Top 44 Gov’t salaries went to Phx VA employees

June 2, 2014

Astronomical salaries eclipse all other Gov’t agencies

Since the ongoing scandals at the Veterans Hospital were first revealed in Phoenix, we thought it might be interesting to see how our tax dollars earmarked for the health care of America’s military veterans are being spent.

“Open the Books* — a project of American Transparency” has done a masterful job in compiling the numbers. There are 100 entries per page, with 6 pages devoted to Arizona.

Page one, alone, lists 2013 salaries ranging from $357,526.00 to $217,404.00. All employees are identified by name.

The top of the page indicates a limited number of views are available before registration is required.

WND reports that the VA handed out $9 million in bonuses since 2011. Breitbart notes that the Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital outside of Chicago spent over $1 billion on salaries for over 4,200 employees for the three years ending in 2013. Just 309 of these employees are doctors, and less than a quarter of the total employees provide direct medical care. 

*H/T Adam Andrzejewski —- Open the Books


How America treats illegal aliens vs. Veterans

May 25, 2014

Memorial Day reading

Longtime readers of Seeing Red AZ are familiar with some of our favorite nationally syndicated columnists —- Michelle Malkin, Thomas Sowell, Ann Coulter and Victor Davis Hanson among them. Today, in honor of Memorial Day, we feature Malkin’s recent column “How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans.”

Malkin points out, “In Arizona, illegal aliens incurred health care costs totaling an estimated $700 million in 2009. In Phoenix, at least 40 veterans died waiting for VA hospitals and clinics to treat them, while government officials created secret waiting lists to cook the books and deceive the public about deadly treatment delays.”

These wise words conclude her column, “America: medical and welfare welcome mat to the rest of the world, while leaving its best and bravest veterans to languish in hospital lounges, die waiting for appointments, and compete for jobs and educational opportunities against illegal border-crossers, document fakers, visa violators and deportation evaders. Shame on us.”

Read it in full here.

Knowledge is power —- a commodity that is increasingly in short supply as we lose our grasp on our Constitutionally based Representative Republic. Our elected representatives appear to have forgotten the American citizens who supported them and voted them into office. They obviously need to be reminded. Give them a call. Since we pay their salaries, they should be happy to hear from us.


Huppenthal calls Common Core opponents “barbarians”

May 14, 2014

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal insulted concerned parents and other constituents when he bizarrely compared them to “barbarians” and vowed to fight them in his effort to preserve Obama’s federally imposed education scheme.

“I have put my career on the line to stave off the barbarians. I very likely could lose this election,” Huppenthal said. “I’m okay with that because I felt I did the right thing for this education system,” he added.

Huppenthal said Arizona cannot allow a repeat of what happened in Indiana, which pulled out of the association of states that adopted the standards.  Seeing Red AZ covered the victory of Common Core opponents in Indiana who successfully ousted two establishment endorsed House incumbents. The duo lost in a landslide.

An untrustworthy Republicrat, John Huppenthal actually welcomed and toured the state with Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, bragging about his collusion in this media advisory.

In Arizona, Common Core standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010.

As objections to the unpopular federal overreach become stronger, Huppenthal and Gov. Jan Brewer deceptively conspired in changing the name Common Core to “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards” —- fooling no one.

The Indiana victories clearly show that the same can happen in Arizona’s upcoming August 26, primary. John Huppenthal, feeding at the public trough for over three decades, has an able challenger in Diane Douglas.

Time is short to collect signatures and qualifying $5 contributions. She needs help to win. Join her campaign.

It matters.


Phx. VA chief on leave during death investigations

May 2, 2014

Shocking revelations of gross criminal negligence should lead to firings and charges

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki placed Phoenix VA Health Care System Director Sharon Helman, Associate Director Lance Robinson and a third employee on administrative leave amid charges that dozens of VA hospital patients may have died while awaiting medical treatment.

Shinseki released this statement of concern and announced the actions on Thursday. But this is how the Washington Examiner editorially described Shinseki the same day. 

Delays in providing appropriate treatment were purposely hidden as part of a complex cost-cutting scheme set up by Veterans Affairs managers. Their alleged goal was to hide the fact that between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait up to 21 months to see a doctor, according to whistle-blowing retired top VA doctor, Samuel Foote, M.D.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs said staff investigators have evidence that the Phoenix VA Health Care System kept two sets of records to conceal prolonged waits for doctor appointments and treatment that patients were forced to endure. “It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care,” Miller revealed.

To hide the fact that they were compelling sick veterans to wait indefensible months to see a doctor, Phoenix VA managers kept two separate lists. One was an official list sent to Washington that alleged progress in providing timely appointments. The second and secret one revealed the actual lengthy wait times. Dr. Foote says those records have been shredded.

Because the VA uses performance targets of reduced wait times to determine bonus levels,  Sharon Helman actually received nearly $10,000 in bonuses last year — despite knowing about the off-the-books list and defending its use to staff.


Mexican cartels threaten assassination of AZ lawmen

April 27, 2014

The Sierra Vista Herald details the dangerous escalation of events during what should have been a routine traffic stop, resulting in an officer involved shooting death of Lauro Jesus Avechuco, 40.

Avechuco is alleged to have driven his car at the officer, precipitating the deadly incident.  In accordance with department policy, the officer, Justin Dannels has been placed on administrative leave until a joint investigation by Sierra Vista police, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI can be completed and reviewed by the Cochise County Attorney’s Office.

In most instances, the news report would stop there.

But in this case, Officer Dannels is the son of Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, and the incident has ignited “credible” death threats against the father and son from the drug cartels that control the area.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Sylvia Longmire, a Breitbart News border security expert and contributing editor, lives in southern Arizona. She is quoted as saying, “The region immediately south of Sierra Vista and Naco are predominantly controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. If credible threats are coming from that region, it is either from the Sinaloa directly, or from a criminal enterprise under the umbrella of the cartel.”

Longmire added, “Threats such as these bring increased scrutiny to the region and can interfere with the cartels smuggling efforts. If such threats did not originate with cartel approval, the issuer of the threats could find themselves in serious trouble with the Sinaloa Federation.”

Breitbart’s Brandon Darby provides the complete menacing report. As you digest the facts as they relate to the safety and security of our Arizona citizens and the lawmen who defend them, consider the cavalier attitude of the Congressional elite who are intent on pushing an amnesty bill that omits the volatile word ‘amnesty’ —- since it rings in as a miserable failure among focus groups. Remember when “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” was the reconstructed verbiage used by Sens. Kyl and McCain?  Today, the preferred terminology is “legal status” and it is always used in conjunction with a worthless pledge to implement “border security.”

August is the latest prioritized deadline to turn on the flashing neon welcome sign on our border and roll out the red carpet for the multitude of illegals that will surely follow the hordes of invaders already here. We wrote this warning on Friday.

Language is important. When the words “breaking up families,” “undocumented immigrants,”  “migrants” or the bogus figure of11 million in the shadows” are used, it’s time to burn up the congressional phone lines. We’re losing our country and those Republicrats we sent to Washington are enabling the takeover. Their incomprehensible efforts will also ensure the death of the Republican Party under whose banner they ran.

Will you be able to look your children —- or theirs —- in the eye if you do nothing?


Harry Reid: Bundy, supporters, “domestic terrorists”

April 18, 2014

Although there is currently a lull, with federal snipers no longer in sight and cattle returned, the standoff in Nevada is not likely to go away anytime soon, as Sen. Harry Reid continues to lie and provoke. The back stories to this issue continue to emerge. Cliven Bundy is the last rancher in Clark County, where there were previously dozens. But the Bureau of Land Management has restrained the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the land on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle allowed on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business.

Cliven Bundy says the feds are using protection of the desert tortoise as ruse to force him and others from public land to make room for a dry lake solar zone.  This is an allegation that appears to hold water. 

Harry Reid and his lawyer son, Rory, a lobbyist for Chinese energy giant ENN Energy Group, are both involved in the company’s effort to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert not far from the Bundy ranch.

Rory Reid was elected to the Clark County Board of County Commissioners where he served from 2003 to 2011.  The commission is considered by many to be one of the most powerful governmental bodies in the state of Nevada, since it has oversight over all unincorporated county areas. 

Another odd ‘coincidence’ is the fact that Harry Reid endorsed the judge, who originally ruled against Bundy, for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yet one more bit of serendipity concerns the very recent confirmation of Neil Kornze, 35, as the new  Bureau of Land Management director. Kornze is a former senior policy advisor to Harry Reid. Just confirmed April 8, he is now in charge of the federal agency that oversees 264 million acres of public lands —- primarily in western states. 

And radical leftist Harry Reid, the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate, has the temerity to call Cliven Bundy “a domestic terrorist?”


Bloomberg’s $50 million attack on 2nd Amendment

April 17, 2014

Anti-gun leftist, feds & even your doctor want your weapons

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not letting any grass grow under his resoled loafers now that he’s unemployed. Instead he‘s refocusing his efforts at restricting guns in America, and pledging at least $50 million to accomplish his goal.

Bloomberg, reputedly worth over $31 billion dollars —- ranking 10th on Forbes’ list of America’s Richest People —- has unsuccessfully tried in the past to wage a national campaign against guns. Now the Second Amendment restrictionist is launching a new gun control organization, ‘Everytown for Gun Safety,’ that he hopes can rival the mega status of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Bloomberg’s bottom line is expansion of background checks to prevent increasing numbers of law-abiding citizens from owning guns. He’s working hand-in-glove with the Obama administration which is stealthily at work creating the infrastructure for a universal gun registry. In budget proposals known as “Program Increases” for the FBI, Attorney General Eric Holder says: “This program enhancement will double the capacity of the existing NICS —- National Instant Check System.  These expansions are vital in ensuring that the NICS system can support a Universal Background Check requirement, which is expected to double gross NICS transactions.” Gun Owners of America‘s alert continues here.

Everytown’s mission statement, claims the effort is “a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”

Then comes the tirade:

Speaking of the NRA, Bloomberg bizarrely rants: “They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you, If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” Bloomberg bellowed.

And if you think mature adult gun owners are safe from this lunacy, think again.

Health care attorney Marshall Kapp, director of the Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law at Florida State University Medical School is of the opinion that doctors who treat older patients should routinely ask whether they have access to guns. He defends speaking with family members about confiscating weapons, saying “the physician’s right to engage in firearm-related inquiries could actually be characterized as a legally enforceable obligation.”

“If families are unwilling to cooperate, doctors may need to turn to the law for help,” Kapp said. “Failure to address firearm safety for seniors can be considered a form of neglect that should be reported to the Adult Protective Services agency since it arguably constitutes elder mistreatment.”

Kapp’s shocking report, “Geriatric Patients, Firearms, and Physicians,” was published September 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


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