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When bureaucracy undermines a leader, veterans pay

The VA bureaucracy is filled with self-dealing bureaucrats who can keep the secretary in the dark while they line their own pockets. It's time to blow it all up.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on a report by the department's inspector general on patient care delays at the VA's Phoenix medical center, on September 9, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Bob McDonald has had a sterling career as a leader. At West Point he was the Brigade Adjutant for the Corps of Cadets. After his military service he joined Proctor and Gamble.

P&G is routinely rated by other CEOs as the top company for training leaders. Many of their managers have gone on to lead great American corporations.

Over 30 years McDonald led P&G units in five countries before returning to headquarters where he was appointed CEO in 2009. During his time as CEO, P&G stock increased by more than 50 percent.

Two years ago President Barack Obama asked McDonald to serve his country again. Our Department of Veterans Affairs is an embarrassment. While hospital administrators were getting bonuses veterans were dying on waiting lists.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on a report by the department's inspector general on patient care delays at the VA's Phoenix medical center, on September 9, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on a report by the department's inspector general on patient care delays at the VA's Phoenix medical center, on September 9, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

McDonald was not able to bring with him the team of young MBAs that had served him so well at P&G. His support staff was already in place.

Indeed, they had been in place for decades and are the proximate cause of the problems in the VA. He didn’t have a chance.

Recently it was disclosed that a top VA official paid a disgruntled employee $305,000 to keep her mouth shut. He had been arrested at 3 a.m. for intoxication and being in possession of prescription painkillers diverted from the hospital.

He asked her to file a bogus report and she refused. He tried to fire her, but was prevented from doing so by ethics officials.

The VA General Council Leigh Bradley investigated the matter and concluded that the $305,000 payment did not constitute using taxpayer’s money to stifle a whistleblower. This is the caliber of advice and support that Secretary McDonald is dealing with.

Japhet Rivera, another VA hospital director, had sex with a female employee and then repeatedly tried to discuss the matter with her daughter who was also an employee. The attempt to fire him was stopped by the Merit System Protection Board. He was paid $86,000 to quit.

Another VA employee in Puerto Rico was fired after being arrested for armed robbery. She pled guilty, but her union prevented her from being fired by citing precedents.

They noted that the labor relations negotiator is a registered sex offender and the hospital’s director was once arrested in possession of painkiller drugs.

She was reinstated with back pay including for the time she missed while in jail.

Up to 1800 patients were potentially exposed to HIV in the St. Louis VA Hospital. The hospital was also closed twice for serious medical safety issues and ranked dead last in patient satisfaction.

Hospital Director Rima Nelson was not fired. She was transferred to manage a clinic inside the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines that serves surviving Filipino World War II veterans.

The General Accountability Office questioned the need for this facility since most of the WW II Filipino vets have died, but she has a $160,000 salary in a country in which average income is $2,500 a year.

Despite this series of scandals, the VA paid its employees $142 million in bonuses in 2014.

Secretary McDonald did not approve these decisions. He didn’t even know about them. He is not part of this corrupt culture so he is kept in the dark and lied to.

The VA is not unique. This story is repeated in every department in the federal government.

When the IRS abused their power for political purposes we were promised it would be fully investigated and the guilty would be punished. It has been 1233 days since the scandal was disclosed. We are still waiting for the investigation to begin. The perpetrator of the crime retired on full benefits.

Michelle Obama’s classmate from Princeton was the Senior VP of the company that built the failed Obamacare website. They not only didn’t get fired, they got more contracts.

The State Department could not afford security for the ambassador in Benghazi, but they had money for Mosque renovations, promoting environmental awareness in Baghdad and $4.5 million for art in embassies.

The Department of Agriculture is spending nearly a million dollars to teach refugees how to farm.

The State Department spent $396,000 on a Climate Change competition. In Morocco!

The National Science Foundation approved a grant of $450,000 to Arizona State University to study if air conditioning makes you more comfortable in hot weather.

We wouldn’t know any of this if it were not for alternative media. But now we know. And we want it stopped!

Our federal government is a corrupt system of self-dealing bureaucrats who line their pockets while we pay the bills.

Mrs. Clinton brags that she understands this system and is best prepared to manage it. She ridicules Trump for wanting to blow it all up.

Is there anything else we need to know?

If you would like to be added to John Linder’s distribution list please send your email address to: linderje@yahoo.com or follow on Twitter: @linderje

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

 

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