Tag Archives: racket

Stop the Destruction of Our VA Medical System – Please Sign/Share

— > Sign On to Stop the Assault on Veterans Healthcare

As of 2022…

  1. Over one-third of all veterans’ medical visits have already been sent outside of the VA system
  2. And more than 25% of VA healthcare dollars have already been diverted to the private, for-profit sector as a result of the VA MISSION Act.
  3. One-third of the union jobs at the VA that the AIR commission would destroy are held by veterans themselves.

This fiasco must be stopped.

Petition to #SaveMyVA from AIR Commission Closures – Action Network

Thank you very much for reading these articles, signing the petition and sharing this information to your veteran and non-veterans friends and asking them to help you by signing on.

Peace

Buzz Davis, Vets for Peace in Tucson

 

 

More information:

Veterans for Peace – Save Our VA Campaign


These 17 Medical Centers Would Close and More Than 30 Built or Replaced Under VA Plan | Military.com

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has unveiled a plan that calls for closing 17 aging or underused medical centers, while shifting services to more than 30 new or rebuilt hospitals. In some cases, it would rely on private care.

Under the nearly $2 trillion proposal released Monday, the department would lose a net of three medical centers and 174 outpatient health clinics but would gain 255 health care facilities, including new clinics, stand-alone rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

Medical centers in areas with diminishing veteran populations are among those slated to close, while others would be built in growing urban centers, the West and the South — areas where veteran populations are growing…”


Blog | VHPI (veteranspolicy.org)

“The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that studies the provision of healthcare and other services to the those who served in the US military as well as their families and communities.”


The VA Needs More Funding, Not More Privatization (jacobinmag.com)

Joe Biden touted himself as friend of veterans while on the campaign trail. But now he’s overseeing the continued privatization of the VA and backing nominees that brag about being venture capitalists.” 


Biden’s VA Secretary Proposes Shutting Down Dozens of Facilities

It’s both bad politics and bad policy.

BY SUZANNE GORDON MARCH 21, 2022. Prospect

 

“On March 14th, the Department of Veterans Affairs VA) released some deeply flawed proposals for reorganizing the nation’s largest and only publicly funded, fully integrated health care system.

Rather than building back better at the VA-run Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Secretary Denis McDonough’s blueprint embraces, rather than rejects, further outsourcing of care for more than nine million veterans, and proposes VHA downsizing that will dramatically accelerate that trend.

It’s not often that national unions representing around 250,000 VHA workers and right-wing Republicans like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis issue simultaneous denunciations of privatization. But that’s what happened in the wake of McDonough’s facility-closing recommendations to the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission, a panel just nominated by President Biden.

Adding to the political confusion was the outraged response of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who co-sponsored the VA MISSION Act of 2018, which created the AIR Commission. During Joe Biden’s first year in office, the MISSION Act also helped divert $18 billion from the VHA’s direct-care budget to the private health care industry, whose providers now consume 20 percent of the VHA’s budget..”

Stop Using China as an Excuse – CNN’s Fareed Zackaria

It’s not often we can look to corporate mainstream media for facts on Foreign Policy.  This one must have slipped through the CIA filter.

 

Washington Post Opinion : Opinion: The Pentagon is using China as an excuse for huge new budgets

March 18, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. CDT

“On the eve of his visit this week to Asia, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin outlined his key concern. “China is our pacing threat,” he said. He explained that for the past 20 years, the United States had been focused on the Middle East while China had been modernizing its military. “We still maintain the edge,” he noted, “and we’re going to increase the edge going forward.” Welcome to the new age of bloated Pentagon budgets, all to be justified by the great Chinese threat.

What Austin calls America’s “edge” over China is more like a chasm. The United States has about 20 times the number of nuclear warheads as China. It has twice the tonnage of warships at sea, including 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers compared with China’s two carriers (which are much less advanced). Washington has more than 2,000 modern fighter jets compared with Beijing’s roughly 600, according to national security analyst Sebastien Roblin. And the United States deploys this power using a vast network of some 800 overseas bases. China has three. China spends around $250 billion on its military, a third as much as the United States. Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution notes that, “if China were in NATO, we would berate it for inadequate burden-sharing, since its military outlays fall well below NATO’s 2 percent minimum.”

At the height of its imperial might in the late 19th century, when it ruled a quarter of the world’s population, Britain adopted a “two-power standard” — its navy had to be larger than the next two put together. U.S. military spending remains larger than the defense budgets of the next 10 countries put together, most of which are Washington’s close allies. The United States’ intelligence budget alone — around $85 billion — is larger than Russia’s total defense spending.

Cap Times: F-35 Project is the Military-industrial Complex at its Worst

John Nichols  |  September 17, 2019

Original Editorial

 

“Let’s review some headlines from the past several years regarding Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, shall we?

From Fortune magazine: “Pentagon Report: The F-35 Is Still a Mess.”

From Scientific American: “What Went Wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter? The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired but has turned out to be one of the greatest boondoggles in recent military purchasing history.”

From Popular Mechanics: “WTF-35: How the Joint Strike Fighter Got to Be Such a Mess: The story of the F-35, and what went wrong to put the Joint Strike Fighter so far over budget and behind schedule.”

From National Interest: “The F-35 Is a $1.4 Trillion Dollar National Disaster.”

From Defense News: “The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems.”

From Americans for Tax Reform: “The F-35 is a ‘big government’ disaster in its worst form.”

From the Foundation for Economic Education: “The F-35 Project Has Been a Disastrous Waste of Money: A cherished Pentagon boondoggle, the F-35 program is the most expensive weapons system in history.”

The list goes on. And on. And on. The F-35 project, which a New York Times report recently referred to as “arguably the most notorious weapon ever produced,” is such a fiasco that former acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan reportedly referred to the Lockheed Martin program that developed it as “f—ed up.” That got Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, in hot water, so the Pentagon’s inspector general stepped in to examine whether the acting secretary was unfairly biased against a project developed by a competing cog in the military-industrial complex.

No, the inspector general determined, Shanahan did not display undo bias when he referred to the F-35 program as “f—ed up,” and complained about how frequently the planes were grounded. He was just repeating the common thinking at the Department of Defense. According to www.military.com, “that sentiment appears to be widespread among Pentagon leaders. Witnesses said his comments about the F-35 program are consistent with those made by other defense leaders, the report states.”

Michael Gilmore, the director of operational testing and evaluation for the Pentagon, was particularly blunt. “The F-35,” he said, “is an extreme example of optimistic, if not ridiculous, assumptions about how a program would play out.”

So where might this turkey land? At Madison’s Truax Field. The prospect has stirred significant opposition locally, especially since a draft environmental impact statement released by the Air Force determined that bringing the National Guard’s F-35 Fighter Squadron to town would subject almost 2,800 people to substantially increased noise levels — with an average sound level of 65 decibels or more. Some areas near the airport would become “incompatible for residential use,” according to the report. With substantial spending to mitigate against the increased noise, homes in and around those areas might be made livable. But the questions of how decisions regarding mitigation will be made and what guarantees will be given Madisonians remain unresolved.

Proponents of the F-35 project remain enthusiastic about it, suggesting it could produce as many as 65 new jobs — and, potentially, secure the future of the Truax facility. But state Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said, “I just really question (whether 64 or 65 jobs are) really worth it to displace people. Is it really worth it to disrupt the quality of life for these people?”

Thousands of Madisonians are answering “no” because of concerns about the potential displacement and disruption that the military admits could be associated with the plan to base F-35s in the city. But even if the planes were silent, there’s a strong case to be made against linking Madison’s future with this F-35 fiasco.

Just last week, Defense News reported that the F-35 program — as well as the F-22 — “will not meet an 80 percent mission-capable rate requirement set by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.” Proponents of the F-35 project keep claiming things are getting better, arguing that Lockheed Martin is finally getting its act together. But, by too many measures, it remains the mess that the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was talking about during one of the last hearings he chaired while serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The F-35 program’s record of performance has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule and performance,” said McCain. “It’s a textbook example of why this committee has placed such a high priority on reforming the broken defense acquisition system.”

Wisconsin has a rich tradition of objecting to the absurd excesses of the military-industrial complex. It goes back a century to when former Sen. Robert M. La Follette warned his constituents to be wary of “gentlemen interested in war as a business.” Former Sen. William Proxmire became famous for identifying excessive and irresponsible Pentagon spending with his Golden Fleece awards. Former Sen. Gaylord Nelson led Senate battles against unnecessary weapons systems. And former Sen. Russ Feingold worked with McCain to identify and address abuses by military contractors — including, notably, Lockheed Martin.

Objecting to the waste, fraud and abuse that is perpetuated by the military-industrial complex that former President Dwight Eisenhower identified is a Wisconsin tradition. La Follette laid the marker down long ago, declaring that we should always guard against “the tide of sentiment that, under the guise of patriotism, is actually based on commercial greed.”

The F-35 project is an example of commercial greed at its most indefensible. It has no place in Madison or anywhere else in Wisconsin.”