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Finally, A Real Scandal in the Obama Administration: The Veterans Affair Wait List [241]

Updated on May 23, 2014



THE IRS SCRUTINY OF TAX-EXEMPT APPLICATIONS, BENGHAZI, SOLYNDRA, waging war against Libya are all false scandals the Conservatives ballyhood; none has ever risen to the level of what is an honest scandal unless it is in the way the Conservatives waged its propaganda war against President Obama. But, finally we have a real one inside the Obama administration, yet ironically, President Obama seems to be escaping the wrath of those whose reason for being in political office is to bring him down; the forging of Veteran Affairs records to hide the fact that many veterans at certain VA facilities waited months or years to be seen, possibly leading to the deaths of some of them!

The issue is this. The VA has had for decades policies, procedures, and standards in place for how veteran's applications for healthcare should be processed and the timeliness that should be observed during this processing. Standards were set as well as ways to measure performance. According to a Washington Times report from Freedom of Information Act information, all through the Bush administration, after the beginning of the Afghan and Iraq wars, various Inspectors' General reports identified a systemic failure of the VA to meet these processing goals, meaning veterans waited extraordinary amounts of time to be seen.

This information was passed on to the Obama transition team in 2008; consequently the VA was forewarned. One can say that this piece of information was just one bullet point among thousands that were probably presented during the transition, but boy, what a point for it drives straight at the mission of the VA.

In response, the twice-wounded General Eric Shinseki, now the VA Secretary, instituted a 14-day response time as one of his first orders when he assumed his position; a worthy goal. This was a great start, but there was apparently no follow-up.

THE RESPONSE TO AN ORDER IN A CIVILIAN BUREAUCRACY is not the same as an order in a military one. I have belonged to both, being a retired Army officer and a retired Air Force civil servant; albeit the civil service duty was still for a military organization. My wife, however, did retire from a real civilian agency, the Department of Agriculture. But even with the AF, the civilian workforce did not respond the same way to directives from the top as the military officers did who sat at the next desk.

I have no idea of how naive Gen Shinseki may or may not have been regarding what it takes to head up a totally civilian agency, even one set up to serve the military, but directives mean nothing if they aren't followed up by quality control; especially in the terrible budgetary environment the VA found itself in as he took over.

It was clear in 2012, after a Government Accountability Office report, that nothing had improved in the wait-time arena since the dismal reports from the Bush administration. That should have been a wake-up call to Shinseki, but apparently it was not. By this time, money should not have been a problem, or so one would think, because even though Bush finally started increasing the VA's budget, Obama really did after he took office, fulfilling one of his campaign promises (see Chart 1). But appearances can be deceiving for if you are to believe the news reports in 2014, one of the reasons for the long waiting lists is lack of resources to process the veterans applications and see the veterans themselves.



The Troubled History of the VA

I CAN'T SPEAK TO THE VA'S REPUTATION BEFORE VIETNAM, but I can afterwards, since it was often front page news; and, except for a bright spot during the Clinton administration, it sucked ... big time. Even though Nixon ramped up spending for the VA, and things did get better, it only lasted a short while. I was on the second to the last plane out of Vietnam in March 1972; by 1977, funding was already being cut leaving hundreds of thousands of physically and mentally (who were basically ignored) Vietnam vets stranded. President Carter and then President Reagan didn't stop cutting VA funding until 1988. By that time, the VA had become the laughingstock of the nation and a national embarrassment. President H. W. Bush stopped the slide and President Clinton took the VA under his wing and by the time his two terms were finished, the VA had done a complete 180-degree turnaround and became a very respected, well run organization.

President Bush let the VA fall back into disrepute. It wasn't really due to not increasing funding, one look at Chart 1 shows a dramatic growth. Instead, it was due to 1) lack of attention and 2) to his defense department's, like with his war, PPPP, piss poor prior planning. DoD, for whom I worked at the time, didn't plan on the kinds and quantities of casualties that would come out of Afghanistan and Iraq, even though just a brief look at history would have given them a very good clue (I remember making the same comments then as Bush marched the United States into the Iraq War and away from the War on Terror); much different and very much more expensive than that found in WW II. Given that Obama is still behind the eight ball with a $125 billion budget, clearly Bush's $70 - 90 billion budget was not nearly enough.


THE VA SCANDAL ISN'T JUST ABOUT LONG WAIT LINES to see a doctor, that is bad enough given it has existed through almost the entire terms of two Presidents from polar opposite Parties, it is about the falsifying of records to cover up the "secret" lists used to convince Secretary Shinseki his 15-day goal was being met. Was something like this probably going on during the Bush administration as well, but wasn't documented, there is no doubt in my mind; but that is neither here nor there. What is the scandal is 1) that it is going on, 2) why civil servants found it necessary to hide the truth, and 3) why civil servants found it necessary to hide the truth (not redundant, a different question using the same words.

The fact this condition and practice has been going on since 2005 or 2006 is well documented and well known to first the Bush administration and his VA leadership and then to the Obama administration and its VA leadership. It is not that the VA Secretary under Bush did or did not try to do anything about it, those facts have not reached my eyeballs yet. The only paltry fact that has is the current VA Secretary's initial order to process applications and see veterans in a 15 - 30-day window, or something like that; then ... nothing. That directive obviously didn't work and the VA and Obama administration knew it in 2012. The fact is, whatever was done by either administration clearly failed and not aggressively acting to solve the problem is a scandal.

It is the culture in any bureaucracy, be it private or public, for each employee to CTA (cover their ass). If goals are set and cannot be met, regardless if the reason is one of impossibility to laziness, then attempts at each level will be made to hide the fact. That is human nature. What gets in the way of this process are the few ethical individuals at each bureaucratic level who will tell the truth and do the right thing, regardless of the consequences, as well as a proactive quality control system to ferret out "truth hiding". Again, private or public, there are consequences from above for not meeting goals that need to be reported up the chain; consequences such as reduced or forgone bonuses to disciplinary action. Clearly, if you are missing your goals on a regular basis, such as the 15-day service requirement, then there is a great incentive to hide the fact.

From my perch in the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency, I watched this happen frequently as the private contractors we hired to design and build our equipment twisted and turned, trying to put the best face on a failing program: I don't know how many times we caught major corporations lying about their progress. Well, the VA is no different, except they apparently didn't have an agency with the responsibility to keep them honest (and with all of the budget cuts, neither does the Air Force anymore, at least an effective one). So cheat and lie they did, and when they saw they could get away with it, even though they were caught and it was reported up the chain to Presidents Bush and Obama (or their stand-ins), they did it some more and it appears it has spread through-out the Veterans Affairs system. That is a scandal.

Finally, there is the question of why the waiting lines increased so much; there could be many reasons. It could be 1) lack of funding to hire the resources needed to service the veterans, 2) if sufficient funds are provided by Congress, then misallocation of the appropriations received by the VA leading to long lines, 3) mismanagement of resources up and down the chain, and 4) mismanagement in delivery of services regardless of funding levels. Clearly, for much of the VA's history, they have been underfunded by Congress and, except for the Clinton era, in ill-repute in terms of health care delivery, although the quality of the doctors themselves have often been highly regarded, it was just there was never enough of them.

I can't speak to how well the VA has historically or currently allocated the funding it did receive although I am sure there are many reports about it. There are, however, many more reports, both official and unofficial, that speak to 1) mismanagement at many levels of the bureaucracy and 2) chronic and sometimes acute shortages of equipment and personnel over the decades. This is just begging for the kind of situation we find ourselves in today ... and that is a scandal.



The Mistreated Veteran

WHAT IS EXTREMELY DEPRESSING TO ME, and probably most veterans is that we know that throughout our 250-year history the American soldier has been a throw-away resource. Until after WW II, Congress would not fund a standing Army which cost millions of wasted lives because America was never prepared for any of the major wars it undertook, not a one. So, every time a new war popped up, and there were many, fresh faces were conscripted, given brief training with improper equipment (because Congress wouldn't equip its Army either) and send them off to die trying to hold the line until more, better trained soldiers could arrive, ones that had the advantage of America's war machine spinning up.

Also, in order to get its recruits, the propaganda machine of Patriotism as put into high gear making it look like it was a heroic thing to do to go off and serve your country and that when you are done, the country will have your back. American soldiers were proud to march off for whatever the cause was; sometimes it was righteous like the Revolution, the Civil War, WW I, WW II, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. While other times it was for clearly the wrong reasons such as the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American Wars, the Mexican-American Wars, and Iraq. But in all instances, two things were certain, 1) before and during the war, there was nothing better than the American soldier and 2) not too long after the war, America didn't want to be bothered by human detritus of war, today called the Wounded Warrior and were simply cast aside to work it out on their own.

Iraq and Afghanistan, at least as it applies to the American People, appear to be an exception. Maybe it is because of the memory of 9/11, the fact that Afghanistan is still going on, the threat of terrorism is still very real, or social conservatives still raise their patriotic voices very loudly and haven't moved on to other things. I don't know what combination of those or other factors have still kept the American veteran still on the American People's (if not government's) agenda, but I am grateful for it, at least for as long as it lasts.

© 2014 My Esoteric


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    • profile image

      bradmaster 3 years ago


      The trilogy of liberals




    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      LOL, do you mean the one in 2000, 2012, or 2014? The most credible source who was serious about it was the venerable National Enquirer, who, I must admit, has gotten it right once in a great while.

    • profile image

      bradmaster 3 years ago

      My Esoteric

      Apparently, the new scandal in the WH is Barack and Michelle on the outs.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I believe that these guys are beginning to see that the conspiracy theory business as usual, is not going to help them in November.

      The speeches, what I saw of them were credible.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Notice what what two politicians, who were elected to actually govern and who understand what those who wrote the Constitution wanted out of our Congressmen and women to do, can do when they want to.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Wonderful speeches by Sanders and McCain today on senate floor regarding Veterans healthcare bill....on c-span.

      Made me proud and gives me hope.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks, @Lovemychris.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      in case you haven't seen it, here's video of release:

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Berghdal's hometown parade has been canceled. Lots of complaints and threats.....

      This is what right wing media has accomplished for this country.

      If this is their idea of America--they can have it.

      No justice

      No compassion

      No understanding

      No integrity

      No freedom to disagree

      Only lock-step thinking and salutes to their ideology


    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      The fact that Fox News is creating news by leading the conspiracy theory discussion which now being reported by other news outlets, with arched eyebrows about Fox's lowbrow approach to news, is interesting.

      Is that a poem?

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Kilmeade says his dad looks like Taliban. *wink* *wink* nudge nudge...

      OK folks, we've moved on to the next phase of "people to hate" we "better get ready for another war".....cause we at Fox and Rushblow say so.

      And most of all, remember....anyone who doesn't think like us is a traitor and un-American.....ok all you people who support President Obama?---that means YOU.

      Just because we favored Berghdal's release until it happened means nothing.

      Follow the bouncing ball.

      "you are getting sleepy".......

      blah! Can't stand those goons at Fox. Stochastic terrorism. At work for lo all these years, along with the domestic terrorism of Operation Rescue and Emergency Managers of Michigan.

      You're only American if you're Republican Right Wing (nut)...Got It?

      Oh, and if you stash your money off shore to avoid taxes. USA USA USA

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Only Hannity would be arrogant enough to bring Oliver North into this discussion about hostage negotiations!!!!!

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Clinton also with the welfare reform....leading to desperate moms working dead end jobs and latch-key kids. Of course, biz prospered with all the cheap labor.

      I once read an article about Dick Clark--how he exploited these moms for his they still are exploited in this society today. Anyone who works for 7.25 an hr is being exploited. Anything less than $10 is an insult.

      And of course, NAFTA. Another boon for biz, at the expense of humanity.

      However--there still seems to be some humanity in Dems. I don't find any in R's. Not a smidgeon.

      And if they prosecute, go after, destroy this Berghdal for yet more political theatre, and more artillery to shoot at Obama.....if they continue to annihilate vets, seniors, poor kids, single moms......if they keep cutting away at all of our constitutionally guaranteed rights....

      You will see a back-lash not felt since the end of the Buscho years.

      It's like I said before 2010.....these Baggers are Bush on steroids. You think we disliked Bush?

      You haven't seen nothin'

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Nixon hid behind the ire the American People exercised against Soldiers coming home from Vietnam. An ire that was unfairly focused on them.

      The DEA was born of a supposed communist conspiracy associated with drug use in Vietnam. Without taking into account that the war was established without clear goals or accountability, and the possible affect that would have on our soldiers.

      Then Reagan decided that the War in Vietnam was not a war but a police action. Veteran's benefits suffered as a result.

      Then Carter got caught up in the middle of a country having faced Watergate and the 1980 political campaign where Reagan cronies had stolen a copy of one of Carter's speeches to use against him in the debates. Reagan's famous "there you go again" crap.

      Suffice it to say, that Carter was the most honest man to land in the White House since Kennedy, and he was treated like an outsider on both sides of the aisle.

      The political void that exists today really starts at the state level where politicians in state office are groomed for office in the Capital. Big money is focused there a well as in Washington.

      There is no one worse than the other, because they are all bought and sold by Corporate America.

      Clinton, as an example, made it possible for Corporate America to consolidate, control, manipulate, and politicize American Media outlets.

      There was the Washington Post role in Watergate, and then there was the dog and pony show that was Iran/Contra.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Oh they forsake whole swaths of Americans....we see it with every policy they make. And it BETTER be an issue that they would desert a soldier....and spare me the ethics....anyone recall Tillman? Cover-up? Lies to the family? PULLLEEEZE.

      But somehow I don't think it will. The media will jump on their bandwagon, and call for Berghdal's head.

      And all these people who think Snowden should get a medal will call for Berghdal to be hung.

      Personally, I find theses R's so despicable that I can't even stomache to look at their faces.

      And yes, I know what golden mean is: I'm saying the dems are willing to get there...the r's are not.

      But sticking Iran sanctions in a veterans bill, or unemployment in exchange for more tax cuts for the Romney's of the world, or anti-abortion amendment stuck to anything, is not compromise!!

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Google it.

      I have a feeling the Rs may be, yet again, hoisting themselves up by their own petard over this Bergdahl thing. What they are effectively telling the American People and military by condemning Obama is that it is OK to leave America men and women in enemy hands when there is a chance to retrieve them. And what they are telling the person captured is that they might as well shoot themselves because we aren't going to save you when we have the chance.

      It doesn't matter the reason you were captured. I don't care if he deserted for moral reasons, you don't forsake them, because you don't know the full story.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      which would be what?

      That Sanders bill has Republican desires in it too....such as firing people who mess up.

      Obama always includes Republican ideas in his suggestions.....such as individual mandate...hello!

      Where is left not meeting in middle?

      It's only the right who refuses to budge. Know why? Cause Obama, that's why.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Always shoot for the "Golden Mean" in life as well as politics; neither the Left nor Right seem to want to do that.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      yeah--their little mantra of tax and spend Dems...they are borrow and spend Repubs.

      Leave the bill for the next guy. Credit card government.

      Well, they'll have a chance to show their stripes this time.

      Sanders proposal to repeal Citizens United, and he is re-introducing his veterans bill, which the patriots filibustered last time around.

      Now that the media got Shinseki fired---they have to go along with it, don't they?

      Phony by the puppet strings on their heads.

      Then again...the media won't do to them what it did to Shinseki.

      Cause they own that, too.

      "Profit at the expense of people's health, especially veteran's in the name of corporate profits is and should be considered treasonous."--amen to that.

      If it was China, they'd be shot.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I know that corporate personhood as a term of use comes from Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 US 394, (1886). The issue was equal protection under the 14th Amendment. It established that a corporation had the right to the same protect as a natural person, hence the term legal person.

      The discussion of corporate protection under the Constitution goes all the way back to Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 1819.

      The problem I have with that, is that when you consider for example, the financial and legal resources that a corporation can bring to a legal issue, a legal person has all of the advantages and usually less of the actual accountability that is assessed to a natural person. A corporation is in a far greater place to manipulate the process as a result.

      When it comes to the latest round of financial fallout, some of the penalties awarded to such as Goldman Sachs, to the tune of $550,000,000.00 million dollars constitutes a drop in the bucket, compared to the 24,000,000,000.00 billion they took in, in 2012.

      It's the money that they can bring to the process legally and politically that needs the most oversight.

      These companies undid the fundamental parts of the New Deal that would have kept this latest fallout from taking place.

      As a result, I think these corporations should be forced to pay down the National Debt as the penalty for their abuse of the legislative and political process.

      I think that of stripping them of corporate personhood or legal person status under the law would make them understand that they are servants of the People and no more. Their job should be to make sure that the American Dream lives for all people, not just their corporate profits.

      That balance had actually been achieved going into the 60's, and starting with education, has been turned upside down.

      How dare students across the country participate in our political process as constitutionally promised, and challenge the government's decision to pursue a war, that has proven to be both a waste of human life, and a boon to Corporate America.

      The National Debt before Nixon as I said was 4 or 5 trillion dollars, and I believe it was all in-house. When Reagan cut taxes and went on his little spending spree, that was when we started borrowing from overseas to compensate for the lack of tax revenue.

      Reinstate all taxes to the level it was under Kennedy and then stop trying to manipulate the process with all this socialism non-sense. Profit at the expense of people's health, especially veteran's in the name of corporate profits is and should be considered treasonous.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Defense Finance and Accounting Services. I didn't know about Macarthur, et al's involvement with the Bonus Army.

      Ahhh, the good old days before Reagan and before the Oil Wars.

      As to Corporations and personhood, they only need it in one respect, and that is contract and tort law.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I don't know what DFAS is. The military and their acronyms.

      And, I am not sure what you mean by what you did not know.

      I will be watching this Amendment thing with great interest. Colorado voters overwhelmingly voted for political finance reform, but the only thing that was really dealt with here was marijuana. Colorado Springs chose not to allow for recreational marijuana sales, as I understand it because the military doesn't like it.

      If it were me, I would amend the 14th Amendment to include a phrase that constitutionally establishes that a person, legal or natural is a biological thinking and breathing entity only.

      That would put corporate person-hood on it's ear. It would undo about 150 years of corporate law. But once and for all time it would make the people who run corporations accountable for what they do, and not their business.

      For a corporation to have equal status with an individual with the money and lawyers a corporation can bring to the table, is not, nor can it ever be equal.

      However, they do and can bring to the table a balance that will support each other and support the country effectively as well when it comes to our military. Basically, I agree with you.

      When Reagan decided to cut taxes and go on a major spending spree, the effect bankrupted federal and state governments for any other purpose, but to support the corporations at the expense of the People to include veterans.

      FDR spent like there was no tomorrow, but he taxed heavily to compensate. The need speaking for itself.

      Hence when Nixon took office the National Debt was not only small compared to today, it was all but gone. I think it was right around 4 to 5 trillion.

      I would like to see the wolves put in their place, once and for all time.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Actually I didn't know that, but the timing is certainly right; that is too bad for it is stain on their reputations.

      I am personally not against corporate America being involved in America's defense; the question is how is it involved and I, like you, do not like how it has evolved. Like you, I have spent most of my life, 1983 - 2008 with the military, most of it involved in readiness, operations and maintenance, and resource allocation at the Air Staff and OSD level; before that I was in the Army, 1971 - 1975 active duty, then until 2007 in the Guard.

      You absolutely need corporate America to design and build our weapon systems, provide expert consulting services, provide some state-side logistics support, hell, I wouldn't even mind them taking over DFAS. It is cost effective for them to accomplish all of those functions.

      But I lived through the "downsizing" from 1986 through 2001 and watched DoD become emaciated in the process. When I joined the Air Force as a civilian in 1983, DoD had the civilian and military workforce with the expertise to manage their corporate charges IF they would only stay out of bed with them (it was my job to keep them honest).

      When I left the AF Cost Analysis Agency in 2008, DoD had downsized itself (the rest of the federal government was in even worse shape) where it could barely manage itself. Where in 1983, an office might have had enough staff to cross-train backups so that they would be two or three deep in expertise in case someone was lost; in 2008, those that were left were wearing fine hats each and expected workload simply couldn't be done. So guess who got to the work ... more expensive corporate America.

      Consequently, in order to have "small" government, the Right has turned the sheep over to the wolves.

      BTW, Senator Barney Sanders introduced a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United decisions; Reid said it will get to the Senate floor for a vote.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I am very liberal yes, but I am more independent. I could have voted for McCain had he not seemed to have missed out on the lessons of Vietnam. Not to mention the fact that he supported invading Iraq.

      Thanks to an invasion into Iraq, the oil market in the Middle East is now destabilized. The Koch Brothers are getting even richer off of the speculation of oil, that New Deal policies had stopped. The Pentagon may not have been focused on oil, but Corporate America certainly was.

      Eisenhower and Patton helped Chief of Staff MacArthur quash the Bonus Marchers in 1932. I am sure you know that.

      Eisenhower's focus on the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) at the end of his Presidency, is where I believe a case can be made against Corporate America pursuant to this scandal.

      Everything logistical in the military now is privatized, you know that. I grew up in the military. Both of my parents worked in the Mountain. I know what has changed.

      If Corporate America and the United States Military in conjunction can build a mountain post under a million tons of granite, why is the VA so completely antiquated?

      It's like everything else in this country these days, Congress is bought and sold by Corporate America. It's pretty much all about where our tax dollars go and why. And, as I see it the American People are out of the loop which includes our veterans.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I am definitely progressive, but no so liberal, as it is meant today (but certainly in the terms it was meant in the late 1700s); I have a bit of fiscal conservative bent.

      Unfortunately, to me, this is not a "so-called" scandal; instead it is, for a change, the real deal. I am now convinced it is a scandal for Shinseki and up and down the VA administration, but not Obama. I do believe that Gen Shinseki should resign and his replacement start a thorough investigation with the IG and fire all those responsible; there needs to be a total house cleaning after 10 years of abuse.

      I am glad you noticed about the Roberts/Rehnquist courts. And you are absolutely right about Afghanistan although I don't think Iraq was about oil, but his father and hubris. I worked in the Pentagon during both Iraq wars in an area where I might have picked up gossip about the oil angle, but I never heard anything serious.

      No question about your last observation!

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Sorry, I am a shameless Progressive Liberal. I appreciate sarcasm and I appreciate the need to be sarcastic at times. Especially, today.

      We live in a conspiracy theory universe, that feeds paranoia and does nothing but help maintain the status quo.

      My greatest fear is that our People have been so completely inundated with crap, that any real consensus among US is impossible.

      This so-called scandal is just one more part of a desperate attempt by the GOP to salvage their election prospects for 2016. Bad enough that the US Supreme Court of today is not much different than the Taney Court in the years leading up to the Civil War. Dred Scott v. Sanford.

      If for no other reason Universal Healthcare is mandated, because our fighting men and women deserve the best care in the world for their sacrifice.

      It wouldn't hurt if Cheney and his so-called corporate cronies got off their butts and established a real sense of accountability as to when and where the US Military needs to be used.

      Afghanistan was where the focus of 9/11 needed to be placed, period. Going after the oil in Iraq was pure sham.

      But, it does clearly establish just how focused the rich and powerful are on maintaining their wealth and power.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Mrs Nuland works in the state dept. She is married to Robert Kagan, of Project for New American Century--neo-con organization that called for regime change in Iraq. Bush's adm was loaded with them.

      "Victoria "F*ck The EU" Nuland, who was plotting to get 'Yats' into government, whose husband is neocon Robert Kagan, worked for and was appointed by Dick Cheney. What is a Cheney appointee like Victoria Nuland doing still being Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, under a Democratic administration? In a State Department run by Hillary Clinton? - See more at:

      Two sides every story:

      2. They are under threat now. Kieve military killed protestors....I'm sure pro-Russians are being targeted for death. forces WE support.

      Just as WE sent in the trouble makers to begin with. Same in Syria, Egypt, Ukraine before etc etc etc.

      It's a Global Gladio, IMO. Fascist coups everywhere you look.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      @Auther, I thought "mochers" looked wrong and spell check didn't help. In any case, the comment was a sarcastic view of what I think the Right's response would be. Sorry if I confused you. (I use sarcasm a lot)

      @Love, who is Ms Nuland? In any case, I think you are wrong on two counts.

      1. There is serious question as to how "duly" elected the ousted leader was, he was about as freely elected as Hitler was. The U.S. had little, if any, input into his departure; if any foreign power did, it would be Europe for it was their interests that were being hurt.

      2. The Crimea was not given to the Ukraine as "spoils of war". It was given to them,for whatever reason, when they were a Soviet satellite state by N. Krushev in the 1950s. The Russian-speaking Ukrainians (which barely make up a majority of the Crimea, btw) were never under any threat other than that concocted by the Russian-propaganda machine and the separatists agitators. The people who are now under true threat of harm are the Ukrainians and Tartars (who had been all but annihilated by the Russians for siding with the Germans) living in the Crimea.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA


      "GOP plan for the VA:

      1) Fire Shinseki

      2) Filibuster his replacement

      3) Blame Democrats for inaction in fixing the problem"

      "When will the GOP take ownership of the chronic underfunding of the VA? What do they think caused officials to shift the books?"


      They JUST rejected Sanders bill......"can't afford it" "deficit".

      Hey America: you get what you pay for. You don't want to pay for anything! So this is what you get.

      well, actually-----they do love spending money ON wars. Just not the aftermath.

      Kind of like eating candy all day, not caring that your teeth will rot out.

      Candy: yum yum

      Rotten teeth: Not my fault!

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I heard it on Diane Reem show. This on internet:

      “Giving bonuses to hospital directors for running a system that places priority on gaming the system and keeping their (wait list) numbers down – rather than provide care to veterans – must come to an end,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

      Murray said reports of problems at the VA were not new.

      “It’s extremely disappointing that the department has repeatedly failed to address wait times for health care,” she said, citing congressional, inspector general and other investigations dating back to 2000."


      It only becomes a scandal when press says so.

      And boy they are saying so. Playing like violins.

      Why, even Montell Williams was on Fox screaming like a pitbull.

      But hey: didn't you have a talk show in 2001? 2002? 2003? 2004? 2005?......

      Oh yes...the evil Obama and evil Dems must all go.

      You must vote the Republicans in--who always care about vets. They are the military party, and Cheney himself said Obama is weak --on Fox.

      Weakest prez we ever had.

      So there you go.

      The fact that the scandal was ongoing under Bushco means nothing.

      The fact that Cheney Bush Rush Rumsfeld Hannity et al never served, but Shinseki did gives them credence to bash him, while saying Dems don't respect veterans.

      USA USA USA....what's next, Patriots ?

      Ohhhhhhhhh Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. Hehehe

      we luv our soldiers so much!!

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      For a minute there I thought we understood each other, but the idea that Social Security is for moochers is nonsense.

      That was a protection put in place as a result of the abuses of Corporate America during the Depression.

      Just what about the abuses of Corporate America has changed that would allow for Social Security recipients to be considered moochers??

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I wish I could agree with you about the 2014 assessment, but I don't. It isn't that the Right won't ride this as hard as they can, but they run the risk of going to far in trying to win the election on the backs of veterans.

      You have a GREAT point about McCain who is lambasting Obama for this.

      I haven't seen any reports that go back before 2005, was it isolated to AZ? As I remember it, Clinton had actually repaired all the damage Reagan did to the VA system and turned it into a respected operation.

      My wife reminded me there is as big a scandal in the wings which will probably remain there because it involves civilian seniors and the disabled. That is the huge back-log of Social Security disability claims; my sister-in-lay lost her house and went bankrupt because of the processing delay. But these are muchers on society and deserve no help even though she contributed to Social Security most of her life.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA


      Seems this problem goes back even to 2000. Real bad abuser appears to be the Phoenix VA office.

      Seems that there was outrage and complaints even back then.......

      Now who reps the people there? McCain, isn't it?

      Or does it just fall on prez...would have been Bush then, right?

      But of course, it wasn't Bush's fault, nor was it a scandal.

      And did McCain have any responsibility in this?

      Or can he just now claim Shinseki must go? How about him? Shouldn't he go? Shouldn't Bush VA head have? Shouldn't every member of congress who ignored complaints? How about that Rumsfeld, who sent kids into battle without vests? Shouldn't Bush have been plagued with this scandal?

      And of course, the fact that we went to Iraq in the 1st place......shouldn't that have been a scandal? Nope....just an honest mistake.

      I see what this is about.....2014 and 2016.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Here's the vote list for Sanders bill...interesting..purely party line. Except for 2 R's.---it was dems yes, reps no.


      This is the bill the R's tried to attach the Iran sanctions amendment to.

      Again: who do these people work for?

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Sure, but he will be fired, and they will go on......those of them that have been there for the whole time.

      Pointing their scabby fingers now.

      Same ones who just recently voted down Sanders bill to provide more for vets.

      Absolving themselves...and we absolving ourselves because USA USA USA.

      Shinseki and Obama will take the fall for all of it.

      And Tea Bag R's will get the senate and take us to Iran, where yet more vets can have the priviledge of standing in line.


      Hypocrits, the lot of us.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You have that about right, except that I have to keep asking myself that why, given that many of those 18 reports and whistleblowing occurred on Bush's watch and were known to Shinseki when he became Secretary six years ago; it was also known to the Congressional oversight committees. Why didn't he/they do something about it?

      It is clear to me he did not. I don't think it was out of malice or not caring, but I am becoming convinced it is because he doesn't know how to manage a civilian agency. There is no excuse for Congress, of course.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Watching Maddow. This wait list "scandal" has been ongoing since 05. IG testified 18 times about it to congress between 05 and 07. Numerous whistleblowers and people angry and speaking out since then. The REASON for the backlog and wait-list? The Iraq/Afghan wars.

      They were not and are not prepared for the huge amount of returning vets.

      So now, Shinseki will be the sacrificial lamb.

      Obama will fall on his sword.

      The RW'rs will condemn and point fingers at rotten Obama and rotten Dems.

      And their 8 years of ignoring it and their policy that caused it will be forgotten as sands of time.

      It sickens me to my core.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I was not trying to suggest that Bin Laden was singled out by the CIA, just that CIA operations include training. In other words he learned what he learned from us. Like playing both sides of the game in Iraq. Support Saddam Hussein against Iran, and then take him out.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      He didn't invade! WE removed a duly elected leader. Mrs Nuland did, to be exact. From what I read, Putin had to protect the Russians there, who had always felt like outsiders, since their territory was given away as a spoil of war. We sent in killers and mercenaries to Ukraine,,,just like we are doing in Syria-IMO.

      WE are not the good guy!

      We support the PNAC agenda of Judeo-Christian World Domination.

      And I don't like it--nor do I pledge to it--nor is it in this country's interest.


    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Let me add to the above that since we did have CIA operatives in or near Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, could they have met up with bin Laden? I suppose so, but did they single him out to help above all other natural Afghan resistance leaders, I rather doubt it; that would have been very bad politics.

      And @Love, don't you agree that if Putin had kept his politics and Army inside the Russian borders and not invaded the Ukraine, we wouldn't be involved the way we are?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I had this nice hub-length reply, but shortened it to address your and @Lovemychris' first assertion about bin Laden; I'll put the rest in latter. But let me say that I agree and disagree with many or your points.

      Actually, the CIA-bin Laden connection is a myth. Yes, America supplied money and arms to the Afghan mujahideen in their opposition to the Soviet-Taliban take-over of Afghanistan. Bin Laden, as part of the foreign mujahideen contingent , received the same assistance. According to quotes from bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri (in his book "Knights Under the Prophet's Banner"), however, they give no credit to America for their success in spite of bin Laden's comment to Larry King where he thank America for its help.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I don't know.....his family always did business w the Bush's. Reagan was big with the sheiks. And there were many reports that Bin Laden was being treated in US Dubai, and Washington--on the floor used only for presidents and big-wigs in gvt.

      I know they painted him as "the rogue son who went radical"....but then they had all these fake videos of fake Bin Ladens, so who knows what to believe?

      And it has been my experience since 9/11 that the targets of our hatred and fear are Muslims.....which is why Bibi said 9/11 was good for Israel.

      This foray into Russia I don't get: but RMoney sure knew about it, didn't he?

      And Gen Patreus was at a Bilderburger meeting....odd if you ask me.

      Now we have Brezinski--a known Russia-hater....for eons: telling us Ukraine deserves our support.

      And they are still assisting to oust Assad.

      How does any of this benefit the people of the USA, who are PAYING for it?

      And which of these leaders attacked us?

      To whose benefit are all these machinations?

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Bin Laden was trained by the CIA, that does not make him an ally.

      My Esoteric:

      I think we see American military history in a similar light. And, I like the idea that the World War II mentality is fading, but I don't see it as over.

      Fools like Cheney still pursue the fear of communism and/or socialism to justify continued military aggression. Posturing us from a position of weakness when no such weakness exists.

      We have the power to destroy a city or an entire country in a matter of hours. And, as Clancy pointed out from the Russian perspective in the movie from his book, The Sum of All Fears", we clearly used that power against Japan. Right or wrong.

      That can be said to justify Russian fears even today. Right or wrong.

      My point is that they were our ally during WWII. Without their support from the East, the D-Day invasion could just as easily have been a disaster.

      To not have included them in the Manhattan Project was in my view a mistake. Just like underhandedly trying to sneak missiles into Cuba was a mistake.

      Kennedy was right to focus on mending fences during the Cold War, but unfortunately the World War II mentality won out, and is still winning.

      As for the Middle East. We helped install the Shah of Iran against the will of their People. We used Saddam Hussein against Iran without understanding the backlash that has been created as a result. So, the Great Satan is not exactly an unfair analysis of our conduct.

      Having said all this, my greatest fear is that an American city will suffer the fate of Hiroshima. Right or wrong. And, I see the World War II mentality over reacting.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      We certainly do.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Hate to tell you, but we'll be defending ourselves from Israel.

      They are the ones wiping people off the earth...ala Palestine.

      They spy on us--so much so that people in our gvt are shocked.

      They get all of NSA raw data, and have so completely mind-washed us that we don't even get mad at them! But whoa onto our own presidents....

      Bin Laden was our ally--he worked for the CIA.

      Mossad did 9/11, and as Bibi said; it was "good for Israel", cause now people would have sympathy for them.....increase monetary aid, increase military aide....while our people have austerity thrown on them for no reason at all.

      You see--we have much different world views.

      And I don't see us as a force for good as long as we ally with neo-con Zionists of any creed.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Because you have bad people in the world, from some asshole down the block to a bin Laden; its a fact of life that won't go away.

      There has been only one country in history who, when it had the opportunity and capability, didn't actually seek true world domination in the since of conquering it, and that is America. Granted, there were a few times we tried to go beyond our borders through conquest, and no, we did not conquer Hawaii or Alaska, although I think we picked up Puerto Rico in the Spanish American war, which we started. American imperialism essentially stopped when we massacred most of the Native Americans and got to the Pacific Ocean.

      No other world leader throughout history has had the same control.

      To live, America needs resources and it needs access to resources, it cannot produce all that it needs. Therefore it is in America's national interest to insure we have access to those resources and international routes. Simply because an adversary is 5,000 miles away doesn't mean they don't threaten you in a major way; bin Ladin was 12,000 miles away, or something like that.

      Why doesn't all of Europe, North America, most of Central and South America, a reasonable portion of Africa, all of India, Israel, most of the remaining Mediterranean countries, most of southwest Asia, Australia and New Zealand see us as a Great Satan? Most of those countries, while zealously holding on to their sovereignty nevertheless look to America for leadership which we given at least 50% of the time throughout history and always when the need was greatest.

      Why do they look? I think for two reasons; one is we do have the power to influence the world if we so choose and 2) they understand that fundamentally, America wants to do the right thing, although that is often hard to see many times because we let our own self-interest get too much in the way sometimes. Often, when we think of the good for others rather than just for ourselves, we end up doing even more good for ourselves than we might have otherwise.

      Which is why we would want to take an interest in a far-away place like Ukraine. Not only for the pure altruism of helping a people to be free to determine their own course, it is very beneficial to American political and economic interests to have Ukraine on our side rather than Russia's, now that Putin has gone on the offensive to recreate the Soviet Empire again.

      As to why it is our national interest to stop Iran from getting "the bomb"? The simple answer is I don't want America to go to war in the Middle East to defend Israel when the Arab world believes it now has the power to wipe the Jews of the face of the map, a la Hitler.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Why should anyone's security be threatened, that's what I want to know.

      You don't see Sweden involved in wars.....nor many other countries on this planet.

      Maybe we ask for it by our actions.

      Maybe no one gives a dam if we're "free".

      We have been The Great Satan for a long time.....perhaps we should ask ourselves why.

      And can one person tell me how Iran threatens our national security?

      Or Russia, for that matter?

      Who has threatened us that we need to put on war mask?

      It's about resources......and who gets to control it.

      How many regime changes have we helped recently?

      And "we" is not the American people. No one asked me if I wanted to oust Ukraine president. Mrs Kagan decided that.

      Ole Brezinski said "all people have the right to fight back against military aggression"....Just not Palestinians, I guess.

      I don't buy any of it.

      And I'm not on the side of my country if it supports the Neo-Con agenda. Period.

      Like I said: No one asked me.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I have to agree and disagree. At the most fundamental level, I am not that jaded about our military and its use and I try to be pragmatic about most things.

      The MIC has always existed, not since Eisenhower declared it to be so, but since the Revolutionary War, at least is America is concerned. But because America refused to keep a standing Army or prepare for the next inevitable war, two things happened; 1) the MIC went into remission and 2) 100,000s to a few million young American's died needlessly in the first year or so of the next conflict because they weren't trained or equipped to fight it.

      Since WW II that hasn't been quite true, but Congress and the military still did three things wrong; 1) while finally keeping a standing Army Congress didn't provide the funding to keep it large enough, 2) the men (at that time) who were so supposed to quickly fill their ranks from the National Guard and Reserve were very poorly trained, and 3) the military stupidly refused to plan and organize for the next war, again costing 1) many thousands of wasted young lives, 2) one war (Vietnam), and 3) billions of wasted Treasure in trying to catch up (in Vietnam, they never did get it; it wasn't until Obama-Iraq did the General Staff finally understand WW II was over (I worked in that culture from 1983 - 2008))

      I think the flailing at the MIC is misdirected for to have an effective military, it must exist; you have no military without it. The issue is getting the Congressional politics and the ever present corruption, think Civil War shoe contracts, out of it (I use to brief Darleen Druyun, Google her, before she retired and went to jail)

      I absolutely think the universal draft (one you can't buy your way out of) should be brought back, in concert with the All Voluntary Army (minus the ALL). In addition, the National Guard and Reserve should continue to train at the high readiness level they finally got to when I retired active participation in 1995 rather than the weekend vacations they were when I left active service and joined the Guard in 1975.

      The one and only purpose of the military is to destroy in the most horrific and effective manner possible in order to, as quickly as possible, defeat who ever threatens America's national security. Anything less leads to wars like Vietnam and Iraq (which should not have even been fought) and the loss on 1000s of extra lives that should not have been lost. The military is not and should not be organized to fix things, it makes them schizophrenic.

      If you want to fix things, send in the Peace Corp (which ought to be an option for a person who is drafted). If you want to nation build, then create an organization designed to that (a combination of Peace Corp, police, FBI, CIA, Army Special Forces, and some military for protection), for the skills needed are well beyond those possessed or should be possessed by our military.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Gen Smedley Butler said it: War is a racket. "I didn't fight for freedom, I fought to put money in GE's pocket."(paraphrase) Remember--some of those soldiers in Vietnam came home in body bags stuffed with heroine.---hello, Afghan war! (imo,imo,imo)

      My uncle went, got shot, sent home....he said if the politicians ever got us into another war, he'd take his sons to questions asked.

      Of course, any time I ever mention that on blogs: here come the "Your uncle is a traitor, a coward, anti-American....."blah, blah,blah

      After a while--you become numb to these comments, and numb to your fellow Americans.

      And this war by drones and robots is no better.

      Get the robotics out.....bring back the provisions for anybody to skip out: women and upper class included.......BOOM!

      No More War.

      ....but then: no more MIC.

      And we all know that is a huge mountain to disassemble.

      Put the military to use FIXING thing! All over the world.

      WHY is it we destroy, rather than fix?

      What ego is that?

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      My father was stationed in Thailand in 69 and 70. He had a heart attack. Spent three months or so in Clark AFB, and then came home aboard a C-141 Starlifter, designated MED/VAC.

      I had never seen him vulnerable like that. And it should have been the point where he changed his life, but he chose continue to drink over all else.

      But it was what I saw that day and every day I spent at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver that shaped my understanding of War. Young men not much older than me, in various degrees of maimed.

      One arm, no arms, one leg, no legs, one arm and one leg, no arms and no legs. A guy being carried off the plane behind my father who was wrapped like a mummy and wired such that his arms and fingers were extended in front of him so that nothing could make contact with anything else. No doubt a burn victim of some sort.

      I am a big man and did not want to be a target and risk ending up like one of them. So, as a senior in high school in 1973, I joined the Navy. I figured that I would rather have a ship shot out from under me and drown.

      Ironically, the peace agreement was signed in Paris that March and the draft was formally ended. I would never have been drafted anyway.

      I turned 18 in October of 1972. I was allowed to vote that following March thanks to the 26th Amendment becoming law. I voted for Nixon. When he got himself kicked out of office I began to see my country and my parents as hypocrites, and I did not vote again until 1988. I have never voted Republican since 1972, but I am not a Democrat.

      Over the course of time I have learned to understand the law and the Constitution and I see the Obama Presidency as "All Men are Created Equal" as slowly but surely coming to fruition.

      The VA scandal is not about just our elected officials, it's about Corporate America still having the buying power to effectively divide public opinion against itself. It's the business of shaping public opinion and keep any sense of major consensus from ever seeing the light of day. Consensus can change the world division maintains the status quo.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Impeach Democrats. That's what they learned.

      Gulf War Syndrome

      Soldier electrocuted in shower from shoddy work by KBR

      Private Mercenary soldiers earning $90.00 and hr...while vets need food stamps

      Sticking Iran sanctions in VA bill!!

      Stupid Fat Head questioning soldiers "loyalty"--when they lost limbs in war. (Duckworth) Members of gvt calling veterans cowards (Murtha, Cleland).....

      Because they won't consent to needless war.

      It's sickening.

      And anyone who believes they care about vets is an idiot. They care about war and power. IMO

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      All I am saying is that Corporate America focused their attention on benefiting from privatizing major logistical support aspects of the military. With one exception, the VA.

      Why wasn't is modernized along with everything else, military?

      When Reagan cut Corporate America's taxes and then went on a major military spending spree, that spending did not include caring for our veterans. But has effectively bankrupted the federal and state budgets with no tax increases to compensate.

      FDR spent like crazy, but he taxed effectively to meet the spending.

      Agent Orange legislation should come to mind as to how our Vietnam veterans were dealt with. Oh, let us pretend that issues associated with Agent Orange don't exist. There was a major denial of benefits as a result.

      The DEA was created because Nixon was paranoid that drug use among American soldiers in Vietnam was a communist conspiracy.

      Vietnam War veterans took the brunt of abuse associated with protests of that war, as a result.

      A war that was seen from the enemies side as an end to colonialism. Even JFK understood that.

      And last but not least, every Republican Administration since Nixon has hosted the same dubious cast of characters, to include both Cheney and Rumsfeld.

      Just what were the lessons of Watergate, when the mentality associated with government abuse was not eliminated from subsequent Republican Administrations?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      The fact that VA care is single-payer has nothing to do with the quality of care they are getting and has much more to do with the lack of Caring by Congress and the Executive Branch.

      It is easy to point to many for-profit hospitals and doctors who unconscionably kill their patients, in larger numbers (with no one complaining except that they sue too much) as well through lack of hygiene, ineptitude, or lack of Caring on their part as well.

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I am old enough to remember how things were in the military before corporations sunk their teeth into all that cash and privatized most of it.

      Universal Healthcare would solve veterans issues in no uncertain terms. It is pure non-sense to ascribe socialism to benefits veterans have more than just earned...some have died for. And, the rest of America is no less deserving.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Now, I like that last idea!

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 3 years ago from Colorado Springs

      My suggestion to this crisis is very simple.

      Corporations have very effectively entrenched themselves into all logistical aspects of the military going back to the end of WWII.

      They are now as much a part of the political and legislative process as all of Congress and the President put together without the accountability that comes with that process.

      Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Complex.

      Stop payment on all military contracts until Corporate America updates the VA with the same zeal they use to avoid paying their fair share of the tax burden!!!!

      In other words, stop playing politics with the lives of those who protect and serve.

      Or, make Dick Cheney and all Corporate America's CEOs do the fighting for us in the next global conflict that lines their war profiteering pockets.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      While Gen Shinseki was a well respected, if not outstanding soldier, leader, and commander, I fear civilian life was too much for him; it is extremely hard to switch cultures on a dime and Shinseki had to.

      Having said that, while I am still trying to keep an open mind about him, it is quickly closing as more revelations come out that point directly at his personal failures as a senior executive. Specifically is the prior warnings he had that this problem existed from the day he took over and that his actions to take care of it were failing in a report 3 years later. Frankly speaking, these "lists" were known about by Shinseki long before CNN released their story and he should have eliminated them and disciplined those responsible.

      This may not have solved the wait time problem, but it would have removed taken that part of the "scandal" off the table. If the wait time was a money issue, he could have used that to pressure Republicans to release more funds to the VA to acquire the resources to solve it.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Yes, and I thought it was so right of Obama to nominate Shinseki--after what he went through under Rumsfeld.

      I think they do want to do the right thing, and I hope we give them a chance.

      Shinseki had tours in Vietnam and has 2 purple hearts.....he's a soldier at heart, and so was Obama's grandfather.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I appreciate your thoughts @Lovemychris, and wish I had included your examples in the body of my hub, they are here now, for I agree with them very much. I don't think, however, that this scandal "should" bring down Obama, but I do think, if he doesn't handle it honestly and forthright, it "could" do so. Keep in mind that the extreme of any political group, Right or Left, are grandmasters at propaganda; truth is an inconvenience that must be ignored if it gets in the way of the message. As you work toward the political center, truth actually begins to matter and they make terrible propagandists, that is why the Democrats, as a whole, are in the minors when compared to the Conservatives today (once upon a time, the situation use to be reversed, but not today).

      I heard a caller to a radio program this morning wondering when the nation is going to take Obama to task for this scandal because "things are much worse than they use to be". I could only laugh because this guy bought into the Conservative propaganda machine. As to this problem, things are about the same (which is the scandal), but the VA as a whole is in much better shape than it was under Bush. Just in budget alone, Obama has increased VA funding more than 30% in and environment that wanted him to decrease it; while Bush had about the same % increase, except his environment was "spend-baby-spend".

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Forgot to not paying those benefits, the military saved billions of $.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Lets see if something is done about it.....and it's too late for those who have died. But I have big doubts. The man who found Saddam was denied benefits...because "they didn't have proof he had served"--even tho they had given him commendation plaques for his service! You see--the US military denied 220,500 vets treatment for injuries, ptsd, etc by saying they were "pre-existing conditions".

      I saw the video of this, and was outraged....shared it everywhere I could, blabbed and blabbed.......The response was eh---"you just hate Bush"

      Remember the horrid condition of Walter Reed?

      it made 60 minutes, and then, eh.

      You see--all the outrage and disbelief and absolute horror that was felt about these things was minimized, laughed at....and met with vitriolic anger about our un-Americanism.

      So, when you say this should bring Obama down....and the Dems with him, it just fills me with such despair.

      No one has been better to vets than Dems....against the staunch blocking by R' can look that up.

      And now----NOW this will be a "scandal" to bring down the Dems?

      What will you be left with?