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June 2017


Yesterday’s news is a mixed blessing…..The President’s failure to live up to a major campaign promise, and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem is very disappointing to say the least. It betrays America’s best ally and the millions of Americans for whom support for Israel is a major issue and priority.The fact that he did so in the face of Mahmoud Abbas’ obvious duplicity makes it more painful. We have seen the outcome of processed peace. All Israeli concessions are segued by a spree of terrorism. Let us hope the President will abandon the pursuit of a two state delusion.

On the good side, dumping the Paris Climate Accord is great news both in foreign and domestic policy. If only I could have seen the face of Al Gore when the”inconvenient truth” was announced….rsk Here is the response of Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA:

ADMINISTRATOR PRUITT: Thank you, Mr. President. Your decision today to exit the Paris Accord reflects your unflinching commitment to put America first.

And by exiting, you’re fulfilling yet one more campaign promise to the American people. Please know that I am thankful for your fortitude, your courage, and your steadfastness as you serve and lead our country.

America finally has a leader who answers only to the people — not to the special interests who have had their way for way too long. In everything you do, Mr. President, you’re fighting for the forgotten men and women across this country. You’re a champion for the hardworking citizens all across this land who just want a government that listens to them and represents their interest.

You have promised to put America First in all that you do, and you’ve done that in any number of ways — from trade, to national security, to protecting our border, to rightsizing Washington, D.C. And today you’ve put America first with regard to international agreements and the environment.

This is an historic restoration of American economic independence — one that will benefit the working class, the working poor, and working people of all stripes. With this action, you have declared that the people are rulers of this country once again. And it should be noted that we as a nation do it better than anyone in the world in striking the balance between growing our economy, growing jobs while also being a good steward of our environment.

We owe no apologies to other nations for our environmental stewardship. After all, before the Paris Accord was ever signed, America had reduced its CO2 footprint to levels from the early 1990s. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2014, the United States reduced its carbon emissions by 18-plus percent. And this was accomplished not through government mandate, but accomplished through innovation and technology of the American private sector.

For that reason, Mr. President, you have corrected a view that was paramount in Paris that somehow the United States should penalize its own economy, be apologetic, lead with our chin, while the rest of world does little. Other nations talk a good game; we lead with action — not words. (Applause.)

Our efforts, Mr. President, as you know, should be on exporting our technology, our innovation to nations who seek to reduce their CO2 footprint to learn from us. That should be our focus versus agreeing to unachievable targets that harm our economy and the American people.

Mr. President, it takes courage, it takes commitment to say no to the plaudits of men while doing what’s right by the American people. You have that courage, and the American people can take comfort because you have their backs.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Jordan Intensifies Anti-Israel Rhetoric Despite Security Challenges Should Israel keep turning the other cheek? Noah Beck

Originally written for the InvestigativeProject on Terrorism.

Jordan, a country that has had a formal peace treaty with Israel since 1994, has seen an uptick in anti-Israel hostility.

Last month, Jordan condemned the killing of a Jordanian-Palestinian attacker who was filmed stabbing an Israeli policeman multiple times before he was shot, calling it “a heinous crime.” In September, Israeli police killed a Jordanian tourist who attacked with a knife. Jordan described this act of self-defense as a premeditated and “barbaric act of the army of the Israeli occupation.”

Israeli analysts disagree whether Jordan’s rhetoric is a cause for concern.

Since the second Palestinian Intifada broke out in 2000, Jordan’s public statements often contradict private behavior, said Elad Ben-Dror, a Bar-Ilan University Middle Eastern Studies senior lecturer. Publicly, “the Jordanian parliament and press are fierce in their denunciation of Israel… Beneath the surface, however, there is a strong link and security cooperation between the two countries, especially with regard to the war on terrorism.”

Jordanian demographics drive the public vitriol, said Tel Aviv University Contemporary Middle Eastern History Chair Eyal Zisser. Palestinians comprise half the Jordanian population, “and because the population is conservative and very much Islamic, the regime lets the public…express anti-Israeli sentiments as a way to vent and reduce…pressure on the regime.”

So “cheap shots” like condemning the shooting of a terrorist in the act of trying to kill are “aimed at showing the Palestinians in Jordan [that] the Hashemites have not abandoned them,” said Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. “The King expects the Israeli government” to ignore such statements. And for the most part, Jerusalem does.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently took exception. “It is outrageous to hear the Jordanian government’s speaker support the terror attack which occurred today in Jerusalem’s Old City,” a statement released by Netanyahu’s office said. “It’s time Jordan stopped playing both sides of the game. Just like Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror.”

Moreover, some anti-Israel hostility by Jordan goes beyond mere statements.

In March, Jordan released Ahmed Daqamseh, a former soldier who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls as they visited his country. His tribe gave him a hero’s welcome and he called for Israel’s destruction on Al-Jazeera TV. Many lawmakers and politicians had reportedly lobbied to set him free, and doing so may have been a populist move.

Jordan also hosts “Al-Quds,” the official TV station of Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group committed to Israel’s destruction.

You’re Fired, Paris Climate Accord President Trump cleans up more of Obama’s mess. Matthew Vadum

President Donald Trump fulfilled a key campaign promise yesterday when he announced the United States will pull out of the potentially economically disastrous Paris Climate Accord that President Obama imposed on the country in his final months in office.

In so doing, Trump is taking on all of this global warming poppycock that rests on the utterly ridiculous notion that carbon dioxide, the natural gas humans and other earthly life forms constantly produce and expel, the same gas that promotes plant growth, is a pollutant.

It is a truly insane idea that has no support in science but leftists are running with it because they hope to browbeat and intimidate Americans into accepting shrinking the economy by drastically reducing carbon emissions.

Obama signed a legal instrument related to the Paris Climate Accord on Aug. 20, 2016, titled “Acceptance on behalf of the United States of America.” The relevant part of the document provides that Obama does “hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America.”

Some on the Left are now arguing that process somehow prevents Trump from taking the country out of the agreement unilaterally, even though Obama (unconstitutionally) purported to bring the country into the agreement unilaterally.

In the White House’s Rose Garden, Trump called the treaty “the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.” The agreement leaves American workers and taxpayers “to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”

He continued:

Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune.

Compliance with the PCA could cost the country as many as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, he said, citing a study by National Economic Research Associates. By 2040, he added, compliance could cause the country to miss out on $3 trillion in gross domestic product, wipe out 6.5 million industrial jobs, and reduce household incomes by $7,000 or more.

The pact leaves America at a disadvantage by “effectively putting” the country’s vast energy reserves, including coal, “under lock and key,” while allowing other countries to further develop their coal resources.

We’ll Never Have Paris By The Editors NRO

President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. The United States never should have been in it in the first place, and it’s not even entirely clear that it ever was. In choosing American interests over Davos pieties — in the face of resistance from some within his own administration — the president here has made good on his promise to put America first.

The Paris Agreement is a treaty in all but name: The European signatories put it through their usual treaty-ratification protocols, but the United States did not. President Obama went to great lengths to pretend that the treaty was something other than a treaty because he did not wish to submit it for ratification by the Senate, which was almost sure to reject it — as, indeed, the Senate would likely reject it today. In a government of laws, process matters.

Substance matters, too, and here the Paris Agreement is deficient.

Even if one accepts, for the sake of argument, the alarmist interpretation of climate-change data, the Paris Agreement is unlikely to produce the desired result — and may not produce any result at all. Two countries that are responsible for a large share of greenhouse-gas emissions — China and India, the world largest and fourth-largest carbon dioxide emitters, respectively — have made only modest commitments under the agreement, which puts most of the onus on the more developed nations of North America and Western Europe. Both would continue to emit more carbon dioxide through at least 2030, and both have chosen, as their major commitment, not reductions in total emissions but reductions in “carbon intensity” — meaning emissions per unit of GDP. But these improvements are likely to happen anyway, irrespective of treaties or public policy, due to ordinary economic changes, such as the growth of the low-impact services sector relative to heavy industry, the aging-out of high-emissions vehicles, and the replacement of antiquated infrastructure.

There may be a certain humanitarian appeal in asking the richer nations to pay the higher price, but the developed world already is far more efficient in its use of energy. If you measure greenhouse-gas emissions relative to economic output, the United States already is more than twice as green as China, and it is a middling performer on that metric: France is five times as efficient, Norway and Sweden six times. The real cost of marginal emissions reductions is necessarily going to be much higher in Switzerland than it is in Mongolia.

The Paris Agreement fails to take that economic reality into account, and it does so in ways that could end up making emissions worse rather than improving them. For example, limiting the amount of coal consumed by North American power plants would not necessarily reduce the amount of coal consumed on Earth — and climate change is, famously, a planetary issue — but would instead most likely result in shifting coal consumption from relatively clean North American facilities to relatively dirty ones in China — the U.S. already is a net exporter of coal, and China is the world’s largest importer of it. Global energy markets are no great respecters of idealism, and the gentlemen in Beijing and New Delhi (and elsewhere) cannot reasonably be expected to adopt policies that will materially lower the standards of living of their respective peoples in order to satisfy the moral longings of Western elites. We don’t expect the powers that be in Washington to do so, either, and Trump here has chosen the right course.

The total costs of climate change to the United States would run less than 2 percent of GDP a century from now.

If you consider climate change a moral issue — and acting on it a moral imperative — then the Paris Agreement might look attractive: The desire to do something, anything at all, is very strong in environmental circles. But the question is more intelligently viewed as a question of risk assessment and cost–benefit trade-offs, in which case planning for future adaptation programs is the more intelligent course of action. As the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates the costs (and NRDC is not exactly the Heritage Foundation), the total costs of climate change to the United States — expansively defined to include everything from hurricane damage to higher food costs — would run less than 2 percent of GDP a century from now. Other studies have produced similar findings. Taking radical and expensive action in the present to avoid the possibility of a 1.8 percent hit to a GDP that will be much larger in the year 2100 than it is today is a losing proposition — especially given that the Paris Agreement is far from guaranteed to produce any meaningful results.

Climate change presents the world with genuine risks, and there is of course room for international action in addressing them. But the Paris Agreement takes the wrong approach, committing the United States to a high-cost/low-return program that secures neither our national interests nor global environmental interests. It is part of the Obama administration’s legacy of putting sentiment over substance, and the United States is better off without it.

The Left’s Unhinged Freakout over Trump’s Paris Accord Withdrawal Celebrities, politicians, and climate activists lost their collective mind in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull out from the agreement. By Julie Kelly

The fatalistic flip-out over Trump’s plan to exit from the Paris Climate Accord is the latest proof that the leaders of the political Left have learned absolutely nothing since November 8. Unlike Trump, who said during his Rose Garden announcement of the planned withdrawal that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” these woke folks continue to overlook huge swaths of the American public as they try to win a global popularity contest, redistribute our wealth, and lecture us about how ignorant, uncaring, and unaware we are.

The drumbeat from tone-deaf celebrities, tech titans, bureaucrats, and political hacks began earlier this week on social media when it became clear Trump would finally act to undo one of Barack Obama’s legacy policies. On May 28, California billionaire and climate catastrophist Tom Steyer, who donated $87 million to Democratic candidates in 2016 alone, tweeted out his dire assessment of Trump’s expected move. Steyer said Trump would be “committing a traitorous act of war against the American people.” Within moments of Trump’s speech, Steyer said the administration “has just committed assault and battery on the future of the American people. There can be no excuse for this willful crime. Yes, by pulling out of the Paris Agreement, Donald Trump is betraying the moral, political, and economic leadership position America has achieved over centuries at the cost of American lives.”

Steyer was joined in agony by fellow Golden State tycoons including Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla, among other tech enterprises, who had threatened to stop working on two of Trump’s advisory councils if the president pulled out of the Paris agreement. Musk, whose holdings have benefited from nearly $5 billion in government support, tweeted May 31, “Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in the WH & via councils, that we remain.” After Trump’s announcement, Musk tweeted, “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.” Or for Musk’s bank account, considering how much more in likely government handouts the Paris deal would’ve meant for him. But Musk probably should turn his attention elsewhere: His solar-energy company, SolarCity Corp., is reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose how many customers have canceled their solar-energy system orders.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, reportedly called the White House this week to urge Trump to stay in the pact. The man who heads an empire built off energy generated by fossil fuels is one of those Silicon Valley sillies who wrongly thinks we can — and need to — live off 100 percent renewables within the next few decades.

Celebrities who still haven’t learned that their endorsement of anyone or anything usually yields the opposite of the intended effect also weighed in on Trump’s move. Hollywood’s most prolific climate celeb — the bed-hopping, jet-setting, yacht-cruising Leo DiCaprio — said he hoped Trump would make the “moral” decision to stay in Paris, then tweeted shortly after the president’s announcement that “today, our planet suffered.” Unhinged showgirl Bette Midler tweeted that Trump’s exit gave “BigOil a windfall” and that “there has never in US history been such a destructive megalomaniac in the WH. Thank you to US press and other numbskulls who put him there.”

Mark Ruffalo, known more for his environmental activism than for his marginal acting, tweeted that if Trump left Paris, the president would “have the death of whole nations on his hands. People will be looking to the USA for retribution for what they loose [sic].” Actress Alyssa Milano, who is approximately 0 for 432 on helping political candidates win, tweeted: “Oh my God, you really are a monster. @realDonaldTrump.” But the topper could go to George Takei of Star Trek fame, who tweeted: “Trump is having us pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Too bad someone didn’t tell his father that he shoulda pulled out too.”

A Rising Star Carries on Stephen Harper’s Conservative Legacy in Canada 38-year-old Andrew Scheer was just elected as the leader of the Conservative party, and has a chance to wield Harper’s small-government vision against Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau. By Michael Taube

When Canada’s Conservative party picked a new leader on May 27, most political observers believed that the libertarian-leaning Maxime Bernier, a sitting member of parliament and former cabinet minister, would win by a comfortable margin. Instead, the party chose Andrew Scheer, an MP and ex-House speaker whose views more closely align with former prime minister Stephen Harper.

On the surface, this may seem like a puzzling decision. The common perception is that Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau won the 2015 federal election by presenting himself as a left-leaning alternative to Harper. And while Trudeau’s political honeymoon is over, he continues to hold solid personal approval ratings (46 percent, according to an April poll by Nanos Research) and remains a strong bet to win the next election in 2019.

Bernier, therefore, seemed to fit the growing international trend of new, dynamic political leaders with moderate fiscal sensibilities and social values. Scheer, a fiscal and social conservative by comparison, appeared to be a step backward in the eyes of some pundits, commentators, and columnists.

Appearances can be deceiving, however.

Scheer has been an MP since 2004. At 38, he’s seven years younger than Trudeau, and as a husband and father of five he maintains the same youthful outlook on life as the current PM. His time as deputy speaker (2008–11) and then speaker of the House (2011–15) also worked to his political advantage during the leadership campaign. These are nonpartisan positions without voting privileges, meaning that the bulk of his political career has been spent developing relationships with politicians of different stripes. Most have described him as a thoughtful, pleasant, and intelligent individual.

Meanwhile, Scheer’s conservative values are perceived to be the natural continuation of Harper’s political legacy. He’s been called “Stephen Harper with a smile,” and for good reason.

Like his predecessor, he believes in small government, lower taxes, cracking down on crime, and greater individual liberty. He wants to reestablish a more muscular foreign policy, getting Canada back into the important fight against radical Islamic terrorism. He also wants to maintain a big-tent party, and recognizes that the Conservatives must continue to expand and broaden their base to ensure long-term political success.

At the New York Times, a Public Execution The paper fires its public editor for resisting the Resistance. By Kyle Smith

‘Democracy dies in darkness,” declares the Washington Post, in a line that Dean Baquet, editor of the rival New York Times said, not inaccurately, “sounds like the next Batman movie.” Now the Times has joined the WaPo in dumping its designated internal soul-searcher (dubbed the “public editor” at the New York paper, “ombudsman” at the Washington one). So a more fitting DC Comics–style motto for both papers would be “Who will watch the Watchmen?”

That line (from Alan Moore’s Watchmen, with a nod to Juvenal) became painfully relevant to the Times’ exceptionally conscientious public editor, Liz Spayd, when she was fired and her position eliminated this week. Spayd served less than a year of her announced two-year term. News broke only on May 31 that her last day on the job would be two days after that, and the office of public editor would be replaced with a “reader center.” Read the comments beneath a Paul Krugman column sometime and you’ll gain some sense of what that might be like.

Why so hasty, premature, and unceremonious a sacking? Spayd, who said upon her appointment last summer that “I’m not here to make friends,” was apparently a little too good at not making them. A peeved Baquet called one of her efforts a “bad column” and “fairly ridiculous.”

Worse, Spayd was morally on the same team as lynch mobs, according to Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress in his piece “The dark history of how false balance journalism enabled lynching.” This was a slippery-slope argument in response to Spayd’s having said that journalists shouldn’t “apply their own moral and ideological judgments to the candidate.” Millhiser believed that the many felonies committed by Hillary Clinton in the course of shielding her e-mail from public scrutiny and removing classified information from secure channels was a non-story and that the Times should shut up about it.

The Atlantic attacked Spayd by approvingly quoting bloggers who wrote that Spayd, a 25-year veteran of the Washington Post who rose to the position of managing editor of that paper before editing the Columbia Journalism Review and then moving on to the Times, is “inclined to write what she doesn’t know” and that her work has become “iconic in its uselessness and self-parody.” Slate accused her of “squandering the most important watchdog job in journalism” by being too solicitous of the readers, notably when she wrote a column under the “smug” headline “Want to attract more readers? Try listening to them” and when she “sympathized with readers’ chauvinistic gripes about the Times’ sports page.” (The “chauvinists” quoted by Spayd were saying things like “Why are there big stories on Nordic surfing, German ice water swimming and Brazilian badminton and hardly any beat coverage of the Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils or Islanders?” The sports editor replied, in Spayd’s paraphrase, that “routine game coverage is not a priority.” Did I mention that the public-editor column was the second-funniest part of the resolutely humorless paper, after the corrections column?)

After Spayd told Tucker Carlson that some tweets by professionally neutral Times news reporters that displayed open contempt for and hostility to Donald Trump were “outrageous” and “over the line” and should face “some kind of consequence,” the blue-checkmark battalions rose up to denounce Spayd, calling her “the worst possible public editor for the Trump era” and “a disgrace,” adding that the Times had “embarrassed itself” by hiring her.

Spayd did her best to be even-handed in the eleven months she held the job. The angry Left could not forgive this.

‘Pressure’ Is Not Obstruction Comey was not ‘obstructed.’ By Andrew C. McCarthy

The thing to remember is that there’s a big difference between perceiving “pressure” and believing that you have witnessed the obstruction of an FBI investigation, a federal felony.

Take this to the bank: Over the next week, before the much-anticipated Senate testimony of former FBI director James Comey, the media-Democratic complex is going to spare no effort to convince you that the words “pressure” and “obstruction” are synonyms – you know, like the words “collusion” and “crime.”

They’re not.

It may very well be that former FBI director James Comey is prepared to testify, consistent with a leaked report of a memorandum written to himself, that he felt President Trump pressured him to drop the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national-security adviser.

Even if this were true, it would not mean Comey believed the president had committed felony obstruction. No one grasps this better than the former FBI director himself.

On that score, I’ve been surprised, since the story of Comey’s memo-to-self broke, to have been asked about the purported “contradiction” between the memo and Senate testimony the then-director gave in early May.

According to the memo (which has not been made public and from which only a selectively mined snippet has been reported), on February 14, President Trump told Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Based on this, CNN, relying on “a source close to the issue” (hmmm), claims that Comey is prepared to testify that he felt “pressured” to pull the plug on the investigation.

Compare this with his May 3 testimony. Answering questions put by Senator Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), the then-director averred that he had never been directed by superiors to halt an FBI investigation.

Contrasting the two statements, Comey’s more fervid detractors accuse him of perjury. Should Comey testify next week that Trump pressured him in February, they reckon that either a) this claim or b) his May testimony that he’d never been “told to stop something for a political reason” would have to be false testimony.

It is a specious contention. First, Senator Hirono did not ask Comey about any direction given to him by the president. Her questions were about orders from the FBI director’s Justice Department superiors. (The FBI is part of DOJ, and the director is subordinate to the attorney general.)

More important, let’s assume that a question about whether he’d ever gotten a shut-down order from DOJ obliged Comey to include in his response any shut-down order he’d ever received from a president. (This assumption runs counter to perjury law, but let’s pretend.) The bottom line would still be that an order simply is not the same thing as pressure. Asserting that you have never been ordered to do something does not imply a representation that you have never been pressured to do that something.

Latest Hate Crime Hoax: Pakistani-American College Student Recants ‘Bias Attack’ Story By Debra Heine

Last Thursday, a Muslim college student in New York alleged that he was robbed by three masked men who “shoved him into a van” and “hurled racial epithets” at him.

The New York Post reported on his story with great gusto:

The 21-year-old student at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn was walking on 165th Street near 81st Avenue in Hillcrest Thursday at 4:35 p.m. when a black van pulled up alongside him.

The goons jumped out of the vehicle and threw the victim — who they repeatedly punched in the face — in the back of the vehicle.

“Get out of my country, you f–king sand n—er!” one of the attackers yelled at the victim, who is from Pakistan, police sources said.

The trio stole his backpack and his wallet, which contained his school ID, and $6 before kicking him out of the van and speeding off.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigated the incident as a possible bias attack and PIX11 converged on the alleged crime scene “as detectives canvassed the neighborhood, talking to residents and taking with them home surveillance video that may have caught on tape the ugly crime.”

Well, there was an “ugly crime,” all right. Making a false report about a “hate crime” is a crime, after all.

It didn’t take long for the Pakistani-American’s tale of woe to fall apart. On Saturday, PIX11 reported that the student recanted his entire story. Police sources say the incident never happened. He made the whole thing up.

For some reason, the “victim’s” name was never released.

As we are in the midst of a college “hate crime hoax” epidemic, wouldn’t it behoove the media to tread a little more carefully when a college student alleges a hate crime — so they don’t have egg all over their faces when the inevitable recantation takes place?

VA Official Who Allowed Unsterile Instruments Lands ‘High-Ranking’ Job By Tyler O’Neil

The former head of Washington D.C.’s Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, who was removed following a scathing report about the hospital’s lack of sterile surgical equipment, has been given a high-ranking post at the VA’s D.C. headquarters, according to NBC4.

“REMOVED as head of Wash DC VA Med Center after scathing audit, Brian Hawkins has landed high-ranking job at VA headquarters, per NBC4ITeam,” tweeted investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane.

Hawkins was demoted in April following an inspector general report which found that patients at the D.C. VA were at risk of infection due to a lack of sanitary equipment.

In one terrifying incident, a patient was prepared for vascular surgery and already put under anesthesia when the surgeon discovered he lacked the necessary equipment for the operation! The inspector general report also found discolored surgical instruments unsuitable for use, and reported that medical staff had to borrow supplies, including bloodlines and surgical pieces, from nearby centers.

The inspector general report listed 18 different sterile storage containers which were contaminated by dirty conditions. Investigators found expired medical equipment on site, and some of this expired equipment was even used in a June 2016 patient procedure.

In April, when the report came out, the VA announced it would take disciplinary action if appropriate. “VA’s top priority is to ensure that no patient has been harmed. If appropriate, additional disciplinary actions will be taken in accordance with the law,” the VA said in a statement. Here is a photo of Hawkins’ resignation speech.

Hawkins had worked as director of the D.C. VA medical center since 2011.

“It is nearly impossible to remove bad VA employees who engage in negligence or misconduct, even to the extent that Mr. Hawkins did,” declared Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell in a statement. “A government employee who puts veterans in imminent danger obviously should not remain on the VA payroll, but Secretary Shulkin’s hands are tied.”