WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs will not try to recoup more than $400,000 from two senior VA executives who manipulated the hiring system to get their jobs of choice and received hundreds of thousands in extra money to relocate.
The agency has remained silent on questions about its decision to demote and transfer but not fire executives Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, and whether it would collect repayment of those relocation benefits. The original statement from the VA announcing the decision said the women had the right to appeal their reassignments.
But Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the VA’s top lawyer has determined that the agency does not have the legal authority to recoup the money, even after acknowledging that the women had abused their offices…
…On Sept. 28, 2015, the VA Inspector General’s office issued a report finding that Rubens and Graves had “inappropriately used their positions of authority for personal and financial benefit” by arranging the transfer of subordinates whose jobs they wanted and then volunteering to fill the vacancies.
Rubens became director of Veterans Benefits Administration’s Philadelphia and Wilmington VA regional offices and received $274,019.12 for relocation expenses under a program that was meant to offer incentives for hard-to-fill posts. Graves became director of the VBA’s St. Paul, Minn., regional office, with relocation pay of $129,467.56. The relocation incentives program has since been indefinitely put on hold.
“Relocation Incentive Program?” GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE. Don’t you dare try to church this up. This is thievery, and these women should be in prison.
Please, explain to me just how you come up with 274 grand in “relocation costs?” Doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know about the culture of the VA? She didn’t even have the decency to feel SHAME about that? Would you ever, in your life, have the stones to hand in an expense reimbursement sheet for 274 large? What costs 274 thousand bucks? Did they literally lift the house off the foundation and transport that? I don’t think even THAT would cost that much. Did they ferry each item separately in a Learjet? I would love to take a look at that itemized reimbursement sheet. I looked for it online but I couldn’t come up with anything.
I reject the premise of the entire concept of relocation reimbursement. Both of these women, I’m sure, are making extremely comfortable salaries. What the hell are “relocation costs,” and why are we paying them? How about you don’t get jack shit? Or, if that’s a bridge too far, at least put a goddamn cap on the program. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here. It should be like ONE thousand, tops. If you don’t like it, no problem; you can just stay where the hell you are. Absolutely astounding and absurd.
And, of course, they aren’t fired. Not only should they be fired, they should both be perp-walked out to waiting paddy wagons and thrown in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. This crap will never, ever, ever stop, until we decide to start being serious about it. And all this while veterans are dying waiting for health care!
Don’t worry, I’m sure everyone involved is just as pissed off as I am and will vow to take action!
When asked about the determination by the Office of General Counsel and whether criminal charges would be referred against Rubens and Graves, the Office of Inspector General said, “We do not have information that is responsive to your questions,” and deferred questions of possible prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Neither that office nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to a query on the issue.
McDonald’s press secretary did not respond to calls and emails. A call to McDonald’s personal cell phone went to voicemail, and no one responded…
There you go. WE KNOW NOTHING. The good ‘ol Sgt. Shultz routine. Obfuscate. Defer. Delay. Excuse. The usual ball of shit. Just keep your head down, spend millions of taxpayer dollars on stupid art for your palaces, and keep blowing off those gross veterans who are DYING for someone to help them.
I’m glad the OIG found out about this, and I’m glad Jeff Miller made a stink about it, but they never go far enough. These guys hold hearings on C-SPAN, which nobody watches. They write letters. LETTERS, for chrissakes. Why isn’t he holding a press conference and screaming about this? Use some showmanship, man. Pound the podium. Yell. Wave your arms. Nobody wants to hear some Congressman droning on; you gotta do something to catch the attention of the glazed-eye bovine herd out there. Ya gotta go viral, baby.
Why isn’t he going on Fox/MSNBC/CNN and screaming about this? Is the media that disinterested? And where’s Barry O? He’s the first to run to a podium when he finds something that gets him going, and he can’t even talk about this? Sheesh. Oh, let’s not forget the cherry on top of this giant shit sandwich:
…Rubens was reassigned to the Houston Regional Benefits Office and Graves was reassigned to Phoenix. Both will now serve as assistant directors, the VA said. The agency said the women are entitled to seek relocations costs for these new assignments that stemmed from their demotions.
You’ve GOT to be shitting me. So not only do they manage to steal 400 large and get away with it, they keep their jobs, AND CAN FILE A CLAIM FOR RELOCATION COSTS. (Again.) This story deserves nothing less than the most vigorous “fuck you” I can muster, so here’s 10 hours of it.
The VA needs to burned to the ground and started over from scratch. This is an abomination. This is a freaking disgrace. You will never, ever, EVER get any reformation out of these bloated government agencies, because you’re asking people to do two things that go against most government employees’ natural instincts.
- Don’t be greedy.
- Work hard.
Now, you’d probably be able to overcome even that if it was possible to fire someone from the VA, which clearly, it is near-impossible to do. These two chicks probably could have dropped a deuce right on the desk in front of Jeff Miller while they were testifying, and STILL not have been fired.
Goddammit. We live in the stupidest time to be alive in the history of the world.
(CNN) — Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls it a “crime against women;” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says it’s “a tragedy that is beyond speech.”
Police have not yet disclosed any motive for the shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday that killed three people and wounded nine more.
Meanwhile, suspect Robert Lewis Dear‘s trail leads back to a hermit’s shanty in the isolated mountains of North Carolina, and a Colorado community mourns an officer who drove 10 miles to help fellow officers, only to encounter a furious flurry of gunfire.
Three people were shot and killed Friday in a harrowing, hours-long siege at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, a city of about 450,000 some 70 miles south of Denver.
Among the victims was Garrett Swasey, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs police officer who rushed to the clinic to offer his assistance. “There was no way any of us could have kept him here,” UCCS Police Chief Brian McPike said of Swasey during a Saturday evening vigil. “He was always willing to go…he had an enthusiasm that was hard to quell.”
Officer Garrett Swasey was 44 years old and a father of two. If anyone has a link to any donation page, please pass that along so we can note it here.
WEST POINT, N.Y. — Cadet pillow fights like the bloody one that left 30 injured this summer will be banned and actions are being pursued against many of those involved, U.S. Military Academy officials said.
First-year students, known as “plebes,” organize the annual pillow fight as a way to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training. But the pillow fight on Aug. 20 escalated into a free-for-all with plebes being hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Injuries included a broken nose, a fractured cheek and 24 diagnosed concussions. One cadet was found unconscious, according to a report on the pillow fight released Wednesday.
“While never officially sanctioned, it is now officially banned, and we will take appropriate action to ensure that all faculty, staff, leaders, the Corps of Cadets and everyone at West Point knows that it will not be tolerated,” West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen said in a statement.
We covered this way back in September when it first happened. As I said at the time,
This is West Point, and I have zero problem with men and women who may find themselves in a future war laying a little wood on each other. After all, you never know when you’ll find yourself in an Afghan wadi, armed with nothing other than a pillowcase and your Kevlar when Terry Taliban comes running at you.
Good for West Point for the solid “meh” when it comes to commenting publicly on the fight.
That was then, and this is now. I should have known better. OF COURSE they were going to ban it. Recall that initial reporting was that the students were swinging bags of Kevlar at each other. The investigation revealed that none of that really happened. All the injuries were due to fisticuffs and people hitting the pavement. Still, West Point felt that they had to take action, so the fun sponges banned it outright.
I guess I understand. As the report said, some of the plebes were getting poleaxed from behind from forearm shivers and the like, resulting in concussions. Hardly sporting, it would seem. So I suppose it’s no wonder they wanted to get rid of it. But they’re still pursuing action against those involved? Come on, man. Let it go.
Huh. This is my thousandth tweet. God help me. In my defense, I think most of those are RTs. Still: Get a life, guy.
— BK (@BKactual) November 21, 2015
The U.S. Army’s top enlisted soldier said the number-one readiness problem facing the service is that the active component — the most deployable force — has 50,000 soldiers who can’t deploy.
That figure represents the largest number of non-deployable soldiers in all three components of the service. The National Guard has 28,000 non-deployable soldiers and the Reserve component has 25,000, according to Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey’s office.
Having 50,000 non-deployable, active soldiers is comparable to three of the Army’s 10 active combat divisions, Dailey told a group of sergeants recently at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to an Army press release…
…Medical reasons make up the largest category for non-deployable status, Johnson said. The breakdown for Guard and Reserve components was not available, but on the active side, roughly 37,000 of the 50,000 non-deployable soldiers are unavailable for medical reasons.
Medical reasons are broken into three categories. About 27 percent of the 37,000 are in Category 1, which accounts for short-term medical profiles under 30 days.
About 50 percent of the 37,000 fall under Category 2, which accounts for injuries that require more than 30 days of recovery — such as a soldier that was playing basketball and tore his ACL and needs surgery, Johnson said.
“The recovery time is three months. He is not going to be discharged from the Army but requires time to recover and do physical therapy,” Johnson said.
And about 23 percent of the 37,000 fall under Category 3, which applies to significant injuries such as a soldier wounded by an improvised explosive device or injured in a car accident, Johnson said.
I’m not sure what the Army is going to be able to do about this. Shit happens. When you’re a young soldier, you’re going to be hitting PT like a madman trying to stay in shape. Injuries can and will occur—no way around it. Short of everyone stopping all physical activity and walking around in a giant bubble, there’s nothing you can do.
Maybe they should have taken this into consideration before decimating the size of the Army? Just a thought. And I suppose that picture isn’t really relevant. I assumed reading the headline that the non-deployables were fatties. I will grudgingly admit that was incorrect. What the hell; it’s still a good picture.
On November 25th, 2015, President Barack Obama has signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, included in which is a provision for the Civilian Marksmanship to sell 1911 handguns to the United States shooting public. The bill includes Section 1087, which allows the transfer of handguns from the United States Army to the Civilian Marksmanship program, and the subsequent distribution of those handguns to members of CMP-affiliated clubs:
This is a huge deal. Never before has the Civilian Marksmanship Program been able to sell handguns to the U.S. shooting public, and the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act with this provision in it signals a major change in the way firearms are viewed by the U.S legal system, similar to how Heller vs. D.C. affirmed the right of self defense for United States citizens. Handguns previously have been viewed as weapons of crime, or otherwise indecent by those outside the shooting community, and were in earlier drafts of the 1934 National Firearms act actually included in the NFA registry along with machine guns. While this does only allow 10,000 firearms per year to be distributed through the CMP, it is to me a major milestone in that my government will finally trust me and other qualified citizens with surplus military handguns for our own use in marksmanship competitions and other activities.
At first I was pretty stoked about all of this. Who wouldn’t want to own a badass old-school military handgun, with the prestige and lineage of the Colt 1911? But after I thought about it for a while, my enthusiasm was sort of tempered.
First, while definitely cool and historic, these guns were mass produced in an era when tolerances and machining wasn’t anywhere near where it is today. I spoke to a friend who has had some familiarity with old 1911s. He told me that they’re pretty rattle-y and not nearly as refined as today’s finely machined 1911s. Further, they are prone to jams, and, by modern standards, pretty inaccurate and crude.
All of that aside, I would still want one. But then, realize that the Feds are only going to be putting out a limited number of these per year. I’m sure the first batch, at least, will be a hot commodity, driving up the prices. I’d pay like two hundred bucks for one, I suppose. But if it gets up to a thousand dollars per handgun or so, I’m out. For that price, I could get a much more accurate, much more finely tuned modern weapon. Not quite as cool, but still.
But if they stay pretty cheap? Hell yes, I’d love to have one.
An Army Colonel who blew the whistle on a task force that was responsible for building a $43 million gas station in Afghanistan says he is being retaliated against, according to a prominent U.S. senator.
Army Col. John Hope was the director of operations for the $800 million task force when he questioned its lack of accountability, and then said he had “been singled out for retaliation and retribution” for “speaking truth,” according to a letter Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction recently released a scathing report on one of the task force’s programs — the $43 million compressed natural gas station, which the IG said should have cost closer to $500,000.
I meant to give this story it’s own due recognition when it first came out. But then, all hell broke loose in Paris, and it kind of fell out of the news. It’s high time we gave this coathanger abortion the attention it so richly deserves.
Which stinking HIPPY in the federal government decided that what they really needed in Afghanistan was a goddamn NATURAL GAS station, anyway? Talk about something way, way, WAY down on the list of shit Afghanistan needs. Seriously, in a list of things Afghanistan needs, it would go:
1. No child anal rape
2. No Taliban
3. Clean water
1,545,437. A natural gas fuel station
And of course, we’ll never know which dim-witted State Department flower child signed off on that one, as, per usual, nobody is named in the report.
(I’m assuming it’s a State Department dope or a USAID dope, because they are the dopiest of all dopes and everything dumb in Afghanistan is their fault.)
With as many as 1,000 active cases, Fox News has learned at least 48 ISIS suspects are considered so high risk that the FBI is using its elite tracking squads known as the mobile surveillance teams or MST to track them domestically.
“There is a very significant number of people that are on suspicious watch lists, under surveillance,” Republican Sen. Dan Coats said.
Coats, who sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment on specifics, but said the around-the-clock surveillance is a major commitment for the bureau. “The FBI together with law enforcement agencies across the country are engaged in this. It takes enormous amount of manpower to do this on a 24-7 basis. It takes enormous amount of money to do this,” Coats explained.
WHYYYYYYYYYY? Why are we doing this? JUST GET RID OF THEM. Pick them up and escort them to the Syrian border, and let nature take its course. Either they get killed making the journey, or they get killed when the Russkies carpet-bomb the place into the stone age. They wanna jihad, take them to the jihad. This is a win-win.
I have sympathy for the FBI. They live in deathly fear of anther 9/11 happening on American soil, and they’ve been living with it for 15 years. It has to be taking its toll. And you know it would have happened by now if they weren’t constantly baiting the morons into doing stupid shit on the Internet. Imagine if they had thousands of these guys they had to worry about. They don’t have the manpower to keep up with that. Sooner or later, one of them is going to slip through the cracks and do something terrible.
Luckily, our border security is top notch and nobody could possibly enter the country illegally. And even if they were caught, they would be assuredly be immediately deported and totally not given asylum, welfare, and food stamps, he said with a straight face.
Lawyers for an Air Force vet charged with trying to join ISIS are fighting a push by prosecutors for an anonymous jury, claiming that the measure would be unfairly prejudicial.
Arguing that ISIS sympathizers could target jurors in Tairod Pugh’s Brooklyn federal court proceeding, the feds have asked Judge Nicholas Garaufis to keep their identities confidential.
“The possibility that a terrorist organization, the defendant, his associates, or their sympathizers, will target members of the jury in this case is a valid concern for potential members of the jury pool…,” a government submission states…
…Pugh was charged in March with attempting to travel to Syria to offer ISIS his aircraft repair skills. Prosecutors said he blabbed online about his support for the group and desire to wage jihad.
The mechanic, who once lived in Neptune, NJ, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 1990.
After being laid off from a mechanic job in Kuwait, the feds said Pugh traveled to Turkey and hoped to cross into Syria before his arrest.
Sure, there seems to be some hyperbole there. I really doubt, out of all the things that ISIS wants to do, they’d go after jurors in some dope’s terrorism case. To try and figure out where jurors live, and all the rest would be a total pain. But sure, why not? I think whether or not the jury will be anonymous is really the least of this guy’s problems.
Let’s not forget the obligatory quote from the shyster attorney:
“There is not a scintilla of evidence in the discovery that even remotely suggests that Pugh is dangerous or has committed violence in any way,” wrote his attorney, Eric Creizman, in objecting to an anonymous jury.
You mean besides publicly stating that he wanted to commit jihad?
I really wish they had put a cheap little row boat or something on top of where the explosion was going to go off so we could get a sense of scale. The reports say that explosive plume was almost a 1000 feet high! CRAY.
Now that’s an effective way to deal with an underwater menace. There were other, stupider directions they could have taken. Which kind of leads me into the next story….
Where does the Mafia get their explosives? If you’re in Europe, it might be from an Italian freight ship that was sunk in 1941 by a submarine.
The wreckage of the Italian freighter Laura Cosulich was torpedoed in 1941 by the submarine HMS Upholder in as it travelled towards Libya. Deep in her holds, and its wreckage has since lay at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, 150 feet underwater off the Calabrian coast on the southwestern tip the Italian peninsula. According to official documents, the ship had set sail from Venice carrying fabrics, spirits and machine tools.
After the sunken hull was located in the 1970s, however, it was discovered that 1,500 tonnes of TNT and other military supplies for fascist troops in northern Africa were hidden amid the cargo. The finding didnt go unnoticed by the Ndrangheta, the local mafia syndicate, which has since become Europes largest drug cartel…
A complex plan to put the cargo out of criminals reach was subsequently launched by authorities. After months of planning, Italian Navy divers successfully sealed off access to the Laura Cosulichs’ hold with concrete bags and an iron cage. It took officers 67 hours of working underwater, spread over dozens of 50-minute dives, to completely seal off the cargo. Conditions were very difficult at more than 50m in depth, said Admiral Eduardo Serra. De Raho said it was a great result in the fight against organised crime.
There are many questions here. So…the Italians have known that this was off the coast in diveable water since the 1970s and thought, “Eh…we’ll-a get-a to it when-a we have a minute-a!” Bro: Put down the cannoli and the gabagool and maybe deal with the situation? I dunno, that’s just me.
At least they finally got around to it. However…doesn’t this seem like an enormously complicated plan? Months of planning? Months of diving in very difficult, deep, and dangerous conditions? Why not just blow the whole thing up? Italy does possess a fairly significant Navy, after all. Take like five seconds. Is there some endangered fish or something?
And if they didn’t want to do it, I’m sure any other Navy would have loved to help out. They enjoy blowing things up. LET THEM HELP.
Fireman had to drag a man out of a German sex shop which was burning to the ground after he refused to leave until he reached the end of porn film ‘Throbbin Hood’.
The man, who has not been named, was alone in a locked video cabin watching the adult film when the building caught alight.
But despite the flames egding closer to him and smoke inhalation causing him to cough, he was adamant he wanted to stay until the end of the film.
This forced firefighters to race into the shop called SexyAngel, located on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, known as the ‘square mile of sin.’
The man was found by what authorities described as a ‘state of high sexual arousal’ and dragged from the burning shop.
As the firefighters brought him to safety, he could be heard saying: ‘I have paid 7.50 euros for this and I haven’t finished yet!‘
If I’m not mistaken, don’t we have something called the Internet now? Who still goes into the old sex shops to catch a beat? This seems like a relic of a time long passed. I actually found “Throbbin’ Hood” online for free. Frankly, I didn’t see the appeal and turned it off after watching it a few dozen times. The cinematography was amateurish at best, the lighting was poor, the dialogue was stilted, and the storyline was a convoluted mess. But I do kind of feel badly for my man.
Bruh was cheated—cheated out of 7.5 euros! And you know the Germans love their porn. Who doesn’t? I know that I actually can’t wait for the latest installment of “Penispiraten Auf Analrandale” to hit the stores. Yes, that is an actual German porn title, and no, I’m not providing you with a Google translation of that.
I’m kidding, of course, about being a fan of German porn. I can’t deal with the smut that comes out of that country. First of all, the guys talk too much. Nobody wants to hear a continuous guttural muttering in German the entire time. “Jah…oh jah…JAH….JAH DAS IST WUNDERBAR!” I mean, it goes on and on. They don’t shut up. Dial it back, mein herrs.
Also, you don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re talking about German porn here. Unexpected unpleasantness is just around the corner. It could start off perfectly normal. You know, a guy and a girl? Next thing you know, there’s complex machinery being wheeled in, five midgets in Nazi uniforms are involved, latex suits are being put on, Rammstein is playing, and various tubs of viscous substances are being employed. It’s too much.
What were we talking about again?
Sami Kazikhani once risked his life serving alongside U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, but now he, his wife and their young daughter find themselves sleeping in refugee camps and the unfamiliar streets of Europe as they desperately seek a new life in America.
Marked for death in his homeland after being outed as a “collaborator” in a dramatic incident at a family wedding, Kazikhani, who was lauded by Marines he once served, was forced to flee last year even while he was applying for safe passage to the U.S. with his wife Yasmiin and infant daughter Roxanna under a special visa program designed for those who served our troops. With tribal elders ordering his death, Kazikhani fled first to Turkey, then made the dangerous trip across the Aegean Sea just weeks ago after being ordered out of Turkey.
“The trip was horrible,” Kazikhani, 30, told FoxNews.com from Germany, where he and his family are living with thousands of refugees. “We nearly drowned. We saw others who drowned. We were saved three times. Every time we had to jump into the boat with my daughter, I was sad. It made me cry.”
This is shameful. Go read the whole thing. Kazikhani is just one of many, many would-be immigrants who have helped America’s forces in the GWOT over the years. There are so many of these extremely brave men that we’ve turned our backs on after they risked their lives to aid the United States. We shouldn’t take one single immigrant, legal or otherwise, before taking care of these people.
Obama seems to enjoy swinging his presidential member around when it comes to Syrian immigrants. Let’s see him start with those to whom we owe a tremendous thank you.
A 29-year-old man who was using bath salts was arrested and charged after he was found naked and screaming over the weekend in a flower bed in Crystal City, police said.
The incident began shortly after midnight Sunday near the intersection of Crystal Drive and 18th Street South when police received a call.
When they arrived, they found a man — later identified as Hector Anaya Segura of Mexico — standing in a flower bed, waving his arms in the air and “screaming incoherently,” according to Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman with the Arlington County police department.
Segura’s clothes were scattered in the roadway.
Police said a naked Segura then ran to a police cruiser and began slamming his hands on the hood.
Looks like old Hector uh, “resisted” a little bit.
(Featured image courtesy of usnews.com)