Reid Cherlin used to work for The Obama Administration. After the election of the new President in 2008, he worked in the Press Secretary's Office as one of its spokespeople. In a new piece for Rolling Stone magazine, he recounts his experiences from the inside. It has to be read to be believed.
So how does the VA compare? We don't know. We don't have much data publicly available to begin with, and we have virtually nothing that compares VA hospitals with other American hospitals.
Congress has both an opportunity and an imperative to plan for the future federal workforce, but to do it properly, it must revamp the system that supports it.
With all due respect to Sen. McCain, I have a different take on this. I, too, am outraged by the lack of care that many of our veterans have received, but I'm not at all bewildered by it. In fact, I saw it coming for years.
I was surprised at the number of people who are blaming the former Secretary of the VA for Congress' inability to do their job outside of partisan bickering and exchanging political favors for VA funding in their home districts.
In five out of the last six months, in fact, Obama's numbers have gotten better. He is now roughly where he was right before the impact of the Obamacare website rollout hit his approval rating.
The problems that have come to light with the VA did not happen overnight, nor even in the course of one administration. And some of the problems result from the actions -- and in some cases, inaction -- of Congress, some of whose members would rather politicize problems than solve them.
When someone runs for office on a platform of cutting government services to pieces, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that government services under their leadership have been cut to pieces
"Ms. Paltrow's harrowing experiences in combating Internet criticism will certainly be invaluable when it comes to helping our own combat veterans."
One can conceive something as horrifying as the VA systematically allowing dozens of wounded soldiers to die and then scramble to cover it up, just as easily as one can conceive the bizarrely ritualistic lies, deceit and ideological idiocy that put them there in the first place.
As the Secretary of the VA, the same people who won't fund you, blame you. The same people who vote for America's men and women to go to war, won't accept that going to war is going to create an influx of veterans when they come home.
It's also an instructive look of the frustrations of journalism: endlessly peeling away the layers of an onion; never 100 percent certain you've arrived at the truth. In the case of General Eric Shinseki, I'm still peeling.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. While it solves none of the fundamental problems within the VA, it can perhaps remove him as the object of attention and allow us to focus on the underlying, systemic failings that anyone who cared to look would have already known about.
Despite the bloviating of supposedly outraged congressmen, editorialists and the White House, the Inspector General and the press have been reporting about the terrible shortcomings at the V.A. for years.
Can mild-mannered get the job done? ...
One story risks being buried among all this other newsworthy stuff, and that is the vote which happened late last night in the House of Representatives.