Friday, 30 May 2014

Shinsecki sacrificed, VA next?

It’s hard to tell which is the more revolting, loathsome and morally bankrupt posture being taken on the scandal of care shortages in the Veterans Administration system: the Republicans who, with elephantine balls, denounce the shortages of personnel and facilities that they themselves produced through the relentless theo-classical austerity approach to government; or the craven Democrats who refuse to call them out for it and instead allow the loyal Shinsecki to take the fall for them.

No doubt the Repub side is also sniggering Beavis-like into its collective sleeve over the exit of Shinsecki, who dared to contradict Donald Rumsfeld’s famous lies over Iraq and was bounced for it. I guess he has a soldier’s view of duty and accepts all this abuse as just part of the time-honored game of war: money flows up, shit flows down.

As Anthony Orlando points out in the Huffpost today, the true costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles are only beginning to be felt, and unwelcome voices have been trying to make themselves heard to that end for years. No one wants to hear it, least of all the geniuses who decided we should spend trillions in these insane, criminal enterprises.

Imagine a White House and a political establishment willing to go on the attack over the constant cutting back on all social services, including those benefiting veterans, instead of rolling over and playing dead over the predictable scandals involving fudging of schedules and care. Just as school districts inevitably will cheat on tests tied to their funds and futures, short-changed hospitals will try to game their superiors forcing them to do more with less and the impossible with nothing (see todays NY Times for an anecdotal report). Today’s example is a perfect display how the two sides play their assigned roles to perfection with the result that the VA, once the jewel of socialized medicine, will be nudged further towards the privatization chopping block.

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