CBS: New Scandal At VA Involving Disability Benefits
This is a big problem, assuming it turns out to be accurate. The detail that isn’t mentioned in the story is that back disability pay is typically dated to the initial application. So changing that date may be effectively stealing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars from Veterans.
(There wasn’t quite enough detail in the story to determine whether that was happening.)
NPR quoted some finance guy saying something to the effect that the Justice Department should prosecute people criminally rather than going after the banks for these gigantic civil settlements. After all, these settlements mostly hurt the companies and the shareholders.
The only problem is that deals like this don’t rule out criminal prosecution. Those aren’t mutually exclusive things. Prosecuting the little fish would treat their transgressions like isolated incidents. They weren’t.
A government watchdog agency said an estimated $106 billion in payments were made in error last year: meaning they were the wrong amount, went to the wrong person or lacked sufficient documentation.
CNN.com is basically Clickhole at this point. The headline linking to this article said, “Feds send $106 billion to wrong people.” That’s not what the article says at all.
A payment made without sufficient documentation is far different from a payment made to the wrong person. It’s just that somebody didn’t get all their paperwork in order. Maybe there’s a problem behind that. Or maybe it’s just that somebody thought the paperwork wasn’t as important as the Government Accountability Office thought it was. Little Susie needs a reduced price school lunch. Little Susie obviously qualifies. But maybe somebody decided to just sign off on the thing rather than insisting that Susie’s parents document their lack of income by going to whatever office they need to go to and filling out a pain-in-the-neck form in a language they maybe or maybe don’t understand.
So do your paperwork. Maybe it’s important. But “missing paperwork” is completely different than “we paid the wrong guy.”
For what it’s worth, I showed the above picture to my 3.5-year-old son, whose entire knowledge of the movie has been gleaned from like four YouTube clips. Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Me: Hey. What’s this?
Son: A dinosaur.
Me: What kind?
Me: What’s it from?
Son: I don’t know—ummm, oh, Jurassic Park!
Me: Thank you.
Son: Why was that triceratops sick?
The mystery of what caused dinosaur extinction has finally be solved.
Damn you, Spielberg. You son of a bitch.
"If time travel were possible, why don’t we see all the time travelers?"
Why? Because you’re too boring. Who wants to visit this century. The time travelers are obviously all hunting dinosaurs to extinction.
It’s not clear what he’s supposed to do while he’s there. Presumably pose for photographs for negative campaign adds. But I suppose anybody can demand whatever they want of the President.
Can we change that rule slightly, though? I’d like the rule to be that you can demand anything you want to demand from the President unless you’re a member of a Congress with single digit approval ratings. Because maybe you need to prioritize getting your own branch of government in shape. Perhaps hold off on throwing stones until you figure out how to get that approval rating up to, say, 25%?