Archive for veterans affairs

Sec. Eric Shinseki and Press Secretary Jay Carney resign (VIDEO)

Share

President Obama announces Shinseki resignation

President Obama made a statement to the press and announced the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. Meet Sloan Gibson, Shinseki’s replacement at the VA. The new appointee is the Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary. He will serve as temporary head of the VA until he decides on a permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki.

Following his remarks, he popped in again to announce Press Secretary Jay Carney's resignation. Carney will be replaced by Josh Earnest.

According to MSNBC, this announcement came as a complete surprise. President Obama said of Josh Earnest,"His name describes his demeanor. Josh is an earnest guy, you can't find a nicer individual."

The video includes both the president's remarks and Jay Carney's.

More from the president:

"Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser. He has good judgement, good temperament and he's got a good heart. I'm gonna miss him a lot."

And from Carney:

"It's an important interaction that takes place here. It's not always pretty. It could certainly be better. But to be a part of it is an honor and a joy for me. And no matter how tough the briefing is, I walk out of here having been glad to stand here."

Share

"Voters need to keep the source of scandal -mongering in mind when they're at the polls"

Share

veterans, women, gays, immigrants, elderly  va scandal

The VA scandal is real, and it's disturbing as hell. Nobody disputes that. On the bright side (*sarcasm*), Fox News contributor Ben Carson went so far as to call the VA scandal "a gift from God." What a guy, what. a. guy.

But there is more to the VA mess than playing the blame game. Scape-goating won't fix the problem, because the problem is systemic. So, while the GOP insists on exploiting what's left of their Benghazi!!!! and IRS smears as "scandals," they have proven not to be. The Veterans Affairs story, on the other hand, is, but it involves a number of components.

For example, via HuffPo: 41 Republican Senators Voted Against a Landmark Veterans Bill in February, Today They Blame the VA.

Here are some additional takes on "Another Obama scandal? Consider the source" via today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

It would be hard to disagree with Cathleen Decker's assertion that the Obama White House has an image of "one mess after another." It's largely composed of anything that will stick to the shovels of those digging for dirt, from tea party enemies to Fox News to House Republicans who sense danger for their party. ("VA crisis echoes Obamacare's stumbles: 'Drip, drip, drip,'" May 24)

Voters need to keep the source of the scandal-mongering in mind when they're at the polls. Having a Democratic-controlled Congress would be a big step back to collegial debate without shutdowns, intentional distortions and false scandals.

Jules Brenner

Hollywood

***

If a detailed, accurate evaluation of the current problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals is carried out, my guess is that it will show that the VA has had to shoulder huge additional responsibilities because of aging veterans and new ones from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, all of whom clearly deserve all that they have been promised. But the funding to fulfill those promises has been grossly inadequate.

We need to learn who is responsible. If it is the result of Congress failing to fund services, then those members responsible need to accept the blame.

Gertrude Barden

Porter Ranch

***

I am an older veteran who has only recently needed help. I found that the wait time for appointments has been as quick as with my private doctors, and the help at the VA clinic in South L.A. has been both friendly and professional.

If I had to find fault, it would be with the coffee — it's a little strong for my taste.

Oliver Eugene Thomas

Pasadena

Share

Fox News contributor Ben Carson: VA scandal "is a gift from God." (VIDEO)

Share

Dr Ben Carson Fox VA scandal gift from god

pollyanna glad gamePhoto via

Above is a Media Matters video of what retired neurosurgeon and Fox News [sic] contributor, Dr. Ben Carson, said (out loud) on one of their broadcasts. He was being interviewed about the Veterans Affairs scandal involving the hospital backlogs when he made his thoughtless comments. Apparently the "doctor" has very little self-awareness and even less professionalism.

Short version: He exploited a simply terrible situation to bash Obamacare in the name of his god. Surprisingly, Ben Carson made no mention of-- BENGHAZI!!!!!! He must have been sleep-deprived or suffered a(nother) mental lapse to have omitted something as relevant as BENGHAZI!!!!!! from the conversation.

For Carson to have made such an egregious error should have resulted in Fox giving him the boot. He clearly failed to fall in line and regurgitate their default talking point. He committed the ultimate sin, especially at such an opportune time.

Ben Carson:

"I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider. And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world are you going to do it with the entire population?... You guys [politicians] are servants, you're not rulers.”

His god is kinda twisted. And by his god, I mean Carson.

How Pollyanna of him to play his warped version of the Glad Game as the rest of the nation registers shock, sorrow, and outrage. And how unfortunate for him and ClusterFox that his rosy outlook on the deaths and deception of veterans was aired for all to witness.

It's documented now, Doc Carson. Be proud.

By the way, this is the guy who also said, "Obamacare is the worse thing since slavery."

H/t: TPM

clusterfox

Share

When Will We Learn, McCain Is Not A Diplomat?

Share

Oops I did it again

It takes a big (wo)man, not necessarily a good (wo)man, to admit he/she's made a mistake. John McCain this weekend proved he's that (wo)man. He's admitted what we've all known for years -- he means well, but is prone to exaggeration gaffs.

So in the spirit of fairness, I'm willing to say John simply got caught up in the moment, took some time to reflect on his own actions of the past and decided Obama's handshake with Raul Castro wasn't the disgraceful act of "appeasement" on par with the Neville Chamberlain/Adolph Hitler handshake. Time to get past that.

With that settled, I think it's about time that the US Government reconsider it's policy of sending McCain and usually his personal valet Senator Lindsay Graham on official "fact finding" trips to political 'hot spots' on behalf of this country. This hawk and his sidekick have never found a place where they didn't feel the US should make it a flashpoint for war.

They were early and multiply times visitors to Iraq where we escalated our efforts there -- remember the "surge" of troops?

They visited Syria and voted against Obama's using peaceful means to negotiate the chemical weapons disarmament.

McCain made a number of official visits to Israel where each time the middle east country announced increased anxiety over Iran which lead to threats of a possible unilateral Israeli strike on their warring neighbor. McCain went so far as to refer to then current Iranian leader this way according to NBC news:

McCain made a joke comparing Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a monkey.

The Arizona senator even more recently has been vocal on pushing new sanctions against Iran which would most certainly derail the peaceful efforts to negotiate a shutting down of the nuclear weapons development program in Iran despite pleas by Secretary of State John Kerry to allow unfettered negotiations to take place. 

Now today we find McCain (without his Graham valet) once again off to a foreign land as an official envoy, this time in the rioting Ukraine.

In all these these cases, the McCain visits have turned out, by his actions once he returned, to be the opposite of our best interests. How many times must this old warhorse be sent to gather intel and report back? It's not as if his efforts have netted us any qualitative or even quantitative findings. He may be a good guy, and his military background -- at least in years spent as a prisoner of war -- is laudable. But like the accountant today who forgoes contemporary computer technology to prepare your taxes, he's slow, prone to human error and basically just out of it. He's got his old ways and refuses to change with the times. Rather than input data in a computer and have it instantly analyzed and metadata mined for multiple uses, he's still got the pencil, a paper spreadsheet (with coffee stains) and a hand-pull adding machine at his side.

We'll all be served when he finally signals his retirement. He doesn't need to be put out to pasture just yet, but he certainly doesn't need to be our eyes and ears on the ground surveying our next possible moves in volatile locations. He could help us best by passing on his knowledge in improving the standards of living and assistance to soldiers returning from service as well as issues affecting our growing aging population.

Internation diplomacy needs a bit more than just having served for a long time or a Senator singing "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

It takes someone who thinks before he speaks. What it needs is diplomacy, not mockery. And lately, Senator McCain has proven he's doting with emotional lust for one final battle, not one grand peace. Let's stop putting our worst foot forward. Let's start putting our best.

Share