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"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American."
-Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013


Jon Stewart Would Really Like To Know Why It's So Difficult To Treat Our Vets The Way They Deserve

01/16/2014 - Jon Stewart pressed former defense secretary Robert Gates on a number of issues on Wednesday night. But things got particularly heated when the two got to the topic of the benefits backlog at the Department of Veteran Affairs.

“You have faced down pretty fearsome adversaries –- Iraq War reconstruction, the Taliban resurgence, but you talk about [in your book] a battle you fight with a really terrifying opponent, the VA bureaucracy,” Stewart said. “Why is it so difficult to take care of our men and women when they come home in the manner that they deserve?”

Stewart has proved himself a dedicated advocate for wounded veterans and is regularly vocal about the many challenges they face coming home.

Back in March, the host of the “Daily Show” reported that the number of veterans waiting over a year for their benefits to come through had grown 2,000 percent during Obama’s tenure. He went on to call the statistic “f*cking criminal."

snip

Gates said to Stewart that the holdup had nothing to do with a lack of funding or any inability on the part of VA employees. He even credited Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as being "effective."  read more>>>

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

Stewart and others are in those top tax brackets that have been living with huge tax cuts through these years of these recent wars and long occupations, adding to the under funding, and ignoring so many issues, of the previous decades and wars from. Many making more wealth off their investments in the defense industries and private contractors with no bid war contracts.

It's so easy to say it has "nothing to do with a lack of funding", just as easy as it is to totally ignore the issues as a result of our wars. PTS for decades till these two wars and finally understanding it's also in the civilian population, Agent Orange till this VA administration, Gulf War Illnesses till this VA administration, these are but a tiny few and still not funded while help is finally offered through the VA. PTS had some making handsome livings on the speakers tours and writing books about in denying it even existed, since Vietnam.

Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in
this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded
Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was
free?
Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we
gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war
started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about
it, civilians. Go about your business."
23 May 2013

It's been longer then the now 13 years of these two recent wars, the ignoring has been going on for decades, add these to those above, Test Vets, Gulf War Exposures, In-Theater Burn Pits, these still are but a few, also being addressed in this VA administration finally along with Veterans homelessness and more, with help from the Executive branch Cabinet who do not set their budgets the peoples representatives do, and with every conflict we order the few who serve into!

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families."
Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:17:12 AM PST

  •  Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know! (7+ / 0-)

    Because the warmongering assholes who make up the federal government only care about blowing shit up, killing people, and flag pins for their lapels.

    Treating the troops costs money they'd rather give to the already-stinking-rich. That's why my clients talk about 'veterans' being among the homeless here in Atlanta.

    Do and do and do for your country, and this is the thanks they get.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:36:32 AM PST

  •  Because it is not a matter of deserts. It is a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, llbear, Ishmaelbychoice, bumbi

    matter of a failure to meet obligations by people who have been hired to do precisely that -- honor the obligations we have to the people we hired to protect and serve.

    Congress is to blame. If an expenditure doesn't enhance their own stature, they won't make it. If an expenditure doesn't increase their power, the won't make it.
    On the other hand, since power, to be felt, has to hurt and depriving people of just compensation is definitely hurtful, dissing public employees, whether they are in the military or the educational system, has proved an ideal opportunity for demonstrating clout. And, they can do it all in the name of saving dollars -- a supposedly good thing because nobody's challenging them. In fact, dollars (or any kind of currency) are meant to be spent, just as inches are meant to measure distance and pounds measure weight.
    Using dollars to penalize has become a habit with many members of Congress. Since they are, in effect, abusers of a necessary tool, these members of Congress need to be removed for dereliction of duty.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:46:15 AM PST

    •  Congress Represents, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, hannah

      So do state legislatures, the people served, them waving those flags for their five minutes or so!

      And the representatives that micro manage the agencies and accuse them for not performing are joined by those served in throwing out the same accusations, while once again waving them flags! That is especially rampant in the 'oh so patriotic' of one political ideology that just seek full power while obstructing the Nations move forward!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:53:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this Jim... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, jimstaro, Vetwife, snoopydawg

    just like they 'support' the fetus and despise the baby...they support the warrior but despise the veteran.

    If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

    by kharma on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:55:31 AM PST

  •  Too many love war & killing but don't want to pay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro

    the long term price for vets. It's a very bad American tradition. This is part of the anti-tax BS we've been living with. TWo tax cuts for evil rich people with 2 wars.

    We need a war tax, period.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:08:38 AM PST

    •  When I Hear 'tax cuts', (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Vetwife

      And that's been the case for years especially when we send troops into any actions, my first thought is less for the Veterans and the needs of the VA, most of that under funded budget is still borrowed. I look at them, when long occupations exist, as not cuts across the board but even less funding for the VA needs!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jon Stewart is closing in on something big (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, Joy of Fishes

    and Robert Gates has set the table for an upcoming epic show devoted to ripping up decades of outdated laws controlling both the DoD and VA.

    I wonder how many times Veterans and members of the military have sent links to all 4 parts of the Robert Gates interview. I know I've sent it out a lot I in the last 24 hours.

     

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:11:55 AM PST

    •  The added little respect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear

      He gained by quickly embracing the Obama administrations support of the Military personal, their Families and us Veterans, after doing squat with the rest of the bushco and even before, has been quickly lost in what's coming out in reports about some of the sections of his book. But he is still a hawk, so that respect gained was tepid because I felt sooner rather then later the true colors would come through!!!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:17:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stewart, Maddow, etc. etc. etc. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear

      And these actors and the famous, country singers etc., are all in them top wealth brackets with them still huge tax cuts, and they never mention that themselves while, as elected reps do, playing the 'patriotic' in blasting the VA along with the other agencies!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:24:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A government run by Corporations-or bad employer- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, a2nite, Vetwife

    is this any different then the corporations who 'ended' pensions, health care benefits, create lay-offs for profit??  Just saying..

    I don't understand why the Vets haven't turned on the 'government'.

    Where are the freedoms? I don't feel free anymore.

    Maybe a class-action law suit is needed.

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

    by roseeriter on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:24:17 AM PST

    •  Shinseki and company (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Are finally addressing many issues long ignored while trying to help the most recent, only other non political VA head that tried and was blocked was Cleland in my lifetime, and still under funded in doing so, if fully funded the budgets would be cut back instead of needing even more to fix problems eventually because monies would be saved in running and needs. And what happens because he is, they wanted to get rid of him, like the bush did. A few reasons he's been effective is the backing of the full executive administrations cabinet, when they can and in area's that overlap, and bringing in these younger tech savvy veterans of these two conflicts!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:31:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dick & Jane got married, and had a reception (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, a2nite

    They looked at their finances and set a budget.  They decided they couldn't afford a hosted bar, but that they could provide a certain amount of wine and liquor up front, and once that was gone the guests would have to pay for any further drinks they desired.

    Sure enough, at a certain point during their reception all of the booze was consumed, and guests were informed by the server that drinks were no longer free of charge.

    An elderly guest grumbled to the bartender that this was no way to treat senior citizens.  The guy behind him was Black, and when he found out he had to pay for his drink he accused the couple of being bigots.  A lesbian guest balked at the price of the glass of wine she wanted, and joined the conversation by adding that they obviously had issues with GLBT's, as well.  Another guest, who was a teacher, complained that having to pay for another martini showed a shocking lack of respect for public employees.

    As they all commiserated amongst themselves and debated who among them was held in less esteem, a guest in a wheel chair approached the bar and asked the bartender..."Excuse me, but what does a disabled person around here have to do to get a drink?"

    L'enfer, c'est les autres....Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Keith930 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:15:04 AM PST

    •  Another good way of putting it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      As a multi trades construction, carpentry mostly and forced into early retirement, professional, we're no longer called 'professionals' that keeps the wages and bennies down, I use the build a house or building etc. and the developer wants corners cut in construction of. Then in very short order. like first couple of years, those cut corners start causing problems that are expensive to fix. That not only continues but each snowballs into other problems and to rebuild entirely is even more expensive then initial over the top expenses!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:30:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure I get this (0+ / 0-)

      Are the people who put their lives on the line the moment they raise their hands merely an interest group?

      Sorry, my cognitive skills are still coming back from the meds that I take because of the severe injuries that happened to me on active duty that neither the Army or VA would treat because the didn't like the cut of my jib.

      I'm sorry if I misunderstood...

      Yes, I'm the real Lia Whirlwind. Do you hear anybody else screaming?

      by Lia Whirlwind on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:17:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oversight on the lower levels in the VISN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, Lia Whirlwind

    arena.   Once the uniform is shed, you have become a liability and not an asset.  Why didn't Gates say that,,, the vet has no monetary value to the system anymore.....That is how they look at veterans.. Not their sacrafice..but the bottom line of the almighty dollar.
    Thanks Jim for this and thanks for what you do.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:01:15 AM PST

  •  I apologize.. He did say that.. Oversight and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro

    holding people liable.   The secretary is overwhelmed because congress is doing nothing to help improve oversight after Principi debacles and we have too many wounded warriors but Gates did give kudos to Schinski and that I liked.   Miller said in Dath and Dishonor that he didn't know what it takes to get people at the VA fired.. maybe Rep.  Miller needs to talk to Gates.  I don't agree with a lot but Gates did call this right.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:08:25 AM PST

    •  Millers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      A Huge problem, phony flag wavin patriot attack dog who doesn't look in the mirror!!!!!!!

      "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      by jimstaro on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:11:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  YEAH.. My question that did not get aired (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jimstaro

        was if Miller was so concerned ..how come Florida was in such a mess?  His state.. Noticed he never mentions Florida when talking about all the VA problems.  I sure did.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:00:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd include TBI and MST in your list (0+ / 0-)

    of sins the VA commits. I remember the bonus army. I know why the VA exists.

    It is not to care for soldiers. The VA exists to prevent the rebellion of soldiers in bad economic times.

    The VA is merely political cover. Until we make the price of that cover match the real cost of war and even peacetime service for our vets, we will not be serving either our vets or our republic well.

    Yes, I'm the real Lia Whirlwind. Do you hear anybody else screaming?

    by Lia Whirlwind on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:08:59 PM PST

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