Potemkin Sanctions?

“Mr. Obama’s actions would not bar the targeted Russian banks or energy companies from doing business with Americans or seize their property. Rosneft, for instance, has major joint ventures with ExxonMobil that will still be permitted. But administration officials pointedly noted that such moves were still possible if Russia did not back down.

Craig Pirrong, a professor of finance at the University of Houston, said the current moves might not have that much impact because the affected companies could get American dollars elsewhere. “This will constrain to some degree the size of the capital pool that the sanctioned firms can access, but not nearly as much as could be,” he said.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/europe/obama-widens-sanctions-against-russia.html?_r=0

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The Integrity Deficit: VA Whistleblowers vs DHS Whistleblowers

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

What’s the difference in the core dysfunction which they are blowing the whistle on ? Not much:

“In testimony submitted to the committee, Katherine L. Mitchell, an internist at the VA hospital in Phoenix, described an agency suffering from an integrity deficit.

“Ethics have never been made an official VA performance measure, and thus do not appear to be a clear administrative goal,” she said. “There seems to be no perceived financial advantage to pursuing ethical conduct. Administrative repercussions are lacking for unethical behaviors that are so routinely practiced among senior executive service employees.”

Of course, federal employees should not need a financial incentive to engage in ethical conduct. But there were financial incentives, in the form of employee bonuses,  that apparently encouraged workers to falsify records to meet  productivity targets.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/07/08/va-panel-focuses-on-whistleblowers/?wpisrc=nl_fed

Productivity targets and the detrimental effects it has had on management and employees within the DHS, and especially USCIS and ICE, has been at the core of what whistleblowers from DHS have attempted to bring to the public attention over the years, but there is a marked difference on how Congress and the media has treated the whistleblowers from DHS and those from the VA. In the VA case whistleblowers have been praised and heralded as heroes, in the other cases the whistleblowers have been severely retaliated against and targeted for doing the right thing.

The result? The Washington Post reports “that the number of VA whistleblower cases “is growing almost every day.”” At DHS? Whistleblowers are literally fleeing the country in fear of retaliation by their own government.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/07/09/va-employees-testify-about-retaliation-against-whistleblowers/?wpisrc=nl_fed

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/521/3625285/Is-hike-in-whistleblower-claims-a-sign-of-progress-or-growing-mistrust

 

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Unraveling Benghazi: Is Mike Rogers Part of the Problem?

Unraveling Benghazi: Is Mike Rogers Part of the Problem?.

Rogers

Mike Rogers has overseen the collapse of the US Intelligence Community on his watch. The conflict of interests which have accompanied his oversight are stunning. Connections and being on the inside is all well and good if it helps the Congress do its oversight job but in Roger’s case, I would argue that the former G-Man has been a disaster, though his record shows a remarkable targeting success by an Intelligence Community more focused on the Hill than the rest of the world. A comparison to his performance with former CIA Operations Officer Porter Goss who held the Chair job in the 90s would make for an interesting study.

 

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Passport Ops

Did Russian Intelligence set up Snowden and US Intelligence?

Walk This Way - Putin

Walk This Way – Putin

http://www.businessinsider.com/ex-kgb-spy-the-russians-tricked-snowden-2014-6#ixzz345yFoktE

Maybe, plausible. The Russians have a much better appreciation for ‘Papers, Please!’ than we do.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russia-targets-traitorous-dual-citizenship-holders/501163.html

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Justice and Nathan Hale 6/6/14

I will always remember the day when a blue badger walked up to the Nathan Hale statue, as I stood by it, looked me right in the eye, put his shoe up on it, tied his shoe and then triumphantly swaggered away. Later I believe the guy wrote a memoir, I have no idea if the incident was included.

Happy Birthday Nathan Hale.

DOJ's Nathan Hale

DOJ’s Nathan Hale

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Government Satire: Shredding Documents at the VA; the New Rob Cowan School of Government at Harvard

USCIS' Rob Cowan Interviews Potential Hire

Dr.Rob Cowan Interviews Potential Faculty

Harvard is opening up a new school of government, industrial size shredders are being purchased with a grant from AILA and USCIS’ NBC Director Robert Cowan is retiring amidst great fanfare and will be heading up the new school.

The current scandal at the Veteran Administration is only the most recent in the Obama Administration where government workers have been accused and been caught destroying documents to cover up gross incompetence and most likely criminal activity. The Obama Administration is not the first administration to engage in such activity. Both the Clinton and the Bush Administrations before it indulged in destroying documents to cover up what could be embarrassing and potentially criminal conduct. And even after they have left government some government officials have felt a strange compulsion to tamper with the historical record, e.g., Sandy Berger’s socks, to avoid responsibility for their negligence while in office.

The VA scandal now in the news is remarkably similar to the legacy INS’ and USCIS/ICE scandals which this site has focused on. Here is short summary from the Financial Times:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/328546c0-dd10-11e3-8546-00144feabdc0.html#axzz31z2GJlRM

The VA story involves the shredding of documents, faking evidence and awarding bonuses for falsely eliminating wait times. Currently, VA officials are claiming that no veterans died because of the fraud and incompetence exposed by the whistleblowers, but given the destruction of documents and manipulation of records the credibility of those claims are MIA and Rob Cowan is rumored to be scouting guest lecturers amongst fast tracked, recent retirees from the VA.

Update: DHS was not amused. Cowan is now the Poster Boy for “DHS Success.” See the Rob Cowan Memo. Typical for the Juvenile Delinquents  running our government, after running over something, don’t check, but back over it and run over it again, faster.

 

 

 

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Putin Mocks the West and Brennan’s Trip to Kiev

It didn’t take long for Vladimir Putin to respond to John Brennan’s planned, non-provocative trip to Kiev (-WH source)

Snowden on line 1.

Putin's Sidekick

Putin’s Sidekick

David Goldman at PJMedia sums up the situation nicely. Putin Isn’t a Genius, We Are Complete Idiots.

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