Why, oh why must the media villagers report every utterance of Senator John McCain?
Two words: “Sarah Palin.” After inflicting this carnival barker on the American people, any last remaining doubt should have been removed that John McCain is entirely lacking judgment. No one should be asking this man for his opinion about anything. This old coot should be left to talk to himself while sitting on a park bench on the National Mall. “Get off my lawn!”
And yet, on Sunday John McCain’s political base, the media villagers who still adore him, felt compelled to report his latest raving. McCain’s unlikely pick for next VA secretary: Sen. Tom Coburn. Seriously?
Sen. Tom Coburn is not a veteran. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1970 at the height of the Vietnam war, yet spent the 1970’s working as a manufacturing manager at the Ophthalmic Division of his father’s Coburn Optical Industries. Coburn earned his medical degree in 1983; he specializes in family medicine, obstetrics and the treatment of allergies, not exactly familiar with combat trauma care. Coburn is an ideological extremist, The Top 11 Most Godawful Things Retiring Senator Tom Coburn Ever Said, and is best known as “Dr. No” in the Senate for abusing the “secret hold” privilege of senators to object to nominations and to filibuster bills.
The only reason John McCain wants Coburn is this: McCain is working closely with Coburn and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on legislation to privatize the VA that McCain will introduce in the Senate on Tuesday. McCain wants his guy on the inside.
Coburn has replied “thanks, but no thanks, I am not interested.” “I look forward to leaving the Senate” because I am being treated for prostrate cancer for godssake!
Luckily, Arizona’ next governor has a suggestion for the next Secretary of the VA that is a no-brainer and should be a consensus choice. Fred Duval sent out this press release on Sunday:
Fred DuVal: “Appoint Richard Carmona as Next VA Secretary”
Phoenix – Business and education leader Fred DuVal, who is running for Arizona governor, released the following statement today urging President Obama to appoint Richard Carmona as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“The crisis at the VA started in Arizona, we need an Arizonan to clean it up,” said DuVal. “As a Vietnam veteran and former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona understands the needs of our veteran community and there’s no one more knowledgeable about healthcare. He’s the best person to clean up the VA, and I’ll be sending a letter to President Obama tomorrow making that case.”
A copy of DuVal’s letter to President Obama is available below:
Dear President Obama,
Americans have been alarmed by the reports of systemic delay and neglect in the care of our veterans. In Phoenix, where the story first broke and where the mismanagement has been highlighted, the concern is uniquely acute. All of us hope that the appointment of a new Secretary of Veterans Affairs will restore confidence in the agency and the quality of care our heroes deserve.
That appointment should come from Arizona.
I urge the appointment of Richard Carmona as the new Secretary. He is a decorated soldier and veteran, a surgeon, a former hospital administrator, and a former United States Surgeon General. His appointment would allay the concerns of our veteran community, provide support for those managing the care, and restore confidence in the agency.
Thank you for your consideration.
Now, I have to believe that Fred DuVal had some discussion with Dr. Carmona before sending his letter and putting out this press release. Fred is not the kind of guy who is going to blindside Dr. Carmona in a press release.
I have not spoken with Dr. Carmona, but from our conversations during his campaign for U.S. Senate, I believe that if President Obama were to ask him to serve as Secretary of the VA, Dr. Carmona would answer the call to duty and respond “I serve at the pleasure of the president.”