Skip to main content

A couple of things have recently come to my attention (h/t Sue Frasier) that reverberate against the backdrop of the oncoming fiscal storm.

The big show, the distraction, may be the Speaker and his Far Right hand man posturing for the cameras, perhaps playing for keeps, perhaps only creating a diversion to take our eyes off the real, underlying attack.

While the Leadersip prattles about reducing entitlements more rank and file Republicans may well be part of a more covert assault on the Veterans Adminstration. Two disparate news items do not a battle plan make, but they certainly get my attention.

First there was Rep. Jeff Miller, (R-FL) Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, going off when he believed he'd uncovered evidence of wasteful spending at the VA because somebody posted pictures of a fine dining experience in Italy to the Veterans Canteen Service's Facebook page. Rather than have his staff do their homework, Miller called the VA on the carpet over the alleged junket. Turns out they were pictures from a personal vacation.

Maybe Miller's feelings got hurt over his bumbling, but he certainly knew where to land the pain for his embarrassment. He promised the VA "more aggressive oversight".

He might have been on to something, looking into the two earlier VA conferences that had run up a $762,000 tab, had only it been his committee and not the VA's Inspector General who had discovered the suspiciously large expenses. Would that House Republicans watched over Defense contractors half so zealously.

Perhaps it's only coincidental that Miller's vendetta against the VA comes as no less a friend of the veteran than Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is trumpeting, under the title "Cornyn Offers Legislation to Fight National VA Claims Backlog," his amendment to privatize the VA claim system! The gist of Cornyn's reasoning seems to be that since the Texas Veterans Commission, a division of state government, did something or other with some VA claims, it's very difficult to tell from Cornyn's announcement what they actually accomplished beyond filing more claims, adding to the backlog, somehow this proves the VA should pay private contractors to do the job Cornyn and his fellow congressional Republicans keep the underfunded VA from doing properly.

Not a penny more for more help for the VA as the tide of Vietnam veterans age into deteriorating health and a sea of OEF/OIF veterans swells on the near horizon, but cash aplenty for Cornyn's private buddies. Can you spell K.B.R.?

UPDATE: Once again a day late and a dollar short! I've just discovered that Cornyn's amendment passed the Senate 95-0 yesterday! I cannot add strongly enough that the "evidence" Cornyn cites for outside-the-VA partnerships, i.e., the road to privatization, is that the Texas Veterans Commission added thousands of new claims to the VA's backlog, not that they resolved any.

And thanks, of course, to the Rescue Rangers and all the kind kossacks who sent this to the Rec List.

Originally posted to Military Community Members of Daily Kos on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:15 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site