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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) talks to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride to the White House in Washington  April 17, 2013, in celebration of the seventh annual Ride. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki with President Obama.
President Obama has reportedly made his pick to replace Eric Shinseki at the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it's an unorthodox one. Bob McDonald is a former CEO of Procter & Gamble, having graduated from West Point but spent only five years in the Army.
McDonald is an unusual choice for an agency that has typically been led by former military leaders, but given the agency’s bureaucratic and managerial challenges, he is seen by the White House as the kind of corporate leader the agency needs. His experience makes him “prepare[d] … well for a huge agency with management challenges,” the official said, adding that he is “the perfect person to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs during this important time.”
Ah, the old "run it like a business" idea. As if excellent service, and not profits, are what businesses seek. In addition to playing to Republican reverence for corporations, the McDonald nomination has another advantage when it comes to getting Republican support:
During the 2012 presidential race, he gave $2,500 to Mitt Romney and, less than a year ago, he made a contribution of $1,000 to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
McDonald stepped down as CEO of Procter & Gamble in May 2013.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why did he step down as CEO? (5+ / 0-)

    What are the Republicans likely to use against this nominee?

    Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:21:38 AM PDT

    •  Lack of growth was the reason given on the news (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buzzer, JML9999, on the cusp, Aunt Pat

      But that won't matter.

      I mean are Republicans going to use anything against him? If Obama wants to project the message that it takes a Republican to do a tough job, I'm sure they will agree.

      •  Here is a blurb on his "stepping down" (4+ / 0-)

        from the WSJ.

        The announcement marks a surprise changing of the guard, especially since Lafley is coming out of retirement to replace McDonald, who has endured a rocky four-year tenure at the top of the world’s largest consumer products company. He has faced criticism from investors and analysts for pushing too hard into emerging markets while not managing its cost structure as well.
        •  P&G is an advertizing based company, not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean

          about smart management and manufacturing cost control.  This is about his PR skills which speaks volumes about Obama's agenda in re: the coming election.

          GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

          by SGWM on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:44:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hunh? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, Wee Mama, jfromga, kalihikane

        McDonald took P & G from about $50 per share to about $80 and that's a lack of growth? In about 5 years.

        We're all just working for Pharaoh.

        by whl on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:57:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two things (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eddie C

          First, that is stock market growth -- increase in share price -- and not growth in sales, profits, new markets, market share, etc.

          Second, five years ago was 2009 -- the recession. Everyone's stock price was in the toilet. And since then, stock prices rebounded. How much of that rebound is due to any company's individual efforts, and how much is just due to economic recovery in general, is a question mark.

          The thing about McDonald is, he didn't just retire voluntarily. If he had, they would have been grooming a successor. Instead, P&G brought back A.G. Lafley, who had been CEO prior to McDonald.

      •  Besides, why shouldn't a Republican president get (3+ / 0-)

        to appoint a Republican to his administration?

        Oh, I forgot.  Obama is a "Democrat."  

      •  Are Republicans going to use anything against him? (0+ / 0-)

        These are the same Republicans Senators who will filibuster their own bills, even vote against their own bills, if the Dems show any kind of liking for them; the same Republican Senators who want nothing whatever to do with anything Obama proposes; who would be only too delighted to see the problems in the VA persist while no-one is appointed to replace Shinseki. In a midterm election year, when Republicans want to regain the majority in the Senate, I can't see them doing anything whatsoever that might favor the President, particularly with regard to an appointment to the VA which is highly charged political issue this year.

        Please note that lamps in the MAGIC LAMP EMPORIUM are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

        by Mopshell on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:57:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman (5+ / 0-)

      bought a large stake in P&G, actually 1 % of the company and made lots of noise that McDonald was not the right CEO. McDonald stepped aside saying he did not want to be a distraction. Since then Ackman has sold off his shares in the company.

      "Never before has it been so hard for the rich to become poor, or for the poor to become rich." Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R,Ky)

      by wild hair on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:06:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm guessing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, lorell, Subterranean

      the old charges of satanism will be brought back up.

      It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

      by Blue Intrigue on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:12:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, a manufacturing corporation isn't quite the (7+ / 0-)

    model needed, but it's a step in the right direction, IMO. You are the head of an agency that's tasked to provide a high quality service upon request.

    The agency has been plagued with administrative malpractice--not in the actual service, but in getting that service to the customer.

    Part of that is in the infrastructure itself--it's too small. That's Congress' job, once Secretary-designee McDonald makes the compelling case that it is so.

    Part of that is in personnel. THAT is where McDonald's expertise will come in.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:23:00 AM PDT

  •  Because running the VA is exactly like (10+ / 0-)

    making Pringles for profit.

    •  P&G Doesn't Own Pringles Anymore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      "Never before has it been so hard for the rich to become poor, or for the poor to become rich." Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R,Ky)

      by wild hair on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:09:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, sure. In theory (see "holes" in text). (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oofer, Subterranean

      Decades ago, during the "conglomeration" frenzy the shipyard famed for building destroyers that survived incredible damage was taken over by a conglomerate that was largely known for cereal. If I'm recalling 30+ years ago correctly there was a Naval Institutes Review article about the misguided, somewhat disastrous result.

      Those hot shot business managers that knew how to manage cereal and other household goodies for commerce sent in a new broom who fired a lot of "oldsters," people lingering a bit past retirement age, something lots of people had back then. Navy began having real problems with the product, from the place some active in senior levels still remembered had built ships that got them through kamikaze damage only a couple of decades back with damage nobody expected wouldn't sink them.

      Yep, got rid of all that "old deadwood"—people that just happened to really know how to build really solid ships. Brought in "cereal" managers to manage ship construction for, after all, business schools were teaching that managers fit into all holes, square, round, diamond, triangle, octagonal and probably even ass.

      There is another old "rule" that is oft forgotten. Because government is absolutely (though we begin to wonder) to the public it isn't just "regulated" but absolutely subject to laws and regulations. Lots of "business leaders" have crashed and burned when trying to shift from "privacy" and "responsible to the board" into public servants responsible to "sunshine" and sometimes not quite business logical law and regulation as our other public servants (quaint term now?) in Congress and the Executive require.

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

      by pelagicray on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:56:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Managing VA forward successfully will require... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      ...more than just being faithful to those whom served us. It will require that the new VA leader put a full blown by the numbers MBA with charts in hand presentation to the House showing those recalcitrent nimrods why the agency must have more funding as well reenforce the historical precedents that illustrate the sacrifices made by our veterans and thus earned our support.  They are not freeloaders ...stare them down and hold it on them with this remark....then dare them to vote down increased funding again.

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

      by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:58:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought that team of rivals crap was finished (16+ / 0-)

    Nominating  Democrats is not in the other side's DNA.
    Reaching out in this climate is seen by Republicans as a sign of weakness.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:30:35 AM PDT

    •  It IS weakness (12+ / 0-)

        It is Obama's chronic tragic flaw -- he needs, craves, requires approval from Republicans.

        FDR welcomed their hatred. Obama... is no FDR.

       

      "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

      by Buzzer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:49:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regardless of President Obama's psychology... (5+ / 0-)

        ...the Constitution states pretty clearly that his nominees for Cabinet posts need, crave, require approval from the United States Senate in order to take office.

        I think that's what motivated this choice.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:57:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the GOP would extract its pound of flesh (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buzzer, Jazzenterprises, worldlotus

          even if Obama nominated the ghost of Edwin Walker to run the VA.

          There is nothing Obama could do to prevent this, no matter whom he nominates.

          What will happen with Mr. Ex-CEO is that his appointment will be held up, subject to concessions, which Obama will make after some months of dithering, during which the Republicans will rake him over the coals. Then after they've wrung what they can out of him, they'll approve the appointment sometime between the next election and the beginning of the 2016 presidential circus.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:05:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Another choice (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean

            When this faux-scandal "broke out", Obama and the Democrats could have very forcefully pointed out and emphasized that Republicans were the primary reason the VA was underfunded.

            Maybe he wouldn't have had to replace Shinseki if he'd stood up for him.

            But he chose not to. Even though the facts were clearly on his side, he chose to indulge the Republicans' hissy fit du jour.

           As he always does.

             

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:23:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No...Shinsecki was outgunned. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Subterranean

            His managerial experience was in the military.  That doesn't exactly translate in a civilian environment.

            •  Twenty years ago I would've agreed... (0+ / 0-)

              ...but in todays Oligarchial business model...very militaristic...do as I say...no discussion. But regardless McDonald did not climb the ladder at P&G without at least some bantering skills. Besides, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain and so on.

              Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

              by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:07:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  If President Obama "craves approval"... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, ditsylilg, askew, worldlotus

        from the GOP, he certainly has a funny way of showing it, seeing how everything he's accomplished has been done with little or no Republican support.

        That whole "there are no red states or blue states" bipartisanship idea? That gave Obama great leverage to position himself as the adult in the room and portray the GOP as nothing but a petty fringe element opposed to even the most rational of ideas.

        Six years into his presidency, and people still don't get this?

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:59:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's amazing what people won't get, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Medium Head Boy

          In a statement, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), usually an administration critic, hailed McDonald’s experience as a veteran and as a leader in the private sector, calling him the “kind of person who is capable of implementing the kind of dramatic systemic change that is badly needed and long overdue at the VA. But the next VA secretary can only succeed in implementing that type of change if his boss, the president, first commits to doing whatever it takes to give our veterans the world class health care system they deserve.”

          Another Ohio Republican, Sen. Rob Portman, praised Obama for selecting “someone with a wealth of experience managing a complex organization who has also had a distinguished military career.”

          McDonald has financially supported Republican politicians in the past, according to federal election records, including Boehner and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by greenbastard on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:16:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And it's worked SO well (4+ / 0-)
          That whole "there are no red states or blue states" bipartisanship idea? That gave Obama great leverage to position himself as the adult in the room and portray the GOP as nothing but a petty fringe element opposed to even the most rational of ideas.
           This petty fringe element controls one house of Congress and most governorships and state legislatures. They didn't, before Obama came into the White House. Meanwhile, the adult in the room keeps pursuing these "grand bargains" that essentially validate right-wing memes like "Social Security is in trouble" and "Only Republicans are qualified to run the DOD" and "charter schools are a solution to everything".

           Nice guys finish last.

           

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:16:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  LOLs. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buzzer

          People "get" Obama, all right. Why do you think they stayed home in 2010, and fewer came out in 2012 than had in '08?

          They know he's far more interested in appeasing the Republicans than he is in trying to solve their problems. The guy spent two years playing austerity politics with the Republican House in obsessive pursuit of getting cuts to SS, after doing almost nothing in his first couple years (besides making sure the already-too-small stimulus bill was larded with useless tax cuts and watering down the ACA to get rid of the PO). Why on earth should they be jazzed about what he's done?

          People aren't as dumb or fickle or irrational as you seem to think they are. They know who's on their side and who's not. It's not the electorate who's let Obama down, it's Obama who's let the electorate down.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:23:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think our side stayed home in 2010... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            as much as the other side was more energized because of Obama winning in 2008.

            As far as 2012 is concerned, he won, again with a majority, against a candidate who was better -- and much better financed -- than Sen. McCain.

            At no point did I say, or even imply, that people are "dumb, fickle, or irrational."

            How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

            by BenderRodriguez on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:31:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the other side is always energized (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buzzer, Subterranean

              because they are always afraid that the Democrats are going to come take away their guns, burn down their churches, and teach homosexuality in schools. The Republican base always votes in off-year elections.

              The problem in 2010 was independent voters who don't have any party affiliation. You have to convince them to come out and vote for you, otherwise they won't vote. And you do that by doing things that help them, not explaining to them why you weren't able to do those things. Obama promised help, he promised change, he didn't deliver, they didn't vote Democratic. Simple as that.

              As for Romney being better than McCain...Romney was a second-stringer, who LOST to McCain in the vast majority of the 2008 primaries. Hard to say he was a superior candidate with results like that.

              At least McCain picked Palin, who turned out his base (even better than Bush did in 2004). Dull pasty white male corporate Republican Romney picked another dull pasty white male corporate Republican for his running mate--and one who had called explicitly for cutting Social Security, to boot.

              So all Obama had to do was play coy on the question of SS and seniors concerned about their retirement were forced to vote for him. Still, if Romney hadn't been so dumb as to publicly characterize 47% of the country as greedy, selfish parasites, it would have been a much closer election.

              Then, of course, as soon as Obama won the election, he went right back to flogging his Grand Bargain. If this weren't an election year, he'd be flogging it right now. You can be sure he'll go right back to flogging it after November. It's clearly the only policy proposal he deeply believes in and for which he's willing to take political risks.

              "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

              by limpidglass on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:44:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Think about it... he's in 2nd term as POTUS... (0+ / 0-)

        ...does he really need or want Rs approval.  Get a grip!

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

        by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:00:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans will f#ck it up. (0+ / 0-)
  •  We would have just as many CEOS and (10+ / 0-)

    Republicans appointed if Romney had won.   The left was bamboozled, and it's response is Hell yeah!  Ready for Hillary.

    I will not vote for Hillary.

    by dkmich on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:38:56 AM PDT

    •  Oh God (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife

      I'm sure unions will be glad then that Bush won in 2000 and got to appoint Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court.  After all Al Gore was not much different that Bush and would have appointed just as many republicans and CEO's too.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:03:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  again obama (8+ / 0-)

    shows the left his true loyalties lie with the cons and the corporate leaders of america the 99% and those that elected him are of no matter to him unless he is running for office.

    •  Look, Obama may be incompetent or not, depending (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ditsylilg, CJB2012, oofer, suzq, worldlotus

      on your view, but I find the idea that a former community organizer, con law professor, record breaking voter registration organizer, and nuclear disarmament advocate has "true loyalties" that lie with "the cons and the corporate leaders of america." I just can't believe it - sorry.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:23:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if you will notice (0+ / 0-)

        most of obamas positions have taken a turn for the  worse or at least aren't a high priority since he got to the top of the totem pole.

        he looks good when judged by the opposition to his right but he is still right of center and that is the problem with most pols in america and particularly the dem party.

  •  Probably a good move to bring in someone (6+ / 0-)

    completely outside the backscratching culture of the Military/VA admin. That culture defeated Shinseki and they had leverage because his entire circle and their's were all military brass.
    McDonald is not tied into that network and may have less trouble cutting through it to straighten it out.
    He'll have his biggest problem getting the additional funding needed to put the VA to right. Shinseki tried but then when funds were cut rather than expanded, he made do.
    The thing is, Shinseki has the support of the vets themselves, every one of them I've talked to says he did a noticeably better job than his predecessors.
    A really stunning decision on Obama's part would have been to put Shinseki back up for the job.
    But that's too far outside the box, I guess.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:40:50 AM PDT

    •  I like Shinseki. Almost love him, starting when (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbastard, suzq, kalihikane

      he addressed congress and gave up his career telling them hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed in Iraq, not the few thousands the bushies lied about.

      However, he failed to do the job at the VA.  Things might have improved with him in charge but the disease in the system seems deeper than a military man like him could deal with.  It's appropriate he leave the job, he still has my gratitude and respect.

      The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

      by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:56:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did he fail? Or was this the case of the good (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ditsylilg, oofer, CwV

        mayor elected to reign in an out of control city council with one vote and no veto powers Xs 1000.

        The corruption of the VA is deep. It's broken and throwing new leaders at it without addressing the serious cultural issues within the VA, doesn't do any more good than throwning good hearted workers at it, hoping that they can change it single handedly from the bottom up.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:27:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He 'failed', yes. Things didn't change enough (0+ / 0-)

          under his tenure, meaning he failed.  You're correct  about the cultural issues; the culture is militarily based and Shinseki is military.  But, I don't think this is simply "corruption", where people sell the business' needs for kickbacks.  I think it's also improperly defined incentives with inadequate resources. The president tried to use a person who understood the culture to fix it but that didn't work.  Now he's trying someone from a purely management perspective.  Who knows if that will work.

          To use a crappy and weakly appropriate metaphor: Sometimes you have to change the coach even if it's the team that sucks.  Especially when the fans (republicans) want the take over the team.

          The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

          by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:09:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Different kind of corruption; (0+ / 0-)

            A sinecure at the VA has, for many years, been a patronage plum. There's a good ole boys network that cover for each other.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:27:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Putrefaction might be a purer word... n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CwV, GreenMother

              The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

              by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:21:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whenever I look at the VA, I am reminded of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Memory Corrupted

                something akin to a Pushmepullyou. Only this critter has two asses.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:54:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Amen! He served his country ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CwV

        ...faithfully and well.

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

        by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:30:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shinseki got the ball rolling, but couldn't bring (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV

      it all the way.  He was definitely an improvement over previous VA secretaries.  Now we need an overhaul.  It's better to bring someone from the outside for that job.

  •  corporate leaders (5+ / 0-)

    do we want to go where they lead?

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:44:53 AM PDT

  •  Two things can happen here: (3+ / 0-)

    The problems get fixed - yay for the vets.  But we have to guard against the reasons given as being a "corporate solution".  If this guy is given money, that is easy to do.

    The problems don't get fixed - terrible news for the vets, but longterm it proves that corporate solutions are not the way to go.

    I hope it's the former.

    "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

    by PsychoSavannah on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:50:44 AM PDT

    •  One has to wonder if Shinseki's efforts weren't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ditsylilg, PsychoSavannah, worldlotus

      sabotaged for that very reason.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:28:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or more to the point, he was kiboshed because he (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, worldlotus

        was right when it came to Iraq.  And the military just can't have that can they.  Also, he only had a few years to try and clean up decades of mismanagement.  [sound familiar?  why hasn't the President cleaned up the decades of mess left behind by wrong headed R economic ideas?  he's both a dictator and a weak leader, in the minds of the Rs]
        Pile on the lack of REAL funding and it is a recipe for disaster no matter who heads it up.

        "We know too much to go back and pretend" - Helen Reddy (humble cosmos shaker)

        by ditsylilg on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:42:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Looking long, long term, this is a good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill

        test case for proving "corporate solutions" don't work in government.  Considering the P&G guy was let go for not making enough money for the corp, perhaps he is better suited to use his skills at something that is not profit-driven, like the VA system.

        We'll see.  I don't give a shit at this point about his "political leanings".  If he can help to fix the problems, go for it.  HOW he fixes them will be closely watched.

        "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

        by PsychoSavannah on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:44:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The best CEO's are sociopaths. So, give this guy (5+ / 0-)

    the proper metrics he'll do a fantastic job without regards to the toes he'll step on.  I.e., remove the obstacles and address the entrenched interests and lying local managers who made up numbers to keep their bonuses.

    If he's measured against care for our soldiers, then care for our soldiers will improve.  Measure him against budgets, care will suffer.  Which leaves the question: What will McDonal's real mission be?

    The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

    by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:52:18 AM PDT

    •  CEOs are not necessarily Sociopaths (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      I do not know this guy, but success in business is not a sign of mental illness. Some people rise in corporations due to hard work, intelligence.  My first boss was near CEO at Dow Chemical.  He was the best boss I ever had.  He was ambitious and driven.  He was also fair, supportive, and demanding.  

      Him being the VA Secty says nothing about other CEOs being cabinet leaders.  

      •  It sure seems like it in this day and age. (0+ / 0-)

        Beard Guy from Walter Mitty seems like the poster boy for the successful CEO mentality for the past 15 years.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:29:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OK; "often" socipaths. It's too easy to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        fall into simple language.  
        I was intending to focus on the abilities of many CEO's to disociate themselves from the personal impacts that their decisions cause and the enmity towards them that follows.  It's close to the definition of a sociopath, so I used the word.  
        Some, maybe even most, aren't completely amoral and lacking in a social conciousness, but many sure seem like it.  My companies CEO seems an exception to the 'rule'.  My wifes companies CEO defines it.

        The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

        by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:15:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The best care the veteran's need ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...will be the measure.  This will happen if VA gets the increase in funding required.  POTUS and Washington DC Dems need to beat House Rs relentlessly to make sure it happens...or not! And if it happens 'overnight' use their obvious bigotry against them!

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

      by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:47:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Devil's Advocate here, (5+ / 0-)

    does anyone have any substantive objections why this guy's a bad choice, other than he donated to Romney?

    I mean, is there any evidence that he's not capable of doing the job as compared to any other possible nominee?  For all the moaning about appointing a corporate CEO, so far I don't see any alternative nominees suggested.

    He's an outsider -- that could be an advantage or a disadvantage.  He may bring a new perspective and new management skills into the mix that would help the VA out of it's mess.

    On the other hand, being an outsider, the VA folks might circle wagons and just try to shut him out of the loop.

    •  He is a CEO (5+ / 0-)

      The VA should NOT be run like a for-profit business.

    •  Obama’s Faustian bargain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Caelian

      Maybe you really are being the Devil’s advocate.  After all, P&G is the company whose owner sold his soul to the Devil.

      •  Can you elaborate? (3+ / 0-)

        The reason I posted my original question is I really have no particular knowledge of this guy, and if there's a problem with him beyond generic "he's a Republican" or "He's a CEO" criticisms.  After all, Elon Musk is a CEO and I have doubts that people would be upset if Obama named him to head the VA.

        Just trying to get beyond kneejerk reactions and down to real pro- or con- commentary.

        •  A long-time urban legend. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:16:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Way back in the day, AMWAY started rumors that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          P&G were a Satanic Company run by Satanists for a better Satanic Tomorrow. This was during the 1970s and was in my opinion the biggest Moral Panic that was single handedly responsible for the ruination of Halloween.

          I think way back the late 90s or early 2000s, that AMWAY had to pay P&G nineteen million in damages or something like.

          Anyhow P&G had a logo that included a moon and thirteen stars, and that was also part of the Satanic Rumor, that it represented a black mass or lord knows what. I mean this was some serious tin foil hattery in action. You see AMWAY sold a lot of products that overlapped P&Gs product lines like cleaning products especially. And since AMWAY was door to door pyramid---type sales, one way to solidify the customer base during that time was to make sure that everyone knew who went to church and believed in GAWD and stuff--that P&G supported the New World Order which was part and parcel to the World Wide Satanic Conspiracy in which Satanists had infiltrated every walk of life and level of government in order to bring about the reign of terror of the Beast.

          (exhausting I know).

          This mentality was also associated with the Satanic Ritual Abuse stuff, with the faux outrage against Dungeons and Dragons and was also used during the 1970s and 80s to attack the natural supplement/alternative healthfood movement as well as Environmentalism, Yoga, Martial Arts and Meditation. All of which was equated to Nazis somehow.

          The glory days! (Snark)

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:24:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is one of my favorite stories (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus, kalihikane

          Back in 1982, a woman I worked with showed me a letter that was being passed around.  In it, it said that the owner of P&G had appeared on the Phil Donahue Show, saying that the reason P&G was such a successful company was that he had sold his soul to the Devil.  He went on to say that that was why there were thirteen stars in the man-in-the-moon logo, because 13 is a Satanic number.

          I told her that P&G was a public company that had no owner at present, save thousands of stockholders.  As for the original owners, I went on, unless they also made a deal with the Devil for immortality, they died a long time ago.  And, of course, there never was any such statement made on the Phil Donahue Show. And P&G pointed out that the 13 stars stood for the original 13 colonies.

          She remained unconvinced, and said she was no longer going to buy their products.  Apparently a lot of other people refused to be denied this juicy story, because P&G eventually gave up and removed their man-in-the-moon logo.  They figured that the stupid and ignorant shampoo their hair just like everyone else, and they did not want to lose any more money.

          It is the best illustration ever of the principle that money is a coward.

    •  Of course not. (0+ / 0-)

      The only objection is that Obama did it, and, to a certain element here, therefore, it's wrong.

      How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

      by BenderRodriguez on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:02:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course. Because it couldn't possibly be the (0+ / 0-)

        fact that Republicans are the antithesis of who you want fixing a large government bureaucracy.

        Your familiar with the theme here, right?

        Repubs are evil...period.  

        Another fox in charge of the hen house.

    •  My objections (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray, worldlotus, benamery21

      1. The Blue Dogs in the House have introduced a bill to "allow" all vets to go to private doctors. This is a stalking horse. The GOP denied funding requests for the VA consistently, claiming that "we're going broke," and "it's an entitlement."
      2. A pick from outside of the political, civil service, and military system suggests someone who will be ineffective at the systems contributing to the funding and running and needs of the system.
      3. A person from the corporate world may indicate "MBA culture" and its method of solving intractable problems of revenues and service -- which is to cut departments, "reorganize" (re-name and cut legal liability) "loss leaders," and "concentrate on performance." In the case of VA, that would inexorably lead to precisely what the GOP has been pushing for: privatization of the VA.
      4. A person whose concerns have been achieving highest profits on a quarterly basis is not usually well suited to thinking about five and ten and fifteen year solutions to demographic bulges and strategy for dealing with entrenched bureaucracies.

      THIS guy may be different. In the atmosphere of GOP obstruction and the long-standing desire to destroy the VA, along with the post office and any other "socialized" service, it doesn't look great.

      "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

      by The Geogre on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:54:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  THANK YOU!!! I have commented in more detail (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThinkerT, BenderRodriguez

      farther below but nearly everyone who has commented here so far has been jumping to conclusions which are simply not justified. Factually, McDonald had demonstrated a balanced approach in his management of P&G. When we, as progressives, stop paying attention to facts and make the same shrill, unverified assumptions as the Right, we are doing ourselves no favors.

      If there are things about Mr. McDonald which are specifically objectionable then, to me, that is a reasonable point of debate but short of that, I suspect that he will be able to identify the choke points, focus on solutions, generate metrics and back up his staff just as he did at P&G. That while at P&G his metrics were not the same as Wall Street would have preferred speaks well of him IMHO.

      "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

      by bunnygirl60 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:54:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Privatization Plan. Step 1 (16+ / 0-)

    1. Crisis Happens (crisis is orchestrated or naturally occuring)
    2. Appoint corporate CEO to oversee the public service system.
    3. RIF long term (old, tired, status quo, etc) public service workers
    4. Hire fresh MBA's to replace approximatley 20% of management (destroy institutional memory)
    5. Begin outsourcing to contractors- one dept at a time.

     

    •  the VA is the only single-provider health care (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Medium Head Boy

      system we have at the federal level. So of course, it's gotta be privatized--after they've broken it to discredit government further in the public's eyes.

      Otherwise people would realize that "socialized medicine" isn't the Communist plot the media always told them it was, but a good thing that they might want more of. That would mean the end of hospital megacorporations and super-expensive specialists who charge thousands of dollars a minute, and we can't have that.

      This is why Medicare (our partial single-payer system) has got to go too, and if all goes well with the ACA, within a few years it will be privatized and its constituency unceremoniously dumped onto the exchanges along with the rest of us.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:13:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry he was a CEO... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother

    But Bob McDonald is a decent guy and will make a competent bureaucrat heading the VA for a couple years.

    •  Two words stuck together like toilet paper and (0+ / 0-)

      crap.

      Competent and Bureaucrat.

      Sends chills down my spine.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? Why? (0+ / 0-)

        American bureaucrats run some of the most efficient programs in the world.  So, please be specific about those chills.

        •  Civil Servant has a better ring. (0+ / 0-)

          Bureaucrat is an insult that connotes red tape, petty mentalities and good ole boy networks.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:55:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Privatize the Military (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jazzenterprises

    More Republicans running the military. Obama loves spending $TRILLIONS on a Pentagon that hasn't won a war since 1945 - 1/3 the history of this country. Deficit reduction my ass.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:04:01 AM PDT

  •  Sigh. Ok, at least it might piss off... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother

    Sigh. Ok, at least it might piss off the people who believe in the Religious Right urban legend that Procter & Gamble is a Satanist company.

    And it might be fun to see the right-wing explanations for why the guy's a Marxist.

    Aside from that, I don't see any upsides.

  •  McDonald may be an excellent choice. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, worldlotus

    Reading a December 2013 interview & commentary probably shows why Pres. Obama chose this particular graduate of the United States Military Academy to be the "executive" for Veterans Affairs.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:08:43 AM PDT

  •  P&G uses live animals for experiments. I have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, operculum

    not bought a P&G product for probably 20 years.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:09:40 AM PDT

    •  Oh well then he will fit right in. (0+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:16:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because that's just what we need. Some guy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, The Geogre

    employing his awesome MBA skills to further dehumanize the whole "Vet experience" when visiting the VA. Also running like a wal*mart from an employee standpoint will do a whole lot to improve service as well (snark).

    So what kind of bonus does he get if he save the federal govt a whole lot of money?

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:15:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm actually okay with this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenderRodriguez, suzq, ThinkerT

    What the VA needs is an outsider that is real administrator.  A professional turnaround artist would be best but how many of those are there in existence at that high a level?

    •  How? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21

      The VA needs funding, and funding is at the discretion of a Congress that says "we can't afford it," and "we can't have all these entitlements."

      The VA's staff is civil service, which is generally poorly paid and bound by more regulations than anyone in the world. A "turn around artist" can't change the myriad regulations without. . . Congress!

      The number of doctors working for VA is dependent upon funding and clinics, and this is going to depend upon. . . Congress again!

      So how is a corporate honcho going to prevail against any of this without privatizing -- which is what the GOP wants?

      "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

      by The Geogre on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:43:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Before we throw money at the problem... (0+ / 0-)

        let's make sure we're solving that problem effectively.

        The VA is simultaneously a hospital network, a health insurance provider, a doctor's network and an R&D center.  Dropping any of this is likely not an option because the existing health care infrastructure in the US couldn't absorb all of our veterans.  However,

        - are resources adequately deployed to where vets reside?

        - are there ways to partner with other hospital networks to increase the scope of care coverage?

        - can we streamline and automate the data stream between the Pentagon and VA?

        •  Alas, but those are well studied (3+ / 0-)

          Those answers are known.

          Resources are as well deployed as they can be, but the doctors are not available where the vets are in sufficient numbers. Fund it.

          "Partner?" The VA already works with state (i.e. public) hospitals. If we are asking if it can do so with for profit health services, we're talking about privatization, which is a violation of VA mandate and a violation of governmental function.

          No. The reason the data can't be automated is laws that Congress won't update. VA has gone to Congress multiple times with the problem of why their paper records and Pentagon records aren't the same and can't talk to each other, and Congress won't make the change. There is a statutory regulation involved.

          Each Congress, including Democratic ones where a Republican is President, grandstands about the VA. The GOP ones are more likely to cut all funding and try to privatize the VA. However, Congress has this problem, more than anyone else, and Congress needs to deal with it. That's why it wasn't a Shinseki issue or a Bush issue or an Obama issue.

          "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

          by The Geogre on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:20:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed, (0+ / 0-)

            almost everyone touched by the system reports that once they actually get an appointment and get seen, the quality of care is uniformly excellent.  There is just a lack of providers, combined with an impossible standard of timeliness given that lack of providers, that has led to all of this.  I maintain that a real roll-up-your-sleeves administrator is needed to weed out the people that have maintained this cultural problem and start fresh with a new attitude...

  •  PERFECT! Let's privatize EVERYTHING (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Medium Head Boy

    and put corporate CEOs and banksters in charge!

    oh, wait...

  •  I don't understand this at all. (0+ / 0-)

    Why this guy, for this job, now?

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

    by raboof on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:18:34 AM PDT

  •  A Republican nominating another Republican (0+ / 0-)

    is not news. Oh wait...

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:20:53 AM PDT

  •  POTUS' new VA Choice Could be ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    ...just what is needed on realistic as well as political level. He obviously has R leanings but as West Point grad, 5yrs active duty..assigned to 82nd AirBorne Div., MBA and career with P&G suggests he was trained both in military and private sector to be a "trouble-shooter".  Drop in kick ass take names, make necessary changes and move on. But in this new career at VA his challenge will be getting the GOP controlled congress to properly fund VA and then make the best administrative changes that probably will include personnel changes. This could be a good fit but a lot will depend on funding and that will depend on Rs controlled congress and possible political bickering that will happen because they don't want POTUS to succeed! This is a win-win for POTUS no matter how it works out or not.  

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:25:13 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, that's the ticket. Another corporate stoogie (0+ / 0-)

    thanks, President Obama.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:32:15 AM PDT

  •  Confirmability uber alles (0+ / 0-)

    Ask Dawn Johnsen.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:33:16 AM PDT

  •  Must be nice to be in this club.... (0+ / 0-)

    So there were no other non-CEO's available or did this guy just need a job?

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:36:52 AM PDT

  •  The other side of the coin for profits is (0+ / 0-)

    cost reduction.  I'm sure his mindset will fit right in.  

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

    by thestructureguy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:37:29 AM PDT

  •  Privatizing a Priority? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray

    Is our President deciding to offload a headache by giving up the VA's fundamental mission? I'm asking.

    1. Congress will forever deny funding to the VA.
    2. VA cannot function under its peacetime mandate without more funding, much less its current mandate.
    3. Politicians will grandstand about how "the administration" hasn't done right for veterans regardless.

    Is he actually going to allow the GOP moves to turn VA over to private practice and for-profit care so that it can't be an institutional issue any more? A P&G CEO would think free market, surely, and compartmentalizing.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:39:28 AM PDT

  •  Let's get a little more specific. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, worldlotus

    McDonald isn't a generic large corporation CEO and P&G isn't a generic corporation. I live in the Cincinnati media market and many of my friends work for P&G. P&G has long been rated, including the period of time they were under McDonald, as one of the best corporations in America for which to work. They were on board the equality bandwagon, particularly equality in the workplace, long before it was fashionable. They are well known for the manner in which they build teams and build leadership. They are well known for treating their employees like they are actual human beings. They are a corporation which HIGHLY encourages their employees to volunteer in the community and they participate in a huge percentage of charitable work here. They are a chemical company at heart but, as I understand it, are working pretty hard to improve and minimize their footprint. (A friend of mine mentioned that turning around P&G on these issues is like turning an ocean liner, you have to make moves way in advance that will not be readily apparent for some time.)

    McDonald was raked over by Wall Street because he didn't just recklessly lay-off staff to cut expenses and increase profits. He seemed to understand value in a more broad way and THAT is what upset investors. McDonald was attacked for not valuing the short term over the long term.

    P&G is a well run company. They have been so for a long time. McDonald was part of that. Personally, I'm glad the President opted to select someone who was qualified to run a massive bureaucracy and who understands how to state objectives in a quantifiable, verifiable way (something for which P&G is specifically expert). This is exactly the kind of leader I would want if it were my decision to make.

    The operations of the Veteran's Administration should be our solemn vow to take care of those who have sacrificed for the nation. It is not a place to have a shrill Dems vs GOP argument. During this crisis it is a place for the best of us. Let's all hope McDonald's experience has amply prepared him to wisely and efficiently be such a man and let's all agree to judge him by his works and not by his (relatively small) political donations.

    BunnyGirl60 for Arliss Bunny

    "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

    by bunnygirl60 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:12:07 AM PDT

  •  A little history would help.... (0+ / 0-)

    Back in the Clinton Administration, we had troubles at the IRS.  Shocking, I know, but imagine an agency that collected YOUR tax dollars and AUDITED you, but it's books couldn't be audited at all.

    Furthermore, tax returns sent in were being LOST and refunds were DELAYED.   The computer system was completely OBSOLETE.

    Sound familiar?

    Traditionally, the President would pick a tax lawyer to head the IRS and Clinton was no different.  His first pick was an abject failure.  Congress was holding hearings and investigations.  Where do you think Issa got his game from?  He got it from Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska (RIP.)  

    So Clinton's second pick was brilliant.  He was the Republican head of American Management Systems, Charles Rossotti.  Charles ate, slept and breathed management.  There was talk of privatizing tax debt collection way back when too.  He was hearing none of it.  He re-organized IRS around taxpayer groups and for the most part, no one is criticizing the effectiveness of IRS management.  They are zeroing in on one area of compliance regarding non-profit groups--less than 1% of their portfolio.

    McDonald will likely look at how the VA is organized.  He'll focus on areas where they are dwarfed by their mission.  Either the mission needs to be changed or the process of addressing it needs to be changed.  

    I was secretly hoping for maybe the head of the Cleveland Clinic to take over at VA.  But we'll see if McDonald has the chops to take this on.

  •  I think all vets who use the VA for (0+ / 0-)

       annual physicals and periodic renewals for maintenance drugs should be allowed to access the private sector and have it paid by VA. This would take a big load off the system.

  •  Here we go again (0+ / 0-)

    Once more, Obama reinforces the meme that there are no Democrats who can be counted on to deal with problems like this, that only Republicans can make the tough calls and get the job done.

    He might be the the guy with the right skills, he might not - but isn't there at least ONE Democrat out there who could have been picked?

    Great short term answer - lousy long term strategy.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:25:43 AM PDT

    •  Here we go again. We, as progressives, reinforcing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThinkerT

      the meme that selecting the BEST person for the job is less important than selecting someone who meets our political criteria. Finally, something upon which we and the Right can agree. (Snark.)

      Perhaps we should rethink and elect not to jump to conclusions? Perhaps it makes sense to judge this man based upon his specific qualifications instead of painting him with an over-broad brush filled with assumptions?

      "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

      by bunnygirl60 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well excuuuuuuussssse me! (0+ / 0-)

        Did I say anything about picking a less qualified candidate? Like it or not, this appointment has big political baggage. By picking someone with a clear partisan history, the message is there are no Democrats (or independents) who can do the job. Now maybe this is an 11 dimensional chess thing where the President figures Boehner and crew won't give a fellow Republican a hard time. Good luck with that. If he's working for Obama, that automatically makes him a traitor and a target.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 02:12:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No - not excused. (0+ / 0-)

          I say that politics has to be secondary to quality in this case. McDonald is wealthy. If he wanted to have "big political baggage" he could. His history of small political donations does not indicate that this is the case. Those who are screaming about politics are creating a problem where none is apparent.

          "When in doubt, do the brave thing." - Jan Smuts

          by bunnygirl60 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:34:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And this is where Democrats screw up (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            splintersawry

            Again, I did NOT say Obama should have gone with someone less qualified. I asked if there were no Democrats just as qualified who could do the job, and if so why weren't they nominated?

            Unless you feel there is no one better qualified than McDonald, I really don't understand your objection. Time and time again Democrats 'reach out' to Republicans as a sign of good faith, and time and time again Republicans and the media take it as proof Democrats are not up to governing.

            And it's also about the future. McDonald will be installing his own team and shaking things up at the VA in ways that accord with his preferences. Those people will be in place for years, and may eventually be drawn on for more important positions down the line, depending on how things work out. What are the odds that McDonald will pick people, however qualified, who will also be comfortable as conservative Republican apparatchiks?

            If you can name Republican presidents who routinely appointed Democrats to positions of importance, I would be surprised. It's not just about solving a problem, it is about doing it in a larger way that also 'builds the Democratic Brand'. Republicans, as others here pointed out on this, understand it's about the long game; Democrats act as if every pitch is a new game.

            I'm also more than a little concerned that McDonald's appointment, given his background, will reinforce the meme that everything should be run like  business.

            Your desire to rise above politics is, I am afraid, not a reasonable prospect, not so long as one party has made EVERYTHING about politics.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:59:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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