylebook? Earlier stories referred to Abramson as “pushy”, a word we love applied to dames, along with “loud”, “aggressive”, and “leggy”.

The Times is about as dishonest a publication as I can think of. Not just among its editorialists and op-ed writers (Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman), but in its slanted news coverage. (Check out CAMERA’s analysis of Mid-East reporting). This airing of dirty laundry is Christmas in May.

PS: Lots of cilantro and hot pepper flakes—and raw red onion. The avocado tames the wild flavors.

PPS: And more salt than you might think healthy. For the same reason.

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Resist We Much

How to succeed in left-wing media:

Behold the greatest battle in television news.

It’s the Rev. Al Sharpton’s war with the teleprompter and, to a greater extent, the English language.

Behold as he bungles names (who’s Rush Lumbard?), places (Latvia becomes Lavita), book titles (“Hubris” is read as Hue-Brees), organizations (The Environmental Projection Agency?)

Brought to you by the same people who brought you “The Agony of Repeat”.

Of course, Garrett Morris did it first and better.

PS: This is a couple of days old, but I couldn’t embed the vids for some reason. Worth the wait, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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And Speedbump Was His Name-O

There was a dad who stayed at home,
And Speedbump was his name-o.
He put a bomb in casserole,
And on us put the blame-o.
S-p-double-e-d, s-p-double-e-d, s-p-double-e-d,
And Speedbump was his name-o.

The Politically Correct narrative of the Boston Marathon bombing is sinking faster than Barack Obama’s poll numbers.

Remember Tamerlan Tsarnaev, aka Speedbump. The Boston Globe tearfully informed its moonbat readers that Speedbump was “a stay-at-home dad.”

When he died at the age of 25, Speedbump was a “person of interest” in seven murders in Massachusetts, so apparently the stay-at-home dad got out of his (Section 8) house every once in a while.

Now we find out that his 9 mm came from a “Maine gang,” two words I never thought I’d type in the same sentence. But then, Vacationland has become a diversity-celebrating magnet of late, welcoming all sorts of Somali immigrants who demand translators at their endless criminal trials.

Last winter, two Somalis went on trial in Lewiston for fraudulently taking federal housing assistance. They’d grabbed $58,000 in rental assistance when they owned the entire apartment building.

Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Speedbump had “ties to the illicit drug trade in Maine (that) helped finance his six month trip” back to the Third World hellhole from whence he came.

WHAT???

Authorities believe Tsarnaev’s ties to the illicit drug trade in Maine helped finance his six-month trip to the southern Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan in early 2012, where he became radicalized. Drug money, they say, also may have helped him buy components of the bomb that killed three people and injured more than 260 on April 15, 2013.

Portland is home to a trio of violent gangs called the True Somali Bloods, the Little Rascals Gang and a newly formed faction of the Crips Nation, according to the FBI.

Somali terrorists in the land of L.L. Bean? Are their turbans plaid? Do they shoot potato guns? Whom do they kidnap? #bringbackourlobsters

So much for the Boston Gob narrative that he was a “home grown” terrorist, a stay-at-home dad. We let him and his scurvy little brother in with their criminal enterprise of a family, and they repay us with a panoply of offenses ranging from shoplifting and domestic abuse to drug dealing, serial murder, and using a weapon of mass destruction. Imagine what mayhem Speedbump (Roadkill if you prefer) could have committed if he had gotten out a little more!

Precisely how Tsarnaev got the gun is still unclear. But police say he used it to wound Richard Donohue, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer, during the shootout. The weapon also was used to kill Sean Collier, a 27-year-old MIT security officer, in his patrol car earlier that night.

After the bombing, police found evidence that they said linked Tamerlan Tsarnaev to several brutal drug-related killings. During the night of Sept. 11, 2011, three men had their throats slit in an apartment in Waltham, in Boston’s western suburbs.

Police said thousands of dollars’ worth of marijuana and cash were sprinkled over the mutilated bodies, suggesting robbery was not the motive. The slayings remain unsolved.

Dead men tell no tales.

But their guns do:

The trace led to a Cabela’s, a popular hunting and fishing outfitter with stores across the country, in Scarborough, Maine, just south of Portland. Records showed the gun was purchased Nov. 27, 2011, as part of a “multiple handgun sale.”

The buyer was identified as Danny Sun Jr., a Los Angeles native living in South Portland, a Portland suburb.

But two weeks after the bombing, on May 1, 2013, Sun was arrested on a warrant in Westbrook, Maine, for failing to appear on an outstanding traffic case.

According to government sources, Sun, 26, was asked about the Ruger. After spending 50 hours in the Cumberland County Jail, he told police he had passed his gun to Biniam Tsegai.

Tsegai, 27, was well known to local police. An immigrant from Eritrea, he goes by the moniker Icy.

Tsegai was picked up three weeks later, on May 23, 2013, on Free Street in Portland on a fugitive warrant from a 2009 robbery case. He was taken to the Cumberland County Jail.

A federal grand jury in Portland charged Tsegai with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Michael J. Conley, an assistant U.S. attorney in Portland, noted in papers filed in federal court in January that the cocaine “had been brought to Maine from Boston.”

Tsegai’s rap sheet shows “almost five pages of police involvement,” Conley said. Charges include disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, reckless driving, robbery and refusing to submit to arrest.

Conley said in a detention hearing in June that Tsegai always seemed to be “around” when police were called to a stabbing, a shooting or other crime scene. He often carried $800 or $1,200 in cash, Conley said, although he only worked at a Wendy’s or a convenience store.

Tsegai refused to talk to police about the Ruger or anything else after his arrest. He remains in jail awaiting trial, facing a maximum sentence of 40 years if convicted of the drug charges.

According to court records, federal wiretaps of his jailhouse phone calls show he has warned others not to talk.

“Stay off the phone,” he admonished. “Change your phones, everything.” He boasted: “I told the police to get … out of here.”

Icy’s on ice himself. Icy’s in the cooler. From the ice house to the big house. Icy’s in hot water. Icy got busted by the heat.

Try not to let his story destroy your faith in Somalia. The Boston Gob, you will be pleased to learn, has yet to cover this angle of the case.

PS: Not that they have been completely useless.

The Boston FBI agent who fatally shot a Chechen friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Florida last year had a brief and troubled past at the Oakland Police Department in California. In four years, Officer #8313 took the Fifth at a police corruption trial and was the subject of two police brutality lawsuits and four internal affairs investigations. He retired from the department in 2004 at age 31.

Over the past year, FBI and Massachusetts officials have refused to identify the two state troopers and the agent involved in the May 22, 2013, shooting of Ibragim Todashev, 27, in his Orlando apartment, where he agreed to be interviewed. During the session, Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter with a criminal record, turned violent, flinging a tabletop at the FBI agent and brandishing a metal pole at the trooper, they said. He was stopped by seven bullets from the FBI agent’s gun.

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Apartheid State Update

Spot the apartheid:

The USB flash drive is one of the most simple, everyday pieces of technology that many people take for granted.

Now it’s being eyed as a possible solution to bridging the digital divide, by two colourful entrepreneurs behind the start-up Keepod.

Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi aim to combat the lack of access to computers by providing what amounts to an operating-system-on-a-stick.

In six weeks, their idea managed to raise more than $40,000 (£23,750) on fundraising site Indiegogo, providing the cash to begin a campaign to offer low-cost computing to the two-thirds of the globe’s population that currently has little or no access.

The test bed for the project is the slums of Nairobi in Kenya.

As most of our readers would know, I employ the tag Apartheid State Update ironically when writing about Israel’s diversity or unique generosity to poor people around the world. So how does this story qualify?

Keep reading:

It will allow old, discarded and potentially non-functional PCs to be revived, while allowing each user to have ownership of their own “personal computer” experience – with their chosen desktop layout, programs and data – at a fraction of the cost of providing a unique laptop, tablet or other machine to each person.

[T]he pair have teamed up with LiveInSlums – a non-governmental organisation operating in Mathare – to introduce the flash drives to students and staff at WhyNot Academy.

Like other schools in East Africa, the school uses text books and chalk boards to teach.

Two years ago it was connected to the electricity supply.

During a visit to the school in March, Mr Bahar and Mr Imbesi decided to buy a router and a Sim card to hook the classrooms up to the internet.

Their solution involved hanging the router in a carrier bag nailed next to one of two plug sockets in the school.

It looked makeshift, but that didn’t prevent the children cheering when it was announced the academy had gone online.

“It makes it possible for anyone with a Keepod to use any computer and get the same experience,” says Mr Bahar.

“Each child will see their own files and apps appear in exactly the same way each time, without the need to remember lots of passwords.”

The amazement and excitement at seeing these old laptops come to life was palpable inside the classroom.

And the children stayed long after classes had ended to explore and set up their new devices.

Nice story, BTL, but still not seeing the connection to Israel.

Keep reading:

Keepod is never going to be a huge money-spinner, but the idea is that it will eventually support itself.

Mr Bahar and Mr Imbesi’s plan is for locally employed workers to buy the flash drives on the open market, install the operating system and a few essential apps, and then sell them on for a small gain.

The final price would be $7 (£4.15), delivering about a $2 profit on each device that would help cover wages and the further expansion of the project.

Still not seeing it? How about a picture?

Keepod is Hebrew for the word hedgehog. It is also a play on words, as it joins the English word “keep” with the Hebrew word “od”, meaning “everything”.

Hebrew? What does Hebrew have to do with this?

BTL, you don’t mean these two entrepreneurs are…?

I do:

If you ‘re reading this, you’re using a computer and know that frustration of being away from your machine, and not being able to access your precious files. Yes, there are useful innovations like Google’s Drive and other browser-based sharing programs, but what if you could keep your whole digital soul on you all the time?

Enter Keepod, the Israeli startup with a simple but revolutionary vision – to transfer all the computing from a PC to a disk-on-key, or in geek-speak, a USB flash drive.

Recently the company announced another project called KeepodUnite, in the context of activity for corporate social responsibility.

“Every year tens of millions of computers are tossed into the garbage in the United States alone,” explains Bahar. “These computers are good for us. We have formed a partnership that will enable us to bring such computers to the third world, to the five billion people who are still not connected to the Internet, with our part being a system of USB devices with the KeepodOS system on it.”

The second story is from Haaretz, last December. The first story, scrubbed of any reference to Israel, is from the BBC, yesterday. Heckuva job, BBC, rendering a story of Israeli philanthropy judenrein.

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