Saturday, June 28, 2014

More Crappy Reporting on the Veterans Administration. Big New Report? Try Cheesy GOP Pandering Dump

Who created the disaster surrounding the VA? Don't count on mainstream news or important bloggers to tell you.  You'll see their very wealthy and powerful sponsors' ads showing you who they work for.

A new report out Saturday shows basically what everyone already knew about the VA.  That it failed our veterans, as it struggled to include millions of new injured Vets.  But the AP, and I'm sure all other sources can't use their brain about why why this breakdown happened.

That mind fog (or cowardice more likely) comes from the fact that they don't want to step on powerful (and more importantly) wealthy toes that want to portray the Veterans Affairs crisis as a moral and inept breakdown specifically within the Obama administration.

Try this AP reporting:

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a scathing appraisal, a review ordered by President Barack Obama of the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system concludes that medical care for veterans is beset by "significant and chronic system failures," substantially verifying problems raised by whistleblowers and internal and congressional investigators.

A summary of the review by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors says the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured and that a "corrosive culture" has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care. The review also found that a 14-day standard for scheduling veterans' medical appointments is unrealistic and that some employees manipulated the wait times so they would appear to be shorter.
The review is the latest blistering assessment of the VA in the wake of reports of patients dying while waiting for appointments and of treatment delays in VA facilities nationwide. The White House released a summary of the review following President Barack Obama's meeting Friday with Nabors and Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson.
The review offers a series of recommendations, including a need for more doctors, nurses and trained administrative staff. Those recommendations are likely to face skepticism among some congressional Republicans who have blamed the VA's problems on mismanagement, not lack of resources.
At least they acknowledge that the solution may be more doctors and resources, but immediately spin to cover their ass with their big advertisers.  And still can't remember that 40% of doctors working for the VA  were subject to last year's and continuing Sequester as they weren't specifically hired by the VA itself as reported in 2013 by the Washington Post (and since blithely forgotten by the spotless mind of mainstream press).  See blog post we did earlier here.

Other inconvenient facts they can't seem to dig up (it took me all of 5 minutes) is that funding increases since the Bush/Cheney administration invaded Iraq leading to millions of injuries that required the VA to treat them, seems to be the kind of begrudging penny throwing that is normal for the GOP in years they controlled Congress.

Except for the years when the Democrats controlled the House and Senate, you'd think that massive injuries were not being produced in Iraq and Afghanistan that would require many years of intense care and inovative remedies for heavily injured soldiers.

Between 2003 and 2004 with the GOP in control of Congress VA funding only increased 4.7%

Massive invasion casualties?  When did those happen?

Between 2004 and 2005 with the GOP in control of Congress VA funding only increased  5.5%

IEDs?  What are those?

Between 2005 and 2006 with the GOP in control of Congress VA funding only increased 2.2%

I guess they were getting tired of paying for those injuries among "deadbeat" vets.

Between 2006 and 2007 with the Dems suddenly back in control of Congress thanks to Mark Foley VA funding increased 8.4%

Who loves our vets?

Between 2007 and 2008 with the Dems still in control of Congress VA funding increased 6.4%.

Still above anything the GOP gave them.

Between 2008 and 2009 with the Dems still in control of Congress VA funding increased 8.3%

Whoever thought that the GOP was the party who loved the our military most.  They just love using them and getting them killed.

Between 2009 and 2010 with the Dems still in control of Congress VA funding increased 12.1%

Need I say anything more?

Between 2011 and 2010 with GOP in control of the House in a division of Congress VA funding increased 8.2% a slowdown now.

Between 2012 and 2001 with GOP in control of the House in a division of Congress VA funding increased 0.8%  You saw that 0.8%.

Oh yeah, remember the great GOP austerity for tax cuts for Koch bros, our new national meme.

Suck on it injured vets say the GOP.

The record I found ends in 2012. I used the constant dollar list for more realistic look at the true amounts offered.

I think it's fair to say that since 2012, the VA has been under attack like the rest of our government, by the GOP though they pretend they are the troops' best friends.

The fas report I used speaks of veterans of earlier wars.  I know that my father was one for over 60 years, but he never needed or sought VA help during my lifetime since he wasn't gravely injured and didn't need a lifetime of medical help from them.  That's what I remember about most my neighbor's dads too.

The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars introduced or saw increased use of devastating weapons by desperate people.   Why try to shoot little holes in a massive invasive force when a man defending his country (as he sees it) can blow up your whole squad with an IED?

Funny that the big military planners never realized out that at some point people being invaded were going to figure out such tactics.  You'd think maybe they just didn't care about our troops.

Cakewalk.  Uh huh, sure.

Also see

Republicans Set Up the Veterans Administration to Fail And The News Media is Not Catching Them

Above: a US military bombing. But the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan were trying to protect their own sovereignty with massive explosions too. Picture used via Creative Commons License Attribution CC by 2.0 thanks to Flickr user The U.S. Army Iraq which has no connection to this blog or blogger.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Video: Why Buffer Zones are Needed For Women's Reproductive Clinics. Yes, that is a body being covered in the picture.

Rachel Maddow explains the kinds of threatening, even murderous tactics that "pro-life" jihadists have used at women's clinics that show why buffer zones are needed. BTW, that picture to the right is a dead body being covered. Yeah That Happens, SCOTUS! Free speech, my ass!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our Trouble With Guns? Maybe It's Their Lockers

Nice Gun locker.  I think I could break that open with some tools from the garage and less than an hour's time.

A Washington Post reported on the recent Oregon shooting:

Padgett had taken the weapons used in the attack from his family home, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said.

“The weapons had been secured, but he defeated the security measures,” the chief said.
 I remember seeing some locking gun safes at a local store while I was shopping.  They weren't the flimsiest cabinets I've ever seen, but were they really protection?

A image grabbed from an Internet ad says to me, not really.

The smallish key lock that protrudes from the door seems it could easily be bashed with hammer and chisel or large screwdriver, after Dad left home but before the son needed to be in school.

It doesn't even make sense in a monetary way either, since this cabinet says it will store up to 8 guns.  And they are worth $1500 or more each?

This cabinet costs under $200.  And someone may be seeking to protect more than $12k worth of guns in it?

Not to mention the lawsuits this family may be facing after their son killed a schoolmate.

I have a small fireproof money box, just to make sure I don't have to try to save my cash should there be a fire at my home.  I think the box and lock are more secure than this cabinet and a typical safe for a business has a larger lock that doesn't look like a driver and hammer could easily breach it in the hands of a determined teen.

There can be laws that gun safes be built better, and possibly that gun owners carry insurance on what might be done with their weapons.

Maybe being forced to pay more to protect others from their weapons and from monetary harm someone misusing their weapons will make people think twice about how they store them, and use them.

Friday, June 20, 2014

CNN Analyst: Thank Dubya for Iraq Problems Today

Of course though since Dubya was just a brain damaged hand puppet of neocons, especially one Richard C. Cheney.

You were saying re-animated one?

Excerpt CNN's Peter Bergen:

ISIS, the brutal insurgent/terrorist group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq, has seized much of western and northern Iraq and even threatens towns not far from Baghdad.
From where did ISIS spring? One of George W. Bush's most toxic legacies is the introduction of al Qaeda into Iraq, which is the ISIS mother ship.
If this wasn't so tragic it would be supremely ironic, because before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, top Bush officials were insisting that there was an al Qaeda-Iraq axis of evil. Their claims that Saddam Hussein's men were training members of al Qaeda how to make weapons of mass destruction seemed to be one of the most compelling rationales for the impending war.
After the fall of Hussein's regime, no documents were unearthed in Iraq proving the Hussein-al Qaeda axis despite the fact that, like other totalitarian regimes, Hussein's government kept massive and meticulous records.
Picture above used via Creative Common License Attribution-Share Alike (CC by SA 2.0) thanks to Donkey Hotey at

 From Click on link below for full analysis :

Shorter URL for this post:

Bush's toxic legacy in Iraq

Monday, June 16, 2014

Massive Influx of Children Across the Border From South America Fed False Hope by Narco Trafficers?

What a sad greedy sham on the children.

Video: Ben Jealous: The South Needs Help Registering Minority Voters. Cash Spent on Registration Drives Could Turn Red States Blue.

Considering the amounts spent making and buying air time for shot in the dark political ads, investing in registering the large numbers of minorities and young people that are unregistered in the region could be a better investment.

Hey, Democratic Party! Are you listening?

For that matter where are our philanthropist Tech Billionaires?

Isn't democracy in the US a good idea, Techies?  Isn't that as important or more important than tax breaks?

We should  fix the voter registration ratio in just a few states -- at least -- this year, and then work on the rest for 2016.

California worked on making voting districts more equitable and was rewarded with better participation and government since the end of the Schwarzenegger administration.

But if Southerns states are discouraging the registration of most of their voting eleigible citizens, they don't have real democracy at all.

Without democracy we can't stop the warmongers from starting nasty invasive wars using our young people to kill folks in other nations.

That should concern every American family.

The Neocon Game Plan Exposed by Wesley Clark and Still a Focus of the GOP and War Industry

General Wesley Clark explains that 911 was to be used as a launching pad for invading seven nations in and around the Middle East. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

This went beyond normal American belligerence and was obviously a plan that had been long desired by the neocons that were running the Bush administration.  Luckily for the whole Middle East, Iraq did not decide to play fair and just be conquered though, of course, our military did defeat their army and round up their leaders, but then the people started taking things into their own hands.

In the face of an ugly invading force that's what needs to be done.

The business interests that went in to "rebuild" were select rich and powerful companies that were overpaid and who under performed, but little was ever clawed back from them.

Even the Koch bros who claim to hate war (as Libertarians though they now fund much of the GOP) made $178 million off the war according to a report, I've seen on the Internet.

So recent happenings in Iraq, of course are being used to push for reinsertion of our military into the nation, with the added benefit of being able to blame Obama.

But the immediate truth is that the Shia and Maliki treated the Kurds and the Sunni terribly after they gained control.

Now they are getting their payback from those whose necks were under their feet for a long time as much as Saddam got his payback from the Shia after his long abuse of their people.

There are other reasons to not re-involve ourselves in Iraq, one of them being that Iraq does not exist in any reasonable world.

Fighting for it's continued existence is stupid and demeans three great peoples of the Middle East.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Note to Wayne La Pierre: There was a good guy with a gun trying to stop the Las Vegas Cop Killers. He Died Too.

Above: Philadelphia Wall Commemorating Gun Deaths.

From George Skelton's LA Times piece:
A good guy with a gun tried to stop a bad guy with a gun. You know, like the NRA preaches. It was a bad move.

The good guy got mowed down by the bad guy's batty wife.

She had been a good woman — one of those "innocent, law abiding" citizens the gun lobby is always exalting — until, like so many, she went bad and started shooting people.

An armed society really isn't a safer society.

The more guns sold, the better for gun dealers and for NRA membership sales. The worse, however, for the truly innocent who get caught in the crossfire of gun violence.
Times articles have detailed what happened in Las Vegas. A young married couple — Jerad and Amanda Miller — went berserk hallucinating about government tyranny, a common enemy of armed radicals. Jerad especially resented his marijuana bust. They decided to launch the revolution.

The pair — loaded with pistols, a shotgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition — went to a pizzeria and fatally shot two armed policemen calmly eating their lunch. Then they walked to a nearby Wal-Mart, where Jerad fired a shot in the air and warned shoppers to run because cops were coming. "The revolution is about to start," he shouted.

One shopper — Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31 — stood his ground, pulled out a concealed weapon and confronted Jerad. But he hadn't noticed Amanda. She shot him dead.
So we know you were spouting some made up a story about that "good guy with a gun" Mr La Pierre, but it burns one family very deeply right now that their loved one believed your NRA enabling BS and was willing to do what he could to stop a terrorist attack by some of your fans.

  And this should teach everyone in the US that NRA explanatory speech is simply BS aimed at keeping the money flowing into the pockets of gun makers and sellers and yourself, Mr. La Pierre.

You aren't worth the lives of our loved ones, nor even one of their living breaths.

He is a Google cache of the LA Times piece I reference.  Google often dumps their caches rapidly, but you could try searching Google News or Google regular for  "More guns don't make for a safer society". 

Picture at top used via Creative Commons License Attribution (CC by 2.0) thanks to flickr user Tony Fischer Photography.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another State To Dismantle Women's Reproductive Rights. Who Will Stand With Us?

The beautiful scene above is of some rescued spoonbills just months after the massive BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. As each red state trounces on women's rights people just seem to mutter or even ignore and pretty soon the disaster of thousands of dead birds (and greatly harmed women's lives) is basically invisible and everyone can go back to watching their shows,or whatever.  Nothing to see see here, folks.  Move along.

Louisiana is set to go the way of Texas and  Mississippi and cripple the availability of abortion either surgical or medical with onerous laws. Mississippi gained a reprieve from the courts, but a TX court refused to stay the order.  Both cases are still in litigation, but unwanted babies have been born in TX and that's the difference.

In further irony a female Democratic state representative introduced the bill into the State House proving that money and power are more important to way too many legislators.
Excerpt  Times-Picayune Bobby Jindal to sign anti-abortion bill

House Bill 388, sponsored by Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, proposes a new law adding requirements of abortion doctors that clinic administrators say will force them out of business because of the unlikeliness they will be able to comply.
House Bill 305, sponsored by Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, would prohibit abortion providers or their affiliates to instruct or distribute information on health related issues, such as sex eduction, at public or charter schools.
A lawyer for the clinics has indicated administrators will likely file a joint suit challenging the new law. It's unclear if the court would grant the clinics an injunction, allowing them to keep their doors open, while litigation pends.
Jackson's legislation is modeled off of a Texas law placing further restrictions on abortion doctors by requiring them to obtain hospital admittance privileges from a facility within a 30 miles radius. Difficulty obtaining the privileges has contributed, since the law's adoption, to the closure of at least 19 of the 33 abortion clinics in Texas. A similar law adopted in Mississippi threatens the state's only clinic in Jackson. The Jackson clinic was granted an injuction (sic) to stay open while litigation pends, while the Texas clinics were not. 
As I mentioned before, after women stood with the gay community to get at least Arizona to stop it's crazy laws allowing discrimination against same sex couples.  So everyone should stand with us but I'm not seeing that..

Maybe it's women's self dismissive attitudes and our polite way of asking for little or any help.

Maybe our advocates in Liberal media really aren't as into us.   But I think it's a bit of both.

Women we need to stand up for our sisters and ourselves.

We need to boycott the states in which women's reproductive rights are being dismissed.

Just like the liberal community warmed it would do to Arizona.

We need to win to maintain our entire system of political rights and those of our daughters and our sons.  If we are turned into baby factories it just gives our neocons more incentive to start wars, and long before the forced children can be used for slaughter, the GOP has plans to install a universal draft to feed the maw of the war machine.  So young men and single women are at risk from the attitudes that people should be controlled as our sisters we are abandoning to the tender mercies of red state initiatives.

Picture above used via Creative Commons License Attribution (CC by 2.0) thanks to flickr user International Bird Rescue Research Center which has no connection to this blog or blogger

Sunday, June 8, 2014

USC Study Finds Evidence That Discrimination is Goal of Voter ID Laws

State legislators who support voter ID laws are motivated in no small part by racial bias, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The study finds strong evidence that "discriminatory intent underlies legislative support for voter identification laws."
The findings raise questions about the constitutionality of voter ID laws, which the Supreme Court affirmed in 2007 on the basis that Indiana's strict law represented a "generally applicable, nondiscriminatory voting regulation." For quick background, these laws require registered voters to show some sort of government-issued ID before they vote -- supporters say they're necessary to prevent voter fraud, while opponents counter that they disproportionately affect elderly, minority and low-income groups. For more, see ProPublica's excellent backgrounder on the topic.
 Immediate source Washington Post.
The important point of the 2007 decision is that the SCOTUS that year would have been the culmination of Reagan-Bush 41-43 control of the White House (still mostly in effect, but with a possibility of change before Obama leaves office if the Democrats do not lose control of the Senate)

The Reagan-Bushco majority of the SCOTUS is one the most racist ones we've seen in many decades.   Yes, I'd say that Chief Justice Roberts seems to be a decent fellow even for a conservative, but the gang of racists in Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and uncaring Kennedy, is unsurmountable without Roberts breaking the mold he's apparently cast himself in.  I find it hard to believe he's as inflexible as he acts.

I'm guessing he knows no one is un-expendable on that court, and accidents can happen  (though with the two young liberals now on it, mainstream media is finally calling for end of lifetime tenure, I'm sure spurred on by their fat cat sponsors).

And so much money bolsters the right wing/racist side of politics, that, of course, every sleazy candidate runs to the GOP.  Keep those white males happy, Daddy, and sell their rights to the Koch bros.  It's the perfect gig!

Somehow we have to figure something out.

First of all though, we have to break the racist Voter ID laws and cutbacks in voting opportunities, because the battle will be won city by city, state by state of it will be lost.

But something we can do every election is to make sure friends and family have the IDs, are informed on the issues, and get to the polls, including helping people wait in line, dropping off food, water to those in districts that have long waits.  It's our very future.

The picture above has a sign that shows a wonderful white fascist stimulation message.  Telling us over privileged majorities that things will be taken away and we'll be facing "slavery" is tactic that for keeping minorities in their places goes back centuries, okay millennia.

Picture above of post Obama election Teaparty rally clipped to remove faces and used via Creative Commons License Attribution (CC by 2.0) thanks to flickr user cometstarmoon at