For John, BLUF: This is a tricky game being played, because it is, in the end, people's lives. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From the computer of Reporter Bradford Richardson, of The Hill, "Clinton: Veterans Affairs scandal not a ‘widespread’ problem".
Here is the lede plus 4:
Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton says the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal is not as “widespread” of a problem as coverage would indicate.Well, there is the narrative that it is all the fault of the Republicans. Even Senate Minority Leader Reid is on it, and helping it along.
She said the problem is real, but cautioned that “it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be” on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday.
The former first lady blamed Republicans for using the issue as part of an “ideological agenda” and said they want the VA to “fail.”
“Now nobody would believe that from the coverage you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have,” Clinton said.
“They try to create a downward spiral, don’t fund it to the extent that it needs to be funded, because they want it to fail, so then we can argue for privatization.”
Senate Democrats blocked a bill to fund the VA earlier this month in order to negotiate a larger budget deal.Funnily enough, Senator Reid was dismissive of the vote to close debate on the Committee Bill by the whole Senate, saying that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knew he didn't have the votes, so why bother. For those who don't understand, it was to put the Democrats on record.
Like the President's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Democrat Minority vote to not end debate on the VA Bill was to crack open sequestration, the President's plan from a few years ago to control spending. At the time the Administration thought the Republicans would eventually crack over the constriction of defense spending, and when they didn't it held down all spending.♠
As for the VA, it is truly a mixed bag. Some get great service, and some don't. And it isn't based on retired rank. Rather, it is location. Some VA offices are better than others.♥
The problem is, if there is not good service Veterans (and their families) suffer, people die prematurely and sometimes the Veterans are on the street, homeless, suffering from PTSD or TBI or other problems picked up while serving our nation. None of this is good.
Hat tip to Memeorandum.
Regards — Cliff
♠ But not enough. Our National Debt is at $18.414 Trillion and growing.
♥ I would like to see the "secret map" to see if it breaks down along the lines of Blue States vs Red States.