Thanks VSOs: Lawyers, Veterans Should Be Nervous About Upcoming VA Cuts, Up To 20 Percent
Rumors are circulating Capitol Hill that The Big 6 veteran service organizations (VSOs) and VA negotiated a massive and covert budget cut coming soon.
According to a reliable source, Secretary David Shulkin, MD, recently met behind closed doors with what are known as The Big 6 VSOs. None of the smaller advocacy groups were said to be invited.
In the meeting, Secretary Shulkin allegedly discussed certain upcoming policy changes. These changes will be painful for the veteran community.
To help get the policy changes through, VA allegedly extended concessions as an olive branch to The Big 6 so long as they do not obstruct upcoming budget cuts.
My source indicates those budget cuts may be as high as 20 percent, or $34 billion, off the VA’s existing $170 billion budget.
If true, veterans will lose big but our trusty VSOs will not feel the hurt, at least as much.
“The Big 6” VSOs consists of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), AMVETS and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
Concerned Veterans of America (CVA) was not reportedly invited and is not considered one of The Big 6, which are generally thought to support more left-leaning policies. Meanwhile, CVA is considered conservative-leaning.
Some Background On Budget Cut Games
Social welfare cuts are not new, and they are not always a Republican thing, though that political party tends to take them on more frequently than Democrats.
When Democrats cut budgets for social welfare systems, the cuts tend to be more covert, behind the scenes, to avoid the optics.
We have known for years that former President Obama and Republicans (Paul Ryan specifically) eyeballed massive budget cuts at VA well into the billions.
In the past, former President Obama and Republicans supported VA’s use of a lower cost of living index that would effectively shave $23 billion from disability compensation payrolls over the course of 10 years.
RELATED: Obama, Republicans Seek $23 Billion Disability Cut (2011)
Each year, veterans and Social Security recipients receive a cost of living increase.
The increase could be higher or lower than real inflation, depending on which measure a government uses. When the increase is lower than real inflation, the value of each subsequent increase is outstripped by inflation.
The recipient of the payout loses because they can buy less with the slight increase as in the past. Through fancy banking, the government wins by paying out less.
The new cuts will likely be more immediate in nature than this scheme I illustrated above.
Based on a reliable source on the Hill, the new cuts will also target disability compensation payments as in the past. Only here, VA bloated the appeals process to justify modifying appeals language, which will effectively reduce real benefits received by veterans along with the payout scheme using the lower inflation metric.
This makes sense given what we have seen in the past. Benefits payments are reduced slowly over a few years using various insurance adjudication schemes so no one notices any abrupt changes other than the bean counters in VA finance.
Funding for benefits is reduced slowly over a few years using various insurance adjudication schemes so no one notices any abrupt changes other than the bean counters in VA finance. Less overtime reduces the number of claims processed.
Less overtime reduces the number of claims processed.
Bad quota policies force employees to adjudicate more claims in less time resulting in an uptick in bad initial agency decisions.
The newly proposed appeals language will restrict a veterans rights, and ultimately the monetary and health benefits they receive while promising quicker adjudication to the masses.
Those unaware of the insurance scheme being perpetrated will see the new legislation as a win.
Should we expect anything less from the same agency formerly called The Bureau of War Risk Insurance? VA is an insurance scheme, plain and simple.
Today, we see regional offices rushing off bad decisions because VA policy mandates quick processing of claims rather than accurate processing of claims.
Executive bonuses and accolades are dependent on rushing out claims decisions, even bad claims decisions.
The five-year appeals backlog virtually guarantees that no present adjudicator or executive will get reamed for faulty decisions.
Instead, only veterans and their families harmed by the economic injury of a faulty decision are left to bear the burden of the bad policy.
VA Backlog Brief History
VA created a backlog in the initial claims process that justified immediate implementation of an electronic claims processing system to fix that backlog. This was the silver bullet fix former Under Secretary Allison Hickey lauded to Congress over and over from 2011-2014.
During that time, VA regional office started fast tracking claims which resulted in the backlog of initial claims going down. However, poor quality adjudications then resulted in more appeals and more initial claims to fix the fast track errors of claims missed by the adjudicator.
VA now asserts these increases are the fault of greedy veterans AND greedy lawyers trying to suck more money out of the agency. Its poor union workers cannot keep up.
[I am not kidding; this is the gist of VA’s present position.]
Now, we are stuck with both a rising initial claims backlog and a huge appeals backlog where the Board of Veterans Appeals is now forced to resolve a new backlog of appeals.
It would be important to note that President Obama and now President Trump have failed to nominate a Chairperson to run the Board since 2011. That is six years.
Why such a delay?
Some speculate the refusal to appoint anyone is all about politics.
As long as no political appointee sits over the problem, VA is able to push more deficient processes and bad claims decisions onto the Board’s plate without an appropriate backlash.
This means the regional offices can push through erroneous adjudications prematurely into the appeals process with premature certifications to the Board with little or no ramification for the regional office executive or her superiors.
It will now take five years for a remand, so the regional office workload is smaller in real time and the backlog at the Board is someone else’s problem.
This means Under Secretary of Benefits Thomas Murphy (an Obama nominee and holdover) wins because his numbers look good and veterans lose because no one is accountable for the glut of unadjudicated appeals shoveled onto the doorstep of the Board.
It only makes sense to someone who lacks ethics and the ability to know the difference between right or wrong.
Phase 2 – VSOs Support Legislative Fix For Backlog VA Created On Purpose
Now, enter phase 2.
VA worked with The Big 6 and some other stakeholders to create new appeals regulations that will significantly expand the statutory proposals we see from Congress.
On the surface, the appeals reform language is being sold as a normal modernization, but it will functionally result in veterans receiving fewer benefits as a whole.
Veterans of future wars and those still planning to file benefits claims will largely take it in the shorts. While this should concern VSOs, those in power right now will probably not take the same heat as those in the future, a VSO kicking of the can, so to speak.
The newly proposed language will also revoke certain rights to later develop claims after VA initially screws with the evidence gathering process and VA’s duty to assist.
Some of that language is contained in various appeals modernization bills floating around the Hill since at least 2016. These are embodied in the present legislation coming out of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
READ: HR 611 VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2017
As you may recall, Congress pushed through an Accountability law in 2014 that many in Congress used as a basis for reelection. The White House signed the bill into law but then refused to follow the law.
This sent Congress back to the table.
During that same period, The Big 6 was working with Congress and VA to create new statutes to reform (ie remove rights) from veterans during the appeals process due to the appeals glut VA created on purpose.
Those reforms were embodied in S. 3328 Department of Veterans Affairs Appeals Modernization Act of 2016, which was put forth by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and its Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) last year.
VA is now waiting anxiously in the wings with its regulatory interpretations of those same statutes this year, which makes sense since VA basically wrote the Bill’s language for Congress both times.
Initially, the election of President Trump left all vested interests wondering if appeals reform would be possible, but a backroom deal to keep Obama’s team at the help in VA has resulted in a glorious opportunity for all.
You may recall Senator Johnny Isakson’s insistence that Bob McDonald be held over following the election? While McDonald and Trump did not see eye to eye, Trump instead selected David Shulkin, MD, to lead the agency.
What was the trade-off behind the scenes? Trump’s cabinet nominees would get green-lighted (not to be confused with gas-lighted) and not obstructed by the Republican establishment or Democratic establishment.
Now, not only will the union get screwed with the new Accountability Act but veterans will also get screwed with the added language of Appeals Modernization.
And what we are seeing is the Genesis of legislation driven by Democrats and Republicans under a Democrat president to be implemented under a Republican administration.
See how this works? They work for themselves. We pay them tax dollars. They hold onto those tax dollars for the next war.
All this equals the HR 611 VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2017 linked to above.
Special interests who have eyeballed benefits reductions and union reductions now win should this get through Congress and onto President Trump’s desk.
How do we know? Well, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) drafted a similar Bill last year, and he is a Democrat. Both parties are pushing for this reform.
Look At Section 8
I remember Sesame Street as a kid. “One of these things isn’t like the others; one of these things just isn’t the same.”
You will want to pay special attention to Section 8, which appears to have nothing to do with the rest of the other sections.
On the surface, Section 8’s language modernization appears to be what the reform is about.
However, as previously mentioned, VA has already created the regulations interpreting the statutory changes in the Act, which are more restrictive than what the statutes let on.
The big take away is that many claims will no longer receive earlier effective dates in the same way and a veteran’s ability to develop the claim later in the appeals cycle is limited.
This will effectively force veterans to accept the due process they receive from VA the first time around. Sadly, you cannot hire a lawyer at that stage and are instead dependent on your own legal knowledge or that of a veteran service officer.
Criminals and illegal immigrants can hire a lawyer whenever. A veteran cannot.
Passage of the Act, or something like it at a later stage, will result in less disability compensation payouts and less health care benefits.
Let’s not forget that veterans only qualify for certain benefits dependent on what disability rating they receive or what condition is diagnosed.
Veterans without a rating for traumatic brain injury from the agency will have a tough time receiving health care to rehabilitate from their traumatic brain injury (TBI).
RELATED: VA Caught Using Unqualified Doctors To Diagnose TBI, 25,000 Vets Affected
Even after VA was caught using unqualified doctors, the agency apparently hired contractors that use inappropriate exam metrics to still deny TBI claims.
This is where lawyers enter the picture.
Yes, we are the ones who kick VA in the pants whenever its employees get out of line, at least that is what we are supposed to do.
Normally, lawyers would fight to push back this position, but the only lawyer organization able to do so has been sidelined on the matter.
Apparently, the National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA) left the negotiating table once the deal was queered, leaving The Big 6 to hammer away a deal with VA largely unimpeded.
The bad news is, both veterans and lawyers can guarantee any such deal will include some erosion of a veteran’s ability to hire a lawyer when the veteran wants because The Big 6 and VA both think lawyers should get out of the game.
VSOs are still pissy about lawyer involvement in their sweet monopoly despite 8 decades of veterans receiving generally poor help and poor reforms of VA. On the other hand, VA, of course, does not like attorneys ruining their Splendid Isolation from court induced reforms since 1989.
Only since 2007 have veterans been able to hire attorneys for compensation at reasonable rates, but illegal immigrants can hire an attorney whenever they choose.
And while some veterans still think the best help is free help, until law school is also free for lawyers, we will still need some form of compensation from someone.
Major VSOs pay their employees via dues from veterans, grants, and in-kind donations from VA. VA helps fund VSOs and pay its employees through taxpayer dollars. Few individuals are really working for free here.
The last nail in this catastrophic conspiracy coffin will allegedly include covert messaging against lawyers representing veterans. I am not clear how this will work, but the end result will be VA paying out substantially less money to veterans in the appeals process.
Not only will disabled veterans be hammered for greedily filing appeals and new claims, but lawyers, who help veterans as a profession, will also get hit as profiteers.
Veterans lose, The Big 6 and VA wins.
Let’s not forget DOD also wins because it will be cheaper for ‘Merica to go to war when veterans are unable to get the benefits they were promised.
That same “winning” includes government contractors who will revamp the IT systems VA says it needs to implement the scheme. And like Charlie Sheen, our VA is very, very sick.
Meanwhile, if the scheme is successful to flush some lawyers like myself out of the system, lawyers who dedicate their practice to helping veterans, disenfranchised veterans will be stuck having to go to law school to fight their own claims, like I did.
We will call this, “Not-Winning”.
So Why The Sudden Push?
There seems to be a trend.
Remember when former President Bill Clinton cut the military and gutted VA spending in favor of private industry solutions right before a Republican took office following an upset election?
Remember when we went to war in Afghanistan, Iraq and later Egypt, Lybia, and now Syria under Republican and Democratic presidents?
At the time those first wars started, VA and our military were tremendously understaffed and outdated. President Cheney, er, I mean Vice President Dick Cheney told Congress the war in Iraq would be over quickly and cost $60 billion because we would get to sell Iraq’s oil to pay for the war.
President Cheney, er, I mean Vice President Dick Cheney, told Congress and the NY Times the war in Iraq would be over quickly and cost $60 billion because we would get to sell Iraq’s oil to pay for the war.
Remember that? Remember who was actually selling that Iraq oil? ISIS.
Yes, ISIS was/is selling the Iraq oil.
Remember who will actually pay for that war?
Your grand children’s children’s children.
Make American Great, Again?
Great for whom?
Now those wars, which are still not over, are estimated to cost taxpayers around $4-5 trillion and counting. Much of that money went into the coffers of big banks and the defense industry.
The bill for these wars is basically a can being kicked down the road, too.
Oh, and wouldn’t you know a major war is just over the horizon?
Whether with North Korea, Syria, Russia or China, things are looking bleak for veterans who are harmed while serving the special interests con-trolling (typo on purpose) our country?
Is this merely serendipitous timing by the establishment for VA to ramp down benefits while ramping up reforms or do they know something we do not about upcoming military struggles?
Either way, we need to take a second look at the appeals reform being pushed forward in HR 611 before we count THAT Accountability Act as a win.
I am all for holding bad employees and executives accountable. I am just not clear we will ever see real accountability within our federal government in my lifetime.
It would make too much sense.
I am 80 % T U when this is passed I will lose my wifes CHAMPVA insurance. Every 8 weeks she gets chemo therepy treatment. The cost is $98,000.00 yes no misprint, we will lose our house the go bankrupt just so some fat cat can spend waste money.
Maybe my end is near.
Khe Sahn surviver for what!
Pres Trump’s son-in-law is now leading WH Innovation Office. Supposedly he wants to target the VA dept and he is demanding excellence in gov. [paraphrased from news articles]
with that written, send email to Trump’s son-in-law and bombard him with suggestions/complaints. Trump will isten to him way sooner than us veterans. ya think!!
i voted for Trump not his son-in-law, and nor do i have ANY remote hope most any New York elites give a hoot about veterans except in unseen ways to make money off veterans backs.
note, the American miltary for the last number of decades appears more of a super debt collector for these unknown banking & oil & mil-complex elites, so expecting help from that elite arena aint gonna produce results for the veteran community. has it yet? nope. just an uneducated opinion.
nevertheless, maybe his son-in-law can & will help veterans by helping to reign in the VA. he in one sense, has the power behind him…meaning, with a phone call he “could”, if wanted, shake up the VA and its union or pass the phone to Pres Trump to do so.
in a modern sense, we the ppl are basically slaves to these elites, and once used up, count on being tossed to the side of the proverbial road. which is why we have web blogs as this one and many others. i repeat, nothing has really changed via our words and our voices.
just sayin & venting…
I’m sure that nothing in this article is really new. The big 6 have been running things for decades, why would the Trump administration bring changes to the scam? Personally, I take these kind of reports with a grain of salt. I am more concerned about compensation, as I can get medical care anywhere I want or need to. But my compensation is only coming from one place. And while I am on the subject of compensation, I am tired of only receiving compensation for one service connected disability when I have 16 rated medical conditions. But because one is rated 100% that is the only condition I get compensation for. System sucks, still using a compensation system that was created for WWII veterans with but a few recent changes. In the meantime, veterans get rated 50% because they use a cpap, what a bunch of crap. ( I use a CPAP too! and a 50% rating is still crap!) I wear glasses, while my eyesight is screwed up my glasses improve my vision I don’t get a rating, even though I am service connected for my eyes… I also am rated 0% for hearing, and I wear hearing aids.. Seems to me if I can get 50% when I use a cpap, I should get some compensation for my eyes with glasses or ears with hearing aids…. yea I forgot were dealing with the VA that is never consistent. So anyway its my compensation I am concerned with,….. like I said I can get medical care anywhere…. ( and lately I am)….. Medicare and tricare aren’t half bad….
Once again, I am blown away at how intelligent all of the people on Ben’s blog are. Just amazes me every day. I wish I knew half of what you guys have forgotten. Commenting in a reactionary method, is extremely tiring for me. It is the only way I know how to comment. Like a computer, you get out what you put in. Be nice and you get nice back, etc. You men and women are in a class all your own. Fantastic, everyone of you. In my best Mr. T voice “I pity the fool that messes with you” and “where is Joe Dimaggio?”
@Disgruntled Veteran: Hope you got some rest after your busy day.
@cj – – – Got an hour or two. Criminal Attorneys, Advocates, etc. can be so draining when combined with VA crapola. Now back up for a while. Probably sleep most of morning.
Long story short – – – Veteran buddy of mine for over 15 years charged with attempted murder. Spent 3 months in OCCC (Oahu Correctional Custody Center) until bail money could be raised and paid. This is his very first offense in his life. Never a parking or traffic ticket. While in jail, it was discovered that he has Stage 3 Glioblastoma.
Trial supposed to start this coming Monday – – – but have managed to get it postponed until later date in order that he can undergo Chemo and Radiation. Probably 3 to 4 months down range. Judge has forms to be filled out on Doctor visits to prove he showed.
Long day – – – but “good veteran outcome” considering the circumstances . . .
@Disgruntled Veteran: DV, I am sorry to hear of your friend, a bitter sweet pill for sure.
I hope the best possible outcome on all matters, he is faced with.
You need some sleep. Will catch everyone later..weekend and chores..and all. Hope everyone stays safe and has a great day. Yeah that includes you too Joe. Your misguided, but your still family.
¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿
@ANutterVet,@Ex va: Hows you tonight?
@Joe Chenelly , Per your post today at 5:57pm, you stated, “These meetings are exactly what our members want from our advocates – letting the VA, the administration and Congress know what veterans are experiencing and what they need.”
@Joe Chenelly, hey look man, many of my Brothers and Sisters have been fucked over by the VA, fucked over other Vets, the VA has spewed out garbage and lies, the VA provides Evident Based Medical Care which limits the proper care for each individual Veteran, the VA is too fucking slow in addressing claims that are filed, and most importantly the VA isn’t trusted by many Veterans and aren’t held accountable.
@Joe Chenelly, I’m a Vet and a Investigative Research Biologist, and I would like for you to please list on this blog what Veterans are experiencing and what they need. I’ve been doing research on the VA, and I’d like to see what you’ve gathered from Veterans, about what the VA is lacking, what Veterans are in need of, or what they are requesting from the VA. I’d like to compare what you have gathered, and correlate that with what I’ve gathered.
Joe, no bullshit, please list what Veterans are requesting from the VA. I intend to conceal my identity because if someone starts to jam me up, I’d have no other option but to call in for the smart bombs [@cj get em ready]. So, in this manner, I can stay chilled out and politely manage all aspects in a civil manner. Joe, thanks for your cooperation, participation, and support. ANutterVet
Very Nice! TRUST NOBODY! DIY!
I gotta pass out for a while, Hey joe, know any good doctors at the va? Wait, I know of one in MO. that is being prevented from seeing patients, THAT’S A VETERAN JOE pay attention. Because he told mommy on your cousin, the big bad VA. Now there is something you can do Joe, in your next secret meeting with Shill kin, and the WH, DO THE RIGHT FUCKING THING AND GET THIS MAN BACK TO WORK ASAP. Good veterans NEED, good doctors. I will ‘WAIT AND SEE’ how that goes Joe. If in the near future this doctor is not reinstated to see veterans, then we will know your just full of shit….right Mr. we always fight for veterans Joe VSO?
Y’all recall the info about the VA trying to use electrical stimulus on Veteran’s brains for whatever reason? Well, here’s one reason:
What do you think of this? What happens to the person after the 20hr mark? Maybe instead of coffee in the morning we get a zap to ….fuckin A, you know what VA? Fix my fucking back!!
The VA’s version of that electrical stimulus treatment is entirely dependent upon there being lightening storms at time of treatment, and perhaps hoards of angry town villagers wielding torches and pitchforks (Veterans).
@LP: Wholly shit man. “he has his eye on a number of technologies, including pharmaceutical aids” and “But they did studies whereby a little bit of electrical stimulation was applied, and they were able to maintain the same peak performance for 20 hours.”
So, let’s train the shit out of a bunch of guys, turn them into efficient killing machines, (of course this still isn’t good enough), so now let’s pump them full of “pharmaceutical aids” and then apply “a little bit of electrical stimulation” ecactly WT actual F is that? These people are off the damn reservation, and when they completely scramble the fuck out of these guys brains, good luck getting help from the likes of Sherman Gillums, and Joe Chenelly. We are now convering seals into jellyfish, and the VA of course will deny anything is wrong, they just now need magnetic stimulation to bring them back…………and the beat goes on…….
(somewhere in a lonely hotel room,
There’s a guy starting to realize
That eternal fate has turned its back on him,
It’s two a.m………..)
It’s two a.m., the fear has gone
I’m sittin’ here waitin’, the gun still warm
Maybe my connection is tired of takin’ chances
Yeah there’s a storm on the loose, sirens in my head
I’m wrapped up in silence, all circuits are dead
I cannot decode, my whole life spins into a frenzy
Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
@cj — One awesome song. Every cover band I have taken part in has played that song and many, many moons ago on a Halloween night, we were also on stage at a NCO club in Halloween attire, and I was indeed Dr. Frankenstein/Mad Scientist on the keyboards. The fog machine we had for Golden Earing’s “Twilight Zone” was very makeshift and it about completely asphyxiated me, but made it through.
Thanks for the jog of that great memory from the 80’s. 🙂
@namnibor: LOL that sounds like one fun night. Good music for sure.
Aaand on and on and on…super soldier program continues.
I am glad this article acknowledges from the start that this is based solely on rumors. In fact, this is completely false. I understand many people’s mistrust, so we can wait and see together because this article really is a prediction, right? It is predicting the Trump administration is going to come out with proposed budget cuts up to 20% in VA funding this year. That is ludicrous! When it doesn’t happen, it will be clear this article was based on lies. Can we all agree that these budgets cuts have to be proposed for this article to be accurate?
If any budget cuts are proposed, which I really don’t believe will happen, you can count on AMVETS and other veterans service organizations to fight hard against any cuts.
I’d love to know why the named organizations were not given an opportunity to comment before this was published. There is no doubt Ben knows that is standard practice in journalism. Anything less than that constitutes a hit piece designed to smear not inform.
Joe, Ben clearly pointed out…according to his source, so I am not sure where you get off suggesting this is just rumor…as if it’s made up.
If it did not contain elements of truth, why not deny this meeting ever took place?
Even Sherman above from PVA didn’t deny the meeting took place.
Can you point to announcements put out by AMVETS about this meeting? If not, why not? Why the need for a meeting In which others are excluded?
If you VSOs don’t like being called out for being sneaky bastards, then why the exclusionary meetings and claims of speaking for me or other veterans?
I will pose the same question to you as I did Sherman.
Can you explain why you think veterans should have less access to legal representation than illegal aliens or prisoners?
Given that situation, and many other situations where veterans have less rights before the feral government than the usual US citizen, while you VSOs stand by and watch, you shouldn’t be shocked when those same veterans ask why.
Note, the very first word in the article is “rumors”. There are monthly meetings with the largest veterans groups and the VA Secretary. The Big Six usually are not the only groups in there. In fact, I believe there two or three other groups in there last month. Negotiating and backroom deals don’t take place there or anywhere else. These are opportunities for the groups to bring our concerns directly to the head of the VA and his staff. That’s what our members want us to be doing, right? There is usually a number of key VA staff in there as well as aides from the White House and sometimes other parts of government depending on what we’re discussing that time. The Secretary also uses these meetings to let us know what they are seeing and planning so they can get our feedback on it. It is collaboration and it is very useful for veterans. We don’t always agree, and we are not afraid to tell the VA when things aren’t going as they should or when plans being laid out aren’t good. Again, that’s what our members want us to do and that’s what’s best all of us veterans.
Veterans should and do have access to legal representation. But I do not think they should have to pay for it. There are far too many attorneys looking to grab a piece of veterans’ disability compensation. That’s wrong! Veterans already earned these benefits and care and should not have to pay again. There are many service officers AND attorneys ready and willing to represent veterans, family members and survivors FOR FREE, usually made possible by generous supporters and members of the organizations.
Thanks for the reply Joe, but I disagree with your answer about legal representation. I believe it should be much earlier in the process, or at any time a veteran chooses. Perhaps it would significantly improve the claims process of the VA knew that was an option.
Similar to an AFGE thug having the option of immediate representation after ignoring veterans lying on the floor in pain for hours on a VA ER.
Joe: How far wrong can you go assuming the worst from the VA and the Big 6 VSO’s that operate like a travelling RICO show ? Be more that glad to apologist if i’m wrong, but if the past is any predictor of the future, you won’t be getting any “so sorry” from me…LOL
John, I understand why assumptions are made. I’m not telling anyone to put aside personal experiences or observations. I am just offering what I know from my personal experiences. And I’m not asking anyone to believe me. I am pointing out that the article is predicting a budget cut proposal of up to 20% of the VA budget. I am asking if everyone agrees that this article loses its credibility when no budget cuts are proposed?
Then Joe, I’d suggest that you contact Ben Krause and work together to get the truth out for the best interests of Veterans. After all, that’s is what the both of you want in the first place, isn’t it?
They are adept at the Art of “Dummying Up” if you get my drift. They were at the scene of the crime, but you won’t hear it from them. They were born at night, not last night. Those boys have been around the block enough times to know how the deal works.
@John Cokos, that is why i call the VSO’s the va’s crash dummies ?. They are there for the va ride, the va accident and say nothing. ? They see and know what is being done to Veterans is wrong, but just go along for the paid ride. They see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. ?
🙂 LMAO –> “VSO Crash Test Dummies” aboard the V.A. Titanic. 🙂
Those organizations at local levels care for the following: American Legion, youth baseball and getting enough funds to keep their building rented
AMVETS, keeping their building rented and potluck dinners
DAV, transportation of Vets to and from VA and sometimes other areas
VFW, keeping building rented and figuring out what Vets in the community need help.
This is what I’ve observed in 17yrs of being a part of those Organizations. From a couple different states. Yeah, sometimes they reach out and give a Vet a break or help with a claim. Most often, the above items are number one in every meeting. Now that’s locally. State level, they care only for the money coming in from each post, and higher levels…well they get kick backs, huge salaries, and when they go into congress to “fight” for us, they just have their own personal agendas to get across. It’s rediculous.
I’ve asked for assistance from each one of those groups with getting min or one of my former Soldiers claims taken care of…nothing. the responses were basically: we can’t help you because we don’t have time.
I’m not the guy who stops at one try either. Those at the top of most orgs are just as corrupt as Senate And Congress
Don’t forget about their well-stocked lodge bars. If it were not for the “lodge bars” I highly doubt the big VSO’s would have much relevance, let alone as many paying membership dues.
Any Vet I have known that loves their VSO’s also just LOVES their discounted cheap drinks in their lodges and each had said it was the ONLY reason they remained members.
I do not drink so could not be reeled-in early on in the game, plus I was well-warned over on HADIT DOT COM how the big VSO’s do not really have we petty Veteran’s best interest. Glad I did my own claims and won. Otherwise, had I used a VSO, I probably would have been long-dead by now while some VSO or VA hack continues collecting in my behalf…yeah, no trust these days for the piggy VSO’s…none.
I understand that you side with big politic and with the VA, but why on Earth if as you say this is purely an op-ed piece (opinion) would you believe that the author would be obligated to run it by tyye scumbag VSOs or the politicians, or the VA before publishing it?
If you wish to betray American ideals in favor of silencing dissent by another Ameican then that is your right and priveledge. If you wish to believe that VSOs serve the greater good of America or of veterans while ignoring the fact they have been “serving” at least something up to vets in the last several decades then it too is the right of a blind man to describe what he sees.
Should I go into what the VA has become under the world class cha,pionship of the VSOs, or first should I print up the wages paid to VSO senior staff, print up the known falsehoods (not opinions) perpetrated by VSOs, or just list the benefits of access granted to VSOs at VA facilities as a reward for their loyalty to VA?
Or should I just point out the alarm VSOs show when an American of considerable and well earned reputation of helping his fellow vets when he decides to speak the truth? Tell me Joe, how much truth do you think we should filter in America for the benefit of the VSOs? All of it or just the really icky parts?
Dennis, I didn’t say this was an op-ed. I said it was a report based on false rumors. But I also said I am not asking anyone to take my word for it. Simply watch to see if the prediction in this article comes to fruition or if it proves itself to be incorrect.
The article makes the accusation that six organizations and the VA have comes to some fort of devious deal. It is a safe assumption that Ben, as he says he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, would be well aware of journalistic ethics, which prescribes giving the accuses an opportunity to defend themselves before publication.
Now you make terribly inaccurate assumptions about me. I certainly am not supporter of big politics. I do not wish to silence dissent; rather, I work daily to give dissent a voice.
I don’t shy away from the “icky” realities, and I try not to associate those who do. We have to be real, honest and unafraid. I am glad you seem to share that view.
I perceive you to be in bed with the VSOs simply because you take the approach to fixing the problems at VA with the condescending attitutde of “let’s just wait and see…” that all of the status quo folks embrace.
You post on another man’s website levelled accusations against him based on the idea that in the future that your accusations will somehow be proven correct , while at the same time ignoring the fact that historical evidence proves out at least that the willingness, capacity, and expertise of VSOs to act outside of the best interest of American vets.
Rather than a wait and see approach to accusations that back room, ill conceived, and self serving deals are made between VSOs and the VA, why not instead look backward to see if this the way they have ALWAYS behaved?
I do not judge a man based on what they think because I know what men think and all of us think alike. I judge therefor a man by his actions. You, Joe, stepped into another man’s website to called him a liar based on based based on future events that absolutely nobody could possibly ever verify. I have never seen you post before here Joe.
This is not a wait and see observation Joe. This is what you did. So when I posted that you are more or less in bed wih the VSOs who have sold out American vets it was simply because this is they way that they behave, and this is the behavior that VA has perfected to the tune of billions of dollars. I assumed based on backward looking observations that when I hear an animal go “quack” that it is a duck.
I see you quacked an aweful lot here this day Joe, so forgive me if I look for webbed feet.
It could always be a duckbilled platypus that’s evolved to quack. In any case, plenty of ‘quacks’ to be heard at the VA or mutant crows.
Do VSO’s travel South for the Winter and return in the Spring to that bubbly swamp on D.C. lawn or would that be “C Street”?
@Joe Chenelly: “I’d love to know why the named organizations were not given an opportunity to comment before this was published. There is no doubt Ben knows that is standard practice in journalism. Anything less than that constitutes a hit piece designed to smear not inform.” And tell me Joe, when was the last time and VSO’s gave a veteran an opportunity to comment before you sold them down the river? Just asking, you know in the spirit of “standard practice” and all. See we vetereans are use to VSO’s selling us out, and I sure don’t have enough space on Ben’s blog, to start listing “my own”, therefore “true to fucking life”, experiences with said VSO’s. Wanna know where this is heading Joe…………well do ya?
All the VSO’s are going to start commenting on how great they are, and how much they do, and care about veterans. So before they start the truck loads of BS. rolling. Let me first drive the “SHUT THE FUCK UP” truck down that path.
…| The STFU Truck ………………….|||””‘|””\__,_
…| _____________,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.,,,, ,,,l||__|__|__|)
Also Joe, You can stick your wait and see. UP YOUR ASS, Exactly who the fuck do you think you are, comin onto this blog to try and discredit one of the ONLY damn people in this country, that actually GIVES A SHIT about veterans? Your precous VSO’s shure don’t give a shit, do they? Fuck no, I have dealt with the likes of you for over 42 fucking years, your worthless as pocket on the back of my damn shirt. Really, you guys should all go and trade your hat’s in for Mason’s hats. At least then you could ride those little carts and scooters in parades. Make no mistake Joe, right now I am being VERY kind to you, much kinder than any VSO has EVER been to me.
CJ, I didn’t state AMVETS or any organization is great. I appreciate your creative text art, and I am sorry you’ve had such negative experiences with some or maybe all the orgs. I won’t defend what I don’t know.
The article claims false reports, plain and simple. I don’t expect you to believe me, so I am saying the only way you’ll know what I am saying is the truth is watching these predictions not come true.
@Joe Chenelly: Or the entire process is scraped and we will never know. Either way, Ben has proven himself to be on the side of every veteran. If you look back just a few days ago, I was telling people that of all the VSO’s out there, that AMVETS was the one to be trusted, along with any veterans assistance commision. Ben is like family to all of us here. After trying to discredit Ben in our eyes, I will no longer be refering veterans to AMVETS. You did your organization no favor by what you did today. You should have known better than to do what you did, and I should have known better than to trust another VSO. Thank you for removing the final VSO that I personally trusted. Never again.
Clearly you are a paid educated wordsmith on a mission here to promote VSO’s and the VA’s talking points.
Myself, I am just one of the many Disabled Veterans who has been through the system that post here. The only thing that the VSOs fight for are themselves. They don’t even fight for their members just themselves.
In their fighting they are nothing more than mouth pieces for the Veterans Administration only going against the VA when they are supporting the AFGE. With very little to no concern about the Veterans they are stabbing in the back while doing it. The corruption at these organizations is very profound and their support for corruption at the Veterans Administration is very clear.
They have clearly been fighting against Veterans having a right to choose who provides their medical care essentially causing many Veterans to suffer and die as a result of their fight against Veterans having a choice. They have consistently ignored Veterans who are suffering and dying from the deadliest Health care system in the United States. Sure when a problem hits the news the VSOs always jump on the band wagon crying fix it with more money, more money, more money. That is why the VA employs them.
The problems with VA flunkies who manage the VSOs are willing to fight for are many, but to prove a point I would like to give just one example of how thousands of Veterans are currently and in the future are going to suffer and die because of the VSOs fight against Veterans.
The example: Hot Springs South Dakota where VSOs are fighting to keep a VAMC open. The towns population is about 5,800 people. About 90 percent of the jobs in the area are directly connected to the Hospital. A total AFGE town. It is surrounded by counties with the lowest Veteran population in the nation. Attempts to close this albatross have been ongoing since 1993 but the VSOs and the AFGE have been very successful in keeping it open even though it causes great hardship to Veterans who have to be shipped hundreds of miles from areas with larger Veterans population.
Last year, after the Commission on Care report was issued, McDonald did give in and set the VAMC up for closure. Of Course the VSOs and the AFGE have been lobbying to prevent that from happening. During Shulkin’s conformation it was clear he had to sell his soul to the people of Hot Springs as part of getting support from the VSOs and the AFGE. Part of Shulkin’s deal involved adding 300 new jobs handling Veterans Applications for health care and benefit information for the Nation at a new call center in Hot Springs.
Of course we now have around 30,000 veterans applications for health care sitting in Hot Springs waiting to be processed and an untold number of unanswered calls from Veterans directed to the Hot Springs call center. The big problem is that they have hired less than 30 people to man the phones and have not installed phones and computers for these 30 people to use. So every day more applications are not being processed and every day Veterans assistance calls are not being answered.
“VA Scandal: Hot Springs Call Center is more ruse than reality”, By John D. Taylor, Hot Springs Star march 21st, 2017
February 17, 2017 by Press Release
American Legion asks VA Secretary to reverse Black Hills call
So for many of use here Mr. Chenelly you are nothing but a VA paid Troll.
Also a link to a picture of the albatross which shows the town and the hospital. Really helps put it into perspective.
@Seymore Klearly- Holy Crap! It’s The Umbrella Corporation from ‘Resident Evil’. 🙂
There must be a vast multilayered laboratory below that. 🙂
I do not work for the VA and I am not paid by the VA. I work for AMVETS. I am a combat service-connect disabled veteran myself. I am using my real name and come here with no agenda other than to set the record the straight in light of my organization being accused of false rumors.
Joe, you need to understand how badly many veterans have been badly burned by VSOs and the VA, and I don’t mean in a veteran lighting himself on fire kind of way which happened last year after a vet was turned away at the VA.
About the time when the Choice program was ramping up, the Legion decided to go on the road with their ongoing Save Our System dog and pony show. Its a show they have put on for over 14 years now. One was held here in western CO, and it was damn disgusting to see these Legion officers claiming to be veterans treating other veterans as if they might catch Ebola by looking at us.
It was damn disgusting to see the buddy-buddy relationship where the Legion officer made excuses for anything veterans described about how our hospital was doing, while the local hospital director feigned concern.
It was even more damn disgusting to see a local Legion officer and female vet stand up and say she was fired by the local VA just before her 1 year probationary period was up because she stood up for her patients…with the national officer making excuses.
The problem many of us see is that you guys live within a bubble while veterans in the rest of the country are getting screwed hard to the point of killing themselves…while the VSOs constantly cheer the VA as long as table scraps are thrown your way.
AMVETS may not be like that with every national level leader, but there are enough national level VSO leaders that really don’t give a damn about veterans as long as their access to officials in DC isn’t threatened.
As long as every VSO keeps appearing before congress claiming to speak on my behalf while ignoring what is happening to veterans throughout the country and not pushing for accountability, then veterans are going to push back, and hard.
What do you expect veterans to do when scandal after scandal is exposed, massive corruption is exposed, veterans abuse is exposed, veterans being killed by VA indifference is exposed, and those of us surviving just see our supposed representatives pushing bullshit legislation that is little more than rearranging funeral arrangements?
@Seymore Klearly: Thank you Seymore, I wish I could explain as you have.
You stated several untruths here on this site in your attempt to discredit Ben on this article.
1.) “There are monthly meetings with the largest veterans groups and the VA Secretary. The Big Six usually are not the only groups in there. In fact, I believe there two or three other groups in there last month. Negotiating and backroom deals don’t take place there or anywhere else.”
2.) “Veterans should and do have access to legal representation. But I do not think they should have to pay for it.”
Daily Caller News Foundation March 7th, 2017
“Veteran Groups Meet With VA Sec, Senior White House Officials To Talk Serious Reform”, Jonah Bennett
“Numerous veteran advocacy and service organizations met with Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and senior White House officials Tuesday to discuss proposals for reform.
The meeting, which lasted for an hour, represented a huge shift from past events; this time, veterans’ groups were invited directly to the White House for dialogue.
Previous meetings with the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs have taken place at the VA. This time, senior White House officials attended who have the close ear of President Donald Trump.
“To date, meetings have been at the VA, and so the unique thing about today’s meeting is that it was with senior White House officials in the West Wing…having the president’s advisors in the room””
“Major groups like The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Got Your 6 and Veterans of Foreign Wars were invited, but what’s interesting is that Concerned Veterans for America also attended. That’s significant, given that the Obama administration kept this right-leaning veterans’ advocacy organization out of past discussions.
During the meeting, Shulkin and other White House officials laid out their priorities for moving forward for reforming the VA, which Trump has repeatedly criticized for failing to give veterans solid care.
These priorities included appeals modernization, choice and reform on community care and improving accountability.
Officials took pains to emphasize that Trump and Shulkin are on the same page as far as reform is concerned.”
“It sounds like the White House is working on new solutions, which haven’t been considered before, which is encouraging, and generally speaking, all of the veterans’ groups in the room were pleased with the engagement,” Rausch told TheDCNF.
Rather than delving into the weeds of various policy proposals, the conversation was mostly about top-level priorities, but points like the VA choice program were raised.”
“A couple of the traditional veterans’ organizations pushed for a meeting with the president, but that sentiment was not carried by some of the new groups.”
Read more: “https://dailycaller.com/2017/03/07/veteran-groups-meet-with-va-sec-senior-white-house-officials-to-talk-serious-reform”
So the question is Mr. Chenelly do you take your lying ass over to the Daily Caller and troll their pages?
You are nothing but a paid troll fighting against Veterans.
Seymore, I don’t see the difference between what I wrote and the article you posted. The meetings outlined in that article were of a higher level (White House) than the normal monthly meetings, but there still was negotiating or deals made. These meetings are exactly what our members want from our advocates – letting the VA, the administration and Congress know what veterans are experiencing and what they need.
First let me say, when I find that I am wrong I freely admit it and like to correct the record. For example, I was wrong about Hot Springs. The total population is 3,514, not the 5,800 I stated earlier. With 90% percent of the populations employment directly connected to the VAMC there.
To refresh your memory, Hot Springs is that monumental albatross that VSOs and the AFGE have been fighting to keep open since 1993. Even though it is in the middle of nowhere and the surrounding area has the lowest population of Veterans anywhere in the United States, according to the US Department of Statistics.
Photo Hot Springs VAMC in relationship to the AFGE Town: “https://www.cardcow.com/images/set192/card00243_fr.jpg”
With Billions of taxpayer dollars being pissed away in the false claim of supporting Veterans to keep the place open since 1993. Just to support the AFGE town. All thanks to the VSOs and the AFGE.
Of course, there is also the supposed 300 person call center in Hot Springs that was supposed to open before April. The one that is supposed to process all the Veterans applications for health care and provide call center assistance to Veterans who have filed claims or need assistance with other matters such as educational benefits. Which was set up in one of those back room deals between the VA, AFGE and the VSOs. At last report only 28 people hired for the call center and no phone lines or computers set up to handle the calls or the applications. But the good news, they claim, is that they have now found storage space to keep growing number of Veterans applications for Health care. Which at last count was around 30,000 unprocessed applications.
Given you are representing a VSO let me ask you. How many of those 30,000 Veterans are suffering and dying right now as a result of this new scam?
Also, you have claimed there is no back-room dealings between the VA and the big 6 VSOs. Why have the meeting in the past been closed to other Veterans organizations in the past if the meetings were only to provide access for Veteran originations to discuss concerns you claim your members want presented?
To me any behind closed door meeting discussing the future of the VA is underhanded stab Veterans in the back dealings.
To me and most of the Veterans who visit this site you are nothing but a paid troll working against Veterans period.
Seymore, as I stated when CJ’s STFU truck came barreling at me earlier today, I am not here to defend nor promote VSOs. I realize everyone here expects me to come in touting the great things about the VSO. This clearly is not the place for that.
I came here because I am always looking to hear from my fellow veterans as to how they feel about the benefits and care provided by the VA. I bring those observations to the VA leadership.
While on this site I saw that there were false claims made about what’s happening among the organization I am with and believe in, so I stated the truth. I didn’t ask anyone to believe me; rather, I asked those believing the incorrect reports to watch and see if the predictions come true or not.
If you didn’t come here to be attacked, but instead to find out how veterans feel about VA issues. Then why would you start out with attacking Ben? I have already stated everyone on this site looks at Ben as family. We already know who’s back he has, he has OUR back, and we have HIS. As to your wait and see, so therefore Ben will be outed as being untruthful, or rumor mongering. You have obviously hit a nerve with this entire community. We do not trust anyone, or anything that comes from DC, or the VA, or any of the VSO’s.
You stated your concerns in a way to make yourself look honorable, and to discredit Ben, and therefore, the rest of this community. For all we know Ben is right on the money, he usually is, and by usually, I mean 100%. Now as far as AMVETS goes, how do we know that the entire issue Ben has brought up, has been scraped due to opposition? That still doesn’t make Ben’s reporting false, does it?
What you suggest here is the same as me asking you if you still beat your wife. No difference at all. If I had inside knowledge of, not only what Ben has reported on, but also that those dealing were scraped. It would be very easy for ME to come on any site and claim they were wrong, and to wait and see, and you will find out I am right. See what I mean Joe? Next Friday or next century, it really doesn’t matter, because family is family…..see?
You said your interested in what veterans think, and you care about their concerns. I will not doubt your word on that, as you have doubted the rest of this community. If you have not figured out yet the utter anger we veterans have, towards VSO’s then you best take another look. We are a long way from being pissed off at the mismanagement of all VSO’s and their misguided missions, and into the stratosphere of uncontrollable anger.
Veterans are dieing, veterans are hurting, and the damn AFGE, and the VA, and seemingly everyone of the VSO’s don’t give a rats ass. Ask me how I fucking feel, when the wife of a veteran, comes on this site, and apologized for her husband, not being able to take a survey on the Veterans Choice program, because he died waiting for medical care? You getting this Joe? We are not concerned about memberships and bake sales. We are concerned with lives here, veterans, and veterans families lives. If you share the same concerns, and I don’t doubt for a second that you don’t, then dammit, quit fucking around with the small shit, and start shaking things up in DC. Sorry your all butthurt because WE don’t trust your organization, but we have many years of experience when it comes to those institutions.
Now, for your exact words, and I quote:
“I came here because I am always looking to hear from my fellow veterans as to how they feel about the benefits and care provided by the VA. I bring those observations to the VA leadership.”
You really said that? Did you know there is still a wwII veteran out there who was shot in the fucking head, and he still can’t get medical care from the VA? There are quack clinical psychiatrist being used to deny TBI claims, when they aren’t even trained to examine or treat TBI’s. The rest of the world knows this, are you saying you don’t? We have an ER Doctor being payed 240 g a year to work 100% of his time on union business, not to treat veterans, while Shill-kin is screaming for more money to hire more doctors. Remember the doctor I mentioned earlier in MO.? He is an excellent doctor being prevented from treating veterans, out of retaliation for being a whistle blower. Are you hearing all this for the first time? I really don’t think so. I am certain I am not telling you anything you don’t already know.
I will ask you Joe, what did you find out when you heard from your fellow veterans today? Did you find mistrust? Did you find “out of control anger”? Did you feel like you poked a hornets nest? Do you feel that THIS veteran community is tightly wound? Do you really want to know how veterans feel? Do you sincerely want to discuss the issues? Or are you covering your ass?
It is very easy to make a list of issues veterans want changed, or to find out what they think. You could have just asked. But you didn’t did you?
You will have to excuse my writing, spelling, and formation errors Joe, you see, I am one of those TBI veterans, and I ain’t right in the head. I am so not right in the head that I want to feel someones bones snap in my hands. I want to rip someones fucking face off their skull. I want to grab someones balls and rip their sack right off their damn body, and shove them down their throat. In-fact, anytime I hear of a veteran that is hurting, or has been fucked over, I want somebodies fucking blood on my hands, like maple syrup oozing through my damn fingers. Getting an idea of how I am feel yet?
Great article which includes information on your organization AMVETS which has and is continuing to fight against Veterans having a choice in our own health care.
“Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion”, Patricia Kime, May 4, 2016, “Militarytimes.com”
As for your claim of not being here to defend VSOs Your statements make it clear that is the only reason why you are here.
As for your claim of AMVETS only representing your memberships wishes. I am sure the above article proves that to be untrue.
You came on here attacking Ben’s creditability and have made repeated false representations about your organization. While Ben can boost another 22 million veterans helped by protecting their Veterans Health care Records In todays article at: “Veterans Affairs Almost Gave Away Veteran MVP Genomic Data To Russian Affiliated Company”, Benjamin Krause, JD – April 7, 2017
Many of us posters on this site helped out with Ben’s investigation. So while you are here trying to defend VSOs, well at least AMVETS. Ben and many of us on this site have done more for Veterans than you or anyone at your organization has.
Do something real with your time like truly learn about the 30,000 Plus Veterans who are being screwed by the Hot Spring thing. Try actually doing something for Veterans.
Have a good night troll
“I came here because I am always looking to hear from my fellow veterans as to how they feel about the benefits and care provided by the VA. I bring those observations to the VA leadership.”
Since this is a blog where one reads, rather than hears – – – if you really were here for your stated purpose, why not just read and make notes? Why announce yourself when you already had access to how veterans here feel?
The only logical reason is because you wanted to stir up some shit. Like the responses you got?
As far as your statement “While on this site I saw that there were false claims made about what’s happening among the organization I am with and believe in, so I stated the truth. I didn’t ask anyone to believe me; rather, I asked those believing the incorrect reports to watch and see if the predictions come true or not.”
No claims were made at all with reference to events, that could not be proven. And predictions are just that. Best guesstimate based on observable facts, and tenuous thread connections. Those are not claims – – – those are what if’s to go into the mental contingency planning locker. Better to have them than not, cause when the shit hits the fan – – – that plan may keep you from being the poop catcher. And if it doesn’t – – – then you can relax a bit.
One Jarhead to Another. Get your motherfuckin’ Brain Housing Group in gear before those Shirley Temple Fingers start Tap Dancing on the Keyboard. How the hell did you squeak by your DI? How far has my beloved Corps standards sunk since I got out in ’76? I served alongside Capt. Wesley Fox in ’74, he would have had you assigned to the shit burning detail for way less kiddy bullshit than this . .
Now you are just entirely embarrassing yourself by acting like a petulant child.
@Joe Chenelly, Then if the future, please post information that contradicts what is stated in Ben’s article. With references that are truly reliable and not skewed.
at a loss of words with this…and why not, words never did a thing to help us veterans regarding the corrupt VA/VBA. so fed up with the lies and hypocrisy of our so called leaders.
few gov D.C. ppl or in the world for that matter did anything to help the butchered ppl (children, women, men, various relion groups, etc. ) in recent times in the M.E. regardless of any of the horrific barbaric methods used. now, since it fulfils some perverse geo-political sick narrative, we bomb Syria due to some ppl got gased. so let’s see, burning & drowning ppl in cages and crucifing ppl in public no less, sure appears just as bad to me. Of course the untrustable-news outlets pits Putin/Russia in the mix of whom to blame. now all of a sudden boys mccain & graham are just livin it up along with other congressional traitors. can’t you just see them patting each other on the back having a congratulatory drink!! i doubt any Yazidi families of the Yazidi children butchered in the recent past feel any sense of jubilee…they might want to know why the hell you boy-unwonders didn’t take revenge for them back then. couldn’t pin those atrocities on your new war sales pitch.
that insignificant mild rant leads me to @Ben’s reporting of VA (on veteran’s backs of course ) cuts.
another sense of betrayal. i’m glad @Bens’ site and commenters are here, as i see i’m not alone in that knowledge of getting betrayed. and that sense of betrayal is a constant from our so called leaders.
>>Through fancy banking, the government wins by paying out less.
the banksters are always in the mix a bit in their true workings in the shadows.
like i mentioned before, never liked the decision of keeping Shulkin onboard or the fact it now seems Trump never is going to keep his promise to begin fixing the VA/VBA. how fast you think he would fix it if one of his family members was getting the trampeld under foot screw job by the VA/VBA. hell, he would have a bill before congress in a week to dismantle the VA/VBA.
>>Veterans of future wars and those still planning to file benefits claims will largely take it in the shorts.
those on active duty, like those recent stiking mil pilots, really should go on stirke. as you write, these new rules if passed are going to stab them in the back too and many of us.
>>[I am not kidding; this is the gist of VA’s present position.]
i heard this same statement from PVA vso’s 10 years ago, and of course they tossed in, “the vietnam veterans” causing backlogs. it’s insanity to believe these ppl. wanna bet the vso’s themselves have put in multiple claims and such over the years and got “their” money?
>>Why such a delay?
i’m sure some part of an answer is “mo money for VA & fed thugs” && “less accountability at VBA”.
not at all. nor to any other veteran that uses/needs VA/VBA that.
>>As you may recall, Congress pushed through an Accountability law in 2014 that many in Congress used as a basis for reelection. The White House signed the bill into law but then refused to follow the law.
i for one have not forgotten, and few if any non-veterans i mentioned that to, even rang a tone with. i really don’t believe most ppl grasp this VA/VBA situation.
we all know in our gut that the Big 6 got paid off to allow the removal of more veteran’s rights. might as well call them sold-out traitors too.
yet, like Ben writes, it “sounds” all so good, the wording that is. and it gets rushed by ppl like the games con-men/women prey onto ppl. (as you mention)…these banksters and insurance schemers are so skilled in the deception arts, you’re outside in the cold before you know what hits you. no wonder veterans need legal help and VA wants to limit that right.
>>Let’s not forget that veterans only qualify for certain benefits dependent on what disability rating they receive or what condition is diagnosed.
how could most of us ever forget! the years it takes just to get a correct diagnosis at VA, if ever, or to get VA/VBA to acknowledge a civilian doctor correct diagnosis. then the service connected part. with the current rules, its still terribly difficult even with legal help. not vso help, we all know they pick and chose and deny claims help just like the VA deny’s. with @Ben’s reporting, we know now they are paid by VA via taxpayer money. now it makes sense why the vso’s treat veterans the way they do.
>>Only since 2007 have veterans been able to hire attorneys for compensation at reasonable rates, but illegal immigrants can hire an attorney whenever they choose.
so Trump WH and congress, gonna still give mo’ to illegals and help other citizens of despot runned countries versus helping the American veterans? guess that depends on what banksters are at the backroom tables. so far, veterans are out of the game and almost their legal help.
where would you and your family be Pres Trump without good legal counsel? huh? you didn’t do those business bankruptcies and business dealings all by your lonesome. you had good legal reps. and some of your congress folks & VA/VBA want to limit the veteran community from good legal help? don’t sign that bill, dude. think about it, really think it through, you non-stop talked about the plight of veterans with VA during your campaign. ask NOVA, Ben and other veterans to “your” backroom meeting and get their counsel before signing that bill.
>> …The last nail in this catastrophic conspiracy coffin will allegedly include covert messaging …
hope you get to the bottom of this portion and share it on your blog here.
speaking of Cheney, check out the subsidiary Afek, of New Jersey based Genie Energy.
>>It would make too much sense.
not much is making sense to many of us these days. i was speechless when i heard of us bombing Syria and the glee in the eyes and words of some in Congress when discussing it. how can one trust any intel reports anymore? then i read your blog today. you feel like a hurricane hit you in the face, ya know?
but the creative art work on here is really cool.
WW III is another bankster’s war just like WW I and II………………….SYRIA FALSE FLAG LEADS TO WAR – Ron Paul
Who is behind Syrian Observatory for Human Rights? Nimrod Kamer investigates for RT ……look that one up.. then if you want real facts look up the one below…
the real Syrian Free Press ~ War Press Info ~ maybe not always the latest but surely the most reliable news
Can’t we just call our special line that goes directly to the Oval office?
I said nothing would change under Trump. The DOD and VA just need to understand when it comes to veterans You broke it you buy it.
Anyone else not getting email alerts when comments are posted?
@91Veteran: I am getting alerts.
I think I got one or 2 emails from comments on this post, then nothing since…including yours.
But then, it could be Yahoo since they have gotten so pathetic in the past few years.
My comments on Syria have no bassis in fact…
Grrrrr Black sea and Baltics.
I see that it is now for firkin real in Syria. We just launched 50 Cruise Missiles their.
Russians are arming nukes in Baltic sea.
“The U.S. military launched approximately 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield late on Thursday, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago.
The operation, which the Trump administration authorized in retaliation for a chemical attack killing scores of civilians this week, dramatically expands U.S. military involvement in Syria and exposes the United States to heightened risk of direct confrontation with Russia and Iran, both backing Assad in his attempt to crush his opposition.
The missiles were launched from two Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. They targeted an airbase called Shayrat in Homs province, which is the site from which the planes that conducted the chemical attack in Idlib are believed to have originated.
In comparison, the start of the Iraq war in 2003 saw the use of roughly 500 cruise missiles and 47 were fired at the opening of the anti-Islamic State campaign in Syria in 2014.
The attack may put hundreds of American troops now stationed in Syria in greater danger. They are advising local forces in advance of a major assault on the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.”
Now for something really scary.
Prior reports on the air base that was hit by the cruise missiles.
“Report: Russia is building a second military airbase in Syria”
“Russia is planning on expanding an Assad regime air base in central Syria into a second base of operations for Moscow’s air assets in the war-torn country, various sources report.
The new base will be located southeast of Homs at the current Syrian military base of Shaayrat, AFP reports citing an unnamed military official and a Syrian monitoring group.
Russia is reportedly expanding the regime base into a location from which it can launch air strikes and house military helicopters.
“The preparation phase for the Shaayrat base is nearing its end. It is being prepared to become a Russian military base,” the anonymous military official told AFP.”
“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP that Russia is expanding the base to better allow it to carry out operations in central and eastern Syria.
Moscow is “building new runways at the Shaayrat airport and reinforcing its surroundings in order to use it soon for operations” across Homs province, Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
Currently, Russia carries out its air strikes from its base in northwestern Syria, in Latakia province. By having a second airbase in the center of the country, Moscow has a greater ability to carry out strikes in the east and south of Syria in support of Syrian troops.”
In other words, it is likely we just bombed Russian assets in Syria.
But this False Flag “sarin gas attack” in Syria was poorly staged by CIA and Israel — since emergency personnel handled victims of the fake sarin attack using bare hands (no protective gloves). That would never happen in a real chemical weapons attack — since the paramedics would get contaminated with neurological toxins.
Hey howdy ya’ll!! Yep I’m a newbie to your post. Yes I am a woman.wife of Vietnam Veteran. Boy did I have my work cut out for me when we went to Regional Office in person with evidence to support his claim. Ok I did all the work. No brag just fact. Had what they did not expect lying in my lap through it all. Husband asked permission for wife to speak, oh hell yeah I loved it go to shock those monkeys. My Daddy was a World War 2 veteran & I did all his paperwork,dealt with blowhard incompetent doctors. Anyhow, I learned the VA system very early in my life. Gets better for little bit, then goes back in the toilet. Now hubby has a brain tumor VA diagnosed in early nineties. Neurosurgeons, yes more than one told us was nothing to worry about wasn’t gonna cause any problems, wasn’t growing. Bullshit!! Sorry for the profanity, but tumor began size of a pea, now tumor has totally engulfed the pituitary cutting blood supply to it as well as blinding him optic chaism involved of course. I have no idea where to look for him an attorney to help him. As you may have already assumed I’m from the country in small tow in Texas. He was a city boy. Any ideas guys & ladies ?? Be most appreciated. By the way ,namnibor I wholeheartedly agree with your post.
Thanks for listening to this old gal.
God Bless and Much Thanks For Your Service,
@Debra Stringfellow: No need to apologize for language here 🙂 Speak your mind.
Well sounds like more money going into VA pockets not the Veterans that put their life on the line. I am very disappointed in the “big Six”.
WE all know who the liar is.
Oh crap here we go again…..Trump bombing Syria !!
By the way , Thanks cj
)@Debra Stringfellow: No need to thank me, I have a tendency lose it every now and then, not the nicest words come out lol. It is a good stress reliever.:
Has anybody seen the chart on Dr. Nass’s Blog about the relationships and connections between the Obama administration and the Media?
Seems like the spouses of personal at the fake news networks all worked in the Obama administration. Guess he employed the spouses to get the bias news coverage. So wee as tax payers were paying these spouses what a half million apiece per year to provide Obama with Biased news coverage.
If you click on the image it will enlarge it.
A quick example: Susan Rice, who is all over the news lately is married to Ian Cameron, who was an executive producer of the new over at CBS.
Rice is the one who was spying on Trump all during the election and then his transition team after he won.
My bad, Susan Rice’s husband, Ian Cameron, was and executive producer at ABC news not CBS.
So does this mean more reduction letters to Vets? I was given compensation for PTSD and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and target me to save money. It kind of sick because I can’t depend on that extra money to improve the quality of my life. If I could I would move into a nice apartment from the room I currently rent next to a garage.
Holy Crap! Pres. Trump is considering military action against Syria. Lots of hipsters better get that shit shaved off their face and ready to eat sand. 🙂
By the way: nuclear is not ideal anytime, but it’s a particularly bad can of worms for the fact that the sand that would not get instantly fused into glass or vaporized, a significant amount of silica would be cesium & more goodies loaded and the very silica thrown about all over the world in air currents would bring a new kind of fallout unheard of.
I was never here.
Methinks it’s going to be time for the “DRAFT” to come back into the lives of many young people!
Oh, what a day that will be for all those “Candy Ass Millennials” who believed in Hillary Clinton’s Amerika!
I’m going to laugh my ass off when I see all these asswipes trying to escape from it!
Oh, and being a “LGBTQ” ain’t gonna help them one bit. They “bleed red” just like everyone else!
Back in 1976, while I was in the Navy, we used to say –
“Drop a couple nukes about 100 feet off the ground. Turn all of the Middle East into a Sheet of Glass. Then, go in and take the oil!
My regional VA has VSO workers under their employees. I thought VSO officers were suppose to help veterans…My county VSO is quite helpful but economic downfall lead me to request my most recent claim to be expedited. I emailed my VSO at the regional level and was told no. I absolutely let my sailor mouth roll out the red carpet on that. I was passed to a VSO who is new and I’ve never dealt with and she was the rudest little girl and I let her know immediately. She tested her limit with me and I asked 4 times for a supervisor who I would be able to complain to. No contact was made after the new VSO was speaking to me about her ethnicity and so I called her a racist and asked she not contact me again. Her race, her background, hell, nothing about HER has jack to do with my claim. Finally, after almost a month I had to find the supervisor and contact her. She said she got the messages but was busy. She emailed me a hardship form even after telling her I had no way to print it. She verified via email that my claim is being considered an appeal rather than a claim due to same diagnosis term but under extremely different circumstances. I’ve not tried to contact them again. I need help but obviously it won’t come from them any longer whereas the first time in that office they were awesome. I can’t get my head wrapped around this. Since the article of the difference between a claim, appeal and the nod, I’m so suspicious but of course for good reason.
@PK: Good to see you back PK.
Veterans Screwed Yet Again ! At Least Kiss Me You Perverts ! Twenty emails a day from these so called VSO’s asking for donations ! Made DAV take down a glowing , fake Reveiw from this life time member .Time for pain med and Nerve pill . Murderous bastards !
@Crazy elf: I agree 100%
Hey Seymore, glad you’re back! What a hell-of-a-lot of B/S huh!
Why the Hell did I even come on here today?! My blood pressure is at “maximum overdrive”!
Every day we see where the VA fucks veterans. Today’s blog is one of the worst yet.
The VA wasn’t supposed to dole out bonuses since 2014-5! But they have – each year. Those slimy little AFGE turds
keep getting the best of everything. And veterans keep getting the short hairs!
A few years back, maybe ten or more, the DAV (and a few other VSO’s) were trying their best to get attorneys, like Ben, out of the mix!
Looks like they might actually succeed this time around!
All the while ISIS is getting richer by the minute. Selling oil we should have taken in the first Gulf War! BUT ——–
Gotta keep those wars going!
Gotta kill more people!
Gotta make the richest – even richer! Gotta fuck those lucky enough to make it back, even IF they’re missing limbs or can’t “socialize” due to PTSD or TBI.
Or more debilitating injuries caused by WAR!
Reminds me of;
“WAR, what is it good for, Absolutely nothing!”
Now, our Republic is being threatened with WAR – AGAIN! Only this time it might go “Nuclear”! North Korea is rattling it’s saber! Russia is being treated worse than when the “Cold War” was being waged!
I can actually remember, as a kid, doing the “Duck and Cover” in Grade School.
I see that coming back – SOON!
Of course, kids today might just want to “Bend over and kiss their ass goodbye!”
I once told a friend, after he asked me how WWIII would be fought! My answer was; IF it’s nuclear, “WWIV” will be fought with sticks and stones!
You remember that yacht of Obama’s that was caught bringing in “TONS of Opium, Heroin and Cocaine”?
Well, it seems the monies from its sale was going to “ISIS”, and probably all the other enemies we have made in the Middle East! Sure are a lot of them now!
One has to remember, there is “absolutely NO natural resources” – in Afghanistan – ONLY OPIUM from the Poppy Plant!!!!! The other drugs had to have come from other countries!
Looks like our enemies found other resources, other than oil, to fund their takeover of the Western World!
God help America! Ain’t gonna be long before the shit hits that ‘proverbial fan’!
Oh, and by the way,
Ben Carson had an audit done at HUD.
You’ll be pleased to know, HUD had “misplaced $539.8 BILLION DOLLARS!”
He’s calling it “FRAUD”!
That’s over a half TRILLION DOLLARS, brothers and sisters!
It’s coming out from MANY news sources since the first article broke on Tuesday!
And Rep. Chaffetz, in his committee on Tuesday, used Amazon as a guideline on how our government spends money to help people after a Natural Disaster!
He even said Amazon “…delivers FREE – Right to your door!”
It’s a great video on YouTube! You gotta see it!
Yeah, that HUD thing is but only a drop in the bucket when they hit the other Federal Agencies, namely the VA and DoD…but I have yet to hear Shulkin utter the word ‘audit’ yet, and whomever ben Carson used for HUD audit, they should use for the VA.
I do recall Obama increased the ceiling where Section 8 housing pays per month for any given apartment based on family size or individual, which was also Obama’s agenda of bringing Section 8 into other than urban places, which effectively increased RENTS for all else to try to block neighborhoods from being forced Section 8 from HUD…another Obama Legacy…look no further than Chicago and see how well that’s worked out for working folk in once nice neighborhoods where daylight rapes on freaking trains and all kinds of violence…thankyou, Mr. Peas Flies. Prez. (borrowed from 91Veteran) 🙂
I find this so disgusting and hard to put into words.
Yes, I understand the need to control spending in DC, but not on the backs of those maimed after being sent into battle by the very fucks who refuse to nut up and reign in spending elsewhere.
Its disgusting to me to see what our feral goobermint spends money on, when one of their Constitutional duties is to provide for the defense of this nation. They will find that hard to do if they cant find recruits for their wars because they refuse to provide for the medical care of those maimed in service to this country.
I find it disgusting that these weasels, politicians and the bastards in VSOs claiming they speak for me, have no problem colluding behind closed doors to screw veterans while ignoring the boatloads of money pissed away on bonuses, art, contractors, corruption and fraud.
Both have zero concern for veterans while portraying themselves to the public as the champions of veterans…including that fake Vietnam veteran Blumenthal.
Its disgusting to see when the VA is cutting care, reducing or eliminating disability ratings, and making families struggle caring for their injured veteran family member because the caregiver program is being cut as reported on NPR.
I get the sense this accountability bill and lawyer elimination bill is a mix of backroom political dealing mashed together to get enough support from politicians to insure it gets passed.
That VSOs are involved in it shows how sneaky, underhanded and two-faced they are.
It reminds me of the Legions Save Our System circus here where not a one of those little fuckers would look me in the eye.
I don’t know what to suggest Ben to try counter this.
Poop Canons and raccoons, Desperate times require desperate measures.
The problem with poop canons now is just exactly how does a walking piece of shit even know when more shit is falling upon it? They lap it up and fill the hallways.
Let’s try raccoons first. Sufficiently rabid raccoons on tons of steroids. 🙂
I guess I understand the meaning of “fake news” after reading this article. Under no circumstance did Paralyzed Veterans of America — nor would we — negotiate budget cuts in VA. In fact, we’ve staunchly advocated for an increase in clinical staff, infrastructure repairs at spinal cord injury centers, expansion of benefits for caregivers, and accessible travel options for our members, all of which require more money, not less. To cite rumors that are circulating around Capitol Hill as the gospel is tabloid journalism, at best.
Cookie Jar protection mode…is ON! 🙂 ~~~~Gurgle~~~~
Six big piggies went to D.C. market,
Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in…~~~~Gurgle~~~~
@Sherman Gillums: You think we believe you? After getting fucked year after year? After being lied to by every single VSO? You think veterans think the VA is on their side, or the VSO’s for that matter? I got something for you……….come closer……….closer now……………a little closer……………come on I won’t bite…….this is for you:
Ouch! The VA’s double prostate exam where the examiner claps his hands once inside or knits a scarf.
@namnibor: They think everyone is an idiot. First place, if the damn va was actually doing it’s fucking job, Paralyzed Veterans of America, wouldn’t even exsits now would it? So right off the damn bat your beholding to the va, for your very exsitence…………….Righttttt? Same goes for every single other damn group out there as a “so called veterans charity” Your parasites all.
@Namnibor , @cj – And, the last time I was measuring extensions, those fingers where the longest. Oh, it goes deeper. To some, that we be an Ooo, or an Ouch. He, he, he, . . .
@ANutterVet, good to see you!
Message to Sherman Gillums. Fuck off you anti-veteran troll.
@Sherman Gillums, this is not tabloid journalism! These are facts not fiction discussed. This is real journalism with real problems that no one in the va or va affiliates want to deal with. The government has been throwing money at the va to fix it and then they turn around and mismanage it at the medical centers and other va agencies. I know this for fact. I witnessed it firsthand in clinics and within the medical center operations. The corruption, deaths and negligence are real.
What would the va be like if you vso’s went after these doctors/providers that injure, kill and neglect Veterans? It is possible that it could be a better va if you would help the Veteran instead of being the va paid crash dummies. You don’t because that would rock the boat ?, nothing is unsinkable. Everything changes in life, nothing stays the same and if your arrogance believes that, you are setting yourself up into a rude awakening. Things are changing and i do not believe all of if is business as usual as before because you would not be trying to insult here if everything was rosey were you are sitting.
FUCK OFF YOU LYING LITTLE BITCH ASSWIPE COCKS
I better stop now.
After reading Ben’s Blog today, my blood pressure can’t take much more!
After seeing so many instances of VSOs pissing down the necks of veterans the past few years and telling us it’s raining, I trust Ben and his sources more than I do you or a VSO.
Sherm, you’ve been around the VA long enough…as an official with the PVA, perhaps you can answer this question.
Why do you believe veterans access to an attorney should be barred such that a veteran has less representation than an illegal alien or prisoner?
Given your position within the PVA, certainly you should be able to answer why we should enjoy less access to legal representation than others.
So lets take a count;
Ben says the VSO’s are screwing vets in general over in favor of coddling by the United States Government.
Shermin says Ben is lying and denies it all. So one man is a liar and one man is not.
How do we determine this? Well lets look at what truths they claim; Ben has a history of obtaining priveledged information through a virtual network of self appointed operatives who work behind the scenes alongside VSO’s in order to shed light on the VA. Hmmm. The factual claim by Ben seems plausible.
Shermin on the other hand says he came to an understanding that news headlines and stories can be faked ONLY after he read todays blog by Ben…. Hmmm. A tad less credible there Shermin although you may indeed be that naive, it is not my understanding that VSOs in general abound with a misunderstanding of how life works. However the VSOs do have a history of prefering the light of day not be shed on their dealings with Uncle Sam.
One man is a liar. One is not.
Here is what Shermin Gillums of the VA has posted anout him on linkedin;
“A widely respected writer and commentator on veterans’ issues, Sherman has written opinion editorials for the NY Times, The Hill, Task & Purpose, Liberty Nation, and Buffalo News publications, and his manuscript on veterans’ unemployment is now published in the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling. He is quoted regularly in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Military Times on veterans healthcare issues, and he has testified before Congress as an expert witness on veterans benefits along with appearances on CNN, Fox, CBS News, and C-SPAN on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans of America. He was named one of HillVets 100 Most Influential Veterans of 2016 and was a featured “Mover and Shaker” in Savoy Magazine’s 2016 Power 300 Spring issue. Sherman is an alum of the University of San Diego School of Business Administration and Harvard Business School.”
…and before today he had no idea what fake news was…
@Dennis: Most excellent, no running from that.
@Sherman Gillums – – – “BA – DONG, BA – DONG, BA – DONG, BA – DONG. This is not a Drill. This is not a Drill. B – U – L – L – S – H – I – T Alert on the Quarterdeck. I say again B – U – L – L – S – H – I – T Alert on the Quarterdeck. All hands standby to repel BIG 6 VSO’s. B – O – H – I – C – A Procedures are now in effect.
This is not a Drill. BA – DONG, BA – DONG, BA – DONG, BA – DONG . . .”
@Disgruntled Veteran – LMAO 🙂 If I had coffee in my mouth at time of reading that it surely would have been all over my screen and the cat would have been attached to the ceiling! 🙂 BA – DONG…VSO Repellant… BA – DONG.
@namnibor: And we just launched an attack against syria……..
This might get really ugly fast.
@Nam @cj – – – Foolish, Feel-Good, Empty Gesture.
Why is our government now using our military to strike yet another country – – – naively believing that a “limited” strike will solve the problem, while not putting U.S. citizen’s here at home at risk from retaliation?
For those who are in need of some review of American Military History, here are the results of some limited strikes over the last thirty years:
Lebanon, 1983: U.S. warships in the Mediterranean shelled Beirut for several days in support of the Lebanese army, which was led by Christians fighting Muslim factions in the country’s anarchic civil war. A month after the U.S. shelling, Shiite Muslim suicide bombers struck at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, killing 241 Marines. This remains the biggest loss of life of U.S. military personnel on a single day since World War II.
President Reagan subsequently ordered the Marines out of Lebanon in February 1984; the Lebanese civil war carried on for six more years. A military committee appointed by Reagan found that American commanders believed the U.S. shelling of Beirut led to the bombing of the Marine barracks.
Libya, 1986: Libya was implicated in the deadly bombing of a disco in Berlin frequented by U.S. servicemen. In response, Reagan ordered a one-night bombing raid on Libya, which targeted the compound of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The Libyan leader survived, and two years later, in December 1988, a Pan Am plane was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people on the plane and the ground. Many of the dead were Americans. After a protracted international legal fight, Libya acknowledged involvement and paid compensation of $1.5 billion in 2008. Gadhafi remained in power until 2011, when a more sustained NATO air campaign helped rebels drive him from power.
Afghanistan and Sudan, 1998: Al-Qaida blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August, and President Clinton responded two weeks later with a brief barrage of cruise missile strikes directed at al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, a country that supported al-Qaida.
The strikes inflicted limited damage and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden interpreted this as a lack of U.S. resolve to engage in a major confrontation. Al-Qaida attacked the USS Cole while it was in port in Yemen in 2000 and followed that a year later with the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Iraq, 1993, 1996 and 1998: On several occasions in the 1990s, Clinton ordered limited airstrikes and cruise missile attacks against Iraq. The intent was to put pressure on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein following aggressive action by his forces against opposition groups or by his refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.
However, the Iraqi leader remained firmly in control until the U.S. ground invasion in 2003 that ousted Saddam. Eight years of war followed until the U.S. forces withdrew in 2011.
America as a nation forgets way too quickly. Immediately after September 11, our nation was told that we had intelligence that Saddam Hussein was behind the plot that brought down the World Trade Center, and that he possessed weapons of mass destruction. Wrong!
As most of the nation later learned, that intelligence was provided by a single source that the administration really had no way to confirm the truthfulness thereof. So, our government took the word of a known liar, marched into Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein.
Our forces never found those weapons of mass destruction that the administration assured us were there. Meanwhile our government kept the cost of the war off of the Congressional books. That action, coupled with a crap-shoot on Wall Street put the U.S. economy in the worst position that it has ever been during my lifetime.
This does not even take into account that we utterly failed (overall) in Afghanistan. Now, here we go again.
I am against our government using so-called limited strikes against Syria. If we are to take any military action in Syria, we should commit the entire US military to the invasion, subsequent occupation, and complete rebuilding of the Syrian nation’s government from the ground up. When we go in, we should fight it just like we were fighting World War II. Give it all you got, then give it a little more. If we are not willing to do that – – – then we should take no action at all. Period.
I do not think we should take any military action against any country at this moment in time. We have enough to fix right here at home without having to play policeman for the rest of the world.
One last tidbit: The Syrian Rebel forces are led by Al Qaida. Were we not trying to destroy them a few years ago? Now they are asking for our help, and we are going to give it? Fuck them all, let them sort out their own mess.
If our current sitting President and Congress authorize sustained military action against Syria, then POTUS should be impeached. Not the modern day impeachment where Congress still lets him stay in the White House – – – but real impeachment.
The kind where he has to pack his bags and leave . . .
@Disgruntled Veteran: I hear you DV. My take ont the wmd,s in Iraq, unlike Obama, they made GW wait almost a year for aproval to go to war, in that time the wdm’s were moved to Syria. Who knows for shure who gassed those people? was it Asad? Was it rebels that took over a gas dump? How the hell do we know so fast as who did what? I agree we should no be there at all, We had no business bombing the shit out of Libya, or targeting the leader of another country, “isn’t that againt the law here?” We had no business going into Syria either. This country has been going down the wrong path since the end of wwII, They fucked the soldiers in Korea, and every single war, or invasion, or whatever you wanna call it day to day, since. And then of course when you sign the dottes line that should be used for fishing>>>>> You get fucked again if you happen to get fucked up while in their custody. I agree with you. This is fucked up. Only I don’t think we have to worry about any retaliation. I am sure Russia was pre warned, and so was China. Who gives a rats ass about Iran. This best be the end of it though. I am with you, I am sick of all this WAR BS. bring those kids home, and leave them the hell alone dammit. Pay what youi promised, we are not Indians we don’t accept false treaties. Only direct deposits. If I am not making sence DV, I am sorry, I am not myself, tapering off a controlled substance. 2 weeks to go.
@cj – – – You make plenty good sense to me. And you are ALWAYS yourself. Hell, we wouldn’t have you any other way. Love you just as you are, fellow patriot. (808) 483-0591 if you need to talk. I never answer calls if I do not know who is calling, so show your number, then leave voicemail. Will call back.
I have had to wean myself off of controlled substance before. Not fun. Can’t say I liked it much. But you’ll be the better for it. Proud of you for sticking it out!
Only thing I go to the VA for – – – is when I require an antibiotic or antiviral. Everything else – – – Web, Wal-Mart, and Walgreen’s.
@Disgruntled Veteran: Thank you for the kind words DV. Your a special kind of awesome. 🙂
@cj – – – with regards to retaliation, I am thinking more of the SPLENDID opportunity this presents to Russia and Iran. Time tight today, will get back with details later. But for now – – – Putin and the Ayatollahs are sitting in the Catbird seat.
That Tomahawk strike just put them there . . .
SHERMAN PLEASE EAT YOU OWN VA DC HQ CRAP
In the article Ben States “Remember that? Remember who was actually selling that Iraq oil? ISIS. Yes, ISIS was/is selling the Iraq oil.”
It is also important to note that it is big oil companies buying that ISIS supplied discounted oil through Turkey. Making sure that ISIS is well funded. Also let us not forget that it is the US government that is not stopping the oil flow.
As soon as Russia cut the supply lines of stolen oil out of Syria the US then had to start sending in arms to keep the war going.
But of course, these wars have never been about oil. R-r-r-r-r-right!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
“Mission Accomplished” simply was poor Pres. Bush thinking since we had the oil all was victory…how many more years later do we find ourselves NOW with more than the second time Syria launched chemical and biological weapons on their own people, with Russia just turning blind eye?
Yeah, I hate to say this but my religious upbringing tells me things are incredibly ripe for that thing called ‘Armageddon”.
All I am waiting for confirmation on this is when Trump and Kushner announce to world they will be rebuilding Israel’s Temple on the mount after the mosque is destroyed by a bunkerbuster that ‘got away’….my prediction is…Trump and Kushner will announce they will rebuild the Temple according to Old Testament specs, sparing NO expense…then you will know we are in deep poo.
On that note, Kushner has been given so many jobs, including the VA and to finally bring peace to middle east, I am starting to think real reform at the VA can only take place once the AFGE UNION is cut from the VA and Federal Employees forever…and…allow “smaller” VSO’s, Veteran Advocates such as Benjamin, at the table, whom actually represent Vets stuck in the meat grinder or have been spit out.
The VSO’s are only ensuring their own relevance is a necessity by tweaking regulation/policy to make it so under the ruse of saving $$$.
Rant Out. I think.
Well, were are all the Trumpetista’s extolling the virtue’s of Trump on the blog? If I said it once, I said it twice, you are going to get screwed by Trump just as fast and hard as the next veteran-baiting politician What’s with the man-crush on the Trumpster ?
And the 6% Veterans Administration budget increase ? is a a wash in the final analysis ? What the Trumpster givieth, he takeith away…..
There’s absolutely no error in having *some* hope. I tried that thing called hope 8 years ago and I still have a bitter taste in mouth, it’s no different with either Party and Hillary would have had refugees in line at the VA above and before Vets…a trade-off for another flavor of critter and evil…it never ends, but never will my “HOPE” for change, because that’s all we really have and if we give-up ALL hope, guess whom has won?
Worms and worm-dirt has won.
@Seymour Klearly, good to see you back. I’ve read and read, I don’t get why POTUS is doing this. None of what’s going on now, was on my mind, before today’s post. I feel like one of Dennis’s Veteran’s with prostate cancer. I can even hear the banjos.
What happened to the Trump promises? Bannon? Ryan? Goldman Sachs?
Please remember who put you in the White House, not the big six. It was blue collar and Vetetans including myself.
Do not bite the hand that feeds you. If this legislation please remembet the promises you nade. Dont screw the pooch
It’s OK Bill. The other pig in the sty wouldn’t have done us any favors either.
I would think that AFGE Performance Bonuses would be the very first thing cut.
Then how about new building projects or old ongoing projects vastly over budget?
VA Art and Interior Decorating?
VA Public Affairs Budget?
Could go on and on…but it’s ALWAYS Veterans that take it in the shorts.
Oh, on that subject of COLAS (Cost Of Living Adjustments), the last few years have been dismal and 2017 was actually .003% or something insanely insignificant…I know with 100% Svc. Connection my pay increased a whopping $9., and SSDI was almost $3……while rent and everything you can imagine has gone way up…constantly in the negative and these rat bastards receive performance bonuses far and wide above the Vets they supposedly serve.
Sorry, in bit of a MOOD today!
I’m thinking Vets were played for yet another POTUS election but like 91Veteran, am giving his admin. until June 20 and then all bets are off…we were again nothing but stage props to get the vote. Not quite there yet on this…tick, tick, tick, tock……..June is not that far away….tick, tock….still no golden phone hotline at the WH for Veterans….tick, tock………….
I’m curious, maybe Ben could answer…can a veteran sue for negligence of incompetence by a VSO?
What else would get their attention?
A complaint against their non-profit status would go nowhere since I assume congress would see nothing wrong with how they do business.
What would the VSOs do if veterans started a media campaign of posting videos showing them cutting up their membership cards?
Would they even care?
Wouldn’t that be oxymoronic since they were incompetent, as standard operating procedure?
I just saw on my local news some coverage from today in D.C., specifically about the VA, and Spicer as well as some VSO’s were there, and all they said is, “We are looking at some established business models to make the VA more efficient…”, (paraphrased)
My FEAR is Trump and Kushner and Shulkin all have been bamboozled into believing they can use the VSO’s to drain the very swamp they are dependent upon…like frogs being boiled slowly…except these VSO critters are going to kiss the AFGE’s ass to ensure the dependence and continued existence of…the VSO’s.
I may be entirely wrong but it seems the VSO’s are up their asses to far they can just look over the tongues of their asshole hosts. 🙂
Great article Ben.
“[Is this merely serendipitous timing by the establishment for VA to ramp down benefits while ramping up reforms or do they know something we do not about upcoming military struggles?]”
With all you wrote, I am steaming mad that those 6 major VSO’s seem to think THEY represent MY interests or ANY Veteran’s interest but their own.
I also am pissed that VA Sec. Shulkin is obviously more than bedfellows with the 6 big piggy VSO’s and NOT listening to likes of Benjamin or other considered “peripheral veteran advocates”.
What I gather from all this is it’s ensures Veterans only have the VSO’s to run to for help by turning the appeals process upside down, effectively making it as you said, a Vet may be forced to accept a crappy rating or none at all and at that time in stage, still cannot hire an attorney, forcing Vets to the teats of the 6 big piggy VSO’s….self-serving RAT BASTARDS!
As far as current military and future military engagements; the world is incredibly volatile right now and is almost primed for an official WW3. The defense contractors and all that goes with the war profiteering machine surely want this, but at same time do not want to properly take care of their damaged returning soldiers.
At this time I cannot with good conscious recommend any young person to join the armed forces.
Accountability probably will only be seen or a light calorie version of accountability, when a DRAFT is activated and the congress critters have their sons and daughters go to war and then try dealing with the VA…it takes the self-absorbed to be personally affected by something before they do what’s right.
FUCK OFF 6 BIG PIGGY VSO’s…YOU DO NOT REPRESENT VETS, ONLY YOUR FEED TROUGHS!
If Insane McCain and that other sorry excuse for a Veteran congress critter joined to his hip…Lindsey Graham, if wither of those blowhards had ENLISTED sons & daughters fighting for their earned benefits after serving, those blowhards would THEN make dramatic changes because…their silver spoons that left the nest are having a poor time dealing with the VA…*alarm* *Alarm* *ALARM* …Congress Critter is personally affected….*alarm*….see how it works with the self-absorbed anuses representing us?
Six big piggies went to the D.C. Market,
Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in…
Roger Waters – PigsHey you, White House
Ha, ha, charade you are
You house proud town mouse
Ha, ha, charade you are
You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street
You’re nearly a real treat
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
You got to stem the evil tide
And keep it all on the inside
Mary you’re nearly a treat
Mary you’re nearly a treat
But you’re really a cry
Read more: Pink Floyd – Pigs (three Different Ones) Lyrics | MetroLyrics
The punks wore ‘I hate Pink Floyd’ t-shirts! Those punks have now sold out and do TV commercials for big business. Waters IS the original punk! At 72 he stands alone with the balls to tell it how it is. With the charade that is Trump, with BDS, he is fearless. Where is Dylan, Bono, Geldof, Springsteen, Young, let alone the so called next generation of activists? Where are they?………and I voted for no one. killary would just have us lined up at the guillotine a little quicker
Grass roots movement. Demonstrations in front of recruiters offices. I know – I’m a broken record.
“Don’t Do It Kid – Your Country Doesn’t Honor It’s Commitments.”
Maybe Veterans can get some help from the women who staged the million gal whatever March during the inauguration. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. It’s not like we’d have to hear any more pissing and moaning and whining than what we read here every day … oooooooo that hurt.
GEORGE SOROS paid for that march WINDGUY
If true – so what – it worked. Everybody has their favorite New World Order Globalist JewLuminaziburg boogey man. None of them give a rats ass about Veterans being fucked over by the same cuntry that wants to flag wave the next generation of suckers into the next war so they can get fucked over by the VA too. jus sayin. Pick your poison brother – mmmm tasty. I like mine with a little cinnamon.
LOL…mine taste like hydrocodone’s
Great Article Ben.
To me, essentially anyone who is a member of any of the big Six are supporting a fight against Veterans. That goes for anyone who purchase beer from their fair beer gardens at all the state fairs, their lottery tickets where the proceeds go to any of the big six or goes to any of their bars.
There is none of this band together bullshit. This is Veterans screwing veterans behind their backs.
To anyone paying dues to any of the big Six, Fuck Off and die.
@Seymore Klearly – Since I haven’t and never will pay any such dues, they can still fuck off. Many have missed you. Welcome back to the crew of misfits [according to the VA]. LOL
@ANutterVet: There you are, hows you? I am in a foggy state of mind lol. Remember Cool Hand Luke? Boss Paul: You got your mind right, Luke? um no. lol.
@Seymore Klearly, welcome back! We haven’t seen you in a while. ?!!
I agree Seymore. Good to see you back.
Totally agree and really great to see you back here Seymore Klearly. I bet the VSO’s also received a nice extra fat deal on a certain brand of ‘craft beer’ in these backroom dealings as well for their lodges/bars scattered across USA.
Not a member of any of them. If I were, I would go to the local zoo’s primate section, hand my membership card to one of the primates so they can wipe their ass with it, then place in envelope, registered mail, so they have to touch it, right back to them and tell them to keep the change and their shit to themselves.
“S.O.S”=Save Our Shit, VSO style. (no primates were harmed in this & were glad to help)
GREAT to see you back. Your comment spot on as usual. The dues you pay to the Big 6 VSO’s go into their war chest – – – and veterans are the Enemy.
I belong to none of them, because teats on a boar hawg are more useful than their organizations.
Dear Benjamin Krause,
After throwing Billions of Dollars at the VA and getting no responses back that corrective changes had been implemented—almost all Management teams would dismantle the supervision ASAP.
Since this is the “Government” and it has its own way of corrective actions; now it will cut back on the Dollars and Feed on its self.
It’s a slow death.
Great article, I just sent it to my US Senator’s office
to all vets wait for it the big big big screw is GOING TO HIT ALL VETS LIKE THUNDER FROM HELL WAIT FOR IT DIFFERENT POTUS SAME OLD SCREW JOB VA DC HQ @ AFGE UNUIN CONTRACTS ARE GOING GIVE ALL GOOD SCREW JOB SL TO ALL VETS JUST BEND OVER GIVE A COLGATE SMILE HA HA HA HA SCREWED AGIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Every veteran should be doing the same, Ron. If the VA gets away with taking away our IU and throwing us 70 year old disabled vets out on the street, who knows what they will be going after next. It’s time for all Veterans to come together as one and fight this all the way.
One leg Ron,
I called Congressman Bob Brady (Philadelphia, Pa.) yesterday when I found this out…Why is this NOT on CNN (except for one reporter, Julian Zezily, who said..”This is NOT the way to Honor our vets” I am 70 also and WE NEED TO Fight THIS!! Congressman/women, Senators, ANYONE that cares and respects us Veterans….and not just for show! we need to show our will to bond together as we should and gather ourselves together to fight this anti-American plundering of rights which we have earned.
We have to get together and go to Washington, DC.
You are right Brother! I agree with you 100%!
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