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What a whirlwind 24 hours over at The White House. We begin with reaction to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and this piece from Esquire's Charles Pierce:
This event became inevitable the moment that Shinseki sat down before the Veterans Affairs Committee of the United States Senate. [...] And thus ends the honorable career of a soldier who was correct about the lies behind the greatest policy disaster of our times, about the essential criminality of the people who launched the invasion of Iraq, but whose primary failures as an administrator were his inability to oversee the people in his department who were directly trying to cope with the flood of casualties that resulted from all of those soldiers that most of official Washington told Eric Shinseki they would never need to create a democratic paradise in Iraq. Irony is the rail on which Shinseki now has been ridden out of town. [...]

The problem with the VA system right now is that, for an entire decade, we sent people into the meat grinder of a war the architects of which conducted completely off the books. They kept it off the books used to keep the federal budget, and they did all they could to keep it off the books of the nation's moral conscience as well. They lied and they cooked their estimates on everything far worse than did the likely criminals who fudged the documentation at the hospital in Phoenix. The whole country was awash in the moral equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, all glistening and shiny and bedecked in bunting. Meanwhile, the physical, financial, and moral cost of it all built up and built up until the scheme got bigger and more complicated and, ultimately, it became untenable. And now, the people who launched it in the first place are tut-tutting about what happened when the whole thing finally collapsed.  [...] But, ultimately, Bernie Sanders is completely correct about it all. If you don't want to pay all the real costs of taking the nation to war, then don't take it to war at all. It is, after all, criminal naivete to be shocked by the inevitable.

The New York Times:
The resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki from the Veterans Affairs Department was probably unavoidable, under the principle that a leader should accept full responsibility for a great scandal. But the department’s problem was not Mr. Shinseki. It has been broken for years. No one should expect his removal to be anything but the beginning of a much-needed process of change.

Time now to tune out the noise from the lawmakers who lately have been baying for Mr. Shinseki’s head. No doubt they will keep heaping abuse on President Obama, on the campaign trail, and at the hearings for whoever is nominated as Mr. Shinseki’s replacement. Empty posturing in support of troops and veterans is a staple of political life, and is far easier than actually helping veterans.

More on this and the day's other top stories below the fold.

Jacob Siegel at The Daily Beast takes an in-depth look into the controversy:

The VA’s problems didn’t start with Shinseki and they won’t be solved by his resignation—in fact, they may get worse. The secret waiting lists discovered in VA hospitals exploited a lack of oversight that made cheating easy and profitable. But beneath them there are underlying structural issues that will be even harder to fix.

As I wrote last week, it didn’t have to be this way. The VA didn’t learn about treatment delays and falsified schedules when the national press picked up the story last month. This is a problem the VA has known about for years. The same “scheduling schemes” that placed 1,700 veterans on secret waiting lists in Phoenix have been extensively documented since 2005 and no one, including Shinseki, yet explained why it took so long to act. [...]

As the calls for his resignation mounted, “embattled” became a go-to phrase to describe Shinseki. But that’s an odd term to apply to a decorated combat veteran who lost part of his foot in Vietnam. Shinseki is undoubtedly an honorable man, who sought to serve veterans after his 30 years of Army service. On some counts, he did very well. But the general’s aversion to publicity, which once seemed like a sign of dignity, became a way for the VA to evade it’s own accounting.

George Zornick at The Nation agrees that the problem is systemic, pre-dating Shinseki's term, and that politicians need to take a closer look at the wars they launch which have overburdened the underfunded VA:
But over the coming weeks, the politicians that have been rushing to appear on camera along with the outlets eager to cover this story should focus on the bigger picture: the crisis facing returning veterans and the current inability of the federal government to help them. There are many reasons why this has happened. And at the heart of all this is yet another scandal, one that continues to echo through American politics over a decade after it began: the decision to commit, and keep, American troops involved in two messy ground wars with unclear goals and uncertain, at best, benefits.
Switching topics, yesterday also brought the resignation of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Kia Makarechi at Vanity Fair:
Carney’s resignation is as good a time as any to celebrate the outgoing press secretary’s appreciation of Guided by Voices. Just a few days ago, Carney introduced “the greatest rock band in the world” at a concert, and he has been known to mistakenly invoke the names of members of the band when trying to describe Senate leadership. And while the White House Press Corps is sometimes criticized for not taking an appropriately adversarial approach to covering the administration, the reporters who interact daily with Carney teased the secretary when he grew and eventually shaved his temporary beard, prompting Carney to acknowledge the “insufficiency of my effort” to grow facial hair.
Looking ahead, Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones previews President Obama's much-anticipated carbon dioxide emissions plan:
On Monday, President Obama is set to unveil details of the cornerstone of his climate plan: Limits on carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's fleet of existing power plants. The rules are likely to be the biggest step toward the president's goal of cutting US greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020. The rules are already taking heat from the fossil fuel industry and Republicans in Congress, despite having the support of a majority of Americans. So what's all the hullabaloo about, exactly? Here's what you need to know: [...]

How big an effect will this have? It's impossible to say exactly without seeing the specific proposed limits; the New York Times is reporting the rules could require cuts in CO2 emissions of up to 20 percent. The middle range of projections from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a reduction of 544 million metric tons by 2020, equivalent to taking about 114 million cars off the road.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good suggestions in a column in Slate..... (6+ / 0-)

    by Philip Carter.

    http://www.slate.com/...

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:42:15 AM PDT

    •  Good article (4+ / 0-)

      especially:

      5. Integrate better with the private and nonprofit sector.
      And.. with the median age of vets in the VA system being 64, how much of their care could be satisfied under Medicare?  Let the VA pay for their supplemental plans so they can be provided with the same level of care but be free to go wherever they like and whenever they like.  How much burden would that take off the current VA facilities?
      •  Not necessarily ideal. (6+ / 0-)

        A vet who's been in the VA system for years probably shouldn't be shifted out of it when s/he reaches 65. Continuity of care is important for any patient, but it can be especially important for vets, who often have health problems unique to those who've served in the military. The VA has specialized expertise in these areas, and it's unlikely a vet will find it elsewhere.

         Seeing a private physician under Medicare might work for some vets, but I doubt it would be a workable solution for many of them.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:18:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd agree only for those with ordinary problems (0+ / 0-)

        found in the overall population and purely as an option. In areas where VA is hard pressed it might make sense for some form of alternate care as in the appendicitis case mentioned below and the routine ailments any other citizen might have.

        It would be insane to push vets with the kind of physical and mental trauma most of us will never see (other than perhaps school kids at places like Sandy Hook), and some cannot actually grasp, out of the system that deals with the results of really nasty stuff trying to tear you apart or otherwise destroy you daily.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sat May 31, 2014 at 07:55:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like just another attack on Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

      to me. Why not ask, if we cannot take care of the veterans from the wars we start why start them?

      ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

      by glitterscale on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:48:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the Dems could do worse this cycle than propose (31+ / 0-)

    an increase in the capital gains tax, or the elimination of the carried interest loophole, to fully fund the VA. Watch the GOP twitch when trying to counter that.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:51:42 AM PDT

    •  A very good idea. (8+ / 0-)

      There ought to be a way to make the wealthy people to fund the VA. After all, they are the ones always needing better "security". I personally am not afraid of "terrorists" since driving a car carries a much higher risk.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:59:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since we're all but out of Iraq (7+ / 0-)

      and moving out of Afghanistan, why not take some of that war funding at the Pentagon and move it to the VA?
      I know, pipe dreams, right?

      •  Yeah, as much as most reasonable suggestions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, ybruti, eagleray, skohayes

        about real fixes. Precisely what came to mind when I was reading that Slate piece linked above and hit #2.

        2. Allocate VA resources more smartly. The veteran population is undergoing tremendous demographic and geographic change. As World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Cold War conscripts die, the veteran population is changing to reflect the all-volunteer force we have today: smaller, more dispersed, more diverse, and increasingly concentrated in urban or coastal areas. Unfortunately, this is not where VA hospitals and clinics are located.

        The VA is seeing demand from both older veterans and younger veterans. The median age of the veteran population is 64, meaning that the majority of veterans are hitting retirement age and presenting themselves to the VA with service-connected conditions compounded by age. At the same time, veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan cohort are seeking VA care and benefits in record numbers. The next secretary needs congressional support to shrink or close underutilized VA facilities, build or lease new clinics (favoring outpatient clinics instead of large hospitals, following the overall direction of American health care), and move VA personnel between facilities to reflect where veterans live now, and where they need care.

        Got a hospital in some declining area where the WW II/Korea and even Vietnam veterans used to be thick but are not so much anymore? Trim down there? Watch the local Congresscritters scream. Location of federal facilities has much more to do with "pork" than the efficiency "conservatives" scream about. It is all about lining their and their supporters' pockets.

        Is this big facility in Fargo, ND an efficient use of resources now (selected for question because it is in a low population region and state alone)? If not, should perhaps some of its resources be further dispersed or even moved to high veteran population areas? Don't even ask the question about such places because you will have some of those same Congresscritters voting against funds screaming bloody murder. Of course they might salivate at full privatization by their pet investors!

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:32:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those wars were funded on a national credit (4+ / 0-)

        card. We need to allocate more funding, not continue to play the float. I'm listening right now to Weekend Edtion's report on the critical lack of hospital space, a primary cause of the long wait times.  Let's tax the ultra rich and get more VA hospitals and staff. Stat.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

        by nailbender on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:15:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because that money has been already been spent ... (0+ / 0-)

        Because that money has been already been spent on the aca. Remember when it was being passed? They promised to keep the aca cost to that of the wars so it wouldn't increase the deficit.

    •  Right now a lot of impoverished seniors are buying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nailbender

      groceries and heating costs on slim capital gains because forced into stock market over no interest on savings.

      Proceed with caution.

  •  Travesty For Us Veterans': (29+ / 0-)

    Finally a Non-Political VA Secretary That Was Addressing Long Ignored, and Newly Ignored Combat Theater Veterans, Issues By Those They Served and Through Their Representatives, With Help From the Full Executive Branch and Accomplishing For the Surviving Veterans of Those Issues!!

    As Veterans, and especially us looooong time Veterans Activist and Advocates: WE ARE PIS*ED ! ! !
    and what we are pis*ed about is that senior VA mangers are setting Shinseki up to take the blame for their own back-stabbing, incompetency and bullsh*t {thanks to llbear for that}

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

    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:

    PTSD, Agent Orange, Chemical Exposures, Gulf War Syndrome, Homelessness, National Cemeteries, Veterans Courts getting help for instead of just throwing a Vet into jail or prison, 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! Thankfully the only Government Branch, this Executive and it's Cabinet, doing anything for not only Veterans but Military and their Families will continue working with the VA to fulfill what the peoples representatives, Federal and States, aren't as those served like that!

    “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 Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:57:51 AM PDT

  •  It reminds me of (6+ / 0-)

    A conference I am working on where I represent one of the partners putting on the conference and a committee of about 15 represents the other partner.  There is only one person out of the 15 who actually does anything.  The rest just talk and throw out ideas or take pot shots but are basically useless.  There are doers and there are talkers and unfortunately we are represented by mostly talkers.

  •  we all know why Congress funds war and not VA (8+ / 0-)

    Congress funds war and not the VA because the Defense Industry and Big Business fund Congressional Campaigns and Political War Chests and and Veterans do not have the money to do that.  Shinseki had to go in order to take attention away from this brutal fact.

    There might have been good reason for a change.  That is because there has to be a change in the culture of the people who work at the VA at a high enough level to make a difference.  Culture changes come in steps and jerks.  Shinseki made some progress for the veterans and he and we can appreciate that.  Change at the top level signals the expectation of a change throughout and puts people at all levels on alert.  It makes them get rid of some old tricks and develop new ones to cope.  Hopefully the new ones are not as bad as the old ones.

    But until Congress adequately funds the VA, there will always be those systemic problems that arise as new tricks are developed to cope with lack of funding.  And Congress will not adequately fund the VA as long as they can get rich being elected to Congress and as long as the Supreme Court lets them take the money and asuage their guilt by thinking that corporations are people.  Campaigns are won by money and money goes into the pockets of those that are elected.  And the money does not come from the people who lay down their lives and the quality of their lives for their country.  We as Citizens and voters don't control where our tax dollars are spent.  Big Contributors do.  And that's why Shinseki had to go, and I'll bet he knows that.

  •  Epidemic of STFU diaries.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, JaxDem, Mishima, skohayes

    "You STFU widda STFU, awready!"

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:12:00 AM PDT

  •  VA needs a leader with a masterful vision (5+ / 0-)

    to control the pervasive problems there. I don't know how hard or if at all Obama tried to purge the ranks of bu$h trolls and deadwood in the VA. Too little, too late.
    Something as huge as falsifying wait times and other entrenched old tricks (and personnel) should have been right up there for scrutiny with the gigantic paperwork overload.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:14:32 AM PDT

  •  Shineski & VA do not and should not have to be (19+ / 0-)

    casualties of the GOP war on Democrats and Obama.  We should take this opportunity to drive home the truth that the illegitimate and illegal Iraq war put such a strain on the VA organization that of course it finally broke.

    The following two paragraphs written by a dying Iraq war, Thomas Young veteran to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney sums up everything that has led up to the current state of affairs: Link to full letter

    I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

    I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

    This should be a springboard for us to finally and loudly decry the illegal war in Iraq and the subsequent damage it did on an already overburdened VA system.  The GOPers and their "I support the troops, unless there's money involved" need to be exposed and held accountable.  

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:15:50 AM PDT

    •  I heard the VA is under strain from more sides (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, JaxDem, mjd in florida

      like finally recognizing exposure to Agent Orange has medical consequences and that Post Traumatic Stress has real, treatable consequences.  Both decisions added to VA case loads tremendously.  But apparently, the VA budget wasn't expanded to reflect the new reality.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:57:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said, the GOP's support of our troops (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjd in florida

        is limited to the yellow car magnet they apply, ever so carefully so as not to scratch the finish of the car, but not to actually taking away tax cuts for the 1% so that our VA hospitals can be funded properly.  Same thing as their love of America -- they wear that lapel pin flag, but blame those who are poor, homeless, sick and mentally damaged on their own follies so they can refuse to spend a dime to help those particular "fellow Americans".

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Sat May 31, 2014 at 07:59:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Boehner says the VA is Obama's problem....he's too (7+ / 0-)

    busy chasing witches.....BENGHAZEEEEE!

  •  Bing news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, sweatyb

    off topic, but Bing's homepage today has news stories trending on the bottom of the page.  Usually TMZ or sports type stuff.  today: "Illegals can enlist" with a sad photo of the president.  Honestly, Illegals is a horrible term that's now accepted.

  •  Please read Jim Wright at Stonekettle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    Here's a link on his take of the VA.

    •  Thanks for sharing (9+ / 0-)

      He expresses what I've heard from other veterans on Twitter and FB:

      Ten years ago, my father, a Korean War Navyman who had contemptuously avoided the VA for five decades was finally convinced to take his discharge papers and see what the VA could do for an old vet with terminal COPD. And they did wonders. They restored his hearing with state of the art hearing-aids, they outfitted him with oxygen and a mobility scooter and a powered chair-lift up the stairs of my parent’s old farmhouse. The VA treated my dad with dignity and respect and kindness and they gave him a decade with a significantly improved quality of life – something he never would have had otherwise.

      The VA of today is vastly better than it has ever been. And that is a provable fact.

      This is exactly what happened to an old friend of mine, who is a Vietnam vet with chronic health problems. My sister finally talked him into going to the VA, and they were WONDERFUL, and still are. His quality of life has improved considerably thanks to them, and it hasn't cost him a cent.
      •  That is what happened to my husband as well. Re... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, skohayes, sweatyb, SoCalSal

        That is what happened to my husband as well. Refused to go to the VA for 7 years but ended up going to their ER for appendicitis since it was nearby. He got emergency surgery and while he was in recovery they got him enrolled. Didn't pay a single thing. They were so good to him he WORKS there now.

      •  Your last sentence sums up ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, Orinoco, mjd in florida

        why Republicans hate the VA. It provides care at virtually no cost to the veteran. It's America's own mini NHS, a completely socialized system for providing medical care.

        Look for more calls to privatize it because of this scandal.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:59:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Once again (8+ / 0-)

    Republicans make a huge fucking mess, then walk away when it gets obviously indefensible.  

    Democrats have to clean it up.

    Republicans blame Democrats for pointing out the mess and say they would never do such a thing.  

    The courtier press plays along.  

    People get mad at Democrats and elect Republicans, who promise to take care of things.

    Republicans make a huge fucking mess.

  •  Once again I hope Bernie Sanders will take to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Helpless

    the Senate floor and point his righteous finger at those who have had a record of ignoring the vets--those in both parties.  
    That single payer idea looks better and better combined with several high-profile specialized VA hospitals for war-related injuries.
    Finally, I'm pretty much alone in this, but a national service requirement and wartime draft would go a long way to insure veterans get taken care of when they come home.  Too much burden on too few which makes it easy for their problems to be ignored.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:18:52 AM PDT

  •  Steam AM Gold.... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm toying with a new character called Vandra Graf. I just realized that she's somewhat similar to Elinor in the movie Wizards. They're both '70s fantasy, big zatig earth mother elf girls. Except Wizards does a '70s Hippie science and technology bash while my character is a wrench wench in what Steampunk would have looked like if it existed in the '70s (Steam AM Gold? SteamAOR?) And the fantasy flavoring is sort of changed from Bakshi's urban hipster to my rural nerd.

    It was kind of frustrating growing up as a gearhead and sort of a science nerd in the back to nature '70s. The counter-Culture thought we were all unmellow and 'Stablishmant. Meanwhile, I'm mired in public high school, one of the most Establishment places of all, being made to feel like an outcast because that isn't the almighty Sports and Spelling. I felt like an oddball going both ways.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:22:32 AM PDT

  •  Hipsters? (0+ / 0-)

    Are they for real? Or are they just trendies and poseurs with rank inflation?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:25:48 AM PDT

  •  And about vaccinations . . . death of a pioneer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    as told in "Ciro de Quadros, pioneering epidemiologist, dies at 74":

    Ciro de Quadros, a Brazilian-born doctor and epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox in the 1970s and later led efforts that eliminated polio and measles in the Western Hemisphere, saving or improving the lives of millions, died May 28 at his home in Washington. He was 74.
    and
    Few people in the past 50 years did more than Dr. de Quadros to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, particularly in the Americas. Beginning in Brazil in the 1960s, he helped arrest smallpox in a remote region of the Amazon. He later led programs that brought an end to polio and measles, sometimes brokering cease-fires among warring factions in order to vaccinate children in battle zones.
    and
    “I watched him perform in Ethi­o­pia,” Henderson told the New York Times in 2011. “The obstacles were unbelievable — the emperor assassinated, two revolutionary groups fighting, nine of his own teams kidnapped, even a helicopter captured and held for ransom. He kept the teams in the field — and that helicopter pilot went out and vaccinated all the rebels.”
    So, we have in the relatively safe "Western World" a whole movement to undo this sort of work. Crazy.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sat May 31, 2014 at 07:39:57 AM PDT

  •  shinseki didn't deserve this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalSal


    time to sink some budget money into the VA  - hey, take it direct from some of those high-tech fighter plane budgets!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat May 31, 2014 at 08:59:57 AM PDT

  •  Finally we get a Cabinet firing (0+ / 0-)

    and it's the wrong guy.

    Shinseki at least tried to do the right thing. As opposed to Holder, Duncan, Geithner ...

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Sat May 31, 2014 at 11:38:29 AM PDT

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