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Old 05-22-2014, 08:14 AM   #26
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O’Reilly, Rove Get Heated over VA Mismanagement Under Bush Admin.

Bill O’Reilly has been incredibly critical of President Obama‘s stewardship of the VA under his presidency, but when he faced off against Karl Rove Wednesday night, he had to call the Bush administration out for VA mismanagement and issues with veterans getting proper care under the Republican president’s watch.

Rove argued that the VA issues under Obama are very different from the VA issues under Bush, arguing that for one thing, no one under Bush had a secret list, and they managed to whittle down the backlog before it shot back up again under Obama’s watch.

O’Reilly pointed out that Bush got the nation stuck in two wars, which necessitated some of the VA facilities they built, and pointed out the only reason Obama knew about problems with the VA in 2008 in the first place was because the report was looking at the VA under Bush. Rove disputed that, and the two men went back and forth a bit arguing over the report.

But even though Rove said the Bush team managed some VA fixed, O’Reilly insisted that “for twelve years,” veterans were simply not treated well.


http://www.mediaite.com/tv/oreilly-r...er-bush-admin/
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:16 AM   #27
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Once again our govt proves that money does not equal results in DC. Obama after vowing during his run for President that under an Obama admin vets would not be forgotten or not cared for like under Bush.

He comes into office and threw 20 billion extra at them to make it so. Then I guess he never gave it a thought again as the money did nothing to fix the problems.

Just another example of how liberals think just spending more money fixes everything.
Unlike Fast and Furious, The ACA, Benghazi, and the IRS witch hunts this is an actual real problem that Congress should look into.

This is not Obama's fault as the VA has been doing this stuff for years but nonetheless it should be investigated and people should be prosecuted.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:58 AM   #28
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This is not Obama's fault as the VA has been doing this stuff for years but nonetheless it should be investigated and people should be prosecuted.
Sure, sure.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014...i-doesnt-know/

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Shinseki said he was not aware of the memo, although VA Undersecretary of Health Robert Petzel said he knew of it. Isakson then asked how the department reacted to the memo.

“If it’s not going to be tolerated, and over four years ago you had eight pages of known practices for gaming the system, what action if any — and I don’t think any took place — did the VA do to respond?” Isakson asked.

Petzel said the department has worked “very hard” to stop inappropriate manipulation of wait-time data. But when asked what happens when a worker is found to be doing this, Petzel waffled and said officials would be “disciplined.”

Isakson pressed on, asking if that meant people would lose their jobs.

“I don’t know whether that’s the appropriate level of punishment,” Petzel said.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you your federal government.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:54 AM   #29
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Amazing that fast and furious and the IRS being used to attack political enemies isn't a big deal to liberals. Throw in Benghazzi and you realize they are only critical of the govt when a repub is in the White House.

The country is probably better off with liberals protesting and repubs being the man.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:32 AM   #30
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Amazing that fast and furious and the IRS being used to attack political enemies isn't a big deal to liberals. Throw in Benghazzi and you realize they are only critical of the govt when a repub is in the White House.

The country is probably better off with liberals protesting and repubs being the man.
The IRS being used to attack political enemies? Where's the actual evidence?
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:09 PM   #31
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This is not Obama's fault as the VA has been doing this stuff for years but nonetheless it should be investigated and people should be prosecuted.
Yes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama didn't know about explosive Veterans Administration scandal until he saw news reports on TV.

WTF ...... He's the freaking Commander in Chief of the United States Military and he finds out on TV ........ Michelle probably said "Honey come here there’s a story about Veterans you might want to checkout”.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #32
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Yes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama didn't know about explosive Veterans Administration scandal until he saw news reports on TV.

WTF ...... He's the freaking Commander in Chief of the United States Military and he finds out on TV ........ Michelle probably said "Honey come here there’s a story about Veterans you might want to checkout”.
WTF do you want in a President?

God?
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:25 PM   #33
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WTF do you want in a President?

God?
only from a dem prez
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:39 PM   #34
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WTF do you want in a President?

God?
The Second in Command @ VA testified to knowing about this 4 years ago, and yet it's acceptable for the President to just find out about it the other day on CNN?

Mass firings are called for at the very least. The reason you won't see them is because fired people tend to talk about what they know. Which is why firings are so few and far between in the Federal Government. Nothing special, just more pure bureaucratic corruption.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:16 PM   #35
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Amazing that fast and furious and the IRS being used to attack political enemies isn't a big deal to liberals. Throw in Benghazzi and you realize they are only critical of the govt when a repub is in the White House.

The country is probably better off with liberals protesting and repubs being the man.
It is because both the IRS and Fast and furious has been debunked. It has been proven the IRS target MORE liberal groups than they did conservative. Benghazi There has already been several investigations on it. In the \Senate and the house and they have found what they have found.... Another investigation is only to drum up the conservative base. They are fund raising off the dead Americans in Libya. That is the only thing this select committee will accomplish: it will line the pockets of Republican politicians.

Republicans have only one goal: to turn this tragedy into a scandal. Their relentless campaign to use the events in Benghazi to score cheap political points ahead of the midterm elections is appalling.



Over the last 20 months, the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2012, attacks have received unprecedented scrutiny:



• 9 different House and Senate committees have already investigated the attacks
• 17 hearings have been conducted
• 50 briefings have taken place
• 25 transcribed interviews have been conducted
• 8 subpoenas have been issued
• more than 25,000 pages of documents have been reviewed
• 6 congressional reports have been released



But, dissatisfied with the results of these exhaustive reviews, the GOP has now decided to create an openly partisan panel with only one goal: to further politicize this tragedy.

Here's one thing we know this new Select Committee won't be investigating: The budget cuts that House Republicans made to security at our embassies, consulates and diplomatic posts around the world -- cuts that Republicans have actually boasted about making.



Here's another thing the GOP won't be investigating -- the tragedy and scandal of more than 4,000 Americans killed in the Iraq War based on phony intelligence.

Between 1998 and 2013, there were at least 501 significant attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel in 70 countries, which resulted in the deaths of 586 people, including 67 Americans. During the Bush administration, there were 166 attacks, which killed 116 people, including 18 Americans.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ba...b_5315857.html


THEY WON'T FIND ANYTHING NEW ON BENGHAZI THAT HASN"T ALREADY BEEN DISCOVERED. THEY ARE RAISING MONEY OFF DEAD AMERICANS.

Last edited by Guess Who; 05-22-2014 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:06 PM   #36
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After passing easily in the House, Senate Democrats blocked the bill that would have allowed it easier to fire VA employees. Disgraceful! But oh, democrats care so much about our troops. Yeah, whatever.

http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/ma...ntability-bill
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:40 PM   #37
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Sorry Guess if the White House didn't want more investigations it has to stop obstructing and hiding emails. IRS Lerner claiming the 5th, won't answer questions. The White House hiding emails and not letting CIA operatives testify.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:45 PM   #38
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Under the Obama administration, the patient load of the VHA has increased by over a million. Partly this is because of the large number of combat vets returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and partly it’s because Obama kept his promise to expand access to the VHA. It was inevitable that this would increase wait times, and the VHA’s claims backlog did indeed increase during the first three years of Obama’s presidency. Over the past couple of years, however, wait times have shrunk dramatically. A digital claims system has finally been put in place, and the claims backlog today is less than half what it was at the beginning of 2013.

What’s more, despite its backlog problems, the VHA still gets high marks from vets. Overall, satisfaction with VHA care is higher than satisfaction with civilian hospitals.
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/05/va
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:49 PM   #39
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Perspective is an important element in understanding any problem. “Over the past two weeks, the American Legion has received over 500 calls, emails, and online contacts from veterans struggling with the healthcare system nationwide,” Daniel Dellinger, the Legion’s national commander, told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday. Over that same period, the VA saw a total of about 3.2 million patients. That works out to a complaint rate of 0.015%. Including a wider date range drops that share even lower.
http://time.com/108499/veterans-affa...A+Swampland%29
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:51 PM   #40
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In many ways, the Obama administration is paying for the negligence of past administrations, dating all the way back to President John F. Kennedy, who authorized the decade-long use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. But it wasn’t just Kennedy. Under President Johnson, Agent Orange was the dominant chemical used during the war. President Nixon halted its use, but a long line of presidents either refused to acknowledge the damage done or failed to address it.

President Carter’s VA created the Agent Orange registry, where veterans who were worried about potential side effects could be examined. But four years later, a GAO report found that 55 percent of respondents felt that the VA’s Agent Orange examinations either weren’t thorough or they received little or no information on what long-term health impacts exposure could cause. … The government’s long-standing failure to address the damage done to veterans by Agent Orange mirrors the larger failure of the VA. It spans generations and party affiliations, and every effort to fix it comes with unintended consequences.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...ffairs/371274/
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:52 PM   #41
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WTF do you want in a President?

God?
Somewhere there was a secrete meeting of the Obama team that are making all the decisions and pulling his puppet strings. One of them said "should we inform the President about the problem in the VA" and another said "no, it would probably be best for him to find out on TV with everyone else".
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:28 AM   #42
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another Obama found out from the TV!
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:28 AM   #43
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**** if Obama would just turn off his TV it would be smooth sailing for the USA.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:04 AM   #44
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Over 20 deaths linked to delays in health care in the VA. Oh well, they were going to die anyway, so cook the books to make it less obvious. That was probably decided by some panel. Hmm.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:19 AM   #45
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Over 20 deaths linked to delays in health care in the VA. Oh well, they were going to die anyway, so cook the books to make it less obvious. That was probably decided by some panel. Hmm.
Yeah, this thread is superlulz.

Proggies still blamin' Bush (6+ years after he left office, 4+ years after the Obama admin was proven to have known what was going on.)

Proggies saying things like "It's because he expanded access!" As if this isn't exactly what conservatives say is inevitable any time Government decides to "Expand Access" free of charge. I remember it wasn't all that long ago that Proggies held up the VA as a model for how Socialized Medicine should work. Now witness how much the bureaucracy cares for its current patient load (Veterans even) to know how much they care about you. I will still agree though. The VA is a perfect model.

My favorite though is the DNC's in-house publication, Mother Jones telling us that waiting times have decreased. What, did the Party give them an inside peak at all the secret paper lists they insist nobody knew anything about?

The reality is the administration sent down a directive on high to decrease the length of the waiting lists by any means necessary. Our loving bureaucracy responded with whichever means was easiest. Which meant hiding a good chunk of the waiting list. While people died.

People should be going to jail. But it's apparently too much to ask for them to even start looking for employment elsewhere.

This government is broken. Regardless of which Party Suit sits at the top.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:30 AM   #46
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Who Really Broke Veterans Affairs?

It stains the legacies of presidents as far back as John F. Kennedy.

Failure is an orphan—and there are few failures more toxic than those of the Veterans Affairs Department.

The VA, ostensibly created to help veterans heal from the wounds of war, is plagued by a backlog of claims from soldiers seeking help, leaving them to wait months or even years for compensation.

There's consensus that the backlog is unacceptable, and President Obama's administration pledged to eliminate it by the end of 2015. But the department—and the backlog—is getting new attention due to a spate of deaths at VA hospitals, and Republicans are attempting to pin the organization's failures squarely on the president.

Looking for a lone villain in the VA debacle, however, is a fool's errand. It's true that—despite holding the world's most powerful post for five years—Obama is yet to eliminate the long waiting times for veterans seeking help. Blaming him alone, however, is to ignore roots of the problem that stretch back decades before Obama took the Oval Office.

Instead, the sheen of shame over the VA's failures spreads across time and party affiliation. It stains the legacies of presidents as far back as John F. Kennedy and condemns past Congresses whose poor oversight allowed the problem to fester. The VA itself is also not without fault, as bureaucracy and intransigence let the department deteriorate to the point the problem became nearly impossible to fix.

So who really broke the VA? In sum, it's a failure with many silent fathers.

President Obama

Obama's experience with the VA is a testament to the danger of big promises—and high expectations.

He pledged to end the claims backlog while simultaneously making a string of moves that summoned a flood of new claims to the department.
The administration made it easier for veterans to get compensation for both post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure to Agent Orange—a Vietnam War-era defoliant now tied to a long list of neurological disorders. Those moves extended help to long-suffering veterans, but they weren't matched by the VA reforms needed to adequately address the new claims. Agent Orange alone took up 37 percent of the Veterans Benefits Administration's claims-processing resources nationally from October 2010 to March 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report.


And as claims soared during Obama's first years in office, so did wait times. In 2009, there were about 423,000 claims at the VA, with 150,000 claims pending for more than four months (the official wait time it takes a claim to be considered "backlogged"). By 2012, claims had exploded to more than 883,000—and 586,540 of those sat on the VA's backlog list.

The administration did request—and get from Congress—additional funding for the department. The VA's budget totaled $100 billion in 2009. In 2014, it was up to $154 billion. But that money doesn't instantly transfer into an expanded capacity to meet veterans' needs: It takes approximately two years to fully train a claims worker; the blame for the staff crunch doesn't rest on Obama's shoulders alone.

The influx of claims has since fallen, and the backlog is greatly diminished—though there is controversy over how the administration has dealt with the claims. (For more on the administration's struggle to fix the VA, see Part One.)

"As a candidate, Barack Obama promised veterans the moon, but in many cases he hasn't delivered as president," said GOP Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. "VA's disability claims backlog grew to historic levels on his watch. … Candidate Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, but his VA is a case study in how to stonewall the press, the public, and Congress."

Congress

Miller's own branch of government, however, cannot claim clean hands.

The VA could be overhauled to better address the needs of modern veterans, including reforms to the way it processes claims, assesses the performance of its employees, and measures its overall performance. But putting many of those reforms in place would require an act of Congress—and thus far those haven't happened.

Instead, Congress has taken a more reactive approach. When incidents—such as the recent hospital deaths—capture public attention, lawmakers hold hearings where they berate VA officials with juicy sound bites they can later play back for their constituents. It's good political theater, but it's unclear that the payoff is anything other than political.

"Congress has been totally exasperated by the VA's inability to get on top of the problem for a long time," said Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School. "But they haven't been willing to really contemplate anything other than throwing more money at the problem."


Congress is taking some legislative steps now: The House is slated to vote this week on a VA accountability bill to make it easier to fire senior executives, and the latest VA funding bill banned bonuses to department executives. But neither measure contains changes on the structural level.

And even when Congress has passed legislation aimed at improving the department, its record of efficacy is mixed at best—especially in terms of eliminating the claims backlog.

In 2000, lawmakers passed the Veterans Claims Assistance Act. The law was signed by President Clinton and was, by all accounts, a well-meaning attempt to make it easier for veterans to get VA claims approved.

The law required that the VA tell a veteran what to do to prove a claim, help the veteran obtain necessary records, and inform the veteran when the VA could not obtain the information it needed. The law required the VA to retrieve the veteran's service medical records and provide exams when the VA did not have sufficient evidence to substantiate a claim.

But the law was ambiguous and left much open to interpretation, which had to be fought out in the courts. It wound up adding several additional layers of bureaucracy to an already clunky VA claims process without appropriating additional funds or human resources to manage the increased workload.

"So the situation wasn't getting better; it just added another forum that made it harder to get things done," said Sherman Gillums, an associate executive director with Paralyzed Veterans of America. "We attribute a lot of the early trouble—not the current backlog, but early trouble—to this, because it created an institutional laziness or institutional inefficiency and made that a part of the culture at the VA. People just accepted claims sitting around a long time because they had to do all of this other stuff.

"So if there is a snowball in all of this, I would say that's the little tiny thing that would eventually become the avalanche," he said.

President George W. Bush

The Bush administration sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, but when those troops came home injured, the Defense Department failed to adequately communicate it to the entity tasked with helping them.

Early on, the department was publicly counting only about a third of the casualties stemming from the War on Terror. That was because the Department was only counting servicemen and women immediately targeted in the department's wounded-in-action statistics. That accounting method left out those who were not targeted but were wounded nonetheless, such as troops injured when they were riding two trucks back from one that was hit by a roadside bomb, or those hurt in training or transportation.

The underreporting made it more difficult for the VA to prepare for the coming influx of requests for help. The poor sharing of information—including medical records—between the two agencies has long been a bone of contention, and it remains a challenge (albeit one that is improving) to this day.

"It's not surprising, really, that the VA ended up being poorly prepared for what happened, given the way that they were planning," said Harvard Kennedy School's Bilmes. "There was absolutely a lack of planning, a lack of capacity for planning. ... They didn't know what hit them. They were completely overwhelmed."

Additionally, the VA's claims-processing time skyrocketed early in the Bush years. In 2002, it took the VA an average of 224 days to complete claims, as compared with 166 days in 1999.


VA leadership

While the department was hampered by plenty of external factors, it is hardly an innocent victim. VA leadership allowed its problems to fester and its infrastructure to crumble.

For example, the VA did not have a digital way to process claims nationwide until 2013, instead relying on an inefficient paper filing system. By comparison, the IRS rolled out its electronic filing system across the country—albeit with some problems—in 1990.

It's just one area where the department was too slow to react to changes in the world around it.

Even by the mid-2000s, several years after 9/11, the VA was using out-of-date claims projections it had based on injury estimates that used assumptions from older wars. Due to medical advances, many service members who would have died from their injuries in past wars are now being saved. That means fewer deaths, but it also means more wounded veterans, a development the department failed to anticipate and was slow to adapt to.

And VA leaders at times failed to request the funding needed to do their duty.

In 2005, under VA Secretary Jim Nicholson, after originally denying its fiscal predicament, it came out that the VA faced a $3 billion shortfall in funding for veterans health care. The situation required emergency supplemental funding from Congress.

"There was a leadership attitude that was not aggressive in pushing back against whatever administration, … or even quietly going to Congress and saying we need more people," said Gerald Manar, national veterans service deputy director at the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a former 30-year VA employee.

Kennedy to Nixon to George H.W. Bush—and every president in between

In many ways, the Obama administration is paying for the negligence of past administrations, dating all the way back to President John F. Kennedy, who authorized the decade-long use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
But it wasn't just Kennedy. Under President Johnson, Agent Orange was the dominant chemical used during the war. President Nixon halted its use, but a long line of presidents either refused to acknowledge the damage done or failed to address it.

"Democrats and Republicans have allowed this festering sore to continue."

President Carter's VA created the Agent Orange registry, where veterans who were worried about potential side effects could be examined. But four years later, a GAO report found that 55 percent of respondents felt that the VA's Agent Orange examinations either weren't thorough or they received little or no information on what long-term health impacts exposure could cause.

And President Reagan's legacy includes a damning congressional report from 1990 that found: "The Reagan administration had adopted a legal strategy of refusing liability in military and civilian cases of contamination involving toxic chemicals and nuclear radiation. ... The Federal Government has suppressed or minimized findings of ill health effects among Vietnam veterans that could be linked to Agent Orange exposure."
Progress has been slow. Vietnam veterans won a major victory under President George H.W. Bush when Congress passed legislation allowing the VA secretary to make certain diseases, including Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, "presumptive" to Agent Orange exposure. This means that the VA automatically assumes the diseases are related to the defoliant that the veterans encountered during their military service, making it easier for them to collect disability payments.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/defen...fairs-20140520

The government's long-standing failure to address the damage done to veterans by Agent Orange mirrors the larger failure of the VA. It spans generations and party affiliations, and every effort to fix it comes with unintended consequences.

"This goes across party lines," said Ronald Abrams, the joint executive director with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, and a former VA official who has worked on veterans claims cases for 40 years. "Democrats and Republicans have allowed this festering sore to continue."
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:07 AM   #47
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Another example of how Obama talks a good game but can't deliver.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:32 AM   #48
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Another example of how Obama talks a good game but can't deliver.
lol, you clearly just started paying attention to politics when Obama took office. Such a rube.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #49
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Friggin Kennedy and his approval of agent orange. Nixon hated agent orange by the way.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:22 AM   #50
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lol, you clearly just started paying attention to politics when Obama took office. Such a rube.
Wait until the employee mandate kicks and then you will understand.
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