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July 30, 2015

Today’s Spotlight: VA Secretary Confirmation Hearing

VA Secretary Nominee Robert McDonald Meets With OH Sen. Sherrod Brown

McDonald speaks with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on July 10 on Capitol Hill. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee this afternoon holds a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Robert A. McDonald to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is likely that many questions for McDonald will focus on the VA’s health care organizational culture and management.

However, today’s session is not likely to reprise the largely laudatory 2009 confirmation hearing of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The January 2009 hearing did not refer to any problems with patient treatment wait times. The only senator at the hearing hinting at cultural problems within the agency was Washington Democrat Patty Murray, who asked Shinseki:

And I wanted you to share with this committee how, you as secretary, can build within the VA a culture that focuses on preventing — or on providing — for veterans’ needs rather than sort of avoiding public-relation disasters? How do you change that culture and what will we see under your administration?


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  1. Jim S.

    July 23, 2014
    5:37 a.m.

    Tens of Thousands of Veterans have died over these decades of, by those 99% served, Poser Patriots, ignoring and denying the many issues from Test Vets to PTS to Agent Orange to Gulf War Syndrome to recent Burn Pit Contamination’s and that’s an extremely short list, and now those served are recognizing deaths in these recent ‘scandal?’ times. Which were finally being addressed by the Shinseki Veterans Administration and with help from this entire Executive Administrations Cabinet when then can under their charges, certainly Not By The Peoples Reps In Congress or State Legislatures, obstructing in the budgets needed!!

    ‘Congress {Conservatives in Both House’s, DeJa-Vu!!} Scrambling to Lower Cost of Bill to Fix Veterans’ Health Care’

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    There is only one branch of the government that’s been consistent, now for over five yrs., in helping us Veterans, long ignored or denied issues by those served, as well as Military personal and their Families, the Executive Branch and it’s Cabinet, because those served through their representatives won’t and wouldn’t previously!! Trying finally to build what the Country promised, decades and wars from ignored their responsibility, and the conservative ideology is to privatize, bringing in all the problems and bottom line corporate executive mentality, for corporate profit off the peoples treasury. They don’t control the Countries purse strings and the VA is the Responsibility of the Country Served, the Poser Patriots who use Veterans as political pawns!!

    “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

    Ahhh yes, it’s just so easy to, Peoples Representatives, Rubber Stamp, wealth enhancing through investments, War Costs that are all borrowed, no offsets mentioned, on our credit with interest payments and in these recent two kept off the Countries books till Executive Administrations changed!! Then use same, Political Poser Patriotic Theater, for the decades of ‘scandals’ created by ignoring the Veterans of who served in and the issues from and doing patch work on which create more ‘scandals’ to use, including making sure the agency stays years behind the technology advances causing extremely costly problems that are then obstructed in fixing!

    Meanwhile, DeJa- Vu all over again, the Veterans Bill sits in the House going no where!! They got the Gen. “Mission Accomplished” , their, problem solved!!!

    Poser Patriots, the 99% Served, especially conservative ideology, like it that way, been so for decades and wars from continuing the stand for them flag waving patriotic free wars, Afghanistan and Iraq still not paid for, and ignoring the results from. Decades of under funding, while ignoring many issues, the peoples responsibility the VA. Still grossly under funded, two tax cuts with these wars, in just recent history as Shinseki, with help from the entire Executive Branch, sought to bring it into the 21st century and as the people served promised from beginning, budget still mostly borrowed!!

    Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • Jim S.

      July 23, 2014
      5:38 a.m.

      With those like a Miller, in the House holding attack only hearings, the press should be asking him what is done after the so many attack hearings, his job to make sure the agencies are helped by the people represented, and Burr as minority using attack only questions, in the Senate, both ranking members of Veterans Affairs Committee’s, as leads in the continued obstruction!! Along with the National Veterans orgs, supporting same types, decades long not demanding the Country served Sacrifice as they demand those few serving do while not supporting us Veterans on the issues that are ignored or denied exists in same fighting for what the Country has always promised and those Poser Patriots blame the VA their responsibility to fully fund and pay for the flag waving wars as well as the results!!

      Meanwhile under the bushes:

      ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 – ‘Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans’
      “DeLara’s case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.”

      ‘Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort’

      ‘The War On Military Records’

      “Reid: House GOP holding up VA talks”

      And Who Says Politics Doesn’t Play From Within the Agencies to the Branches
      Especially to the Legislative to keep the costs, or create costly ‘scandals’, way down in the VA.

      Oh and they got Bonuses too!! While, once again and for decades, nothing was done by Congress to help the VA but the usual, underfunding or seeking cuts to the budgets and especially nothing by the conservative controlled congresses under the bushco, just as they, countries Poser Patriots and the Media, wanted while waging two long wars!!

      Prior too this present Executive and Veterans administrations:

      October 23, 2008 – And now VA investigators are trying to figure out if this one-time survey points to the likelihood that documents have been improperly destroyed for months or even years.

      “Whatever this problem is, it didn’t just start in the last two weeks,” said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. “It’d be unreasonable to assume that. Who knows what’s been destroyed.”

      The documents, which didn’t have duplicates at the VA, would have been critical in deciding veteran pension and disability claims. As a result, many veterans are asking whether their delayed or denied claims were affected by lost paperwork. read more>>>

      Oct 16, 2008 – VA claims found in piles to be shredded

      October 24, 2008 – House panel will target VA shredding

      February 11, 2009 – Veterans’ Claims Found in Shredder Bins

      USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

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