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Quotational Therapy: Part 130 -- Claire McCaskill, On Funding For Veterans.

Senator *shudder* McCaskill Is A Filthy Liar-

Missourians, what on earth were you thinking last November? When it comes to the Senate race between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill (and the results in Virginia, and Minnesota, and Michigan...), I still feel like I am in some strange nightmarish dream world. I am still trying to comprehend how so many terrible, terrible candidates could have won. Socialists, anti-trade populists, absurd feminists, anti-war retreads-- just a slew of unremarkable, underwhelming individuals.

Seriously, this was the gist of McCaskill's campaign last year:


Big oil is evil. Elect me.

At any rate, returning from Africa last week, it was strange to see the mostly-partisan hubbub over the allegedly dilapidated Walter Reed, a place I visited early last summer. From my admittedly superficial and brief experience (relative to the full investigation that apparently just concluded), it was well-appointed, clean, quiet, and the only thing that seemed to bother the soldiers was the weekly anti-war protest outside the entrance.

So, to return to the United States and see all of these comparisons between Walter Reed and Hurricane Katrina in the media was another strange, dreamlike moment. Just how long had I been gone, anyway.

Enter Claire McCaskill, Senator *shudder* from Missouri. She recently made some comments on CBS' Face The Nation that just don't hold up to scrutiny (.pdf):

First, the slow lob from Bob Schieffer...

SCHIEFFER: Now, one of the things we've found out over the past couple of weeks, that these problems go beyond Walter Reed. They go to some of the other military hospitals, and they also extend into the Veterans Administration, where we've seen the secretary of the Veterans Administration in at least two television appearances that I--I have seen him where he seemed unfamiliar with the services that were being offered by his own agency. How serious is the problem there?

And the swing, from McCaskill:

Sen. McCASKILL: Well, the Walter Reed syndrome spreads to other military hospitals around our country and also into the VA. And frankly, the VA is really a problem. The president has cut the budget in Veterans Administration for the past five years. In the budget that he just submitted to Congress, he went in the veterans' pockets for another $5 billion for the health care they were promised for free. And with all due respect to the head of the Veterans Administration, this is a man that was chairman of the Republican National Committee. The appearance isn't right. You know, this--this--this looks like a brownie situation. Let's put somebody...

Okay, let's try to ignore the "brownie" absurdity and isolate the (not-so-) factual claim made by McCaskill, that Bush has cut the VA over the past five years. This claim was not challenged by Bob Schieffer.

It should have been, if he was a real journalist, with any integrity whatsoever.

The truth is that funding for the VA is up substantially over the past five years. A graphic, courtesy of the Senate Republican Conference:


Comparatively, under the eight years of the Clinton administration, VA funding went up a total of 31.7%.

Indeed, these numbers are published in numerous places. They aren't secret. They aren't distorted or twisted. This is just what it is. A big increase in VA funding.

Which is apparently the same as a cut, in the worldview of Claire McCaskill. While Walter Reed and other VA facilities may provide care that is "substandard," it's not for a sudden lack of funding under the Bush administration. Indeed, if anything, the "substandard" label only strengthens the case against government-run health care for the general public.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

British Kids Freaking Out About Global Warming.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 12 March 2007 05:17 PM


McCaskill also claimed that the oil companies were keeping the price down before the election in order to elect Bush ("Okay guys, let's all get together and secretly lose a half-billion a week so that we can have the satisfaction of having an Oil Guy see his party retain a majority." Wouldn't campaign contributions be cheaper?).

We should all chip in to buy her a T-shirt that says "I have no idea how an economy works," or "Supply and What?"

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 12, 2007 05:43 PM

It seems like we're creating veterans at a faster rate than we're increasing funding. And our veterans are in need of more care due to a combination of war injuries for new vets and aging for our oldest vets.

Posted by: Ed Kohler at March 13, 2007 12:09 AM

God bless our vets!

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 13, 2007 05:17 AM

I've seen a few political cartoons and comments that are 100% right on - that government controlled health care for our vets isn't up to snuff, yet Democrats want nationalized health care for all?

No thanks.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at March 13, 2007 08:57 AM

I guess I should point that Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri has had contractor run base operations for over twenty years. I wonder why the good senator is not complaining about that "evil" contractor.

Posted by: superdestroyer at March 13, 2007 10:09 AM

Look at the top of those heads!

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 13, 2007 05:33 PM