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May 21st, 2014
09:03 PM ET

What could Obama have done differently re: VA scandal?

Crossfire host Van Jones asks Senator Dean Heller how he would handle the VA scandal, Sen. Bernie Sanders debates.

Should the head of the VA lose his job?
Newt Gingrich asks Senator Bernie Sanders if Eric Shinseki should lose his job.

A "Benghazi-like" effect with the VA?
Van Jones and Newt Gingrich debate the politicization of the VA scandal along with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Dean Heller.

Joint outraged: Prison system failing America
Van Jones and Newt Gingrich are both outraged that the Prison system is failing America.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. REGinAZ

    “Obama took too long to respond to the VA crisis” – here we go again with everything being Obama’s fault and that is just totally ridiculous. Like with the Swift-boat propaganda, the veterans are once again being exploited for propaganda and politics, which never solves any problems and only serves the purposes of some politicians. When are the people, the voters going to say “enough is enough” and demand that the right and the left “stop fighting and start fixing”. These self-serving politicians just totally concentrate on their politics and seek to aggressively criticize, to find fault and to use that for political advantage without any real effort to ever fix things. The right, with the strong backing of “the money”, is more organized, aggressive and with deeper pockets and are just more able to constantly be focused on arrogantly faulting and stubbornly blocking all real efforts but both sides need to become responsible in addressing problems with conscientious and honest cooperation and compromise – putting their politics aside to do the job.

    The only way we will ever see any real progress in that regard is when the people actually come to say “enough is enough” and firmly reject the propaganda insultingly intended to dupe, use and abuse them. When the voters refuse to be taken for granted and put their own prejudices, biases, exploited emotions and misplaced loyalties aside to avoid being manipulated, and then not only to reject the propaganda but also to totally reject the “puppet” politicians who serve only their own and “the money’s” interests, then and only then will we see more than just rhetoric aimed to excite and use us. “Stop the Fighting”, the self-serving politics, and “Start the Fixing”, conscientiously, responsibly and honestly doing the job – that is what we need and what they were elected to do … the point being that the people, the voters need to force them to do it.

    May 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  2. dick mcgee

    should've, could've, would've..... folks what everyone should be talking about is that this is government run healthcare at its best....if the ACA evolves into a single payer system this is what it becomes

    May 26, 2014 at 8:57 am | Reply
  3. Tom1940


    May 25, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
  4. AJ

    Pointing fingers and firing people does nothing to resolve the problem. It's political theater. The issue of the US supporting the troops when they're out dying, but breaking promises of supporting them when they return goes back to before WW I.

    The issue is systematic, it's not about personalities or party. The President, Congress, and the American People have to want this fixed.

    Take the money that would have been spent on the continuation of the war and use it to train veterans (the ones not applying for the benefits) in how to process the backlog. Get rid of one of the incompatible computer systems and use the other one as the standard. Use the veterans who are experts in computers to upgrade the system to more easily accept the processed work. Form a bi-partisan oversight commission including the President, leaders in house and senate, representatives of the VA groups, and department of Pentagon. House, Congress, President, and American people need to sign on to obtaining the funding. Produce a work plan of how to get from where we are to where we want to be, stick to it, make sure it's funded, and provide PUBLIC progress reports.

    Enough of the "This is the Liberals and Obama's fault" stuff to score points. Get the job done and stop whining.

    May 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • AJ

      Sorry, the VA groups there should read "Veterans Groups" There's no way to edit 🙂

      May 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  5. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    What could Obama have done differently re: VA scandal?

    # Save our Vets from the VA

    May 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  6. pyusmc66

    I am disgusted by all of the loons who come out of the woodwork for another chance to bash POTUS. They could care less about veterans. Congress is responsible for funding the V.A., and this is primarily driven by inadequate funding. The V.A. is grossly understaffed to care for the amount of disabled vets it has to care for. I am a 100% permanent and total veteran who gets medical care in the system,and will not badmouth the V.A.
    Most of these "armchair Patriots" never served a day in harm's way and have no right to an opinion on this. They should just S.T.F.U.

    May 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  7. David Davis

    How long will Americans wait till they know that most all of our politicians are corrupt?
    It doesn't take a boy genius to see that this has been allowed for decades.
    Where has all the money gone??
    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind that is the brains of congress.
    Oversight committees led by Jeff Miller and company do absolutely nothing about the poorly run VA.

    May 24, 2014 at 5:56 am | Reply
  8. Disabled veteran

    Once again this President is following in the same footsteps of Richard Nixon. Arrogant, aloof, out of touch, with reality. Since 2007 candidate Obama recognized their were major problems with the V.A. and promised vets he would fix them. Seven years later these problems have only got much worse. First he needs to get involved himself. Start touring V.A. hospitals talk to their staffs and patients. Second consult with Veteran groups on their ideas for improvements. Start firing incompetent people. Get the FBI involved to investigate preventable deaths of veterans, from cooking the books. How many investigations does he need before he will act?

    May 23, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Reply

    Blah,blah,blah. Now that they have been CRUSHED by Turtle McConnell, can't wait to see Thom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down.

    May 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  10. Gregory Sisk

    Are you pissed off about how our veterans are being treated?!

    H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability.
    H.R. 1168 - Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market.
    H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization – This bill would reauthorize programs in support of homeless veterans, to assist them with job training, counseling, and placement services through the Department of Veterans Affairs through 2014.
    H.R. 1172 - Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans which does nothing more than direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to include information about scholarships for veterans.
    H.R. 1293 - Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – Here’s another bill in support of those who have fought for their country, passed by House Democrats and blocked from becoming law by Republicans.
    This would increase the amount paid by the VA to disabled veterans for necessary home structural improvements from $4,100 to $6,800 for those who are more than 50% disabled, and from $1,200 to $2,000 who are less than 50%, disabled. This means, if a veteran lost the use of his legs in service of his country, the country will pay for the wheelchair ramp so that he can live at home.
    The last time this ceiling was lifted was in 1992. There isn't even a fiscal reason for being against this bill, as the total cost of this bill, according to CBO estimates, would be a “whopping” $20 million. That's about a quarter (25 cents) per family of four.
    H.R. 1803 - Veterans Business Center Act – This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. It would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country.
    H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act – This bill essentially combines a number of other bills that Republicans had blocked in the Senate previously, and adds a few elements. The bill would again establish a Veterans Business Center Program; .... it would establish a Military Entrepreneurs Program; ...
    These Are All Bill's Blocked By Republican's Since President Obama Took Office.
    Republicans Vote Against Increased VA Funding
    Two billion to rescue our ailing VA system as new vets flood the system? Not necessary. apparently.
    From the Washington Post:
    "Republicans beat back a Democratic attempt to provide almost $2 billion in additional health care funding for veterans. rejecting claims that Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are in crisis."

    May 22, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  11. willhaas

    The President could have actually done what he said he was going to do when he was campaigning for office. This President is in the habit of saying things that sound good at the time but that in reality has little or no meaning. His past and current comments regarding the VA have no real meaning. What he really wants is time to sweep this whole thing under the rug If he really cared about our military he would have taken the action that he promised long ago.

    May 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • joemama

      For starters he should of moved the 3000 Federal cops under an agency in DC that work at the VA. There is a conflict of interest since the FED Cops at the VA get their budgets from the corrupt directors.Then they would be free to investigate complaints of fraud ,waste and abuse and charge those deemed breaking the law with crimes.

      May 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      Seems like we give better care to uninsured illegal aliens in this country than we give to our own veterans.

      Our veterans need to have access to private hospitals, whenever they need need it because the VA hospitals are normally backed up, full of red tape and the quality of the care usually does not compare to the private facilities.

      We should be taking care of our American veterans before we worry about doing anything for the illegal aliens who should not even be in our country in the first place.

      Hey – And how about hiring some of our unemployed veterans as additional border patrol officers, ICE and INS agents? Cause Lord knows, we need to do a better job of protecting our southern border and getting control of our illegal alien problem.

      May 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  12. Richard Right

    The President could be a full-time President, using a yellow pad of paper or a laptop computer to track all the things he should be doing. But that's not what he wants to do. Today he is at Cooperstown, NY talking about baseball tourism and later he'll be at fundraisers. Strangely those should be assignments for the VP, who really has little else to do. I'm not a Biden supporter but maybe the two of them should switch titles so we'll at least get a President who is not offended by the word 'Work' .

    May 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Reply

    After 6+ year of Obama knowing about it how about just STOP the insanity to start

    May 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  14. I AM

    What was the House VA Oversight Committee doing in the meantime. Were they monitoring the VA system like they should have been doing. We need to investigate the committee also.

    May 22, 2014 at 10:07 am | Reply
  15. Hector Slagg

    The Boy Scouts have a Motto. BE PREPARED. Obama never heard of the boy Scouts. Obama ran around like a chicken withe it's head cut off, yelling The Sky is Falling, The Sky is falling, and putting out fires that were never lit. The Negatives are piling up, Obama Care, the IRS scandal, now the Veterans scandal not to mention The Solar Panel fiasco and other screw ups. He sold you a bill of goods, and you bought it. Sorry but those are the facts.

    May 22, 2014 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • You're poor

      You're poor. Are you PREPARED for the GOP to cut your SS and Medicare?

      May 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • Why Do You Hate Poor People

        "In a new Cato study, "Still a Better Deal: Private Investment vs. Social Security," Cato Senior Fellow Michael Tanner demonstrates that actual investment returns over the past 40 years show that a system of private investment will, in fact, provide ({[significantly)}] higher rates of return than the current Social Security system."

        So, anyone who has worked for forty years would have more income from their investment of the same money paid into the social security system. Those who can invest separately do well. the poor people that you hate, don't have that option and are forced to rely solely on the social security system. The problem is government steals from these programs to fund social agendas but when jobs are vacant less money is coming in and SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, social security and medicare is in trouble. Our belief is that the generation just now entering the work force should be given the option ss or private investment. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! Jobs give people independence, a sense of worth, responsibly for their own life.

        May 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
  16. Ddtgwt

    Obama says the same thing every time one of these issues come up, he's mad, going to investigate found out reading the newspaper, in a couple of months it will be, " nothing to see here, move along. Instead of playing Hale to the Chief let's play Heard it thru the Grapevine.

    May 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  17. uncdig

    maybe blame bush some more? Maybe let Carney do some more lying, opps as carney says – misspoke"for him? Maybe acted like a leader and made sure HIS employees and appointees did what they should have instead of politicing. The list could go on and on

    May 21, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  18. Jennifer Kubis

    A Wounded Warrior
    By Jennifer Kubis
    A boy looking to travel the world
    Not knowing it meant giving up his soul.
    Sent into an area vastly unrecognized by him
    Fighting for freedom for those unknown.
    The war rages on all around
    The missiles fly above in darkly lit skies
    Their fiery explosions desecrating the ground
    Where many soldiers stood once before.
    He knows not the faces of the lives he saves
    As those die around him
    Are placed in unmarked shallow graves
    And why it couldn’t be fought like those long before.
    The weapons have changed
    There are no rules in which to abide
    A small child swiftly runs up to his side in which he takes pity
    Those around him scatter into the night
    He looks down and realizes why they all ran
    As he notices a grenade in his tiny little hand.
    Without thinking he reaches down
    He grabs the bomb to throw it as far as he could
    But he couldn’t get it far enough to do any good
    The bodies lay scattered along the desert road
    He looks around shocked and dismayed
    Then he noticed the pool of blood in which he laid
    He whimpers out a cry into the night
    Sadly he knows he lost this fight
    Surprised he wakes up in a hospital room
    The sounds in his head still going boom
    Tears he sees in his mother’s eyes
    As he looks down he soon realizes why
    Still air stands where his legs used to be.
    He lets out a scream into the dark
    He had known right away something wasn’t right
    He wondered how he would support a family
    When he couldn’t even get up
    His sergeant said he was a hero
    And saved several lives
    Was it all worth it he wondered
    As life passed him by
    The war soon ended
    The government forgot all about him
    As he sat by the side of the road
    Begging for pennies just to eat
    The president sent funds to build back the land
    But no one cared enough to give him a helping hand
    The worst troubles he had were all in his head
    Staring at life wishing he were dead
    A warrior’s battle is never really done
    For he will always be questioning who really won.

    May 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  19. Philip

    These people make it sound like the problems with the VA have been a recent problem that started with the Obama Administration and I know and have heard from others that are vets that this has been going on for years even going back to the 60s or 70s.

    So stop blaming one party over the other and just fix the damn problem already!

    May 21, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Ddtgwt

      Go back and read what Bush did while in office. When Walter Reed blew up, he personally went to the hospital with Gates, toured it and they fired the commander in charge, waiting time cut in half from Clinton, extended time to apply for benefits, set aside 1 billion for PTSD and traumatic head injuries. Obama campaigned on helping vets and then because he couldn't lead the way out of a paper bag and everything has a political spin he let all the aging go away. Kind of like his failure to get a status of forces agreement with Iraq all our blood,lives,limbs and money were for nothing as they descend into chaos and civil war.
      As far as not knowing about the problem and reading about it when we did..big lie but let's stop playing Hale to the Chief and use Heard it thru the Grapevine...far more appropriate.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Reply
      • BaselessObamaBashing

        He did not respond to it right away. W took his sweet time all the while cutting funding for protective gear for the troops not to mention W cut VA benefits I have several relatives that are veterans that seen cuts under Bush. The only thing Bush ever helped were his and Cheney's contractor friends that got rich off the wars. Maybe congress should quit witch hunting in Benghazi and wasting time and money on their political agenda and spend time helping the veterans. I find it funny that this VA scandal happened in a Conservative state so it looks like conservatives are to blame in Airheadzona

        May 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
    • Kyle Grimm

      The Parties are the Problem. They are exactly the same and Absolute Evil and all Corporate Media Lies for them Constantly. The Levels of Deception are Beyond your Comprehension. They will Never fix anything. Their Goal is to Destroy our Lives and have their Boot crushed against our Throats Forever. Wake up.

      May 22, 2014 at 12:49 am | Reply

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