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Author: TriSec    Date: 04/11/2017 10:06:23

Good Morning.

Let's dive right in, shall we? We'll start this morning in Washington, where the Secretary of Defence is making flowery claims that the recent pinprick strike on a previously-alerted airfield actually destroyed 20% of Syria's aircraft. Whether these were armed and ready to strike, or were merely abandoned relics in the desert was not made clear.



(CNN)The US airstrike on Syria's Shayrat airbase Friday destroyed about 20% of the Syrian government's operational aircraft, Secretary of Defense James Mattis claimed in a statement Monday.

"The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest," Mattis said, describing the strike as a "measured response."

The updated assessment was released after US President Trump asked Mattis for more information on the extent of the damage to the airbase, according to a senior administration official.

The US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase after more than 80 people were killed, including children, in chemical weapons attack in Idlib province.
"The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons," Mattis said.

The US blames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the carnage, but the Syrian military denies responsibility for the attack.

US officials originally said 58 of the 59 missiles fired Friday had "severely degraded or destroyed" their original target, including 20 planes which they said were taken out in the strike. On Friday, Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement only 23 of the US missiles made it to the airbase, blowing up just six MiG-23 planes.

Military flights from the Shayrat airbase resumed over the weekend, according to both Syrian state media outlets and an opposition group.

Defense analysts IHS Jane's estimate the Syrian airforce has about 262 strike aircraft, although the company admits this may be an imperfect number due to the ongoing war.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, we continue to take swings at the hornet's nest that is North Korea. Eventually, we're going to make contact and they will react as everyone expects them to do.


North Korea warned Tuesday it will take the "toughest" military action against Washington following the U.S. Navy’s deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula.

A spokesman of the North Korean Foreign Ministry said through the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that it will hold the United States “wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences entailed by its outrageous actions,” adding that Pyongyang is “ready to react to any mode of war.”

The spokesman went on to warn that such actions by Washington justify increasing “its military capabilities for self-defense” or a “pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force.” He added the North will take the “toughest counteraction” against anyone who provokes it and defend itself by a “powerful force of arms.”

Pyongyang's saber-rattling reflected heightened tensions amid the possibility of a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile launch by the North this month to coincide with major military and political events. U.S. President Donald Trump recently ordered his National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to prepare for “a full range of options,” leading to renewed concerns of a possible pre-emptive strike or military action by Washington.

Trump’s decision to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last week during a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored his administration’s willingness to use military action to send a political message.

Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun warned Washington against a pre-emptive strike in a commentary, emphasizing the regime is “ready to counter any type of an aggression war.”

The North’s bellicose remarks came after the U.S. Pacific Command on Saturday diverted the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group from a planned visit to Australia to move closer to the Korean Peninsula.

The aircraft carrier group, deployed from San Diego in January, was in the region less than a month ago for joint drills with the South Korean Navy, and its redeployment so soon was seen as a show of force by Washington in the region.


Moving on to our vets today, remember a few weeks back when the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs made a pithy statement that the VA was "On a path to recovery?"

Well, they have apparently decided that along the way, they should silence dissent, crush opposition, and infringe upon the constitutional rights (and whistleblower protections) of those that would oppose such 'progress'.


The Department of Veterans Affairs has concocted a new scheme to silence whistleblowers who publicly disclose certain whistleblower retaliation facts.

The new scheme involves penalizing whistleblowers who publicly disclose the identity of anyone who is engaged in harassing them for being a whistleblower. VA is now treating such statements as a violation of the privacy rights of the alleged wrongdoer and while infringing on the free speech rights of the victim.

PHOENIX VA ANTI-FREE SPEECH

The practice involves none other than Phoenix VA and its assault against Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez, a whistleblower who disclosed the facility is still engaged in wait list type treatment of veterans.

After Rodriguez disclosed the continued practice to the press, he began being harassed by facility supervision.

He then disclosed the identity of one of the VA employees who engaged in the harassment to his contact in the press. It was this latter act that resulted in VA threatening to terminate Rodriguez employment.

VA SECRECY

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is obligated to ensure the confidentiality of its beneficiaries’ and employees’ personal identifying information,” the VA said in a statement regarding Rodriguez’s pending discipline. “Employees are expected to act in a manner that is consistent with VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. Leadership should take action to ensure the safety of our patients and staff and preserve the integrity of our mission within applicable laws and regulations.”

What does punishing a whistleblower who acknowledges information about the person who is harassing him to a member of the press?

FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION

VA has long asserted VA employees have a right to privacy in their name, but at least one First Amendment advocacy group believes the use of the privacy act in this manner is overly broad.

David Snyder, executive director of The First Amendment Coalition, said, “To threaten discipline up to and included firing seems at the very least heavy-handed; it’s not like the Social Security or bank account numbers were released.”

“Is the mere existence of an employee’s name secret or to be withheld from the public? Certainly not,” Snyder said. “The mere existence of a name isn’t something they are entitled to redact” in document requests.

VA treats its activities in a manner consistent with that of the NSA – everything is secret unless the agency chooses to disclose the matter. It is this level of unwarranted secrecy that has prevented the agency from the reforms necessary to turn around the corrupt culture rotting away in facilities like Phoenix VA.


Finally this morning, the executive board of this column has decided just now to start covering America's war with itself as part of our weekly combat and military reporting.

A student shot yesterday in San Bernadino has died overnight.



 

44 comments (Latest Comment: 04/11/2017 22:02:33 by TriSec)
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Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 13:11:47
Good Morning!



Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 13:13:59
Pay for play:





Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 13:21:07
Morning

Comment by Scoopster on 04/11/2017 13:23:25
Mornin' all

Hmm that guy seems more apt for Dept. of the Interior or EPA Director given his experience. But hey, experience doesn't fly in Trumpzarro World.

Comment by Scoopster on 04/11/2017 13:26:35
Also a heads up - today is the special election in KS-4 to replace Mike Pompeo in the House. This seat is a long shot, but the grassroots support and financing for the Dem, James Thompson, has been nothing short of miraculous. Combine that with a low-turnout special election, Trump fatigue, and a GOP candidate who is a Trump supporter/delegate who has refused every chance to hold a debate, and there's a real chance at a big upset and flipping this seat. Even the GOP's internal polling has this race as a toss-up!

Oh yeah, this is also the home district of Charles Koch, so that would be a bonus.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 13:33:16
Quote by Scoopster:
Also a heads up - today is the special election in KS-4 to replace Mike Pompeo in the House. This seat is a long shot, but the grassroots support and financing for the Dem, James Thompson, has been nothing short of miraculous. Combine that with a low-turnout special election and Trump fatigue and there's a real chance at a big upset and flipping this seat.

Fingers Crossed!



Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 13:36:09
Quote by Scoopster:
Mornin' all

Hmm that guy seems more apt for Dept. of the Interior or EPA Director given his experience. But hey, experience doesn't fly in Trumpzarro World.



He does sound like a much better fix for either of those - but he wants to break those 2 departments (and education) to help his friends out.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 13:36:16
This looks like it is gonna be a hot mess. The Easter Egg Roll is next week and the WH is WAY understaffed.

I did love this part:


The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president and Mr. Spicer was an aide in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.



Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 13:55:00
Quote by Raine:
This looks like it is gonna be a hot mess. The Easter Egg Roll is next week and the WH is WAY understaffed.

I did love this part:


The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president and Mr. Spicer was an aide in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.



Like his installment - no one really wants to be there. Though I do feel bad for the few kids who do want to go, this should be something fun for them and he's gotten his cheeto fingerprints all over their fun.

Now I'm wondering if they will do the trick or treating like the Obama's did - I'm kind of doubting it.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 14:34:41



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 14:47:44
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
This looks like it is gonna be a hot mess. The Easter Egg Roll is next week and the WH is WAY understaffed.

I did love this part:


The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president and Mr. Spicer was an aide in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.



Like his installment - no one really wants to be there. Though I do feel bad for the few kids who do want to go, this should be something fun for them and he's gotten his cheeto fingerprints all over their fun.

Now I'm wondering if they will do the trick or treating like the Obama's did - I'm kind of doubting it.


Does this mean that Spicy has sent his Easter Bunny costume to the cleaners?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 15:03:27
I have returned from the Land of Limited Connectivity aka visiting my mom. What did I miss?

Oh, least I forget, SCDOT CAN DIE IN A FIRE! A WHITE HOT FIRE THAT SCORCHES THEIR ENTIRE BUILDING TO THE GROUND. EXCEPT FOR TAMMY IN THE SCDOT CALL CENTER. TAMMY IS COOL.

Comment by Scoopster on 04/11/2017 15:04:57
Sooo it's looking like a good day to vulch some UAL stock!

Comment by BobR on 04/11/2017 15:09:03
Quote by Raine:


Symbolism 101

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 15:21:08
Quote by Scoopster:
Sooo it's looking like a good day to vulch some UAL stock!



They closed up yesterday on the news that UAL is having to bump people due to overbooking. Overbooking=strong sales. Today, not so strong.

As my friend, Mysty posted on Facebook:

Pepsi: We have the worst PR!
United: Hold my beer!




Comment by trojanrabbit on 04/11/2017 15:28:29
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Scoopster:
Sooo it's looking like a good day to vulch some UAL stock!



They closed up yesterday on the news that UAL is having to bump people due to overbooking. Overbooking=strong sales. Today, not so strong.

As my friend, Mysty posted on Facebook:

Pepsi: We have the worst PR!
United: Hold my beer!



Seeing as the current United CEO used to work for Pepsi might explain a few things.

Secondly, this flight was NOT overbooked. They had a flight crew that needed to get to Louisville. Which all the more should have prompted them to up the perks given out so as not to have to delay/cancel another flight due to not having a crew. But, hey, if you're cheap-ass-bastards, just toss people already in their seats.

Third - I wonder if those who got booted have been re"united" with their baggage yet, because I don't see UAL going back into the hold to get luggage.

Fourth - The captain DOES have absolute authority, though I don't know at what point he gets it (once taxiing, as soon as systems turned on). If the captain says get off, you get off.

Fifth - When the police get involved, heads get bashed in.

Fuck United, Fuck O'Hare Security.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 04/11/2017 15:30:22


Why am I not surprised that fucked up state is going smeary-guy?

Comment by Scoopster on 04/11/2017 15:40:13
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Secondly, this flight was NOT overbooked. They had a flight crew that needed to get to Louisville. Which all the more should have prompted them to up the perks given out so as not to have to delay/cancel another flight due to not having a crew. But, hey, if you're cheap-ass-bastards, just toss people already in their seats.

I thought I saw something about this in various twitter comments but didn't see a verification or story link. Was gonna mention it myself but then I visualized Mondo with his berating stick


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 16:24:48
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Secondly, this flight was NOT overbooked. They had a flight crew that needed to get to Louisville. Which all the more should have prompted them to up the perks given out so as not to have to delay/cancel another flight due to not having a crew. But, hey, if you're cheap-ass-bastards, just toss people already in their seats.

I thought I saw something about this in various twitter comments but didn't see a verification or story link. Was gonna mention it myself but then I visualized Mondo with his berating stick



Something like this, Scoop?


http://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Negan-The-Walking-Dead-comic-640x360.jpg


Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 16:35:13
https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17862464_1016265981840632_3523842453655187561_n.jpg?oh=c944d964d67cdfcee99586074965958d&oe=59927568


Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 17:03:04

One character. They are sending ONE --

hope it's Countula

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 17:07:49
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 17:10:41
Quote by Raine:
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.



:blinks uncomprehendingly: Wut the bloody hell?

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 17:33:56
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.



:blinks uncomprehendingly: Wut the bloody hell?


Right here.


The USA Dropped bombs because princess had the feels.



Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 17:48:10
Quote by Raine:

One character. They are sending ONE --

hope it's Countula



I think you've merged The Count and Count Chocula - he's a new character who counts things that are chocolate



Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 17:48:46
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.



:blinks uncomprehendingly: Wut the bloody hell?


Right here.


The USA Dropped bombs because princess had the feels.




I still think it was all an act to make people think they care when they really don't and its just a stunt.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 18:00:49
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:

One character. They are sending ONE --

hope it's Countula



I think you've merged The Count and Count Chocula - he's a new character who counts things that are chocolate


I thought I might have had that wrong!!


Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 18:13:20
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:

One character. They are sending ONE --

hope it's Countula



I think you've merged The Count and Count Chocula - he's a new character who counts things that are chocolate


I thought I might have had that wrong!!



I like your new character - envision him trying to count the talking m&m's but they keep moving and he has to start over every time XD

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 18:29:58



Someone talk me down. Please.



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 18:42:38
Quote by Raine:



Someone talk me down. Please.




Let's parse this a little bit. In combat is what Bunny Spice was trying to say I think. They were fine using cyanide on people in death camps.

Comment by wickedpam on 04/11/2017 18:44:44
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:



Someone talk me down. Please.




Let's parse this a little bit. In combat is what Bunny Spice was trying to say I think. They were fine using cyanide on people in death camps.



my eye is twitching

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 18:51:07
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.



:blinks uncomprehendingly: Wut the bloody hell?


Right here.


The USA Dropped bombs because princess had the feels.



I will read this as soon as I am done reading about a furry who is also a sovereign citizen. Yes, you read that a free furry on the land.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 18:51:44
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:



Someone talk me down. Please.




Let's parse this a little bit. In combat is what Bunny Spice was trying to say I think. They were fine using cyanide on people in death camps.



my eye is twitching


I feel just terrible that I was parsing Bunny Spice.

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 19:18:48
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So let me get this right, The WH is really going with the line that Ivanka cried about Syria to Daddy and he bombed them?

That is fucked up beyond belief.



:blinks uncomprehendingly: Wut the bloody hell?


Right here.


The USA Dropped bombs because princess had the feels.



I will read this as soon as I am done reading about a furry who is also a sovereign citizen. Yes, you read that a free furry on the land.


Gee can we get her to have the feels about universal healthcare, police brutality, LGBTQ rights and equal pay?

Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 19:30:12
Did I kill the blog my mentioning sovereign citizens? Or furries?

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 19:50:27
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:



Someone talk me down. Please.




Let's parse this a little bit. In combat is what Bunny Spice was trying to say I think. They were fine using cyanide on people in death camps.
I really feel like this was the absolue worse way to thread the needle.

Hitler used gas to kill people.

trying to parse it that it wasn;t on the battlefield is not acceptable. the people in internment camps never had a chance.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 19:51:46
Quote by Mondobubba:
Did I kill the blog my mentioning sovereign citizens? Or furries?

you didn't kill anything.

although, TBH -- I don't think you had to parse things.

Spicer fucked up royally. I am not giving him an inch of ground.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 19:54:40
In criticizing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that even Adolf Hitler did not sink to that level of warfare, despite Hitler's use of gas chambers to kill millions of Jews.

When given the chance to clarify his comment, Spicer then said Hitler took Jews “into the Holocaust center” but that Hitler “was not using the gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing.”



SPICER NEEDS TO GO.

Comment by Raine on 04/11/2017 20:19:26



Comment by Mondobubba on 04/11/2017 20:21:53
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Did I kill the blog my mentioning sovereign citizens? Or furries?

you didn't kill anything.

although, TBH -- I don't think you had to parse things.

Spicer fucked up royally. I am not giving him an inch of ground.


Indeed he did. Now that I've made myself familiar with the whole exchange. This is why we can't have nice things, Bunny Spice! Why? Because you went full Godwin, that's why.

Comment by TriSec on 04/11/2017 22:02:33
Late reviewing the latest comments from Bunny Spice.

Trisec's mouth is moving, but no sounds are coming out.