Obama Names Shinseki as Veterans' Affairs Chief

President-Elect Barack Obama will name another cabinet nominee tomorrow: Retired General Eric Shinseki to head the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Shinseki was a vocal critic of the Neocons in the Bush Administration and is Obama's first Asian-American cabinet nominee.

Juan Cole calls the appointment "ironic."

"If Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and [former undersecretary for defense Douglas J.] Feith had listened to Shinseki, there wouldn't be as many wounded veterans to take care of," Cole said. "I think this is a way of saying, 'Here was a career officer who had valuable insights who was shunted aside by arrogant civilians, and we're not going to make the same kind of mistakes.' "


As for the agency itself,

If confirmed by the Senate, Shinseki would control one of the federal government's largest agencies, which administers health care and other benefits for the nation's active military and veterans, as well as their families and survivors. The 240,000-employee department is the government's second largest, behind the Defense Department.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Ooooh... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 10:15:08 PM EST
    I wasn't thinking "Shinseki," but I like the ring of it.

    I was thinking more "Duckworth," but now maybe she will be Obama's replacement in the senate.

    As the kaleidoscope turns, new possibilities come into view.

    I thougt Emil Jones (none / 0) (#3)
    by jes on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 10:41:57 PM EST
    was selected. Or do you mean after Jones retires and the seat is open?

    Correction: ShinSEki.... (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by oldpro on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 10:33:16 PM EST
    not ShinESki.  Those letter reversals are murder, hmmm?

    Shinseki.  Yes ironic.  And payback...slapping the Bush admin right in the warmongering chops.

    I like it.  And so will the troops.

    thanks, spelling now corrected (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 11:24:46 PM EST
    Much appreciated.

    and you think they care because? (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 11:48:43 PM EST
    And payback...slapping the Bush admin right in the warmongering chops.

    these people have no sense of shame or guilt. conservatives, by nature, are psycopaths. they lie with ease, because it's their normal. when caught, they either deny it, or immediately move on to something else.

    and really, why shouldn't they be?; there's been no adverse repercussions for the bad acts they've committed, and won't be any under an obama administration


    Wow! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by bocajeff on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:14:49 AM EST
    "conservatives are pyschopaths"? Really? All of them? Geez, some of my best friends are conservative.

    Next thing you'll say is that liberals aren't paranoid or prone to hyperbole.


    Heh (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 01:12:55 AM EST
    some of my best friends are conservative

    my parents are  ;)


    yes, really, all of them. (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 05:19:32 AM EST
    Really? All of them? Geez, some of my best friends are conservative.

    you should change your friends, you're known by the company you keep.

    if you haven't figured out the truth of my statement by now, just go ahead and find a high bridge and end it all, you're wasting valuable oxygen.


    Wow (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 06:24:24 AM EST
    Paging Rep. Rangel.

    this is fabulous!! (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by jedimom on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 11:09:20 PM EST
    I am ecstatic again, the great picks just keep on coming!

    Shinseki speaks truth to power, doesnt back down under pressure, cares for our troops and now will be tasked with reforming the VA, a system woefully understaffed which has been contracted out by Bush and co.,
    I did a writeup,

     VA handles all the things our military men and women and their families need most:
    disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors' benefits, medical benefits and burial benefits.

    I hold off congratulations (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by bocajeff on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:16:56 AM EST
    Until the people actually do something. Sort of like naming Francis Ford Coppola as director and getting "The Rainmaker" instead of "The Godfather".

    But then again, I believe in substance over style so this next few years can be either incredibly rewarding or downright humorous.

    Juan Cole stretches it (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by koshembos on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 07:01:32 AM EST
    Obama gives credit to a capable general who was shunned and ignored. There is nothing here about doing it right. There is a huge agency, the VA, with an urgent mission that needs a capable head. That's all. There is a slight dig at the Bush gang, but Obama is president and there is no need to kick a dead horse.

    Yes (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:00:53 AM EST
    For a change it's nice to see people rewarded for their competence, rather than BushCo style, where competence is punished and incompetence is rewarded.

    I doubt this is about jabbing back at (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 07:39:45 AM EST
    arrogant civilians as I'm told that Shinseki is a very arrogant person as well.  I suppose this is about competence and he can be that.  He can also not be that as well. General Shinseki was also responsible for the Army wearing the black berets now which was an unnecessary, costly, silly change in my opinion and led to them all looking like the forces of any other third world dictator.  It is also difficult to maintain, it must be boiled to be sized before wearing and leads to all sorts of wierd things happening and new berets having to be purchased, and because it is made of wool it stinks when it gets rained on while becoming sopping wet and nonfunctional - what a worthless item for forces to have to maintain but it was the look he was after......bleh.....arrogance!

    As I was reading your comment . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 07:55:14 AM EST
    a certain Seinfeld episode came to mind. George and 100% cotton uniforms for The Yankees. They shrank.

    Do they have to wear those year round?! It takes some pretty cold weather for me to wear wool on my head, and for any length of time. Wet wool? YUCK! And they expect everyone to size their own? They should be free if that's the case!


    Worn year round, in the desert (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 08:16:06 AM EST
    you can wear your boonie hat but I think the helmet is preferred right now :) If you are enlisted you get your issued berets free but if you harm them or they come out misshapen in the sizing process (which happens a lot) you have to replace them at your expense.  Officers must purchase their uniforms.  One thing the war has done, it required uniform updating and the new uniforms are pretty state of the art.  No more ironing (YEAH BABY), but you do have to wash them in a special CHEER formula so that some of the things the fabric has been treated with can work as long as possible.  They fit so much better too than the old uniforms and patches and rank are all velcro now so I don't have to sew them on with a ruler in hand making sure everything is 1/4" from a seam, and then it is topped off with this sad beret :)

    My head itches just thinking about it! (none / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 08:44:55 AM EST
    Glad the uniforms have gotten better and also easier for you!