consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Not FOX's Hegseth, nor one-term-wonder Scott Brown, say multiple established (and legitimate) Veterans' groups; who prefer keeping a status quo instead of embracing the VA's privatization enemies. [UPDATED with further links]

They favor a VA run by the incumbent, who they view as a trustworthy, competent and experienced administrator free of any hostile agenda.

And if Trump fails to listen, then what? That's largely up to our veterans, many of whom faced combat without hesitation or indifference. Their feelings and hopes are much the same as the Bonus Army had; but let us all hope today's veterans who've been given promises fare better.

WaPo reports:

Trump is under pressure to keep Obama’s VA secretary -
By Lisa Rein December 12 at 7:30 AM

President-elect Donald Trump has come under intense pressure from powerful veterans organizations to keep current Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald in the job [...]

[...L]eaders of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and American Veterans (AMVETS) told top transition officials that they could not support the two candidates on the shortlist to lead the agency: Pete Hegseth, former chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), a group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, and former senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.).


“We all made it clear that we need someone like Bob, who knows how to run a very large organization and is committed to changing the culture,” said Rick Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America.

“He hasn’t had a chance to make his mark,” Weidman said of McDonald. “None of the other people being mentioned are viable.”

The traditional veterans groups, which represent hundreds of thousands of former service members, have long held clout in Washington. Whether they can sway Trump, though, will test whether the power center for veterans has shifted from old-line organizations to new, smaller groups such as CVA that have criticized VA’s failings with a harsher voice.

It was unclear Sunday whether Trump had scheduled a meeting with McDonald. [...]

McDonald has told VA officials and leaders of veterans groups that he would continue in the Trump administration if given the opportunity.

[...] McDonald, confirmed in July 2014, is a West Point graduate and Army veteran who came out of retirement to lead VA after Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced out following a scandal over falsified wait times for patent care.

Before joining the Obama administration, McDonald was an active Republican donor, giving $23,500 to Republican political action committees in the 2012 campaign cycle and an additional $12,000 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to

He is credited with making VA more customer-friendly, bringing health and benefit records online, and reducing the long wait lists for medical appointments.

[emphasis added]

So, an incumbent academy graduate with a clear Republican record; and not anybody's activist radical. A former Proctor and Gamble CEO; not a taking it to the streets firebrand by anyone's measure. As much a GOP/corporatist as Exxon's past and present leadership. Not a chintzy fast-food mogul hateful toward fair wages either; just a plain vanilla corporatist Republican and veteran with a true intent to honor other veterans and to not screw them into the ground in any fashion, at this time or later.


Koch incitement toward privatization of the VA via Hegseth's "astroturfing" has been reported here previously; and Trump either listens to our organized veterans, or to Charles and David Koch. The bet here: Trump bows, kneels, and kisses the Koch brothers' rings.

Dan Burns at MPP has more on the Hegseth putsch for power even after he'd exited his astroturfing role for the Kochs' operation:

For his cabinet, the President-”elect” has been emphasizing not any kind of demonstrated competence at running anything, , but rather ideological extremism and willingness to pucker up and kiss the noisome Trump behind at any and all times.

[quotation there from VoteVets omitted]

Dan has a way with words ...

A Cincinnati item, where P&G is headquartered; an online site focused upon veteran news and issues.

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