Will House Democrats Pick A Real Leader Or Put Politics Before Veterans?

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Democrats Tim Walz

Democrats Tim Walz

House Democrats have an opportunity to pick proven leader to for House VA Committee leadership position to undue failures last year, but will they?

At the beginning of last Congress, House Democrats had an opportunity to select proven soldier and veteran Tim Walz (D-MN) into a leadership position in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Instead, for inner-caucus reasons, the party passed on solid leadership in favor of corrupt Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL).

The decision angered many within the veteran community and undermined Democrats’ longtime promise to put veterans’ issues in front of DC bureaucratic interests.

This time around, will Democrats pull another “Corrine” and pick someone unqualified who can be bullied by special interests including the unions or will they put the interests of veterans ahead of their internal politics and pick decorated veteran Tim Walz?

RELATED: House Democrats have opportunity for redemption in selecting VA Cmte leader

Criminals And Politics

Shortly after Brown’s selection, she was indicted in a criminal prosecution that resulted in her early removal from Congress. But that removal did not come before she further obstructed reforms for Veterans Choice and greater accountability of VA employees.

RELATED: What Is Behind Corrine Brown Indictment?

While in Congress, Brown had a reputation for being ill-prepared and being confused about basic issues on the committee despite spending many years there.

She also developed a “hyper partisan persona, and combative working relationship with Republicans on the committee.”

Now What Democrats, Tim Walz?

Rep. Tim Walz has thrown his hat back into the ring. For those unfamiliar, Walz served 24 years in the military and reached the rank of Command Sergeant Major making him the highest ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress.

Walz’s Accolades In A Nutshell

His accolades do not stop there. According to an op-ed from The Hill:

“[Walz led] a bipartisan coalition and getting a major veteran suicide prevention bill passed (Clay Hunt SAV Act) through a Republican Congress and signed by President Barack Obama that cemented his bi-partisan negotiating chops at a time when none of us thought partisan politics could be put aside–even for veterans. 

“He negotiated effectively to elevate many other legislative priorities and policy issues during his tenure on the VA committee as well, and attracts hope from those of us in the veteran community through his affable and accessible persona, and workhorse reputation.Congressman Tim Walz has been a proven leader for Veterans, and understand the unique needs of our community, he is one of us, and frankly we need him.”

This all seems great, right? But there is a problem.

Walz is challenged yet again by another non-veteran, Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA).

Despite being well-liked in the ranks of Democrats, Takano lacks the experience and familiarity with veterans possessed by Walz. But that issue alone has clearly not stopped Democrats from selecting an incompetent leader over Walz.

Will House Democrats learn from their mistake and put the interests of veterans ahead of other internal haggling in the Democratic Caucus? Is there something else in the woodwork holding Walz back in the Committee?

While stumping on the Hill, I had a chance to meet Walz in person. In the few minutes we talked, I had no inclination that he exuded anything other than a strong passion to help veterans.

His positions have been consistent and he is not afraid to take on the unions, which is a rarity these days within the ranks of House Democrats and even some Republicans. Maybe therein lies the fly in the ointment. Walz is no sycophant of the unions unlike many of his colleagues in the same party.

But maybe, just maybe, Walz should set his sights higher than a leadership position in Congress. Why not take on the whole system?

Since Trump was elected, numerous names have been floated to lead the corrupt agency charged with caring for out nation’s veterans.

Personally, I believe Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) is the best person for the job. However, if he is not selected, maybe Trump should consider Walz, a veteran leader with real chops and skin in the game.

I have wondered for years what it would be like to see a veteran who served as an enlisted soldier take over the agency after more than a decade of failed policies from West Point graduates.

Names have changed, but the one remaining constant for the past 15 years is West Point graduates in primary leadership positions within the agency.

For example, Jim Nicholson, James Peake, Eric Shinseki, Sloan Gibson IV and Robert McDonald are all West Point graduates. That is more than a decade of nothing but West Point graduates running VA.

Why is no one talking about this? Are veterans better off after 10 years or is it time we do a West Point purge? Is West Point the swamp we need to look into?

If your answer leans toward the latter, perhaps Democrats need to consider either pushing Walz into a leadership role within the House Committee on Veterans Affairs or into the leadership position at VA. If Miller is selected to lead VA, Walz could provide a needed bridge between the agency and a Secretary Miller administration.

What do you think?

Were Democrats putting the interests of veterans ahead of Brown’s selection to lead Democrats at the Committee?

Will they put veterans first this time around?

Corrine Brown In Action

Here is a flashback… an oldie but goodie.

During this 2013 hearing, Brown said, and I quote, “I don’t blame the Senate. I thank God for the Senate… the bad politics of this House. And at some point. You know. Let’s don’t confuse nobody with facts.”

Right, because “facts” do not matter.

Brown was defending VA for dropping the ball. That is the person Democrats thought should lead their initiatives in the Committee. Not Tim Walz.

Personally, I watched her at numerous hearings and she was a complete trainwreck at every hearing. TRAINWRECK. I remember texting my friends in the Committee asking, “Did she just say that?”

Don’t veterans deserve a real leader who puts their interests first within the Committee charged with helping us?

Most veterans, including me, do not expect to be front and center at every moment. But within the Committee responsible for helping veterans, we better damn well get the consideration and leadership we deserve from our elected officials.

For those who do not recall, the above video and numerous other clips followed a possible shutdown of VA where the agency used a 17-year old plan and freaked out many disabled vets who rely on the agency.

WATCH: VA Dropped Ball During Shutdown

Back to it. Who should lead? Does Tim Walz have what it takes? Or will Democrats pull another Corrine?

Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-military/307930-house-democrats-have-opportunity-for-redemption-in-selecting

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62 Comments

  1. congress same old dog @ PONY SHOW VETS YO WILL BE SCREWED AGIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Tomah Update:-| “https://www.rt.com/usa/368642-tomah-va-dentist-santitation/”

    “A dentist put nearly 600 veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin at risk of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C after failing to follow standard sanitation procedures. The VA is now offering free screenings.”

    “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Tuesday that a dentist’s failure to use sterilized equipment put close to 600 patients at its Tomah hospital at risk of diseases like HIV or hepatitis. While there have been no reports of infections since it was reported on October 20, the VA has pledged to provide treatment to any veterans that are found to be infected.

    The screenings were announced after a dentist hired in October 2015 was discovered to be reusing drill bits without proper sterilization, while the VA requires dentists only use each drill bit once, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

    “He brought in his own [dental] burs and cleaned them with Virex solution, salt and a wipe which is nothing we endorse,” Victoria Brahm, the center’s acting director, said at a press conference. In fact, that practice has not been standard procedure for quite some time.

    President-elect of Wisconsin’s Dental Association, Dr. David Clemens, told WKBT, “When I first started doing dentistry in 1980, that was considered acceptable.” However, he explained that dentists have since been required to put reusable tools through an autoclave for sterilization.

    The problem was only brought to the VA’s attention after the dental assistant he normally worked with was replaced by a different assistant who reported it to the dental chief. The dental assistant that regularly worked with the doctor is under investigation by the VA administration for not bringing the practice to their attention.”

    • Nice. I’m guessing this was the usual 3rd world dentist the VA hired who knew nothing more about proper sterilization because it’s still standard practice wherever he came from.

  3. I have no faith in republicans or democrats. Seeing shinseki again brings up bad issues for me. I did have respect for him and the va until i learned thru experience what they are really about. Bad leadership is bad leadership who has confidence in that? Politicians do not know the workings of the medical centers or the agencies under the va umbrella. How are they to identify problems and place corrective actions in this organization of culture of crime, corruption and lies? I followed the MCM’s duty to report criminal activity and believed that officials would do the right things. It ended in disaster with myself as an object for abuse and for a short time period i was under the surveillance of the VAOIG. Because of their crimes i was subjected to more abuses. I have had disappointments in life and do not look thru life with rose colored glasses, but seeing corruption firsthand changes you and you try to have some faith again in people as before, it is just so very difficult. I am a Veteran and ashamed of myself and the va.

    • Nothing to be ashamed of…you tried doing the right thing.

      Most normal people are quite shaken when they expect leaders they admire to do the right thing, only to find out they are as corrupt and without morals as a drug dealer.

      It shows good character when bad character is recognized, and shame might be felt by being duped by a bad character. How you react shows whether you retained your character or were drawn down to their level.

  4. It worries me that the Democrats may just treat this position in an offensive against Trump in the Dem’s being hell-bent to protect the precious VA AFGE Union, in attempts to derail accountability at the expense of Veterans, just to show how bent the snowflakes are over losing the election and to protect that cuddly wuddly AFGE cash cow.
    As for the new VA Secretary, I really have no angst with Officers of any kind, but it’s high time to place a leatherneck retired enlisted drill Sgt. rather than yet another West Point Autobot.

  5. Seymore,
    How about putting your comment from yesterday on here. The one which you talk about that navy seal from Montana. He sounds pretty good to lead VA.
    I’m not sure if Rep. Miller is right for the job. He’s not really stood up for veterans, or our many issues, against VA down here. I may be wrong, but maybe not!
    I think it’s going to take someone with balls to go in to clean up the VA. In my opinion, Miller lacks that fortitude to get the job done.
    _________________

    As far as Corrine Brown is concerned. I live in Florida. She’s been a complete disaster from the beginning.
    I’m hoping she ends up in prison for that so-called non-profit organization, which was actually a “for-profit”, she was involved in.

    She’s always complaining about some foolish issue down here. I guess the “powers that be” got tired of her B/S!
    She deserves everything coming her way……….

  6. Ben,

    It simply does not matter who sits on any committee in Congress. It matters maybe in the sense that a greater “meta-game” is being played and a chairmanship or a seat on a committee might be useful as some kjnd of bargaining chip – but it means nothing.

    If that committee was staffed fully by Congressional Medal of Honor winners whomhad risen to the rank of Command Sergeant Majors, and vowed upon their death to make the abomination called “Veterans Affairs” a servant of The People, the result would be a bunch of dead heroes.

    Trying to figure out who should lead such a flaccid congressional group is like debating whether to use brand name Viagra or generic before you even have a date – and My God with the current target of VA medicine deliveries being ten days you better find a LOT TO DO with your date while you wait!

    Expecting a political body at has failed America since it was conceived to suddenly find the right chemistry to work is like expecting a VA doctor to practice competent medicine – at times it seems that way, until you count the bodies.

    VA is a failed American experiment. There is zero reason anymore to expect it to work. Dismantle it, integrate it into Social Security part “M”, and SSDI-VBA adjudication by workers comp judges.

    And then fire up the bulldozers and flatten every last memory of this horrific episode in America. Give EVERY single VA employee the pink slip and move America forward. Solution.

    • @Dennis- I quite like your “Solution” proposition. Dissolution Is The Solution!!

      Dissolution: Noun.

      1.

      the act or process of resolving or dissolving into parts or elements.

      2.

      the resulting state.

      3.

      the undoing or breaking of a bond, tie, union, partnership, etc.

      4.

      the breaking up of an assembly or organization; dismissal; dispersal.

      5.

      Government. an order issued by the head of a state terminating a parliament and necessitating a new election.

      6.

      death; decease.

      7.

      a bringing or coming to an end; disintegration; decay; termination.

    • I searched the entire wingding nation for a flaccid pens wingding to stick onto every VA comment, but can’t find any.

  7. Y’all might want to read this article from, “Constitutional Health”. Originally from “Wellness Covenant” about one of our favorite subjects – “Big Pharma!”
    There were a LOT of Lobbyists involved in it. I think it was something like 1,500 Lobbyists. The ‘bill’ is quite lengthy. So is the article.
    Written by: Dr. Eugene Koprowski.
    Titled;

    “New Law Makes Prescription Drugs Even More Dangerous”

    It would be interesting to find out all the drugs names. Because, y’all can be sure the VHA is going to be testing them on us!
    I’m tired of being a “lab rat” for VA!

    • I’m fortunate that my state is a medical marijuana state and that I have a qualifying condition (PTSD)

      I have sworn off taking any form of man made mental health medication, the risks are just to severe if something goes wrong. I find that cannabis helps bring me down from murderous rages I experience, and it does it quickly, none of this “oh well we have to figure out your dosage and then you need to take it for x number of days and hey maybe it’ll work and if it doesn’t well we have this other pill we can try”

      Fuck. That. Shit.

  8. Seymore, namnibor and others,
    From: “The Alex Jones Channel”
    Dated: 30 Nov. 2016 – (11:08 min)
    Joe Biggs & Margaret Howell reporting.
    Titled;
    “Ohio State Attacker Update”

    In the video, questions were raised to a large population of Somalis living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Such as;
    “Do you want Sharia Law here?” Answer; “YES!”
    “Where would you want to live, Somalia or the United States?”
    Answer; “Somalia!”
    In my opinion, IF these individuals would rather live in Somalia, then by all means, GO BACK! Nothing is stopping y’all from going!

    • P.S.
      There’s also a very large population of Somalis living in Ohio. From my understanding around 50,000!
      I wonder how many would go back to Somalia?

    • @Crazy elf- There’s a pretty large effort here locally at this huge liberal college of Ohio State to NOT call the attack terrorism of any kind. Why? The Somali and Muslim community is claiming according to the now dead machete/butcher knife attacker’s complaints on social media that (wait for it…) the attacker was all butt hurt about the fact when he came to the Ohio State campus pretty fresh from Somalia, he complained that he needed to “pray 5x or more a day” and that the university and Americans did not provide him and all Muslims enough prayer rooms. I kid you not.

      What I say to that is: Go the f____ back to Somalia and stop complaining. Mud hut or American’s generosity: pick. If you pick American Generosity, then BE GRATEFUL. This Muslim Terrorist Snowflake now has the liberal protesting snowflakes taking to the streets in organized and peaceful protests for the damn campus to have a plethora of new prayer rooms and possibly even a brand new shiny mosque. WTF?

      Just Northwest of the city is a HUGE Muslim mosque in Dublin, Ohio. Columbus has just as many now as Minneapolis/St. Paul(70,000+ Somali Refugees) and they have been getting quite “stabby” lately but it’s been kept out of the news because the liberals have a dialogue they want to pursue because they want a bunch MORE imported and Trump is their possible nemesis to their plans. The liberals refuse to acknowledge that the “plans” are for Sharia Law, nothing less.

      Yep, not enough prayer rooms always makes Christians go wacko and start stabbing and running over people with vehicles. WTF?

      • However, one could easily argue that “religion” has been the front row and center cause for majority of wars on Earth historically. Pick a flavor of religion and look at the history pages stained with much blood. Even the Catholics.

      • What is truly sad in all of that rush to paint that bastard as the victim is the usual ignoring of the REAL victims by the left.

        In all of the reporting on this attack, I still have not seen a list of the victims, male, female, black, white, asian, etc., with the exception of one professor who was injured.
        That professor also said he was reserving judgement of the attacker. Likely because he fears the backlash from other leftists.

      • The Ohio State Univ. President, Dr. Drake, may as well be a quasi clone of Obama’s liberalism. Drake was recruited directly from a liberal arts college in California and as soon as he came in he fired some really good professors. Anyone that disagrees with Drake finds a pink slip or similar.
        It will not surprise me one bit if the Univ. paints this as the Universities fault for not having a massive masque on every corner for blankees to pray on. Wait for it.

  9. Hey, namnibor
    There’s a report out this morning, from “GOP the Daily Dose”, concerning a Mosque in Columbus Ohio “…just one mile from the University…”! Which is under “…6 investigations…” tying it to RADICAL Islamic terrorism!
    The Mosque leadership is denying any involvement, of course!

    I think when President Elect Trump is inaugurated, we’re going to see these (RADICALIZED) Mosque’s turned into parking lots. Like some of the European countries are doing.
    I read yesterday, or the day before, Germany is “deporting [up to] 80,000 Muslims!”
    I believe France, after that Muslim ran over 100’s of French Citizens, has begun shutting down Mosque’s as well.

    I’m not a heartless individual. I believe the United States, and other countries, should help those less fortunate due to the many wars in process. Yet, at the same time, if the refugees don’t want to assimilate, then send them back. Let the young men fight their own wars.
    President Elect Trump want to put them in “safe spaces” in other middle East countries. I say that’s a great idea.
    Saudi Arabia has thousands of air conditioned tents not being used. Why don’t they take those of their religion.
    The majority of Somalis and other Muslim refugees really don’t want to be here. So, send them back!

  10. Here’s a new video out from: ‘Amicus Humani” –
    “NEW Jason Chaffetz Grills DEA For Spending $100,000,000 “You Screwed Up””
    (07:21 minutes)
    Published on Nov 30, 2016 – “Congress is back in session boys and girls! Chairman Chaffetz is back!”
    And yes, that figure is correct, “ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS” of taxpayers monies! Down the drain, gone, puff, no more, etc., etc., etc.!

    First, let me say,. If that’s a pay scale, I’d love to work for AMTRAK!

    Or, how about that contract for a plane that doesn’t fly. Where high ranking officials received a bonus.
    And y’all thought the VA was bad! Looks like (SH)its spread around pretty thick in all our government agencies!
    Time to”DRAIN THE (complete government) SWAMP” of all the carrion!

    • @ Crazy elf- Know that especially during military operations, aka War and ‘Peacekeeping Activities” money sources are clouded by funneling $$ from other major agencies. Remember the news decades ago about the DOD spending millions on of all things, toilet seats and other seemingly ambiguous line items?

      However, AMTRAK has pretty much always been a bleeding turnip and why it was never fully privatized probably is much like the VA in that it’s a great cash cookie jar.

      Will the Democrats pick a pro-Veteran swamp creature wrangler for the draining? At this point, we must at least try something completely different that only requires accountability with real teeth and consequences.

      I like Tim Walz’s smile and dedication to Service Members. Looks to be an actual leader.

  11. You are right, Ben. Officers get preferential treatment from medical boards. Enlisted have to fight it out with the VA and PAs assigned to do VA and enlisted military initial compensation examinations. Used to be all military received medical examinations and medical boards if indicated or requested on release from active duty.

  12. Since I’ve been paying attention, I’ve seen many leaders in different areas in our country were supposed to be pretty good people come and go. I think something happens to you when you get a Post in government and you just lose your head . Maybe it’s a power thing . I don’t care how good you were in life what you did in life , just seems like when you get into government you’re not the same person . Sorry Ben, I have no choices .

    • The power of lobbyists and campaign fund purse strings. Rather simple. The choice of doing right and being one term or trying to stay and get more right over the long term. Short term strides are not seen in this situation.

    • The problem is always what priorities that are set by leadership. If a leader wanted the VA cleaned up, that would be a priority, with appropriate funding and authority provided. If a leader wanted good representation in a committee, then they would make sure they had good representation.

      This goes for either party. In a lot of respects, I don’t like the idea of Miller being SecVA because the scandals continued with no real consequences. On the other hand, did House leadership make it a priority? Did Miller have their support? I doubt they did with current leadership. The Senate committee has been a joke.

      If the SecVA is going to clean up the VA, then the WH and OMB need to give them the authority and funding to do so, and make it a priority.

      A priority every bit as high or higher as the priority set by Obama for bringing in refugees.

      • I agree with your comments regarding the WH engagement, however, OMB is almost as bad internally as the VA. The layers of bureaucracy in either place is insane. I was an Asst Director for 2 years at the VA and left to the public sector because of the incredible level of incompetence I witnessed. Trying to fire subordinates is fool hearty and almost career ending for some. The union although seemingly weak i.e. having no strike capability, are well entrenched and strongly supported by the Democratic Party. Couple that with corrupt Civil Service Review Board and you have the ingredients for bureaucratic swamp.

      • Yeah, I agree about the OMB, but I believe if the WH sets a priority, the OMB wouldn’t matter much, unless Congress wants something different.
        Too often they use faceless bureaucrats there as an excuse…because it’s not a priority for them.
        Health care for vets is not as sexy as a new bridge in someone’s district.
        As for firing…that too is dependent on leaders, or someone with the patience and guts to follow through. Set a precedent by firing a few, and you might see many more straighten up.
        I believe Labor Relations board members are appointees, and if the WH appoints appropriate people, these unions might lose their protection. Just losing the WH and not having enough in Congress significantly weakens them. What politician will stand up for an incompetent union hack rather than veterans health care if health care is a priority of the WH?

      • It’s imperative that the WH drives any reform. Without the president it will fail. Labor relation appointees is a start but the real power behind the AFGE is the Democratic Party. They will vote against any actions where encroachment of union power is perceived. We’re talking huge sums of cash being donated to democrats from the union.

  13. West Point graduates are not the problem at the VA. The corrupt union protection and the archaic civil service laws protecting non performing corrupt employees. Until these are done away with it makes no difference who is leading the VA. They will not go away without direct presidential involvement.

  14. The more career veterans who are on that committee – – – the better it will be for our community at large. Especially if they have seen combat. What is truly needed is to establish some formal ongoing training for civilian members of that committee in order that they may better understand our concerns, and disdain for overly-lengthy “conversations” articulating them. Action, not all year-long talk is what is needed.

    Marine Drill Instructors are uniquely qualified to instruct such people.

    • She can sit behind a desk and do nothing as well as any head of the VA since it became a “Department” instead of an “Administration” and probably since the “entitlement” curtailment first started by President Reagan. Nixon and Carter also pretty much ignored the VA.

  15. >>@Ben: This time around, will Democrats pull another “Corrine” and pick someone unqualified who can be bullied by special interests including the unions or will they put the interests of veterans ahead of their internal politics and pick decorated veteran Tim Walz?

    more likely the former, i suspect. they kept pelosi on seat!! that speaks major volume.

  16. Sorry Ben, Walz has two strikes against him, perhaps 3. 1. Walz doesn’t blindly support the unions. 2. Takano is from CA and is likely a Pelosi ally, and she likely wants his support for House Minority Leader. 3…maybe, Walz was enlisted….Many would likely think that’s like hiring the gardener.
    Long gone are the days of putting good people in leadership positions in the mold of Lane Evans.

    For veterans sake, I would rather see Walz as minority chair than another crooked lunatic like Brown.
    Since Pelosi was reinstalled as House Minority leader, I think Walz just lost any chance.
    As for SecVA, yeah, West Point is not looking to good with their history with the VA.

    I do hear Palin is in the running for that slot now. I’m not sure what to think of that. Perhaps she could do well, or be a good #2 behind Miller.

    • I also just read that Palin is being considered for SecVA god help us the woman is a lunatic.

      I would absolutely LOVE to see a Cmd Sgt Mj as SecVA. Can you imagine an E-9 going knee deep in scrub assholes all day long? 😀 😀 😀 Pink slips would be spitting out faster than pez.

      • I agree and mentioned that as my pick a few weeks ago. A few, old school crusty E-9s to provide some overworked bureaucrats some perspective.

        As for Palin, she might just be what the VA needs. A crabby mother and mother-in-law of a veteran who won’t hesitate to rip a new ass on some bureaucrat because she knows what they go through to get care.

      • I have serious issue in attempting to take Palin seriously on anything. I am fearful she is as much of an opportunistic political leech as others, but maybe that’s a false narrative painted by the media?
        I really prefer a leatherneck E-9 with a chip on shoulder about the AFGE in the VA.

  17. A leader needs followers . No one in the VA at least in the bureaucracy of the VA, are followers. The VA needs total reform . Without reforming the VA , what use is a leader? I agree with most things said on the site . Without Congress, without the Senate , veterans will be without a leader . So , where is the reform ?

  18. Also sorry Ben,

    But Tim Walz is bought and paid for by Health Net, Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota and a whole list of Unions. Plus other Healthcare systems.

    He is not working for Veterans but against them when it comes to VAMC Minneapolis. With Minneapolis being one of the largest research hospitals in the Veterans Administration supporting the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota by supplying Veterans used in research with very little oversight.

    Speaking as a Veteran that has been crippled by the research at VAMC Minneapolis.

    Source:
    Top Contributors for Representative Timothy J Walz Campaign Finances from the Center for Responsible Politics at: “https://www.opensecrets.org/”

    • In all fairness, I think you would be very hard-pressed to find *anyone* in current gov’t politics that do not have lobbyist connections and such. I am not a fan of the lobbyist mess nor am I making excuses for anyone, but if Pres. Elect Trump also plans to try to get rid of the lobbyists within the swamp, when that water is gone, pretty much most of D.C. will then be vacant…that’s how prevalent the lobbyist stench is in current politics.

      Finding the “perfect human” untainted by lobbyist in D.C would be a futile task.

      • Namnibor,

        I agree with you whole heartedly, but all of the top 20 donors to his campaigns the groups I stated. From Federal employee Unions to State employee Unions to county and city employee Unions. Not to mention again Health Net, Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota and other Healthcare systems. No other Donors in the top 20.

        Unions and Healthcare Providers and research organizations.

        Having personally been majorly screwed over by the VAMC Minneapolis and I see who is buying Tim Walz seat for him in the House of Representatives I know he is not Representing Veterans.

      • @Seymore Klearly- Good researching. All good stuff to know. I too, am tired of big pharma playing pin the RX on the Vet, even in the private sector. I literally had to put my own law down during this entire year, using Medicare at a large Univ. Hospital when I learned that the all the constant changing of staff were people moving-onto the VA to work while using patients (extra points if that patient is a Vet…), and they were screwing with meds I have taken since mid-90’s and it took me just officially leaving care and going as all natural with that as possible for PTSD. It’s all about $$$ and I could tell they were not used to patients standing-up for themselves but I may not be exactly better off for it, I am definitely safer as I no longer trust Psych Dr.’s one bit.
        I had no idea the Mayo Clinic was knee-deep with the VHA as well because Mayo gets primo grant and research $ worldwide from huge private donors as well.
        Nothing’s safe from damn lobbyists.

  19. “I have wondered for years what it would be like to see a veteran who served as an enlisted soldier take over the agency after more than a decade of failed policies from West Point graduates.”

    Hear Hear.

    I have rarely met a ringknocker who didn’t over exaggerate their competence and abilities. It’s not hard when they surround themselves with fellow ringknockers who kiss each other’s hineys and all other non-ringknockers must bow down to their superiority – or be made to acknowledge it.

    This goes for all service academies. Personally, I firmly believe it’s time to drain the academy swamps and take a hard look at the toxicity of unwarranted favoritism that permeates our Armed Forces due to their failure at molding true leaders of men.

    • You haven’t a clue what you are talking about. The swamp is protected. Short of abrogating the union and completely getting rid of the civil service protections and replacing them with a performance based system the swamp will continue. The West Pointers have had their hands tied by congressional lifers and an incompetent administration. The system is corrupt to the core. The fact that Shinseki, and McDonald are West Point graduates has nothing to do with the problems at the VA.

      • America has bowed to and employed a group to tend the money that helps vets. This group refers to itself as a “brotherhood”. The brotherhood has sons, fathers, and grandfathers now who became wealthy and powerful.

        A brotherhood owes core loyalty to the brothers. Everyone else is secondary.

        And America has again implemented “seperate but equal” policies on a group of citizens. Vets get seperate care without choice, but VA claims it is equal to the other class of citizen care.

        We bus veterans long distance at times to serve their needs equally but seperate. I can think of another class of people that tyrany visited under the idea of “seperate but equal”, because vets are certainly not the first ones in America treated like scum by the government.

        The brotherhood here does not wear white sheets but their disdain for those in their regard is no less caustic. Generations of AFGE brotherhood loyalties stand apart from that which is best for America. America should ask itself, “How did we get back to,the horror of “seperate but equal” government services?

        Now we are deciding on who is going to run a committtee to make “seperate but equal” fair??? Who the HELL is going to impement ANYTHING coming out of congress? – AFGE brothers. Third generation. Grandpa showed them the ropes as kids.

  20. Hey we know our Pusssy Grabber/Pres. Pervert/President Select Show No More Taxes, Orange Whiteman Presidente will Do something or Pretend to Talk Tough about it smfh….

    • If you have not attempted to grab a crotch in your life then you stand apart from the 95% that are truthful anout it. The one I grabbed was a consentual grope and very pleasant.

      I openly admit that I have grabbed a crotch – and liked it. Perverted?

      • I also once advocated for no taxes, but the IRS prevailled. damn. Socks are really hard to write off your taxes, but I,did advocate for the impossible just like most politicians.

        Off topic, but what is the taxable value of a Nobel Peace Prize?

  21. Have y’all heard, According to “Roiters” (sic), President Elect Trump “…is eying Sara Palin to lead the VA!”
    This came out last night or early today.
    Don’t know how true, yet, I feel she wouldn’t be a good choice!

  22. Hey Elf,

    I see the BBC World News Service found Robbie McDonald hiding out in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Well sort of found him, apparently, he didn’t let them use his image for their picture. To me it just looks like another AFGE, Robbie McDonald photo op with Robbie hiding out of frame and the AFGE members all hiding their faces behind signs and posters about not closing their VA clinic. It really is a pretty a very odd picture to say the least.

    Hot Springs SD has a population of 3,514 and the Clinic maintains 357 full time positions with an unknown number of part time positions. A search for more information on the clinic leads to few results and it is unknown as to what type of services are available at the Clinic. Although the Veterans administration does provide contact information for the clinic.

    Additional articles about the VA Clinic in Hot Springs say for the last five years’ a Save the VA Committee has been fighting the possible closure of the Clinic. That committee has also been fighting for VA dollars to renovate and upgrade the facility and double the number of rehab beds there.

    The mayor and the save the VA committee feel that many in Hot Springs feared that numerous good jobs would be lost due to the closure, and that fewer patients would arrive in town, devastating the local economy. The plan calls for culling about 290 full-time jobs from the Hot Springs VA work force that is now at 357 full-time equivalent jobs.

    The mayor also noted that the state is investing more than $30 million into building a new State Veterans Home that is slated to open in Hot Springs before year’s end, and that she and others are pushing hard for economic development and new jobs in the city.

    Considering the state is getting that $30 million to build the new Veterans home from the Veterans Administration. Money that would most likely be better used to help Veterans if they could get proper care closer to their own homes in their own communities.

    Perhaps I just don’t know the full story but it certainly seems that again Veterans are just being used and no one is looking out for Veterans in this situation. In this case Veterans are being used to create jobs and economic development under the guise of providing healthcare for Veterans.

    Sources:

    “Don Ackerman and others with Save the VA stand outside the Mueller Center in Hot Springs” Photo Credit Lee Strubinger, SDPB
    http://listen.sdpb.org/post/va-secretary-visits-hot-springs

    ________

    “VA Secretary Visits Hot Springs”, by Lee Strubinger, 11/30/2016
    http://listen.sdpb.org/post/va-secretary-visits-hot-springs

    _____________

    “Report: VA to push forward on closure of Hot Springs hospital”, Bart Pfankuch Journal staff, Rapid City Journal, Oct 29, 2015.

    “http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/report-va-to-push-forward-on-closure-of-hot-springs/article_c4956a65-b10b-5c66-b67b-e18cece8d38b.html”

    • The “City”? Hot Springs VA is listed as the most severely rural VA Hospital in the U S. Originally built as a care center for Civil War Veterans who served in the Union Army from the south because there was no safe place to care for them on the coasts.

      So why is the “Black Hills VA Medical Care” moving much of its operation to Fort Meade? Closer to Rapid City and Deadwood with better winter travel? It is a pretty expensive re-do leaving essentially only a clinic and drug rehab center in Hot Springs. But then maybe not so expensive when you consider the cost of updating the Hot Springs facility.

  23. Hey Elf,

    I see the BBC World News Service found Robbie McDonald hiding out in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Well sort of found him, apparently, he didn’t let them use his image for their picture. To me it just looks like another AFGE, Robbie McDonald photo op with Robbie hiding out of frame and the AFGE members all hiding their faces behind signs and posters about not closing their VA clinic. It really is a pretty a very odd picture to say the least.

    Hot Springs SD has a population of 3,514 and the Clinic maintains 357 full time positions with an unknown number of part time positions. A search for more information on the clinic leads to few results and it is unknown as to what type of services are available at the Clinic. Although the Veterans administration does provide contact information for the clinic.

    Additional articles about the VA Clinic in Hot Springs say for the last five years’ a Save the VA Committee has been fighting the possible closure of the Clinic. That committee has also been fighting for VA dollars to renovate and upgrade the facility and double the number of rehab beds there.

    The mayor and the save the VA committee feel that many in Hot Springs feared that numerous good jobs would be lost due to the closure, and that fewer patients would arrive in town, devastating the local economy. The plan calls for culling about 290 full-time jobs from the Hot Springs VA work force that is now at 357 full-time equivalent jobs.

    The mayor also noted that the state is investing more than $30 million into building a new State Veterans Home that is slated to open in Hot Springs before year’s end, and that she and others are pushing hard for economic development and new jobs in the city.

    Considering the state is getting that $30 million to build the new Veterans home from the Veterans Administration. Money that would most likely be better used to help Veterans if they could get proper care closer to their own homes in their own communities.

    Perhaps I just don’t know the full story but it certainly seems that again Veterans are just being used and no one is looking out for Veterans in this situation. In this case Veterans are being used to create jobs and economic development under the guise of providing healthcare for Veterans.

    Sources:

    “Don Ackerman and others with Save the VA stand outside the Mueller Center in Hot Springs” Photo Credit Lee Strubinger, SDPB
    “http://listen.sdpb.org/post/va-secretary-visits-hot-springs”

    ________

    “VA Secretary Visits Hot Springs”, by Lee Strubinger, 11/30/2016
    “http://listen.sdpb.org/post/va-secretary-visits-hot-springs”

    _____________

    “Report: VA to push forward on closure of Hot Springs hospital”, Bart Pfankuch Journal staff, Rapid City Journal, Oct 29, 2015.
    “http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/report-va-to-push-forward-on-closure-of-hot-springs/article_c4956a65-b10b-5c66-b67b-e18cece8d38b.html”

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