It’s a sad day for many in the Asian American community and specifically the Japanese American community as the POTUS accepted the resignation of the the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, even though according to the conservative news group the Washington Times admitted back in 2008, the debacle started in 2005.
Much to my shock, on my local Pacifica Network KPFK, the host broke in during her broadcast and said that Secretary of the Veteran Administration Eric Shinseki had resigned and President Obama accepted his resignation. According to Sonali Kolhatkar of Uprising Radio, Shinseki resigned because he did not want to cause more problems.
Yet apparently, when former Secretary Jim Nichols was head of the V.A., everything started to collapse. The illegal war Bush and Cheney started, helped create the logistical mess what the V.A. is today. Back in 2007 according to the Washington Post:
President Bush yesterday paid his first visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center since the uproar over shoddy conditions at the facility and emerged after a two-hour tour to publicly apologize for the physical and bureaucratic ordeals inflicted upon soldiers recovering from injuries on faraway battlefields…
“I was disturbed by their accounts of what went wrong,” he said in a speech to hospital staff members after the tour. “It is not right to have someone volunteer to wear our uniform and not get the best possible care. I apologize for what they went through, and we’re going to fix the problem.”
Yet not one Republican pressured Nichols to resign as he, according to the V.A.news, tendered his resignation to President George W. Bush and returned to the private sector, leaving a mess. Seven years later, the blame has been placed on Shinseki.
According to the Washington Times,
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, praised Mr. Shinseki, a Vietnam veteran, for a “lifetime of honorable service.” But he said the resignation was fitting because the problems at the VA are a “national disgrace.”
“This change of leadership is a meaningful initial step to meet our solemn obligations, but what’s still needed is an agreement by the president and his allies in Congress to join Republicans in legislation that would help to fix this system that has so failed our veterans,” Mr. McConnell said.
Yet 40 Republicans felt that Bernie Sanders’ bill to support vet was expensive so the following Senators —
— chose not to support the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 as demanded by the Heritage Foundation…and then the Senate Republicans colleagues in the House rejected the following H.R. for vets because Obama is in office:
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act became H. R. 2875.
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1172 — Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009
H.R. 1803 — Veterans Business Center Act
H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act
DETAILS OF BILLS REJECTED BY REPUBLICANS:
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’sanother 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.
By the way, 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. In other words, folks, 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;
Now Shinseki’s resignation gives the impression that he was responsible for the mess the Republicans created? Oh come on. When Nichols destroyed the V.A., there was no witch hunt, yet go after the black president and his Asian American Secretary, and the Republicans call this reform? Talk show host Thom Hartmann brings up the Two Santa Claus theory– I may have to disagree with him. Yes it is the Republican’s way of destroying the Democratic Party so that the Republicans can take over the House, Senate, White House and SCOTUS, but I don’t recall the Republicans doing the same thing to Vets when Clinton was in office.
As a matter of fact, I remember, even with a Republican majority, the Senate and House bent over backwards to fund the V.A. Yet elect a black man and that same black man appoints a Japanese American to the V.A., this is what happens. Soldiers are murdered in the U.S. and the Asian guy is to blame…forgetting the mess that Nichols created. So is this racism? You bet. Sadly, this is living proof that racism has not ended, as screamed by the right.