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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dana Milbank, "Obama is President Passive over the Veterans Affairs scandal": Obama Is "President Passive" . . . Period

"All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'"

- Howard Beale, "Network" (1976)


Are you "mad as hell"? Well, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says President Obama is "madder than hell," but he sure as hell doesn't appear that way. Actually, it seems that the lives of veterans don't have value for the Obama administration.

Just another "political football" or "bogus" scandal? I don't think so.

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obama is President Passive over the Veterans Affairs scandal" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-obama-is-president-passive-over-the-veterans-administration/2014/05/21/4cc2d534-e12f-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html?hpid=z2), Dana Milbank observes:

"Over the weekend, the president’s chief of staff assured the public that Obama was 'madder than hell' about what happened at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but in person Obama didn’t seem very angry. Like VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Obama wasn’t entirely convinced something bad had happened.

'If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable,' he said. 'If there is misconduct, it will be punished.'

. . . .

But there are no 'ifs' about it: Numerous inquiries and leaked memos over several years point to “gaming strategies” employed at VA facilities to make wait times for medical appointments seem shorter — and these clearly aren’t limited to those reported in Phoenix; Albuquerque; Fort Collins, Colo.; and elsewhere. Lawmakers in both parties have spoken of a systemic problem at the agency, and the American Legion, citing 'poor oversight,' has called for Shinseki’s resignation — the first time it has made such a gesture in more than 70 years."

Wow, Milbank is finally waking up to the fact that Obama is a crafty orator, but an incompetent administrator?

Why does he think that the president should behave differently with respect to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki than with former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius?

But more to the point, has the American people finally woken up to the fact that the emperor has no clothes?

Maybe, just maybe, we will find out in November.

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