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Yesterday I was at the Portland, Oregon VA. I had a procedure that took about 30 minutes. However, I was there for over 5 hours taking the pulse of patients, their caregivers, doctors, nurses, technical support people, and clerks. Collectively there is one word that describes our attitude about what's wrong at the Veterans Administration.

WE ARE PISSED ! ! !
and what we are pissed about is that senior VA mangers are setting Shinseki up to take the blame for their own back-stabbing, incompetency and bullsh*t
Here's what these senior management people do to back-stab anyone who thinks they are going to change THEIR VA: For years these slimy characters have worked closely with and become friends of Congressional staff and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Any Congressional staff person will tell you that more constituent requests come from Veterans and their families than from any other group. It doesn't matter which party you are talking about. Friends do favors for friends. BUT if you, as a senior manager in Veterans Affairs who is helping Senator X, have a little problem with the boss, your friend in Senator X's office will have the Senator put in a good word for you.

 

The Guilty - so far

Newly appointed Deputy Director of VA Healthcare (but not yet confirmed by the Senate) is Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky, formerly director of the Great Lakes Health Care VISN. Hines VA Hospital was under Murawsky's supervision. He had reporting to him Hines VA Hospital Director Sharon Helman.  Yep, the same Sharon Helman who was promoted to Phoenix Hospital VA Director. Helman got that promotion with the approval and recommendation of Murawsky.

The problem at VA has always been management integrity. Politicians have given political cover to the slimy characters who have for decades have run the Department. Those politicians exist on both sides of the aisle.

Therefore, I suggest the Portland, Oregon Medical Center be renamed in honor of and thanks for the service of General Erick Shinseki.

3:29 PM PT: Channel 2 Portland came out and filmed at noon. The cameraman said it would be on at 4 & 6 PM

Originally posted to llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, and Daily Kos Oregon.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Beginning Monday Morning I will be collecting (38+ / 0-)

    signatures on a petition to be submitted the Oregon Congressional delegations as well as both Senators. The decision by President Obama to accept Shinseki's resignation is a mistake.

    The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:27:47 AM PDT

    •  Just Took (7+ / 0-)

      Your 'we are pissed' as a snip cut and posted it up on FB, already getting shared.

      Added a few lines above as to us long time Veterans Activist and Advocates!!!!

      Thank for that!!!!!!!!!!!!

      "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 May 30, 2014 at 09:38:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're angry too, but privatizing the VA System (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene

      is a bipartisan effort (more than a few conservadems are on board with the idea).

      So are some veterans groups.  Earlier this afternoon, on POTUS Channel, I heard a IAVA representative declare that "every option should be on the table--including privatization."

      Don't want to see civilian MSPB procedures stripped away--which both Republicans and Democrats in the House recently voted to do!

      There should be a very serious re-examination of opening up the VA System to Category 8 veterans, at this time.

      If we could adequately service our service-connected (disabled) veterans, I would welcome this move with open arms.  However, we haven't.  

      And according to recent C-Span hearings, the President has gotten every dime that he has requested in his Budget for our veterans healthcare.  So, lawmakers on both sides claim that it is not a funding problem.

      They say it is more a lack of qualified medical personnel-- especially primary doctors.

      BTW, I am very sympathetic to this topic.  My spouse is a service-connected disabled veteran, and I am a (soon to be) federal civil service retiree.  

      Again, it would not surprise me if this entire fiasco is framed as "unintended consequences," but is yet another neoliberal scheme to privatize one of the few remaining decent health care system in the United States.

      I have commented extensively about the excellent care we've received as active duty Air Force--including medevac flights to the Lower 48.  

      May I say:  

      Kudos to Madigan Army Medical Center (Lewis-McChord outside of Tacoma, WA) and all the wonderfully capable and dedicated civilian and military personnel there.  Thank you!
      And thank you for this diary, llbear.

      (I will soon be posting on my concerns regard the VA's recent attempts to declassify some mental health disorders.  It is unconscionable that this mechanism would be used to avoid paying deserved disability claims.)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

      by musiccitymollie on Fri May 30, 2014 at 02:38:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I almost forgot--agree that Shinseki is being (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, BMScott, DaNang65, chimene

        scapegoated.

        Unfortunately, I don't believe that anything can be done about it.

        It is part of the "scheme" to blow up this story, in order to pave the way to privatization.

        (Which is not to imply that the situation isn't serious--clearly it is.  But the "solution" is anything but looking mostly to the private section.  It's as I mentioned earlier--fully staffing medical personnel--no matter what it takes, or costs, to do so.)

        Just another example of "not letting a crisis go to waste."  

        Sigh . . .

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight--Relaunched 2014!

        by musiccitymollie on Fri May 30, 2014 at 02:44:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let me acknowledge upfront this is an emotional (13+ / 0-)

    reaction - mine and those who I talked with agree. The doctors, nurses, and support staff feel emotional about this, too.

    The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:37:31 AM PDT

  •  I began writing this yesterday. (11+ / 0-)

    Duckworth should be ashamed - she knows better.

    The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:42:14 AM PDT

  •  Sad but true (6+ / 0-)
    The problem at VA has always been management integrity. Politicians have given political cover to the slimy characters who have for decades have run the Department. Those politicians exist on both sides of the aisle.

    "The good Earth — we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy." Kurt Vonnegut - "A Man Without a Country", 2005.

    by BOHICA on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:46:11 AM PDT

  •  VoteVet polled 3,000 vets (13+ / 0-)

    83% want him to stay.

    The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:49:25 AM PDT

  •  Resigned. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FarWestGirl, BMScott

    Just reported.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:53:01 AM PDT

  •  May the God they flaunt damn every politician (5+ / 0-)

    in the Gee O Pee and all their bought-and-paid-for media shills appropriately, and all the deluded "polite" go-along-to-get-along gutless accomplices who side with them.

    Damn the greedy old fossil-fuel-economy-owning white men and their handmaidens, male and female, and the politicians who've prostituted themselves to that money and power,  who care nothing for the constituents they're supposed to represent and less for the men and women they send off to needless danger on the far side of a world their own actions made hostile to their rapacity.

    Shame on you, Tammy Duckworth. You don't deserve to stay in Congress. Resign now.

    Damn them all. Hell is too good for them. Separately and collectively, they need to be thrown out of their six-figure jobs and their palatial "Capitol homes".

    Shame on you, Barack Hussein Obama, for not backing the man you picked to do a job you knew would be difficult and take time. Shame on you for not DEMANDING the Congress fund the VA adequately. Shame on you, too -- you are not less culpable than your staff. A true leader would admit that.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:14:02 AM PDT

  •  AMEN!!! Brother, AMEN!!! (7+ / 0-)


    Travesty For Us Veterans': Gen Shinseki Resigns -
    Conservatives got what they've long sought, and attempted to do prior, since he was nominated and confirmed as VA Secretary

    Long Past Time, Decades and War Of, Those We've Served Stand Up and Take Blame For Lack of Sacrifice From:

    Patriotism Posers!! Sen. Sanders to bring back veterans bill GOP previously blocked - Put Up or Shut Up!!!!!!!

    PTSD, Agent Orange, Chemical Exposures, Gulf War Syndrome, Homelessness, National Cemetaries, to Name But Only a Few, Including Issues From These Two Present Long Occupations, Totally Ignored Now Being Addressed by This VA and the Executive Branch Cabinet Helping the Long Under Funded Peoples Responsibility, the VA

    “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

    It isn't a VA 'scandal', it's the Country served and through their Representatives 'SCANDAL', decades long and wars from as they ignore the issues so they need not pay for! Wars over no need to wave them patriotic, patriotism posers, flags! Nothing more to see or need to do here, move along!

    That spending, like most of the budget is still mostly borrowed, especially in the last decade plus and two wars of choice, with two tax cuts as they started especially for the wealthy with costs for the wars rubber stamped off the books with no bid private contracts and and all borrowed, as this VA started addressing long ignored issues of previous decades and wars from, since Korea and even WWII issues, with interest and problems created by the people and their reps taking from those budgets to fix. Instead of the flag wavin country building and just maintaining and advancing the Agency that should have always been, thus costing less to operate and with quality!!

    Politics being brought into their Government jobs to help create the 'scandals' so Congress, instead of doing their jobs have fresh mortar rounds to throw at the dedicated civil servants they so despise. Or is it purely greed seeking more compensation and accolades on performance with no concern as to their oaths to those they are charged to care for, private sector is loaded with those types and we call them the best of the best!

    Long Time Example of just one Long Ignored Military, and wars, Veterans' issue:

    Conservatives Pro-Business right-wing Think Tank American Enterprise Institutes own Sally Satel, Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money! Nemesis of us Vietnam Veterans who fought for recognition of for the brothers and sisters suffering with and not only as to Vietnam and war PTS but the Civilian personal from their traumatic life experiences as well! She, and some others, have made very lucrative livings writing and speaking in denial of, giving reason to country and politicians serving them to ignore, and thus have the blood of hundreds of thousands of not only military, military veterans but civilians who suffer the ravages from extreme trauma's, on just one long of many ignored issues by those served issue so they need not pay for care!

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

    "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 May 30, 2014 at 09:21:06 AM PDT

    •  The crowd that really won? (6+ / 0-)

      The slimy top VA management - Petzel's minions.

      The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:25:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Further Thought (5+ / 0-)


      The New VA Health Care Campus, being built in New Orleans, might be getting close to finish, haven't checked, might be a better one. He broke ground on that and with some recovery funds enhanced some along with a bunch done with those funds.

      It's not just another VA hospital but a research facility, came facility and much more, like I said a campus All there for Veterans' around the country, now and into the future.

      I was hoping, when forced into early retirement, of working on it. Had gotten the contacts for the general contractors, they in turn gave me contacts, later, for some of the subs to be contracted with. Then it was held up as N.O. had trouble moving some of the houses instead of demolishing for historic N.O. value. Needless to say the wait was too long, for me, so lost those connections and didn't hear back from the few I had contacted and were interested in me.

      "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 May 30, 2014 at 09:30:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the evidence that Shinseki tried... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear

    ...to do something about, or against, the kind of people you've described?  One of the typical responsibilities of a boss is bringing your people under control.  Obviously he didn't do that, and if his best defense is that Cabinet secretaries are just nobodies, then why is he worth defending?

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 30, 2014 at 12:21:00 PM PDT

    •  You missed the list Shinseki (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BMScott, DaNang65

      handed to the President - and you have not heard all of the personnel changes and the fact that Shinseki introduced customer satisfaction and so much more . . .

      The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Fri May 30, 2014 at 02:12:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you saw the VA's condition prior to his (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, BMScott, DaNang65, chimene

    taking it over.. this question would not be even a question.
    Especially in the red states...where Chambliss ..the Max Cleland beater lives and works......Where Miller in Florida..head of congressional VA affairs resides and constiguents are .   The VA homeless problem dropped significantly.  There were more programs in place for ptsd and there were more calls for updating the systems.   It was like reorganizing the Titanic tables after the ship was sinking.    People were comfortable with the no oversight and the do it your way and they did undermine his authority.   There were leftovers from the Bush people.
    This was his biggest mistake.  

    I have outline as llbear has that this problem is bigger than a VA secretary.  8 years of Bush and understaffing and underfunding looks bad ...real bad five years out..
    Especially when you have veterans for so many years denied under a status system that Obama and Shineski did away with... Status 8 were denied access altogehter.
    Vietnam vets started getting old and retiring and after the crash no insurance and these red states denied any coverage and the VA took them in and with the returnees and underfunding....it was bad.  The idea of privatizing is not even feasible...   They cannot treat the multitude of problems just one disabled combat vet has that was offered.  From Vison, Dental, transport, ptsd groups, therapy, physical therapy to a cold.   No...... this was a mistake ..Big one.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri May 30, 2014 at 02:04:51 PM PDT

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