[Rushtalk] SCANDAL: THE VA OUTRAGE - death lists, after all ....

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Mon May 26 23:05:01 MDT 2014

  So, more LIES on top of LIES, and unmitigated 
greed behind it all .... ineptness does not deserve to be rewarded, ever.

Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 3:14 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:


Obama tries to blow off his newest scandal: the VA outrage

Hayward  <https://twitter.com/@Doc_0>Follow @@Doc_0
5/16/2014 09:21 AM

It’s shocking to learn that the President who 
booted World War II vets out of their own 
memorial during Shutdown Theater would have a 
blase attitude about the outrage at VA 
clinics.  Confronted with reports of veterans 
left to languish on secret lists until they died, 
Barack Obama yawned and assigned a White House 
aide to look into it.  The obviously overwhelmed 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, 
staggered in front of a Senate Veterans’ 
Affairs Committee to read some talking points and 
claim he was “mad as hell,” while cries for 
his resignation fell upon the President’s numb 
ears.  That’s not how it works in ObamaLand, my 
friends.  Nobody gets fired.  Ever .  (As is 
typical of Obama scandals, a few faceless 
bureaucrats have been placed on temporary 
“administrative leave” by Shinseki.)

Obama’s not even putting much effort into 
looking “outraged” by the story, the way he 
pretended to be outraged for a couple of days 
when the IRS scandal exploded.  He seems, if 
anything, mildly annoyed by yet another 
unpleasant story to be papered over.  The 
President, who found time to personally weigh in 
on L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s 
wiretapped phone conversations, dispatched his 
flack Jay Carney to 
the media he currently “concerned and angry 
about the allegations,” and if the secret 
waiting list story proves true, Obama’ ;s 
emotional state might deteriorate to 
outrage.  (Newsflash: there’s not much doubt 
that the secret waiting list stuff is true.)

Likewise, Democrats are performing political 
calculations to decide whether they have to break 
with the President and get harsh with his 
Administration over this.  The Party’s anger 
has been rather muted, because they don’t want 
to make Obama look bad.  They’re all running 
the numbers, checking out polls, watching the 
media coverage, and trying to decide if Shinseki 
blew it so badly before the Senate that they 
can’t cover for him any more.  At this point, 
it doesn’t look like the Democrat caucus in 
Congress is willing to make fools of themselves 
to derail this particular investigation, the way 
they’ve acted to disrupt hearings into Benghazi and the IRS .

The story, which 
at the VA hospital in Phoenix, has expanded to 
include similar secret death lists at a 
half-dozen additional facilities.  At the Phoenix 
hospital, veterans seeking treatment were 
actually deleted out of the official computer 
system, and their documentation was shredded, 
when they were shoved onto the secret 
“ignore” list.  It was a systemic effort to 
break the rules and cover up malfeasance, and it 
claimed at least 40 lives just at that one 
 while highly-paid administrators 
claimed fat “performance” bonuses.  A 
story of falsified records emerged from a clinic 
in Ft . Collins, Colorado.  A new story has 
from Southeast Texas about thousands of veterans 
denied access to simple colonoscopies until, as 
one doctor with VA experience put it, they were 
bleeding out of the rectums – a delay long enough 
for colorectal cancer to progress from easily 
treatable, to inoperable and fatal.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs 
$500 million – enough to cover colonoscopies for 
every veteran with a stomach ache – on office 
furniture and curtains, with nearly $7 million 
spent on build ing a single conference 
room.  This is bureaucratic incompetence, 
malfeasance, and deception on a scale we 
haven’t seen since
 well, ObamaCare, which is 
dragging us toward a hellish single-payer future 
in which everyone enjoys the death-panel 
treatment given to vets.  The VA scandal is a 
disturbingly exact mirror of ObamaCare, 
demonstrating precisely the same management 
characteristics as Barack Obama’s boondoggle: 
gigantic sums of money wasted, endless lies 
foisted upon the public, and nobody held 
accountable by Obama.  Unless the President is 
dragged kicking and screaming into cleaning house 
by his frightened Party, Eric Shinseki will hang 
on until he gets the same fond farewell the 
monstrously incompetent and deceitful HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius enjoyed.

The strongest indication Shinseki might be in 
real trouble is that Democrats clearly weren’t 
buying what he was selling at Thursday’s Senate 
hearing, as related by 
which has been doing very good work on the VA scandal:

At his first congressional hearing since the CNN 
reports drew national attention to the issue, 
Shinseki told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs 
Committee that he was reviewing all VA operations 
and also cooperating fully with the independent 
inspector general’s investigation.

“Any allegation, any adverse incident like this 
makes me mad as hell,” he said, urging the 
legislators to wait for the investigation’s 
finding before trying to resolve a complex set of problems.

His assurance that “we will act” on any 
substantiated allegation angered senators from 
both parties who insisted the problems are real and need immediate action.

Some pointed to a policy implemented by Shinseki 
that set a 14-day limit to provide care for 
veterans applying for the first time, saying a 
deadline they labeled as unworkable resulted in 
VA administrators devising ways to cover up months-long delays.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina 
questioned why Shinseki, who has been Obama’s 
only veterans affairs secretary, failed to act 
sooner on problems long cited by veterans, the 
U.S. Government Accountability Office and others.

“With the numerous GAO, IG and Office of 
Medical Inspector reports that have been 
released, VA senior leadership, including the 
secretary, should have been aware that VA was 
facing a national scheduling crisis,” Burr 
said. “VA’s leadership has either failed to 
connect the dots or failed to address this 
ongoing cr isis, which has resulted in patient harm and patient death.”

When Shinseki kept referring to the whole story 
as a series of unproven “allegations,” it was 
Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of 
Connecticut who reminded him the secret waiting 
lists and falsified records in Phoenix are a 
matter of documented fact, not an 
allegation.  Following the Senate hearing, it was 
announced that the VA inspector general would be 
working with criminal investigators, federal 
prosecutors from Arizona, and the Public 
Integrity section of the Justice Department to 
determine if criminal prosecutions are warranted.

Here’s the part of the CNN report that shows us 
just how personally outraged Barack Obama is:
Asked at one point if he should resign, Shinseki 
said caring for fellow American veterans was a 
mission, not a job, and he intended to continue 
working until he achieves his goal of improved 
care “or I am told by my commander in chief that my time has been served.”

In appointing White House Deputy Chief of Staff 
Rob Nabors to assist Shinseki in reviewing what 
happened, Obama said he asked Shinseki to review 
“practices to ensure better access to care.”

“While we get to the bottom of what happened in 
Phoenix, it’s clear the VA needs to do more to 
ensure quality care for our veterans,” Obama said.

Yes, you can tell the President is boiling mad 
about all this.  He’s acting like the problem 
is a lack of decent reading material in the 
waiting rooms.  He’s rattling off talking 
points about “quality care” instead of demanding resignations.

Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans of 
an op-ed at Fox News comparing Shinseki’s claim 
that the VA is a “good system” to the biggest 
lie in modern history, Barack Obama’s claim 
that people would be able to keep their insurance plans under ObamaCare:

The totality of the Secretary’s remarks before 
the committee Thursday were not only deceptive, 
they were detached, defensive, and unbefitting a 
leader who, by now, should be fighting mad about 
the scandals engulfing VA, firing those 
responsible, and fundamentally challenging every 
assumption he has about the manner in which care is provided to our veterans.

Instead, Shinseki played the role of aloof 
bureaucrat, reading dispassionately from his 
prepared remarks in a monotone voice, as if this 
was a run-of-the-mill budget hearing. 
Shinseki’s comments were spot on in that 
respect—a perfect personification of VA’s 
indifferent and unaccountable bureaucracy.

As my organization Concerned Veterans for America 
has been saying for years—and Fox News has been 
reporting aggressively—the VA is an infected 
bureaucracy, incapable of delivering timely care 
to veterans; instead, the VA has been cooking the 
books to preserve the jobs and bonuses of senior officials.

Hegseth called for Shinseki’s ouster, as merel 
y the first step in a process of fundamental 
 a process that pointedly would not 
include blindly pouring more money into a defective top-heavy bureaucracy:

Shinseki should be fired immediately—as my group, 
the American Legion, and many Senators have 
called for—but that is only the beginning.

Fundamental reform is needed, from top to bottom, 
to shake up a calcified and unaccountable 
bureaucracy. These reforms start with 
accountability at the very top, and throughout VA.

VA must also be made more transparent, and the 
benefits veterans have earned should be more 
portable—meaning if you can’t get timely or 
convenient care at a local VA, you can go elsewhere.

It also must be made clear that the problems at 
VA are not funding problems. Some individuals 
testified Thursday that more money might solve the problem. This is bogus.

Sure, there are certain aspects of VA that could 
use additional funding, but reallocation of 
existing funds would be more than sufficient.

In Phoenix alone, 59% of salaries are spent on 
administration and operations, notmedical care.

The VA bureaucracy is very adept at gobbling up 
additional funding; so before we spend more money 
on VA, we need to reform it. Let’s stop 
throwing more money at a bureaucracy incapable of 
using it wisely or efficiently.

Hegseth’s recommendations illuminate the 
fundamental conflict of philosophy at play 
here.  What he’s calling for is the exact 
opposite  of Barack Obama’s philosophy, in 
which the amount of taxpayer money handed over to 
bureaucrats is the sole metric of 
“success.”  What happens to the money is 
utterly irrelevant.  Obama is not even slightly 
interested in improving government or making it 
more transparent, in any respect – he is the 
greatest enemy of transparency this country has 
ever seen.  He doesn’t think the public needs 
to know anything except what his regime wants it 
to know, and nobody has any business 
second-guessing his imperial decisions about how 
government should be structured.  He views the 
flow of information from government to the public 
as a means for the former to influence and 
control the latter.  Find me a single example, 
during Obama’s entire presidency, where any 
part of his Administration has humbly taken a 
knee before the American people and presented 
them with the full truth on any subject in a 
timely manner.   ;You can’t even get Freedom of 
Information Act compliance from Obama’s royal 
government on any sensitive topic without suing 
them, as 
like Judicial Watch have been doing.

Another consistent thread of the Obama management 
style is that he judges top officials by their 
ability to handle the political fallout from 
catastrophes, not prevent them.  It seems 
entirely foreign to his thinking that a high 
government official is supposed to carefully 
monitor and manage his department to ensure 
problems don’t occur.  Obama views the highest 
levels of government as a royal aristocracy, 
whose days are to be spent on junkets, meetings, 
press conferences, and fancy dinners, not rolling 
up their sleeves and making sure their areas of 
responsibility are well-controlled.  That’s why 
Obama himself didn’t bother to check up on how 
ObamaCare was coming along for over three years, 
or even check to see if Sebelius was minding the 
store.  The notion of an exalted official getting 
held strictly to account, and even fired, because 
disaster occurred on his or her watch is utterly 
foreign to Obama’s view of regal government.

Barack Obama will take no action, or even make 
any statement, that would support criticism of 
his government’s pure and noble 
intentions.  That’s another reason nobody ever 
gets fired during his scandals – he regards such 
action as a display of weakness, an admission of 
guilt, an invitation for further political damage 
from his opponents.  You’re not supposed to 
question that any of Obama’s appointees, or 
their top lieutenants, are less than 100 percent 
invested in the tireless pursuit of noble goals 
such as “access to quality health 
care.”  You’re not supposed to question 
Obama’s judgment in who he appoints, how he 
chooses to supervise them, or how he spends his 
time.  And you’re not supposed to get angry at 
him for claiming he only learns about these 
massive scandals by reading the newspaper.

Obama’s official position on his own 
performance is that he’s never done any thing 
wrong, and all of his problems are the fault of 
either his enemies or his predecessors.  If he 
sacks Eric Shinseki, it will be slightly harder 
for him to maintain that pretense until he leaves 
office, so it’s going to take a lot of 
arm-twisting from Democrats before the President 
would consider such drastic action
 and if it 
happens, I would bet heavily that it will be made 
to look like it was Shinseki’s idea to 
resign.  At this point, I’d say the smart money 
is on nobody getting hit with anything worse than 
“administrative leave,” i.e. a paid vacation.

Update: And yet another secret waiting list is 
discovered at a VA clinic in 
Florida.  This is a systemic crisis, not a little 
hiccup that can be fixed with “reforms” 
implemented by the same management that allowed it to happen. 
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