What's up at the VA?

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Addie
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What's up at the VA?

#1

Post by Addie » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:07 am

Politico
Shulkin says he has White House backing to purge VA

The embattled Cabinet head said he's investigating what he called 'subversion.'

The White House has given Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin the green light to quash an internal rebellion among conservative foes of his leadership, he told POLITICO late Tuesday.

The embattled Cabinet head said he’d begun investigating what he called “subversion” at the agency, and those who have defied his authority “won’t be working in my operation.”

Shulkin’s new chief of staff, Peter O’Rourke, is meeting with each staffer suspected of defying Shulkin “individually and as a group to determine, now that there is a clear direction where we are going, where people are going to stand," he said. "Those who crossed the line in the past are going to have to be accountable for those decisions."

Shulkin and the White House on Friday named O’Rourke, who previously led an accountability office at VA, to replace Vivieca Wright Simpson after she retired last week. An IG report accused her of falsifying an email to get the VA to pay for Shulkin’s wife to accompany him on a trip to England and Denmark over the summer.

The IG investigation, which also found Shulkin had improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets from a friend, appears to have brought Shulkin’s foes out in the open, seeing an opportunity to drive him out of office over the scathing report. But Shulkin repaid the money and appears to have maintained the White House’s backing. ...

Shulkin declined to say how many people were involved in what he described as “subversive events,” but several political appointees are believed to have been pushing for his ouster. Curt Cashour, Shulkin’s ostensible spokesman, has openly defied his orders, going so far as to remove statements Shulkin had posted on the VA’s website in recent days.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#2

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:41 pm

Addie wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:07 am
Politico
Shulkin says he has White House backing to purge VA

The embattled Cabinet head said he's investigating what he called 'subversion.'

:snippity:
Sounds much like his paymaster asking for a loyalty declaration :doh: And straight from the stalinist playwright a poiltical purge as scripted by Putin (?).



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#3

Post by RVInit » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:18 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:41 pm
Addie wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:07 am
Politico
Shulkin says he has White House backing to purge VA

The embattled Cabinet head said he's investigating what he called 'subversion.'

:snippity:
Sounds much like his paymaster asking for a loyalty declaration :doh: And straight from the stalinist playwright a poiltical purge as scripted by Putin (?).
:yeah: :madguy:


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#4

Post by Addie » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:30 pm

WaPo
White House intends to meet with leading veterans groups amid drama at VA

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly intends to meet with the nation’s leading veterans advocates next week amid ongoing anxiety there is a desire by some of President Trump’s political appointees to oust Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, according to people familiar with the matter.

The impending White House meeting follows a private gathering Tuesday of the top officials from 12 veterans service organizations (VSOs), including the American Legion, VFW and Disabled Veterans of America. These groups represent millions of former service members and their families, forming one of Trump’s core constituencies.

“At one point, … cell phones started ringing and the directors of AMVETS, Legion, VFW and DAV politely excused themselves almost simultaneously to take the calls,” said one person familiar with the gathering. “Each of these calls came from White House meeting schedulers to establish an appointment for VSOs to meet together” with Kelly.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, has told Shulkin to stop the drama and infighting at VA. The White House did not respond to messages seeking details about his objectives for next week’s meeting.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#5

Post by Fortinbras » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:08 pm

The VA has been used, sometimes in the most corrupt ways, to conceal Pentagon-related chicanery, and sometimes does some hankypanky on its own to conceal the fact that it has fallen down on job.

For example, in the case of Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War, the Pentagon and the VA played dumb and dumber for decades, refusing to do original research or accept independent research that showed that exposure of troops to Agent Orange caused serious ailments, including cancers and genetic changes that caused birth defects in their children. This was done for a variety of reasons, including (1) recognition of the service-connection of the resultant ailments would have required the VA to treat them, in many thousands of veterans - and their children, at budget-busting cost, and (2) acknowledgment of the after-effects of Agent Orange would have opened up Dow Chemical to enormous lawsuits, and (3) it would also have humiliated the Pentagon for being so careless (and dishonest) about the safety of American troops.

While the VA has accomplished some great things in treating amputations and certain afflictions, it had fallen down on treating certain other ailments such as PTSD - and it persisted in ordering its psychiatrists to evaluate patients according to a textbook that was decades out of date so that it could deny coverage to many thousands of combat veterans rather than have to treat them. It has, for example, refused to recognize a widespread affliction among Desert Storm veterans that plausibly seems related to the fumes and smoke from burning petroleum rigs - acknowledging that disease means treating it, and that would (1) cost millions and (2) reflect on the safety of domestic petroleum drilling and refining, and (3) reflect very badly on the Pentagon for sending soldiers into the field with inadequate protective gear.



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#6

Post by Addie » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:24 pm

WaPo
Top aide to VA chief Shulkin is said to have advocated his ouster

A senior aide to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin lobbied an influential Capitol Hill staffer in mid-February in hopes that House Republicans would demand the VA chief’s resignation and that of his deputy, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The alleged effort by John Ullyot, VA’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, was promptly rebuffed by Jonathan Towers, staff director for House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), these people say. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer candid insights about the power struggle that has roiled VA and embarrassed the Trump White House.

Towers, who declined to comment, told Ullyot that he had no intention of starting a campaign to oust Shulkin or Thomas Bowman, VA’s deputy secretary and a former senior staffer on Capitol Hill, people familiar with his reaction said. Additionally, “Chairman Roe has said both publicly and privately, on multiple occasions, that the secretary and deputy secretary have his full support,” committee spokeswoman Tiffany McGuffee Haverly said in a written statement issued Wednesday.

Towers is a longtime congressional staffer who has served on the House and Senate veterans affairs panels. Ullyot, a former Senate aide who held a prominent communications job in the Trump campaign, was joined on the phone call with Towers by VA’s press secretary, Curt Cashour, another Trump appointee. The conversation occurred days after the agency’s inspector general issued a report saying Shulkin misused taxpayer funds during a trip to Europe.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#7

Post by Addie » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:57 pm

Daily Beast
Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin ‘Extremely Paranoid’ Ahead of Damning New Investigation, Sources Say

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is likely to be the subject of another damaging investigation as early as next week, one that could prove politically fatal.

The top watchdog for the Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing a report that is expected to criticize Shulkin over his use of his security detail to run personal errands, The Daily Beast has learned. Three sources familiar with the situation say the forthcoming Inspector General report will likely fuel criticism of Shulkin’s use of official department resources and could further erode his standing in the administration.

Sources spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive internal matters.

Reports of the latest IG’s findings have been swirling internally, but its specific allegations are not yet clear. Sources stressed that the IG has been known to qualify language in prior reports and make substantive changes late in the process. These sources expect the watchdog to release its findings in the next two weeks. ...

Shulkin’s attorneys vehemently disputed the IG’s findings, and the secretary suggested that his chief of staff’s email account may have been hacked. The IG’s office released a letter this week saying there was no evidence of such an electronic intrusion.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#8

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:16 pm

WaPo: Management failures led to ‘unacceptable’ patient risks at VA’s flagship D.C. hospital, watchdog finds


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#9

Post by Notorial Dissent » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Management failures is kind of like saying the Titanic had a hole in it. From the top on down.


The fact that you sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that the “Law of Gravity” is unconstitutional and a violation of your sovereign rights, does not absolve you of adherence to it.

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Re: What's up at the VA?

#10

Post by Addie » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:30 am

WaPo
‘It’s killing the agency’: Ugly power struggle paralyzes Trump’s plan to fix veterans’ care

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is managing the government’s second-largest bureaucracy from a fortified bunker atop the agency’s Washington headquarters.

He has canceled the morning meetings once attended by several of President Trump’s political appointees — members of his senior management team — gathering instead with aides he trusts not to miscast his remarks. Access to Shulkin’s 10th-floor executive suite was recently revoked for several people he has accused of lobbying the White House to oust him. He and his public-affairs chief have not spoken in weeks.

And in a sign of how deeply the secretary’s trust in his senior staff has eroded, an armed guard now stands outside his office.

Shulkin, a favorite of Trump’s who by most accounts tallied multiple wins in his first year serving a crucial constituency for the president, is fighting to regain his standing amid a mutiny. Although those who want him gone say their focus is fulfilling the president’s priorities, it has become clear that one side — whether it’s Shulkin, who is the only Obama administration holdover in Trump’s Cabinet, or his estranged management team — is unlikely to survive the standoff.

“The tragedy of all of this is that Shulkin is putting points on the scoreboard for Trump,” said Philip Carter, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, where he focuses on veterans issues. “. . . What gets lost with the palace intrigue is that reforms will stall. It’s the president’s agenda that suffers with this kind of dysfunction.”
Adding:
Business Insider: Things have gotten so bad at the Veterans Affairs department that the secretary has posted an armed guard outside his office ...

Shulkin has also reportedly posted an armed guard outside his office, most likely because of a combination of threats from angry veterans upset over recent scandals and an erosion of trust within his senior staff.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#11

Post by Addie » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:16 pm

Associated Press
The Latest: Embattled VA head has no intention of leaving

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on David Shulkin, who leads the Department of Veterans Affairs (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is making clear that he has no intention of leaving his job even as White House supports seems to be eroding.

He tells a House subcommittee: "I came here for one reason and that is to improve the lives of veterans."

And he's expressing regret for what he calls "distractions" that have shifted attention from his efforts to fix veterans' health care.

Shulkin is under criticism for ethics violations related to a trip he took to Europe with his wife. And at the hearing he also addressed a government investigation underway into complaints he improperly used his security detail for personal errands.

Shulkin denies wrongdoing, and says he's not using the taxpayer-paid armed guards any differently from other Cabinet members.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#12

Post by Volkonski » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:16 pm



Josh Dawsey

@jdawsey1

Trump eyes ‘Fox & Friends’ personality Pete Hegseth to take over Veterans Affairs, per @Reinlwapo, the dominating force on the VA beat.
https://www.
washingtonpost.com/politics/trump
-eyes-fox-and-friends-personality-pete-hegseth-to-take-over-veterans-affairs/2018/03/15/f8d03ef6-284e-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html?utm_term=.af2bae30e349

2:13 PM - Mar 15, 2018 · Washington, DC
:shock:


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#13

Post by Addie » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:19 pm

Jebus.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#14

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:16 pm
https:// twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/974363033203019776

Josh Dawsey @jdawsey1

Trump eyes ‘Fox & Friends’ personality Pete Hegseth to take over Veterans Affairs, per @Reinlwapo, the dominating force on the VA beat.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... story.html

2:13 PM - Mar 15, 2018 · Washington, DC
:shock:
How long until Hannity has an office at the WH :?:



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#15

Post by Sunrise » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:53 pm

RTH10260 wrote:How long until Hannity has an office at the WH :?


Ya mean officially, I presume. :lol:


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#16

Post by Turtle » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:18 pm

This lays the groundwork for Jeanine Pirro as AG



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#17

Post by RVInit » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:37 pm

Turtle wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:18 pm
This lays the groundwork for Jeanine Pirro as AG
:nooo:


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#18

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:21 pm

CNN
Veterans groups sound the alarm on Trump's plan to replace VA secretary

Washington (CNN)Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin appears to be on thin ice with the White House, but Shulkin has maintained a critical bloc of support in the nation's veterans groups.

Shulkin will meet with representatives from major veterans organizations on Thursday, two sources confirmed to CNN, as many of their leaders have publicly called on President Donald Trump to keep him at the top of the agency, and worried that a replacement could imperil care for veterans.
Shulkin meets regularly with the heads of the nation's veterans groups.

John Rowan, the head of the Vietnam Veterans of America, defended Shulkin on Tuesday, saying that Shulkin has stayed true to the agency's mission of serving America's veterans -- and that he wants to see Shulkin finish what he started.

"When he came in as secretary, he had a lot of issues no question about it, to deal with, but he's been dealing with it," Rowan told CNN's John Berman. "This is a huge system. If any other system out there was scrutinized like the VA was, they would find problems."
Also:
CNN: David Shulkin out, Ronny Jackson in as VA secretary


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#19

Post by Mikedunford » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:51 pm

I'm going to make a prediction: Jackson withdraws prior to a confirmation vote.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#20

Post by kate520 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:40 am

Why do you think so, Mikedunford?

From all accounts, he’s well-regarded by those he’s worked with on both sides of the aisle, a rare occurrence these days. If he is indeed something of a mensch who can persuade and cut through the red tape and bs, there are many capable public administrators who can manage him through.

He is the first person this flaming shitgibbon’s appointed about whom I’ve thought ‘ooo, this might work’.


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#21

Post by Somerset » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 am

kate520 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:40 am
Why do you think so, Mikedunford?

From all accounts, he’s well-regarded by those he’s worked with on both sides of the aisle, a rare occurrence these days. If he is indeed something of a mensch who can persuade and cut through the red tape and bs, there are many capable public administrators who can manage him through.

He is the first person this flaming shitgibbon’s appointed about whom I’ve thought ‘ooo, this might work’.
http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopi ... 25#p973396



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Re: What's up at the VA?

#22

Post by kate520 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:31 am

Ah, thanks, somerset. So many threads, so little time. ;)


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#23

Post by Notorial Dissent » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:38 am

Mikedunford wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:51 pm
I'm going to make a prediction: Jackson withdraws prior to a confirmation vote.
I would think that when confronted with the albatross that VA currently is, he will run for cover, if he has any firing grey cells.


The fact that you sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that the “Law of Gravity” is unconstitutional and a violation of your sovereign rights, does not absolve you of adherence to it.

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Re: What's up at the VA?

#24

Post by Addie » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am

Daily Beast
Veterans Affairs Head: I Was Forced Out Over Privatization

David J. Shulkin, the newly fired head of the Department of Veterans Affairs Department, has launched an extraordinary attack on the “toxic” Trump political appointees that forced him out of the job on Wednesday. In a New York Times Op-Ed published Thursday, he claims that some of those officials were motivated by their own agendas, not by caring for the people they were hired to serve, and was entangled in a “brutal power struggle” against efforts to privatize veterans’ health care. “I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans,” he wrote. “In recent months, though, the environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans need and deserve.”

Read it at The New York Times
Adding:
CNN: Shulkin blasts 'toxic, chaotic, disrespectful' Washington in farewell op-ed


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Re: What's up at the VA?

#25

Post by AndyinPA » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:45 am

Dr. Ronny Jackson is as qualified for this job as Dr. Ben Carson is for his.



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