Give VA secretary David Shulkin the boot
Nice family vacay if you can get it -- and you can get it subsidized, if your underlings lie.
Shulkin's chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, admitted doctoring an email in order to get Shulkin's wife's airfare paid for by the public. Wright Simpson misled an ethics officer into believing that Shulkin was receiving an award at a dinner and that his wife therefore qualified as an "invitational traveler." It was a big fat fabrication. Shulkin received no award. His wife was not eligible for the travel reimbursements for her whopping $4,000 plane tickets.
Nevertheless, Wright Simpson -- a career bureaucrat who started at the VA in 1998 and ascended during the Obama administration -- was allowed to retire with full benefits. No punishment.
Shulkin remains unrepentant and baselessly blamed a computer "hack" for his top aide's email shenanigans. The IG found no evidence of his backside-covering claim. The ghost of Anthony Weiner lives.
And just wait, another shoe of corruption is about to drop. According to The Daily Beast, another IG report involving Shulkin's "use of his security detail to run personal errands" may be released in the next week. Shulkin's response? Underlings are reporting that he is in the throes of "paranoia," ordering an "armed guard" to stand watch outside his office and banning employees he suspects of "disloyalty."
The VA's culture of fear and reprisals against whistleblowers is endemic. Accountability is rarer than a Siamese unicorn. Fiscally responsible vets seeking coverage for emergency room bills are punished for not seeing VA doctors enough. The administrators responsible for blowing a billion-dollar hole in the budget of the Aurora, Colorado, VA boondoggle have escaped any consequences.
The last thing this corrupted bureaucracy needs is a Captain Queeg-meets-Leona Helmsley at the helm.
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As Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee wrote in a letter to the White House last week: "Mr. President, you promised the American people that you would end the culture of corruption and bureaucratic incompetence that for far too long has defined the leadership of the VA. Unfortunately, Secretary Shulkin, by his conduct, lacks the moral authority to achieve your goals of a transparent, accountable VA."
President Trump, your corrupt VA secretary is hostile to you, to the truth and to the taxpayers. He needs to hear those famous words from you:
Michelle Malkin is host of "Michelle Malkin Investigates" on CRTV.com. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Michelle Malkin and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.COPYRIGHT 2018 Michelle Malkin