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Posts tagged ‘VA’

Trump declares ‘racism is evil’ after firestorm


Reported

URL of the original posting site: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/346483-trump-declares-racism-is-evil-after-firestorm

 

President Trump declared Monday that “racism is evil” in public comments at the White House, and for the first time called out the KKK, Nazis and other hate groups specifically for their role in this weekend’s violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said in a surprise statement from the Diplomatic Reception Room.

He spoke after a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The president pledged to hold accountable “anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence.”

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“Justice will be delivered,” he said.Trump’s remarks, which he read from a teleprompter, and the meeting with top law enforcement officials were clearly intended to send a new signal from the White House after the president came under fierce criticism from members of both parties for an initial response in which he blamed “many sides” for what happened in Charlottesville.

He did not specifically mention white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan or any other groups that marched in Charlottesville in those remarks on Saturday.

One person was killed and 19 other injured when police say a 20-year-old Ohio man with ties to white supremacist groups drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the “Unite the Right” rally. White supremacist groups had also marched through Charlottesville chanting slogans against Jews and other groups.

The Justice Department has opened a civil-rights investigation into the car attack.

Trump spoke personally for the first time about the victim, Heather Heyer, 32, saying, “her death fills us with grief, and we send her and her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love.”

He also mourned the two police officers who died in a helicopter crash during the incident — H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates.

Trump did not refer to the attack as an act of terrorism, a description used by his national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday. But he said that his administration will “spare no resource” in working to fulfill a campaign promise to restore law and order.

The president did not directly address minority and nonwhite groups who might have felt victimized by Saturday’s events, instead making a general call for unity.

“We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence,” he said. “We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”

Trump had come under heavy criticism from his own party over his initial response to the violence, with some Republicans signaling deep disappointment. “Mr. President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the head of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, tweeted Saturday.

Trump, who has a well-known distaste for admitting any mistake, waited nearly another 48 hours before offering the new remarks. They came after he had lashed out Monday morning at the CEO of the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. for resigning from a White House advisory council over the president’s initial comments.

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said.

“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Trump tweeted in response.

Trump began his remarks Monday by talking about the growth in the American economy, and took no questions after his statement.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), speaking on MSNBC immediately after Trump’s remarks, said he was glad to see the president call out the white supremacist groups, though he added that he wished it would not have taken so long. “I wish he would have said those same words on Saturday,” he said. “I’m disappointed it took him a couple of days.”

The events of the past three days have created yet another crisis for the embattled president. The president returned to Washington on Monday for a day of work, interrupting his 17-day summer vacation at his private golf club in New Jersey. Trump was already battling criticism of his handling of a nuclear standoff with North Korea when clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters broke out in Charlottesville.

The controversies coincide with Trump’s struggles to hold together the base that helped elect him president. His approval rating dropped to the lowest level of his presidency, according to Gallup’s daily tracking poll. The survey was conducted over a three-day period ending Sunday, meaning that some of the respondents participated before the Charlottesville incidents.

Ben Kamisar contributed.

Trump Dumps 500+ Workers From Agency He Slammed Last Year


Published By ClashDaily.com | July 10, 2017

 URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2017/07/trump-dumps-500-workers-agency-slammed-last-year/

President Trump is draining the swamp! He just ditched 500 employees from this agency and that’s just the beginning…There was one particular agency that President Trump called probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States‘.

President Trump has just fired 500 employees of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, suspended 200 more, and 33 were demoted according to the Daily Caller.

VA Secretary David Shulkin has committed to greater transparency for the agency that is supposed to care for the needs of our veterans. But this isn’t the Obama-era ‘transparency’, Secretary Shulkin has stated that the agency will post employee firings and update it weekly. Shulkin was an Obama appointee that grew increasingly frustrated with the American Federation of Government Employees union that worked with Democrats to defend the bad behavior of VA employees.

And the behavior was very bad indeed.

Those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians.

Also disciplined were a program analyst dealing with the Government Accountability Office, which audits the department, a public affairs specialist, a chief of police and a chief of surgery.

Many housekeeping aides and food service workers — lower-level jobs in which the department has employed felons and convicted sex offenders — were also fired.

Many veterans have died waiting for care while VA bureaucrats have falsified information to gain monetary bonuses.

This is the very issue that many opposing government-run health care are concerned about — and what occurs in many nations with socialized medicine. (See the ClashDaily article on Charlie Gard.)

Bureaucrats can behave without the best interests of the patient in mind, and unionized government employees are very difficult to discipline or terminate. At least when the Left is in charge.

But there’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s got Drano and a plunger.

Shulkin expresses his frustration with what became the status quo:

“Just last week we were forced to take back an employee after they were convicted no more than three times for DWI and had served a 60 day jail sentence … Our accountability processes are clearly broken,” Shulkin said at the White House.

In addition to reluctance by managers to vigorously pursue firings, the overturning of firings after the fact by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) — often with little public acknowledgment — has been a longstanding problem.

Shulkin asked for new legislation that reduces the role of MSPB, especially when firing senior leaders. Congress passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act in answer, and Trump signed the bill in June.

Contrast the 500 firings, 200 suspensions and 33 demotions to the Obama administration’s philosophy of bad employee behavior at the VA:

During the Obama administration, [former VA Secretary Bob] McDonald lamented that in the private sector “you cut a deal with the employee and you’re able to buy them out,” but said you cannot do that in government.

Yet VA repeatedly made five and six-figure payments to bad employees to get them to quit after they threatened to gum up the works by appealing disciplinary actions….

The agency paid more than $5 million in settlements to employees under McDonald, which had the effect of encouraging bad employees to relentlessly appeal and make unsupported charges of discrimination when they were targeted for discipline, in an often-successful attempt to convert punishment into reward.
Source: Daily Caller

VA Secretary Shulkin said that he ‘will look to settle with employees only when they clearly have been wronged … and not as a matter of ordinary business.‘ A practice that seems to have been the default of the Obama administration.

This is a great start to getting our veterans the best care that we can.

President Trump is committed to our military and our veterans.

HuffPo Writer Claims Trump Needs to be EXECUTED Because Impeachment is No Longer Enough


After Republicans were targeted by an anti-Trump, Bernie loving radical in Alexandria, VA, during baseball practice… this article is frightening. The opinion piece was written just a few days before James T. Hodgkinson shot at the conservatives.

According to HuffPo contributor Jason Fuller it is no longer enough that Trump & Co. be impeached. Despite liberals being unable to provide proof of impeachment evidence, Fuller is calling for Trump and his allies to be EXECUTED.

“Impeachment and removal from office are only the first steps,” Fuller wrote.

“For America to be redeemed, Donald Trump must be prosecuted for treason and – if convicted in a court of law – executed.”

The article has since been deleted from the site, but has been archived online.

 words that followed in Fuller’s piece made it clear that, even though he demanded due process, he fully believes the President is guilty of treason.

“I think that most of us among the electorate knew that his presidency would be a relative disaster but I am not sure how many among us expected the catastrophe our nation now faces,” Fuller’s piece continued, going on to claim that “any quick internet search or flip of the TV to a credible news source will run down the most recent scandal before the next commercial break.”

Fuller went on to rant about the President’s scaling back of Obama’s environmental policies, immigration reform and firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Further, providing no evidence and speaking contrary to statements Comey himself has made, Fuller wrote, “there is very little doubt left that Trump and his team colluded with members of the Russian government to try and rig the election in his favor.”

Fuller’s article could very well have inspired Hodgkinson to pick up his rifle and start shooting. He did write it only a few days before the shooting. These actions are simply disturbing.

Not to mention one HuffPo editor claimed the shooting in VA wasn’t good enough.

Violent resistance. Because “attempted murder” is so passé.

So who is the man behind this hate piece? Here is his bio on the HuffPo site:

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But Fuller’s real freak flag is flown on his social media and proves he really believes Trump is treasonous and the WORST thing for America.

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You would think, like Kathy Griffin and other celebrities who’ve apologized for threatening Trump’s life, Fuller would back down, but he did not.

Taking to Twitter the liberal nut bag actually DEFENDS his position.

More Signs of Our Times


waving flag New WhatDidYouSay Logo

I had an appointment yesterday at the VA Hospital Medical Center for the results of a skin biopsy (Like 14 other times, it is cancer. Thanks Democrats for bathing me in Agent Orange in Vietnam and sending me out for 15 months without sun block in one of the hottest places on earth).

As I entered the main building, I was greeted with the following sign:

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That’s right. The Homosexual Mafia has struck the VA.

Today, I can across the following article:

VA moves to allow sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender veterans

By Douglas Ernst – The Washington Times – Friday, June 3, 2016 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/3/va-seeks-rule-change-to-allow-sex-reassignment-sur/

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald talks about the state of the department while speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington on Nov. 6, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald talks about the state of the department while speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington on Nov. 6, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE** more >

Transgender veterans may soon be eligible for sex-reassignment surgeries if a proposed rule change at the Department of Veterans Affairs is approved. The Executive Office of the President recently announced the possible rule change on its website.

“Surgical procedures are now widely accepted in the medical community as medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria,” the announcement stated. “Additionally, recent medical research shows that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that has had severe medical consequences for certain patients if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided.

“In light of these medical advances and recent research, VA would revise its regulation to remove the prohibition on medical services that are considered gender alterations,” the website said. “In this way, medical decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis about what procedures are medically necessary to treat gender dysphoria.”

VA officials declined to say precisely when the rule was first proposed, but said it has been mulled since at least 2014, Time magazine reported Thursday.

“At that time some of these surgical procedures were not as well-developed as they are now,” Jillian Shipherd, a co-director of the VA’s LGBT health care program, told the magazine. “The science about what the international standards of care are was very different from where we are today.”More forced

Gene Silvestri, VA coordinator with the American Military Partner Association, which advocates for LGBT veterans, cheered the move.

“This sets a tone. The VA is part of the government,” Mr. Silvestri told The Wall Street Journal Friday. “We’ll see a change in treatment and culture and acceptance.”

The moderator of Doctrine Man, a popular news aggregator for the military community, said the decision could be seen as the agency not properly prioritizing its most urgent problems.

“I do take issue with this change, but more so because I think the VA has bigger issues on its plate than this, and the decision to perform such surgeries isn’t as simple as it seems on the surface,” the website reported. “There’s also the issue of service connection, but I don’t think that plays a role here since the VA treats pretty much any condition for qualified veterans. And I don’t think there’s a long line of ‘suffering veterans’ standing outside the VA today waiting for this surgery, but there are a lot of others waiting for other procedures. So, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where this goes.”engineering2

The proposed rule change is open for public comment, The Journal reported. No date has been issued for a final decision.

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Shocker: Union official admits she let veterans die because doing this instead was so distasteful


March 10, 2016

Shocker: Union official admits she let veterans die because doing this instead was so distasteful / Credit: Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com

A former federal employee union president is wracked with guilt because veterans died at a time when she knew about gross misconduct within her Department of Veterans Affairs facility. But she was loath to tell congressional leaders about the problem. Why? Because Congress was led by Republicans, and she is a diehard Democrat.

“If I would’ve gone to him two years ago, who knows what kind of lives could’ve been saved,” Germaine Clarno told a radio interviewer Monday, referring to the Republican leader of a VA subcommittee. Clarno, a social worker at the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital in Hines, Ill., was president of the union representing doctors at the hospital as the deadly wait-time scandal unfolded.

Dozens of veterans have died in recent years while waiting for appointments with doctors at multiple VA hospitals and care centers around the nation. But VA staffers systematically manipulated records to make it seem like they didn’t have long waits. The problems became so severe by 2013, that as many as 40 patients died at just the Phoenix facility.

The same practices took place at Hines, with the knowledge of its director. Additional problems also plagued Hines, like heart scans getting discarded without being read.

Clarno’s tale of haunting regret is at least the second case of people connected with VA unions admitting they did not speak up about life-and-death issues because the idea of talking to a Republican was too distasteful.Partyof Deceit Spin and Lies

Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) – R was the ranking Republican on the Senate VA Appropriations subcommittee when Clarno finally talked to him in 2013, and wielding the power of the purse, he immediately launched a crusade to expose wrong-doing at Hines.

But in the previous years, Clarno went instead to Democrats who were ill-positioned to do anything, and who indeed, did nothing. Clarno and Lisa Nee, a VA doctor she worked with, described their actions during the interview Monday with Illinois’ WLS-AM radio host John Howell.

HOWELL: Both [Sen. Dick] Durbin and [Rep. Tammy] Duckworth put out a statement last week, as did our junior senator Mark Kirk, who I know has been helpful to you, right doctor?

NEE: Yes. And I didn’t think he would be. He was the last resort.

HOWELL: And usually when a union has to go to Republicans it’s a frosty reception, I suppose.

CLARNO: Exactly. And if I would’ve gone to him two years ago, who knows what kind of lives could’ve been saved.

HOWELL: That’s a really sad aspect of this.

CLARNO: It is.

The women first went to Rep. Danny Davis (IL) – D, a Democrat who represented the district that included Hines, but he was not on any committees with VA oversight authority. “Danny Davis was pretty apathetic not because he didn’t know what was going on but because he felt like their was nothing he could do,” Nee said in the interview.

The two women then went to Rep.Tammy Duckworth (IL) – D, a disabled veteran Democrat who also represents the area and was an official at VA before being elected to Congress. But since she was a new lawmaker without leadership roles on any committees, she did not help. Clarno and Nee said Duckworth wouldn’t even read a report about the situation at Hines.

“It was really upsetting. This isn’t about, you know, whether you have a D or an R at the end of your name. This is about the VA, this is about protecting the men and women who fought for our country,” Clarno said.

Clarno tried to work through Hines managers before going to Congress, and is now tirelessly working every possible avenue to fix problems in the VA. She is still involved with the union, but is no longer president, and says she has experienced harassment from some union members.

A similar situation unfolded in Wisconsin, the site of VA’s Tomah hospital — known as “Candy Land” because its doctors doped up veterans with dangerous combinations of sedatives rather than treating their underlying conditions.

The Tomah VA employees union didn’t take complaints to Sen.Ron Johnson (WI) – R, a Republican, even though he is not only from Wisconsin, but is chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee with jurisdiction over management issues in government agencies.

“We didn’t even talk to Republicans then,” Lin Ellinghuysen, union president and past vice president, told the Wisconsin Watchdog.What did you say 07.jpg

But there is no remorse in Wisconsin. The union is now running ads against Johnson, faulting him for not acting on information he was never given. The public employees union is campaigning forRuss Feingold , a Democrat who preceded Johnson in office and is now running to retake the seat.

The union initially said it told Feingold of problems at the facility via a hand-delivered letter in 2009, when he still occupied the Senate seat. But after the absence of any corrective action by Feingold became a campaign issue, the union retracted its claim, and said it never told him.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin (WI) – D, the state’s other senator, received an investigation report detailing problems at the Tomah facility, but nothing came of it. Baldwin admitted that it was a major failing, and fired the staffer she said was responsible.

Ellinghuysen said the union talked with Democrats about the problems, but she didn’t follow up when they didn’t get results because she is no “courageous Wonder Woman” and “needed a paycheck.”

Ryan Honl, a lifelong Democrat who worked at Tomah, reluctantly went to Johnson’s office, and got a response the next day after being frustrated with a lack of response from Baldwin and another Democrat, Rep.Ron Kind (WI) – D.

Then, after Republicans did the work of proving undeniable mistreatment, the Democratic members belatedly chimed in with expressions of outrage at the mistreatment of vets — just as Durbin and Duckworth did in Illinois — Honl told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The failure of the unions to alert relevant authorities about patient abuse, coupled with political attacks against the few congressmen who actually tried to put a stop to it, astounded Honl to such an extent that he renounced his political party.

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OUTRAGEOUS: Veterans Administration rocked by NEW scandal


waving flagWritten by Allen West on June 23, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://allenbwest.com/2015/06/outrageous-va-rocked-by-new-scandal

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The horrific treatment of our American veterans should go down as one of the darkest moments in recent U.S. history. How long has it been since we first learned about our men and women who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice being placed on waiting lists – and some dying before being seen? We heard the rhetoric about getting to the bottom of this, being disturbed, and guilty parties would be held responsible. So far, as we’ve shared here, only one person has been fired. A program was created for veterans to receive services at facilities of their choosing, closer to where they live. Sadly, the bureaucrats made it so difficult that our veterans gave up. And then the program funding was reduced due to lack of usage — typical.

But wait, it has not gotten better. As reported by Fox News, “The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported. The VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, the Times reported in a story posted online ahead of its Sunday editions. The agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves to reduce the gap, the newspaper reported. In the last year, the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings, the Times reported. However, the newspaper added, department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar. At some major veterans hospitals, demand was up by one-fifth, the paper reported.” Vet-Dreaming-590-LA

I have a simple recommendation: stop the incessant bonuses paid to VA bureaucrats and focus on providing services to our veterans. This is not a matter of more money — then again, that’s what every government agency will tell you – but it’s a matter of prioritizing care. And if this is a glimpse into what Obamacare will become — then “Katie bar the door.”

We should be examining how to incorporate veterans into local healthcare systems for their care, especially those in distant remote areas. And speaking of budget cuts, just look up the new VA hospital in Denver and the cost overruns it has encountered – that’s waste that could go to our veterans.VA-gift-NRD-600-wLogo

Now, let me add this little tidbit in as well. To my veteran brothers and sisters, we also have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and do our best to live a healthy life. I know there are many ailments and sicknesses that have resulted from our service. But, you guys, let’s watch the drinking and smoking. Let’s get out and go for walks and try to keep our cardio-vascular condition as healthy as possible. I’m not looking for folks to be PT studs but watch the type of foods we are consuming. Look, I still get up and do PT in the mornings and I do enjoy a nice Five Guys burger at times — not everyday though. Healthcare is a personal responsibility and we need y’all in the fight to encourage this next generation of warriors.

However, it is still a responsibility of this government to care for those who have borne the brunt of the battle…and their widows. Now, just ponder this simple point, if folks were in long waiting lines for their food stamps/EBT cards what do you think the response would be? (Remember that 80 percent of the Department of Agriculture budget goes to food programs).

The shell game has begun at the VA where “agency officials expect to petition Congress this week to allow them to shift money into programs running short of cash, according to the newspaper. However, lawmakers may object to removing funds from a new program intended to allow certain veterans on waiting lists and in rural areas to choose taxpayer-paid care from private doctors outside the department’s health system, the Times reported.

“Something has to give,” the department’s deputy secretary, Sloan D. Gibson, said in an interview with the newspaper. “We can’t leave this as the status quo. We are not meeting the needs of veterans, and veterans are signaling that to us by coming in for additional care, and we can’t deliver it as timely as we want to.”Incoming-LA-590

Deputy Secretary Sloan I agree, we cannot leave this as the status quo, but when are we going to streamline the bureaucracy of the agency? And why is it that the new “Choice Act” programs are to be gutted of funding when the promise was made to reform the VA system with this new implementation? Why does the VA want to prevent veterans from seeing private doctors? Funny, if the Obama administration is so intent on providing subsidies as part of Obamacare — even to those in states without approved exchanges — why can’t the same be done for veterans? Perhaps the intent was to never allow our veterans to have choice?Complete Message

The point is, the VA system is truly broken and the situation of a year ago has not been rectified. There was plenty of rhetoric and faux angst, but the bottom line is that NOTHING has changed – as a matter of fact it has worsened. And it’s not just a matter of more money, it’s a matter of priority and efficiency.

We vets can do a little better job taking care of ourselves — but the government must live up to its promise, one would think.freedom combo 2

VA hospital orders Christian symbols covered in chapel


http://allenbwest.com/2014/06/va-hospital-orders-christian-symbols-covered-chapel/#67GbBpDzyIsojXU6.99

Written by Allen West on June 4, 2014

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While the Veterans Administration thanks its lucky stars the Bergdahl story has taken its scandal out of the headlines, it seems the VA system had other things to worry about anyway, beyond simply the death of dozens of veterans awaiting treatment.

No, what the VA really has to worry about is all those offensive Christian religious symbols in chapels.

As reported by Unhyphenated America, “A Veteran’s Hospital in Iron Mountain, Michigan actually went to the time and expense to install a curtain in front of an “offensive” altar, cross and statues of Jesus and Mary in the chapel.

According to a letter sent to Iron Mountain News, Chaplain Bob Mueller said “A couple of months ago, an order came down from Washington DC to cover all things associated with Christianity in the VA. Their solution is to cover everything in all the VA Chapels across the country.” Chaplain Bob went on to say, “A few weeks ago an official from the Madison VA came down here to tell me to ‘stop talking about Jesus, and to stop reading Scripture out loud.’”

It never ceases to amaze me what liberals seem to find offensive. For example, liberals find the concept of “school choice” troubling, but not the choice to kill your own child. Leslie Brown at Unhyphenated America has a more thorough (and amusing) list here.

Now, I know there are a bunch of folks who will jump all over the “separation of church and state” train, but how many times must I repeat it is not anywhere in the U.S. Constitution? We do not have an establishment of religion in America. We have the right to free exercise of religion – well, except in the eyes of the Obama administration.

Funny thing, I do recall a little thing called “separation of powers” as a fundamental principle of the United States, enshrined in our Constitution — but that doesn’t seem to matter to Obama and his progressive socialist acolytes.

And so the “fundamental transformation” of America continues. I’ve got an idea. Let’s hide the Christian symbols in the VA right next to the hidden lists denying our veterans proper care.

War on Christians Christian PersecutionObama defending muslimsVOTE 02
 

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