Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trump will fix VA

The only candidate with a legitimate and workable VA reform        [Reuters photo]

In our continuing series of guest posts from reputable reporters and analysts, 
we highlight  Betsy McCaughey's Opinion Piece in the New York Post [3 Nov 2015] 
to provide a wider dissemination [i.e., global] to her comments.

Click here for original article [Trump shows real policy chops with great fix for ailing VA]

20% of voters are Military Vets
A whopping 20 percent of Republican primary voters are military Veterans. No wonder GOP presidential candidates are making the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department a campaign issue.

And the man frequently tagged as lacking substance — Donald Trump — just came out with the best reform plan so far.
Under Trump’s plan, vets of all ages who are eligible for VA care could get treated at any civilian doctor’s office or hospital that takes Medicare. No bureaucratic hoops, pre-approvals or wait lists.
Trump’s proposal leverages the close connection between Medicare and Veterans Affairs — 45% of VA users are already on Medicare. Opponents are carping that Trump’s plan lacks details, but we don’t need a 1,000-page bill. Trump’s proposal works. It also does an end-run around the VA bureaucracy that has sabotaged every effort so far to allow Vets to go outside for care.
VA excludes Disabled Vets           [MrConservative]
For 20 years, Veterans Affairs has failed to provide timely care to sick vets. Congress has been alerted again and again that VA schedulers falsified wait lists and even lied to vets, telling them they were in line to be seen when they weren’t. After several vets died needlessly at the Phoenix VA facility, Congress finally enacted reform last year. It promised vets the option of civilian care.
Every vet gets a “choice card,” but it’s a cruel joke. The law erects so many hurdles that few vets can actually use it.
Vets have to live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or have waited more than 30 days to be eligible. Then they have to get a letter confirming eligibility from Veterans Affairs — good luck with that. Then their civilian doctor has to call for pre-approval before treatment — fat chance getting that call answered. After all that, treatment is limited to 60 days. Like you can cure cancer in 60 days!
More than half of vets haven’t even heard about the choice program, which is just what the VA bureaucracy wants. But count on Trump — the master marketer — to get the word out about his plan if he’s elected president. And to fire VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who is a mere apologist for the system.
Competitors criticize Trump for not estimating the cost. But the facts suggest his plan will be low-cost, because nearly half of VA users are already on Medicare. Astoundingly, over 1 million of them have Medicare Advantage, which means taxpayers are paying insurance companies to care for them and then paying Veterans Affairs to care for them. This nonsensical double payment sends 10 percent of the VA health budget down the drain every year.
Overall, encouraging older vets to use Medicare instead by picking up their out-of-pocket costs when they go to a civilian doctor is a no-brainer, and it would cut VA wait lists in half. That would allow younger vets to see a VA doctor faster. But Trump also gives them access to civilian doctors, if they prefer.
Vets needing procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty do better at civilian hospitals that perform them in high volume. Medical studies support Trump’s idea. (No kidding!)
Concerned Veterans for America lashed out at Trump’s plan for lacking details. It proposes moving vets into private health plans with subsidies to help pay the premiums. But the plans resemble ObamaCare, meaning most vets could face large out-of-pocket costs.
That’s a nonstarter. 
Vets already earned their care. At the VA, they can see a doctor for $15. Maybe Concerned Veterans was fast to criticize Trump because one of their plan’s authors is an adviser to another presidential campaign.
So we lost a few at Benghazi!
Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’ll unveil a VA reform plan next month. 
She’s already brushed aside evidence of VA corruption, denying it’s widespread. Trump is the candidate best equipped so far with a real alternative when she launches into a defense of the VA’s rotten status quo.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trump - Builds Stuff - May ReBuild America

Help me retake America from the Communists

We continue our series of guest blog posts by superior thinkers and writers.
Today's piece was written by G. Murphy Donovan, who covers national security, 
military affairs, intelligence, threat analysis, and terrorism.  He had two tours in Vietnam, 
and is a recognized professional smart guy when it comes to Russian studies and political and diplomatic assessments.  Although his pieces are widely distributed, we republish here to ensure his work, and his blog get even wider distribution through our global audience.  
We salute Mr Donovan and trust he will continue to provide us with his superb insight on national and world events. 

Donald Trump is a piece of work even by New York standards: tall, white, loud, brash, entrepreneurial, successful, rich, ruthlessly candid, well-dressed, and fond of heterosexual women. He has married at least three delicious ladies in fact. Trump has five children and seven grandchildren. Indeed, his progeny are well above average too, smartly groomed, photogenic, and successful to boot.

Created thousands of jobs
As far as we know, Donald does not have any tattoos, piercings, unpaid taxes, or under-aged bimbo interns. He is not a drunk or a junkie either. Trump projects and enterprises probably employ more folks than the NYC school system -- or the United Nations.

You could say that Trump is living the life, not the life of Riley, but more like Daddy Warbucks with a comb over. “The Donald,” as one ex-wife calls him, is not just living the American dream. Trump is the dream -- and proud of it. 

You could do worse than think of Trump as upwardly mobile blue collar. He is the grandson of immigrants and the product of Long island, a Queens household, and a Bronx education. The Donald survived the Jesuits of Fordham University for two years before migrating to finish his baccalaureate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania .

When readers of the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books speak of “the city”, they are not talking about the Queens or the Bronx.  Growing and schooling in the blue-collar boroughs gives Trump a curb level perspective, something seldom found in Manhattan . Or as any “D” Train alumnus might put it, Trump has “a pretty good Bravo Sierra detector.”

So what’s not to like about Donald Trump? He doesn’t just stay in four-star hotels; he builds them. He doesn’t just own luxury condominiums; he makes them. He doesn’t just own historic buildings; he restores them. He doesn’t just eat at the best restaurants; he creates them. He just doesn’t belong to the best country clubs; he builds those, too.

And Donald Trump, unlike the Manhattan/Washington fantasy Press and every Beltway political pimp, doesn’t just pay lip service to a bigger and better economy, he creates micro-economies every day.

The only thing we don’t know about Donald Trump is why he would like to emigrate to the District of Columbia.

Wished AIDS on Jesse Helms
In any case, the merits of entrepreneurs like Trump might best be defined by the character or motives of his critics. Trump detractors are for the most part “B” list politicians, ambulance chasers, and a left-leaning Press corps that lionizes the likes of Nina Totenberg, Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and Brian Williams.

If the truth were told, most of Trump’s critics are jealous, envious of his wealth, and they loath his candor.  Donald might also be hated for what he is not. Trump is not a lawyer, nor is he a career politician who lives on the taxpayer dime. Trump is paying for his own campaign. Bernie, Barack, McCain, and Kerry could take enterprise lessons from a chap like Trump.

Unlike most government barnacles, Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. He knows how to close a deal and build something. He is a net creator, not consumer, of a kind of wealth that provides “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for Americans -- real jobs not feather merchants.

Today, Trump has nothing left to prove. Yet, success has allowed him the rarest of public privileges, an electoral pulpit and the courage to speak his mind. Alas, truth is not necessarily a political asset in a socialized democracy.

Indeed, the erstwhile presidential candidate stepped on his crank recently by suggesting that Mexico
, already exporting dangerous drugs, cheap tomatoes, and even cheaper labor, was also exporting violent felons to the US.

Truth hurts!
Sanchez murdered Steinle  in Sanctuary city 

Trump’s rude candor is underwritten by nearly half a million illegal felons in American jails. 

Coincidentally, events have conspired to support Trump’s take on Mexican dystopia with the El Chapo Guzman jailbreak and the murder of Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Sanchez.

Señor Sanchez sported a lengthy criminal record and had been deported on four previous occasions. San Francisco, a "sanctuary" city, failed to honor existing warrants and released Sanchez from jail just before he blew Kathy Steinle away.

As serendipity would have it, Trump then went to Phoenix on 12 July and gave a stem winder to a sell-out crowd on the subject of illegal immigration. Senator John McCain was not pleased to have The Donald on Arizona ’s front lawn and intemperately called Trump supporters “crazies.” Trump returned fire saying that McCain was no hero.

Here again Trump cut to the quick, pointing out that no one qualifies as a hero because he was shot down or captured. Indeed, being a hostage in North Vietnam is not necessarily heroic either. McCain is thought by some to be a heroic because he refused to accept an early release.

In fact, the Hanoi parole offer was a ruse, a Hobson’s choice, designed to embarrass McCain and his father at CINCPAC.

If McCain took the parole and abandoned his fellow POWs, he would have shamed his father and been ostracized by shipmates. Indeed, had John McCain not been the son and grandson of famous nd victorious, Pacific Command flag officers, no one would have noticed him then or now.

Few of the demagogues who have come to John McCain’s defense could name any of the 600 Vietnam-era POWs other than McCain. McCain is famous today because he, like John Kerry, has parlayed a very average Vietnam military service into a three-decade political sinecure.

We know of 50,000 Vietnam veterans that might be more deserving than John McCain. Unfortunately, they died in a war that generals couldn’t win and politicians couldn’t abide. A body bag seldom gets to play the “hero.”

McCain is no political hero either.

He is famously ambiguous on domestic issues like immigration. He is also a Johnny-come-lately to Veterans Administration rot, which has metastasized as long as McCain has been in office. On foreign policy, McCain is a Victoria Nuland era crackpot, supporting East European coups, playing cold warrior, and posturing with neo-Nazis in Kiev . McCain pecks at Putin too because the Senate, like the Obama crew, hasn’t a clue about genuine threats like the ISIS jihad or the latest Islam bomb.

To date, Trump has run a clever campaign. He is chumming, throwing red meat and blood into campaign waters and all the usual suspects are in a feeding frenzy. McCain, the Press, the Left, and the Republican establishment all have something to say about “the Donald.” It is truly amazing how cleverly Trump manages to manipulate the establishment.

If you are trying to sell an idea or a candidacy, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Who knows where the Trump campaign goes? For the moment, he has scored direct hits on Mexico and McCain. With El Capo on the loose again, every time a toilet flushes in Sinaloa, Mexican garbage is likely spill out in Los Angeles , Hollywood , San Francisco , Portland , or Seattle . Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the Left Coast could survive without cheap labor, pistileros , meth, coke, heroin, or weed. Necrotic immigration and its byproducts are ready made targets for a gunslinger like Trump.

Trump is no bigot. He probably employs more Latinos and Blacks than Enrique Peña Nieto or Barack Obama. In his own way, Donald Trump is both immigrant and POW, a refugee from Queens and still a prisoner of Wharton. The Donald is The Dude, the guy with babes and a role of Benjamins that would choke a shark. He is the wildly successful capitalist that some of us love to hate.

At $337 Million per - a DOD Bargain!  [cdn images]
Before democratic socialism, success and effectiveness were measures of merit.  It doesn’t take much insight to compare Trump’s various enterprises with federal programs.  Public education, banking oversight, public housing slums, poverty doles, veterans fiascos, Internal Revenue hijinks, and even some Defense Department procurement programs are consensus failures.  

The F-35 “Lightning” fighter is an illustration, arguably the most expensive single DOD boondoggle in history. Pentagon progressives seldom win a catfight these days, but they still spend like sailors.

If and when Trump fails, he is out of business.

In Trump’s world, failure has consequences.  In contrast, Washington rewards failure with better funding. Indeed, generational program failure is now a kind of perverse incentive for Beltway politicians and apparatchiks to throw good money after failed programs.

The difference between Trump and McCain should be obvious to any fair observer; Trump has done something with his talents. McCain, in contrast, is coasting on a military myth and resting on the laurels of Senatorial tenure.

Any way you look at it, Donald Trump is good for national politics, good for democracy, good for America , and especially good for candor. If nothing else, The Donald may help Republicans to pull their heads out of that place where the sun never shines.

Friday, October 9, 2015

#DHS Outs #McCarthy

Elmers and McCarthy -- reportedly closed door sessions were not just political strategy   [GotNews]

Click here for related story [NY Post]

The political game of feints and jabs on the Hill just took a new turn.
The buzz has been over why McCarthy dropped out of contention for the Speakers position, and of course, there's been enough finger pointing to put a few eyes out.
But, the New York Post now reports that allegations of McCarthy's affair with Renee Elmers [R-NC] were the real cause. [Both have denied the allegation.] Normally, we would not repeat such tawdry accusations, but, in this case, due to the circumstances, we'll make an exception.
Now, this would be standard political subterfuge, normally expected among political foes. But, in this case, it turns out the allegations were posted on Wikipedia, by, ummm, 
-- none other than the Department of Homeland Security, which has had more than its share of scandal in recent years.
Seems the perp was unaware that posting to Wikipedia tracks back to the Internet [IP] address of the person/organization posting. In this case, the poster was located in the DHS office in Springfield, Va.  
Oops! Call in the Hatch Act police.
[FYI, the Hatch Act outlaws "pernicious political actives"]
This Kabuki drama now takes a decidedly new twist, which will very likely result in an inquiry/investigation/inquisition by both Parties in Congress as to why DHS is slandering politicians via the Media.
It's annoying enough that NSA is eavesdropping on Congress, and that CIA has been spying on Congress, but, heaven forbid, we certainly can't have DHS joining in the political fray of slander, back-stabbing, and innuendo.
These nasty situations inevitably result in a uniting of the political Parties against a common foe -- in this case, the Administration, which may have used a national security organization to slander [expose?] a Congressman.  
It's not that Congresspersons or Senators [or Presidents] do not have affairs [we would be surprised if they weren't having affairs; it's what they do!]; but, by golly, they don't want such news leaking back to their constituents who expect their political representatives to exercise at least a modicum of marital fidelity, or sobriety while representing their constituents.
Now, the search begins for the perp, and who put him/her up to this mischief.
The last iteration of such political engagement by a national security organization resulted in the Church and Pike Committees gutting the Intelligence Community.  Will Congress go after DHS with the same zeal?