Monday, July 10, 2006

Dereliction of Duty

Veterans Administration Secretary James Nicholson (R-Crony) visited my home state of Washington last week. Now a reasonable person like you might assume -- as I did -- that Nicholson, as long as he was in the neighborhood, would manage to find a little time to drop by the VA Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering in Seattle, a clinic that is in the forefront of treatment for amputations and such. But maybe not, since Nicholson's boss, Der Monkey Fuehrer, has proposed slashing the VA funding for prosthetic research by $13 billion.

Or that he would manage to sneak in a side trip to the Veterans Hospital at American Lake, south of Tacoma, which specializes in the treatment of PTSD suffered by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

But no. You would be wrong if you assumed that. Instead Nicholson was here primarily to campaign for a fellow Repugnican and congressional wannabe Doug Roulstone in Washington's 2nd Congressional District.

To be fair, Nicholson did manage to show up for a quick press conference in Walla Walla with Rep Cathy McMorris (R-Moron, up for re-election this year) where he tried to finesse the mostly hostile crowd of veterans concerned about the possible closure of a local VA hospital that serves some 69,000 veterans in Eastern Washington, NE Oregon and Idaho.

Walla Walla was on the chopping block a couple of years ago until Washington's Senator Patty Murray, a longtime friend to veterans, managed to keep it open.

Murray, by the way, was not invited to the press conference. Big surprise there.

Joel Connelly, a columnist for the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper, hit it on the head in his column: "Nicholson's primary constituent group ought to be young veterans undergoing treatment for loss of limbs -- not candidates for Congress," and Nicholson's politically-motivated visit to Washington State amounted to a "dereliction of duty".

Well put, Joel.


jae said...

It burns me to no end that Hallibacon gets billions in contracts and funding for Vets is cut.
I make a very small amount of money (about $18K per year) but send what I can to the Vet Associations....because this administration only sends people off to be blown to bits and not to look after them when they come back from their illegal war with missing limbs.
I linked to your blog, BTW.

EWA said...

McMorris Recognized for her Support of Veterans

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris has received a 100% rating from key veterans groups including the American Veterans and the Vietnam Veterans of America for her work and votes during the 109th Congress.

The Vietnam Veterans for America and the American Veterans gave a perfect score to McMorris for votes taken on legislation important to veterans including the Flag Protection Act, Veterans Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, Veterans Benefits Improvement Act, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visiting Center Act, Department of Veterans Affairs Information Technology Management Improvement Act, National Defense Authorization Appropriation bills, and Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriation bills.

The Veterans of Foreign War released a list of veteran’s accomplishments during the 109th Congress, all of which were supported by McMorris. The accomplishments include ensuring that sufficient funding is appropriated for the Veterans Health Care Administration, ensuring that the VA disability compensation program is preserved in its current form to protect the needs of current and future veterans, securing authority and full funding for the GI Bill for the 21st century, and passing and authorizing a program to allow all disabled military retirees to full military retirement pay and full disability compensation without offset.

Farnsworth68 said...

Thanks, EWA. Now how about some citations and references.
I can post a press release with the best of them, but it's no good without the sources.