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VA Officials Continue to Discuss Proposed Health-Care Changes Out of Public View

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USA Today

  • As Louis Celli, a top staffer for the American Legion, told the Associate Press, a merger would siphon off funds from VHA hospitals and clinics and eventually shift costs directly to veterans, through co-pay and other possible fee increases.
  • Related: Privatization is Killing Us: Dispatches from the Capitalist War on Society
  • Related: ‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project.

Suzanne GordonAmerican Prospect / Portside

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November 25, 2017 | In a now familiar pattern, leading veterans organizations are up in arms again over the latest revelations about White House plans for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)—plans that were concocted behind closed doors.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and other Trump officials have been quietly discussing ways to shift veterans, now eligible for VHA care, into Tricare, the private insurance program for active duty military personnel and their families. The administration’s Tricare discussions have been conducted without input from members of Congress or veterans groups.

For her coverage of VA Healthcare, Suzanne Gordon has received the Disabled American Vets (DAV's) 2017 Special Recognition Award. Suzanne is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the UCSF School of Nursing and an Affiliated scholar with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine's Wilson Centre.

Full story … 

Related:

Privatization is Killing Us: Dispatches from the Capitalist War on SocietyChris Wright, Counterpunch <>
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  • All that can be predicted with certainty is that unless the generations now living devote their very existence to the Resistance, humanity won’t have much of a future.
  • Related: VA Officials Continue to Discuss Proposed Health-Care Changes Out of Public View.



 

Related:

‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies 

VA project. Arthur Allen, Politicohttps://static.politico.com/dims4/default/6c3c84b/2147483647/resize/1160x/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.politico.com%2F5e%2Fdb%2F8794263945168425124513c9dc0f%2F180429ikeap-17037785788478.jpg

  • The intercession of a well-connected Florida doctor infuriated those overseeing the $16B contract.
  • Related: Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits.

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Whither the Anti-war Movement?

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Veterans For Peace rally in Washington, less than a month after 9/11. Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr   

  • Focusing on the money and influence that giant defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have on Capitol Hill—essentially making war a business—makes the anti-war point by raising the issue of crony capitalism
and the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, which increasingly leaves the American public out of the equation.
  • “Imagine there’s no heaven…and no religion too.” 
  • Related: Special Report | America’s Progressives Pay Lip Service to Imperialism, Anti-War Movement is Dead.  

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Daniel Martin, the American Conservative / Rise Up Times

December 15, 2017 | A more useful line when it comes to our current wars may be “Imagine there’s no duopoly.” It’s hard to fault John Lennon for his idealism, of course. In his day, many blamed religion on the wars of history. But a much bigger obstacle right now, at least in the U.S., is partisanship. The two major political parties, in power and out, have been so co-opted by the war machine that any modern anti-war movement has been completely subsumed and marginalized—even as American troops and killer drones continue to operate in or near combat zones all over the world.

Aside from the very early days of the Iraq war, the anti-war movement has been a small, ineffectual pinprick on the post-9/11 landscape. A less generous assessment is that it’s been a bust. After liberals helped elect the “anti-war” Barack Obama, the movement all but disappeared, even though the wars did not. By putting a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Democratic face on his inherited wars, Obama expanded into new conflicts (Libya, Syria, Yemen) with little resistance, ultimately bombing seven different countries during his tenure. By 2013, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin lamented, “We’ve been protesting Obama’s foreign policy for years now, but we can’t get the same numbers because the people who would’ve been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama.”

Full story … 

Related:

Special Report | America’s Progressives Pay Lip Service to Imperialism, Anti-War Movement is Dead, Global Research News

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The Anti-War Movement is Dead

 

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‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project

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  • The intercession of a well-connected Florida doctor infuriated those overseeing the $16B contract.
  • Related: Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits.

Arthur Allen, Politico

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04/30/2018 | A West Palm Beach doctor’s ties to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago social circle have enabled him to hold up the biggest health information technology project in history — the transformation of the VA’s digital records system.

Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internist and friend of Trump confidant Ike Perlmutter, who advises the president informally on vet issues, objected to the $16 billion Department of Veterans Affairs project because he doesn’t like the Cerner Corp. software he uses at two Florida hospitals, according to four former and current senior VA officials. Cerner technology is a cornerstone of the VA project.

Arthur Allen is the eHealth editor for Politico Pro.

Full story … 

Related:

Fired VA Secretary Shulkin Issues Dire Warning: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Fired VA Head David Shulkin Issues a Dire Warning on His Way Out the Door
  • The former Obama appointee fears privatization could harm veterans for years to come.
  • Part 2: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits
  • The Trump administration and Congress need to follow through on … reforms, give the VA the resources it needs, and hold the agency accountable.

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Fabricating a War on Iran

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Photo by futureatlas.com | CC BY 2.0

Once again, fear is being manufactured to justify war: 14 years after destroying Iraq, the US government has Iran in its sights.
Related: Selected Articles | How the US Engineers the "Truth", Week Ending April 28, 2018

Serge Halimi, Counterpunch

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January 10, 2018 | Secretary of State Colin Powell brandished a vial he claimed contained anthrax at the UN Security Council on 5 February 2003, and showed satellite photos of secret sites where chemical weapons were supposed to be manufactured. He later admitted the story was fabricated, but not before it had served as a PR launch pad for the Iraq war.

On 11 December 2017 the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, appeared with huge fragments of what she claimed was an Iranian missile that had missed its target. She maintained it had been fired from Yemen at a Saudi civil airport, ‘a G20 country’ and had ‘the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia … Just imagine if this missile had been launched at Dulles Airport or JFK. Or the airport in Paris, London or Berlin. ’Never mind it could not have travelled that far.

Serge Halimi is president of Le Monde diplomatique

Full story … 

Related:

Selected Articles | How the US Engineers the "Truth", Week Ending April 28, 2018, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/newsmedia-400x239.jpg“Lying” in mainstream journalism has become the “new normal”: mainstream journalists are pressured to comply. Some journalists refuse. Lies, distortions and omissions are part of a multibillion dollar propaganda operation which sustains the “war narrative”.bWhile “Truth” is a powerful instrument, “the Lie” is generously funded by the lobby groups and corporate charities.
  • When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is no turning backwards. 


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We're shining a light on those beholden to the gun lobby.

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  • After a mass shooting — like clockwork — our elected officials offer thoughts and prayers, but do little to nothing to enact common sense gun policies that protect us from gun violence. This needs to stop.
  • Related: Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund

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February 24, 2018 | It's time to follow the money. 

After a mass shooting — like clockwork — our elected officials offer thoughts and prayers, but do little to nothing to enact common sense gun policies that protect us from gun violence.

This needs to stop.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button_0.jpg We've had enough of these lawmakers who are beholden to the gun lobby. It's time to Throw. Them. Out. Follow the money, find out if your Member of Congress accepted money from the NRA, and then tell them you've had enough. 

It's been ten days since the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff members were shot and killed, and more than a dozen injured. Thoughts and prayers alone are not enough to honor the victims of mass shootings. We need lawmakers who will enact commonsense gun laws.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button_0.jpg So this election, we're going to throw out the politicians who are beholden to the gun lobby. Follow the NRA money, and see which of your elected officials is loyal to the gun lobby.

Thanks for standing with us in this fight.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund:  Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.

Full story … 

Related:

Exposing the Gun Industry Profiteers, Derek, LittleSis.org via ActionNetwork.org 

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is a big investor in the gun retailer Bass Pro.http://www.dailypublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/2018/Mar/blankfein-1.jpg?itok=NfGHD2MK

(Here's) a series that surveys the main gun profiteers, takes a closer look at gun retailer Bass Pro-Cabela’s and its backing from Goldman Sachs, and examines Wells Fargo’s major ties to the NRA and firearms industry.

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Special Project | Explained: The Way Forward on North Korea

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?
Part 2: A series of one-pagers that help explain what a strategy should look like
Related: A Murderous History of Korea

Center for American Progress

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Part 1: The North Korean Crisis: On the Brink of a Breakthrough or a Bust?

Monday, March 19, 2018 | The planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took the world by surprise. This diplomatic opening is a positive and necessary step forward toward addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, but the upcoming diplomatic process—and especially the summit meeting—are a minefield for the United States and its allies. What does it all mean, what should the United States do now, and what comes next? For analysis on recent developments on North Korea, please join the Center for American Progress for an event with former senior government officials and North Korea experts.

Full story … 

Part 2: North Korea poses a serious challenge to U.S. national security.

Monday, March 19, 2018The United States needs a proactive, comprehensive, and consistent strategy on North Korea—one that is led by diplomacy and bolstered by deterrence, pressure, and containment. While the United States has been dealing with this threat for decades, events often move quickly and unpredictably on the Korean Peninsula. With so much uncertainty over the future of U.S. policy on North Korea, the Center for American Progress has created a series of one-pagers that help cut through the noise and explain what a strategy should look like; outline specific recommendations for each component of the strategy—diplomacy, deterrence, and pressure; and sift through the myths surrounding the North Korea policy debate.

• The Way Forward on North Korea
• The Costs of Preventive War with North Korea
• The Case for Deterrence
• The Case for Diplomacy with North Korea
• Ramping Up Pressure to Contain North Korea
• Myths About North Korea

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

Full story …

Related:

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/koreawar_0.jpg?itok=-2jKP4c6A Murderous History of Korea, Bruce Cumings , London Review of Books

  • In the West, treatment of North Korea is one-sided and ahistorical. No one even gets the names straight. But if American commentators and politicians are ignorant of Korea’s history, they ought at least to be aware of their own.
  • Related: Battlefield Earth: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack
     

Full story ... 

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The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II ~ John Dower

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  • A timely, compact, and utterly compelling exposé of the myriad contradictions besetting U.S. national security policy. John Dower has written a powerful book. —Andrew J. Bacevich, author of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History
  • Related: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

Reviewed in TomDispatch

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http://www.tomdispatch.com/images/managed/violentcenturydower_118.jpgMay 16, 2017 | World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. 

The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. In contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating.

John Dower is the winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Full story …

Related:

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars,

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Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

  • If you’ve ever wondered how those inside the planet’s self-proclaimed mightiest military force assess their handiwork over these last 15 (or for that matter 50) years, it’s fortunately no longer necessary to guess. Thanks to TomDispatch’s Nick Turse, we now have a document from within that military which will answer your every question on war, American-style, even if those answers beg questions all their own.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!


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