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SSC


Admin
We may be a caring nation but lets spend the money wasted on sending our troops to places that are none of our business on things here at home aka Veteran treatment, poverty housing and assistance, job creation and immigration enforcement. Once again as I have stated numerous times he is 1/2 black and he could be purple for all I care DO YOUR JOB !!! Why do you insist to always play the race card ? With a 40% approval rating I'm not the only one who is not pleased with his performance, that figure is Gallup and PEW numbers. He walked into the White House at a time when the country was disgusted with the Bush era, he had no leadership qualities,except in organizations such as Acorn and social organization, his senatorship record in Ill. was nothing impressive but the country was desperate for change, his association with known radicals such as Bill Ayers and the Weather underground and the Islamic nation leave many uncomfortable feelings to the alliance and allegiance to this country. I don't hate him as a 1/2 black man I hate what he has done to destroy this country and his lack of leadership ability to bring it back together not only here but in the worlds eyes.

gypsy


Moderator
one more response, he (Obama) has not destroyed this country. we are much better off than when Bush was President, now if we can get a good congress this fall we will even improve more this Congress has done nothing. as I said in another post, job creation is Congress resposibility one bill has been sitting in congress almost four years and nothing has been done by congress, to act on this ill~ now I am through

SSC


Admin
Harry Reid has blocked so many bills that he knows he will lose on, polls showing Repubs with a 7-10 % lead in early assessments for Congress and senate positions for Nov.and every scandal , lie and misuse of taxpayer money are just helping republicans shore up the vote, you are not commenting on IRS< NSB< DHHS>VA , why is that Gypsy ? They all are scandals, and a very black eye upon this administration each with firings of presidential appointed heads of departments. They show obvious lack of leadership and judgement on the presidents part, seems he would get tired of press conferences accepting blame for failures within his staff.

gypsy


Moderator
Harry Reid is a good politician, he is trying to stop the nonsense of Fillerbusting, Republicans are also resposible for Americas GOV. Shut down that was because AFC is working .don't hear anymore from the motor mouth Republicans now over AFC even the red states are accepting and extending Medicaid.all the other scandals have also been debunked ,dead, nothing to them but another Republican witch hunt. Facts don't lie.. the Republicans who ALMOST destroyed this country you can find proof if you really would. so the Republicans just keep creating lies, because they are afraid of Hillary running for President. Don't ask me anymore questions please,I am done with this. we will see how it all workss out sor far I have been right on every detail even with the Bush era. Don't know where you got that approval poll for Republicans because i have read otherwise,that most Republicans will be voting Denmocrat this next election.

SSC


Admin
If you stop only reading your liberal sites and come out into the real world, you will get unbiased facts, liberal sites say what you want to here not necessary the truth. You still ducked my question about the 4 departments with recent scandals , none of which as you say were debunked all have had or are having action for which in every case Obama had to issue an apology and replace the heads of the departments, with on going investigations, how can so much be so wrong within his administration ? These facts are not a conservative report these are on every news station and tons of websites to back this up, including the official White House site, go check these unbiased sites read the actual facts about the problems with internal departments. AFC has lengthy sites which are updating daily since people are getting policy premium increases that were not quoted in the beginning. Check for approval numbers on gallop and PEW sites that is easy or google Obama approval rate.

gypsy


Moderator
http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republicans-block-bill-expand-healthcare-education-veterans/#sthash.ivogBznX.dpuf

Shameful: Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans February 27, 2014 By Allen Clifton 178 Comments One of the biggest problems I have with Republicans is their blatant hypocrisy.  They’ll portray themselves as the party of “small, fiscally conservative government” while advocating for laws which are the complete opposite. Their rallying cry of “we support our troops” is another that’s a clear misnomer of exactly what policies they support.  Republicans frequently support sending our troops off to war and often oppose funding for programs which helps our troops when they’re not deployed to war.  To say Republicans “support our troops” is a blatant slap to the face of every man and woman who has served our country. Hell, even their push to cut SNAP benefits impacted millions of families of those serving in our military. Granted, the Republican party does overwhelmingly supports massive defense spending, but that’s not the same thing.  Defense spending favors big defense contractors far more than anything or anybody else.  When it comes to supporting spending for programs that actually help our brave men and women in uniform or those veterans who honorably defended our nation – Republicans are often much more hesitant to do so, or demand something else in return for doing so. See, they’ve misled their voters into believing that massive defense spending is the same as massive spending to support our military.  Which isn’t true at all. A perfect example of this was how Senate Republicans blocked a bill supported by Democrats called the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Pay Restoration Act.  This bill would have expanded healthcare and education programs for veterans. By a vote of 56-41, with only two Republicans siding with Democrats, the bill failed to advance thanks to Republican opposition to the bill. Essentially Republicans opposed the bill because, while helping our veterans is important, they were more concerned with how much it might grow our deficit. Some also seem to think this is the Republican retaliation for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refusing to allow a vote on new Iran sanctions in the midst of ongoing nuclear peace talks with the Iranian government. Because nothing says “we support our troops” quite like playing politics, or worrying about a ridiculously small deficit increase, instead of helping them with the funding for programs they need.  No matter which excuse Republicans want to use, it’s absolutely reprehensible. I don’t care if it increases our deficit or not.  Helping our active members of our military, or our veterans, should never come with the question of, “Well, how much will it cost?”  These people put their lives on the line to protect us - I don’t care what it costs, help them!  And if it is because of their push for new sanctions on Iran, shame on them.  To blatantly block a bill that would help our veterans because you felt like throwing a temper tantrum over pointless Iran sanctions that stand no chance at passing is absolutely pathetic. Thankfully Harry Reid didn’t let this disgusting display by Republicans go without having a few choice words: “I hope all the veterans groups have witnessed all the contortions the Republicans have done to defeat this bill.  Shame on Republicans for bringing base politics into a bill to help veterans.” Sadly, I doubt many conservatives will care about this.  I’m sure Fox News will spin it against Democrats, and being that conservatives typically watch no other news but Fox, they’ll never know the truth as to why a bill to help veterans was blocked. That’s if they report on it at all. This is just another example of the party of hypocrisy, the Republican party, contradicting yet another one of their key talking points to play partisan politics. Because when it came down to supporting our veterans, or supporting the Republican party’s own self interests, Republicans chose themselves.

See more: Shameful: Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republicans-block-bill-expand-healthcare-education-veterans/

SSC


Admin
 

SSC


Admin
Breaking Point’: Democrats Privately Call Obama ‘Detached’ and ‘Incompetent,’ Says CNN’s John King

May 25, 2014 By Matthew Burke
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/25/breaking-point-democrats-privately-call-obama-detached-and-incompetent-says-cnns-john-king/

“The veterans’ health scandal is more than just another 2008 promise,” begins the normally Obama-sycophantic CNN host John King, then showing a clip from 2008 of Obama talking about veterans’ healthcare, saying, “I want to make sure they’re being treated with honor and respect.”

King says that Obama’s press conference this week on the VA (Veterans’ Affairs) scandal, in which he made, in King’s own words, a “wait-and-see” approach to addressing the scandal in which untold number of veterans were left to die waiting for care from the government-run health care agency, could be remembered as the “breaking point.”

King explained to his “Inside Politics” audience that Democrats are privately making “scathing” comments about Obama, calling him, “detached, flat-footed and even incompetent,” in the wake of the VA scandal, combined with his non-action in dealing with his other many scandals:

   More and more Democrats in 2014 races are calling for the president to get a spine, they say, and fire his Veterans’ Affairs secretary.  And, what more and more Democrats are saying privately is scathing, calling the president and his team ‘detached, flat-footed,’ even ‘incompetent.’  

gypsy


Moderator
thought this worth posting again



President Obama delivered a dose of reality to Republicans who are hoping to turn this sad state of affairs into their next big scandal, “The point is, caring for our veterans is not an issue that popped up in recent weeks. Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate. Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency, and it is something that all of us have to be involved with and have to be paying attention to.”

The problem is that Republicans and Democrats have all too often not been paying enough attention to the issues with the VA. Republican and Democratic presidents have had to deal with VA scandals. Both Democratic and Republican controlled Congresses have dropped the ball for decades on the VA.

The National Journal pointed out the cause of the problems at the VA is bipartisan, and it goes back to the 1960s:

Looking for a lone villain in the VA debacle, however, is a fool’s errand. It’s true that—despite holding the world’s most powerful post for five years—Obama is yet to eliminate the long waiting times for veterans seeking help. Blaming him alone, however, is to ignore roots of the problem that stretch back decades before Obama took the Oval Office.
Instead, the sheen of shame over the VA’s failures spreads across time and party affiliation. It stains the legacies of presidents as far back as John F. Kennedy and condemns past Congresses whose poor oversight allowed the problem to fester. The VA itself is also not without fault, as bureaucracy and intransigence let the department deteriorate to the point the problem became nearly impossible to fix.
The reason why the VA story won’t become a national scandal is that Republicans are also guilty of sweeping the issues under the rug, and letting them get worse. The real story features Republicans that are guilty of ignoring the VA, and this is something that Republicans in Congress would rather not talk about.

President Obama has done a lot of good things for our veterans. He has undertaken job creation initiatives for vets. The president has secured increased funding for the VA, and his administration has done remarkable work along with people like Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders in cutting the VA backlog, but these kinds of scandals will continue to happen because very people in Washington pay attention to the VA until it breaks.

This scandal isn’t President Obama’s fault. He is the guy who got stuck with this mess, because he is in office right now. If Republicans really cared about our veterans, they would stop trying to blame Obama, and start working with Democrats on legislation that would comprehensively reform the VA.

Veterans are waiting too long for care, but this has been an issues for years. The Republican attempts to blame Obama and call for the privatization of the VA are not answers.

The Republican compulsion to blame Obama for their own problems solves nothing, and will only allow a bad situation to continue to get worse for our nation’s veterans.

Republicans, as usual, have nothing, and President Obama is being left to clean up the decades worth of mess that they helped to cause.
Republicans Attack Obama For The VA Scandal That They Helped Cause was written by Jason Easley

gypsy


Moderator
what is that rule name names!! if you can't it is rumor, not effective in court or human law\hearsay,isn't that the term!
"SSC" wrote:
Breaking Point’: Democrats Privately Call Obama ‘Detached’ and ‘Incompetent,’ Says CNN’s John Kingso who are these Democrats if you can't provides  NAMES+ it is nothing but false rumours
May 25, 2014 By Matthew Burke
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/25/breaking-point-democrats-privately-call-obama-detached-and-incompetent-says-cnns-john-king/

“The veterans’ health scandal is more than just another 2008 promise,” begins the normally Obama-sycophantic CNN host John King, then showing a clip from 2008 of Obama talking about veterans’ healthcare, saying, “I want to make sure they’re being treated with honor and respect.”

King says that Obama’s press conference this week on the VA (Veterans’ Affairs) scandal, in which he made, in King’s own words, a “wait-and-see” approach to addressing the scandal in which untold number of veterans were left to die waiting for care from the government-run health care agency, could be remembered as the “breaking point.”

King explained to his “Inside Politics” audience that Democrats are privately making “scathing” comments about Obama, calling him, “detached, flat-footed and even incompetent,” in the wake of the VA scandal, combined with his non-action in dealing with his other many scandals:

   More and more Democrats in 2014 races are calling for the president to get a spine, they say, and fire his Veterans’ Affairs secretary.  And, what more and more Democrats are saying privately is scathing, calling the president and his team ‘detached, flat-footed,’ even ‘incompetent.’  

SSC


Admin
Another Layer to the VA Scandal: Bodies of Veterans Left Unburied for Over One Year

May 26, 2014 By Jennifer Burke
http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/26/another-layer-to-the-va-scandal-bodies-of-veterans-left-unburied-for-over-one-year/

Those who lose their lives in battle deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Our veterans, whether the bodies are claimed or not, are required by law to receive a proper burial. However, that is not what happened to as many as 60 deceased veterans whose bodies have been at the morgue in L.A. County for the past year and a half.

On Friday, 28 bodies were transferred from the morgue to be buried at the Riverside National Cemetery. The Veterans Administration claims that they were never notified about the bodies and is blaming the L.A. County Morgue. According to CBS2/KCAL9, the morgue is pointing the finger of blame at the VA also stating they have no idea how long the bodies have been there.

Rightfully so, many citizens, some veterans themselves, are furious that individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America have not been given a proper burial. Richard Burns, a Marine veteran, leads memorial services every Wednesday at the Riverside National Cemetery in honor of unclaimed veterans. Burns said of this travesty, “I think it’s incomprehensible. It’s kinda sad that these people didn’t get the proper care that they deserve even after death.”

A VA spokesperson, Cindy Van Bibber, claims that at no point was the VA contacted about the bodies. The morgue disputes that claim stating, “…there are about 60 decedents of probable veteran status that have awaited disposition for about a year as a result of a personnel change in the Veterans Affairs office and stringent identification/eligibility processes required by the VA.”

With the Obama administration and the VA embroiled in a scandal with veterans dying due to secret lists that hid failure to provide medical care, this latest revelation may add more anger to the fury surrounding that VA scandal.

gypsy


Moderator
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117849/republicans-hypocritically-attack-obama-over-veterans-
scandalRepublicans War-Monger, Then Complain When We're Overwhelmed By Sick Vets
By Alec MacGillis  @AlecMacGillis

It took very little time at all for reports of falsified records covering up delays at a Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix to balloon into just another who’s up-who’s down Washington political story. From the New York Times’ front-page article today declaring in its headline that the “V.A. Accusations Aggravate Woes for White House”:

Republican lawmakers intensified their criticism of Mr. Obama, and some made it clear they intended to use the incidents at the hospitals as fodder for a broader political theme about incompetence in his administration.
“The election of President Obama ushered in a new era of big government and with it a renewed flurry of mismanagement,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican whip, said in a statement. “If the president truly did not know about these scandals and mistakes, we should doubt his ability to properly manage the leviathan government that he helped create.”
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, told reporters on Tuesday that Mr. Obama had not acted swiftly enough. He added that “it is time for our president to come forward and take responsibility for this and do the right thing by these veterans and begin to show that he actually cares about getting it straight.”
Meanwhile, after Obama addressed the Phoenix scandal at the White House this morning, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell huffed, “Unfortunately [we] have yet to hear” Obama treating the “VA crisis with the seriousness it deserves.”

The hypocrisy on view here is truly something to behold. If V.A. employees in Phoenix, or anywhere else, were engaged in fraud and cover-up of the sort that is being alleged, that is a travesty and heads will have to roll, as one already has. And it's fair to ask, as we did with the bungled rollout of healthcare.gov, why the White House hasn't paid more attention to the nuts and bolt functioning of the federal bureaucracy. But for Republicans to expand the scandal into a broader indictment of Obama’s overall handling of veterans affairs means overlooking some relevant context.

For starters, there is the matter of funding. If there’s been one side pushing for greater resources for the Veterans Administration in the age of austerity these past five years, it hasn’t been the Republicans. It was the much-maligned economic stimulus package of 2009 that included $1 billion for the V.A. While the V.A. itself was protected from the budget sequestration that Republican fought to keep in place last year, many other veterans programs—providing mental health services and housing, among other things—were hit hard by the sequestration cuts. And when the Senate was poised to pass a $24 billion bill for federal healthcare an education programs for veterans three months ago, Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, blocked it in a filibuster, saying the bill would bust the budget and complaining that Senate Democrats had refused to allow an amendment on Iran sanctions to be attached to the bill.

But there is a whole other level of context to consider here as well. There is a pretty basic reason for backlogs at V.A. facilities and in the disability claims process, the other ongoing V.A. mess. Put simply: when you go to war, you get more wounded veterans, and in a country without a universal health care system, they are all funneled into this one agency with limited capacity. Every one of the Republican leaders quoted above attacking Obama for the V.A. backlogs strongly supported launching the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that resulted in nearly 7,000 fatalities and a huge surge in medical needs and disability claims. Nearly one-half of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have filed claims for permanent disability compensation. These claims need to be assessed for their validity, just as we attempt to do with claims for other programs, such as Social Security disability, unless we want to simply throw open the doors on a compensation program that is already expected to cost close to a trillion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Making the assessment all the more challenging is the nature of the disability claims being made. Awarding disability status for a missing limb is easy. Harder are the much larger numbers of claims for traumatic brain injury caused by the IED explosions that were the greatest threat to our service members in these two wars of occupation. Consider this graph:


Something, it appears, happened around 2003 that caused the rate of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. military to spike. Now what could that have been? Whatever it was, it happened while Barack Obama was in the Illinois state Senate, giving an obscure speech against invading Iraq. He is now having to reckon with the fallout from that event, as is his responsibility to do as commander in chief. But you’d think that those who had actually played a part in bringing about that event would have enough self-awareness to resist scoring political points off of the years-later fallout. Apparently, though, even that is too much to ask.

On another note>> Bush is the worse President America has ever endured in my 60 years of viewing politics.

SSC


Admin
Obama voted to go to Iraq when he was a Senator, in 2008 Obama made statements the VA would be one of his top concerns, ( not like he just found out about issues there last week ) Dems this past week blocked Rubios bill to extent VA benefits, because he refused to add their pork laden bill amendment to his. 26 VA hospitals are now under investigation with more expected to be put on the list. This VA mess goes way past Obama, both Bushes , and Clinton, but in all those years one of them should have made it a priority long before it had to turn into a full blown scandal and unnecessary loss of lives.

gypsy


Moderator
don't you have anything new? did fox report that Obama  voted for war in Iraq?  Hedid not vote for the war in Iraq, you have nothing to substantiate your points,try to be more positive instead of negative. now maybe we should halt awhile, if you need me to put anything to prove my points will be glad to. America is looking better, foreign countries respect Obama they did not Bush. blocked rubios bill the pork was from the republicans,should I get get that real info for you? the republican congres vetoed the benefits in Feb, for VA

SSC


Admin
Rubio bill has already been post in a link, showing Dems blocked it

SSC


Admin
Obama defends votes in favor of Iraq funding
Says he backs troops, not war

By James W. Pindell and Rick Klein, Globe Staff | March 22, 2007
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/03/22/obama_defends_votes_in_favor_of_iraq_funding/


Senator Barack Obama yesterday defended his votes on behalf of funding the Iraq war, asserting that he has always made clear that he supports funding for US troops despite his consistent opposition to the war.

"I have been very clear even as a candidate that, once we were in, that we were going to have some responsibility to make it work as best we could, and more importantly that our troops had the best resources they needed to get home safely," Obama, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters in a conference call. "So I don't think there is any contradiction there."

Obama's comments represent a direct response to attacks launched by aides to Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, who have pointed out that despite Obama's antiwar rhetoric, he has voted along with Clinton for some $300 billion in war funding since entering the Senate in 2005.

"In reality, when they both got to the Senate, Senator Obama's votes are exactly the same as Senator Clinton's," Clinton strategist Mark Penn said Monday at a Harvard University forum.

As a candidate for his Senate seat in 2003 and 2004, Obama said repeatedly that he would have voted against an $87 billion war budget that had been requested by President Bush.

"When I was asked, 'Would I have voted for the $87 billion,' I said 'no,' " Obama said in a speech before a Democratic community group in suburban Chicago in November 2003. "I said 'no' unequivocally because, at a certain point, we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled, we're not going to stand a chance."

Yet Obama has voted for all of the president's war funding requests since coming to the Senate, and is poised to vote in favor of the latest request when it comes to the Senate floor this spring. Liberal groups have demanded that lawmakers cut off funds for the war as a way to force its end, but Obama has joined most Democrats in the House and Senate in saying he would not take such a move.

Obama explained that position yesterday by saying that his initial opposition to the $87 billion was based on the fact that $20 billion of that sum was earmarked for reconstruction projects that he feared would be awarded by the White House in no-bid contracts.

Obama has also said repeatedly that while he would have voted against the war in 2002 based on what he knew at the time, he could not be sure that classified intelligence reporters made available to senators wouldn't have changed his mind.

In yesterday's conference call, he had no such doubts. "I am certain that I would have voted to oppose this war," he said.

The Clinton camp has sought to make Obama's record on the war an issue in part to cut into the support he's deriving among Democrats. Obama frequently says on the campaign trail that he was against the war before it started.

gypsy


Moderator
SSC wrote:Obama defends votes in favor of Iraq funding
Says he backs troops, not war he did not vote to go to war,this was after bush had already declared war that Obama voted to fund the troops.

By James W. Pindell and Rick Klein, Globe Staff  |  March 22, 2007
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/03/22/obama_defends_votes_in_favor_of_iraq_funding/


Senator Barack Obama yesterday defended his votes on behalf of funding the Iraq war, asserting that he has always made clear that he supports funding for US troops despite his consistent opposition to the war.

"I have been very clear even as a candidate that, once we were in, that we were going to have some responsibility to make it work as best we could, and more importantly that our troops had the best resources they needed to get home safely," Obama, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters in a conference call. "So I don't think there is any contradiction there." I don't see where he voted for the war this was about funding after the war started.

Obama's comments represent a direct response to attacks launched by aides to Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, who have pointed out that despite Obama's antiwar rhetoric, he has voted along with Clinton for some $300 billion in war funding since entering the Senate in 2005.

"In reality, when they both got to the Senate, Senator Obama's votes are exactly the same as Senator Clinton's," Clinton strategist Mark Penn said Monday at a Harvard University forum.

As a candidate for his Senate seat in 2003 and 2004, Obama said repeatedly that he would have voted against an $87 billion war budget that had been requested by President Bush.

"When I was asked, 'Would I have voted for the $87 billion,' I said 'no,' " Obama said in a speech before a Democratic community group in suburban Chicago in November 2003. "I said 'no' unequivocally because, at a certain point, we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled, we're not going to stand a chance."

Yet Obama has voted for all of the president's war funding requests since coming to the Senate, and is poised to vote in favor of the latest request when it comes to the Senate floor this spring. Liberal groups have demanded that lawmakers cut off funds for the war as a way to force its end, but Obama has joined most Democrats in the House and Senate in saying he would not take such a move.

Obama explained that position yesterday by saying that his initial opposition to the $87 billion was based on the fact that $20 billion of that sum was earmarked for reconstruction projects that he feared would be awarded by the White House in no-bid contracts.

Obama has also said repeatedly that while he would have voted against the war in 2002 based on what he knew at the time, he could not be sure that classified intelligence reporters made available to senators wouldn't have changed his mind.

In yesterday's conference call, he had no such doubts. "I am certain that I would have voted to oppose this war," he said.

The Clinton camp has sought to make Obama's record on the war an issue in part to cut into the support he's deriving among Democrats. Obama frequently says on the campaign trail that he was against the war before it started.

gypsy


Moderator
SSC wrote:Rubio bill has already been post in a link, showing Dems blocked it
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/democrats-often-strong-backers-of-feds-vote-to-strip-some-va-staff-of-civil-service-rights/2014/05/22/da3d3230-e1c8-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html
this may shed some light on why Democrats opposed rubio's bill, it was a quick fix,so they could leave for the holiday. this will not solve the problem Bernie Sanders stated.

SSC


Admin
VA scandal fits an established Obama narrative: skilled politician, lousy manager
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-va-wait-times-obama-20140525-column.html

Doyle McManus
Los Angeles Timesdoyle.mcmanus​@latimes

We don't normally expect our presidents to pay close attention to how long veterans are being asked to wait for care in the vast medical system run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But we do expect presidents to appoint Cabinet officers and other aides who can run the federal government well — well enough, at least, to prevent full-blown scandals from erupting.

That's what the VA's long-running scheduling problems have turned into after reports that veterans died while waiting for medical care — and bureaucrats apparently manipulated records to make their performance look good when it wasn't.
Aside from unrelenting opposition from Republicans in Congress, the president's problems have come not from making policy, but from trying to implement it. -

No one can read the stories of individual veterans who suffered at the hands of the bureaucracy — like Edward Laird, a 76-year-old Navy veteran who lost half of his nose because he had to wait two years for cancer tests — without feeling helpless fury.

And those stories are certain to keep coming.

It's an especially dangerous scandal for President Obama because it fits into an established narrative about his presidency: that he's a skilled politician and speechmaker but a lousy manager.

The biggest problems Obama has faced in the White House — aside from unrelenting opposition from Republicans in Congress — have come not from making policy but from trying to implement it. The calamitous launch of his healthcare plan last fall is the biggest and most painful example, but it's only one of several.



The 2009 economic stimulus plan's "shovel-ready" projects that took months to start, the confused response to the 2010 BP oil spill, the flap over IRS scrutiny of conservative organizations, even the State Department failures that led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi in 2012 — all were mainly lapses in management, not policy.

The president's conservative critics have accused him, often wildly, of every sin they can think of, from diabolical conspiracy (in the case of the IRS) to dereliction of duty (Benghazi). But the charge that's likely to stick is one that connects all those unrelated events to an underlying truth: Obama has never paid as much attention to the nitty-gritty of management as he has to making policy and campaigning for votes.
His popularity can go down and stay down. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter in the last year of his presidency. - Elaine Karmack, former Clinton aide

"Presidents get elected because of their rhetorical skills, but they succeed or fail based on their managerial skills," warned Elaine Kamarck, a former White House aide to Bill Clinton who directs a center on public management at the Brookings Institution. "In this administration ... somehow, there is no adequate communications system; the White House keeps getting hit by these unpleasant surprises."

Until recently, Kamarck noted, the White House didn't have a high-ranking aide assigned full time to monitoring how programs were being implemented. That's one of the reasons for the failure of the healthcare website; the engineers foresaw it, but nobody high up was pulling that information out of them.

Bad management alienates even a president's allies, Kamarck noted.

"His popularity can go down and stay down," she said. "That's what happened to Jimmy Carter in the last year of his presidency. That's what happened to George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina."

And now "that's the narrative about Obama. It's the narrative even among Democrats. They're beginning to say, 'Oh, we love everything he says; we just wish he could get something done.'"

In the case of the VA health system, problems many of us are learning about now have long been evident but never quite got fixed.

"This has been building for 10 or 15 years," said Phillip E. Carter, an expert on veterans affairs at the Center for a New American Security. He said demographic surges of aging Vietnam vets, plus returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, were straining the system.


Even the specific problems of excessive waiting times and bureaucrats manipulating records aren't new.

The VA knew that some of its medical centers had piled up huge backlogs in patient appointments by 2011. The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, reported in 2012 that VA bureaucrats were fiddling with waiting time records. CNN reported in 2013 that at least six veterans died in South Carolina because of long delays in providing diagnostic tests. Charges of misconduct at the VA medical center in Phoenix, the incident that turned the problem into a scandal, have been percolating through the bureaucracy for more than a year.

So if Obama only learned of the depth of the problems from watching TV, as his spokesman said last week, something is amiss with his administration's internal communications.

It's possible to hold out some optimism amid these scandals.

"Every crisis is also an opportunity," Carter said. "Fixes are available at the VA, and this is the time to put them in place."

It's even possible that the White House has learned some management lessons. After the healthcare website crashed last fall, Obama named a seasoned administrator, Jeffrey Zients, to take charge — and seven months later, the health insurance program appears to be working.

And two weeks ago, Obama created a White House post — deputy chief of staff for policy implementation — and filled it with Kristie Canegallo, an aide who worked with Zients on the healthcare crisis. "We have determined we need more senior-level focus on implementation and execution," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said in announcing her appointment.

Good call. Too bad it came too late to help some of those vets.

45 Shinseki gone on Fri May 30, 2014 2:18 pm

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Shinseki gone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! About time heads rolled, maybe Obama has finally taken this seriously

BREAKING: The Obama Administration Found a Different Way to Scratch Somebody Off the List at the VA
http://www.ijreview.com/2014/05/142913-breaking-eric-shinseki/


At a press conference Friday at 11:15 AM, President Obama announced that Veterans Affairs director Eric Shinseki has resigned.

Back in 2008, President Obama was warned about problems with the V.A. and after saying he was “mad as hell” about it, did basically nothing. Then he nominated Shinseki to head the V.A. in December 2008, boasting there is no one “more qualified” to run it.

Let’s not forget where the real problem lies: At the very top. But to hear the mainstream press tell it, Obama read about how bad the V.A. scandal was in the newspapers last night. And that’s as far as their reportage will go.

46 Obama lies on Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:48 pm

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Watch: 2008 Presidential Candidate Barack Obama Makes 7 Promises To Our Veterans
By Emily Hulsey 1 day ago
http://www.ijreview.com/2014/06/143604-watch-2008-presidential-candidate-barack-obama-makes-7-promises-veterans/



In a speech to the American Legion in 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama made some lofty promises to our veterans. From Gateway Pundit:

#1 – “They deserve the same commitment from our government that our grandfathers received.”

#2 – “Recovering troops should go to the front of the line and they shouldn’t have to fight to get there.”

#3 – “No more red tape.”

#4 – “No more shortfalls.”

#5 – “No more delays.”

#6 – “We will stand up against proposals to ration care…”

#7 – “We will have a simple policy for veterans living on our streets: Zero tolerance.”

Contrast that with today’s reports that veterans are going years – sometimes the rest of their lives – without seeing proper care, and that wait lists have been manipulated at more than 60 percent of VA facilities. An audit ordered by the White House itself described a “systemic lack of integrity within some Veterans Health Administration facilities.”

The situation is appalling and should be tolerated no longer. It’s well past time to start fulfilling our promises to our vets – and stop wasting years talking about it.

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