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VA Shredding Benefit Applications

Sometimes I wonder if there’s a department of the US government which still does more than go through the motions of doing its job.  Case in point, the VA: [Army News]

Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices have been ordered to immediately stop shredding documents after an investigation found some benefits claims and supporting documents among piles of papers waiting to be destroyed. 

Worst part of it?  "Supporting documents" included things like birth certificates which are difficult to replace.  Not only wouldn’t your claim be approved, you wouldn’t be able to apply again, or vote, or get a driver’s license, and so on.

Now my original reaction may seem overkill to you, but really:  The Department of Homeland Security sends huge amounts of money to rural areas and ignores New York because New York isn’t a good place to spend pork and get votes.  The FDA flat out refuses to approve politically inconvenient drugs and then turns around and approves unsafe drugs.  The Environmental Protection Agency might as well be the polluters protection agency these days, and the Department of Defense has managed to lose two wars against enemies whose budgets aren’t even rounding errors.  (Spare me arguments about the Surge.  Where I grew up if you’re paying protection money to your ex-enemies to not attack you, you lost the war and they won.)

Government doesn’t work under Republicans because Republicans are bound and determined to prove government won’t work.  So, congratulations to Secretary Peake for doing the right thing.  Maybe once a Democrat is in charge his department will be given the necessary budget and guidance to do its job properly.  We can hope. 

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Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh was the Managing Editor of FireDogLake and the Agonist. His work has also appeared at Huffington Post, Alternet, and Truthout, as well as the now defunct Blogging of the President (BOPNews). In Canada his work has appeared in and BlogsCanada. He is also a social media strategy consultant and currently lives in Toronto.

His homeblog is at