President Trump pulled a fast one on Veterans Affairs today by terminating David Shulkin and announcing his replacement by another doctor without significant management experience.

On Twitter, Trump announced the termination of Shulkin and his replacement, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson. This is the Navy doctor who announced Trump was physically and mentally fit as President. Trump, in turn, selected Jackson, a doctor with limited management experience, to run the most political and dysfunctional organization in the government.

It is important to note Jackson is not a veteran (he is technically, but has not used VA services since he is active duty), making him the second non-veteran President Trump selected to run the agency. Since 2006, Jackson has served as White House physician.

There is not a lot of lost love from lawmakers at the departure of Shulkin.

RELATED: Shulkin, Staff Misled Ethics Advisors

“Dr. Shulkin came from within the VA and did nothing to clean up the culture of bureaucratic incompetence that has defined leadership at the VA,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Co). “I’m absolutely convinced that only someone from outside the VA can clean up the VA, and I hope that Admiral Jackson will be Marine Corps tough in getting that mission accomplished. Our veterans deserve better.”

A report is coming out in the next few weeks about Shulkin using services from his security detail to run personal errands. This report follows the IG report into his misuse of taxpayer funds to pay for a vacation for his wife to Europe while he worked part-time.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) believes the pick is a winner, “If there ever was a homerun pick, Admiral Jackson fits the bill – combat surgeon, career military officer who loves his country and will provide the highest quality healthcare and services to our wonderful veterans.”

Many of the veteran organizations are wary of the pick.

“We have a lot of questions about the nominee,” said Joseph Chenelly, National Executive Director of American Veterans, or AmVets, the fourth-largest veterans service organization. “We think the White House has a tall order ahead of it in showing that this doctor is qualified to lead a $200 billion agency.”

One former VA official said his “first reaction was OMG. That’s still my reaction.”

“The replacement has no experience,” the official added. “The VA is the hardest department to manage as it is so political.”

House Committee on Veterans Affairs chairman Phil Roe had nice words to share about Shulkin after the announcement was made.

“At the end of the day, Cabinet secretaries serve at the pleasure of the president. I have enjoyed getting to know Secretary Shulkin, and I’m glad to call David a friend. I think he’s done a fantastic job and I hate to see him go,” Roe said in a statement.

But Roe added he would “work with anyone committed to doing the right thing on behalf of our nation’s veterans.”

RELATED: Veterans Choice Vendor Healthnet ‘Miserable’

US Navy Biography Of Admiral Ronny Jackson

Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson is a native of Levelland, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. He then went on to attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, graduating in 1995 with his Doctor of Medicine. He began his active duty naval service in 1995 at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia, where he completed his internship in transitional medicine.

After completing his first year of residency training in 1996, he went on to become the honor graduate of the Navy’s Undersea Medical Officer Program in Groton, Connecticut. Uniquely qualified in submarine and hyperbaric medicine, his subsequent operational assignments included, instructor at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida; det. officer in charge and diving medical officer at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8 in Sigonella, Italy; and diving safety officer at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk.

In 2001, Jackson returned to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center to begin his residency in emergency medicine, finishing at the top of his class and receiving the honor graduate designation. Upon completing his residency in 2004, he was assigned as clinical faculty in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 2005 he joined the 2nd Marines, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. From there he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the emergency medicine physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon in Taqaddum, Iraq.

In 2006, while still in Iraq, Jackson was selected as a White House physician. Since arriving at the White House, he has directed the Executive Health Care for the President’s Cabinet and Senior Staff, served as physician supervisor for the Camp David Presidential Retreat, held the position of physician to the White House and led the White House Medical Unit as its director. He has served as White House physician during the past three administrations and was the appointed physician to the president for President Barack Obama. He currently serves as the appointed physician to the president for President Donald J. Trump.

His awards include, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), as well as other individual, unit and campaign awards. He is also designated as a diving and undersea medical officer, naval parachutist, Fleet Marine Force Warfare qualified officer, and submarine warfare qualified medical officer.

Jackson is a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is designated as a fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He currently holds faculty clinical appointments with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Harvard School of Medicine affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Disaster Medicine Fellowship Program.

My Thoughts On Trump Pick

The President has a way of selecting the most photogenic individuals sometimes ahead of their own qualifications.

Jackson is a good looking doctor who provided medical care to three presidents. The honor of earning such a role no doubt reflects highly on his abilities and professionalism as a medical doctor in the US Navy.

Does he possess the management experience previously considered necessary at the Department of Veterans Affairs? No way.

RELATED: Audit Shows VA Not Keeping Employees Safe

But we have historically selected VA secretaries with a great deal of management experience and/or military experience without the successes promised.

Look at our past three VA secretaries and the enormous scandals the erupted under their leadership regardless of their past management and training experiences.

Eric Shinseki was a four-star general in the US Army who managed lots of troops in and out of combat. After retirement, he ran VA and presided over the disability compensation backlog scandal, numerous shredder scandals where documents were destroyed, and the wait list scandal where many veterans died.

Bob McDonald was CEO of Procter and Gamble, one of the largest corporations in the country who was a veteran and West Point educated. McDonald was unable to oust criminal leadership engaged in active corruption and conspiracies against veterans and against the interest of taxpayers.

RELATED: Pelosi, Democrats Block Veterans Affairs Funding

David Shulkin was a medical doctor, business owner, hospital executive and a non-veteran. He made very poor business decisions and misused taxpayer funds for his own personal gain. He was also unable to reign in the corrupt elements of the agency that persisted despite implementation of the Accountability Act.

Now, Trump selected a wild card to run the agency. Jackson is a Rear Admiral who is also a medical doctor without substantive management experience.

Has management experience proved effective in fixing problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the past? Not really.

Based on revelations over the past two months, it seems clear Concerned Veterans for America are now at the helm of VA. Good or bad, I am confident the agency will be pulled in one direction whether it comes peacefully or kicking and screaming.

Jackson will be flanked by a team that likely has significant management experience well capable of handling any curveball corrupt VA leadership throws its way.

Personally, I am going to sit back and watch the show, and I would encourage all of you to do the same. Do not lose any sleep over this transition. Do not hold your breath that any significant headway will occur. If it happens, great. If not, you won’t be disappointed.

RELATED: VA Disability Examiner Barred From Doing Business With Gov

VA is a corrupt agency rooted in failure since its inception as a unified agency in the 1930’s. Failures over the past 80 years only serve to solidify my position. Instead, what we can do is focus on individual victories pushing back against corrupt leaders in your respective VA and exposing those problems in the media. Only by shining a light on the corruption can our agency be changed.

That aside, I am thankful Trump finally made a decision about the direction he plans to take for veterans. The back and forth on Shulkin was driving everyone a little batty.

I’ll bet one thing. Shulkin may be disappointed about the outcome by his ouster, but I’ll bet he is also relieved.

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100 COMMENTS

  1. A msn who knows and accepts his limitations and get opinions from qualified people is far better choice than a man who thinks he capable and smiles when getting opinions, because doesn’t care I know for a fact 10y ago could have straightened out quickly by their standards. If intelligent with energy, could be perfect, can do worse.

  2. Me, I’m tired of all the bells and whistles. What do I want? I’d like to see someone to stand firm, and to put the corrupt SOB’s in VA leadership positions to be put on notice, and that the new top dog VA leadership is coming for them to clean house. And, all the way down to all the tuna-beasts, and use them as chum.

    Take a stand and clean up the VA. It’s well over due. I’d like to see the potential energy turn into a fast pacing kinetic energy, just like how all these Physicians, the VA, and the other Gov’t agencies have taken a stance on not prescribing Opiates-Opioids like they use too. I don’t agree on how this is going, but I’d like this energy to be used in cleaning up the VA. Makes sense to me.

    • Well said and I agree. It’s now who they put in there with or without experience – It’ about following the laws/regulations, holding people accountability and enforcement with professionalism, ethics, compassion and caring.

  3. “I have enjoyed getting to know Secretary Shulkin, and I’m glad to call David a friend. I think he’s done a fantastic job and I hate to see him go,” Roe said in a statement.”

    Tells you everything you need to know about Roe right there. Inattentive. Ignorant. No ethics. Political. Or what my brothers and sisters would call a Worthless A S S H A T.

    Yeppers. Should be interesting to see the show. The VA Titanic is at worst a Vessel Not Under Command as defined in the COLREGS, which are the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea. At best, she is defined as a Vessel Restricted in her Ability to Maneuver.

    I foresee no headway. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

    • Agree, Time to drain the swamp include Senator Roe. Glad to see this change and time to listen to Veteran not all those Organizations that are making a profit off Veterans. Watching the
      c-span videos has taught me much about the system that sets Veterans up. Dropping the
      Caregivers Program for all wars is just wrong. Together We Stand never alone.

    • Yep, James, I don’t see much change in my crystal ball. Trying to ‘fix’ the “VA Titanic” under the already flushed and FUBARed USS America? While Trumpster and his appointments, nepotism, seems to be all out for world war for a variety of excuses and the wants of war loving allies.

      1. Trumpster and clan has already shown their true colors, agendas, who and what they serve and bow to.

      2. The CVA and the likes, VSOs, groups, state agencies, medical boards, those claiming to be out to help or serve vets… are all total BS. The CVA seems to make contact difficult, like all others, and ignore areas with high local corruption with strong political or financial ties to DC, or, like the government agencies, don’t want to get involved or investigate matters. Or those in the health care fields all sticking together to protect their own VA or not. Seems to me if anyone, any group, movers and shakers, powerful blabber mouths drooling lip-service can’t all come out in force to change things on a more smaller simple state or local levels how the HELL are they going to change things from DC swamp…. down? Hence the iron fisted multi-prong approach minus politics and cliques would come in to play, and totally necessary. We know that won’t happen. There is a very long list of sacred cows, special interest groups, unions, to foreigners they have to kiss ass first and foremost, then worry about stepping on their toes, profits, and controls. While the majority and silent majority seems to keep on demanding we support the elite and all our enemies… foreign and domestic, religious and secular. Think those clowns in DC or locally are going to change the American Medical Associations or the American Bar, the joke of a two party system most people still bow to and believe? Not going to happen short of a nuclear all life ending strike on the planet, or a large asteroid. That also may pacify the Christian war mongers thinking Trumpster, deep state, and friends is there to bring in the “Second Coming.” While some hide in their well planned bunkers. Ha. Pretend I am from Missouri…. show me.

      Nothing in local news about dying vets either. Just puppy dogs, kitties, Hippo love, and what a happy happy corrupt global village we live. And they will NOT or never tolerate any form of change at all, period. None. That includes all those oath takers around here.

      Not losing sleep over that particular stuff. Going to watch the dog and pony shows….. again. Keep preparing for the worse – hoping for the best – about an Atoms worth. Keep thinking about the body counts racking up. They can’t drive me any more “batty.”

      • @T – – – Agreed. Will have to wait and see. I think you are fairly correct. I find it quite interesting that under our system, one can be a United States Representative from District XXX of State YYY, or a United States Senator from State YYY – – – and NOT give a shit about the nation writ large . . .

        When will the populace wake up and recognize that to right the wrongs of this nation, we MUST place Country OVER Party and Principles OVER Personalities?

        Proud to be Independent. A member of NO political party. I walk the line issue-by-issue. The Founding Father’s WARNED us against political parties. Too damn bad our society did not heed that warning.

    • JC, yes, it tells you all you need to know. As did Roe’s excuses he made publicly on Shulkins travel fraud.

      I believe Trump took a stand against Roe and other swamp rats who were happy as long as contractors were paid, but didn’t give a shit about whether veterans were paid on time.

      How long has it been since they had their GI Bill screw-up? Are vets still not getting tuition payments? I believe I saw a report recently saying some veterans still have not had their tuition paid after that mess.

      Trumps selection of Jackson is as much a stand against the swamp rats as anything.

      Sure. Shulkin was confirmed 100-0. We see where that got us.

      Let’s see Congress complain about a Naval surgeon and veteran of a war those swamp rats sent him to.

      • 91Veteran,
        I’m not sure what the total amount is of President Trump’s appointees stands at. I believe it’s over 100 who have yet to be confirmed (by dems and Rino’s)!
        In my opinion, Dr. Jackson will be added to that long list!

    • Hey James. He’s my congressman. I had a meeting with him this week to discuss a program we’ve (my spouse and I) been having problems with along with everyone we’ve tried to tell our story to. We waited around five months for the meeting but I’m glad we finally got it. My verdict is still out until I see what he does on the matter as this program isn’t just affecting us, it’s affecting all Veterans nationwide. My news channel is currently working on the story as he’s blown away by it. He was involved of exposing how the VA use using unqualified doctors to evaluate TBI patients.

      I don’t understand how you can support someone who blatantly disregarded the laws and committed fraud. Shulkin knew when he didn’t pull out his wallet to pay for her ticket he became complicit. He should’ve been fired when the findings proved he committed fraud. If he was doing great things and making changes and had Veterans best interest at heart then why would he risk it over travel expenses?

      I don’t have expectations because I believe in what the past xx years have shown with the VA. I wish they would close the doors and put us under a healthcare plan such as Medicare, Tricare, etc. It would have to come with all the coverage VA offers (medical, prescriptions, etc).

      • @ thebrownmoose – – – “I don’t understand how you can support someone who blatantly disregarded the laws and committed fraud. Shulkin knew when he didn’t pull out his wallet to pay for her ticket he became complicit. He should’ve been fired when the findings proved he committed fraud. If he was doing great things and making changes and had Veterans best interest at heart then why would he risk it over travel expenses?”

        I don’t support Shithead Shulkin at all. I have been calling for his firing for well over a year now, dating back to when POTUS Obama was still in office.

        Where did you get that idea?

  4. “[…Many of the veteran organizations are wary of the pick….]”, “[…One former VA official said his “first reaction was OMG. That’s still my reaction….]”

    If most of the VSO’s are wary of the pick and if it sends shivers of trepidation within the soiled adult underwear bearing SES’ers, then GREAT!!!!!!!

    Even though Shulkin is gone, please keep in-mind that the largest sticks in the mud are still at the VA and well-heeled such as the likes of Graves and Helms…they got AWAY with their travel $$$ scams and are still working at the most corrupt agency of USA.

    May I also add that until the House & Senate Veteran Affairs Committees are dismantled entirely of the lard asses riding their indifferent stairmasters and replaced with former ENLISTED Veterans, absolutely nothing will change in Veteran’s favor.

    Keep also in-mind this is yet another ‘ringknocker’…agenda usually never jives with former enlisted needs and usually aligns with whatever their holder$ have for a mi$$ion…but…all for the Veterans.

    One last thing: Mr. POTUS, please get rid of the rest of the holdover Obamamites (easily confused with the common North American Dingleberry), that are clogging the swamp draining mechanism.

    Rant Out…”Another One Bites The Dust…”

  5. We’re screwed. We need to pull this newbie away from his management team long enough to fill his ear with what is really wrong with the VA before he gets corrupted.We’re screwed. We need to pull this newbie away from his management team long enough to fill his ear with what is really wrong with the VA before he gets corrupted.

    • I don’t see how we are worse off than with Shulkin still warming a chair.

      Have we gained or lost ground?

      Again, I see this as Trump yanking control of the VA from congress, and taking responsibility for one of his cabinet agencies.

      It is such a contrast from listening to 8 years of blaming someone else for feral goobermint screw-ups.

      Look at the media coverage of Shulkin. Yes the media hammered him, but they also took a LOT of shots at Trump over what Shulkin did, and they often completely ignored him being a holdover from Obama.

  6. Well, I got the popcorn out. “Waiting” seems to be what veterans have, and will, be doing over and over again!
    IF we see something occurring quickly, as in VA employees being let go, (not the ones who’ve been employed for a short time – and definitely not whistleblowers), and criminal charges being brought against those who deserve it. Then we’ll know President Trump’s pick was worth the wait!
    Not going to hold my breath! As I’m sure we’re going to see some more scandals in the future!

    • I agree on ousting the wrongdoers and brining criminal charges against them until then I reserve my popcorn for something more tangible. LOL I hope for us all but history hasn’t shown it yet. I’m in favor of closing the doors on the medical facilities.

  7. To: Mr. Ben Krause,
    I do hope you contact “Seymore Klearly” asap. To see if there’s anything you can do to get him back on here!

    • @ Elf – – – I would second that motion with this caveat.

      During the period that I have been reading Ben’s Blog, I have come to observe a few things about some of the participants.

      “Seymore Klearly” is a sincerely dedicated, honest, highly proficient, technologically savvy, moral, caring individual. While they may require a recess from participation – – – I do not see Seymore as a person who will let a small thing such as Adware stop them from contributing to the greater good for our nations forgotten warriors.

      While I do not know them personally, we have had some interaction that has shown me that what I wrote in my first paragraph is 100% accurate.

      Give Seymore some time. They will be back. Maybe under a different Nom de Plume, but there are those of us who will recognize when it happens.

      When it happens, I will not out “the New Guy” as Seymore. But I will be ever grateful that “the spirit has reentered the room.”

      Pretty sure you will know as well. I do know that Seymore has (or had) a somewhat sensitive position within our government – – – so needs to be very discrete.

  8. DISMANTLE THE VA!

    IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIX IT! That’s been proven over and over and over and over and over and over again. It’s like an old car: Slowly all the parts start failing, and some people replace them one at a time, until they have thousands of $$$ in repairs, only to still have a rusted-out, non-functioning wreck. REPLACE THE CAR WITH A NEW ONE – All NEW parts, not someone else’s fart sack. It starts every day, drives like a dream, and WORKS.
    Same for the VA: SHUT IT DOWN and move the budget to the Social Security Administration. Their systems are the same, they work, the infrastructure is up to date and state of the art. Give each Veteran an account with benefits according to disability rating, and LET US GO TO THE PROVIDERS OF OUR CHOOSING, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN OUR COUNTRY WHO IS ON SOCIAL SECURITY.
    Those Veterans who think the VA gives quality of care simply haven’t compared it to real quality. For those of us who have, we know that the vast majority of maltreatments will disappear.
    The VA remains in operation because politicians know it is just another piece of bate to get contractors to donate to their parties, while we get horse shit benefits.

    • I couldn’t disagree more. I waited almost 2 years for a private appointment. I moved in that period, and got the procedure done at the phoenix hospital within a month. I’ve never seen really badtreatment except at the communityclinic in santa Maria, and of course, the LA facility seems hopeless. Theres a saying in the VA-if youve seen one VA hospital, -youve seen one VA hospital…theyre all different. Plus, we all have individual experiences.

      There are 9 million of us in the health care system. You will grow old (maybe) and rot, before you get out of the waiting room in any private Drs office. And thsts right now. Wait till 9 million of us get there.

      I really can’t believe you’re a genuine commenter. If you are, just think this through -9 million. How many private providers? Divide it. See how many people will besitting.there with you..
      All so the docs can eventually get their hands on some good old government money.

      Gooduck.

      • Gordon, I’ve asked this before of other commenters….

        Since you are getting what you consider to be good care from the VA, all other veterans should just shut up and accept the lousy care they might be getting?

      • “Theres a saying in the VA-if youve seen one VA hospital, -youve seen one VA hospital…theyre all different.”

        Agree with you on that, Gordon. Very broadly speaking, THAT is a very large problem with veterans who utilize VA healthcare. Every VISN does almost everything differently from all the others.

        In other words – – – It is a SYSTEM that is NOT SYSTEMATIC. See the problem?

    • I’m with you on shutting the doors. There are many Veterans, me being one, who have Medicare and/or Tricare or other healthcare. The doctors who lose their jobs with the VA will get jobs with the private or public sector. I can’t justify or support allowing a government agency to remain open knowing they directly or indirectly kill and/or maim thousands of American citizens, Veterans, annually. Then though all the scandals, fraud, waste, abuse, gross mismanagement, laws broking, embezzlements, etc costing American tax payers millions of their tax dollars without our government fixing it. Hiring of unlicensed or suspended or revoked doctors. ETC….close the doors.

  9. now, if he got rid of the rest of the top management fools, that would do some good. Most any VN vet could run a clinic

  10. sounds like veteran affairs is going back into the military sector . where it should of never left in the first place.

  11. either way veterans appeals process will be worse now .another navy admiral will just look the other way on this one did to trumps condition.

  12. The advertising pop-ups are for some reason hitting me hard with of all things a brand of “Beard Oil”. No beard wearer here and never ever shopped for same. Evil SPAM. Then there’s all the online universities begging to rape our G.I. Bill Benefits, quite obvious predatory advertising…I pay for Norton 360 that prevents ALL of this anywhere else and any other way I may utilize online sites and browsers and do not wish to screw with my systems by installing third party adblockers, and such.
    I’, going to try to switch to only using Chrome and see if any better. I’ve learned if anything is an agitator to my own anxiety/PTSD demons, cognitive therapy has taught me to simply establish boundaries and avoid such things that can be triggers…this format affects me as such.

  13. A few observations we might realize with Admiral Jackson as SecVA:

    In reading the rundown of his naval interests and accomplishments which Ben has posted above, I see a person of continuous education combined with practical OJT expience and recognitions for same. In my opinion, the emergency training could realize significant benefits in transforming attitudes at “Urgent Care” desks throughout the VHA system of (lack of) care. This alone could slow down the 22 a day tragic circumstances.

    What if Dr.Cosgrove were willing to be the managerial consultant for a year or so, allowing Admiral Jackson to “get his sea legs” regarding just how incongruous VHA operations are within each stand alone VISN, before tackling inconsistencies throughout the system. This might quell some of the voices opining his lack of wide ranging managerial experience. It seems to me that the prior SecVA’s excelled, like too many O’s, at paper-pushing. This youngish Officer brings the E’s doer mentality to bear, and I find that to be a refreshing change and long overdue!

    As some have already said, …the VSO’s rejecting him, …well that gets a cha-ching from me! I’d like to see where Admiral Jackson is willing to take the VHA over …maybe the next decade or two? I think he may br just what we have been pining for.

  14. @Those of you getting the pop-ups, spam, etc. issues…
    if you are getting email notifications of new posts, that might be the common denominator here. I don’t have but user computer knowledge, anyone else care to chip in on this?

    • I haven’t gotten email notifications of new comments being posted for a couple weeks now.

      I did see notification of Ben posting new columns in the last couple days, but those notices were so inconsistent in the past, I don’t expect they are related.

      No notifications are working on today’s column.

      • 91Veteran,
        Ever since Ben went to this new format, I’ve received no notifications of new comments being posted!
        I come on about every 4 or 5 hours now!

      • Crazy Elf, its a little frustrating not getting notifications. It’s hard to tell if someone has questions on a comment.

      • @elf and 91,

        After you guys check and click the subscribe and notify boxes – – – are you then checking your e-mails a few minutes later for the auto-generated mail that requires you to confirm your subscription? If not, that may be the problem.

        Regards, and good hunting getting your reception update problems solved.

      • JC, I have done that after every comment I have made over the past two columns, and did it every time at least once for every column going back about two weeks.

        No emails. Are you getting email notifications of new comments being made?

      • @91 – – – Affirmative. Getting quite a bit of e-mail from this site. Saw Shithead Shulkin playing his mini-violins on several news clips today. Said he had no warning about his firing, yet he basically had an editorial length article ready to go for a major news outlet . . . SMH

        Shulkin should have been fired while POTUS Obama was still in office.

      • JC. He knew what was going to happen. They all know some future events. Where will Shulky be appointed to next? I imagine they have it all planned. Those jokers up there are fifty moves ahead of the rest of the sheep and playing on 3 or 4 level dimensional boards. lol

      • T – – – Of course he knew it was going to happen. That has been a major point of speculation in the media for the last two weeks. While his Woe is Me serenade may garner him some sympathy from the VSO’s and American Sheeple, I daresay the average veteran who is still daily fighting for their earned benefits will be unlikely to shed a tear . . .

    • I want to be clear that in no way was I implying that Ben’s site is at fault for the oddities some have been blasted with over recent days.

      The current format was running prior to the format that was in use last year. Last year’s format had some linkage to/through twitter, for every post made to this site. I just wondered if someone hacked something somewhere along the way, and the email notifications could be the common denominator. News reports have often said anyone using an open wi-fi could be a target for hackers, and etc. There could be any number of things to look into when figuring out the annoying issue some have had to put up with. Mine was just one guess.

  15. Who cares who they put up there…the mission is still “Delay, Deny, Until You Die”

    I’ll be impressed when they clean house, shut down AFGE, and stop giving federal financial assistance and tax breaks to VSOs.

    Hire me…on my first day I will lock all VA facilities and put a hand written file that all VA employees are fired, VSOs are evicted and to go home and await their final check (no severance packet and/or retirement)…and to thank their lucky stars I didn’t prosecute them for their crimes against veterans and the public.

  16. You’ll all love this:

    Was just on phone with a newer friend and told her we are now down another VA Secretary and she told me she was out last night and met a Veteran friend that was ***devastated*** that Shulkin was fired!
    Why?
    Her friend claimed that Shulkin was doing the very best for all Veterans, better than any VA Sec. that came before him. (paraphrased)
    REALLY?
    I ran down the many scandals that were under HIS WATCH *before* becoming VA Sec. and he did nothing…and I did not even bring-up the recent travel scandal crapola.
    She repeated he was devastated of Shulkin’s departure so I went out on a limb and asked if her friend happened to be with any of the major Veteran Service Org.’s….**BINGO**

    The piggy’s are in deep mourning and are *devastated* at Shulkin’s departure and gravy rationing has commenced with the funny hatters.

  17. “It is important to note Jackson is not a veteran, at least not yet, making him the second non-veteran President Trump selected to run the agency. Since 2006, Jackson has served as White House physician.“

    I like the idea of an active duty VA Secretary. He would then be bound by the UCMJ. If he REALLY screwed the pooch and committed treason as defined by military code (lie under oath, cheat, undermine the security of the nation, etc.) then POTUS could initiate a courts martial without going through all the Constitutional bullshit, like a VA DBC committee.

    Then, instead of just dismissing him when he committed treason he could be hung in a military prison. It would be a dignified affair. Lots of drums and shit as the hood is placed over the head. The hood could have the VA emblem embroidered on it in front… The next selection for VA Secretary would be tasked with pulling the lever releasing the prisoner through the trap door. A short drop and a sudden stop. Point made.

    Seems to me keeping the man on active duty is a good idea…

    • Yup. He would have that mysterious cloud over his head as we did when we were active duty military. It was with you wherever you went sleeping and awake dark and gloomy.

      It was the fear of being courts-martialed by your superiors for anything they deemed necessary to get rid of your ass. The sign on the cloud was “UCMJ”.

      Keep up the good fight Dennis. I like reading your noble words on this site.

      The Military Man’s Request

      The military man said as he was boarding the plane, boat or personnel carrier for war to his family and townsmen and women, “I will put my life on the line for the good of the whole but, you must promise to take good care of me if I return. That is all I ask. I do not want you to kiss my hand, just treat me with respect and give me the dignity I deserve and have earned.”

      Nuf sed.

  18. I’m with Ben. Wait and see. The Admiral has proven smarts but not experience and maybe that will prove to be better. Experienced are manipulated by the VA system. This pick has the Presidents ear who promised to take care of Vets. (doesn’t mean it is any more than a promise but he is going to have to keep some promises if he expects a second term.)

    And you become a vet through service even before release from the service.

    I served in a war zone as did Dr. Ronny. I am still considered a veteran. So I give Dr. Ronny my salute for his service. Know what it means to be on the resuscitation detail.

    • Here’s the problem with that scenario. You’re assuming Trump didn’t hand over the VA to this guy for simply giving him a clean bill of health on national TV.

      While I’ll give the guy props for military service. My concerns are that he’s never had to manage an agency full of corruption and criminals. We all know that in the military when somebody who outranks you tells you to get hot, you get hot. How is this guy going to react when he orders something and it isn’t done. That’s the real test

      • The question is, “how naïve is he”? He was political enough to become an admiral without having commanded a hospital. Clearly top notch intelligence wise. Served in Iraq for 3 campaign ribbons.

        Is he a Rickover? I suspect not but then he did get to the White House which is a political move. I don’t think Obama picked him for his good looks.

        Where are we on privatizing the VA? I want to take it back to the 1980s and keep it with expanding the number and locations of clinics. Should be like the service. Same amount of doctors per number of vets served.

        We had a 4 star General who couldn’t fix it. He certainly had all the experience but maybe the wrong experience. Perhaps a blind eye to the corruption that existed in the military created his blind eye to the corruption in the VA. Dr. Ronny has been insulated from that never having had a post where he would have had to turn the blind eye or become a part of it.

        I’m for giving him a chance. He can’t do any worse than the last 3 or 4. And we certainly need to try something different.

      • When I saw him give his press report on the President’s health. He struck me as very cavalier, very brash and cocksure. I agree he must be somewhat politically savvy to have achieved his rank. You also don’t get to be Dr. to I think 3 presidents? Without being vetted at least once. He might have the chops, maybe. Personally I want to see him give a press briefing in 6 months to a year. Pay attention to his demeanor. You’ll be able to see when the AFGE knocks his dick in the dirt.

        Giving him a chance is empty sentiment. At the end of the day the simple question is what choice do we have? The answer, as always is, none.

      • To; “WC” and “Lem”,
        You’ve come to a real conclusion on Jackson.
        Here’s my opinion,
        He’s an Admiral, probably “…used to giving orders…” to other military members.
        Question; “How’s he going to feel/react, when orders are given to VA employees (civilians), and aren’t carried out?”
        Or;
        When these civilians, like Rubens and Graves, give him the “middle finger salute”!
        Or,
        Hell, I could come up with a whole lot of scenarios!

        It will be interesting!

      • He’s Navy, so he’ll do very well. I’m sure he did not become an admiral without the smarts and keen sense of how to deal with all kinds of people. The first thing he needs to do is get an audit of the VA’s finances and then follow the money (waste). He should start where billions of dollars change hands or disappear without trace – and that would be in OAL&C. He first firing should be the SES’s in that VA Office – I highly recommend the “whistleblower” who blew the whistle on himself: Jan Frye.

        Then go after the VA lawyers whose only function is to find ways to get around the laws and regulations and screw the veterans.

        Then investigate the VA’s Fiduciary Program and the billions of veterans’ money being stolen as the veterans and their families suffer.

        Investigate the VA’s use of the Federal Supply Schedule and how the money that is supposed to go back to the services for veterans is laundered to pay for travel and bonuses for the executives and employees.

        Who needs government experience, just rehire the real whistleblowers – they know where the bodies are buried.

  19. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    I am not understanding this whole “not a Veteran” crap. If the man re-enlisted a single time, he is a damn Veteran. NEVER take away from a person who signed the line, all your going to do is piss off a lot of people.

    Is this a disabled Veterans blog? or is it now the disabled Veterans branch of the National Inquirer? Really, inquiring minds wanna know……

    As far as pop up, and adware go, I am getting none, zero,, zilch, so it must be your windows machine, blame windows not your browsers. I am using linux, and the very same browsers you are, firefox, opera, brave.

    • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

      Hell, the man became a Veteran the very second he finished signing his name!!!!

      WyldeChylde, I have no idea why they are having trouble with pop ups and adware, most likely answer is they got infected with a virus, or malware. Wouldn’t know for sure unless I had their machine in front of me.

      • we all know there’s a lot of crap floating out there on the web. As somebody who dabbles more than their fare share in the dark and dirty and barely runs a scanner on their machine I should be infested out the ears. I ran a scan yesterday when Seymour complained and my machine is squeaky clean. I’ve also been on this site for the last 3 or so years now I think. I imagine I would have gotten something by now…

      • Seymore downloads a lot of stuff from other sites. I don’t have a problem either. He has been botted but not from this site.

      • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

        WC, agreed, I do the same, go places I shouldn’t be, and I am not talking about porn…….although I have zero chance of being infected anyway. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason why some people get infected and others do not. You can have two people with identical systems go to the exact same places on the web, one gets all fucked up and the other is squeaky clean. Go figure…..

      • cj, Two trains of thought I suspect. “Active Service vs. “Veteran.” Two different hemispheres? Aren’t the questions asked frequently unless one looks at the grey hairs they know, or when some event is going on for, or free, for ASers or plain ol’ vets? Lowes asks AS or Vet? Or did. This program or insurance, or pancake dinner is for AS… some other for vets. Some say for “all military families.” This free chili cookout is on-base for the AS, others may be broadcast as for both “AS and Vets.” I can’t go to AS stuff or events, or what may be available to them with that particular label or designation. What is it? USSA insurance and the likes makes a definitive distinction between the two too. This one for that one, and this one for the other. I am a vet so I can’t go to active Guard events or cookouts or be on their gated turf during the events. I must be ‘active’ to attend even if invited. I can’t get what active gets and vice a versa.

        Same thing with other kinds of events ie, I can’t attend Marine vet events or join the local corp league, or Naval dealy, etc. I am out to pasture and die. More semantics and pissing contests between branches, etc. Don’t matter to me either way. Don’t mean a thing. That’s the small shit that just creates more infighting and division.

        Faux News “Out Numbered” ‘shit.’ Been listening to poor poor Shulky on PBS and then flipped to Faux to listen to that idiot female Harris Faulkner spouting her crap about speaking apparently as an all knowing military brat who just picked up daddy at the VA. Stating that we would rather, like her daddy must have mentioned, stay in the VA, not leave, and be around others like us, meaning vets, staying there in the fight against the VA with our own until change happens. WTF? The others spouting the usual crap about privatizing, how great that is, or how the VA will be fixed blah blah. Riding the Trump train all the way… oh my how great everything is and improving daily…. barf barf. Showing video of him and his little hag trophy pig with lipstick daughter advisor boarding AF-1. It should be heading for every VA in the country putting his shiny shoes on the ground and do what he said he would do… America 1,2, 3, which has miserably failed and he lied horribly. The punk. He sure hasn’t been the Johnny on the Spot, and fast, that he said he’d be. No excuses. Body count since golf trips, fancy DC dinners, world tripping, and photo ops???

      • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

        I see your point T, I am not going to be splitting hairs, or putting people into separate groups, Ie U.S. Marines, Navy, Army, etc, nor Veteran vs Active Duty, nor Conservative, or Liberal, Black, White, Pink poke-dotted, nor do I give a shit what your dd-214 says, I am not going to be playing those kind of games.

        When a person has the balls to sign that dotted line, and take the very same oath, then they are my brother, or sister, for LIFE, no matter what. The only exception to this rule is if your a rapist, murderer, or of that type of person. We need to stand as one, there is enough division as it is, this needs to stop. One group, one voice, and loud as hell, for all of DC to hear.

        Okay, I’ve done enough grandstanding for the day, *hands podium back*….

        Gone for the rest of the day.

        Later Gators -!ii!-

  20. I don’t understand the comment about Jackson not being a veteran. He served in Iraq as a surgeon. He served with the Marines at Taqaddum in 2005-2006, which was no walk in the park during that time.

    As for management experience, you made your points clear, and its clear from past history management experience doesn’t mean much. Look at VA Secretaries for the past 30 years, and you will see how well any management experience may have helped them reform the VA.

    Shulkin couldn’t manage a simple travel voucher accurately. Or his security detail for that matter.

    This is the first time in my lifetime a President has taken long term ownership of what is happening at the VA.

    I commented here before on what happens when a cabinet secretary like at the VA screws up depending on who is in the White House. If It is a Democrat in the White House, the Secretary takes the blame and resigns. The media insures it to make sure nothing blows back on their President. If its a Republican, then the media insures the White House takes all the blame as if the President is intimately involved in all daily affairs at the VA.

    Trump knows this. Trump also knows he will be rightly blamed for no reform taking place at the VA, so he needs someone who will commit to reform, and not play footsy with congressional swamp rats and giving lip service to the agenda of the person who appointed him.

    Shulkins whiny NY Times Op Ed today shows he was lying about supporting anything Trump wanted to do regarding reform. He’s sniveling about privatization and how hard it is to serve ones country in DC.

    Really? Hard? You should try being a veteran getting timely health care at your former agency, fuxstick. You should see how hard things are for families of veterans killed by your former agency.

    Back to Trump. I don’t know how well Jackson might do, but it is the first in my lifetime a President is very actively involved in trying to deal with a problem in VA. He is not appointing some political crony whose only job is as caretaker of a piggy bank. He is not appointing some buddy that the House or Senate swamp rats can get along with. He is not appointing some former VSO hack who long ago forgot who their members are.

    What were Trumps promises to veterans? A hotline? Accountability? Reforming the VA?

    Seems to me those promises have been kept. How well they work is another debate. The point is, Trump did not make bullshit promises that he ignored as soon as he got in office. He has not forgotten about the VA by appointing some caretaker of the piggy bank.

    Management experience? I think Jackson is going to have all the support he needs from a White House being actively involved.

    The alternative is to let him swing in the wind, then take the blame from the media when something goes wrong.

    • I’m going to have to disagree here. Nothing about this appointment feels like “long term ownership” from Trump. It feels like a favor plain and simple. In one breath Shulkin is fired and in the next Jackson is in. Nothing about this feels vetted. It feels like Trump went looking for a high ranking military guy, called his doctor, and said “tag your it”.

      I hope I’m wrong, I don’t think I am.

      • I’m with you on the “tag, you’re it, thanks for the clean bile of health…”!!

        (I hope to be wrong but at least I will be pleasantly surprised when I am and can then and only then celebrate…wait and see…)

      • I can understand the skepticism WC, but I suspect vetting had been going on for various people since Trump first learned Shulkin was under investigation by the IG last year.

        Vetting would not only look at the person being appointed, but any possible problems that might crop up once the person was nominated. Call it the Zoe Baird rule. She was nominated for AG by Clinton before she was found to have hired an illegal alien nanny and failed to pay taxes. That makes an administration look incompetent.

        Vetting would also look at any possible congressional opposition to the person being nominated. Its possible Trump picked Jackson knowing it would be damn hard for swamp rats to oppose his confirmation. Trump likely wanted someone who listened to him, not listen to a bunch of swamp rats and contractors.

        As for long term ownership…what I mean is that he promised accountability at the VA. Congress finally passed a law that did not go as far as Trump wanted since it was watered down by Congress and VSOs, but it is still better than no attempt at all. He promised a hotline, and although it took longer than I expected to come on line, we now have a hotline. Could it work better? Absolutely. But I see comments from other vets who have had very serious problems for a very long time being helped by it.
        He promised giving veterans a choice in health care, and I believe congress not including that in the budget they just passed was 1 of 2 things. Either it was a slap at the President to tell him to leave their piggy bank alone, or they knew Shulkin was on his way out and they wanted a program with a new SecVA. A third possibility is that the AFGE finally convinced enough congressmen to keep it out of the budget to protect their jobs, and any donations back to said congressmen. Can Choice work better? Absolutely. But it will take congress passing legislation making the contractors and the VA do their jobs in a timely manner.

        Even with those promises, he has not put a VA Secretary in office, and then forgotten about veterans letting the agency run on auto pilot.

        I may be naive about Jackson, but I think any serious reform at the VA cannot be done unless Congress is willing to go along. That cannot happen with a VA Sec playing footsy with congress, and ignoring the agenda of the President.

        I would like nothing more than to hear Jackson say he is requiring a top to bottom review of the VA, including the multi-billion dollar contracts that congress is so fond of, but don’t provide any value to veterans.

        So many presidents before made promises of what they would do to clean up the VA and help veterans. So many presidents before forgot how to even spell VA once they got into office, and ignored veterans until some scandal hit.

      • @91Veteran
        Interesting point on the vetting.
        WaPo article states that Admiral Jackson was vetted for the position before Shulkin installed.
        “https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ousts-veterans-affairs-chief-david-shulkin-in-administrations-latest-shake-up/2018/03/28/3c1da57e-2794-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html?utm_term=.b7335a4ecac3”
        Trump taps his doctor to replace Shulkin at VA, choosing personal chemistry over traditional qualifications
        By Lisa Rein, Philip Rucker, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and Josh Dawsey
        March 29 at 7:33 AM

      • Rosie,

        That WaPo article is VERY interesting. There is a line in there about Trump asking Jackson about contracting issues at the VA and how to fix problems there.

        Again, I think Trump finally realized Shulkin was just bullshitting him about any attempts to actually fix/reform the VA, and his Op Ed proves it.

        I also think given congressional response to Jackson, they are not happy over the conductor on the Gravy Train being fired.

      • @ 91 – – – WaPo article interesting indeed.

        “I think Trump finally realized Shulkin was just bullshitting him about any attempts to actually fix/reform the VA, and his Op Ed proves it.”

        You bet!

        “I also think given congressional response to Jackson, they are not happy over the conductor on the Gravy Train being fired.”

        Pretty much a given – – – seeing as how the Congress might actually HAVE TO GET OFF THEIR IGNORANT LAZY ASSES and TAKE SOME ACTION to improve the VA.

      • @91Veteran
        I posted the link to the NYT op-ed in a post below. I didn’t post the whole article, but he sure had the mini violins going throughout!

      • @Rosie – – – He sure did! You could almost hear him singing these lyrics:

        Woe is me!
        I am jobless now.
        Can’t you see?
        I’ve lost my VA Cash Cow.

        Those goddamn vets!
        Takin’ bets.
        You think that they would be grateful.
        Instead of being so very hateful.

        Woe is me!

      • Maybe you were also one of the many who “thought” Trump will never be president. Trump is a genius when it comes to building a team. Why do you think he kept an Obama swamp creature like Shulkin in his cabinet? That’s to get the swamp creatures feel “safe” and come out in the open. BRILLIANT, I would say! So who needs management experience when he already knows where the lowlifes are?

    • Shulkin’s NYT’s whiny Op Ed seems to be very telling of the level of god syndrome we are dealing with here. No WONDER the VSO’s are in a national day of mourning state after yesterday’s Nat’l Manatee Appreciation Observance Day. Shulkin was the cheerleader for the VSO’s “Save Our VA” (from loosing our gravy train).

      Patterns, cannot ignore them patterns.

      • I wish there was a way to cut in on that interview and call that motherfucker out for his bullshit on live tv.

      • Shulkins Op Ed tells me he is disconnected from the reality of what he was told by his managers, and what actually happens with a veteran going to the VA for care.

        Or he only believes the VA press releases blowing smoke up our asses about how good the VA is.

      • I believe that’s part of the acceptance ceremonial proceedings of all VA Sec.’s of recent past decades; the insertion of the blowing smoke up own ass extension tube to make sure every candidate is a “good fit” for the position of VA Suck.

        I’m now hoping this will be the first stage in the Military and UCMJ taking over the entire VA and oust of the AFGE fatbacks will commence accordingly.

        (allow my way-too-high, high hopes…this falling smack-dab on face is starting to feeling kind of good in a tingly way)

    • Shithead Shulkin, just like many of the other civilian hungry hippo’s in the government does not know SHIT FROM SHINOLA when it comes to sacrifice and service.

      Too many government employees have been coddled for FAR TOO LONG. Were I SECVA, one of my requirements for fulfilling the Top 50 positions at the VA would be that the individual MUST be a Veteran, preferably with a combat tour.

      Second, they would formally resign from all political parties, and not be allowed to contribute to ANY PAC’s etcetera while holding their position.

      If veterans issues SHOULD be non-partisan, then those who serve veterans should be non-partisan as well.

      Without getting Politics out of Veterans Issues – – – Veterans will continue to suffer.

  21. How can anyone make any changes in what a year? This entire narrative is specious. The corruption is at the regions and the VA’s “chief counsel” and General counsel. Until someone recognizes this no change will ever occur. As I believe someone on this website quoted, regional personnel preach that they have been around before and will be around long after any president.

    TBA, Tump is an idiot. As Rex Tillerson alleged. I do not claim any political party and only care about favorable changes that help Veterans and Americans. But the things that have occurred within year one of Trumps presidency are unprecedented. And not in a good way.

    Nothing of significance has changed at the VA. Nothing! Claim times are still horrific, the VA is still forging wait times, suicide is still on the rise, and Veterans are still DYING due to lack of access to care. All FACTS!!!

    • Shootz, there’s corruption at the Primary Care Provider level, the Patient Advocate, the Sociologist, the Psychologist, the Drug Testing Lab, etc. If the Region is corrupt, the Director of our local VAMS’s are corrupt, the Chief of Staff is corrupt.

      At every level, when I bring an issue up that is important to me, and an issue that I’d like to get resolved, I’ve yet to have a VA employee that was eager and happy to help me out. EVER. Most are corrupt. I’ll bet you that every single employee working at the VA, is somehow or someway effected by corruption of some type.

      Or, maybe I’ve been influenced and programmed by my own experience at the VA’s I’ve used. This is a possibility. Know what I mean?

    • …with what you stated as still occurring at the VA, why would you want Shulkin to remain and continue to allow that to happen?

    • @VET1.I have to disagree with you on the wait times for claims. When I retired 4 years ago I was told to not expect anything for my claim for up to 18 months. The first decision on my claim took 8 months and I had a couple of additional decisions on stuff they put on hold in the following 4 months. I ended up with 100% at about 13 months after my retirement. However, appeals are taking extremely long. I had to put one in after my original decision. After 4+ years no decision on my appeal. I had to appeal because those dumb SOBs couldn’t figure out that my mTBI was service connected. Got blown up in Iraq by an IED. Received a Purple Heart and my mTBI treatment, that started in 2008, is in my Army medical records. Sent in copies of my treatment reports. Hopefully they can pull their heads out and make a decision. I just need them to say that it’s service connected. Don’t even need a % since I’m already 100%.

  22. “David J. Shulkin: Privatizing the V.A. Will Hurt Veterans”

    “”http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/david-j-shulkin-privatizing-the-va-will-hurt-veterans/ar-AAvegN6?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=ientp””

    ^Lots of backpedalling talking out both sides of mouth, while polishing-up his god syndrome and golden parachutes^ (have vomit bag ready)

  23. In case you missed it.
    “https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/opinion/shulkin-veterans-affairs-privatization.html”
    Op-Ed Contributor
    David J. Shulkin: Privatizing the V.A. Will Hurt Veterans
    By David J. Shulkin
    March 28, 2018
    “It has been my greatest professional honor to serve our country’s more than 20 million veterans. Almost three years ago, I left my private sector job running hospitals and came to Washington to repay my gratitude to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.

    I believe strongly in the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and nothing about my political experience in Washington could ever change that. I also believe that maintaining a strong V.A. is an essential piece of the puzzle that is the United States’ national security system: We can only expect our sons and daughters to risk their lives and fight for our freedom if we can keep our promise to care for them when they return home broken, injured or traumatized. There is no excuse for not holding up our end of the bargain. The mission set forth by President Abraham Lincoln to care for those who have “borne the battle” is a sacred duty that I will remain committed to always.

    During my tenure at the department, we have accomplished a tremendous amount. We passed critical legislation that improved the appeals process for veterans seeking disability benefits, enacted a new G.I. Bill and helped ensure that we employ the right people to work at the department. We have expanded access to health care by reducing wait times, increasing productivity and working more closely with the private sector. We have put in place more and better mental health services for those suffering from the invisible wounds of war. We are now processing more disability claims and appeals than ever before and, for the first time, allowing veterans to see the status of their appeals by simply logging on to their accounts. Unemployment among veterans is near its lowest level in years, at 3.5 percent, and the percent of veterans who have regained trust in V.A. services has risen to 70 percent, from 46 percent four years ago.”

    Uhh-okay.
    Too bad it all never trickled down to the actual patients it should have served.

  24. So here’s a goddamned solution to the problem. We take one of these quantum supercomputer AI things we’re currently in the process of inventing. We feed that motherfucker the entire filth ridden database called HolyfuckLOLZtheVA.sql and then turn it on and instruct it to spit out solutions to fixing it.

    The funny thing is Douglas Adams had this same exact idea 50 or so years ago…

  25. VSO’s don’t like the new VA Sec.? Trump needs to take them off the payroll too, they’re part of the swamp.
    Rear Admiral, no management skills, doesn’t sound right to me. I think he will do very well. Privatizing the VHA is a no brainer, the main thing that will help. It will give veterans a chance to see real doctors. And require many at VAMC’s to actually work.

  26. I’ve read through some of the comments and realize not many Veterans are on board with the President’s pick but it was way over due for Shulkin to be kicked out nothing was being done alot of lip service and not enough action or accountability from his Shulkins leadership in stead of making improvements or cleaning house with those who continue to destroy our Veterans medical care and benefits, the President appointed an outsider who has no management experience so what but the Doctor has a brain and skillful hands and with the right skills and commitment to oversee this agency’s short comings and deficiency’s maybe this new appointee can bring new life to this failing and corrupt agency, I myself hope that we as Veterans can benefit from his leadership and that the right decisions can bring stability for our Veterans sake

  27. Prophets of doom claiming no change will happen?
    “https://federalnewsradio.com/tom-temin-commentary/2018/03/diving-instructor-could-be-vas-next-sushi/”

    Timeline: VA turnover means acting secretaries becoming more common
    “https://federalnewsradio.com/veterans-affairs/2018/03/timeline-test-post/”

    WyldeChylde among others have already said it. “What choice do we have?” Zero. Unions already have their game plans and plans that work obviously. So does the deep-state and others. Censoring and computer attacks up, silencing any efforts or passing along info is way UP. Even the ACLU has claimed and supposedly won suits about online speech is protected free speech. So what’s happened and where is Trump, Congress, et al, on that.

    • Yeah, we get the whale shit, while the AFGE employees in the VA get the Ambergris. It’s not right.

    • More like, don’t have any at all to save you the heartache and another disappointment when this Secretary doesn’t work out.

  28. I’m glad Shulkin is gone but hate it didn’t happen when his fraud was exposed (Europe trip). This is one of the major issues wrong with our society – we don’t correct, punish or hold wrongdoers accountable. It should matter if you are a nice person who just did something wrong – we aren’t in grade school. Our elected officials didn’t hold him accountable, period. If I worked at VA I wouldn’t worry about my wrongdoings and I wouldn’t stop. We need to stop allowing people to retire or resign from their positions. It still shocks and amazes me the stuff wrongdoers get away with but God for bid let a Veteran die, go 10 years waiting on a C&P decision or wait 6 months for a medical appointment. But, wait it’s the Veterans fault, right? Yet, nothing happens on either side – Veteran isn’t helped and the VA employee isn’t punished or held accountable. Oh, and don’t go to the privacy officer, patient advocate, OIG, HHS or bother to call the White House VA hotline because you will not receive assistance. There are nice people working there but they don’t enforce or hold people accountable. I’ve read several articles lately how the VA is the largest HIPAA and Privacy violators (thousands) annually yet they have never been fined. I’m currently one of them who has filed over 15 complaints and no one will tell me why the VA has incorporated our psychotherapy notes into our medical records which HIPAA and Privacy laws and VA Privacy policy states a patient must provide a written authorization to a person needing access to the patient’s psychotherapy notes. Yes, I’m furious, angry, hurt and unable to seek treatment due to their actions. These employees who weren’t my provider or providing me treatment accessed w/o my authorization and then uses info from my notes in their rebuttals. No one will explain or do anything to them and since they aren’t these employees are still accessing my notes monthly. I guess to drive the knife deeper into my heart. Rant over.

    Point is, no enforcement and no accountability and no fear of it. I recently filed a congressional thru Congressman Roe’s office and my VA’s reply to him was full of lies. Yes, the VA is so bold to even lie to a congressman. I’ve witnessed them last month lie to the congressional hearing members on a particular program. It’s hard to catch people doing wrong or providing you false information when you haven’t read their regulations and directives to discovery the issues. Sad.

    I’m not holding my breath or expecting anything from the new guy. He’s probably a really great person with great intentions but the VA didn’t just become dysfunctional and the only way to fix it is to close the doors. You can keep dreaming and believing and hoping but just look at the history of the VA to see how progressively it’s gotten worse. How many more years, how many more Veteran suicides, how many more deaths and maiming by doctors do you need to realize the issues?

    I wanted President Trump to declare closure and a healthcare plan for us. The benefits departments and other VA offices can stay open but close the medical facilities.

  29. It is high time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors.

    Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job – – – it will be veterans singing their praises, rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America and her citizens about what a stellar job they are doing.

    They are not. In fact, they are doing a very piss-poor job. The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care and benefits.

    Current and past VA leadership have their Brain Housing Group the size of mice and their Heart no bigger. It is about FIFTEEN YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE GODDAMN BROKEN VA:

    1. IMMEDIATELY recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

    2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

    3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into military barracks-style housing for homeless veterans.

    4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

    5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.

    6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in XX state? You need to be LICENSED in XX state.

    7. Any claim a veteran submits to the VBA that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. Should a veteran file a false claim to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that the claim was falsely submitted. For filing a false claim, the veteran will be subject to ALL of the following:

    (A). The claim shall be denied. If the veteran has received any form of benefits because of the false claim they will be required to fully repay the benefits at cost.
    (B). The veteran will be banned from all VA facilities for the remainder of their life.
    (C). The veteran will lose any benefits they originally have or had, and will not be allowed to file for further benefits.

    8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA. This will help to protect the legal rights of veterans against corrupt and incompetent VA employees.

    9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED, and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.

    10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent or dishonest personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.

    You have my contact information Mr. President. Call me anytime. I have a lot of ideas to help this nation improve the services provided to my fellow veterans. The ones that were promised but have yet to be delivered upon. Veterans have been waiting for over fifty years for the fulfillment of those promises. I will not hesitate to speak up at all.

    For my fellow veterans who have been ill-served by this DERAILED CLUSTERFUCK of a GOD AWFUL TRAIN WRECK CALLED THE VA over the years:

    Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or Cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.

    POTUS Reagan broke up PATCO in the ’80’s. Time for POTUS Bone Spurs to break up the AFGE. The vast majority of our current Congress Critters do NOT have Veterans Interests at heart. Perhaps their replacements will. VOTE OUT all these WORTHLESS BASTARDS.

    Give their replacement’s one term to take care of Veterans who put aside their own personal lives to answer this nation’s call when she needed them. Many of those Veterans suffer the remainder of their lives for doing what most of their countrymen had not the courage to do.

    If they cannot MUSTER THE STONES to do it properly – – – vote their worthless asses out as well. Party should NOT MATTER. What SHOULD MATTER is their VOTING RECORDS ON VETERANS ISSUES.

    Rhetoric is cheap. Congressional Voting Records speak louder than words.

    NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next McVeigh, Congressional Baseball Team, or Las Vegas Sniper Incident occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .

    We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.

    Want to REALLY fix the VA? We must give the incoming SecVA a chance. Should he fail, the next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man brought in from the general veteran population with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE, with zero previous governmental civilian service. Perhaps a homeless veteran who is still capable of critical thinking . . .

    Apparently, Former Flag Officers and SES appointed Civilians can’t cut the mustard. Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.

    Disgruntled Veteran
    1973 – 1976 USMC
    1978 – 1993 USN
    Wounded Warrior
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    • JC and others. Interesting articles being posted: The NYtimes, WaPo. Here is some more from a radio program I listen to. This will leave you knowing how deep, evil, permanent, the swamp monsters are in DC. Amazing info really. Really shines some light on why I can’t get anything done locally too, and probably why all those VSOs and others are sitting on their hands spouting their stuff. Why the VA here can tell us to vote Democrat for better care to why the machine can chase people away from a major hospital and newly ‘merged’ UAP with it’s mother Union Hospital who is also now connected to other main hospitals and medical colleges in the state including the Eskanazi braggers and controllers.

      The National Intel Report with John Stadtmiller, March 29, 2018 Hour 1
      “http://www.republicbroadcastingarchives.org/category/john-stadtmiller/”

      March 27 I finally got a real call from the clinic I went to after leaving the VA. “Time for a blood test” Like with the VA the same games applied there and other medical care I had here. Months I have tried to get admin and new MD office to discuss issues with me about the six hour long waits at the pain clinic they sent me to. Over the contracts the MDs they were sending me demanding us to sign for care, etc. About the months of harassing and worse phone calls coming from that hospital and clinic. Why so many staff there from different departments unseen had access to my files, private unlisted phone number, refusing me access to the hospitals top admin offices, why my calls for the new MD to check into these antics from his clinic and hospital, etc. Not a word back in months. While I had surgeries elsewhere and other stuff to deal with in this time period.

      Jenny didn’t have much to say. Is she the wife of my arch enemy Demoncrat city councilman that seems to be able to do what he wants to his non-Dem enemies or those like me, I dunno, probably. My info leaking out for their activist and retaliation purposes, much like the VA is nothing new. Not a word about trying to rectify issues or about this stuff going on. Casual as could be. Didn’t phase her a bit, no surprise at all. I told her, and is taped of course, too late I am leaving YOUR hospital, and so-called care. Your lefty activist get that point. For now. Now I am going to try again to call in the big dogs like HIPPA, etc. Let’s see what happens since all this is backed by this one party town and sorority and college campus, corrupt medical board run area. So back on the run for another MD. Odd how shit happens when the VA staff can threaten us about how things roll here and told I’d never find health care again in Indiana and blah blah. Remember a dentist office and oral surgeon here also refused to X-ray my VA broken and slivered jaw, refused to put it in my files and the surgeon for months refused my request for a copy of my files, had to contact the med boards or state AG and what I finally got was not the same paper work and files I seen in the office.

      Isn’t it great to live in country like this, with these things coming “from the top.” Well, I am thrilled to read some are claiming to get good care, VA or not. I don’t see them much interested in what happens to others or why some – off themselves. Like all those VSOs or caring media trash out there. Oh well… back into the game. Circus Maximus. I feel so special playing in the local center rings of thrills for the VA, gubbermint, activist, sluts from the sororities ( and more) health care community to the politically connected can play, including death threats and get by with it. All state, federally and locally approved and dismissed. Damn it’s fun to play…”example.”

  30. On ABC Evening News, Shulkin is crying about losing his job. They used a small snippet from the “left-leaning snowflake New York Times op-ed!

    Well, in my opinion-
    IF HE;
    1.) Hadn’t stole monies from the taxpayers to go on an 11 day, all expenses paid, European Vacation!
    2.) Hadn’t tried to cover up his “theft against taxpayers” for his, and his wife’s, 11 day, all expenses paid, European Vacation!
    3.) Hadn’t used his security detail as “gophers”!
    4.) Hadn’t used his “armed security” detail outside his office door for protection!
    5.) HAD cleaned up the second largest, most corrupt, government agency – instead of using his position for “photo-ops”!
    HE MIGHT HAVE ——-
    Well, I believe y’all understand where I’m going with this!!!!!!!

  31. The VA’s top leaders are rotten. Its akin to a prison house internal governance, only the most conniving and ruthless get ahead, and if they turn their back for one moment they die and are replaced with someone just as bad or worse than the last. These corrupt people have to be removed and replaced before the VA will finally return to its right course.

  32. Dearest Veterans and Friends: Thank you for serving; thank you for being the loved ones or friends of someone who served ! ! Do you KNOW what the take-away from this is ? ? It’s become increasingly clear that certain individuals here just cannot be trusted. ( I think I don’t need to spell out WHO that IS. ) We NEVER should have trusted them; that was our FIRST MISTAKE. That being the case, however, our best scenario is going to be to UNITE, as we have begun to do, in whatever way that is meaningful to you. My spouse and I live in a “base town,” and there are hundreds of returned vets here from the Vietnam War on up , who desperately need SOMETHING, even if it’s just somebody to buy them a cup of coffee and let them talk. We have the highest returned veteran suicide rate in the entire STATE. There are still over 23 returned veterans killing themselves every day nationally, and this has been for a couple of years now, and will probably continue, regardless of WHO is LEADING the VA. Please do forgive me if I sound as if I am scolding, however, this entire topic is very personal to me, as my PTSD tormented vet brother-in-law called me on the phone with a pistol at his head, a couple years ago, with the message that he ” just couldn’t take it anymore.” He wasn’t kidding, so I let him talk to his vet brother , my husband, and fortunately, EVERYTHING TURNED OUT OK. I sincerely doubt that the VA could have helped him very much then, we took him there later for regular counseling , but initially he needed someone special to help him with an intervention, specifically his BROTHER, who had been in the same place a few years ago. I am of the persuasion of , “Each one, reach one, ” and in a way, it’s too bad it needs to be “that way,” but I am firmly convinced that we need to step up to the plate and get some of this stuff done which might be falling by the way side, and WHAT BETTER folks TO TURN TO ? ? C. H.

  33. p.s. Oops!!!! I STAND CORRECTED….SORRY. Our Dear returned Veterans HERE are from WWII and the KOREAN CONFLICT on UP. SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME/

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