Bryan Preston at PJ Media notes that, “The Veterans Administration’s scandal … is discrediting the very idea that our government can keep any promise or do anything useful at all.” So what does he find the VA doing?
Tweeting about Global Warming. This is what happens when you have 1,000 Brandon Friedman type political hack spokespeople earning well over $100k each, and no adult leadership.
What moron decided that was the VA’s priority? Could be any of them, really.
It didn’t take long for someone to make the perfect reply:
LLAD, as we say around here.
Now that the VA is going to metastasize into managing the oceans, expect deserts.
Remember how we’ve repeatedly mentioned how the VA budget has soared in recent years, but the money hasn’t gone to vets’ health care? Well, one of the places it’s gone is crony-capitalist green energy boondoggles. For Shinseki and his senior managers, “turning green” was a higher priority than treating vets. They blew at least $20 million on solar panels at Phoenix, the home of the secret waiting list on which at least 40 neglected vets died. They blew $10 million on solar panels in Amarillo, Texas, while doing nothing to address the 85-day wait for a primary care appointment at the busy facility. They even put wind turbines in National Cemeteries.
Shinseki himself appeared in Bourne, Massachusetts at one such turbine unveiling. He said this: “Nationally, VA continues to expand its investment in renewable sources of energy to promote our Nation’s energy independence, save taxpayer dollars, and improve care for our Veterans and their families.” Did you follow his Underpants Gnome reasoning? We did. It adds up like this:
- Buy solar and wind gimmicks from “connected” firms
- Make this the boss’s focus, not health care.
- Care for our veterans and their families magically improves!
Here’s another case of the VA wasting millions on a wind turbine, in St. Cloud, MN. This would be money wasted even if the damn thing worked, but this one makes the math extremely simple: it doesn’t work. The story quotes at least two of the VA’s bottomless font of overpaid, underperforming flacks, Barry Venable and Josephine Schuda (note, there are two people who do not help injured or ill vets in any way. Why do they still have jobs?). The VA’s goal “to increase its renewable energy consumption to 15 percent of annual usage by 2013″ was an important goal, as it was one that got what we call in the service command emphasis. Taking care of the wounded and ill didn’t get that emphasis. Q.E.D.
How About a Second Opinion?
OK, If you read this blog, you know that we have a pretty low opinion of the VA. So how about a second opinion? Here’s after, Hollywood military advisor, and, of course, combat veteran Dale Dye’s opinion:
So here’s how you fix the problems with the VA health care system. Fire everyone responsible for administering it. There it is—and bring me the next case which I will solve with equally level-headed aplomb.
Don’t hold back, Dale. Let ’em know what you’re really thinking. Actually, after that glib (and funny, but serious) gambit the retired Marine Captain offers a similarly outrageous, but necessary, Step Two and a conclusive “Step Three, the fix.” His prescriptions have about the-square-root-of-zero-percent probability of being enacted, and that’s a crying shame, because they would work, and you know the deckchair shuffle they have the usual Beltway bozos building won’t work. Read The Whole Thing™, he calls it “Veterans Mis-Administration.” The guy not only singlehandedly unscrewed Hollywood, he’s dead right on this subject.
How About a Third Opinion?
Why not? Well, let’s see what David French at National Review Online has to say. Surely he is not as keen to fire-’em-all as Dale Dye.
[T]he VA that Sloan Gibson fiercely defends is the same VA that not only makes headlines with its systematic corruption and deception — corruption that costs lives — but also can’t even handle small things like answering press inquires with their 54 full-time public-affairs employees or (to take one example from personal knowledge) firing an employee caught snorting cocaine in the parking lot.
No one is saying that all 350,000 employees are bad. But thousands are, and their continued employment and — even worse — continued protection from the top-down of a dysfunctional bureaucracy harms the government, harms the employees that work with them each day, and — most important – harms the American people they’re supposed to serve.
Oh, snap. He is.
He’s commenting on the promise by Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson to VA workers in Fayetteville, NC, that no one will be fired, lose his bonus, or even face a reprimand, utterly regardless of job performance. Gibson:
This idea that ‘let’s fire everybody, let’s pull everybody’s bonus away’ — that’s a bunch of crap. I’m not going to see people sit there and say that we got 350,000 people that aren’t worth a crap.
You know what’s “a bunch of crap?” The performance of those VA payroll patriots, most definitely including Sloan Gibson, a careerlong apparatchik whose response to his agency’s failures is to blame the messengers (like the whistleblowers who have been systematically attacked by his “350,000 people that aren’t worth a crap.”