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Veteran’s Ventilation

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

I’m getting tired of writing, “Here we go again.” However, another scandal has surfaced in the Obama Administration, this time in the Veterans Administration (VA). I know something about medical care in the VA system, because I once worked as a doctor in a VA hospital. It was my observation that the doctors, nurses and the staff did their best with limited resources amidst a top heavy bureaucracy. My VA observations were made more than three decades ago; apparently things haven’t changed.

President Obama knew of the VA’s problems because as a Senator he served on VA oversight committees. Furthermore, as a presidential candidate in 2007 he promised to focus on the military’s medical needs. And he was warned by the George W. Bush transition team that additional problems were expected in the VA system as our warriors survived the battlefield and returned home for medical care. Obama’s spokesman (parrot), Jay Carney, says a lot of money has been added to the VA budget ostensibly to care for our wounded warriors. In fact, funding for the VA has increased from $88 billion a year in 2009 to $146 billion in 2013. However, as ABC news correspondents said, “You can’t just throw money at a problem and think it will go away.” It seems this is what our government does with problems, along with “CY…booty.”

Given the facts, who believes the President knew nothing about the problems at the VA? He is the Commander-in-Chief and delegation of responsibility only goes so far. The VA’s problems should have been at the top of Obama’s list of priorities, and it is obvious they were not. Furthermore, the disastrous VA situation underscores the government’s inability to manage healthcare. The VA boondoggle reveals the equivalent of “death panels” from long waits to see a doctor. And we learn there was a second sets of books used to secure bonuses for the VA staff who “met” performance goals.

The Democrats and Obama now want to manage everyone’s healthcare. Never mind that the government’s only medical experience is operating healthcare on Indian reservations and the VA system. How’s that working? Obama’s Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Eric Shinseki, can’t run the VA healthcare program, but he is just a sign of the systemic problem, like a fever is the sign of pneumonia. With these revelations, any sane person would question whether the government can manage the healthcare of the nation.

I thought about playing it safe and not pointing out these and other failures of Obama,  like his $780 billion Stimulus Program of 2009. Mr. Obama would later joke that a lot of the projects were “not shovel ready.” Perhaps the Stimulus helped our neighbor city Alcoa to build their over-walk of  highway 129 to no-where.

The Democrats never cease to amaze me. Did you hear that they are now blaming the VA scandal on “Bush’s two Middle East wars?” It is true that we’ve never been at war this long, and there has been additional pressures on the VA to care for our war heroes, but that is not an excuse. Apparently the terrorists at Gitmo (which was never closed as Obama promised) have far shorter waiting times to see a doctor than our veterans. Shameful!

I’ve read that the presidency of Ulysses Grant was corrupt, and we all know about Richard Nixon’s lying and coverup of a two-bit burglary at the Watergate. Our President lies with apparent impunity and his Administration is incompetent. His previous Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was asked about the Benghazi attack on 9.11.2012 and its causes. She infamously said, “What difference does it make?” I say the truth matters, Mrs. Clinton, especially when people died and the President and the State Department lied to the American people about the cause of the attack. No one had even heard of or seen the comical U-Tube “anti-muslim video” prior to the Administration using it to cover up the mismanagement of security at our Benghazi consulate. We still don’t know who came up with the video explanation, though emails track the talking points to the NSA and the State Department. Wasn’t it lying to the American people that led to Nixon’s impeachment?

Who can trust an Administration who uses the IRS to target rivals? Mr. Obama said that the IRS abuses were due to a few “rogue agents in Cincinnati” and there wasn’t “a smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS. We now know the Cincinnati IRS was directed by Lois Lerner from the Washington bureau and coordinated by Ben Rhodes of the President’s White House staff. Apparently, there was more “than a smidgeon” of collusion. I trust people until they show themselves to be dishonest. I can forgive, but I can never forget.

After the American Revolution Europeans referred to our newly won freedom and the subsequent Constitution as the “America experiment” in democracy. Many historians have observed that democracies fail in two hundred or so years, about the time when citizens realize they can vote themselves a paycheck. Recent studies show that there are now ten million Americans on disability (more than ever before) and ten million who are chronically unemployed. Forty-seven percent of those unemployed say they don’t plan to seek employment again, that is unless their benefits are canceled. Whoopie Goldberg recently said on The View that people didn’t want to be on the dole. Studies don’t support her belief.

Sometimes I think I should stop listening to the news. Stewardship of knowledge is a hard task master, but a “Watchman’s” responsibility in this “barely civil war” of ours.

I wish I were wrong about today’s progressives who are moving us toward socialism and who masquerade as Democrats. There are a few of the latter left. I’ve not seen a John Kennedy or a Harry Truman in years – the dodo is also extinct. Maybe today’s birds have just changed their feathers again.

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