MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Wednesday that the problems currently surrounding the country’s Veterans Affairs (VA) department predated both President Barack Obama and department Secretary Eric Shinseki’s administrations, and were fueled in part by Republican budget cuts and inaction.
“There is a modern American dysmorphia when it comes to veterans,” she said. “We see things that aren’t really there. We tell ourselves that we’re doing things that we’re not really doing. We have a poetry in this country about our love and respect for veterans that is not matched by the prose of how veterans are actually treated.”
Maddow noted that in March 2003 — the same month the U.S. began its second war against Iraq — the GOP-led House of Representatives approved a budget cutting $14 billion from the VA’s budget. Two years later, Anthony Principi, who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush, released a statement saying the department did not “require additional resources” despite the escalating cost of that conflict.
Lawmakers later had to approve an emergency $1.5 billion budget influx following reports that local VA facilities were instituting hiring freezes and lacking the ability to make necessary purchases.
Yet it’s Republicans who are now engaging in a coordinated effort, she said, to oust Shinseki amid an investigation into alleged record-keeping malfeasance in VA clinics in 26 cities.
“Not even the people who are clamoring for him to go — not even the people who are clamoring for the president to fire General Shinzeki — say they believe that that would solve the problem at the VA,” Maddow said. “I mean, whether or not you want Eric Shinzeki to keep his job, what would it take to fix the problem?”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Wednesday, below.
Maryland man paralyzed from the waist down after traffic stop ends with him being slammed to the ground
A Prince George's County man is now paralyzed from the waist down after an altercation with police, Fox5DC reported this weekend.
According to the police, when they pulled over 24-year-old Demonte Ward-Blake for an "expired tag" Ward-Blake was argumentative and police said they smelled marijuana in the car. Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland and possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized in Maryland in 2014. Ward-Blake was found to have 3 grams of pot on him. Police still use the "smell of marijuana" as a justification for an illegal search, despite 33 states legalizing pot in some way in the U.S., and it's become known as "sniff and search."
Ex-GOP rep. says Republican buddies will flip on Trump: ‘They do believe he’s a moron’
Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh predicted this week that lawmakers from his own party will eventually support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
"I think he knows it’s coming," Walsh told CNN's Brianna Keilar following the president's remarks to reporters. "He sounded like a frightened baby right there."
According to Walsh, "even Republicans" are embarrassed by Trump's failed effort to hold the G7 summit at his Miami Doral resort.
"It’s really important to note, I need to say this, Republicans don’t like him," Walsh explained. "Republicans in Congress. They don’t like him, they don’t fear him, they don’t respect him. They do believe he’s incompetent, they do believe he’s a moron."
CNBC reporter laments ‘very sad’ decline of Trump: ‘We just heard 20 minutes of nonsense’
CNBC's John Harwood reacted to President Donald Trump's appearance before the press corps on Monday by calling it "20 minutes of nonsense."