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Owning up

I have had a little experience with Veterans' Administration hospitals. While I never served, members of my family have. In fact, one of them died in a VA hospital. But I'm willing to bet that I've spent more time (admittedly very little) in a VA hospital than a lot of those currently expressing outrage over the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and its conditions.

However, I "know" some people who have spent a great deal of time in such places. And they are people I am willing to trust.

One of them is SMASH, a Lt. Commander in the United States Naval Reserve who, at last count, has been to Kuwait on active duty twice, and is currently on duty in DC. And if he is willing to vouch for "Chuck" as strongly as he does, I'm going to give Chuck's words a great deal of weight.

The problems at Walter Reed -- and, by extension, other military medical facilities -- don't appear to be policy, but systemic of a large bureaucracy, coupled with the "ickiness" element of things most people don't want to deal with.

Injured soldiers are a fact of life in war. They represent the price of our national decision to wage war, and represent an obligation on all of us. And it is a shameful but true aspect of human nature to want to look away from our obligations, to set aside those we owe a debt to -- especially if those people aren't in any position to press their case.

The conditions at Walter Reed, as represented by the Washington Post, are utterly unacceptable. but I'm not going to to call for heads to roll.

No, I think first we need to fix the problem, then worry about apportioning blame. The heads will still be there after things get mended.

It's far too easy to see these wounded men and women as a debt we owe them. But from there, it's just a short step to try to weasel out of that debt. But that is wrong.

They are an opportunity for us. They are a chance to assert that we value their service, their devotion to duty, and their sacrifice, and reassure those currently at risk that they will not be treated so shabbily should they be unfortunate enough to need treatment.

We, as Americans, are tremendously fortunate to have such amazing people as are currently serving in our armed services. Incidents like the condtions at Walter Reed call into question whether or not we are worthy of them.


Comments (91)

The conditions at Walter Re... (Below threshold)
DocJ:

The conditions at Walter Reed are a valid and very important topic of discussion, but please folks let's get our facts straight.
The Army, or higher up the chain, the Department of Defense, which runs Walter Reed Hospital, has nothing whatsoever to do with Veterans Affairs. The VA is a separate, cabinet-level organization with it's own leadership, budget, staff, and facilities. If we want to talk about the VA, that's fine, but please let's not conflate or confuse the Walter Reed issue with the VA hospitals. They are not the same thing.

Yes sir, I'm sure looking f... (Below threshold)
Actual:

Yes sir, I'm sure looking forward to government run healthcare (i.e Hillary!care) for the entire U.S. population.

Jay, I agree with you on th... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Jay, I agree with you on this, and I also agree with DocJ. Even through a lot of people want to blame President Bush for this, it was happening way before he became President.
However as the President, he does need to take the lead on this and try to straighten out this mess. Same as all the "elected employees" in Congress.

I have read different articles on this, and one article claimed that there was no doctors on the evaluation board that assigns the amount of disability a person receives. If this is true, it needs to be fixed.

Another article claimed over 600K of backlog claims. Also if this is true, someone isn't doing their jobs correctly.

And Actual is also correct in his statement about gov't run healthcare.

Best post I read was that the vets be given vouchers to go to the best medical place for treatment and in turn, that place bills the VA for the care. That makes more sense than having our veterans staying in a roach motel.

The conditions at Walter... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

The conditions at Walter Reed, as represented by the Washington Post, are utterly unacceptable. but I'm not going to to call for heads to roll.

Well, of course you're not. This would mean pointing your grimy little finger at Ronald Reagan and all those wonderful neocons working to shoot down those awful "entitlements."

Gee, asti, pity you didn't ... (Below threshold)

Gee, asti, pity you didn't read another two sentences before you shot your mouth off.

"Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

J.

waiting to lay blame later ... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

waiting to lay blame later also gives you guys some time to figure out which democrats to blame, and how to spin all responsibility away from republicans.

Slingshot,You might ... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Slingshot,
You might be correct on that line of thinking, however; anyone that has half a brain will know it is both Republican and Democratic parties fault. They, both parties hopefully will have their cranium/rectal surgery and fix this problem so it will never happen again.

If any person slams one party or the other on this, it will show their true color, won't it?

"No, I think first we need ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"No, I think first we need to fix the problem, then worry about apportioning blame. The heads will still be there after things get mended."

Now where I have heard that before? Katrina, and we all know how well that is coming along.

Asti, Sling, BG2K - do you ... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

Asti, Sling, BG2K - do you guys pull out the vitriol just because this is a Jay Tea post? Why does it have to be Rep vs. Dem? The vets are all AMERICANS and deserve better than what they are getting no matter what administration is in charge. They have all bleed for this country and DESERVE better no matter what administration is in charge. At least Chuck at TCOverride shoulders part of the blame:

I SHOULDER PART OF THE BLAME FOR NOT TRYING TO FIX THE PROBLEM. I left my brothers behind, and got myself home. After recovery, I moved on to other things, even though the complaints made today are the same as they were 2 years ago. Families are in the dark, medhold is a ridiculous and poor taste joke and apparent cover-your-ass move by the chain of command. I am an officer. I am a leader. By allowing this to happen, and continue to happen, I am at fault for not getting it fixed earlier or fixing it myself.

That is the mark of a true leader folks. The mark of a true American caring about his fellow Americans in their time of need. Being a Captain there isn't much he can do aside from writing to the correct people. Meanwhile politicians, both Republican and Democrat, will only do the right thing if it benefits them politically.

So it isn't a Republican thing. It isn't a Democrat thing. It's an American thing. Don't drag this discussion down with senseless drivel.

Whenever a Republican says ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Whenever a Republican says "let's not worry about who's to blame" you know they are guilty as sin.

Then, Lee, it's a gosh-darn... (Below threshold)

Then, Lee, it's a gosh-darned good thing I'm not a Republican.

J.

Man oh man. Jay points out... (Below threshold)

Man oh man. Jay points out the obvious; that the problems need to be addressed FIRST and immediate action taken and out come the partisan attacks. I mean, please. Do we not already have enough experience with our Congress wasting precious time that could be spent actually fixing a problem while they bicker over who's to blame?

Grimy little finger? Asti, when did you last wash your hands? You seem to do an awful lot of finger pointing yourself.
Spin responsibility away? Barney's already at wheel in that regard.

I suspect that you vote for... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I suspect that you vote for Republican candidates far more than you vote for Democrats, Jay. Are you telling us that isn't true? The fact that you're not wiling to identify yourself as a Republican is a different matter.

Jay:I've been wait... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Jay:

I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I agree in toto with your view in your post.

But then, gosh darn it in your comment responding to Lee you go and bolox everyhting up!! Here you go again, denying the obvious. You've done it before. A 12 Step program might help you get through your denial. Why are you so ashamed of calling yourself what you are Jay?

I guess I shouldn't have in... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

I guess I shouldn't have included BG2K in that last bit since he was just bringing up a strawman.

Katrina, and it's aftermath, was a debacle to be sure. But both parties should shoulder the blame. Nagin and Blanco for not doing their job, Brown for not doing his and the POTUS for not reacting quick enough.

As for post-Katrina New Orleans, well, they re-elected the man that was ineffective in the first place and now are suffering the consequences. As far as federal aid is concerned I'm in the 'why should I pay for someone to rebuild when the choose to live 10ft below sea level' camp. If you want to live there fine - I shouldn't have to pay for it (federal taxes used for rebuilding). You want to live below sea level then that burden is your own.

Hugh - Jay can be conservat... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

Hugh - Jay can be conservative and not be a Republican. I'm sure it's hard to believe. Some are Libertarian, some are Green. Some are even Democrats but they are decried by the further left Dems as not being Dem enough. God knows how Kos and his ilk would treat someone like Kennedy if he was running for office in today's climate.

Lee just shows that he is m... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Lee just shows that he is more interested in placing blame than actually fixing any problem. For Lee every issue boils down to how can we place the blame on Bush and the Repubs.

J.R.:In case you m... (Below threshold)

J.R.:

In case you missed it, the sky is blue and water is wet.

(Well, if we're going to go around stating the obvious...)

J.

Dan,That kind of '... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Dan,

That kind of 'deep thinking' eludes the left. They still cant figure out how one of the best and most accomplished Dems of the last 20 yrs, Zell Miller, is actually a conservative.

Dan and J.R.The ki... (Below threshold)
hugh:

Dan and J.R.

The kind of "deep thinking" that reviles the moderates of the Republican Party in Congress? The kind of "deep thinking" that drove the independents away from Republicans in November? You mean that kind of "deep thinking"

By the way J.R. I've been joshing Jay about his party affiliation for months.

"Joshing," hugh? I thought ... (Below threshold)

"Joshing," hugh? I thought you were just being an ignorant asshole. My mistake.

J.

Awww Jay ignorant asshole (... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Awww Jay ignorant asshole (and I even complimented you sort of in the first part of the comment)?

Asshole, maybe. Ignorant, never.

H

I know, off topic, but if o... (Below threshold)

I know, off topic, but if one doesn't agree with Lee's politics, they're automatically a filthy little Republican. It's the dirtiest name he can think of.

I'm a bit conservative, a bit liberal and mostly libertarian and he's called me a republican too.

Not sure what Lee is ... beyond hater that is.

Fixing the problem and taki... (Below threshold)
happywash:

Fixing the problem and taking heads off have to happen at the same time. If you leave the people who made this mess in power, NOTHING will change. Why? Because the leaders will never own up to creating the problem. They'll say "we'll look into it," which means they'll wait for the story to get out of the press, and then go back to the same old shoddy care. We, as Americans, need to fire these idiots. If they had a true fear of losing their jobs, they would act differently. That's the only true way to apply pressure and force chage. And that's exactly what we need to do. FORCE them to do it. I agree that this goes way beyond partisan politics. Whoever is to blame for this fiasco, show them the door. Then things will change.

Allen-you make a goo... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

Allen-
you make a good point, but my earlier post is 100% correct based on reading this blog. according to the people that run this thing, W could strangle Cheney with his bare hands, in public, on television, right after saying "i hate dick cheney and i am going to strangle him," and somehow it would still be the democrats fault.

dan irving-
i think the vitriol comes out because it is hard to hold back when one reads the most disingenuous statements which are writtne ostensibly in the sense of trying to be a problem solver. your point is taken, however. but, i would remind all of you, that the next time you go around calling all dems traitors, remember that the vets, some of whom (surprise, surprise) ARE democrats, are all Americans.

i give wizbang one piece of real credit, though. they allow, almost always without any censorship other than when someone really crosses the line, free expression of all views, regardless of how crudely some posters state their opposition to the opinions of the writers of the blog. a lot of people just delete the comments of people's views they don't like.

I saw in the news yesterday... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I saw in the news yesterday that an army (sorry for the pun) of contractors were at work fixing the problems.

It seems that nothing gets done in this administration until the liberal press, and the liberal Democrats start cry and whining about it.

Things were so much better under Republican suppression. Why do the Republicans hate the troops so much?

Oh yes, Barney -- what woul... (Below threshold)

Oh yes, Barney -- what would we do without the liberals watching out for us.

Sometimes I can't figure out whether you're intellectually dishonest or just blinded by your extreme ideology -- then I realize they're really the same thing.

the va has always sucked. ... (Below threshold)
jay k.:

the va has always sucked. it's a massive bureacracy of the kind the movie "brazil" could have been based upon. they can throw an army of contractors at it if they want...it won't solve the root problem. the good that can come from this is that we can now stop with the red herring debate about who does or does not support the troops...actions speak louder than words...none of us do. now let's get on to a RATIONAL debate about how to stop the un-necessary carnage that made building 18 necessary in the first place.

So you're not gonna lay any... (Below threshold)
Robert:

So you're not gonna lay any blame on the "troop supporting" Republican Administration?

Shocked, just shocked I tell you!!!

BTW, they DON'T support our troops!! (It's just a Marketing line the Republicans use to squash dissent).

You got to remember now tha... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

You got to remember now that barneygoole belongs to the "club".

The problems at Walter Reed... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

The problems at Walter Reed at so politically incorrect that they are virtually unsolvable in the long term.

1. Walter Reed in located in the ghetto with a high crime rate on post and an enormous crime rate in the surrounding community. The location crates problems in attracting good civlian employees and getting military people to volunteer to be assigned to Walter Reed.

2. The majority of the workforce in from the local community. They have little in common with the majority of the wounded service members. The workforce is also the bottom of the barrel of civilian employees in DC. Anyone who has spent even a day at Walter Reed should not be surprise that employees lose records, are ineffective, acted rudely, and poor performers.

3. Walter Reed has to follow the same contracting rules as everyone else. Thus, all of their minor construction, housekeeping, and maintenance contractors are 8A minority set aside contractors. It should surpirse no one that those contractors cannot repair the plumbing or fix the dry wall.

4. Walter Reed is the last place anyone in the military wants to be assigned. Thus, the best soldiers avoid it and those assigned do everything to get out of there. In the four years of the war, probably 95% of the military at Walter Reed have rotated out. Since Walter Reed is considered such a bad assignment it gets the weakest leaders and cause people to not care.

Remember, one of the reasons that the BRAC commission decided to close Walter Reed is that the entire military considers the place a miserable place that should be avoided.

Oyster,How could a... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Oyster,

How could anyone vote for a Republican or Conservative nowadays?

Haven't they shown you what they really believe these last 6 years?

I always felt I was an Independent as well. In fact, I have voted for Republicans a few times in the past.

Not any more.
No way.
They believe in feathering their own beds and to hell with everyone else (in other words, F the poor).

Now if I could just get a real alternative to the Democrats.

jhow66-have you ever... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

jhow66-
have you ever posted anything of any substantive value to this blog? isn't the club the one you go to with knee pads on every saturday night?

sure they are culpable to a... (Below threshold)
jay k.:

sure they are culpable to a point. they didn't do any planning for this mis-adventure...and this latest episode is only symptomatic of that abject failure. but the va is a problem as old as the va. my fathers uncle, a veteran of d-day, passed on while in the care of a va hospital 20 years ago...and it was a f'ed up system then.
of course it is a rovian slogan designed to quelch real debate. what we really need to do is figure a way out of the black hole that is iraq. and questioning who supports the troops is ridiculously counterproductive.

Lee has beclowned himself s... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Lee has beclowned himself so many times with his hatred and bile that he's become the epitome of a troll; but I don't want him banned because such moronic behavior needs to be on display to remind us of what the moonbats are all about.

PS: Sorry JT, I sometimes lack the self-control to adhere to your admonition about not feeding such creatures.

Jay,I know it's ob... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Jay,

I know it's obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be repeated.

By the way J.R. I've been joshing Jay about his party affiliation for months.

Not sure why you directed that comment to me, I don't care about your "joshing" around with Jay and can't see where I mentioned it either.

To summarize superdestroyer... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

To summarize superdestroyer's analysis:
Work hard, study, stay in school or get stuck at Walter Reed, and don't be black.

Is that what you were really saying?

J.R., I just appropriated y... (Below threshold)

J.R., I just appropriated your remark to hammer home just how accurately you captured Lee's contributions around here. I certainly never intended it to give offense.

J.

Robert, that comment is so ... (Below threshold)

Robert, that comment is so fraught with hypocrisy I won't even respond.

By the way, anyone else not... (Below threshold)

By the way, anyone else notice how fast the subject got changed from "what's wrong and how can we fix it?" to "who should we blame first?"

Or, more to the point, "let's blame the Republicans!"

Kind of insightful into just whose priorities lie where...

J.

George W. bush will probabl... (Below threshold)
Philadelphia Steve:

George W. bush will probably even present the comendant of Walter Reed with a Medal of Freedom!

You notice how the Republic... (Below threshold)
Lee:

You notice how the Republican response is always to blame the Democrats for everything -- unless it is clearly the fault of Republicans, and then it shifts to "Why are we blaming anyone???"

You can't fix it without identifying the fault, and the fault lies with the Republican-controlled Congress that held the purse strings for all the last 13 years, and the Republican President in the White House is just didn't give a damn.

Fix both of those - problem solved.

It's a normal state of gove... (Below threshold)

It's a normal state of government bureaucracies to be totally dysfunctional. The VA is no different than the Department of Homeland Insecurity or any other government agency.

It just seems that government is a whole lot more dysfunctional under Bush than it was under Clinton. I believe this is a reflection of the management styles at their very top. With Bush there is a strong buddy system and virtually no accountability. It's not what you know; it's who you know. (Worst example: Harriet Miers SC nomination).

And with Bush himself it's not the facts that matter but rather what his "gut instinct" tells him. Clinton was the exact opposite. He was a policy wonk who would overanalyze issues ad nauseum. Both are strong believers in big and ever-expanding government, Clinton was the better manager however.

It does seem that the side that claims they are always "supporting the troops" has taken a big hit with the Walter Reed story.

Press Briefing 2/20/07<br /... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Press Briefing 2/20/07
Q Was the President aware of it? Was the White House aware of it?

MR. SNOW: -- when we first became aware of it.* Now the President certainly has been aware of the conditions in the wards where he has visited, and visited regularly, and we also have people from Walter Reed regularly over to the White House as guests, sometimes in fairly large numbers. So as I said, the President is committed -- committed to these people, committed to men and women who have served. We need to make sure that whatever problems there are get fixed. I couldn't be any stronger or plainer about it.

Did you notice the asterisk?

* The President first learned of the troubling allegations regarding Walter Reed from the stories this weekend in the Washington Post. He is deeply concerned and wants any problems identified and fixed.

File under: Another Bush Lie

larkin...clinton shr... (Below threshold)
jay k.:

larkin...
clinton shrunk the government.

Jay: "We, as Americans, ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Jay: "We, as Americans, are tremendously fortunate to have such amazing people as are currently serving in our armed services. Incidents like the conditions at Walter Reed call into question whether or not we are worthy of them."

Translation: "We Republicans are deeply embarrassed by the revelations that our lips service about being on the side of the service men and women in this country has been revealed to be nothing more than major bullsh*t. We clearly aren't worthy to run this country, but as soon as we can figure out how to blame the Democrats for this mess we will."

Unfortunately, this thread ... (Below threshold)
Dave A.:

Unfortunately, this thread has devolved into nothing but political opportunism.

Having been in one of the US armed forces from 1975 - 1999, it has been my observation that the quality of military health facilities has been stubbornly independent of the party in power, be it the presidency or control of congress.

And please, everyone go re-read the first comment in the thread: Walter Reed is NOT a VA hospital.

Loser lee,(LIE)<... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Loser lee,
(LIE)
Shut your lying hole . Go back and read from the first post. Proof that you are a fucken liar.

(CRY)
WAAAA! Republicans ....purse strings ....13years WAAAAA!.........They don't care!..... WAAAAA!

(BEGGING)

We care more! .... Please please please give us all the power, that's the only way we can fix things for you.

Lee being uneducated , stupid and a petulant whing brat ......
....... "the fault lies with the Republican-controlled Congress that held the purse strings for all the last 13 years.


Jay, I see your original re... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Jay, I see your original retort more clearly now and no offense taken at all.

Lee, we get it, you hate Republicans and want to blame them for everything. The Republicans are responsible for all the evils in the world and they did it all in just 13 years, quite a feat.

Larkin, you forgot to show the satire tag at the end of your post. You were trying to be funny right? (heavy sarcasm)

By the way, anyone else ... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

By the way, anyone else notice how fast the subject got changed from "what's wrong and how can we fix it?" to "who should we blame first?"

Yup - that's a real shame too, because over the last few weeks, there's been a lot of off topic comments related to veterans' treatment, funding, etc. A suspicious amount as a matter of fact, such that it may have been in a chain letter or something - most definitely in the talking points anyway.

When it finally comes up - it ends up being just a shitload of noise consisting of "it's the fault of the _____________".

So, apparently, regardless of who's in power, something needs to be done.

Right?

Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaa! Heckuva... (Below threshold)
Boobjonezyouniversitigraditate:

Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaa! Heckuva job, guy thats running Walter Reed! Its hard enuf work suporting troops from behind my keyboard. I can only imigine how hard it must be from behind a desk at the hopsital! This is not our Lord and Savior George W Christ's fault. This is the work of evildoers! (And let's face it, if them soldier boys hadn't of done got themselves all shot up, they wouldn't find themselves in this sityation. You know us Republicans are all about personal responsibility!)

Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaa... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaa! Heckuva job, guy thats running Walter Reed! Its hard enuf work suporting troops from behind my keyboard. I can only imigine how hard it must be from behind a desk at the hopsital! This is not our Lord and Savior George W Christ's fault. This is the work of evildoers! (And let's face it, if them soldier boys hadn't of done got themselves all shot up, they wouldn't find themselves in this sityation. You know us Republicans are all about personal responsibility!)

Lee? I that you?

Apologies for the douple po... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

Apologies for the douple post - I've now learned to no clicky the date-timestamp on my post.

Yeeeeee-haaaaaa! Heck no D... (Below threshold)
Boobjonezyouniversitigraditate:

Yeeeeee-haaaaaa! Heck no Dan Irving! I oughta punch you in the nose for that! I ain't Lee. That lee's a dirty rotten hippy! He's a HATER! He hates America, and George Bush, and killing evil doers, and mom and apple pie and nascar and beef jerky. And puppies. I'm an all american clean cut kid, and I been to college too! I support the troops almost as much as my hero JT does! He's so brave! One time, I posted 57 comments on difrent blogs telling everybody about how much I suppert the troops. I want to be just like him! Yeeeee-haaaa!

"Unfortunately, this thre... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Unfortunately, this thread has devolved into nothing but political opportunism."

This is one of many reasons I will never vote Democrat again.

"And please, everyone go re-read the first comment in the thread: Walter Reed is NOT a VA hospital."

Dave, that is a fact. Lee does't care about facts.

He claims to be Patriotic , truth is he doesn't give a rats ass about the VA or the USA. He's only here to lie , cry and beg for his puppet masters.

"let's not conflate or confuse the Walter Reed issue with the VA hospitals"

This is exactly what they want to do. Distort , divert and deceive for the survival and promotion of the Democrat Party.

David A. , Thank you for your years of service to our Country.

Getting ready to retire aft... (Below threshold)

Getting ready to retire after 23 years in the Air Force and having spent the last 15 of those years visiting Vets in VA Hospitals, I find it hilarious that anyone would try to make this a politically divided issue. Both parties absolutely SUCK at funding Veteran's benefits. You basically can't get anyone to care for more than a soundbite.

On the other hand, it's usually not Republicans protesting us in front of our own hospitals in the name of peace.

Just sayin'...

Who's been in power for the... (Below threshold)
jim:

Who's been in power for the past 6 years?

Answer: GOP White House, GOP Senate, GOP Congress

Who's been calling for our military members to sacrifice themselves in numbers that haven't been seen since the Viet Nam War?

Answer: GOP White House, GOP Senate, GOP Congress

Who's been letting conditions for those vets on their return at Walter Reed and other places get worse and worse, without doing anything about it?

Answer: GOP White House, GOP Senate, GOP Congress

Now, if nothing changes now that the US Senate and Congress are controlled by the Democratic party, then you might have an argument.

But to paint this as bipartisan is simply not accurate to the facts. The GOP has been 100% in charge of these Afghanistan and Iraq occupations, and the US military, and the treatment of our veterans for 6 years now.

Power means accountability. If you run things you are accountable for the results, and not someone else. Period.

Hey Jim:Blood for ... (Below threshold)

Hey Jim:

Blood for mangoes!

Got a little tantrum goin' there, do ya?

Yeeee-Haaaa! Tell him Oyst... (Below threshold)
Boobjonezyouniversitigraditate:

Yeeee-Haaaa! Tell him Oyster! These danged liberals think they can come in here with their logic and make points. We won't have it! Dang straight Republicans have been in charge. You think it's easy having to run this war? Haliburton ain't cheap buddy! And I don't want to hear about the tax cuts. the $200.00 dollars that the average family saved wouldn't buy a bottle of aspirin at Walter Reed. And I need that $200 bucks. It filled up the tank of my SUV for my fishing trip this summer. And if that means some guy coming back from Iraq has to wander the streets with a fractured skull and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, so be it. As our Lord and Savior george W Christ said, we all have to make sacrifices! (I didn't even stay in a motel on my fishing trip. I camped!)

"Who's been letting conditi... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Who's been letting conditions for those vets on their return at Walter Reed and other places get worse and worse, without doing anything about it?"

Now it's other places ? This is nothing more than BEGGING FOR POWER by the most despicable criminal frauds to have disgraced our Country.

Another Democrat Media sham to Foley the public and create outrage and chaos.So blowhards like Jim can blow for the democrats. Why doesn't the Media focus on the Patients that are being dumped on skid row with IV's still stuck in their arms in Los Angeles?

So what are you trying to say Jim, If the walls get scrubbed and a fresh coat gets applied, then democrats should be given the Presidency?

How about the Problems get fixed under Bush's watch , now Republicans should be given back the Majority?

Democrats don't care about fixing anything , they just want to find problems and assign blame to Republicans and demand accountability. Which is nothing more than evil people who covet what is not theirs. They want to remove all persons who have what they want , "all power"

The Media should have brought attention to this long ago because that is their job. However we have a DEMOCRAT MEDIA so people are always going to suffer because of the Polital Fiends on the left.

What can I say? Lack of acc... (Below threshold)
jim:

What can I say? Lack of accountability really gets on my nerves.

It'd be like me setting fire to my kid's bedroom, and saying the previous owners of the house are also to blame because they didn't stop me.

Thank you for your servic... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Thank you for your service Timmer.

"it's usually not Republicans protesting us in front of our own hospitals in the name of peace.

Just sayin'..."

Speaks volumes doesn't it?

Why doesn't the Media fo... (Below threshold)
jim:

Why doesn't the Media focus on the Patients that are being dumped on skid row with IV's still stuck in their arms in Los Angeles?

Are you saying that we should focus all of our attention on the LA homeless, and completely ignore our veterans? Yes or no?

If no, are you saying that we can only solve one problem OR the other?

So what are you trying to say Jim, If the walls get scrubbed and a fresh coat gets applied, then democrats should be given the Presidency?

No. I'm saying that accountabiltiy and personal responsibility means, those who were in charge are responsible.

Period.

Are you saying that those who were in charge are NOT responsible? If so, how?

Are you saying that Democrats have secretly mind-controlled the White House, Senate and Congress for the past six years? Because that's the only way the Democrats can be to blame for something that Republicans did.

Also, please show what problems were fixed under Bush's watch, by Republicans - as opposed to numerous and continued efforts made by Democrats to improve the status of our veterans. A great number of which were voted down, as Democrats were the majority party.

Disagree? Show facts.

"Lack of accountability rea... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Lack of accountability really gets on my nerves."

Does it really?

Ted Kennedy Kills intern drunk ass

Fraud Kerry -Treason

Clintons Mass Corruption

All the rest of those who are corrupt getting promoted not demotted ,Jefferson , Moholhan.

It only get on your "R" nerves.

Democrats don't care abo... (Below threshold)
jim:

Democrats don't care about fixing anything , they just want to find problems and assign blame to Republicans and demand accountability.

How DARE Democrats demand accountability from the poor, helpless, weak little GOP?

How Dare the Democrats treat the poor little Republican politicians as if they are grown men, able to face up to their own actions?

Aw...look at those soft, teary-eyed little Republican politicians....That's so unfair of those meanie Democarts! Someone should stop them, before they demand Republican politicians actually do what they say, or something equally mean and shrill.

OK, cool. I'm all for full ... (Below threshold)
jim:

OK, cool. I'm all for full accountability.

How about we have full investigations into Kennedy, Kerry and Clinton - oh wait, we already did that.

Hm, Kerry released his medical records. Oh, and everyone who was on the boat with him backs his story, and is friends with him to this day. Right.

How about Bill Clinton be investigated for 4 years, and have $40 million spent on an independent counsel?

Oh, right, did that.

OK.

Seriously, I'm all about it. Let's continue the investigation of Jefferson and whatever you're talking about with Mollohan - and let's also investigate Hastert, continue to investigate Frist's financial disclosure oddities. And, sure, let's keep investigating Reid too.

And let's also investigate Cheney and Bush.

Fair's fair, right? You'd support a 4-year, $40 million into a Republican President or VP, wouldn't you?

If not, why not?

Ya right "Hm, Kerry relea... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Ya right "Hm, Kerry released his medical records."

"Military records" all of them publicly. Never gonna Happen.

Kennedy a Senator ? That's accountability? Sheesh!

The Clintons not in Prison? That's Accountabilty ?

Plamegate , what has that been for 4 yrs ? A JOKE!

Yeeee-haaaaa! I don't like... (Below threshold)
Boobjonezyouniversitigraditate:

Yeeee-haaaaa! I don't like most things from Calipornia, but this Rob guys a-ok! He's smart as a tick on a coon hounds hind quarters, and just as quick! Tell em Rob! The Swift Boat Vetrens told it how it was with John Kerry. So what if none of them ever actually ser ved with him. They heard the stories. And everybody knows Bill Clinton should be in jail for killing Vince Foster. Jerry Falwell said so, and he's a man of god. he wouldn't lie! And look at our Lord and Savior Jesus W Bush. When confronted with allygations (Lies) that he hadn't finished his National Gaurd service he promptly released ALL of his records. In fact, there were at least three times when they released new records that theysaid were all the reocrds. So there!

Boob, You ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Boob,

You know your going to hell right?

This is NOT about VA hospit... (Below threshold)
Fed-up Vet:

This is NOT about VA hospitals or Vets! We are talking about patient care for 'SOLDIERS" returning from a war zone. These are active duty soldiers who were injured in service to their country. These are volunteers who have put their lives on the line for their country.

Forget the Reps and Dems, this is the fault of the Generals and the DOD and the SecDef! Congress is responsible for 'oversight' and audit functions.

There is absolutely no reason why things can't fixed and accountability be assighed at the same time. That is called management.

Don't get me going on the bureaucracy issue. If they can't run a bureaucracy they should find a new line of work. Running it effectively is their job. Get new managers. Get new Generals.

I am more disgusted with the Walter Reed fiasco than I was with Abu G. I NEVER would have thought that something would reach that level of moral depravity.

Jay:"The heads wil... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Jay:

"The heads will still be there after things get mended" does not address the authors or causes of those aforementioned conditions in any way, shape or form, so your response does not logically or reasonably address my statement.

The "we would punish the perpetrators, were in not for the lateness of the hour" excuse is a standard tool of the lazy apologist.

"Better to shout down a rain barrell, than to engage Jay Tea in discourse."

This is wandering a bit far... (Below threshold)
jim:

This is wandering a bit far afield from the original point of this discussion; but it still bothers me to see accusations flung around with no evidence.

So: please show what pertinent records Kerry has NOT released, and why they will show that his military record was fraudulent.

If you have no specific records, please withdraw your unproven accusation.

I don't think it's too much to ask.

This may interest you re: K... (Below threshold)
jim:

This may interest you re: Kerry:

"Kerry allows Navy release of military, medical records - Show numerous commendations"

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/06/07/kerry_allows_navy_release_of_military_medical_records/

"...it turned out that the records included commendations from some of the same veterans who were criticizing him."

Jim: The Washington Post do... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Jim: The Washington Post doesn't think that the Ketchup King released his complete records; here's a portion of what they said:

Although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry's full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Post for Kerry's records produced six pages of information. A spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command, Mike McClellan, said he was not authorized to release the full file, which consists of at least a hundred pages.

Here's the link to the full article.

No, I think first ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
No, I think first we need to fix the problem, then worry about apportioning blame.

I, for one, care more about solving the problem that assigning the blame. This seems like one both parties can work together on.

Its not about blame. Its a... (Below threshold)
Mike DeCoss:

Its not about blame. Its about consequences and corrections. The people who let this happen need to be held accountable..fired...discharged...taken out of promotiona lists, etc.
If the responsible folks stay where they are how will the situation get any better.

Again, this is an issue within the DoD, not Repubs or Dems. Lets investigate, correct and hold accountable.

With all the billions we have spent on this war, I frankly don't understand why an appropriate amount isn't going to military hospitals.

Support the troops!

That Washington Post articl... (Below threshold)
jim:

That Washington Post article is dated Sunday, August 22, 2004. The Boston Globe article I'm citing is dated 11 months later, June 5 of 2005.

So you can see that Kerry did fully release his records, as the Post article is complaining that he had yet to do.

Pardon me, Jun 7 of 2005. F... (Below threshold)
jim:

Pardon me, Jun 7 of 2005. Flipping back and forth between web pages here....

Mike DeCross, I'm in agreement with you, as far as it goes.

However i do consider it part of the Commander in Chiefs job to run the Military. And part of the Congress and Senate's job to oversee the Military's use of money it has.

Consider what the $9 BILLION - that's with a 'b' - dollars that are 'unnacounted for' in Iraq could have done to care for our wounded soldiers.

If all it takes is Pentagon and DOD officials to have their feet held to the fire in order to get wounded soldiers what they need, then that's fine with me.

But I do think that trying to brand this as having bipartisan causes, when only one party has been running everything for the past 6 years, is trying to shift accountability from where it rightly sits.

"Consider what the $9 BI... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Consider what the $9 BILLION - that's with a 'b' - dollars that are 'unnacounted for' in Iraq could have done to care for our wounded soldiers."

Ya , consider that it was Iraqi Money.

Hey whiney folks! Walter R... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey whiney folks! Walter Reed is a Military Installation. Go look at almost any Military Installation (if you have a SMART ID card that will let you in) and somewhere you'll find old buildings with nasty mold, vermin and arthropods infesting them. And troops living and working in them. Been like that all through the past forty years I've paid attention to such stuff. What's found at WRAMC in building 18 is found all over the US and abroad. BFD. Get over it. You didn't care a week ago or a year ago or ten years ago when this was just as prevalent. Y'all jest complained bitterly about military spending. This is what you get.

Its not a VA issue. Its an issue of how the military takes care of its own. Lots of pretty Golf Courses for each AF Base, and crappy quarters. Big fancy BX and Commissary for folks to shop at. If the base is big enough and has enough retirees to support it. If its mostly AD, guess what, the odds are the facilities are crappy. Sure there have been remarkable upgrades on many bases, but on these same bases you can still find filthy housing as well.

So you can see tha... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:
So you can see that Kerry did fully release his records, as the Post article is complaining that he had yet to do.

Jim, never let it be said that I wouldn't beat a dead horse, but let's try one more time. Kerry has neverreleased all of his military records to the public. His partial release was only to the Boston Globe and their reporter Michael Kranish, both of whom have been fellating Kerry and liberal Massachusetts democrats for years. Kranish has been an ally of Kerry and wrote a fawning biography of him.

If you have any proof that Kerry's entire military records have been released, I'd like to see it. If the records (all of them) are out there, it shouldn't be hard for you to toss me a link; but I won't be holding my breath waiting.

Mr. Wizband cannot possibly... (Below threshold)
Devil's Advocate:

Mr. Wizband cannot possibly deal with anything negative concerning his cult leader, the Supreme George Bush, and his acolytes at the Pentagon.

In Mr. Wizbang's world, the WaPo articles are tissues of lies destined to undermine the Imperor of the Free World's credibility...

Kool-Aid seems to be more effective than heroin. The "Support-the-Troops" crew is as high as a flurry of kites.

Fortunately, a majority of Americans is drug-free and able to see for itself that severely wounded active troops are treated like garbage.

Why don't you join, chickenhawks? Are you afraid of getting brain trauma and not being properly treated? Or is it that you are defecating your diapers just thinking about getting close to an enlisting office?

If the children in this thr... (Below threshold)
Deadhorse:

If the children in this thread would quit whining over who's fault it is, we should be able to solve it.

First of all, its not a problem of the VA. I get treated at the Palo Alto, CA VA hospital and they do a great job. They did a great job handling my father's end of life also. The hospital is clean, efficient and well maintained with a great staff.

Secondly, as has been mentioned before, Walter Reed is a regular military hospital. So what's so hard about building a new one somewhere else? It's not like the Army is short of bases.

Thirdly, to finance it, we just need to find just one of those billions of dollars the current administration has lost in Iraq and we should be set.

See! No problems and no name calling

So, Old Coot, what records ... (Below threshold)
jim:

So, Old Coot, what records of John Kerry's have not been made public? And how might these records indicate that he's a fraud?

Also, and more to the point - what records do currently exist that indicate that he's a fraud?

It may be a dead horse, since he's unlikely to run again; but unsourced allegations bother me.

Ya , consider that it wa... (Below threshold)
jim:

Ya , consider that it was Iraqi Money.

Rob LA ca., I honestly don't understand what you're saying.

US taxpayers ponied up that $9 billion; Halliburton and others 'lost' it; Iraqis didn't really have much to do with it.

And honestly; one year the IRS sent me a letter because my check to them was $9.00 short. Do you really think they lost track of 9 billion dollars? Let's call it what it is: a kickback.

And let's really call that what it is: when there is enough money to lose 9 billion dollars, but not enough to give our soldiers a decent place and way to heal - that's disgusting and unacceptable.

Agree or disagree?

Yeeeeee-Haaaaa Rob!<p... (Below threshold)
Boobjonezyouniversitigraditate:

Yeeeeee-Haaaaa Rob!

Why would you say something awfuil like that especially afteren I defended you from an attack by that hippy Jim? (And Jim, make sure you get the IRS their $9.00! I'm tired of you libral types freeloading off of all of us harworking, law abiding citizens!)
Anyway Rob, surely you must be demented. I clearly could never ever go to hell, seeing as how I graditated from Bob Jonz Younivirsity, one of the most prestidiginoues religous schools on the face of God's 6,000 year old planet!

Jim: I can't answe... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Jim:

I can't answer your question until you provide me with a link that will allow me to see the records you allege he released. You see, my argument is that he only released some documents to a friendly source and that the complete file is not available to us mortals.

Bottom line: Show me the documents you say are out there.

Well Old Coot, why do you n... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Old Coot, why do you need to see Kerry's records to tell me what you **think** Kerry's guilty of?

I mean, you do think he's guilty of something specific, right?

Or is it that you just don't like him?

Jim:Whether I like... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Jim:

Whether I like him or not is not the subject of our contretemps, nor is it his guilt or innocence. The subject is whether he has released all of his military records. You alleged that he has; I say, show me the records...which should be an easy task for you if they're truly open to public scrutiny. Your failure to back up your assertion would seem to be clear evidence of your mendacity.

Here's a final chance to prove me wrong: toss me a link to the records. All of them. Do that and I will apologize to you regardless of what the records may show. Fair enough?

I picture you with a smi... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

I picture you with a smile on your face 24/7, while asleep too.

"This is not our Lord and Savior George W Christ's fault."

You may be forgiven for this statement but your definitely gonna fry ........lol

Cause you said "BOOB"

I can't answer your ques... (Below threshold)
jim:

I can't answer your question until you provide me with a link that will allow me to see the records you allege he released.

Sure you can. You're just refusing to.

You see, my argument is that he only released some documents to a friendly source and that the complete file is not available to us mortals.

Ah. Well, that's a refinement of the original argument.

Your failure to back up your assertion would seem to be clear evidence of your mendacity.

And this is beneath you. Really. When you posted the Post article that was out of date, before Kerry had released his records to *anyone*, I didn't accuse you of trying to lie. I just showed you how the article was out of date.

Here's a final chance to prove me wrong: toss me a link to the records. All of them. Do that and I will apologize to you regardless of what the records may show. Fair enough?

I'll tell you what: I'll do you one better. In the spirit of honest argument, I will accept that Kerry's release of his records to the Globe do not fit the definition of public release. I wasn't aware of the scope of this release, and you brought this fact to my attention. Thank you.

However, as to whether or not the release counts as a 'full' one, as in a release of all pertinent records - you are the one making this accusation.
Therefore the burden of proof is on you, to show what specific record(s) Kerry is not releasing.

In other words, Kerry is innocent until proven guilty. As all people should be, IMHO, even if we don't personally like them. Otherwise we can just accuse people of anything - and anyone can just accuse US of anything. And if the burden of proof is always on the side of the accused, the accusers can always say they have to show more evidence.




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