MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Political discussion here. Any reasonable opinion is welcome, but due to the sensitive nature of the topic area, please be nice and respectful to others. No flaming or trolling, please. And please keep political commentary out of the other board areas and confine it to this area. Thanks!
Post Reply
User avatar
Nodack
Posts: 2093
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:50 pm

MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Nodack » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:01 am

Just saw this story. Almost too wacky to believe. Apparently a few guys that belong to Trumps MAR-A-LAGO golf club are running the VA. They have never served in the Armed Forces and they haven’t been elected to anything and yet apparently Trump has them in charge. One is a lawyer, one owned Marvel, I forget the other guy.

I wonder how many other members at his golf courses are running the country.

I just watched a video of Trump sitting next to his Veterans Affairs guy and a bunch of other people at a boardroom table talking about the Veterans meeting at the WH South (MAR-A-LAGO) coming up. Trump asked the VA Director if he was coming and he said he was not.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/08 ... ing-the-va

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/arc ... eport-says

https://www.propublica.org/article/ike- ... -of-the-va

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/08/politics ... index.html

User avatar
Marty [Mori Chu]
Posts: 9226
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:05 am

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Marty [Mori Chu] » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:04 pm

I heard this story and wasn't sure how to react. Can somebody explain like I'm 5 ... what does the VA do exactly? What kinds of things would these three shadowy guys do to manipulate the VA, and what makes that good/bad? Thanks in advance.

User avatar
Nodack
Posts: 2093
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:50 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Nodack » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:30 am

The VA, through its Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), provides a variety of services for veterans including disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational, rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, health care, and burial benefits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is Robert Wilkie who was selected by President Donald Trump and sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on 30 July 2018.

Three guys, Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz, lawyer Marc Sherman are the three guys. They appear to be giving orders to Robert Wilkie who is the official boss. Yet from a thousand miles away, they have leaned on VA officials and steered policies affecting millions of Americans. They have remained hidden except to a few VA insiders, who have come to call them “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”

The Mar-a-Lago Crowd spoke with VA officials daily, the documents show, reviewing all manner of policy and personnel decisions. They prodded the VA to start new programs, and officials travelled to Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer expense to hear their views. “Everyone has to go down and kiss the ring,” a former administration official said.

User avatar
Indy
Posts: 7898
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:21 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Indy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:51 am

What do they have to gain? Are they getting paid as lobbyists of sorts by companies that benefit from their direction to the VA?

User avatar
Nodack
Posts: 2093
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:50 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Nodack » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:10 am

I have no idea. They aren’t getting paid a salary that I know of. For some reason Trump gave these guys control over the VA. It doesn’t make much sense. Then again half the stuff Trump does doesn’t make any sense. As far as I know they could have sat around in the lounge after a round of golf shooting the s*** and told Trump they could do a better job than those in charge now so Trump put them in charge.

User avatar
In2ition
Posts: 4754
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by In2ition » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:55 pm

The way things were going for the VA were a nightmare. Actually putting time and energy into working on their problems is already a plus, but results are what matters. I hate to say that it couldn't get worse from the reports on the level of care vets were receiving, as I know it can always get worse, but hopefully there is a big improvement.
"Our Suns are DEAD!!!"

User avatar
Nodack
Posts: 2093
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:50 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Nodack » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:26 pm

I think the VA gets a worse rap than it deserves.

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/q ... itals.html
Overall care quality in U.S. Veterans Health Administration facilities is similar to or better than care provided in other U.S. health systems, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.


https://health.usnews.com/health-care/a ... -us-report
"Consistent with previous studies, our analysis found that the VA health care system generally provides care that is higher in quality than what is offered elsewhere in communities across the nation," study lead author Rebecca Anhang Price said in a Rand news release.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes ... ystem/amp/
First, lost in the current rancor about the VA is the recognition that the VA healthcare system has consistently out-performed the non-VA/private sector in quality of care and patient safety. In response to criticism in the 1990s about its quality of care, the VA initiated a major reengineering effort, whose principal components included better use of information technology, measurement and reporting of performance, and integration of services. In this respect, the VA system was far ahead of a US healthcare system that was yet to embrace information technology and in the nascent stages of performance measurement. By 2000, patients in the VA system were more likely than those treated in the non-VA/private sector to receive better care for a wide range of indicators from cancer screening to diabetes treatment to inpatient care. And this trend has continued. And there is ample evidence that outcomes are at least comparable.

The VA healthcare system has been a model for accountability. The issue of wait times exists because the VA decided to measure it.
And for those decrying the wait times that are the result of the lack of doctor appointments, will more resources be available to the VA to make more appointments available? And would that even improve health? The VA is experiencing a huge influx in Veterans and only a modest increase in staff. David Brooks reported that over the last 3 years the primary care visits went up 50% while the number of primary care doctors increased 9%.
Last edited by Nodack on Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Nodack
Posts: 2093
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:50 pm

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Nodack » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:36 pm

The three guy might be geniuses. They are aren't on the payroll. Nobody except the top guys at the VA know who they are and those top guys take their orders from these three guys. They paid their membership fees to Trump and now run the VA. Cohen paid millions from people/corporations paying to gain access to Trump 1on1. Manafort got his bank loans by promising Trump administration jobs to the bankers. Trump meets Putin 1on1 and a week later some Russian company is declared exempt from Trumps tariffs.

Maybe none of that is illegal. It sure seems like it should be.

User avatar
Marty [Mori Chu]
Posts: 9226
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:05 am

Re: MAR-A-LAGO Shadow Rulers?

Post by Marty [Mori Chu] » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:14 am

In2ition wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:55 pm
The way things were going for the VA were a nightmare. Actually putting time and energy into working on their problems is already a plus, but results are what matters. I hate to say that it couldn't get worse from the reports on the level of care vets were receiving, as I know it can always get worse, but hopefully there is a big improvement.
I don't want non-elected people secretly running my government from the President's hotel, even if they were talented. These people should have to be nominated and appointed and vetted and all that stuff.

Post Reply