11:29 AM, Aug 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The VA has created a small public relations problem for itself. Which, to say the least, is something it did not need.
As Tricia L. Nadolny of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, it seems that:
The beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs depicted dissatisfied veterans as Oscar the Grouch in a recent internal training guide, and some vets and VA staffers said Tuesday that they feel trashed. The cranky Sesame Street character who lives in a garbage can was used in reference to veterans who will attend town-hall events Wednesday in Philadelphia.
The VA says that, of course, it meant no disrespect.
"The training provided was not intended to equate veterans with this character," spokeswoman Marisa Prugsawan said. "It was intended to remind our employees to conduct themselves as courteously and professionally as possible when dealing with veterans and their concerns.”
In which case, shouldn’t the VA employee be depicted as some clueless cartoon character?
But never mind. If this were the most pressing issue facing the VA, all its people could take off early for the Labor Day weekend.
9:34 AM, Aug 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The legislative fix has been passed and signed into law, along with a generous appropriation of new money. Also, a new top person has been named and confirmed. So time to move on from the VA and its woes. But before doing so, consider the magnitude of the problems and their duration.
11:20 AM, Aug 13, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
With the overwhelmingly bipartisan vote for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Congress passed the most significant reforms to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in decades. And, right on cue, here come the grumblings from the second-guessers.
3:34 PM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The big bill to reform Veterans Affairs will be signed tomorrow. With, no doubt, much ceremony and patting of backs. Washington has done it again. Rescued the rest of us from … Washington.
9:23 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Agreement has been reached on the particulars of a bill that supporters say will fix the VA’s problem and as Matthew Daly of the AP reports:
3:31 PM, Jul 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rep. Bruce Braley, the Iowa Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, missed three quarters of committee hearings concerning oversight of the Veterans Affairs administration in 2011 and 2012, including one, the Des Moines Register reports, on the same day Braley attended three fundraisers.
4:38 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Bureaucrats at the Veterans Affairs are working hard … to keep stonewalling investigations into the slovenly, corrupt, and criminal performance of it responsibilities. As Mark Flatten of the Washington Examiner reports:
10:38 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Veterans Affairs, following the iron law of institutional self-interest, has been paying its people well – improperly and, possibly, illegally so – at the expense of it supposed “clients” and its mission.
10:07 AM, Jul 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The ineptitude and corruption at the VA were examined last night at congressional hearings and the revelations were dismaying but not necessarily shocking. It is no longer news that the VA is broken so the details of how bonuses were paid to senior bureaucrats for covering up the problems and whistleblowers were punished for reporting them have begun to lose their shock value.
8:14 AM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A Veterans Affairs whistleblower says he experienced "harassment" after he contacted White House aide Rob Nabors about problems at the VA:
11:31 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Reporting on the Veterans Affairs, its problems, and what Congress might do to solve them, Craig Harris and Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Arizona Republic are not terribly encouraging. They write that:
11:12 AM, Jul 1, 2014 • By MICHAEL ASTRUE
Now that Washington has acknowledged cultural malaise and a broad failure to provide timely access to health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress and the executive branch are competing frantically to show the public how hard they are working to fix that failure.
2:17 PM, Jun 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
David Jackson of USA Today reports that President Obama told an audience, yesterday, that Washington is out of touch and obsessed with politics. Or something like that. And that instead of focusing on things that are important to the average citizen, Washington is peddling:
9:12 AM, Jun 24, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
Forty-four years after the legendary May 1970 Life magazine cover story first exposed the disgusting and shameful mistreatment of our nation’s Vietnam-era veterans in government medical facilities, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is once again in desperate need of reform. Courageous whistleblowers have exposed systemic corruption and exposed falsified records, secret waiting lists, and delayed care — representing yet another scandalous and unconscionable neglect of our nation’s veterans.