Patterico's Pontifications

5/29/2014

VA Administration Interim Report Released

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A much anticipated VA Office of Inspector General interim report was released yesterday. It is so damning that it seems highly likely that before the weekend is over, Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki will have stepped down from his position to spend more time with his family. However, there are those arguing that his stepping down would be more for show and not solve the problem, even suggesting resignation would simply be a convenient distraction to mollify an angry public and possibly sidetrack a criminal investigation.

Also, with the release of the report, Sen. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, called on Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a criminal investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is so damning that even the Democrat leadership is calling for an investigation. (One assumes Nancy Pelosi has now discovered what the actual definition of “scandal” is). Less than two weeks ago, Holder was at a wait-and-see point.

“Well, obviously these reports if they’re true are unacceptable, and the allegations are being taken very seriously by the administration. But I don’t have any announcements at this time with regard to anything that the Justice Department is doing,” Holder told reporters at a press conference.

“This is something on our radar screen at this point, but there is an investigation being done by the [VA] inspector general, and we’ll see what happens as a result of that inquiry and other information that comes to light in some form or fashion,” Holder added.

In light of the interim report, it is difficult to see how he could not open an investigation.

Here is a summary of the interim report.

The report focuses only on Phoenix, Ariz. area VA hospitals, but in Phoenix alone, about 1,700 veterans were waiting for a doctor’s appointment but were not on the electronic wait list for the VA. Simply put, these vets had gone to the VA and tried to schedule an appointment, but were not put into the scheduling system. The explanation is that some staff at the Phoenix VA would place vets in the system only when they would be placed into an open appointment. Thus, when they were scheduled, the Phoenix VA could claim that each of these vets, many of whom likely waited months, had a wait time of “zero days.”

Other staff would simply delete doctor visits they thought were unnecessary. Still others would simply change the “requested appointment date” without telling the patient.

All of this sleight-of-hand allowed the Phoenix VA to boast in 2013 that vets waited an average of 24 days for their first appointment, which would look normal. In reality, yesterday’s IG report shows that these vets waited an average of 115 days for an appointment—almost four months! Not only do such underhanded tactics hinder efforts to better manage the VA, they also risk veterans falling through the cracks. Imagine being sick, calling the VA to schedule an appointment and being told “we will call you back when we have an appointment available” – and then they never call back.

–Dana

76 Responses to “VA Administration Interim Report Released”

  1. i read today that poor pitiful bohnerpoofter, a noted Team R leader, couldn’t quite come to the conclusion that this scandal “rises to the level” as you americans like to say

    please to explain?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. *boehnerpoofter* I mean

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. here’s a link for to try to understand poor pitiful boehnerpooter’s Very Complex Conundrum

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/29/boehner-i-will-continue-to-reserve-judgment-on-shinseki-for-some-reason/

    it’s a real headscratcher i tell you what

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. *boehnerpoofter* I mean to say

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. Nice covering fire, Mr Feet. As usual.

    Simon Jester (82d369)

  6. thank you Mr. Jester i been practicing on my atari

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Here is what Boehner said,

    “I’m going to continue to reserve judgement on General Shinseki. The question I ask myself is, is his resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem, is it going to help us find out what is really going on? And the answer I keep getting is no.”

    Dana (9f8700)

  8. Well here is the thing, as the Gateway link on the other thread, a great many people were aware what was going on, this will require firing Shinseki, replacing him with a competent executive and aggressive oversight, with benchmarks every six months or so,

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Focusing on firing Shinseki seems counter-productive. Obama knew of this when he was campaigning the first time. He can claim that VA was a hallmark of his Presidency, but cannot point to one thing where this was ever addressed, until it blew up.

    JD (78609b)

  10. Who would Agent Orange stick in Shinseki’s place. None of Team Obama are competent and Obama does not want somebody competent finding the skeletons and fixing problems.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. Shinseki’s resignation letter to be released by WH late into the 6-o’clock news shows.
    Very Late!

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  12. narciso (3fec35) — 5/29/2014 @ 8:00 pm

    There is no place in this administration for a competent executive –
    can’t show up the boss after all.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  13. Things have gone from bad to worse for Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) ever since someone leaked footage of him passionately kissing a woman who is definitely not his wife.

    [...]

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) even weighed in on the matter, saying that he expects “all members to be held to the highest ethical standards, and this is no different.”

    “He’s got decisions that he has to make,” Boehner added, referring to McAllister possibly resigning.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. I have changed my mind about eliminating the VA as health care provider and making it instead a health care payer because we need low-level, undertalented, undereducated, undermotivated, underpaid, doctors and nurses to give the great mass of malingering goldbricks we call veterans the profligate waste of health care resources they have been used to and if we let them loose in the normal health care system it would overwhelm it and bring down the quality while raising the cost for everybody and maybe even bankrupt it and that is the sad truth that no politician and no AMA and no other medical group and no medical school and no nursing school administrator will tell you.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. if you entrust your healthcares to the hands of the inept fascist American government i just can’t feel sorry for you when it blows up in your face

    too bad so sad, loser

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  16. yes, I know I was speaking of the non bearded spock universe, silly me,

    narciso (3fec35)

  17. Everyone seems focused on the 1700 number but to me the red flags from the report are three:

    1. The 1,700 who were not on any waitlist, plus the 1,400 who were on the electronic waitlist but had no appointment scheduled mean that the total of vets not being served in Phoenix is 3,100.

    2. The false reporting from PHX to VA national. The authors of the report are very circumspect about saying anything, but report over and over again where the actual statistic on the ground is some staggering figure, but a much lower number was self-reported by PHX to the DC managers.

    3. The report says that they’re taking pains not to investigate any of the claims of injury, death, or just plain bad outcomes yet. Likewise, they have not even considered whether laws were broken.

    And of course, the report is the result of an IG zone-flood in Phoenix alone, and meanwhile the same misconduct has been reported in literally dozens (real literally, not Biden literally) of VA medical facilities. It’s almost certain that the Phoenix debacle is replicated everywhere because the incentives were national, and the VA competed its managers against each other, meaning that to be competitive you had to cheat. Fully half their incentive pay was keyed to shortening the waitlist. And everybody collected the incentive pay.

    Finally, the VA’s defenders make several claims, including: reduced resources, increased workload, flood of new vets.

    1. The VA budget has gone up 175% since 2009 according to my veterans’ group (SF Association).
    2. VA patient load, now at about 9 million, has gone up 38% in that same period.
    3. The new vets are less the load than new benefits pols have given to older vets. For example, most normal diseases of aging and sedentary lifestyle are now “service connected” in VN vets based on some spurious Agent Orange claims.
    4. The new vets have been more than offset by deaths in the much larger WWII and Korean War cohorts, and the actuarial tables are chewing on Vietnam vets now, too.
    5. 90% of the WWII vets once under care of VA have passed on.

    Shinseki will probably walk the plank tomorrow too late for the news. This solves approximately 0% of the problem, as all these problems have been caused by career, civil-service employees. They can’t be fired. They might be able to be indicted but all the “investigations” so far (including this one) have been based on the idea of doing damage control, not taking scalps.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e11465)

  18. Here’s the problem, or at least a glimpse of it. http://patterico.com/2014/05/27/everyone-is-a-winner/ It’s systemic. Shinseki will be nothing more than a fall guy. Might as well blame the boiler room stoker in the Titanic for not sticking a wad of oil waste in the hole.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. Inept pension-swilling loser-ass Shinseki will be nothing more than a fall guy in a corrupt incompetent administration what has a decided lack of fall guys to date.

    Even that Kansas governor hoochie got out with some dignity.

    I ask you how did this happen.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  20. It’s almost certain that the Phoenix debacle is replicated everywhere because the incentives were national, and the VA competed its managers against each other, meaning that to be competitive you had to cheat. Fully half their incentive pay was keyed to shortening the waitlist. And everybody collected the incentive pay.

    Yes.

    Dana (9f8700)

  21. Yes, this is what is known as ‘bending the curve’ downward,

    http://therightscoop.com/sarah-palin-the-va-is-a-death-panel-for-our-veterans/

    it does seem in keeping with that infamous DHS report

    narciso (3fec35)

  22. oh good Sarah Palin is involved

    I was worried nobody with real juice was willing to tackle this important problem.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  23. The American Legion has tracked VA Epidemic Map of Mismanagement
    (mapped out). Definitely not an isolated occurrence.

    Dana (9f8700)

  24. Tell me if anyone in high or even midlevel public office cared about this, going back to 2012.

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. 19. happyfeet (8ce051) — 5/29/2014 @ 8:35 pm

    Inept pension-swilling loser-ass Shinseki will be nothing more than a fall guy

    They seem to trying to get rid of him. The White House told CBS News just before the broadcast at 6:30 that they thought that could resolve things.

    All that Shinseki is is incompetent. He didn’t orchestrate any of this. Now he got as little bit interested in this. All that his resigning would do is leave all the people who orchestrated this in charge with no boss over them.

    Speaker of House John Boehner said he’s been told this wouldn’t help, and he’s not for it, snd he’s right. He shouldn’t be replaced unless he’s replaced by somebody who knows how to deak with this, and will.

    The Veterans Health Administration is probably roten from top to bottom, with exceoptions maybe in certain locations. The payment part is probably not very good either. That leaves the cemeteries.

    I ask you how did this happen

    Bill Clinton reorganized the VA.

    But this probably has roots going back to the Reagan Adminsistration and earlier.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  26. It’s Courtney Massengales all the way down.

    htom (412a17)

  27. 15. if you entrust your healthcares to the hands of the inept fascist American government i just can’t feel sorry for you when it blows up in your face

    too bad so sad, loser
    happyfeet (8ce051) — 5/29/2014 @ 8:19 pm

    In case you haven’t noticed, the vast majority of peeps didn’t entrust their healthcare to the feds lately.

    We’ve been court-ordered into the program. You too, Mr. feets.

    To my mind, that changes things.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  28. Shinkesi needs to resign so food stamp will be accountable going forward.

    I don’t understand why Shinkesi does not understand this.

    I don’t understand why Boehnerpoofter does not understand this.

    I don’t understand why Sarah Palin understands this.

    I also don’t understand why anyone would entrust their healthcares to the ludicrously incompetent and corrupt american government.

    I understand how to make fabulous mole.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  29. Mr. 57 the pervert Roberts court is not the boss of me.

    It exists for entertainment purposes only anymore.

    In the year 2014 the ludicrously inept US government can’t put a man in space. It can’t face down noted boy band aficionado Vladimir Putin. It can’t make a safe reliable car. It can’t build a pipeline. It can’t make a tasty school lunch.

    And I shan’t be expecting it to take care of my healthcares.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  30. happyfeet @ 29 In the year 2014 the ludicrously inept US government can’t put a man in space.

    And they have no place to go anyway, except the space station.

    The United States can’t even put a satellite in space without using made-in-Russia rocket engines. There are nine left.

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  31. 29. …In the year 2014 the ludicrously inept US government can’t put a man in space. It can’t face down noted boy band aficionado Vladimir Putin. It can’t make a safe reliable car. It can’t build a pipeline. It can’t make a tasty school lunch.

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 5/29/2014 @ 9:36 pm

    How much you wanna bet it can build an IRS-based gestapo?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  32. Summon the SMOD, we have NASA focused on muslim outreach, (ironically pandering, since Arabs were among the most prominent astronomers and navigators in the pre Renaissance era) focusing on phantom Sky Dragon breathing global warming, delusional Kevorkians of coal at EPA, idiot Senator at the Pentagon, morons at the NHTSA, what have you,

    narciso (3fec35)

  33. No doubt caused by those low level employees in Cincinnati.

    Jim (145e10)

  34. i already waxed poetic about Mr. Andrew Joseph Stack the Third earlier today Mr. 57

    and I have no doubt in my muddied soul that when it comes down to voting on the establishment of the IRS-based gestapo that Mr. Boehnerpoofter will achieve many significant concessions in exchange.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  35. The United States can’t even put a satellite in space without using made-in-Russia rocket engines.

    this is the actual for real sort of thing what should come with a trigger warning

    but try explaining that to america’s semi-post-pubescent hyper-privileged ivy league trash set

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  36. Either way you will be participating, Mr. feets.

    Unless your Mountain Man skills are better than I perceive.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  37. No, pikachu, he was in part why the Tea Party was targeted, the men who planned the deaths of 3,000 Americans get better care than our veterans, better legal assistance as well.

    narciso (3fec35)

  38. i know how to subscribe to outdoors-related catalogs and magazines

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  39. Don’t worry. I just installed a gourmet burrito vending machine in my mountain stronghold. Just in case we have to team up, Mr. feets.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  40. Can you shoot a crossbow and make a red wine glaze for the roast beast?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  41. 35. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dispute-with-russia-over-ukraine-threatens-u-s-space-program/

    ….About half of all U.S. military rockets launch with the help of Russian engines, including the Air Force rocket that carried a U.S. spy satellite last week….

    …But the 15-year arrangement between the U.S. and the Russians is now threatened by the fallout from the crisis in Ukraine. The U.S. imposed sanctions on some Russian officials, including Dmitry Rogozin, the man who helps run the space and defense program. He’s now threatening to ban Russian rocket engines on U.S. military flights. On Twitter, he suggested the U.S. deliver its astronauts to the international space station using a trampoline rather than Russian spacecrafts..

    There are 16 Russian engines currently in the U.S. If the country doesn’t get more, nine missions will be delayed, costing the government $2.5 billion, according to the RD-180 Availability Risk Mitigation Study.

    California-based SpaceX will unveil a new spacecraft Thursday night that it hopes will carry humans. The U.S. government is in the process of certifying SpaceX for military missions, but even if it does, there would still be launch delays without Russian engines.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  42. i can do a balsamic reduction Mr. 57

    balsamic reductions go a long way in food stamp america don’t let nobody tell you different

    balsamic reductions can take the darkness from the pit of the night

    and turn into a beacon burning endlessly bright

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  43. Well, I was looking to team up for my guerrilla war with someone who could make a nice cajun rub for the small game and a red wine glaze for the larger game. Perhaps even a Tuscan rub for the inevitable ducks.

    But I guess the balsamic reduction will do. Besides, it’s too late to get the full refund if I remove the gourmet burrito vending machine.

    Warfare doesn’t have to be uncivilized. That’s why Swiss army knives come with corkscrews, Mr. feets.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  44. warfare today mostly involves chinese hackers and russian boy band aficionados and guarding against the naivite of the loser you momos put in your white house

    plus google bought an israeli killbot manufacturing company

    personally, warfare scares the piss out of me

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  45. Do NOT let Obama get away with making Shinseki the scapegoat or it will all disappear under the rug.

    These people – and those at over 40 other facilities, at least – weren’t just faking the numbers to look better. They were getting hefty bonuses year after year based on their phony “improvements” to wait times.

    Where I come from, we call that criminal fraud or embezzlement. There are LOTS of people who need not only to be fired, but to go to jail.

    Estragon (ada867)

  46. 44. warfare today mostly involves chinese hackers and russian boy band aficionados and guarding against the naivite of the loser you momos put in your white house

    plus google bought an israeli killbot manufacturing companywarfare today mostly involves chinese hackers and russian boy band aficionados and guarding against the naivite of the loser you momos put in your white house

    plus google bought an israeli killbot manufacturing company

    personally, warfare scares the piss out of me
    happyfeet (8ce051) — 5/29/2014 @ 10:34 pm

    personally, warfare scares the piss out of me

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 5/29/2014 @ 10:34 pm

    Sure. But what if involved capturing decent vineyards or Scottish distilleries?

    Steve57 (61329d)

  47. http://www.ussphoebe.com/NAVY-HUMOR

    The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men.

    …Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

    …She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

    …Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

    …The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.

    Steve57 (61329d)

  48. It’s only an ‘interim’ report, it’s not a Report-Report.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  49. 45. Estragon on 5/29/2014 @ 10:39 pm

    Do NOT let Obama get away with making Shinseki the scapegoat or it will all disappear under the rug.

    There seems to be a real intention to try to make getting rid of Shinseki the end.

    This is NOT a recent scandal. And the only thing Shinseki did as just not kno about it.

    Other people did, and they would be left in place.

    These people – and those at over 40 other facilities, at least – weren’t just faking the numbers to look better.

    That was only their incentive.

    Having the numbers look so good had a purpose.

    Undersecretary for Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert Petzel in 2011 reduced the goal from 30 days to 14 days in 2011.

    This looks like an attempt to get people not to pay attention.

    Basically, the Veterans Health Administration functioned as a way for people to make money while doing as little as possible.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  50. If I heard it right on ABC radio, in his farewell speech Shinseki said he’s firing the Director of the Phoenix VA (good), and … wait for it … the VA will stop tracking patient appointment wait times as an evaluator of performance. WTF? It’s ok to be lazy; it’s the VA’s fault for putting the deadbeats in a position where they had to lie about it to get their bonuses?

    nk (dbc370)

  51. A bureaucracy cannot function without secret police (I read that in a book). I would like to be put in charge of a platoon of stool pigeons that I would infiltrate into the VA with fake credentials and their job would be to document absenteeism, tardiness, leaving early, lunch breaks, coffee breaks, and general goofing off. Strategically placed hidden video and audio too. All terminations would be with the employee cleaning out his desk, and escorted out, under guard, without any explanation to the other employees, for a little touch of terror. Think that would work?

    nk (dbc370)

  52. The spin now is, that the VA didn’t hire enough doctors.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/us/doctor-shortages-cited-in-va-hospital-waits.html?_r=0

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  53. ….the annual performance reviews used to determine raises, bonuses, promotions and other benefits. Instituted widely 20 years ago….

    That is, by President S&Lick Willie

    to increase accountability for weak employees as well as reward strong ones, those reviews and their attendant benefits may have become perverse incentives for manipulating wait-time data, some lawmakers and experts say.

    They were probably intended from the very beginning as perverse incentives.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  54. Criminal laws and stiff prison sentences create perverse incentives for criminals to conceal their crimes.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. This was one Clinton scandal I didn’t know about.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  56. Look into earmarks.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  57. You oppose performance reviews, Sammy? You don’t think employees should be “judged”? Is that the Clinton scandal?

    nk (dbc370)

  58. functioned as a way for people to make money while doing as little as possible.

    Ahh, good old-fashioned human nature. Something that will be ramped up further and further as this society is increasingly Valenzuela-ized, Mexico-ized, France-ized, Detroit-ized.

    That’s one reason why the left gets greater leeway (eg, in various elections) by a larger portion of people in the US and elsewhere, not just due to the ethos of cheap compassion, but also due to the ethos of being able to more easily exploit the system and therefore have an easier time in coming out on top.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  59. From the Sammy Files:

    AGENT SAW DARK SIDE OF WHITE HOUSE
    *****BY RICHARD GAZARIK
    *****TRIBUNE-REVIEW

    As a highly motivated special agent for the FBI for 23 years, Dennis
    Sculimbrene chased bank robbers, truck hijackers and organized
    crime figures. Today, disillusioned and embittered, the Bethel Park
    native languishes in an early retirement sparked by a political
    firestorm…..

    …In a recent interview, Sculimbrene said he would still be on the job except for his unwitting involvement in the White House scandals that have dogged President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton since 1993. Sculimbrene contends White House and FBI attacks on his character, sanity and credibility forced his retirement, and that those attacks were orchestrated
    by Mrs. Clinton….

    ….As recently as last April, Sculimbrene said, supervisors rated his job performance as “exceptional.” But just three days after the evaluation, the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility notified Sculimbrene that he was under investigation for alleged misuse of a government parking pass, tardiness, use of racial slurs and unauthorized contact with news reporters.

    FBI agents showed him a copy of an anonymous letter that detailed the charges and triggered the internal probe.

    Sculimbrene was later exonerated. During the probe, former FBI Special Agent Gary Aldrich published a less-than-flattering book about the Clintons and the current administration – “Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House.”

    According to Sculimbrene, his own problems came to a head when he refused to dispute the allegations made by Aldrich, his former partner at the presidential residence. “We weren’t bosom buddies. We were just two guys in a foxhole,” he said of Aldrich. “I did not know Gary was writing the book until they questioned me. I refused to refute the allegations.”

    Sculimbrene contends his refusal to turn against Aldrich caused him to lose his White House job for the final four months of his career. “I was on a taxpayers-paid vacation for four months,” he said.

    Shortly after the Aldrich book hit the market, FBI supervisors ordered Sculimbrene to undergo a psychiatric examination. One reason for the exam, they told him, was to determine his ability to continue as an agent in the aftermath of a 1994 head injury. Sculimbrene’s skull was fractured
    by a spinning airplane propeller as the licensed pilot worked on an aircraft engine. Sculimbrene, who no longer flies, needed eight months to recover and still has vision, hearing and balance problems.

    When FBI officials ordered Sculimbrene to travel to Chicago for a second psychiatric test, he decided to retire. “I walked into my boss’ office,” he recalled.

    “I threw my credentials on his desk and said, ‘I quit.’ I said ‘I can’t fight the bureau and the White House.’” Josh Silverman, a White House spokesman, declined to discuss Sculimbrene’s assertions. So did FBI spokesman Bill Carter…..

    … Sculimbrene said relations with his FBI bosses became strained after he was subpoenaed to testify on Dale’s behalf. He recalled getting into a shouting match over evidence with the FBI supervisor leading the Dale prosecution. After the argument, Sculimbrene was ordered to take a drug test. FBI agents are supposed to be randomly selected to undergo these tests, but it was the first in his career.

    Sculimbrene believes the drug test, which was ordered just a week before his scheduled testimony in the Dale trial, was an attempt to intimidate him.

    When that effort failed, Sculimbrene said the White House turned to a velvet
    glove approach.

    He said a Clinton associate in the White House personnel office
    suggested Sculimbrene apply for the vacant post of inspector general in the
    Department of Veterans Affairs.
    But after Sculimbrene testified on Dale’s behalf
    in October 1995, he said he was told the job was out of the question…

    Probably they never intended to give him that job, even if he did perjure himself in the Billy Dale (Travelgate prosecution) case. It was too sensitive.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  60. 57. nk (dbc370) — 5/30/2014 @ 7:07 am

    You oppose performance reviews, Sammy? You don’t think employees should be “judged”? Is that the Clinton scandal?

    Not if they are phony.

    The Clinton scandal could be setting things up so that people in the VA made a lot of money so there wouldn’t be any whistleblowers about government contracts or waste. And everybody would be compromised.

    We have an interesting story about to whom and when, and probably why, the position of Inspector General at the Department of Veteranb’s Affairs was dangled to.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  61. I think lining Gen. Shinseki up and blowing his head off would do a lot to concentrate his employee’s attention.

    Someone might even blab.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  62. Shinseki can’t resign till Obama finds a replacement and that might take some time. It’s not easy to find a sycophant who pays his taxes, doesn’t employ illegal aliens, checks in regularly with his parole officer, isn’t on the no-fly list, isn’t scheduled for a sex change operation, never set foot in Reverend Wright’s church, hasn’t made a bomb since the statute of limitations expired, hasn’t been arrested for domestic battery in years, doesn’t have money stashed in off-shore accounts, is up to date on his child support payments, and hasn’t already converted to Islam.

    ropelight (ebf04d)

  63. Wait a minute. Clinton ordered performance reviews in the VA. Obama’s VA produced phony ones. It’s a Clinton scandal. Sammy?

    nk (dbc370)

  64. Obama’s on TV now accepting Shinseki’s resignation. Tomorrow he’ll claim he just learned about it watching TV.

    ropelight (ebf04d)

  65. In light of the interim report, it is difficult to see how he could not open an investigation.

    This is Holder we’re talking about. Eric “So-what-if-I’ve-been-held-in-contempt-of-Congress-what’re-you-going-to-do-about-it?” Holder. Do you really think that he can’t/won’t ignore it?

    J.P. (bd0246)

  66. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/05/25/wsjs_strassel_obamas_five-step_scandal_manual.html

    This is what Kimberly Strassel actually said about the scandal manual in the top drawer of the president’s desk. (not literally)

    Morning Jolt said today:

    Step One: Say “We had no idea.”

    Step Two: Express great outrage.

    Step Three: Fire some low-level employee.

    Step Four: Announce a review, a study, or an investigation; deny any further comment or action until the end of the investigation. This step can stretch on for weeks, months, or years, and let the outraged public forget about it.

    Step Five: This is old news, the Republicans are playing politics with it, “Dude, this was like, two years ago.”

    For the VA scandal, the Obama administration’s plan appeared to be to speed ahead to step four — you’ll notice Obama initially emphasized that the allegations of inhumane delays of care were merely allegations, and that he couldn’t reach any judgments until the full reviews were completed. The problem is that the VA Inspector General’s report came out quickly, and with way too many smoking guns — 1700 vets denied care they needed.

    The usual responses in step five don’t fit. It’s not old news yet. A few stray liberals are using the tired “Republicans are playing politics!” line, but it isn’t working

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  67. 63 nk (dbc370) — 5/30/2014 @ 8:20 am

    .Wait a minute. Clinton ordered performance reviews in the VA. Obama’s VA produced phony ones. It’s a Clinton scandal. Sammy?

    I think the goal of 30 days was already phony in 1995.

    I guess when too many questions started to be asked, Robeert Petzel reduced it to 14 days in 2011.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  68. Audit for 2004: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1174360-2005-wait-time-review.html

    But it is not like it started then.

    The system was set up by Bill Clinton.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  69. “Step Four: Announce a review, a study, or an investigation; deny any further comment or action until the end of the investigation. This step can stretch on for weeks, months, or years, and let the outraged public forget about it.”

    Sammy – Have we seen the final IG report on Fast and Furious yet?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. Awwww, Shinseki resigns and Jay Carney announces he’s leaving the White House the same day.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  71. Only the lads over at Examiner.com, and Sharyl Attkisson, would have that, as they seem to be the only one’s who actually looked into it.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  72. Look on the realistic side.

    We’ve already seen that Obama has the power to fire anyone in government despite standard civil service protections. he did it to the independent Inspector General who found some corruption with one of his famouser pals.

    All he has to do is say he’s ‘lost faith’ in their ability to serve or something.

    This gives him the ability to fire a zillion Clinton bureaucrats in the VA and hire a zillion of his own commie scum to ‘run the place.’ Clintonistas can approximate competence at times while communists cannot, or else they’d have jobs. So it’ll get even worse shortly.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  73. 70. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/30/2014 @ 12:03 pm

    Sammy – Have we seen the final IG report on Fast and Furious yet?

    Yes, I think about one and half years ago. You missed it.

    First CBS News reported August 27, 2012 about a draft report.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/exclusive-fast-and-furious-ig-report-slams-atf-phoenix-personnel/

    September 19, 2012 (front page sept 20) the New York Times reported aboutthe final report:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/us/report-places-blame-in-operation-fast-and-furious.html?pagewanted=all

    This is alink to the report: (redacted version)

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/09/20/us/politics/20guns-report.html

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  74. “Yes, I think about one and half years ago. You missed it.”

    Sammy – Thank you. As I recall the DOJ switched IG’s, delaying production of the final report, which was not produced until almost 18 months after originally requested by Holder and after indictments were finally handed down, again demonstrating the “it’s old news now” approach of the administration.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  75. I didn’t even know there was supposed to be an Inspector General’s report on Fast and Furious.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)


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