It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

…or worse and worse, depending on your perspective.  Not only is the Veterans Administration continuing to make bad/false/improper payments, they seem to be getting acceleratingly worse about it.  The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General reported that the VA made $5 billion in “improper” payments in 2015, and then while that drew attention, the VA increased their improper payouts to $5.5 billion in 2016.

To show how terrible the rates can be, here are some data from James Clark at the above link:

  • the VA Community Care had 75% of their payments as “improper” payments in 2016


Now The New York Times is jumping on the bandwagon.  The paper is claiming that a James Comey memo has it that President Donald Trump interfered with Comey’s investigation of Trump’s ex-NSA advisor, Mike Flynn.  The following is based heavily on a comment I posted on Grim’s Hall.

First, the paper doesn’t have the memo; it was read to them. By a deliberately unidentified source. If the memo exists.  If the reader exists.


Recall that when President Donald Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, he allowed Russian photographers to take pictures but not photographers from the American NLMSM.

Now the Washington Post is claiming that President Trump “revealed highly classified information to [the] Russian foreign minister and ambassador” in that Oval Office meeting.

What’s being ignored in the manufactured hysteria over this is that WaPo very carefully used only anonymous sources for their claims: current and former US officials and officials and a US official familiar with the matter and a former senior US official and an official with knowledge of the exchange and a former senior US counterterrorism official and [a] former intelligence official and on and on.


…again.  Grant High School history teacher David Lickey wrote an essay and distributed it to the school’s students and teachers.  In it, he wrote

“I find assertions of rape culture dubious,” and “The very wording of ‘rape culture’ seems to me a bit hysterical.”


“Rape culture” is a theoretical construct that is ill defined. What exactly is “rape culture?” I don’t see it in my life or the lives of any of the men and women I have known. I have never met a person who believes rape is anything other than a heinous crime.


This piece will be, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali put it,

disturbing but it is crucial that we speak openly about what is taking place rather than shroud it in euphemism so as not to cause offence.

This piece is about female genital mutilation, the deliberate butchery of a woman’s—even a five-year-old little girl’s—genitalia for the woman’s, the child’s, own good.  And for the egos of the men of Islam who approve and perpetrate this atrocity.

This is, in Hirsi Ali’s plain language, what female mutilation truly is, in order from the “mildest” version to the outright butchery form:

A Necessary Bill

A congressional bill named for Taylor, the Taylor Force Act, would cut off the US aid [to the Palestinian Authority] unless the Palestinian Authority stops the payments.

Taylor Force was an Afghan and Iraq war vet who was visiting Tel Aviv when he was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist—and the terrorist’s family is getting a PA annual pension in celebration of his crime.

This bill is necessary.  Money is fungible.  These transfers, these so-named “aid” transfers, must be cut off entirely; it would be insufficient merely to forbid the transfers’ use for payments to terrorists’ families.  The money’s existence would enable the PA to reallocate money from other sources to the “pensions” without reduction in overall PA income.

A Democrat’s Disagreement

During the recent debate in the Arizona legislature concerning a bill that would allow school vouchers for all Arizona children, Democratic Congressman Jesus Rubalcava wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted to throat-punch one of the sponsors of the bill, Republican Senator Debbie Lesko.  The Arizona Republic captured a screen shot of Rubalcava’s Facebook post:

After Rubalcava’s post began circulating, after the ensuing uproar over his threat of violence against someone impertinent enough to disagree with him, he deleted his post (but not before the Republic had captured that screen shot) and apologized to Lesko.

Syrian Refugees

One Syrian, Kassem Eid an erstwhile media activist in Syria, and a victim of the gas attack that was Bashar al-Assad’s calling of then-President Barack Obama’s (D) bluff of a “red” line and that exposed Obama has being too timid to back his words, had a thought about aid and support to Syria’s refugees in a recent Wall Street JournalHere’s the money quote.

America, if you really care about refugees, then take to the streets, call your representatives, and ask for even further action against the murderer who displaced us. President Trump could order strikes to fully ground Assad’s air force, whose bombing forces civilians to flee. The Assad regime still has more than a dozen operational military airports from which to continue its attacks. Help civilians by creating safe zones and no-fly zones.

The Syria Strike

One point regarding President Donald Trump’s missile strike against Syria’s Shayrat airbase, from which the barbarian chieftain Bashar al-Assad launched his gas attacks against his own citizenry—including children and babies—is often missed, but Richard Fernandez did not.

[T]he Navy’s missiles very carefully avoided the tanks of sarin gas to avoid collateral damage. This could only be possible if the US knew the location of all the poison the previous administration had already destroyed.

While a single incident doesn’t create a trend (as a stat professor I once had put it, “If your hypothesis calls for a linear trend, collect two data points”), the absence of an administration willing to do more against barbarism than tut-tutting and finger-shaking seems to be getting filled in.

The Gulag

…is back and in full force in Russian-occupied Crimea.  Russian dissidents—Tatars, this time—are being “diagnosed” as insane and locked away in “psychiatric” hospitals.

Since the annexation of the region three years ago many ethnic Tatar activists who oppose the occupation have been arrested and subjected to abuse and imprisonment in outdated mental institutions, said Robert van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist and political scientist.

“The number of cases has increased considerably over the past few years, in particular against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists who oppose Russia’s annexation,” he added.