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Last night, Jon Stewart wasn't letting the GOP off the hook in the VA scandal as they tried to blame it all on Obama, as he noted this has been going on throughout American history.

Yes, these Republican Senators have always stood up for our veterans... when they think it can help them slam the President. It's slightly different when they think no one is watching.
KARL ROVE: By improving systems, it got down to an average of about 161 days by the time that Bush left office. By 2012, it was back up above the 230 that we inherited when we came into office to 260.
Yeah, you get that? Eight years in office, and he's bragging because he's got the veterans' average wait down to 5 to 6 months. While somewhat forgetting that a good reason it jumped back up to 7 to 8 months was the Bush administration's doing as well. So I guess Rove is saying, the Bush era VA warned the Obama team not to un-solve the VA problem the Bush administration had not solved either. That's so disingenuous, even Bill "Beyonce hunter" O'Reilly (audience laughter) calls bullshit.
Video and transcript below the fold.



But let's begin tonight in honor of Fleet Week, we begin with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the seemingly unending problems it is providing in timely medical care.  Some VA hospitals going so far as to actively cover up this problem, a situation I think best summed up thusly.  (Jon opens up swear jar as swears fly out)

That sounds right.  All right, by the way, no one is more upset about this than the lions of the Republican Senate.

SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-SD (5/21/2014): This VA issue is a national embarrassment, and the President's response to it is an embarrassment.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (5/21/2014): "Taking care of our veterans and their families has been one of the causes of my presidency."  Well, then you failed.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL, R-KY (5/15/2014): He needs to treat these stories at least as seriously as he did the Obamacare website fiasco.

Oh!  He takes the VA, he turns it into Obamacare!  If he grabs Benghazi, the trifecta!  Yes, these Republican Senators have always stood up for our veterans... when they think it can help them slam the President.  It's slightly different when they think no one is watching.
CHRISTINE ROMANS (2/28/2014): A bill that would have expanded health care and education for veterans, getting rejected in the Senate.  A lack of support from Republicans doomed this bill.
What???  You might even say the lack of support for that bill from Republicans is a national embarrassment that gets embarrassmentier.
CHRIS HAYES (2/28/2014): Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell tried to add an unrelated poison pill amendment to that veterans bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran.
(in turtle voice) "I'll just slip this poison pill in there.  If anyone saw it, sure would seem hypocritical.  Then I'll reward myself with a cabbage leaf."  (audience laughter)

But of course, as the President's critics rightly pointed out, President Obama knew about the VA backlog problems before he was even President Obama.

MAJOR GARRETT, CBS (5/19/2014): This memo, prepared for President-elect Obama's transition team by the George W. Bush administration, outlined the difficulties veterans faced in obtaining timely health care.
Proof of two things.  One, this President hasn't done enough to end this backlog.  And two, the previous President hadn't done enough to end the backlog!
5/21/2014:

BILL O'REILLY: So, the problems existed on the day President Bush left office.

KARL ROVE: No, no, no, no, no, no it didn't.  No, no, no. ... By improving systems, it got down to an average of about 161 days by the time that Bush left office.  By 2012, it was back up above the 230 that we inherited when we came into office to 260.

Yeah, you get that?  Eight years in office, and he's bragging because he's got the veterans' average wait down to 5 to 6 months.  While somewhat forgetting that a good reason it jumped back up to 7 to 8 months was the Bush administration's doing as well.  So I guess Rove is saying, the Bush era VA warned the Obama team not to un-solve the VA problem the Bush administration had not solved either.  That's so disingenuous, even Bill "Beyonce hunter" O'Reilly (audience laughter) calls bullshit.
5/21/2014:

BILL O'REILLY: The VA itself made a report to the incoming Obama people.

KARL ROVE: No, no, no, no.  First of all, it is not a VA report.  It is a report from people assigned by the Obama campaign to their transition planning.  These were probably Democrats in Washington.

BILL O'REILLY: OK, look, Mr. Rove ... you're wrong.  This comes from....

KARL ROVE: Yeah, but here, Bill, let me describe what it is.  No, no, no!  Let me describe what the problem was, Bill.  You're conflating again.  The Inspector General....

BILL O'REILLY: I have to go on the record, Mr. Rove.

KARL ROVE: I know!

BILL O'REILLY: Mr. Rove, I have to go on the record.

KARL ROVE: But let me finish, Bill.

BILL O'REILLY: Nope.

(audience laughter)

See, this is why I like O'Reilly.  He's like Fox News's Incredible Hulk.  Sure, usually just a mindlessly aggressive force of destruction.  But pointed in the right direction... (audience laughter) becomes a hero.

But let's be clear.  As traditions go, mistreating our veterans is a fully bipartisan endeavor.

Jason Jones then filed another piece from India about their elections.

Meanwhile, Stephen also covered the VA scandal, talking with Paul Rieckhoff about it.


He then looked at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and his unwillingness to answer some questions about his past.

Jon talked with actress Drew Barrymore, and Stephen talked with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Originally posted to Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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