She has an incoherent rant about how Democrats are responsible for the horrific care at Walter Reed.
Noticeably, the problems at Walter Reed are not with the doctors or medical care. The problems are with basic maintenance at the facility.
It seems Ann has missed the point, imagine that.
It was never about mice and mold. It was, and still is, about soldiers and Veterans who served proudly, having to fight a bureaucracy at every turn, with no help in sight. The mold and mice simply helped break the story.
She says that, because Democrats staunchly defend the rights of workers, that the Generals in charge could not fire workers who were, well, inept. She blames the maintenance problems on these under appreciated workers.
For the sake of argument, lets follow Coulter's premise that the workers, protected by Democrats, are the reason for Walter Reed's horrific conditions.
I would argue that the horrific conditions came after Halliburton spin-off IAP Worldwide Services, took control of facilities management.
Since I am sure Ms. Coulter does not understand what I just wrote, so to be clear, facilities management includes those that clean and fix stuff.
Of course Coulter would not blame a Cheney wannabe spin off company.
The Army Times has an interesting report on the issue.
The letter said the Defense Department “systemically” tried to replace federal workers at Walter Reed with private companies for facilities management, patient care and guard duty – a process that began in 2000.
“But the push to privatize support services there accelerated under President Bush’s ‘competitive sourcing’ initiative, which was launched in 2002,” the letter states.
During the year between awarding the contract to IAP and when the company started, “skilled government workers apparently began leaving Walter Reed in droves,” the letter states. “The memorandum also indicates that officials at the highest levels of Walter Reed and the U.S. Army Medical Command were informed about the dangers of privatization, but appeared to do little to prevent them.”
Blame the Democrats!
Coulter has attempted to unleash the Mother Of All Smoke Screens (MOASS). Unfortunately for her, the facts dissipate her feeble attempts.
Military hospitals are evaluating soldiers and providing disability benefits to fewer and fewer soldiers, placing the burden on VA institutions.
In 2001, 10 percent of soldiers going through the medical retirement process received permanent disability benefits. In 2005, with two wars raging, that percentage dropped to 3 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office. Reservists dropped from 16 percent to 5 percent.
This decrease during a time in which more than 20,000 have been wounded in combat.
Since the burden is falling upon the VA to handle more and more soldiers, lack of funding from the Bush administration has put Veterans and the excellent workers at the VA, in a precarious position.
The following numbers are estimates of the consequences of enacting President Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 budget proposal. [Sources: VFW Press Release, Department of Veterans Affairs, President's Fiscal Year 2006 Budget]
Veterans who would stop receiving hospital treatment for their disabilities: 220,000
Veterans losing out on long-term nursing home care: 28,000
VA health care workers eliminated: over 3,000
Veterans benefits staff positions cut: over 700
Priority 8 Veterans denied VA enrollment between Jan. 14, 2003 and the end of Fiscal Year 2006: 522,000
Medical research projects terminated: 173
Increase in out-of-pocket payments by veterans: $424 million
Yet, Coulter wants to blame Democrats and their passion for protecting the worker.
It's clear to most Americans. The woes of the Iraq war and the problems surrounding the care of our soldiers and Veterans is not the fault of Democrats. These woes can be shared by both parties over decades and decades of neglect and finger pointing.
In the case of the Iraq war, significant blame can be assigned to the Republican administration that has botched every turn in this war.
Coulter was dead wrong...and I feel a lot better now!