Back to my blog finally, hooray. Two weeks ago, I slipped getting out of this stupid “garden tub”. One step, replete with textured slip-resistant surface, but there I went. Of course, to be honest, in 20 years in this house, I’ve slipped on that step a few other times and landed flat on my behind, with nothing more than my pride injured. This time, I smacked my back ribs on the way down. It hurt a lot and it took me a few moments to catch my breath but I got dressed and went to work. Four days later, the injured rib hurt a lot more, so I went to the ER. After a rib series of X-rays, the verdict was it’s just bruised. Rested two days, then back to work. A week later, the pain got much worse and it hurt to breathe in. My doctor decided more X-rays were needed and here I am, drugged up on pain pills and muscle-relaxers, with a fractured 8th rib, but ready to blather on about politics, under the influence of pain-killer and muscle-relaxer……. to tamp down on my inhibitions, so here it goes.
First up the VA scandal. VA skeletons, dragging their chains of infamous bureaucratic snafus, callous disregard, gross negligence and deliberate (maybe even criminal) misconduct, like uniformed Jacob Marleys from the VA’s ignoble past, charged the Hill and launched air raids via the media. The Obama administration beat a hasty retreat and remains hunkered down, trying to formulate a battle plan. Of course, the GOP, anxious to use this for political advantage wants to cart as many of these skeletons before a microphone to bury the Obama administration and Dems in November. President Obama, always the portrait of inspired leadership, opined, that he just learned about the VA problems from the news, just like everyone else and never fear, he’s on it….
Long before this administration, I knew the VA only does one thing promptly and it’s not handling your claim. They promptly send out monthly reminders, to inform you they are working diligently to expedite your claim and your claim matters to them. The VA administration scandal provides a harbinger of what Obamacare has in store for the rest of us. The problem isn’t funding with the VA, it’s corruption. So, let’s go to a basic civics lesson, which apparently isn’t taught in our government-controlled public schools: government is a necessary evil – it’s not a cure-all for what ails us. President Obama did inherit a troubled VA administration, but rather than change the culture within that organization, his default action was to throw more money at the problem rather than do a thorough housecleaning first, air out the stench and begin with fresh paint (new rules and new leadership). Whether General Shinseki should stay or leaves matters less than coming up with a new strategy to fix what’s broken, discard what can’t be fixed and put in place new rules, with stringent oversight and reporting guidance. Same old theme here with the Obama administration – they put more money into the VA than Bush did…… yada, yada, yada and more colossal corruption and waste than Bush had too. President Obama is awaiting more reports in the VA situation, Congress wants to have more hearings and the VA skeletons trudge on, left, right,left…
On the foreign front(s), let’s see, Libya, the Obama war-light endeavor, alas, no stability in sight there and Obama can proudly tout that victory, oh yes, we left a volatile power vacuum that we can all be proud of……… well, probably not. Here’s a Nightwatch report from a few days ago with a good Libya update. Ukraine’s still a mess. #BringBackOurGirls really quelled Boko Haram, okay, not really. Boko Haram launched raids on several villages, killing suspected vigilantes who oppose their group. The UN imposed sanctions designating Boko Haram a terrorist organization and allowing for the freezing of its assets. Our UN ambassador, Samantha Power, heartily approved the sanctions, but of course there’s a catch as reported in this BBC piece;
“”Boko Haram commanders and their leaders do not travel with passports, they travel on the ground in hijacked vehicles; they don’t have any formal assets that anyone can point to – it is not a formal organisation,” Omoyele Sowore of Nigeria’s citizen journalism website Sahara Reporters told the BBC.”
Enough of the bad news, so I’ll end with a link to a powerful piece, “Good Vibrations”, by Keith Nightingale in the Small Wars Journal (h/t JK). It’s Memorial Day weekend and the perfect time to listen to these echoes from the past
“The Normandy invasion is usually depicted with great crashes, bangs and volcanic energy combined with broad scenes of masses of material and manpower. But we should remember and reflect that the invasion began with subtle sounds and vibrations and brought the message of liberation to Europe on cat’s paws growing to crescendo. We remember and depict the crescendos but forget the subtlety of sounds that brought it all together.”