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Reporter explains ‘complete dysfunctionality’ of Veterans Affairs disability backlog

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During an appearance on MSNBC, Aaron Glantz of the Center for Investigative Reporting explained why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was failing to process so many disability benefits claims.

“The central problem facing the VA is that they’re not able to deal with this flood of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming home at the same time that a lot of Vietnam veterans are finally being allowed to claim illnesses caused by Agent Orange,” he said. “This is a paperwork problem. You know, they have so much paperwork that they just simply can’t put it through.”

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Glantz reported earlier this month that the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits increased more than 2,000 percent from 2009 to 2012. There are currently about 900,000 veterans waiting to receive their benefits.

“The documents that we obtained showed that even though they had spent half a billion dollars trying to computerizes this thing over the last four years, 97 percent of these claims are still on paper,” he added. “There’s a complete dysfunctionality, there’s bad management at most of their regional offices and at the end of the day what this means is if you come home from Iraq or Afghanistan and file your first claim in New York City, you’re going to be waiting an average of 642 days for your benefits.”

Kayla Williams, a former intelligence specialist, noted 37 percent of people in the backlog were Vietnam veterans. The VA began accepting claims for disabilities related to Agent Orange exposure in 2009, a decision she described as “morally right.”

The department plans to have all disability claims processed within 125 days with 98 percent accuracy by 2015. Glantz said the VA had successfully modernized its medical records system, but simply “dropped the ball” when it came to disability claims.

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‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.

"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."

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‘The wheels are coming off’: MSNBC panel says Trump told his chief of staff to ‘walk the plank’

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Two MSNBC anchors discussed Thursday's whirlwind day of breaking news in scandals involving President Donald Trump.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" joined Brian Williams on "The 11th Hour" to discuss Trump holding the G7 Summit at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course and the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, confessing that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine -- before attempting to walk back his confession.

"Did things change today, do you think?" Williams asked.

"I do feel like the wheels are coming off," Maddow said.

"For the Energy Secretary [Rick Perry] to resign, you've had two cabinet secretaries resign during the impeachment proceedings already, one of whom, the current one resigning tonight, the Energy Secretary, does appear to be involved in the scheme, at least on a couple of different levels. We have got the White House Chief of Staff who was sent out today, not only to make the, 'Yes, it was quid pro quo. Yes, we did it. What are you going to make of it?' article -- which was bracing, but then to take it back, simultaneously announcing this self-dealing, which is something more blatant than we’ve ever seen from any president in U.S. history," she explained.

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Rick Wilson rips Trump for holding G7 meeting at his ‘South Florida House of Bed Bugs Hotel’

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Republican strategist Rick Willson blasted President Donald Trump after the administration announced that the G7 meeting of world leaders would be held at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course.

Chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the severely under-performing resort would receive the lucrative contract during a contentious White House briefing.

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