Sunday, March 04, 2007



I hope our country survives the two more years of Bush's horrible, stolen 8 years in office. His is the most venal and corrupt and incompetent presidency in history. No one, not a Democrat, not a Republican, not an independent is anything short of disgusted with how grotesquely the Bush Regime has handled our wounded servicemen coming back from the wars. No matter how anyone feels about Bush's attack on Iraq, no one is satisfied with his attack on the health he has launched against our wounded military men and women. Ken and I have both been writing about the disgrace of Walter Reed Hospital. Now we find out that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing care for our veterans.

Monday's Washington Post paints a sickening picture. Torn gowns, broken wheel chairs, mold, mice, rot, a lack of trained nurses... this is becoming the emblem of Bush and his foul, stinking regime.
Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort Dix in New Jersey. They tell stories-- their own versions, not verified-- of callous responses to combat stress and a system ill equipped to handle another generation of psychologically scarred vets... Soldiers report bureaucratic disarray similar to Walter Reed's: indifferent, untrained staff; lost paperwork; medical appointments that drop from the computers; and long waits for consultations.

Sandy Karen was horrified when her 21-year-old son was discharged from the Naval Medical Center in San Diego a few months ago and told to report to the outpatient barracks, only to find the room swarming with fruit flies, trash overflowing and a syringe on the table. "The staff sergeant says, 'Here are your linens' to my son, who can't even stand up," said Karen, of Brookeville, Md. "This kid has an open wound, and I'm going to put him in a room with fruit flies?" She took her son to a hotel instead.

"My concern is for the others, who don't have a parent or someone to fight for them," Karen said. "These are just kids. Who would have ever looked in on my son?"

To give unending tax breaks for his wealthy corporate supporters Bush has made the V.A. system untenable. "Nearly 64,000 of the more than 184,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have sought VA health care have been diagnosed with potential symptoms of post-traumatic stress, drug abuse or other mental disorders as of the end of June, according to the latest report by the Veterans Health Administration. Of those, nearly 30,000 have possible post-traumatic stress disorder, the report said." The Bush Regime wrecked the V.A. system and there is a current backlog of over 400,000 benefit claims. To Bush and his rich supporters it's all just socialism. The individual stories in the Post are heartbreaking.

So am I trying to say that Bush has something against our country's military? No, he doesn't-- he just hates people from the other side of the track-- all of us but the richest 5%. He has the utmost contempt for working people and the middle class that has made this country great. Look how he has continued to bungle the reconstruction of New Orleans.

My friend Michael goes down there for Mardi Gras every year and he writes a piece for my travel blog. "In its own way," he writes, "this trip was as lovely as all of my prior visits, despite the knowledge that so much has changed, will never be the same, and needs to be done to insure the town’s future." In fact so much needs to be done-- so many solemn promises need to be kept-- that the city has decided to sue the government for $77 billion. Residents claim that it was the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a river outlet into the outlying wetlands that destroyed ecosystems and turned the shipping channel into a funnel for surging waters when Katrina struck on August 29 2005 and that the Corps built substandard levees that failed to protect the city.

Bush is still mouthing meaningless platitudes-- "I committed to the people of this part of the world and the Gulf Coast that the federal government would fund recovery, and stay committed to the recovery-- while less than half the $110 billion dollars committed by Congress has been spent. And as my buddy Michael-- and everyone else-- points out, "outside the downtown tourist area, large areas of the city remain disrupted with violent crime and murders on the rise and access to healthcare limited."

But the richest 5% of Americans have gotten obscenely richer while Bush has been in power and vast segments of our society have come under unrelenting pressure.


Jeff Feldman at the Frameshop has a report on the congressional hearings into how the Bush Regime has treated our wounded soldiers. If you missed the broadcast, Jeff's managed to capture the essential moments very well. He suggests we avoid falling victim to White House spin in the Walter Reed debate, discussing it in terms of our soldiers' experiences, not buildings that Bush can claim to be fixing (like he claims to be fixing New Orleans and Iraq). Jeff suggests certain words like:
• neglect
• abuse
• cruel
• emotional
• suffering
• heartbreaking
• people
• families
• Treated in ways "a dog didn't deserve."

And, Crooks and Liars has some videos up already, including one of Jack Cafferty who draws the same conclusion I did about Bush, Katrina and Walter Reed.


By the way, when did Dear Commander-in-Chief know and what did he do about it when he did know? And is he a lying sack of crap who should be impeached along with any congressman who doesn't work towards that end? Just asking. Cliff's got some answers... and some more questions.

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At 5:31 AM, Blogger dan said...


With over 400,000 veterans waiting for their disability claims, is it any wonder why we have over 1000 homeless iraq war veterans.

If you havent seen the film WHEN I CAME HOME yet, watch the on-minute trailer at :

Support the Vets!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Milt Shook said...

Honestly, the Veterans Administration, which runs Walter Reed suffers from a lot more neglect than Bush could have possibly heaped upon it. It's not Bush's fault, entirely, but a mindset on the entire right that treats our troops as cannon fodder, and absolutely nothing more.

Under Jimmy Carter in the late 70's the VA was seeing more funding, and they were rebuilding better and cleaner hospitals, and for a while it looked as if veterans might actually be taken seriously again, for the first time since right after World War II.

Then came Reagan and Bush 41 who, with an able assist from the Republican Senate and a House that was dominated by conservatives and wingnuts, were able to divert much of that funding to other defense spending. Clinton tried really hard to augment funding, especially given that medical advances were, ironically, leading to more people surviving war, but the Republican Congress - you know, they support the troops; they say so daily - fought them every step of the way.

So, it's gone on longer than Bush has been president. This may come as a shock to you, but the Republicans rhetoric about being "for the troops?" Well, it's horseshit.

That said, Bush AND a Republican wingnut-dominated Congress has been absolutely the veteran's worst enemy. As noted, more people are surviving the war in Iraq, and that means the VA needs more funding, not less. The waiting time for paperwork processing for vets returning from Iraq has doubled since 2003, and the VA has seen their disability case review backlog increase substantially in recent years.

Let me put it this way; if Walter Reed is that bad, and Water Reed is right in Congress' back yard, and undergoes more scrutiny than any other VA medical facility in the country, you can imagine how bad some VA facilities in the hinterlands are.

You know, we liberals are the ones who are the ones who are supposed to be anti-troops, yet we are the ones advocating for bringing them home safe, and beefing up the medical facilities for them, while the Republicans are pushing to continue to use them as cannon fodder, and turn cheapskate when it comes to providing these people with medical care...

Wonder how long it will be before someone investigates base housing? That's another area that is flat shameful...

Milt Shook

At 1:45 PM, Blogger "Frankly Opinionated" said...

You Liberal Moonbats! The problems at WRAMC and other VA facilities transcends all political lines. This situation was not made either better or worse by either party, but rather by both parties. In some ways things are much better, in many more ways, things are worse than should be seen in this great nation. The problem lies in Americans not giving a damn about the troops. Not many of us take the time to write snail mail letters that get read and considered. So long as so few of us buy stamps, pens and paper, these shortcomings will exist.
nuf sed

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Psychomikeo said...

& yet there are ppl still signing up to go into the armed forces.


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