Sunday, April 12, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Obama Helps Veterans See the Light

"Obama proposes program to help veterans, climate; Solar program to offer job skills" by Darlene Superville, Associated Press  April 04, 2015

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — President Obama announced a new initiative Friday to help job-seeking military veterans and the environment at the same time.

The energy and defense departments are expanding to 10 military bases nationwide a pilot program that trains returning service members for jobs in the solar industry.

Maybe this will open some eyes of you veterans (Obama was just golfing with them, too).

Obama made the announcement at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, speaking in front of an array of solar panels. Hill is one of the bases that will be participating in the program.

The Energy Department has pledged to train 75,000 people, including veterans, for jobs in the fast-growing solar industry by 2020. That’s an increase from a goal of 50,000 workers the department set last May.

After the government-funded entities went bankrupt or moved to China?

‘‘A lot of our men and women in uniform at some point are going to transition into civilian life and we want to make sure that after they’ve fought for our freedom that they’ve got jobs to come home to,’’ Obama said. He said veterans make good employees because of their experience.

Yeah, at some point, but not during his presidency, you know, the one where he promised to end the wars? Can you believe that was so many years ago? This guy disgusts me with blather these days. 

The program announced Friday would make funds from the GI Bill available for the veterans to learn how to install solar panels through the program, called “Solar-Ready Vets.”

Utah on Friday became the 49th state to be visited by Obama during his presidency. Only South Dakota remains on his list.

When he gets to South Dakota, Obama will become the fourth president to hit all 50 states while in office, according to the White House Historical Association.

What was the carbon footprint on all those?

Richard Nixon was first, followed by George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Ronald Reagan came four states short of the goal. George W. Bush never made it to Vermont. 

Because he would have been arrested, God bless 'em.

Utah was also the latest stop on Obama’s recent tour of “red’’ states. Since Republicans took control of both houses of Congress in January, Obama has traveled to 10 GOP states: Arizona, Tennessee, Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Utah, all of which voted for Obama rival Mitt Romney in 2012. Obama also has visited nine states that voted for his reelection.

In the 2012 election, Obama garnered less than 25 percent of the vote in Utah against Romney.

I'm really not into the $hit fooley politics anymore

Obama met in Salt Lake City with leaders of the Mormon church Thursday night, discussing issues including disaster relief and immigration.

At his Friday event, Obama said the US economy is being buffeted by slowdowns overseas and called for action on proposals to boost spending on infrastructure, education, and energy to help sustain growth.

“We have had the strongest economy but we’re impacted by what happens around the world,” Obama said, a day after a Labor Department report showed US payrolls increased by 126,000 in March, the smallest monthly gain since December 2013.

So when do they revise those down, the lying bastards?

US economic security, he said, required rebuilding and repairing the nation’s transportation system and by promoting alternative energy sources. The solar industry is adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy, he said. 


And why have you neglected it so long (of course, we know why)?

The initiative on solar energy is the latest in a series of unilateral actions Obama has taken to advance his clean energy agenda. On Tuesday, Obama submitted to the United Nations a plan to slash greenhouse gases by more than a quarter during the next decade.

Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures have fought to block several of Obama’s climate initiatives, saying they cost jobs by requiring cuts to carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday called Obama’s United Nations plan “job killing and likely illegal.” He warned other nations against accepting the plan because it had not been approved by Congress.

In the last month, Obama has gone to Alabama to call for more regulations on payday lenders, pitched free community college in South Carolina, and called for student loan relief in Georgia.

And the carbon footprint on that?

In Louisville, Ky., Obama said Republicans were cutting funding for job training while proposing to end the estate tax for wealthy Americans.

Louisville is among about 20 cities that signed on to his TechHire initiative. The program, unveiled last month, is designed to connect workers with higher-paying jobs in the technology field. Obama seeks to emphasize that technology skills provide jobs across the nation, not just in big cities.

“This doesn’t cost huge amounts of money but it does cost some money, to do it right and to do it well,” Obama said at Indatus, a downtown Louisville software firm.

And while he was in downtown Louisville:

"Torrential rains have swamped portions of Kentucky’s largest city, forcing emergency crews to navigate flooded neighborhoods and make more than 160 water rescues by Friday evening. The heavy rains started Thursday and continued Friday. Some areas received 1 to 2 inches per hour, said weather service meteorologist Brian Schoettmer. More than 6 inches of rain fell in Louisville, and Lexington had received more than 5 inches, he said. ‘‘It looked like a hurricane struck,” said Simone Wester, whose apartment complex was surrounded by floodwaters, waist deep in some places. ‘‘I didn’t know what to do.’’

One might be forgiven for thinking Obama brought it with him, but at least it put out the fire:

"A fire broke out Friday at General Electric’s Appliance Park in Louisville, shutting down all production at the manufacturing center, which employs thousands. The six-alarm fire started in the morning in a nonproduction building, creating huge columns of smoke. More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze and were still on the scene hours after it began. GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman said there were no reports of injuries. The cause has not been determined. Freeman said the building that burned was used as a warehouse and for offices, and was also used as a distribution center by a private supplier. The company said the storage and office functions would be moved to other parts of Appliance Park. The entire complex will be closed through next week to evaluate the other buildings and replace parts that were stored in the burned building. GE makes several types of appliances at the complex, including washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and water heaters. State and federal environmental officials were called to the scene but found no toxic-chemical problems. In upstate New York on Friday, an industrial fire destroyed three buildings at a lumber business."

Such a shame because GE brings good things to life.



"Amid rising legacy costs and concern that a federal lawsuit over residency could push the benefit’s annual figure to $2 billion, policy makers are trying to balance fiscal conservativism with commitments made to veterans during World War II."

They lie you into wars and then break their promises, and yet you still believe in service? Can't find $2 billion in that ce$$ pool of corruption that is the "defen$e" budget?

Here are some more veterans Obama is helping to see the light, the ones lucky enough to make it back:

"Senate ready to approve bill to address veterans’ suicides" by Matthew Daly, Associated Press  February 03, 2015

WASHINGTON — A Senate bill aimed at reducing a sharp rise in suicides among military veterans is apparently headed for the president’s desk, but an expected vote was delayed Monday by a winter storm that walloped the Midwest and Northeast.

The Senate vote on the veterans’ bill was rescheduled for Tuesday. The measure is named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is in response to suicides that on average claim the lives of 22 military veterans every day.


More wars coming, too. Syria and Iraq, troops on the way. Maybe it is something you guys should guard against.


Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia and chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said he expects overwhelming approval of the bill, which has the support of major veterans groups.

‘‘When you have 8,000 veterans a year committing suicide, then you have a serious problem,’’ Isakson said, noting that more veterans have died by suicide in recent years than have died in battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.


President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget includes $70.2 billion in discretionary resources for 2016 for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a 7.8 percent increase over 2015. That would cover everything from offering ‘‘timely health care’’ to reducing veterans homelessness, getting veterans jobs, and helping veterans quickly earn benefits.

The boost in discretionary funds is an attempt to serve the nearly 1 million troops who have come or are coming home from often multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and serve an aging population of Vietnam veterans....

What were they doing before?



"The bill, which also passed the House unanimously, now goes to the White House, where President Obama is expected to sign it. It signals an unusual level of bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill, where the measure had died last year because of a parliamentary maneuver. According to the latest data, an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves every day." 

That is astonishing to me, and nothing could speak as clearly to the failure of AmeriKan military and political leadership.

"Obama signs veterans suicide prevention bill" Associated Press  February 13, 2015

WASHINGTON — Acknowledging the struggles of the nation’s veterans, President Obama on Thursday signed legislation intended to reduce the high rate of suicide that is claiming the lives of soldiers and former members of the military every day.

‘‘If you are hurting, know this: You are not forgotten,’’ Obama said as he prepared to affix his signature to the law amid a rare bipartisan gathering at the White House.

That's because both have blood on their hands.

The law, which had broad support from Republicans and Democrats, requires the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans.

The law also offers financial incentives to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who agree to work for the VA and assist military members as they transition from active duty to veteran status.


Yeah, signing a law and spending more money always solves the problems, right?

Now if they would just hold an open house and get that computer system updated maybe veterans wouldn't be dying at the hands of another.

"Troops’ deployment not tied to suicides; Study fails to find an increased risk for those overseas" by Dave Philipps, New York Times  April 02, 2015

NEW YORK — The largest study to date of a rising suicide rate among military personnel, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, found no connection between suicide and deployment overseas in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course they didn't!

The findings are the latest in a series of studies prompted by a military suicide rate that has nearly doubled since 2005. The study’s authors and other researchers cautioned, however, that the findings do not rule out combat exposure as a reason for the increase in suicides, adding that more information was needed. 

Two paragraphs in and the back-peddling has already begun.

“As the wars went on, the suicide rates also went up and it was very tempting to assume deployments must be the reason,” said the lead author, Mark Reger of the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology in Tacoma, Washington. “Our data don’t support that. But there may be important subgroups, including those exposed to combat, that we need to look at further.”

Three paragraphs in and the headline has already been contradicted. Do the lies ever stop?

The suicide rate for troops deployed in support of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the study found, was only slightly higher than for troops who did not deploy to that area or remained stateside: earlier studies produced contrasting results....

The latest study, which analyzed records of 3.9 million military personnel who served from 2001 to 2007, did find that troops who left the military within four years were at much higher risk of suicide than those who continued to serve.

Yeah, stay in the service that drove you to suicide. That's the ticket! 

Either that, or it tells you the sadistic monsters stay while the good kids get out.

The prevalence of suicide was not even across branches. The Army and Marine Corps, which bore the brunt of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, had rates about 25 percent higher than those of the Air Force and Navy. But within those branches, rates between those who deployed and those who did not were the same.

“This is a very good study, but there may be a lot going on here that the data doesn’t allow us to see,” said Michael Schoenbaum, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. He said the question of war’s effect on suicide was far from settled.

Not according to the implication of this article!

“You can be deployed without being in combat,” he said. “This data set wasn’t able to sort people by their exposure to the physical acts of war. That is the next step.”

The study also tracked suicides of military personnel after they left the military, by linking records kept by the Pentagon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


At least the VA service is making slow progress:

"VA makes little headway in fight to shorten waits for care" by David B. Caruso, Associated Press  April 09, 2015

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A year after Americans recoiled at new revelations that sick veterans were getting sicker while languishing on waiting lists — and months after the Department of Veterans Affairs instituted major reforms — government records show that the number of patients facing long waits at VA facilities has not dropped at all.

After all that money Congre$$ poured into it, too!

No one expected that the VA mess could be fixed overnight.

Actually, I'm getting tired of those kinds of excuses after years of neglect by the very same lying warmongers that are living lavish political lifestyles funded by US taxpayers. Seems like wars are gotten into damn near overnight, and well, too late after they start, blah, blah, blah.

However, the Associated Press has found that since last summer, the number of medical appointments delayed 30 to 90 days has largely stayed flat. The number of appointments that take longer than 90 days to complete has nearly doubled.

Many delay-prone facilities are clustered in a handful of Southern states, often in areas with a strong military presence, a rural population, and patient growth that has outpaced the VA’s sluggish planning process. 

Oh, the ones suffering the most are the most patriotic states of all. 

The situation has meant big headaches for veterans like Rosie Noel, a retired Marine sergeant awarded the Purple Heart in Iraq after rocket shrapnel slashed open her cheek and broke her jaw.


The AP studied six months of appointment data at 940 VA facilities to gauge changes since a scandal over delays led to the resignation of the VA’s secretary and prompted lawmakers last August to give the department an additional $16.3 billion to hire doctors, open more clinics, and set up a program allowing patients facing long delays to get private-sector care instead. Data for individual facilities were not available for August.

So who stole that money?

The analysis reveals stark differences between the haves and have-nots. 

It's across all AmeriKan in$titutions these days!

In the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Coast states, few VA sites reported having significant delays, but VA officials cite numerous efforts to ramp up capacity by building new health centers and hiring more staff. Between April and December last year, the system added 8,000 employees. In Fayetteville, the VA is finishing a new 250,000-square-foot health center to help alleviate the delays that frustrated Rosie Noel.

And they say that in one statistical category, the VA has improved: The number of appointments handled by VA facilities between May 2014 and February was up 4.5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Referrals to private sector doctors are rising.

But they also acknowledge that in some places, the VA is perpetually behind rising demand....

With no end in sight.

‘‘I think what we are seeing is that as we improve access, more veterans are coming,’’ said the VA’s deputy secretary, Sloan D. Gibson.

He also acknowledged that the VA takes too long to plan and build new clinics, and hasn’t been flexible about reallocating resources to areas experiencing fast growth. 

Gotta pay the bonuses and promotions first, haven't you heard?

‘‘We are doing a whole series of things — the right things, I believe — to deal with the immediate issue,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘But we need an intermediate-term plan that moves us ahead a quantum leap, so that we don’t continue over the next three or four years just trying to stay up. We’ve got to get ahead of demand.’’


Turns out the new guy is just as much a liar as all the rest. 

So when are the war-criminal monsters responsible for all this going to be held to account for their lies, huh?

At least you get quick care in Massachusetts:

"Mass. VA clinic, hospital wait times vary widely" by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press  April 09, 2015

That’s better than the national average of 2.8 percent, but nearly half the delays in Massachusetts occurred at only three of the state’s 20 facilities, according to government data reviewed by the Associated Press.

The Central Western Massachusetts VA in Leeds saw nearly double the national rate of delays — about 5.5 percent — for its 48,879 appointments. At the Worcester VA, nearly 6.2 percent of the 20,761 appointments completed there took longer than 30 days.

Dennis Ramstein, spokesman for the Central Western Massachusetts VA, said the agency has hired more medical personnel and has a new director, John Collins, with a health care background in the Army, including as former chief operating officer for the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

‘‘We’re working to get the veterans into their appointments in a more timely manner,’’ Ramstein said. ‘‘It’s a work in progress and definitely moving forward.’’

One of the top performing clinics in the state was the VA clinic on Causeway Street in Boston.

The highest percentage of patients that had to wait longer than 30 days occurred at the VA clinic in Plymouth....


As for the war in Washington....

"The skirmishes all seemed likely to end in eventual defeat for Republicans, but served as a potent reminder of their power. But Democrats were defiant."

All a bunch of traitors if you ask me. 

So what's next, Bo's show trial?

NDU: Veterans’ jobless rate drops again

Despite the encouraging trend, younger veterans have struggled with joblessness.

Future's looking bright, you might have to wear shades. They lie to you and us about everything else. What makes you think they aren't lying now?

UPDATE: Audit finds wide mismanagement at Philadelphia VA in a blistering 78-page report.

The vets are undervalued?

Also related: 

"The Supreme Court made it easier Wednesday for people to sue the federal government for negligence, in a decision that could affect military veterans with claims of medical malpractice."