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Clueless or Craven? The White House
Gets the VA Story Exactly Backwards

Washington Monthly, by Phillip Longman

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 7/2/2014 5:03:42 AM

Sad to say, the Obama administration seems clueless about what might be broken at the VA and how to fix it. Either that, or it is just cravenly saying and doing whatever it thinks is necessary to make the story go away. Evidence for the clueless hypothesis came on Friday, when White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors weighed in with his diagnosis (pdf) of what ails the VA. The document is extraordinary in its contradictions, sloppy formulations, and non-evidence-based conclusions. It starts off well enough by reporting “a strong sentiment among many Veterans and stakeholders that in general VA provides

Usually, the appallingly biased Washington Monthly isn´t even worth skimming over, but this piece surprised me.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: tonyp173, 7/2/2014 7:18:15 AM     (No. 9907930)

When I got back from RVN in 1969, I landed at Travis AFB. To go home to Phoenix, I had to travel through the San Francisco airport in early April. Proud of my service and wearing my Class A Greens with bloused jump boots, wings and Airborne/Glider hat patch, I encountered some students, one of whom promptly called me a baby killer. I would have ended up in some San Francisco jail for assault, save the timely arrival of two similarly situated Marines (of all things) who inserted themselves and convinced me that the "hippies" weren´t worth the loss of my honor. In March 1991 I watched veterans of Desert Storm deplane in Tampa to the cheers of the other passengers. Though admittedly I was jealous, I was relieved that our country had put RVN behind us, and would honor the brave men and women who had gone into Harm´s Way to protect the rest of us. Over the the last ten years I ´d begun to suspect that much of the seemingly positive statements about veterans was insincere, and uttered by some folks, especially on the left, because it wasn´t politically wise to voice their true opinions. You understand that it means NOTHING to say that you support veterans, when you allow them to be mistreated by the Veteran´s Administration in this vile manner. Actions speak louder than words. Kippling captured the whole sick circumstance in his poem "Tommy," where the public praises soldiers when they need them, but ignores or mistreats them when they think they don´t. "For it´s Tommy this, an´ Tommy that, an´ chuck ´em out , the brute; But it´s "Saviour of ´is country when the guns begin to shoot; An it´s Tommy this, an´ Tommy that an´ anything, you please; An Tommy ain;t a bloomin´ fool - you bet that Tommy sees!!!!

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Reply 2 - Posted by: krause, 7/2/2014 7:23:00 AM     (No. 9907937)

It´s obvious where the writer is coming from....´Bushies.´

"he turned out to be a Republican soap and toothpaste salesman—a man with no experience whatsoever in running a health care or social services organization"

He obviously doesn´t see the irony here, as if Obama had any kind of experience to run a country. We´re seeing how that´s turning out now.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: skywarrior, 7/2/2014 7:28:01 AM     (No. 9907943)

Thanks No. 1. I encountered similar treatment for several years afterward. It got to the point that I didn´t talk much about my Vietnam service unless I knew the background of who I was addressing. The welcome home parade for the Desert Storm vets was really bittersweet for me. I felt like it was my parade, too.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: mc squared, 7/2/2014 8:35:30 AM     (No. 9908015)

The writer didn´t neglect to say that the problems started under W.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 7/2/2014 8:39:05 AM     (No. 9908020)

Paragraphs are your friends.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Adam, 7/2/2014 8:59:36 AM     (No. 9908060)

It is clear that behind this piece is a veiled attack on Bush and, by implicating the lame duck Obama, is giving a boost to the "golden era of the 90´s" when Clinton was president so it´s a pro-Hillary piece. All that being said, it´ is still very damning of the Obama administration and I am grateful what he bring forward. Obama has been, after all, President for the past 6 years. But then Obama comes from the seditious culture posters # 1 and # 3 discussed. I was a young boy growing up in a similar culture (politically speaking) to that of Obama´s on the upper west side of Manhattan and when people tell me today the that maltreatment of Vietnam vets "never happened" I know I can look them in the eye and tell them they are either (to quote Kipling again) "fools or knaves" I witnessed it from when I was about 5 years old to 15 years old.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Rinktum, 7/2/2014 9:17:13 AM     (No. 9908093)

Illegal aliens in this country get better treatment that our veterans who have put their lives on the line for us. Our hospitals are open to illegals but the doors are slammed shut for our vets. The money wasted in Washington DC could, no doubt, be better used than it is. The aura of corruption that permeates every agency in this country needs to be scrubbed clean. Apparently, government workers feel they are entitled to bonuses for just showing up. Can we please find honest responsible people with integrity to staff these institutions. Bureaucrats are much like politicians in that they are inclined to be self-serving. This fish has rotten from the head down. Follow the money and you will find out who is responsible.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: zjrog, 7/2/2014 10:29:11 AM     (No. 9908182)

#7, as an unemployed veteran in 2005 in California, illegal aliens were eligible for more and better bennies than I was. I sought employment outside the state and moved the following year upon finding said employment. I see now, that the illegals are getting treated better than my brothers and sisters nationwide and have to wonder, what happened to my country?

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Reply 9 - Posted by: M2, 7/2/2014 10:41:30 AM     (No. 9908206)

Mr. Longman seems to be stripping his gears figuring out who to blame. He first blames "the Bushies", then he blames Obama for allowing Bush´s policies viz the VA to continue.

Then he blames "the White House" for appointing a new guy, who then gets blamed for appointing the new guy, who the writer says is "...a Republican soap and toothpaste salesman—a man with no experience whatsoever in running a health care or social services organization but who happens to be a close financial backer of Republican House Speaker John Boehner."

So the new appointee AND Boehner get blamed, too.

Then the writer says that the appointment is a "cynical sellout" because he´s a Republican. Would Longman say that if the guy was a Democrat?

Unpacking this article gave me whiplash. The writer is disappointed and pi$$ed at Obama for a rash of things, including possible cravenness, a sellout, cynicism, bad choices and cowardice. He´s mad because his guy screwed up and is now making liberals look bad.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: mickturn, 7/2/2014 10:59:39 AM     (No. 9908235)

Thanks #1, I traveled the exact path and heard the jeers of the Hippies.

I have come to find that in America there are those that stand for freedom and fight to keep it and those that do not. For those that do not I have coined a phrase..."Freedom Freeloaders", those that enjoy the hard earned freedoms but would not lift a finger to keep them. Those people are the true enemies of America and I would vote to deport them to a Communinst country where they would be happy until they realized their mistake!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: melanie, 7/2/2014 12:20:21 PM     (No. 9908414)

I hate to say this, but as a Vietnam era veteran and the daughter and wife of Vietnam War veterans, I have suspected for years that the elite, progressive and leftist community has been gagging on all the love and affection shown by the American public to our military and veterans. To me, their mantra "thank you for your service" is beginning to sound as vapid as "Have a nice day". Most of them don´t mean it, and are tired of pretending they do.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Analyn, 7/2/2014 12:36:46 PM     (No. 9908472)

They´ve all no doubt been eating way too much pie.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: ocjim, 7/2/2014 4:14:35 PM     (No. 9908744)

Looks to me like obama put a lot of loyal crony lefties in senior VA exec positions as reward for supporting and working for obama´s election success. Such lefties are not known for their high regard of anything military related. And so these senior execs then proceeded to up a very lucrative bonus structure and pressured their underlings to deliver numbers that achieved those bonuses for the senior execs. And the veterans be damned.

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