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He’s Getting Better

Credit where it’s due, President Barack Obama isn’t a complete dipstick when mass murder occurs.

It took him only 10 seconds to interrupt his fundraising happy talk to address what “may be” a terrible tragedy—the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian plane by Russian terrorists. Forty seconds later he’s said all he has to say, and it’s back to “Good morning, Delaware!”

This may look shallow and callow to many, but remember whom we’re talking about.

Remember:

It took him well over two minutes of out-shouting before he got around to mention the murder of American servicemen by a Muslim zealot. Ten seconds is a massive improvement.

I would ask what the odds are that Obama would be at two separate PR photo ops on the occasions of two separate terrorist atrocities…but when is he not at a PR photo op? Especially lately? The “bear” is constantly on the move these days, and no burger shack is safe from his unannounced assault. If he’s going to flit about the country, hitting diners, drive-ins, and dives like some sort of South Side Guy Fieri, the least he can do is to learn how to pay lip service to the reprimitivized world he helped recreate—as he wipes the ketchup and relish off his own lips.

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“A Tragic Era Of Lost Opportunity And Unrealized Potential”

Break out the handkerchiefs

I must confess, I do feel sorry for these young adults, sorrier even for the elders who will be dependent upon their contributions to our old age, but how could they possibly have been this stupid – twice???

The great irony of the Obama era is that the President’s base voters have disproportionately suffered from a sputtering economy, while the wealthy that Mr. Obama likes to criticize have enjoyed a booming stock market. A new study shows just how difficult this era has been for some of the President’s most loyal supporters.

Researchers at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, find that “The Great Recession has been hard on all recent college graduates, but it has been even harder on black recent graduates.”

In 2013, the unemployment rate for black college graduates ages 22-27 was a full 12.4%, more than double the 5.6% rate for all college grads in the same age range.

And for those African-American recent grads who did have jobs in 2013, study authors Janelle Jones and John Schmitt find that a staggering 56% were underemployed, meaning they were doing jobs that typically don’t require a four-year college degree. This compares to 45% underemployment among all recent graduates. For youngsters of all colors, these statistics describe a tragic era of lost opportunity and unrealized potential.

Even a career-friendly course of study isn’t protecting young graduates from the ravages of this historically slow recovery. The authors report that “for the years 2010 to 2012, among black recent graduates with degrees in engineering, the average unemployment rate was 10 percent and the underemployment rate was 32 percent.” Among all recent grads with engineering degrees, the average unemployment rate in those years was 6%, while 22% were underemployed.

This is what the children of my friends and acquaintances seem to be doing: They are remaining in college or grad school for as long as possible. But, sooner or later, once has to take that adjunct professor job(s) or put on the barista uniform. And just this morning I reminisced about the period when we were finishing school. Someone I know very well was having trouble getting an engineering job and his wife was about to give birth. He briefly considered running for Mayor of NYC on the Give Joe A Job, He’s The Only Candidate That Needs It platform, but was saved by the bell two week before k-day (Kid Day). Carter gave us a miserable economy too. But this time there is no excuse.

- Aggie

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A Palestinian Woman Speaks Out


This is long, but fascinating, and sad.

- Aggie

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A Day Late…

For Yom ha Shoah:

- Aggie

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Joe Klein Tells The Truth About Fox News

- Aggie

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Huh. The Arizona VA Kept Veterans Waiting Over A Year For Lifesaving Treatments

And falsified a list of wait times, treatments given.

The video at the CNN link starts immediately, so you might want to turn off sound before visiting link.

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:
There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

Question to BTL readers: If the government health care system causes loss of functioning or death due to long delays, who can you or your relatives sue? In the age of ObamaCare, I’d say that is a mighty important question.

Now read this carefully:

“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.

The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.
According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.
According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.
“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.

“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”

I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.

Incidentally, has the NY Times reported on this yet? WashPost? No?

In case they’re interested in covering this, others at the VA have reported the same to CNN:

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote’s description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.
Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months,” he said.

And it is deadly:

In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.
“We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine,” said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. “So I was like, ‘Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.’ ”
Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait.

Ah, go to the link and read it. This is health care in America, and it will soon affect all of us except Party Members of the Highest Rank.

- Aggie

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“Terror at Passover”

Talk about your standing headlines:

An Israeli man was killed and a woman and child were wounded Monday evening, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli cars near the West Bank city of Hebron. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the people were members of the same family, travelling to a Passover Seder.

The 40-year-old man was critically hurt in the attack and received CPR at the scene, but succumbed his wounds. Two other people were wounded – his 28-year-old wife, who was moderately hurt, and a nine-year-old boy who sustained light wounds.

Police said that the gunfire, which came from an automatic weapon, had hit the car as it traveled on Route 35, at the junction leading to the village of Idhna.

The attack is understood to have targeted several vehicles. The IDF launched an massive manhunt in the area in the wake of the attack.

This might be an appropriate time to hear from Israel’s partners in peace:

“We in Hamas welcome the shooting action in the Hebron area, during which shots were fired at several settlers, causing the death of one and wounding of others,” said Hamas spokesman Husam Badran. “We see this action as a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the rights of our people and the repeated assaults on the al-Aqsa Mosque and our prisoners jailed in Israel.”

Surely, John Kerry must have something to say about this murder:

I am very pleased to be attending Ambassador Dermer’s Seder tomorrow night and joining in the spirit of this festival of spring and renewal. I hope we can all draw inspiration from the spirit of the ancient Hebrews who in the Exodus stood at the precipice of the Red Sea, trembling with terror but nevertheless filled with the hope that they too may enjoy freedom and fulfill their promise as a people. And as families and friends listen tonight as the youngest child asks the table, “Mah nishtanah? — Why is this night different from all other nights?” I pray the answer will be: because this night will lead us into a year of renewed commitment to peace, freedom, and dignity for all of God’s children.

Funny, John. Very funny. Looking at Arab history, this night is different only in that it provides extra incentive for Muslims to kill Jews.

PS: In what sense is Passover a “festival of spring and renewal”? Passover, or Pesach, recalls G-d’s skipping (passing over) the houses of Jews as he rained holy terror on the Egyptians. Kerry is spouting not only nonsense, but insulting, offensive nonsense. This stuff is important, you putz!

PPS: Of course, that’s not the only insulting, offensive nonsense he spouted:

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry for recently stating that the world might not insist on significantly curbing Iran’s nuclear breakout capability, which he said indicated a “surrender” to Tehran.

“Israel opposes any solution which leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state,” Steinitz said in an interview with Israel Radio.

“Kerry’s statements before the Senate on the matter of Iran and the current American objective were worrying, surprising, and unacceptable,” the minister said.

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Obama’s War On Women

Or More Good News From The ObamaEconomy

The number of women who were unemployed in the United States climbed 180,000 in March, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In March, there were 4,850,000 unemployed women, 180,000 more than the 4,670,000 American women were unemployed in February, according to BLS.

At the same time, the unemployment rate for women rose from 6.4 percent in February to 6.6 percent in March.

To be counted as unemployed, a person must have actively sought a job in the last four weeks and be part of what BLS calls the civilian noninstitutional population (meaning a person is 16 or older and not on active duty in the military or in an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home).

The number of American women who had jobs dropped 133,000 from February to March, declining from 68,458,000 to 68,325,000.

From February to March, the number of women in the civilian noninstitutional population increased by 84,000, climbing from 127,779,000 to 127,863,000. Of those 127,863,000 women in the civilian noninstitutional population, 73,175,000 participated in the civilian labor force, meaning they either had a job or actively sought one in the past four weeks. That put the labor force participation rate for women at 57.2 percent in March–the same as it was in February.

ETC. More at the link. But we can truthfully say that Obama has a War on Women (I wonder if we are stacked in binders somewhere?) and that anyone who goes to war against women is attacking The Children. Because a lot of those women are single providers, of course. And a distressed, desperate mom is not the Best She Can Be… Why, oh why, are we doing this to the children? Ask your Progressive friends. Maybe they understand the answer, I sure don’t.

- Aggie

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Hillary Finally Correct About Something

Compares Putin in Ukraine To Hitler in Czechoslovakia

And if she pays real close attention, she’ll notice that the US and Britain are behaving in exactly the same way they did in the 30s.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday compared recent actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine to those implemented by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.

Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she said.

Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said.

The Russian leader has recently done so in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which, Clinton said, is similar to what happened in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Hitler resettled tens of thousands of ethnic Germans who were living in parts of Europe to Nazi Germany.

Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Unfortunately, nervousness is not a plan, it’s a feeling. Which is how the Left usually responds, they “feel” this or that instead of using their heads. Putin did this precisely because we are behaving the way we did in the 30s. If she takes her comments to their logical conclusions, she will see the part that her foreign policy played in this current mess. Takes chutzpah on her part to make those comments without connecting the dots.

You know, I’m fond of saying, “Elections have consequences.” The truth is that our elections have consequences for poor saps all over the planet.

- Aggie

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This is Your Toluca Day!

President Obama was down Mexico way again yesterday, and you know what that meant.

Comedy gold:

I want to congratulate President Peña Nieto on the outstanding efforts that he’s made during the course of this year on a whole range of reforms that promise to make Mexico more competitive and increase opportunity for the people of Mexico. And I’m also very interested in hearing President Peña Nieto’s strategies as he embarks on dealing with some of the reforms in the criminal justice system and around security issues, which I know are very pressing on his mind and where we have some excellent cooperation between the United States and Mexico.

Oh yes, Mr. President. Congratulate away:

The latest gruesome photos from Mexico’s cartel war show headless bodies bagged and wrapped in plastic tape on the side of a road outside Mexico City.

It was believed the men were the latest victims of the bloody turf war that has been waging between Mexico’s sadistic drug cartels.

Last week the severed heads of four people were found near the front door of a church in the neighboring state of Michoacan, while butchered arms and legs were found elsewhere in the small town of Zacan.

Two days before that, two other severed heads were left in front of a bank in Paracuaro, about three hours north of Mexico City.

Heckuva job, Peña Nieto!

Didn’t Obama say he liked watching Breaking Bad?

Make no mistake. The drug War in rural Texas is all about Mexican methamphetamine, a potent stimulant known on the street as Ice. It’s made in Mexico, smuggled across the border as a liquid and reprocessed into shards that resemble ice.

This press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas is typical of what is happening every day. Drug gangs based in the Mexican state of Guerrero send entire families to rural Texas as if they were pharmaceutical company sales reps.

One aspect of the case is particularly troubling. The indictment alleges that Abelardo bribed a local police officer to protect his drug operation. It says he paid the officer a total of $5,000 in $1,000 increments over several months. But the indictment provides no details and does not name the police officer.

The public corruption allegation raises the specter that Mexican drug gangs are importing more than drugs to Texas. Bribing police officers in Mexico has been a way of life for generations. And federal agents report that they are finding more Texas law officers taking money from drug dealers.

Next time Obama takes questions from reporters (or will it be the first time?), I have a tip for the gaggle: Google News. It’s amazing the [bleep] you learn there.

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Iranians Say They Didn’t Agree To Dismantle Anything

What has our brilliant young President done this time?

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted Wednesday that the Obama administration mischaracterizes concessions by his side in the six-month nuclear deal with Iran, telling CNN in an exclusive interview that “we did not agree to dismantle anything.”

Zarif told CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto that terminology used by the White House to describe the agreement differed from the text agreed to by Iran and the other countries in the talks — the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

“The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments” under the agreement that took effect Monday, Zarif said in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.

As part of the accord, Iran was required to dilute its stockpile of uranium that had been enriched to 20%, well above the 5% level needed for power generation but still below the level for developing a nuclear weapon.

Syria hot topic at day one of Davos Iran says it doesn’t have Bob Levinson Can Davos solve global inequality? Davos: Shifting business to the cloud
In addition, the deal mandated that Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and “dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%,” according to a White House fact sheet issued in November after the initial agreement was reached.

Zarif accused the Obama administration of creating a false impression with such language.
“The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said, urging Sciutto to read the actual text of the agreement. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

He repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching over 5%.”

On cheery days, I think back to the old Dennis The Menace television show – or cartoon in the Sunday paper – and image Barack as the little devil, tearing the neighborhood to shreds. Iran is long-suffering Mr. Wilson. We are Dennis’s exhausted parents.

- Aggie

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Rape is Not Supposed to Happen

But, sadly, infuriatingly, it does. It’s hardly news. (There were 90,000 rapes in America in 2008. Did you read 90,000 news stories?)

So, what makes this news?

A 15-year-old Chicago girl walking to her high school in pre-dawn darkness was hit on the head, dragged between two houses to a yard and raped, police said, with the assault taking place just a half block away from one of the city’s “Safe Passage” school routes especially for students.

The incident put another spotlight on the city’s problem with violence. Just this fall, local officials pledged that an expanded Safe Passages program — with its big yellow signs above sidewalks patrolled during key times by paid, trained workers — would be a sanctuary for children walking to and from school.

Local authorities noted, however, that the 15-year-old victim was walking to school Tuesday morning a half hour before her nearby Safe Passage route was staffed with patrols.

The girl was in serious condition Thursday in a hospital.

A resident found the girl half-naked and bleeding from the head on a snowy walkway on the side of his home. She lay for about two hours in the cold before she was discovered. She was conscious but barely moving when she was found, authorities said.

“Everybody is scared. It can happen to any of our kids, so everybody is worried,” Ada Cambron, a parent, said Thursday. “In the morning, you never see police walking around and stuff like that.”

When told that police officers were patrolling the Safe Passages on foot on Thursday, Cambron acknowledged the police presence but noted it took the rape of a student to prompt the patrol.

“It shouldn’t be that way,” she said.

No, it shouldn’t. But the bloody, unconscious 15-year-old girl says otherwise.

Another parent, Sharon Rafael, said she liked the program but was skeptical of its monitoring as she stood outside a school with her small daughter and held a pink “Pretty Princess Puzzles” book.

“I think it works, but it just needs a little bit more security on it,” Rafael said. “Like, OK, you can patrol it right now, but later on, like in a few weeks, they’ll forget about it. And they won’t be around anymore.”

Ariel Reboyras, the alderman representing the area where the assault occurred, defended the Safe Passage program. The student rape occurred about 6 a.m. when it was still dark outside.

“We can’t say it was a result of a problem with Safe Passage, but we know that it’s not supposed to happen,” the alderman said.

Again, it’s not—yet it did. So, what are you going to do about it?

Government makes promises to people it is in no position to keep. From “you can keep your health plan” to “your 15-year-old daughter is safe”. The title Patient Protection Affordable Care Act is more riddled with lies than the title Safe Passage, but which outcome is worse?

My point: don’t trust the government to keep your daughters safe in pre-dawn, crime-plagued Chicago. Don’t trust the government to keep you healthy and safe. Walk your daughter to school. Vote Republican.

If you look like Ethan Krupp, you’ll be okay:

But if you’re the lovely (and late) Hadiya Pendleton, not so much:

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