The Republican Party would like to thank … Jon Stewart?

posted at 2:01 pm on February 9, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Each week, the GOP provides a set of remarks in response to (or at least in parallel with) the President’s Saturday commentary. They rotate though different speakers from week to week, and long time friend of Hot Air, Andrew Malcolm provides the transcripts at Investor’s Business Daily. This week’s speaker was Senator Richard Burr (R – NC) and he touched on an important topic… the care of returning wounded veterans and their families.

Thankfully, over the past five years, Congress has authorized over $600 billion to VA in robust and sustained increases of government funding for veterans’ programs designed to be part of a more responsive federal support for veterans outreach and care.

This unprecedented level of support has been especially evident in the area of veterans’ benefits, specifically disability payments. The surge in financial support has not been matched with an equivalent surge in responsiveness from the Veterans’ Administration.

The subject of the horrendous backlog in processing veterans’ claims was a damning one for the Obama administration, but as Senator Burr pointed out, it’s finally starting to get better. That’s the point where he thanked a rather unexpected actor in this story.

The now infamous backlog of claims reached a point of national embarrassment last year when a series of biting monologues from comedian Jon Stewart finally elevated the problem to the President’s desk and spurred his VA Secretary into action. It was only then we began seeing some signs of incremental progress.

When it takes a comedian to garner a response from our government, we are in bad shape. While the backlog has begun to decline, we still have nearly 700,000 veterans and their families waiting for answers.

That was fairly generous of Burr, particularly given the treatment which the GOP and conservatism in general usually receive from Stewart. (He has some moments where he takes down liberals and Democrats as well, but that tends to just be some filler material to say, look how fair and balanced I am!) But I saw this series of bits that he did – not going to dig up the clips here today – and he deserves the nod. He interviewed a number of veterans on a panel discussion where they talked about the issues they encountered and sent his “reporters” to DC to talk to the workers trying to process all of the paper forms in an antiquated system.

It apparently lit a fire under a few backsides at the VA and the processing cycle seems to have sped up a bit. (Though still not enough.) Read the Senator’s remarks in full and look into this VA issue. Our veterans deserve better, and it’s good that the GOP is using their microphone to keep attention on the subject. And, yes… my thanks go out to Jon Stewart also.


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In his recent interview win Sec. Gates he spent a lot of time in this subject while I’m sure he has other things on his mind.

TheIkrim on February 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

The USA readers, those who still know how to read, and do so, would like to thank the CFP for reporting more, more objectively, than any US media (most of whom are in obama’s azz, suffocated…not Beluga caviar fools).

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Jazz “They rotate though different speakers from week to week”

through

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Jon Stewart doing the work the LSM refuses to do. Strange days indeed…

battalion on February 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Our veterans deserve better, and it’s good that the GOP is using their microphone to keep attention on the subject. And, yes… my thanks go out to Jon Stewart also.

The swine from both sides, budget deal, cut the promised monthly payments.

obama, the thug, claimed in the O’Reilly charade “it is my greatest pride to be their CiC…bla, bla, bla”, while the senate killed the pay, again, last week.

All, from both sides, to Hades.

p.s. sincere apologies to the clean swine.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

The now infamous backlog of claims reached a point of national embarrassment last year when a series of biting monologues from comedian Jon Stewart finally elevated the problem to the President’s desk and spurred his VA Secretary into action. It was only then we began seeing some signs of incremental progress.

…JugEars knows…where the 47% get their news!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Stewart should team up with The Enquirer which exposed John Edwards and put together a super-team of journalism!

Meremortal on February 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Makes sense to me, considering the state of much of the news. Since so much of the LSM/MSM is worth little more than a sad laugh or two, and a rapid change of the channel, why shouldn’t a comedian be one of the few people to actually drive some serious news onto the political agenda?

xNavigator on February 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Someone wrote in HA comments recently that John Stewart becoming less of a lefty because he could feel which way the wind is blowing(America HATES liberals).

His shtick is cutting a 20 second, out of context, clip of a republican looking stupid – And Stewart scrunches his face, says something that supposedly exposes a contradiction(It matters not if it really does), the audience laughs, and then Stewart laughs. Rinse repeat. Sometimes he adds a fake “awwww snap fer shizal, Yo” street lingo or some Jerry Louis or Johny Carson(which the kid audience thinks is his original material).

But, maybe his audience is shrinking and he needs to expand his repertoire. He is ~60 and he’s still locked into the tween/early20s market. I don’t know. I’ve wasted a long post and 5 minutes on John Stewart. Why?!?

BoxHead1 on February 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

The only knowledge I have of Jon Stewart has been learned here at HA…

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

not going to dig up the clips here today

Well crap…why am I here then?

mike_NC9 on February 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I’m a bit concerned that we’re spending so much on veterans while undocumented foreign visitors are neglected and forced to live in the shadows, it’s time for some fairness and equality of resource allocation.

Bishop on February 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The Swiss are waaaay smarter than the US Americans.

The US has limitation on legal immigration and open borders and stupid laws/handouts, which further illegal immigration.

Why should anyone follow the law, when the fools in DC and NY promote otherwise, from the left to the right.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Let’s give thanks here…I don’t love most of Stewart’s viewpoints, but he’s on the side of the angels here.

philosoph0123 on February 9, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Stewart getting a response from the VA is similar to how the media takes criticism from the left and the right. Conservative critiques of the media being too far to the left are brushed off; liberal critiques of the media being too far to the right sting, and are met with hand-wrining and wondering where they went wrong and how they can fix things.

Same deal here — If those who support the military in general protest VA medical conditions, it’s brushed off by the White House as criticism from people who don’t vote for them anyway. When it’s from Stewart, they’re afraid his followers are their low-information voters and might not be as inclined to support them in the future, so the response is done not so much for the veterans, but to keep from losing The Daily Show’s demographic.

jon1979 on February 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

– not going to dig up the clips here today –

Obama: “Some will choose not to work”.

Here you go Jazzy.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 2:44 PM

It took my middle son less than 8 months to get his VA claims reviewed and approved…his younger brother got out 4 years later and it took him 2 YEARS to work through the system with repeated follow up. The saddest part is that the younger Navy veteran had the more serious injuries including spinal fusion from a service related injury.

TexasEngineer on February 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

meanwhile I’ve been avoiding VA appts and medical benefits so as to not use resources. but thanks to obamacare I need to go to them now.
I qualify for quite a lot of stuff that I’ve just been paying for on my own.
oh well, will avoid using what I can.

dmacleo on February 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Stewart is a twit but credit where credit is due.

HotAirian on February 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 9, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Thanks for doing the work the other bloggers don’t want to do.

mike_NC9 on February 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Something about broken clocks being right twice a day…

MidniteRambler on February 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Two Americas

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2014 at 4:04 PM

It’s sad when you have to occasonally give someone credit for being fair when they should all be fair all the time.

However, Stewart’s show is not intended to be news. It’s intended to be a comedy show making fun of Republicans or at least supporting socialists.

crankyoldlady on February 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

TexasEngineer on February 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Give those boys a hug for me!

Maddie on February 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Translation: thank you, Mr. Stewart, for occasionally taking your clown nose off when it matters.

The Schaef on February 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

So a lefty criticizes Obama for not doling out public funds fast enough,(why else would a lefty criticize another lefty?) and the right praises him?

The GOP really is the stupid party. Just as a hypothetical, if Obama cut welfare spending, and Jon Stewart attacked him for it, these dopes would side with Jon Stewart.

HugoDrax on February 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Stewart is a comedian. He makes fun of things. He doesn’t purport to be a news analyst, and sometimes he pokes fun at liberals and even the president himself, even though it seems disproportionate to the ribbing he gives the GOP. But hey, it’s his show, he can do what he wants. Good for him for his efforts in behalf of veterans! And O’Reilly too, he does a lot for Wounded Warriors.

scalleywag on February 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM

“Today there are over 1.7 million compensation, pension and education claims and appeals. Instead of fully fixing the problem, VA leaders have redefined them,” he said. “Since VA couldn’t reduce the entire 1.7 million by 2015, they decided to define the workload as only disability claims requiring rating action.”

The 700,000 disability claims currently pending represent just 41 percent of outstanding claims, he said.

Focusing on disability claims that require a rating decision resulted in the VA not processing 60 percent of its overall claims. As a result the inventory of claims filed by dependents of veterans has grown from about 40,000 to more than 630,000 in the past three years, he said.”

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/02/06/va-accused-of-changing-rules-to-reach-goals.html?comp=700001075741&rank=5

DarrelsJoy on February 9, 2014 at 5:39 PM

He interviewed a number of veterans on a panel discussion where they talked about the issues they encountered and sent his “reporters” to DC to talk to the workers trying to process all of the paper forms in an antiquated system.

So clown nose off, then?

Grammar Nazi on February 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

So a lefty criticizes Obama for not doling out public funds fast enough,(why else would a lefty criticize another lefty?) and the right praises him?

HugoDrax on February 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

This isn’t a dole, it is earned compensation for disabilities incurred as a result of military service. It is part of the contract between the government and the servicemembers when they sign up, just as much a part of the compensation package as is basic pay.

James on February 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM

yeah…well…Stewart might pretend from time to time. But I put him in the same class as all other freeloaders that have never worked a day in their lives.

teejk on February 9, 2014 at 6:13 PM

The GOP is so pathetic at communication that they rely on liberal comedians for talking points? Does it get any lower than this? And the GOP is wondering why they can’t win elections?

Brock Robamney on February 9, 2014 at 6:23 PM

So a lefty criticizes Obama for not doling out public funds fast enough,(why else would a lefty criticize another lefty?) and the right GOPe praises him?
HugoDrax on February 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

FIFY. The GOP is not a conservative, constitutionalist, or a right wing party. They are strictly a big government progressive party that craves money and power

Brock Robamney on February 9, 2014 at 6:31 PM

James on February 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM

It’s an entitlement – a government program. Just because it goes to military people, doesn’t make it any less of a entitlement. Stewart was not criticizing obama, his love, he was criticizing the delay of an entitlement. That’s the point.And yet GOPs and conservatives, applaud Stewart – only because they are desperate for any left-wing criticism of Obama.

HugoDrax on February 9, 2014 at 7:31 PM

HugoDrax on February 9, 2014 at 7:31 PM

You’re wrong. If you’ve ever been in the military, you know that you’re getting paid less than what you’re worth because of the back-end benefits that are, yearly, counted in your benefits package.

James on February 9, 2014 at 7:46 PM

My Dad was at 100% disabled WWII vet, my Stepfather was a disabled WWII Merchant Marine sailor, my sister is a disabled Navy Vet and I am a Retired Army Veteran with a small disability.

My family has been involved with the VA at various times from 1945 until the present and I can tell you that the VA has NEVER been what you would term “responsive.”

It doesn’t surprise me at all to find that they are still using paper. Twenty years ago there might have been an understandable reason for that but not anymore.

Hell, now even the Marines use computers. So they are more technologically advanced than the VA? The Marines?

schmuck281 on February 9, 2014 at 10:08 PM

This ought to have been a signal to Stewart of what happens when the government runs healthcare. A few escalations from Comedy Central to Ignorance Central at the WH make no difference to this basic truth.

virgo on February 9, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Stewart-Maher 2016!

Shy Guy on February 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM

The larger a bureaucracy grows, the less efficient it becomes – without respect to actual workload.

A good plan would be to cut the number of clerical employees in half on the first day, declaring that those administrators who could not manage their staff’s workload with reduced personnel should either pitch in themselves or off their resignations.

Greater cuts would be possible later, but you could cut half the office staff from almost every single agency without any long-term hard to their mission.

Adjoran on February 10, 2014 at 12:39 AM

What do all these federal workers do all day that a fire has to be lit under their backsides to do their damn jobs? Stop going to meetings all day and get your/our work done.

Kissmygrits on February 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Here is a prime example of what a disaster single payer health insurance is, yet Stewart still supports it.
Another mentally ill leftist.

Hard Right on February 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM