Open Thread - Cleaning the Augean Stables
Sometimes when following the news, one gets the feeling that the task of keeping the facts straight will take someone like Hercules to come clean out the Augean Stables. (Thank you! Media Matters for doing such a yeoman job.) Yet although NPR has a large and talented staff, they can often be taken in by the same right wing excuses or talking points.
Last week, with the Walter Reed mess, it took several days for NPR to realize that they needed to separate the Walter Reed situation from the VA situation as they are very separate organizations and they face very different challenges.
This Monday Morning Edition reported on a story that blamed the faceless bureaucracy for the plight of the injured soldiers who couldn't get moved to a VA setting.
Army Sgt. Chase Gean spent months at a Boston Veterans Administration hospital after he was shot and paralyzed during fighting in Afghanistan. But he hasn't had a therapy session since Thanksgiving.
That's because Gean hasn't been officially discharged from the Army. The holdup is at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
But what the piece didn't say is that Jim Nicholson, Bush's head of Veteran Affairs, in 2005 put a stop to the program that would have fixed this very problem for a mere $1 Million. Nicholson decided that this program was not affordable. As I have found, the American Public is being sold a bill of goods about how bad Government bureaucracy is when the real problem is how bad the Bush administration is at governing.
IMO, Bush and his cronies would destroy a business selling lemonade on the sidewalk by two 10 year old girls by spending all their time scamming for the best way to shove the most dollars to a crony or into their own pockets. Another administration would not have let the situation at Walter Reed or for all the soldiers who are in limbo to fester in this way. This is the story Americans should be hearing.
Enough of my rant. It's your turn now.