CON JOB: USA Today Blows Coverage Of VA OIG Wait Time Investigation

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USA Today

A recent VA OIG con job, inaccurately called an “investigation” by USA Today, found no wrongdoing when VA executives misrepresented wait times to Congress.

Congress called for an investigation to address misrepresentations made by VA executive Skye McDougall, a VA executive in charge of numerous southern California VA healthcare facilities, now head of VISN 16 (yes, she got promoted).

Her misrepresentations were later spun by Secretary Bob McDonald. Secretary Bob’s spin made the deception worse when he provided erroneous information. The series of misrepresentations prompted a CNN investigation.

OIG was apparently asked to investigate. It instead limited its investigation only to Secretary Bob McDonald to spin the scandal and to shame CNN for reporting on it.

READ: VA OIG Wait Times Report

OIG head Michael Missal orchestrated the deception in classic Richard Griffin style.

Bravo. And USA Today ate it up, hook, line and sinker.

RELATED: Shameful Richard Griffin Retires In Disgrace

VA OIG REPORT – DECEPTION FOR THE UNSUSPECTING MASSES

The recent OIG investigation report ultimately fixated on McDonald while not reaching a conclusion about McDougall in an apparent bait and switch. This is a typical move of OIG where they will avoid

The OIG bait and switch was apparently clever enough to grab great press headlines despite lawmakers being upset with the deception. Now, USA Today readers believe VA told the truth about wait times, which it most certainly did not.

USA TODAY – “VA officials didn’t mislead Congress on wait times, investigation finds

Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, blasted the report:

“Not only did the report ignore the clear conclusion Skye McDougall misrepresented VA wait times — which she most certainly did when she lied before Congress — but it also directly contradicts individual facts from Secretary McDonald’s letter.”

Did we learn nothing in the past 2 years? VA cannot be trusted to conduct its own investigations into anything, much less the wait list scandal.

RELATED: McCain Chastises Skye McDougall Appointment

So why did tax dollars get wasted by allowing VA OIG create another whitewash into the wait list concerning false statements Skye McDougall made to Congress?

Apparently, VA is continuing its same path of absolute denial. And like Adolph Hitler, they must believe if their lies gets repeated enough in the press, America will believe them.

This time, the USA Today grabbed the report and helped spin the narrative for VA.

America is duped.

RELATED: VA Creates Phoenix VA Liars Club

USA TODAY BLOWS VA OIG HEADLINE

The title of the USA Today article was: “VA officials didn’t mislead Congress on wait times, investigation finds”.

USA Today’s noteworthy headline failed to mention VA investigated itself via VA OIG (and yes, I do not believe for one second OIG is impartial). Anyone who believes VA OIG is impartial should buy some ocean front property I am selling in Minnesota.

I’ll sell it to you real cheap.

The headline falsely asserts “VA officials” did not mislead Congress, but the OIG report omits the conclusion about the misrepresentation made by McDougall. So why did the news outlet use that headline? What is the effect on readers who only have time to read headlines and the first few sentences without diving deeper?

Those readers will conclude VA was absolved of the wait time scandal without identifying the organization responsible for the conclusion of the investigation to begin with.

Given the historically known interference with investigations under the present administration, it seems imperative to at least include the identity of the investigating body responsible for the conclusion.

It could have read, “VA OIG Report Fails To Fully Explain Misrepresentation To Congress”, or something like that.

Or, “VA investigation shows VA did not mislead Congress”. Most people would laugh at that headline, but it would more accurately explain the matter.

MCDOUGALL MISREPRESENTATION BACKGROUND

For some background, McDougall testified in February 2015 to Congress about wait times. She claimed veterans were waiting only 4 days on average to get appointments at her facility for new patients. However, a CNN report claimed the wait times were actually 40 days.

So who was telling the truth? Where is the rub with the USA Today title?

Well, Secretary Bob McDonald made an effort to smooth things over by claiming the wait times were actually two to seven days longer than what McDougall stated.

McDougall was then promoted to take over numerous southwestern VA facilities including Phoenix VA. Numerous lawmakers cried foul. So, Secretary Bob sent her to the deep south to supervise facilities around Mississippi.

The VA OIG investigation appears to have focused merely on whether what McDonald said was true. USA Today reported that OIG reported that McDonald accurately related the wait times for new patients – between 6 to 11 days.

Meanwhile, almost 2,000 veterans were waiting two or more months for appointments. 500 were waiting up to six months.

Was it wise for VA to be so tricky with its numbers to begin with given so many veterans were waiting so long for health care? Did they intend to give Congress and the American public a false impression of the status of the wait list?

Apparently, the wait times as reported also failed to include the number of days a veteran waited between needing an appointment and scheduling that appointment.

The report from OIG ultimately blamed the misrepresentation on mere confusion between the types of measures used by VA bean counters and the press.

This red herring argument concerning the source of the numbers seems like a waste of time since veterans were waiting a very long time for health care, so splitting hairs between 35 days and 45 days seems like an exercise in futility.

Further, the matter at issue was McDougall’s misrepresentation to Congress that McDonald spun, and not the specificity for veterans waiting a longer time that the one claimed by either official.

At the end of the day, it is obvious VA OIG helped VA score yet another positively spun headline from a major media outlet.

Kudos to whomever it is controlling the message on behalf of VA to the detriment of veterans. You are great at lying.

How many taxpayer dollars do you think were wasted on this PR stunt?

And what about Skye McDougall?

She is running VISN 16.

Did the USA Today coverage ever address the misrepresentation to Congress made by McDougall in order to justify its bait and switch headline?

NEWS EXCERPT

According to the USA Today article (more aptly called a pro-VA press release than an article):

Some lawmakers, however, are taking issue with the investigation, saying it wasn’t comprehensive enough. Vitter told USA TODAY that he believes it was “an absolute waste of time and resources.”

“Not only did the report ignore the clear conclusion Skye McDougall misrepresented VA wait times — which she most certainly did when she lied before Congress — but it also directly contradicts individual facts from Secretary McDonald’s letter,” he said.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the inspector general’s report seemed to be little more than “a cursory exercise in checking the box that was expressly designed to exonerate Skye McDougall rather than uncover the truth.”

Missal said in a statement to USA TODAY on Friday that his office sought to fulfill Congress’s request for the investigation in an “accurate, thorough, objective, and fair manner.” But Missal said he would be happy to look further into the matter if Congress requests it.

“We recognize that the issue of wait times and access is of great importance to all stakeholders, including veterans, Veterans Service Organizations, Congress and VA,” he said. “Presently, we are completing a range of work on the topic that will examine the current state of access to care at VA.”

IMPACT OF VA OIG BAIT AND SWITCH

While USA Today paid a little tribute to the bait and switch, it failed to appropriately address the questionable tactice of VA OIG when it limited its review away from McDougall. The USA Today article title gives readers a false impression of the facts.

Casual headline readers will conclude an investigation concluded VA executives did not mislead Congress, but that is not what the report said. It said McDonald made a mistake but failed to reach any conclusion about McDougall. It then attacked CNN for raising the issue.

This was a prototypical Richard Griffin style deception that then attacks the messenger over slight discrepancies. The argument is then fixed on a nonissue while no one addresses the real problem — Skye McDougall misled Congress and then was promoted to head an entire VISN.

What a sham. Why is USA Today giving OIG the opportunity to control the message?

I know many folks are calling for Congress to audit the Fed.

I think veterans should audit VA OIG. I am not quite sure how to accomplish it, but I am sure there is a way.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/08/05/skye-mcdougall-va-official-wait-times/88304490/

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63 Comments

  1. I honestly believe that the VA OIG should be made up of veteran as should the entire executive body of the agency. Vets caring for Vers, would maintain honesty and honor of the organization just my opinion not that it amounts to much.

    • Actually, I, that doesn’t work either. Veterans that are inside and getting good care and responses do not necessarily care about other veterans. Too many of them are the com-sha artists that you knew in the military. They work for you only to be noted and as long as they get something for themselves. Like a $90,000 a year job at the VA.

      What on earth makes you think the VA staff isn’t mostly made up of veterans especially at the central office? Actually the widows of killed in action there do the best job.

  2. Seems the VA OIG traded one Master Masturbator for another set of Master Masturbators. Like I have stated before, too bad we cannot generate electricity from the steady flow of VA Poo and the hand-actions of the Master Masturbators.

    WHY does Congress even ALLOW the VA to investigate itself? I am actually starting to think NO ONE CARES at ANY LEVEL. Why is this? Do they have inside knowledge that a huge comet or asteroid impact to earth is imminent, so it’s a free cash free for all in the ranks while Rome Burns? Sure seems like it.

    The V.A. Titanic’s deck chairs have been carefully stacked and nailed-down to the doomed ship’s decks while…the band plays on. Rat Bastards.

    The VA OIG and ALL upper management should be made-up of Disabled Veterans without exception.

    • At some point I thought congressional leadership was deferential to the first Black President of the US.
      I now believe there are a number of DC insiders of either party that look the other way because they see an opportunity to loot the Treasury.
      I believe they saw how much they could grab for themselves during Obama’s first stimulus and “Recovery Summer”.
      Even if they disagree with what the stimulus was spent on, as long as they kept their mouth shut, they could grab what they wanted for themselves.
      I am also starting to wonder how much in campaign donations is being raised from corporations after Citizens United. The left still takes care of unions and other groups that give a lot of cash to leftist politicians, but the right now seems to ignore their constituents. I wonder if that is because the right no longer sees us as needing anything since they have all the donations they want from corporations.

      Not sure what is going on, but I’ve never seen politicians flat out not caring what the voters think like they do now.

      • @91Veteran
        Amen, brother. Not one politician gives a rats behind about their constituency. All they care about is the “God Almighty Dollar” they receive from “Donors”! To hell with the voters!

      • Citizen’s United infused and emboldened politicians with steroids and cash. These Politicians actually spend MORE time fundraising on phone banks than ever now talking to or rather, listening to their constituents. The $$$$ finally pulled them ALL over and deep within the dark side.
        Anyone ever see that 60 Minutes episode this year that exposed just how many HOURS these politicians are required to spend begging for $$$$? It was rather revealing and sickening. This is way beyond the lobbyist’s cash infusion.
        Makes me wonder if Big Pharma is calling all the shots at the VA and AFGE via $$$.

        At this point I am thinking it’s best to consider the VA and AFGE as one entity that needs one large enema to break-up the solid fecal matter therein. 🙂

      • @namnibor and James.
        That which you describe is called;
        “Dialing for Dollars!”
        Brought out in numerous articles, news stations and “60 Minutes” by a Congressman from Florida.
        Who, I think because of his “blowing the whistle”, caused him to not want to run for office!

      • He probably feels like a black man in the middle of s kkk meeting. !

        He. May have the right to be ? !

        They probably would set him up and be would. Could be arrested. !

        They tell so many lies. They would make the devil blush. !!!!!!

        The devil maybe afraid of loosing his job. If too many VA employees go down there. !

  3. Most of the people served, especially wealthy and all conservatives, the trump speaks: 2 Aug 2015 – ‘I fight like hell to pay as little as possible’: Donald Trump says he avoids all the tax he can.

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    The VA is the people served Responsibility, not another corporate profit seeking entity off of war as now much of the privatized military has become! Just look how fast and big the corporate merc army/intelligence was built, off government no bid contracts, above all laws and caused more lasting deadly damage to the American, once proud in leadership and moral, brand on the world stage!
    Not socialized anything but their Responsibility to Actually Sacrifice, as it’s been since it was established but promises never upheld, issues ignored or out right denied existing, with congressional fixes coming mostly unfunded and piece-meal causing more problems! The way those served seem to really like it as they, follow conservatives, lay blame on the VA personal!

    * DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11″, Decades and War From, All Over Again!! *

    Keeping My Oath: USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • * * SACRIFICE?? * *
      @realDonaldTrump ‪#‎madealotofsacrifices‬ Sacrifice?: For Wars-‘0’ For Blowback From Policies-‘0’ For Veterans Of-‘0’
      Most of the people served, especially wealthy and all conservatives, the trump speaks: 2 Aug 2015 – ‘I fight like hell to pay as little as possible’: Donald Trump says he avoids all the tax he can.
      Made Wealth off Defense War Investments-$$$+++ Making Wealth off Blowback From the Policies-$$$+++ Wants To Make Wealth off All Privatized VA-$$$+++
      “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013
      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration
      Chris Hayes : “If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it” In response to Republican, long ago lost as the party of Lincoln and not just as to us Veterans, opposition to expanding Veterans’ benefits on fiscal grounds
      Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
      * DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11″, Decades and War From, All Over Again!! *
      * * * How does a Country HONOR It’s Fallen, by Their Own ‘Sacrifice’ in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!! * * *
      Keeping My Oath: USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

  4. Question, Has there been any ‘flack’ given to the “USA Today” article by taxpayers, veterans or any of the VSO’s? I doubt it very seriously!

    First, having a VA agency investigating itself is wrong in so many ways! What other conclusion would one expect! Did they do it on purpose? Were they paid off or threatened? What’s the “real deal” on this bogus article?

    Secondly, old ‘McDuck’ wasn’t good at math. Remember the false “count” he gave on VA firings!! He’s doing it again. He’ll continue until more veterans are dead! Or, until someone with balls calls him out over this.

    Third, McDougall was not wanted anywhere around Phoenix, because “Songbird” McCain raised so much stink.
    So, we here in the “Deep South” are now ‘blessed’ with her kind of “manipulations” of whatever.

    With more and more negative articles coming out daily, especially on fridays, the “sheeple” had better wake up. It’s their damn tax dollars and veterans lives we’re discussing! Until something breaks, all of America is at risk!
    Throwing more money at VA and other government agencies is going to bankrupt America.

    There’s been too many great economists stating the truth about the governments spending habits. Example: The amounts going out vs. the amounts coming in, is not a good thing.
    Would y’all run your bank accounts, or ‘household finances’, in this manner? NO, you would not! You’d end up broke and on the street!
    Would y’all run a business like this? NO, you would not! Your business would fail, period. There are so many downsides on this issue. There’s not enough room to explain it all.

    The federal government IS a business. And we’ve got some really stupid people running it over a cliff.
    Right now, our GDP is stagnating at approximately 1.2%!
    Our “internal”, or “domestic”, deficit is at a staggering 19+ TRILLION, some say we’re over $20 TRILLION, (in the red) and growing every second.
    Our external, or “foreign”, debt is a staggering $220+ TRILLION and growing every second.
    Unemployment is almost as great as it was during the “Great Depression”! If it rises to, or over, 1/3 of the population, we’re screwed!

    Don’t listen to the bull shit handed to you from the Main Stream Medias. All is not well!!!!!!
    The “Wall Street Journal”, “Forbes Magazine”, “Money Magazine”, “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine” and other great financial news sources aren’t buying what the Obama Administration is force feeding the American public!

    This won’t last much longer at this rate! That “Bubble” is about to burst AGAIN. It will be worse than the last two “recessions”, (2000 & 2008), combined!

    “Facts are not RANTS!”

    • Amen, Brother! I have read Kiplinger Report since I was a kid, as my dad and grandfather’s business sense looked upon that through the media spin back then…and now, the VA Spin Cycle is spinning bullshit cotton candy from it’s South end.

      So, what do we think of the newly appointed VAOIG? See a pattern? Mr. Agent Orange Murphy….maybe it really is time for an American Soil Nuremberg Trial?

  5. When the VAOIG believes there will be problems outside of their assigned investigative duties, they hire third parties to do their dirty work. These include PR people and Journalists. There is nothing they will not do to keep on keeping on!

  6. 45 days now waiting for referral to a specialist. I as physician to use vets choice, instead he sent in another referrsl request.

    What a joke

    • I have been waiting since August 2016 for an appointment, at the Bay pines VA hospital in St Pete Florida, on February 1st 2017. How is this for a 4 day wait time? The VA is the most corrupt government agency, what’s worse, they don’t give a crap about us veterans, as long as they can hold on to their cushy jobs. At this time there a scandal at the Bay Pine facility, for letting a deceased veteran lay out in the hallway and 9 more hours in a shower, before moving him. I hope some body will sue the shit out of them, that’s a disgrace. Not one person has been punished, they were “reeducated”. There was only s short clip on Tampa FL Fox 13 and none of the other news networks.

      • They are above the law the untouchables and the Veterans are paying the price. Their job is to do what ever they can to deny veterans their deserved disabilities, without the disability veterans are denied treatment such as treatment for PTSD.

        The VA has made it so that if a veteran complains about their care they can report them to the VA disruptive committee ! If you complain or say something bad about the VA, no matter how if the VA finds out, like this site or any other site, you can be reported as being disruptive.

        OIG report about the Disruptive committee will confirm this statement. So my fellow veterans you have had your first amendments taken away and once your reported you are branded and that’s made permeant in your official record and can not be removed, not even congress can make the remove it. Sad day, when anyone can accuse anyone of anything and you cant do anything about it !

        Only Veterans are having this done to them, what gives the VA the right to punish veterans for any reason. They can and will threaten veterans with Arrest, Federal charges and Banishment from all VA care and DO NOT have to furnish proof.

        Freedom of speech is being eroded or flatly being taken away and were all in danger, again if you don’t believe me please read the OIG report on the Disruptive Committee and what they say can and does qualify you to be punished by them at will.

        Again the Veterans accused have no avenue to defend ourselves against this ILLEGAL committee, they need to be stopped or more veterans will commit suicide for the VA PUNISHING them, All the VA has to do to defend themselves is say ” Well Those were the Facts at the time ! remember they need no proof !

        I am one of those veterans and the VA Admitted they had no proof, Yet they proceeded to punish me and continue to punish me, by the posting in my official medical records Stating ” If the VA (EVER) hears that you again become disruptive again or do not follow your treatment team, You WILL be Arrested, have Federal charges placed upon you and you will be Banished from all VA care.

        So their telling me, that anytime of their choosing they can accuse me of disruptive behavior and hearsay is all the evidence they need, no proof the first time and don’t need proof any other time. This is no JOKE and must be abolished period.

        The Disruptive committee not threaten or punish veterans at all, if the veteran should become upset VA staff should find out what’s wrong and fix it. They say this applies to visitors and VA employees, Ill bet you they can not provide us, with even one VA employee or visitor being punished by this Illegal Committee.

  7. The Menlo Park VA Calif allows a Arbor Free Clinic [teaching clinic] for underserved local populations out of the main building every Sunday, first come, first served, open to all regardless of immigration status & they share a phone line with Menlo Park VA Occupational Health. Are there other States that open up the Veterans clinic/buildings for civilian free health care, prescriptions , x-rays, interpreters etc…?

    • The VA was doing this very same thing up in Cincinnati back in the ’90’s during Clinton’s administration!
      Only it was every day of the week. Civilians, who never served, took up the times veterans had appointments.

  8. Bob McDonald has become as I warned a figure head of the VA. !

    Upper management treated him like a friend. All the booze you want. Relax. !

    Hey Bob do you remember the other night you got toasted and you put that lamp shade on your head and boy the other things you did. Were a wopper. !

    If the public would hear about it. You would Go to jail. !

    Some said if you don’t play ball. They will release it. So just sit back and let us ? the show. We know what were doing. !

    A figure head is just that. Nothing more. They become part of the problem.

    The VA could give a shit. What congress or anyone else has to say. ! They gave the VA the power to fire top employees.

    But Bob went in like s lamb and they put him in his place. How is nul and void. !

    He. Should have went in and started firing people. All log as congress does not demand accountability and threats of jail terms. The spin will go on. !

    They just don’t care and will continue not to care. Because everyone is all talk and no action. !

  9. Here’s a couple of articles out from “Military.com”! The first one goes along with today’s blog.
    #1)
    titled:
    “VA Access Improves, Work Still Needed”

    5 Aug. 2016
    “Military.com” | by Amy Bushatz

    Basically the same bullshit as today’s blog. Yet, with some additional information.

    #2)
    titled:
    “Watchdog Group Calls on VA to Showcase Works by Veterans”

    6 Aug. 2016
    “Fox News” | by Christina Corbin

    This has a painting, well worth the viewing, by a young female artist. It displays the egregious acts perpetrated against homeless veterans.

    The article shows what the VA has paid out, “$20 million over a 10 year period”, on many worthless and overpriced artworks.

    (Reference the “Forbes.com” article I put on here yesterday! Titled: “The VA’s Luxury Art Obsession”)

    The VA has ripped off the American taxpayers.
    I believe the following statement could correct some of the situations, brought on by unscrupulous individuals in VA’s upper management!
    I, and now others, believe giving veterans, who are artistic in nature, monies for artwork. Would end some, yet not all, homelessness!

    Of course, this is using “common sense” and “logic”, something VA has little to none of!

    ” FACTS are not RANTS!”
    ____________________________

    • I am very curious about how many of these high dollar art things are on their property inventory…like in the military where accountable or pilferable property had to be in the inventory or hand receipted.

      If it is not on their inventory, which VA manager decided it would look better on the wall at their house?

      • You and I think an awful lot alike. I was just wondering how much “VA Art” is within the walls of management? Oh, not to worry, they are only “borrowing” the art. HA ha ha ha….

      • VA higher management knew they were going to close the fort Lyon VA hospital

        Even when they knew they were going to close it. They spent thousands of dollars on new furniture

        Then the VA sold it to the state for 5 dollar’s. Not 5 million. $5. !

        They had homes and sold them for about 5 thousand dollars to private citizens who use to work for the VA.

        It’s not their money and if they did not spend it. They would get less next time !

  10. 08/08/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Con Jobs are all around.

    It has been two (2) years since I shook hands with Secretary McDonald down in the basement of the VA Hospital in Phoenix; asking him about the progress on the investigations into the 293 dead veterans [the numbers], as the CVA representative was only concerned with the money [Koch Brothers Agent].

    As we now have a new Director at the Phoenix VA the accommodations are still unacceptable under the term timely care.

    It has been a Sales Job from Proctor and Gambles’ old Executive.

    And an embarrassment for the Administration as the AG [U.S. Attorney General] scooted things around for the old Director Sharon Helman, who was trying to get her old job back after being found guilty of a Felony.

    To call it a “Con Job” is being light and forgiving to Bob who has been placed in a no win situation [Unions, President, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and big businesses].

    In May of 2014, I called it Treason—-and I have not changed my position [reference the 1998 Cox Report].

    This ungeheuer [the ultimate monster] is going to crush America—saw it in 1988 and it is still out there.

    As Karlheinz A. Halter reminded us of this ungeheuer, he asked the question before his death two years ago, “Did we do enough?”

    This election, do the research on your candidates and talk to your community in the next 90 days.

    The more we communicate—the less chances we get Conned. Our attention must not change [direct care to soldiers] and not spend all our efforts on Artwork [yes it is an issue].

    2015 Story was the TEGNA/Gannett (USA Today/The Arizona Republic/etc.) division—that Carl Icahn developed.

    Gannett has bad habits, and you are seeing one of them.

    Remember they [Gannett] have 17 investigative reporters and Dennis Wagner on the VA Scandal, 500 whistleblowers in Phoenix, and in Two years —barely heard from 10 whistleblowers.

    We also have the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism here in town—just warming up to the real issues of the VA.

    What is keeping the lid on?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg
    P.S. had a tooling issue at a major Aerospace Corporation—did not want to hear it—blamed it on the machinists—pretended that it was the first they ever heard of it [been going on for years/6 months ago “Local Management” swept it under the rug]—as of today I am enjoying my “Arizona Vacation.” Most Americans do not have a chance in this political atmosphere [Timothy Geithner/Central Bankers] and their voices are not being heard. Guess Wendell P. Weeks will have something to think about for weeks to come.

    • Don. Have a nice vacation. When you get back or have free time please enlighten us as to what you have seen and heard. What kind of whistle blowing is going on. !.

      What were the problems.?

      Are those employees being harassed. If so how. !

      Bob McDonald had hid chance. He could have not tried to make friend’s and could have called many employees in and said your fired and let them go through the appeal process.

      If the employee did noting wrong they could prove their case. Just like they make the veterans prove their case.

      Bob sold out. Plain and simple. !

      Please. Keep in touch with us and give is the real story in now employees ate doing or not doing. Give names so everyone will known who they are.?

      This will be on the net forevermore. !

  11. I started writing journalism article in high school. Four years, many stories. Then in the Marine Corps I wrote articles for my government on the Base newspaper. I was once co-engineer and chief spin artist for an aircraft featured on the cover of Air & Space magazine (H-1 Racer Project, world speed record).

    So, let me dust off some spin….it has been a while but I have seen all sides…I am doing this on my i
    pad so forgive typos please

    “In recent memory the (recent) head of VA OIG’s dedication to releasing not just FOIA documents, but also himself, in front of school teachers outside, by himself inside of his glass room, and Lord above knows where else or in front of what, has demonstrated for years the supreme humility to deny that he had given so much of himself during working hours. The organ I zation that he had his guiding hand upon was of the course the VA OIG.

    VA wants to acknowledge that his sort of renewed vigour right inside our own top office for all to see is just one example of the kind of judicial relief veterans have come to expect at OIG again and again. We stand firm behind that commitment and are ready to do the hard work.”

    So, where do I sign up for the spin cycle team at VA? I got a knack, or I get banned from this site – either way I am in at VA!!!

  12. My first comment is regarding some of the comments made by a few here regarding the current political contenders. Most of what is written is pure gibberish and is neither on topic, nor particularly helpful in promoting the discourse on the subject at hand – the VA OIG.

    Now onto the VAOIG and their offices. For years, like many on here, including Ben, I receive the IG reports on their investigations. Anyone with a half a brain, can read their reports know more BS is in them than a barnyard full of cattle. It appears that most allegations which are made and investigated find there was no substance to the allegation. If there was any finding it usually isn’t the main point of the allegation and the IG then makes several recommendations, which the Director, Under Secretary or some other figure head concurs. Action plans are trotted out and all is well in VA land without anyone ever being held accountable. This is true, even in cases where inspections are made and there are serious issues in care, treatment or clear violations of law.

    In cases where the IG really goes out on a limb and referrs the case to the DOJ, again nothing is done as the DOJ refuses to prosecute.

    However the VA recently made a big deal out of an arrest of some poor slob who stole some tools and scrap metal from a shed at a VA and now faces dozens of years of incarceration. This is at the same time where people who have stolen millions get sentences of a couple of years.

    Does anyone think this is going to change? Not in my lifetime it won’t – no matter how many investigations, how many congressman complain or, no matter how many comments we make in forums

    • Don. Write to everyone.senator’s. Congressmen. Governor’s. FBI and tell them what you know. Have seen and heard.

      You have a chance to make a difference. Remember whistle blowers are protected against Retalation. And if they go after you.

      Take name’s and report them again and again. Your the inside man for veterans rights.

    • @Dan F

      The main issue here is, as you say, the OIG.
      On the other hand, today’s blog also delves into other aspects of Ms. McDougall’s appointment and promotion to VISN 16! Which would include;
      Why wasn’t she allowed at VISN 18? What, or Who, was behind not allowing that ‘post’?
      How much of taxpayers monies will she now be hauling in?
      When was that decision made?
      Was it made because she’s such a great liar? You know, a “team player”!
      Did she use questionable tactics to gain that promotion?
      So many questions, yet no truthful answers from those on high!!!

      The comments I make are for individuals, taxpayers and/or veterans, to make an informed decision on anything effecting them.

      On the VA, whether it be the VBA, VHA or any other entity within, all coincide with one major aspect- “MONEY”!
      The (taxpayer’s) Money is the guiding force behind the “Who, What, Why, When, Where and How” anything is done at or by VA!
      It is the (taxpayers) “MONEY” which is the reasons behind the multi-Billion dollar corruptions by VA!
      No matter where one looks “MONEY” is always found to be involved! Or, one could say, the ‘driving force’ behind the corruption!
      We’ve said it on here numerous times – “Follow the MONEY!”
      Therefore, it’s only reasonable to admit all persons, in all branches of the government, must be thought of as “enemies of the state”, until the bad are weeded out!
      That’s my opinion Dan F!

  13. Thank you for covering this in such detail Ben.
    When Missal was first brought in, whatever was reported on him at the time gave me hope that the IG office would finally be reformed into what it should be rather than the ass covering hacks they became under Griffin.

    That was a false hope.

    As I commented the other day on this, the VA gave numbers that were most favorable to the VA without regard for waiting veterans. They could have easily given true numbers with a list of steps they are doing to improve. Rather than do that, they defaulted to covering their ass….again.
    As for auditing the IG, I think that can be done exactly as you did here. Get their reports, report how sloppy they are, then provide them to the media. At some point, Congress will have to wake up and start demanding and holding accountable IGs to follow the laws establishing an IG. This needs to be done in several federal agencies, not just the VA, because the current administration has so bastardized IG offices into ignoring corruption.
    Even then, it will likely be an impossible task until a new administration, and Congress grows a spine.

    • Well organized post. About the sentence tallkng about false hope;

      The spin docs at VA have succeeded for years by simply inserting the notion that “hope” can be pinned on a person, an idea, a leader, investigation, or study. They have suceeded again and again in spinning America around to the tune of so many billions we have lost track, because the idea of hope itself is the deception. The smokescreen as they say are the objects, but the deception is the idea that any form of hope makes change happen. Unless of course you call your boss at work and tell him you hope you make it to work today. Then “hope” will foster change…

      “Hope” when applied to any form of government is a synonym for “inaction”. Personally I do not “hope” the government will correct itself when they already break the written rules, unless at the same time I hope someday to grow my hair own back.

      Look at EVERY single press release or letter and the underlying message is generally “hope”. Isn’t that really what USA Today reports on? A lot of hope, a Nobel Prize here and there. And the wheels keep spinning.

      Semper Fi

      • You are correct in your comments about hope. It shows how naive I can still be when I talk myself into it.

      • @91Veteran
        In my opinion, the only way Congress will wake up and do what’s right is;
        IF they realize, under no uncertain term, THIS YEAR will be their LAST YEAR in office!
        Vote every one out. Start fresh with new Constitutional Republic officials!
        Which means, everyone will need to investigate who’s running. Use the next 90 days to make informed decisions!

      • The next 90 day’s should have veterans assemble outside the white house and used our civil and constitutional rights to have our voice ?!

        If this is not done. Well expect the same ol and we can’t complain. As we had (have)our chance and Donald can be a speaker. Along with Ben. Nester and anyone else they select. !

        It’s a must. We should not waste a golden opportunity. !!!!!!!!

      • @James- That “golden opportunity” would be the POTUS and DOJ pissing out the window down on assembled Vets. They clearly do not care or they would have carried out charges after investigations.

      • Maybe. But when opportunity knocks. Take advantage of it. !

        If they would piss on us. The more the better to show American’s what America is really about. !

        Are people afraid of being arrested. Not being treated for my PTSD and TBI. I’ve had experience with arrests. Non violent. !

        I just know. Veteran’s have an opportunity to express themselves in front of the ? !

        If someone had an opportunity. They should take it. That’s why they call it an opportunity. !

        Ever ? the saying. I missed my opportunity. ! Wish I had another chance. Boy did I mess up. Opportunity only knocks once. !

        I hear it knocking loud and clear. To many people are tone death and would rather complain than take action. !

        Donald Trump understands opportunity and he’s taking his. !

        It’s time we take ours. !

        Excuses are easy the remedy is harder and someone has to do it. It’s a lot easier with others by your side !

        Anyone can complain all that gets someone us ulcers and more to complain about. !

        Oh well. !!!!!!

      • James & namnibor

        There were over 600,000 people in Washington for the “POW/MIA” rally a some weeks ago.
        Many spoke, including some ‘former POW’s, Congressmen and women, Mr. Trump and a score of other’s!
        Has anything changed over this issue? NOT ONE DAMN THING!
        Everything McCain and Kerry put into place years ago, remains!
        A “march”, in my opinion, will do nothing.
        If anyone can come up with a better idea, I’m all ears.

        BTW – I gave the correct number of attendees – “Six hundred thousand plus!” as reported through many (conservative) news sources!

      • My hat’s off to all of them. The wheels move very slow. Hopefully it will not be for nothing. !

        I guess my TBI is acting up and I did not see or remember that run. If I did I would have been there oh well I missed my opportunity. !

        Hope their wrong and opportunity knocks twice. In the future of anyone hears of such an affair. Please let me know. !

        I try to insteal into my grandchildren of you believe strongly enough about something. Do something about it. !

        It’s just like the saying the only dumb question is the one not asked. !

        I guess I’m just getting old and worry to much about thing’s I can’t change.

        But no one can say I did not try !

        I guess it will give my grandchildren to do when their disabled and have to go through the same thing. !

        God bless America . no one else is !

      • @Crazy Elf – With 600,000 people in Washington spending money on lodging, food, drink, whatever else there is profit being made. To make a statement each & every attendee Must Not spend one red nickel, that would make a statement that would be heard.

  14. What see is not much getting done as usual from the VA other than Propaganda Spinning.

    I still setting here waiting for the dam DRO to give his SOC from the BS statements from Non-Certified Nurse’s.

    I still being treated by a Social Worker for Depression and Anxiety for which the Examiner said I needed to be seeing a Psychiatrist for deeper issue’s pertaining to PTSD. Of which the Social Worker says I do not have PTSD ans said she would go all the way to the Hill and deny it.

    I am still trying to get the dam doctor at my local VA Clinic to turn in a Referral to Orthopedics for them to look at my knee since it has had two surgeries and the doctor that did both of them said he could no longer patch them they needed new ones. But the C/P examiner said there was nothing wrong with me as I could run 3 miles a day, climb 200 steps, sit behind a desk for 16 of 24 hours. Yes I am Miraculously Healed by the Powers of VA System.

    Yes this is a bad day for me as the pain is so severe and pain killers don’t stop shit. It makes me not know the pain is still there. And not including the fkn VA denying I was exposed to Asbestos, but claims I have nothing wrong with my lungs. Come on VA tell me what the spots are inside my lungs and don’t be ignorant and claim it is cigarette smoke. It does not explain the shortness of breath, night sweats, high whiteblood cell count, nor the weight i have put on so fast.

    So yes come on any stupid idiot that works for the VA come on here and explain why my suffering benefits your job.

    Tell my grandson I never get to see and my unborn granddaughter who I will never get to see how wonderful you are and how much you helped me out. Please explain to my wife how wonderful you are. And explain that to my 25 year old son and 20 year old daughter how wonderful you are and how much you are doing to help ease the pain and suffering. Please VA explain to my family why I am not able to the Father I could of been or the Grandfather I could of been.

    Oh only if we could of helped him earlier how much more his life would of changed the lives of others.

    But it is the fkn VA that is proud of what they don’t do and thankful for Veterans that entrust our lives in their hands.

    Don’t ask what the VA can do for us !!!!! But ask how many lives can we Sacrifice for their Paycheck !!!!

    Have a Wonderful fkn Day !!!!

    • They put you with a social worker to do their dirty work. Say stuff about you that is not true. !

      You. HAVE to be very careful what you tell them ? They are looking for key word’s to use against you. !

      Their favorite ploy is to talk to veterans about their child hood. Then they blame your child hood for your problems.

      Make sure you get all copies of your record’s and I bet they attacked you in some way.

      They throne their own spin and miss use your word’s. I volunteeredand because I told them jobs were hard to find. So I decided to join the army.

      The social worker twisted my word’s and put into questioned my patriotism to thus country.

      Other than honorable. !

      I served 3 year’s active duty and then 6 year’s with the guard. Anyone wanting to join for any reason should be thanked not belittled or lied about.

      Me volunteering got me a bullet to the head and they question my loyalty to thus country. While they sit behind a desk and try to belittle you. !

      All of you be very careful. They will twist your word’s. Of you don’t believe me. Get your record’s and see what their writing about you. !

      Eye opener. ! They don’t care if you got shot. You did not die. Do your fair game.

      Some gave all and they got so much respect. Until they threw the dirt on the grave hand the VA says good ridence one less veteran I have to deal with.

    • @ Albert – Just yesterday I read an article about why knee surgery may fail an overlooked ligament, the anterolateral ligament, or A.L.L. located on the outside, front portion of the knee, maybe that could be the issue in your knee.
      I was also exposed to Asbestos & when I asked for the test I was told “We don’t do that” yet my shipmates whom I keep touch with have all been tested already. I think it better you vent your anger on here, than out in the ‘real’ world. Stay sane, be smart, take care.

  15. of course the OIG was getting paid to misinform and misrepresent . hey if your a veteran and have been a veteran for a while than u should know the veteran affairs is against veterans.

    And if not, u probably work for them or your a broke back mountain politician dollar bucking for every bureaucrat hidden buthole agenda can lather up for. dont even bother when hillary becomes president .VA will just turn itself in to a fortune 500 scam.

    u cant give checks and balances if your the one constantly balancing a checking your own azz for a paycheck. because misinforming is a temptation close as a wallet can get in Washington D.C it doesnt take much to find out that its every man or women for him or herself. No matter if your on top or bottom of veteran employment .

    VA TAKES GOOD PEOPLE IN THERE JOBS TO MAKE THEM BAD SO EVERYONE CAN GET PAID A DIFFERENT WAY AT THE END OF THE DAY NOTHING REALLY CHANGES AND THE SHOW TURNS AND TUNES ON INTO ANOTHER DIALOGUE OF BACKLOG AND DISGRUNTLE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.VETS ARENT CONSIDER HUMAN IN THE VA THERE CONSIDERED ITEMS PRICE CHECKED TO THE SOUNDS OF CORRUPTED WALL ST AND CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN

  16. In regards to the article by USA Today one only needs to visit the article and click on the authors name, which is Donovan Slack. This will take you to a page with information about Ms. Donovan Slack and a list of articles that have been published by her.

    Clearly she is a state sponsored propagandist backing Hillary Clinton in this election cycle.

    Her back ground includes working for Politico in the press pool at the White House, just prior to her current position, where she covered day-by day developments in the Obama administration. Which is basically a position where you write what you are told to write or you lose your spot in the press pool. State propaganda all the way.

    In regards to the VA IG clearly he is an expert in white washing. Don’t expect anything more out of him that is all he believes his job entails and he seems to be good at it. All said Missal is just another totally useless piece of shit at the VA.

    • Thanks Seymore, that’s definitely a “AH-HA” moment on the author of this “propaganda piece” of garbage! Can anyone say, “PAY OFF!”

      I see a lot more coming out down the pike before the November elections. And, if a certain “Sal Alinski-ite Socialist Democrat Follower” is elected, we’re all doomed!
      “VA Titanic’s” death toll so far, will be considered miniscule!

      That’s all I gotta say on that!

      • Seymore. Your post about the veteran that they say committed suicide. Is really bothering me. I read another article about another veteran they claim (Denver) that he also killed himself with a gun outside the Denver vamc. !

        I don’t know why But My gut is telling me. There is way more to this story.

        I wonder who is doing the investigation. If the FBI is not involved it’s just another crazy veteran killing himself. !

        His many more have to committ suicide on VA grounds. Before authorities do a proper investigation. !

        Denver. Has a big problem of covering things up and no one seems to care. !

        If. You hear anything else about this case. Please Keep us updated. !

        God rest his sole. !

  17. just when one thinks there to be a bit of hope, along comes this article knocking one back down the hill, again. try, try & try again.

    never ends with the VA or for that matter, the corruption in D.C.

    some might like Sanders due to his stance on war, but his words about conservatives not caring for veterans and starting wars, and there’s some truth to that granted, but that truth is on both sides of the aisle. Libya and Syria comes to mind and all the fiascoes they hold.

    anyone see Sanders hold VA/VBA accountable for ANYTHING over the years? he gave em mo’ money though. more money with zero accountability. that’s just as bad as war mongers starting wars and not planning for veteran care & veteran disability. two sides of the same coin.

    and hillary and obama, didn’t they say in 2015 the problems at VA were made up by republicans!! give us veterans a break!! she & obama singing a little diff tune now in public, but still their usual bait & switch.

    the political lies are getting bolder, the corruptness on both sides getting more brazen as the citizen taxpayers get more shafted all the while that pain they feel is all in their head, its not real, as the MSM & politicos tell them, and they buy it.

    every legal right thing to do, we veterans and their families have tried, in vain, to get the corruptness at VA/VBA toned down to a manageable level. it ain’t a’happenin ladies and gentlemen … and now we see the corrupt MSM jumping on-board with the corruptness as they tend to do.

    ever feel you are SooL?

  18. I mentioned in a comment last year about my small VA in Grand Junction spending over $6 million in putting solar panels up all over the parking structures and hospital, but I couldn’t get a physical therapy machine after knee replacement surgery because the VA didn’t want to pay the monthly rent.
    The Washington Free Beacon has an article today about an IG report on the VA spending $408 million in that. The IG performed an audit of 11 of 15 solar projects awarded between 2010 and 2013 that were still being worked on as of May of last year.
    The IG finished its investigation in March and found only 2 of the 11 were completed.
    So the VA was spending over $400 million on solar lunacy while veterans were waiting and dying for care.
    Of course, the IG did not initiate this investigation into fraud, waste and abuse on its own, but only did it because 2 congressmen requested it.

  19. Yes i was in the Marine Corps. And in the late 80’s early 90’s it was time for the Troop count to be lowered by any means. Yes I was injured while Active, and back then I had no choice in requesting surgery to repair damages caused. No instead i was told by Command to go home we don’t need you anymore. And the VA has said the same thing since my discharge we did not cause you to get hurt and don’t feel it is our responsibility to take care of.

    2 back surgeries, 2 left knee arthroscopic surgeries and one right elbow tunnel repair later. Mid you I had to go and get private insurance to pay for private doctors to fix it the best they could.

    And back then I felt like they did not care what kind of damage it was they did not owe me any kind special treatment and let me go. Then the dam VA says they did not cause my injuries so it is not their responsibility to fix anything. Along the same lines as the VA saying that there is nothing wrong with me and that the discharge was a joke on me from the DOD and the Naval Physical Evaluation Board.

    I was asked earlier how I like the Preferred Choice Program?

    Honestly I have been able to use it as the local VA clinic makes sure if I request a consult they let the VA hospital know within minutes of me leaving so they can deny the consultant, and I stuck right back where I was before the office visit. Outta Luck !!!!

    I spend some of my time listening to VSO Reps. bitch because the VA has denied my service connected discharge from day one of discharged with a disability.

    But one thing I am glad to hear from new disabled is how the DOD and Physical Boards are giving them physicals and rating them before they get out and working with them to have their Claims approved before being Discharged. That in itself is good news because I have had to fight the VA for 26 now 27 years to get 10% both knees, and if where not for being sent to a real Phsyco – triatist and they telling the VA that have PTSD along with Depression and Anxiety Disorder. I which the only one the VA approved was for Depression so the dam Social Worker could make sure that every time I come in she could write down I was perky, frisky, and the best dam veteran she ever treated.

    Its not What Our Country can do for us Now….But what can Donate to the VA for having pitty on us and taking care of us !!!!!!

    FK U VA !!!! You want it real I am at end of my line and life I have nothing left now and don’t mind taking as many of you stinkin fuckin scumm bags with me……..

    And BTW I don’t need Mental Help according to the VA I am a Big Teddy….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BoooooooooM

    • This has been happening to millions of veterans and has caught the eye of some attorneys. !
      Do a search of veterans lawyers. And call them. Some do PTSD others medical. Tell them your story. Who knows you may find one that Will take your case. !

      And if not keep looking. I know it’s very frustrating dealing with the VA and they are doing everything they can not to give the veteran their deserved disabilities.

      It all starts with management. The more veterans they hurt. The more promotions they get. For being a team player.

      These are nasty. Nasty people and are very disruptive and must be held accountable for them being a threat to veterans.

      The keep talking about outside sources kouch brother’s and other’s. Well the FBI should find out what their up too. !

      Plenty of jail space with maddoff. !

  20. I moved, so I had to switch to a different VA facility. That was back on September 10th. I was given an appointment for November 30th, to see my new primary doctor. That appointment was later cancelled, because they did not allow “enough” time for the visit? My new appointment is now set for February 1st 2017. This is how the VA works, nothing has changed. The are lying, and don’t give a shit, if you complain. I guess they are above the law. Also a lot of people that work at the VA, look down on us Veterans, with absolutely with no respect. I’m a Vietnam Marine Corps combat veteran. This bullshit about “you served us” now “we will serve you” is a bunch of lying crap.

    • That’s how they get around the wait list. Over book and then cancel the appointment and if you would look at your record’s. More than likely it will say Canceled by veteran !

      Just as you can see in your record’s often. Veteran Refused appointment or medication !

      Just a ploy to make it look like thing’s are on the up and up. We know they are doing this and it’s a scam and management Has told their employees to do it.

      No matter if the veterans have been waiting month’s or as we seen where veteran’s have died do to this ploy.

      Management Knows what their doing is wrong ! They don’t care because they know higher management is part of it or they just don’t care !

      This will continue until the VA is stopped from policing themselves and they know they will be prosecuted and held accountable by our legal system.

      The Fox has been watching the hen house for so long. They are running out of chickens and the farmer is shooting blanks.

      Time to set traps and remove the Fox before veterans become extinct !

      • This is why I emailed the VAMC and VISN director. She said she would not in my records that I declined to schedule an appointment at this time, I told her the facts were I declined because the VA continues to bill my insurance for service connected care.

  21. Here is some disturbing news:
    An internal report blames staffers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida for leaving the body of a deceased veteran to decompose in a shower for nine hours and then trying to cover it up.
    The 24-page report concluded that hospice staffers at the Bay Pines VA hospital in Saint Petersburg Florida failed to provide appropriate post-mortem care to the veteran’s body, Fox 13 Tampa reports.
    The report found hospice staff put the veteran’s body in a hallway and left it there for an unspecified time, the station reported. Staff then put the veteran’s body in the shower room and did not “check on the status of the decedent…for over nine hours.”
    The report also found that a staff member then “falsely documented” the incident, Fox 13 reported.
    The investigative report said that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.
    “The report details a total failure on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and an urgent need for greater accountability,” Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., told the station. “Unsurprisingly, not a single VA employee has been fired following this incident, despite a clear lack of concern and respect for the veteran. The men and women who sacrificed on behalf of our nation deserve better.”
    The unnamed veteran died in February after spending time in hospice care.
    The hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board ordered retraining for staff.
    Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel told the Tampa Bay Times hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable.
    I don’t know if want to sign up with this VA facility.

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