VA Budget Under Obama: 68% Increase, Veterans Still Waiting Up To Four Months To Get Help Amid Corruption And Sloth

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Veterans_Affairs_OIG_1-791x1024Since Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, the Veteran’s Affairs budget has increased nearly 68 percent. No doubt the need is great, and I wouldn’t think of objecting to funds spent for healing our military, but the question looms: are the shiny new buildings competently staffed, and are appointments timely–far more timely than what we’ve seen in the past? Caring for our veterans is our most important monetary obligation, right after keeping the nation safe and secure. The $3.3 BILLION spent in the fiscal years 2010-2015, will either give our vets beautiful new structures, and more efficient and timely care, or just beautiful new structures, more bureaucracy and continued sloth and corruption.

November 2014: 600,000 vets wait a month or longer for care (1 in 10 veterans). Twenty three thousand of the “most severely affected veterans” were waiting more than four months for an appointment, as of October 2014. This map shows a majority of veterans wait 30-60 days for an appointment, and when you’re ill, 30 days is bad enough. Sixty days is atrocious.

Sloth.

Former Senator (Dr.) Tom Coburn, June 2014:

Other parts of Coburn’s report highlight failures to hold individual employees accountable for criminal conduct, billing personal expenses to the government, chronically failing to show up for work or retaliating against whistleblowers.

More money is not the solution, Coburn said, noting that VA is expected to end the 2014 fiscal year with $5.9 billion in unspent funds…

Four VA construction projects have combined cost overruns of $1.5 billion, and construction delays run between 14 and 74 months. The VA medical facilities are, on average, 35 months behind schedule and $360 million over budget.

VA spent almost $500 million in less than five years on “office makeovers,” including $6.8 million to build one conference room in Illinois, $1.8 million for office furniture in Puerto Rico and $10.7 million for curtains and draperies nationwide.

In July 2011, VA established two employment call centers to recruit veteran employees. An IG investigation found that while the center cost $2.2 million to operate in 2012, call center employees each handled an average of only 2.4 calls per day…

Doctors at the VA have it easy compared to their private-sector counterparts, according to Coburn.

The 10 highest-paid federal employees work at the VA, with more than 1,000 physicians making more than $300,000 per year.

In Phoenix, for example, 13 VA employees made more than $300,000 annually, including one orthopedic surgeon drawing more than $357,000. That is almost double the average income for doctors in Arizona, according to Coburn’s report.

VA employs almost 19,000 full-time physicians nationwide.

Yet VA doctors see far fewer patients than their counterparts in the private sector, Coburn said. An average primary care physician in private practice has a caseload of about 2,300 patients. For VA doctors, it’s about 1,200.

Sloth.

The Veteran Administration maintains a culture of corruption that allows managers to grievously violate rules and laws with little or no punishment. Source: Daily Caller, September 29, 2014

Susan_Taylor_Veterans_Affairs_1
Susan Taylor, Former Veterans Affairs Procurement Officer

When there is fraud in procurement, you can bet it’s costing veterans, dearly. VA whistleblowers are assaulted with “extensive retaliation.” And how about “fraud” in the “Procurement and Logistics Office?” Consider the case of Susan Taylor:

The 82-page [Inspector General] report shows that Taylor used her office for private gain in awarding a contract to FedBid, a reverse auction service, whose executives also interfered in the process by preventing the VA from operating in an honest and impartial manner.

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Here’s how they went after a whistleblower:

According to a shocking revelation from the inspector general, FedBid, in its own words, planned to “‘storm the castle,’ use a ‘heavy-handed- puncher,’ to ‘rally the troops up on the Hill,’ have ‘enough top cover to overwhelm,’ to ‘unleash the hounds,’ to ‘assassinate [Mr. Frye’s] character and discredit him,’ and to keep ‘close hold’ of nonpublic information.’”

This came after Jan Frye, VA deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Acquisition and Logistics, pushed back against the use of reverse auctions twice.

She also lied under oath, and she lied to the Inspector General’s office.

The VA referred the case to the DOJ. The DOJ refused to prosecute. In October 2014, I find news articles reporting that the process of firing Taylor had begun (not an easy process, by-the-way), but in the end, she retired, or was “allowed” to retire, which likely means she can be rehired by the government.

Corruption.

Sharon_Helman_Veterans_Affairs_1-300x180
Sharon Helman, Phoenix VA, Over the holidays, revelations came forward that the Sharon Helman scandal had a lot to do with classic VA corruption and secret gifts like fully paid vacations to Disneyland. For example, Helman was given a week’s vacation to Disneyland, tickets to a Beyonce concert, and a tour around Sedona wine country. Click the photo for more.

Is there any chance taxpayers ARE NOT getting gouged for construction, and in turn, veterans gouged, both as taxpayers, and patients needing care and comfort, NOW?

And how many high-priced paper-pushers, like Robin Paul, are employed at the VA? Robin Paul was a “social worker,” or “manager.”It took public outrage for Paul to lose her job after she allegedly sent a photo of a Christmas “elf” begging for Xanax, and another committing suicide by hanging–with a string of Christmas light. Robin Paul managed theSeamless Transition Integration Care Clinic for veterans at Roudebush Medical Center in Indianapolis. Would you want Paul in charge of your loved one’s “transition” and “integration” into treatment? Wait and watch. We have no vaccines to keep these parasites out of the system–they find ways to get back behind a desk. We need accountability, and I’m guessing we need far few administrators, managers, and lackeys.

Robin_Paul_10
Photo Courtesy of America’s Freedom Fighters. Click the photo to visit

In 2011, large bonuses were still going to VA facilities that routinely lied about scheduling

Two-thirds of employees at the Department of Veteran Affairs, which has been the subject of widespread criticism for its excessive delays in providing veterans their benefits, received bonuses at the end of 2011 for “excellent” or “outstanding” performance. Additionally, employees at some of the department’s most ineffective offices were more likely to receive bonuses than workers at some of its most productive offices. The VA’s regional office in Oakland, Calif., gave about 90 percent of its employees bonuses despite having to temporarily shut down operations to retrain its underperforming workers and, in a Baltimore office, about 40 percent of workers receive a bonus despite the office’s having the longest wait time nationally, according to a News21 investigation. Yet, at the Sioux Falls, S.D., office, which processes claims up to four times more efficiently than Oakland, less than a tenth of its employees saw a bonus, the same investigation found. Source: National Review

Blame it on the sequester budgetary cuts? No. Remember that Republicans objected to “across the board” cuts, and wanted to prioritize where funding dollars were spent. Sensible, wouldn’t you think? But Democrats wouldn’t have it.

I remember the horror stories coming out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC)? Dirt, rats, toxic mold on the walls of patient’s rooms at our nation’s then-premier military installation. How could the budget be so inadequate that a hospital once famous, now infamous, drops to the low point of mouse droppings and toxic mold, in what should be a sterile environment? It defies explanation, other than sloth and corruption.

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Socialism Is Expensive. So, Useless People Need To Die! The Elites Understand That

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The progressive socialists of the world are all about caring, right? They care about women’s rights and the rights of gays, and the rights of ethnic groups, and the rights of the poor. The fact that those are important voting blocks has nothing to do with their caring attitude, does it? So, they want everyone to believe that they care about people as opposed to we knuckle-dragging conservative/libertarians who believe people should take responsibility for themselves. They believe in the collective good and we believe in the good of each individual. They believe in government control of the people and we believe that the people should control the government.

Maybe the best kept secret ever is about those a the head of the progressive socialist food change. The real puppet masters who run organizations like the Trilateral Commission and The Club of Rome and The Council on Foreign Relations with names like Rockefeller and Rothschild and Soros and etc. These are the people using their fortunes to promote “Democratic Socialism” on the world. And, guess what? They don’t give a damn about women’s rights or the rights of gays or of ethnic groups and they damn sure don’t care about the poor. The only thing they care about is themselves. In their opinion, the biggest single threat they see to their desire to have and control even more of the world’s wealth is that there are far too many people on this planet consuming more of its wealth than they are producing. Their number one goal for a long time has been to reduce the world’s population. Of course, to keep the rabble from turning on them they needed to be discreet.

Their first target was the most vulnerable of the human race, the unborn babies. They used their money and influence to promote abortion rights. Not because they care one whit about a woman’s right to control her body; but to reduce the world’s population growth rate. Their plan has met with substantial success. The birth rates in the developed world are plummeting.

After the unborn babies, the most vulnerable group are the elderly. We old folks have more health issues than the young and, therefore, we consume a disproportionate share of the finite medical services that are available. The elites at the top of the progressive socialist food change first installed government controlled health care with its rationing boards (death panels) in Europe and it’s America’s turn to get on board. The goal has nothing to do with providing citizens with better health care or providing health care to the poor. It’s just another tool for reducing the world’s population. America’s elderly will get their first taste of what government health care has in mind for them on January 1; just a few days from now. Doug Ross@Journal says Obamacare has a shocking surprise awaiting our senior on New Years Day. He explains it in comic book fashion:

ObamaCare Death Panel

For a more in-depth discussion, you will find an excellent post on the subject over at Bunkerville.

But…but…but say our progressive socialist friends; what about our support of homosexuals? That shows we really care. Of course, the elites want to promote the homosexual life styles. Teaching young children that being gay is cool fits nicely in their plan. Homosexuals don’t reproduce, do they?

I can hear a liberal troll saying: “Hang on there Mr. humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in, we progressive socialists are the ones supporting extended unemployment benefits, welfare programs, and amnesty for illegal immigrants. You knucle-dragging Duck Dynasty types would turn your backs on all of these people. We are the people who care!”

Well, my progressive socialist friends, you may think you are caring; but what have all your “caring” programs done but keep people poor and separated into tribes? Do you really think those puppet masters care about the poor? Be patient. For now as a voting block thy are needed. But, once they have the government so completely to their liking, once they are sure they have total control, they will turn on the poor, the non-productive, the weak with a vengeance. And, they will turn on all of you useful idiots too.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Asylum Watch

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Frankenstorm Update: Hurricane Sandy is Strengthening, Last Minute Preparations Needed

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As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, there is word that she is strengthening.  Here is more from the NY Times…

Forecasters cautioned that the course of the storm could change, but officials from the National Hurricane Center said that it was no longer a question of if the storms would converge — but where and with how much force.

Dr. Knabb of the National Hurricane Center said the storm’s intensity was unlikely to change. “The center of circulation is only going to be a very small part of the story,” he said. “This is not just going to be a coastal event.” People from Virginia northward should be prepared for a “long-duration event,” he said.

Utility companies were rushing to put crews in place to deal with power failures, which state officials warned could be extensive and long lasting. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told residents that they should be prepared to go 7 to 10 days without electricity. On Saturday evening, Amtrak began to cancel train service to parts of the East Coast, including between Washington, D.C., and New York.

Also, Accuweather has some advise for preparations…

-Get prescriptions refilled now, especially if you doctor must approve the refill.

-Vote. If the stronger models are correct, power could still be out in some paces on election day. Regardless, that is one less thing you will need to do. The election will not (and shouldn’t be) postponed.

-If you can get an electrician to install a generator, get it done. Do not try to install a generator yourself. If you don’t have a generator, get a power inverter or two. Radio Shack and similar stores sell them. They are a “poor man’s generator” and will keep your cell phone, laptop, and similar charged.

-Keep your car’s gas tank full. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and you know your chimney is clear, get wood. Keep some indoors to keep it dry during the storm. You may need it to heat your home.

-If you live in a 100-year flood plain (you can check at city hall or your library) or on the coast figure out your evacuation strategy now. Make your list of things you will take with you. Fill a few gas cans (the type you would use for your mower) to have extra in the event of power failures. Purchase extra staples. Without power, stores will be closed.

-Purchase booster batteries for your cell phone and other essential equipment.

-If you need insulin or other medicine that must be kept chilled make plans now. Consider what you would do if you were without electricity for a month. If you have an invalid living with you that requires electricity, there will be areas that will be without power for weeks.

-Be proactive. If you live in a heavily wooded area, does someone in your vicinity have a gasoline-powered chain saw? Does it have fuel and a reasonably good chain/blade? Test it, now.

-Get to an ATM. Without power, credit card readers and ATMs will not be working. In a disaster, cash is king. 

OK then, it appears that things are going to get pretty bad, so it’s best that if you haven’t done any preparations that you do so now.  Your humble admins lives by one simple rule-never live in a flood plain.  However, while the CH 2.0 Bunker is high and dry, a power outage has been planned for.

As for blogging, I may have to try the smart phone.  It won’t be able to do much, but updates will be possible.

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Vaccine to stop heart attacks could be here in 5 years

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With all the race baiting, inflation, astronomical gas prices and whisper-gate, I thought a bit of good news was in order… (hat tip, Pesky Emotional Republican)

A vaccine delivered in an injection or nasal spray to prevent heart attacks could be available within five years.

Scientists have discovered that the drug stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies which prevent heart disease by stopping fat building up in the arteries.

It is the first time that the underlying cause of heart disease has been targeted. Current treatments focus on using drugs to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The vaccine can cut the build up of fat in arteries by up to 70 per cent, according to tests by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. The fatty deposits cause arteries to narrow, meaning the body has to work harder to pump blood, and can lead to a heart attack.

Prof Peter Weissberg, the British Heart Foundation medical director, said the vaccine was “very promising”.

For the full article, click here.

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