Patterico's Pontifications

5/21/2014

An Idle Question

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:44 pm

Would it have been too much to ask Obama to have golfed one less day, to allow him six or so extra hours to follow up on his campaign promise to improve VA health care?

Maybe that way he wouldn’t have had to learn about all this by reading about it in the newspapers.

231 Responses to “An Idle Question”

  1. He really is a piece of work.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  2. Since Obama learns everything he knows about the federal bureaucracy from newspapers — despite having a massive and well-paid staff at his beck and call 24/7 — should we be forwarding any important articles to his attention? Maybe we can find him a good news-aggregator for his Blackberry.

    JVW (feb406)

  3. Answer: Yes, yes it is too much to ask….racist.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  4. I mean, trying to keep a black man off the golf course!? Tiger Woods tore down those old traditions bro!

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  5. Obama’s campaign promise was to improve the waiting times for disability claims processing – not waiting times for seeing a doctor, which he didn’t know about. That was being covered up. Senator McCain didn’t know about it, I assume, and he would have bene very interested, being a Senator from Arizona and all that.

    The VA had evidently put in rules saying there must be no more than a 14-day waiting period.

    Maybe there were punishments for not meeting that – there were definitely bonuses for meeting it.

    The hospitals didn’t get enough resources, and hospitals in areas that veterans were moving to, like Phoenix, didn’t get additional doctors. The person who just retired was apparently co-ordinating the cover-up. Obama is being mendacious in saying that it is still an open question whether this occurred.

    The peopole running the system just lied – they kept “off the books” waiting lists, and once they had started, they couldn’t come clean.

    The question would be why is there suddenly such along waiting period. The problem was probably worst in Phoenix but also occured other places.

    Places that were losing population didn’t have these problems. If people had known, veterans with health problems wouldn’t have moved to Phoenix or tried to rely on the VA.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  6. Besides, Climate Change is the primary cause of the VA scandal to begin with…and all those white golf balls reflect the Sun’s radiation back into space.

    Don’t side with Exxon. We are all Shinseki.

    Don’t toot, it’ll pollute.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  7. Dear America,

    Since I only learned in yesterday’s newspaper that I had appointed the Secretary of the Veterans Administration, why should I be responsible for any of these alleged actions of misconduct in the VA ?
    Sheesh !

    Love,
    Signed,

    Barack

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  8. I swear you used an autopen Elephant Stone. That signature looks digitized.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  9. President Obama petulantly says he “won’t stand for” his failures that he reads about in the newspapers… or something.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. Obama and his systemic failures. Why you’d almost think he doesn’t give a flying f*ck.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. Furthermore, President Tiger Beat says he won’t “tolerate” any misconduct in the VA.

    At least he finally admits he’s intolerant.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  12. The Obama person also says he’s really angry !!!!!!1!!1!! about all of this. And when he gets really angry about federal bureaucratic malfeasance, he likes to let off all that steam by playing golf. Or having Jay-Z & Beyonce over to the White House for a fancy dinner and an impromptu concert.

    Rage !

    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  13. Following the VA’s route to recovery, the White House is sending additional Ibuprofen as treatment.

    It fixes everything.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  14. There’s a maximum 14 day wait? Who knew? I’ve been waiting since Christmas 2012!

    htom (412a17)

  15. The willful dereliction of duty shown by our “media” is a national disgrace.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. “Heckuva job, Shinsecki !”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  17. C’mon, this scandal can probably be attributed to some lazy administrative work by a couple of rogue employees in the Cincinatti Phoenix Philadelphia Washington DC Pittsburgh Kansas City Jacksonville Denver Baltimore Houston Charlotte offices.

    Or something.

    Let’s get back to talking about how the Koch Brothers caused Hurricane Katrina.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  18. Bonuses all the way around!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. “Not enough doctors” is the lie on top of the lie. They have enough doctors, if only they could get them to work more than fours a day. The work at VA hospitals is done by residents, doctors in training. The attendings show up at 10:00 a.m. and leave at 2:00 p.m.; no calls, no weekends. That is the reason they go to work for the VA in the first place — it is understood that they will be paid two-thirds of the private market but will only work one-third of the private hospital doctors. If the VA imposes productivity levels and maximum-acceptable mortality-morbidity levels similar to private hospitals, they will lose most of their doctors.
    (In “private hospitals” I include university hospitals which, ironically I suppose, provide the VAs residents — the guys who do all the work for a trainee’s stipend.)

    nk (dbc370)

  20. It’s been going on for a long time. The WWI Bonus March Veterans got pretty screwed over by the government, too.

    elissa (b8196a)

  21. *will only work one-third as hard as the private hospital doctors*

    nk (dbc370)

  22. eric shinseki
    that ass you wear for a hat
    does not become you

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. President Obama says that if Shinseki feels he can’t do the job of cleaning this up, he’s sure he will resign..

    Sammy Finkelman (7e7e58)

  24. You sound like you take great comfort in that pathetic pronouncement, Sammy. Neither Obama or Shinseki has the first effing clue.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. 21. I know a pharmacist who works at a VA. Same dealio with the hours, nk. She could have a whole second job at Walgreens or CVS (as many of them apparently do) but she’s thrilled with the gov’t benefits and pay and all the time she can spend with her kids and husband.

    elissa (b8196a)

  26. If you like your doctor, you can keep him, provided you’re still alive in nine months when your next appointment rolls around.

    Period !!!! .

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  27. Resign? What kind of a descendant of Samurai is that? And a general to boot. He should commit seppuku or forever disgrace his ancestors whose spirits will wander the world in shame and dejection unable the hold their heads up in front of the Kings of Karma until the next full turn of the Great Wheel.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Dear President Obama,

    If you would watch Fox News more often, you would find out about your scandals a whole lot sooner.

    Signed,

    Roger Ailes

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  29. somnambulism
    most media afflicted
    wear asses for hats

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. Remember, Shinseki was Kerry’s go-to during the campaigns every time he needed some actual military folks to support him.

    Today was the first time in over 2 years Obama and Shinseki met. Yet it was urgent when he ran in 2007. There is nothing left to study. Or investigate. They know what happened.

    Obama and Shinseki got ripped on the House floor by a Dem Rep from Atlanta. It was amazing to watch.

    JD (e5a0fa)

  31. Tammy Duckworth, a helicopter pilot who lost both legs in combat and had poltical ambitions, was put in the Veterans Administration by Obama and then won a seat in the U.S. House from IL 8th in 2012 and is up for reelection. I have not heard much from her about this scandal, so far. She has always been very very vocal about veterans deserving and getting good medical care probably because of her own terrible injuries. Where you at, Tammy!!!!!?

    elissa (b8196a)

  32. Shinsekisan meh
    find glory in seppuku
    before under bus

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. I suppose Tammy’s going to have to weigh how much she can afford to tick of the Democrat money machine in an election year.

    But I did just find this{

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/05/20/transcript-tammy-duckworth-on-the-va-scandal-and-eric-shinseki/?wprss=rss_politics

    elissa (b8196a)

  34. James O’Keefe has just done some big time punking of some punks.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/05/20/James-O-Keefe-Dupes-Hollywood-With-Fake-Anti-Fracking-Film

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  35. Obama should’ve started as assistant manager and worked his way up.

    He doesn’t really know how anything works.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  36. That isn’t much of a denunciation, is it, Elissa.

    JD (e5a0fa)

  37. nope.

    elissa (b8196a)

  38. The last Q&A of the interview was pretty good, tho.

    Most important, how are you doing?

    TD: “I’m good. I’m hanging in there. I was in Congress for six months and they put me on blood pressure medication. I flew helicopters in combat and I was fine, and I survived 13 months in recovery in the hospital. … I got to Congress and six months later I’m on blood pressure medication. Fourteen months later, they doubled the dosage!”

    elissa (b8196a)

  39. No, absolutely not; every moment that President Obama spends on the golf course is a moment in which he isn’t harming our country. I would like to see him golf, every day from now until January 20, 2017.

    The Dana who loves our country (af9ec3)

  40. true story: i applied with the VA several years ago for care of the effects of injuries i received while serving with the CA ARNG from 83-03.

    i have yet to receive even a formal denial letter. all i have, so far, is a phone conversation with someone there who told me that, since my service had been in the reserves, i had never actually been in the military, and therefore wasn’t entitled to any VA care or services at all.

    makes ya wonder why my uniforms said “US Army”, and my ID card “Armed Forces of the United States”..

    as i always say, the real motto is

    “Nothing is too good for the men & women in the military, but we have to give them something.”

    just once, could it be something other than the 5hitty end of the stick?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  41. I am a Service Connected disable veteran. The VA is suppose to give treatment for free for your service connected injuries. I am fortunate and have a job which provides medical insurance, I pay for it. I went to the VA and they billed my insurance for treatment on my service connected right shoulder. I could not get the issue resolved so I no longer go to the VA for treatment. Why would I use my insurance for sub par treatment? Especially since each time you go it is a different resident who forces you to go over your entire medical history?

    highpockets (341a10)

  42. That is infuriatingly highlarious, stones

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. highpockets,

    I know a private doctor who treats veterans with chronic conditions. The vets only use the VA for medications. They use their private health insurance to have a private doctor and, should it be needed, private hospitalization.

    A cost analysis needs to be done. Do the VA bricks and mortar facilities, and the VA bureaucracy, save the taxpayers money? Enough to justify the vets’ crappy treatment? If not, they should be scrapped and the vets just issued health insurance cards that they can use anywhere.

    nk (dbc370)

  44. No one is angrier than Obama and he’s not going to rest until something is done.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  45. How disconnected is a Commander-in-Chief who doesn’t comment for the last 23 days on the despicable VA scandal?
    #madderthanHell #gettothebottomofit #apoplecticbutgolfing #senseofcomplacency #sacredtrust? #EPICFAIL

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. 5. Obama’s campaign promise was to improve the waiting times for disability claims processing – not waiting times for seeing a doctor, which he didn’t know about. That was being covered up. Senator McCain didn’t know about it, I assume, and he would have bene very interested, being a Senator from Arizona and all that.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 5/21/2014 @ 3:39 pm

    Wrong on all counts Sammy. But I’ll just address these two.

    Candidate Barack Obama addressed the VFW in 2007 and spoke very specifically about these wait times. He said veterans shouldn’t have to wait months or years to see a doctor.

    Got that? He wasn’t talking about processing disability claims at that moment. He was talking about how long it took to get an appointment at a VA hospital to see a doctor.

    And his transition team was briefed about this very problem in 2008. They were warned not to accept the VA’s data on wait times for appointments at their hospitals because it was unreliable.

    In reality everyone in Washington should have known since the VA’s IG had been warning of this issue for years. I’m not surprised that McCain didn’t know this, then. We learned at Bob Work’s confirmation hearings for Undersecretary of Defense that McCain was stunned to find out that cost overruns are entirely normal in naval procurement. You’d think that wouldn’t have been news to McCain, since no major acquisition has ever come in anywhere near on-budget for the entire time McCain has been on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    What was going on at the VA, including these wait times for appointments, was not a secret. Obama claims to not know much about what happens in his own administration. But back when he was criticizing Bush, Prom Queen seemed to know about everything that went on in that administration. And it was all awful, especially at the VA. And Candidate Mean Girl made lots of promises about how everything was going to be so much better now that he and the rest of the Harvard student government was taking over the reins.

    Including the wait times at the VA to see a doctor.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  47. Last time Barack got really mad at Putin, he imposed some sanctions.
    Maybe he’ll impose some sanctions against the VA Hospitals.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  48. Dear Valerie Jarrett,

    You famously said that Barack’s brain works differently, so he gets bored easily. And that he isn’t interested in the normal things that normal Americans are interested in. Or something to that effect.

    Millions of Americans finally see your point.

    Love,
    Signed,

    America

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  49. I heard today that actually the VA budget has increased almost 200% since 2000, while the number of vets has decreased by about 4 million.
    And, the cost per person is greater for older vets, not younger, i.e. the costs are not going up primarily because of casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I think in part it must be the lack of personal responsibility/ownership. It is a bureaucracy, you can’t excel if you want to, you can’t get fired if you don’t do a good job.
    And everyone has the goal of doing their little cog in a wheel thing and going home.
    Few people are able to maintain a focus on caring for the people they serve, even when they try. It is like swimming upstream, you have to be a strong swimmer like a salmon to do it, and then many die of exhaustion.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  50. I heard a caller into some show yesterday say that instead of a daily security briefing, which he “doesn’t need” anyway, the heads of various major media outlets should give him a daily breaking-scandal briefing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  51. 21. “Not enough doctors” is the lie on top of the lie. They have enough doctors, if only they could get them to work more than fours a day. The work at VA hospitals is done by residents, doctors in training. The attendings show up at 10:00 a.m. and leave at 2:00 p.m.; no calls, no weekends…

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 5/21/2014 @ 4:09 pm

    If only they could get some of them to do any work at all!

    One of the VA IG reports issued during the past couple of years documented at least 26 surgeons at various hospitals who hadn’t performed a single surgery in over a year.

    The report blandly said, “Surgeons should do some surgeries.” Ya think? I don’t even know how you remain qualified to be a surgeon if you never perform surgery.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  52. I guess that’s what the ‘complete lives’ system is really about;

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/05/sarah-palin-warns-vote-out-obama-democrats-or-face-more-rationed-health-care/

    narciso (3fec35)

  53. Well Steve57, sometimes the facts need to be dug out a little bit more.
    I could see that perhaps there are senior attending physicians who are not the “surgeon of record”, as that was a senior resident, while the attending provided some level of supervision.
    But that is a guess.
    Maybe Mike K. will see and comment.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  54. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 5/21/2014 @ 4:45 pm

    I saw the latest O’Keefe work over at PowerLine.
    Is it legal in CA to record conversations if one, and only one, person agrees to it?
    But not in all states, right?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  55. Legal in Cali, so long as you’re in a public place with no expectation of privacy. What was done to Sterling was illegal.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  56. Ok, that makes sense, Colonel, thank you.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  57. well, they have everything under control, just look at the most recent example.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/05/u-s-deploys-80-troops-to-aid-in-search-for-kidnapped-nigerian-schoolgirls/

    narciso (3fec35)

  58. Would it have been too much to ask Obama to have golfed one less day

    Actually, when it comes to a person with his lousy sense of judgment, lousy sense of right and wrong, lousy perception of reality, lousy way of understanding the good and bad in people and situations, the less time he spends influencing and initiating policies, ideas, programs and concepts, the better.

    This nation would have be better off — and would have been better off — if he had been on the golf course (or smoking dope or gallivanting around bath houses, etc) 24/7, 365 days a year since 2009.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  59. No, because the people he puts in charge, are figureheads or worse,

    http://therightscoop.com/sarah-palin-obama-doesnt-hold-people-accountable-because-hes-lazy/

    narciso (3fec35)

  60. I am completely serious. I hope the President continues to play golf.

    I also look forward to every time he steps away from the tee box to address the voters on a serious matter.

    I look forward to every public, televised statement by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    The singular joy in my life, right now, is watching Jay Carney explain policy and the President’s position on issues.

    As far as I am concerned, the worst thing that can happen to this nation is that they stop talking.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  61. I don’t have the inclination to look it up, maybe someone else knows this and can link it.
    Some Democrat House member took it right at Obama today in the House after Obama’s press conference.

    Downright agitated over the fecklessness of the president, out loud on the House floor, a Democrat.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  62. I don’t think you have anything to worry about, Ag,
    Tiger was less tied to his clubs, he did have other distractions, a little Norma Desmond and the Searchlight Strangler goes a long way, though,

    narciso (3fec35)

  63. MD–JD mentioned that up at #32. Dem rep from Georgia.

    elissa (b8196a)

  64. I feel duped! All this time I thought Obama supported going Green…but he was really just going to the Greens.

    Well needless to say, I just found out about this today by reading it in the newspaper…and I’m madder than hell!

    Dejectedhead (06f486)

  65. A little perspective is needed. Back in the day … when LBJ was screwing with everyone’s mind and doing the normal thing with a few female secretaries in the oval office … young men were “drafted”. For those of you who became cognizant of externalities, like the phases of the moon or the changes in season, in the mid 90′s, the draft meant that if you were “selected”, then you got to work for Uncle Sam for about $150 a month (while LBJ and all the other “liberals” were advocating $3.50 minimum wages for their union voting base) in return for being on-call 24-7 with death penalty consequences for not responding. There are 8760 hours in a (non-leap) year, and $150 a month works out to less than $2000 over 12 months (less taxes, and in those days you did pay something,) so LBJ and his “best and brightest” (Robert McNamara comes to mind) were basing American “foreign policy” on the sacrifice of the children of America who were being paid less than $0.25/hour in return for a significant chance of being killed within a few weeks of being deployed to Vietnam.

    Clearly this wouldn’t fly politically, so our elite leaders in D.C. sweetened the pot with benefits that accrued to the survivors. The big one was educational benefits (I used mine,) but the other one was the Veterans Administration and it’s hospital benefits. My Uncle Socco was a Bronze Star hero from the Battle of the Bulge in WWII (Google the Battle of the Bulge, it’s pretty well reported) and he had to deal with the VA in the late 40′s and 50′s. My mother, his sister, would rescue Socco from the Long Beach VA every few months in hopes of saving him. If he is any indication of their success, they failed. He died middle-aged, and not happily. So I have never been planning on “cashing in” my VA hospital benefits. I figured that was for guys who believed in “social security” and enjoyed good health. Good luck.

    This doesn’t relieve the administration from their responsibilities to our veterans. But HteWon is just another in a long line of administration elistists who tend to value veterans only posthumously, and then mainly in duchies like Chicago, where administration operatives can deliver substantial voter majorities from those who would never have supported the selected candidate were they still alive. The country owes our vets big time. The reverse is not true. And this has been going on since Thomas Jefferson who treated our Marines disgracefully. Give a thought to the USO or Wounded Warriors if you haven’t been doing something for our vets. You need to do something. HteWon looks out only for himself. Their are veterans who need our help.

    bobathome (65fa49)

  66. “Their are” was almost right … it should have been “Their our” …

    bobathome (65fa49)

  67. Oh gosh! They are our veterans who need our help. Good night.

    bobathome (65fa49)

  68. Ask him if you see him at one of those DNC fundraisers he’s attending in Chicago tonight. No doubt, they’re a ruse to allow him to make a surprise inspection of the Chicago V.A. hospital tomorrow.

    You watch — he’s gonna do it, I swear!

    Icy (14327b)

  69. OMG, The Humanity.
    Have you no shame, sir?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  70. Comment by bobathome

    Very well said. The only people who really get it about vets and these issues are their families and friends. Since a steadily decreasing percentage of the population has served, the lack of concern is likely to continue. Saw an article that said the Social Security disability fund is due to run out of money in two years and will cause a 20% cut in payouts. The smart money is that that crisis will be solved in short order and ten years from now a new scandal involving vet care will be in the news. As progressively less people serve there will be less people who care.
    Even John Mccain is leading the charge to have the Tricare benefits for working age vets taken away until they are 65 unless they are disabled.
    The vets and military are a political prop used shamelessly by just about every politician. The only one I can think of who really believes in supporting vets is GW Bush who is heavily involved in the Wounded Warrior project. I don’t think this latest scandal will change anything at all.
    President Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln would hang their head in shame at what has become of the veteran health system they initiated.

    vor2 (58243b)

  71. You watch — he’s gonna do it, I swear!

    Comment by Icy (14327b) — 5/21/2014 @ 8:55 pm

    Probably – saw an article that I cannot find now that reported the “impromptu” stops for little league games, etc. are planned out days in advance.
    Heck, he might even stash an onion in his hanky and shed a couple of tours while visiting the wards. Picture will make Time magazine – wonderous accolades from MSNBC flunkies will follow and life will be good again…./sarc

    vor2 (58243b)

  72. tours should be tears

    vor2 (58243b)

  73. One recalls when he went on his world tour, right after the nomination, one place he pointed didn’t visit was Landstuhl military hospital

    narciso (3fec35)

  74. Painted Jaguar: Hey, this guy is good:
    it turns out the law was written in such a vague way that it’s not clear whether there’s any right to appeal under this law. So before they can appeal the dismissal ‑‑ appeal the denial of the motion to dismiss the amended complaint, they first have to appeal to the Court of Appeals to see whether the Court of Appeals will rule on whether this particular law is appealable. And if the Court of Appeals rules that this particular law is appealable, then they will appeal to the Court of Appeals then to hear the actual appeal after the Court of Appeals has rules on whether the appeal is, in fact, appealable.

    Mark Steyn at:
    http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/05/21/interview-mark-steyns-passing-parade/?singlepage=true

    Painted Jaguar (a sockpuppet) (f9371b)

  75. Well, yeah. Ordinarily there is no right to interlocutory appeal of a denial of a motion to dismiss a complaint. Or most other interlocutory (while the case is still going on) rulings. Steyn should get a lawyer. Witticisms are entertaining but they will not win the case for him.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. Valerie Jarret, Michelle Obama, and David Axelrod made their living devising ways to keep people from getting treated at their hospital’s emergency room. So why should we be surprised about this administrations’s handling of the VA?

    MayBee (846936)

  77. he’s got two, but you could ask Tom Delay, or Ted Stevens, the good that does,

    narciso (3fec35)

  78. I’m behind, I guess. The last I’d read, he was proceeding pro se. That was at the time he was leaving NR.

    nk (dbc370)

  79. He has the dangerous gift of eloquence. — Raphael Sabatini, “Scaramouche”

    nk (dbc370)

  80. He needs a higher dog whistle.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  81. 35. Comment by elissa (b8196a) — 5/21/2014 @ 4:39 pm

    I suppose Tammy’s going to have to weigh how much she can afford to tick of the Democrat money machine in an election year.

    She also got put on the Benghazi committee yesterday. And it was Hillary Clinton who wanted Democrats on that committee. So she mujst be considered pretty loyal.

    Her remarks on the VA seem to indicate she didn’t find it peculiar, or wrong, or at least alterable, the way the VA operated.

    “For example, one of the first things I worked on is issues with, when there’s a problem, you need to contact the veterans first. You can go back and look – we had the issue in Pennsylvania where we had improperly sterilized equipment. And oftentimes, I would find out about it because the local public affairs officer would tell me because it was picked up by the local media. But they never told central office. That was frustrating to me, because they were trying to deal with it locally and it would be three, four or five months later. As soon as central office and Secretary Shinseki found out about it, we’d act on it immediately.

    “But it could have gone three or four months before we’d find out. That’s the frustration: If this problem [in Phoenix] has been going on for a year or however long, this should have come to light well before that so that it could have been fixed. If there’s a problem where they can’t physically get veterans in in 14 days due to lack of staffing, central office needed to know that so it could be fixed. But if that information isn’t getting through the silos into the central office, it gets very frustrating.”

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  82. 48. Comment by Steve57 (c8cb20) — 5/21/2014 @ 6:27 pm

    In reality everyone in Washington should have known since the VA’s IG had been warning of this issue for years.

    I read today that the Inspector General of the Veterans Department had been reporting about this since 2005.

    Obama is saying now this is practically normal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-obamas-remarks-on-va-allegations/2014/05/21/b7116db2-e0f6-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

    Keep in mind, though, even if we had not heard reports out of this Phoenix facility or other facilities, we all know that it often takes too long for veterans to get the care that they need.

    That’s not a new development. It’s been a problem for decades, and it’s been compounded by more than a decade of war. That’s why when I came into office, I said we would systematically work to fix these problems, and we have been working really hard to address them.

    According to Obama, all someone ever has to do is work “hard.”

    What he says he didn’t know, and still expresses uncertainty whether it occurred at all, is manipulated or falsified records.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  83. zippy has to be the greatest political overachiever and the worst governing underachiever EVAH!

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  84. Most successful welfare recipient ever.

    nk (dbc370)

  85. Also from Obama yesterday:

    After talking about how he’s boosted VA funding, and had advanced appproiations made so that wouldn’t get caught in the budget battles, and given disability benefits to more people, and improved care for women, and slashed the backlog in diability claims in half, and reduced homelessness among veterans, helped veterans get an education, or jobs he says:

    Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate.

    The promise that HotAir pointed to, however, seems to have been about wait times to get covered. Which is indeed what Obama talked about yesterday.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  86. He gets women to take care of him. Mommy, grandma, Michelle, his largest voter constituency is single women you guys said yesterday. That’s a talent.

    nk (dbc370)

  87. It’s Truman’s, Eisenhower’s Kennedy’s Johnson’s Nixon’s, Ford’s, Carter’s, Reagan’s, Bush’s, Clinton’s. and W’s fault?

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  88. “What he says he didn’t know, and still expresses uncertainty whether it occurred at all, is manipulated or falsified records.”

    Sammy – He needs to keep watching or reading the news to find out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  89. What Obama needs is to appoint a vizier to handle things so he can concentrate on lowering his handicap.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  90. Can hardly wait for Hillary’s list of people who deserve blame rather than her is released.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  91. I wish he spent MORE time golfing, and less time f@cking everything up. On purpose.

    JD (e5a0fa)

  92. 51. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 5/21/2014 @ 6:33 pm

    I heard today that actually the VA budget has increased almost 200% since 2000, while the number of vets has decreased by about 4 million.

    And, the cost per person is greater for older vets, not younger, i.e. the costs are not going up primarily because of casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    You wouldn’t think so from the way Obama talked about this yesterday:

    We made VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who did not have it before, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange, making it easier for veterans who have post-traumatic stress and mental health issues and traumatic brain injury to get treatment, and improving care for women’s veterans.

    Because of these steps and the influx of new veterans requiring services added in many cases to wait times, we launched an all-out war on the disability claims backlog

    Q. Wouldn’t that add to the wait times, all other things being equal??

    He seems to have switched in the middle from wait times for doctors, to wait times to qualify for benefits, which is what cutting down the backlog for evaluating disability claims would reduce..

    Or his prepared statement wasn’t prepared carefully enough. He threw in something about wait times, but those wait times were not soemthing he’d ever done anything about.

    Obama, continuing:

    We ended the war in Iraq. And as our war in Afghanistan ends and as our newest veterans are coming home, the demands on the VA are going to grow.

    Sounds very much like the number of veterans increased.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  93. Actually the article that PJ linked to is informative about the relationship with National Review. National Review’s first plan is to try to toss the case out under anti-SLAPP legislation. Steyn prefers the option of saying, “You want to go to court, then let’s go to court, on with discovery”.
    There is some more to it than that about an old Bob Hope joke, but that is on reason why the legal effort for Steyn and the legal effort for NatRev have bifurcated.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  94. “What he says he didn’t know, and still expresses uncertainty whether it occurred at all, is manipulated or falsified records.”

    93. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/22/2014 @ 8:53 am

    Sammy – He needs to keep watching or reading the news to find out.

    Tammy Duckworth says that’s how she found out bad stuff. From being told about it by other people in the VA who’d read the newspapers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/05/20/transcript-tammy-duckworth-on-the-va-scandal-and-eric-shinseki/?wprss=rss_politics

    And oftentimes, I would find out about it because the local public affairs officer would tell me because it was picked up by the local media. But they never told central office.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  95. It’s about time for the media to spawn a national story by reporting someone making an outrageous racial remark that could be insulting to Obama. That dude in New Hampshire wasn’t big enough.

    One good story will counterbalance this VA thing nicely.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  96. “Tammy Duckworth says that’s how she found out bad stuff.”

    Sammy – I don’t give a crap about Tammy. Obama’s pattern is to claim obliviousness about what’s going on in his Administration even when the people in charge are supposed to be reporting to him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  97. 51. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 5/21/2014 @ 6:33 pm

    I think in part it must be the lack of personal responsibility/ownership. It is a bureaucracy, you can’t excel if you want to, you can’t get fired if you don’t do a good job.

    There’s a bill in Congress to change that.

    But remember, according to Obama, the definition of doing a good job is working “hard.”

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  98. Another factor was that the VA didn’t readily change the number of people assigned to a location. Some places were overstaffed, relative to current demand, and other were understaffed (or at least given too few hours)

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  99. I read today that once somebody does get to see a doctor, the care is good quality – the problem is getting attention.

    Tammy Duckworth said to the washington Post that she used to have a problem getting her prescription filled, but now that’s solved since it gets mailed to her. (!)

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  100. USA Today needs to do separate pie charts that show Obama’s domestic and foreign policy successes and f*ck-ups.

    Colonel Haiku (8699d6)

  101. 25. 26. 29

    SF: President Obama says that if Shinseki feels he can’t do the job of cleaning this up, he’s sure he will resign..

    26. Comment by Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 5/21/2014 @ 4:16 pm

    You sound like you take great comfort in that pathetic pronouncement, Sammy. Neither Obama or Shinseki has the first effing clue

    Comment by nk (dbc370) —5/21/2014 @ 4:23 pm

    Resign? What kind of a descendant of Samurai is that? And a general to boot.

    President Obama didn’t say this on his own. He was asked if he thought Shinseki should resign.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-obamas-remarks-on-va-allegations/2014/05/21/b7116db2-e0f6-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

    Steve (Holland ?) from Reuters.

    Q: Thank you, sir. Has Secretary Shinseki offered to resign? And if he’s not to blame, then who is? And were you caught by surprise by these allegations?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, Ric Shinseki, I think, serves this country because he cares deeply about veterans and he cares deeply about the mission.

    And I know that Ric’s attitude is, if he does not think he can do a good job on this and if he thinks he’s let our veterans down, then I’m sure that he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve.

    I did think that was actually a good policy, because just replacing him doesn’t do anything, but I wouldn’t have much hope this would be cleared up.

    What needs to be done is first of all, find out what the real waiting times are, and prioritize them right, and maybe move people around and add more time or something like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  102. Obama continued:

    At this stage, Ric is committed to solving the problem and working with us to do it. And I am going to do everything in my power, using the resources of the White House, to help that process of getting to the bottom of what happened and fixing it

    But I’m also going to be waiting to see what the results of all this review process yields.

    No “rush to judgment” here!! Not him! Obama is cool, and collected.

    I don’t yet know how systemic this is. I don’t yet know, are there a lot of other facilities that have been cooking the books? Or is this just an episodic problem?

    Note: About 10% (N=26) of the VA facilities are under investigation. He knows that.

    We know that, you know, essentially, wait times have been a problem for decades in all kinds of circumstances with respect to the VA — getting benefits, getting health care, et cetera. Some facilities do better than others.

    Mixing up different kinds of “wait times’ here again.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  103. A couple of years ago, the Veterans Affairs set a goal of 14 days for wait times.

    What’s not yet clear to me is whether enough tools were given to make sure that those goals were actually met.

    Well, maybe it is not clear whether they could have met them, but it is very clear there was no auditing done here.

    And I won’t know until the full report is — is put forward as to whether there was enough management follow-up to ensure that those folks on the front lines who were doing scheduling had the capacity to meet those goals, if they were being evaluated for meeting goals that were unrealistic and they couldn’t meet because either there weren’t enough doctors or the systems weren’t in place, or what have you.

    We need to find out who was responsible for, you know, setting up those guidelines.

    You know, it could be, that somebody proposed it with the intent of lying, and fabricating data, in order to prevent any kind of changes in the VA.

    So there are going to be a lot of questions that we have to answer.

    That’s all right, but there are certain things that don’t have to wait.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  104. “Well, maybe it is not clear whether they could have met them, but it is very clear there was no auditing done here.”

    Sammy – Why is it clear to you that no auditing was done?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  105. Sammy – Why is it clear to you that no auditing was done?

    Yeah, I would expect an audit to be done based on them receiving a bonus for their performance.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  106. Yeah, I would expect an audit to be done based on them receiving a bonus for their performance goals being met.

    Oops!

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  107. But Obama is mad. He will get very choked up. Honestly, there could be tears.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  108. For Obama, veterans are racist Whites from the 1940s and 1950s. That’s it. He probably thinks they all threw rocks at school buses full of black kids. Obama does not understand America, its history, or world history. He’ll never respect what Americans did in Europe, the Pacific theater, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the other places overt and covert where American servicemen and servicewomen served and died.

    Gusto Smooth (941ba0)

  109. “Well, maybe it is not clear whether they could have met them, but it is very clear there was no auditing done here.”

    109. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/22/2014 @ 10:21 am

    Sammy – Why is it clear to you that no auditing was done?

    Well, only occasional, sporadic and minimal or ineffective and badly done auditing, or maybe auditing by people who would cover things up.

    If there’s been routine checking of these numbers, there would have been no point in fabricating these numbers.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  110. “Yeah, I would expect an audit to be done based on them receiving a bonus for their performance goals being met.”

    Hadoop – If they were hiding things, wouldn’t local management try to discourage any audit attempts? Plus, with collusion to cover up real information, there is no assurance that audits would actually uncover what was going on. That’s why reports have been coming from whistleblowers, because the books have been cooked.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  111. A couple of times, maybe, somebody did discover a problem.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20100704100621/http://www.vawatchdog.org/10/nf10/nfjun10/jun10files/gamingthesysystem.pdf

    (April 25, 2010 memo from William Schoenhard, First Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Operations and Management at the Department of Veterans Affairs)

    He noted certain scheduling gaming strategies used during the Bush Administration (up to 2008) that a multi-VISN workgroup had identgified, and noted new ones could have been emerged since then.

    One example: Cancelling appointments if the patient did not show up 10-15 minutes early.

    Another: Refusing to schhedule an appointment more than 30 days in advance, or holding them without scheduling them, until capacity opens up.

    Or: Scheduling and then cancelling and marking it as cancelled by patient.

    Or: Scheduling a patient without notifying him. This allows a reduced wait time.

    Or: Scheduling an appointment at a time when a patient would prefer not to go, so that he will cancel it.

    He proposed random audits. And interviewing schedulers.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  112. The Inspector General didn’t seem to be too interested in investigating:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/va-hospital-scandal/culture-deceit-va-office-n-m-investigated-phony-wait-times-n111136

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  113. 112. Obama is not John Boehner. He won’t cry.

    Shinseki also said he was mad, and comedian Jon Stewart said his emotion was like someone saying he had run out of orange juice.

    http://www.wtop.com/931/3625934/Jon-Stewart-lambasts-Shinsekis-response-to-VA-firestorm

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  114. Comment by Gusto Smooth (941ba0) — 5/22/2014 @ 10:48 am

    I think you are correct, at least in large measure.

    Let’s put together the thoughts of 2 of the President’s cohorts:
    1) Bill Ayers- 25 million will likely die in the revolution
    2) Hillary Clinton- What difference, at this point, does it make?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  115. Well I would think the example of Russell George, of the IRS IG, and Americorp’s investigator, Gerald Walpin, are an enduring lesson,

    narciso (3fec35)

  116. I haven’t seen anyone link to this article yet, but here’s a fine opportunity to reflect on the sheer genius of that noted visionary at America’s newspaper of record, Paul Krugman.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/opinion/krugman-vouchers-for-veterans-and-other-bad-ideas.html?_r=0

    …And that brings me to Mitt Romney’s latest really bad idea, unveiled on Veterans Day: to partially privatize the Veterans Health Administration (V.H.A.).

    What Mr. Romney and everyone else should know is that the V.H.A. is a huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform...

    Ironically, he was right about the part I bolded. Just not the way he thought he was.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  117. Obama should’ve started as assistant manager and worked his way up.

    He doesn’t really know how anything works.

    Yes, this has been evident since around May of ’09. In a way it’s a good thing, since I’m sure he came in with all sorts of plans to undermine America, but his incompetence has prevented him from implementing them.

    This is why I don’t support senators for president, even if I like their politics. I want them to have had some experience running a government first. But 0bama wasn’t even a for real senator.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  118. Obama did run his campaign, and his Senate office, but he never took over an organization that he didn’t create, or where he wasn’t present at the creation.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  119. the problem is, if you read Kantor’s account of his days at the University of Chicago, that aired right before the convention, you would never hire him, to be a process server, much less President,

    narciso (3fec35)

  120. steve @121 I actually remembered some words from that article – where Paul Krugman says that’s socialized medicine.

    I read an op-ed by a surgeon in the Wall Street Journal today:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304198504579570231173457524?mg=reno64-wsj

    He takes Medicaid. Medicaid now requires him to come up with a surgical plan and obtain surgical pre-authorization.

    While doing the surgery, because of what a previous surgeon had done, he realized he needed to change his plan “to accomodate findings resulting from a previous surgery” – and he changed his plan.

    He couldn’t get paid, even though the payment for the surgery he actually performed was 40% less than for the initially approved surgery!

    The condition was strabismus (crossed eyes) and surgery is sometimes done to try to give a child stereoscopic, or binocular vision.

    He says every surgeon has to be free to change his plan without losing his fee. An example might be an operation for appendicitus wheer the surgeon discovers it’s an actually an ovarian cyst.

    He tells of another problem: He had a teenager with glaucoma and a pharmacist didn’t want to dispense a prescription for an eye-drop medication, which the teenager was already using, because it was against Medicaid rules.

    The bottle was only available in a size that would last for two months, and Medicaid only allows a pharmacy to fill a prescription for a one-month supply.

    The pharmacist wanted him to change the prescription and give out another Medicaid-approved medication which was available in a one-month supply, but he refused because what the girl was using was working.

    Finally, after a lot of telephone calls, he was able to get it.

    Another case:

    A 14-month old child with Horner syndrome, which could be caused by a tumor. He ordered CT scans of the neck and the chest. Medicaid approved only the chest scan. It took several hours of telephone calls to get the neck scan also approved. The tumor was revealed by the neck scan.

    (I suppose after the chest scan turned out negative, he might have more easily gotten an approval for the neck scan also. But what if it was in both places? Or there was a further delay?)

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  121. narciso @124.

    What, this?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/us/politics/30law.html?pagewanted=all

    Before he outraised every other presidential primary candidate in American history, Mr. Obama marched students through the thickets of campaign finance law. Before he helped redraw his own State Senate district, making it whiter and wealthier, he taught districting as a racially fraught study in how power is secured….

    Douglas Baird, another colleague, remembers once asking Mr. Obama to assess potential candidates for governor.

    “First of all, I’m not running for governor, “ Mr. Obama told him. “But if I did, I would expect you to support me.”

    He was a third-year state senator at the time.

    Popular and Enigmatic

    Mr. Obama arrived at the law school in 1991 thanks to Michael W. McConnell, a conservative scholar who is now a federal appellate judge. As president of The Harvard Law Review, Mr. Obama had impressed Mr. McConnell with editing suggestions on an article….

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  122. Ace: In 2012, PolitiFact Rated Obama’s Promise to “Make the VA a Leader in National Health” A “Promise Kept”

    Now they rate it: promise stalled.”

    http://minx.cc:1080/?post=349352

    Ace: Get rid of the VA Healh system: http://minx.cc:1080/?post=349346

    Ae says if some speciality areas are good, keep them or fold them into something like Darpa. It could also be some hospitals are good.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  123. I once spent probably an hour or more of total time filling out forms and making phone calls to get approval for an Abd scan (I forget if MRI or CT) to evaluate a patient with chronic hep C and HIV. I was given approval, but neglected to get the name of the doctor I talked to over the phone to finalize the approval.
    The next day I got a message that the request had been denied. I called and protested, but the person I talked to the second time denied my first conversation had ever taken place.
    It never happened and the person eventually died of liver failure.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  124. We made VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who did not have it before, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange,

    In other words, to people who do not deserve it. There is no evidence that Agent Orange has ever given anyone so much as a bad cold.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  125. I heard today that actually the VA budget has increased almost 200% since 2000, while the number of vets has decreased by about 4 million.

    And, the cost per person is greater for older vets, not younger, i.e. the costs are not going up primarily because of casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    You wouldn’t think so from the way Obama talked about this yesterday: [...] Sounds very much like the number of veterans increased.

    Yes, it does. But why would you imagine 0bama’s statements bore any relation to reality? Just because he says the number has increased is no basis for questioning a suggestion that they’ve decreased. If 0bama said the sun was shining, and a blog commenter said “I heard today that it was raining”, I’d give more credence to the commenter’s anonymous source than to 0bama.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  126. Good Allah, he was teaching Alinsky, in lieu of law, he was using Derrick Bell’s primer, all the marxism (critical legal studies) you can tote in a briefcase.

    narciso (3fec35)

  127. 107: SF: About 10% (N=26) of the VA facilities are under investigation. He knows that.

    26 is about 10% of the hospitals, I think. The number of facilities is well over 1,000. Someone wrote on Yahoo answers some four years ago that there are 153 medical centers; over 800 Community Based Outpatient Clinics (or CBOCs); 135 Community Living Centers (or CLCs); 48 Domiciliaries; and 232 Vet Centers. Total 1,368+

    But you have to assume that 26 is not the total number of places that have done this, and it’s the bigger ones where this happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  128. 130.

    We made VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who did not have it before, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange,

    In other words, to people who do not deserve it. There is no evidence that Agent Orange has ever given anyone so much as a bad cold.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 5/22/2014 @ 2:09 pm

    Yes, but from a leftist perspective, so? The left is the party of government, and the bigger the government the better. It is its own lobby. To rope more victims into the VA system, or to rope more people into Medicaid, serves the interest of government. Or welfare, for that matter. They are the bureaucracy’s cash crop. And the bureaucracy lobbies government for a larger cash crop to justify its own expansion.

    It is why, for instance, in Kali the Corrections officers’ union is the largest singly political force. They want three strikes laws because then they have more prisoners to guard. And more prisoners to guard mean more dues paying members. And more dues paying members means more political clout. So, better pay, better benefits, easier conditions, earlier retirement. And the cycle repeats. kali is literally an asylum run for the benefit of the keepers and not the inmates.

    And in Obama’s ignorance, we know that government in general is a factory farm run for the benefit of the farmers and not the animals.

    Ironically Obama’s biblical illiteracy is revealing. Because when he mangles Genesis and says “I am my brother’s keeper” he is saying that the people he wants to “keep” are like livestock. And livestock exist to serve the needs of the shepherd, farmer, whomever keeps them. Such as to be fleeced, skinned, eaten, and in the days of the Old Testament to be ritually sacrificed.

    Cain was being a “smart @$$” when he asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain was a shepherd. Abel was asking if the shepherd was his sheep to be kept.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  129. This just in. VA is going to h3ll in a handbasket because the fascists in Pyongyang-on-the-Potomac are too busy trying to think up ways to make it illegal to leave the country because of the fascism.

    Legislation Aims to Keep Firms From Leaving U.S. for Tax Savings

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  130. I read teh news today, oh boy
    About big Zer0 who had got real mad
    he makes the Office look so small
    Now we know how bad it gets
    he never shoulda got elected… at all
    and he ate a dooooooogggg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  131. Ironically Obama’s biblical illiteracy is revealing. Because when he mangles Genesis and says “I am my brother’s keeper” he is saying that the people he wants to “keep” are like livestock. And livestock exist to serve the needs of the shepherd, farmer, whomever keeps them. Such as to be fleeced, skinned, eaten, and in the days of the Old Testament to be ritually sacrificed.

    Cain was being a “smart @$$” when he asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain was a shepherd. Abel was asking if the shepherd was his sheep to be kept.

    I don’t know about that. The word Cain used was שומר, which means “guard”, or “watch”.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  132. Dear America,

    The newspaper has all sorts of informative information. Apparently, Macy’s is having a Memorial Day Sale.

    Love,
    Signed,

    Barack

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  133. Steve57, the document you linked to is interesting, but unconvincing. שומר (guard) has no implication of providing for, or of ownership or control. Abel was not a שומר of his sheep, he was רועה, a “pasturer”; his main job was to provide for his sheep. Protecting them from harm was a minor included aspect.

    Cain didn’t ask whether he was his brother’s pasturer, but whether he was his guard. In other words, “How should I know where he is? It’s not my job to keep track of his comings and goings.” Which was perfectly true. If Abel had simply been off somewhere, going about his business, Cain’s answer to God’s question would have been completely appropriate. He had no reason to know Abel’s whereabouts. The problem was that in this case he did know where Abel was — lying dead where he had left him. When God asked him where Abel was, He wasn’t seeking information; He was after an explanation.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  134. Comment by Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 5/22/2014 @ 4:00 pm

    Good one, Col.

    felipe (098e97)

  135. Φυλαξ.

    nk (dbc370)

  136. Comment by Milhouse (50cb78) — 5/22/2014 @ 4:03 pm

    correct, millhouse. “Am I my brother’s guardian”?

    Anyone who thinks the question “Am I my brother’s keeper” is a deep question to be explored, has missed the point entirely. Like thinking “What difference does it make” needs to be philosophically explored.

    felipe (098e97)

  137. If I were Cain, I would just watch CNN or read the newspaper to find out what my brother Abel was up to.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  138. Give us an explanation, Dammit!

    felipe (098e97)

  139. Cain could learn a thing or two from Shrillery.

    felipe (098e97)

  140. Abel was I ere I saw leba.

    felipe (098e97)

  141. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. I’m looking at you col. ;-)

    felipe (098e97)

  142. LA cigar, too tragical.

    nk (dbc370)

  143. I don’t know what Barack’s golf handicap is, but I do know what his Presidential handicaps are.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  144. woke up, fell outta bed
    dragged the pick across his head
    Thought about teh economy
    and had a smoke
    First Lady spoke
    he put on his new momjeans
    Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah AH Ah Ah

    Colonel Haiku (8f4d9c)

  145. Yer move, felipe!

    Colonel Haiku (7ce80a)

  146. When I get older, losing my hair
    many years from now.

    Will the people still be voting Democrat?
    Getting handouts and getting fat.

    I could still fundraise and then play golf.
    Who could ask for more?

    Would they believe me, would they just leave me,
    When I’m out the door?

    felipe (098e97)

  147. What could I?/ I was not/ in the room.
    When all Hell/ broke out in/ Benghazi.

    I didn’t hear/ I don’t know/ I don’t care.
    It turns out/ this job is/ not easy.

    but, I get by/ with a little help/ from my friends

    felipe (098e97)

  148. AARRGHH! that first line should read:

    What could I do?/ I was not/ in the room.

    felipe (098e97)

  149. #153… That was brilliant felipe!

    Colonel Haiku (8f4d9c)

  150. 142. …Anyone who thinks the question “Am I my brother’s keeper” is a deep question to be explored, has missed the point entirely. Like thinking “What difference does it make” needs to be philosophically explored.

    Comment by felipe (098e97) — 5/22/2014 @ 4:39 pm

    Of course it’s not deep. That’s the point. No matter how you slice it, Cain was giving a smart@$$ answer to God.

    You have to have a very shallow understanding of what was happening in Genesis to think this is a profound statement. And Barack Obama thinks he’s being deep when he uses it.

    In that sense you’re right. It is like “What difference, at this point, does it make?” It had to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard a SecState ever saying (although Kerry is a close second). It was breathtaking. It revealed a complete lack of understanding of what the job entails, and a complete lack of concern for actually doing the job.

    The MFM thought it was brilliant.

    Snark is never brilliant. It wasn’t brilliant when Cain used it on God, it wasn’t brilliant when Hillary! used it in that Congressional hearing, and it’s not brilliant when Barack Obama uses it (incorrectly, I might add, and in ignorance of that fact).

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  151. Picture your state
    with Obama as governor.
    With spending increasing
    and no end in sight.

    Somebody shakes you
    your eyes open slowly
    turns out he’s the president
    much to your surprise

    IRS agents appear at your door
    come for to take you awayyyy

    A clout from behind and a
    knee to the crotch and you’re gone.

    felipe (098e97)

  152. Steve, when you were in boot camp, or whatever they call it in the Navy, did your DI, when telling you that if one of you f***s up the whole squad gets pushups, use the expression “You are your brother’s keeper”?

    nk (dbc370)

  153. In teh town where he was born
    Punahue or Nairobi
    where he learned about the life
    Of his hero Alinsky
    they all learned how to freeze their enemy
    Freeze their enemy taught by Saul ‘linsky

    Colonel Haiku (db4096)

  154. Thanks, col. You picked a great album!

    felipe (098e97)

  155. Milhouse, I wasn’t basing my interpretation on that single document. According to theologians I’m aware of, that word is used throughout the Bible, and it means more than simply pasturer or guard. It also includes an element of control. As in “master,” such as a dog’s master.

    No, that is not true.

    And it is only used to refer to inanimate objects or animals. In other words, things that are more like property than a brother, as in the story Cain and Abel.

    Again, you are misinformed. It means “guard”, “watch”, “keep an eye on”. Some examples:
    * “May God bless you and guard you” (Numbers 6:24),
    * “Israel’s guard neither nods off nor sleeps; God guards you [...] may God guard you from all that is bad, may He guard your life; may God guard your comings and goings forever” (Psalm 121)
    * “If God does not guard a city then the guard‘s diligence has been wasted” (Psalm 127:1)
    * “My soul [watches] for God more than those who watch for the morning watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:6)
    * “Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it” (Deuteronomy 5:11).

    A person, a nation, a city, the morning, the Sabbath; none of these are property.

    1 Samuel 17:22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were.

    “Supplies” is wrong. The phrase is שׁוֹמֵר הַכֵּלִים. That’s the bag or coat check person; the person who looks after other people’s possessions, without exercising any sort of ownership or control over them. His function is merely to make sure people’s stuff is not stolen.

    2 Kings 22:14 [...] Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe.

    Again, he neither owned nor controled the clothes, he merely guarded them.

    Jeremiah 52:24 [...] the three keepers of the door.

    Once again, the door (actually the threshold is what it says) did not belong to them, and they did nothing for it; they merely kept guard over it, either to ensure unauthorised people didn’t enter, or just for show.

    Song of Solomon 1:6 [...] they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

    Wrong word. The word used here is נוטר, not שומר. Still, the meaning is similar; a guard or watchman, to stop thieves. No implication of ownership, control, nurture, or maintenance.

    Some more examples of that same, ubiquitous word:
    * “He who guards his mouth and tongue guards himself from trouble” (Proverbs 21:23)
    * “For One higher than the high is watching ” (Ecclesiastes 5:7)
    * “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said: the night has come, and also the morning” (Isaiah 21:11-12)
    * “Watch the unleavened bread [to make sure it doesn't rise]…and you shall keep this day throughout your generations” (Exodus 12:17)
    * “Keep My laws and fulfil them” (Leviticus 20:8)
    * “His father kept an eye on the matter” (Genesis 17:11)

    None of these have any implication of ownership or control, let alone the right to dispose of the object.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  156. Φυλαξ.

    Sorry, Cain did not speak Greek, he spoke Hebrew.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  157. Well, you win, Milhouse. I don’t pretend to speak Hebrew. Nor Greek, so I guess if I’m ever inclined to comment about Paul’s letters to the Corinthians I’ll run it by nk first.

    It is still an example of Cain cracking wise to God, though.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  158. Cain was most likely a Horite – he spoke an early version of Arabic which is the founding language of most languages

    -back to ban land

    EPWJ (8b746f)

  159. 160. Steve, when you were in boot camp, or whatever they call it in the Navy, did your DI, when telling you that if one of you f***s up the whole squad gets pushups, use the expression “You are your brother’s keeper”?

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 5/22/2014 @ 8:40 pm

    Dunno. They might have said something like that. I was usually too busy PTing to pay attention to every little thing they were yelling at me. I just concentrated on how large a pool of sweat I was creating and let the chips fall where they may, a lot of times.

    Marines can make a lot of noise. One sort of drowns out the other when they gang up on you. Not like one can’t make enough noise all on his own.

    And it was called Aviation Officer Candidate School.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  160. If truth be told, I was, in Barack Obama’s parlance, “my brother’s keeper” when we were doing leg lifts. As in, I’d hook my leg underneath another guy’s if I thought he was going to drop it before I would. I was good at leg lifts.

    Because if someone’s foot touched the floor then the Marines would make us start all over.

    But I just considered that being a team player. Being a brother. Not someone’s keeper.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  161. 130. Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 5/22/2014 @ 2:09 pm

    We made VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who did not have it before, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange,

    In other words, to people who do not deserve it.

    This is very probably true, but it involves a lot of things besides Agent Orange. When President Obama speaks of reducing the disability backlog, I think that the reason there was such a backlog is that alot of them were questionable – and reducing it is like cutting short bank audits. And it means a lot were resolved in favor of diaability.

    Now there is a big problem here. The whole thing, not just here, it’s also with workman’s compensation and so on like that – is very subjective.

    There’s just a whole problem with the determination of disability. (although when they give statistics, it is treated like they were hard facts)

    And it is maybe unavoidable, but it definitely can be made worse. And it can be made better by avoiding the need, whereever possible, to determine disability. Or relying on some very clear “bright-line” measures, like income, if you can.

    There is no evidence that Agent Orange has ever given anyone so much as a bad cold.

    Well, here we have something where there actually is a real problem, but it’s been deliberately distorted. And probably made into a worse problem. Agent Orange is not, and never was, a big poison or maybe even any poison. But when manufactured, it often contained an impurity, called dioxin. And dioxin is what is toxic, and causes nerve damage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange

    Agent Orange was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. It was given its name from the color of the orange-striped barrels in which it was shipped, and was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides”.[4] The 2,4,5-T used to produce Agent Orange was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), an extremely toxic dioxin compound. In some areas, TCDD concentrations in soil and water were hundreds of times greater than the levels considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.[5][6]

    If you all you need to say is “Agent Orange” then you never need to prove, or at least demonstrate the possibility of, TCDD.

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin was the poison.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314332

    Wikipedia doesn’t mention nerve damage, and who knows if that is the right dioxin, anyway?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin

    I think the real fraud here is that people who, in all liklihood, nver were exposed to Agent Orange are/were having diagnosis made on that basis and qualifying for benefits.

    BTW, in the VA system, I think only disabilities related to the service are supposed to be covered. This probably doesn’t work very well.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  162. 165. Comment by Steve57 (c8cb20) — 5/23/2014 @ 12:49 am

    Well, you win, Milhouse. I don’t pretend to speak Hebrew.

    We’re dealing with two things here.

    First, a rather common, persistent, misinterpretation/misunderstanding of what Cain said – which is usually given something like in this fashion:

    Cain said “Am I my broter’s keeper” He was wrong. Actually we are our brother’s keeper.

    Using “keeper” in the sense of protector, and meaning helping them.

    The word keeper here actually is such a bad translation I wonder if “keeper” had originally a different meaning in English, or maybe it is translating the Latin or something. The word means “watcher” It’s exactly like Milhouse said.

    Now the thing is, taking care of the poor etc. s very definitely a Biblical position (at least of your “brother” or people who ask) but it doesn’t have anything to do with Cain, not even as being the opposite of what Cain said.

    Second, there’s what you did. What you did was to give yet a third interpretation of that, reading “keeper” is the sense of a zoo-keeper and so on.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  163. MIlhouse:

    Re: שׁוֹמֵר הַכֵּלִים.

    Where dio you get the Hebrew font, so you can enter it here. I can cut and paste phrases or words like הַכֵּלִים but that’s all, and the cursor seems to reverse itself.

    I guess if you enterd the alphabet, I could spell out words.

    It looks bigger in the box then after being posted.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  164. Sammy, I realize I come from a different tradition from you but:

    Mark 12:30-31

    30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

    Your neighbor is your equal. Someone to be kept or or guarded is not.

    But more to the point, Cain’s response to God’s question about Abel’s whereabouts was a wisecrack. It wasn’t, as Barack Obama seems to think, a religious tenet.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  165. Well, you win, Milhouse. I don’t pretend to speak Hebrew. Nor Greek, so I guess if I’m ever inclined to comment about Paul’s letters to the Corinthians I’ll run it by nk first.

    No problem.

    It is still an example of Cain cracking wise to God, though.

    I don’t know whether he was cracking wise, or genuinely unaware that God is omniscient. Maybe he thought if he ran with the innocent act he could fool God.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  166. Cain was most likely a Horite – he spoke an early version of Arabic which is the founding language of most languages

    Nonsense. Arabic is a very recent language, desended from Aramaic. And Cain lived before there were any nations or tribes; there was just him and his parents and siblings. Since it was long — about 2000 years — before the Tower of Babylon, he spoke Biblical Hebrew.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  167. The Septuagint translated the Hebrew to φυλαξ which means guard, both in the sense of prison guard and bodyguard.

    nk (dbc370)

  168. Where dio you get the Hebrew font, so you can enter it here

    I just copied it from a web page (actually the online Bible at mechon-mamere.org). But in general, for easy entry of Hebrew text, I use Michael Grant’s Hebrew text entry gizmo.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  169. Sammy, I realize I come from a different tradition from you but:

    Mark 12:30-31
    30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

    Your neighbor is your equal. Someone to be kept or or guarded is not.

    Mark is just quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, so there’s no divergence of tradition. The word the translators render as “neighbour” is רֵעַ, which literally means “friend”. As you say, it implies a peer. But being vulnerable and needing to be guarded doesn’t prevent someone from being your equal. Hey, the president needs guards; that doesn’t mean he isn’t our equal (present occupant excluded).

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  170. The Septuagint translated the Hebrew to φυλαξ which means guard, both in the sense of prison guard and bodyguard.

    If you say so. But the Hebrew word is also used in all those other contexts that I cited; the core meaning seems to be “to watch”. That word in English has a broad range of meaning; one can watch a clock, or a show, or a warehouse, or one can stand a watch; the Hebrew word שמר seems to me exactly equivalent.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  171. Ever wonder where the Jehovah witnesses get their name from? The scholars who worked on creating the septuagint had to make notations to the hebrew (there are no vowels) to aid in pronuncation. When they came to the tetragrammaton, they put letters to indicate that one should not say the “name”, but rather “adonai”. They ended up using “Kurios” in place of the devine name. Long story short, the Tetragrammaton and the letters AOA got put together, much, much later, to make “yahowah” or Jehovah. Crazy, huh?

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  172. 174. …I don’t know whether he was cracking wise, or genuinely unaware that God is omniscient. Maybe he thought if he ran with the innocent act he could fool God.

    Comment by Milhouse (50cb78) — 5/23/2014 @ 12:09 pm

    This is why I agreed with felipe earlier. It’s not a deep philosophical question.

    A neighbor, or a friend, and certainly not a brother would have responded this way.

    It is exactly like Hillary! and her table pounding “What difference, at this point, does it make” session in Congress contrasted to her references to “Chris” as if they were tight as brothter and sister.

    Which to believe? Which to believe?

    I can think of a number of ways to play the innocent.

    Like, “OMG, Abel is missing? What can I do to help?” At least Scott Peterson pretended (unconvincingly) to be concerned about Lacy. And it seems to have worked for a while.

    Cain on the other hand chose one of the ways that threw more focus on himself rather than diverting it.

    “How the eff should I know?”

    I believe this will prove instructive in the coming days and years.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  173. 181. …I believe this will prove instructive in the coming days and years.

    Comment by Steve57 (c8cb20) — 5/23/2014 @ 1:27 pm

    And I’m speaking specifically of this VA scandal. As we watch people claiming to be “mad as h3ll” or “madder than h3ll” react to a situation that no one who has ever been angered could possibly believe.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  174. *…react to a situation in ways that no one who has ever been angered could possibly believe.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  175. I thought God’s question to Cain was similar to God’s question to Adam, “Where are you?”
    God didn’t ask because He didn’t know, but he asked to provoke the one addressed to think about their situation.
    I always sort of thought of Cain’s remark as kind of snarky, but more importantly, he was denying his responsibility, something he knew was really true but he didn’t want to admit it.
    Kind of an early version of Romans and elsewhere, that there is an awareness of God built in to us, but on some level we deny what we know because we want to do our own thing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  176. BTW, in the VA system, I think only disabilities related to the service are supposed to be covered. This probably doesn’t work very well.

    Long, long, long ago the VA covered everything. Congress noticed this was expensive, and started writing rules as to what was to be covered, and for who, and from which wars, and which battles, and which MOS, and how obtained, and how long it had gone untreated, and when it was detected, and … “combat related”; I forget most of the categories of rules (never mind the actual rules!) In some ways, it’s not surprising it takes a long time to make a determination, and then go through the appeals.

    They really want to be a secondary payer if you have any insurance at all. And for you to see their own doctors to access their pharmacy; can’t take a prescription from a non-VA doctor there and have it filled. I’m sure it’s a simpler system than 0care.

    Same with that free burial. Honorable discharge isn’t enough these days. I was going to copy and paste but it’s grown … http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/eligible.asp for the whole thing, here’s a taste:

    … a. Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard)

    (1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty.

    (2) Any Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. With certain exceptions, service beginning after September 7, 1980, as an enlisted person, and service after October 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum of 24 continuous months or the full period for which the person was called to active duty (as in the case of a Reservist called to active duty for a limited duration). Undesirable, bad conduct, and any other type of discharge other than honorable may or may not qualify the individual for Veterans benefits, depending upon a determination made by a VA Regional Office. Cases presenting multiple discharges of varying character are also referred for adjudication to a VA Regional Office.

    (3) Any citizen of the United States who, during any war in which the United States has or may be engaged, served in the Armed Forces of any Government allied with the United States during that war, whose last active service was terminated honorably by death or otherwise, and who was a citizen of the United States at the time of entry into such service and at the time of death.

    b. Members of Reserve Components and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

    (1) Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were entitled to retired pay under Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code, or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of 60. Specific categories of individuals eligible for retired pay are delineated in section 12731 of Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code.

    There are lots of ways to be disqualified these days that you don’t find out about until you submit the request. (The list of exceptions to a.2) I can’t find, it used to be there.) There’s no telling when they’ll change the rules again, either.

    htom (412a17)

  177. BTW, we could run a contest and see how many song references people can identify,
    for some, just identifying the band involved may be a challenge for many.
    (I’ve got a few, but not all. Was never a big fan).
    Hint, they did have electric guitars back then,
    but maybe not synthesizers, at least not commonly.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  178. Ever wonder where the Jehovah witnesses get their name from? The scholars who worked on creating the septuagint had to make notations to the hebrew (there are no vowels) to aid in pronuncation. When they came to the tetragrammaton, they put letters to indicate that one should not say the “name”, but rather “adonai”. They ended up using “Kurios” in place of the devine name. Long story short, the Tetragrammaton and the letters AOA got put together, much, much later, to make “yahowah” or Jehovah. Crazy, huh?

    Not quite. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Septuagint.

    Hebrew, like any language, has vcwels, but it’s written without them, so one just has to learn how to pronounce each word, just as in English one can’t just look at a word and know how it’s pronounced; one has to hear it, or look it up in a dictionary that uses signs to indicate the pronunciation. And the signs used for the Tetragrammaton in all printed Bibles (and in all pointed manuscripts from before printing) are indeed the ones the Witnesses use. But, as you say, the purpose of the signs is to indicate the pronunciation, and in the case of the Tetragrammaton which is not to be pronounced (except by the High Priest, in the Inner Sanctum of the Temple, on Yom Kippur), the signs indicate which word should be substituted. So yes, those vowel signs aren’t really meant to be applied to the consonants under which they appear; how the High Priest pronounced it is unknown, and when the Temple is rebuilt this knowledge will have to be rediscovered.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  179. I thought God’s question to Cain was similar to God’s question to Adam, “Where are you?”
    God didn’t ask because He didn’t know, but he asked to provoke the one addressed to think about their situation.

    Exactly. Or as one might ask a child “Where are the cookies I baked this morning?”, knowing exactly where they’re likely to be. Not seeking information, but an explanation.

    I always sort of thought of Cain’s remark as kind of snarky, but more importantly, he was denying his responsibility

    No. As Steve said, he had no responsibility to watch over Abel and know where he was at all times. His response would have been valid, though snarky, had he not actually known exactly where Abel was.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  180. שׁוֹמֵר and its derivatives seems to be almost invariably translated as “keep” in Biblical translations – the few exceptions are mostly using the word “watch” in the military sense of, for instance, a “morning watch” – the first time at Exodus 14:24.

    It is also translated “keep watch” at I Sam 19:11 and there is “watch” at Job 14:16, but there it has the meaning of the idea of God “watching” over a sin (to see it doesn’t get away, or isn’t forgotten)

    “Keep” most often (according to strong’s concordance) is שׁוֹמֵר and other times it is most often part of a paraphrase of a Hebrew expression – I’m not sure there is a word in Hebrew meaning keep, in the sense of holding on to, or not giving away. I don’t find a good word in a dictionary.

    The idea of “keep” is there in the Bible, like when Jacob tells Esav to keep what is his, but there’s no word for keep except something like (continue to) “have”.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  181. Milhouse @ 163. “Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it” (Deuteronomy 5:11).

    This actually doesn’t mean “keep” in the sense of observing, like we say “This person keeps Shabbos”

    If you think about it, you have to agree.

    It means be careful of the day, or arrange your activities so that it is possible. It is the type of thing that you have to prepare, before you do it. I could say also remember, but that’s Zachor.

    This is a little more than just not losing track of the day.

    http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0326.htm

    Here we see Lev 29:3 If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them;

    Exceot wait – it doesn’t mean keep.

    This is translated all wrong.

    First, it is not statutes, but more like protocols or regulations – something assigned.

    A “chok” is supposed to mean, acording to one explanation, things that have no logical explanation, but it really means something (semi) arbitrary, not essential morality.

    Maybe it is something where you have to have something but it could be this way it could be that way.

    These are longstanding mostly.

    The next thing is 2) watching the mitzvos – which means being prepared to fulfill them – and then finally, 3) actually doing them when the time comes.

    The same idea of watching is at Numbers 28:2 http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0428.htm where here they are translating it as observe but it means watch in the sense of watching over a period of time.

    If you want to bring these sacrifices, you have to get the animals in advance, you have to make sure also you are bringing them on the right day.

    Also Leviticus 8:35 “and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not; for so I am commanded.”

    Similarly Numbers 9:19, and 23. It;s translated like this. “they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses”

    But “keep the charge” is not what it means. The root is שׁוֹמֵר – the word is מִשְׁמֶרֶת – it has meaning of watch. It’s watching in terms of time and preparation.

    And so we see Nadav and Avihu were in fact specifically warned, but Moses didn’t understand why he was told to say it.

    Nadav and Avihu kept the regulations until it was over – and then they proceeded to do something on their own, but they clearly meant to include it as part of the proceedings. They got close – and that was the end for them.

    And in their journeys, the children of Israel (awkwartd English) watched in terms of time and ability so as to be able to do it when the time came to do something.

    That’s what it means to “watch” the commandments, or watch Shabbos.

    Back to Lev 26:

    When you stop doing it, as in Leviticus Chapter 26 it’s not in the same order as when you set out to do them.

    Lev 26:14-15.

    First, you stop listening (or learning)

    2) Then you don’t do them. (because most of the time it has been made easy to do from before, there’s no special need to watch.)

    3) Then the chukim become disgusting to you – but you still might be doing them because of other people, and because these are very longstanding things that require no preparations. They’re just abhorrent to you.

    And finally 4) even the things that reason will tell you to do (mishpatim) you don’t do. You don’t want to do any of the mitzvos. You want to 5) break the covenant.

    All this here is based on properly understanding what the word שׁוֹמֵר See how much difference an exact translation makes?

    Somebody should write a book “60 or 100 Biblical Hebrew words not properly understood”

    Some in Mishnaic Hebrew too.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  182. Comment by Milhouse (50cb78) — 5/23/2014 @ 2:00 pm

    His response would have been valid, though snarky, had he not actually known exactly where Abel was.

    He was sort of like saying: “why should I know?”

    And it’s quite right, it’s almost absurd that he would watch him.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  183. Well, in Elizabethan English “hold” would be closer to our modern day “keep”. “To have and to hold …”, whether a wife or a fee simple in land.

    nk (dbc370)

  184. And there’s “May God keep you” and “beekeepers”, for in the sense of “take care of”. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  185. 184. …I always sort of thought of Cain’s remark as kind of snarky, but more importantly, he was denying his responsibility, something he knew was really true but he didn’t want to admit it.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 5/23/2014 @ 1:50 pm

    Kind of remind you of our current Preezy, somewhat? President Phony Scandal?

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  186. 187. The secular scholars say “yahweh” and that’s wrong too, I think. I’ve heard a word used before Rosh Hashonah in Hateras Nedarim (release of vows) – I don’t know what’s going on there.

    I think vowing has been pretty successfully stamped out.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  187. 194. Comment by Steve57 (c8cb20) — 5/23/2014 @ 2:14 pm

    Kind of remind you of our current Preezy, somewhat? President Phony Scandal?

    Phony scandal, he says about Benghazi or maybe the IRS. This one he pretends he still doesn’t know if fabrication of records occurred.

    Megyn Kelly says Congress passed and he actually signed a bill in 2012 that was supposed to deal with this (but the contents of the bill are not described by her) so it is not clear what was acknowledged then.

    But somebody at a high level in the VA knew about this problem in 2010.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  188. 193. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 5/23/2014 @ 2:13 pm

    And there’s “May God keep you”

    And that also has the same root .שׁוֹמֵר – Numbers 6:24. One of many Biblical translations that made its way into moe general English.

    What does it mean “Keep” there? Watch over you (so that no harm comes and the like)

    “beekeepers”, for in the sense of “take care of”.

    Here they are keeping bees (prisoner)

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  189. 196. Phony scandal, he says about Benghazi or maybe the IRS. This one he pretends he still doesn’t know if fabrication of records occurred.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (42d229) — 5/23/2014 @ 2:20 pm

    No need to turn to Ms. Kelly, Sammy. The guy speechified about it. And the name of the speech?

    “A Sacred Trust”

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  190. “Not quite. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Septuagint”.

    Milhouse, Milhouse, Milhouse. You are in danger of pulling a “Sammy”. I did not say It had to do with the Septuagint, just as I did not say it had to do with the word Kurios, and many other things. The anecdote I related simply included the Septuagint as background info to let others in on some of the context.

    It was nk’s (fault, just kidding) mentioning of the Septuagint that sparked my comment. So please remember that my comment did not occur in a vacuum.

    Speaking of vacuous, er, vacuums, I mean “pulling a ‘Sammy’” in the sense that needless nitpicking is occurring on things that should be understood, such as:

    Ancient Hebrew as written, not spoken

    and X has nothing to do with Y

    So, my esteemed commenter, let us leave the nits alone.

    Sammy, I mean no offense to you, sir. I fully expect someone to correct me from time to time -which I always welcome. By the way, Sammy I rather liked it when you called you info “from the Sammy files”.

    felipe (098e97)

  191. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 5/23/2014 @ 1:50 pm

    MD, you comments so resonate with me. I consider you a kindred spirit.

    felipe (098e97)

  192. “It means be careful of the day, or arrange your activities so that it is possible. It is the type of thing that you have to prepare, before you do it. I could say also remember, but that’s Zachor”

    Could one say that one should be on their “guard”?

    felipe (098e97)

  193. “Somebody should write a book “60 or 100 Biblical Hebrew words not properly understood”

    Some in Mishnaic Hebrew too.”

    In all seriousness, I think you should do it, Sammy.

    felipe (098e97)

  194. 202. Only thing is I can’t. I don’t know enough Hebrew. I know individual words better than I know things as a whole.

    But I can name maybe a dozen words like that. I could outline things. I’d need a more fluent collaborator, some of my ideas are a little original. Some I got from a lot of reading.

    And this total of 60 or 100 includes mistakes made by Jews after Hebrew first ceased to be a spoken language.

    I am also thinking of the word “Nes” which really doesn’t mean miracle, but got that meaning because it was applied to the light that burned for 8 days, and that’s the only usage people knew in later times..

    There’s “keva” – which later acquired a different meaning than in Mishnaic times, and you even date some prayers by that. It’s a word almost not found in Biblical Hebrew.

    “Kivnei Maron” which the Rabbis after the Mishnah had a lot of trouble with and which is found in our most famous Rosh Hashonah prayer. The concept is clear, but not how it comes from those words.

    It’s Kih (like) Bih (in) the Greek word Nimoron.
    (enumerated – one by one – handing out of army rations. They assembled them that way. English cognate: number.

    Modern Hebrew has some definite mistranslations.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  195. Comment by Milhouse (50cb78) — 5/23/2014 @ 2:00 pm

    Well, 50% agreement is a start.
    Milhouse, I did not say that Cain had a responsibility to know where Able was.
    What I said assumed what we know about the story, that Cain did know exactly where Able was because he had killed him. The way Cain answered was a put-off, trying to make a denial without making a denial, when he knew the answer.
    I guess we could say that Cain was the first politician.
    In a sense it was a diversion, “How should I know, you didn’t put me in charge of keeping track of him!” (Does that count as a straw man or red herring, or something else?)
    “So what?” God asks, “Whether it was your responsibility or not, you know exactly where he is, because you left his dead body there”.

    Comment by felipe (098e97) — 5/23/2014 @ 3:38 pm
    perhaps a kindred Spirit.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  196. 201. Yes. What it doesn’t mean is keep. But then, what did “keep” mean in Middle English?

    Observe, wait, maybe.

    Eric Partridge’s Etymological dictionary (lat edition, 1966) :

    ME kepen from OE cepan, to observe or notice, to desire to seek, to keep (the semantic chain, or at least interconnexions are worth noting) cf ON kopa, MD capen, MLG kapfen, to gaze or stare. The origins of this v need to be clarified still further.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  197. Steve57: In that speech Obama doesn’t menion wait times. Just that his VA Sect would be as imp as Def Sect. And he’ll spend more money. And it will come on budget. And there’ll be no means testing.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  198. Felipe re: “from the Sammy files”.

    Anything you want me to look for?

    I might not have it, of course.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  199. 180. The Greeks used to mistakle the namew of God for a word in Greek letters because it s often written in the old Hebrew alpphabet.

    Another word: Niftar, PPutar realsed by a court which the writer of 2 Maccabes thoiught meant ourified, and got things all mixed up with oil that had once been found in Jerusalem.

    Sammy Finkelman (42d229)

  200. Eric Partridge’s Etymological dictionary (lat edition, 1966)

    OMG! I was given a copy of Origins (1977 for my birthday ages ago – I have since lost it after many changes (during education) in residences. Good times.

    felipe (098e97)

  201. Comment by Sammy Finkelman (42d229) — 5/23/2014 @ 4:42 pm

    Thank you for the generous offer, Sammy, I’ll take you up on it sometime.

    felipe (098e97)

  202. An aside,
    it has been determined that George W. Bush is not responsible for the persistent failure of the Cubs,
    suspicion has been directed at the Koch brothers:
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/05/the-roberts-intervention.php

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  203. I enjoyed Roberts’s intervention from the get go.

    I like the way he pronounces “pleasure’ as “playsure”; so charming to me somewhat reminiscent of the way Barbara Jordan ( Lord Rest her soul) used to promoun her “s” as “sh”. Then his correct usage of the words “quote” at the beginning of a quote, and then “unquote” after the entire quote – instead of the maddening “quote-unquote” that many (that I have suffered) use before actually relating a quote. Does this make me anal?

    I appreciate Senator pat’s explanation of Citizens United in the context of reality
    . It was so simple, a Vulcan could understand it.

    felipe (098e97)

  204. I am derelict in my duty (to my parents) by failing to acknowledge the reference to Paul Harvey’s “the rest of the story” in Pat’s speech!

    felipe (098e97)

  205. I’m fond of the “like a douche” version…

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/05/23/more-likeaboss-shops/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  206. “Like a connoisseur of canines”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  207. Sammy @206, you couldn’t be more wrong. Again.

    Steve57: In that speech Obama doesn’t menion wait times. Just that his VA Sect would be as imp as Def Sect. And he’ll spend more money. And it will come on budget. And there’ll be no means testing.

    Obama:

    No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months – even years – to get an appointment at the VA.

    Try again.

    Steve57 (4e729f)

  208. If he’s mentioning waits of months, even years, we have entered the tautological when I say we are talking about wait times.

    I get enough of this $#hi@ on the gay marriage threads.

    Steve57 (4e729f)

  209. oh sweet mother of food stamps can failmerica get any more third world?

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/05/portland_issues_boil_water_not.html

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  210. Feets, teh same state that drained tens of millions of gallons of their water supply because some wiseass kid took a leak in it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  211. Sammy… you would benefit from this… KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Resign, Mr. President. “I wrote in passing yesterday that if President Obama or the people of this country had any self-respect, he’d resign over the scandal of the Veterans Affairs hospitals, which needlessly sentenced an unknown number of American veterans to death through their combination of managerial incompetence, medical malpractice, and monstrously cruel indifference to their clients. Other heads of government have resigned for less. President Obama presented himself to the public as an authority in the field of health-care management and as an executive who not only would insist upon but also would in fact achieve the highest standards in transparent, honest, competent government. He has failed, comprehensively. An honest man acknowledges his failures.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. Colonel – I thought it was only Republicans who opposed Obamacare who wanted people to die, or so Democrats claimed. Now we find out that a deliberate falsification of record keeping to mask unacceptable wait times has been has continued under Obama’s watch for years in spite of his pledges to fix the system.

    He’ll order up some committees and investigations #likeadouche and hope everybody forgets about it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  213. daley, the whole situation has gotten way out of hand #LikeAParodyOfABoss

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  214. 220. In fairness to Mr. Williamson, he’s been on record to boot Cocks*cker in Chief for years now, by any means necessary.

    At this rate we’re at least going to get a trial.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  215. 216. Being right is obviously not on Samuel’s list of needs.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  216. Eric Partridge’s Etymological dictionary (last edition, 1966)

    Comment by felipe (098e97) — 5/23/2014 @ 4:52 pm

    OMG! I was given a copy of Origins (1977 for my birthday ages ago – I have since lost it after many changes (during education) in residences. Good times.

    I discovered the book first in a library only in 1983. Later on I think it still being sold, in a yellow covered smaller print edition.

    It can still be bought secondhand. I replaced (or supplemented)my damaged copy a few years ago.

    Here is an Amazon.com link:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?tag=patterspontif-20&link_code=wsw&_encoding=UTF-8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=origins+eric+partridge&Submit.x=18&Submit.y=9

    The actual title is: Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Eric Partridge .

    It’s now also a Kindle, but the electronic edition got a bad review.

    …The people who edited this fine text for the Kindle must not be Kindle users themselves. I recently needed the etymology of the word ‘much.’ However, the only way to get there is to do a search for the word ‘much,’ and of course, this produces 30 pages of hits, each with six results, or 180 all together. For each, the Kindle displays limited context, so you can rule out some of them, but others looked like the possible entry. After a few false hits, I finally arrived at the actual entry (from the 15th page of results), only for it to refer me to the entry for ‘master.’ This dictionary is full of such cross-references, which is fine except that they are not hyper-linked, so you will have to do another search or try to find the correct hit amongst the current search results. Thus we have a dictionary with no proper way to look up words.

    So, don’t get the Kindle, get the paper edition.

    Remember BOOK = Bio_Optic Organized Knowledge or Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge.

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)

  217. 198. 206. 216.

    Sammy F to Steve57:

    In that speech Obama doesn’t menion wait times. Just that his VA Sect would be as imp as Def Sect. And he’ll spend more money. And it will come on budget. And there’ll be no means testing.

    Comment by Steve57 (4e729f) — 5/23/2014 @ 8:41 pm

    Obama:

    No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months – even years – to get an appointment at the VA.

    Try again.

    I printed out that speech!

    You’re right, except that I’m right too because what I said was he didn’ know about fabricated records.

    There s something about waiting for an appointment, but that’s in the context of PTSD and seems to be a problem of qualifying for benefits, which is the way I took it..

    Your link’s URL:

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=77039

    Remarks in Kansas City, Missouri: “A Sacred Trust”
    August 21, 2007

    …. cut …..

    To keep our sacred trust, I will improve mental health screening and treatment at all levels: from enlistment, to deployment, to reentry into civilian life. No service-member should be kicked out of the military because they are struggling with untreated PTSD. No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months – even years – to get an appointment at the VA. We need more mental health professionals, more training to recognize signs and to reject the stigma

    It sounded to me like the long wait fro an appolintment was because of a delay in getting his claim accepted.

    In any case, I had written @198:

    196. Phony scandal, he says about Benghazi or maybe the IRS. This one he pretends he still doesn’t know if fabrication of records occurred.

    And you said I didn’t have to listen to Megyn Kelly. Megyn Kelly had said he sgned abill that was supposed to take care of the waiting lists – but what she didn’t say is what exactly that bill said and did.

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)

  218. “You’re right, except that I’m right too because what I said was he didn’ know about fabricated records.”

    Sammy – No, you wrote at #196: “This one he pretends he still doesn’t know if fabrication of records occurred;” even though he has been specifically told fabrication has occurred. When you don’t meet with a Cabinet level member official of your Administration for close to two years, it is sort of tough to make a claim to the American public you are staying on top of an issue you claimed would be one of your priorities.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  219. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/24/2014 @ 10:15 am

    He’ll order up some committees and investigations #likeadouche and hope everybody forgets about it.

    On Fox News Sunday a (female)commentator whom I don’t know the name of said, after Fox played some excerpts of the “all I know is what I read in the newspapers” claim being said a number of times by the Obama White House that Obama must keep in the top drawer of his desk a scandal manual (if he does, it was written by Bill Clinton, because that’s what Clinton used too say – he also never read or watched speeches by his opponent, something Obama also repeated)

    She said there 6 step scandal handling formula was this: [paraphrased, sometimes shortened, and sometimes lengthened, (and improved?) ]

    1. Deny knowledge and say you just heard about it when everybody else did or when it went viral in the major media.

    2. Say you are outraged.

    3. Fire appear to fire some low ranking bureaucrat(s)

    4. Appoint somebody to study it.

    5. Say you will wait for the Inspector general’s, or FBI’s or whatever report.

    After approximately 6 months:

    6a. Say you’ve already taken care of it.

    OR

    6b. Say it is old news.

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)

  220. 227. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/25/2014 @ 10:16 am

    No, you wrote at #196: “This one he pretends he still doesn’t know if fabrication of records occurred;” even though he has been specifically told fabrication has occurred.

    I know of course he knows that now. In fact, I thought that’s one of his false claims. President Obama seems to think that if he doesn’t have an official government document saying something occurred, he can say he doesn’t “know” that it did.

    Megyn Kelly had said that a bill was passed and signed in 2012 to deal with long waiting times, but I said she didn’t tell anyone exactly what that bill how the bill was supposed to take care of the problem. (what it did about it)

    So you couldn’t tell from her just what he would have to know if he signed the bill and had some idea of what was in it.

    What I told Steve57 was that that’s not in 2007 speech. (fabrication of records) I mentioned what I thought it said. I thought there wasn’t even a mention of waiting times for an appointment, but if you look at it just the right way, there is.

    It looked to me like the wait times he was talking about were just a way of emphasizing the results of a long and complicated application process.

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)

  221. When you don’t meet with a Cabinet level member official of your Administration for close to two years, it is sort of tough to make a claim to the American public you are staying on top of an issue you claimed would be one of your priorities.

    Yes, and I found out a few things.

    Obama knows, he has to know, he telegraphed it in fact, who it was that set up a goal of 14 days for wait times for appointments.

    It was (fired or retired) Undersecretary for Health at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Robert Petzel, in 2011.

    A 30-day goal had been set in 1995.

    This looks very much like an attempt to cover things up by doubling down.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-obamas-remarks-on-va-allegations/2014/05/21/b7116db2-e0f6-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

    We need to find out who was responsible for, you know, setting up those guidelines.

    Well, Saturday’s Wall Street Journal says who it was:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303749904579580473122138420

    Robert Petzel, the undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs until a week ago, directed in 2011 that goals for many wait times in the VA system be cut to 14 days from 30. That possibly set off efforts by employees to game the appointment system, a Government Accountability Office official said on Friday.

    And Robert Petzel is the person who Obama tried to hide his responsibility for forcing into retirement a bit early. So I mean, he knows, or knew by May 21.

    The article says that Petzel met in the VA conference room on Wednesday, May 14 with members of the Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS. The meeting was neither recorded nor transcribed.

    And Gary Augustine, the executive director of the Disabled American Veterans, asked him if these goals were unrealistic, and he said:

    Maybe.

    Or he said:

    You might be right there.

    The next day, he and Shinseki testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and on Friday Shinseki (after telling the committee he wasn’t ready to propose anyone’s resignation) sought Petzel’s resignation (Shinseki wouldn’t say if anyone in the White House had suggested he do so)

    There seems to be a claim that Petzel had already announced his retirement, but Petzel stopped work right away after that.

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)

  222. 225. Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Eric Partridge.

    The edition with the mostly yellow cover is a 1983 edition, published by Greenwich House, a division of Arlington House, and was distributed by Crown Publishers by arrangement with MacMillan Publishing Company. It was available for at least several years from the publisher. You could also get the Simon and Schuster Merriam-Webster dictionary then.

    That edition of Origins was only for sale in the United States, its territories and possessions, and the Phillipine Republic. (which used to be a U.S. territory until 1946 – independence was popromised in 1934 – and I guess some commercial arrangements that dated back to before 1946 continued.)

    Sammy Finkelman (f1bb90)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.6612 secs.