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Author: TriSec    Date: 04/03/2018 09:13:33

Good Morning.

Just a brief entry today - I'm off to Jury Duty this morning, and I am unfortunately expecting to find a very low or even flat tyre on my vessel this morning, so I've got work to do.

As it turns out, the Thrombosed Hemorrhoid can't even fire someone properly, or at least not without tweeting sour grapes about it. David Shulkin had his problems, but don't you all remember when we were kids and our parents all told us not to pick scabs because it would make it worse?

WASHINGTON — The White House is hitting back at former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin for claiming that he was fired from his job and that he was only informed about it shortly before President Donald Trump tweeted about his replacement.

The Trump administration says he left his job willingly amid a bruising ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the agency. The semantics of whether Shulkin resigned or was fired could be relevant to Trump's ability to name an acting VA secretary to temporarily fill his place.

On Sunday, chagrined by Shulkin's public statements blaming his ouster on unfair "political forces" in the Trump administration, the White House circulated a "talking points" memo to some veterans groups in a bid to discredit him. The three-page memo, obtained by The Associated Press, points out seven "lies" that it said Shulkin had spread. They include statements in which he minimizes a VA watchdog report in February that concluded he violated ethics rules by accepting free Wimbledon tennis tickets. The VA inspector general has previously found Shulkin made misleading statements about the trip to investigators and the news media.

In television interviews earlier Sunday, Shulkin said he had not submitted a resignation letter, or planned to, and was only told of Trump's decision to replace him with White House doctor Ronny Jackson shortly before the Twitter announcement last Wednesday. He said he had spoken to Trump by phone earlier that day about VA improvements, with no mention of his job status, and was scheduled to meet with the president the next morning.

"I came to run the Department of Veterans Affairs because I'm committed to veterans," Shulkin said. "And I would not resign because I'm committed to making sure this job was seen through to the very end."

Last week, Trump named Defense Department official Robert Wilkie to the acting position, bypassing Shulkin's deputy secretary, Tom Bowman. Bowman has come under criticism for being too moderate to push Trump's agenda.

And of course, the entire sorry affair has raised new fears of privatization.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s dismissal of David J. Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs — and the nomination of a Navy doctor with no known policy views to take his place — has brought renewed focus to an increasingly contentious debate over whether to give veterans the option of using the benefits they earned through military service to see private doctors rather than going to government hospitals and clinics.

The issue, which has pitted almost every major veterans group against Concerned Veterans for America, an advocacy group funded by the billionaire conservative brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, and its allies, has been at the center of months of intrigue at the sprawling Department of Veterans Affairs, which is charged with caring for the United States’ 20 million veterans.

But Mr. Shulkin’s departure and the abrupt elevation of Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician, to the department’s top job on Wednesday have raised new fears among Democrats and groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. They worry that the Trump administration will push for a major change in veterans’ health care that they have bitterly opposed.

The groups say the end result would be disastrous, effectively bleeding to death a network of 1,700 hospitals and clinics that has taken decades to build.

So that will do for today; off to do my civic duty.


32 comments (Latest Comment: 04/03/2018 22:42:40 by Mondobubba)
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