R.I.P Fred Thompson, Dead at 73

Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator for Tennessee, GOP presidential candidate, Watergate attorney and “Law and Order” star, died on Sunday after a recurrence of lymphoma at the age of 73.

Thompson’s family announced the news in a statement,  published late Sunday afternoon in The Tennessean.

“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family,” the statement reads.

“Fred once said that the experiences he had growing up in small-town Tennessee formed the prism through which he viewed the world and shaped the way he dealt with life.  Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate.  He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility.  Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.”

“Fred believed that the greatness of our nation was defined by the hard work, faith, and honesty of its people.  He had an enduring belief in the exceptionalism of our country, and that America could provide the opportunity for any boy or girl, in any corner of our country, to succeed in life. “

Thompson  was one of the attorneys who helped lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

He starred in many prominent roles during his acting years,  including three of the biggest films of 1990: “Days of Thunder,” “The Hunt for Red October” and “Die Hard 2.”

He starred on NBC’s “Law and Order” as District Attorney Arthur Branch from 2002-2007.

He served in the senate from December 1994 to January 2003.

Fred Thompson was a  GOP presidential candidate in 2008 but due to his low-octane campaign, he never placed higher than third in any of the early primary states.  He dropped out of the race in late January 2008.

Here’s a memorable clip from a primary debate from that campaign that has some significance this time around.

McKinney Mom Flees Town To Escape Harassment, Hires Gloria Allred, Tells Story

Tracey Carver is the blond white woman seen in a viral video trying to break up a fight at the McKinney pool party that ended up in a near riot.

The cop who was seen on video subduing the 15 year old black girl has already quit his job and fled town. His life is ruined. Witnesses who took the side of the police have experienced harassment and intimidation  since the incident happened.

Carver, who has been accused of racism, has also seen vile and virulent harassment and death threats – – and has been forced to flee town. She has hired celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred (!) to help her regain her reputation.

Welcome to ObamaMerica – where an end of the school-year pool party can turn into a horrific, life-changing nightmare for normal, middle class people who thought they were just in for a fun afternoon with their kids..

In a statement forwarded to The Dallas Morning News, Carver said that she was trying to defuse a fight between her friend and a young woman who pulled the friend’s hair. The McKinney woman noted she had to relocate to California because of threats against her and her family.

Tatyana Rhodes, a black 19-year-old woman, had told a photojournalist that another woman, who is white, told her to return to her public housing before slapping her in the face. Rhodes said she, her mother and sister live in the Craig Ranch subdivision and hosted the party there.

Correction: Rhodes hosted a competing party in the park next to the pool that she had advertised on social media as a pool party even though she wasn’t authorized to have a pool party – especially one with up to 200 non-residents at the pool (or even in the park.)

Rhodes claimed on Youtube that the white woman “was saying things such as, ‘black F-er,’ and ‘That’s why you live in Section 8 homes.’”

Her white friend Grace Stone has been active on Twitter and MSNBC corroborating this side of the story. (Neither of the two seem particularly bright, or compelling or believable.) Her father, who I’ve seen in a couple of interviews backing up his daughter,  doesn’t explain why his 14 year old daughter was allowed to be at an unauthorized, out of control party at a subdivision she doesn’t live in.

It’s bad enough that these teens thought that it was okay to break rules and disturb the peace. What’s up with their adult enablers?

You want to hear what really happened at the McKinney pool party? Here’s Tracy Carver and her counsel, Gloria Allred (!) and a black friend who’s considered part of her family, to explain.

Sadness: Beau Biden, son of VP dies at 46

Very sad news for Biden family – Joseph “Beau” Biden III, an Iraq War veteran who served as the attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday at age 46.

Via CNN:

He died after battling brain cancer, according to the vice president’s office.

“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” his father wrote in a statement.

Biden had suffered known health problems dating back to 2010, when he experienced a stroke that did not affect his motor skills or speech.

In 2013, Beau Biden was treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after he became disoriented and weak while on vacation. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and after undergoing surgery was given a clean bill of health.

Unfortunatly, the cancer returned this Spring, and Biden received “aggressive treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.”

Alas – the treatment wasn’t enough to save him.

More Bad Stuff About Hillary Via The NYTs

The New York Times have been smacking Hillary around for the past couple of months with one damaging story after another.

You can read all about the latest scandal, here. It concerns former Clinton WH hatchet-man Sid Vicious Blumenthal – a man so slimy he was persona non-grata in the grubby Obama State Department.

So he ended up working on a clandestine basis for Sec. Hillary while he was an employee of the Clinton Foundation/Slush Fund.

As Tim Carney puts it after reading this NYT bombshell, “Hillary Clinton helped push us into an illegal war in Libya, and her advisor was making money off regime change.” Well, he was trying, if the Times is to be believed. And he was doing it as — ta da — an employee of the Clinton Foundation.

While advising Mrs. Clinton on Libya, Mr. Blumenthal, who had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama, was also employed by her family’s philanthropy, the Clinton Foundation, to help with research, “message guidance” and planning of commemorative events, according to foundation officials. During the same period, he also worked on and off as a paid consultant to Media Matters and American Bridge, organizations that helped lay the groundwork for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government. The venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy…

And so on….

Wow, what’s wrong with that picture?

Not the fact that Hillary is one hell of a corrupt individual who surrounds herself with scumbags like Sydney Blumenthal. We already knew that.

No, the fact that the New York Times is doing its job and reporting on it.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I remember all of 2007 and 2008 going by without the New York Times breaking any news stories about Obama’s communist ties, his friendships with Frank Marshall Davis, domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and his stark raving lunatic Pastor Jeremiah Wright – not to mention his membership to Man’s Country in Chicago – not to mention about 40 other things about his background that could have torpedoed his campaign.

But boy. It’s a different ballgame for Grandma-Clinton, huh?

The NYTs is commonly referred to as “the house organ of the Obama administration,” incidentally — if you get my drift.

Only 2 of 6 Arab Leaders Agree To Attend Obama’s Summit, Alliances Collapsing, Worst POTUS Ever?

So the big news today, (other than the evil hijinks of Daesh) was Obama’s failing diplomacy in the Middle East as he pursues a nuke deal with Iran at any cost.

In what is being described in the media as a “snub,” only 2 of 6 Arab monarchs are going to make it to Obama’s summit, this week.

Via the WSJ:

Saudi Arabia’s monarch pulled out of a summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama on Thursday, in a blow to the White House’s efforts to build Arab support for a nuclear accord with Iran.

King Salman’s decision appeared to ripple across the Persian Gulf. Bahrain said on Sunday that its ruler, King Hamad bin Isaa Al Khalifa, had opted not to travel to Washington.

The only two monarchs from the six countries confirmed to attend the summit at the White House and the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., were the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait.

At stake for the White House is Mr. Obama’s key foreign-policy initiative, an Iran pact that is proceeding toward a June 30 deadline without support from regional powers. King Salman’s decision signals that the Arab states aren’t on board and could continue to act on their own to thwart Tehran, as Saudi Arabia has done in leading a military coalition against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

Senior Arab officials involved in organizing the meeting said not enough progress had been made in narrowing differences with Washington on issues like Iran and Syria to make the Saudi ruler’s trip worth it.

Thomas Donnelly of the Weekly Standard still remembers how Obama’s “smart diplomacy” was going to woo a world supposedly tired of W’s obnoxious cowboy antics. (a premise, by the way, I never bought.)

It was a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away: In July 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama made big, bold news by travelling to Berlin to – as The New York Times triumphantly recorded – “restore the world’s faith in strong American leadership and idealism.” With 200,000 Berliners waving campaign-provided American flags, Obama called for renewing America’s alliances and undoing the cowboy unilateralism of George W. Bush and Obama’s 2008 opponent Sen. John McCain.

The events of recent months are an indication of how spectacularly Obama has failed to fulfill his 2008 promise. This week comes the news that Saudi Arabia’s newly installed King Salman and three of the other six Gulf monarchs are boycotting Obama’s Camp David summit – a meeting called by Obama to reassure the Arab states that the forthcoming nuclear deal with Iran was not a betrayal of their longstanding security relationship with the United States. Beyond their fears of Iran’s nukes, the Gulf states see the rise of an aspiring Persian hegemon – in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq – taking advantage of, if not actively conspiring with, a retreating America.  In this case “no show” means “no confidence.”

On Special Report tonight after Juan Williams tried to suggest that the advanced ages of some of the leaders played a role in their backing out, Krauthammer quipped, “this isn’t about geriatric travel problems.”

He continued, “this is a loud statement from the Gulf states. You don’t have to be an expert. You have to be about eleven or older to understand what this statement is. (burrrrn) And it’s not about Yeman. This is about Iran. This is a rejection of the agreement the United States is about to embark in with Iran by the states who are going to be very badly affected by it and who strongly object to it.”

Dr. K went on to note that these Arab leaders know that any agreement with the United States would not be worth the paper it’s written on “given the history of this administration…”

Meanwhile,  liberals like Ron Fournier are getting nervous: Ron Fournier: Obama Could Go Down As Worst President Ever (VIDEO)

The VA Scandal One Year Later: Whistleblowers Say Retaliations Have Continued Unabated (Video)

At a subcommittee hearing of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Monday, VA employees addressed lawmakers once again about the culture of whistleblower retaliation within the agency that keeps raising its ugly head.

Stars and Stripes reports that despite the increased scrutiny of the past year and a half, and the ongoing department overhaul,  whistleblowers are still facing retaliation. Indeed, if anything, according to Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), “we’ve taken steps backwards.”

At the hearing, Monday, the employees described a workplace culture where speaking out comes at great cost, even though VA Secretary Bob McDonald has made whistleblower protection a top priority.

One doctor who testified, last summer about wait-time manipulation, was demoted “and embarrassed in front of his patients.” Another employee – an Associate Director from Alabama –  was demoted and publicly humiliated by his superiors.

“The hostility they receive for their conscientious behavior shows that the retaliatory culture, where whistleblowers are castigated for bringing problems to light, is still very much alive and well in the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., said. “The truth of the matter is, the Congress needs whistleblowers within federal agencies to help identify problems on the ground in order to remain properly informed for the development of effective legislation.”

Dr. Christian Head, who testified in July about wait time manipulation at the VA’s Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, said he has been demoted, embarrassed in front of patients and nearly turned away from an operating room while his patient was under anesthesia, awaiting surgery.

Head says in August he found that the locks had been changed on his office, and he was informed that he had been moved to a “tiny, dirty, poorly furnished closet-sized office” on a different floor. He said his supervisors have engaged in a continuous effort to undermine him since July, including preventing him from meeting with McDonald when the secretary visited the Los Angeles VA system earlier this year, saying his identification badge was expired.

When he complained of his mistreatment, he told Congressmen Monday, a supervisor told him, “If you don’t like it, you’re a whistleblower, take it to Congress.”

In submitted testimony, Head also detailed instances where he said employees experienced racial and religious discrimination.

Richard Tremaine, associate director of the Central Alabama VA Healthcare System, complained that “his superiors took away his leadership role and humiliated him and another whistleblower in emails sent systemwide after he reported malfeasance by system director James Talton, who was eventually fired after an investigation showed patient wait time manipulation Alabama VA hospitals.”

“I speak with you today, with a heavy heart, disgusted by continued cover-ups, a discrediting campaign through open-ended investigations, and the attempted destruction of my career, by the very VA I have always loved being part of,” Tremaine said.

More than 25 VA whistleblowers have received legal settlements for retaliations related to the scandal and about 120 cases are still pending. Still, Carolyn Lerner, special counsel for the Office of Special Counsel, said that, while the VA is reforming, she expects 40 percent of the agency’s cases to come from the VA this year, far more than from any other agency.

 “Despite this significant progress, the number of new whistleblower cases from VA employees remains overwhelming,” she said.

She testified that “about 80% of the time – when people come to us with a disclosure, they experience retaliation.”

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) called on VA to end retaliation against Whistleblowers and insisted that disciplinary action against the offenders is key to nipping the problem in the bud.