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Obama Tries to Dodge Blame in VA Scandal; Keeps Shinseki

by Keith Koffler on May 21, 2014, 12:39 pm

A somewhat bedraggled and not particularly angry-looking President Obama took to the briefing room today to attempt to shirk blame for the burgeoning VA scandal, saying the problem began before him and touting the “progress” he has made fixing the various messes littering the agency.

Obama speaks about VA scandalWhat’s more, he said he continues to support Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric “Rick” Shinseki.

No doubt Shinseki will be allowed to retire peacefully in six months, like Sebelius did after the Obamacare rollout catastrophe, without the suggestion entailed in a firing that Obama made a mistake by hiring him in the first place.

But Obama nevertheless warned he might eventually decide to get rid of Shinseki, whose head is being called for from many quarters.

If you ask me, you know, how do I think Rick Shinseki has performed overall, I would say that on homelessness, on the 9/11 GI Bill, on working with us to reduce the backlog across the board, he has put his heart and soul into this thing and he has taken it very seriously.

But I have said to Rick, and I said it to him today, I want to see, you know, what the results of these reports are, and there is going to be accountability.

Or maybe Rick will just go away.

I know that Rick’s attitude is, if he does not think he can do a good job on this and if he thinks he’s let our veterans down, then I’m sure that he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve.

Obama of course asked George W. Bush and every other president to share in the blame, and suggested he was trying to fix their mess.

Some of the problems with respect to how veterans are able to access the benefits that they’ve earned, that’s not a new issue. That’s an issue that I was working on when I was running for the United States Senate. Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency.

But this absolutely begs and pleads the question, If this is your cause, why have you failed? People have died. Sorry, but you can’t cook up a meal that causes food poisoning and then tell everyone you spent hours in the kitchen and, at least it tasted good.

Well, in Obama’s mind, he hasn’t failed at all.

The president sought to highlight that many things at the VA are going much more swimmingly as a result of his presidency. At a moment when veterans are dying needlessly under his watch, Obama went into full spin mode.

We have made progress over the last five years. We’ve made historic investments in our veterans. We’ve boosted VA funding to record levels. And we created consistency through advanced appropriations so that veterans organizations knew their money would be there regardless of political wrangling in Washington.

We made VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who did not have it before, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange, making it easier for veterans who have post-traumatic stress and mental health issues and traumatic brain injury to get treatment, and improving care for women’s veterans.

Because of these steps and the influx of new veterans requiring services added in many cases to wait times, we launched an all-out war on the disability claims backlog. And in just the past year alone, we’ve slashed that backlog by half.

And he tried to minimize the problem that faces him, asserting that while people died while they were waiting for treatment, nobody died because they were waiting.

And I think it is important to recognize that the wait times generally — what the IG indicated so far, at least, is the wait times were folks who may have had chronic conditions, were seeking their next appointment, but may have already received service. It was not necessarily a situation where they were calling for emergency services. And the IG indicated that he did not see a link between the wait and them actually dying.

Well, the IG is hardly finished. And there appear to have been some who committed suicide while they were waiting.

I’d be very surprised if, given the delays and incompetence, there weren’t may deaths directly caused by the VA. Even if it were possible nobody died because of their wait, it would merely be fortuitous. Like a defendent saying, Well, I tried to murder my boss, but at least I didn’t succeed!

Obama sought to spread the blame further than Bush. In fact, he sought to spread it to you!

Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency. And it is something that all of us have to be involved with and have to be paying attention to . . . 

Even as we get to the bottom of what happened at Phoenix and other facilities, all of us, whether here in Washington or all across the country, have to stay focused on the larger mission, which is upholding our sacred trust to all of our veterans, bringing the VA system into the 21st century, which is not an easy task . . . 

So we’re going to have to redouble our efforts to get it right as a nation. And we have to be honest that there are and will continue to be areas where we’ve got to do a lot better.

As a nation? I didn’t realize – what’s a matter with you people? Why don’t you care enough about our veterans?

Obama pledged to work with Congress, but he laid the groundwork for the usual round of calumny from Obama and his political goons, in this case meaning that if Republicans see something that stinks, he’ll accuse them of doing a political dance on the graves of our fighting men and women:

It is important that our veterans don’t become another political football, especially when so many of them are receiving care right now. 

Obama also announced that he was tapping the foxes to investigate the tragedy in the chicken coop, establishing two separate reviews, a near-term look by Shinseki and a longer-term “comprehensive” study by Obama’s White House fixer, Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.

If a scandal that caused the deaths of veterans doesn’t cry out for an INDEPENDENT review, I don’t know what does.

Meantime, there’s plenty of proof already of gross negligence and incompetence. Obama should fire Shinseki and start taking drastic actions to fix things now, while also probably studying how to privatize the system.

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period,” Obama said.

Oh, so that’s why he didn’t seem very angry today. But look out, he’s gonna get angry pretty soon!

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{ 38 comments }

Junius May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Dictator Obama doesn’t care about this country, our military, or our veterans. He doesn’t care that some of the vets died because their government run and provided healthcare is corrupt, broken, and completely incapable of providing needed healthcare. (Obamacare anyone?) What he does care about is how it may adversely affect himself and if it does, how does he avoid taking any responsibility for this murder of vets through his Veterans Administration. That is all he cares about and now back to the golf course for Dictator Obama.

Star May 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, Mr President, how would you feel if you did not come to your doctor’s appt 15 minutes ahead of time so you were cancelled, even if you somehow got a ride, gimped over, walked long halls? That happens at the VA. Of course, this would never affect you. You have a hosp following you wherever you go.

DeniseVB May 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Yes, he has no compassion or empathy. Scary traits in a President.

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mo1 May 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

When the president draws a red line I am quite sure the VA bureaucrats are absolutely terrified, absolutely, positively, without a doubt as terrified as Putin, the Iranians and Assad in Syria. .

Star May 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

In this case, a bed line.

OldmanRick May 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Rather an invisible line. That way the brat can claim that he has drawn lines everywhere to counter both bad guys and failed policies..

SaveFarris May 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

“And in just the past year alone, we’ve slashed that backlog by half.”

..Yeah, buy shuffling everyone to the secret waiting lists. Why are you allowed to take credit for the very initiative that (more than likely) caused this mess?

Sportinlife10 May 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hey, maybe it’s a page out of MOOch’s shuffling patients off to different hospitals, so HER numbers looked better?

veritaseequitas May 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

And Barry continues to slither along in his oblivious little world. Why America? Not once, but twice. Why?

Star May 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

This is pathetic. It’s OUR job as Americans? I am not a doctor–yeah, WE let everyone down all right. This is what we hired you people for!!

And this…

I know that Rick’s attitude is, if he does not think he can do a good job on this and if he thinks he’s let our veterans down, then I’m sure that he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve.

Yeah, Rick, don’t let the door hit you in the ass-cuses.

Sportinlife10 May 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm

It’s deja vu allover again:
“Heckuva job, Brownie”.

Darkangel May 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm

So, how long before Obama tries to dismiss this as some kind of non-scandal?

My line is Labor Day, 2014. Sooner or later? Who thinks what?

Artcat May 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

sooner…

JBH May 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Give us the over under odds.

qestout May 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

The veterans would have more money for their care if the VA stopped paying for college educations for their employees. Yes, that’s right! It’s a fact that if you’re an RN and would like a BSN–our tax dollars will cover it. I’m sure the VA pays for other Bachelor’s degrees, too. The VA provides onsite employee education for keeping skills current, and those programs should continue. But a free ride for college–no.

Artcat May 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

At least Bradley Manning is approved for his sex-change operation… I meant, um, gender re-assignment. The photo with this article is heartbreaking.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/05/16/Obama-s-VA-Fast-Tracks-Expensive-Sex-Change-For-Convicted-Traitor-Bradley-Manning-At-Same-Time-Vets-Die-on-Phony-Waiting-Lists

#PTF – apologize if this posts twice.

srdem65 May 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Agree.
One of the major reasons for continuing failure in this administration is who they put in charge of various agencies. MrShinseki might have had a stellar career in the military, but that in no way qualified him to be the top administrator of a medical business, even if that business catered to ex-military clients.
Almost all of the top appointments by MrObama have been individuals who were top-Dem-donors, long-time political figures, or just famous for being famous.
JohnKerry and JFK’s daughter have no training, no experience in the delicate dance of diplomatic relations, the Pitzger woman isn’t qualified to run any government agency even though she might be a powerhouse in the private sector, and the list goes on.

The head of the EPA is ruining our economy while trying to appease some tree-huggers, the head of the HHS had absolutely no experience in setting up and running a health insurance program, but they had all the power and did whatever they wished.

Back to MrShinseki, he should retire, resign, discover a “health” issue, or need to spend more time with his family, and MrObama should appoint someone at least who has a passing familiarity with running a huge health care system and all it’s problems.

AFVet May 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Isn’t about time to rename the press corp the puss corp ?

AFVet May 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Edit,….Isn’t IT about time to call the press corp the puss corp ?
Keith, thanks for the info but this site sucks at times.
I know that you can do better than this.

Langley Spook May 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

…I can think of worse names to call the “WH press corps”… and under this Obama regime the sycophants in the press corps deserve them all…

because We readers of WhiteHouseDossier KNOW how to ask better questions and DEMAND answers from this ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ regime

AFVet May 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Yeah Spook, so can I.
If that idiot standing behind his power podium doesn’t answer a question, why doesn’t someone else pose the same one until he gives an answer ?
The videos that Keith shows us is a room full of pathetic morons that would never pass muster in any workplace, let alone the military.
Oh yes, they are diligently copying the comments of the Carney Barker, eager to share them with whomever they are paid to share them with.
Drones…………

Michael May 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

A vintage Obama performance by a spineless guy who is simply incapable of taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

Shinseki is an honorable and good man, but isn’t competent to manage the VA….just like his boss isn’t competent to manage ANYTHING.

This guy is so detached and disinterested in the details of the presidency that it’s a disgrace.

Of course, if there’s a pro team to receive, a kid’s baseball game to toss a ball around, or a game of golf to play, Obama is all over it.

Can the US survive 2 1/2 more years of this?

rulierose May 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

now now, Michael! Obama also swings into action whenever a black person is injured or insulted by a white person “acting stupidly.” give credit where credit is due, LOL.

Sportinlife10 May 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

That wasn’t just ANY kid’s BBall game: Jay Carney’s kid was on the team.

Darkangel May 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I suspect it can.

And once 2017 gets here, with the GOP in charge of both sides of Congress, AND in the White House, we should get an Attorney General who will throw the whole damn law library at Obama.

If they find him as guilty as I think he is, then let him spend the rest of his life in solitary. He can’t go ten minutes without having someone tell him how great he is, so if all he gets to see are corrections officers who tell him he’s pond scum, he MIGHT last a month.

Langley Spook May 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Obama ‘speaks’ (without a teleprompter in front of a sycophant audience/aka; “WH Press Corps”) = Obama is clueless (aka; CYA) = Obama LIES… *yawn*

Langley Spook May 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

BTW,
-Isnt Michele, the so-called “FLOTUS”, making her so-called ‘issue’ caring about US troops & Vets…?

Where the H#LL has she been on this topic…?!!!

(…”all this for a flag”… That WE Veterans served…)

Otis Driftwood May 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

What bothers me more is BO stating as a congressman, how hard he worked to help veterans and their families? Am sure if you dig into his voting record, you will see allot of “present” or non votes on anything close to issues involving veterans or members of the Armed Forces.

The rest of his time he comes out smelling like a rose as Prez because his pit bull Harry will never let bills get past his desk for voting on.

MOTUS.. the military members are her props.. her go to when other programs are falling down.

AFVet May 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I can’t stand her voice or her image.
When she tries to embrace the veterans it is an abomination to every one of us that have served.
She is a hypocrite.

Sportinlife10 May 22, 2014 at 6:44 am

Dare we say “whited sepulchre”?

Artcat May 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

“Well, in Obama’s mind, he hasn’t failed at all.”

The reason he does not know he has failed is because he has not learned about it in the news yet, the way he apparently learns of Everything! Of course, there will never be a headline to alert him that “Extra! President’s Policies Fail Across the Board”.
Or, if such a thing did happen, the heading below that would be
“Due to Right Wing Obstructionists”.

CiscoKid May 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

J’accuse YOU, B.H. Obama, for allowing this travesty.
Of your many failures as President, your failure as Commander-in-Chief will be your legacy.
Now pick up your golf clubs and do what you do best, nothing.
Unless of course there’s a fundraiser.
r/off

Kathryn May 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I can smell the sulfur surrounding that podium. This is not an intelligent man. He is just a scaming talker. Nothing will be done. More rhetoric only.

On another subject, I would like to know, does he go to any of the daily briefings or does he send his dog to take notes? If he does go, what do they discuss if it is not the concerns currently in the nation as he says he knows nothing about anything. I fear they are probably discussing the quality of marij that is coming into the meeting later.

Marcus May 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm

The last number I read about attending his PDF’s was that he misses about 60 percent of them. In addition, he very rarely meets with the full Cabinet, so he’s pretty much disengaged from them and the issues they are working on. He rarely meets with the Congressional leadership from either party. He spends a lot of time with labor union leadership and greeny groups and other similar characters. European leaders have given up on Obama because he brings nothing to the table so he’s not connecting with our allies in any meaningful way. That’s it in a nutshell.

Matthew May 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I was surfing through the channels and came across a fox news panel and one of their “experts” said that VA Doctors “are sub-par”

Having a loved one that was taken care of so well by VA Doctors, I took great offense. This has nothing to do with the doctors, but everything to do with leadership.

I’m never watching fox news again.

Dave May 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm

He claims to have slashed the disability backlog by half. Just asking though–who created the statistics that show the backlog being reduced in the first place? Individuals in the VA, right?
We know the VA has already falsified data to make the agency look good on appointment wait times. The President wants us to believe the data on disability claims is accurate.
He does take us for fools.

KenoshaMarge May 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

The great blabbermouth strikes again. Full of sound and fury, rather muted fury that sounded more like boredom, and signifying nothing. Just a speech he had to give until the obamamedia can make this scandal go away. I suspect this one will be harder to sweep under the carpet. But who knows, people serving their country died at Benghazi too and the MSM made that nearly disappear.