So it turns out that President Obama—that whip-smart guy who is so super-curious about everything (unlike that quitter-snowbilly former Gov. Sarah Palin amirite?)—apparently had no idea that his administration was letting veterans croak while on waiting lists for care at Veterans Affairs (V.A.) facilities. At the very least, his people knew about the waiting-list problems, including inaccurate reporting on treatment times, back in 2008.
You remember the Fast and Furious gun-walking snafu? He read about that in the papers. Same thing with NSA surveillance. And it took him a few days to realize that the Obamacare website was tripping balls but he finally started to get news reports about it after a few days. And needless to say, he didn't have any idea that the IRS—his IRS—was targeting Tea Party groups until he read about in the papers.
I'm guessing that he still doesn't really know that his Justice Department keeps deporting immigrants and raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in California either. At record rates. Because, you know, he said he wasn't going to pull that shit. Can somebody slip him a newspaper story about those things so he can finally get cracking?
If Barack Obama wants to play Chauncey Gardiner and basically act as if he has no frickin' idea of what's going around in his White House, that's fine by me.
But will his erstwhile defenders at least admit that either he is a know-it-all who is full of B.S. when he pleads ignorance or that he just has no clue about what's taking place in this City on a Hill already? It's not flattering to him whichever way you want to go. But at least it'll be consistent.
Last fall, Reason TV's Amanda Winkler looked at how the V.A. took care of soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq. In a word: shamefully. "Right now," said former V.A. program analyst Paul Sullivan, "it takes V.A. about a year to process a new claim. That is simply no way to treat a wounded soldier coming back from a war."
The root cause, according to Sullivan? The V.A. has received over 800,000 claims from Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Congress and V.A. planned for "zero." Zero. So if there's one thing the government stinks at more than actually planning and winning wars, it's taking care of the people it sends to fight them.