ABC, National Journal: White House fumbling VA scandal

posted at 2:01 pm on May 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Continuing from Guy’s previous post, let’s ask a question: Just how badly has the White House fumbled the VA scandal? ABC’s Jonathan Karl discovered that an endorsement from the American Legion cited by Jay Carney in yesterday’s briefing was actually a criticism of the shell game Barack Obama and Eric Shinseki played with Robert Petzel. Carney cited the statement nine times, apparently without actually bothering to read it first:


ABC US News | International News

At the White House briefing today, Press Secretary Jay Carney repeatedly suggested the American Legion had praised the Department of Veterans Affairs for the resignation Friday of top VA health official Dr. Robert Petzel.

It turns out, however, the American legion had issued a statement dismissing the resignation as “business as usual.”

Here’s what Carney said at the White House briefing: “The American Legion said that the group looks at Petzel’s resignation as a, quote, step towards addressing the leadership problem at the VA. So I think that undercuts the assertion that that is not a meaningful development.” …

But the American Legion put out a statement on Friday about Dr. Petzel’s resignation saying almost exactly the opposite of what Carney suggested.

“This move by VA is not a corrective action, but a continuation of business as usual,” American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said in a statement. “Dr. Petzel was already scheduled to retire this year, so his resignation now really won’t make that much of a difference.”

The statement — which can be found on the at the top of the American Legion’s website — goes on to say the real problem is at the top of VA. “Secretary [Eric] Shinseki and Under Secretary [Allison] Hickey remain on the job. They are both part of VA’s leadership problem, and we want them to resign as soon as possible.”

National Journal’s Ron Fournier blasts the Obama administration handling of the communications surrounding the VA scandal. He deems it a “20th century” strategy of lying over and over again and assuming people couldn’t check the references for themselves. Just how dumb, Fournier asks, does the White House think we all are?

This was neither a termination nor a housecleaning. It was a scapegoating. For all of its 21st-century savvy in the field of campaign technology, the Obama White House has repeatedly proven that its communications philosophy is stuck in the 20th century. Before the internet gave voters instantaneous access to information, including every public utterance of the president and his team, White House strategists could hope to wear out the truth: If you said a lie enough, people might believe it.

It’s harder to BS the public these days. White House press secretary Jerry Carney still tries.

There was a time when the media would punish a press secretary for lying and/or incompetence. Fournier and Karl seem to still embody that fourth-estate spirit. Most of the rest … not so much, at least not yet.

Caroline Baum noted that the amateurish handling continued today:

Fournier also drives to the point on the scandal itself:

In Obama’s defense, he inherited a dysfunctional VA, and the agency has been overwhelmed by veterans returning from two wars he is winding down. But he pledged to reform the VA after blasting the Bush administration in 2007. Instead of getting better, the health care bureaucracy has worsened and become corrupted. Long delays are covered up and veterans are dying while awaiting care.

In my column today at The Week, I make the same argument and call for a complete housecleaning at the VA, from Shinseki all the way through the political-appointee class. I also point out the massive increase in resources given Shinseki since his appointment over five years ago:

The rapid increase in battle-wounded soldiers in two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) did not get the attention required in the earlier years of the war. In the FY2003 budget, the first that spanned both wars, the VA budget was $56.9 billion,according to OMB data. That was an increase of 26 percent over the $45 billion FY2001 budget that almost entirely preceded the 9/11 attacks that initiated the war in Afghanistan. By the final budget signed by George W. Bush, the FY2008 budget, VA funding had increased 88 percent to $84.7 billion.

Even at that level, veterans did not get the attention they needed. The problem became acute enough that Obama made it an issue early in his presidential campaign. In October 2007, as then-Sen. Obama began to rise to the top of the Democratic Party’s primary field, he told veterans that fixing the waitlist issue was a matter of honor. “When a veteran is denied health care, we are all dishonored,” Obama said. “When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency in this country.” He also promised more resources and better management to fix the problems seen at the VA. “As president, I won’t stand for hundreds of thousands of veterans waiting for benefits. We’ll hire additional claims workers.” …

More than five years later, nothing has changed — except the spending. Defenders of the administration have suggested that the scandal is actually a resource issue, but that would be difficult to argue from the spending. Since that final Bush budget of FY2008, the VA budget has grown by 78 percent in six budget cycles, to $150.6 billion. With the single exception of the FY2012 budget sequester, when VA spending dropped 2.2 percent, the agency’s budget has increased by at least 8 percent every year of Shinseki’s tenure. Veterans had every right to expect that the increase in resources meant that the Obama administration intended to rectify the problems that kept them from accessing medical care.

And yet, more than five years later, we are discovering that all of these additional resources have done little to help veterans. Dozens of veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix facility, and we still have yet to discover how many others may have perished while having their appointment requests manipulated by bureaucrats more interested in bonuses than in providing care to veterans. …

Presidents who face leadership failures have an effective option for resolving them: firing Cabinet secretaries and other political appointees involved. It sends a valuable signal to others in federal government that failure actually does have consequences, and allows for some confidence that the same people who contributed to the problem aren’t going to be left in charge of the supposed solution. Obama has been strangely reluctant to use this option in earlier scandals, like the ObamaCare rollout or the use of the IRS to target the administration’s political opponents. With the lives of America’s veterans on the line, Obama has to get the failed leadership team out of the way and bring in fresh eyes and better management to fix the problem rather than cover it up.

It’s time to clean out the press office at the White House, too, and jettison the ridiculous figure Jay Carney has become.


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Schadenfreude on May 20, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

ABC, National Journal: White House fumbling VA scandal the US

FIFY

Oil Can on May 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

“How dumb does Obama think we are?”

Very dumb.

Deafdog on May 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

And yet, more than five years later, we are discovering that all of these additional resources have done little to help veterans.

Those bonuses don’t just appear out of thin air, y’know!

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

kids are generally off limits

nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Don’t pick on obama.

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

They only think this scandal is important because it give the president the opportunity to look tough if he fires some people. I can’t stand the guy, but even I don’t blame him personally for the failures at the VA. Those are systemic problems that come with all single payer systems.

txmomof6 on May 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

No doubt Jay Carney and others are going to use the “blame Bush” method to distract attention from this scandal.

But the obvious answer to that is that Obama was already blaming Bush for this problem when campaigning for president. Since he knew well before he became president of the problem, he was supposed to try to fix the problem. Obama wasn’t elected in order to continue every Bush administration failure, much less to make them worse.

J.S.K. on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

This leftist congresswoman, double-amputee, ripping not long ago, today called for obama to come out of hiding on the VA.

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Just how dumb, Fournier asks, does the White House think we all are?

Gee, Ron, you, the lapdog media, are just waking up to this realization? The problem is that you will continue to carry Obama’s water or agree to be locked in a room while a fundraising event is happening just steps away.

Mark Boabaca on May 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Definitive answer….both…

PatriotRider on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Ron Fournier voted for Barack Obama.

chuckh on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Those are systemic problems that come with all single payer systems.

txmomof6 on May 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Overlaps nicely. The VA problem will never go away unless it is privatized in some fashion. That flies in the face of Obamacare. This should be red meat campaign material for the pubbies.

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Yes to both.

Mark Boabaca on May 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

“How dumb does Obama think we are?”

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Asked and answered.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

White House fumbling VA scandal their cover-up of the VA’s actions, which were authorized by obama as cost-saving measures.

Pork-Chop on May 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The only difference between the Regime’s handling of this scandal and all the others is that a handful of journalists are becoming more aggressive about sniffing out the BS this time. Obama’s people are doing what they always do – lie, obfuscate and stonewall and expect to get away with it.

forest on May 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Ron Fournier voted for Barack Obama.

chuckh on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

He strikes me as kind of a jerk, but, I’ll give him credit for getting progressivey more angry each time he writes something.

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Don’t worry Jay we still love you
-the rest of the lsm

cmsinaz on May 20, 2014 at 2:16 PM

ABC, National Journal: White House fumbling VA scandal

…the media must not be doing its job!…how is this different from the others?

KOOLAID2 on May 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Valerie told him we were dumb hicks

cmsinaz on May 20, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Ron Fournier voted for Barack Obama.

chuckh on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Twice, along with every person in his personal and professional social circles.

aquaviva on May 20, 2014 at 2:19 PM

This points out the basic problem of our government run by lunatic progressives. They think that throwing money at a problem will magically solve it. They have no idea how leadership works. Not only do we have to throw out all the failed Cabinet members, but we need to purge every last progressive idiot out of our government, regardless of party affiliation.

NOMOBO on May 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

When you go to the VA they herd you around like cattle as you follow colored stripes on the floors.If you see a doc it’s for around 5 minutes.The workers are just looking for break time.

docflash on May 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Jay Carney is a handsome man.

/hehe

faraway on May 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Those are systemic problems that come with all single payer systems.

txmomof6 on May 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Not necessarily. Some single payer system adhere to rationing of care as a means of controlling costs, and since they would prefer that the general public not recognize the means by which care is rationed, they’ll try to hide it behind something similar to the situation currently seen in the VA system.

Other single payer system came to realization that there is a point where healthcare risks to the public are too high, which ultimately increases the demands and the costs of the system. So they’ve attempted to increase utilization on tools (like electronic medical records) as a way of balancing the risks.

The VA system uses VistA, which is touted as a model to strive for the world of Health IT. The tools are they, but it looks like they aren’t being used. Has the system been allowed to lapse during the time of the Obama admin? If so, by how much? And why?

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

A huge YES!!! to Evil and he would have to improve 100% just to elevate his abilities to inept!!

Deano1952 on May 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

We re-elected him, so the answer is “pretty dumb.”

segesta on May 20, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I think there is a bigger issue that people gloss over.

Obama’s campaigns and his first term were predicated on the notion that people have an unreasonable fear of government programs. He couldn’t afford to have this in the limelight while he was/is selling ObamaCare.

He was briefed about this in 2008. This is the real scandal in my eyes.

swamp_yankee on May 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I worked in a bureaucracy for years, and I know for sure that there is no such thing as a “housecleaning.” There is no accountability except for political appointees to the guy who appointed them.

Give veterans an insurance card, if they prefer if, to go to the doctors they choose. IOW gradually wind it down. If there is a good VA hospital, it will keep its customers.

Competition is the only way. The public college I worked for was not as bad as other agencies because they had to compete for their students.

PattyJ on May 20, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Not surprising it has only been 6 years.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

On privatizing single payer,

Going private sector bring NHS hospital back from the brink.

Good article.

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Just how dumb, Fournier asks, does the White House think we all are?

Pretty freakin’ dumb Ron. You did vote for him after all.

SteveThomas on May 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

The VA system uses VistA, which is touted as a model to strive for the world of Health IT. The tools are they, but it looks like they aren’t being used.

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Or they’ve been using the tools, and they do nothing to improve the healthcare experience. (I’m seeing this a lot in the healthcare industry.)

dominigan on May 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

How do you people keep so many scandals straight? Did the Obama administration run guns to Mexican IRS agents who shot Tea Party veterans?

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Thanks. I read it last night on QOTD when you gave it to Doc Holliday. Pretty dramatic.

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Not surprising it has only been 6 years.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I’ve been busy doing heroin and having furious gay sex, like all libertarians do according to you.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM

How do you people keep so many scandals straight? Did the Obama administration run guns to Mexican IRS agents who shot Tea Party veterans?

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Are you proud of supporting such a thoroughly corrupt administration?

SteveThomas on May 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Both

hachiban on May 20, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The VA is an incredibly bloated, inefficient organization (even for a government organization). I’m thinking that it should be privatized.

blink on May 20, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Uh we tried that already. Walter Reed and Bethesda Hospitals. That did not work well at all, trust me.

Johnnyreb on May 20, 2014 at 2:36 PM

You know….. It’s going to be pretty interesting come this weekend. Which just happens to be Memorial Day. The rat-eared coward has yet to say the first thing about the fraud and corruption. Yet come this weekend he’ll be laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns with his usual bad temper that something is interfering with his golf games. But the fact that he’s “madder than hell” and has yet to say anything as Memorial Day approaches is not a good strategy.

At Arlington, he’ll talk of the ultimate sacrifice all the while he is responsible for killing scores of veterans.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

On abortion, Obama is against born alive. In other words, any baby who does get past the abortionist can still be murdered freely.
On energy, Obama said that under his plans you could build a coal power plant, but he would bankrupt you.
Obama has shunned our best allies and has offered friendship to our enemies.
Obama’s inJustice system is destroying rule of law.
Obama gave heavy weapons to the Mexican cartels.
Obama has caused the lowest moral in the military in generations.
Obama let 36,000 illegal aliens out into the public at large who had criminal records that included murder, rape, assault, DWI, drug trafficking and weapons violations.
Before that the 9,000 he let out went on commit many similar crimes.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

dominigan on May 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

That’s possible.

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Appropriate that 0bamanation’s “organization” (an obvious oxymoron) is as incompetent in having it’s Press Secretary accurately communicate American Legion statements as it is about running the VA! What could go wrong?! ;)

russedav on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Or they’ve been using the tools, and they do nothing to improve the healthcare experience. (I’m seeing this a lot in the healthcare industry.)

dominigan on May 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Just make it easier to keep track of folks? No secrets? Available to all with the correct credentials? Like senators. Or the IRS? Or DOJ? Sounds a little tin foil hatty, but, at this stage, nothing is impossible

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

OK I’m just asking ’cause I don’t know- but why can’t we allow veterans to go to any hospital or dr. and the government just foot the bill? VA hospitals have been a nightmare all along and the budget for them would probably cover the expense of as needed treatment wherever.
We owe them the best that can be offered, and the VA hospitals certainly aren’t the answer.

whatabunchoflosers on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Everything would have been corrected if it wasn’t for global warming, caused by George Bush…

right2bright on May 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

I’ve been busy doing heroin and having furious gay sex, like all libertarians do according to you.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Nah, that would be ‘libertarians’ like you who are all about the degeneracy but nothing at all about the personal responsibility.
Not Libertarians. Libertarians believe in personal responsibility and the consequences for ones actions to fall on them not to be force transferred to other people.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

If it takes a Democratic president to get Republicans to give two shirts about veterans services, then so be it. I suppose those who care about how we care for military workers better hope a Democrat wins in 2016, otherwise these types of questions and public hearings will return to their status as “comfort to the enemy.”

libfreeordie on May 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM

NotCoach on May 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

After that “Presstitutes” twitter pic of the WH pool hanging out in a bedroom during one of his fundraisers, it’s pretty clear that President Obama thinks you are fools and lapdogs. And he’s right.

JeremiahJohnson on May 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM

When you lose lefty Ron Fournier and the National Urinal … the National Urinal has dropped reader comments recently as most came from conservatives and many questioned the intelligence of National Urinal writers.

bw222 on May 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Jerry carney?

UltimateBob on May 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Just how dumb, Fournier asks, does the White House think we all are?

Wrong question! Carney and Obama do not care if the media/press knows they are lying. The important thing is that the Obama administration is certain that the media/press will not publicly and repeatedly call out the administration on its lies.

Ergo, the general public will not know that the President and Press Secretary routinely lie on a wide range of topics.

So far the media has met or exceeded the White House expectations for non-reporting, and have given every indication that it will continue. For example, Karl’s questions were not a feature of either the ABC Evening News or the morning show today.

pilsener on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

At Arlington, he’ll talk of the ultimate sacrifice all the while he is responsible for killing scores of veterans.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Ultimate parse. He’ll thread that needle very carefully. Might even cry a little.

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Sounds a little tin foil hatty, but, at this stage, nothing is impossible

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

It sounds like a perfectly reasonable conclusion to me.

KCB on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Indeed. Stark contrast on what drives improvements in quality of care.

That’s one of the dangers of single payer is that there’s no contrast and usually no one to stand in behalf of patients as their advocate in protecting and preserving quality of care. it’s very, very easy for the system to become corrupted.

Since the UK went through the scenario of having LCP exposed, the situation is shifting back toward improvements in quality of care….even by means of encouraging private sector involvement.
That in itself speaks volumes, given how long NHS has been in existence.

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

It is possible to be both. Nothing he does is ever smart, and often willfully deleterious to our nation.

NotCoach on May 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Everything would have been corrected if it wasn’t for global warming, caused by George Bush…

right2bright on May 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Eh, even I would not blame that one Bush. Credit where credit is due!

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

whatabunchoflosers on May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I think active service could do that, but the payment system through VA is capitated only not Fee-for-service.

lineholder on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

We re-elected him, so the answer is “pretty dumb.”

segesta on May 20, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Who is “we?”

UltimateBob on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Ultimate parse. He’ll thread that needle very carefully. Might even cry a little.

butch on May 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Dems are very good at faking sincerity. That slight quivering of the lower lip Bill Clinton did was masterful.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

At least you could respect Baghdad Bob. He probably did it because Sadaam had a gun pointed to Bob’s and family’s collective head.

Carney is simply an amoral twaaat in it for more Communism posters and photoshopped books on his shelves.

MistyLane on May 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Who is “we?”

UltimateBob on May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

The people who foisted Romney on the Republican party. That would be the ‘we’.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:50 PM

The people who foisted Romney on the Republican party. That would be the ‘we’.

astonerii on May 20, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Ouch

faraway on May 20, 2014 at 2:52 PM

ABC, National Journal: White House fumbling VA scandal

Obama metaphor (my apologies to Jetboy).

pain train on May 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Carney has a thankless, nigh-impossible job to defend the indefensible on a daily basis. I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

At least he’s better than that smug sack of crap Gibbs.

Caiwyn on May 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

“How dumb does Obama think we are?”

Well you in the MSM have pretty much been his WHORES for the last 5 years.

Does that answer your question?

GarandFan on May 20, 2014 at 3:00 PM

At least you could respect Baghdad Bob.

MistyLane on May 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Pretty sad to say but Baghdad Bob had more integrity and credibility than Jay Carney ever had.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Does anyone think that this president at some point will stand in front of the American people and take responsibility for the screwups in his administration and start holding people accountable and let some heads roll? There have been SO MANY instances where he’s basically done nothing that I think there’s not a shred of evidence he will act on this outrageous situation either. Let them call this one a non scandal…that’s what I’m waiting for. All we get from this feckless lump of a president is phony red lines, arbitrary deadlines, stonewalling, statements about being “mad as hell”, and coverups. When will Americans have had enough?

scalleywag on May 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

A narcissist does not fire underlings at the behest of others.

A narcissist is not forced to do anything.

Shinseki will eventually go away as did Sebelius, but it will be per Obama’s schedule.

No one can make him do anything. By Allah!

Carnac on May 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Obama would kill each and every vet if it gave him a distraction

Roy Rogers on May 20, 2014 at 3:08 PM

This all reminds me of that line in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge’s nephew asks him for a donation for the poor who will die without help. Scrooge answers his nephew with “if they are like to die then they’d better do it and decrease the surplus population.” I feel that the VA and Obamacare will be like this. Death Panels, long waiting lists, people dying. If the government can’t manage a healthcare system of 9 million imagine when its 330 million.

neyney on May 20, 2014 at 3:14 PM

“…. he inherited a dysfunctional VA…”

Here we go again.

tej on May 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Why do we even have a VA? Why don’t we just pick up the tab for veterans’ health care as provided by the private sector?

My husband’s uncle is a vet but for years he has purchased private insurance because the VA care is so bad.

Missy on May 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Well you in the MSM have pretty much been his WHORES for the last 5 years.

They’re not whores. You have to pay whores.

Missy on May 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I think Obama is using “Plausible Deniability” as akey aspect of management.

To do it effectively, he would have had to tell his minimums to get the word out to all of cabinet picks that “no bad news get’s back to the White House”.

Or

Their are so many Democrats in the Bureaucracy that they are simply saving Obama the embarrassment because a. He’s incompetent, b. He’s vindictive, c. He’s a Democrat, d. They know Obama never fires anyone.

WisRich on May 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Just how dumb… does the White House think we all are?

Is that a rhetorical question?

The media cheer-led the ACA all the way through to passage, downplayed all the negative impact of the law, and then gleefully parroted all of the White House’s made-up numbers trumpeting its success, all while numerous exchanges basically failed to work at all.

The IRS blocked the applications of non-profits for the crime of having conservative-”sounding” names, and at the direction of congresspersons, took the private data of some of those PACs and distributed it to their political opponents.

The NSA monitored our phone calls, texts and emails for a number of years.

The administration waged a military campaign in Libya without congressional authorization.

A US ambassador was attacked and killed at an embassy with outsourced security, and the administration got on TV and said they were mad about a video.

The president celebrated a slightly-less-abysmal federal deficit built on the back of a funding sequester that he originally signed for, then said would never happen, then claimed would lead to countless American deaths, and millions of job losses (total number lost: one), and the media engaged in a collective football-spike.

So now with the VA, you ask how dumb he thinks we are? However much that is, from where I sit, I don’t think it’s possible for him to overestimate it.

The Schaef on May 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Wait – Obama tells lies?

maryo on May 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.
John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Because he can’t be both?

EvilMonk on May 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

To believe Jay Carney, Obama only knows about scandals when the media reports on them. Since MSM is head-over-heels in love with Obama, they almost never report on them, and Fox News isn’t a real news organization (Obama told us that), so we should ignore what they say. Besides, it’s all George W. Bush’s fault anyway.

So let’s all hail the great Light-Worker who stopped the seas from rising, provides wonderful care to our dying veterans, made peace with Islam by throwing that horrible video-maker in jail, and don’t worry about that retro old Putin–he’s so 1980′s and so out of touch with magnificence! Just log on to healthcare.gov and we will give you affordable health care, and Obamaphones, and all is awesomely peachy and hunky-dory wonderful in Obama’s magic kingdom.

How do we know this? Because Obama said so!

Steve Z on May 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

There are so many things I have done
Dishonest gain from the skill of my tongue
If you’re unwise enough to trust me then you will be deceived
You never should believe, you’ll only be deceived

I have taken things that weren’t mine to take
And I have broken things I cannot unbreak
And I have lied about my lust and said passion was to blame
But it hurt you just the same, you are hurting just the same

I am the weaver of lies.

Tard on May 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM

This entire Administration has been focused on driving style and perception as opposed to holding itself not only accountable and responsible to the American people. They are fundamentally incapable of admitting to mistakes or poor decisions or working to correct those mistakes / decisions based on reality.

This is an Administration that is entirely focused on enabling their political ideology (progressive fascism). ‘Leaders’ are there not because of their capabilities, competence, or skills, but because of their loyalty to the ideology and cult of Obama. Mistakes can’t / don’t happen because the ideology and agenda is ‘perfect’ – it works perfectly in theory / academia, therefore, if something goes wrong, it’s not because of the implementation, or the leadership, or the agenda – it’s because of the actions of the opposition or the failure of the American people to fully grasp just how ‘wonderful’ the ideological agenda is for them.

Let’s not forget that to this Administration, anyone not fully engaged helping them implement their agenda, deserves nothing but the callous contempt of the ‘elite’, and they are aggressively and dishonestly smeared by the Administration and their feckless propaganda arm aka the mainstream media.

Athos on May 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

“How dumb does Obama think we are?”

He doesn’t *think* you’re dumb, he *knows* it, and has several years of explicit history to *prove* how dumb and ignorant you are.

Midas on May 20, 2014 at 4:40 PM

None of this criticism matters. Barack Obama is still President, he’s still the leader of the Democrat Party, the Party and it’s members will still support him, the Democrat media will still defend him, and he’ll still laugh himself to sleep at night, knowing that no one will do anything about his disrespectful and dishonorable service as President of the United States.

Dusty on May 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.
John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Let’s just thank God he IS inept. Can you imagine the evil he could if he was competent?

Cleombrotus on May 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

None of this criticism matters. Barack Obama is still President, he’s still the leader of the Democrat Party, the Party and it’s members will still support him, the Democrat media will still defend him, and he’ll still laugh himself to sleep at night, knowing that no one will do anything about his disrespectful and dishonorable service as President of the United States.

Dusty on May 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Exactly. And to take it a step further if anyone points out his failures they will be deemed a racist or be accused of being outraged about a fake scandal. It’s the democrats go-to play in their playbook.

HumpBot Salvation on May 20, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

One can be both. Evil in intentions, but… totally inept when trying to do something they sincerely want to accomplish. ……and fail miserably at that. V.J. really doesn’t have a handle on the American culture. She flops around like a fish on a hook.

I wish them failure and sleepless night as they tangle with these issues. They certainly have no one on their side except themselves. Pretty lonely. (Unless Ob00ber prays to Allah??)

avagreen on May 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Let’s just thank God he IS inept. Can you imagine the evil he could if he was competent?

Cleombrotus on May 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

DublOh7 on May 20, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Ron Fournier has this all wrong. The Obama administration doesn’t think we’re dumb, it believes the press is so full of sycophants they won’t cover this properly. Trust me Ron, if they’re surprised by the coverage, they’ll throw enough facts out there to satisfy their friends in the press. Not enough to answer any questions mind you, but enough where the press will be willing to say this is old news.

bflat879 on May 20, 2014 at 6:21 PM

He has time to comment on a poor professor who was so manhandled by the police and have a beer summit on the subject and no time to talk about the disgraceful treatment of our Vets, does he remember he is the Commander in Chief? I hope he reads about his impeachment inthe paper.

Sven on May 20, 2014 at 7:22 PM

I’m still juggling whether Obama is evil or inept.

John the Libertarian on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I also have a problem with this.

Who is John Galt on May 20, 2014 at 7:24 PM

The little rat face liar who happens to be the socialist liar in charge’s press secretary continues on his merry way to become the dumbest PS in modern history. Next to Harry Ried this guy wouldn’t tell the truth about anything the public already knows if his life depended on it.

regmgr on May 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I hope he reads about his impeachment in the paper.

Sven on May 20, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Heh!

jazzuscounty on May 20, 2014 at 10:21 PM

“Presidents who face leadership failures have an effective option for resolving them: firing Cabinet secretaries and other political appointees involved. It sends a valuable signal to others in federal government that failure actually does have consequences, and allows for some confidence that the same people who contributed to the problem aren’t going to be left in charge of the supposed solution.”

This isn’t a *failure*, nor is ObamaCare, Benghazi, IRS or Fast & Furious, this is Obama policy. There will be no *consequences*, because they’re carrying out the wishes of the White House and there will be no *supposed solution*, because nothing is broken. And anyone that suggests these are scandals, will be duly chastised as extremists by the progressive media.

AppraisHer on May 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM

“How dumb does Obama think we are?”

He doesn’t think you’re dumb. He thinks you’re supposed to cover for him.

And you will.

hawkdriver on May 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM

People, do you really think Obama should actually govern??? Face it, Obamas specialty is instigating,lying and agitating. After all that he’s lucky if he has anytime left to play golf, lol…

soapyjeans on May 21, 2014 at 12:40 AM

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