Next VA Secretary? 84 Percent Veterans Prefer Jeff Miller To Scott Brown

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Jeff Miller Scott Brown VA Secretary

One interim survey revealed 84 percent of veterans prefer Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) over one-term Senator and retired Army Guard JAG Scott Brown (R-MA).

House Committee on Veterans Affairs (HVAC) Chairman Jeff Miller was long believed the favorite for taking over the top job at the Department of Veterans Affairs under President-Elect Donald J. Trump.

On Friday, reports surfaced that former Senator Scott Brown was also being considered for the position. Those were joined by quiet rumors that Mitt Romney is also being considered for the slot, but this seems unlikely given his consideration for Secretary of State.

Sunday, I created an interim survey of veterans on social media to get the conversation started in veteran circles at a grass roots level. My goal was to not only see what veterans think but to also pull our voices into the conversation.

RELATED: About Scott Brown

RELATED: About Jeff Miller

Rather than allow just bureaucrats and DC insiders to push and pull on this vital choice, it makes the most sense to see what veterans think about these two choices. So I wanted to start doing that – – first on social media and then today on the website.

While my assessment is not complete, we can at least discern that veterans likely prefer Miller over Brown in part because most do not know anything about Brown.

[see new poll at bottom of article]

Interim Results Summary

By and large, veterans knew little about Scott Brown while seeming confident that Miller would do a better job given his experience as head of HVAC and strong position against agency corruption. But the feedback was not all roses for Chairman Miller. Some veterans questioned his ability to really get things done and called for an outsider like Allen West.

My Take

VA Secretary Jeff Miller

Personally, I would like to see Jeff Miller get his hands dirty after spending the past six years blasting VA from Congress. He knows the names of the scoundrels and would hopefully put an end to some of the accountability problems within the agency.

He also has a close relationship with the Committee, which I think might increase opportunities for greater deal-making between the Executive Branch and Congress.

Now, I was disappointed by the Committee’s inability to pass legislation that improved on presently lax accountability laws. There is no question more needs to be done, and perhaps within the agency, and Miller could push back against poor union rules that protect bad workers.

But we will need to wait and see if Miller as VA Secretary could successfully navigate those murky waters.

VA Secretary Scott Brown

Brown, on the other hand, is a career Army Guard Judges Advocate (JAG) who spent some time in local politics but did not have a lengthy career at the federal level.

He replaced the last Sen. Ted Kennedy for three years but was unsuccessful at landing a seat when he moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire in a later Senate bid.

Direct Feedback From Veteran Policy Community

I also reached out to a few policy experts familiar with grass roots issues veterans have been facing for the past few years. These folks have their finger on the pulse of veterans’ sentiment of the majority of veterans who voted for Trump this election cycle.

Chris Neiweem

“Both are strong considerations,” said Iraq war veteran and policy analyst Chris Neiweem. “Of the two proposed candidates, I strongly prefer Jeff Miller based on his proven substantives experience working on veterans issues during his tenure as House VA Committee Chairman.

Neiweem continued, “I have found his engagement to be thorough, passionate, and effective. He is the right candidate to solve the very real problems at VA today.”

Brandon Coleman

Brandon Coleman, a well-known VA whistleblower, had this to say:

“I do like that Scott Brown is talking about using private providers to give mental health treatment because the VA has failed horribly in this area and their failure has resulted in the deaths and suicides of countless untold veterans.

“But I will say Jeff Miller has been a bulldog. He knows how purely evil management at the VA is because they have continued to lie to his face or plead the 5th during his hearings on the subject.

“Whoever President-Elect Trump chooses, I hope he will use outspoken whistleblowers like myself who risked all to continue to tell the truth.”

Veterans Voices On VA Secretary Selection

“I think Scott Brown would be the same old,” said female veteran Christine Totten-Dunn. “Miller would do a better job.”

Another veteran, Sandy Linden, said, “I like Jeff Miller.” He seems to have set a tone for not covering up the dysfunction of the VA.” She continued, “He calls them out for excuses and ongoing poor healthcare and ridiculous benefits system that works against the vet.”

One veteran who would pick Brown over Miller said, “Wow, stuck with these two? I’d be leery of Miller. I wouldn’t want anyone who has been there in the past ten years involved. I’d go with Brown over Miller.” That came from one of the curators of the popular PTSD awareness Facebook pages called Peter the PTSD Penguin.

Some veterans thought both choices were unacceptable. Steve Harrison said, “I pick neither! I don’t want to continue to have the VA in between me and my freedom to choose wherever I want to go for treatment. It’s healthcare on a budget v.s. healthcare for profit. Which one do you think would take better care of all of us?”

VA Is Lying Facebook Group

Veterans on the infamous VA Is Lying Facebook group said:

Ronald Wayne Childers – “JEFF HAS BEEN FIGHTING ALL ALONG. HE KNOWS THE PROBLEM.”

Gordon Bergelson – “Jeff Miller is a known and certainly understands the VA’s problems. I really don’t know anything about Scott Brown.”

Michael Stinfer – “Jeff is a man of words and a critic, not one of action. We need someone as far a way from D.C. as possible.”

Ronald Wayne Childers – “We need someone who comes in and tells all at-will employees he needs a letter of resignation on his desk in 5 minutes and THEN does a review of their actions in office…. Jeff is quite capable of doing that.”

Linda Terry – “I don’t even know who these people are.”

Main Stream Press On Next VA Secretary

On Jeff Miller

New York Times covered the possible selection of Jeff Miller in its article, Under Donald Trump, Harsh Critic of V.A. May Become Its Leader. There, the Times highlighted Miller’s sharp attack against accountability failures but also cited VA insiders who say “most people really like the V.A. The care is very good.”

Here is a telling excerpt:

Leading the House veterans committee, Mr. Miller has pounded on the department, holding many more hearings than his Senate counterpart and accusing the agency of a “rampant lack of accountability.”

His sometimes tense hearings have focused on failings of the agency’s 1,200 health care facilities, including long wait times, overuse of opiates, unsanitary conditions, and executives who dodged discipline and collected bonuses even as scandals unfolded.

Many V.A. employees and veterans acknowledged the system’s problems, but they said critics were cherry-picking negative stories that mischaracterized a health care system that studies had shown was as good as or better than private care.

“The rhetoric does not match up with the reality,” said Dr. Kenneth Kizer, a former under secretary for health at the V.A. who now works for the University of California, Davis, Health System. “There are problems, and you can’t ignore that, but most people really like the V.A. The care is very good.”

Mr. Miller introduced bills making it easier to fire executives, but the measures languished in the Senate after being passed by the House. Disheartened by a lack of progress in Washington, Mr. Miller, 57, announced last spring that he would not seek re-election in his solidly Republican district in the Florida panhandle.

In April, he became one of the first members of Congress to support Mr. Trump, calling him “the only person who has what it takes to shake up the status quo and entrenched bureaucrats in Washington.” He added, “I am more and more convinced that he has the ability to reach in and right the wrongs in the Department of Veterans Affairs once and for all.”

On Scott Brown

The New York Post covered the possible selection of Scott Brown just before the weekend. Its article titled, Trump team eyes Scott Brown for Veterans Affairs secretary, the possible nominee’s relationship with Mike Pence was highlighted.

Brown indicated he would accept the position if selected in part because, “The VA is in trouble. Soldiers are dying while waiting, employee morale is low and it needs to be fixed.”

Brown added, “Having served for 35 years in military, last 4 years at Pentagon, serving on Armed Services, Veterans and working on these issues for decades, it would be a great challenge to fix and a great honor to serve if asked. Time will tell.”

Here is an excerpt from the Post:

Trump went on to win the New Hampshire primary — and the Republican nomination.

Brown helped Trump by handing over his fundraising lists from his Senate campaigns, a source said.

And Brown has grown close to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is currently leading the Trump transition team, another source said.

Getting Senate confirmation for Brown would likely not be a problem.

“Sen. Brown has a deep concern for military men and women and a commitment to addressing their needs,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told The Boston Herald this week.

“With 35 years in the National Guard and having served on the Senate Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees, he would be an excellent choice to run the VA,” he added.

Others in contention for the VA secretary slot include Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate.

Trump made reforming the VA bureaucracy a key element of his presidential campaign.

In comparing the two positions, it is interesting to note Brown highlights veterans’ struggles with the wait list but also highlights the low morale of VA employees. Does this strike you as strange, as though somehow the workers of the agency deserve equal consideration to the veterans the agency is supposed to serve?

This statement alone, which appears to be a couched statement made for the benefit of union employees raised my concerns about his consideration. Immediately, Brown seems focused on the wrong population and reinforces the bias where veterans believe many of the agency’s union employees believe the veterans are the problem with VA.

Now go back to read the excerpt for Chairman Miller. Did you see any statement from Miller where he discusses his concerns about the feelings of VA employees at work?

Honestly, this reminds me of my summer conversation with VA Secretary Bob McDonald. He was supremely worried about the feelings of his employees in a way that at times seemed obsessive and obnoxious.

Beyond this issue, the NY Post article highlights that Brown gave Trump’s campaign access to his New Hampshire supporters list. I would be disappointed if Trump made this selection merely based on Brown’s contribution to his campaign’s success in New Hampshire. Brown needs to have more that he brings to the table than a list of donors.

The future of the Department of Veterans Affairs and our benefits deserves deeper consideration, and I pray we get it.

On Mitt Romney

I do not consider Mitt Romney a serious candidate for VA Secretary. He never served and he had little to no involvement in veteran causes over the past few years.

In my mind, this makes either Miller or Brown a superior candidate.

Nonetheless, his name was circulated by Townhall in its article, Trump Should Hire Turnaround Specialist Mitt Romney to Fix the VA.

According to writer Guy Benson:

“To his credit, Donald Trump made improved treatment of our veterans a centerpiece theme of his campaign since day one. The VA is a big, bloated, dysfunctional entity that is failing far too many people in very damaging ways. Mitt Romney is a widely-renowned turnaround artist whose calling card is hyper-competence.  He’s a patriot and a gifted, savvy technocrat who fixes things. This has been true of the businesses he rescued, as well as his extraordinary work saving the 2002 Winter Olympics. Because of its enduring failings, the VA doesn’t simply need to be run or presided over by someone. It needs root-and-branch reform and repair through excellent, focused management. Mitt Romney would be an exceptional choice to lead that effort. I hope the president-elect considers this as an option, and the two men discuss it on Sunday.”

Donald Trump, if you or your pundits happen to read this, do not select Mitt Romney for this role, because most veterans would see his selection as a slap in the face.

We largely believe whoever comes in to run that agency must be intimately familiar with the veteran experience, either as a veteran or one who works closely with the community.

Mitt Romney is neither.

Speculation On Romney / Brown Consideration

Scott Brown Mitt Romney Donald Trump

Though it is interesting to see numerous photographs with Romney and Brown throughout various election photo ops in the past making me wonder why the Romney / Brown alternative to Miller was presented.

[In a quick Google search, I was able to pull up numerous photos of the two that I posted above with one Trump – Brown photo that snuck in there.]

There are certainly more qualified candidates for the position than either Brown or Romney. The Miller option seemed to be a lock since Miller first stood beside Trump in support of the candidate many months ago.

But now these alternatives are being presented.

Where is the interest coming from and why? Is it being put forth by AFGE Union operatives with the goal of evading accountability under Miller? Why are both Romney and Brown being circulated for VA Secretary suddenly?

Do they have a connection from Massachusetts? Romney was the governor there and Brown was a Senator.

While this is pure speculation, the questions need to be considered.

Your Take?

Be sure to take the quick survey above. I will report on the results and even send them to Trump if he has yet to make his decision by the time I conclude the survey.

If you are passionate about the outcome of this selection, please share this post on social media to as many people as possible.

Please take 20 seconds to answer the 4 questions below for the poll I created for this article. Once you click “Send” you will be able to see the results.

Then sound off below to let other readers know your thoughts.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I feel Rep. Miller is the best choice out of the three so far. What needs to be done first and foremost, is the AFGE needs to be GONE! Get them out of the VA completely. Just as President Reagan did with the Air traffic controllers union. The B/S they have spewed about their dues paying members and veterans is abhorrent, to say the least! If David “little” Cox were to threaten the next Secretary of VA, as he did to McDonald, will charges be brought? I doubt it very seriously! I feel IF the next Secretary of VA were… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
I want to add. IF a VA employee breaks ANY laws, (federal, state, county or city), they need to be FIRED!

Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson
Yes, I prefer Jeff Miller over the other individuals. As mentioned previously in the message that I am replying to, I do agree we the vets need a leader who will take no crap and totally stand up for the rules be followed. I am speaking about accountability, quality health care in VHA and quality educational retraining programs in VBA. We need a leader and I had rather call this leader a Five Star CEO to REVAMP the veterans affairs. It was mentioned previously in message about hiring a prior Drill Sergeant. I agree with this. I like Allen West.… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
Hands-down, Rep. Jeff Miller. He knows what lies where in the need to be drained swamp. If he’s all talk with a limp stick, you’re fired! Let me say this, I would gladly take my Maine Coon Cat as VA Secretary before allowing Mitt Romney anywhere near it. Romney is part of the establishment in that he’s one big political slut…$lut. Also, although I DO prefer that whomever is made VA Secretary has some military service experience, I feel Miller at least has hands-on experience attempting to wrangle the hungry, hungry hippos from the need to be drained swamp, making… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Oh…Scott Brown is like a Mitt Romney in better clothes but if push came to shove, I still would take Brown over Romney any day but still prefer my cat for VA Secretary. Catnip for all Vets!!!! Legal catnip. 🙂

Lem
Lem
Take it from me. I have experience with three VA contract mental health providers which occurred because of VA shortages. All three were worse than the VA psychiatrists. And one was an inpatient suicide prevention provider. They are not Beverly Hills providers. They are government contractors which means even less supervision than the VA. If you write to OIG your response is essentially use the courts to get redress. We have no authority. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET AN UPSCALE PSYCHIATRIST ON A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT. SAME WITH CHOICE. YOU ARE WORSE OFF THAN MEDICARE RECIPIENTS.
namnibor
namnibor

Actually, Medicare is leaps and bounds better than VA Healthcare. I know because I jumped ship to Medicare only 9 years ago and never looked back. Perfect? Hardly, but what is? But I definitely feel safer with my healthcare specialists than any VA witch Dr.

namnibor
namnibor

FYI– Not everything is rosy with private Mental Healthcare either…because quite a few have research/training connections with…the VA. The VA corrupts all it gets it’s grimy fingers on.

Lem
Lem
I agree. My wife is much better off with Medicare and her Japanese National Health Plan to pick up the slack in charges. We see exactly the same Dr. It is not the Dr. that is the problem with choice. It is the hoops and ending up paying when I’m 70% and supposed to be totally covered. When it comes to mental health only the well healed get the best. The VA does well with inpatient care if you can get in. But the VA is short of Beds, not physically, but short of psychiatrists to cover the physical beds… Read more »
JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

Same Same here….

Wanda Taylor
Wanda Taylor

Ei

steven g larson
steven g larson

They did this to me in the 90s I see the VA is still don’t understand ,,,,

James M Hanrahan
Hi just would like to tell you my take on Jeff he is just like all the VA government non working type. He was told by me about vets dyeing waiting for appointment in SC a year before Phoenix broke for the same reason. I personal sent him and my Senator Gram a long letter showing how to save over $56 billion in VA spending, give all the vets what they truly want and what was told by the government they would have free care for them and they died waiting for it but those who had the job to… Read more »
Senior Golfer
I prefer anyone with a working knowledge of the VA, and impact of service for our Vets. For that reason I can not suggest Jeff Miller would be a good choice. He represents the problems not the solutions. There is more than one example, but here is one that sums it up. Bill HR 969 was given to a sub-committee chaired by Jeff Miller Mar 2015. It has over 300 co-sponsors (supporting) HR 969, However Jeff Miller is holding it up from a vote because he says Science is undecided if Vets serving on ships (blue water) were exposed to… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I received this today from: “military.com- Daily News”
Titled;
“Gulf War Vets with Brain Cancer Denied Fast-Track to Compensation”

19 Nov 2016
Stars and Stripes | by Nikki Went long

It seems “…the White House [made the] decision this fall prevented it!”
So, does this not show how the current (White House) administration really feels about the veterans serving this great nation? They’ve done everything they can to deny anything from veterans. Including Compensation and proper healthcare!
Hopefully, whomever is “appointed” as the next Secretary of VA will do everything possible to right the wrongs against veterans!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Do y’all remember Jon Stewart? Remember how he tore into the VA, over the “travel issue”?
Well, here’s a great article, with video, from “NewsMax (TV Live)”.
Titled:
“Jon Stewart Slams Liberal ‘Hypocracy’ in Calling Trump Supporters Racists”

By: Cathy Burke
Sunday, 20 Nov. 2016 2:37PM

The article has a number of ‘comments’, (37?), which conflict with each other. Some agree, some don’t!
Yet, it’s what Americans are, sometimes!

JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

Jon Stewart is just a stand up comic. WTF does he know ?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Jon Stewart knows quite bit about the problems veterans have with the VA and has been a serious spokes person for Veterans. Here is a link to one of his clips which includes an appearance of Paul Walker, one of Ben’s clients, who with Ben’s help was able to change the laws involving the crow fly’s requirement of the Veterans choice program. “The Department of Veterans Affairs launches an initiative to better provide health care to veterans, but wait times remain long and many veterans are denied service. (7:38) ” “http://www.cc.com/video-clips/b8rw1k/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-doctor-when” If you Google “Jon Stewart Veterans Administration” you will… Read more »
WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde
Scott fucking Brown… Let me tell you a little bit about Scotty fucking Brown. He ran in MA against Martha Coakley the then MA AG. Coakley was a vapid idiot of a Dem but it was her race to lose and lose it she did to this moron, who campaigned on a promise to go to washington and oppose the ACA. Apparently Brownie boy didn’t do too much in the Senate because we got rid of him in the next election and went back Democrat with Warren. So this guy tools around for a couple years or so and the… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
@WyldeChyde, I didn’t want to say anything about Brown, because I’ve never heard of him. From what you’ve described, it’s a wonder he was ever voted back into any “elected position”! No matter which state he went to. I also have a problem with someone who’s; 1.) Never served in combat. Is there any record of him serving out of CONUS? If not, then “thumbs down” to Brown! 2.) Been, or wanting to be, a “career politician”. Seems like all he wants is to have a “sit on ones ass job!” (I believe all politicians should have been in the… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Hey Elf, The link Ben provided above leads to the Wikipedia on Scott Brown. His only out of country experience is: “He spent ten days to two weeks with the Guard in Kazakhstan and a week in Paraguay.” “On May 2, 2011, Brown announced that he would soon go to Afghanistan for training as part of his Army National Guard service. When deployed in August 2011 for a week of training, he spent most of his time in Kabul.” Mostly Brown’s Guard service has been to look good for voters for the state offices that he has held since 1992.… Read more »
WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde
I don’t have a problem with somebody who’s never served in combat serving in office. I do have a problem with draft dodgers serving in office but that’s an entirely different conversation. And Mr. Klearly here is also spot on about Browns “service” being merely for show and looks I mean seriously 35 years pushing a fucking desk and you spend aprox 3 weeks in a couple places where your chances of getting shot rise a little higher than the average american inner city? This guy is exactly the type of alligator Trump needs to put a 12 oz deer… Read more »
JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

In The Rear With The Gear…LOL

Dennis
Dennis
Back in the Marine Corps boot camp I went to, when a friendly difference existed between two recruits we all agreed the best thing was to stage a civil excersize of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which allowed for a venerable tradition known as a “Smoker Match”. I learned three things at the one I got invited to; 1) The human head when struck hard enough on the chin can actually turn the body around. 2) Words said to your opponent before the match have absolutely no influence on how fast the head snaps around thusly. 3) The tougher… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

Or even better – assign a Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps to carry a personal message from POTUS to the Director of each facility. Each Sgt. Major will have three things to ENSURE the process of accountability move forward at a Marine Corps pace;

1) A big stick
2) An “Do Or Die” attitude
3) A Blanket Presidential Pardon

I have always said I favor the Constitution and what more creative use of it? Nothing above is illegal unless the Big Stick is recording conversations or screams without consent. I favor Maple Wood myself.

namnibor
namnibor

I always prefer Hickory Wood sticks with 1/2″ holes drilled for aerodynamics. 🙂

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Dennis,
I favor “Hickory” better!

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde
I don’t know if any of you guys are Walking Dead fans but the season 6 finale/season 7 opener was pretty spot on for what I’d like to see happen to the current VA management and executive teams as well as the VA AFGE union leadership. I’d suggest you go youtube it and imagine all these fucks who got fat from living high off the hog on their goddamned knees pissing themselves with fear while some Veteran they have not only failed to serve but have outright denied justice to, walks around with a ball bat wrapped in barbed wire… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Personally I voted for Trump because I believed that he would see that the problems with the Veterans Administration would be fixed. The fact that he is considering three career politicians who are all currently or soon to be out of work politicians, for the position of Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs deeply disturbs me. In fact I had hoped that President Elect Trump would be looking at people such as Susan M. Webman who is the Executive Director, of the Commission on Care. Another great pick to consider would be our own Ben Krause who has achieved… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

With respect,

Grandma always said not to borrow grief. Let’s see if the VA heads need surgery to remove boots from butts before we judge Trump on how effective he will be. Perhaps we can transplant chilled experimental asses into those executives butts too badly damaged to poop?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Dennis,

If the only people he is considering is failed career politicians for the job then it is very clear there is not going to be any meaningful changes at the VA. Just more of the same old sh–.

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

I’m all for giving Trump/Pence a small bit of time to start some major overhauls of the VA I mean, honestly we don’t really have a choice. We need to be as vocal as hell with our warnings on all alligators in the swamp both old and new.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
It’s still too early to tell.
Remember, Reagan didn’t even select his “cabinet” until mid December. Even then, there were many who were changed out after his inauguration.
I think President Elect Trump is not showing his true “hand”, as in poker, until after 20 Jan 2017!
At least that’s my hope and prayers!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
I also hope Trump hasn’t let the “power trip” go to his head!

JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS
Good assessment of the current scramble. I was an early follower/supporter in New JERSEY for his effort to outsource the VA, got off the bus when I became involved in the grass roots efforts. Trump is shape-shifting as we speak. The Trump Agenda is unfolding and we won’t know the real Trump until it is too late. Trump is a Lone Wolf Preditor who is adept at shedding off those around him that are no longer useful to the cause. The VA corruption goes back to the Nixon Administration and WATERGATE and NO VA appointment is going to unravel that… Read more »
Lem
Lem
It goes back to the Revolutionary War. It has been the same for all veterans up through the present. Promises on paper never meant to be kept for real. It is money making money from buying the Warrants from the Revolutionary War to stiffing veterans on so many fronts today. You can get a VA loan if you buy a house first. Otherwise no realtor will sell you and wait for approval from a VA lender in many areas. If you are having trouble in this are there are two ways to circumvent. Go Home Path and then refinance with… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

I am of a different opinion. If a leader who saw to it that the code of federal regulations, federal and local laws are followed at the VA. 90% of the problems with the VA would be corrected.

Additionally implementation of the use of polygraphs for all SES employees would remove the majority of the remaining 10% of the problems with the VA. Given they should be required anyway for their security clearances.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I’d like to see another “Hoover Incident” occur in the Oval office between President Trump and McDonald, aka: McDuck! Remember what Hoover did to “his pocket buddy” back in the early 1920’s? I did some digging last year and found an interesting article in the “Library of Congress”! Seems the ‘poker buddy’ Hoover put in charge of the VA back then, was ripping off the taxpayers. Plus he “…made an illegal 99 year contact with a floor wax company in Indiana!” When Hoover learned all the sordid details, he was caught choking his friend in the Oval Office. Hoover wasn’t… Read more »
JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

I think the ” Draining the Swamp ” reference is hyperbole for the State Department. Look up were the State Department is located. He’s already brushed them off for briefing’s.

JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS
With all due respects to the Congressman from FLA who I don’t know that much about, I’VE BEEN HEARING ALL THIS SINCE THE VIETNAM WAR. I don’t know how many grass roots efforts I’ve been involved in to try to reform the VA. The verdict is in: IT CAN’T BE FIXED. All of the Congressman’s good intentions aside, how does he plan to fix decades of systems corruption ? If I were to completely loose my mind and go on board with your assessment of who is the better candidate I would choose Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey. He… Read more »
Lem
Lem

We had Derwinski in the Clinton Administration. Paying the price means shit. What means shit is reform and being a reformer real time.

Forget Brown. He is a wanna be not a wanna doer. Our only hope is that Trump will live up to his words and get on top of who ever he puts in the VA. Without the President the military industrial complex is in control and money for troops doesn’t by what they are selling. And they want it all. Not willing to share a bit with anyone with an “entitlement”.

John Downing

If Senator Jeff sessions is any indication at all at who Trump is going to pick , I think we’re in trouble . Why not Bannon, or Christie ? I’m not happy so far with any of Donald Trump’s pics . God bless Veterans, because, we’re going to need it .

JOHN COKOS
JOHN COKOS

AMEN

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

As I’m passionate about the cannabis movement, you can imagine where I stand on Jeffery “Bigot” Sessions.

I figured cannabis was safe once I learned that Christie was pretty much on the outs he’d never get near the AG office. Then we get Sessions… All I can say is if he thinks people are just gonna roll over for even more DEA raids he’s got another fucking thing coming.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Just wondering are you basing your opinion of Jeff Sessions on news coverage by the main stream media?

Personally when I check out his back ground and Voting record I think he is a near perfect match for some one I would like to see as AG. His weak spot is that he is against cannabis legalization.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Not only would Sessions insure the Clintons and their foundation are investigated and prosecuted, but he would also investigate wrong doing by Lynch and Comey concerning their handling of the investigations that cleared the Clintons.

namnibor
namnibor

Obama has their pardons pre-formatted already I bet.

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

Sessions is dangerous because he obstinately refuses to update his world view on things. In his mind Henry J. Anslinger was the second coming of Christ. I don’t want somebody so blinded by party ideology, and let’s not forget personal bigotry, that he just rides rough shod over everything because hey I’m Jeff Sessions I don’t have to be right.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

So WyldeChylde,

You are saying that you get your info from the Main Stream Media!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
Check out this Utube video.

“Breaking! Obama FAKE ID UPDATE! (Forged Birth Certificate) Fraud GOING PUBLIC!”

Published on Nov 17, 2016
-(10:46 minutes)

There’s a radio program from “Open Mic” 1330 AM WEBY With Mike Washburn. Guest – Carl Gallops

It’s definitely worth watching/listening to! The “exposure” of everything is set to take place before Jan 1st. That’s the day “Sheriff Appiao (sic) of Arizona leaves office!”
Evidently they have proof!

rosebud
rosebud

Beware of fake news.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Rosebud
All the “Fake News” has come from ALL the main stream medias.
Like CNN, aka: Clinton News Network. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, etc., etc.!
If you’ve followed any of these, then you’ve been lied to constantly.
That’s not opinion, it’s FACT!

Jo3n

Jeff Sessions has voted against everything for Veterans.. All I can see in this administration so far, is Trump 1, Veterans 0. Let alone the Racist agenda. We now have an all White Racist Governing body at OUR WHITEhouse. Maybe I’m just seeing things, or I’m still dreaming….

Rick Lipary
Ben, your survey did’nt include “none of the above!” Why? Nor was there a place to give our reasons for not wanting either fool, without going to the comments. Veterans who are’nt “V.A. babies,” and have received private care AND V.A. “care,” want the entire V.A. monstrosity and gargoyle dismantled! We want for profit care, and we need to go when and where we want. For profit care is much smaller, homier, and more competent than V.A. care, which makes it infinitely superior in every way. In regard to private mental health care, it is ALSO infinitely superior. Private psychiatrists… Read more »
Lem
Lem
Way off base Rick. Only if you have the money and I mean more than a Cadillac Health Insurance policy do you get that kind of dream care from a psychiatrist anywhere but being lucky on the draw at the VA. One in 10 until they started riding the good ones out. In the 1980s, after they got rid of Dr. Gordon (who was probably o k in his youth but couldn’t manage and was beyond his years of service) the VA Mental Health Clinic in Downtown LA was good except for 2 of about 12. Wadsworth you never knew… Read more »
Rick Lipary

Not off base at ALL, Lem! You are talking apples and oranges. YOU said “contracted,” I DID’NT! I said PRIVATE, and OUR choice! Contracted means the same old V.A., because they decide WHO you can “choose” from, and they are ALL cookie cutter! Choosing within the V.A. is also a joke and futile because most V.A. private mental health providers are also cookie cutter. They are put there for their willingness to be government stooges and subservient to the feds in return for a cushy job, and a nice salary and retirement package.

Ralph D Carmona Sr
Ralph D Carmona Sr
Shut it down, SHUT IT DOWN, SHUT-IT-DOWN!!! I will NEVER trust the fucking VA again! I have been lied to while being called a liar myself. I have had Opiates shoved at me like they are candy, all medication and no treatment. Threatened repeatedly with the Almighty Veterans Administration. I have been given drugs that don’t have any thing to do with my condition. I have played the VA Shell Game with PAs (A new one every time). And even my liver doc has lost my trust over taking the VA position over my well being. This means that there… Read more »
WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

Sorry Ralph but if Paul Ryan has his way if your a Veteran then the VA is where you belong. I strongly suspect this is coming down the pipe once he dismantles Medicare/Medicaid/SS. Honestly with The President-Elect’s choices for cabinet members it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Mr. Trump sign off on Ryan’s Plan. Just an opinion, but I’d watch for it.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
To all Minnesota Veterans: received the following info via email. “””””””””” Veterans – We need your input! The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is working with Wilder Research to assess the mental health needs of veterans in Minnesota. Please help us by filling out the Veterans Mental Health Survey. You can also help by sharing the survey with your veteran friends and family. Responses are completely confidential and participants will receive a $10 gift card in appreciation of their time. The survey will close December 4th. Participants can call (651)-280-2748 with questions, to request a paper copy of the survey,… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Such surveys require more trust than I care to give out, let alone my contact info. I simply refuse to do any more surveys in this life as they always come back to bite me with scam calls, mailing lists, et al.

steven g larson
steven g larson
I am trying hard to leave the VA and go Medicare now ,,, MOney is the stopping block on how to fund it,,, I as of today have no Doctor for PTSD after 27 years of a Doctor that I trusted has disappeared into the corrupt VA system,,, he won’t call or communicate with me,,, I and him had a bound that I thought was not to be broken but as of know its gone,, totally,,, NO MEDICENE CAN BE RECEIVED any longer without a shouting match and many phone calls,,, my mental state,, is so rattled today that I… Read more »
WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde
Steve I know exactly where your at bro. Since you’re on the computer you can google state assistance programs for mental health, hope you don’t live in a red state. You should see a list of local resources available to help you. You may also want to contact your state reps/senators and federal reps/senators office and get them on the ball to get you some help. If all else fails then you walk your happy little ass into the local ER and tell them you’re a danger to yourself and others. Get your affairs in order first before they commit… Read more »
Rick Lipary
Steve, my advice is exactly the opposite of that offered by W.C. Use civilian and private resources ONLY! They are not secretly or OPENLY allied with the government to defeat veterans, and if your mental disabilities are caused by combat stress, (as my PTSS is) private sector shrinks won’t have a vested interest (brownie points, promotions, etc.) in defeating any current or future claims you may open, and will be MORE likely to document your statements and help you with current or future claims and appeals. Nor are they likely to do what the V.A. ALWAYS does to combat vets,… Read more »
Rick Lipary

Blue state of California NOW. But USED to be totally red! Last time they went red was for Reagan!

Rick Lipary
Another option is to study V.A. regulations and case law, as I did. I first filed for SC in 1979, and my POA was Disabled American Veterans. Their S.O. representing me was a joke, and appeared in the hearing room with a tiny one quarter inch thick medical file. Problem is that when I separated in 1972, my medical records were five and one quarter inches thick! His testimony was incomplete, sketchy, and BUMBLING at best! Even a FOOL could see he was unprepared! 29 years and four appeals later, I fired DAV, and represented myself. I handled all the… Read more »
WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

Rick do me a favor, post your sources that say EVERY private sector hospital, clinic, community health center, is in league with the VA please.

Rick Lipary

You need to REAE, W.C.! In league is commonly used to infer or openly state that somebody is conspiring with one or more parties to cause harm. I also did’nt come even CLOSE to saying that. I said (and always WILL say) that the private sector is infinitely superior to the V.A. hospitals and clinics! In any event, I rarely say ALWAYS, because there are usually exceptions to almost EVERYTHING. Please read more carefully.

Lem
Lem
Only for those who can afford to pay. And because you can afford to pay are you sure you need that surgery. In 1965 I was working nights at a hospital in Waukegan, IL. During my break I went to the canteen. A couple of physicians walked in. One was saying to the other, “I saw this beautiful boat at the marina last Saturday. I just had to have it. But I didn’t have enough for the down payment. Would you believe it, Monday I had 3 hysterectomies walk into my office?” The physician he was talking to looked over… Read more »
Rick Lipary

Unless you mean the generic “you,” I don’t know what makes you think I could afford it. All medicine and pharmaceutical services are expensive! One major surgery, and evn with six figures, I am TAPPED! Some elements of the plan you described are good or adequate, but others need work, and each case must be judged on it’s merits and elements.

Lem
Lem

I did intend the generic “you”. As in if anyone is wealthy are they sure they are getting the best care or are they just transferring their wealth to their medical providers.

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

Actually Rick perhaps you need to read, I offered him advice on how to obtain local STATE resources to get himself immediately stable.

Rick Lipary
Dude, are you trying to troll me!? I told him that I was giving him what I think was far better advice, and can be done with far less trouble and abuse in the private sector! You don’t go to any organ of the V.A. for a solution, when the V.A. is so OBVIOUSLY the problem! You also asked me to cite my sources stating that the private sector was ALWAYS in league with the V.A., when I said exactly the OPPOSITE, which is that they are NOT likely to be in league with the V.A. Again, it is YOU… Read more »
Jo3n

I wonder how many severely wounded veterans are really online . I don’t think anybody speaks for veterans with mental problems . Other than you Ben. I admit, I am a mental patient . I have had absolutely no help with the VA . The VA as joyfully shut me down on everyone of my ailments . I have been misdiagnosed , and treated for a misdiagnosed situation . I have believed for years the VA just wants us dead . I don’t see Trump changing anything . I wish I did . Oh , I like hickory also .

Kat Owen
Kat Owen
Here’s how I see it, all these problems with the VA have been going on under Jeff Millers watch. Now has anything really improved with the VA? To me he’s just like Sen. John McCain, does absolutely nothing until he’s up for re-election. McCain talks the talk, says he’s all for the veterans, but yet the Phoenix VA is still in turmoil. Honestly Jeff Miller is only on a case-by-case basis. He will help veterans when they contact him to work on the case at hand, but not the VA as a whole. Face it guys, the VA system is… Read more »
Don Karg
Don Karg

11/21/2016

Dear Benjamin Krause,

Your readers and followers must have lost memories cells.

Who has known about this scandal for decades?

Who has covered up this “Scandal” I call Treason?

Now you are choosing from “their” pool of employees?

Why?

How about a MOFO Attorney? How about an “honest” Congressman?
How about an Administrator from Mayo Clinic?
How about a Corporate President who has a great Track Record?
How about someone who fixes Disasters?

Why the Blinders?

Think outside the Box. You and your readers/followers have to rethink.

In “Three” years this Scandal has gotten worse, not better.

Choose your next VA Secretary with wisdom.

Sincerely,

Don Karg
Why not Regional VA Secretaries?

Jo3n

Honestly, I have no idea if anyone can help the VA. For a lifetime I’ve been wishing and hoping. Ben, those thieves would eat most people alive. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Trump does. I just see Trump as a corporation, and a corporation has no heart. They aren’t built that way.

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

Honestly if President Obama had used his authority and directed AG Lynch to pursue the law rather than roll over for the unions that he’s apparently in bed with, we would be halfway to draining the swamp at the VA already.

The VA has to be cut, whole cloth, from the protections that allow it to exist. We all know what those protections are.

Civil Service rules
Union contracts
SES
etc

You cut off supply of blood to the tumor then you excise the cancer.

COME MERDIA VA
FAT TURD AFGE PRESIDENT LARD ASS DAVID COXX WILL POP HIS PANTIES FIGHTING FOR AFGE UNION CONTRACTS WATCH VETS YO WILL BE SCREWED AGIN @ AGIN TRUMP DECERTIFY AFGE UNION CONTRACTS IF NOT SAME OLD DOG CRAP BY THE 400,000 VA WORKERS @ AFGE UNION CONTRACTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Hey Elf,

Regarding Obama’s Legacy

Obama, and his administration, is responsible for more than 64,240 Veterans suicides during his term in office.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Regarding Robert McDonald’s Legacy

McDonald contributed to the Obama Legacy of 64,240 Veterans Suicides on his watch, by also being responsible for 19,800 of those Veterans Suicides.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

And yet neither Obama, as President of the Untied States, or McDonald, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, have the time to ensure that the phones are answered at the Veterans Suicide Help lines.

~~~~~~~

namnibor
namnibor

Obama and his DOJ still not doing a damn thing that’s outside this ‘peace prize’ winner’s agenda. That even includes continuing to turn a blind eye to cops being outright ambushed out there. Sick of this shit.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
Yep, I agree. Obama and McDonald have lots of veterans blood on their hands.
Also, so far (7:50 pm today) four (4) cops have been ambushed. One here in Southern Florida.

The sh!ts getting deep.

Darla Bethea
Darla Bethea

My opinion, and that’s all any of you have, is to listen and listen closely to what the VA has so kindly labeled “whistle blowers”. They’re not out there putting their necks on the line because of fabrications. I appreciate there courage and respect their integrity to not allow the VA to continue to not follow there own policy. Respect to all.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Darla, Most of the regular posters here do listen to Whistle Blowers. But in regards to Opinions well we do share our opinion here a lot we also come her with much more than just opinions. Such as in my post above regarding “Regarding Obama’s Legacy” “Obama, and his administration, is responsible for more than 64,240 Veterans suicides during his term in office.” That is a fact not an opinion. There is a research study that indicates that in fact as many as 22 Veterans per day are committing suicide. The same study found that well much lower prior to… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Oh and Bertha,

One last thing. If Hillary would have won do you think that Bill would have picked better candidates for Hillary to present for possible consideration for Sec of Veterans Affairs?

Darla Bethea
Darla Bethea

In addition Mr. Krause due to there not being a selection of “none of the above”, I in fact did not take your survey. Might want to consider that as an option next time.

rosebud
rosebud

Agree. Jeff Miller was part of the problem. He was a do nothing Rep. And do nothing Committee Chairman.

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