Why the blame-Bush effort on VA will backfire

posted at 4:01 pm on May 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Prior to Barack Obama finally taking some executive action in the face of incompetence and scandal, Mother Jones attempted to let him off the hook for it. Mariah Blake offered a “scoop” on wait lists and backlogs by noting what no one denies — that they got out of hand during the Bush administration:

President Barack Obama and his administration have come under fire following a string of revelations about the huge backlogs of patients at Department of Veterans Affairs clinics and the underhanded tactics many of them used to hide the long wait times for medical care. As of Thursday evening, more than 100 lawmakers were calling on Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to step down. But according to VA inspector general reports and other documents that have gone overlooked in the current firestorm, federal officials knew about the scheme at the heart of the scandal—falsifying VA records to cover up treatment delays—years before Obama became president. VA officials first learned of the problems in 2005, when George W. Bush was entering his second term, and the problems went unfixed for the duration of his presidency.

Er … yeah. We actually knew about it at the time, too, and so did the major candidates running for office in the 2008 presidential cycle. John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama — who reminded everyone today that he sat on the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee at the time — all criticized the Bush administration for the problems of long wait times, the lack of accountability, and the poor service provided to veterans. McCain proposed a reform of the VA, while Obama proposed spending a lot more money and putting a lot more focus on it.

That was almost six years ago, and Obama has been in charge for more than five years, as was Eric Shinseki. Congress provided an avalanche of new funding to the VA, an increase in annual budgets of 78% during Obama’s term, amounting to $235 billion in additional spending over the FY2008 baseline budget of $84.7 billion. Obama appointed Shinseki because of those problems and the former 4-star general’s reputation for bucking authority to get things done.

Five years and four months later, Obama offered this excuse for failure today:

You know, he described to me the fact that when he was in theater, he might have to order an attack just based on a phone call from some 20-something-year-old corporal, and he’s got to trust that he’s getting good information, and it’s life or death. And I think he is deeply disappointed in the fact that bad news did not get to him and that the structures weren’t in place for him to identify this problem quickly and fix it. …

[A]s Ric Shinseki himself indicated, there is a need for a change in culture within the VHA and perhaps the VHA as a whole — or the VA as a whole that makes sure that bad news gets surfaced quickly, so that things can be fixed.

Ahem. Obama was talking about the “bad news” in 2007. Nor was that the only warning internal to the administration:

Let’s not forget, too, that VA executives in the Obama administration have been repeatedly warned – in the transition in 2008, and in writing in 2010, and 2012 – of wait-list fraud, and did nothing about it.

In 2013, there were more questions arising about wait-list fraud that made it into the media. The Washington Examner ran a five-part series on the atrocious levels of service at the VA in February, including one specific story on VA cooking the books on wait times.  Jake Tapper reported on it for CNN in March 2013, noting that hundreds of vets had waiting for more than a year to get medical attention. In fact, the number of those waiting that long leaped dramatically between Obama’s inauguration and the end of 2012, four years into his presidency:

The problem with processing benefits claims for veterans has gone from bad to worse under the Obama administration. One VA office in North Carolina had claims stacked so high the building was at risk of collapsing.

A recent report from the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since President Obama took office, the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 this past December. That’s a more than 2,000 percent increase.

In November 2013, CNN again reported on the long wait times — and the fact that the VA knew about them and was doing nothing to solve the problem:

Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals, a CNN investigation has found.

What’s worse, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is aware of the problems and has done almost nothing to effectively prevent veterans dying from delays in care, according to documents obtained by CNN and interviews with numerous experts.

The problem has been especially dire at the Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. There, veterans waiting months for simple gastrointestinal procedures — such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy — have been dying because their cancers aren’t caught in time.

The VA has confirmed six deaths at Dorn tied to delays. But sources close to the investigation say the number of veterans dead or dying of cancer because they had to wait too long for diagnosis or treatment at this facility could be more than 20.

“It’s very sad, because people died,” said Dr. Stephen Lloyd, a private physician specializing in colonoscopies in Columbia.

The argument advanced by Obama that the “bad news” wasn’t reaching executive levels in the administration is absurd on its face. Blaming Bush magnifies the incompetence inherent in this claim, especially since Obama spent the 2008 campaign blaming Bush for this exact same problem. Obama demanded more money to address the issue, and received it from Congress; no other Cabinet level agency had its budget grow more on a percentage basis than did the VA, and only HHS got a bigger increase on a cash basis.

What did they do with the money? Obama lamented in an oddly passive voice for someone in charge for more than five years that “the structures weren’t in place” to figure this out. He and Shinseki were in charge of this organization since January 2009. Whose responsibility was it to put those structures in place, and to make sure that the problems identified by Obama in 2007 and which generated repeated warnings since the transition got properly addressed?

The truth is that the issue was just a political talking point for Obama, and demanding more cash was all the attention he paid to it. Even Chris Matthews blew up last night over Obama’s purely political focus in the scandal:

And Matthews wasn’t any more impressed with Obama today, either, via Jeff Dunetz at Truth Revolt:

Hall: Chris, did the President do a good job of explaining not accepting the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius, and not of Shinseki?

Matthews: No, it was not a clear distinction and I think this has an echo unfortunately for the president of his own behavior. He was not alert of the problem of the rollout on his major piece of legislation the Affordable Care Act. He let it go all of those months until we had the catastrophe. So this lack of alertness— I think people—the one thing I like about the election nights, I love them like most of us in this business do, because of the crackle, somebody wins- somebody loses. People want to see that in the government. They want to see the government to respond to a situation quickly and move, make decisions and be efficient and don’t waste your money, and take care of the people they are supposed to take care of. We all feel for General Shinseki, but what about the guy waiting right now for a doctor— is waiting three or for months who may have lost a limb or infection or who may really need help with something, and that is the concern. It is like the Catholic Church, my church, they wait and worried about the priests and the cardinals the bishops, but they should have been worried about altar boys. That is who they should have been worried about.

Hall: The President was asked about the scapegoating, if that is to be seen as what happened here with Shinseki back to your criticism of the president—

Matthews: That’s a negative term, it’s a negative term but it is appropriate. Someone has to take responsibilities, accountability. These jobs, I go back to they are not honorifics, they are executive positions, where you are responsible if things go wrong. And some people don’t move quick enough, and maybe Sebelius should have resigned, maybe this guy should have offered his resignation a couple of days ago. I think the president acted today, it’s better he reacted today than tomorrow or Monday. But it would have been better two days ago.

Or in 2013, or 2012, or 2010. Blaming Bush for five-plus years of incompetence is nothing more than the same old blame-shifting and lack of accountability in the Obama administration.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Because Bush didn’t authorize the VA’s actions – obama did.

Pork-Chop on May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. Are you suggesting that Obama habitually talks big about solutions and then never follows through in actually delivering them?

Why, that’s just crazy talk!

Yet accurate.

Queasy on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

they seem to overlook the fact that (as far as I can tell) during the bush issues no admins were getting bonuses for complying with the 14 day period set well after bush left.

dmacleo on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Queasy on May 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Indeed. He ran against McCain as the man who could fix the economy….

SailorMark on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Tingles…*sniff*…you stink.

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

So HOW many vets DIED during Bush’s days ?
How many were KILLED BY HUSSEIN ?

burrata on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

“We inherited a whole buncha problems…”

SailorMark on May 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I blame Bush for the Macarena.

John the Libertarian on May 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Where did the money go to? The Tides foundation?

StubbornGreenBurros on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Just out of curiosity, when does Obama actually become President?

307wolverine on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Five+ years to fix a problem that the 2008 Democrat Presumptive Nominee knew about, but it’s not his fault?

A budget that’s through the roof, after almost doubling it’s size, and the problems STILL remain, if not gotten worse? Oh, and what about the problems getting disabled veterans approved with disability ratings–problems that have skyrocketed under this administration, mind you–will THAT get swept under the carpet as well?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

It’s like listening to a whiny 8 year old boy, always trying to weasel out of his misdeeds.
Oh so presidential.

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Obama, as always, is all hat and no cattle. All he has ever done is talk.

TarheelBen on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Blaming Bush is absurd. Obama has had 5 1/2 years to deal with this problem and even ran on it. He gets a pass from far too many people on the economy since it hit rock bottom right as Bush was leaving and Obama was coming into office(although that could change if 2nd quarter GDP is also negative and officially puts us in a recession), but that won’t happen with the VA. These veterans are dying on his watch. The coverups and fraud and occurring on his watch. And the problem has gotten worse and not better on his watch.

Doughboy on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Blaming Bush is absurd. Obama has had 5 1/2 years to deal with this problem and even ran on it. He gets a pass from far too many people on the economy since it hit rock bottom right as Bush was leaving and Obama was coming into office…

Doughboy on May 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Nope. He gets a pass because he is black, and because most sources an average low-info American gets information from are busy licking his behind clean..

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Just out of curiosity, when does Obama actually become President?

307wolverine on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

The only people that will take any blame at all in this Regime will be in the very last days, after they have written proof in-hand for their Presidential pardon.

Short of that, they’ll continue blaming Bush long after they’re out of the White House. I hate to say.

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Wow Is there nothing Bush didn’t do?

sandee on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I’m not sure what getting off the hook means.

Obama’s poll numbers haven’t budged.

There is on other way that Obama can be “on the hook”.

It looks to me like he once again gets off the hook.

Why isn’t his approval number about 5%?

petunia on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Just imagine what would have happened to Sibelius and/or Shinseki if they had screwed up a vacation schedule for the First Family, or a Tee-time?
They’d be sorting paperclips at McMurdo Sound.

Another Drew on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Nope. He gets a pass because he is black, and because most sources an average low-info American gets information from are busy licking his behind clean..

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

There is a racial component. As well as a partisan one thanks to the corrupt media. But if he thinks that’s gonna save his ass with dead veterans piling up, he’s in for a rude awakening. When even Fat Bastard Matthews will no longer spin for you, you know you’re in trouble.

Doughboy on May 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Just out of curiosity, when does Obama actually become President?

307wolverine on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Never,
since he is the king and enjoying every moment of being the king .

burrata on May 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Hey, Ohio voters, aren’t you glad we reelected that tool Sherrod Brown?

WTF? We blew our chance.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Any ideas how the VA employees vote?I have a suspicion.

docflash on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Why, it’s almost as if Dear Liar had no executive experience running even a lemonade stand. If only someone had pointed that out in 2008.

rbj on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Don’t fret, when Matthews’ mask falls off, which happens occasionally, he is quick to put it back on…

mjbrooks3 on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Any ideas how the VA employees vote?I have a suspicion.

docflash on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Early and Often, baby!

Tard on May 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I cant stand this whole incompetence argument that conservatives by into. Whatever you think of his politics, Shinseki was a four star general and he wasnt a paper general like Powell. He has 3 Bronze stars and a Purple heart.

Blaming the VA scandals on incompetence is like blaming shortages in North Korea on incompetence, the inability to get toilet paper in USSR on incompetence. It excuses the fundamental problem government run health care.

swamp_yankee on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Wow Is there nothing Bush didn’t do?

sandee on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Fox News played an apples-and-oranges comparison of USMA receptions yesterday that was still striking.

At Obama’s recent speech outdoors at the USMA, he received a muted reception at best from the grads. Yeah, fine, the applause was muffled too by their gloves. All the same, you’d have thought they’d introduced Henry Waxman.

Then, they played a USMA reception at an indoor gathering late in Bush’s administration (say, December 2008). The cadets went wild. To be sure, different venue, maybe a larger group, and no gloves. All the same, Bush had to delay the start of his remarks before the cadets calmed down.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Ahem. Obama was talking about the “bad news” in 2007. Nor was that the only warning internal to the administration:

Meanwhile Libfreeordie is unavailable for comment.

Judge_Dredd on May 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM Makes me feel good to see/remember when the office of President was present.

This fool we have now must have help going to use/find the bathroom. Who’d known that Jarrett would be so busy.

avagreen on May 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM

There is a racial component. As well as a partisan one thanks to the corrupt media. But if he thinks that’s gonna save his ass with dead veterans piling up, he’s in for a rude awakening. When even Fat Bastard Matthews will no longer spin for you, you know you’re in trouble.

Doughboy on May 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Unless after Benghazi, IRS and F&F scandals you already haven’t, you will be very surprised by how much Obama can get away with. Too many important people are too deeply invested in him to let him slide off into disapproval oblivion. Plus, never underestimate the power of uninformed stupidity and indifference of the masses. After all, our Founding Fathers had the support of whopping 10% of the population, as opposed to 4% of those openly supporting the Brits.

Rix on May 30, 2014 at 4:36 PM

*Totally mangled that last post.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 4:30PM

Makes me feel good to see/remember when respect for the office of President was present.

This fool we have now must have help going to use/find the bathroom. Who’d known that Jarrett would be so busy.

avagreen on May 30, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I ‘m waiting for someone, anyone, in the White House Stenographer’s Pool to ask Obama how many times in the last 5 years he has requested a status on this from the Secretary.

Turn MD Red on May 30, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Just out of curiosity, when does Obama actually become President?

307wolverine on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

When the next competent President fixes the government to get out of the way of the economy. Democrats will claim it was Obama’s stellar leadership decades ago that did it. (Notice I think it will take DECADES for this country to elect another competent President)..

melle1228 on May 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

A recent report from the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since President Obama took office, the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 this past December. That’s a more than 2,000 percent increase.

Having to focus on this just screws up his golf game.

Those numbers are criminal.

tru2tx on May 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM

I cant stand this whole incompetence argument that conservatives by into. Whatever you think of his politics, Shinseki was a four star general and he wasnt a paper general like Powell. He has 3 Bronze stars and a Purple heart

And he was also the idiot who foisted the beret on the whole Army despite it not being a piece of utility head gear.

Blaming the VA scandals on incompetence is like blaming shortages in North Korea on incompetence, the inability to get toilet paper in USSR on incompetence. It excuses the fundamental problem government run health care.

swamp_yankee on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Yeah, we get that, but one of the problems with government run healthcare is the fact that the government doesn’t fire anybody.

melle1228 on May 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM

He’s never managed an enterprise larger than a lemonade stand…..Val must worried.

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Why didn’t the media ask questions about this at every “newser” with the POTUS..?

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Why, it’s almost as if Dear Liar had no executive experience running even a lemonade stand. If only someone had pointed
that out in 2008.

rbj on May 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Whudathunk that a thug polished by terrorists who actually used to spit on vets would turn out to actually put a bounty on the heads of dead vets ?

burrata on May 30, 2014 at 4:58 PM

He has been out for 5 years!!

sorrowen on May 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Just as The One tries to wait out any and all scandals (“There’s nothing to see here.”) until the MSM goes elsewhere, he has done the same, here. Thousands of WWII vets are dying daily. I believe that HE believes that if he waits long enough, it’ll just go away because so many more vets will have died, thus, opening up the roles for the next generation, a cohort of fewer numbers. Yeah, I’m bad…

vnvet on May 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Like Obama’s promises, “Blame Bush” has an expiration date.

College Prof on May 30, 2014 at 5:01 PM

At the VA hospital I work at it wouldn’t matter how much money was poured into the system.

The crappy attitude, laziness, and selfishness of some of our frontline healthcare workers would still be the same.

They know how to milk and manipulate the system. And without strong, consistent managers who will reign in those workers NOTHING will change. Nothing.

We have nurses and techs who are known to FALL ASLEEP on duty. Yes, they have been reportd. No, this is not hidden info. Yes, they stay employed by the VA. They tend to prefer a computer located next to a wall so they can prop themselves when they nap.

In all departments. The documentation is needed so when those workers use the words “I’m going to the union!!” management can be ready with their stack of documents detailing the worker’s write ups.

How bad is it? The quote is from a DU thread.

rw on May 30, 2014 at 5:04 PM

The msm
Is your under cover king bow to the lies.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

You know, he described to me the fact that when he was in theater, he might have to order an attack just based on a phone call from some 20-something-year-old corporal, and he’s got to trust that he’s getting good information, and it’s life or death. And I think he is deeply disappointed in the fact that bad news did not get to him and that the structures weren’t in place for him to identify this problem quickly and fix it.

Never mind that this was actually old bad news, as a retired military member the above attitude really pisses me off. Yes, a commander might have to rely on the word of somebody on the front lines. That doesn’t mean he should sit in his office with a freshly sharpened Ticonderoga #2 and new pad of paper waiting for the phone to ring.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Even Chris Matthews blew up last night over Obama’s purely political focus in the scandal:

The thrill is gone.

/Cheap shot

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM

The thrill is gone.

/Cheap shot

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Chris is one of those abused spouses that always come back and apologize for what they did.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Chris Matthews is criticizing the President? Oh my! Chris Matthews is a racist who wants this president to fail because he is black! The sad thing is, he doesn’t even know it. It’s not really a criticism of political thinking, its his racist DNA.

demigogue on May 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Perhaps the real problem is that VA and the entire Federal Government is too big to be managed effectively?

Nah, let’s just throw a few hundred more billions at the VA, and see if it works better with more SEIU employees managing the thing.

The story says the budget for VA went up 78% since Obama took office. Now some are saying the problem is that there are not enough doctors. I bet the funding increase went something like 2% to hire new doctors, 76% for SEIU employee/administrator bonuses and pay hikes.

s1im on May 30, 2014 at 5:25 PM

He ran against McCain as the man who could fix the economy….

SailorMark on May 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Yes, and Obama’s answer to both problems was exactly the same: spend more money.

So we had the trillion dollar “stimulus” — that stimulated nothing (except the bank accounts of Obama cronies), and the economy still sucks 5-1/2 years later. And the VA got hundreds of billions more dollars under Obama, and is working worse than ever 5-1/2 years later.

There seems to be a pattern here. If only we could figure out what it is . . . .

AZCoyote on May 30, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Hey, Ohio voters, aren’t you glad we reelected that tool Sherrod Brown?

WTF? We blew our chance.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Speak for yourself. I didn’t vote for him. I was disgusted enough when I voted for Portman.

crankyoldlady on May 30, 2014 at 5:45 PM

swamp_yankee on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

+1!

RDH on May 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

I don’t care how many medals Shinseki has. He’s another affirmative action poster child.

crankyoldlady on May 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Blaming Bush for five-plus years of incompetence is nothing more than the same old blame-shifting and lack of accountability in the Obama administration.

But….but….but they do it so well! They are ‘the adults’ who are supposed to be running things. Yet for all their supposed “best and brightest”, they appear to find out one hell of a lot while reading the newspapers.

Can we at least get the money back WE PAID THEM to run these government agencies?

GarandFan on May 30, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Bush???? Dude, that was like 6 years ago.

pc253 on May 30, 2014 at 6:02 PM

The story says the budget for VA went up 78% since Obama took office. Now some are saying the problem is that there are not enough doctors. I bet the funding increase went something like 2% to hire new doctors, 76% for SEIU employee/administrator bonuses and pay hikes.

s1im on May 30, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I can think of quite a few more things on which that money was likely spent. Such mission critical items as fancy new office furniture, new landscaping, remodeling of lobbies and executive suites and such, “training” and “team building” junkets to Vegas, the Bahamas, Hawaii, etc., green energy boondoggles, …

Gator Country on May 30, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Actually, I’d like to know what the big military guy, John McCain proposed to straighten out this mess. He knew what was going on, it happened in his own district. there were reports last year about Phoenix, where was McCain. John McCain, who keeps wanting to throw the tea party under the bus and complains about whacko birds in the Senate, what has he done for the veterans he claims to love and for his country lately? Anyone? Anyone?

bflat879 on May 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Blame Bush? I assume you are joking although I would not put it pass this administration to try.

Ellis on May 30, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Shinseki was was let go..yes fired..because the dems. can’t afford to lose the Vet vote

falsecast on May 30, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Shinseki was was let go..yes fired..because the dems. can’t afford to lose the Vet vote

falsecast on May 30, 2014 at 7:06 PM

At least not until they are able to kill them all off.

slickwillie2001 on May 30, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Parents of Vet Treated at Phoenix VA Facility Read His Suicide Note on Air

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin broke down on air Friday afternoon as the parents of Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers read his suicide letter. Somers wrote in the note that the VA failed him.

Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served in over 400 combat missions. He suffered from fibromyalgia and PTSD and killed himself last year after he received treatment from the Phoenix VA hospital. He wrote that his body had become “nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems.”

Somers’ parents read an excerpt of his suicide note on CNN Friday afternoon: “Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the State of the Union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic but rather by our system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.”

It took three months for Somers to receive initial treatment because the VA was confused over his status as a member of the National Guard. He was shuffled around the system, going from the Phoenix VA hospital to a Department of Defense hospital before the Phoenix VA finally agreed to give him care.

“He was only seen because we had a connection at the facility and they were able to let him in,” said Howard Somers, his father.

Resist We Much on May 30, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Why isn’t his approval number about 5%?

petunia on May 30, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Because he’s black. Now shut up.

Harbingeing on May 30, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I just had this vision of how funny my boss would think it was if there was a problem of this magnitude and I went to him and said, no, no, this was an inherited problem. I know I would not be around to tell him that twice. Yet, here we are hearing the toss the blame at someone else story all over again. You’d think after 5 years the president would be embarrassed to use that excuse again.

scalleywag on May 30, 2014 at 8:37 PM

what has he done for the veterans he claims to love and for his country lately? Anyone? Anyone?

bflat879 on May 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

No kidding. He’s just another feckless rump. I have no idea what he does except tie up a seat where someone more effective is needed.

scalleywag on May 30, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Because he’s black. Now shut up.

Harbingeing on May 30, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I coughed up a good sip of wine on that hahaha

scalleywag on May 30, 2014 at 8:42 PM

You’d think after 5 years the president would be embarrassed to use that excuse again.

scalleywag on May 30, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Why should he be embarrassed? He says it, the MSM poodles unquestioningly parrot it, and his low-info parasite base just laps it up and demands more.

Gator Country on May 30, 2014 at 9:00 PM

In my younger years, I wish I’d had the wisdom and fortitude (to hold my nose)in order to rise amongst and on top of the other worker bees to the highest seat (for wherever I was working) so that all I had to do was to decorate my chair with my a$$ and whine about being uninformed when confronted with mistakes being made by my underlings.

What a job to have!

Ohhhh…the wisdom of hindsight. /

avagreen on May 30, 2014 at 9:01 PM

How bad is it? The quote is from a DU thread.

rw on May 30, 2014 at 5:04 PM

The comment thread just lists the first part of the lead sentence, and I didn’t spot the one you quoted, but it’s easy to see why the Left and the Right just kind of talk past each other on these scandals: they are literally working from information and interpretations that do not have any overlap except for the existence of the precipitating event, and that just barely.

Yes, they really do believe that the VA problems, even as they exist today after declining precipitously on Obama’s watch, are entirely the fault of the Republicans.

AesopFan on May 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Resist We Much on May 30, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Thank you for the link.

At least there is one human being working at CNN.

avagreen on May 30, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Like Obama’s promises, “Blame Bush” has an expiration date.

College Prof on May 30, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Not true! There is no statute of limitations on Republicans and there is no accountability date for Dems. The media will be carrying Obama’s image for him even after this debacle just as they did after his other scandals. Just the other day Elenore Clift was praising Harry Reid for his effective lying about Romney and GOP Senate candidates. Truth has no value to the progressive left unless it helps the cause and deceit is not a disgrace as long as it helps the cause.

KW64 on May 30, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Just out of curiosity, when does Obama actually become President?

307wolverine on May 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

.
He won’t accomplish that until his third term.

ExpressoBold on May 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

We’re all racist now!!!

(even Chris Matthews)

landlines on May 30, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Has anyone seen a president blame so many things on the president who served before him as much as this idiot has? Lincoln had a whole lot more problems and I have not read anywhere at anytime when Lincoln blamed his dire situation on Buchannon. sp. Lincoln went in and just did the job he had to do. This Obama just makes me want to puke everyday and have I ever mentioned on how much I don’t like him?

garydt on May 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Movie over! Back.

coolrepublica on May 31, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Wow this place has been deserted. Lol

coolrepublica on May 31, 2014 at 12:23 AM

I guess I have the place all to myself.

Blah blah blah. Adooken! It’s me Mario!

coolrepublica on May 31, 2014 at 12:25 AM

Everyone has been banned from hotair except ME. Hahaha

coolrepublica on May 31, 2014 at 12:29 AM

one less problem. Ariana Grande.

coolrepublica on May 31, 2014 at 12:32 AM

So this was all known in 2005. It’s all that e-e-e-evil Bush, ya know.

Except that the Dems took Congress in 2006 – in part because of this. Bush lost Congress over his mismanagement of the government. The Dems had both Houses for four years, and did nothing.

By the way – how many of the Democrats who were in Congress in 2006 are still there? And how many Republicans are still there?

What a bunch of whiny, pious hypocrites, the whole d**n gang of ‘em.

ss396 on May 31, 2014 at 12:33 AM

they seem to overlook the fact that (as far as I can tell) during the bush issues no admins were getting bonuses for complying with the 14 day period set well after bush left.

dmacleo on May 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Exactly!

They weren’t just manipulating and falsifying numbers to look better, they were “earning” bonuses for goals they didn’t achieve. That’s fraud, embezzlement.

They are beyond reform and the VA can’t/won’t fire managers. They need to be prosecuted and sent to prison.

Adjoran on May 31, 2014 at 12:48 AM

The President was merely confused in his programs.
He ran the VA hospitals thinking THEY were where the ” shovel ready jobs” were. And thanks to his complete incompetence – apparently many of our damaged and wounded veterans were made “shovel ready”
This President has been a complete and utter embarrassment at his job, and his incompetence has truly entered the criminal level.

builderD on May 31, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Actually, I’d like to know what the big military guy, John McCain proposed to straighten out this mess. He knew what was going on, it happened in his own district. there were reports last year about Phoenix, where was McCain. John McCain, who keeps wanting to throw the tea party under the bus and complains about whacko birds in the Senate, what has he done for the veterans he claims to love and for his country lately? Anyone? Anyone?

bflat879 on May 30, 2014 at 6:22 PM

In 2008, McCain proposed wholesale reform of the VA, Obama said we needed to spend more. Obama won, we spent 78% more, over $245 billion more than previously planned, on the VA.

McCain’s office has handled over 2000 Arizona veterans’ cases since January of 2013.

He is currently proposing limited private vouchers for vets who can’t get care (the only real solution is to eliminate the VA entirely, and just cover the vets’ deductibles and co-pays under federal employee insurance, but McCain hasn’t gone there yet).

All of which, and plenty more, is available in seconds with any major search engine. Or you can just keep throwing poop without bothering.

Adjoran on May 31, 2014 at 12:56 AM

But according to VA inspector general reports and other documents that have gone overlooked in the current firestorm, federal officials knew about the scheme at the heart of the scandal—falsifying VA records to cover up treatment delays—years before Obama became president. VA officials first learned of the problems in 2005, when George W. Bush was entering his second term, and the problems went unfixed for the duration of his presidency.

Jim Nicholson, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2005-2007), said on CNN (I believe) that during the last years of the Bush Administration the VA was putting in place a new system for appointments, at a cost of over $200 million, but the Obama Administration abandoned it.

J_Crater on May 31, 2014 at 12:58 AM

OT but still in my craw.
NPR says Obowmao was a ‘Professor of Constitutional Law’ … I’ve both heard and read this elsewhere.
I know college professors. They work might hard to gain that title. Each one has pages and pages of publications to their credit. (I’m speaking of the engineer and science types) but I’m certain the publish or perish holds for all ‘Professors’.
So … I’m asking again (and again) of the Presstitutes in the State Sponsored Media, show me Obama’s Circulum Vitae.
That cannot be HIDDEN by any court action, damn it!
Otherwise STFU about his being a PROFESSOR.

We already know he is a COMPLETE AND UTTER FRAUD.

Let’s bring back a poll test for potential voters.
Let citizens who can locate their own derrierre’s with a mirror and a flashlight vote. The Gimmedat’s will have to suffer.

Missilengr on May 31, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Like Obama’s promises, “Blame Bush” has an expiration date.

College Prof on May 30, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Unfortunately it will probably coincide with this idiot preezy last day in office.

jimver on May 31, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Well now as Reagan would say, are all of you who sat at home on your principles on election day 2012 satisfied and happy? I hope so. But the good news is if you all do it again in 2016 we won’t have to worry about it anymore————————-ever!

AReadyRepub on May 31, 2014 at 3:07 AM

The reality is that this process of delaying needed care until death solves the problem is endemic to socialized medicine and the core of the plan to save money with Obamacare.

The inhumanity of declaring someone not eligible for necessary care because of lack of productivity borders on blasphemy, and reeks of the same inhumane agenda that abortion encompasses.
We now believe and support the same destructive notion that there is no special dignity to mankind–just utilitarian purpose.
We did fire God, and booed him diabolically at the democratic convention.
Perhaps America will reap the unfathomable coast of that in the near future. Right now it is just needy sick people that are carrying the load and the suffering of Godless socialism.

Don L on May 31, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Obama was elected to solve problems,make things better. Not blame others.
All he does is blame others and everything he touches turns to sh*t.

albill on May 31, 2014 at 6:41 AM

Shinsiki needed to go but I suspect his actions, or inactions in this case, were driven by the false information he was being fed from VA managers. These are the same people who were getting annual performance bonus payments based on, among other measures, meeting the patient wait time targets that had been set. Conspiring with others to report false information in order to get that bonus is fraud.

To clean up the VA these “career staff” and lower level managers and employees who participated in the wait time manipulations should be charged with fraud and frog marched off to jail. If people died as a result of their fraud then the charges should be upgraded.

Nomas on May 31, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Well, it does seem that those who elected Obama…twice…did do something historic.

Elected someone who could get away with a whole bunch of scandalous behavior (FnF, Benghazi, IRS, ACA passage, APGate, etc..) with a complicit Press. Not because of any inherent qualifications or qualities, but because his skin happened to be darker that that of most other white people. (After all, Obama IS half white, racially speaking. His mother was a mix of English, German, Swiss, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh.)

Have they gone one scandal too far? Maybe. Not making sure that the VA was running smoothly and efficiently, that our veterans were receiving timely and quality care, before pointing to it as a role model for Obamacare was a big mistake.

Let’s hope big enough to take him down. I don’t know, since any one of the past scandals should have been enough.

I blame the “Press” for failing in their duty as the watchdog on government in large part. And, of course, those that think a large centralized government can “do things” outside of a limited scope without harm. History has shown that never is the case.

ProfShadow on May 31, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Well now as Reagan would say, are all of you who sat at home on your principles on election day 2012 satisfied and happy? I hope so. But the good news is if you all do it again in 2016 we won’t have to worry about it anymore————————-ever!

AReadyRepub on May 31, 2014 at 3:07 AM

You are probably right about 2016 being a critical election, but since we now hear that Boehner is reportedly planning to bring his amnesty plan up for vote after the Republican primaries are over plus who knows what else he and Cantor may have in mind I will ask, to quote Hillary,

“What difference at this point does it make?

“.

Nomas on May 31, 2014 at 7:54 AM

There’s a solution model to be found in the apartment rental industry. Landlords are held responsible for repairs needed to maintain the integrity of apartments. Because some landlords were loathe to do so in favor of pocketing rents, in Illinois (and probably other states, but I don’t have specific knowledge), if after a certain time interval repairs aren’t made, tenants may outsource the repairs and deduct the cost from their rent.

Surely a similar solution could be made here…. if a veteran can’t get an appointment or can’t get treated in a reasonable time frame (30 days?), they should be able to see the medical provider of their choice and have the bills sent to the VA.

Chitownmom on May 31, 2014 at 8:06 AM

What did they do with the money? Pay for union work for starters:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/379051/while-vets-wait-va-employees-do-union-work-jillian-kay-melchior

WannabeAnglican on May 31, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Exactly!

They weren’t just manipulating and falsifying numbers to look better, they were “earning” bonuses for goals they didn’t achieve. That’s fraud, embezzlement.

They are beyond reform and the VA can’t/won’t fire managers. They need to be prosecuted and sent to prison.

Adjoran on May 31, 2014 at 12:48 AM

I am now at the point where I don’t want them jailed, I want them dead.

dmacleo on May 31, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Missilengr on May 31, 2014 at 2:26 AM

as you know he wasn’t one, he was a lecturer.
maybe he also is part cherokee like warren…

dmacleo on May 31, 2014 at 8:47 AM

I wonder what Obama will do when he finally becomes POTUS….

Key West Reader on May 31, 2014 at 9:26 AM

“The president in explaining the problems of the VA seemed to sound a familiar theme that he did during the HHS situation, that he did during the GAO issue, which he did during the IRS, which is that its a systemic bureaucratic issue, out-dated technology in one case,” [Chuck] Todd said. “In another case its people that didn’t, there wasn’t enough manpower over here, in another case its middle management not getting the issue up to the top.”

“Is there now a concern that essentially if there was any department that we all spent ten days scrutinizing, we’d find out it was just as mismanaged, just as bureaucratically a mess? Is he [Obama] concerned that this technology issue that he has identified at HHS, that he has identified at the VA is systemic around the government? and if that’s the case is it time to front load and do something about the management of government?”

J_Crater on May 31, 2014 at 9:35 AM

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