Problems Persist with V.A. as Nominee Faces Senate Hearing

The department asked 440,410 vets for the wrong information. Now their health care claims might be purged from the system.


JeffOnWire / Flickr

If Dr. David J. Shulkin is confirmed as the new Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) then he will have his work cut out for him. First on his to-do list should probably be the national Health Eligibility Center (HEC), which is in the midst of what has been described as a "records management nightmare."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been tracking ongoing systemic problems at the national HEC located in Atlanta, Georgia, after a whistle-blower—communications official Scott Davis—alerted the paper to them back in 2014. These issues include a backlog of 889,000 veterans' health care applications and system errors in the enrollment process. They were never resolved.

In August 2015, then–Under Secretary Shulkin, who was overseeing the Veterans Health Administration, visited the Atlanta office and made promises to address the problem, but Davis reports that he never returned. Then Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson became the senior V.A. executive charged with finding solutions to the systemic problems, but Davis says efforts to resolve the backlog fell apart after a flawed mail campaign that started in March 2016.

In an email obtained by the AJC, Matthew Eitutis, the acting director for V.A. member services overseeing the HEC, explains that 365 Day Equitable Relief letters were mailed to 545,000 veterans requesting the opposite category of information actually necessary to complete their applications. Of the 545,000 veteran applications, 440,410 instructed the recipient that the V.A. either needed means testing information when it really needed military information, or vice versa. If veterans respond incorrectly to the flawed information request then their applications stand to be purged within a year beginning this March. Veterans will not be able to get their health care costs reimbursed if their applications are purged, even if it's by error.

Davis argues that the new V.A. secretary has the ability to prevent this from happening. "All he has to do is stop the process and create a legitimate awareness campaign to inform veterans how to get their applications out of the pending backlog," the whistleblower informed the AJC.

Shulkin testified before the Senate's Committee on Veterans Affairs today and faced questions about the federal hiring freeze, the V.A. Choice Program, and privatization.

"There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness, and expanded care options, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch," he said at the hearing. "If confirmed, I intend to build a system that puts veterans first and allows them to get the best possible health care and services, wherever it may be—in V.A. or community care."

Shulkin is expected to be confirmed without any delays.

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    1. Jess Herbst, who became mayor of New Hope…

      Is not some form of “New Hope” part of the reasoning for individuals to “transgender”?

      I placed transgender in quotation marks because I am not sure that the word may be used as anything other than a noun.

      1. And destroying the Death Star.

        1. If that’s not a euphemism for reassignment surgery, I don’t know what is.

    2. OK, and?


    3. So he’s transitioning to mayor after being elected?..

  1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been tracking ongoing systemic problems at the national HEC located in Atlanta, Georgia, after a whistle-blower?communications official Scott Davis?alerted the paper to them back in 2014.

    And then the Obama administration traded Davis to the Taliban in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl.

    1. I thought it was Bergdahl and a conditional second-round pick. Did the Taliban not make the playoffs again?

      1. No, they were crushed by *The* Islamic State in the regular season.

        1. Only because The Islamic State took credit for other teams’ wins and everyone believed them.

          1. All I know is that they both swept the Browns this year.

  2. I can’t believe anyone would want to be in charge of that particular clusterfuck.

    No, even greediest, vainest, most idiotic cretin available should still be fishing for another sinecure.

    1. Well, if the CFIB could make inroads in slowly helping CRA modernize, anything is possible. But I reckon reforming and revamping such institutions where entrenched bureaucratic interests run so deep is one helluva task. I wonder if it’s just better to have the charter school equivalent.

      1. That is a charter option for VA patients; if it makes sense at all.

        1. I thought your meaning was quite clear, Rufus.

          1. Viable?

            1. One can hope that there are and will be more individuals who want to improve the agencies you mentioned. I think that there are and have been many individuals in various governmental agencies throughout history who wanted to not only see improvements, yet also be a part of the improvements.

              This is merely my opinion, of course.

    2. Why didn’t Obama fix the VA the same way he fixed the rest of healthcare?

      1. He fixed the rest of healthcare to be more like the VA

  3. file under: me today, you tomorrow

    DNC boots candidate from chairmanship race for criticizing Islamic law’s discrimination against gays

    Tolliver said of Ellison: “His being a Muslim is precisely why DNC voters should not vote for him. Muslims discriminate against gays. Islamic law is clear on the subject, and being gay is a direct violation of it. In some Muslim countries, being gay is a crime punishable by death.”

    That is quite correct. But in response, instead of challenging Tolliver on the facts, which they couldn’t do in any case, the Democrats rallied around Ellison. Said interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile: “The Democratic Party welcomes all Americans from all backgrounds. What we do not welcome is people discriminating against others based on who they are or how they worship.”

    So noting correctly that Islam discriminates against and persecutes gays is now “discriminating against others based on who they are or how they worship,” at least according to Donna Brazile (and, no doubt, many other enlightened Leftists). And Ellison’s spokesman, Brett Morrow, declared that it was “disappointing that a fellow DNC candidate would fan the flames of intolerance.” He didn’t say anything about Sharia states fanning the flames of intolerance against gays.

    1. The implication is that Ellison would persecute gays because Ellison is Muslim.

      There needs to be a link between Ellison and the anti-gay stuff.

      Joe Biden is Catholic, for example, but that fact in itself doesn’t make him prolife.

      1. No, but he goes to a church that doesn’t endorse gay marriage so the twitterverse shit it’s pants just like it did for Chip and Joanna.

        1. Oh wait, that never happened.

        2. The twitterverse shit it is pants?

          1. Yup. To make a long story short, BuzzFeed posted an article accusing Chip and Joanna Gaines of being homophobic because the church they attend isn’t particularly accommodating to LGBT#$(UASDF$#(HVA lifestyles. Given that HGTV and their sister stations (Food Network and others, I believe) promote LGBTASD(F)AVASKJI# folks on their shows fairly regularly, and have come down hard on their employees that have expressed “unsavory” views in the past, the twitter goons tried to get the Gaines’ show canned.

      2. Anyway, seeing the various ways people interpret their religious traditions, I’d like to say what Ellison specifically has done or said, or who he specifically has associated with.

        1. Apparently the Nation of Islam in the past. That certainly doesn’t speak well of his judgement or sanity.

          1. OK, so that gets a bit more specific, since (unlike some religious groups I could mention) the NOI actually has a habit of disciplining its wayward members. So if Ellison kept his membership it was by staying in line with their doctrines.

            But if he’s no longer a member, maybe it could be set down to youthful experimentation.

            1. Youthful experimentation maybe, but my personal take on anyone who participated in that cult is that they have deep seated issues.

              1. …or wanted to establish their woke credentials with black voters…

        2. Reverend Wright?

    2. I fully endorse the Democrat reaction and please, please, bring more!

      How about more of this too.

      1. Never happen. First, if the Dems lose Cali’s 55 electoral votes, they’ll never get a presidential candidate elected again. They also lose two senators and 53 reps in the House.
        The Dems are the ones who will stop it, the rest of us would help the seccesonists pack.

        1. Hey tard, Californians know better than all of us combined, so stop pissing on their high maaaan. Now follow along.

          First, the Democrats have a lock on 55 electoral votes and they can print more, just like the treasury, at their whim if they secede. They can have a leader for life, like FDR, or Fidel.

          They can move the capitol of their People’s Republic to San Francisco and crown Pelosi presidentress for life if they feel like it.

          They can ban GMOs, GLUTEN, gasoline, coal, and everything else that they hate.


          Now, get with the program and encourage them to hurry their asses up. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

          1. You called me “tard”.
            *Sadly wanders off to drown his sorrows

            1. I agree with your general thrust that Cali leaving will make it much harder for a Dem to win the presidency but I think the overall impact will be more along the order of 35ish electoral votes instead of 55.

              The two senate votes are gone which will lower the winning total from 271 to 269. The remaining 435 votes for the house will probably be re-allocated among the 49 remaining states since I don’t see any state wanting to give up the chance to increase their influence. With current population patterns most of the seats will go to southern and western states, once the baseline date for the new population totals is agreed to which will be a fight in itself. It is inevitable that some blue states will pick up a vote or two as well as a few purple states. But the Dems will be hurt without a doubt.

              1. Naw, it doesn’t work that way. A state’s EC votes are directly related to congressional representation.

                1. Correct. It is law and not Article 1 that sets the House at 435. That is why we don’t add additional members every decade and shuffle the same 435 around. Unless the legislation that lets Cali go reduces the House then it remains at 435. Those representatives will get reshuffled by population to the remaining 49 states. If you think a state will give up a chance to gain reps and electoral votes from that treasure pot I believe you are mistaken.

                  The two senators will be gone.

    3. Exactly, which is why blaming DeVos for coming from a family that is anti-gay is entirely… oh, wait, carry on.

  4. Canada goes full Orwell

    Montreal police charge Kirkland man accused of online hate speech targeting Muslims
    Provincial police came across remarks while monitoring social media sites, then notified Montreal force

    Montreal police have arrested a man accused of making hateful social media comments targeting Muslims and charged him with promoting hatred and uttering threats online.

    The charges carry a maximum sentence of two years and five years respectively.

    Antonio Padula, 45, was arrested around 2 a.m. Wednesday at a home on de Shediac Street, near de Berne Street in Kirkland.

    He will be back in court tomorrow for a bail hearing. The Crown opposes granting him bail.

    “I cannot handle another night in here,” Padula told the judge.

    Montreal police spokesman Const. Raphael Bergeron said members of the S?ret? du Qu?bec came across Padula’s alleged remarks targeting Muslims while monitoring various social media sites. They transmitted the information to Montreal police.

    Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet said Tuesday that since Sunday night’s attack at a Quebec City mosque, there has been a spike in reports of hate-related comments.

    The force is hiring 55 people whose jobs will include monitoring social media sites for hate speech.

    1. You neglected to include your usual link/reference.

        1. Thank you.

        1. Thank you. Of the many commentators on H&R you are among those who most frequently post links supporting your quotes and/or claims. Regardless of our many disagreements, Derpetologist, this is a trait that I respect.

          I read both of the articles for which Rufus and you provided links.

          I have a question for the two of you (of course other individuals may opine at will as this is the internet):

          “Hate Speech” has been a governmental and socially* accepted idea for many years. Do you think that other forms of expression might be similarly disapproved and punished?

          *”and socially accepted” – Here I did not mean to imply that all individuals accept this idea.

          1. That has to be the most obscure euphemism yet.

          2. When I read Charles Easterly’s posts, I read it in the voice of Stephen Fry portraying Jeeves.

            1. You shall no doubt be better directly, cr.

    2. From my link:

      “In a democratic society, freedom of speech is but one part of the equation; the other part which no one seems to mention is called accountability.

      Yes, you have the right to say whatever you want, but renember that you will be held accountable in either the court of public opinion, or in extreme cases, the court of law.

      You cannot defamate, harass, insult or threaten a person or group without consequences. Your “free speech” does not supercede another person’s dignity and well-being. If you believe otherwise then you live in the wrong country.”

      Ah yes. The I believe in free speech but blah blah bull shit.

      How utterly depressing and points to how shallow Canadians are where free speech is concerned.

      A disturbing story indeed.

      1. Fuck the small dicked police of Quebec. I haven’t heard that the entire lot isn’t fucking goats all day every day.

      2. I think accountability in the courts completely negates freedom of speech

      3. Your “free speech” does not supercede another person’s dignity and well-being.

        Wow. Love the scare quotes. I hate seeing a good country swirl down the drain. But at least it gives us a preview of what’s coming in the USA.

      4. Shorter version: You have freedom of speech, but don’t forget that you don’t.

      5. Perhaps, Rufus, the line you should pay the most attention to is “If you believe otherwise then you live in the wrong country.”
        Down here, Trump is MAGAing like crazy.

        1. All he libertarian moments are forming an epoch.

      6. I’d like to add Montreal police are pretty damn racist. So let’s have them investigate people for hate speech.

        And cunts like the idiot I singled out eat that shit up.

        Fucken idiots.

    3. What exactly did he say that was so threatening? (don’t want to give them a click)

    4. [quote]The Crown opposes granting him bail.[/quote]

      (can’t be bothered to look up tags right now….)

      Either way. WTF.

    5. I see the word ‘threat’ in there yet no mention of what constitutes a threat.

    6. and charged him with promoting hatred and uttering threats online.

      is ‘uttering’ really used in Canadian law?

  5. Side note on the current ban: 5 of the 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia) are in the midst of civil war involving terrorist groups hostile to the US. Iran is a sworn enemy of the US and Sudan’s current president is wanted for genocide and other war crimes.

    For some reason, these facts are seldom noted in the news.

    1. Also, none of that is true for Cuba, yet Obama banned refugees from there weeks ago.

      1. Obama banned refugees from there weeks ago

        no, he ended a specific policy which treated cubans differently than other immigrants/asylum seekers/refugees (*which are all different things)

        I don’t know if Cuba even qualifies for the latter 2 anymore, unless people can prove they’re being politically persecuted. i presume when we normalized relations with them that one of the conditions is we stop treating them as a pariah state

    2. Iran is a sworn enemy of the US

      For the last eight years that could only be stated as being Irans stance on the relationship. The dude who sent Iran plane loads of cash went on permanent vacation a few weeks ago. What the fuck does he care. He has golfing to do and ghost writers to line up to write his books so he can make a few more millions. No matter to him if he enabled a hostile state. He can get people to write ten books about how it wouldn’t have happened if he was emperor.

    3. 5 of the 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia) are in the midst of civil war involving terrorist groups hostile to the US.

      Which is why they qualify for refugee-status in the first place, and places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan do not.

      the US’s refugee program isn’t some open-ended “take all comers” thing. You have to be someone with specific grievances/threats living in one of a short list of “fucked up places” that qualify.

      While people like Suderman have made assertions like “Trump only wants to take in Christians because he’s [racist, wants to change(?) the demographic makeup of the country, etc]”… the reality is that Christians in the middle east often qualify as an “oppressed religion” and therefore more-easily qualify for refugee status

  6. There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness, and expanded care options, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch

    Oxymorons for 300, Alex.

    1. Emphasis on the oxy.

  7. Leftists have a far grander vision bordering on utopianism on what can happen when government is endowed with enough power. They put all their chips on the bet that humanity will awaken to their ideals and hand over its proprietorship to the State, while they judiciously manage the rest of society by their elite knowledge of policy. Again we have to invoke Aesop: Leftists believe a snake (history and humanity) will eventually behave according to their vision. It doesn’t, and now they’ve been bitten?again.

    “One could cynically conclude leftists are just about power and large government, else they’d do some reflection on how large government fails leftist goals time and time again. A charitable conclusion is they simply lack the maturity of imagination to fathom non-governmental solutions to problems, like someone whose mind hasn’t graduated that second-grade thinking which goes, “I want to be king so I can make a law that everyone has to be nice to one another!””

    1. I prefer Evan Sayet’s Grand Unified Theory of Liberalism.

      Basically, they believe that the attempt to be right is the source of all that is wrong in the world. Because if no one thought they were right, no one would argue or fight and we’d live happily ever after in the kindergarten of Eden.

      And all we have to do to get there is regurgitate the apple of knowledge.

      1. I hadn’t seen that. It’s a good lens through which to view the progressive phenomenon.

        I could do without the moralizing, but the broader point is valid.

        The one thing I think it misses slightly is that indiscriminate behavior should *occasionally* lead to positive outcomes and his argument is that it never does. So, it’s a good hypothesis, but needs some refinement.

    2. I firmly believe that leftists simply insist on living in a utopian society. They then craft legislation that could only possibly work in a utopian society, assuming that everyone will follow these new rules which will then create their utopian society. Somewhat circular logic, and really going about things backwards, but maybe they’ve just read to many self help books that focus on daily positive affirmations as the key to happiness.

  8. file under: shocked. shocked I tell you

    Ocean’s 8, an all-female version of Ocean’s 11 to be in theaters next year

    The first pictures of the female-driven remake called Ocean’s Eight have just been released.

    Having railed for years about sexism, you might think progressive film-buffs are looking forward to the movie which stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling and Anne Hathaway and is due in theatres June 2018.

    Not so. People are getting increasingly annoyed at the fact there are eight women criminals as opposed to the eleven men in the George Clooney franchise. The Oceans Eight/Oceans Eleven discrepancy is even being linked to the gender pay gap.

    1. I don’t get it…if there are fewer criminals, there’s more for each of them when the loot gets divided up.

      1. Bumpkis in ticket sales divided by 8 is still bumpkis

        1. But what if they dupe a bunch of investors into buying shares in the film, then when it bombs claim they lost all the money…

          The only thing which could go wrong is if it becomes a cult classic for being so bad…

      2. The Octomom is in this, I hope

    2. Why don’t they try remaking Ishtar as a female buddy movie?

      1. How about Lurleen of Arabia?

    3. I was going to make a joke that “eight is less than eleven” but as usual you can’t parody anything anymore.

      *head desk*

    4. I guess Milo is getting banned from Twitter again.

    5. It’s all in the symbolism: 11 is two phallic sysmbols, and 8 is two holes.

    6. It’s all in the symbolism: 11 is two phallic sysmbols, and 8 is two holes.

      1. Huh, guess the squirrels thought it was worth repeating.

    7. I get a kick out of people thinking that “a Remake of a film that has already had like 3 sequels/reboots” is somehow supposed to represent something “Feminist” and empowering.

      Because who would want to waste a GOOD, original script on a chick-flick? No, throw them the things that real producers are too ashamed to admit they have in their drawer – the “remake of a film that has already had 4 or so spin-offs or reboots”.

    1. And pupils at their school reportedly had a running joke of “Who is Ms Altice sleeping with now?”

      She was caught after one of the boys described tattoos on her body.

      The 16-year-old also gave cops an accurate layout of the house where he said they had intercourse at least five times.

      Altice was arrested after he tipped off cops in 2013 ? and two 17-year-old students then came forward saying she had also been having sex with them.

      She was fired shortly afterwards as an English teacher at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah, and her husband filed for divorce and custody of their children.

      1. 30 Years for Teacher Who Slept With 17 Year Old Students,

        Maybe this was linked earlier, but that is a harsh sentence.

        Does anyone have the time to determine if Utah ? 76-5-401. 2 applies to straffinrun’s impressions?

        1. You know how a dog cocks its head to the side when it’s confused? Sometimes I do that while reading your posts.

          1. Effective 5/10/2016

            76-5-401. Unlawful sexual activity with a minor — Elements — Penalties — Evidence of age raised by defendant.
            (1) For purposes of this section “minor” is a person who is 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the sexual activity described in this section occurred.
            (2) A person commits unlawful sexual activity with a minor if, under circumstances not amounting to rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402, object rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402.2, forcible sodomy, in violation of Section 76-5-403, or aggravated sexual assault, in violation of Section 76-5-405, the actor:
            (a) has sexual intercourse with the minor;
            (b) engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant; or
            (c) causes the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of the minor by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, including a part of the human body, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, regardless of the sex of any participant.

            (I used bold type for emphasis. )

            1. Continued:
              (a) Except under Subsection (3)(b), a violation of Subsection (2) is a third degree felony.
              (b) If the defendant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence the mitigating factor that the defendant is less than four years older than the minor at the time the sexual activity occurred, the offense is a class B misdemeanor. An offense under this Subsection (3)(b) is not subject to registration under Subsection 77-41-102(17)(a)(iii).

              straffinrun: You know how a dog cocks its head to the side when it’s confused? Sometimes I do that while reading your posts.

              I have been told that I respond well to criticism of many types. How, in your opinion or the opinion of individuals reading our discussion, might I improve my posts for clarity (or cogency, or brevity, et cetera)?

              1. It wasn’t meant to be a criticism. You just have an unusual way of writing.

      2. She was fired shortly afterwards as an English teacher at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah,

        She should have claimed she was a fundamentalist Mormon and was just sleeping with her multiple husbands.

        1. That’s just courting the death penalty.

        2. She clearly has not seen Shawshank Redemption. That is not how you convince a parole board, sonny.

        1. I’m too old for her.

    2. “She has also been ordered to,,,pay ?600 towards counselling for her victims….

      “…English teacher at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah…”

      Wait, a court in Utah ordered someone to pay a penalty in pounds? Sadistic!

      1. Seriously, why do we have to go to UK papers for these U.S. stories?

        OK, it’s the Sun, they’d go halfway around the world for a sex-scandal story.

        1. Reminds me of this. There’s a reference to The Sun at the end.

          1. Of all the British television I’ve watched, and I do watch a lot of it, this and the follow-on are easily the best.

            1. For some reason I’ve never seen that show, despite watching a lot of PBS growing up. Maybe they didn’t show it in my area…? I saw all the other Brit-coms of that era.

              1. It is, imo, decidedly conservative for PBS. The writers didn’t see it that way and in fact went to great lengths to keep it nonpartisan, although it was a favorite of Thatcher’s (to such an extent that she asked them to write her in to an impromptu exchange to be performed at some function). But it’s a terrific, maybe incomparable look at politics and bureaucracy. The impression it leaves of the civil service is instantly translatable to America’s. Also, it’s greatly entertaining and superlatively written. I am inspired to such linguistic paroxysms by the programme as if I were myself a product of Oxford, when in fact I’m some yokel from the southwest. But still, it’s well worth tracking down online.

                1. Yeah, been meaning to see what all the hub-bub is about.

                  1. Do it! Best TV show ever, with ugly actors and no tits (not judging, just showing how well it was made).

                    1. Well, Hacker’s kind of a tit 😉

                    2. “The best non-tit-related TV programme we have ever seen. In fact, the *only* non-tit-related TV programme we have ever seen.”

                      /review, The Sun

                    3. ugly actors and no tits

                      It’s early 80s Britain: I know what I’m walking into.

                    4. Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey does have certain handsomeness, to be sure…

      2. Tell me this is fake. I just got up and am a wittle sweepy.

        1. I presume the reporter translated the fine into UK currency for UK readers.

      3. It has dropped a bit since Brexit so not that sadistic.

      4. Hahaha that was my high school. Though she didn’t teach when I went there

        1. I am sorry for your loss.

    3. Well there’s 17 victims and each a year old, so sounds rather light.

      1. That’s what a bunch of seventeen year-olds said too.

        1. But there I go again, blaming the victim.

          1. The 14 year old-bangs-teacher stories? Yeah maybe the kid is way too young and it’s screwy.

            But these kids are 17. I simply don’t get a male 17 year old banging a smoking hot teacher and thinking he’s a victim.

            That’s not to say the teacher isn’t deranged. She very likely is. So what? Still not a victim.

            1. Oh I was trying to be clever. Like I said earlier, I find this funny because that’s my high school, though I was Closer to being a fellow student of hers.

              1. I re-read my comment and see how it could’ve been taken as argumentative.

                I got your meaning and was actually just piling on with you.

                1. Oh I see. I just how my comment could be taken as serious.

            2. Those poor children – scarred for life…

      2. In a second. Literally, at that age.

    4. Look, banging teenagers is one thing, but babies? And 17 of them? Put the psycho away for life.

        1. But ant1sthenes didn’t! I made the same joke an hour and a half ago.

  9. Where would you stash 30 pounds of cocaine on an airplane?

    An American Airlines maintenance worker in Tulsa, Oklahoma stumbled upon something unexpected?and alarming?during a routine maintenance check of one of the airline’s Boeing 757s on Sunday night. Hidden behind some suspiciously new insulation in the airplane’s nose cone were seven bricks of cocaine, weighing in at 30 pounds with a total street value of at least $200,000, according to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO)

    1. That’s a whole lot less disgusting than I thought.

      1. I was thinking something like Drawing of the Three, which would be awesome.

  10. I’m not generally a TV guy, but tonight?

    Caps v. Bruins + Vikings + The Expanse

    It’s not tits and pizza, but that’s a pretty good line up.

    1. I’ve got English Premiere League + Magicians + The Expanse. Plus taping a couple cooking shows. Busy night.

      1. I thought Magicians was kinda fun, but they jumped the shark with the last couple of episodes last season.

        Why’d it all have to be about Narnia?

        Vikings over Magicians, hands down.

        1. But it’s like a sexy Narnia with heavy drinking and drugs. Besides, I’ve never seen Vikings.

          1. Start with the first season.

            Top 3 shows of the last ten years–easily.

        2. Unless they know something I don’t, the show was tantamount to slander. Then again, Lewis belonged to a demographic that’s okay to hate (or, you know, genocide). Maybe the intent was just subverting tropes and expectations or whatever, but once I started to perceive it in that light, the entire show started smelling like a prog hatefest. It made the last episode of the season enjoyable, at least.

    2. My dad was never big on TV, but since last year he’s gone buck wild on GoT and tonight he’s breathless about Young Pope.

      1. What’s not to like about GoT?

        Tyrion: “If Stannis breaches the gates, the game is over.”

        Varys: “They say he burns his enemies alive to honor the Lord of Light.”

        Tyrion: “The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where is the god of tits and wine?”

        Varys: “In the Summer Isles, they worship the fertility goddess with sixteen teats.”

        Tyrion: “We should sail there immediately.”

        1. I should maybe catch up. It’s been a long time since I listened to the books, and much as I loved Roy Dotrice, I can’t remember half of what he read to me.

          1. You guys are not caught up?

            I can’t even.


              Which catches me up at least as far as the season before last, I gather.

    1. Nooooooooo!

    1. Don’t they know that’s racist against immigrants Bumfuck, Egypt?

      1. Probably will allow them to have more immigrants from the rest of the world instead the EU actually. One of the arguments made was that they could go back to a Commonwealth priority immigration policy.

    2. Wow. No petulant crowds of protesters stamping their feet in outrage? She’s got it easy.

      1. They closed their eyes and thought of Brexit.

        1. There’s no place like home the warming arms of Europe.

    1. Dearborn, eh. Color me surprised.

    2. What happened to Fisher? He used to be/is good on a lot of stuff, but lately he’s had a few just atrocious posts.

      I see he’s updated that post, but this probably falls into retraction territory, frankly.

      1. Let’s not forget this is a blog, not the magazine. We demand daily content, they provide it. And we all enjoyed that article quite a bit.

        1. I take that into account.

          But jumping on an over-emotional story just for the sake of wielding emotion to get across a point that belongs in the realm of rationalism isn’t an excuse.

          I think the majority of the H&R audience would appreciate better content somewhat less often. Not just nonsensical and probably wrong “fake newz” hot takes.

          1. Also, better spaced content. What’s so awesome about 9 AM Eastern anyway?

          2. Fair enough. It’s just: we’re judging this guy for honest mistakes. How far removed are we from them? I figured dude had his mother die before the flight, too. And now I’m assuming based on other accounts that she died almost a week earlier. The authors here are held to a higher account, yes, but not quite so high that we can’t forgive poor judgment. It happens.

  11. Single payer advocates are either imbeciles or evil. Likely both.

    1. Reposting Derpetologist’s link from above

      A theory of liberalism. Skip to ~11 minutes.

      It’s always hard for me to reconcile the liberals that I know, who are neither stupid nor evil, with the policies they want enforced. This guy’s “indiscriminate thinking” theory is an interesting way to view it.

      1. Having been a prog, I thought it was all about being For the Poor, Against Racism, and For Civil Liberties (non-economic liberties, that is).

        Also believing that anticommunism was a cover for persecuting dissenters (even though communism itself was wrong).

        And that democratic socialism was *totally different* from Leninist communism.

        1. Did you watch the video at the link? Does it mesh with your experience? My perception may be very different from that of someone who has been “on the inside.”

          1. I’ll continue watching, but first I have to say: this look is a quarter century our of fashion.

            1. And the video is remarkably low-quality for that era, as well. Can I get a little 16:9, pls? And maybe something that doesn’t look like it was copied over from betamax.

              FFS, HD was a thing in ’07.

              1. I’ve watched my share of Mises U videos, and at the very least this guy is photogenic next to the bulk of Mises scholars.

          2. It seems a tad harsh – from the people I hung out with, it was about being For the Poor, For Peace and Justice, against the sort of people who were against such things (Republicans, for example), and so forth.

            From time to time I encountered people who were actually into some kind of communism, which bothered me because that sort of stuff was quite separate from being For Peace, Justice, and the Poor. I thought that working too closely with actual commies was not consistent with being For Peace, etc. But I also wouldn’t just take some right-wing hater’s word that someone was a commie, they’d have to tell me themselves, otherwise it was red-baiting.

            1. Then I went into a phase of, I guess the closest term would be left-libertarianism, where as a matter of fact I admired this cool, youthful governor named William Weld. Ewww…

              1. So…thanks for dragging up those memories…

                1. thanks for dragging up those memories

                  Ha. Sorry for that. The “indiscriminate thinking” notion jibed with my experiences, having never been further left than left-libertarian.

          3. Wait, is this guy channeling Paul Harvey?

            1. Hush and let the,man speak. Take notes, if you have a pen and pencil. Eddie’s been into the communion wine again, and is baring his soul. Should be interesting and enlightening.

              1. I’m just trying to figure out what a left-libertarian is. Someone who is ok with stealing from someone else if it is for the right feel good reasons?

                1. You can, e.g. come at abortion from both directions and have a legitimate libertarian viewpoint, if the argument comes from the right place.

                  1. Ya, I can see both sides of that issue as far as a libertarian standpoint . Not so much on other issues that involve taking ones property to give to another.

        2. For the Poor

          Even the Poor themselves are strong opposed to being Poor.

          Only leftists celebrate the quality of “being poor” as though its a moral accomplishment.

    1. Johnny Hitler, the new kid? He’s so cool!

  12. “There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness, and expanded care options, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch,” he said at the hearing. “If confirmed, I intend to build a system that puts veterans first and allows them to get the best possible health care and services, wherever it may be?in V.A. or community care.”

    The first part are impossible goals in that bureaucracy. The bonus system has proven to be a scam for for VA employees. I hold a probably not popular view on the VA in the eyes of many. It needs to be phased out and killed as an agency. The best doctors for injured service members should remain under DOD because they are indeed the best in the world. As well as any mental health professionals due to a serious need there. Service members in need should get their care through them and be privatized when convenient especially as far as mental health goes. The VA covers too many people who do not “need” coverage. Serving in the armed forces during war time should not be ensure health care for life. I say this as a VA recipient. I am enrolled in the VA due to Obamacare penistax, which I refuse to pay because it is fucking stupid and unconstitutional, so I go take my annual physical and get the annual speech on how I need to not drink so much. All my other health care I pay out of pocket, and when I come down with the terminal whatever, well, I plan on dying.

    1. You need to stop drinking so much
      *Throws back slug of whiskey

      1. Ya, I read my post and noticed my unnecessary words and verbiage, and I must concur. You must be a doctor.
        *sips bourbon*

        1. I’ma change my handle to Dr DenverJ

    2. The DoD has been really downsizing its medical facilities over the past several decades. Most base medical facilities aren’t much more than glorified clinics. Military doctors have to moonlight at civilian hospitals to maintain their skills, particularly since they are expected to go from seeing patients who aren’t sick to combat zones where they’ll see not just trauma cases but also some very sick medical patients.

      I would love to see the VA eliminated as I think it’s a relic of a bygone era that’s being kept alive by historical inertia. There’s no way if we had no VA and a group of vets came along who needed care we’d create this sort of inefficient monster to do it. I hope the VA can be phased out and its functions moved to private institutions on a voucher system.

      1. it’s a relic of a bygone era that’s being kept alive by historical inertia.

        Well said.

  13. So apparently students in Berkeley are outright rioting because Milo is speaking tonight. Obvious, shameful homophobia on the part of these students.

    1. I hate everyone in the comments to that Twitter post.

      1. I dunno,

        Alex ?@RuhFiOh 14m14 minutes ago
        @KhanCzerntrahl lol sure buddy

        is pretty spot-on.

      2. Never read the comments. But yes, me too.

        Horseshoe Theory may not be a real thing, but on Twitter it is.

        1. For want of a nail the horseshoe was lost, etc?

          1. Alt-right and Looney left could mingle at the comicon and not know they were “enemies”.

          2. No Eddie. Horseshoe theory States that the extreme right and the extreme left are closer to each other than they are to the middle.

              1. I know you were making a joke. It was a bar joke, like one I would make. I answered for any civilians who might wander in.

    2. A few hours ago:

      “They (campus police) are being provided with the resources they need to ensure the safety and security of those who will attend, as well as those who will choose to lawfully protest the event.”

    3. They’re rioting because they are retarded

  14. UC Police, Berkeley

    .@UCBerkeley Milo event cancelled. Shelter in place if on campus. All campus buildings on lockdown. #miloatcal

    1. Beat me to it, but you missed the part where we have now developed a truly unlimited source of energy: Mario Savio is spinning at read-line in his grave and all we need to do is hook some wires to the casket.

    2. “They told me fascism had come to America, and they were right!”

      1. And if Trump wins, there will be move violence!
        Proggies were right.

        1. Berserkeley, a compound or a town? The world may never know.

  15. It’s just a “major protest”, but shelter in place!

    Everyone near Bancroft and Telegraph should stay away as there is a major protest activity taking place.

    UCPD is alerting residents and pedestrians about a dangerous situation taking place now in the area of Bancroft Way and Telegraph. A SHELTER IN PLACE order has been issued for that area until the situation is brought under control.

  16. Fox 10 Phoenix has a live stream of Berkeley on YouTube

    1. Wife is watching; she’s saying getting Milo canceled was so simple, the rioters are now rioting against Trump, since Trump, Milo, something, dead grandma, something (no free tuition).

      1. The best thing about Milo is how the Left constantly proves him right

    2. “the problem with both sides”

    3. “Berkeley junior Fatima Ibrahim, 20, who clutched a “resist fear” sign with a red fist, said she’d talked to the Berkeley College Republicans, the organization that brought Yiannopoulos to campus, Tuesday. She asked them a simple question: “Why?”
      Some of them, her classmates, are “level-headed,” people, she said, and she wanted to understand why they’d invite someone whose views so many found so abhorrent.
      She didn’t get clear enough answers ? she said the group conceded it didn’t agree with all of Yiannopoulos’ viewpoints ? and she decided she’d have to protest along with those who felt the same way.
      The timing, especially, so fresh into Trump’s early days in office, especially stung, she said. ”…..901829.php

      Since she didn’t like the message, free speech is out the window. Fatima is an ignorant twit, isn’t she?

      1. resist fear.
        red fist poster.

        When does one realize that one is the oppressor?

        1. “When does one realize that one is the oppressor?”

          Ever see commie-kid admit his fave political system resulted in millions of more deaths than any other cause, natural or man-made, in history?
          Nope. He’s ‘Working for the good of mankind!’. Willful ignorance runs deep on the left.

      2. Live coverage – the College Republicans are wondering where their $7,000 security deposit went?

        1. And while they were discussing how provocative Milo was, we saw live rioting.

          1. Did the College Republican guy “express any regret” for inviting Milo?


            1. That’s a nice-looking fire they have going on…

      3. Fatima has a pretty good gig going.

        Last November, the MSA at the University of California, Berkeley, hosted an event called “Is the Ummah Racist?” (Is the global Muslim community racist?) The heavily-attended conversation was moderated by three Black Muslim students.

        Fatima Ibrahim, a rising junior at Berkeley whose family is from Cameroon, was in attendance. She said several students in the crowd of mostly Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims grew defensive as the panelists discussed the ways Black Muslims are ignored.

        Ibrahim said she heard them say, “Well I’m not racist but my parents are,” “Don’t attack my character, don’t attack me,” or “That’s just the way I was brought up.”

        1. “…a rising junior…”
          First, I’m guessing that her major is not going to have anyone other than non-profit orgs lining up to recruit her; she’s “rising” since the brain-dead NPR writer agrees with her crap.
          But then, that book on “English” suggests she might simply not get it. If she came here and learned enough English to get grades in “Studies” classes, she might well be totally ignorant of what free speech means; the extent of culture-specific concepts is far greater than I’d known.
          It would be still be willful ignorance in that case, so she’s still due condemnation for commenting on that of which she is ignorant, but ignorance it might well be.

      4. she wanted to understand why they’d invite someone whose views so many found so abhorrent.

        uh, you just answered your own question, sugarplum.

    4. More:
      “I have been evacuated from the UC Berkeley campus after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building. My team and I are safe. But the event has been cancelled. I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”…..901916.php

      He may be a raging asshole, but he’d sure got the left pegged.

  17. The best commemoration of Black History Month ever?

    Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time, we’ll triple the number, or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right. At least 51.

    Well, this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. And just a few notes. During this month, we honor the tremendous history of the African-Americans throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right. And their story is one of unimaginable sacrifice, hard work and faith in America. I’ve gotten a real glimpse during the campaign; I’d go around with Ben to a lot of places that I wasn’t so familiar with. They’re incredible people. And I want to thank Ben Carson, who’s going to be heading up HUD, and it’s a big job, and it’s a job that’s not only housing, it’s mind and spirit, right? And you understand that. Nobody’s going to be better than Ben.

    1. Last month we celebrated the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. The statue is cherished. It’s one of the favorite things ? and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. And we have other. But they said the statue, the bust, of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. It’s very unfortunate.

      I am very proud now that we have a museum, National Mall, where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Doug ? Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and millions more black Americans who made Americans what it is today. Big impact. I’m proud to honor this heritage and will be honoring it more and more.

      1. Nice “subtweet” by Yale University Press:

        He’s being recognized more and more, so read up on #FrederickDouglass and the amazing job he’s done

        Always a good idea, btw.

    2. Folks at the table, in almost all cases, have been great friends and supporters. And Darrell, I met Darrel when he was defending me on television. And the people that were on the other side of the argument didn’t have a chance, right. And Paris has done an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community; he’s all by himself. Seven people and Paris. I’ll take Paris over the seven. But I don’t watch CNN, so I don’t get to see you as much. I don’t like watching fake news. But Fox has treated me very nice, wherever Fox is, thank you.

    3. Whatayamean “those people”?

      1. People like his Black Friend, Ben.

  18. 70 Protesters arrested at OSU…..niversity/

    1. OU, not OSU.

  19. Japan Making America Great Again.…..rom-trump/

  20. Worst news so far this year…..ces-surge/

    1. Well, at least the donut supply is safe, I hope?

      1. Hey, why not tell the Berkeley police that the rioting students are looting a donut shop?

        That should get them to bring out the riot squad.

    2. WTF farmers of America, first beef goes thru the stratosphere and now this?

      1. Beef now bacon. What I keep hearing is ‘its because the herd/supply is low. It’s totally not because of the 14,692 new regulations Obama’s EPA/FDA saddled the industry with.’.

        1. Yeah, if it was really a “supply problem” I’m sure farmers would just make with the supply already.

          1. Fuck that. Feed us first. MAGA.

          2. They’re not happy with our chicken feet? We give them, like, all our chicken feet!

          3. Fuckers are also driving up crawfish prices!

            1. “Fuckers are also driving up crawfish prices!”

              Damn chinks wanna eat mud-bugs? How dare they?

    3. I have a good pint of bacon grease in a mason jar in my fridge. How much are you savages wanting for it? Otherwise I’m making baconnaise with it.

      1. That may be the most obscene euphemism yet

    4. pork belly reserve, which is typically what bacon is derived from.

      Typically? I am thinking it is the only thing bacon is derived from unless you are a turkey bacon heretic.

      1. True story: until last year, I ate only turkey bacon because I couldn’t figure out how to cook real bacon properly. Now I can’t imagine WTF I was thinking.

        1. Okay, haven’t watched Yes, Minister, haven’t ever cooked bacon… these are the simpler things in life, Rhywun. What is yours like?

          1. Oh, I had cooked bacon before – it just always came out burned and setting off smoke alarms.

    5. Huh. Just loaded up the freezer with packs at $2/lb.

  21. Talk about taking over a web site.

    1. If you find yourself on the losing side of an argument with Ann Coulter….

      Yeah Reason, I am looking at you.

  22. I just accidentally landed on Samantha Bee and she’s plugging Planned Parenthood and Syrian refugee something something. Which is fine, I guess, unless you’re supposed to be doing comedy.

    1. Has she shed a tear for the dead gandma?

      1. It’s weird because I thought she had some talent back when the Daily Show was watchable but to see what she’s doing now, ugh. I only see the commercials and every single bit is some bitter rant. Poor thing.

        1. Yeah, I know: Let’s see your “Co-Exist bumper sticker!”.
          But I really do not watch TV outside of maybe 20-30 sporting events a year and now and then, that leggy blonde who flips houses in LA.
          Wife watches more, but not a lot, so references to the Daily Show are lost on me, as are Brady Bunch, Star Trek, various news readers, etc (but I get Mike Tirico, Warren, just turn the sound off!).

  23. 6 years later i am still waiting for the VA to actually read my TBI exam from TBI clinic in Camp Lejeune.

    Hired a lawyer and he says it’ll be at least 2 more years so it’ll be 8 years until my TBI is actually rated correctly just because the VA refuses to cite and read my medical record. It is in their notes that they never even read the exam from like 2010 or whatever.

    Correction 1 out of 3 attempts they did read it once only because………

    When i went to the CMP exam (?) I printed off the TBI exam to give to the guy and said here is my TBI exam since you guys never read it or cite it.

    He told me: I don’t want it.

    I insisted.

    He said i dont want it.

    I said take it.

    He said no.

    3 mins later constantly saying and shoving the paper in his face he finally took it.

    We went back and forth maybe 20 times? Take it…no take it no…..

    …they only read one sentence and ignored the objected data showing mild to moderate brain damage across the board……FUCKERS!

    Gave me facet level 1 instead of facet level 3 according to the VA rating code. You can see this in the VA back room notes.

    It should have been done 3 years ago but a lawyer and VA told me wrong and fucked up my first date causing me to loose 50-100K in back pay….hurrah! :/

    After this bullshit is finally over I’ll publish a whole timeline with all my medical records to show how fucking stupid and trollish they are because they have no reason to ever approve a rating.

    1. I am obviously waiting until i finally get the right rating before making a stink because i know they will permanently fuck me if i make a public stink now :/

      One lawer told me the BVA approves 90% of all appeals because the VA out right just denies most claims. There are 1-2 levels higher too that approve even more.

      Fuck :/

  24. I just accidentally landed on Samantha Bee and she’s plugging Planned Parenthood and Syrian refugee something something.pokemon go 1.25.0, iOS 10.2 jailbreak tweaks.

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