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More Scandals Swept Under the Rug

Embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki takes the fall for the agency's and President Obama's health care problems.
Embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki takes the fall for the agency's and President Obama's health care problems.government.com

So Veteran’s Administration Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki took the fall for the scandal that exploded in that agency. He officially resigned, which now means the Corrupt Mainstream Media can return to not reporting on the failures and scandals of the Obama Administration.

A little history: There have been problems at the VA hospitals and within that branch of the government for years and years. Every president has campaigned and said they would fix the problems. Sometimes they do enact a few changes, things get better for a year or two and then problems erupt again. When Obama ran for president in 2008 he talked of long waiting lists and other troublesome issues at the VA, and vowed he would correct them.

Fast forward to 2014. Earlier this year, a whistleblower at the Phoenix VA hospital outed procedures at that hospital in which veterans were removed from lists to make the wait times shorter (or at least appear that way)and then these bureaucrats would receive bonuses for their “good” work. It also came to light that perhaps as many as 40 veterans died while waiting six months and longer to get treatment. The mainstream media sniffed its nose at these reports, buried the news stories back in the middle to the end of the newspaper and often only put those stories in the briefs section of the news (Chicago Tribune, for instance).

A couple of months ago the VA scandal began to blossom with more news of shameful activity at the Phoenix VA, and possible even criminal wrongdoing at the expense of veterans. And what was taking place at the Phoenix VA was taking place all across the country. Obama briefly responded to some questions in the middle to end of April, said he would look into it and then proceeded to drop it. It wasn’t until a month later (conveniently right before Memorial Day weekend) that Obama spoke publicly about the VA. By that time, it was known that the Phoenix VA wasn’t the only facility as whistleblowers across the country came forward with similar tales.

Our friendly Corrupt Mainstream Media began percolating a little bit more on the story. At first it was just Republican senators and representatives calling for investigations. Slowly but surely, Democrat senators and representatives began calling for investigations and resignations as the scandal widened and deepened.

On May 16, the Obama administration made a hoopla of the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, who was the undersecretary for health at the VA. In fact, much of the mainstream media also made a big deal of this resignation. Until some media outlets began reporting that Petzel had announced his eventual retirement several months ago, that is. Petzel leaving the VA was just progressed a couple of months. So, it really didn’t calm the waters as the administration hoped. Republicans, Veterans groups, some Democrats and some media outlets kept up the pressure.

The VA scandal continued to cloud the administration and a semi-awake media began to grab hold of the story, especially as more election-minded Democrats began banging the drums for presidential action and the resignation of Shinseki.

When Obama spoke about the scandal right before the Memorial Day weekend (and about a month after he first noted there was a problem), he said, “It is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it. Period!” Oooops, there is that period again. Who else remembers, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period!”

Oh, and once again, the administration said it never knew about the problems at the VA until it heard about them in the news. That was the same line of defense used in regard to the Fast and Furious and IRS scandals. It also didn’t know there would be problems regarding Obamacare and website until they were reported. I guess ignorance is bliss, huh?

Anyway, there have been problems at the VA for years. However, Obama pledged to fix those problems and didn’t. If anything they got worse under Obama. Not better. More money has been thrown into the VA system. In fact, in the last 6 years, its budget has just about doubled. Money isn’t the problem. Mismanaged government bureaucracy and managed health care are the problems.

One reason I think Obama and the media avoided the issue for as it long as they could is because the VA health care system IS government-run health care. There are long waiting lists. All of the pitfalls of a government-run health care system are right there in the VA scandal. There have been proposals to give veterans health vouchers that they can bring to private doctors and hospitals where there are no long waiting lists, no government bonus incentives to play fast and loose with waiting lists and people’s health care.

A scathing interim report released by the VA Inspector General revealed on May 28 that the average wait time for registered patients at the Phoenix facility was 115 days. It also found that about 1,700 area veterans were not even on the wait-list and “continue to be at risk of being lost or forgotten” and “may never obtain their requested or required care.”

The report determined there is “systemic” misconduct throughout the VA. And that is what some folks want in regard to government-run health care?

Washington has been buzzing for a couple of weeks as to when Shinseki would get the ax. His resignation is not news. Nor will it fix the problems at the VA. All the fault does not rest with Shinseki. It doesn’t even fall on the shoulders of President Obama, though as commander-in-chief and president, the buck does stop there. Or at least it used to. Obama and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have tried to pin the blame on whom else? President George W. Bush, even though he has been out of office for more than 5 years.

Now that Shinseki is gone, Obama will soon name a replacement and will once again commit to fixing the problems at the VA. Chances are he will not. Oh, things might get a little better for a little while – just long enough for time to erase the VA scandal and the media to feel OK enough to forget about it.

Another scandal swept under the rug is the recent “accidental” outing of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan by the Obama White House. Most media have not reported this event. Those that have largely excused the Obama administration for making this “error.” My how times have changed. When Valerie Plame was “outed” by the Bush administration, the media went into convulsions. They even threw out the “I” word (impeachment). Who knew and how high did it go, the media asked! A special prosecutor had to be named to investigate this crime. Of course, while all of this was going on, Ms. Plame sought the limelight. My, she and her husband Joe Wilson were on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine for crying out loud. But her life was now in danger, we were told!

Her life never was in danger. Plame was nothing more than a safe little desk agent who graced the Washington social circuit. There was no criminal activity in her “outing.” Within one weekend, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew that it was Richard Armitage who mentioned her name to columnist Robert Novak. Yet, Fitzgerald investigated for more than a year and what he got was Lewis “Scooter” Libby on a perjury charge. Somehow the “Dude, that was like 2 years ago,” refrain didn’t apply at that time. Fitzgerald never did indict anyone for “outing” Plame because no criminal wrongdoing took place.

Here we are. VA Secretary Shinseki has resigned. The media will cover for a week or so and then will let it slide. A CIA operative in the field has had his cover blown in perhaps the most dangerous part of the world and the media yawns. The IRS investigates conservative groups? That was like so yesterday, the media huffs. Besides, the Corrupt Mainstream Media says, “Obama assured us there is no scandal there.” Benghazi? Why it’s nothing more than a political witch hunt and yesterday’s news too.

The economy contracts 1 percent in the first quarter of 2014. The mainstream media ignores or buries. It’s the same ole, same ole between the Obama administration and the Corrupt Mainstream Media.