Wednesday post and ramblings–VA Corruption

What to write about?  Well, there is politics, which never seems to go away. It would be easy to take a couple shots at the ACA / Obamacare drama but I think I’ll just let it unfold.  I wrote before we voted in and continue to vote in those that create these programs so I’m just choking down the bitter pill. 

No, today I want to note the continued spending spree of another government agency, the Veterans Administration. It’s been reported that an IG investigation turned up the VA spending over 6.1 million dollars on two conference events in Orlando.  The IG’s report states that over $762,000  in un-authorized and wasteful spending was found.  Once again we see big government, big unaccountable government spending like royalty.  They even made a movie parody of Patton.  Do they never learn? 

According to reports the VA spent somewhere between 20 million and 100 million in 2011 on conferences. 

In August, the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, and Ranking Member, Rep. Bob Filner, sent a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Eric. K. Shinseki. The letter requested that VA detail all conference expenditures by the department since 2009, including clarifying whether VA spends $20 million on conferences annually, or $100 million, differing numbers cited in Congressional testimony by VA officials.

Upper level civil servants seem completely out of touch.  They aren’t working for us and like the politicians in Washington they seem to think it’s their money.  It happens in all Government agencies.  It’s taught in house.  The proper way of spending the peoples money for “morale” events.

Fear not though, our good civil servants gave themselves $43,000 in bonuses for their great management.  Well with some of the perks a really huge bonus wasn’t needed.

How a deal is born

McConnell-Reid Deal Includes $3 Billion Earmark for Kentucky Project

A proposal to end the government shutdown and avoid default orchestrated by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid includes a nearly $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky project.


Same old Washington.  Doesn’t matter if they have an R or a D behind their names.  Actually I believe it’s worse than it’s ever been. 

update: What Mitch McConnell’s Dam Deal and Frank Lautenberg’s Death Benefit Tell Us About Govt Spending

Remember when

Some days the melancholy sets in. I don’t know what sets it off but today was like that. So, when you need to dive into a feeling what do you do? Well music of course. Now my little discussion the other day with 11th ACR got me thinking. Not of politics which we talked about and often disagree but of music. 11th is my cousin, an older cousin and we were brought up on different music. But there were a lot of crossover years. 11th had the coolest stereo I’d seen at that time. Back around 83-84 he had a nice Marantz system. At least part of it was Marantz. I remember he was the only one I knew who had a separate reverb and diamond tip record player, remember those. Many a day 11th and his brother and I would play some pool and listen to a pretty large collection of music. Everything from Elvis, the Beatles to I believe even a little country.

Now I really grew up with 11th’s younger brother Robert and since it’s October seems like a little story of one October not too many years before I left California for the Army. It was Halloween and Robert and I had bought some Halloween costumes. One was a skull and the other an ape. These were the kind you glued to your face and were pretty realistic for Halloween costumes. After messing around in our own neighborhood we headed out to 11th’s house. That was about a half hour drive away. What we forgot to think of was the time and the fact it was the middle of the week. I don’t recall the exact time but it was late and 11th and his wife were awoken by two idiots wearing masks rummaging through their house in the dark. How we didn’t get shot I don’t know.


They of course welcomed us, which they always did.

So back to music. Today I’ve loaded Pandora with some Jim Croce, Neil Young, Eagles, Coven ( remember Billy Jack’s “One Tin Soldier”) and many more.

That and some Crown Royal have set the tone for this Saturday evening. The Melancholy is lifting already just thinking of those days.

I think the last time I felt like this I wrote about pirates.  I was drinking Rum then..  

Shutdown Week Two

Was7967526Yes, I know posting is light. But hey it’s due to the partial Government shutdown. No, really. I’ve been too absorbed watching this fiasco that I really didn’t have anything to say. Plus, I’m actually in this mess as a military retiree and a contractor that is not working due to our contract having a stop work order at this time. So, I just watch like the rest of you.

It’s been an  interesting event with all the really important and money saving shutdowns, like the Washington open-air malls and memorials. I’m pretty sure it’s costing us all more to put up barricades and kick people out then to just leave it alone. Then the stopping of privately own businesses working on government lands, blocking highway turn outs so you can’t look at monuments. This is really surreal.

Of course the Obama administration may have gone too far with the military death benefits. To say they couldn’t re-direct or work a deal to fund that is straight up BS. That is something you don’t stop while a war is still going on. Not that the media is noticing.

Oh well, we’ve gotten what we’ve voted for.