Tuesday, April 28, 2015


So Stalker returned on CBS.

But turns out next week it won't be on.

Why can't they run the last three episodes in a row?

And, yes, I hope it's the last three episodes of the season and not the last three episodes period.

First up, thank you to C.I. for writing "Stalker returns to CBS tonight" which we all posted:

If you watched, you know Maggie Q is finally free of her stalker.

By that I mean, after his kidnapping her, she is now back in her own life.

I don't mean that he's dead.

Because he's not.

There's no way he died in the fire.

Especially since he set it (to kill them all).

So he's going to be back.

I kind of think that will be before the end of the season.

I was also glad to see that Ben survived the attack.

We saw him in the hospital at the end of the episode.

It was a strong episode and we shouldn't have had to wait all this time for it.

New content at Third:

And it was written by Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, April 27, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept pretends to care about the safety of journalists, another journalist is killed in Iraq, Bully Boy Bush opens his trap, rabid dogs rush to bark, and much more.

The increasingly ridiculous US State Dept issued the following today:

The U.S. Department of State launched its fourth annual “Free the Press” campaign today as part of the Department’s efforts to honor the fundamental importance of a free and independent media in the days leading up to World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
As in years past, the Department will profile on a daily basis journalists or media outlets that are censored, attacked, threatened, disappeared or otherwise oppressed because of their reporting. The purpose of the campaign is to speak out for reporters who otherwise cannot; to call on governments to protect the right to free expression; and to emphasize our own commitment to promoting free expression here in the United States and around the world.
From April 27 to May 1, the Department Spokesperson will highlight emblematic cases of journalists or press outlets under threat around the world at the Daily Press Briefing. The cases will be profiled on www.HumanRights.gov and they will be tweeted out using the hashtag #FreethePress.
For more information, please contact Chanan Weissman at weissmanc@state.gov or 202 647 4043.
For more information on the State Department’s work on democracy, human rights, and labor rights follow @State_DRL or @HumanRightsGov, or visit http://www.state.gov/j/drl/

Why does the State Dept even still exist?

It mistakes itself for the Defense Dept.  It doesn't do diplomacy.  It's a crooked organization that fails to even attempt its mission.

And now they want to pretend to care about the press?

In the same month when they couldn't say one damn word at even one daily press briefing about journalist Ned Parker who had to leave Iraq due to threats made on social media, Iraqi TV and verbal attacks by Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the vile Luay al-Khatteb and Abbask Hadhim then attacked  Ned.  We called that out April 18th.  John Bundock (Now Lebanon via Business Insider) takes on the vile nonsense noting:

Abusing their positions, certain sectarian 'fellows' are resorting to networks of calumny and demagogical hate speech to score points for their respective camps.
Take, for instance, Luay Al-Khatteeb, Brooking Institute's non-resident fellow.
Al-Khatteeb was a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime, having been interrogated at age 10 and spent years as an internally displaced person. It's understandable if he bears a grudge against the ex-Baathists whom ISIS appeals to for constituents.
Such feelings, however, cannot excuse ignoring the threats many of his countrymen and journalists now face from Iran-backed militias.
Writing for Huffington Post with Dr. Abbas Kadhim (a professor at John Hopkins' SAIS), Al-Khatteeb dismissed an Asaib Ahl al-Haqq affiliate channel's targeting of Ned Parker, saying Parker's departure "could be handled in a better fashion" and that "such [a] headline is God's sent gift to Bathists [sic] and pro ISIS as it put the future of free journalism in Iraq at stake," before writing a paean to Iranian-infiltrated Popular Mobilization Units.
[. . .]
As one Iraqi researcher remarked, "Ganging up on international reporters when they say something you don't like actually asserts Ned Parker's claims."

The State Dept can't even verbally defend Ned Parker but we're supposed to pretend that they're going to defend other members of the press?

Nor did they even note Iraqi journalist Thaer Ali who was executed by a firing squad in Mosul today -- an ISIS firing squad.

In other State Dept embarrassments, let's note this from today's press briefing by spokesperson Jeff Rathke:

QUESTION: Okay. So on Iraq, there are reforms in the Iraqi armed forces – it happened in the past and still happening, and also in the Peshmerga divisions. Is the United States behind these reforms or endorsing these reforms in any way? Because one of the Iraqi lawmakers accused the United States of appointing or forcing Iraqi Government to appoint one of the Sunni leaders for the Mosul operations. And that’s one.
The other one is on the U.S. veterans joined Peshmerga in Iraq. What is the status for them when they come back or when they’re injured or killed – for their family and also for themselves?

MR RATHKE: Well, the first question, I’m not aware of those reports to which you’re referring so I don’t have any comment on those specifics. Of course, we have joint operations centers in the Kurdish region as well as in Baghdad, and we work closely with our Iraqi counterparts as they – as they look at how they want to carry forward the fight against ISIL. But I don’t have any comment on those.
And certainly, decisions about how Iraq’s forces will respond, whether it’s in Mosul or anywhere else, are decisions made by Iraq’s leaders, not by the United States.

QUESTION: And there was a response by the U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad Stuart Jones about this, and I was wondering if you have any more than that that he had, that he said that the appointing commander of the Mosul operations was not U.S.-initiated.

MR RATHKE: Well, I think that’s exactly right.


MR RATHKE: And so I don’t have anything --

QUESTION: The second question?

MR RATHKE: -- to add to it. The second question?

QUESTION: Was - did the U.S. – some – voluntarily some U.S. veterans joining --

MR RATHKE: Oh, well, we have long advised American citizens against travel to Iraq. No American citizens who might possibly be there in any kind of capacity fighting or doing so with approval or any sort of support of the United States Government, so I don’t have any comment on the --

QUESTION: Will it be an issue when they come back to U.S.?

MR RATHKE: I don’t have any specific comment on that.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR RATHKE: Well, again, I don’t have any comment on that.
Yes, go ahead --

QUESTION: Wait, no, no, no, just to follow this up --

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR RATHKE: Okay, sorry. Brad, go ahead.

QUESTION: I mean, he raised a good point. Is it – is this a criminable offense, fighting for the Peshmerga?

MR RATHKE: Well, that would be a Department of Justice question.

QUESTION: What are you advising American citizens about --

MR RATHKE: Well, we’re advising American citizens against travel to Iraq.


MR RATHKE: And that applies across the board. So --

QUESTION: But you’re not putting out any specific warning – this government – about taking a weapon and joining a non-state military group and fighting?

QUESTION: Or even another --

MR RATHKE: Well, again, that’s --

QUESTION: -- country’s military.

MR RATHKE: Well, that’s – I think is a separate – would be a separate question. But that would be a Department of Justice question. I’m happy to check with them and see if they have guidance that they’re able to offer.

QUESTION: Are you aware – are you aware of whether Homeland Security officials would be taking a closer look at Americans who say they’re coming back from Iraq?

MR RATHKE: I’d encourage you to ask – I’d encourage you to ask DHS colleagues about that.

First, for weeks now the press has been reporting on this US veteran or that US veteran who's gone back to Iraq to fight alongside Iraqi forces against the Islamic State.

If idiots like Rathke need a legal opinion that, they've certainly had plenty of time to get one.

The US government is backing the Iraqi government against the Islamic State.

Historically -- and legally -- there are no charges to be brought against American citizens for that.  (They can be charged with War Crimes if they participate in those.)

If Americans go to Iraq to fight on behalf of the Islamic State, it's less clear cut.  On the face of it, an American could face charges for that upon returning from Iraq.  But it's also true that a strong defense attorney might be able to successfully argue against charges based upon the fact -- pay attention here, Barack -- that Congress has not authorized the White House's current operations.

So the issue of fighting itself wouldn't be the way the government pursued charges.  Instead, they'd most likely go with "aiding terrorists" or terrorism itself with their argument grounded on the declaration of the Islamic State as a terrorist group by the United States. (The US government designated the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant a terrorist organization on December 17, 2004.)

As for urging Americans not to travel to Iraq or any other area, that's a warning for their own safety, it's not an edict, it's not a law, it has no teeth and is not enforceable.

In the real word, AFP reports that United Nations spokesperson Eliana Nabaa states that a UN worker ("a liason in Iraq's Diyala province") was kidnapped Sunday in Baquba.

Let's now journey back to the land of crazy.

  • When listening to Pres Bush on Iran sanctions, remember nothing did more to strengthen Iran's influence in region than his invasion of Iraq

  • Really?


    Not, say, in the spring and summer of 2009 releasing the leaders of the League of Righteous?  Handing them over to get the release of 5 Brits -- four of whom were already dead?


    Not overturning the 2010 election results to give Nouri al-Maliki -- Iran's choice for prime minister of Iraq -- a second term?

  • And, Ezzie, it's almost like you think the world has forgotten you supported the Iraq War.

    You'll never be able to walk that back.

    And, of course, it wouldn't be Twitter if they couldn't flaunt their stupidity.

  • In addition...They choose to forget GW's agreement to exit. Even GW has forgotten.

  • You go, Melinda, sport that ignorance for the whole damn world to see.

    From Sunday:

    I was asked if we'd note Josh Rogin's report for WND?  We'll note this section:

    Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama's policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. He called Obama's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011 a "strategic blunder." Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement.

    I'm not interested in Bully Boy Bush's evaluations on anything -- unless he wants to explore his culpability in War Crimes.  But considering that -- check the archives -- we noted in real time, November 2008, that the Status Of Forces Agreement was a three year agreement that could be succeeded by another agreement while the press and whores (that includes Antiwar.com, sadly) insisted it was an end to the Iraq War.
    It wasn't.
    And Barack attempted to extend it but couldn't because Nouri wanted more troops than Barack was offering.
    The whole point of the three year agreement was to help Nouri.
    The UN agreements had been one year long.  And Nouri had suffered each time with Parliament when he extended the agreements (without consulting the Parliament).  So the point was to get Nouri out of the three year agreement. It was also to extend it past the end of 2009 elections (which became March 2010 elections as a result of Tareq al-Hashemi objecting to the election law failing to include Sunni refugees).
    Barack tried to get an agreement.  He failed.
    Whether that was right or wrong, others can explore.
    If you want my opinion, we can go into it in a snapshot this week.

    Oh, Melinda Collins, what a frightful idiot you are.

    Bully Boy Bush didn't intend for America to ever leave Iraq.

    How stupid are you really?

    He invaded Iraq, he destroyed it and you think he was washing his hands of it in November 2008?

    No, you silly fool.

    When Nouri was installed as prime minister, the United Nations had authorized the occupation.

    The illegal invasion had no legal cloak.

    But the occupation of Iraq did.

    And it was a yearly mandate.

    I'm sorry if this is confusing to you.  Maybe all those hours thinking MSNBC was a news outlet, left you starving for facts?

    Joe Biden was a US Senator at this point.  We can quote him at length but I'm not in the mood to spoon feed.  Go to the archives for 2008 -- April.  You can search "Petraeus and Crocker variety show."  It was the week that David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker appeared before various Congressional committees.  Click here for that week's coverage.

    The SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) was a three-year deal and not a one year to give Nouri political cover.  The Parliament was outraged when he first renewed the UN mandate without their input (required by the Iraqi Constitution).  He said he'd get it next time.

    Then it was time to renew and he side-stepped them again outraging them even further.

    This is where the Bully Boy Bush White House realized that the agreement between the US government and the Iraqi government would need to be more than one year.

    The UN was not going to do any more UN mandates.  That's addressed in the April 2008 coverage we linked to earlier.  The United Kingdom, like the US, would have to enter into its own agreement with the Iraqi government for any troops to be out and about starting January 1, 2009.  (The Senate Foreign Relations Committee --  in one hearing Joe Biden chairs during that April week -- says that if no deal is reached by December 31, 2008, troops would be confined to the bases or brought home.)

    Three years became the goal.

    Had they done one year agreements -- like the UN mandate, that would have meant negotiations for another year in the fall of 2009 -- right before the 2009 parliamentary elections.

    They made it a three year agreement in order to give Nouri breathing space.

    (Do not e-mail, "Parliamentary elections were in 2010!"  Yes, I know that.  I also know they were supposed to take place in 2009.  Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi used his power -- as one of the three presidencies -- to refuse to allow a bill Parliament had passed on elections to go through.  He objected to the representation of Sunni refugees -- he felt they were not accurately accounted for -- in the election law.  His objection pushed the parliamentary elections back to 2010.  And if you don't even know that fact, maybe you shouldn't e-mail to 'correct' someone else -- though many of you have already felt the need to do so.)

    The SOFA would cover 2009, 2010 and 2011.

    There was a kill clause built in but it really only applied to 2009 and 2010.  If, in 2009, they wanted to kill the agreement (either side), it would expire at the end of 2010.  If, in 2010, they wanted to kill the agreement, it would expire at the end of 2011 -- which is when the SOFA was set to expire.

    Barack pursued another SOFA.

    If that escapes you as well, why are you even Tweeting about Iraq because you clearly don't give a damn about it.

    Oh, that's right, you give a damn about pissing and moaning about Bully Boy Bush.


    Yeah, that'll help Iraq today.

    Your obsession with 2003 through 2008 will really help Iraq today.  (That's sarcasm.)

    Even after October 2011, when the press was reporting that the SOFA negotiations had fallen apart and that they were over, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and still-Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey would tell Congress that negotiations continued:

    If that's news to you maybe it's because the press clowned you, made a mockery out of you, by refusing to report that reality and instead 'reporting' on the exchange of words between Senator John McCain and Leon Panetta.  (While failing to note that the two smoothed things out in the second round.)  They wanted drama, they wanted to turn a hearing into an episode of Gossip Girl.

    They just didn't want to tell you the truth.

    For those wanting the truth on the November 15, 2011 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, you can refer to this real time coverage:   "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot."  Ava reported on it with "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava), Wally reported on it with "The costs (Wally)" and Kat reported on it with "Who wanted what?").

    In fairness, CNN, for example, did note in their 'report' that the negotiations might continue (they were continuing that's what Panetta said, we covered it).

    Here's Charley Keyes 'reporting' that for CNN: "Panetta did not rule out that negotiations with Iraq about a small U.S. force could resume later."

    That's his 18th paragraph.

    He didn't rule that out?

    Uh, he actually said talks would continue.

    Senator Joe Lieberman:  Let me, Secretary Panetta, pick up from that point. I've heard from friends in Iraq -- Iraqis -- that Prime Minister Maliki said at one point that he needed to stop the negotiations -- leave aside for one moment the reasons -- but he was prepared to begin negotiations again between two sovereign nations -- the US and Iraq -- about some troops being in Iraq after January 1st.  So that's what I've heard from there. But I want to ask you from the administration point of view. I know that Prime Minister Maliki is coming here in a few weeks to Washington. Is the administration planning to pursue further discussions with the Iraqi government about deploying at least some US forces in Iraq after the end of this year?

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Senator, as I pointed out in my testimony, what we seek with Iraq is a normal relationship now and that does involve continuing negotiations with them as to what their needs are.  Uh, and I believe there will be continuing negotations.  We're in negotiations now with regards to the size of the security office that will be there and so there will be -- There aren't zero troops that are going to be there. We'll have, you know, hundreds that will be present by virtue of that office assuming we can work out an agreement there.  But I think that once we've completed the implementation of the security agreement that there will begin a series of negotiations about what exactly are additional areas where we can be of assistance? What level of trainers do they need? What can we do with regards to CT [Counter-Terrorism] operations? What will we do on exercises -- joint-exercises -- that work together?

    That's only one example from the hearing.

    We reported it here.

    You need to ask yourself why supposed news outlets treated you like fools and children and refused to tell you what actually took place in that hearing?

    I consider Bully Boy Bush a War Criminal.  I've stated that here since this site started in 2004.

    But I don't practice situational ethics.

    Meaning, I don't pretend that Barack doesn't have plenty of blame himself.

    The way Barack could have avoided blame was clear.

    And we argued it here after the election and before he was sworn in and repeatedly in Barack's first year as president.

    The American people believed Barack's lie that he'd pull all US troops out of Iraq in 16 months.

    (It was a lie -- this was established by Samantha Power in a March 2008 BBC interview and that interview is why she left Barack's campaign -- not because she called Hillary a monster.  We don't have time to spoonfeed.  If you're ignorant of the facts, look it up yourself.)

    Had Barack kept his promise, there would be no fault for him today.

    Even if Iraq was as bad as it is now or worse, it wouldn't be on Barack.


    Because he withdrew all troops in 16 months.

    As he'd stated while campaigning.

    So anything that happened?

    All Barack had to say was, "I was elected on the pledge to pull all troops out in 16 months, that's what was put before the American voters and the majority supported that position.  Once sworn in, I carried out that desire.  We made our decision collectively in the spirit of democracy."

    Iraq slides into crisis 17 months into Barack's term?

    Not his fault.

    He did what he promised and what the American voters responded to.

    Barack and Joe immediately caved on that promise (lie) after the election.

    Throughout the election, both had insisted -- going back to when Joe was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- that any agreement between the US and Iraq (the SOFA) must go through the Senate for ratification.

    It was even up at the official Barack Obama - Joe Biden campaign site.

    Or was until they won the election.

    Then they purged the site of that.

    Because now, via Bully Boy Bush, they had three years to play with Iraq.

    And the reality about the psychos who end up in the Oval Office -- and most are psychos -- is that they think they're much more brilliant than they ever are.

    Remember, Bully Boy Bush never disputed the notion that the Christian God chose him to lead.

    It was then-First Lady Laura Bush who scoffed at that silly notion -- drummed up by members of the press -- and that includes so-called 'objective' members of the mainstream press -- not just partisans on Fox News.

    They always think they know best.

    And Barack and company could have kept their promise but instead decided to f**k around with Iraq because they were so smart and they knew best.

    And that's how you get Barack overturning the Iraqi people's votes in 2010.  That's how you get him ordering a contract be negotiated (The Erbil Agreement) which went around the voters, the Iraqi Constitution and democracy to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term as prime minister.

    It's how you get the silence throughout Nouri's second term from the White House.

    Yes, Barack did privately have enough before he finally called Nouri out starting in June 2014.

    In November 2012, he was done with Nouri privately.

    (Which is why he refused to take the congratulations phone call Nouri made following the 2012 election.)

    As Iraq slid into chaos during Nouri's second term, the White House backed Nouri and repeatedly made the decision that this attack on the Iraqis or that attack didn't matter as much as keeping Nouri in office mattered to them.

    In the spring of 2012, the White House even stopped Iraqi politicians -- Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi, KRG President Massoud Barzani, Ammar al-Hakim (leader of the Shi'ite Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) and others -- from holding a no confidence vote in Parliament despite the fact that the group had followed every Constitutional guideline for seeking such a measure.

    Bully Boy Bush is a War Criminal.

    And though we can pretty much all nod in agreement on the left over that call, we get skittish when the same is said of Barack.

    But he is.

    And the reality is that Bully Boy Bush left Barack with an Iraq at its most stable that it had been since the illegal war started and Barack humored Nouri and ignored Nouri's crimes -- arresting and killing Sahwa, for example, refusing to bring them into the government as promised, etc.

    And it was this humoring of Nouri, this ignoring of Nouri's crimes that led Iraq to its current state.

    I don't believe -- now or then -- that Iraq's answer was US troops.

    But Barack didn't need US troops to take on Nouri.

    All he needed to do was, for example, pull funding -- or just threaten too -- and Nouri most likely would have fallen in line.  (Nouri is highly corrupt and he 'allegedly' stole millions while prime minister.)

    If that was too much, if standing up to Nouri was too much for Barack, he could have also just sat his tired ass down and let the no confidence vote take place in the Iraqi Parliament.

    Moving on . . .

  • Source tells me anti-gov't protests in being encouraged by Maliki's crew, capitalising on popular anger at military failures in

  • I don't doubt it.  And Nouri's feeling particularly humiliated after an event this month, a Dawa event, found him sidelined, bounced from the dais and leaving in a huff.

    If Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, had any real power, he'd be demanding that Nouri stop meeting with the military in various provinces.

    Nouri is a highly paranoid person.

    Throughout his two terms, he 'knew' a military coup was about to be carried out because . . .

    that's how he'd handle it.

    There were no military coups or even attempted ones.

    But now that he's out of power, he's attempting to build support within the Iraqi military for a coup against Haider al-Abadi.

    Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 148 dead and 74 injured across Iraq in today's violence.

    Tweet of the day (non-embarrassing) is via the Washington Post's Liz Sly:

    Today, Saudi bombed Yemen, the U.S. bombed Iraq & Syria, Israel bombed Syria & Syria bombed Syria
    492 retweets 194 favorites


    Monday, April 27, 2015

    Stalker (my favorite show) back on CBS tonight

    Stalker returns to CBS tonight

    Tonight on CBS, the return of Stalker.

    The one and only Maggie Q, the first Asian-American female to carry an hour long show (the classic Nikita) stars alongside Dylan McDermott -- who you know and love as Bobby on The Practice, from American Horror Story's first season and a go-for-broke funny guest appearance on Will & Grace (among many other credits but Dylan committed to his guest spot, he didn't wink at the audience, and he was a hilarious guest star as a result).

    This is Mike's favorite show of the 2014 fall through 2015 spring season.

    And in these remaining episodes as the season wraps up, you also get Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino.

    The show made a mistake, a big one, when it debuted.

    It was gross that Dylan was stalking someone.

    The show runner thought it would come off "edgy."

    It didn't.

    But in the time since, we've learned it's his son and he and his ex are working through whatever for the good of the child.

    So the 'ick' factor is gone.

    If you sampled the show earlier and didn't like it or if the reviews put you off (it was a huge mistake not to reveal upfront why Dylan was watching that boy), hopefully, you'll give it another try tonight and the next two Mondays.

    Maggie Q is historic for what she did.  Ava and I noted in 2013:

    In the US versions, Nikita's been blonde.  In all three previous versions, Nikita's been White.  Maggie Q is bi-racial.  With a White father and a Vietnamese mother, she's Asian-American.  And carrying her own show.
    August 27, 1951, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong aired its first episode.  That DuMont Network program featured Asian-American actress and star Anna May Wong.  Wong had found fame in silent films, then moved on to talkies before pursuing the stage and overseas films. At the age of 46, she began starring in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong which was the first TV series in the US to star an Asian-American woman.  And her character?  A spy.
    Much is rightly made of African-American Kerry Washington being the star of ABC's one hour drama Scandal.  Similar attention should focus on Maggie Q's accomplishment.
    Q's carried the series for three years.  She's played a vengeful and untrusting Nikita who wanted to bring down Division who managed to transform into a team leader in the second season and to someone with an ever increasing sense of right and wrong in the third season.  She's handled each evolution with skill and careful shading, forever finding new dimensions in Nikita -- the trained assassin who fights her way back to humanity.

    If we say we want diversity on TV (and we should want it, it makes for more interesting stories if every character isn't exactly the same in looks, background, ethnicity, race, etc.), we need to be willing to support those programs that offer it.

    Doesn't mean you have to love Stalker.

    But you should at least give it a chance.

    And, yes, Maggie Q, playing a completely different character, is yet again spellbinding.

    The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Idiot of the Week

    So I wrote a nice long post Saturday night, hit publish and went on my way.

    It didn't post.

    Nor did it save.

    Idiot of the Week is Medea Benjamin.

    The attention whore 'distinguished' herself this week by finally writing about Hillary's run for the presidency.

    And we might say "good."

    Even though she's ignored the e-mail scandal and it's true meaning: Secrecy, refusal to be transparent, lack of accountability.

    But this is the week Barack announced he had killed 2 hostages in his Drone War.

    Remember The Drone War.

    Medea's supposedly opposed to it.

    Even wrote a book on it.

    And there she is with an article about what Hillary might do if she became president while ignoring the crimes of what Barack is doing as president.

    Medea's always an idiot but this week, she's the Idiot of the Week.

    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:" 

    Saturday, April 25, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the Islamic State continues to claim victories, the US Veterans Affairs Dept will not be able to meet their pledge to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015 -- a detail ignored this week even when it was obvious in an open Congressional hearing, and much more.

    Today Al Jazeera reports:

    Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group have taken partial control of a water dam and the military barracks guarding it in western Anbar province, security sources and witnesses said.
    The armed group launched an offensive on the dam late on Friday with explosive-laden vehicles, and engaged in gun battles with Iraqi soldiers that continued through to Saturday.

    In addition, Reuters notes, "Three suicide car bombs exploded at a border crossing between Iraq and Jordan on Saturday, killing four soldiers, a witness and an Iraqi border police source said, in an attack claimed shortly afterwards by Islamic State."  In addition, Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) add, "Residents of Fallujah said that Islamic State militants paraded an officer and three soldiers allegedly captured in the fighting through the streets in a pickup truck on Saturday. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals."


    Doesn't seem like all of Barack's claims that the Islamic State is on the run are panning out.  Seems like a very small group of fighters continue to rule in Iraq.

    Why might that be?

    Possibly due to all the broken promises of Haider al-Abadi and all his failures.

    Since August, he's had lot of words.  But in all those months he's been prime minister of Iraq, he's done nothing to improve the lives of Sunnis or even to stop the targeting of them.

    That was eight months ago.

    And nothing.

    Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 44 violent deaths on Friday.

    Next Friday will be May.

    And that means June's staring down at Barack Obama.

    It was last June when Barack declared the only way to end the political crises in Iraq was a political solution.

    Barack's bombed Iraq, gotten other countries to join in the bombing, sent US troops into Iraq and got other countries to send troops into Iraq.

    But while he's focused relentlessly on that?

    He's ignored working towards a political solution.

    People may ignore it right now.

    When the one year anniversary of his statement comes and there is still no solution in Iraq, he might find the press to be a lot less generous to his failures.

    Barack's also failed on veterans.

    If you care about veterans issues, you care about a myriad of issues.  Valid and important issues that have to compete with other issues -- including with non-veteran issues as well as with veterans issues.  In the Senate, Senator Patty Murray's long been a leader on this issue.  The House hasn't had a leader on this since US House Rep John Hall left Congress in January 2011.

    There's been no member of the House -- male or female -- who could be counted on to consistently put focus on and demand attention to the issues of women veterans.

    That's reality and anyone who attends House VA hearings should be willing to be honest about that.

    That statement is not meant as an attack on any member of the House.

    If you want an attack, here's one: Ranking Member Corinne Brown should try bringing up real issues and not what she sees on basic cable TV between the hours of one and three in the morning.

    Other than Brown, most members who focus on veterans issues are focusing on serious ones.  Many focus on issues that have effected them or their families.

    And many important issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress and homelessness are issues that effect male and female veterans.

    But there are issues that effect women veterans and only veterans who are women.

    Such as?


    Those are doctors in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.  Not only do they deal with those issues but they can also be a woman's PCP -- primary care physician.  (Like any man can, a woman can also choose a general practitioner or a family medicine doctor to be their PCP but they also have the option of skipping those generalists and going with an ob-gyn as a PCP.)

    "What is your estimate as to the number [of ob-gyns] that are needed now and in the future compared to the number that are available?" Senator Richard Blumenthal asked this week.

    He was asking a basic and important question.

    But the Veterans Health Administration's Chief Consultant on Women's Health Services, Dr. Patricia Hayes, had no answer.

    Make no mistake, she had a lot of words.  She attempted to say nothing in a huge amount of words -- apparently to run out the time clock.

    Senator Richard Blumenthal wasn't having it and cut her off.

    Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal:  Here's what I would suggest and I don't mean to interrupt you but for planning and management within the VA with regard to this specific speciality,  to be regarded as effective and competent, I would think that you could give us numbers of doctors in this speciality that are available now to meet the need, what the unmet need would require in additional numbers, and what it will be in the future?  Because you can't really tell if you're meeting the need unless you have that estimate of numbers.

    There was no excuse for her non-answer.

    There was no excuse for not being able to provide a hard answer, an actual figure.

    She attended Tuesday's hearing knowing the sole topic was women's health.

    And yet the most basic question for women's health, the practice solely devoted to women's health -- obstetrics and gynecology -- was a topic she hadn't considered.

    Women veterans have been lucky to have Senator Patty Murray as a champion.  Murray treated their issues seriously before she became Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and she's considered to treat these issues seriously (she continues to serve on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee but she has gone on to leadership on other committees).

    I think Senator Bernie Sanders, who replaced Murray as Chair, was a hideous leader of the Committee.

    For example, when it broke that the veterans were being denied treatment, put on a secret wait list to hide this treatment, the official figures fudged, that veterans were getting sicker as they waited and that some died as a result -- when that emerged and was the dominant story in the news cycle, Bernie not only went on with his previously planned hearing on holistic (alternative) medicine but he stated at the start that he didn't want anyone to ask about this scandal because that was for another time.

    Yes, Bernie, acupuncture is far more important than people dying.

    That was sarcasm.

    Bernie was a failure.

    He refused to demand accountability from then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.  Shinseki suffered one disgrace and one scandal after another until even US President Barack Obama could see Shinseki had to go.  But up to that point, Bernie was still defending him.  (In the House, idiot Corinne was defending him the same way.)  Bernie repeatedly placed Eric Shinseki's comfort over that of veterans.

    He was a failure.

    Senator Johnny Isakson is now the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

    Already, he's done a better job than Bernie.

    Tuesday's hearing was entitled "Fulfilling The Promise To Women Veterans."

    Isakson just became Chair in January.

    Do you know how many hearings Bernie's Committee held?

    Counting reports from VSOs (Veterans Service Organizations), the answer is 35.

    And how many of those hearings focuses solely on women?


    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  As a patient at the VA, I have received some of the best care, from some of the best doctors, however that experience is tempered by the fact that I have also received some of the worst care not only by doctors and care providers but by the system itself. For years I complained to my doctors at the VA of numerous symptoms that were summarily dismissed; I was told I was too young to have any issues, I was told the basic blood work came back normal, and the ultimate betrayal, I was told I was not really being honest. These symptoms worsened and worsened, until finally I was forced to pursue medical advice out of the VA on my own. Once my bloodwork and MRIs proved positive for Cushing’s disease and the brain tumor that caused it, the VA started to take me seriously, it’s hard to argue when you’re staring at an MRI with a big white mass in the middle of someone’s head. But the years of suffering both physically, mentally and emotionally that I had to endure in order to get someone to listen is not something I would wish on anyone, and something that should not be happening to any veteran. The road to recovery for Cushing’s patients is not easy, there are countless tests and months of observation and then the inevitable brain surgery. There are the frequent visits to Endocrinology, neurology, the ENT, the list is long. But what complicates this, is that at the VA you may never see the same doctor twice. So not only do you have to repeat your story to every specialist under the sun, you have to repeat it to a revolving door of white coats who are hearing it for the first time. Or even worse, the specialist you may need to see may have left and it may be months before a new one is found and you can get an appointment. I know this because I have lived it. While I was stationed in NYC, I had to travel to three separate VA facilities in three separate boroughs because no one facility had all the specialists I needed. For allergy treatment alone I had to travel from Brooklyn to the Bronx, sit through what could easily be over an hour in traffic and $30 in tolls, for a fifteen minute appointment. Coordination of care is essential in any system that aims to treat the whole person, and at the VA the system is counterproductive to enabling this process. Prior to my brain surgery, which the VA only did on the second Tuesday of every month, my surgery date was cancelled three separate times. So three separate times I prepped, I had family come down and take off work as I could not be left alone for the first few days of recovery, and three separate times I was told another case was more important or that they could not get all the required doctors in the same room together, or that the doctors did not have a chance to review my case yet. They would have cancelled the fourth date also had I and my family not called the patient advocate and voiced our complaints. After brain surgery there were other nightmares. The was the MRI in which the attendant, rushing because I was the last patient before she could leave for the day, did not remove the metal nodes from my body, and too weak to squeeze the panic button, because my arm was sewn to a stabilizer in order to keep the pic line in, I could do nothing but weep silently while the metal burned welts into my skin. There was the resident doctor who had not researched my disease before mourning rounds and not knowing the main symptom of Cushing’s is weight gain said he could not tell if I was presenting because I was so heavy. It’s hard to have faith in a system when you have read more on your condition then the doctors who are supposed to be treating you. Navigating the VA can be daunting, and even more so as a female veteran. The women's clinic is often well segregated from the rest of the facility. Often times you have to traverse to the basement of the hospital next to the lab to find it, and once you get there it is obvious that it is an afterthought. Perception is part of the issue. For women veterans to feel like they belong, they need to know that their care is just as important as their male counterparts. They need to trust their care providers and they need to know that their care is a priority.

    Mouradjian shared her experience (which didn't end with that excerpt) to the Committee -- a Committee tha under Bernie Sanders' leadership couldn't be bothered with women's issues.

    In four months of leadership, Isakson has already done more than Bernie did in two years.

    So applause for that to Isakson.

    And applause to Senator Richard Blumenthal who is Ranking Member on the Committee and who has emerged as another senator who, like Patty Murray, can focus on women veterans as he demonstrated in hearing already this year.

    As Blumenthal observed in his opening remarks, "There are too many homeless women veterans.  There are too many women veterans in need of medical care" -- his brief opening remarks.  He entered his full opening (written statement) into the record but noted he'd rather hear from the witnesses than hear himself speak.

    There were two panels and Hayes was part of the first panel.  She was accompanied by Dr. Susan McCutcheon and Royse Cloud.  The second panel was Nevada Women Veterans Advisory Committee's Dr. Anne Davis, Disabled American Veterans' Joy J. Ilem and and army veteran Christina Mouradjian.

    If you're new to our coverage of VA hearings, we're generally more interested in the second panel where witnesses are honest.  The first panel is always government flunkies who seem to get promotions and raises based upon how well they refuse to answer to Congress or even how well they flat out lie to Congress -- Allison Hickey, we mean you.

    While we have little desire to embrace (or endure) the Allison Hickeys of the world, we do embrace truth tellers.  While the first panel struggled to answer direct questions or provide even basic figures, the second panel was composed of three women prepared to address topics and explore possible solutions.

    For perspective, we'll include this from Disabled American Veterans Joy J. Ilem opening statement:

    As a service-disabled veteran, I know first-hand the challenges women face during military service and when they return home. I, like many women who served, did not understand on leaving military service the benefits and services to which I was entitled, despite the fact that I suffered an injury during my service as an Army medic while stationed at the Army 67th evacuation hospital in Wurzburg, Germany. It was not until nearly a decade after I had discharged from the military that a fellow veteran contacted me and told me about DAV. He urged me to file a VA disability claim and seek VA treatment. I resisted for months and remember asking him, "are you sure I can use the VA health care system?" I didn't think of myself as a veteran, and knew next to nothing about filing a disability claim or for which benefits I might be eligible. Today, many women who have served still do not readily self-identity as veterans. The good news is a concerted effort is being made to change this trend and ensure that women veterans are recognized for their military service and gain information about their earned benefits. The number of women serving in the military, their roles, and their exposure to combat has dramatically changed during our war years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Likewise, over the past decade we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of women seeking health care and other benefits from VA with expectations that this trend will continue. According to VA, the number of women veterans using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services increased by 80 percent between fiscal year (FY) 2003 and FY 2012.  Currently, over 635,000 women veterans
    Along with this significantly increased demand, VA experienced a shifting age demographic and inclusion of younger women veterans enrolling in VA health care, which required significant changes in both policies and clinical practice. According to VA, the number of women veteran patients under 35 years of age has increased by 120 percent between FY 2003 and FY 2013.
    New providers with expertise in women’s health were needed; clinical space in many locations was insufficient to meet rising demand; and privacy and safety concerns were prevalent. VA providers suddenly needed to be knowledgeable about reproductive health services, conducting breast and gynecological examinations and becoming aware of the possibility of pregnancy when treating younger women of child-bearing age to ensure medications and recommended treatments did not pose a risk of birth defects. Many VA providers were not seeing enough women patients to be proficient in women’s health, necessitating VA to institute a mini-residency program to help clinicians refresh their knowledge and skills. All prenatal and obstetric care is referred to private providers, and mammography services are provided by non-VA providers for about 75 percent of enrolled patients through VA’s fee basis medical care program, complicating coordination of care for women veterans.
    Other trends in this population that impact health policy and planning became evident as well. According to VA, more than half (57 percent) of women veterans under VA care are service disabled, some of whom are very young. These women will be eligible for lifelong VA care for their service-connected conditions. Women veterans were also presenting with unique post-deployment health care and mental health needs. More than half (57 percent) of the women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (OEF/OIF/OND) have sought VA care following military service and have targeted health care needs, including chronic musculoskeletal pain; mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and substance-use disorders (SUD); genitourinary system, endocrine and metabolic disorders; and respiratory conditions. Given the greater exposure of service women to combat, the specific medical profile of this group, and women who have sustained traumatic war-related injuries, it became clear there was a need for adjustments to not only primary care services but specialized care, transition services including supportive counseling, and psychological services.

    We'll note this exchange from the second panel.

    Chair Johnny Isakson: You said you were not an isolated case and you referred to many other women that had similar experiences -- obviously not with Cushing's but with other complications.  Would you elaborate on that for just a moment?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian: That is correct.  I know myself and several of my friends in the service have had a hard time just either accessing care or getting doctors to listen to the particular issues that are unique to them.  Particularly with mental health issues, there is often times lack of a response to women.  So just, one of the big issues is getting a female provider.  I know that a lot of the female veterans that I have served with do not necessarily feel comfortable telling their story to a male who might not be able to sympathize with what they've gone through as a woman in general.  The physical issues aside, some of the very delicate that we face as women, we're just not comfortable sharing those with a male.  So one of the biggest hurdles is just being able to get access to a provider, feeling comfortable enough to get the help they need. 

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  Well that actually is the point I was going to lead up to.  One of the things we are looking at in the Veterans Choice Bill, we had two issues -- one was the forty mile rule which we have dealt with but the other was the care -- nearest the care of the veteran's needs.  And in your particular case, you had a very specialized need.  Cushing's is not a -- it is a very rare condition, is that not correct?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  It is very rare.

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  And obviously the VA wasn't prepared initially either to diagnose or to recognize it.  Is that correct?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  That is correct. 

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  But you had enough symptoms to know that something was wrong and that you needed care.  Is that correct?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  Yes.

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  Did you ever consider going for a second opinion outside of the VA or were you limited and not able to do that on your own?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  No, I'm fortunate enough that my mother is in the medical field so I did have an advocate in my corner who had enough background to guide me so I had personal resources in my life that could verify that the treatment I was getting at the VA was actually -- after I was diagnosed -- sufficient to deal with it.  

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  But without the advocate you may never have gotten that care.  Is that correct?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian:  Absolutely.

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  Well that is my point and I know the VA folks are staying for the rest of the hearing -- and I appreciate you'll staying.  This is a -- there's a message in this story to us. Obviously, there are things we can do to make sure that you go from lack of diagnosis or misdiagnosis to appropriate diagnosis and that there's an ombudsperson to help you along the way.  You were fortunate enough to have a mother to help you do that but a lot of our women veterans don't and I think it's important that we recognize that there ought to be some way for communication or ombudsmanship to be available to the veteran who thinks they need the service and the care.  Ms. Ilem?

    Joy Ilem: I would just like to follow up.  I think that's a great idea.  I think with the cultural transformation that Secretary McDonald's trying to implement throughout the system there needs to be a specific line for women veterans to take on this role.  I know VA has lost some of their lead women veteran program managers throughout the system.  I mean, they've been critical over the years.  When I have a problem, when a woman veteran calls, and I call the women veteran health service, they're right on it.  They want to know.  They want to help.  But they have to have the staff out there of somebody leading that understands these particular issues. 

    From the second panel, we'll note this as well.

    Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal: And I just want to clarify that you actually had to seek help outside the VA simply to get a diagnosis of a problem that was bothering you for some time.  Is that correct?

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian: That is correct. I went to a doctor that I knew back home and described the symptoms to him and he did some blood work and it really only took one test so it was pretty immediate after the blood work was ordered.

    Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal:   So if I were your mom or your parent or if you were one of my two sons who have served in our military -- one in the Marine Corps Reserve, the other in the Navy -- my opinion would be -- and I'd be angry about it -- that the VA failed you. 

    Retired US Army CPT Christina L. Mouradjian: My mother was very irate, yes.

    Someone pick Corinne Brown off the floor.  Don't worry about that mass next to her, it's not a tarantula, just one of her cheap wigs that fell off when she fainted as Ranking Member Blumenthal stated "the VA failed you."

    Yes, she made similar remarks on the House Veterans Committee . . . when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  Since Barack Obama was sworn in as US President, she's used Committee hearings to defend the VA and attack veterans.  Every scandal, Corinne would insist (informed by her 'research' of watching basic cable in the hours prior to dawn) was the fault of the veteran and not the VA.

    Let's move to the first panel.

    Chair Johnny Isakson: Dr. McClutcheon, given your medical expertise and your title, I'm going to direct this question to you: What perecentage of the mental health issues that you think women have are directly related to military sexual trauma? Or to what extent is that a problem?

    Dr. Susan McCutcheon:  Well, uh, certainly in your opening statements you mentioned military sexual trauma and when we look at this year's results we find that it's closer to 25% of the women who utilize the VA healthcare system have experienced military sexual trauma.  Military sexual trauma is not itself a military diagnosis and the most common mental health diagnosis associated with military sexual trauma is PTSD, second by depression.  So certainly with the numbers of 25% it's a significant issue for many of our women.  The majority of care -- those that do screen positive -- 76% of those women end up receiving either physical health or mental health treatment -- who've been screened positive -- and a smaller amount do just mental health treathment.  So you do see, actually there is a small percent of those individuals -- women who've experienced military sexual trauma -- also have physical healthcare needs.  So at 25%, to get to your point, yes, it's a significant number.

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  I know that this would be -- probably be a DoD question more than a Veterans Administration question, but I have toured a number of  warrior transition units where the war fighters come home, they're getting ready to sever from DoD and they go through a battery of questionaires that they do -- generally, by computer -- where they ask whether or not they've ever been traumatized, have they ever had nightmares, you know, all kinds of things that could lead towards mental health.  What specific -- or do you know if the DoD does anything specific to try to early identify women who may have had military sexual trauma before they leave the military to go into VA?

    Dr. Susan McCutcheon: Well, sir, you're correct.  I can't speak to what goes on in DoD but certainly in transitioning, we make sure that that is an item and in the separation health exam, there's also an item on MST.  And you probably know that at every VA medical center, we screen every veteran who comes to us for experiences in military sexual trauma.  And it's just two simple questions -- one that addresses sexual assault and the other that addresses sexual harassment.  And if by answering yes to either one of those questions that veteran is entitled to free health care: mental health care, physical health care and pharmaceuticals.  So there's no need to have proof that this experience happened to them.

    Chair Johnny Isakson:  Dr. Hayes, I was at Fort Hood about six months ago and the warrior transition unit there, talking to some members of the 3rd ID who were female members who were in the transition unit and asked them what was the single biggest problem that they thought they faced medically versus a man and almost to the person they said that it was musculoskeletal recovery after coming back from combat.  Is that true?

    Dr. Patricia Hayes: Absolutely, sir.  We find that for both men and women, that musculoskeletal injuries are the number one reason that they seek health care either from VA or while they're still in the transition.  I think that when we think about the roles that women serve today, it's quite natural that they would have the same kind of injuries from jumping off of a truck or from carrying heavy packs and that chronic pain and musculoskeletal issues are number one.

    Okay, stop.

    I'm confused.

    Hayes is the Veterans Health Administration's Chief Consultant on Women's Health Services,

    So why is the idiot so uninformed?

    I was in grad school.

    I know exactly what she's doing.

    She doesn't have an answer as to women veterans so she tries to pretend she can answer by bringing in male veterans.

    The hearing was about women veterans.

    Time and again, Hayes had no specifics on women veterans, was unable to speak to their issues.

    And yet she's billed as the Veterans Health Administration's Chief Consultant on Women's Health Services?

    She's clearly unqualified for the job.

    And on job qualifications, what were they?

    As we reported Sunday at Third in "No wonder the military has so many problems with health care," this month the US Air Force posted a job opening, they need a Public Health Officer.

    And you can be a successful candidate if you meet one of the three qualifications.

    A Master of Science in Public Health?

    Yeah, that's a needed qualification for a Public Health Officer.

    Or a Master of Public Health?

    Again, needed.

    But a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine?

    No offense to pet doctors.

    They're needed.

    They do great work.

    But since when is the best qualified person to treat human beings a veterinarian?

    It really makes you wonder about all the health qualifications various officials in the US government met -- and how low those qualifications actually were.

    Back to the hearing:

    Senator Joe Manchin: The VA's committed to ending veteran homelessness by 2015, we've all talked about that.  While the nation wide veterans homeless rate has dropped by 33% since 2010, we still have nearly 50,000 veterans without a home.  Of that number, 13,000 are women. There rate of homelessness is twice as high as men's and, worse than that, they are -- most of them dependent children are with them.  45% suffer from mental health issues.  70% are effected by substance abuse.  And 40% report sexual assault in the military.  How do you -- or how do we -- best attack the problem and do you believe you will achieve the VA's goal of ending homelessness for these women and their children?  Have you been able to identify -- were you able to really get a handle on this -- so elusive for so long?  So if you can give me where you might be on that issue.

    Dr. Patricia Hayes:  Thank you very much.  Sir, the issues for the homelessness of women are intense and they're multi-factorial as you just pointed out.  We want our women veterans to be successful and we certainly want to have in place the programs that we need to meet each of those types of needs, so depending upon where she comes into our system -- in terms of whether it's needing counseling, whether it's poverty and she needs a job, whether it's, uhm, additional just basic housing for her and her child -- our homelessness programs are set up -- particularly, the ones that are seeing the most use by women are the supportive services for veterans and their families which is about 15% of their services go to women and children are high vast program that's about 14%.  And that's in contrast to the fact that 7% of VA users are women.  So you see about double that proportion are being seen in our homeless program.

    No, they're not.

    I really don't like liars.

    First off, she continued to babble on, we're cutting her off there.

    As with her response to Ranking Member Blumenthal, she refused to answer the question.

    He was asking her about how many ob-gyns the VA had.

    A basic question and one that even an idiot showing up to testify to a Committee on the topic of women's health should have known would be asked.

    Senator Manchin was bringing up the VA's promise that homelessness would be ended by 2015. I remember that promise when it was first made and it was "by 2015."  Now it's apparently been extended to the end of 2015.

    Regardless of the extension, Hayes didn't answer the question.

    She and the VA have about 8 months to achieve their (now extended) promise.

    Is it going to happen?

    And, again, she was lying.

    She knew she was lying.

    She combined two figures -- women and children.

    While many women veterans -- not all -- seeking VA help have children it's also true that the programs she cited included men (solo or part of a couple) with children whose children benefit from those programs.

    She lied.

    She used an inflated figure to make it appear the VA was helping more homeless women veterans than they actually were.

    "How," Dr. Anne Davis asked while offering testimony on the second panel, "can we eliminate homelssness if we are not properly identifying our women veterans?"


    There are 15,000 -- as Senator Manchin pointed out.  Even if Hayes' ridiculous numbers were correct, to not even be at 20% in the year that veterans homelessness will supposedly be ended?  That's the answer she wouldn't provide, they're not going to end homelessness.  They've failed to reach out to women's veterans and they won't address that or even acknowledge it.

    They're not going to fulfill their promise.