It’s Not About Health Care; It’s About Caring

Sure, LA has its own problems with hospital patients being dropped off in skid row, but how — as Joe Galloway so eloquently wrote — can the blinders stay drawn while our injured troops are left in blight within the Beltway?

I try not to get sidetracked with being pissed off at shocking injustices at the hand of our wickedly rich government, but, mind you, I do bother to read Froomkin daily, but sometimes — especially on the day after being brought back to reality from the sheer mechanics and mindless rhetoric of even the most hopeful of campaigns — I must vent.

Froomkin borrows from Dana Priest’s piece in today’s post in remarking on the White House and Tony Snow’s unbelievable non-reaction to the uninhabitable quarters on the Walter Reed campus (ask the DoD… it’s an “action item.”

“At the White House, press secretary Tony Snow said that he spoke with President Bush yesterday about Walter Reed and that the president told him: ‘Find out what the problem is and fix it.'”

I must admit I found that a bit odd: Asking the press secretary to fix a military hospital? Is Bush saying it’s just a PR problem?

Sadly, not taking care of our own is nothing new.

photo by poppyseed bandits

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Full Video: Injured Iraq Vet at Obama Rally

By popular demand I am posting the entire, raw 2min 50sec interview I conducted with Pam Richardson at the Barack Obama 2008 rally yesterday in Los Angeles.

Richardson was one of several people I casually interviewed before the actual rally began — you can see my best of video here. Her story is unique because — despite being a 19-year U.S. Army veteran — she is not receiving full benefits. Why? Because, even though she lost her leg in Iraq, according to her story, the U.S. government has ruled it an accident and not a combat injury. She says she lost her leg when a tanker fell onto her tent.

There’s no question that veterans rights will — and should be — a MAJOR issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. We’ve heard the horror stories and we’ve heard about the chronically injured and their families being literally left to fend for themselves by the government.

Now, a full-fledged scandal at Walter Reed is being probed. AmericaBlog has a close watch on this (see the right sidebar) and there’s more via Technorati.

Watch the 4-minute, edited video from the Barack Obama rally below:

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VIDEO: Barack Obama Rally in LA + Thoughts

UPDATE: full interview w/ injured War Vet Pam Richardson is here.

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Bobby Conn, King

I’ve been actively posting elsewhere — check my recent posts at LAist here, here, and here to see what was shakin over the weekend. bobby conn

Meanwhile — I just got Bobby Conn’s latest in the mail from Thrill Jockey, and it’s his best. It stays in the same vein, of the miraculous and unique Freddie Mercury-cum-Weather Report overridden with Chicago-crossed falsetto dream-funk. Very hard to pick one track from this record as it is the most serial of all of his records — a listen-through-all-the-way type. By the end, he proclaims “(I’m Through With) My Ego.” As if. For all you “Winners” out there, you’ll surely dig “Love Don’t Let Me Down.”

See the legend — er, I mean, King — for yourself via YouTube.