SURVEY: Integrity Of Senior VA Leaders Declined Under McDonald

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VA Leaders Integrity
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VA Leaders Integrity

Federal surveys show VA employees perceive senior VA leaders as having less integrity under VA Secretary Robert McDonald, not more.

Less than half VA employees surveyed agreed that their senior leaders display the integrity and honesty VA requires of its senior leaders (“high” levels of integrity and honesty).

That measure has actually gotten worse under McDonald, not better, a showing a decline from 49% to 45% since 2013.

The cornerstone of McDonald’s “I CARE” program is integrity – – the “I” stands for integrity. VA says the full acronym stands for, “Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence (I CARE) define ‘who the VA is,’ VA’s culture, and help guide the actions of staff across VA.”

So how is it McDonald’s policies and plan can be deemed a success worthy of keeping him on under the next presidency, while the integrity senior VA leaders has gotten worse?

Assuming the survey provides an accurate picture of what is going on within VA and not a colossal waste of taxpayer funds, these results should push a counter-narrative against the one McDonald and his cronies are trying to cement in the public mind through numerous press reports and academic studies.

Less than 40 percent believe these same senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment to the workforce. Roughly 80 percent believe pay is not dependent on how well they perform their jobs. Another 70 percent do not agree that promotions are based on merit.

So what is going on in VA and why do VA employees believe job performance has little to do with pay and promotions? Is VA rewarding liars and cheats while ignoring calls to take drastic steps to increase accountability by firing bad or criminal employees?

While the name of each VA secretary changes each few years depending on the scandal meaning the remaining constant is an above the law mentality within VA that its senior leaders and employees can get promoted regardless of job performance.

Instead, backroom deals and political agendas drive pay and promotions.

[easy-tweet tweet=”@realDonaldTrump Why are integrity measures of senior VA leaders down? @DeptVetAffairs” user=”benjaminkrause”]

Dysinfo On McDonald, White House Legacy On Veterans Affairs

Despite raving reviews, primarily coming from left leaning organizations and news agency’s, surveys of federal employees within the agency show a different story of decline in the area of trust, integrity and honesty – – all core characteristics for iCare to succeed.

Meanwhile, various news sources including Harvard Business Review have applauded VA Secretary Robert McDonald for his work to improve the agency from the inside out. Dinosaur Veteran Service Organizations have even upheld McDonald’s record in calls for President-elect Donald Trump to keep McDonald at the top spot.

All this occurred while McDonald reprimanded Congress about demands to terminate bad or criminal employees where he retorted, “You cannot fire your way to success.”

READ: VA Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

2013 to 2016 Federal Viewpoint Survey Results On Senior VA Leaders

The disappointing survey responses are peppered throughout the survey. VA employees were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement. I kept the numbers on each query so you can follow along in the actual documents in the Viewpoint surveys.

On Honesty And Motivation

#53 only 37% of employees agreed with the statement, “In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce.” This number is down from 2013 when 41% of employees agreed. Meaning, less VA employees believe senior VA leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in their subordinates.

#54 only 45% of employees agreed with the statement, “My organization’s senior leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity.” This number is down from 49% in 2013. Meaning, less VA employees believe the senior VA leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity under McDonald.

So, VA is run by leaders unable to inspire their subordinates who in turn trust them less under McDonald.

It is important to note VA employees trust their supervisors at a rate higher than 60 percent meaning the trust divide between frontline employees, their supervisors and the senior VA leaders responsible for managing them all has grown.

On Pay And Performance

#22 only 31% agreed, “Promotions in my work unit are based on merit.” This percentage is generally unchanged since 2013.

#23 only 29% agreed, “In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve.” This percentage is generally unchanged since 2013.

#25 only 38% of respondents agreed, “Awards in my work unit depend on how well employees perform their jobs.” This percentage is generally unchanged since 2013.

#33 only 21% agreed that, “Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs.” This number improved slightly from 20% in 2013.

If I were the head of an organization with these percentages following an employee, I would be fired – – and I should be fired.

Why Is The Press Pushing A Fake Narrative?

Based on these numbers, how can one conclude, like Harvard Business Review, our dinosaur Veteran Service Organizations, and left-leaning publications like Washington Post that McDonald is a great success who should stay merely for pushing existing reforms forward while fleecing Veterans Choice and misleading the public about his accomplishments?

Are we getting buffaloed? If yes, to what end?

Source: https://www.diversity.va.gov/products/FEVS.aspx

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71 Comments

  1. Great article Benjamin!

    It should be noted that the antonym of ‘Integrity’ is ‘DISHONESTY’, and the VA has already won the most secretive agency/organization award with multiple ovations this year alone. With that said, I believe the VA has repurposed and redefined what “Integrity” actually means by using the shell of the word “Integrity” while actually utilizing the antonym of “DISHONESTY” all along. Painting their own dialogue and just like Obama, only concerned about what “Legacy” they are leaving, even if it means creating/fabricating that very legacy around lies.
    In short, the ratty rats at the VA are overcome with Trumphobia and are fabricating their own legacies with tons of swamp gas filled with fairy dust, leaving a trail of dead Veterans in their wakes. The V.A. Titanic’s hull integrity is short of balsa wood these days and I think the disinfecting qualities of daylight/truth is making that hull even more sparse. Let’s keep it up! 🙂

    • Here is how the VA has redefined Integrity and Accountability:

      I CARE

      Indifference
      Crushes
      Accountability
      Really
      Efficiently

      I CARE

  2. Now if they had a real survey it would read
    #55 “In my work unit, my supervisors and leaders are full of shit”

    Again, Integrity also needs to be enforced against those attorneys who cover up lies and defend the VA with lies. Charles Oberly, Jennifer Welsh District of Delaware.
    Carl Sinwell, Marcus Graham esq VISN 4

    I am not afraid to call them out on it, the truth is the truth, with documents to back it up.

  3. Surveys are a tricky business and can easily be used by any side of an issue as a point of argument.

    Example;
    When 1000 ministers of various faiths were asked the question, “Is it ok to smoke a cigarrette while praying?” the vast majority of responses was, “No, interupting prayer with a cigarette was not appropriate.”

    When a different set of 1000 ministers was sent the question, “Is it ok to pray while smoking?” the vast majority of responses was, “Yes, it is always ok to pray.”

    I do not trust surveys because it can be impossible to have “controls” in place to validate the data. For instance, if the exact same survey as Ben wrote about was presented to a group of healthcare employees at a major HMO, would the answers deviate from VA answers or would they be remarkably similar? No way to know. Using my example above with ministers, the questions posed on a survey can easily be composed to produce the results based only on how the question is worded. This is how a rigged survey works.

    We would have to ask another set of persons in America that have substantially the same characteristics (like the ministers), but in a different federal setting the exact same questions in order to compare and see if the results deviated.

    Let’s frame this another way; “The federal government passed out a questionaire to employees of one of the most corrupt federal agencies America has ever been witness to. The agency has repeatedly been represented to The People as being full of liars, incompetetent practitioners, and opportunistic swindlers of The People’s money. On that questionaire we asked all respondents to answer honestly… The results of this questionaire will be made public. All VA employees are encouraged to fill in their own forms and tell the truth…”

    I have a much simpler way to determine “Integrity” and in fact the method has proven itself to be remarkably effective, proven, and fair. It is called a “Grand Jury”. Currently the only test of integrity at VA is a questionaire sent to the employees that nationally have a national reputation for telling lies, AND being totally insulated from the consequences. Currently our ONLY test is a questionaire because the more proven method of “Grand Jury indictment” is not available to The People because the VA operates outside of normal law.

    Until the system of jurisprudence is applied directly and evenly across all individuals in our land then by definition we are not equals under the law. VA people cannot be held accountable to a Grand Jury because the laws in place to hold all of America accountable have been negotiated away for the benefit of the VA people and their unions. VA has short ciruited equal protection under the law.

    Can a questionaire truly arrive at any valid place when it is sent to a den of thieves and liars? The answer is “maybe” but we need a “control” for the data. We need a reference point.

    I think that sending the same questionaire to a federal prison and asking the same questions of the inmates about their guards and the warden would be the ONLY way to have a comparative population with similar traits and attitudes provide us with a reference datum from which to judge the answers provided by VA employees. At least we can trust the inmates as much as VA and this reference point would be for a group that is intimately aware of Grand Jury Indictment (many of whom serve sentences for the same acts committed by the VA employee who are free among us).

    • @Dennis,
      You and I think alike. Surveys are a tricky thing to find the truth.
      Yesterday, I watched a video over how two groups of – 100 tax preparer’s were asked to file tax returns. Both groups came up with different findings. All these tax preparers were tops in their field. Of course, the reason ‘why’ was because the tax codes are so poorly written.
      I’m not sure, but could this ‘survey’ have been written in such a way, the (poorly educated) VA employees didn’t understand the questions?
      I’m not defending them! I would just like to see, and know, why VA allowed this survey to become public!
      My comment below, also calls for a “Grand Jury”! Let them weed out the corruption!

      • yep, and more basic is this; ask any employee anywhere if they believe upper management is doing its job. Lolz, maybe the VA ratings are three times the national standard! Just think how that would skew the argument hehe.

        As far as tax preparers are concerned – I think at 100 different answers simply means the government has figured out 100 different ways (at least) to bilk taxpayers of $$$. Of course, this is only my interpretation of the data…

      • If you search on veterans affairs federal employee viewpoint survey, you can find the VA web site where the results for 2013, 2014 and 2015 are reported. It contains the raw questions and how many answered and in what way.

        I don’t know if it’s an Executive Order or some law mandating it, but clearly they have been doing surveys since at least 2010 from the data I’ve seen.

    • Surveys *and* Polls are both easily manipulated by personal bias. Just look at how ALL the polls got it wrong on the POTUS Election and are still butthurt at the end of the year now!! Not fact nor scientifically based without some sort of control group. Dennis’s suggestion of giving that same survey to Federal Prisoners on how much they like their Warden and Guards is an excellent start.
      Could also go to the local zoo and ask the animals how they like the care from guards and being held captive in-general…a VA control population as well. You know, non-human test subjects?

    • I agree with you that answers to this can be easily manipulated in how the question is worded.

      The only way to look at this is by thinking of the results as a finger on the pulse showing the health of an agency, comparing the results from year to year, and comparing the results from agency to agency.

      The OPM and agencies can seriously water down what the results look like, weight them using some kind of weighting system, then separate them out for each individual agency.

      Looking at individual agency results may not show much, but when you compare those results to another agency who answered the same questions, the VA results become much clearer.

      In my opinion they are still pretty damning results for someone to claim he is doing a good job and should keep his job.

      It also very clearly shows there is no substance behind the VSOs pushing for him to stay.

    • My point here was not to quibble about the reliability of any survey. Instead, I approached this from the perspective of seeing what VA admitted about itself following a survey it then published in light of Harvard’s recent bloviation concerning Bob McDonald.

      We know VA at least admits the agency’s senior leaders are viewed as having less integrity and honesty between the last calendar year under Shinseki vs McDonald now. That admission is fascinating.

      They also admit the vast majority of employees see no connection between work product quality and promotions. Yikes!

  4. Why shouldn’t it be lower today than in 2013?
    With people like Rubin’s, Graves, Helmand and many others committing federal crimes. And David “LITTLE” Cox getting away with “…threatening bodily harm…”, a criminal offence, against Sec. McDipshit.
    Why would anyone expect anything different?
    The “Titanic” is sinking faster and faster these days. All due to, in my opinion, a “New Sheriff being in town”!
    The ‘old adage’ comes to mind, “give enough rope, and they’ll hang themselves!” In my opinion, it’s time to put the noose around their necks!
    Once President Elect Trump is inaugurated, form a “Grand Jury” together and let them hear the evidence. If enough of them are tried and convicted, the rest of them will either jump ship, turn states evidence or be tried along side their accomplices!
    I we can do at this point, is wait and see how all this will play out!

    • I’m fairly adept at tying various knots, so I would surely help with the rope. Any woodworkers in the house? Together, we could have a reenactment of the Nuremburg Trials, gallows and all. 🙂

      • namnibor, I’d be happy to get a few of my brothers together to build the perfect gallows!
        I also know how to tie a “13 knot hangman’s noose!”

    • When I get up to pee in the mornings now I tell my housemates, “Time to drain the swamp.”

      It is remarkable how much relief a good draining can get me! Just do not EVER let a VA nurse do it for you with that tiny tube! They have NO sense of intimacy…they yawn a lot too…

      • Most of them resemble ” female Grossbergers (stir crazy) and female boss Hoggs.
        I diagnosed them long along with wafflosis big backus . A canteen induced illness that affects many VA employees that are tied into debt at VA with the payroll deductions by the Canteen and AFGE .AKA American Fat Guy/Girl Entity.

  5. How about asking the ONE question to each employee that answered, “I do not trust my peers to tell the truth.” Just a simple question; “Why are you working here?” If you work where you believe that your superiors cannot be trusted then I pose the question, “What does that make you?”

    …I hear the tractor pulling the poop cannon approaching…are you still gonna work here when the farmer turns it on and your trusted leaders won’t let you in the tent?

    • Older Star Trek shows had an alien race known as The Ferengi. Their entire culture in the story could easily have been based on internal VA memos, revealled truths, and the way they treat veterans. It fits like a glove.

      • Nice analogy of the Ferengi, but also mustn’t forget the uncannily appropriate Vogons, a race of unpleasant and bureaucratic aliens, from yet another Science Fiction great, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe”, because God knows the VA has the unpleasant and bureaucratic part down well and not even aliens want to be probed by the VA.
        🙂

  6. Good article and i believe it to be factual. These surveys changed nothing within the medical center i was employed. The findings were discussed among leadership, but nothing changed. I did not see the point to any survey.

    • Maybe the original idea mandating it might have had good intentions, but without tying the results to an agencies budget and holding senior leaders accountable, I see no incentive for improvement.

      The results over the years clearly show that.

  7. THIS NASTY FAT UGLY PIG CALLED VA JUST WANTS MORE LIPSTICK ACCORDING TO FAKE RANGER BOB MCDUCK PENDEJOS JUST DECLARE VA A FEDERAL RICO CIRME RACKET @ SHUT IT DOWN PENDEJOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Here’s something y’all might be interested in.
    From, “NewsMax.com” today.
    “Hillary Email Suit Revived!”
    Looks like she, and the rest of the croneys, ain’t out of the proverbial frying pan yet! A higher court just overturned the lower courts decision on “Emailgate”!

    #2)
    This one should piss everyone off.
    From, “The Alex Jones Show”
    titled;
    “Obama’s Christmas Gift To America”

    Quote: “Published 28 Dec. 2016 – Barack Obama signed NDAA for the 2017 fiscal year, it was such a gift, he decided to give it over Christmas Eve. This is Obama’s gift to America, Tyranny!”
    This new law, signed by POTUS, is an addendum, or additional info, from the other bill HR-5181.
    Could this end in a state run media? With what we’ve been seeing in the medias, the answer is, more likely than not, “propaganda inspired”.
    Is this not an “abridgment” of the FREEDOMS set down in the Constitution, ie: “Freedom of Speech” and the “Freedom of the Press”?
    This is definitely a slap in the face to all those who abide by the laws of America. In my opinion, the left wing nut medias have become nothing more than “Propaganda Machines” for world domination. Which is nothing more than Communism or Fascism.

    • Oh, and by the way,
      On “WDBO”, channel 96.5 FM radio, was just talking about this NDAA bill Obama signed into law last Friday night.
      “Hidden deep inside…” is the way the government will be allowed to take over the news medias.

  9. Interesting statistics Ben. I’m glad you were able to find them and make some sense of them. It takes some digging to find results of this survey broken down by agency.
    Its also interesting the VA has not posted the latest results on their web site that can be easily found.
    I don’t know why you only went back to 2013, unless it was only to show responses mainly during McDonalds Reign of Error, but if you go back further, the stats are even more damning for him. There are some Excel spreadsheets at OPM that show these by agency.

    Why damning for him?

    From 2010 through 2014, some show an 8 point drop. All show a drop from 2010, with all showing a 2 to 3 point drop in one year.

    Comparing those stats to other agencies in the same spreadsheets is not pretty.
    Sticking to leadership, the VA in 2014 rates 54. In 2011 it was 59.
    NASA is at 73 and was at 72 in 2011, but hey! The VA beat out 5 other agencies for leadership! The Broadcasting Board of Governors, DHS, HUD, Dept. Of the Interior, and the National Archives and Records Admin.
    All needing much more serious leadership than those providing lifesaving care to veterans I guess.

    Clearly bigger budgets do not fix everything.
    Clearly seeing senior leadership like Rubens, Graves, Burch, Helman and a large number of other corrupt directors keep their jobs when their crimes are exposed is seen by employees.

    Clearly, with a response rate of around 34%, employees don’t see much of a reason to complete the survey.

    Question 7 of the 2015 results is interesting: When needed I am willing to put in the extra effort to get a job done. It had a 95.7% positive response.

    Now, to be clear, the 34% response rate is only 34% of 89000 employee surveys sent, not 34% of 350000+ employees.

    I suspect these results are also skewed by the same employees being surveyed year after year simply because they respond.

    Also interesting is Question 17: I can disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal. It dropped from 59% in 2013 to 56% in 2014 where it stayed for 2015. The most telling of that stat is the number of people responding. While the number actually answering the question increased in 2015, the number that strongly disagreed with the question increased quite a bit.

    Also interesting based on that HBR BS yesterday and McDonald touting his excellence catchy phrase is Question 32: Creativity and innovation are rewarded. That came in at 32.5 %. If his iCare, excellence and rewarding innovation is as successful as that bullshit in HBR, why is that percentage so low?
    Question 53 is as important I think as Question 54 on integrity.
    53: In my organization, senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce. That is only at a dismal 35.5%. 2809 strongly agreeing with 5437 strongly disagreeing. That puts the lie to McDonalds claim that his I Care BS or any other improvement is having an effect on employees. I think that is a much more pathetic measurement for senior leaders. Same with question 66: How satisfied are you with policies and practices of your senior leaders. That is at 37%.

    For as much as the VA pushes exercise, medical screening and quit smoking programs, 20155 said they do not participate in them out of 29817 who answered.
    Now, I think one of the biggest stats that is the absolute worst for McDonald is further into the reports for each year.
    For 2015, 29415 people answered the question, Where do you work?

    11259 said they work at headquarters. 8940 out of 29831 said they were a Team Leader (4188), Supervisor (2790), Manager (1495), or Senior Leader (467).

    And they STILL got those pathetic scores.

    For those with military status, 29469 responded. 17860 said they had no prior military service. Only 538 we’re currently in the Guard or Reserve, 3753 we’re retired, and 7318 we’re separated or discharged.

    Not a very good report for some hack who is delusional thinking he needs to keep his job, or the cheerleaders trying to convince Trump he needs to stay.

  10. It is still about the money–“to the victor belong the spoils.” Congressman and Senators have too much to say in who gets the top 3 posts at any VA facility serving their constituents. There is too much pay to play. Put my controller in charge to limit spending on veterans and increase my corporation’s contracts. Shift money from caring for veterans (enough to make it worth my campaign contribution) to my corporate contracts says the military industrial complex for the hand that is out to get a contribution. Nothing new since the Revolutionary war including what it was trying to correct–“taxes” to the lords who don’t represent the people but are self interested in the power and position that money can bring..

  11. The VA has had decades to promote their friends and relatives, That’s what they do. I worked my tail off training in each section of Medical Administration, which took me 5 years to become an Administrative Assistant from a file clerk.

    I had been passed up for promotions, But I kept trying. We had an Associate director Mr. Green, he retired and soon after he did, His son was hired as Supervisor of the file room. The union got involved as complaints came in.

    Management crumbled to the Union and said fine, We will remove him from that position and promote him to an Administrative Assistant, Union gets involved again. Management crumbled again. Ok we will remove him from that position. Management did remove him and promoted him to Ambulatory chief of the service.

    Union gets involved Management crumbles and say’s fine and they transferred the Son out to another VAMC, as Assistant Chief of Medical Administration Service. Why because the Director and assistant Director were friends.

    I have seen many people be promoted and we knew they were friends, Some people call the Brown nose’s !

    I seen the Chief of Medical Administration hire his old staff member as his new secretary (Female), 6 months later he divorced his wife and married his Secretary. His first job was to hire a new Medical Administrative Assistant, I had been passed over 5 time and filed an EEO and I was called into the office and was told you have been hired as the New Administrative Assistant.

    He told me, the only reason your being hired is you know you Job ! Duuuu why else would you hire anyone ? You can imagine why !

    I have met many employees that would rather just stay in their current job. If and when I received an award it was sent via Mail Room, Why ? Because they knew that I could not be swayed to do anything wrong, By the book kind of Guys.

    Bringing in friends and relatives and passing up current employees, sets low moral, why should I work harder, when I know that Management will hire their friends.

    My dedication to my duties, paid off when after I was retired on disability for my PTSD, Most people get a retirement part ! My retirement party was a letter, on your date of departure from the VA, You are not to reenter any work area.

    And for all your years of service, we are going to report you to the VA disruptive Committee, for you speaking about a former Coworker, while you were off duty. That will teach you to say anything about your fellow employees.

    After reading this site for many years, I have become ashamed of the VA and sad they continue to harm other Veterans at will. Management is rigged and or stacked against the veterans and many of its employees.

    Snitches, Get Stiches sounds like a Gang saying, But its the VA Moto and they will retaliate against anyone who makes ripples. I believe that all 1st line Management to Bob McDonald must be replaced and a search of personnel records needs to be checked facility by facility and find out who is , was friends or relatives of current or former management.

    Personnel must be held accountable to determine if this maybe a problem. Management can get a list of qualified people and if their friend is not on that list, they can ask for a new list, where their friend was put on the list.

    When this happens that employee can treat their fellow employees like crap and know nothing can or will be done. We will not speak badly about the VA (poster), Because if you do, watch you back because we are coming to make your life HELL !

    • Stated very well, James. What a hell-hole to work in with every odds against the worker that actually wants to HELP Veterans and “make a difference FOR Veterans”….with the nepotism entrenched workplace such as the VA, I agree wholeheartedly that the entire VA system requires one huge enema. When something becomes a systemic problem, one large flush along with the fear of God put into new hires that fraud and corruption will not be tolerated. One large flush is needed and several post-flushes to sink the inevitable persistent floaters is required. No less. The sickness at the VA has become an all-out communicable outbreak and should be treated as such.
      May you have a more peaceful year to come, James. Peace.

      • Thanks. I hope this is the year that something positive happens towards ensuring all veteran’s get a fair shake and all those bad apple’s are tossed out.

        Seems the VA and our elected officials know that all Americans are really tired of what’s been happening to our veteran’s.

        If anyone says they did not get the memo. Their lying to themselves and that’s dangerous.

  12. Well, Obama is further throwing a monkey-wrench into the Israel-U.S.A. relationship…all to “preserve his ego legacy”. Israel is pretty pissed that Obama is supporting the Palestinian Settlements instead of Israel….and Obama considers the actual terror groups Israel has to face, Obama will not even call them as such, instead he called them organized militants. WTF??!!! Has the world gone insane? Maybe Obama does play a part in Biblical Events…pretty sure he road a dark horse as well and name was Death…(Revelation)

    Obama is tossing all kinds of scrap metal into the Middle East Conflicts and Wars. Creating more problems for Pres. Elect Trump’s Admn. no doubt.

  13. @namnibor,
    In taking with Ben’s Blog today about “job performance” and jobs in general. Here’s an article from;
    “WA Wealth Authority”
    “Your Source for Financial News and Wealth Building Information”
    titled;
    “The New Jobs Report Obama Doesn’t Want You To See”

    Very informative over the U.S. job market, and how the White House doesn’t tell the truth!
    We’ve had the worst recovery since ??????
    Yet, Obama comes on TV and spouts lie after lie on how he (personally) brought us out of the recession of 2008!
    All lies, nothing more nothing less!

  14. Compare the results of this objective and undeniably accurate survey with any other large agency or corporation. This is typical for people who make their living slamming the very people who paid for their education. I am unimpressed and uninspired by your constant ridicule of the agency that provides more benefits per veteran than all other countries. You are no warrior and no savior.

    • Stan,
      You domrealize that the agency does not provide anything at all don’t you? The taxpayers pay people who work at the agency to distribute The People’s assets for he benefit of American veterans.

      The People provide the benefits Stan but the VA has consitently and reliably betrayed The People’s Trust to the point that veterans are needlessly dieing. Civil Rights are being pissed on. Communities are lft to pick up the pieces when VA dumps a mentally ill vet onto the streets.

      You are unimpressed and uninspired by the ridicule that veterans who use the system express and in the same paragraph show admiration how much VA spends on those same veterans, citing the fact that VA spends more money on a per capita basis than any other nation.

      Stan, I think the very reason we have so much VA corruption is that so very many employees at VA also become inspired by the money involved. I bet The People pay VA employees on a per capita basis more than any other nations service workers too.

      Does that mean that VA is our Savior?

      Semper Fi

    • What have u done to. Ben has accomplishment something that a lot of people never get and that’s the respect of Many. Many veterans !

      If the VA was doing their jobs there would be no need for a site like this. All the veterans and other’s can not be all wrong.

      All the news members and our elected officials all can’t be wrong. Remember if there’s smoke. Their maybe a fire !

      Ben. Is a smart guys and is not doing this for glory. He’s a veteran Who has given us veteran’s that have been harmed at the hands of VA employees.

      There are other veterans sites that confirm many of the findings. As illegal and very dangerous.

      Share your story. We like to hear of good employees. That’s few and far between and the good employees are afraid of many managers retaliating against them when they do try and speak out.

      Do a little reading about the subject’s. For your self. Again we all can’t be wrong !

  15. Very good article Ben, and to James G. Dennis, and so many other people on this site, every story Ben has put on this site has been and is proof, the VA sucks. I truly dread going back to the VA. This trek with the VA, 45years, and still going there? Gotta be another way. Hope all y’all have a great New Year.

  16. To: Senator Johnny Isakson Chairmen of Veterans affairs. The VA is in Violation of the Consitution V, IX, and XIV, which is a felony. When Veterans die because of long waiting lines that became felony murder which Bob Mc Donald and Eric Shinseki is and will be held accountable. Stop The VA from Murdering us. Passed this along to your fellow Senators.

    As a veteran, the Senate must get this right, this time, or more veterans are going to continue to die every day. Us Veterans don’t care what the nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs has done in the past. We care about what the nominee is going to do to right now to save the lives of our veteran on American soil, and to provide them with proper care, “Now, not tomorrow, but now”. Not one pretext is acceptable other than “zero veterans will die” Here is a confirmation guide designed to get those answers that, as a veteran, I would want the Senate to consider. Pass this on to your fellow senators.
    Questions to ask candidates: Dan Martinez, Pete Hegseth, Scott Brown, Toby Cosgrove, Sarah Palin, John Miller, Louis Quinonez, and other candidates that think they can make the Veterans Administration more productive as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in a confirmation hearing. Congress does not care what a candidate has accomplished in the past. They simply want answers of what they are going to do as Secretary of Veterans Affairs – that is ALL.

    1. What is the definition of a Root Cause Analysis?

    2. Based on your answer, what did Principi, Eric Shinseki, and Bob Mc Donald do wrong base on your understand of Root Cause Analysis(RCA).
    3. Why haven’t you studied the fallacies of Principi, Eric Shinseki and Bob Mc Donald before you came before this congress/senate?
    4. Do you want to postpone this confirmation hearing until you have time to analyze the Root Cause of Principi, Eric Shinseki and Bob MC Donald? If not, we will proceed.
    5. How can you guarantee to this Senate that no more Veterans will die in your administration due to long waiting lines and inefficient medical care? If not, why not?
    6. Based on the average of 20 veterans dying per day, how many veterans will die while you perfect the root cause of the VA’s failures and correct them to Zero a day?
    7. What is wrong with Martinez’s root cause analysis (RCA) by closing ALL VA Hospitals transferring treatment to Local Hospitals and Doctors.
    8. Are you in the opinion that local Hospital and Doctors do not have the special skills to treat VA Patients effectively? If yes, why, if No why not?
    9. Would closing the VA Hospital save taxpayers money and at the same time give better treatment to our Veterans?
    10. Are you going to ask this congress/ senate for more money to operate the VA Hospitals, when there are Local Hospitals already up and running and don’t need any special funds to run their hospitals?
    11. How can you attract the best doctors to work at the VA when the best doctors work at local hospitals or in private practice?
    12. Are doctors paid more in private Hospitals than the VA Hospitals? Note you are here to be confirmed, why do you not know the answer?
    13. Are you trying to run the VA Hospitals as a business? if that is correct what are the advantage? Be specific.
    14. If you are anMD, would there be a medical ethical problem on other duties you are required to do at the VA hospitals such as disability benefits, rating disabilities, educational benefits, IME’s, pension etc?
    15. Would there be a conflict of interest for your VA doctors to give an Independent medical evaluation (IME) knowing the VA has a budget to consider when establishing disability benefits? If not, why Not?
    16. Have you checked with the Medical ethics board to see if there is a conflict of interest?
    17. Have you ever rated a veteran for disability, pension, educational benefits rehabilitation before?
    18. How can you supervise VA executives when they know more than you will ever know ? If you fire them, then you would be lost. Therefore, how can you assure this will not happen, especially, if the federal unions are involved.
    19. Do you understand the constitution amendment V, IX and XIV?
    20. Based on your understanding has the VA violated the constitution, if no why not?, If yes Why?
    21. Does Title 38 CFR exempt the VA from Violating the Constitution of the United States, V, IX and XIV. If yes, why, If not why not?

    Dan Martinez For Secretary of Veterans Affairs

    • Nice response the problem questions are being asked and they plead the 5th or spin a tale and will talk around the questions.

      Our elected officials in the committee all know that the VA is very troubleing. But do to current law’s Regulations they can not do anything. Until congress passes law’s and regulations that if violated that employee would be fired and or charges and made to face our legal system. If the crime fits.

      People have to held accountable or nothing will change.

      Good questions

      • That is great. However, as an expert, I use what is available. I don’t ask for the laws to be changed. I simply use the Constitution. The violation of the constitution is a felony. If indeed someone dies like 8,000 veterans a year waiting for medical care, that violation becomes felony murder which is actionable. I can’t go into the details, but if you are an attorney, a little constitutional law research would settle your inquiry.
        Thanks for your comments.
        Dan Martinez for Secretary of Veterans Affairs

      • All I can say is Good luck, I have told senators, McDonalds office all about how they are taking away Veterans rights to their Civil, Constitutional and Human rights. I am not a lawyer, I am a veteran and that means nothing to them.

        All they did was send everything to the VA for a response and the VA in Denver forwarded ever inquiry right back to the employee making the false allegations, to answer herself. How’s that for Justice. Does anyone really think that the employee would state she made a mistake.

        Its called the Fox watching the hen house, Again the VA only has to state those were the Facts at the time.

        McDonalds employee Stephanie told me the Employee who reported me NO longer works for the VA and when I advised her that the Employee IS still working for the VA McDonalds employee got mad and hung up and cut off all communication.

        I sent his office Ten years of evidence and his office cared less and did nothing but lie to me, about the employee not working at the VA any more. The VA did their job, by doing nothing. But let the lie Live and let an employee get away with hurting a DISABLED veteran.

      • People at VA cannot be held avcountable so long as they are protected by Executive authority.When Reagen made the VA a cabinet level post he cemented the immunity of all VA employees behind the authority of the Executive branch.

        By making the branch a cabinet position and shifting the auhority granted to a cabinet level, it took away The Peoples power to hold employees inside the branch accountable to the other two brampnches of government. Neither the Legislative nor the .judicial Branch can touch VA.

        Example: The Circuit Court of Oregon issued a Restraining Order against VA on my behalf ordering them to stop “molesting” me by these Disruptive Behavior Committees. In retaliation, the VA issued a series of DBC letters citing thhe Reatraining Order as being a disruptive and violent response on my part to their actions.

        They Officially put a DBC label on me in their letter to me because the Circuit Court granted my plea to put a Rstraining order on them. In the following court case the new judge dismissed the case citing that the law coild not hold VA accountable the same way the law holds everyone else accountable.

        In other words, thenVA tagged me as violent and disruptive for an order issued by a judge and then boated about it in their letter to me!

        The People have no equal protection under the law. The courts cannot protect vets and uaing the courts causes severe disruption of medicines and service. Using civil rights complaints further extends a DBC flag. In fact, with a reporter present, my destinated point of contact said simply, “Every time you appeal that flag they are going to add anoher six months to it.”

        When the fourth leg of government, the press, reported about the multiple abuses they perpetrated against me last October, my MH care again was terminated and to this day it remains so. I have sent over twenty questions asking who is y MH provider and yeaterday as a 100% sc Marine for PTSD who has spent three sessions in a VA psychiatric ward with a GAF of 5 (look it up), I got the following response after more han a year about what VA now plans to do about providing mental health services;

        “I did ask about MH services for you. I was told the VA will pay for you to see a practitioner or psychiatrist in the community. I can start the process if this is what you want.
        Brian G.
        LCSW”

        In othe words, since I went to the press about being kicked from care, he VA reaponse was I am again kicked from VA care. Only this time here is no DBC flag.

        The last time hey tried this under a DBC flag, the Choice program said I had to have a provider assigned within VA to authorize stuff so he “authorization” I had to use the Choice program was a worthless piece of paper.

        What they again offfer is a worthless piece of paper because the Choice Program was not meant as a catch all for folks thenDBC wants to toss out.

        My healthcare, and the healthcare of all veterans is held hostage against our right to speak out aginst this corrupt system Can anyone tell me how a man can finally have a bogus flag removed yet be hrown from the system so easily anyway? Who do you even appeal this decision to since there is NO legal basis to simply refuse services with zero explanation???

        VA must cease as a cabinet level post or he uncountable attrocities will continue. I am stable now, but what about the thouaands also toased who are not? Just how many vets are getting thrown out? You cannot use a Choice referal if there is no doc willing to sign off and VA tried this and failed at it before. Choice dis not fail because it was misconceived – Choice failed because VA tried to use it for a purpose not intended; boot time consuming vets from the system.

        Tell me, in a system in which a point of contact informs me that I have lost mentql health services, and a system that removes medicine for using the Circuit Court, and a system that is immune from federal prosecution, hen where is there room for the rights that all other Aericans enjoy?

        Vets have no rights other than that which a corrupt VA grants.

      • @Dan Martinez- Since you consider yourself an “expert”, why do you not have dismantling the VA AFGE Union from the VA teats on your list? It’s a large litmus test to where your sights and/or handlers lay. Without removal of the AFGE from the VA the VA will remain held hostage as well as all Veterans, by this corrupt relationship that feeds the needed drained swamp. The dinosaur VSO’s that only help themselves rather than Veterans also requires examining because the VSO’s tend to protect the VA because the purse strings have them codependent on the meat grinder.
        Dennis made great points and real life examples of how you cannot use the law nor Constitution to do as you state and without that fully understood, it makes one wonder how you could not be informed of such.

  17. @Disgruntled Veteran – @91Veteran – @Namnibor – @Seymore Klearly – Off Topic- I need suggestions. Generic meds from VA don’t work. I’m getting beat up, exhausted, and tired from migraines, pain, and spasms. Does anyone know about vaporizing pens or machines that are good for Cannabinoid Oil [no THC], Wax, Dabs, or Isolates. I’m new to this and don’t and I want to purchase a durable unit with less maintenance costs.

    Any input is appreciated. I have to try something so that I can get my life back. VA doesn’t take my requests for help seriously.

  18. As an employee of a taxpayer sponsored Uncle Sam department I can attest that those survey results are very similar to the results of the surveys I have taken. I have also taken the same kind of surveys at a Fortune 200 company with nearly 250,000 employees world wide. Those survey results, while not great, were much better because as a publicly held company the shareholders held sway. Union or no, share value and net revenue ruled the day.

    At the VA, the suc of VA answers to nobody and there for has no reason to fix anything.

    As a Veteran I have no love or respect for the VA, a few individuals here and there, not my own PCP, though, and only use them for service related issues.

    Stan based his comments clearly as someone who not only hasn’t walked a mile or single step in our shoes, but as someone who doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to even try to sacrifice for this great nation as a member of the Armed Forces.

    I hope and pray, fervently pray that POTUS Elect Trump recalls his military school days and restores our Military might and bring the VA to a level of service never before experienced both in care and disability compensation.

  19. I believe that the VA leadership is a direct result of the attitude and leadership displayed by the commander in chief. Integrity and honesty is not a part of Obama’s leadership.

    • This has been going on for decades, Obama just like the others did nothing except throw money at it and that was a big mistake. The ones to blame are our elected officials as a whole for not doing something sooner and the VA leadership from top to bottom.

  20. I read over the survey and a couple of things struck me.

    First, it is well known in the business world, the only way to have great customer satisfaction is to have great employee satisfaction. Dissatisfied employees will not treat customers properly. They go through the motions of their job and do what is necessary to, hopefully for them, not get fired. Since we, the veterans are the customers, is it any wonder why we are treated like we are often treated the way we are? Take away the fear of being fired, and it compounds the issue.

    Secondly, if you look at the overall satisfaction scores and were to interpolate them to a 5 star rating with 5 stars being perfect as many websites do to measure a product’s value, you would get an overall rating of about 3 stars. I very rarely would ever avail myself of a product which was rated so poorly.

    Third, was the percentage of the people who plan not to be working at the VA in the next year. The most expensive issue any employer has is acquiring and training new staff. When you have what appears to be a 25% turn over rate, it is impossible to maintain a high level of service to those you serve.

    It is not only the employees don’t trust senior management, it is the results of that loss of confidence which trickles down to all the other areas of dissatisfaction. The old axiom holds true, a fish stinks from its head down.

    • Well stated Dan. The problem is it is going from bad to worse in most VAs. I think one of the primary problems is the obtaining and retention of good physicians which has gone by the way side with the upswing of “medical corporations” with higher pay and benefits as well as the good working conditions (physician with a life other than just the clinic or hospital). Prior to the influx of medical corporations the military and the VA were the only medical facilities where a physician could have a reasonable amount of time off for pleasure and rejuvenation.

      The only way the VA is going to get back into competition is to realize that it has to compete with the pay checks and benefits of the medical corporations. It would help to go back to the medical scholarships of old to increase the supply of physicians and get first shot at the good ones coming out of internships and residencies.

      That stinking fish head is the result of a problem started in the 1980s and inattention to the problem from our Congress and Presidents since. Who wants to take on an impossible job?

      The President Elect is spouting about being a solution to the VA but I doubt he’ll be able to overcome the military industrial complex lobbyists and the privatization lobbyists for the big corporations. So the downturn will probably continue. Especially with us older and more numerous veterans dying off. And that is part of the problem. Congress is just waiting for us to die off so the facilities can be privatized and sold off.

    • If you look at my comment about the number of “leaders” in the agency that responded, or looked at the raw results, it proves your point.
      Even if you exclude the number of Team Leaders responding and only looked at GS12 or Managers and above, it shows there were still a very large number of them (“leaders”) responding compared to employees below that level.
      Given the number of “leaders” responding, and the shockingly poor scores in some areas, it shows a large number of “leaders” within the agency believe the VA does a poor job in some areas that clearly contradict what McDonald is claiming.
      Comparing the 2015 results to previous years, the numbers clearly show the VA is declining.

  21. To: Dennis and Namnibor take it easy. I don’t want to write all days, so I have provided my website for your review. I hope this will answer your questions. If Not, please ask one question at a time with specificity. I will respond on point. https://insuranceclaimsconsult.com/vfw-and-dav-scamming-veterans-for-profits.html
    https://insuranceclaimsconsult.com/phoenix-va-hospital-will-close-under-trump-admin-.html
    https://insuranceclaimsconsult.com/pete-hegseth-not-qualifed-for-sec–veteran-affairs.html
    Dennis, I hear what you are saying. But, it is time to step aside and let someone else take the lead with new ideas. Note, when I act, the United States Supreme must interpret the constitution regarding the VA’s immunity if needed. There are always ways around laws. That is why we have lawyers. But, to end your argument, If I am appointed Secretary of Veterans Affairs, you will be tired of all the medical treatment you will receive. And, yes, you will receive your updated benefits on day one when I am in office. My word means nothing if I am not appointed [sic]. If you want to help, go to the website and comment to Senator Jerry Moran; Majority leader for confirmation of Veterans Affairs, and tell him to do what he can to help Martinez become Secretary of Veterans Affairs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-zoHVpO7a4&feature=youtu.be

    Namnibor, the Union, can’t do anything for VA Employees if I close All VA Hospitals. Trump on Wednesday 12/18/2016 met with Top CEO’s of major hospitals for a meeting to shift medical care for Veterans when VA hospitals are shut down and sold. With the sale of the VA hospital, those funds will be used to pay for better benefits and medical care of over 70 billion dollars. Watch and see what happens in the next 120 days. I am not going anywhere, and you know my website. So, call me. It will save you writing time.

    Dan Martinez For Secretary of Veterans Affairs

  22. Write to President-Elect Trump and convince him to select Commander John B. Wells, USN Retired as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Movement Wants a Veteran as VA Secretary Led in part by veterans pushing for legislation to provide Agent Orange benefits to those who served in the bays, harbors and territorial seas of Vietnam, many veterans are expressing their disapproval of likely VA Secretary Congressman Jeff Miller, R-FL. Miller, who is not a veteran, has served as the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee since 2011.
    Commander Wells, is an attorney in his second career and spends several weeks a year in Washington DC pushing for veterans benefits. HE has testified before Congress, met with VA officials and taken to the courts, when necessary to help protect the veterans.
    Wells has said the following concerning the problems in the VA. “This is a management problem, not a Congressional problem,” Wells said, “You have to provide a consistent disciplinary policy and hire competent attorneys to prosecute cases before the Merit Systems Protection Board.”
    Wells also criticized proposed appellate reform legislation submitted by the VA: “It does not solve the problems. Instead it strips due process from the veterans making it easier for the VA to deny meritorious claims.” Wells provided extensive written testimony against the proposal last June including a blueprint for true appellate reform.
    Wells has been endorsed by several veterans organizations and periodicals.
    A facebook page “Make John Wells Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs” attracted 1500 members in less than a week. Over 200 people, most of them veterans, have sent letters of support to the Presidential Transition team.
    He has a detailed agenda if appointed to this position. Key points are creating a “veteran friendly” environment focusing on service than bureaucracy, digitalize all records and phase out the centralized mailing system in favor of a digitized intake system which can be accessed by VSOs and veterans law practitioners, and to work with Congress to ensure that funding is available to compensate and treat veterans who suffer disease or disability due to military service. These issues are only a few of what he plans to change if given the opportunity. Not only is CDR John Wells a veteran, but he is a military attorney, who has the extensive knowledge of military and VA law.
    Make John Wells our new Secretary of Veterans Affairs and make our VA Great Again!
    Many veterans attorneys have also rallied around Commander Wells. One review is posted here .https://www.disabledveterans.org/…/john-wells-non-insider-s…/ Please help us get the word out.
    John Wells, A Non-Insider Seeks Top Spot At Veterans Affairs
    http://www.disabledveterans.org


    Mike Yates
    Blue Water Navy Awareness

  23. Where can I find the ‘federal studies’? These findings are opposite those of the VSO’s and even the Harvard Business Review that GETS business and what it takes to turn things around. That is what we need!

    McDonald said you can’t fire your way to success, but he has also petitioned the Congress to pass much legislation including the Veterans First Act that would address this. Congress has sat on it for months and CVA actively lobbied big-time against it.

    The ‘important to note’– ‘VA employees trust supervisors at a rate higher than 60% meaning the trust divide between frontline employees, their supervisors, and the senior VA leaders responsible for managing them all HAS GROWN’. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the largest agency in our government cannot be changed in just 2 years.

    We keep changing leadership and spending get-on-board time with each new leader. Time to get behind this revolution in the VA-whether McDonald or someone else. We need this and we deserve this. No one can care for vets like the VA when at its best, be willing to do -and pay for- the research we continue to need and receive for specific veteran injuries and ailments. That would evaporate.

    We are continuing to receive more options for private care. To totally privatize any part of the VA means we lose the specific care, research to help us, and means big bucks to those in private hospitals. Just follow the money and you will see the TRUE intent of those who want to privatize the VA.

    • The VA may or may not exist with any future change. I cannot believe they would totally go away. They would be allowed to focus on those specialties they claim they are good at, and ignore so much of the other crap they constantly push calling it health care.

      The VA is in the shape they are in because they are successful at guarding against any competition.

      Think of 3 clinics (or any other business) in a town. Word gets around quickly about which one may be best, and people will gravitate to it. The other 2 figure out quickly what they are doing wrong, correct it and make other changes to attract customers back…since the VA wants to refer to veterans as customers now.

      If the VA were in the telephone business, the iPhone wouldn’t exist, and we would be hearing a rotary dial phone full of static is the best they can do.

  24. [VA Secy]
    i can’t go with the Navy Admiral or the Cleveland Clinic CEO for VA Secy.

    we have been protesting via (written, vocal, images, journalists, blogs, congress, CVA, grassroot, etc) decades for VA reform (health & benefits) and don’t forget the ongoing disability claims problems.

    Toby Cosgrove is probably great at Cleveland Clinic but i don’t see him fixing VA much. I’m sure the powers that really be would like it. they’d come up with new SSRI cocktails to submit to veterans . many of you veterans know what i’m writing of with that statement. the last thing one should mention to many veterans is “hey, got some great new med, a new SSRI!”. the animals in Serengeti have better protection laws than veterans when it comes to “test subjects’.

    Now then, show us veterans what your VA secy will do to actually fix veterans disability bureau and enforce the VA following of Title 38 law? Mr Trump, you seriously think those in Congress and big pharm and union gonna allow to do that? Mr Trump, you’re gonna have to carry a really big stick to backup your words and get much change done at VA.

    we all know the pretty little smoke screens VA and federal gov can whip up anytime & say some pretty words to appease the cameras and yet underneath that screen is nothing more than even more rotting swamp.

    I too have a serious respect level for Michelle Howard and her accomplishments, but VA secy isn’t her calling. i don’t think she could actually fix/help the VA system. hmmm, Allison Hickey comes to mind…and she was able to get WHAT FIXED at VA and VA disability? so you think one Navy admiral is gonna walk into VA secy shoes and actually fix much? the thuggery there is trenches and years deep. experts at doing what they do best…manipulating veterans and grabbing federal funds.

    The whole of congress couldn’t/wouldn’t fix anything of much at VA. seek Hegseth and Miller out for counsel if you doubt this. both of those men can backup much of the issues veterans have tried for DECADES to get Congress to fix.

    Also, the fact that the major 6-7 VSOs wanting to keep McDonald is enough to tell any veteran what’s up with that status quo. how many veterans on this blog or other blogs have used those very VSOs to help with their claims only to be left in the dirt with the VSOs siding with VA…even ignoring medical evidence and legal evidence. There are hundreds of valid websites and whistle-blowers to fully substantiate this.

    I’d like to hear your VA secy candidates actually go on national media and give their thoughts on why they think VA pulls the crap, what they’ll do about it and speak their thoughts on VA following Title 38 and protecting veterans disability.

    Luis Quinonez, CEO of IQ Management Services?? maybe. gotta research a little more. likes the option for vets to get outside care though who knows how that would work. see Veteran’s CHOICE to grasp what we’ve experienced.

    If Mr Quinonez is up to privatizing the VA, well maybe that is a good thing, i really don’t know. i mean think of it this way, how many of us veterans had/have to pay out of our own pocket anyways to get non-VA medical doctors for IMO’s and tests run/interpreted to fight the lies the VA is writing in veteran records. According to Title 38 most veterans shouldn’t have to do that. but the reality is different.

    i still think Mr Tump should make some good use of Pete Hegseth and Chairman Miller regarding the VA. if not secy then some form of “VA sheriff” with real legal and political teeth. the type of teeth to make the VA thuggery think twice before jerking their chain & jerking veteran’s chains. they have both been in the deep trenches, seen the VA from all four sides. have years of data and experience dealing with the more nefarious aspects of VA and VBA.

    if you think just putting in a medical industry rich good guy to switch up a few things at VA yet in reality not really fix the problems the veterans have been protesting about for decades, please rethink. we veterans know the repackaging/rebranding smoke screen all too well. ask veteran’s what they think of McDonald and hear for yourself.

    a so called business leader, McDonald, hasn’t done squat with his so called business expertise in actually fixing the darkside of the VA. don’t believe me?, do yourself a favor and check with some of the investigative journalists that are knee deep in exposing this. also check with some of the brave VA whistleblower’s who have done much good bringing much of this to the surface for the world to see. Once again, did congress do ANYTHING really to fix and of these problems? NO. yes, we know a lot of that reason is due to current WH and weak congress.

    I’d like to much believe in the new VA secy Mr Trump picks, get the full backing of Trump’s WH, much of Congress along with some teeth to start cleaning up the VA swamp, ensure VA disability follows Title 38 vs suppress it and give veterans a real choice. but it is difficult!!!

    good luck to whomever you pick Mr Trump, but don’t mind us veterans that watch all this with a very jaded careful eye. you would do the same in any of your business deals.

  25. [VA Secy]
    i can’t go with the Navy Admiral or the Cleveland Clinic CEO for VA Secy.

    we have been protesting via (written, vocal, images, journalists, blogs, congress, CVA, grassroot, etc) decades for VA reform (health & benefits) and don’t forget the ongoing disability claims problems.

    Toby Cosgrove is probably great at Cleveland Clinic but i don’t see him fixing VA much. I’m sure the powers that really be would like it. they’d come up with new SSRI cocktails to submit to veterans . many of you veterans know what i’m writing of with that statement. the last thing one should mention to many veterans is “hey, got some great new med, a new SSRI!”. the animals in Serengeti have better protection laws than veterans when it comes to “test subjects’.

    Now then, show us veterans what your VA secy will do to actually fix veterans disability bureau and enforce the VA following of Title 38 law? Mr Trump, you seriously think those in Congress and big pharm and union gonna allow to do that? Mr Trump, you’re gonna have to carry a really big stick to backup your words and get much change done at VA.

    we all know the pretty little smoke screens VA and federal gov can whip up anytime & say some pretty words to appease the cameras and yet underneath that screen is nothing more than even more rotting swamp.

    I too have a serious respect level for Michelle Howard and her accomplishments, but VA secy isn’t her calling. i don’t think she could actually fix/help the VA system. hmmm, Allison Hickey comes to mind…and she was able to get WHAT FIXED at VA and VA disability? so you think one Navy admiral is gonna walk into VA secy shoes and actually fix much? the thuggery there is trenches and years deep. experts at doing what they do best…manipulating veterans and grabbing federal funds.

    The whole of congress couldn’t/wouldn’t fix anything of much at VA. seek Hegseth and Miller out for counsel if you doubt this. both of those men can backup much of the issues veterans have tried for DECADES to get Congress to fix.

    Also, the fact that the major 6-7 VSOs wanting to keep McDonald is enough to tell any veteran what’s up with that status quo. how many veterans on this blog or other blogs have used those very VSOs to help with their claims only to be left in the dirt with the VSOs siding with VA…even ignoring medical evidence and legal evidence. There are hundreds of valid websites and whistle-blowers to fully substantiate this.

    I’d like to hear your VA secy candidates actually go on national media and give their thoughts on why they think VA pulls the crap, what they’ll do about it and speak their thoughts on VA following Title 38 and protecting veterans disability.

    Luis Quinonez, CEO of IQ Management Services?? maybe. gotta research a little more. likes the option for vets to get outside care though who knows how that would work. see Veteran’s CHOICE to grasp what we’ve experienced.

    If Mr Quinonez is up to privatizing the VA, well maybe that is a good thing, i really don’t know. i mean think of it this way, how many of us veterans had/have to pay out of our own pocket anyways to get non-VA medical doctors for IMO’s and tests run/interpreted to fight the lies the VA is writing in veteran records. According to Title 38 most veterans shouldn’t have to do that. but the reality is different.

    i still think Mr Tump should make some good use of Pete Hegseth and Chairman Miller regarding the VA. if not secy then some form of “VA sheriff” with real legal and political teeth. the type of teeth to make the VA thuggery think twice before jerking their chain & jerking veteran’s chains. they have both been in the deep trenches, seen the VA from all four sides. have years of data and experience dealing with the more nefarious aspects of VA and VBA.

    if you think just putting in a medical industry rich good guy to switch up a few things at VA yet in reality not really fix the problems the veterans have been protesting about for decades, please rethink. we veterans know the repackaging/rebranding smoke screen all too well. ask veteran’s what they think of McDonald and hear for yourself.

    a so called business leader, McDonald, hasn’t done squat with his so called business expertise in actually fixing the darkside of the VA. don’t believe me?, do yourself a favor and check with some of the investigative journalists that are knee deep in exposing this. also check with some of the brave VA whistleblower’s who have done much good bringing much of this to the surface for the world to see. Once again, did congress do ANYTHING really to fix and of these problems? NO. yes, we know a lot of that reason is due to current WH and weak congress.

    I’d like to much believe in the new VA secy Mr Trump picks, get the full backing of Trump’s WH, much of Congress along with some teeth to start cleaning up the VA swamp, ensure VA disability follows Title 38 vs suppress it and give veterans a real choice. but it is difficult!!!

    good luck to whomever you pick Mr Trump, but don’t mind us veterans that watch all this with a very jaded careful eye. you would do the same in any of your business deals.

  26. @namnibor
    In reply to your statement: “why do you not have dismantling the VA AFGE Union from the VA treats on your list.”
    Answer: The VA AFGE is not a treat when closing VA Hospitals. The Union has standing while the Hospitals are open, but lose their authority when the VA Hospitals are shut down.
    I trust the answer to the question is clear.
    Dan Martinez for Secretary of Veterans Affairs

  27. ALL commentators, in due respect, “SUCK.” You impressed our veteran readers with your unconscious able and mindless comments. It would be best that you just stick your head in the sand and suck it up. Trump is our President. More Veterans will die on Dr. David Shulkin’s, A.K.A. Dr. Death’s watch, then the idiot, Bob McDonald and Eric Shinski combined. I will not fight with cowards who want hand outs. A true soldier takes what is wants. We veterans are “all talk and no action.” America is starting to look like England was right about us.

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